We love it when our conversations tie together, and today it all comes down to the user experience. It starts with the simple things in the OS. There are things that can be improved, especially in Linux.
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[00:00:37] Alan: the position and the size and the font and the whatever else you do to tune it to you. Especially, I used to do that a lot where I really wanted it to look just like what I wanted it to look on my desktop or in various different window sets and stuff. And if you do all that work and then they take it away from you, it’s like, you just wasted my time.
That’s a cost. Don’t lose data. Don’t waste my time.
[00:00:55] Stephen: I used, I used to do that, but I ended up having. [00:01:00] So many different combinations of different windows, depending on what I’m doing, that I would choose the spot for this, but then I opened up and it covers it up. So I ended up moving things around anyway, but let me tell you, as well as I do, two monitors is really the way to go if you’re doing any type of real work in development.
[00:01:17] Alan: Absolutely. And in fact, that’s the exact, what I have and they’re both big. So it really is. I know I’ve read multiple times that multitasking is really a less efficient way to do things. And if you just single focus. If you’re the equivalent of on-call, you need to be able to monitor what’s going on for multiple input sources and not have a buried under other things.
And that’s what I usually do is here’s my calendar and messages, window and whatever else it might be. And I don’t keep glancing at them. It’s I’m distracted, but they’re there so that when they alert me, so it’s that fine tune between don’t let your, don’t distract yourself, but have it available to you when somebody needs to get through.
[00:01:52] Stephen: and there’s still things that have to process, but like the podcast, the audio, when I export it, it can take two and a half [00:02:00] minutes, which doesn’t seem long unless you have a to-do list. That’s a mile long. I literally have had audacity export in something with the video editor, also exporting to the format for YouTube.
And I checked my email and I got code up here. So it’s bouncing back and forth at times. Cause. Yeah.
[00:02:21] Alan: In fact, I just got a book called beautiful code. That is about how coders work and how they know what they’re doing it. Then one of the things that really struck me is I mentioned that’s a very personal thing.
I know that how I like to have things on screen when I’m in coding mode and I have a development and a test and a production environment, and I have one database monitor on and whatever else might be going on, web stuff, a CPU monitoring, all the things. I really like to have them in a certain place on my screen, because I want my eyes to go to what I’m mostly working on.
But then the alert should be where it should be. I don’t know how to say that. Like after you’ve played with it a little bit and you get to where you like to respond the right amount and you don’t want to panic, but you don’t want to miss it. [00:03:00] I really am. And if anything, just even whether it’s on the left or the right, where do I glance when I’m typing?
I want it to be front and center, but if what you’re anyway, it’s, there must be some psychological insight as to how people arrange things. When they really do have to have half a dozen windows open on their screen. And how do they do that? Uh, drummer having a drum kit. Once you expand beyond your standard eight piece or whatever like that, when you seal see how Neil Peart or Carl Palmer or Keith Boone had their drum kits set up, they really had a very specific set of here’s where I want my main Tom Toms and my high hat and my Hollis.
You know what I mean? If that’s how you say that, I’d never said that out loud before. It, it just, it’s that little thing where you run a drum stick across and it goes, it’s like little hanging bars. So I that’s really a cool thing. Like they must have experimented with that. And then they had a rebuilt. So that put these things exactly the same way you choke.
I don’t want my drum tech to be off by an inch. I’m not hitting the [00:04:00] sweet spot. I really need to have it that I’m going into unthinking mode while I play. And everything has to be where you expect it in order to be able to do that.
[00:04:10] Stephen: I’ve been talking about this for a year now, upgrading. And I just out of the blue said, you know what, maybe I’ll see what I can do to get a three monitor set up.
And it’s not necessarily the, Ooh, look at me on three monitors. That’s a little bit of it. Okay. But I find with the two, I’ve got them at an angle and I’m glancing between them all the time with a three, I can shift that. Keep the main, like you said, main stuff focused, flat on and periphery stuff, email music player on the sides.
[00:04:41] Alan: Exactly. That’s all I have. I’m looking right at my main screen, which is, um, a big, I dunno, 25, 26 inches. I’m turning it off. And my slightly smaller screen is that a here’s my main screen. And then this guy is at this angle. And if, when I get a third one, it will be like this little square wraparound thing.
Even like car instrumentation is like that too, man, when you get into [00:05:00] a rental car and for a while, when I was traveling, I got into. In a minute, you could see these guys have never driven with anybody, but the most standard five, eight man in a car, if you’re any shorter or taller, then all of a sudden the crossbar of your steering wheel is cutting off your speedometer.
And yet both Colleen and I being roped in some unusual size, she being five and
[00:05:23] Stephen: my ends of the spectrum.
[00:05:26] Alan: Absolutely we right. And just like, how do you reach for things it should wrap around you instead of the further you get to the right and the further you have to reach and the more you have to looking over there and all of a sudden there’s the truck.
So there’s, and it’s funny. I hadn’t, I mentioned last time, one of the things I wanted to cover, and this is a perfect segue into that. There’s a guy named Donald Norman who has written a number of great books about design, about human centered design, about the psychology of design. And in fact, I think his first book used to be called the design of everyday things.
[00:06:00] And then the second edition that they changed it to the psychology of everyday. Because it goes into like really great design. Does that anything from Jonathan, Ivy, from apple makes it that it’s not only perfect utility, but it like feels right, right under on your desk. It invites you and Norman goes into all kinds of here’s examples of bad design.
And, and it’s almost like the stereotype. Here’s a door that you’re not sure whether you should push or pull the kind of bar that it has. Doesn’t invite either one of those it’s anonymous. And I think if I remember right on the cover of the book, it has a steam kettle where if you pour it, the steam will go on.
Your hand is positioned exactly foolishly for a potentially dangerous situation. He’s really insightful about going into all kinds of good and bad examples. And honestly, the first edition was published like 40 years ago. So there are some companies that embrace that and you can tell things that are beautiful, things that you want to have forever.
They fit your hand, the perfect [00:07:00] life, whatever else it might be. And we are still surrounded by how many times did you stood in a store and pick up a tool that said, this is an invitation to injury. This is just it’s wrong. Be balanced. It’s like where you plug it in his, in his shirt, a
[00:07:12] Stephen: tangle. What are we thinking when they do this?
I got a Darth Vader. Come on. Our wars toaster. It puts her the head on the toes. That’s perfect. Isn’t it? That’s wonderful. Sitting on the counter, Darth Vader’s head, you know, it looked great, except all the controls are on the back. His head was on the front, so we had to turn it. So the head’s facing the wall just to use the damn toaster and the slots were super thin only for slice bread.
Homemade bread bagels. Nope. Forget it.
[00:07:45] Alan: Yeah. And in fact, even like for computers, you would think, I dunno, I put all my, I like where my cords are on the back of the machine and I gathered them so that they’re not dangling where I can kick them out or get caught or anything like that. But there are some things that if you are regularly plugging in or out in USB things, you want at least [00:08:00] one of those ports hard drive on your monitor or whatever else, it might be.
Some people have caught onto that. And some people they over-designed and say, no, that’ll ruin the aesthetic of it. I want this to be the perfect glass slate, and I’m not going to have anything disturbing it. Then you’ve lost a utility or they’ll put the court on the bottom of the monitor. You mean where it’ll fall right out, where if you don’t have whatever that the engineering is, so that it’s nice and tight, but not.
It’s just the weirdest thing, the compromises or the decisions that people make, where it’s like, that’s not gonna work. Long-term, that’s tough, I think to
[00:08:32] Stephen: do. And yet that’s why you buy a powered USB hub, keep on the corner of your desk.
[00:08:37] Alan: And, and I exactly, it’s funny. Some things there’s a whole philosophy of this essence, which comes first essence or existence.
Is it utility that drives things to exist or do we give things utility based on it? And I’m mixing. What’s really going on there, but in computer things, it really is. I don’t really, I have no need for everything to look beautiful. As long as it has great utility, [00:09:00] I plugged to stay plugged in. I want the power cord to be obvious that, to where it goes and no danger.
No, it doesn’t get tangled with anything. It’s
[00:09:08] Stephen: we talked about that with Linux, that how they’ve come a long way, but compared to apple and even Microsoft windows. Th the usability, it’s just, there’s certain things that’s like, really? I’ve got to do that. I install the program. I do all these great things, open it up and it’s like, where’s the close button?
Where’s the menu. It’s not normal. Or it looks different. It’s like that. And I can get that because my brain’s a developer brain it’s on off logical analytical. Okay. Look at all this great function we have. Oh yeah. But it looks like crap. Who cares? We’ve got great function.
[00:09:42] Alan: Exact all the classic overloading of you can’t have one button serve six purposes.
It’s not being obvious what mode it’s in for you to be able to do what’s right. In fact, it’s segway. Day-to-day I think I mentioned, I really wanted to talk about Roku today because I just had one of the best experiences of my. Wow. So [00:10:00] here’s a problem to be solved Coleen and I love watching the Olympics.
Winter Olympics are coming up, starting Friday was the opening ceremonies, but already like today is curling in the past. We’ve had to deal with mostly this. See, I can’t do that. You can do the button. I can only do the hotdog
[00:10:17] Stephen: to curl my tongue now an Olympic sport. So
[00:10:23] Alan: there, I know that people talk about that, of all the things that are otherwise genetic markers and what color your eyes, the tongue roll is you can, or you can’t, you like lack the muscle nerve, whatever.
But anyway, we have in the past been trapped too. If we don’t get like ESPN and pay out the wazoo in order to be able to watch it, because they’ve probably. 20 years. They’ve tried various different packages and bundles of you can watch everything every single hour. And now you’re going to do it. If it’s not on network TV, it’s at least on where you could DVRs.
And then if you wanted to watch every beach, volleyball game or whatever else, somebody that’s the stuff that usually goes on at two in the morning. I [00:11:00] take it back. That’s often on primetime because Hey, near naked. But anyway, it, um, we have tried to watch it gives network TV going to be enough. And that means you’re sitting in front of your TV from eight to 11 east coast time every night.
And do you get inundated with the worst advertising in the world? We already object to when we wash our wheel of fortunate, our jeopardy and nowadays Ohio was going through without with the election. How many, 10 months away? Garbage lying evil ads about that later, too. But it just is, I don’t want to invite that into my life.
There’s no way on network TV to turn that off, unless you get a DVR like TiVo or something like that, then it’d be able to fast forward through them. So I started to explore this or we’re going to solve that by, I got the latest and greatest ultra. So inexpensive the life changing functionality that this has, I already have a Samsung smart [00:12:00] TV and it already has apps for all different kinds of what we most want for Netflix, for Amazon, for Hulu, et cetera, et cetera.
Every one of those has slightly different interface. So they never got the news on, Hey, interface guidelines would say, if you want your users to be happy, make it that they’re similar enough so that you’re never having to hesitate as to how do I get back from here? How do I page around? I only have a remote.
I really need to be able to handle that without the usual mouse or keyboard. Some have done it really nicely. Others. I also remember from a couple of times, one of the reasons that I kept my Netflix password short and foolishly couple was because Netflix had problems probably every year where it would say, Hey, we need you to verify who you are, putting your Netflix password.
If you’re trying to put in a 30 character password with a remote on the keyboard, that doesn’t look like 40 people. But if you make a single mistake, I think you usually can’t back off of it, but it’s just painstaking and, and terrible. Oh, I [00:13:00] was expecting that same terrible experience by going to Roku all the work pains that I had put into making sure that my Amazon was set up, set up nowadays, they have with them, instead of having to enter your password, you can actually say, Hey, use your phone or your laptop.
Go to the web, put into netflix.com/activate. It shows you a code on screen. You type it in here. It’s on your same wifi network. It has its own individual address. So we can talk to the telephone. Netflix makes sure that it doesn’t get confused about what Samsung TV I have. So it really does talk correctly and store correctly and all the kind of stuff and seven different things that I added.
That’s the weird thing to say seven different things. But I don’t know. As I’ve mentioned before, I have currently the free version of Disney plus go max, et cetera. But instead of it being that painstaking, my God, I’m going to put in my designed to be unbreakable password seven, eight different times with this painstaking stupid.
No, it was easy. In fact, it was so easy. Then you go browsing amongst the channels and saying, I [00:14:00] don’t currently have hoopla on my TV, but now I can add hoopla. I could add PBS things that are free instead of being prepaid. And what I always anticipated being honestly like a whole Sunday afternoons work I was done in like half hour, 45 minutes.
And I, one of the things I did was I got. So that’s where NBC is going to have everything that’s going to have not only in real time where I still have to worry about advertising, but you can buy a version of peacock premium apparently on even more strutting peacock. That is ad-free. And so after I’m asleep talking about it and I’m not doing it for five Olympics, I guess 10, because there’s a winter in the summer.
We finally think that we’re going to have what we can. And like you go into peacock and you go to the Olympics tab and it shows you everything, the whole schedule, or if you want to zoom in on, I don’t really care about ice dancing, but let’s make sure we don’t miss curling. It’s so easy and relatively elegant to get to what you want.
And I just [00:15:00] couldn’t be happier for all of the pre-work that I was doing. The angst I was already experiencing with this has been such a hassle every single time I’ve done this instead. It was zip. Except Disney plus, because it goes through a provider like when I have my HBO mask, if I remember correctly, instead of going directly to Disney, plus you have to go through a provider and they’re ill HBO, max head.
Are you coming in with your own name and password or did you have a provider and it had a thing for that Disney pluses interface on Roku? Nope. Not even doesn’t even exist. I try various different combinations of, can I put in because for, I have it through, um, Amazon, if I remember correctly, I’ve tried putting in my different password there, the gear I tried, every combination I could cut up and I couldn’t get it to say here, you’re on Disney plus now.
So it’s not like Disney plus is my life, but what’s one of the reasons that I want to pull down to it. I probably will get it after the. Uh, teaser package, because if you’ve had a chance to watch the DC stuff and the [00:16:00] star wars stuff, you really don’t want to give it up, you know? And I mean, goodness there,
[00:16:06] Stephen: I signed up for it through Amazon or whatever it is, you can still access it through the Amazon prime.
[00:16:14] Alan: And that I will end up doing that they have in the overall, the fallback is they haven’t go to a web browser and get in and sign on, but I wanted it to be that here’s my blocks. You know what I mean? So it just hats off to Roku. I’ve been investor with them for a long time, because I love that they are the best aggregator and no matter what other companies have attempted to they’re thrown them, nobody has been able to match their, everything, their ease of use their access to the most number of different channels.
Everybody has a presence on Roku. I got a number of music channels. So in case I want to bring up Pandora or Spotify. And it’s funny, I almost feel a little weird of I’m going to use this TV as the equivalent of what used to be a crystal radio. You know what I mean? It’s cool. It’s just so nice to have everything in one place to have it all work that the interface is [00:17:00] relatively constant, that the Amazon remote, uh, sorry, the Roku.
Feels good in your hand, things are where you expect them to be. It’s got voice recognition. So instead of fully clicking around, you can say, oh, you know, show me casino, Royale, find me casino.
[00:17:16] Stephen: It streams. Oh my God. It’s life changing. Really cool.
[00:17:21] Alan: I didn’t resist it, but I just didn’t realize how good it for so
[00:17:25] Stephen: long.
Yeah, I agree. Uh, we’ve got like discovery plus and CBS and we had them set so we could get them on the apps, but it was like, let’s see, it’s on discovery. Let’s see. It’s on CBS and we’re switching. So we switched all that and we subscribed to it through an Amazon prime channel. So now we just bring up Amazon prime and it’s the aggregator for four different stations along with, yeah.
We still get the exact same shows and pay the same price. One time through it again, we’ve said it before, we’re bringing back cable, just the new [00:18:00] format, but instead of
[00:18:01] Alan: 150 channels, 120 of which you don’t watch anyway, now it really is that you choose which ones actively. And actually, when I was first looking for Amazon prime, I was like, where is it?
And I go, I went from your, something to America. Oh, it’s prime video. So that was like, that was the one. Boy, Amazon, if you’re looking to build a brand, I would’ve thought that you’d sprinkle Amazon because there’s Amazon music present. They have other things where they did include the name, do the grouping of all the Amazons.
I thought that was that I agree.
[00:18:29] Stephen: And it’s one also benefit of having Xbox or PlayStation console. All those same apps are on those console and you can get all of them. And we got, we had an old ultra and it died. So we got a stream bar. So we got the surround. And
[00:18:48] Alan: I was curious about
[00:18:49] Stephen: that it was on sale right before Christmas.
So it was like $30 more than the old trust. So I was like, ah, it’s good sound for the live or a bedroom, but you can get external speakers [00:19:00] so you can get a full service. And you can hook up that. So I was like, okay, that’s cool. I like this. We got all of our channels. We just signed into our account and all our channels came right back.
We didn’t have to miss anything. It was great. But talking about the user interface, like we were a couple of minutes ago, the ultra has that little button on top. You press it in your remote dings and you can find it. It’s like looking for one of those old chirping things at times. Yeah. The stream bar does not have that.
Why does it not have the stupid little find my remote, but
[00:19:36] Alan: yeah, we have pretty good habits about that, but we have a, not a coffee table, but a tray table, if you will, that we have in front of us in the TV room and that’s where all the remotes go. Instead of them falling into the couch or the other room, for some reason, we really have pretty good remote hygiene.
[00:19:51] Stephen: I do that just absentmindedly. Oh cool. And I walk out of the room, set it down somewhere, go back. I’m like, where’s the remote. And then I’m like treasure hunt, [00:20:00] but we also have a couple of cats and they liked to play with everything. So I lost my glasses and everybody gets on me about that. Cause I’m horrible.
Just flipping them off the top of my head walking and sending them down. And it’ll be days later somebody says, Hey, did you get a movie off the top of the media center? I’m like, no, they’re like, oh, your glasses are up there. Oh, that’s right. All the time. So I’ve been looking for my glasses, my reading glasses.
I have computer glasses, reading glasses, and I couldn’t find them. And everybody’s fours. You always lose them. Like whatever. Here are, the cats had been tapping them. And we have a couple of pillows on the floor for the dogs and cats. When they come in, they’re in the bedroom, they had Baptists like into the pillow case of the pillow who would look there.
I didn’t do that.
[00:20:48] Alan: That’s very, we do not currently have any pets. That would be that extra, just like a small trial date. They take your keys and all of a sudden the keys are like in their toy box.
[00:20:59] Stephen: Oh, let me [00:21:00] tell you this story. Collin, when he was eight ish, around that age, he’s got bad eyesight, but he’s also got that tracking issue where when things move, like he’s the opposite of dinosaur, dinosaurs would see something move and they go after it.
When he sees something move, it actually disappears in his visual acuity. Can’t see it. And we found that out when he was playing baseball, because he kept saying, I can’t see the ball. We’re like, keep your eye on. And he’s not, I can’t see it. It’s gone. It’s moving, it’s gone. And that took us awhile to discover he has glasses and they’re a little thicker, not Coke bottles, but still in a different prescription for the eyes.
Try it. Didn’t help tracking. And he can mostly see far away, but he can see up close. It’s one of those things I feel bad for. So his glass has always cost a little more than the insurance covered and we made sure to get good ones. Cause he’s a kid
[00:21:52] Alan: there’s going to be any corrective factor or just to make him have a
[00:21:55] Stephen: better word.
We got a new pair and after insurance, we still paid like 150 [00:22:00] bucks after insurance paid for stuff. And we always take care of your glasses. So that night it was like Halloween. We went to my cousins, they were playing in a thing. They went trick or treating, went home and went to bed, got up the next morning, he’s walking around and he goes, I can’t see anything.
I’m like, go put your glasses on. I don’t know where they’re at. Oh God. When did you lose them? Go check your bed. We looked everywhere. No, couldn’t find them. Okay. Wait. We were at Gary’s. I remember him having to make Gary. We were, we went and they had picked up the leaves like, oh God, please tell me they didn’t get not in.
Yeah, we looked all over. Couldn’t find them, had to go back. Get a brand new pair, nothing covers. It was like $400 glasses after we just paid 150. Couldn’t find them at all. Two years later, I was walking down with the old glasses. I’m like, what the heck? He says, you remember when we went to Gary’s I was looking at my baseball cards and I wanted to be good and not lose my glasses.
So I put them in the baseball card box to keep him safe. [00:23:00] And then he forgot all about them. My daughter was even worse. She went to a friend’s birthday party, came home and didn’t have her glasses were like, where’s your glasses. We called them. They’re like, we have no idea. We don’t see them anywhere. We looked, everybody looked, no idea here.
She was one of those kids that just has to, she would find things in a cigar box, wrapped in a blanket on the bottom of her toy box. That was her choice to keep it safe. But the glasses, she stuck them between the headrest and the seat of the friend’s car. And it was in there for a month before they saw him and said here
[00:23:43] Alan: to keep them safe. But luckily, I don’t know, boy, as I think back the only time I hardly ever lose anything, I really do have what I talked about having remote hygiene. I have that pretty well. I almost put when I come home, my sunglasses and my glasses, but my keys, they [00:24:00] all go in a certain place. And that way, when I’m getting ready to go out, they’re almost always their earplugs from, or going to a concert.
They go to a certain place. And because I do that 99% of the time, it really is baffling to me. Like what broke down here? It is possible when you come in and you get interrupted and that’s when you put them down for a moment knowing you’ll just pick them up again, but then you move on in your life. So that has hardly ever happened way long ago.
This amazing. I was done. I was not a university of Illinois and was we my girlfriend, Lisa, I then went and saw the 4th of July parade. And while we were walking along, somehow my keys fell out of my pocket of my, and they shouldn’t have deep pockets, et cetera, et cetera. But I really didn’t have my key. We retraced our path following the route of the parade and everywhere else that we could think of there’s this where we popped over kettle corn or something like that.
And I actually found them on the street amongst parade [00:25:00] rebel. I couldn’t believe it because same thing you have, I don’t have money to replace these keys. I don’t even know that I can get them. It wasn’t only my keys. It was, I have a key to Garcia’s or those computer lab or whatever else it might be. And I’m going to have to like losing your wallet.
You can kind of walk your work your way through your life and say, what am I missing? He’s luckily, no. Find them and say, oh no, we have access to life and let’s go steal his car. It was, but it just was the amazing amount of hassle that led me to say, I’m taking this walk again. And I couldn’t believe we found him.
And I don’t know when you’re a kid, you get all shaky, happy for Christmas and that kind of stuff. But as you get older, that just doesn’t really seem to happen. I was like a little puppy dog that just got a treat. Couldn’t believe we had found them. I just, oh my God. It was such a wonderful thing in the streets.
Literally. I just thank you. Thank you. Whoever did this luck, God, thank you very much.
[00:25:58] Stephen: This gives you any indication [00:26:00] of how often I play the absent minded professor and just set things down. I don’t know why I do it all the time. I think I have like priorities with things going on in my head and the top priority things.
My brain just focuses on. So things like where I set my keys down, that’s not a big priority. My brain just ignores. It puts a filter on it. So for Christmas, Gina got me item trackers. I can literally put these on things and find it on my phone.
[00:26:30] Alan: I want to understand that market is exploding. There’s so many people have that difficulty.
I don’t, I haven’t gotten any of them because I really don’t seem to have that problem. I lean a little bit more than me because she just like, when we’ve done this, when we’re getting ready to go, one of us not. We will. I used to like, Hey, let me get the door for you and get your bag into the car for you if you just had a trip yesterday.
And so I did that for what I’ve learned to not do is hover, because then you feel that sense of urgency about getting out the door and also [00:27:00] then she’ll be on the road. She didn’t get both her pairs of glasses that she needs. She didn’t get the charger for her various devices. She didn’t, you want him to be, and now sometimes we’ll run through a list of all the things that one or the other of us has forgotten over the course of time.
And that helps. But the best thing to do is how about if I go move the car and get out of your sight and out of your attention, and then we’ll have our big goodbye kissing hug when it’s not the distraction from you, making sure that you have all the service that we give to each other. Sometimes I’ll get like one, one time I went to Costco and I had been, had my wallet and I have money, but you in front that the Costco card.
And it was because in that act of heading out, we had that last conversation about what to get. And I was putting things into my phone and then. With the phone in my pocket, but didn’t realize I hadn’t yet put the wallet in. And then the penalty there is it’s 20 minute drive away. So am I really going to go home and come back?
Or am I going to, oh, it was an affirmation that I need to, [00:28:00] before I go out that door, just stop for a minute. Pat myself there, spectacles testicles, wallet, keys. You know what I mean? When you’re cross yourself, that kind of thing. I just, I’ve got really good about making sure that my pockets have the right things and I need a pen.
Is the pen in the right place. I used to check for that all the time nowadays, who uses, used to have a pen in my pocket, a Swiss army knife in my pocket until that started to be well, sir, here at the airport, we’re going to send that home to yourself. And after it cost me, honestly like three times, because I had that good habit of always having that handy.
I’ve now paid a hundred dollars, $160. Cause three times 20, I had to send that home to me.
[00:28:43] Stephen: you’ve mentioned earlier, we were talking about Roku and w we, I also liked the Roku even without the remote, because the app, you can control it through your phone. So, you know, so I do have that, but of course, most of the time, by the end of the day, my phone is almost dead. [00:29:00] I finished that. But you mentioned Spotify and you and I are our big advocates of by the mute desk.
You have a desk. Yes. Sometimes I know there’s a lot of artists now that you can’t get a desk, you can’t, obviously you’re not getting a cassette tape. So I try and go to Amazon or someplace in, by the actual MP3. So I can own it, even if it’s just digitally owned on my drive, because all I know we aren’t, some millennials we’re not gen Z.
Their outlook is totally different. They may have all the streaming services, how much music you’re missing there. Zeplin hasn’t been on Spotify. What’s the country artist, huge friends in low places. Garth Brooks. He hasn’t been on Spotify. And I sent you a news item. I’m not aware of
[00:29:48] Alan: what’s not there because I don’t go out there often enough to see the black.
I might use that or Pandora. Like, I don’t care what I’m hearing, but I’m gonna use all my channels. Give me the prog rock channel. And then I’ll just hear as if the radio, but
[00:29:59] Stephen: there are certain things you [00:30:00] can’t listen to. And sometimes they come and go or you get a musical and there’s nine of the 12 songs that you can listen to.
The other three, you can, and I just sent you a news article and we talked about this a while back that Joe Rogan, I believe is his name. They paid him like a million dollars to do his news, Spotify podcast, spouting all this stuff against government and disinformation and Neil young spoke out against it.
So they kicked him off of Spotify. So you can’t get Neil young any longer on Spotify because they take him off. I thought he took his own
[00:30:35] Alan: music
[00:30:36] Stephen: off. Oh, I see. I ready that they.
[00:30:39] Alan: Okay, because now other artists are in solidarity with him saying, I don’t want to be on Spotify. If you’re this disinformation, firehose and other idiots like that exactly speaks to yeah.
That things can go away. You have the ability to listen to. The longest, one of the [00:31:00] few voices that I really can’t stand to listen to. So when I read about that, it was like no big loss for me, but anyway, did they kick Elvis Costello as well? Oh no, because we can’t stand his voice,
[00:31:10] Stephen: but anyway, but the point is, if you do like those artists, you don’t own and control that.
No guarantee. And it’s not even the stuff you do own, you don’t own. I’ve had. Okay. I love getting like the Marvel comics cause they have that code. So I put it on digitally. I don’t want to read the comic movies, have that where you can get the digital version along with the disc, because then I get, oh, this storage spot out in the garage.
We just put the disc. Cause we have it digitally. If I ever need it, I can get it
[00:31:42] Alan: right. The original, if you will.
[00:31:44] Stephen: Right back in the early days, I had a few of them through apple iTunes, you entered the code and it was on apple iTunes. They decided, yeah, we’re not gonna support that anymore. So they’re gone.
So certain movies that I had purchased and known, I can’t even [00:32:00] watch because I don’t really
[00:32:02] Alan: like shady, if not illegal. The deal you got when you bought that was not only tat the physicals thing. If you want to throw apple, it was that you get the additional services of being able to wash it on their online thing.
And then I’m sure it’s in the fine print somewhere that says access is not guaranteed through all digital. That’s I had, we talked a little bit about this. I had that same experience to me, luckily early, where I, uh, digitize the Kansas album. And when you use apple music, it uses their version of their servers that have yours and one song was missing.
And I don’t know, what did it, was it a rights conflict? Was it that something? And I love listening to albums all the way through when you get to this track segues into this track, and then it’s missing. It’s like I’m missing a tooth in my mouth. It’s the weirdest. And yet there was never any explanation.
If they’ve added it back now, they’ve already lost me in terms of ever trusting them, because that happened [00:33:00] two or three times where something was not quite right. It wouldn’t digitize it wouldn’t or, and reflect about this before the miracle of the CDB, where I was able to, when you first ripped something, it gave you the track names because it had that fingerprint of what the various different relate and lengths of songs work, that it could uniquely identify each of the various different.
So how wonderful, except when the person who put that information in the first place, got it wrong, they spelled the word wrong, or they have like, you know, they don’t have a capitalization versus small case standard. And I got a, for awhile started, we’ve already talked about this. I was one of those crusaders that would, I would continually fix it a little bit of correction so that it would be back into their database.
Somebody in there somewhere was not just taking corrections because then any idiot like Wikipedia, it’s only based on anybody could edit it, but somebody has to be conscientious enough to stop malicious editing from happening. If you will. Sometime at some point I noticed that by corrections were not being accepted and there was no [00:34:00] explanation, but it’s man, I was doing you a solid, I was giving you a good service here by cleaning this up all the time.
And now if I’m not seeing it happening that you’ve decided to freeze that database or that I’m, even though I had done, I don’t know, dozens by then. I’m not trusted contributors so that you would say out really knows what he’s doing. It just was alienating to me that now I’m going to have to put up with wow.
And how people put things in also really affects it. Not only in terms of here’s the name of the song and it looks slightly wrong. If they put in it’s this person featuring somebody else, when you try to listen to the entire album, it starts to sort it. So that’s where it skips things. If you’ve got something, is co-written by multiple people.
And that, that it puts it as if it’s a separate album instead of the same music collection, I have to create virtual albums, all kinds of playlist to just get the thing to play. Like I want it to play. And after a while, that level of overhead was too much. So I duly digitize everything still, [00:35:00] but I’m aware that apple music and I guess is it, let’s see, I think apple music is now their Spotify version where everything is out there instead.
It’s just the app. The music app is where. Wow. Thousands, as you might imagine, CDs that are pretty much what I hear rated better, and I’m aware that we’ll never match up to what the mainstream world. And in fact, I must, I have pet peeves about this, where we don’t feel like, wow, I have the, my CDs have always been alphabetized in my shelf so that I could find whatever I want it to listen to right away.
It wasn’t. Yeah. I listened to it. And so it was chronological. It wasn’t by genre. It really was a to Z when you switched to using apple music and you find out that, oh, no, Jethro Tull is indeed under Jay because there is a Jethro tall, but Neil young is under why to me, because it’s a real person, not the name of a band.
So it’s young, common Neil, Nope. To them. It’s Neil young. And especially when you have things where it changes a lot, like [00:36:00] Frank Zappa is not under Z, but it’s under F and I had to move a whole Zappa section over here to the F section and move a whole bunch of stuff down, which really the ripple effect.
Catastrophic cause I have huge CD shelf catastrophic. It was a lot of hassle
exactly. Like my
[00:36:19] Stephen: world. Where’s she at? You’re talking about the CDB and even the online stuff. Cause I use Amazon music similarly for awhile, but they would have a few albums, Jethro tall and then a few albums, tall comma, Jethro.
[00:36:35] Alan: Exactly. It makes you crazy. And I really like it when I’m listening to something and the album cover.
I have things I don’t know, arrhythmic that it’s got one year rhythmic album cover for six different albums. Just don’t have them in the first I fought it where I would go out to Amazon or other places and get, take a snapshot, download the album. And that seems to retain it. And at one point they did some [00:37:00] kind of upgrade and it reset, it, reverted everything to what their defaults are and all of that work.
That’s what you. I’ve put a lot of work into my keeping, my little garden, clean, just continually setting the car here. I have accepted that my standards are not theirs and they never will be, but it still really irritates me when they don’t have wow bands that put a lot of work into beautiful albums, like pink Flores or, you know what I mean?
You could Marillion and then it’s one generic album cover. Instead of each of the uncovers matches the music. It matches the time of the album cover it, evokes its own back memories in me to be like first heard this. And if it’s the wrong memory that it’s, jarringly over. Why I don’t, if that just seems like such a small thing to have gotten.
Yeah, I wish there was a club for people like me. That would be, we’re starting to
[00:37:57] Stephen: service the music, [00:38:00] the correct, like the real Ghostbusters cartoon. I mentioned that to you has Sunday, my cousin and I wanted to get on X-Box and play Titanfall. That’s one of the games that we enjoy because it, I don’t know, it’s a little different than call of duty or halo, your big giant robots.
Plus you’re also running around and we worked together. I don’t know it just, if it was a lot of fun frenetic action, and even though I kind of
[00:38:31] Alan: self in a way that it’s not the same experience as every other first person.
[00:38:34] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. We loved it. So. I had the desk and his wife had, they bought it digitally and we’ve played for many years this way.
Then games for gold offered it for free in their games for gold one month. Oh great. I grabbed the games for gold. Uh, so I wouldn’t have to have the CD all the time to put in. And so we went to play Sunday and we’re like, it’s gone, [00:39:00] totally pulled out of my library, the games for gold that they had said here, because you paid for a month of gold.
Here’s one of the free games that you are is we’re taking it back now. And my cousin who, when they bought the X-Box, this was a free game as a promo to get the Xbox, it was gone. They just pulled it right out of our libraries. So we can’t play the game unless we have the desk and we’re local because we found with Titanfall two.
The servers weren’t letting us connect and play together. We w we have to literally move to get in the same room to play local. Like it’s 2001.
[00:39:39] Alan: Oh yeah. Oh man. Sorry about that. We are, we can’t be the only ones that have many examples of this. Hey, was free. And so we can take it back whenever we want. No, if you had given me a gift, come into my house and take back though, the vase you gave, it’s the, it’s a weird, I don’t know, not a double standard.
It’s a weird [00:40:00] inconsistency in expectation versus reality that people could just cancel things and not only cancel on yours, they took it out of how many? A hundred
[00:40:08] Stephen: thousand. Oh yeah. More. Yeah. And we mentioned that to the gen zeros and the millennials. It’s not as big a deal. They don’t even really notice.
And I pointed out everybody’s all net for when Netflix starts. They were totally the bomb. You got the disc delivered. That was the initial. And I still get this delivered because there are disks that don’t exist as digital
[00:40:32] Alan: that’s one understand streaming is like 20,000 titles. Disc is like a hundred thousand.
There’s the way we work our way through our AFI list or our, all the John Sayles movies or whatever we’re watching lately. John Carpenter, by the way, is the guy just decided to add as to, I want to see every movie of his and we just watched a special about Halloween and the making of it. And I’ve always loved that he not only does the writing, directing, he does the music absolutely adds to the movie.
It’s [00:41:00] always been very atmospheric Halloween at the thing and a big trouble in little China. What do you want to be anyway?
[00:41:06] Stephen: Yeah. So th that’s I remember Netflix had everything back in the mid two thousands, every movie in the theaters, six months, eight months, a year later, it was on Netflix. And then everybody started parsing off Disney.
We’re creating our own pool, the Disney,
[00:41:26] Alan: the one I remember first really getting me BBC hook. It’s tough away from all of our student services. I don’t think they necessarily intended to make their own service. They just want it to cut a better licensing deal was wherever they were going to go to. She’d been watching Dr.
Who for 60 years, you can’t do without your doctor who, because somebody else has negotiated. So that was really a jarring thing
[00:41:48] Stephen: and the same with Roku. So my parents still subscribed to spectrum because they’ve got the Western channel and that my dad watches that all the time. So we had the spectrum app on our Roku.[00:42:00]
Just use their account. We could watch things we rarely ever used it, but every now and then you get that show that’s on Spotify or something and it’s nowhere else. So you want to watch it while you can, but they lost the license deal with Roku and it got taken off. So you can’t use the spectrum app any longer, right?
[00:42:21] Alan: There’s gotta be like a little industry newsletter that talks about all of that. Hey, this coming in, this is going out. One of the machinations behind the scenes that are leading to all of this. I want to know that I really want to work.
[00:42:35] Stephen: I want it to not sit your heads out of your butts. Just let it work.
I think doesn’t the cord cutter website in that doesn’t they have that they focus.
[00:42:44] Alan: Yeah. That must be out there. That would make sense that they’re the ones that are finding the best deals and whoever’s most current with diverse different thing. The fact that. Oh, boy, there’s so much content out there when I, and in fact, we’ll be back up.
Another thing I [00:43:00] liked about Roku was that they have all live local handles based on you put in, it has the fleet lineup. So now we have any number of times had to deal with, we can’t really watch jeopardy tonight because there’s bad weather and our little digital antenna, which is usually really good.
It’s, artifacting, it’s getting all this little boring and stuff, so we can’t watch it. And at one point I was thinking of getting an Amazon fire recast because it does that thing. It recaptures everything everywhere and it makes it available digitally. Not until I found out that I probably won’t need that because Roku’s live candles version at home.
Yes. All that stuff. And it was like going back to the first time that I was in a hotel room and it has that little thing that comes on the screen, you can pop down and see the listing. And so that was handy to know that. And I guess the way that ties into what we were just talking about is when I, the.
Looking at how much is out there. There’s 50 probably channels that are like free over the air, [00:44:00] as well as digital and saw so many. Wow. Reality TV shopping shows reruns. There was like old Dick van Dyke. Well, and I was just like, man, if I just was to divorce myself from the world and look up an Ivy and watch TV for the rest of my life, I would never run out.
There’s so much content. And not only of course all the old stuff, but there’s new stuff
[00:44:24] Stephen: may be Roku has its own original programming.
[00:44:27] Alan: Oh man. It’s amazing. How much is out there for a long time? I’ve always found it this way. The minute that became like a Netflix, it wasn’t about trying to find bootstrap.
It was like, man, you’re drinking from the fire hose. How do you find the Gustaf amongst all the crowds? Find the diamonds that are worth your time. Th it having just passed a different word, but almost every January. One of the things I say, I really want to watch the best shows, read the best books, how to get the crap that I sometimes end up watching at 11 o’clock at night when I don’t really want to watch let’s [00:45:00] watch the latest Bruce Willis.
Oh, he’s an ex army guy that happens to be in town where there’s white trafficking and he’s going to save people there. They there’s a number of performance, him Dolph, Lundgren, C Thomas Hall that have gotten to that wonderful thing of, I don’t need to be in a Hollywood blockbuster and make salary. I can turn these $5 million movies out that make $15 million.
And who makes the 10 me not the studio. At least it seems that way because they’ve caught having said that it’s just amazing the amount of content that’s out there and that we, we have done something. We really do. We watch the AFI top hundred, both versions. We really try to watch the Oscar nominees each year, even if for a while, I don’t know, I watch a lot stuff like fringe, which I’m in love with and, but the Sopranos and stuff like that.
And some of those award-winning, but some are not. And I still want to make sure that I’m watching that, et cetera. Hey, this is the Reynolds geekery podcast. There’s very little geeky about every one of the talent. [00:46:00] I just so much don’t care about. America’s got talent and Yalda. This one’s about kids and cheerleader tryouts.
There is nothing substantial about those shows that I will ever care about or to waste a minute on. And I guess everybody else who gets such joy out of those, but my life is about expanding and adding to, and not just seeing the same thing again and again and again and again with slightly different costumes, different players.
And so we can segue to this. You and I both are not big sports fans. And why is that? Because out of 162 game season, there’s 10 moments of real. Out of all those games and all those innings and all those at-bats, there’s 10 moments out of all that, that I could care anything about. So why does a stop? It’s something that they just there’s a comfort to it, that people really are big fans of their teams and really want to see them do well.
But then I see how much it affects their mood as to how they did well or
[00:46:59] Stephen: poorly that [00:47:00] day revolves around watching franchise that these guys are millions. If this guy
[00:47:08] Alan: only got 150 million over 10 years, he got a raw deal. You know what I mean? They’re worried about the size of it. And so there’s that about?
I really, once again, reestablish, I really need, there’s only so much time in life. You know what I mean? I so much want to make sure that I fill it with quality instead of crap. And yet the world is a watt there’s fantastic crap taste. They know Jess was going to get.
[00:47:37] Stephen: I was just listening to a podcast. And the guy on there was talking about every activity, having an opportunity cost.
And it’s funny because I talk about that talk. I keep mentioning that I’m doing before the Dayton super Saturday gifted kids program and a couple of weeks, but I talk about that where you put your passion in your focus. And I see these [00:48:00] people where their passion and their focus is on spending time and money supporting a sports franchise.
And then they complain about their job. They complain about their life. They complain that they don’t, they’re stressed and maybe you need to put a different passion and focus and your opportunity costs of that. What’s it costing you to sit and watch eight hours of football on a Sunday. Whereas I can sit down and program a video game.
That might have some people playing on their phone and I might make a couple hundred bucks this month from that the opportunity cost of that game is much better than watching sports. Yeah.
[00:48:39] Alan: I know I’ve seen, there’s a famous quote. I wish I could remember who it was from. I want to attribute it along the lines.
I was reasoned that this guy like reading the sports page is because that’s where you get good news and heroin compared to the rest of the newspaper. Bad news used to be true. And that meant the exact innocent, but still [00:49:00] those little tiny dots of heroism, like I said, are few and far between, to me, it’s funny.
Apparently the Cleveland Cavaliers, our basketball team is doing. And so they show some spectacular place and Hey, I could get behind these young kids that instead of having the burden of, Hey, LeBron, James is on the team, they have to do well. They better do well, or I’m going to be pissed instead. It’s I love underdog stories, gas house gang I’ve read so much or its history compared to watching it.
I don’t know. What’s that about? Well, that’s kind of like where you get the distilled heroism story. If you will reading about Ernie nevers and Bronco Nagurski and the four horsepower. And it’s cool to read that somebody puts 72 points on the board against zero for the opponent slinging Sammy ball. Boy, I’m really in left field.
Now all the sports fans don’t I really don’t know all the sports trivia, but you’d be surprised at the weird things I do now. Having said that it’s I wish that I got more out of it. And in fact, it is not, I need to stop [00:50:00] reeling about sports. There’s all kinds of things. That I do in my life that it probably would be best if I do that to the minimum and spend all your time.
I’m really good at that. You’re going to give it to the world. What’s your passion. I have my little things that I do, like helping a puzzle each day, my little puzzle, where it’s got the date the day a month. And that seems to be that’s the right ratio. It takes me like two minutes to do. I can feel Z a good little serotonin verse.
Cause Hey, I solved. But again, if it frustrates me, I don’t bear down and make sure they accomplish it. Like it’s a task on my list. It’s not come back to this. And sometimes I don’t come back to it and I move on to the next day. And so there’s something about Mike Litas personality that says Walter puzzle doofy.
It’s a mentally healthy thing for me to say. Yeah, every time I do that, I assert it’s right. It’s nothing. There’s been a big Wordle craze lately. And big news was that world just got fucked by the New York times. And I’m really good at words and it word games and that kind of stuff. [00:51:00] And yet I didn’t jump onto this one because at one point I was playing Scrabble and I found that I was spending an hour or two playing Scrabble.
And I’m like, what am I doing that hour or two is writing a book time writing some code time cataloging my comics that I just can’t in the proportion of those things justify this. I’m hoping that I regularly make choices that are just based on that. If I had to write all this down and show it to somebody else, they would put an eyebrow pad.
How much are you watching? What’s my gift. I liked from guilty pleasure because it really is. I think I mentioned the other day that I wipe out became available, I
[00:51:38] Stephen: guess,
[00:51:40] Alan: wipe out with John Cena and Nikki, Nicole Byers from peacemaker decided they had good chemistry, et cetera, et cetera. And so there’s no justified why?
I think that show is just so hilariously funny. I don’t know that I actively watch it. I watch it while I’m folding laundry. I watch
[00:51:57] Stephen: while I’m doing.
[00:51:59] Alan: [00:52:00] And like I’ve rewatched the Archer’s theories more than I’ve ever rewashed anything else, because it’s exactly that while I’m doing laundry, that’s what I have on.
And I don’t know, rewatching something doesn’t really give me much. I’ve already seen it. It doesn’t add to my, my, what would you call it? My experiences in life. And yet I still laugh out loud at how well done it is, how witty it is. It makes
[00:52:23] Stephen: me
[00:52:23] Alan: happy. So if I’m looking for that experience, The joy of laughter is a
[00:52:29] Stephen: great prescription.
From the psychological standpoint, it’s a feel good, the feelings and how you feel when you watch it to watch it again. You put yourself in that same type of mood, but you’re not having your, your brain can shut down. But quite often, I put a show that I’ve seen big bang theory or castle or Firefly or some is somebody star Trek.
Some might seem dozens of times I put that on in the background, if I’m really intense on some code or something like that. And it doesn’t distract [00:53:00] me, but it gives my brain something sometimes to do that left turn. And because I know it’s coming and I’ve gone through whole episodes in my, oh, I didn’t even realize it was playing it.
Shut off. I do the same thing. Folding clothes, making dinners, sweeping the floor, throw on the.
[00:53:17] Alan: Exactly. It’s funny. I, you and I have that wonderful again, we have so many things that we share that same experience. So I tend to concentrate better when I give myself a voluntary, slight distraction, like music in the background, as opposed to dead silent.
And that doesn’t work for colleague. She really needs to be only the thing she’s focusing on most of the time. Whereas, and I don’t know, different kinds of music, things with like when I’m writing things with lyrics, do tend to be a little bit more distraction than what I want. Whereas if I listen to instrumentals, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Azek tentacles, but they’re a great, like a rave band.
They’re 120 beats per minute, and plastically good music by Edwin. I really love them. They’re what I put on the most. When I’m trying to write my, I used to write a monthly, looks [00:54:00] like articles from my Mensa newsletter. When I’m writing copy for something, a newsletter, a magazine article or something that just energizes me and it.
Strikes the right parts of my brain, so that I, in my pros, I’m more creative or something like that. Without it being the words were supplied to me by listening or watching something. I’m not sure if I can explain that, but I know that it works. You know what I mean? So you put yourself in the right mood, the right frame of mind to be productive
[00:54:25] Stephen: and get it done.
And I’ve discovered that works really good for me. Plus in coding or whatever, sometimes you get stressed and you’re getting upset and it’s not working and you got a deadline or whatever, but having star Trek playing in the background, it helps that mood. It really does. So, you know, you gotta shut off.
[00:54:49] Alan: It’s funny. I know that there’s all kinds of people have their different guilty pleasures, if you will, and listen to all the good music, I’m sure like every time I would go to George C. George store get in concert and he’s like the opposite of my [00:55:00] prog rock love,
but it’s perfect for what it is. You know what I mean? Like how many songs am I, like? I’d say it probably half a dozen of his hits are like, what are we get drunk? You know what I mean? One bourbon, one shot, one, Bayer. It that’s so much not me. And yet there I am at the concert singing right along with
[00:55:25] Stephen: great example. He knows what his audience likes. He hits ACDC. There’s another example that they, they, their songs, they’ve got some grunge crunch to it, but that is three chords. It’s repetitive and they’re very tongue and cheek innuendos and stuff. And that’s everything ACDC has ever done. They’ve never really changed it.
[00:55:48] Alan: Angus young and his naughty school boy outfit, man is about the kids. That’s still like giggle when you know what lake is there in Mexico
[00:55:56] Stephen: TIHDI has gotten big[00:56:00]
when we got Jason’s drum set and he wanted to play and stuff. And I had a very strong music instructor, so I’m very practiced and make sure you’re practicing it. Perfect. And all that jazz. And I told him, I said, look, man, just find some ACDC, put your headphones on and play to it because it’s the same beat.
It’s the same speed all the time.
[00:56:25] Alan: Uh, build your rocket vocabulary. Perfect. By listening. It’s funny. I really do like them, especially like thunderstruck and stuff where there’s a little bit more to it, but I got to tell you the worst new year’s Eve I ever had in my life. A bunch of college friends went to a bar like right on the border of Illinois and Wisconsin.
And there was an ACDC cover. And they were doing back then, it was back in black and highway to hell and various things. And they sucked doing them.
That was my amazement is they’re ready to just sit here and you know, how many head bangers, that kind of thing. And instead they were just [00:57:00] drunk or stupid or just didn’t
[00:57:01] Stephen: get what made ACDC,
[00:57:03] Alan: winking Lee, funny that it said it was all aggression or all. I don’t even know, but man, I just couldn’t wait to get out of there.
And I was like, I’m going to be leaving here at the same time that every other drunk idiot is going to be on the road with me. How do I at 1201, maybe I’ll give it until 1221. The worst of them were already out of the parking lot out and all. I just remember it being too loud, a nightmare of a new year’s Eve.
[00:57:30] Stephen: Wow. So going back a second, you were talking about choosing the things, uh, you mentioned Azek tentacles. I’ll make sure, find them put a link to that. So this week I’ll give you a TV show recommendation. I would not say it’s my absolute favorite TV show ever, but it is really good. And it’s a little different, I think it’s CBS, it’s called evil.
Have you seen that or heard it? I have not. I liked it because of the premise and they’ve changed a little bit and [00:58:00] it’s enough that we’re anticipating the third season. Cause I want to find out what’s happening, but the premise is that there’s. Guy who’s in the seminary. Who’s going to become a priest, but they ask him to investigate demonic, possessions and things like that.
So he gets a Jewish atheist to help. Who’s also the computer geek, nerd science guy, and then they also get this woman. Who’s a psychologist and they hire them and they work as a team to investigate these. And it started off I’m thinking it’s going to be an anthology where every episode is a new investigation, but now they’ve got this overarching storyline going on along with individual things.
So they got that right balance going and it’s taken some wild twist to the left a couple of times. Yeah, I think it’s CBS. We watch it on. Yeah, I think it is. Cause we watch it on prime and we got CBS on [00:59:00] prime.
[00:59:00] Alan: Got it. It’s kinda like a regular, like you could watch it on regular television. Sometimes that teams thing
[00:59:08] Stephen: I see, I thought it was like a prime time, a 10 o’clock thing, but they’ve dropped the F bomb a couple of times and uh, and they, they have some very explicit looking sex scenes a few times.
So I’m like maybe that’s
[00:59:24] Alan: I
[00:59:24] Stephen: think it started off as network TV and now it’s on the plus only. So you can only get it. Yeah, I think two seasons and we enjoyed it again. I wouldn’t say it’s like the boys, it’s all my God. Give me season three of the boys, as soon as you can, but it’s like, when’s that coming?
Okay. Well, I have to
[00:59:44] Alan: catch that this is a whole episode, but maybe we’ll just throw some things out. There’s all kinds of things where I really, I liked a lot of what I was seeing and then it ended after two or three seasons and there were still all kinds of good plot lines to go. They didn’t wrap everything up.
They just stopped. They ran out of money. The stars moved [01:00:00] on. So I really
[01:00:01] Stephen: liked penny dreadful.
[01:00:04] Alan: I like we can call it a Haven where they were exactly. One of my sweet spots that any number of authors or show runners so far. I love where they’re aware of all that’s going on before, in terms of Buster, movies, folklore, that kind of stuff.
And they find a way to say, so what would happen if the Dracula met the Wolf, man, what would happen? You know what I mean? The Tupac Cobre, the legend that goes behind that is that part of an entire Pantheon of mythical Beasties and Mexico also might be. And I love where they do interesting combinations and extrapolations of those things that the modern times or whatever.
So when I see those things, it’s really cool to be like, especially some of the twists, give me all these characters and then maybe like by episode six, the reveal, oh, he’s a nice looking zombie right then. And all the interesting ways that they get to say, what’s a better explanation for vampire vampires.
Oh, it’s an anaerobic virus that makes you crave blood. That’s why they can live under water, but they can’t stand running water [01:01:00] because you know what I mean, played with all those cool things in swamp thing. And the comic books that he wrote, some shows have really then embraced that and done good. So when they started to have, um, movies and what they were going to call the hammer verse, the old hammer, horrible was, you know, Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, and stuff like that.
And I think Tom cruise might’ve done it. Maybe that’s why it went. Star-studded too early. Instead of building with lesser known stars. You’re looking forward to what happens when Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde meet
[01:01:35] Stephen: the Wolf man meet. Here’s what I, here’s my opinion. That was the 2017 mummy with him in it. They had the whole dark universe plans.
Yes. But what I think they screwed up on is they did not make that well known people didn’t understand that they were creating an, a universe and they were going to do all the old monster movies.
[01:01:58] Alan: And this is episode one. So there’s things [01:02:00] to look forward to trying to wrap it up in one movie.
[01:02:02] Stephen: Okay. It was confusing to people.
They thought this was connected to the Brendan Frasier mummy movies, which are comedy action. So I think that they didn’t make it clear what people were getting right from the start. That’s
[01:02:17] Alan: pretty good analysis. It’s I, there was a lot of backlash against it and I was like, I didn’t think it was that bad.
There’s all kinds of movies. Boy. There’s one called van Helsing where I thought the most, yeah, the most amazing action sequences, swooping hanging off of a church. Why I’m being so inarticulate, somebody action sequences were so balletic. They were so beautiful while being of course violent, someone’s getting violent and they’re going to get, someone’s going to get steak and bloodsport everywhere, but they really like in a big theater.
I remember being, I am totally engrossed in this amazing setting that they’ve created. I wish there would have been more of them. You know what I mean? [01:03:00] There’s any number of times where that could have been a theory they could have had the van Helsing versus the next series, stuff like that. So it had a funny, I don’t know, this is why I like my horror kind of old style.
It can’t be more than modern. Like I said, we just watched the cool series called the movies where they have here’s the Christmas movie and the Halloween movie and that kind of stuff. And for Halloween, they talked about Halloween that down corporate or one, and then he went with, um, Friday, the 13th and boy that’s serious.
So if you really want to see kids get knife or spice or whatever else it might be, but there wasn’t any plot to it. It was funny. They even talked about it in this special, it’s just a series of scenes with enough red bear plot to her. And of course, what’s the formula sexy. If you’re going to end up doing it because you can’t control those wacky teenage hormones.
Here’s Jason lurking, just off the scenes. Run over you with a combine harvesters. I ain’t even know they were the volatile violence, the unnecessary violence
[01:03:55] Stephen: that, and it gets crazy. He dies. He comes back. [01:04:00] Yeah,
[01:04:00] Alan: the fact that’s been, it all ties together. When we talk that’s the low-hanging fruit, lowest common denominator, dancing show, crap of horror movie.
They’re not even trying anymore. I’ll just put them on a spaceship. Let’s go to no blood and wow. I just a formula to print money. Someone made tons of money off of these. I didn’t know. And he seen something really good. And I put, I don’t know that I want to use the word good. Differently. It was
[01:04:29] Stephen: perfectly good.
Yes, it was well done. It was horrific. It wasn’t good in the sense of Holly hobby. Yeah.
[01:04:41] Alan: For every horror movie that had come before that just wasn’t oh, fire up another chain thought or whatever.
[01:04:46] Stephen: Did you watch the new Halloween? No, I have not. We watched it and we, the one in 2018, which is like the third direct sequel, the original [01:05:00] Curtis’s back, she had back again.
And we liked that one. I thought it was really well done. It was intense. And it was a good story along with just the, oh, Michael’s running around killing people. And then they have the sequel to that his new one Halloween kills and we got done and we looked at each other. That was nowhere near as good as the one, a couple of years ago.
They tried to make a statement and a point is that you’re missing the point to do that. So
[01:05:31] Alan: go ahead. I have trivia. Okay,
[01:05:36] Stephen: good. I was going to ask you if you had anything, do you have any, uh, investment updates or anything?
[01:05:43] Alan: Boy, the last two days I’ve had amazing. I the market has the January is often a terrible time for the market.
I’m into 102 stocks now. And at one point I had 99 of my thoughts down for the day. Wow. I lost [01:06:00] thousands. Well, it was, I wasn’t going to sell off. I was going to hold on and wait for it to come back. But it’s really weird to see a year’s worth of investment going away in a month. You know what I mean? A year’s worth of gains, I should say.
So they have, there’s all kinds of switching from value, from growth to value in some cases, yes. For the panicky people, but this is a sweeping statement, 102 company, every single one of them in my opinion has the right fundamentals, like story behind it. I’m going to wait for the world to re realize that Shopify is a great bet.
Roku is a great bet. Apple is a great bet and they all make their recoveries, but it’s just, I, as I’ve mentioned before, one of the impacts. Observations about what I, how I invest. It’s almost all growth is because I do have time on my side and I do have, I don’t need this money for right now expenses. So that precipitous drop didn’t mean, Hey, I’ll leave it.
I [01:07:00] go hungry. We can’t make rent. We can’t, none of that stuff. I will have time to recover, but that I, that two days ago, I had a spectacular day, one of my best ever. And it’s amazing what it does for your mood, especially certain things I really, um, Teladoc for instance, is down compared to that might be the one where the Teladoc and Etsy are the ones where I put the most money into it compared to the gain that I’ve gotten from Teladoc is actually down.
Etsy is actually, oh, but other things where I’ve made, I don’t know, like a thousand dollars investment it’s tripled. So I might not have made that much money, but it’s really cool to see 200% gain. If you know what I’m trying to say, I have a couple of problems. Having said that I just recently went into Doximity, which is a, um, social media only.
It is a conglomeration of information for doctors so that they have their own network of [01:08:00] talk about what jobs are available, what hospitals are good at, like that big accumulator of medical personnel knowledge, if you, and that has done well for me already. So Doximity one by name, but I just recently invested by investing a little bit more into roadblock, which is you might have feel, boy, it’s just, it’s similar to Minecraft in terms of how they’re able to create amazing things in this virtual world.
And I still have some deep gut part of me going back to our first part of the conversation. I want that physical CD. If this thing only exists in D bit space in the digital world, NFTs could poof roadblocks could poof, there’s all kinds of things that I just, I have to trust a lot to think that those servers are going to stay up forever and all the money that people have put into creating all these things is really going to continue to exist.
I think I’ve overcome that because there really are some things that why do I disbelieve that compared to every other [01:09:00] massive database that we created will continue to exist because there’s a need for it, right? There’s a value to it, et cetera, et cetera. Um, Coinbase, I have invested a little bit too, because they’re the, let’s see the central source for investigating crypto, correct?
One of the things you can do, another pick and shovel play. It’s an investing in stocks. Why don’t you buy some NASDAQ stock? It’s the New York stock exchange stock and somewhat, we used to be called archipelago. We know who’s going to make money no matter what grades are done. Doing all those trays, they get their tiny little rake off of everyone.
And yes, that comparison to gambling is absolutely app. So I have some of those things seem to be not only the company is good, but opportunistically, some of the stocks had fallen because of this overall downturn. And it was like, I, I took a little bit of money out of batch group, which have made me already a lot of money.
So that one of my theories about how I’m doing this is play with the casino’s money. I, since my initial stake, I have never [01:10:00] put any of Coleen’s money in or buy other money. If you will try to always have this starter grow and it was worth it to cannibalize a little bit lately, I’ve done it from Ash Miko, from Intuit things that have really had a good run and it probably will continue to have a good run, but I liked their chance to go five X from this point in time was less than these other champs to go find X.
And so that’s why I bought into some of these other. Globus medical, et cetera. Sometimes some things I added small position, something. I opened a new position from at 1 0 2. When I was for a long time, I was at a hundred. Cause that way it’s easy to say, oh, did you do today? 60% of my stocks were up cause it’s 60 now.
But I ended up somethings were just too tempting thought of, out of all the things that, you know, just that, Hey, you know, investment, uh, people who were coming to the restless ski for investment advice, I really do believe that the things I named in particular Doximity Coinbase, roadblocks. Those are really good bets to get into now because there really is a [01:11:00] big growth on-ramp for them.
The words that the world becomes available to them, the word it becomes, they’re aware of them. It’s not going to be like you make money betting on pet food. You know what I mean? There’s some big ideas from way back in the.com bust 20 years ago, 22 years ago that people were like, I just don’t believe that’s a good idea.
Whereas all of these seem to be sound business. That is a disruptive technology. It’s one thing I’ll mention is I bought a little bit of chewy having just mocked pet.com and how wow. It’s gone on the pet food store and do all that I need to there. And I can come with me and sniff things and tell me which one it likes, who he seems to have figured out how to do the online version of that cleanly, elegantly making money, doing it, controlling their costs, gathering the right information, catering to the right people.
Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes the early bird gets the worm. Sometimes you need [01:12:00] like that third bird that looked at how the first two died, the same mistakes. And I think too, we might be that and like it real estate. Now that we’ve seen Zillow take a big step and then a big fall because of it open doors learning from.
The pillows and Redfin’s steak and open door might be a really good play now in real estate disruptions. So I’m continually trying to learn about that. Who’s entering those various different markets and who seems to have first mover advantage because it’s all about market share and who seems to be the one that learns from stumbled.
And then there’s a more elegant version of that same
[01:12:38] Stephen: companies you believe in. They may be down. So that’s the best time to reinvest and
[01:12:44] Alan: do that. That’s like Motley fool advice for this whole last month has been stay. The course don’t get out or you don’t want to sell it a loss. And in fact, if you have extra cash, consider all these good companies that we’ve told you about all the good bets you’ve made.[01:13:00]
By a few more shares because your chance of getting a multiplier is even better. If it was at 50 and now it’s at 30, it might be that you’ve taken a little bit of a loss, but boy, that’s 30 is really prac and the market agrees with that. And there’s all kinds of still disruptive things to come in the market what’s going to happen.
Interest rates might start to creep up of the false inflation that we’re seeing is actually in so many cases, price gouging. And so will we see any governmental organization act? Um, you really can’t keep jacking gas prices up with no reason except pure profit. When you see who’s making those record profits, there’s various different companies that they just, oh yeah.
That’s inflation. Oh yeah. I gotta get them. Get those guys. Get those bad actors that are causing all that inflation. They’re the ones. Oh, that’s my paranoia, but not unfounded based on real. Now they’re having to come up with what’s their quarterly report in the middle of all this inflation. How do they make even more money than they have.
Hey caused. So anyway, we’ll see.
[01:13:59] Stephen: [01:14:00] How’s the volts, cause I know you worked on that a lot last year, you were hoping to get done last year.
[01:14:05] Alan: So I’m still I’m at 29 going on 30,000 out of about 35,000. I really did boy working on the garage, threw me off my stride and that went all the way through September. I don’t know why I didn’t do much in fourth quarter, except that was concentrating on other things.
I have returned, but not frequently enough. And actually this is again a whole nother topic. One of the things that I need to worry about is now that I know what I had in my collection, it’s substantial. I need to worry about insuring things. When they’re in transit now is a very, it’s a temperature and humidity controlled place.
And it really is not a flood zone, all the right thing. And one’s going to bust in. So it isn’t only to guard guarantee against oh, big theft. Someone would have to back up an 18 Wheeler, take my car. You know what I mean? I take it back a small panel, but anyway, they, but when I have things going down to CGC to get crushed and graded and so forth, I have to check in.
Where’s the, what’s the best way to do that by the post office USBs. And I [01:15:00] think ups have limits on how much they’re willing personally for, and if I’m sending a $30,000 book and a lot, I have a couple of those and it’s will be insured to thousand and prejudice. So I am so far and to find the insurance company that will allow me to cover besides what I could get from the carrier to make sure that when it’s off my site, they’re almost certainly CGC and other places are on the insurance while it’s in their hand.
There’s no problems with it whatsoever. But now that I know I have some things of real value of having to make sure that now I don’t stumble and say, Hey, I sent it in there. It sat in a puddle of water on their doorstep for a day. And, and my beautiful copy of one is now. So that’s my next big thing is investigating how I’m going to actually start sending things in to get pressed and break.
I only have about 30 books braided currently, and was actually the collectors software that. Um, they have don’t have current price data because they stopped being able to go collect [01:16:00] through their API. What would they do have as their own system of what are the major and the minor keys. And out of my 30,000 print books, I have about 7,900 major keys.
And about 7,700 minor keys. And Barlow says like first appearance of a character, a big character death, B character wedding, like real life events. If you will,
[01:16:23] Stephen: those are really the only comics you on
[01:16:25] Alan: true out of my 35,000 comics. If I sell these 8,000, I’m going to get 95% of the value of my collection. I have so many things, my complete collection of rom space night, pretty much worth cover price and any number of other things.
But I just posted recently laughingly I not a box that was full of slightly older stuff, but I found I had, I have a whole run of ghost write from one to 77. Ghost rider. Number one, I’ve never really loved this title. I couldn’t believe that it was when Marvel and DC were still trying to figure out what movies to make out of their [01:17:00] vast intellectual property.
Ghost rider was early because Nicholas cage really liked it. And there’s man, you’ve got Spider-Man or ventures Daredevil, and you’re going to make ghost rider.
[01:17:10] Stephen: No, none else. Let’s take the one character that probably wouldn’t make that much money. Anyway. Let’s experiment. See what we can do, what works, what doesn’t and you ruin that movie.
So we made the other ones better, an entire franchise,
[01:17:25] Alan: but funny boy, absolute analogy to my stock. And how do you want to make money? You don’t buy Microsoft and apple because everybody knows about them. It’s not quite well-known, but as it rise, it do ride that rocket ship. I am so pleased that by having moon.
About to be a blockbuster movie by having guardians of the galaxy who knew that we would do as well as I haven’t ghost rider. So like I said, my, my copy of ghost writer might be worth like $7,000 really for something. And what I laughed about was I have certain things, like if I make money, any money off a [01:18:00] ghost writer or spawn or GI Joe, whereas I’m a complete assault by an either terrible title.
The writing is terrible. It’s beautiful. It’s a perfect vapid comic spawn has always had great artwork, but boy, that title is this so repetitive. And so there’s nothing in the origin. It’s just. Man. It’s those common denominator. And yet it’s 300 issues in it’s been going on forever. So when I, one day sell spot, I’ll be laughing all the way to the bank because someone will be happy exactly how a good home someone’s going to be.
So happy to get
[01:18:35] Stephen: all my good spots trivia. I have Oculus to updates for Oculus. I’ve been having some fun with, um, beat saber. If you do get an Oculus beat, saber is the game. And we were having a great time with that one. It’s like a rock it’s like rock band with an interesting, you got this thumping, beat music going on in your ears.[01:19:00]
You’re holding lightsabers and you’re slashing blocks. Yeah. So it was a good time. Um, but anyway, so when you take your Oculus quest, you have that stuff. Uh, to get the game, but you hook it up to your computer. It now essentially becomes a rift, which is their other product. Uh, so it accesses the rift store and runs the rift software, which comes from your computer.
So my computer needs updated to run that well, but it does do it, but I, I also need a longer cord, a three foot cord. You’re sitting there getting my full range of motion. I did hook it up and I clicked the desktop button and there was my desktop right. Floating in front of me. And I could pull up, uh, that I, I was thinking like, okay, how can I do this?
And try a zoom thing so we could record it. I’ll look into that more just to see what’s available because you can stream it. So I’m thinking if I stream it back. [01:20:00] Record that I could probably rig something up. So I got
[01:20:04] Alan: to get one. You are the devil. I got to get one. I want to try these things too. And I just didn’t really is only a couple hundred bucks for something.
That’s what life is like. You know,
[01:20:16] Stephen: you got a $7,000 ghostwriter.
[01:20:19] Alan: Exactly. It’s not only about having more toys, more things. It’s about new experience national park. I want to go to
[01:20:26] Stephen: the next, uh, now the hardware on the rift is better than the hardware on the quest. They, I don’t know why maybe the power, because it runs off a battery as opposed to the riff being plugged in.
So if you do get a rift, you get slightly better graphics when you’re hooked up to the computer, but you can’t play that alone. It has to always be hooked up. So you’re giving up a little graphics for that flexibility. Um, So the other thing I did was get this program rift only [01:21:00] called 360 photos or something like that with my phone.
You probably have it where you do the panoramic photos, you spin in a circle,
[01:21:10] Alan: puts it all together,
[01:21:11] Stephen: greedy around. Yes, it was very cool. I, when Gina and I went and saw Christmas story at Lorraine palace, I did that and I pulled that up and I’m looking around and I’m looking like, there’s my wife sitting in the seat at the palace theater.
And I’m looking all around at the pallets and we have camping trips in panoramic. We have, when we went to Maine and we’re in the ocean panoramic, we have never done that.
[01:21:36] Alan: Even though I’ve had that capability to stitch things together for 20
[01:21:40] Stephen: years, I’ve never been. Uh, well, the phones, now they do it. You just hold it and you just turn slowly in a circle and it gives you a big long.
It gives you a saccade.
[01:21:51] Alan: Exactly. First time I ever experienced that, my God, it must have been 83, no lie. We went to, [01:22:00] oh yeah. Last spring break type thing. And they had a thing where you stand in the middle of a place and then all around you projected. And one of them was, it’s a parade going down main street and you’re in it.
You’re in the middle of everywhere. You look, it’s just, and I just, that was the future. And it’s taken a while for the world to get that from 83. So quick math, 37 years ago, right? 30, 39. I got to get to this 20, 22 now, but it’s, I love the fact that you used to be special Zappo cams that only Disney had.
And now you and your phone. You can do it.
[01:22:36] Stephen: That’s really cool. So that was fun. I got to get a longer cord so we can look at all these great 3d to me that right there is the coolest thing so far. Yeah, the game’s great. We’ve got games. Okay. The beat saber is fun playing in, slicing all the things in that.
But man looking at those 360 degree photos that I was there, like I’m there again? That is really [01:23:00] cool. Okay. I got to get going. Give me your trivia.
[01:23:03] Alan: So, uh, the shape Halloween, he wears a mask who is that mosque mask?
[01:23:10] Stephen: A model of, oh
[01:23:11] Alan: my gosh. It’s a real person. It’s not just a generic thing.
[01:23:16] Stephen: Wow. Like Michael Myers.
I may have known this at one time.
[01:23:23] Alan: This is cool. Barbette Privia
[01:23:25] Stephen: yeah. Yeah. I have no idea if
[01:23:29] Alan: Williams.
[01:23:30] Stephen: Really how cool is that?
[01:23:35] Alan: So they have a little story about how they went into a place and they actually had burst different, massive versus different people. And Leonard Nimoy look different enough that they didn’t want to have it.
They want it to be blank and terrifyingly blank. And what they got from William Shatner was just what they wanted as a there’s old Roman kind of a face. And when he’s not overacting, as he was prone to do in those days, he actually has a, so that’s who it is. William Shatner
[01:23:58] Stephen: is. [01:24:00] Yeah, my face is so bland that they gave it to a serial killer.
[01:24:05] Alan: We were looking for the blend just on the bland bill. Get over here.
[01:24:08] Stephen: That’s great.
[01:24:12] Alan: Another little bit of fame, you know what I know,
[01:24:15] Stephen: that’s funny. I’m sure that stroked his ego just right. So
[01:24:19] Alan: thank you again for your flexibility and doing it today. Boy. Glad you’re better. But I really needed the day to recover from something
[01:24:26] Stephen: that I ate. Now, if we were doing the, through the Oculus, it wouldn’t have mattered.
[01:24:37] Alan: Don’t follow me down.
[01:24:39] Stephen: Don’t look down. Don’t look down.