August 31, 2004 should support iRiver players

I subscribe to and can download 2 audio books each month. It’s an excellent service but I REALLY wish Audible would support my iRiver mp3 player. The Audible files are in .aa format. These won’t play on my iRiver.

None of my audio software would open .aa files, so initially, I was downloading the files, burning the audio books to CD in .cda format, then ripping the CDs to mp3 format. The whole process took several hours for a long, unabridged book such as DNA: The Secret of Life. Just to burn and label the 15 CDs for that book took ages. And when I made mp3 files from the CDs, I had to keep track which file came from which disc because I had 15 different files named “track001” which could make it tricky to put all the files together in the correct sequence.

I made the mistake of creating my first few audio books as large mp3 files with no cue points. When I accidentally hit a wrong button on my player while jogging, I would lose my place and had to start back at the beginning of the book. I can now recite the first half hour of my first three audio books.

The burning to CD process was taking too much time so I purchased a shareware audio editing program called Goldwave which does indeed open .aa files directly; no more burning to 15 discs. Goldwave can also insert automatic cue points at intervals which you designate (like every 5 minutes or 10 minutes) and it can split a file with cue points into multiple smaller files with the beginning and end of these smaller files based on the cue points. Much easier to navigate through on an mp3 player. I’ve also learned to lock my mp3 player buttons down when I run with it to avoid accidental navigation.

Although the process is quicker, it still took me an hour to get a new book onto my player this morning. But I’m not yet giving in and purchasing an iPod, which will support .aa files.

Triple Feature

Rented 3 movies for the 3 day weekend. Mystic River was out, so I opted for:

Cold Mountain – had too high expectations for this one. At first I found Renee Zwelleger’s take-charge character funny and endearing, but the charm quickly wore off as it was completely over-done. Why do Hollywood movies do that? I can only imagine that it is what sells best. And the likelihood of the enduring love between the two main characters after only a few brief meetings…well, I just couldn’t relate to any of the characters. To its credit, it was well acted and the cinematography made the Blue Ridge Mountains look worth a visit. I’m sure the book is much better.

Black Hawk Down - almost as bad as ponchos. I naively thought I would learn something about Somalia, Sucad’s home. It got two Oscars? For what?!! Give this one a miss unless you want it for the fighting scenes.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – now this is my kind of a movie! An excellent humorous twist on Hamlet. I could even overlook the fact that Richard Dreyfuss is in it.


I recently purchased Extensis Portfolio. It's DAM software (industry jargon for digital asset management) that will help me organize my thousands of digital photographs.

I (briefly) floundered through the manual which describes how to use the features in the software, but doesn't give advice on how to set up your folders, files, keywords, categories, etc. I suppose this is because best practice will vary from user to user depending on what your "workflow" (more current industry jargon) is like.

After a few days of Google searching and posting to forums, I came across the most excellent Portfolio FAQ. The site contains enough info to make you an expert Porfolio user should you have time to digest it all. And the two moderators respond to posts within hours, sometimes minutes...even on the weekends.

I also bought a massive 500 gig LaCie external drive on which to store all these photo files. The thought was that I could get rid of my stacks of CDs, but numerous warnings have come in saying that I should make sure to have a back-up (or two) of all the files. So much for consolidation.

August 27, 2004


Knitted ponchos are all the rage in London fashion at the moment. Gross. I have no problems with ponchos that protect you from the rain or keep you from freezing in the Andes, but as a summer fashion, they're just plain gross.

August 25, 2004

The Killers

Saw The Killers in concert at The Forum Monday night. Tight musicians, catchy tunes and the lead singer has bags of emotion when performing onstage. I must admit that I only recognized 2 songs, Somebody Told Me and All These Things That I've Done. I hadn't done my homework. Had the others in the mosh pit known that, I'd have hell to pay. I started out towards the front but by the 4th song I was at the front; right under Brian Flowers' keyboards. It wasn't even that I was trying to get up front, it was simply that I wouldn't be pushed backward and in the ebb and flow of the crowd that meant I was moved forward, like one of those sea bladders, moving toward the shore of the stage. All the (much younger) revelers around me knew all the words to every song.

Andy, You're A Star was my fav song of the evening. Mr. Brightside the second fav.

Once again, we walked home from the show. Ahhh, lovely London. Lucky me.

August 03, 2004

The Pod

Stacy Munn with Gitzo 1128 tripod

C'est arrive! Is that how you write it? I just received the most beautiful tripod and ball head in the world. I've got a carbon fiber Gitzo 1128 rapid column with an Arca Swiss B1 head to mount on top. The together they weigh in at 4.2 lbs.

August 01, 2004

I Did It Again

Stacy Munn prepares for London Triathlon

Back out to the ExCel centre today to compete in the mixed olympic triathlon. Another start with mostly men. Fingernail gouged out part of my chin. Goggles ripped off my face. Several kicks to the head. Someone yelling for help; kayakers paddling to the rescue telling the swimmers to get out of the way.

Stacy Munn finishes swim

Then I'm finally climbing up the exit ramp, over the timing mat, through the rinsing sprinklers and stripping off my wetsuit.

Stacy Munn cycling 2004 London Triathlon

A good reccy beforehand ensured I found my bike with no problem. The cycle course this year took us into Westminster, turning just in front of Big Ben. It was exciting to race along Embankment and take in the famous landmarks.

Stacy Munn

The bike being my strongest portion of the race, I was able to pass a lot of guys.

Stacy Munn running 2004 London Triathlon

And lots of those guys passed me on the run. I did manage to trot by a few men, but I'm not sure they were in my start group. B managed to get a shot of me with both feet off the ground! Not an easy task. In most running photos, both of my feet are firmly planted.

Stacy Munn

On the second lap of the run, the woman in the grey tri suit passed me at a pace a bit faster than what I was doing, but a pace that I thought I could keep up 'till the end. Don't know if she was in my wave or if she was on her first lap of the run, but the strategy worked. I kept the faster pace, even up the hill 100 meters before the finish.

Stacy Munn after 2004 London Triathlon

I sprinted across the line with a time of 2hrs 40mins. Most importantly, I enjoyed every minute of the race. And the bagel with cream cheese afterward.