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Episode 76 – Show and Tell

Overview

There have been a lot of trailers for upcoming movies and shows and we start with Boba Fett. We didn’t see the Obi Wan trailer yet, but maybe next time.

Stephen talks about his Raspbery Pi projects – a trail cam and a cheesy writer. You have to see the video on YouTube.

We also play show and tell with the things on our desk. Al has his puzzles and a dragon egg and a cat’s eye that looks like Jupiter. Stephen has a Star Wars music box and Stephen King with Molly.

Alan updates us on the Cleveland comedy fest.

Music of the week –

Then we reminisce about having to map when playing dungeons and dragons or some old games like Bards Tale and Ultima.

YouTube

Transcript

[00:01:01] Stephen: All right. Can you hear me now? Now I can hear you. She’s on man. Hear me. Yeah. Yeah. There’s 20 fate, 20 different places you got to change, it’s just

[00:01:10] Alan: yeah, et cetera.

It’s weird. I we’ve talked about, I don’t mind an app being self configuring. Cause when I go and I just want it to work, but then when it doesn’t clean up after itself, when you leave the app, doesn’t return it to previous settings. Then you got to trace that out as to what zoom do, what it’s in Castro do, et cetera,

[00:01:26] Stephen: Or one app uses the default and another app, you have to set it manually and which is good because I can use, I’ve got two or three different mic choices between my headphones and this and the camera.

And, but the thing is it. Leaves it open okay. I got to change it there too.

[00:01:43] Alan: Yeah. And it’s it’s funny. So it’s a different world in terms of before you’d set up your computer system and no matter whether you were working on gaming or spreadsheets or whatever else it might be, you didn’t really necessarily change your speakers, microphone between apps and stuff like

[00:01:57] Stephen: that.

Before we get going, cause we got a lot of things to catch up on. One of the things we didn’t talk about last week was the Boba Fett trailer. Did you watch that?

[00:02:07] Alan: I honestly, I have not yet. And I don’t know why not? I just say, what did you think? I haven’t seen it yet, but I don’t mind, the trailer.

I

[00:02:14] Stephen: don’t care, not so much spoilers cause they don’t reveal a whole lot, but it’s going to be interesting because Boba Fett basically takes over Java, the huts domain and he’s running the criminal underworld. And I don’t know, there were just a few little seeds. We’re Boba fats. He’s trying to get everyone to cooperate and get along, which is weird.

Cause he always struck me as the loner and big, tough guy that, he, it, but in the trailer he’s like, all right, everyone settled down and let’s work together type thing. And I’m just like, it doesn’t seem right. Yeah. So

[00:02:48] Alan: that’s the next thing, observation, they are making, by doing all these branches of the star wars mythology, it’s pretty cool that it’s not only the heroic branches, but the villains and the scenarios and whatever else it might be.

And I guess. Peter principle. But the guy might really be a good loner, but then when he has to be in charge, it’s I was happy just me and my shift going from class to play, popping people now having

[00:03:11] Stephen: to worry about the budget. And I don’t want to prejudge it based on a minute and a half of some clips for a 10 episode series or something, but I was just like, oh, we’ll see what happens.

But today Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer was supposed to drop. So that’s another.

[00:03:31] Alan: Yeah, it’s just a blanket statement. Somehow the star wars thing is not my top priority. You know what I mean? Everybody has their favorites and not even that silly battle, but he’s star wars and star Trek, but just things that I care about it so much other stuff that somehow I, even though it’s like right there to click on, I’m like, oh, but this just, I wrote, I want to finish writing this over here.

It’s curls off my screen. And that’s a big problem nowadays, is that things vying for your attention, like by the millisecond then if I pass something by I’d have to be continually taking notes. And actually it’s funny apple, their system, latest system upgrade has a little thing where you just pull your cursor to the bottom right.

Of your screen. And a note taking thing pops up and I’ve started to do that because I really do have all those stray little meteors. That’s really, I don’t have to put this in their to-do list, but I don’t want to entirely forget it. And it, maybe it’s a link. Maybe it’s just a note to myself, but then that itself be Colleen.

And I just had this conversation that some part of keeping a list is its own task.

And I tried to say, it works for me just in terms of the things I don’t want to forget. I don’t know that I make a list and rank them a, B and C, and these are the important and et cetera, et cetera. But just once in a while, especially when there’s. Timely things. I want to get tickets for a show and the on sale date is Thursday.

And if I just get into the flow and you blow past, it’s oh, the penalty for failure is high. You know what I mean? That was a bad miss. And so I give myself in my calendar or various other places, just little ticklers so that I don’t have to remember 50 things. I’ve already remembered it once.

And I made it so that it will talk to me back. And apple has gotten really good about its notification systems, where it allows you to set up whatever you want and when you want to get prompted and it allows you to turn things off. So if you really need a concentrated block of time, you can say, don’t interrupt me unless it’s really important from family emergencies or whatever it might be.

And again, the act of tuning that is its own task. But what I’ve discovered is that it really, I did maybe, I don’t know. An hour worth of adding things, moving them around, deciding on it. And now my life is just that consistently an hour better, more than an hour better. It was worth the investment of time.

Kind of like writing a macro, this enough times that I really want to automate it and then have it break when something goes funny. And so there’s any number of things that I just redid manually, honestly, dozens of times, because writing the macro was just like, I don’t need it.

[00:06:01] Stephen: I don’t have this automated I just had my iPad update last night, so I haven’t even gotten the chance to look at the new 15, but it’s almost overwhelming because I’ve got a sticky note.

And I realized, oh, I’ve got 47 sticky notes. That’s ridiculous. I’ve got my to do, is to do list. I’ve got my calendar on my day. I’ve got my phone with reminders and the Google assistant. So if I want to just say, Hey, Google remind me of it. And it almost becomes too much. And you forget where things are sometimes,

[00:06:33] Alan: okay. So you just named it. When I try to consolidate, it’s like no, I really do have things that are specific to Google assistants that are specific to an existing calendar program. And I don’t have one list. I have five lists and I’m going to try to coordinate them. Am I going to try to.

There are times when in the morning, the first thing I do is just bop in and out of various different things to refresh with my tasks for the day. What are the things I said I do this week, but it’s now Thursday and I really should. And and then after awhile, it’s if in my heart, in what I really want to be working on, not only urgent but important, if it doesn’t come to me, the top three things should always be in your forebrain.

You should always be thinking of those. And a lot of those things, as they’re not what I want to be working on there and what somebody else. So when I start playing with that, of I did these things so I could get tickets or I could, go to this party or whatever else it might be.

And then so many of those other things are just like, I. I don’t want to be. When I first had to get a pager, it wasn’t a smartphone. I hated being on a leash. I hated being where someone could call me and I was somehow obligated to call them right back. Cause all they had was a number. There wasn’t even enough characters to say why it might be and any number of people that pays me for nothing.

I really gave them an earful saying my life runs on uninterrupted time a lot. I need to be able to focus when I code when I write, et cetera, et cetera. To develop your sense of is this really important? It’s not the community. And so O L will know this. I don’t want to look it up. I’ll just ask Al, but you can’t fuck with me like that you can’t steal from me like that.

And so I had a number of people that like, they never paged me after that because they didn’t want to do the work of deciding whether it was important or not. And they took it as me. That Al is a surly guy and it was no, I really just, my work style is not waiting for your

[00:08:18] Stephen: call.

And one of the, okay, so they say a sign of high intelligence is clutter and disorganization. So that goes against the whole to-do list, calendar, sticky pads reminders, because it almost goes right into the whole, let’s make it more disorganized by organizing it.

[00:08:40] Alan: That’s true. It’s funny. I totally agree.

Wow. My desk has stacks off of everything everywhere and it really is are they all projects that are in progress? And so I really want to keep them where I can just all reach out and touch 10 different things. In some cases, it’s I like my little distractions, what do I have? I have my my little furry knit ball that has nice colors on it.

So I want that. And I got my pretty rocks. This is funny. We hardly ever do this, bring props into

[00:09:05] Stephen: the picture show and tell day.

[00:09:07] Alan: Exactly. That here’s my cool dragon egg that, I got an art fair or something like that. So my little here’s, and I know I showed this before, here’s the cool, one a day puzzle and I have this one cause it’s got it.

But I, I don’t mind having those things run because I really do want criti art. I can see the kind of art that I like is almost always like cool, repetitive patterns. Here’s another little cat’s eye, a thing, but it looks like Jupiter and without going into an a ton. So those don’t distract me.

I think everybody does this after you’ve seen something 10 times. You don’t see it again.

[00:09:42] Stephen: You’re tuned

[00:09:42] Alan: it out. Whereas I the kinds of things that I have around me are mostly for convenience. Like what my printer right next to me, I don’t want to have to get up. And every time we have nowadays, it’s that has changed.

When do I really print something I know used to be that it was so in some ways I’ve hemmed myself in because I had to play for my prank and for where I put my phone when I’m not using my phone and where do my vitamins go? Because I take my vitamins multiple times during the course of the day with various different meals.

And so I think that all that it has worked itself out. Things get pushed back when they become less useful, they actually get buried when it’s okay, I got a color printer as well as a black and white printer. But when do I print things off in color when I’m working on my Christmas letter, otherwise, hardly ever.

And so it’s no wonder that it dustin. You know what I mean? When I have to pick something up and it’s got dust on it, it’s so let that be a note to you Al that you haven’t touched this in so long gather dust.

[00:10:38] Stephen: You could put this

[00:10:40] Alan: in an organized place elsewhere. Oh. Where to find it. You don’t want to just bury it.

You don’t want to know where to find it

[00:10:46] Stephen: well, okay. For show and tell what I got on my desk while, I got some junk and crap. I’ve got Stephen King and his dog, Molly for my inspiration. And then I have a cool little star wars music box at Gina got me. It plays the melody. Oh, that’s great. Anyway, that’s my stuff.

So if we’re doing show and tell,

[00:11:12] Alan: we’ve got a cool little here’s a black background, it’s a puzzle where you have to get this spiky Sputnik out of the cage. And the things are seemingly exactly the same distance, but they’re not. And so it’s a cool little 3d maze type

[00:11:26] Stephen: puzzle. I have to show off the 3d print that or

[00:11:30] Alan: hammer.

And of course it’s magnetic. So that’s where I can keep my paperclip and put that right next to your computer. You know what I

[00:11:37] Stephen: mean? While a good plan,

[00:11:42] Alan: actually, a quick aside, do you mean. It was the first time that they had a Meg safe attachment to your computer. In my mind, I was like, how, who came up with that idea?

All my life. I was told no magnets nearby. Don’t blank out your floppy disks don’t affect your computer gig itself. And now they’re actually saying we know enough about magnetic fields, that if it’s three and three quarters inches away, instead of three, then it’s safe. God, you know what? I, it’s still weird to me out to be like, magnets is like waiting up a bunch, no open, flame bad.

[00:12:15] Stephen: Don’t do that. Yeah. There’s so many, you hit a certain age where everything, and learn it’s stuck and everything that changes is like, huh, I don’t know about that. And the kids are then

[00:12:27] Alan: exactly. I made reference. So no, don’t put it back into your floppy disc. And every kid in the world is what?

Grandpa? Don’t put a flag. Don’t you mean an iPod? Don’t you need if you want to date yourself, just talk about an iPad instead of a smartphone, two generations, worse than

[00:12:42] Stephen: that, I thought it was weird looking for a computer and trying to find one that still had a floppy drive. Now it’s hard to find them with a CD drive

[00:12:51] Alan: or DVD, the DVD drive.

Exactly. It’s I, I got my super drive that. Handles all the current standards and actually can burn to the various different CDR, CDW, et cetera, and trying to get that right. But it’s also just when they come up with a new standard I don’t know, I was able to do. New hard drive by that any solid state drives by swapping them in and out in the old days, it would have been, oh yeah, you’re going to need a whole new box because the connectors that we have to use are different.

They’ve actually been able to do all kinds of cool backwards compatibility that they invented a bus connector that not only thought of now, but really did think generations into the future and had throughput that it wasn’t making use of that the future would view. And it’s cool

[00:13:31] Stephen: to see where they have that smart FireWire right

[00:13:34] Alan: like that.

And of course, that it’s industry standard, but then someone does FireWire B give it a different name and a different platform. So is that thunder or lightning? No, it’s not. Either of those is a USA, a U S B a B, C, and a wifi standards and that kind of stuff. And I like knowing that stuff, I like knowing, which has better error correction or whatever, more parallelism.

And yet like everybody else in the world, I just want it to work. It looks like it goes into that. And as

[00:14:01] Stephen: Oh,

[00:14:02] Alan: every USB connector, it’s only got two ways to go in. How in the world is that I, without looking choose 80%

[00:14:09] Stephen: time wrong lands on the butter.

[00:14:15] Alan: And then what’s funny is you put it in doesn’t work.

So you flip it over. That doesn’t work either.

[00:14:19] Stephen: It’s so I hit it. But the problem I have is at times without realizing it, that it got crushed just a little bit, so it’s not fitting. And I have to straighten it out a little

[00:14:29] Alan: bit. Yeah. That thing of having to adjust pins in an old or 15 pin connector that was itself. I didn’t have any hands and stuff like that, but it’s if I do this and something breaks off, I’m just going to be like,

[00:14:41] Stephen: Oh man, number one, go find a new cable.

The number of times people brought in a computer because either the serial port or the video. Couldn’t get into, they jammed in the wrong way. And then it bent the on oh my gosh, can you straighten this out? Yeah, probably not.

[00:14:58] Alan: How about generations of connectors? Where there, where someone kept saying, what we have to do is eliminate pins.

Let’s find a way to put it in a plastic housing, but it’s so it can reach the signal, but it isn’t, people don’t have the ability. To Fritz it up out of misalignment or anger

[00:15:13] Stephen: or right. I don’t remember Scotty ever fumbling with that. We still got ways to go. I guess

[00:15:21] Alan: it’s already Elian civilization.

It doesn’t have a spaceship that we can take over with a laptop. Jeff Goldbloom style will Smith style.

[00:15:32] Stephen: Oh, geez. Yeah. I love that movie, but you got to let this, okay. I’m just going to suspend some disbelief here. We’ll go with it. Okay. So I wanted to, I told you I wanted to do a raspberry PI update because I talked about raspberry PI when we first started.

And I mentioned it every now and then, but haven’t done anything intense it’s show and tell day. Here is one project you love to look through that. There’s just a Tupperware container essentially, but I’ve got my pie in there. It’s got a camera and I had to cut out the hole and it’s got a motion sensor.

So this is my trail cam and it works and it’s got room, I’ve got a battery pack I put right in there and it’s pretty self-contained it takes

[00:16:18] Alan: like weather proof. You know what I mean? Mostly. Yeah, exactly. No exposure to the elements besides the

hole

[00:16:24] Stephen: for the camera. And I even put some rubber cement around there, which I found that rubber cement really difficult to use.

I don’t remember that from when I was a kid, but it was a fun project because. I learned some Python, but I said it so that I could do exactly what I wanted with taking a picture or videos. So I can tell it, take up if I see movement, take a picture and then how long I want to wait if I wait five seconds and there’s another one, take another picture, but then only wait three seconds.

If I get another

[00:16:54] Alan: one across the lens, as opposed to a little snout and then by the time

[00:16:58] Stephen: he’s gone. Yeah. And then if I sense movement, again, it starts recording video for 30 seconds. And then at the end of the video, it snaps another picture and starts that whole loop over again. I put right on the picture, the date and time of when it was taken and it names the file that, which a lot of those trail cams don’t do.

And I also had to put in so that it detects it’s got a clock internal, so what day it is, and then about when the sun rises and sets. Be running during the dark. And then I’ve got an infrared one for nighttime. Yeah. And that’s the opposite time, but the same type of function and I can adjust, it was a fun little project to get all that work.

That’s

[00:17:42] Alan: very real because it’s not only him. I’m going to coat something up. You have to be considering what’s my environment. What is what’s the time of day? I don’t know the weather factor. Very cool. And. How much power am I going to have? I’m not sure what the battery pack. People don’t have any clue about how long things can really last because they just plugging in each night.

Whereas you want it to run overnight and maybe unintended long days

[00:18:03] Stephen: will it last. And I know with what I’ve got, it lasts about two days and then it’s pretty much dead, but I turned off a bunch of unneeded things in the OSTP. Cause I don’t need the graphic interface running and I don’t need all the interrupts for that and stuff running.

So I turned all of those off. So I think that’ll help a little bit with processing power. And I’m trying to find out how to like at night power, everything down to a low mode with just the thing, checking what time it is. And then coming back up and Colin said why don’t you see about turning everything off during the day, except the sensor.

And flip it back on. I’m like, okay, I got to see how long that takes and stuff like that. It’s a whole bunch of things you can do what you want. But I do have, I, my wishlist, wait-list a, another battery that’s designed for the PI zero that it sits right on. So it takes up a lot less room and then I’m getting a solar panel to hook up to it.

So it’ll keep it more charged and see how well that works.

[00:19:05] Alan: And again, the trade off of I want to have something that blends into the environment so that animals aren’t like spooked by it. But also some animals are curious and they want to come up and see what this new thing is. Are you designing it so that it retains power, but okay, I’m going to be in a Satch.

I can’t count out, how high do I have to go with my little solar panel to be able to get real-world trade-off. What people have lost when everything is virtual.

[00:19:31] Stephen: Very cool. So the second project I have you ready for this? It’s my cheese box I have in here, a portable computer. And that’s the screen.

It’s like a five inch screen. I use this little key pad, which fits right in my pocket. It’s no bigger than my phone. And I got a whole cutout for the power. So if I take the lid off, I’ve got the pie inside with the cord, the plug it in, and literally I can run the whole thing. Just carrying this little box around

[00:20:06] Alan: Velveeta box.

It’s

[00:20:07] Stephen: a generic

yeah. Even better all these box or whatever. Obviously the type is really small, but I can adjust resolution and stuff. And this is not a finger type keyboard. It’s a thumb type keyboard, but I can take this pretty much anywhere. My goal of what I want to use it for is when I do author stuff and I want to work with kids.

One of the things is talking to kids and parents. Using the raspberry PI, because not only can you write with it, it’s cheap. So parents aren’t concerned. If a kids go destroy it, it also keeps them away from bad things like virus and stuff. Cause they don’t run as easily on there

and they have to learn a little bit. You have to put a little work into getting the pie running. You have to put a little work. So they’re learning a little computers and that type stuff. So it’s multifaceted controlled environment. Exactly. Yeah. Cool. So I, my goal is to write a whole short story or something using just this to show people, Hey, you can do it.

[00:21:12] Alan: It’s practical to do. That’s very cool. It, honestly, one of the big things that, COVID wise, there’s been no maker fairs, there’s nothing more. Wrong for something where everybody, you want to touch everything you want to be near people in liquid. You get in here and look at what I’m it’s I’m I missed those terribly, even though I don’t know that I’m a.

I was never like some people go there every Saturday morning, they’d go to the Makerspace and I just see what’s going on and goof off and contribute and stuff like that. And I don’t know why I haven’t done that cause I really am. I’ve always loved tinkering like that. And yet, so just that I’m looking forward to when COVID is less to actually starting to do that, to returning to the maker fairs that were going on.

Like, how did I discover old man? That’s the coolest way to do that solves this puzzle that does Christmas lights, that,

[00:21:59] Stephen: It

[00:22:01] Alan: would Derby, hot wheels way a supercharger way where they can run not only on gravity and every time I saw how ingenious that someone found it.

So put a little computer in something the size of a cheese box, a

[00:22:14] Stephen: matchbox, it’s just amazing. That might for the next year, my, my breads very pie, programming goals two things. I want to get a 3d printer so I can print custom cases for this stuff, especially the trail camp thing.

But I also want to actually what we talked about, do Christmas lights and program something with Christmas lights and see what all you need. I know you need other equipment and there has to be a board and you have to interface.

[00:22:39] Alan: Yeah. Things like, okay. If I start off with, I don’t know, a hundred by a hundred, there’s a certain one I can do, but if I want to run it in along my entire fence, then I need four.

And how much money am I willing to put into this? And do I know that they’re good for even north Ohio, whether or not California weather like that, but I. I want to do it, when I see the cool I’m Colleen and I have driven to see this cool Halloween display, the big skeleton busting out of a house, Christmas lights and that kind of stuff.

We’re actually we’re scheduled next weekend. As a matter of fact, to go, we’re going to see Kansas and Marietta as I think I mentioned, but that also causes within striking distance of Oglebay resort, which were last year. It’s a whole resort made over with Christmas lights, a hundred thousand, a million number of lights.

And I. I am always in awe of the creativity and the craft that goes into it. It looks just right. There’s a whole tool set of reindeer or something like that. And then they’re blinking. So it looks like they’re moving. I want to be able to do on my own small scale. Cool

[00:23:43] Stephen: things.

That’s what I want

[00:23:45] Alan: to do. My snowflakes are not stationed. They move on my fence as if the wind is blowing up so

[00:23:51] Stephen: much, and everybody does like lights to music. I want to try and see what I can come up with something different. And I don’t know what at the moment, but I’ve have a sensor, I can sense movement.

So it, have a row of lights and it follows kids running back and forth, or,

[00:24:08] Alan: what would that be? When people walk by, it’s stable until somebody who’s close and then it turns on the display that it’s not always constantly running, but then you get a reward for

[00:24:17] Stephen: walking by it or something like that.

Something I’ll think of it or colors detect colors like your black shirt or something. And speaking of the maker fairs biomed that my kids went to, my cousin’s grandson is going to biomed. He is in the Lego robotics group and they are going to be at the library tomorrow. And there’s a whole.

Library or a robotics thing going on and like a train set up and all sorts of stuff. So some of them are coming in,

[00:24:45] Alan: A long time ago when Lego first started to make its it’s programming ability and people there were there, that was friends at the time was national other things where there was two camps about, are you going to have open source?

Are you going to attack it for violating copyright patent, et cetera? Or are you going to embrace it because it makes more people aware of your brand or it makes more kids get into the field or whatever else it might be. And I always admired Lego for saying we don’t really care about. Clamping down on this.

We want it to be that Lego is like when kids learn Lego that they have it with them for the rest of their lives. It’s a way to get lifelong customers, generational customers. It’s a way to get people to say, look at how cool this is. The guy’s got a functioning Deathstar oh, bill was Legos,

[00:25:32] Stephen: put Lego

[00:25:33] Alan: in a great light.

weren’t like that. They clamped down and battles. You know what I mean? Instead of being sure.

[00:25:40] Stephen: It’s the old school thinking as opposed to the new school Tik TOK or concert thinking, they clamp paramount, clamped down on all the fan fiction and all the fan movies for star Trek, perfect example,

[00:25:51] Alan: and nip that incredible underground movement in the butt.

Or at least even if they didn’t stop it, then it was a, there was a hostility going on. It’s wow, I was a fan until my love got turned into. Now it’s forbidden to come after me. I’m going to

[00:26:06] Stephen: get a shitty letter in the mail and all the artists who have their music on Tik TOK, a lot of lawyers went, oh, you can’t use that.

That’s our music. It’s copyright, blah, blah, blah. And they cut, cut things out. Now a lot of artists are finding, Hey, people here, other people dancing to that song 300 times a day, And they’d go and buy the song. That’s crazy. They don’t,

[00:26:27] Alan: what’s funny is that’s a press of which what’s the reality here?

Do they steal it or do they eventually go and buy it? There’s people that no matter how much data has that has come in, that says it really is a loss leader. And it really does get you a bigger crowds at concerts and more sales that are albums. There are still some people that are staunchly.

Nope. I want to get paid for every, I want mold ASCAP, BMI rights. I want old. You want, I mean like they, they can’t get with that. It’s not giving it away. It’s a brand awareness it’s network effect. You know what I mean? You’re not it isn’t there sure is a certain amount of piracy.

There’s been a terrible amount of piracy over the course of time. Where’s that institutional thing in, let’s say let’s call it Indochina but there are whole places where it isn’t that kind of thing of how can I make a cheap copy and make money by selling it? It’s more, no, I want to include it in my fan video.

And if I have to like, fight that my enthusiasm for you, your music, your character, it wanes because you don’t want to fight. I just want to do this cool thing. So their inability to distinguish how terrible you want. Don’t go after the cool fan kids go after the. Oily what how’d you get a hundred thousand copies of the latest star wars movie out on the market that look like the star wars movie, but it, you go after those pirates, right?

I dunno. I, zero tolerance is a pretty ridiculous policy in virtually every environment. And yet there’s people that always opposed it’s zero one it’s yes, no, it’s not. You have to have discernment and distinguish between intent distinguished

[00:28:03] Stephen: between impact it’s a different world and too many people are still functioning as if it was 20 or 30 years ago in these particular entertainment areas, it’s totally different.

So speaking of entertainment, I see you’re wearing a comedy festival. Exactly.

[00:28:19] Alan: It really is. I, as I laughed about Colleen and I, we went Wednesday night, the festival runs Wednesday to Saturday. And the only way that I can get a three X t-shirt being the musi fellow that I am is by showing up. And they all have just on box, the way ours and the Merck’s table is full and big fellows like me.

So we went Wednesday night. It was the best of Cleveland, a bunch of local comedians that we often see opening for the road comics that hilarity is, or the improv or something like that. And so it was a really good show. Every single comic was on. I think there were six or seven. They just, they had their best material, but some things we hadn’t heard before.

So it, wasn’t only a repeat TRO and then. We’ve had times before where some people don’t handle the pressure. They fold under it. They get drunk to handle it, whatever else it might be. So there’s been some prejudice in this case, every single person was like, Hey, if you’re taping this, if you’re here in support of us on a Wednesday night, whatever else it might be.

So having said that, I really recommend Cleveland comedy festival. They’ve been running like 14 years now. I think last year, like many things did and it just changed hands so that we got to. Early on the very first time we ever went, when we got to the table to pick up our tickets, the two organizers, John and Joe were like let me shake your hand.

We wanted to meet the guy that bought a ticket to every single show. Did I tell that

[00:29:31] Stephen: story already?

[00:29:33] Alan: But in this case it was, we’re not going to ever show it because we had other obligations for other nights, but I just, I love supporting local. I love supporting these guys. It’s a labor of love for them. So people that they’re bringing in, if they’re not like TV, special comics, they did win this comedy contest.

They’re out of New York and they’re, well-known, they’re they have YouTube videos that have gotten 5 million views, but they don’t have an HBO special, it’s all they have had. Todd Berry, Tammy pescatarian, number of big name people. But in this. I like seeing the hungry or young comics, I like seeing the people that are like, they don’t know much about Cleveland, so they riff on it and that’s its own kind of thing.

Cause Cleveland, people will talk back to you if

[00:30:14] Stephen: you

[00:30:14] Alan: and it’s at the odium, which is not a known comedy space, gets a rock club that has been shuttered for a long time. So these guys were able to say, Hey, if you turned the lights in the heat on, it’ll give you some shows that they had, vaccine checking at the door. I, we stayed masked because we’re still cautious about COVID.

There are still breaks where cases there are still people. You might be funny, but you didn’t get maxed. I don’t want you spraying your jokes, including your disease. All that having been said, cool shirt, just that the, a laugh till it hurts a previous version of it was like Cleveland, how could it not be funny?

That kind of

[00:30:47] Stephen: stuff.

[00:30:49] Alan: It checks all of our right boxes for supporting local, supporting our friends. And Cleveland is a good comedy town, everything that happens in New York and Chicago, where does it stop on the way in

[00:30:58] Stephen: between how bout Hilarides

[00:31:00] Alan: now? The manager of that club is really well connected.

So we’ve just seen so many great shows over the years. It’s our favorite night out, going to see live comedy, you just hear so much truth told you get to see so many outrageous, but smart, but cool personalities. It, we love it.

[00:31:16] Stephen: What’s better than a good laugh. Yeah. So from years past, have you gone back and looked at some of the people that.

I’m putting on the show that they’re now bigger, that they appear in more movies or anything. Have you seen

[00:31:32] Alan: exactly, and let me think who comes to mind? So this year, the head that Jessica Keenan, who actually had one of the things they do at this thing is a comedy showcase where they have 10 young comedians, all of whom get maybe 10 minutes, time, but some of those breakout and become that.

And she came back this year after having done more things like she made a character on a TV show, was guests on various different opiate Anthony type radio shows or how restorative, whatever else it might be. I don’t have, I wish I spoke truly. I’m making those things up. I don’t know what, I don’t remember what her exact resume is, but yeah, it’s another cool thing is seeing, wow.

I knew them when let’s see, Curtis why am I coming up with his last name? He was at a number of these festivals, accidental and Cleveland comedy festival, and then was like writing for the new Tim Allen show or the new, they get a break and it’s I don’t know that anybody has gone from here to Saturday night, live for instance, but a whole bunch of the resume of then they wrote for 30 rock.

Then they wrote for other comedy shows or now they’re big in LA or big in New York. Jim twos did that move from Cleveland to New York and is irregular on the circuit there. Just that people that I really liked him and it was like no, I’m not going to see him as often, but who does the one wish

[00:32:42] Stephen: success on their friends, AC Jones, that country artists that’s local, that I’ve talked about a couple of times, same thing.

I said a couple of years ago, I said, she’s really trying to get up. She went to Nashville, recorded an album, she got an agent. I said, we’re not going to get too many concerts for free around here anymore. And this past summer, we went to our final one in the area and she moved to Nashville and she’s, working on getting big time.

So if we see her again here for free, it’d be a miracle, but it’s, go be a pay, sit in the nosebleeds. Exactly.

[00:33:18] Alan: Condo, seeing less like Los Lobos as a club. And then they address this. But just just before that Pee-wee Herman movie came out with it and it’s wow. Now, they never really made it huge, big, like stadium big, but for sure, they’re not just playing in a bar anymore and all them from like you, to me, if you will, you have a screen, it was like, I got a little sweat off of the lead

[00:33:41] Stephen: guitarist, one of my favorite stories and not.

Type of small. It’s became bigger, but back in the day, did you know that there was a star wars, Christmas album? I did not. There is a star wars, Christmas special on TV. Oh yeah.

[00:33:59] Alan: No, that’s infamous as

[00:34:02] Stephen: well. Define good. But yeah. Okay. So let’s put it this way. One of the best songs on it is C3 PO singing. What do you get a Wookie for Christmas when he already has a comb. Okay, so it’s a film. Yes, exactly.

[00:34:21] Alan: But listeners who don’t know. A particular version of full music that often happens at science fiction and kind, because there’s all kinds of very witty fans that, and especially the, you know, any comedy festival we’ll have a couple of filters and there’s that they have a Highlander song, they have a story,

[00:34:39] Stephen: all those kinds of things.

But one of the more known people on the album sings backup, and it was actually, he was still a teenager. And he wasn’t known at the time, but it was Jay, John Giovanni, who became John Bon Jovi. How interesting is that? That’s great. Yeah. His uncle was a producer and produced that album. So he got his nephew as a backup singer on the album.

[00:35:04] Alan: I, by the way, I’ll recommend this, or we’ve been to the funk Fest, the number of times a fun, funny music project takes place in Chicago. It was birthed by, and I’ve mentioned this before, the weird Al Yankovic conventions where so many in Chicago was just this ultra fan and they would put on an Alcon and we were now, it came three out of the four years and sometimes members of his band as well.

So that kind of burst it. And when you go to the Al Condit had all the other funny music, people that were selling their wares in the dealer room and stuff. So I have tons of cool stuff from those people that continues to this day. And there’s a whole wonderful underground of not only did you get advertise on Facebook, but for a long time on Spotify, various different, it’s hard to put together for instance of Pandora comic music channel, because it doesn’t.

Sound of comic music, weird Al Titan level parodies and stuff like that. But boy, I just, I love Rob . I love, there’s any number of people that I’ve come to really the fact that they’re. I really love people who don’t have a single album flash in the pan, but they’ve been doing it for 20 years.

That’s sustained creativity. That wit that comes from well, they got funk from 20 years ago. That really when they did a parody of it and now they got a new one. We’re throwing toasters of fake group of a guy, but he always talked about how he had a band. And unfortunately that where he started to show would be my band mates, one got sick.

One had a car wreck. You talk about why they all couldn’t make it. It was like dirty STIG, nasty. And I were going to be here, but they, and let’s see. Worm quartet has some of the I seek those songs out occasionally to relisten to them because they’re so witty. And even if they got no airplay, they are warmed enough.

And I got to hear that again. It’s just so well done. And so just now funk Fest and whatever other things might be going on like that. And in the folk world, it’s cool that there’s still a Dr. Demento level underground. You know what I mean? When they make another Dr. Demento, that’s a huge man addiction, but when does that appear?

11 o’clock on a Sunday night, it’s all still curate on terrestrial radio. I don’t think there’s even a Dr. Demento Sirius channel. Cool. To the discovery. The thing of, oh, I know about this. And most other people don’t, that’s its own little croissant of coolness, and to, by word of mouth, turn your

[00:37:21] Stephen: friends onto it.

Yeah. And so the funk festival, they have an online website. You can order a lot of the music from. Several decades.

[00:37:31] Alan: Exactly. In fact, that’s all, even when it was, I think we’ve not been able to make it maybe two times out of the last 10 years. And I always ordered the festival collections because they’ll have, really good stuff from the library, bards and the, that kind of stuff.

I want to hear what they had to do. The. We don’t get, let’s see Bob and Tom anymore here in town, but they’re out of Indianapolis. They’ve been going for a long time and they break a lot of

[00:37:53] Stephen: funny music. And so Tom, maybe it’s one of my favorites.

[00:37:58] Alan: There you go. Stephen Lynch, for instance, now he’s big enough to like fit clubs and stuff like that.

But I, and he’s Fitzy, not for kids, maybe it was a good way to describe him, a lot of the subject of his things and, swear a little bit and stuff. Just increasingly what width to be able to do half a dozen albums now where every song is unique pointed, make a good joke in three minutes.

You know what I mean? It’s its own craft to be able to write a perfect three minute song nowadays, it doesn’t have to be an epic, I hats off to comedy music people because they must be doing it out of love. I don’t know how many people living doing it. One out of 10. Maybe that’s exactly that, but I, when you go there, everybody seems to know everybody and yet they’re still accepting of us.

You know what I mean? Colin Kelly and I show up and we don’t hang out with them during the course of the year. Hey, welcome back because we’re distinctive couple, the big thing, and we’re good. Laughers so we’re going to audience. They don’t mind us being there. So

[00:38:56] Stephen: anyway, you might actually have a song written about you and you just haven’t heard it yet.

[00:39:01] Alan: And that could be exactly, they’re on our wedding cake, Colleen managed to find a cake topper. That was a big guy in a small, bright, a big room with a small bride. And maybe it’s going to be something like that. Gigantor and little miss petite,

[00:39:17] Stephen: The wedding cake that just popped in my mind, I’ve been doing this story and video game stuff, and I’m going to be doing a talk at the next RG.

And I. Other classes off, but there’s this one program. This is something probably a lot of our listeners. All two of them would love, but it’s called picks Cade. It’s an app, but it’s also a set, but really all you do is white piece of paper with certain color of markers and you draw. The level that you want.

Black is walls. Green is your guy read his stuff to stay away from purple is stuff you move blue is things you collect and you just draw on the paper and then use the app and take a picture of it. And it turns it into a moving arcade game. Exactly.

How

[00:40:06] Stephen: cool is that? So I was thinking of my cousin’s grandson who is very mental and he’s in biomed does loves this stuff for his birthday.

I’m going to make a rectangular cake and use icing to draw a level and have him have to find all the birthday day candles to get to the birthday cake. And then we’ll go make, turn it into a game. And that’s going to be the, the cake, but turned into a video game. So

[00:40:33] Alan: customized like that. He will eat that out literally and figuratively that’s

[00:40:38] Stephen: really well.

So I’ll put a link to, it takes a Cade. It’s just one of my newer fun play toys.

[00:40:45] Alan: Yeah. Somehow this Springs to mind, I just bought the bar’s tail trilogy through steam. And I played this a lot when I was, this is 25 going on 30 years ago. All kinds of cool things now where, you know, Never went away.

The original owners had in, on a disc, somewhere in a code bank, someone gets it and revives it so that, you have to obviously change the screen resolution, change the IO, various different things, but Ultima Bard’s tale, all kinds of other, relatively good old style games that I mentioned, even on Plato, where I went to play or thank.

And it was like, wow, this is so greenscreen vintage. It had great replayability. So I played a little bit in the Bard’s tale and there’s so much overhead compared to anything you’re doing nowadays. You really have to go into a series of menus. What does each character going to do? Fight, defend, cast a spell, et cetera, but it’s still got great replayability.

It’s got great playability. The amazes cool. The kinds of creatures. You have to learn what things work against the various different things. This is a thought attack versus this is just blunt force, et cetera, et cetera. And I just, I, and I died, wow, I did. I forgot that those guys who like you just had, if they cast a sleep spell and we’re all human and three of my party goes down right away, or they charmed me or something like that, it’s I got to learn to run away.

I can’t just swinging at everything. And especially they had all the right tragedy, I had collected a whole bunch of items and a whole bunch of treasure, but before I got to the armor to get them identified into the Guild hall, so I can level up, I just was, this is what I remember being both frustrating, but wonderfully satisfying about when you took all that into account and did level up and did get more spell points and did get better armor as you have better weapons and stuff.

All of those things for that early on were in any DND game that. Self-improvement and the entrust finding of treasure and stuff. It is a perfect rendition of that. So once in a while, instead of going into Diablo where everything is point

[00:42:49] Stephen: and click, and that’s how I was going say,

[00:42:51] Alan: but just go back into

[00:42:53] Stephen: turn-based, when you

[00:42:54] Alan: love the room that it’s not three hobgoblins, but 80 warriors and you have to have your mind blade spelled ready or you’re going to die. Make sure that I don’t know, man. I just remember I’m happy that my memories were not false. I really was. Wow. I’m into this I’m loving

[00:43:10] Stephen: mapping. I’m living, keeping her that’s exactly what I was going to say,

[00:43:15] Alan: because that’s so much of run to get to where you can get healed.

You can’t make a false step.

[00:43:20] Stephen: You’ve

gotta

[00:43:21] Stephen: be ready to roll. My, my favorite series was Ultima. I loved that series and today’s going to say you had to map it out if the Dungeons, if you wanted to know where everything was, because it didn’t have auto mapping, there was no way to do that. And people don’t know that nowadays.

[00:43:39] Alan: It’s funny. I’m sure that anybody who tried playing this for the first time over the last couple of generations, they really would reject it out of hand and I could see why it isn’t, there’s overhead associated with it that instead of being only. Wandering and learning and that kind of stuff that you had to do, that, that all that work of getting graph paper and mapping out Dungeons.

And look, when you fell down a chute and suddenly you were on level four, instead of level one, and the monsters are worse, there really was. Oh my God. Heart-pounding type danger, corny to say it. I know, man. So your maps became more than I have mapped out of this, the better I have a chance. Okay. Take two steps.

Oh, okay. That’s exactly this intersection. Cause there’s a secret door over here and I can see down this way and it’s only four squares that way. And you were like, okay, know where I am. What’s the quickest path to the stairway up. And so I can see how all that would just. No appeal. Oh my God, that’s boring.

Oh my God. That’s overhead. And yet it’s okay. Let them not like this. Fuck them. Like it, that I got the whole bar sealed privilege for 15 bucks, five bucks a game for 30 hours of game plan.

[00:44:45] Stephen: If I want to put that into it, it’s amazing bargain. But between steam and Gog and even the iPad, I have the same old game, like three different places, Bard’s tale.

And wasteland, that was another favorite of mine. The original wasteland, the remaster and the original.

[00:45:03] Alan: Yeah. And this is funny since we just talked about it, each of those, at least Steven Guy, both have, you can collect your libraries together by creating an association between the various different services.

And so I’ve done that kind of back and forth. So no matter which one I go into, most of the time, I’ll go in to whichever one, I happened to just buy something from lately, right? Sales will come on. It’s wow, 70% off the thing I didn’t want to buy for 20 bucks. Now it’s only six. You know what I mean?

But having said that when I go that, thank God, hasn’t proven to be a lot of overhead for, I thought it was on steam, but now I gotta go to God once in a while it breaks because they put out a, they, they changed the API that links them or something like that. And then each of those times, there’s this.

I really have to go through this again, make sure I know my password, whatever the rigmarole is of linking them. It’s not that hard, but it’s just overhead. But having said. Every single time I do, because I really want to have all of my stuff on one shelf to choose from. Instead of I got there’s, and I was in three different places and et

cetera,

[00:46:02] Stephen: et cetera, I was extremely happy when they got the original Warcraft one and two, the they’re turn-based well, it’s real time strategy.

It’s not, turn-based, it’s real-time strategy, but those while you’re playing, but I loved those and I couldn’t play them for years and there’s really not anything I found with that same feel. And they got those on Gog and I bought them at boom. I, one of the few times I didn’t even wait for the sale. I was just like, I don’t care.

I, I want this.

[00:46:36] Alan: Yeah, I hear ya. Like in fact there are some that they went away and they’ve not been revived. I’m a guy from spiderweb software used to do. Let me think of the name of the titles, maybe avatar. Or there was like one, there was a series of six of them, and then he started a new one that was more science-based instead imagined based in that kind of stuff.

And some of them, whatever he was doing to code, it must be so specific to

[00:46:59] Stephen: either. Is that wizardry

[00:47:01] Alan: wizardry. Exactly. That though some of those have never been revived, maybe wizardry six and on, but was very one through five. No, that when it first came out let’s see, Richard let’s see, became worth enough,

[00:47:14] Stephen: Sorry, Richard Garfield.

It’s magic,

[00:47:18] Alan: but it’s actually, but it’s something like that. Richard Gar. Anyway, it, I can see why certain things, because they were so just that making use of the existing technology at the time that in order to change them to a whole new IO structure, sometimes there’ll be that layer that’s running underneath, whether it was quartz or metal or, and people don’t code don’t know this there’s often. And it’s not even an API, it’s a whole foundation level of classes that lets you not have to code every single thing on a machine, but do somethings consistently as macro windows, which have you do them. And then you can spend all your time on the creativity of your game.

Not how do I attest to a port and make sure that I can talk to

[00:47:59] Stephen: my screen?

The problem is a lot of them were coded, written for very specific hardware of the time. So it’s got so much things in there that are replicatable

[00:48:11] Alan: the fool’s errand and go lost a guy that did really cool puzzle games. They’ve, they’re totally broken. And once in a while I’m like, is there a, we’ve talked about the power of emulation.

Sometimes there’s I can on windows with parallels, go back to multiple previous versions of windows and installed them so I could have. Segment for each of these various different things but then you got to find the windows executable for that. And sometimes they’re commercially available and sometimes not.

And if they’re not, then sometimes it’s now this is still undependable and it really I’m going to do all the, so I’ve experimented with a lot of that. And probably four times now I got to some point of man, I’m doing a lot of work just to be able to play organoids care

[00:48:53] Stephen: enough about this.

[00:48:55] Alan: I just can’t.

And I was thinking, while I’m doing it, I’m learning so much. I’m learning about how does that all the punishing classes and emulation, all that kind of stuff. And then once in a while, it’s this should work, but it didn’t. And the troubleshooting here is just not worth it.

[00:49:11] Stephen: Yeah. I did the same thing.

I was trying to get a couple of programs to work on my Linux and they worked fine on my laptop, but then I was trying to get them to work on my VMware install of it here on my desktop. Couldn’t get it. Couldn’t get, and it turned out to be, I downloaded I liked the 64 bit, but I was running 32 bits.

And that makes a big difference on Linux, not so much on windows anymore, but,

[00:49:38] Alan: and even, I don’t know, over the course of time, big Indian versus little Indian, that’s how you do memory addressing. And that they have shifted from platform to platform and even within versions of windows and that kind of stuff.

And so I, when it got to that where it’s wow, this is like episodic, instead of asking you what I mean, I just I’m not willing to do all the pain of. How do I make it use old Unicode when that’s not easily found anymore? You know what I mean? It is it’s unsupported. And if I have problems, I have nowhere to go to.

You know what I mean? I sometimes I don’t mind looking at old has tables and stuff like that and figuring out, and once in a while, I just want to like, the guy and say, I know that you’re now 65, when you used to do this, what did you do? Some interesting conversations about that, where a developer that no longer manages it, but I know him.

It’s can you give me some clue as to what I could try here? Wow. Just hats off to you for you. Let’s talk

[00:50:37] Stephen: this through. I agree. Hey, I hate to cut this short, but right before we started, I had a meeting invite that I’ve got to get to now. I’m gonna have to jump off

[00:50:45] Alan: here session because we had a very full week, the both of them.

Okay. And I know you said that you’re busy some days next week, so let’s look that

[00:50:53] Stephen: work for you. Yeah. I probably later in the week again, and then it’s Thanksgiving. So that’ll be, they

[00:50:59] Alan: still have lots to talk about. In fact, I won’t keep you from your meeting. There’s I want to talk about the wire conference that I went to and investing even a little bit more about comedy.

What does . Comedy lectures that were really cool. He’s very knowledgeable and it’s so cool to have a guy who’s got 40 years in the field. Talk about it, talk about everybody that he’s worked with and all the clubs he’s been. And I bought a book of his called king through the ashes. That’s just man, I’ve been to many of these clubs.

I’ve seen many of these comedians. It’s cool to get that little kind of not gossipy, but background on. So that’s what was going on. Then it was a war, these two comedy clubs they had exclusives. And I know keeping you,

[00:51:38] Stephen: it’s been always a pleasure. We’ll catch up on, I’ll add it to the list of things we haven’t got to yet.

[00:51:44] Alan: Absolutely. Exactly.

[00:51:48] Stephen: Oh my God. I forgot about that. I better mark that down. All right. Take

[00:51:53] Alan: care.

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