Using MakeMKV to rip DVDs

I have a [stupidly] large collection of DVDs. I used to have them all on a bookcase, but now I have pulled them all onto a server and I use Plex so I can access my collection as if it were a streaming service. MakeMKV is the tool I use to rip DVDs, and this post explains how to use it.

Bronwyn: A haunting

I met Bronwyn when I was ten, I lost her when I was thirteen, and I’ve been haunted by her for most of my life. And then [insert audio clip of the needle dragging across a record], there was a surprise ending.


One of my earliest jobs was as an office assistant at a small accounting firm. My job was to make copies, keep the conference room organized, and be a general helper to the three partner accountants. I learned that I could do any task set to me, and after just a few months.

Arizona — October 2023

I visited Arizona friends in Apache Junction and Chino Valley this month and enjoyed taking pictures, as usual.

North Carolina — September 2023

In September I visited a beach-front home in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. I’ve been on the US east coast many times, but this was my first time at a beach. This west-coaster was amazed to watch the sun rise over the ocean where I’d only ever watched it set!

The Classics

Some years back during a holiday visit, after several hours of hurtling titles about and filling out a spreadsheet, my family and I came up with the following list of classics: our list of books to read to have a good sampling of cultural literacy.

Looking for a Good Book? Recommended Fiction.

This is my list of recommended fiction. There are a great many more fiction books that I really enjoy, but this is a list of the books that go beyond mere enjoyment: these are the books that delighted me now or in the past, that I have been drawn to read multiple times, or books that I found to be profound in one way or another.

Arizona — April 2023

I visited friends in Arizona in April. First I went to Apache Junction, east of Phoenix, where I stayed at the Goldfield Gateway B&B. Then I went to Chino Valley, a few hours north of Phoenix, and visited a few other places. [More AZ photos here.] On the way Flying into Arizona I could see the Grand Canyon… Read More »

My Glass confession

I have spent the last ~30 years with a Philip Glass playlist that shuffles nearly every track from all the Glass CDs I own. But I have a confession to make…

Auckland, New Zealand — February 2023

My next trip was also the longest way from home: Auckland, New Zealand. As usual, I planned to arrive a few days early, both to give myself a chance to acclimate to the time zone and to play tourist.

Seriously, do not open that file!

I have many email addresses. It was up to seven for a while there, but now I’ve got it down to a more manageable four. With all these email addresses, I sort through an awful lot of spam, much of which is from scammers who want nothing more than for me to click a link or open an… Read More »

Should you check your bag?

My travel advice used to be to pack using a carry-on size bag, but then check it so you don’t have to deal with it at the airport or have to worry about space in the overhead bins on the plane. I’ve had to fine-tune this advice.

Athens, Greece — November 2022

In November I headed to Athens, Greece, for client meetings. The meetings were shortened after I’d already bought my plane ticket, so I made plans to spend that extra time in central Athens as a tourist.

London — October 2022

For my first international trip since the Covid shutdown, I was heading to the Netherlands for a few days of meetings. I decided to extend the trip a bit by taking a two-day detour on the way to visit my daughter, Laura, in London.