Before we delve into some dungeons, we talk about some reality TV – Wipeout and American Ninja. The guilty fun of the shows. And a little of Jackie Chan

We have a great discussion on the Hawkeye series and how great it is in the MCU. But we talk about Don’t Look Up more than that. Definitely a movie that should be checked out by everyone.


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[00:00:39] Alan: I’m bored with the background that I have. It’s post-Christmas so let me see. What’s a good thing. You’ve got some good Saifai there. Let’s see. I think I’ve already featured the bat cave, so we don’t want that.

[00:00:51] Stephen: Well, actually it’s not. Oh, hunky racing guys. VIN, diesel and Sienna too fast [00:01:00] and

[00:01:00] Alan: too furious.

[00:01:01] Stephen: Two fast, two furious for the 20000000th time.

[00:01:05] Alan: Let’s try that one. In fact. I don’t know what that’s supposed to. It’s funny that you should have a John Sina up there because, and actually this might be one of the first podcasts that we’ve done where we didn’t do a little communication beforehand saying, Hey, how about some topics to cover? I’ll jump out there.

John Sina is on a show that has just been revived that I really liked. And it’s called wipe out. Really? Have you ever seen it? No. Oh, Steven, it’s my guiltiest. Most horrible pleasure. It’s a huge obstacle course for adults.

They have to Dodge, big rotating arms are going to knock them off the platform while they jump from thing to thing. And they have to bounce on big red balls for them across. And of course you don’t one of the themes of the show is big balls and that kind of stuff. It used to be two guys, John. And why can’t I remember Johnny Anderson and John Hayden or something like [00:02:00] that.

John Heffron. And they were really witty and really like pleasantly. So. And it went until 2014. And when it went away, I just can’t tell you how deprived I felt. It’s foolish. It’s stupid people get it in the face. They take horrible pratfalls and yet some what part of me, the German parts thinks that others’ pain is amusing.

And so I just, I would laugh my, my butt off, it went away and I was deprived of that. I just recently discovered, I think it’s been going on maybe TBS, which I don’t get, but now it’s been packaged for HBO max. And, and so I’ve already binge watched like five episodes in four days, early January. And they’re not quite as witty, but it’s still fun.

And I just watched American ninja warrior. It’s the same kind of thing where it’s amazing that people can do some of the things they do. How do you hang from just the top part of your knuckle for 10 yards across a wall and go up and down, be able to reach out [00:03:00] and pull your entire body weight with this.

And this isn’t quite that level of beautiful skill and expertise, but people are so game they’re willing to try anything. They will be laughing and swearing and getting exhausted because some of them are tin. One of the contestants was fittest man in Luxembourg. And so that’s the cool thing to be the fittest person to have tire country.

And of course the hosts were making fun of, oh, Luxembourg. Oh yes. That’s a teaming huge country. Isn’t that? What you were the, of the, of the three that were in there. You were the fittest. So I just, I don’t know what it is, but it’s the fact that people are so game and enterprise, like $25,000 for the couple that wins, that goes through all this potential pain humiliation, amazing feats of balancing speed and strength and all that kind of stuff.

And often the couple or like a guy in a gallon. So to see. The guys that like, you think they’re going to be the ones that do the strength moves. And then the ladies are the ones that can pop out a couple of pushups to get up this wall. And the guys [00:04:00] are willing. They’re actually very Agilent where you would’ve thought it defies stereotypes.

It’s just a goofy delight. I get some laughs out of it at half an hour. I know I’m gushing. I’m sorry. So

[00:04:10] Stephen: American ninja that has been around since the late eighties, because I remember my friend Reese broke his leg, like really bad shattered. It, it was horrible. So he couldn’t like move for two weeks or something.

Couldn’t go to school or anything. So I recorded some, what was the Headbangers ball with Ricky Rockman from MTV. And then there was an American ninja warrior contest and it was early. So we were like, oh, that looks cool. Let’s watch it. One of the first episodes that we watch. Do you remember in lost boys?

The hanger on vampires that Kiefer had? The three, one of them turned out to be bill and Ted’s adventures and a couple of others. And do you remember the one vampire with the long black. Okay. There was [00:05:00] one, but he was on the show. He was on that show. And this was when these shows were just starting. So they didn’t have everything worked out and all the rules.

So they had this like 10 foot tall medicine ball. And then there was a narrow little beam going across a pit full of styrofoam or whatever the hell it was to the other side. And they said they had the ball sitting in front of the thing and they said, you have to get to the other side and this other guy’s running and doing all this stuff.

I’m cool. He-Man, he’s pushing this ball and it’s bouncing he’s right. The vampire guy, I forget his name, John Johnny Winthrop or something like that, Jim him, whatever. But he goes up. Shoves the ball into the pit and runs across the beach and they went, oh, we didn’t think of that. Yeah. You have to be

[00:05:46] Alan: touching the ball and moving the ball.

You can’t just eliminate know. It’s funny. I wasn’t aware of it way back then. I knew that ninja warrior started out as a Japanese game show and I’ll run with a stereotype on this. Have you ever, [00:06:00] whenever I see those things being imposed. They’re amazing. And what they’re willing to ask contestants to do.

They’re really dangerous. They’re really humiliating. And yet people are willing to say, sure, I can eat fire ants. Sure. I can put like that over, over a jello pudding. And if I fall in, I might die in the pudding. There’s no way to get me out. And yet. Uh, for awhile, we were doing knockoffs of it. Wipeout is actually had lawsuits against it because they said it was too similar to similar shows in Japan without having gotten any clearances or licenses or anything.

And actually the wipeout people said, actually, it’s more like fear factor than it is any of those, but they worked at all. Exactly. Unless it was also, they were all at the Mark Goodman, bill Thompson production, whoever those production companies are. So money exchanged hands and now seems to be all good.

But I went when I’ve seen those kinds, especially I dunno to get away from wipeout, which I admire, how game people are, ninja warrior, the way people can really stand out something like pick a square foot and then jump through six of those escalating lead [00:07:00] up to get to another platform. And then they just look at it and they, you can see the visualizing, their steps.

And I guess I’ve never been the master of my body. You know what I mean? I have okay. Balance and I have reasonable. Strength and stamina and stuff like that. But being able to like take an arm and then curl yourself around it, to be able to go through, like, when I see Jackie Chan movies and you see the stones, he can do, we might’ve talked about this before, who in the world can go running at a doorway and not go through the door, dive through the transom over the door when doing some more stuff

[00:07:33] Stephen: and not catch

[00:07:34] Alan: his hoodie, not catch an elbow.

[00:07:36] Stephen: I would clean myself out. Keep in mind, you are seeing take number 76 out of 75. They got the right one or they did. They took angles from three different ones that worked well. So keep that in mind. You’re probably right.

[00:07:51] Alan: I’ve seen the blooper reels. He often followed her movies, was blooper reels, liquor.

What I understand he’s broken like every part of his body and has 40 total breaks or something like that. [00:08:00] So the fact that he got. Jump like under the top of a balloon hair. Wow. And then they don’t show where they really had to hop the little concealed shoot because he was going to die.

[00:08:11] Stephen: Well, I think for you, I think like in D and D terms, your dexterity is probably only eight or nine or the little programming only extends like down through your waist or something, but there’s,

[00:08:23] Alan: I’m a tank in DMV term slider that you send in first, they can take a lot of years and you know, all the spell casters and all the range attacks are going just over my shoulders to kill the,

[00:08:35] Stephen: your strength is 22.

So it’s modified, but the, the ninja warrior, I get that testosterone thing, prove it to yourself, prove it to others. It’s a challenge. It’s there’s that thing going on because my back, maybe not now, I don’t know. I take that back. I still would ask my wife. When I broke my hand, I was still jumping around and climb.

She’s yelling at me. I was like, but my step sons. [00:09:00] That pole is taller than that one. Do you think you jumped this one? Yeah, I think I can do that. It’s always those whole,

[00:09:06] Alan: exactly. And it’s funny. I feel almost obligated to mention it really was a testosterone challenge. All the ninja warriors, Japan wise, there was like one out of the first hundred contestants.

That was a lady. If I remember correctly, otherwise they were all, and sometimes they weren’t, they were, nobody was Sumo built, but they were wedge builder. They were with it, build where they looked like ninjas, if you will. And then when the lady started to appear, it was like, wow, they really do have still the proportionate strength that they really can do those things.

They have incredible balance. They have to have stamina. They have resilience, like whatever gets you through it. Isn’t only can I do one thing. It’s going to do six things in a row and not have my forearms on fire with how much I’ve worked. You know what I mean? It’s really cool to see the various different strengths that Phorest different people have.

And, and if anything. Like speed seems to be a big element. I might’ve, I love playing role-playing games in a lot of ways because I know [00:10:00] who I am and I know what I’m capable of, and I’m proud of that, but it’s very cool to play somebody else. But if I was the winery thief that really can hide in the shadows and get things, not by brute force, but by finesse, by guile, what if I was the ninja that always gets first strike because you’re just so fucking quick on your feet.

And it’s very cool put on that different mindset and say, wow, how will I fight this battle? I really enjoyed that kind of, I don’t know that I’ve changed my life by being able to visualize and then adopt into myself. But it’s really cool just to try somebody else on absolutely your body for 60

[00:10:35] Stephen: years, for a reason.

And two of my most memorable, oh, wait. Before I tell that story wipe out. Now that I’m thinking about it, they actually had several games for the Xbox connect where you would have to do this as a wall is coming in to contort yourself into it and stop. Exactly.

[00:10:53] Alan: I went and read the website and they have all of that information that it wasn’t on the United States.

It was in multiple, uh, uh, you know, countries. [00:11:00] So Argentina photo or something. I am so grotesque in my Western restaurant, but they also said they met, they had multiple games. And that exactly that, that you had to be able to. Do amazing, weird Dodges and think of yourself in 3d space for a lot of people, even if you’re doing a 3d shooter, you’re not really putting yourself through that.

You’re also just a gun out in front of you. You know what I mean? So a lot of people mentioned how much they love playing them because it was something they had never tried to do

[00:11:27] Stephen: before. And it’s a safe environment. So two. Characters I ever did played with DND. Now the group I play with, there was a lot of the rules guy that literally we will take an hour for one segment of a battle because he has to look up 50 different rules to get the right role.

I never played when I did campaign a star wars, you guys are taken too long. Battle joins, come around the corner. Now, what are you doing? But we got, and then we got my friend, Brian, who very regimented [00:12:00] he’s the one, but definitely give you play with video games. Okay. If we attack this and we hit this and we this first and then this, and it’s all regimented, but he plays D and D like that.

And I’m like, ah, so I played a character, the dumb, smart guy, or the dumbest strong guy. I was, you know, very like 19 strength, but my intelligence was only like eight, so he hated it because every battle I’d be like, all right. And I do the spoon and go running stop. We got to Castro spells, and I’d just blow all his plans out the way he hated it.

But even better was when I couldn’t play that campaign. Other people took my character and kept playing at the same way. And

[00:12:45] Alan: you must’ve seen the little video with Leroy Jenkins, right? There’s a huge battle in world of Warcraft where they’re going up against the boss monster of all boss factors, a chromatic dragon, or something that like 10 dragons in the hallway and they all start to discuss it.

Who’s going to [00:13:00] spell it. How are we getting. And Leroy Jenkins just yells his name, giant guns and runs into this room and they go, oh, we want to get to it. And it just, it was the ultimate plans out of the matter moment. And yet people like they love doing that. They just roll the dice. Maybe I’ll get a critical end who knows.

[00:13:23] Stephen: If I die, so what I’ll roll another character and we keep going. But I had a fun time. I played a giant that was afraid of the dark and the very first campaign. I was a teenager, but the very first campaign, our village gets attacked by dragons and we escaped through the mountains, but there’s no lighting.

So I’m holding the one torch and walking backwards slowly. And Brian’s yelling at me to get a move. I’m like, no, it’s scary. And our GM is laughing cause he’s going with it. And he’s like, no, you’re wrong. You’re doing good. You’re fine. We’re just, but my favorite was, I created a thief that he couldn’t find traps.

He couldn’t [00:14:00] disarm traps. He could set them off by stepping on them or running into them all the time. We were, I was bored because everybody was damaged after something. So Brian’s okay. We’re going to hold up in the hotel for three days and do it. So I says, I’m going to crawl out the window and go look for some bread.

No, don’t do that. No, I’m going out and. And fell right on the some guards who call all and everybody’s hurt. We’re trying to defend the hotel and get out and we burn it down and they were chasing us through the city. And he’s so mad at me. He’s like you ever do that again? You are never playing at this house ever.

They would send me ahead to look for traps. They come around the corner and I’d be hanging upside down with a rope around my foot. Hey, could you help me? No, leave him there. We’re going on? And they left the hanging for the rest of the day, but it was, I had so much fun doing that. You

[00:14:49] Alan: obviously have played a lot.

So have I, everybody has their favorite stories and characters. I’ll throw a couple of mine out there. I played a guy where we really did roll authentically a three, six sided dice to get your three to [00:15:00] 18. And one guy rolled up. It had a charisma of three. So he was like the ugliest, most pissy, like I would walk down the street and children would run away screaming women.

And so I’d be like having, I’d be sitting. He’s got live belly up to the bar and I have an ear discharge or something. Terrible. And I loved playing that character because it was that level of chaos that you were talking about. I was trying to play it authentically, but every time that the DM would roll, they’d say, here’s the latest, awful thing that happened to you.

You know what I mean? You farted, so the, you offended the duke and now he’s going to order all of his cars to slay your party because it was so incredibly rancid.

I played a big dumb character named stork and same kind of thing. I would just, I liked fighting, so I would attack and kill anything. And this was what got me in trouble. And bear in mind. When did we start playing? I was probably playing when I was like 14 years old. Ridiculous, stupid stuff is funny that I would never think.

It’s [00:16:00] funny as an adult nowadays, they have. Teabagging when you defeat an

[00:16:06] Stephen: enemy halo brought that on just pee on

[00:16:09] Alan: them. When that would defeat anything, I would just be on the battlefield, especially on them. And eventually the DM got me where I peed on somebody that like Electrum or something was electrified.

And boy, I got quite the zap, but I had to roll for recovery. And I did not indeed lose even the most important item, but I was out of commission. That’s awesome. The whole party was really amused by, but tired of how many times that got us in trouble, if you win a battle, but then the chief commander of the other side sees you paying such horrible disrespect to their troops.

They’re going to come after you. Me personally, me personally. So that kind of. Quick. I hope you don’t mind. Two more stories, please. We had one time we were a party and as a dungeon master was really good. He had all kinds of great traps and [00:17:00] stuff like that. So we walk into a room and there’s a huge treasure chest inside, like a sealed glass bowl, like an upside down like a snow globe.

Okay. And so we have magic users and the clerics and stuff like that. We’re going, okay, so what’s wrong here? You know what I mean? We, it is not water in there, but is that acid? No, it’s really just water. And we noticed that we were crunching into the room. There’s this old, it’s been a long time. They’re sort of like crunchy dust all around us and stuff like that.

And we’re testing is the treasure chest going to explode if we do it, is there is the water alive. You can have that. It’s a shape-shifting glove monster or something. Nope. Eventually we just, we do everything we can to test it, crack the globe. All the water comes down and that’s when we find out that the previous party had set off a fireball in this room to kill a huge black pudding.

The black pudding with the water and all of a sudden we’re to see. And for those who don’t know what he and Dee black pudding is a terrible monster. It’s a big glob that like eats flesh, but not mental. If I remember correctly, or maybe [00:18:00] there’s different gloves that some eat your weapons, some eat you and that kind of stuff.

And so we had to fight for our lives. Look, this flag buddy, and we’re already in, so we couldn’t get outside. And of course the act of cracking the globe had closed the door. So we’re trapped in there. We can’t get outside and fireball. And I don’t, if I remember, I don’t think we survived. It was like, there was this perfect trap, even though we checked it in every way that we possibly could.

Here’s again, keep in mind that I must’ve been like maybe 16 when we were doing this. We were at gen con and before gen con was huge. Gen con nowadays takes over Indianapolis. It used to take over Milwaukee for a long time. It was at the whitewater campus of university of Wisconsin. And it really was a smaller, but very intense, wonderful gathering.

It was when, like the creators of D and D Gary Gygax and the TSR guys would run games and stuff like that. And everybody that was there really loved doing it. Everybody stayed up all night. Showers were optional. It was really the gamey gamers type thing. But boy, what an [00:19:00] immersion, if you love that kind of stuff.

So we’re we go to it. There’s a thing where there’s multiple parties. They’re going to competing in a shared city and, um, you have to find certain objects. People put them together into a goblet or something like that. That doesn’t have sound going to allow you to drink from the water of life and win the game.

We go to a shopkeeper who has one part of the goblet that we really need. And we, so can we buy it from you? Can we, what can we trade you for it? We have, we have a mass, all kinds of treasure up to that point. The shopkeeper will not take anything he wants is to be with a member of our party. And he’s the guy we’re all guys.

And so we’re like, oh, well, we just couldn’t do it. You know what I mean? When you’re like 16 year old guy, you just won’t, you just won’t do it. So we leave the shop knowing that we’re leaving this match to behind and we, you can encounter other parties while you’re in the game. And we defeated other party, but we didn’t don’t kill them all.

We actually charged one, a guy who was playing. And so we take all of the char all the [00:20:00] party and all their treasure and go back to this guy and we go, so now we got the, I dunno, this magic wand, plus five, we got et cetera, et cetera. And the guy goes, Nope, still, Nope. I don’t know what I want the party. We look at each other and we’ve got the guy from the after party with us.

Charlie, go give him the elf. He goes like a real moment where the guy looks to the sky. I hope it doesn’t come across as homophobic because I’m so much not. It just was in that situation. 16 year old guys, and that they had introduced this album. Into the game, the day we was going to make all kinds of people uncomfortable, but in a very funny way.

Yeah. We tell that story, that guy forever tells that story. So DM forever tells that story. It really was a wonderful, got out of it. Magic item, if you will, that’s what we’re going to do.

[00:20:48] Stephen: It was terrible. I, I loved that. I helped introduce my son and some of his friends to RPGs. They would come over and we would play D and D I ran it and they still talk [00:21:00] about the one time.

And the one kid was like me, I’m just going for it. Okay. And he trips and falls and bashes his head and then almost gets his arm severed. And he’s like almost dead. The rest of the party just has to scramble to pull him out of harm’s way while they’re fighting off whatever creature it was. And then they were like pissed off at him because now they had to find their way back through the dungeon.

Now, keep in mind, I was running an old school dungeon, not a newer one. So it really was, you should map this, you really should map this and they wouldn’t didn’t want to do it. It was too much work. So I’m like, okay. And then they got lost getting out. And there was so mad. They drug him purposefully. They veered in the town, they were dragging him by his feet, his heads, right through horse manure.

He’s like guys seriously. And they started really getting into it because when they went back. They the one, they, one guy set off a trap and he fell into a pit and then it covered up and then like hobgoblins attack. [00:22:00] So their best fighter is trapped in the pit. And the rest of them are fighting off hobgoblins.

He can’t get out because everyone’s on top the trap and he was into it. So he’s like pounding on the table, going guys, let me out guys, let me out the whole time we’re running the game, the rest of the battle and these guys, they were all getting into it. Cause it was like, no, let them out them. No, I am. I am rolling.

I go, you get knocked over. I block him and he never really getting into it. And they’re standing up, not even sitting in their chairs at the table, it was one of those. And they still talk about it. They’re like, do you remember when you know, we drag Jared’s head through the horse manure. I have a similar

[00:22:32] Alan: experience, not my son, but my younger brother.

I introduced him to a whole bunch of his friends for this kind of stuff. And boy, they ran with it far more than I ever did. I used to be involved in individual games. They had what they called the party. They had a bunch of guys that played together for three years, especially over the summer when school was that.

They went over to my younger brother’s house versus in my mom’s house where Bruce lib and played all day long and of course had, oh good Lord pretzel sticks and powder dome donuts, and all the horrible snacks [00:23:00] that you can imagine. But when you’re young, you just burn that stuff up with. And they there for TSR used to have modules that they did, where they created a whole bunch of different things.

The racial rift, glacial rift of the frost diet, John 15 connecting things. And they worked their way through the entire campaign from out in the wilderness to cities, to glaciers, to volcanoes and whatever else it might be. And they just, they very much like some of them still that’s their nickname within the group.

You know what I mean? If fattiness was the thief, a lot of people call him fad instead of mark and stuff like that. And. I occasionally joined them. I’d roll up the character and be part of it and stuff like that. And I wouldn’t try to disrupt anything cause I had such a cool it’s such a bonding experience and that kind of stuff.

But I always try to do a little bit of what if we tried this, I used to have a, well, what I wanted to have was like a Halbert or a long pole. He had to carry around. I would have a screw together, 10 foot pole where you could curious like daredevils, Baton, if you will, but you could segment it. So then you could reach out and touch a [00:24:00] door without having to be there and just blow it open and have it blow up when you open it and stuff like that.

Any number of other things that I had thought of over the course of the years, was it legit for the time period? And you really can’t have anything automated, maybe magical, but if you really did have back then the idea of screwing something together. And so I gave a whole bunch of good ideas and I think that they enjoyed yourself like that.

And it was just so much fun to be like part of their group for awhile. You know what I mean? They invited me in and I was able to, oh, the old veteran L is going to show up. I didn’t try to show them how to do it. I was just so happy to blend in and the chatter they had going on and stuff in college, I played a game where, and sometimes this happened, some people good, good DMS, know how to balance the game.

They run the campaigns so that you grow gradually. And it really is for the monsters that you meet or the treasure you get is so that you gradually go up. You you roll. And there’s a chart of a hundred weapons and a guy early one game got like Mueller got Thor’s hammer. And then it totally changed the game.

Everything we met, he was just like, plank destroys a [00:25:00] werewolf with the hammer, 36 hip points or something like that. And so one time we did it where a guy we had gotten together for Friday or Saturday night, we’re going to play through the night. I had a bag of holding and he had a thing again, like a short of a hundred, where you accumulate enough gold and you pay him and he will reach into the bag and take out whatever it is.

And the party gets down. He reached into the bag and pulled out the stroma, which is the spaceship in alien. We were in a room. And so he crushed the entire party. We had to start over like that. The fucking game was over. If we had pulled it out and it was like in a field, it still would have been vastly disproportionate and wrong, but it would have been.

Now we can go from city to city, quickly set up eight days of marching through the fields and all that kind of stuff. And we just, he, it happened at the very wrong time.

[00:25:46] Stephen: Anyway, my, my son, since high school, they have played a couple of times and he actually does like a Jedi council thing. Whoever can come over, comes over and then they set up laptops and Skype in other players.

[00:26:00] And so people will play that way. And now we were talking about the VR goggles. They got stuff. You can do that with the VR. With tabletop simulator and stuff through steam. And it’s, you don’t have to lose your friends and the games if you can’t see each other. And not just because of COVID.

[00:26:17] Alan: Well, we talked about VR and 3d goggles for awhile.

If there’s anything that’s going to get me to do that, it could be like, man, can I really get together with. High school or my college crowd or any number of people that I’ve played with over the course time, it would be so interesting just to try it. Yeah. I think I might’ve mentioned, we had one point played land parties.

I consulted to Ameritech for a long time and we would get together when nobody else was there. So we had access to multiple machines that were all cubicles,

[00:26:40] Stephen: right? You had to use a business’s land for any real networking abilities.

[00:26:47] Alan: And then when I was working on gambit, I actually had my own executive suites place.

When you take over their conference room and everyone would bring in their own rigs. But as long as you have that, the ability to wifi, it wasn’t wifi together. It was [00:27:00] just same kind of thing we would play until Dawn, our various different wives and girlfriends and families must have thought, okay, daddy’s gone mad.

Is he out? Like, we’re not like on a caper, robbing a bank. No we’re killing orcs and bell rocks and stuff. Executives. Oh, much fun though.

[00:27:17] Stephen: We’ve got, and this is one of those stupid things that we pretty much all like stranger things on Netflix and they released a stranger things D and D set. It’s very simple.

I had the ramping up a little bit to make it at least a little more interesting, but, uh, we’ve always wanted to sit down and all play it. We just have it. It’s stupid. But I’ve also been thinking recently about running a star wars game. Hello. Tell him people, whoever wants to come, we’re running star wars.

We’re not going to spend three hours rolling characters, but we’re going to make it have a whole bunch ready. We can customize them a bit. I just want to play. And with that, it’s always fun to have the miniatures. So I’ll throw it out. I did order the cruelty ender version too. [00:28:00] So I’ve got that shipping on its way.

[00:28:02] Alan: What I’d love to do is again, masked up or whatever we have to do to have Colleen and Abel’s come over because Colleen, I think has never done anything like this. And she’s game is hell. She’s so wonderful in terms of how much she will enthuse and try things with me. And sometimes they’re not to her taste, but she’s also not going to be the wet blanket where we went to a murder mystery.

You know what I mean? She was putting on the accents, just like everybody else. Like she was the owner knew. And I know what I mean, all of that. So it would be really cool to see what would happen with crazy veterans and newbies people who have seen all the movies where people have seen. I, I watched them because my boyfriend wanted to

[00:28:39] Stephen: go with you can rent rooms.

There’s a place called the molted maple over in Hudson that you can rent rooms. They have specifically for role-playing games. We

[00:28:48] Alan: have a whole big table and you that’d be, I, I love when a gaming store has that, that they actually have a couple of rooms in the back and on Friday and Saturday night, they are in depopulated with [00:29:00]

[00:29:00] Stephen: they have the best milkshakes at yeah.


[00:29:07] Alan: If you drop people into conversation, you’ll quickly find. What, if some people give you what the hell you’re talking about, everybody else gives you the, got it. You know

[00:29:15] Stephen: what I mean? Yeah. Yeah. We haven’t been over there. Obviously they actually closed down because of COVID, but then they had some investor come and they were able to open back up and they’d been running different type events.

So maybe we should make a trip over there. I’d love to go check that place out. It’s been awhile. I did order the cruelty ender version too. I looked at your presser and you’re right. Those are beautiful machines, but I’m going, man. I can’t justify the cost. I’m not saying they’re outrageous.

[00:29:45] Alan: Brilliant. I really should get something.

That’s 200 bucks and then step up if I need,

[00:29:52] Stephen: I found a couple of places on eBay. That have wonderful reps and they sell new stuff. So I got [00:30:00] a version two for the price of the version. One that I was looking at a year ago,

[00:30:05] Alan: they keep creating new and then the old get refurbished or upgraded if they can be, but they’re already used.

So you got a big break in price, right?

[00:30:13] Stephen: So it was 150 bucks. That’s pocket change, really for new tech, I’ve spent that much on one tire for cars. So I figure it’s not that big a deal if we use it for awhile and then it sits and gathers dust, but it’ll give me a good idea of how much do we really want to use it, or how hard is it to use and what’s it look like?

And that’s one of those things we’ve none of us have ever done. I take that back. Colin and Megan did it in high school. They actually had 3d printers. They did projects.

If I get a file, how hard it is to get it printed, to look like what I expect and can I modify them with my limited skills in any way, just whatever. So we’ll see what happens. It’s going to come to,

[00:30:57] Alan: to keep my programming hand in, like we’ve talked about [00:31:00] with Christmas light displays and stuff like that.

I miss it terribly that cycle of, okay. It’s working, but not quite try this and then okay. That worked, but this broken then. Eliminate all the things that can go wrong and you get closer and closer to it. Like being, if not perfect, at least the sturdy, there’s a very satisfying thing to that cycle of iteration and fixing and coming to understand it more deeply and being able to not only run into problems, but say, but if I change this here, I’ve got to go and make sure that I don’t let this happen because it’s passing a variable throat and I’m passing three.

And I like how my mind works. And gears up to do that kind of stuff. And it’s getting rusty with my not doing it

[00:31:37] Stephen: same here with the job I have when I started, it was pretty much all programming and it’s whittled down over the years where I’m doing like data entry and administrative stuff. And I’m just like, but now the programming stuff I do have is working on this WordPress customized WordPress site.

You know that somebody else did. And so now it’s more frustrating, [00:32:00] cause I don’t understand the framework as well. I’m learning it, but I don’t know all their customizations and some of them are questionable and worse is now that I got this Mac and I’ve got the unity in GameMaker and I’ve been playing with some of that.

So that’s fun. This is not so much fun.

[00:32:18] Alan: I worked for a friend for a while, maintaining their old, and this is really old, like Fox base mailing and sorting, running a mail order, distribution business, if you will. And because it was Fox based, I had to bring in a whole bunch of DB, three stuff that I knew and Fox based and the extensions, and it was, it’s not event oriented programming, like everything is nowadays.

So you have to really go back to the procedural world. The while I was working on that kind of stuff, they had one of those situations where in the program it had. Variables that were only allowed to be so big. Every we’re going to overflow one of them with just like the employee ID number or something like that and having to go, okay, how do I, can I expand this variable?

If I can’t, can I convert it into a [00:33:00] exponential variable, but I don’t really need that. So then everywhere I use this, I have to do a conversion back and forth because I can indeed store it. But I can’t display that. I, and it was like this little thing. I had actually done stuff. Millennium consulting wise, everybody was worried about what happens in 1999 when we roll over and things are zero instead of 2000, and everybody was worried about the various different Unix and windows and other maximum date fields or maximum any number of maxes.

And so I really had, I really was okay, I gotta fix this fast because it’s about to break, but I loved it. I loved, I really have some good background in this. I know how to do this. And it just was it’s maybe you’ve had this experience sometimes when something really bad could have happened and you avert it.

Yeah. Wish you would let it break so that people could panic because when you don’t let it happen, they have no, you’re just a guy appreciation compared to this. I really pulled off a miracle here. I really, it couldn’t go wrong in a hundred different ways. [00:34:00] I preached everything. I looked at everything. I found every people didn’t name the field, the same thing, but it gets passed as if it’s the same thing.

So I had to find out that it’s not only employee ID, but it’s mid and it’s SSA. As I said, they’re like the classic stuff that I learned way back in my peat, Marwick days that I had to avert all of that. And even though I explained it all, they were just like, I’m glad it’s working. It’s all I need you to like, buy me a cake.

I need

[00:34:27] Stephen: like Scotty was going to take four hours one hour later. How’d you get it done so quick because people don’t realize you, you can do this happens to me all the time with the web stuff. I’ll have a designer make a webpage and they show the forms and where everything’s laid out, but it’s all static data.

Just dummy data to make, to give you a mock-up. And then they’re like they spent five hours. Oh, that looks great. Yes, that’s exactly what, when can we have a go live? I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa. It’s going to take probably 20 hours of work for me to get. [00:35:00] Work correctly. And then some testing, bug testing and making it life.

So twenty-five hours the next week we’ll need. So two weeks from it looks fine right here. We just need this. They don’t get how it’s

[00:35:11] Alan: live instead of static making it so that you can put something in, but then it stops you for putting in all the bad data they will. If you don’t cover it at the time of entry.

So you can give it an error code back to them, but list them fix

[00:35:23] Stephen: what’s wrong with all this stuff behind the scenes. Yeah. The developer went on a nice little program, dragged and dropped and stuff. I’m going into code. So there’s 5,000 lines of code to make this page. Look, this

[00:35:37] Alan: hello world.

[00:35:39] Stephen: And the problem I get now a lot is when I, especially with the new member center is when I run into a problem.

They’re like, how long is I go take the fix? And I’m like, I can’t even tell you, cause I’m not even sure where I have to look to fix it. So I had to figure out. Where it is to fix it before I can even figure out what it’s going to [00:36:00] take to fix it. Exactly.

[00:36:01] Alan: I started to do that all the time. What I can tell you is it’s going to take me four hours to figure out what I even need to fix and give you an estimate.

Yes. Have you looked at your code base? It’s got 20 years worth of cruft. That’s 30 different people have worked on all with their own programming and I hesitate to call it style over their own programming standards, that desperation and not meant to last forever. So I need, there’s a lot of

[00:36:25] Stephen: familiarizing myself.

And if people don’t get some. You have to figure out what the problem is. It’s like a doctor or an auto mechanic. You have to figure out where that noise is coming from. What’s making the error and stuff. Oh, now that I know what’s doing it well here, I put a comment in it’s fixed. It took 30 seconds to fix it, but five and a half hours to figure out where that comma was needed and that timeframe is diminished through the years of experience.

Oh, I know that’s going to be this. So now I did it in 30 minutes. Similar. Exactly.

[00:36:58] Alan: Yeah. It’s funny. [00:37:00] I have had one of my. Biggest uses of analogies as I’ve become an adult has not been writing. And in conversation, it’s been explaining what I do for a living when I was a coder. You know what I mean? And especially when you started to say, you’re an auto mechanic and you have to like, you get experience over the time of, well, that sounds like this feels like this.

I’ve seen something like this before I used to compare it with, you’ve got people on staff that have worked on this before, so I can be a doctor and go to the patient and say, what were you trying to do here? And et cetera, et cetera. If nobody has left from that, now I have to be a veterinarian. The doggy cannot tell me anything of what’s causing him to hurt.

So I have to really be a miracle worker in figuring out what all it could be with him, giving me some indication, but I don’t have any direct line into.

[00:37:41] Stephen: Oh, yeah. So when it comes, I will work on printing something out and seeing how it goes. I’ve got from humble bundle. Through the years, I have purchased a few sets of 3d printer files for D and D some really cool configures.

So I can grab a whole book in anticipation that I would one [00:38:00] day use them.

[00:38:02] Alan: Everybody has those things I have. So now I’m really jealous. And now I really mind my

[00:38:07] Stephen: head, sorry, Colleen,

[00:38:10] Alan: because I so much, it’s not only the purposeful stuff that I’ve talked about. I want to fix the puzzles. I want to see what I can do.

I really always wanted to have just like that. I want to drag it and I want a dragon. I want my dragon to be on the desk. Not I want to go buy it at a store to, to hark back. One of the great things about my younger brother’s party was that they have miniatures and they were Mo multiple that were expert painters.

And so when they play, they often have the, the party kind of moved along and stuff like that. And they can visualize, but man, they looked great. They had an insignia on their shield. They had all the various different colors in there. It was. And so that’s the one I want to do is if I want to have a little guy that’s like me, that I bring to gaming sessions and say, this will be my avatar.

No matter what game we’re playing in monopoly. I don’t want to be at the car that I want to be

[00:38:54] Stephen: a little loud.

[00:38:57] Alan: I want to make a little out of the little Colleen and [00:39:00] stuff. You know it. Oh boy. I’m like jealous to the point of action. I really might need to do what you did because I. I’m pretty. I know that I want to learn more about it.

And of course, the right way to learn is to not buy the Cadillac is to buy the model T where there’s only so many things that can go wrong and it might be that I’m already beyond that, but I don’t think so. I think I really need to learn this 3d world and how the various tools work and then think of where

[00:39:23] Stephen: do I want to go now?

Right. And again, the ender, the cruelty ender. Oh, the other thing about those is it’s all open source. So the code is open source that you can actually adjust change if you really desire to I don’t, I just want it to work really. So okay. Here. My business idea out. And I was talking to my cousin about this and he called me like two weeks afterwards and said, dude, I’ve been thinking about that.

And that’s just the greatest idea. This is the idea. So have you seen now when they do for pregnant women, they don’t just do the, what do [00:40:00] they call the thing? Ultrasound, the ultrasound, and give you like a MRI print out. They’re doing 3d ones where they send you a 3d file to look at on your screen. So I’m like, Hey, if that’s a 3d file, can you print it?

Because think about that. Hey ladies, send us your 3d scans, baby. We’ll print it out and send your baby back to you. Oh my God. Think about that. So that’s

[00:40:26] Alan: a little

[00:40:26] Stephen: eerie, actually. It’s

[00:40:27] Alan: very eerie, but. Really unformed and like lovable yet,

[00:40:36] Stephen: but women love that stuff. Look, it’s my baby. And 20 years later, this was you before you were born.

It’s just, that’s one of those things that I think seems really weird and creepy now what I think when families, couples. Exactly. Yeah.

[00:40:53] Alan: Having, I dunno, this is what I think I’ve seen displays where they say here’s the various different the two week, four week [00:41:00] baby. And to see the miracle of that. Wow. A little fingers, a four, because little eyes it’s really turning away from a kidney bean and the miracle of DNA is programming to make an actual human being.

How cool is that? And I actually would write to have a child. It’d be very cool to say. And here’s the history. Here’s how miracle Alex came to be. Colleen used to cuddle this one,

[00:41:23] Stephen: baby. You know what I mean? I wonder. I think about this. I wonder if the age progression software would work for a fetus to progress them to like age five.

Here’s what your kids are going to look like at age five. Wow.

[00:41:38] Alan: That’s interesting. You know what I mean? I know that boy, the more that we’re getting, and this is, this is a huge discussion. Actually, one of the first things that’s usually said about genetic manipulation is two to worry about how many people would make all their babies have the same characteristics for babies to be strong and swift, to be smart and [00:42:00] beautiful, to be et cetera, et cetera.

And that it, isn’t only a matter of stopping them from having terrible diseases. If I a genetic way to get rid of sickle cell anemia or case acts, or I’m trying to think, what are the things I’m pretty sure are linked directly to genetic inheritance. It would be an amazing miraculous thing to be able to say those things will never burden humanity.

Again. And then of course it becomes a matter of some things. Aren’t only, uh, a disease. There may be a disability. And how much do we get to play? God is often the phrase used to stop people from having, being on the spectrum of somewhere from having autism or down syndrome from having, um, a missing limb or something like that.

And they’re not any less worthy of being a human being because of all those things. But some people really would want their baby to be, I want app, I want my baby to have all the limbs and good eyesight and et cetera, et cetera. So it would be interesting to be able to see here’s your baby, what we know of it genetically, and then agent for.[00:43:00]

And when somebody really say, I don’t want my baby to look like that. So let’s say that’s true, stop it. Or we can at least change it from brown to blue eyes. If you want a blue eyed baby, some people are really is only a matter of taste or what do you call it? You know, there’s no real value to some of these things really is about somebody being tall or something like that.

[00:43:24] Stephen: Uh, Neil Stephenson’s next book using 3d technology and nanotechnology and creating a modern village of the damned,

[00:43:33] Alan: oh man, exactly the babies here. We, again, we have no list of what we’re going to talk about, whatever I think of those kinds of things for myself. Always, what I think of is I’d love for my census to be enhanced and for my ability to heal and maybe stay alive for a long time to be enhanced.

I’ve never had a problem with. The me of me, what my face looks like. My, my relative height, weight size [00:44:00] hair color. It always was like, I’d love to, it’s kind of funny cause I have a pretty good sight and pretty good hearing and all that kind of stuff, but it’d be very cool to have a site that really can see further or nearer.

I say they can see further into the spectrum. So you get the ability to some of the infrared and the ultra violet hearing. And I guess Daredevil type sentences senses where you could hear an individual voice somewhere in the city that you had, not only the ability to do it, but the ability to, um, distinguish between things so that it wouldn’t be cacophony, continually bombarding with you because you’ll hear everything and that kind of stuff.

And so do you, what do you have? I don’t know. That’s why I always think, I don’t think of, gosh, I wish I was handsome or I’m okay. I don’t want to be so handsome, but that was what people only thought of me. If I was John Davidson. There’s already been an expectation that you’re showing your age. Ladies really pretty ladies complained about this kind of often, and it’s [00:45:00] not always accepted.

Like, what are you gonna have to complain about? You’re beautiful. If by being beautiful, it means that everybody takes you lightly instead of serious, or you attract the wrong kind of guy. The ones that only carry about pretty and not that you’re also really smart and really like a wonderful person and resilient and witty and all those other things that are so much more what matters in a

[00:45:18] Stephen: pretty face to me.

I think here’s one of the problems and just one of the problems with that when you look into it, Somebody may want to change such and such about themselves, this, that, and the other thing, blah, blah, blah. But that changes them so much that let’s say Gina wants to change something about her. And she changes these things.

Now she’s not the same person to me. And I don’t like her as much. I don’t think she looks as good or she’s as much fun to talk. She thinks, well, I’m perfect. Yeah. We all like different stuff. So how is hard plus with humans, man? Our mental state is so variable today. I may say this tomorrow. I may say something completely different depending on my mental [00:46:00] state.

So where do you stop? It is one of those William Gibson cyberpunk stories where the people in the future every week they’re cutting off a body part and putting a different one on well, they’ve put

[00:46:10] Alan: out they’ve actually that world of science fiction about cloning and genetic manipulation. They actually have all kinds of terms for that.

What frame are you wearing today? What 10? It isn’t, there’s only science fiction. People really are nowadays so much talking about I’m a lady, but I’m in a guy’s body. And I would like to be a woman instead of a man. And there sure is a lot of work to be done to change that. But a lot of what you just talked about, what was that you’re really feeling bad now or is it a long time thing?

Is it, I almost don’t want it blunder. There’s so much. Amazingly deep psychology and understanding and love that has to go into this. Then I don’t want to make it. I said, here’s a little chart and here’s how you would know, but, but there’s gotta be like getting a tattoo when you do a moment’s thought a permanent thing.

And I asked maybe that’s one of those things that I have not gotten a [00:47:00] tattoo because I don’t have anything that I’ve said. I know that I will love that forever, even in, and a lot of people, they don’t wait until that happens. They wait until they’re drunk in Vegas. And then they wake up with Tweety bird on it.

[00:47:13] Stephen: That’s forever. That’s a Jimmy buffet song. So

[00:47:17] Alan: people they get when they were in love with someone and oh, no, it didn’t work out. And so then they go through all the difficulty of getting that removed or blocked over or whatever else it might be. So that all of those questions that come into it about the permanence of those kinds of changes that we haven’t gotten to it that you could.

Every week, choose what sex you want to be or what smart you want to be, what tastes you wouldn’t be. You know what I mean? And we haven’t gotten there yet.

[00:47:41] Stephen: Have you read prey by Michael Crighton,

[00:47:44] Alan: Michael Creighton? I have not. He’s on my list. I love his science fiction is more science than just extrapolated fiction.


[00:47:51] Stephen: really rigorous. So pray deals with that. Exactly. It’s nanotechnology that gets loose, but it’s still under a [00:48:00] person’s control, but it like starts sapping their essence, their cells. So these people are getting, uh, their body. Overtaken by the nanotechnology. It’s very much like venom. And so when you see them, it’s like the most perfect looking version of themselves that doesn’t alter anything, but it’s like, it enhances there’s a perfect version of themselves.

But when the technology leaves, it’s like a shrug, shriveled up dried hospital, I can barely move and stuff and they can’t think straight anymore. And actually did claim some of them. Yes. So it’s a good book. It’s one of those I’ve read two or three times just cause again, like you said, his writing is

[00:48:41] Alan: phenomenal.

Yeah. Yeah. So it let’s see. What do we, I guess this can segue into, I did watch the final Hawkeye. Okay,

[00:48:50] Stephen: good. Yes. I was on the list. I was going to ask you about hot

[00:48:52] Alan: guy and like that, that so much of the series. And in a very Marvel way [00:49:00] is not about, Hey, what current hi-jinks are these people up to? They have deep history.

Hawkeye’s been around in the Marvel universe for a long time and has not always been a good guy. He’s been a bad guy and associated with all different kinds of things and has done things that people really want to take their revenge, or at least understand what the hell was going on at the time. And he’s taken out multiple identities.

He was running for a while. You know what I mean? That he had to hide from his Hawk by identity because horrible things had to be done. Anyway. It, that brings to mind a little bit when we’re talking about that people really do over the course of time. They’re different people. They changed their identities.

They’re forced to make tough choices. And then once you’ve made that choice, there’s no going back. And it’s not only the, you that has to suffer for it. There’s other people. And sometimes not only suffer, but desire, revenge. And so the reintroduction of kingpin and what he had was awesome. That was awesomely.

Well done. I just, as usual, we should probably say, Hey folks, spoilers ahead. We talk about. The first 20 million people, a hundred million people that want to see it have [00:50:00] seen it. And I just don’t feel that cautious nowadays about talking about things that both people who would listen to our podcasts are probably enough like us, that they’re current with lots of different things.

If you talk about something really, I haven’t seen it. So it’s my fault. I have so much in my queue and then I didn’t get to that. Okay. Yeah. Spoil it for me. It’s just, oh, so what did you, I thought, for instance, the, the fighting the clipping between the various different fights that the Swartzman gets involved and Hawkeye and echo and kingpin and the new Hawkeye and all the lady, the names that she proposes for herself, lady Hawk and stuff like that.

[00:50:32] Stephen: Those were so good. Very

[00:50:33] Alan: readily done. Exactly that

[00:50:35] Stephen: I loved. And this is the great thing about. What Marvel has actually been doing. And I’m thinking of this from the story standpoint is you have this problem sometimes in the comics and you have this problem with movies. I’ve got my fast and the furious background.

Those I’m pointing, like it’s really there, but those movies suffer from this, that, okay, last time we blew [00:51:00] up the, uh, golden gate bridge. Now we have to blow up NASA space center. Now we have to get, it has to keep getting bigger and more outrageous this ninth movie from them. I like this movie stupid because they’re doing such outrageous things.

Even I can’t suspend my double, my disbelief. That’s a great way to put

[00:51:19] Alan: it suspending

[00:51:19] Stephen: this. With hot guy, we had end game, which was huge and we’re saving the freaking unit multi-verse prac. And it was just so big and so much there and everything they could have really come back with these latest movies as well.

We have to get bigger and they didn’t. And Hawkeye is the perfect example of that because he’s not trying to save the world. He’s not even joining the save New York. He’s just trying to get rid of that dumb suit throughout the whole show. That’s all it is. I want to get rid of that suit, remove Ronan from existence and kingpin won’t have to come after us.[00:52:00]

It’s a small personal problem, but the story works so well and they did great car chase. Kate Bishop was hilarious, which is like, what’s this do oh, that she gets all excited and shoot that. And you’re like, oh,

[00:52:15] Alan: I’m playing with the trick. Arrows was really well done. Yes.

[00:52:20] Stephen: I forget the girl’s name that played her.

She wasn’t a singer. Gina showed me some songs, videos, but when she got the part, she was so excited. She went out and signed up for archery lessons from a master Archer. And we’re not really Healy Satterfield. Yes. And learn that a really shoot bow and arrow and stuff. Then she shows up on set and she’s all excited.

Jeremy Maria says, don’t worry about that. And the arrows that’s all sent G and Jesus. She was very disappointed from what I hear, but the dedication to learning to shoot, I was very impressed by that with her, because,

[00:52:55] Alan: oh, that did inform her performance. Yes, absolutely. Like you really know how to shoot a bow instead of [00:53:00] just like comic book ha way of doing it.

It really does that. Then them integrating you into the CGI, making it all look overall believable. It’s 80% of the way there instead of 50 that she knows how to cast herself so that her weight’s on the right foot.

[00:53:14] Stephen: I remember episode three revenge of the Sith star wars and McGregor and Hayden Christian said spent eight weeks rehearsing and practicing that final.

Yes, eight weeks. All they did for eight to 10 hours a day was practice that sword fight. So I love that she really got into it and they really did. They had a great balance. It had a humor and an action. It had a, you were wanting the scene more. They introduced, they brought qingping back. Oh my God. Call and went crazy on that one.

He loves dare devil and Charlie was vitamin.

[00:53:55] Alan: No really. It’s just that they have, it’ll be in six episodes. They have that her [00:54:00] mom turns out to not be just a wonderful mom. They had all kinds of things that were like, okay, you really don’t know growing up how everything works and you don’t even know necessarily your own parents and their background.

And that parents will really do almost anything for their children. You know what I mean? To protect them, even if it’s in a perhaps misguided way,

[00:54:20] Stephen: I loved how they tied it back to the original Avengers movie without feeling like, oh, come on. It was, she noticed it. And that influenced her and it didn’t affect anything retroactively, which I thought was.

Yeah, but you got that feeling that she’s there. And part of the universe, I’m talking

[00:54:38] Alan: about heroic inspiration that she was there when the earth was getting attacked and she saw here’s a God and a, an inhuman beast that a guy made in case an armor, and they’re all fighting this. And then here’s this guy that just happens to have a bow and arrow, and yet he’s in the fight.

You know what I mean? And that was so inspiring that I could do that. I can be that brave. I can be that capable for [00:55:00] cool stuff. Yeah. Talking about the black window sacrifice. That how much it affected him. Mr. If you will, is determined to make somebody pay for this and finding out that it really was that she didn’t get killed.

She sacrificed herself. And that if you really want to honor her stop by offering somebody else it’s by becoming the kind of person like her, that could do something like that.

[00:55:24] Stephen: It was very well tied in everything else. And the one scene just shows Jeremy Renner, his character Hawkeye, and how he really is where he’s tied up on the little toy horse.

And he’s on this,

[00:55:39] Alan: the tracksuit mafia thing from the new series.

[00:55:43] Stephen: And then Kate Bishop falls through the ceiling. And he’s just so perfect, but you must’ve been. The best part of the whole show, the absolute peak of performance was the Avengers musical. And

[00:55:59] Alan: actually seen that [00:56:00] before that last episode. I’m not sure how it must have been released maybe.

[00:56:04] Stephen: Cause I went to see the very first episode that they had a little bit of it that maybe

[00:56:09] Alan: that’s what it was. I didn’t see it all the way through. Okay. Okay. So, cause I, I kinda, I didn’t know that it was coming as the post credit, you know, bonus thing and stuff like that. And it really is. It’s amazing that they found a way to walk that line between corny and really sweet and really talented and really like how much of a it is this, it is all those things.

Do you know what I mean? A lot of Broadway musical ed patients. Okay. It’s really well done, but how much are they milking this? You know what I mean? Do I really need to see another version of I anyway, I thought it was really

[00:56:45] Stephen: well done. He’s sitting in the audience watching it and he’s oh dear God, give me a break.

Captain America. I could do this all day. It just, we were rolling Gina’s over there. Laughing and clapping. She’s very emotional to go watch [00:57:00] movies for like, when we went and saw Rambo and he started kicking everyone’s butt and she said, oh yeah, people are looking at her cause she’s really getting into it.

So that’s how I know

exactly. Yes. Okay. So haka. Ching it made it definitely good. We’ve got Boba Fett now, which the first episode was very good. I enjoyed

[00:57:25] Alan: it. I haven’t seen it yet. I just told you I’m behind because I’m catching up on somebody else.

[00:57:29] Stephen: Tell me about it. We thought we were caught up with the old DS with the, not the old, but the DC stuff as the latest season.

We’re not caught up at all with any of them. So we’re like, oh my gosh,

[00:57:40] Alan: I finished off duke patrol. And as soon as it’s available, I will watch that because I have such an affectionate spot in my heart for though weirdness of doom patrol. You know what I mean? It really is one of those things, even though I’ve read all the comics and I have seen all the episodes.

I really don’t know what the hell they’re going to do next. They’ve changed enough from Canada. They’re including cool things, but they’re making up their own [00:58:00] weirdness. And I, I want to see it. I just want to see what they’re going to do next

[00:58:03] Stephen: that, that in Titans, it’s on our list. A whole reason we subscribed to HBO originally was to watch Titans and doom patrol and swamp thing.

And we haven’t yet we’ve watched everything else. And I even said that they did the first scene. They did one season. Actually. It was a CW show that got picked up on HBO. It’s only one season. Yeah.

[00:58:29] Alan: So I, I, boy have only a glimmer in my mind because if it follows at all, like the Alan Moore versus the Martin Pascoe versus the other lesser versions, I’m going to be pretty happy

[00:58:40] Stephen: because HBO, I think it’s check HBO or the CW app, I think.

[00:58:48] Alan: Okay. So I’ve seen like the two movies they had either the revenge or something like that. And in which the best special effect is Adrian Barbeau by the way. So he’s just a nice, beautiful to look upon and [00:59:00] an interesting, like hard bitten character.

[00:59:01] Stephen: Anyway. Anyway, so let me ask you, have you seen the new matrix movie yet?


[00:59:07] Alan: Okay. See it in theaters and Colleen and I got just a week ago, we got to taste the COVID it, we got it from, we think was that family Christmas gathering. She was coughing all the time. I was very congested. I just went from my. This morning is thank you again for being willing to switch around schedule and stuff like that, because I don’t, I’m sure I had it for two and a half.

No, but when I sent it the date, when I got the reminder thing, I don’t want to do it another week, scheduling out a big deal, the results yet, but, and both of her should have started off with that. Hey listeners at home, we didn’t die. We’re both feeling better. We did all the things you do when you’re worried about having flu or cold.

So we isolated to not give it to anybody else. And we took our remedies and our vitamins and slept more and that kind of stuff. And we really, I’m still a little bit congested, but you sound like it coughing as much as a Colleen did. And she seems to really [01:00:00] be done with. Last night was the first relatively quiet sleep she’s gotten in like a week.

And when I get that, when I can’t sleep because I’m coughing, I, it really sets my strength to not get that rebuild

[01:00:12] Stephen: overnight. Absolutely. We, we are all scheduled tomorrow to go get our shots. We were able to find the place over in Kent as we’re all going to get our boosters. And I just saw in the paper a 12 to 15 year olds could be within a week or two.

So that’ll give everybody something. And I keep hearing so many stories. Eight. I don’t know if you saw it down here in Portage. They called in the national guard to help at the hospitals, not for step away from the door to help pass out food, to help, uh, monitor lies and just help guide people. And the national guard doctors are doing testing and stuff.

So the other doctors and nurses could go take care of patients. Well, if they have to call in the national guard folks, it’s not fake. It’s not that’s right. [01:01:00]

[01:01:01] Alan: The reason I’m from what I’ve read and from how the series of steps that Colleen and I went through, I’m pretty sure the reason that we had a mild case and it did not get any, oh my God, my lungs or Philadelphia or anything like that is because we not only have the vaccination, but we had the booster and that really is supposed to be what gives you so much your body?

The ability to fight off, not only Delta, but Omicron Delta is perhaps the more severe of the two and Omicron is the more virulent of the two. I think we probably got overcrowded, but probably the reason that we got it from somebody is because they hadn’t been all the way boasted. And so please folks, everybody who’s listening really do work and they work most effectively.

If you stay current and fully protected and whatever you hear from friends. Oh yeah. I got a headache for a couple hours after I took the shot. They leave you me. There’s no after effect of a vaccine, that’s anywhere near as bad as getting the disease. And so treat it like we’ve treated every other disease.

You don’t want polio. You don’t want strep. It’s just amazing. [01:02:00] It isn’t amazing. It’s too prevalent. Now how foolish people are that the Kool-Aid that they’ve drunk to really dismiss vaccination in modern medical science miracle, and enlightenment thing to go back to the dark ages where, oh, we don’t believe in rats.

We don’t believe in fleas. We don’t believe in the black place just going to fucking die.

[01:02:21] Stephen: Oh, on a slightly personal note. The day after Christmas, one of the leaders of one of the writing groups that I’ve gone to an attendant, she died from COVID and that group is pretty much disbanded and gone. She was only like 36 it’s like folks and okay.

Not the change, the subject, but the use the subject, that new movie on Netflix don’t look up. How well does that sum up the last five years and this pandemic in particular, that movie, like. It’s infuriating, but it’s also, it’s one of those train wrecks you can’t look away from. [01:03:00] I was watching the whole thing going, whoever wrote and directed this, they knew what they were doing.

Every line in that movie is a perfect line that makes you go, oh my God.

[01:03:13] Alan: I’ve seen people say and think that I’ve seen people act and not act. So that’s honestly, thank you for bringing that up. Hats off that’s something. We absolutely pooped folks. You have to see this movie. It is it, the background is there’s a, they discover there was a planet destroying comment.

That’s going to strike the earth and it’s real. It’s right out there. It’s been observed. Here’s the math. And upon these Ono scientists announcing here’s, what’s going to happen immediately. The world starts to say, why don’t we gather some more data and reassess? No, we only have time to have anywhere near a hope of stopping this thing

[01:03:50] Stephen: from happening.

They’re not concerned. Oh,

[01:03:56] Alan: election chances effect. Oh, I got a TV [01:04:00] special coming up and. The grind that they have to go through to just get the word out, to just be believed instead of ridiculed, to like what’s going to happen to all of them, their loved ones, the world, the entire world. And to see if I heard that quote, when they were talking about climate change, talk about COVID and like all these things that we are fighting that really are extinction level events that we’re dealing with.

We are what whistling past the cemetery. We are sitting on our hands. We are putting our fucking head in the sand, like an ostrich. We are more concerned with. How will that affect shareholder value instead of you’re killing the planet? Yeah. The ice pack is breaking up. We’re going to flood a quarter of

[01:04:44] Stephen: the world.

Oh my God. Oh, the movie I was watching it and I kept looking at Gina going, oh my God, this movie is genius is Idiocracy, but a step or two higher in quality it’s like somebody wanted to create a money pipe on [01:05:00] farce. There goes my wanting to create a money Python fart. But ended up creating a real show because reality is way stranger and you can’t make things crazier than they have been.

[01:05:13] Alan: It’s crazy. The writer, him and another guy were the co-writers and like that he’s the director and that’s what perfect satire is. It’s to not have it be that it’s just, that’s ridiculous. That could never happen. I dismiss that, that, that is exactly what I’m seeing nowadays. And he’s using a comment in the, as the proxy for every other thing that worked the way from what happened to our pandemic readiness.

You know what I mean? Did we just that when you start to. What else did they bring in? Don’t worry. A rich guy is telling us what he’s going to do. And rich guys, they know everything because they’re rich. That’s why they’re rich because they know

[01:05:49] Stephen: they use the cell phones to determine that there was minerals on the, the asteroid.

So would believe that and cancel the operation. The scientism money-making

[01:05:58] Alan: opportunity here [01:06:00]

[01:06:00] Stephen: based on what our cell phones told us

[01:06:02] Alan: exactly what of course, what they do at the end. Oh, don’t worry. No matter what’s going to happen to the whole world. And I totally misled. We have a rocket and escape pod escape with, so us 2000 people fuck all 8 billion of you worry.

Oh my God.

[01:06:19] Stephen: That was funny. It’s true. They said it was like 22,000 years later. And I’m like, hold on. We do not have the technology to hold somebody in cryo freeze for 22,000 years with all the power and be able to land on the closest exoplanet. I might even, that was making fun of stuff. And the part where they’re having the I’ll dare say it, the Trump rally outside and they go, and these don’t look uppers are wanting to bring Chilean immigrants over the borders.

Like what the hell? Oh my God, that’s

[01:06:55] Alan: so realistic. It’s important thing we need to worry about is, oh no, those [01:07:00] immigrants that I don’t like, as opposed to

[01:07:03] Stephen: which turn associated with the problem whatsoever, that wasn’t even there. It was just, I said it. So now all these people believe it. That was just like that happened.

And then that guy goes. There’s a comment. The guy you lied to us, look up and open your eyes. People

[01:07:21] Alan: at the end, as it’s getting ready to strike. One guys out there with his big gun shooting at it. That’s going to fix the problem. Exactly. Oh boy.

[01:07:33] Stephen: Again, I told Gina, I said, this is a movie that I could sit down and watch like once a year, because.

It’s just has, there’s so many layers to it. It’s one of those that I think there are things. If you watch a second or third time, you’ll pick up on that. You did not pick up on the first time. I was very, and I’m like, dear God, this movie is better than half the stuff I’ve seen in the theater through my life.

And it’s [01:08:00] unfreaking now

[01:08:00] Alan: I totally agree. And it’s funny other things that we saw, we’re like, okay, so here’s the scientists and they’re telling the truth. Here’s the data. What do they do not talk about the data and not talk about the model that makes sure that it’s okay. It’s well, what are they wearing?

And, oh wait, this person might, oh no, they did drugs. So we can’t trust them. It’s all that character assassination, all that deflection of the issue is nothing. You could have totally corrupt human being to still tell the truth. And if that truth bears out by proof, by science, you still have to believe the truth.

That’s not how the world works. You know what I mean? It’s all. And, and of course in the middle of all this. Oh, I think I’m attracted to another person. I think I’ll wreck my marriage almost. You know what I mean? And so the most heartening thing about the movie to me was, and I wish I had the exact quote, but they’re gathered together having their last dinner.

And then we did. Okay. You know what I mean? If that’s, if you’re going to look at the end of the world, instead of being you’re aggravated that you didn’t win or that you did that, it’s just, you’re [01:09:00] surrounded with your loved ones. And you say, if this was our time on the planet, we win, we’ve played by finding love and having a nice meal.

[01:09:10] Stephen: Maybe that’s the secret to life. It ended. So it’s really well done. It says this family does normal family. Now they have to deal with the world blowing up because of all the stupid people that are actually. That’s what it is the point. And do you remember back in the eighties when Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, how big they were when they did pretty woman and people said, look, go see a movie with them in it because they’re wonderful chemistry, blah, blah, blah.

If Jennifer Lawrence and Leo DiCaprio are in a movie together, I’ll go see it. Those two were so fantastic in this.

[01:09:48] Alan: That’s funny, we talked so much about the plot and the what happened, but what makes the entire movie believable is that it’s not just the two of them. Two it’s loaded with great actors. You know what I mean?

Like mark Rylands as the, [01:10:00] the mess that I am a rich guy. And I’m trying to set necess broken. Sorry. Sorry. Don’t heal as the chief of staff who his mom. Exactly. He’s so petty, but he’s in such a position of power. So many of those things, Meryl Streep as the president and how much she was just the right amount of corrupt and self-involved, and yet still try to do the right thing.

And yet everybody really wasn’t serviced to the story instead of being well, I’m going to play myself. I love playing myself with these movies and there are certain people you put Tom Hanks in there. You get that. That’s not true, Tom cruise, exactly. That can’t get outside of the aura that they have.

Whereas there are. Put himself into a character and do that. You

[01:10:44] Stephen: know what I mean? Yeah. And the little things like when the general charge them money for the snacks, and then she’s obsessed with it, the whole movie and it’s wow. That’s so it’s such a little thing, but it’s, [01:11:00]

[01:11:00] Alan: that’s what people are like. They don’t forgive a slight they’re like, why would he do that?

And funny as you, since I just used the Messiah is actually like the skate punk, nothing in this movie, a wonderful thing to be like, he’s not going to only play always one deep ball. He’s going to be also just this guy. Hey, I’m all about getting high and getting laid. That’s a pretty good life.

[01:11:23] Stephen: It was great too.

And the wife DiCaprio’s wife she’s been in. Multiple Stephen King horror movies. That’s right. Know her from Kate

[01:11:33] Alan: Blanchett as the rapacious reporter. She’s very much about her career and she actually does have a soft side, but not so much that she’s gonna give up anything in order to do the right thing or to be with him or whatever else it might be.

[01:11:46] Stephen: And Matthew Perry playing kind of the straight man, almost

[01:11:50] Alan: exactly, honestly. So folks really see it. It’s just, it’s the perfect movie. You’re starting off your new year and you want to see [01:12:00] maybe what you should be doing it with your new year, what you should be working on and where we might be able to head some of this off.

And we were in Glasgow and got no firm resolutions on. Don’t let that global warming continue. What are we going to do? How are we going to get to? But no more than 1.5 degrees. How are we going to get to where there’s not terrible weather and terrible flooding and terrible droughts and all the things that, yeah.

That’s why it’s happening, folks. Oops. It’s not happenstance.

[01:12:29] Stephen: I will say is probably not the most perfect first date movie, because it’s either, it’ll get you talking. It’ll probably let you find out a lot about your prospective partner really quick. And see

[01:12:42] Alan: for me, it’s a speed dating movie

[01:12:45] Stephen: to have hours long speed dating.


[01:12:49] Alan: what I’m saying. It’s everybody wants. And then you do five minutes with each person. And in five minutes, I can almost certainly tell you who I want to spend a six. That’s true. You [01:13:00] know what I mean?

[01:13:01] Stephen: Movie reviews, speed dating. There we go. That’s our next new idea. We are just bursting with great ideas.

So this is our year of 2022. Ideas are not the problem. Implementation is the move review,

[01:13:15] Alan: few dating. Let’s see R S R S D Bersin versus

[01:13:23] Stephen: get everybody rushing to it.

[01:13:25] Alan: Exactly. I never good at the acronyms.

[01:13:30] Stephen: I forget the acronyms, the t-shirts Hey man.

[01:13:34] Alan: Always a pleasure. Thank you so much. I appreciate your flexibility and no problem.

So we’re starting a new year, so much looking forward to it. I love that we always have things to talk about it, and I think we really have. Fun and substance, anybody who listens, it’s almost always the, to me because they’re sitting there taking notes as to what should I read and listen to, and learn and et cetera.

And I just, I’m so happy to have this forum with you to splatter a world

[01:13:59] Stephen: [01:14:00] with all of our fun little geekery and you use the word substance. So when I was back in my high school rock and roll band, our lead guy, one time we were playing at our school recording it. So I still have the recording, but he started yeah, this next song.

It’s really great. It’s got a lot of substance and our, you mean mashed potatoes. So substance always triggers that memory for me. And we got to get back on board with our updates, our investing update and the Linux and programming update. Cause you said things were flat. So we should talk about that next week and how that goes in.

I’ll have some good updates. Now that I’ve got the max set up, I’ve been working with unity. I’m getting an Atari 800 VCs to play with that along with the printer, just all sorts of ups. Very good.

[01:14:50] Alan: I’m on the cost of buying the new phone and the new watch. And so I’ll have lots to say about staying in the apple garden, but there are some, I think we get value out of our technology.

So when I switch, [01:15:00] it’s often not slight upgrades, just lime five versions behind iPhone eight. And I’m about to go to a 13 and they’ve changed all kinds of things in terms of the quality of the camera and the size of the screen and the everything of I’m looking forward to giving you updates as to

[01:15:14] Stephen: it’s a whole new world whole.

So I read that Fitbit bought Dex con, which does glucose monitoring. So that’s where they’re getting their technology for that. Do they have that in the apples yet? Because I know it’s been worked on by everybody, but I didn’t know if anybody released it.

[01:15:32] Alan: Honestly, I don’t know about, I know that they do all kinds of pulse and ox type stuff.

I’m not sure about actual blood sugar, but I can’t believe that apple is not going to stay ahead or at least equal with anything that Fitbit is doing right in here about the acquisition by that meeting. Maybe they’ve licensed the tax, but my car, the company, Dexcom, which I have an investment in is still its own company.


[01:15:56] Stephen: licensing it to various different. Maybe that’s what it was. They [01:16:00] licensed it or something. I read something where it connected the two or maybe it wasn’t Dexcom. Maybe it was one of the other. Maybe it was one of the ones that was going to fail that, but just some

[01:16:09] Alan: of the attacks that would make them more of an acquisition candidate.

Yes, we’ll have boy I’ll give the urine, honestly, compared to the crowing that I was doing a year ago, my year has been flat. All my games were my first two years. This year was like, I have a percent down and that’s after having made. 170%, the first two years. So all of my doing the same thing, paying attention to what I’m investing in, we’re doing slight tweaks based on confidence levels and financial news coming out and so forth.

None of that availed me. So luckily it’s, I’m in the market for 3, 5, 10 years, and this was just a down year. But if I was counting on my investments to be income, I’d be, I’m pretty hungry right now because I really am flat for this year. That’s a transition year, rebuilding year Alvaro, all the sports analogies that I [01:17:00] have to,