Episode 86 – Techie Troubles and Documentaries


Stephen’s tech troubles with his 3d printer leads to a conversation on how fixing tech problems has changed. Home networks are also big, and Stephen has been having trouble with that also. Time for a new router.

Meatloaf passed away this past week and we reminisce about the great music. And there is going to be a biopic of Weird Al with Daniel Radcliffe as Al!

Alan has watched several documentaries lately – like ZZ Top and David Foster.


David Foster Documentary –



[00:00:41] Alan: let’s try this. Watch better

[00:00:45] Stephen: tech. I was telling my cousin I’ve had so many tech issues that I’m like ready to just give up and go and shovel horse stalls and call it a living. It’s been one of those. ’cause [00:01:00] so he got out of his 3d printer on Sunday. He got up in the morning. He said, I’m going to put the printer, get her, I’ll call you if I have problems.

So like 12, 12 30. He sends me pictures. Hey, look, it’s pretty four hours. And he hasn’t printing and it’s like halfway done. And I’m like, shut up. I’m not talking to you any longer

[00:01:18] Alan: days worth of. What’s funny. Why isn’t the temperature? Correct?

[00:01:24] Stephen: I tried, I said I can’t let my cousin beat me. So I sat down and I just started messing again.

The same issues though. I did change from the default, a bed to the glass bed, and I adjusted temperatures in various combinations that I hadn’t done before. And I put it back on the default, cleaned the bed real well, it printed fine. And I was like, are you kidding me? So I said, okay. So I hit it. I cleaned the bat again, hit it again.

It got halfway through it and then screwed all up. And I tried four more and [00:02:00]

[00:02:00] Alan: I mean, honestly, part of what makes me worry about that kind of thing, 3d printing or whatever is, I don’t think we’re early adopters it’s been around for a long time, but it sure seems to be that there’s, it’s like being an auto mechanic from before and, and now everything is solid state.

Everything is you can’t listen to it, feel it, and look at it, figure it out. You have no insight. You have no leverage points for, well, it probably is this what’s my first guest. And we’ve talked before about are our troubleshooting skills because after you’ve seen a lot, your instinct, your store knowledge leads you to what’s the first thing that I should try based on what I know so far, what’s the thing that I can try that will cut the solution set in half so that I can dismiss a whole bunch of possibilities by seeing whether this word.

And unfortunately you’re at the start of building that knowledge base. It screws up. It’s lying. It’s exactly the same. So far as I can tell from the prison and yet some temperature where I [00:03:00] changed the plate from one material to another, how, why in the world we live in? You ask yourself, why should that matter?

You know what I mean? If I could figure this out, I got to go with something vitreous instead of corn or something like that. But instead it’s just, I’ll keep prying things until the magic

[00:03:17] Stephen: combination happens. The really frustrating part gets to be that the company doesn’t really have good help and insight.

I go into the control panel and I’m guessing what some of the settings are. And do I go into the temperature and I. And then I go to hit print and it goes down to the default. I just told it here to not do that. Why is

[00:03:42] Alan: it? They’re not retaining the setting? You give me the ability to control it, but not really.

[00:03:47] Stephen: Am I thinking it’s supposed to control it for this, but it’s really some other reason I have no idea. That’s the problem. And then of course, I got everybody in the other household walking by. Did you try and shut it off? Paul [00:04:00] Snarks

[00:04:02] Alan: you know, it’s I know that you said it’s the kit version, right? It’s the version where you said there’s no textual support.

The company creates a reasonable product, but there’s no next step. And unfortunately that’s exactly what you need. Oftentimes, when they first started to have littered at various different distribution and so much one of the big differentiators, wasn’t the quality of the software, if you will, or whatever it included.

Is there a way that I could get a human being in a chatter online in case something goes wrong because diving into appendix D of a Linux book is just fricking frustrating, especially if you already know a lot, but it’s, I don’t know. I understand your frustration and I’m really sorry because I so much want this to be a joyful experience.

It’s the coolest thing in the world I can create. I can print 3d things. How cool is that? I got the,

[00:04:52] Stephen: and we’re very similar that I understand by running into this problem. That’s how I’m learning. I’m figuring, but [00:05:00] I’m not with this because I’m not learning. Well, why did it print if I type code and I get an error and I realize, oh, I don’t have a semi-colon at the end, or I forgot my closing bracket.

Okay. I learned from that, I do it next time and I’m good. Oh, I put one slash for a comment, instead of two, I learned these things. It wouldn’t compile. And, but this is like, why did it work? Well, okay. Here’s the settings. I’ll do it again. Now. It didn’t work. Yeah,

[00:05:27] Alan: I’ll tell you let’s wax nerdy for a moment.

So I started my career back in the Maitreya big and I worked for Arthur Anderson and then Pete Marwick. And especially for Pete Marwick, I worked in an area called the catalyst group that did really cool stuff with taking old assembler code or spaghetti cobalt code and making it into a more structured maintainable version.

It would isolate the IO. It would, it really was a very, it was a brilliantly done thing and bill Monaco and Jerry Hawkins and others, and I got involved in working on the format or for instance, [00:06:00] so what, one of the best things that I ever did, maybe this, I compare it to there used to be times where I would say that those who don’t code it, isn’t always in real time, like basic where you can change one thing and then run it again.

There used to be that there was an entire compile and assemble and a cycle that you had to go through, that there was overhead every time that you made a change. And sometimes you didn’t realize that the change you made. Cause a whole bunch of changes and what libraries at my grab or something like that.

And so it really would take a long time. That’s where there were some things where the amount and depending on whether you were in a timesharing environment or on your own dedicated home PC, the experience was totally different. If you were in a timesharing environment, there’s any number of times that you would send a job off at the end of the day, knowing that it was going to take all night to compile and run, and you’re getting your results in the morning.

If you screwed anything up and came back to find out that you had done something wrong with the JCL, the job control language, that was the thing that told the machine what, how to run it. He was like, I just [00:07:00] wasted a day. I lost that night. I, it was very frustrating. So one of the coolest things that I ever did, we had a big client of the Aetna.

And I, I, I lived in, worked out in Hartford for three months. I shouldn’t say lived, I stayed, but I wrote a thing that would make sure that it created correct ACL. You couldn’t put a slash in the wrong column, you couldn’t forget an opening or closing bracket or parenthesis the length of everything. And as a number of comments, all that stuff was handled so that there was never a time like instead of writing JCL it would ask you a questions, fill in these various different blanks.

It would give you feedback as to if that’s too long, that is only alphanumeric versus numeric, all those kinds of things. It used to be fuck sevens and SOC Homebrew

[00:07:45] Stephen: debugger,

[00:07:47] Alan: pre debugger, to make sure that the information that I collected was going to be correct. And then my slotting, it in was my little format or it guaranteed a good run.

And that turned out to be one of the things that when I brought that home and said, Hey, [00:08:00] yo, kids look what I did for money glommed on to it. A good friend named first name, really only in the letter. He liked became the master of that main painted it. And we actually made it into a, from what I understand, like a product that we included with our structured with retrofits that are passenger services.

And often the thing that had people walking, smiling out of the conference room was like, did you see that cool JC I thing of a chain? So that’s the way it was calling it all back to this. Now, nowadays, everything seems to be an interactive development environment where you really can do, um, they got smart early on apple and Microsoft diversity of developers.

How can I do this? So that it’s always the incremental change, like a spreadsheet instead of recalculating everything in the spreadsheet, when you hit recalc, it’s aware of what you’ve changed. And it does the minimal recap to get you to the new thing. And it just by, by tenfold 50 fold cut the amount of time that you [00:09:00] had to put into these things, just waiting for a result.

And so that gets back to this. It must be very weird to be like, okay, this is going to take four hours to print. And so I could set it off at midnight and then I’ll come in in the morning, it’ll be back here. But then if something happens at two 30 in the morning, while you’re not watching it like a Hawk, then it’s tight.

I am I going to wait four hours during the day when I, you know what I mean? It’s that same, going back to that weird overnight cycle. And it’s, I just don’t want to do that anymore. I want me to always be in control and almost be able to tweak and fix and understand. And instead there’s that frustrating, here’s hoping.

And then you push the toboggan down the hill and you know that there’s no stuff until it gets all the way to the bottom

[00:09:44] Stephen: and this weird place with things. And same with Lennox and Lennox has come a long way, but still there are times, but I’m in this weird place where I remember. Some of the fun was working on this stuff and getting it to work, not actually printing 3d [00:10:00] things, just getting it to work.

Once it got to work, I was like, yeah, that type of thing. And Linux the same way, figuring out the commands step-by-step and what’s wrong now, how to fix it. Now I know this system, but I’ve also hit that point where it’s like, I’m like 51. I’ve been doing this for 30, 40 years. I kind of just want it to work.

And I want to relax and enjoy things. I don’t want to hammer on it anymore.

[00:10:25] Alan: This please. It’s not meant to start the war 30 years ago. One of the reasons that I offer referenced Macintosh systems instead of windows was because they just work. When I want it to be productive. I would just sit down and use Mac stuff because it taking care of all the drivers taking care of all the fonts are missing.

It really just had done all kinds of things. Not shelter me from it, from where I couldn’t influence if I wanted to, but it made smart choices where when I plug in a printer, it talk to each device and make sure that it wasn’t in the collide based on what port and all that stuff and windows, it took a long time for windows to get, because they had legacy [00:11:00] versus that couldn’t even support that kind of stuff.

They didn’t have ports that had any multi-directional chatter. It was out, you send things out of port, but there was like, maybe with sense. Yes, I’m plugged in. But there was like, there wasn’t a chip printer yet an old dot matrix printer. There were no smarts built into it. You know what I’m trying to say?

I got really spoiled. And then whenever I had to go back to those days, Oh, my God. I’m going to have to embed printer control codes in this header to make sure that it knows I want to change it from landscape to portrait. Wow. This just seems, so this is a solved problem, but it’s not solved everywhere.

There’s still all kinds of bombs out there in the world, waiting for you to walk

[00:11:41] Stephen: on it. And it’s interesting looking back historically that way, because that’s a pro of apple back then compared to windows, but it’s totally different systems now, both ways. And there’s also cons both ways, even back then, yes, apple, like you’ve said a million times, it in, it [00:12:00] works.

It goes, but you had this one thing to use. And, but yet that went, but with windows you had 500 companies and you could choose the. Product with features you wanted, but again, that’s the pro the con of that is then you would have different drivers from that company or somebody else. And you’d have to get those working in a, they updated here, but this one had different features and you liked theirs and they weren’t updated pros and cons both ways.

Linux now is still playing catch-up in a lot of ways. And the biggest thing for me is their interface of use is just not, they’re not good. You can’t grab things in easily. You can’t say I want this program, download it and install it, which you can do on windows and Mac easily. Here. You have to say, what version of links do you have and what version of that version do you have?

And we don’t work with that. So you have to run these commands to compile it and install it yourself. Oh, there’s an error. You have this different version of this library. [00:13:00] there’s ways of making that easier obviously to other systems do it

[00:13:05] Alan: right at that. Really? They, when they’re first starting to be installed as a developer, there are places that created installers that would say, oh well, that’s stuff that usually you have to do all of your own checking to make sure that what your client has so that you can install the correct.

We’ll do all that for you. We have vast libraries of all the different printers and wow. Everything, the systems, there were often bigger and compatibilities between the various different versions of windows. Then there were between Macintosh and windows. They had standardized on once postscript came out and everything was a postscript compatible printer.

You didn’t have to worry about whether it was cut rather or Epson or the various different places that just had their own basic control. Things would work. And then a whole bunch of other things would break, like how it handled fonts or any kind of, you know what, that’s not sometimes that’s interesting in this case, it was only frustrating that well, if anything, it was okay.

What’s the one that took the least amount of pain [00:14:00] to get to work. If I can encourage people to get an Epson printer I’m going to do, because they seem to be the ones that have figured out all the pain that people usually go through and we’ve eliminated the top 10, not every one of them, but at least these things that I’m so used to having to troubleshoot everywhere I go, that’s it doesn’t seem to have as many problems as.

Uh, it would be when you’d walk into a client and you can scan around and say, oh boy, they’re a little older. And they’re a little, not had standardization themselves internally as to what they all have. They let everybody buy their own. And so I was going to be installing antivirus software malware, which kind of operates at a deeper level of the system.

You just knew that you had a hundred possibilities of blowing up for no good reason, because they had everybody had their own system. Everybody had some had been conscientious about keeping their stuff updated, which I guess malware is one of the first things you learn is get a good provider, but mate, maybe back then it was Norton or McAfee or something like that.

But keeping up to date [00:15:00] with their virus definitions. To be able to detect all the evil stuff was a very important thing. You couldn’t install it once and then say, I’m all armored now because from day one, your armor was developing chink and the bad guys were really good at probing and putting a little

[00:15:14] Stephen: stone.

And we mentioned that too, about the specs, like people will get the Oculus goggles and then say, it’s not working with my computer. Did you read the specs? No, you didn’t. And you mentioned that antivirus. The thing that I always would have to shake my head is people are like, yeah, I’m protected. I’ve got seven different antivirus installed.

I can tell you why your computer is not running well. And they to look at it. You installed this 10 years ago. It’s never been updated. So it doesn’t matter, just

[00:15:44] Alan: not so much as a business, but often the clients I had to be out of, self-defense able to get it. So the, my stuff would work and be able to tell them this is the environment you’re going to have to create.

This cool thing is going to figure out how to inference. I did work at Ameritech. We were going to build their cable TV [00:16:00] system, and I did a whole bunch of stuff with genetic algorithms, but the output came up as Excel spreadsheets. Here’s the order in which you should be able to bid in various different communities, build these things out.

And then the next bills, because you’re building through the pine cone correctly, you’re, you’ve established your stocks first and then the branches come after you. And so all of that of being able to get in and say, this is why you need to be able to have this environment running. It would last one or two people.

If a game of telephone, they wouldn’t hand spec sheet over, they would say, well, it would be best if you ran out of this. And of course the guy was like, well, I’m an HP man, not an IBM man. I’m going to run it on my system. And then HP really was one of the interesting ones that they had done a whole bunch of stuff to transfer things into memory instead of being on the hard drive.

So they did a whole bunch of stuff with caching to make it run faster. But if you don’t do your caching word automatically refreshes, then you get old versions lingering. And without going into it again, too much detail, it took a while to figure that out. But [00:17:00] then to tell the guy exactly what is the big benefit of HP is what’s screwing things up here because I wrote my code.

And so let me think about it. It’s not really recursive by that many. It doesn’t call itself, but it makes big assumptions on each time you’re starting from a clean palette instead of that, there could be anything cash. And you’re going to bring in potentially an old version, not only of code, but of data.

It shouldn’t even be doing that. There shouldn’t be any system that allows for when you point at it, you should say, use this new data file and it shouldn’t allow for an older version to be there. So sometimes what I would troubleshoot and say that they would even let can’t be happening. Isn’t it? It sure is looking at very specific number like 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 is very distinct.

Nothing else it flows for right to here. And it’s in the old version, not the new version, so I can prove that it’s tagging. Anyway,

[00:17:54] Stephen: sometimes still exists. And I’ve run into this with web stuff because you get companies like [00:18:00] CloudFlare that cache a website, and I’ve had some clients where I’ve run into that, where I’m here, but the server is in Texas and the website I’m being served from is from Chicago. So I push it up and I put the change in there and then you hit refresh.

It’s still the old version in Chicago and it’s not working. And until you realize that sometimes it’s not and you make some more changes and you push that up. Okay. Now there’s my first chain, but why is it with this? And you’re not because you’re looking at three versions ago.

[00:18:34] Alan: Exactly. I’ll tell you.

That’s a huge insight for people generally on the web who come to it. It’s wonderful to think of what I do. Something I talked directly to Oracle and it comes back to me with information, but nowadays there’s all kinds of traffic, cabling, IP, big, both physical and virtual devices. CloudFare flare for security, all kinds of things that are there in the way, or they’re there to actually speed things up by them having the fastest servers [00:19:00] along that particular trunk, they’re able to get it so that they can give preference to certain customers or at least stop the worst of best from getting out in time.

But then that’s the whole thing. There. Isn’t an interpolator. That is, you’re not getting the direct connection of, uh, what is it? A thousand points of light to each other that you don’t yet. And I don’t know, boy, I haven’t wanted to run a trace route, a trace of exactly where the web traffic has gone in a long time, because it’s just math.

It’s just madness because I don’t know. It’s funny, I’m stuttering because I have so much that I want to say about this because if you live through some of this, it isn’t only that you can show it and prove it it’s that nobody else will care. People will just be like, oh, I don’t want to know about that stuff.

Just get it to work. But it really, if there’s anything that falls on deaf ears, it’s that kind of mumbo jumbo, magic weirdness that even though you figured out, they think you wasted your time as opposed to, well, you made a breakthrough here and figuring out what was wrong. And so. [00:20:00] The people who are doing this kind of stuff should learn from, I keep hitting refresh.

They keep asking me to refresh and I’m causing my own burst of web traffic because your refresh protocols are crap and they’re not letting me force this new thing that I uploaded, but it hasn’t seemed like a DNS change and stuff like that location. There was a big hiccup in the net where one of the DNS servers goes down like a big one from Google or from.

And that’s when people first become aware of it really isn’t Ellen volt, but you’re going to it’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. They don’t know how work. They don’t know. Oh my God. It,

[00:20:42] Stephen: do you remember all the old cartoons back in the nineties where you they’d be picking on nerves and the nerds would be like spouting out an IP before address, and that’s how they would all go to this site, a 1 27 dot.

Then they would just spout it all out. It’s WhatsApp. This site, we lived through that [00:21:00] and where’s with all the security. Now in the mat tracking, it’s harder to sometimes trace things because you get blocks and you have to go through, I know the one server I work on. When you access it, you’re actually accessing a security server.

And then from there you have to get into the real server to get to it. But you have two layers to get through and it changed. The IPS are different. So it causes issues at times, if you’re not aware,

[00:21:29] Alan: most people do only experience they have of that is if they were at home and they use DHCP. I just, you just had to reboot your router.

If you have people at home, go into the router and don’t you just hook it up, but actually look at how can I create my security layer? How can I have it be that I have 999 devices behind the wall that I can address individually. Then I don’t want to worry about what did I name the printer again? Was it 22?

They want it to be dynamic or DHCP, but then that’s where they first get the idea of. Well, and this is the it’s like, I don’t know that I am an expert out there. I’m from thing [00:22:00] I’ve learned about this has been through painful. Self-defense when you have to worry about. Mac address. What’s the, there’s all different kinds of ways to deal with how the net addresses things and how to create puddles so that you can do direct addressing when you need to.

But you don’t want to do that because what you just said, the possibility of bumping into security or any kind of virtualization will break your attack because you might be able to penetrate this one place, but the whole net doesn’t make those assumptions. You can’t. When I, what I’ve had to do at home, whenever I had to troubleshoot or something got weird like that, my most common thing has been, can I just go back to as if I just installed and then redo the steps to get to where everything works instead of trying to undo something that got changed without my understanding how it did it, I don’t have any insight into what’s the smallest change that I can make to get me back to working.

I really have so much black magic that I will be like, I’m going to start over and make sure that what I do is [00:23:00] correct each new step of. What a weird admission to make her, I really know this stuff. I really think I understand it pretty well, but it gets weird quickly.

[00:23:09] Stephen: You know what I mean? You mentioned the router and that’s the other tech thing I’ve been dealing with is mine.

It’s a good router. It’s a night, our 7,000 from that gear, which

[00:23:20] Alan: six antennas or

[00:23:21] Stephen: whatever it is. It’s only is three though. It’s older, it’s seven years old or so. And I got it because it was like top of the line built for the whole house, et cetera. And we’ve just been having issues. And I know Netgear does not always have the best reputation for their OSTP and their updates and stuff.

Hardware is good. O S isn’t always good. And so we’ve just been having troubles in the house. And at times we have to reboot it sometimes three or four times a day. And so over the weekend, I spent time going through settings and checking the MTU and all the transmission rates and what’s ideal. And how can I figure that out?

And [00:24:00] trying to quality of service, does that work? Does it help stream things where it’s needed and stuff? And even though it’s a great router, and even though it still works well, what we’re running into is when everybody’s home on the weekend with two or three devices, their phone, there’s so many things on, and it can only like address three to five to send through the bandwidth.

So the processors trying to cash all this stuff and send things through and keep it in an orderly manner. And so

[00:24:29] Alan: sometimes that’s on overhead more to try to handle. All

[00:24:34] Stephen: right. So then we ended up getting, and I haven’t seen these very often, but like some networks storm where just everything gets shut down because there’s so much info bouncing that it can’t do anything.


[00:24:46] Alan: So I might be one of those things. It really is worth seven years old is Ian in Roseville. You know, as we went from B to C to G to X, I hope that isn’t even in the right order, they didn’t do an alphabetical. [00:25:00]

[00:25:00] Stephen: Hey, X is like the new, but so I said, okay, so we’ve got two choices here. I said, I hate getting rid of tech that still works, but this just isn’t working.

I said, so we’ve got. I give either upgrade and get a new router, which will be several hundred bucks. And I looked into the mesh and because we have so many gamers, the mesh network is less ideal. So we’re going to stick with the regular router.

[00:25:25] Alan: I didn’t realize because I’m not so much a house full of gamers.

I never had that experience. So yes. And it’s

[00:25:32] Stephen: bouncing the signal. It adds too much ping sometimes. So if three or four people are all gaming, probably lock the whole network down. So we’re going to stick with a regular house. I said, we can buy a new router and I’m not getting anything cheap. It’s not 89 bucks.

This is 400, $500 router. We tell some of the kids just to leave and move out. The two choices right there. So practical, [00:26:00] one of those we’ll fix it, actually bolts we’ll fix it in different ways. Um, it’s a lot cheaper for the second option, but so you’re very

[00:26:09] Alan: happy. You have Colleen, we have fiber to the house and we have actually cables run various different places.

There was not only wifi to get to our TV. We actually had a cable come through to whatever we watch anything, Netflix, Amazon, et cetera. It’s near instantaneous. There’s the days of lag and a waiting on anything are gone. Yeah. But having said that, like I said, when we first tried to do, Hey, let’s get the garage working.

You get an idea of, wow. It really doesn’t reach that far. I really had to do some changes and it it’s. I like where things just work until you strain it a little bit too much. It’ll be worth it in the new router because it really will be like they have made big leaps and bounds. The hardware has gotten that much better.

The articles themselves are that much smarter. Conflict avoidance and oh yeah. All the time sharing and stuff. Very, very cool.

[00:26:55] Stephen: And it’s funny, you mentioned that too, about the streaming, because at least one [00:27:00] kid has a 4k TV. Now I know he doesn’t watch a lot of 4k because they’re just really as any streaming, but that’s something people also don’t realize a 4k TV is literally four times as much streaming data as the regular TV.

And so if you’ve got like us, we’ve got several people now. So if we were all trying to stream 4k, it would kill. Cause we don’t have fiber out here. It would not handle it. Exactly. That’s all too many pixels and that’s why 4k hasn’t taken off. And that’s why you’re not doing 4k, Oculus streaming with your friends.

It’s the technology just isn’t handling that.

[00:27:38] Alan: We have a Samsung smart TV and it’s coming up on seven years old if I remember, right. So it’s interesting. Seven year itch. I’ve become aware of that. The art MyTV handles various different smart apps, but not everything. And so we regularly Chromecast things we want to watch on HBO max or Disney plus, or not because they’re not natively supported by [00:28:00] Samsung.

Whereas anything since 2017, just before. Of course I bought it after I bought it. It, it does have native things for that. And so it’s, am I going to get a whole, am I going to stick with Samsung because I liked them, but there’s also a Roku TVs and apple TVs and things that have different arrests. And a lot of it is going to be because the market for providers is fragmenting.

I don’t want it to be that Roku is only the provider and gathers everything. And then what they get is what I’m limited to. There’s a, there’s that idea. We talk to us about this a little bit. PB sofa type thing. Everything’s out there. And I want to have that app. That’s going to say, you want to watch, let’s see the song remains the same and old.

Lead’s definitely concert movie here. It’s free, but only free for a month here. It’s for $5 and all that kind of stuff that I want something that will help me with all those kinds of decisions. Most of the time, I’m like everybody in America, you just sit down, browse around, oh, this looks good. But there are certain things that I really want to be able to watch when we’re working our way through the AFI top a hundred combinations of [00:29:00] all the time.

Not everybody carries those by any stretch. Some of the comedies are like to Adam’s rib from 1940 something. So I am occasionally doing very specific and that’s when I really want the, please help me get to this with the least amount of hassle and the least a of money and all that kind of stuff. I’m shopping for a TV, not so much fucking, he still looks beautiful.

It’s a big old thing. And it’s got, I want more capabilities and because the TV is now. It really is that it’s all in a couple of steps behind and even its firmware updates. Don’t give me the whole new Samsung operating system. It doesn’t have the chips marks. It doesn’t have the memory that I might need.

It’s not a DVR. There are some things that I will never come. And you just pull again, a terabyte hard drive and it’s got its own DVR capabilities. So I could be recording the Olympics and not have to worry about watching them in real time. But yeah, I want to watch all those. It’s coming up. The winter Olympics curling that’s on at two in the morning for whatever reason I like curling pants.

So I want to record all these, watch them. [00:30:00] We’ll see what happens. I, it on TV, as you know, that’s not a, like you were saying, there’s one magic, a hundred dollar point that America has for sure. I can afford that. That’s when the VCRs first broke through and the DVR and all that kind of stuff, but DVDs nowadays, we want to get a big one.

It’s like a thousand dollars. Is that point. I’m still four figures is still enough for me to say, let’s really research this. I can’t just go buy a TV and then throw it away in two years because I bought the wrong one. I really want the right one, as well as this writer, one is $1,200. Am I really going to spend more than the thousand dollar mental point that I have of man, a thousand dollars for a TV?

Right? That’s a lot of money. Anyway.

[00:30:43] Stephen: That’s the interesting thing too, talking about. People’s conceptions with some other stuff. He, these are that way because I have seen. 75 inch TVs for 350 bucks. People are like, oh, look, I got a 75 inch TV for 350 bucks. And [00:31:00] before this other one was 1200, now I’m like, that’s because it’s a better TV.

Liz’s the same side. There you go. Size. Doesn’t always matter. But it’s the hardware inside, but a stream that in and create this on the screen and how well the picture pixels light up and the brightness and the, you know,

[00:31:21] Alan: all the various. Watching movies. It’s also what, how about sports then? How about playing video games and whatever else it might be.

And there’s different factors that go with

[00:31:31] Stephen: and people don’t realize that you are getting what you pay for. That’s great. You’ve got a 75 inch TV. You’re going to be complaining about it constantly because the scan rate isn’t good enough and you’re getting a headache watching it, which doesn’t really happen anymore.

We have to make analogies with old school techniques. It’s it is

[00:31:46] Alan: I, again, shut off the consumer reports because even though I love going into the high-end hearing on TV and just device magazines, consumer reports is a really good job of saying, okay. So it’s really interesting to know the specs, [00:32:00] but for most people, what they care about of course is the user experience.

And so out of the a hundred factors I could cover if I cover this doesn’t that really are the things that matter most for what a person’s experience, what’s the viewing angle and all that kind of stuff. I, consumer reports has guided me very well. Uh, not always about every computer, but about consumer devices.

Really good on camera’s really good on TV is really good on camera. Does anybody really buying a camera anymore? Maybe the professionals with the SLR. Right. So I haven’t bought a new camera since my old cannon. It must be 20 years now. As soon as I got a smartphone, the convenience and the ever increasing quality of a little pocket camera, it’s really tough to justify having another device.

I had a camera bag that I used to carry around with me, my little purse, any number of times. And when I was like, It was like, okay, I hang this off of the back of the chair, I’m going to forget it. The ladies always complained about I’ll put it [00:33:00] in the center of the table. And of course it’s the once that Al is that your purse?

And it’s funny, I did use it as a purse after you’re carrying the bag anyway, because you wanted to have the extra memory cards and the extra batteries in case you need to dose go through a few, couple of pens in there and maybe some mad money. And how about a tampon

[00:33:20] Stephen: purse? But it was called a messenger bag. I, I

[00:33:27] Alan: still, boy, this is two years out of date. When I used to go out to lunch regularly where I’d get my subway. I had a shoulder bag. They’re not messenger. It really is. It’s a tech bag from Microsoft. So you’ve got a, one of the conferences that I went to and it was designed to house like the perfect laptop size, but now it’s mostly magazines and pouch.

So you can put your pens and your keys and whatever else you might be. I dunno, what am I really concerned about? Someone telling me that I’m a, oh no, the dreaded homosexual, because I’m carrying a very convenient messenger bag [00:34:00] at age 62. I’m sorry that I’m prancing around with my boy. Has that been ridiculous?

Like we just watched that Eddie Murphy special and not only him, but Sam Kennison various others really have problems in their careers because they fags. But nowadays it just seems fully that it was there anything that dates the comedy special, more

[00:34:24] Stephen: something to make fun of. And I guess,

[00:34:27] Alan: I don’t know.

I’m not trying to be too preachy here. There really are. Stereotypes are funny, making fun of stereotypes is funny and it depends on visit affectionate or is it me? Is it, is it true? You know what I mean? If someone was, if you make a reference to someone who’s just on TV at the gay pride parade, looking very gay, that everybody has seen that image.

So you can say. But instead of it just being that broad, I dunno, I said, you really hate him that much, that you’re going to make fun in every way that you possibly can. I’m glad that’s a lot gone. Let’s put it that way. Or is it the [00:35:00] people that are still like that? It’s like, man, you really are the asshole you always have been, but now you can’t hide because other people think it’s funny.

[00:35:09] Stephen: And I do like how making fun of the minority stereotypes has gone away quite a bit for the tech and nerds. It’s embraced a lot more people aren’t laughed at because they like the superheroes because everybody likes the superheroes now. And big bang theory, I think had a lot to do with that because it was so popular.

Whether you like the show or not. Yeah. They saw these nerds and they brutalize them helped, I would say. But then the other thing is. Okay. Here’s a great example. I’ll throw his name out. I hope he doesn’t want to come and kill me, but if I’m hanging out with Marty or Paul and we’re playing a game or something, they say, yeah, of course you would understand that because you’re gay and I’m picking on them and we’re laughing, but he knows I’m not being mean, but to an outsider, they, I I’ve had this happen where they’re like in your face.

That’s [00:36:00] in sulkies my friend, we were picking on each other the same way I would pick on Al for being bald or something. Exactly. It’s just back and forth. And I’ve said that before, too. I think the rest of the world is catching up to the nerds that play D and D in the seventies, because we would play women.

We play green skin creatures. We would watch star Trek with the first interracial kiss. We were used to all this stuff. So literally. And my family at times, my mother used to do wedding cakes and she had a really good friend at work that was getting married. She wanted to make a wedding cake to my mother, went to the store and grabbed all the supplies like she does, made the cake and took it in.

She wasn’t being insulting. She wasn’t doing anything bad. She just grabbed all the stuff she normally grabbed, which included the white bride and groom to put on the cake for the black couple. She never even thought about it. Never even noticed it. It wasn’t an insulting thing. She just never thought of her friend as black.

She [00:37:00] just thought of her as a friend and I had this about seven, eight years ago, a group we used to get together on the first Friday of the month and played board games and everything we loved that made some good friends and had a good time. And I knew this guy for five years and we’re sitting there and I’m sitting next to him and we’re playing.

And somebody said something about his move is you can just kiss my black ass. And I stopped and looked at him, head Mikey, you’re black. And he looked at me. He says, yeah, I am. I’m like, I just realized that honestly, for when did that start and everybody laughed at me and I wasn’t trying to make a joke and I wasn’t trying to be funny or insulting.

It was literally a light bulb moment that I was like, oh my God, he is black. Isn’t he? I didn’t realize it.

[00:37:51] Alan: Yeah. Good for you. Good for him. That’s what I hope for you. Friends. Can’t tell, like tease each other on everything under the sun. And sometimes to [00:38:00] the outsider, it can look like, oh my God, that’s gone too far.

No, we’ve known each other for 40 years. There’s no whatever boundaries other people think you, you shed those with. I don’t know. I hope that the whole world will get to that. We interesting as we’ve gotten to where some people, when they know their time has changed. They don’t embrace the new, they dig their heels in all the more.

And so we’ll have to see how long it takes before. Just general relationally, gender racial. These are extra syllables. How long it’ll be before that goes away. You know what I mean? I just, this is boy, this is silly. I play hearts occasionally online and some people are chatty and some people are mean chatty.

And so I hardly ever do these kinds of things, but one guy’s name was old to do. And so when he wouldn’t let up with my gentle, original and Euro, we, you should see my car that he was worried about why I hadn’t played exactly what he thought I should play. And after awhile it was like, well, maybe you need to take your pills, grandpa, [00:39:00] do you need changing?

You know what I mean? He was being so irascible. Then it was like, oh, I’m going to just embrace the stereotype. He used it himself. We’ll do it. And I hardly ever do that, but, and it wasn’t even honestly, necessarily. Kind of insult him. I was trying to get laughs from the other peers because they could see what a unreasonable he was being.

And then I was actually handling it for the first two or three, four rejoinders and then it was like, sometimes people insist on climb all the way to the top of Mount asphalt and you’ve done it. And so now you get both barrels. I was being gentle and decent and we’re just playing cards. What the hell is wrong with?

You know, after a while they deserve the worst things that I could set. You know what I mean? And it’s, I don’t know it’s for me to, I get to get rid of a little tension because

[00:39:47] Stephen: my attitude towards playing games is if I am not in the grand master chess champion, Against big blue or CRISPR snake, whatever his name was [00:40:00] just casually for fun folks.

It’s going to be forgotten at out of the other hundreds of games. I will play in the next year’s up relaxed.

[00:40:11] Alan: I’ll say this all elusive long ago at we go to a thing called mind. Game Mensa runs a cool event that everybody does play testing of well, 60 to a hundred games. And then from that emerge, the Memphis select games for that year.

And that’s often then what guides, Hey, what should I get my friends for Christmas? What should I get from last year? Here’s the

[00:40:28] Stephen: list of 10. There’s

[00:40:30] Alan: the list of 10. But at that boy, it really is just an immersion in psychology. You can tell the people that are, that matters a lot to them, that they win. It matters a lot to them.

When people follow the rules, if they don’t think they’re going to win, all of a sudden, they like stop paying attention to nature. There’s all kinds of weird psychology going on there. And there was one woman that I played with that was. Really nasty, far more than what we fit. People playing a game together.

And so in your mind, you’re just like, I’ll just know, [00:41:00] remember not to get him and get on her bad side. I don’t really care what she thinks of me, but like, why should I cause that discomfort for other 15 years later, probably that woman did similar things online and it was like reliance tigers really don’t change their stripes.

That’s her gambit. If I could be the most unreasonable person in the room, people will just back off and let me have my way because they don’t want to fight. And in this case it was, I just have knowledge of her that doesn’t work with her. And so I didn’t lay into her, but it definitely was everything that she was saying.

I was happy because I’m a smart guy to point out how it made no rational, logical factual sense all about her and not about me, that the things that she was demanding or like that’s a ridiculous demand. Are you bullying me? It, it’s weird to get to that place of, I didn’t mean to store that away as being ammunition, but there really are people that once they learn it, They might be a one trick pony.[00:42:00]

They learned that if you’re an ass, you get your way more often than not. I just didn’t feel like being the person that knuckled under to the asshole that gaming really is for. It has always been to me. I can learn more from gaming with a person for an hour. Then if I taught you what I mean, parts of their personality come out, do they want to build and work together?

Or are they solo? Do they actively like if you, the whole rest of the game, doesn’t matter. Now, all that matters is I have to get revenge on. Wow.

[00:42:30] Stephen: It is the focus of mine. Games is not to play games and win because they don’t say here’s the champion of the weekend who won the most games. The focus is on playing these games to get a good review of them and helping the organization.

It doesn’t matter who wins. You’re trying to figure out the rules and the playability and what works with different groups. So who cares, who wins? That’s not the focus

[00:42:54] Alan: because I don’t want the world to think that my game is just that some kind of decathlon of gaming that we’re all there. We’re all vying for [00:43:00] commenting on what were the rules.

Good. Dude. Ray was able to understand and get up and running quick. What’s the quality of the material? What’s the game flow like? Does it have replayability? All of that is cool. And in fact, that’s even more damning than for people that can’t have a good time at this event. If anytime you’re gaming, you’re hyper competitive.

Anytime you’re gaming, you’re looking to be not only the one that understands the rules, but to be the one that can dump the rules Bible and say, city. It’s in people’s personalities. You know what I mean?

[00:43:28] Stephen: They can’t turn

[00:43:28] Alan: that off as easily. Oh, well,

[00:43:32] Stephen: I’m gonna switch topics real quick for this, this past week, we unfortunately lost a great musician meatloaf.

One of my favorites, hats off to him. You haven’t listened to meatloaf in a while. Exactly. I’ll tell

[00:43:44] Alan: you. I made a comment on this show that bat outta hell album is one of those perfect album. There’s not a bad cut on it. The emotions of it, the lyrics, the musicianship of it. And it’s not just meatloaf how to run grit.

He’s insulted Roy bitten, E street band racks, Weinberg. There’s so many things. [00:44:00] And a big thing to mention about meatloaf is Jim Schneiderman was his muse. He’s the one that wrote all these songs and he wrote all kinds of other great operatic, bombastic rock and roll for Bonnie Tyler, right? Multiple people that benefited the streets will fire movie.

The soundtrack is by Jim Scheinman and you can tell. Where are the fire pots? Where’s the big climax to this saw, you know what I mean? Ellen Abe is, is female meatloaf, if you will. And so when meatloaf and Jim had a falling out and we didn’t work together for a number of years, Pecos albums were still okay.

There were occasional good things in his voice still as a Buster, that it was, but only until they gathered for bat outta hell two and three, did that magic return and so forth. I don’t know for me as a fan and for many people that I’ve talked to about it, it really is all that lost time, man, if they would’ve found, they wouldn’t have had a falling out, we could have just had this whole incredible catalog of great bombastic opera rock.

And instead we get three albums, [00:45:00] maybe a taste of it. He resigned, but also had a solo album called bad for good. That is really good. If you want to give it a listen to, and that kind of stuff. My, my meatloaf concert experience, I hope you call him live. All giving as sweaty as like he remember when they used to do the thing with James Brown, where they’d like, he’d be just falling apart on stage and

[00:45:23] Stephen: weird Al parody that

[00:45:26] Alan: meatloaf did that.

He was all in by the end. You know what I mean? And he would actually, he was a big guy. He would sing the high notes, sing those harsh on the throat notes. And I don’t know how he recovered by the next day, a lot of tea and honey, whatever he did that he had that set a place that also could recover from the beating.

He gave them staying hard. I dunno. I really, when I put on that bed out of hell album, I know I’m going to have a great time for an hour. Every song is great. The lyrics

[00:45:59] Stephen: it’s one of those [00:46:00] albums that you can’t just take one or two hits and the rest is. Every second. I didn’t know any of those songs. So the album is the album to me, and yes, paradise by the dashboard lights.

I’ve heard way more on the radio, but I hear the other ones. And to me, it’s just the whole album. The part, where would you offer your throat to the Wolf? Under the pillow? And he goes, I bet you say that the all, and that’s what I loved about it because it’s humorous metal. It’s good, hard rock metal. And then it’s got a little bit twisted puns in the lyrics and it’s wonderful.


[00:46:40] Alan: Hats off to him. There’s cool. Weird L news, from what I understand, they’re doing a biopic of him because he’s also got like a, he’s got a fantastic career, right? He’s been around since the late seventies, I guess on Dr. Demento at first singles, then compiling it to albums and all manner of. How many great parodies, how many things, where the parody is [00:47:00] better than the song, his band able to play everything so authentic the same man, exactly the same night.

So it’s a Harry Potter, correct? Red cliff is going to weird Al and I, he must be a big fan. He must be like, if that role is available, agent put me up for it because I would love to be with that’s going to be very cool. I read a couple of videos of him, either one auto and one about him. And he really did have a very interesting lens, which is very smart guy.

He was about, you know what I mean? He, his career hasn’t always been great. There was a time when his style of parody had, the albums were selling less and less, and then he had a breakthrough, but was it with the last

one? He came out with Kurt Cobain of smells like teen spirit. And it’s and MTV wise, he was able to embrace that because his concerts, man, he was one of the hardest working men in rock and [00:48:00] roll. If you’re going to do parodies of various different songs and you really want to capture it, you got to

[00:48:03] Stephen: go and change the concert.

You got to go and change

[00:48:07] Alan: into Amish garb again. And he had the fat suit and stuff like that. So seeing

[00:48:13] Stephen: that he really put on, he has energy. I’ve seen him multiple times. I took my kids, at least once me and Collin are going to this next one, but he has so much energy. He changes costumes, great musicianship, and they do things on stage that are just fun and funny.

And I’ve never been to a show except weirdo where you can have a ten-year-old screaming, their guts out in front of you and have a nine year old lady with a Walker going down to the front row. Yes. I I’ve loved him forever. I’ve got cassettes of the first three albums, actually the first album I’ve got LP original.

And then the next two, I got cassette and there was a book that [00:49:00] came out at that time autobiography. And I’ve got that. And you can’t find that anywhere. I don’t even see it on Amazon or eBay most of the time. So very prized possession.

[00:49:10] Alan: Absolutely. Thanks for a couple of quick things. I do have his permanent record box set, which is a great one because it has so much of its good stuff.

I was an idiot and just at the time I didn’t have the money. He has a box that, that came out since then that’s in the accordion and I don’t have it. And honestly, I have many box sets and this is the one that I most. Why didn’t I find the money? Why didn’t I strike when the iron was hot, it was a gentle giant box that that’s like that too.

It’s 30 CDs and it could be everything I ever wanted. And now if I find it, it’s not 15 bucks, it’s $500 come a collector’s item. And I don’t know that I’ll ever get a chance to get my hands on it. But having said that another couple of quick, I remember going to, I lived in Chicago for a long time. Used to go up to Milwaukee for Summerfest.

They always had great band lineup and all the festival things to do. I can go get an elephant here with the [00:50:00] least nutritious thing in the whole place. I could get one of those. I went to see George Thoroughgood, who I love and totally sweating it up, enjoying all of his just bar brand rock and roll. And then I went to see retro Yankovic that same night and he blue door store.

And I love George Thorogood. And yet that was the first time that I saw weird Al. Th this is the biggest show I’ve ever seen, where it really isn’t just standing on it. Maybe while you’re playing songs, he was a Hollywood actor. He was just so accomplished and doing his like Ian Anderson on one leg, flute solo, who was fed.

It was him. It was like one leg behind his neck. Hopefully the accordion, the stomach sideway as Callie likes and just, I

[00:50:45] Stephen: was looking around everybody’s smiling, laughing their asses off, having a nice time. I would say. For entertainment concerts. Weird, Al is definitely on the same level as Barry Manilow.[00:51:00]

Barry Manilow is such a performers, such a professional. I’ve seen him three times. Every show was completely different. One time was with a big band. One time was just him in a small quartet and he played piano. And then one time was like big show stuff. And he did the weird out thing where he changed costumes and he did so every single one was different and those are fun.

I’ve seen guns and roses and Metallica. And those shows suck compared to these because it’s them standing on stage playing and maybe running to the corner to scream. And it’s just like,

[00:51:35] Alan: I can put a video backdrop and a lot of the lights, but it isn’t. And I

[00:51:41] Stephen: really like when they do shows and play. But it’s altered or changed or they do something different, not just here’s the album.

Cut. Okay. Next song. It’s I just the

[00:51:52] Alan: drummer listening to a click track so that it will be precise. It’s like, that’s not what I want. I want you guys to stretch out. I want you


[00:51:58] Stephen: play the music, not [00:52:00]

[00:52:00] Alan: recreate the album, if you know what I mean.

[00:52:02] Stephen: Absolutely. Very good. And Daniel Radcliffe, I think is so like you said, I’m betting, he jumped on this.

He had something to do with getting it pushed forward. Ever since Harry Potter, he definitely doesn’t rest on his hay. I’m a kid actor that everybody knows he’s done some wacky wild stuff and he can do whatever he wants. So maybe one of

[00:52:24] Alan: those guys I’ve heard an actor or an actress say something like what most do you take on things with.

I think it’s, they’re not sure they can do that. They’re not sure they’re right for it, but they want to be always expanding, learning, doing something new. And he definitely has made very interesting choices as to what he’s got

[00:52:39] Stephen: involved. So young is what, early thirties now, and you don’t hear him on TMZ with getting drunk or beating somebody up or crashing his $500,000 car.

[00:52:52] Alan: It really does seem to be an artist. You know what I mean? Like really enjoying his stuff and thanking the universe for thanks for this chance. I’m looking forward to that, that [00:53:00] that gets segue time. Helene and I, we really love documentary besides of course we love fiction, but it’s really cool that the way the world is now is that they’re doing a lot of good documentaries about, oh man, before we lose this person, let’s make sure that we capture all about Ella Fitzgerald.

All about David Foster. We just saw great David Foster, one ELA as well. We just saw. And the reason that someone like David Foster has worked with all kinds of great people. So while you’re watching it, you’re like this wonderful nostalgia boat of, I remember when that came out, I remember how that was like what a breakthrough that was that what a great voice, no wonder.

He said, I have to work with her because I need to be in her life. I need, like, there are some people that are then golly about that kind of stuff, but instead they really seem to be enabler and that they just want to be Clive Davis was really good at the man with the golden ears, picking out the songs, the perfect person to sing a song.

He’d matched people. He’s the one that says Santana. You’ve had a wonderful career, but if you really want to rev it up again, because your [00:54:00] record sales are also falling off, we need to get you in with some of these young vocalists you on your fantastic guitar work. But a little bit of the supernatural album came out, remember, and it’s 10 different guests, vocalists, and like seven of them made it into the top 10 because the songs are different sounds and textures.

And so because of the. But man having the whole world become aware of that Santana guitar again was fantastic. He’s one of the best guitarists of all time. So I love those kinds of things where it’s smaller. I didn’t know he was involved in that. Sometimes it’s not a retreading of things I already knew.

It was like, huh. That’s where that came from. They were in a party together, said, Hey, we should work together. Is the HSP a pleasantry? They went into the studio.

[00:54:43] Stephen: The album of a year. And you said you watched the ZZ top documentary. I had, that’s what I heard. I had a musician friend that said, Hey, I just watched the ZZ top documentary.

It was awesome. So I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s been on my list. [00:55:00] And it’s funny because I like ZZ top that bluesy Southern rock feel. But I’ve had several people who have seen them in concert say that they’re really boring, that they just stand on stage, play the songs and they move on and they don’t even watch the videos in the eighties.

But I heard that the documentary was great.

[00:55:19] Alan: It’s funny. I love this other people are accomplished artists because they have great songs and they have good selling albums and stuff. But to hear them be articulate about their music and why they love playing it and also other people’s music that they like, or what do they call their, their predecessors, who were their influencers and stuff like that.

They have great interviews with all three members of the band. What was going on while you were doing this, you know what, we’re not only in a, kind of a hysterical high points and low points. It was, they were very thoughtful about how they talked about who knew it would turn into this who knew that we would have this ongoing they’re like longest [00:56:00] running trio, 50 years long as rush, longer than rush longer than ELP two or three ELP are dead.

Only Billy Gibbons, unfortunately, I think is now gone, but it just was, I really liked their music and I had it. It was fun to see how level-headed they remained it. Wasn’t like, Hey, last album didn’t sell. As well as the previous one time to drop into drugs and Frank Beard. Might’ve had a little bit of a problem for a while with that.

What do you do when you have 22 hours out of the day that you’re not rocking maybe a little bit too much drinking, drugging, whatever, but he also had. Fortitude to pull himself back from that. St. Do I love drugs more than I love playing with my best friends? Do I love that more than creating this beautiful music?

No. So it’s a tale of triumph and, but that isn’t even the focus of the movie is he made it back. It was just one of the things that they had to make as bad. So it really is fun to go back to those trestle brace and they have great albums. And then the MTV world

[00:56:59] Stephen: who [00:57:00] knew ZZ top would be an MTV bubble thing.

Right. I would have thought that they

[00:57:05] Alan: were just like, they’re on stage and they might have a Buffalo and a vulture with them. Cause that was their Texas got a little, little bit from Texas. And yet they had, they hooked up with the right producers and stuff like that to have these cool visions of the eliminator car and the beautiful ladies that are giving a young guy a break.

And it just, I don’t know, man, I, they have a whole bunch of in the right place at the right time, but they didn’t even really know that at the time they were incredibly low. What were jerks about how lucky they were. They were like, isn’t this fun, isn’t this cool. Let’s sell. Let’s make a multi-platinum album out of if he’s got legs and struck this man,

[00:57:44] Stephen: and I could be wrong, we’ll look this up later.

But I think my laying was involved with eliminator. We talked about him couple of weeks ago. That might be,

[00:57:53] Alan: I can find it. I don’t remember that name specifically being mentioned, but they have worked with sometimes just that a [00:58:00] producer will show up and say, David Foster worked with Celine Dion. You know what I mean?

And whatever it was that he discovered her relatively early. And so he doesn’t really remember her husband slash manager slash Sonali really was done for the next kind of 30 years in her life. And I think that he died. And so she’s starting a new course in her life, but I love when you hear artists talk about other artists in a way of respect.

And I wish I had that voice. I wish I could do what they do. You know what I mean? Th they just have some segments. Stephen Colbert does. I think he calls the questionnaire ERT cause it’s cold. And he just asked, did we already talk about this? I lose track of week to week Keanu Reeves, like who have you asked for an autograph pianos?

Like very recognizable. The whole world loves him, et cetera, et cetera. And if I remember right, one of them was George Carlin that he, like, he’s not known for being a funny guy. Maybe bill and Ted are funny movies, but that’s the guy that he just so much loved his work and it was on the set of one of the bill [00:59:00] and Ted movies.

So it’s a little bit weird to be like what a star and you’re at the secondary. I really would love your autograph, sir, because you shaped me as a human being. That’s cool to hear who are the people like, who are you happy to meet? You know what I mean? Who do a duet with? It’s very cool to see that mutual appreciation.

[00:59:18] Stephen: I remember one of the behind the scenes on the force awakens, when that movie came out and they showed John Boyega showing up on set with a 12 inch Han solo doll, it like begging it was important to sign it in a Harrison Ford has always hated that he’s never gotten into it. Doesn’t want to do it. He’s off.

I got it. Are you kidding me? He was like, oh

[00:59:40] Alan: exactly. By the way, I should mention the other guy so that we won’t get all that we could get. We could generate traffic on the net by who was the other guy was a Lou Reed. Oh, move, read from your village underground stuff. And just find interesting choices where people that really are winners.

There’s nobody else that [01:00:00] does stuff like they do, and that they will, I can see how their formative of what Kiano has done with his life. I’m sorry, Mr. Rio. I shouldn’t someone, somebody just asks the question online, but what thing was people, have you ever talked to? And honestly, it was so easy for me to say, talk to Stan Lee.

I’ve talked to Rick Wakeman, I’ve talked. I had a list of 10 and I didn’t have to stop, but I just stopped because it seemed a little bit like a soccer, but it really was, my interests are so wide and I’ve been the kinds of things you go to. It’s not like going to a Hollywood premiere where you’re not allowed to go on the red carpet when you go to a Comic-Con, they at least right there.

So it was Ray Bradbury. So are the giants of the comic book and the movie industry. I got a chance to talk to him. Bo’s older because he was on a Mitsubishi. You know what I mean? It’s just really cool to have had these opportunities. So I guess that’s my kind of, I don’t know that it’s mutual appreciation.

They don’t know me from Adam, but it’s very nice to be able to say, man, love your work. Love how much you’ve added to my life, to how you formed me as a human being. I just, it’s very nice to have a chance to [01:01:00] say that, especially before we lose people stands now gone. And so I’m very happy that I had a chance to say, man, Your worldview really, besides my parents is one of my biggest influences of superhero and responsibility and things like that.

So very cool to hear other people have that even big stars themselves.

[01:01:19] Stephen: And you mentioned Lou Reed, that album escapes me. The one with dirty Boulevard. A friend of mine played that album for me and that’s on particularly. And it was so different for me at the time, young 13 or whatever. And his music was just, I don’t apologetic.

You hear that thrown around at times, but it really was. He didn’t try and fit in any style. He didn’t try and be the big mega star. And, but those kind of musicians in the know people have discerning tastes gravitated towards a lot of his stuff. Oh, it is

[01:01:56] Alan: appropriate for him. Someone once said about, I think about Lou [01:02:00] Reed, that it was, he might not be everybody’s favorite.

But he’s the guy that formed more other bands than anybody else that, that caused other bands to form that people listen to. Lou Radian said, I need to do, I got something to say, but I mean like his music is not so complex that I have become a virtual also, but just that how many people heard him call my three best friends at this point were abandoned.

We’re going to get a gig. You know

[01:02:23] Stephen: what I mean? It’s happy days with all the offshoot TV shows,

[01:02:28] Alan: I guess like that. Exactly. Some people, we are the progenitors, even if they didn’t intend to be that person, but what you just said, unapologetic authentic. You know what I mean? Like that the whole point of punk in so many ways was, yeah, anybody can do this.

You know what I mean? I have a good friend, Greg, but we often, because Croghan Hong Kong. Almost like opposite ends of the spectrum though. Not really because Robert fruit has a foot in both camps, if you will, but it’s very cool to hear that idea of authenticity. And it’s still an important thing. It’s not a matter of virtue, also [01:03:00] musicianship, but it really is to do, I think they’re just going through the motions or is this something that they created music that I don’t care what the rest of the world thinks of it?

I had to do this. I had to get it out of me. I had to make this thing exist. And that’s a very common thing in both of those great disparate camp. And I think that there’s a lot of that selling out. It was one of the biggest insults that you could give to any punk person. You know what I mean? All of a sudden I’m hearing your song, selling Cadillacs.

What the hell happened to you, Johnny? You know what I mean? You can’t have the sex pistols become an institution. You have to have them all as being the rebel and

[01:03:34] Stephen: the sex pistols. I mentioned documentaries and stuff, and I don’t think it was a full sex pistols documentary. They really essentially were the punk boy band.

They were formed with the thought in mind of being the rebels, the punks and all that. And

[01:03:50] Alan: he was there kind of

[01:03:52] Stephen: is at who was behind the scenes. Yeah, because even Johnny rotten, that was his stage persona. Just [01:04:00] like Alice Cooper. I remember hearing I was Cooper interview. He’s sitting in the interview, no makeup and stuff, and he looks scary enough on his own.

So that’s okay. But he’s saying his people just don’t get it. That this is a performance. This is my stage persona. It’s not who I am in real life. He’s I’ll have people like I’ll wake up in the morning and there’s a group of people camping on my front lawn, all in full makeup. And I come out with a cup of coffee in a bathroom.

They’re like, we’re here to see all this Cooper’s yeah. Get off my lawn. He drives it like that. But that’s how the sex pistols started out really because, oh man, I don’t remember where it was. I read or a show or whatever. He did other music, uh, totally different than that, because that was just, I’m making money and having fun really.

And this is the job, but so

[01:04:50] Alan: there’s any number of bands that doesn’t even take makeup, Alice Cooper or kiss there’s any number of people that didn’t Garth Brooks become another persona because they wanted to create rock and [01:05:00] the country. Great jacket of being Garth Brooks was so tight. What was the name of the guy he

[01:05:06] Stephen: didn’t sell at

[01:05:07] Alan: all?

Because people felt betrayed instead of we’ll let them go experiment. This was some people get away with it because they really do hide themselves. And another group, David Bowie, as much as he was David Bowie Marquis name, he went and did it machine for half a dozen albums because he wanted to be in a band.

Not Ambien. I’ll leave the songwriter though. The

[01:05:26] Stephen: guy, everything. That’s some weird stuff. I love it. Oh yeah. I’ve got

[01:05:33] Alan: it really is. I put that on with, I haven’t heard this in a while and I’m going to be surprised even though I’ve already heard it. Oh yeah. A whole bunch of cool, weird things

[01:05:40] Stephen: going on.

There’s not a light ear wigs that you just hum and sing to yourself.

[01:05:46] Alan: Guitarist was really interesting and experiment.

[01:05:50] Stephen: Another band I discovered very similar was Stuart Copeland drummer from the police and basis, a really famous jazz [01:06:00] basis, which of course is escaping me at the moment. I’ll look it up, put it in the show notes, but, and then a female singer and they formed a group called animal logic and I got it.

And just some wonderful stuff. The thing is that they have, I don’t know if they don’t have the license or whatever, but the original album did not get into the day’s world. So you can’t buy it anywhere on digital. You can only buy old UCDS. So the band actually got together and rerecorded the whole album and put it back out.

It’s a rerecord remaster or something like that, but it’s weird. It’s one of those things like you hear those bands that redo old twenty-five year old songs, and you’re waiting for certain beats in the tune, certain notes, how they hit it on the guitar and then the catching the throat or whatever. And it’s not the same.

So it sounds off.

[01:06:55] Alan: Yeah. You know what a sad Testament to the rip patience [01:07:00] nature of the music industry that certain artists even really being was like Taylor swift have had to rerecord their material to reclaim it, but they were young and signed a bad contract and thous they’re in somebody else’s clutches.

Nope. I found a way out. All I gotta do is remake this album and I reopened my material. This version of it. Maybe that’s why it’s slightly different. You have to make it a different enough versions. It’s new and that maybe somebody else would want to buy it. Not only in support of them, but because there’s additional cuts or whatever, but that’s not an uncommon story now.

What are you doing exactly? How weird is that

[01:07:34] Stephen: we’ve been going. But before we go, you’ve mentioned that the F Paul Wilson, it’s funny. I was talking to somebody else on an interview Sunday for discovered wordsmith. And he mentioned one of his favorite authors is F Paul Wilson. And so I was like, ah, just talking about that.

And you said the third book gets even better.

[01:07:50] Alan: Yeah. So a bunch of things here, one of the reasons I’ve always loved F Paul Wilson is he did the repairman Jack books and the adversary cycle. And there’s a whole bunch of cool stuff going on with [01:08:00] personal relationships, as well as this big backdrop of cosmic forces that are good and evil or dark and light or whatever you want to call them.

But this series, the ice and ice stands for intrusive cosmic entities. And so they’re there one of the theories of the, one of the protagonists, Rick Hayden in the book. That there really are big things out there and they just do things to screw with humanity. Like we’re an experiment, like how about if I make something that’s unnatural exist in this world?

And then how will people react to it? Will they understand it? Where they try to control it? Will they be afraid of it and whatever else it might be. And so these books have been relatively good. The first two were introducing some of those things. In one case, the book is called panacea. It’s that cure all that really does cure any disease in ways that modern science, that medicine cannot explain.

And yet what impact would that have, who would try to control it? What are the people that get miraculously cured? Are they going to be almost owned it for show me how you did that so that we can also cure [01:09:00] multiple sclerosis or whatever else it might be. Um, the third book is called the void protocol and another thing that’s great about alcohol Wilson is he’s really good at being able to perspective.

While your you’re in the heads of you’re listening to the dialogue between the two main protagonists and then the people that are trying to pursue them and catch them, he’ll switch to them and actually from their point of view. So there’s that first, second, third person thing, not only always from the main character in the book, but from other people, like where would I look for them to find them and what will I do with them when I catch them and like that little bit of ending into people’s heads and emotions and fears and triumphs and failures, it really is very cool to give all those different perspectives, especially he’s really good at five different forces are coming together.

And by giving you the perspective of here’s the victim, here’s the pursuer, here’s the cop. Here’s the, it’s really cool to how I like rush Rashomon, or you see the same events from multiple different viewpoints. [01:10:00] He’s really good at building that up into this really good tense collision of all those things.

So I really liked him for that. And this third book introduces the idea of there’s this a substance that doesn’t obey the laws of physics and scientists can’t leave well enough alone and they start, we measure it and it doesn’t weigh anything, but it does move, but they actually, and this is just like what they injected into moms, pregnant moms to see what it’s going to do to their kids and to make them smarter.

Is it going to make up? And at first I think that’s what it’s going to be. That it’s going to be a matter of hyper intelligence. They practice the kids know they’re not doing any differences. Oh field experiment. And as well, there’s sadly a precedence with Tuskegee airmen or whatever else it might be that were experimented on without their knowledge.

And what goat, what corporation, what governmental body who would do this kind of evil stuff, X Nazi scientists. That’s a good start. And then, but then as it turns out, as they get to puberty, what other chemicals angels are going on in their body, or go through stressful things. And that’s the time moderate [01:11:00] superhero trope of you don’t know your power until it really matters.

You got to fight for your life or save somebody else’s. And so now they’re exhibiting extraordinary powers. What an interesting tie into fringe, which I just recommended, cause I’m just lapping it up like cream. So very cool about what if these things really did happen, that there was a little bit of telekinesis and a little bit of like teleportation or whatever else might.

That’s what’s happening now is there’s a whole bunch of adolescents and maybe young adults who all have their own personal issues, passions, or whatever else it might be. But now they’re exhibiting these powers and are they going to benefit from it or is the government going to take them and make them into a military force or as a society?

Now it’s not the scientists that experimented on them that thought what a full blown possibility. Now they’re realizing, wow, there really is something there. I better go capture them. I really want to find out what happened. And it’s really a good pressure cooker. It’s got a great set. There’s like moves around.

So there’s great descriptions of various different places. Of course, the [01:12:00] bunker under the pine barons in West Virginia, by just by to page one of those things that like every time I’m reading at night, and then when I get to where, okay. I just realized that I didn’t remember what I just read. So time to go to sleep.

Oh, but I’m really at a good part brain. Why are you comping out on me now? So highest recommendation. He’s written things like nobody else has taught Paul Wilson. I don’t know. Claim in the science fiction, fantasy urban fantasy, a horror like science, horror, thrillers type stuff. I’ve actually got like 20 books out.

So he’s had a good career. He’s got good bestselling books, but you don’t hear his name often mentioned in that Pantheon of the Stephen Kings and the microwave.

[01:12:45] Stephen: But I had, I went and looked and several of the authors I’ve interviewed on my wordsmith podcast have mentioned him as one of their favorite authors.

So there’s enough people that know I’m [01:13:00] definitely on my list, shortlist of next books to buy and speaking of books to buy our, a friend, uh, bill Keith had another book come out recently, uh, beginning of December.

[01:13:12] Alan: Yeah. It’s a funny approach. We’re looking now for bill Keith books. He writes under a pseudonym, mostly multiple pseudonyms maybe, but like he’s written.

If the books mostly are, what would you call it? Like military. Exactly. Maybe some historic rejiggering, but really good stuff. Boy, you know what I’ll have to. So when his next book or two come out, I’ll have to mention something cool to see if that really happens because he just, he’s a very dear friend.

He and I have the same birthday. We’ve been through some of the same, like atrial fibrillation, every time. One of those guys that we didn’t know each other from Adam at the first Spencer meeting we were at together. And yet you sit down and you just start talking and it’s easy and you have so much in common and it’s just a delight.

So then [01:14:00] after that you seek out his company, all the people you just say, oh wait, I have my wonderful hour was bill. And I think he thinks the same way of me, which is like hats off. He’s an accomplished. And yet he wants to

[01:14:11] Stephen: talk to me, not pretentious at all. My best story with bill is that when I first met him, so I had just gotten into Mensa.

And part of the reason I wanted to even try was because my kids were not in the Scouts and I wanted some organization and I’m like, okay, my cousins, Dan and Rob have gone to Mensa their whole lives and love it. So I got in and the very first thing I could find was the RG at Pennsylvania. But it was canceled and they, and I went, oh crap.

Then they decided to do it at bill and Brie, his house. They did a small little one and I’m like, I emailed Bria and said, Hey, I knew, I don’t know you. Uh, I saw this was coming up and I’m really trying to get to an event. Can we comment? She was like, yeah, [01:15:00] sure. So I’m like, okay, great. We’re going to these people’s houses for whatever an RG is.

Cause I have no idea

[01:15:05] Alan: if they could fit a lot of people there.

[01:15:07] Stephen: So we walk in and it was so funny because my kids walk in and they like, uh, because the walls are lined with books and then bills. I’ll go ahead. If you all read something, go ahead. And my kids, are you kidding me? I didn’t see them flowers.

They just explored. And so I hear bill and his lady talking and I hear Stephen King and they mentioned a few things. I said, well, just to throw my 2 cents in. Then I gave my opinion and thoughts and all this, and they’re listening and conversation. And then later Paul was there and he says, Hey, Bill’s a famous author.

I’m like what? He’s like, yeah. He’s written like 50 scifi books. He takes me around the corner. He’s like, he’s written all these. I’m like, oh my God, like full-time famous author. I just gave my author opinion and I haven’t written anything, but still

[01:15:54] Alan: the, I think that he’s hungry for that. He doesn’t want people to phone over him and be like, I [01:16:00] wonder how many times he’s had that one.

Fly on the wall conversation where people talk about him, that is his authorship of these various different books. And they don’t know they’re talking to the real author. Hopefully they loved him, but there must be times where it’s spoiled. I liked it, but I held it derivative author. Assholeness I think that’s very cool.

When you get a chance to get like a real opinion, the authenticity that we just talked,

[01:16:25] Stephen: and I know we call him with the school. His freshman year, he started making friends. They called themselves the nerds of the round table and they were just chatting. And these really worthy top of the line nerds at the school.

And this was a very science-y techie school with everybody really pushing themselves. And they’re just chatting around and congos. Oh yeah. There’s this one author bill Keith. He, I stayed at his house at two of these. Our kids like fell out, but I go, my God, he’s one of my favorite authors and they have every book and they’re like, oh, are you kidding me?

He goes, yeah, I know. Sorry. [01:17:00]

[01:17:00] Alan: No just that it’s wonderful to have had this chance to make friends sometimes with who knew that we would happen to be at the same table. And just that sometimes there’s people like we’ve known each other forever, but we’ve only known each other for five minutes. It’s very cool to have that wonderful initial rapport.

You know what I

[01:17:14] Stephen: mean? So real quick, before we go, we just finished the second season of the boys. Did you watch all of that? Oh yeah, they’re great. They’re great.

[01:17:23] Alan: In the way of someone who really understands superheroes. And if you want to push this as far as you can go, if you want to talk about where there really is, superiors are not necessarily mentally stable.

Governments are not necessarily your friend, et cetera, et cetera. Corporations are getting their hands into everything and they want to own people. And it speaks to all of that, to that. Who’s trying to do the right thing and just continually supported. Who’s selling out a little bit at a time until they don’t recognize who they’ve become.

There’s all kinds of great superheroes, celebrity crossover,

[01:17:58] Stephen: every episode, there [01:18:00] was something that happened. That just went over the line and took it way past the limit something. And it could’ve just been, sometimes it may have just been a sex scene. A lot of times it was something very destructive and it was always, oh my God.

It just, every episode, there was something that Gina would hide her eyes and she’s looking at me like that just really happened. And it’s just crazy. And, okay, so one of the actors in there was also on supernatural Jim beaver, uh, and the character he had on there was Robert singer who was one of the producers on supernatural and Jim beavers character on supernatural was Bobby because of Robert singer.

And yeah, they named the Crip key cause Eric was part of both of them and I, this next season, we had to finish it up because in a few months, season three is coming with Jensen Eckles. And speaking of tying it back to our earlier [01:19:00] conversation, me and Gina, I’ve had an art. ’cause, we’re not really sure if Jensen Eckles car ever breaks down in front of our house, who would fond over him the most.

We’re not sure which one of those it would be. So

[01:19:13] Alan: I remember watching that show early and this is really cool, but it’s going to be one of those syndicated. Maybe it’ll make it three seasons and I’m going to be sad because the other plot lines are not going to get wrapped up. What? I just recommended fringe.

That was somebody’s first question was, does it come to a conclusion? Because there have been so many shows that were just like, man, they built this whole world and there were all these things going on. It just got dropped on the floor. Yeah. And so luckily fringe does come to a relatively satisfying conclusion as supernatural went on far longer than anybody ever expected.

It would, it wasn’t it like TBS or FX. I’m trying to think it was even like, if you will see exactly that. And so what a wonderful goldmine, these guys who were like, sounds like a pretty good show. I’ve got a couple of good years out of this. I get to go [01:20:00] be in the Pacific Northwest or wherever it was filmed.

I think that’s where it was instead of turned into

[01:20:03] Stephen: career making cool because is from Toledo. So there’s a lot of Ohio references in there and that’s why the Impala, most of the time has an open license

[01:20:15] Alan: plate because it does, it helps to make things scoop here. If they’re happening in the Midwest where it’s nothing happens there, that’s not a hotbed of Selectric activity or a satanic activity or anything like that.

I was a pleasure. Thank you for posting the last couple of things. I think we’re hitting our stride. These have been wonderful and informative and happy and fun. And I just, I really is, has been a

[01:20:39] Stephen: pleasure to work with you,

[01:20:39] Alan: Stephen. And it’s a pleasure to do this every week. I’m building a very cool thing here.

[01:20:44] Stephen: This is a lot of good stuff I need to listen. And we’re, I’ve been looking into the t-shirt thing, cause I also want to get t-shirts for the horror podcast and have them online and link it all together. So it’s, and it’s just, uh, been one of those things that [01:21:00] I’m like, okay, I take a few minutes and then something else happens, but I would love to be offering some nerd t-shirt we

[01:21:07] Alan: got to have merged where, when we make our, you know, when we, if we’re going to Dayton is having an RG end of March.

And if we want to do a simulcast, they’re defending Houma Cron. And of course everything else. Boy, if we had merged to offer at the table for the first time,

[01:21:22] Stephen: that would be sweet. We could get relentless geekery t-shirts at least.

[01:21:28] Alan: That title I stand by. That was a great title for even though just pop out. I would wear that without having any context to it.

I am that guy. That’s not,

[01:21:38] Stephen: I’m gonna do your other one. I’m never as nerdery or I’m never as near, we

[01:21:43] Alan: think we did have any number of other prospects. They were just the right phrases for what you’re trying to do here. We cover a lot of ground and delighted, you know what I mean? Okay.

[01:21:55] Stephen: Yeah.

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