The Opera Glove Blog
Saturday, February 23, 2002
"That's Entertainment" I, II and III are all running on TCM tonight. I hadn't previously thought about taping them, but I'll give them a gander - they're basically best-of compilations from MGM musicals, and movie musicals from the classic era are fertile fields for opera-glove scenes for vidcapping.
I was browsing in a local pawn shop earlier this afternoon and saw a DVD player for sale at $50.00. Since I've been hankering for one for quite some time now, and the cheapest new ones go for $100.00, I grabbed it (an Apex AD-500B). Now, I need to figure out how to hook it up together with my VCR, cable converter box and TV into one functioning whole. If you have any ideas, email me.
By the way, "Seven Sinners" has at least one good scene with Marlene D. wearing black chiffon elbow-lengths. Those were the days...
Not much to report this morning. I made up another AVI last night and got a dozen good snaps of Elizabeth Taylor at the 1961 Oscars; "Butterfield 8", in which she wears black operas, is coming up next week. Also, "My Favorite Year", set in the 1950's, is coming on TCM tomorrow evening. Watch for it.
I'm awaiting several books via interlibrary loan and will check at the local library this morning. I got a great deal of good material in 2000 via ILL.
Friday, February 22, 2002
I'll start work this weekend on the next update. As discussed earlier, it may be in the Fashion category. Then again, it may consist of more vidcap galleries; there are about 20 completed directories waiting in the queue. I'll make up my mind and let you know.
Those of you who live in the Washington area should have a look at the "Weekend" section of today's Washington Post. The lead article is on living-history interpreters, and there's a beautiful large color photograph of a couple who specializes in interpreting 18th-century upper-class colonials. The lady is wearing long white gloves (likely elbow length, as her sleeves are elbow-length), which is somewhat noteworthy as long gloves are not commonly associated with pre-Napoleonic (pre-1795, approximately) ladies' costume.
"Seven Sinners" with Marlene Dietrich coming up in about six minutes on TCM. We'll see if there are any suitable scenes.
Success! I've created a 640 x 480 AVI from one of my tapes and gotten a sizable number of vidcaps from it - not with VirtualDub, which I still need to work on learning, but with the video-capture facility that comes with Hauppage's WinTV32 program. The film in question is "The Truth About Women", a 1958 effort starring Laurence Harvey and Eva Gabor, who has a long scene in the middle in white kid operas. Since uncompressed AVI's take up a great deal of space - the 90-second AVI I created in my first effort occupied over 560 MB - I will be using this tactic chiefly for vidcapping videos on which the physical tape quality is sufficiently poor that it can't be vidcapped by the usual method of snapping a freeze-frame off the VCR playback. Seeing that I've gotten a good number of very decent-quality 640 x 480 JPEG's off this first effort, I feel confident of repeating the feat at need.
Bad news and good news. Bad news: no custom 404 page after all - the ISP that hosts my page doesn't "do" stuff like that. We'll have to get along with the boring old 404 page provided by Microsoft IIS.
Good news: Almost done dubbing "The Time, The Place and The Girl" (starring Janis Paige) off TCM. There's at least one good opera-glove scene highly suitable for vidcapping.
More good news: I downloaded VirtualDub last evening. It works with Hauppage WinTV. I will have to experiment a bit, but I should be able to get images in 640 x 480 (default size for site vidcaps) once I get the hang of it. This application will be useful for vidcapping tapes where the tracking is way off and prevents getting a good freeze-frame.
Off to work now. More to come later this evening. "Seven Sinners" with Marlene Dietrich is on TCM at 8 pm; will check that to see if there are any suitable sequences.
Thursday, February 21, 2002
To break those numbers down a bit further, For the Love of Opera Gloves offers:
over 1,200 images in the "Brides" category;
over 1,600 images in the "Companion and Event Girls" category;
over 2,000 images in the "Classic" category;
nearly 2,300 images in the "Classic Stars" category;
some 1,700 images in the "Fashion" category;
over 1,600 images in the "Modern" category;
over 2,000 images in the "Modern Stars" category;
and over 4,500 images in the "Superstars" category.
The largest single number of images (exclusive of vidcaps) pertaining to any single celebrity is the Marilyn Monroe collection, followed by Bettie Page's glove collection.
The largest single collection of vidcaps is, of course, the "Lillie" collection. (Get this miniseries, particularly on DVD.)
For the Love of Opera Gloves now encompasses 1.4GB of web space, with over 60,000 files (bearing in mind that almost half of those are thumbnails and that the grand total includes several hundred HTML files.) I would call it not much less than 30,000 images, including vidcaps (12,000+ files exclusive of thumbnails, 500+ MB), which I occasionally think ought to be a site in themselves. There are some 17,000 non-vidcap image files, again excluding thumbnails, totaling over 900 MB of data.)
Just finished dubbing "Shine On, Harvest Moon" a little while ago. Not only does Ann Sheridan have at least five opera-glove scenes (including a long sequence, nearly ten minutes, in which she wears a truly yummy shoulder-length white pair), it's a good, funny film with great music. Watch for vidcaps in the near future!
I've cobbled up a new custom 404 error page which should be more satisfactory (and a good deal more helpful) than the boring default 404 page that the Windows 2000 server now gives visitors who for one reason or another don't get the page they wanted. I've asked the ISP that runs my server to make the necessary change, so I hope the new page will go up before too long.
I'm also studying, on top of everything else, how to make feedback forms. My biggest peeve for the last two and a half years has been that I don't get nearly enough feedback on what you, the site's visitors, _want_. If I can work out a satisfactory feedback form, that should make it easier for you to communicate with me and tell me what you like and don't like, want and don't want.
Another day, another dollar. Two developments:
1) It seems like the "Funlove" virus I mentioned this morning is actually fairly old - that's apparently why Norton Antivirus was able to easily repair the infected attachments. Symantec's website will have the data on this virus.
2) Two opera-glove movies coming up tonight on TCM: "Shine On, Harvest Moon" with Ann Sheridan at 6 pm EST (about half an hour from now) and "The Time, The Place and The Girl" at 4 am (most of you will have to auto-set your VCR's for this.
I'm also looking into the possibility of digitizing some of the harder-to-vidcap video clips in my collection via my Hauppage WinTV card so that I can create the desired stills directly from the computer. I believe the WinTV32/2000 program has a facility to make AVI's/MPEG's; if not, I'm also going to look into getting VirtualDub, which seems to be all the rage for digitizing video from tuner cards these days.
I'm not sure yet, but there seems to be a new virus called "Funlove" out and about. I got two emails this morning - probably spam anyway - with the title line "has been accepted" which contained the virus. I had email autoscan on in Norton Antivirus, so the viruses were intercepted and cleaned, but I deleted the two messages without opening them anyway just to be on the safest side. Moral: If you're sending email to me, _please_ first of all check your own system to be sure it's virus-free, and secondly, put a title on your email that I can identify readily as being site-related business.
Wednesday, February 20, 2002
I just finished dubbing "Showboat" (1936) off TCM an hour or so ago. I wasn't able to watch it while it was playing since I was otherwise engaged, but I've caught a couple of scenes that convince me that it's going to be a gold mine for vidcaps. This, as I posted earlier, is the Irene Dunne version, not to be confused with the 1950's Ava Gardner version.
Just foraged over 60 images of Chinese beauty queens in opera gloves off various "Miss Chinatown" sites. Longtime site visitors will recall that this type of picture has been scattered between the Cheongsam and Beauty Queen galleries; however, it's been suggested to me that the images should be combined into a new Asian Beauty Queens in Opera Gloves galleries. What do you folks think?
In a postscript to my note early this morning, For the Love of Opera Gloves is now officially part of the Golden Age Webring.
Home again! I received notification this morning that some of the Fashion galleries have problems (dat ole debbil broken links), so the galleries in that section will probably be the next ones to be updated; there's a very large number of new images there awaiting posting, in any case. I also have some ideas for a renovated front page, but will need to install Dreamweaver first so I can work on them properly.
CELEBRITIES YOU DIDN'T KNOW WORE OPERA GLOVES DEPARTMENT: Mary Matalin (conservative political pundit) wore white operas at her 1993 wedding to liberal political operative James Carville. Yes, there are pictures. Yes, at least one of them will in due course be posted to For the Love of Opera Gloves.
[BORING STATISTICAL STUFF] As of 05:34, 52,210 visits (including reloads) since the domain name was reactivated last May; the record one-day total for visits was this Monday, February 18, with 354 original visits; yesterday we had 285 original visits. These statistics are probably not completely accurate since they don't really count visitors who come to the site from some other point than the main page - say, the index page, or a favorite gallery page they've bookmarked.
Just to let you folks know: this blog won't be _all_ opera gloves, all the time (as fascinating as they are!) I intend to also post my thoughts on whatever comes to mind, including matters political - so be forewarned, some entries may be controversial. I'll flag those entries appropriately so that you can skip them and get on to the _good_ stuff.
Good morning! Not a lot of new news today, except that For the Love of Opera Gloves has been invited to join the Golden Age webring. We belong to a good number of classic movie and fashion webrings, as you'll note from going to the site's webring link page. It's a capital way to get additional visitors (what a paralyzingly obvious statement, eh?)
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
I've been looking at pictures of the new spring fashion shows in the papers the past couple of days. *sigh* Still no opera gloves. Whatever happened to elegance? But then, I've only seen a _few_ pictures so far, so I shouldn't give up hope just yet.
_Much_ better. For one thing, the links show up better. For another thing, I like blue. Sometime soon, though, I'll figure out how to incorporate the "opera glove leather" background GIF of my site into the template....
I'm testing out templates to see which one looks best. I started out with the default "bright colors", but it didn't quite strike me right, so I'm trying Chroma now. Let's see how this works.
I'm wondering if it may be time to rework the front page of For the Love of Opera Gloves. The basic design has been around for two and a half years or so, since the site was born, and frankly it looks like the work of an enthusiastic amateur (yours truly). It's probably time to get a more polished look. Got any suggestions? Email me!
Upcoming movies with opera glove scenes: (all times are Eastern)
Wednesday, February 20 - 8 pm on TCM: "Show Boat" (1936), Irene Dunne.
Thursday, February 21 - 6 pm on TCM: "Shine On, Harvest Moon" (1944), Ann Sheridan.
Friday, February 22 - 4 am on TCM: "The Time, The Place and The Girl" (1946)
Tuesday, February 26 - 4 pm on TCM: "The Stork Club" (1945), Betty Hutton.
Wednesday, February 27 - 4 pm on TCM: "Butterfield 8" (1960), Elizabeth Taylor.
Thursday, February 28 - 1:30 pm on TCM: "The Band Wagon" (1953), Cyd Charisse.
Thursday, February 28 - 6 pm on TCM: "Gigi" (1958), Leslie Caron.
Right now I'm trying to decide what to put up on the site next. I've got a whole honkin' bunch of vidcap collections, but I've also got the Classic Stars and Classic categories sorted out more or less neatly into their subdirectories. Not to mention that I've got close to 40 films and DVD's waiting to be vidcapped. Decisions, decisions, decisions....
The first welcome message seems to have gotten lost, so here it is again:
Welcome to The Opera Glove Blog, the official weblog (or "blog") of For the Love of Opera Gloves! This blog is intended to serve as a continuing reference and commentary on updates and changes to For the Love of Opera Gloves, as well as a repository for the webmaster's ramblings on opera glove history, classic and modern fashion (mostly rants on the decline of the glove as a standard item of ladies' fashion :) ), comments on movies, TV shows, books and mags of note, and anything else he can find to talk about.
I can't promise to update my blog as often as some other, more politically-oriented blogs, but will try to put up something new everyday, even if it's only grumbling about the weather. Commentary is welcome; you can email to the address given at the top of this page. Once I figure out how, you should be able to comment directly from this page on each item. Once again, welcome!
Update: So you won't have to cut and paste, here's the link to my contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope that helps!