Convert from FLAC to ALAC

Sites that sell lossless usually offer only FLAC files. To convert to ALAC for iTunes and iDevices using ffmpeg:

for f in `ls *.flac`; do ffmpeg -i $f -c alac ${f/flac/m4a}; done

This assumes the current directory is the directory containing the FLAC files.


  • For all .flac files
  • Call ffmpeg with the original file as input (-i $f)
  • Use the ALAC codec (-c alac)
  • Name the output file the same as the input file but with a m4a extension (${f/flac/m4a})

More on for loops in bash from the OS X command line.

Reel Moments 2011 Premier

I can’t think of a better way to break my no-site-updates streak than to feature photos of beautiful women. Even better when one of them is my wife. These photos are from the 2011 Glamour Reel Moments premier.

Jana Banin, Jan Livingston Mokhtari, Suzanne Reese

For those not familiar with this event: “Glamour Reel Moments brings Hollywood’s leading female talent to take a turn behind the camera, directing a short film inspired by real-life story submissions from Glamour readers.” Three stories were made into films and all three writers were treated to the red carpet treatment at the premier in Hollywood this past Monday night (Oct 23).

Suzanne’s story “Free Hugs” was made into a short film written and directed by Olivia Wilde, and was about the experience she shared with a few friends giving away hugs on a street corner in San Diego.

View the short film in its entirety below, and be sure to check out all three films. They are all great, as was meeting and getting to know the writers of the other two films.

More photos here
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Barn Owl Family

Barn Owl Box I think of the book “Owls in the Family” often these days, which is pretty amazing considering my only exposure to it is a teacher reading it to the class when I was in elementary school. The reason is the family of barn owls residing in the owl box in our back yard. The box is visible in this photo.

There are two adult owls living in the box, and what sounds like at least a couple owlets. We have been hearing the owlets begging for a some weeks now, and can even occasionally see one in the box through binoculars. We haven’t been able to tell how many hatched, but it sure sounds like more than one. It’s quite a racket. (For a sample, look for the “chicks begging” link on the Barn Owl page from

At some point during this last night the owlets were pushed out of box. It’s hard to say why, because they are definitely not old enough to venture out on their own yet. I was quite heartbroken when I found one on the ground this morning, dying before my eyes. I couldn’t see any activity in the box. Hoping any siblings were still up there resting comfortably, I figured I would find out when night fell.

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Earthquake near Ramona, just a small one

It is not unusual to feel the occasional quake where we live just north east of San Diego. Usually the epicenter is far to the east, near or in the desert. In fact there are small quakes all over California and Nevada all the time. So when I heard the rumble and felt a little shudder about an hour ago, I was quite surprised to find out how close to home this one was.

USGS Map of Recent Earthquakes in Southern California

Red indicates an event in the last hour. This one was a magnatude 2.8 event — pretty mild. I would have slept through it had I been asleep.

Map courtesy of USGS.