COVID is still around and still has people catching it – and there are new variants. We don’t usually complain, but we have complaints about non-COVID believers and the other thinking of these type of people.

On better news – the new Batman movie. I mean – wow, we loved it. If you haven’t seen it, we don’t give away too much, but we can’t say enough good things about this movie.

And Moon Knight. We didn’t talk much, but we discussed what we hope it is and isn’t.

How manly is it to drink through a straw?




They actually had a video game with those two it was a split screen and you ran around and you had to hide bombs and try and catch each other. So it was it’s perfectly

[00:00:52] Alan: appropriate. It’s amazing for that premise of them trying to outwit each other 40, [00:01:00] 50 years worth of work out of it. And I think that Peter Kuyper or somebody took over after him, but he was amazingly prolific and inventive for that relatively simple premise, good stuff.

[00:01:11] Stephen: Yeah. Always fun and low in the little margins. Occasionally use it it’s just all that great stuff Matt always did. So how are you, Ellen?

[00:01:20] Alan: I’m doing fine. It some. Tough news. My mom was diagnosed with COVID. Ooh, geez. She’s in a memory care facility out in California, and it’s already relatively locked down in isolated.

Nobody can get in without testing for temperature at the desk and making sure that you’re fully vaccinated and stuff like that. And yet two people in her area herself included have now tested positive. It’s always that little weirdness of, Hey, I’m all the way here in Cleveland. And she’s in near San Diego and my, my younger brother and his family [00:02:00] are out there.

So they’ll be able to visit or not visit depending on what their new protocols are. It just is I dunno, helpless making. And I just inspired by that. I signed up to get my fourth booster. You know what I mean? The CDC just approved for anybody 50 or over that has various different health compromises and anybody 65 or older period.

And because I’ve had my melanoma and my atrial fibrillation, I check enough boxes so that I seem to get first dibs when things become available. So this very afternoon one o’clock, I’m signed up to get my next booster. And we’ll see, usually there’s a rough two or three days where while your body is building its defenses, it gives you a little bit of fever, a little bit of headache, but the fourth one that’s what I’m hoping is my body will say, oh, we’ve seen this before.

And we’ll just re gear up from according to the science, the vaccine fades with time this one in particular, because [00:03:00] it’s, I should, I don’t know why because it’s MRN because it’s not dead versus a vaccine. And your body’s immune response there, your body’s always working to fend off various different things and whatever your body gets trained to do about this one, it gets lesser priority, perhaps, so that it’s not, it hasn’t turned to nothing, but efficacy goes down from like 95% to 80% still good armor.

But if I’m going to be not only visiting California on a regular basis to go see my mom, but going to mind games in Maine or going to the AIG in Nevada or going to Quebec for just for laughs. I really want to be as safe for me and as safe for others as I possibly can be. And honestly, it might not even matter if the BA to variant of Alma Cron continues to spread.

You really might be able to go back down into lockdown mode because apparently it’s the most contagious version yet. And even though symptoms are lesser and lesser symptoms of a plague are still something that you can’t just [00:04:00] muck around with. It really is lung involvement and anything that.

Long-term effects like losing senses, anything that affects your heart or your lungs, some pretty basic operating parts of your body. My, everybody has a theory about everything. My Siri is we’ve just gotten exhausted just like when there’s a natural disaster and there’s a whole bunch of rush of aid for them.

And then after two or three months, it’s weird to see, but compassionate exhaustion kicks in.

[00:04:30] Stephen: You know what I mean? Sustain any emotion or any state of being forever. We just can’t, it’s not in our nature. Yeah.

[00:04:40] Alan: And that’s where we’re getting we, people are not, if the world isn’t safe, it isn’t fine yet.

We’re only like in the United States want, I understand the 70% vaccinated, it’s not 90, which is what you need for her to immunity, but we’re just saying. We want to eat out. We want to go on a trip, whatever else it might be. I hope that [00:05:00] because of that combination of an even more contagious variant and the people that were stubborn and never got vaccinated in the first place and the more that we are knowing it every time I’m in a place, I still wear a mask, multiple places, unless I know like at the RG this weekend that everybody was vaccinated and checked for it.

Otherwise I’m still suspicious going to not suspicious cautious. You know what I mean? Why I’m going to pick it up at Mark’s because I went to get peanut butter, that would be way to die. And actually, I didn’t even hear that there was a fourth booster ready. And that’s that should make people a little worried.

[00:05:38] Stephen: I know you get the conspiracy. There is oh, they’re just trying to make money or whatever, but this is pretty quick. They have a flu shot once a year and it’s do you want it? Do you not? It’s never pushed polio you get once you know that. This is okay, every six months there’s something new.

And if the people who are going well, I [00:06:00] heard her, I’m listening to the people that herd mentality in that everybody’s getting shot. So I don’t have to, but let’s do the math. If 30% of the people do not have it, then let’s say half of those people get COVID and die. That’s called Darwinism, first of all.

And then we’ve met herd mentality because all the people that didn’t get it died and the percentage of. Because you didn’t understand science. I know you don’t understand math

[00:06:28] Alan: honestly, and you just did the right thing. What we’re trying for is herd immunity. But when we’re really are dealing with his herd mentality, they’re part of a tribe that doesn’t believe in various different things. And starting with the word believe in the first place is a dangerous place to go. You don’t get to choose what you think is magic or not. You get to read the facts and basic conclusion on them. And I’m sure who we’ve already lost.

The first people were the very unlucky ones to be exposed to it early. And then probably the last, I don’t know, 50%, 80% [00:07:00] are the people that they wouldn’t get vaccinated. And so they got Delta and so they got home Macron and no matter you’ve heard it, that incredible denialism, no matter how. Someone is laying in a hospital bed and he is saying, it can’t be what you’re saying.

It is. And his relatives trying to visit him are saying what bad luck instead of you had every opportunity to hedge your bets here, take it. And so I dunno, my compassionate exhaustion is wearing out for the sad about those things happening instead of good Lord, you really have been given every opportunity to make yourself safe, but you didn’t.

And so I just don’t care about you as much. You’re the danger. You’re not,

[00:07:44] Stephen: you say that. And everyone’s oh my gosh, that’s horrible to say that you don’t have, okay. Hold on. Here’s my thing. And I’ve always had this stance, which I know is. The popular one. Isn’t the one people totally agree with, but let’s [00:08:00] not even talk.

The COVID right now, let’s talk about smoking. There been shown. Smoking is bad. There’s nothing. They put chemicals in it to make you addicted. They want you to smoke it because it’s a big money. There’s nothing that it benefits your body. It’s not like giving you a boost of brainpower. There’s no benefit to you whatsoever.

And. Other people and you get cancer from it. And I understand some people their environment, they get hooked on or whatever but when somebody says, oh I’ve got emphysema and I’ve on this tank and I can’t breathe. I can’t walk. You should feel sorry for me. You’re the one that smoked for 55 years.

I didn’t, I, what, why should I, oh, I have emphysema. So you should take time out of your life to come and visit me. And you should take time out of your life to take me to the hospital and you should take time and money out of your life to take me to get my medicine and pay for my medicine. And at some point, [00:09:00] why do I have to be the one to bear the burden of your choice that hurt you?

And and I know that’s a horrible thing to say I’ve got enough things I worry about with my kids and family and that somebody who chooses not to take care of themselves in some way, Why do I have to disrupt my whole life? Because now their life is good. The consequences

[00:09:23] Alan: I hear ya.

And honestly, of course, it’s not only about smoking. It’s about helmet laws. It’s about seatbelts. It’s about all kinds of things that the derision that comes from already. Oh, the minute you hear something about, we could make the world a better place by managing this thing better. Oh, that’s the nanny state.

That’s the government telling you what to do? No, it’s the people that have all the information that can see the obvious conclusion saying if our principle is we’re trying to save lives, we’re trying to make everybody safer than this small thing of not being able to smoke in a restaurant. That’s the only thing we’re asking and I think we [00:10:00] need a government agency of the ones that check up five years after the doomsayers.

And what happens is what do we hear about stopping smoking in Ohio? Oh my God. It’ll close out. Every bar and restaurant. There’s no way we’ll survive. The world continued to go on just fine, but without the smoking. And now it’s such a normal thing that first, when I lived in Illinois and went out to California and got wonderfully used to having no cigarette smoke around me and I came to Ohio to be Colleen and I as back into restaurant where it’s we have a smoking in a non-smoking section.

Oh yes. The magical force field that you cigarette smoke over there, which were filthy people that doesn’t really work. And so I, it there’s so many issues about that where we really should say, Hey, the people that proposed having a casino and how many jobs it will produce and what a nice neighborhood it’ll create five years later, somebody has to.

You lied and lied. It isn’t only that you were wrong. You knew going in that you were wrong, that you were going to be wrong. [00:11:00] And yet people don’t seem to get punished for it, pay a penalty for it, get money raked back from all the promises they made, that didn’t come true. So where’s the clawback provisions for virtually everything we do that would say every promise you make that going in is wrong.

It’s not just a broken promise. It’s fraud. You know what I mean? And we see that all kinds of places. So it’d be so nice to not just have it fade with history, but to have actually somebody say, Hey, that didn’t work out and funny. The last 10 things you’ve proposed in that way, haven’t worked out. It’s not only that those things are tricky issues.

It’s that you come down on the wrong side of every one of those tricky issues, because your reasoning is flawed because you’re in the pocket of the various different it might be. And so I don’t know, I. Lately somebody in my posts have just been about where’s our pride, how much are we going to let ourselves get fooled again?

And [00:12:00] again, by the liars and the truly evil people that really seem to be selling out hundreds of millions in order to have what, a couple million, more dollars, a couple hundred million more dollars. How many people are worth a swimming pool and a yacht and a, whatever, the trappings of success, power, while you get to be in the room where the decision is made, and then you make a shitty decision. I don’t want those people in place.

[00:12:26] Stephen: Totally agree with all that, with the COVID thing I was thinking of, and I know this won’t change the world, but just for my own benefit, thinking of writing a short story, because it was right around the civil war that they started discovering germs and bacteria and things like that and how it affected wounds and stuff.

And there were some doctors that would wash hands and other stuff. They were crazy. It wasn’t worth it. Why do that? Blah, blah, blah. I it’s like science fiction. We’ve talked about, you can reflect today’s [00:13:00] society and culture in science fiction and not get dinged because it’s a future weird society, but it’s, what’s happening.

This to me is the same thing. You get the group. Do a civil war story where this group they’re dying off. Every time someone gets shot, it gets infected and it’s hurting and limbs are falling. And then you get this other group that’s just like to do, because their doctors are washing hands and stuff

[00:13:26] Alan: like that.

And it’s funny, like you said, since science fiction will have it be like, I’m pretty doing truly, there was a star Trek episode where they went back here to the past and they saw how modern medicine state-of-the-art medicine was dealing. And I think bones had something like barbarians, what were they doing?

What were they thinking back then? And that’s all you had to do is point out like LR did like about wow, about checking to wash hands and prevent disease about pasteurizing milk. The biggest things that have aided our extended lifetime. [00:14:00] Is public health things. It’s not only we’ve had better medicine it’s that we just have clean water.

People figured out if there’s a better thing to do than defeat typhus and anything that can be waterborne and th that’s exactly the way to bump your life from 30 to 70, in the course of the last hundred years, wash hands, then you have people that start to say we can ease up on that a little bit.

You know what I mean? When they start to say, you don’t need to do food checking or water checking or air checking it’s unbelievable almost to me that they saw the benefit of all that. And they say, I don’t want that benefit anymore.

[00:14:39] Stephen: Ohio charge. You probably know this. They, if you have a hybrid or an electric car, they charge you an extra fee because you’re not paying the gas fee. I didn’t know that.

[00:14:51] Alan: We saw that a couple of years ago and we couldn’t believe it some Freakonomics, those wonderful books, talk a lot about incentives that you really can’t force [00:15:00] behavior, but you can make it.

So they just buy the right nudges in the right places. You can incentive people, incense people into doing the right thing. And when you see people that are doing exactly the opposite of that, like no matter what they’re saying, look at the wall they put in place, they talk about clean air and renewable sources, and then they charge more for the people that are willing to make the switch, because we have to maintain the gas taxes.

We have to maintain the gas profits. It’s disgusting. You know what I mean? And unfortunately we don’t have enough time in the next hundred podcasts to talk about all the examples of say yes and do no and rational laws being passed and all that kind of stuff. So I Ohio’s latest. We have gerrymandering to the EDS.

We have provable things where the representatives do not represent the blocks of people that we have living in Ohio, right? And yet by them playing chicken with the election is [00:16:00] coming up. We have to have congressional maps that will guide people as to where to go to vote and how to collect the votes and determine that.

And the courts keep saying this is provably unconstitutional, provable, gerrymandering, and they go away for six weeks and come back with something tweaked 1%, not wholesale, different, not we brought in other experts and had them guide us to it. And in fact, they just had it where the proposal by the experts, the Republicans said, yeah, thanks for that.

And it went back to what they were doing. So it’s sorry, I just defamed the Republicans. We talked about this before. If you’re looking for the things that benefits society, I don’t think I’m either Republican or Democrat. I’m very independent. What I am is smart. And if with the principle of a better democracy is more people vote.

We enable the vote. We make sure that we should have the national holiday for voting. We should make polling places open longer and more of them and all that kind of stuff. And it’s provable that, that does get the vote up. You don’t want people elected with 51% of all the people you want them where there’s a [00:17:00] mandate where it’s 90% having said all that who’s in line with opening up the vote and who’s in line with shutting it down.

And that lets me know whether people are truly Democrats, Patriots, decent people who are, whether they are chicane forests, whether they are just they’ll do whatever they can to get reelected. Smiling about wearing a nice suit while telling you all about how they’re going to protect. They’re tough on crime though, except their crime, their vast crime.

[00:17:26] Stephen: And what does it tell you when the new people get in every time and then they spend the first three, four months restructuring all the lines of the polling places, and then you look at the maps and okay, here’s a map. Okay. We, the big neighborhoods know it’s a line up through here and through here at all,

[00:17:48] Alan: it’s a salamander, it’s where it just stretches over where you can see that nowadays.

And one of the problems with big data is that we’re really can tell how various different demographics live in various different neighborhoods. W whatever, along the river, along the [00:18:00] train track, along the that kind of stuff. And you can see how they carve out such incredible specific things than it.

Isn’t at all, trying to get a mandate from the people.

[00:18:09] Stephen: And we need here. This just came to me. This is really. In negotiations, you need a third party to take care of it because when you can’t communicate, you got two sides fighting. You need that third party. What we need to do is hire Canada to run our government for a little bit, take care of things.

[00:18:30] Alan: The more that we get a true war, crime type stuff being done, where we’re killing our own people or where we’re stealing money, wholesale it off. It goes to the various different tax havens and stuff like that. I often wonder about that. When is the UN going to say, wow, you’re a rogue nation. The United States you are absolutely all the things in the Pandora papers and the Panama papers.

You have all, you have more than enough examples to say you are [00:19:00] a failing state. You’re a sieve. You are not guarding the vote. You are not guarding monetary. It’s amazing what you’re saying. And yet What do you have the people in charge making the rules and being able to direct, Hey, if the IRS is now starting to focus on us more, huh?

I think I’ll take some money out of the IRS so that I’ll make sure that the IRS guidelines are go after the people that are making less than a hundred thousand dollars, because that’s where you’re going to find the real bad guys. No, it’s the amazing, like this one guy with all the little tax tricks that he’s done.

Is as bad as the next hundred thousand, the next million people. And yet it’s hard to go after the oligarchs. Like we’re finding out with Russia if w wouldn’t it be an interesting, heartening thing if the same yacht, impounding and shutting down of financial travesties and stuff like that was happening to the worst of our guys.

And it doesn’t have to be focused on the United States, just the worst of the [00:20:00] world in general, the way that those places exist in the grand Caymans on the isle of man. And all those, not just tax havens, but actual horrible ways of hiding money, tax shelter, avoiding, not just taxes, but even the repatriation of profits and stuff like that.

It there’s all kinds of books that talk about. There’s no better explanation for. The top 10 things that have happened to the world in the last 50 years, then sociopathic greed as compared to, oh no, a natural disaster. Oh no, very bad luck. Oh no military adventuring. It really does seem to be getting down to the, it was funny.

So now I’m saying this and it’s I’m only paranoid. I know that everybody knows this and yet nobody can do anything about it. And so we just hope, I hope they don’t turn their spotlight on me. It’s maddening. I don’t get how it continues to go on, boy. This is, I say this I’m not at all advocating it.

We shouldn’t do these [00:21:00] bad things, but I am amazed at people. Don’t get shocked. I’m amazed that someone who just had their wife died because they couldn’t get medical care. And then here comes the guy out of Congress that passed the bill that said, no, you’re not going to get that medical care. I’m amazed that more people don’t say I, you’re not going to live a day longer than my wife.

I, like it just

[00:21:22] Stephen: in the stories,

[00:21:25] Alan: vigilante justice, I don’t want that. And yet I’m amazed it’s not happening because the ease of getting a gun and the boiling over point that we’re reaching with the class structures that we have and stuff like that, that Mitch McConnell getting yelled at while he was eating at the one restaurant.

I’m really happy that no one got hurt, but all it would take is that one little next step to be I

[00:21:51] Stephen: So what would happen is then they would pass all these more stringent laws. People that [00:22:00] take any actions against politicians or government and stuff. And then they would pass things to allow for private security for government officials.

And we’d be paying for all of that. And then what would happen? Somebody would get mad, raise the voice and just get shot because he was threatening the governor and that’s legal to shoot them now it could be that, but it also can be, Hey, if you’ve got nothing to live for, like just that, if it wasn’t your wife, he’s I’m sick. I know I’m going to die and I can’t get the insulin. That’s going to keep me alive. Wow. I would, you know who wouldn’t go say there’s people on this planet. Be here longer than I am because they caused this so it, I just that whatever, that sense of law versus justice, whatever that sense of pure justice, it really there’s, I don’t know.

[00:22:51] Alan: There’s all kinds of spy novels that are based on if you’re willing to die, you can penetrate any system if you’re cutting enough and patient enough and [00:23:00] so much don’t want it to be that way. And yet I think that the bad guys use that against the polite society, knowing that they can indeed be folks’ security or they get, I don’t know, every time you read about why haven’t we assassinated foreign leaders.

It isn’t necessarily, I think because it’s horrible and immoral it’s that means that they could get assassinated to the people that might order that assassination are now also. And so I, but having said that, I’m wondering why Putin hasn’t been killed. He ordered the assassination of all kinds of people in terms of, Hey, let’s slip some radioactive material into the reporters, coffee or whatever else it might be.

Why hasn’t that equal an office, that code of Hammurabi response it’s because Putin has too many body doubles, is it because he’s too well-protected? I don’t think so. I think that they really could do it, but boy, this is going on terrible tracks. I really don’t want to be the [00:24:00] latest info wars, nut bar podcast.

Isn’t that everything has to be the best way to solve this with a gun I have.

[00:24:07] Stephen: It’s funny though, you mentioned sociopath and it makes me think of the arguments. What’s the difference between justice and vengeance and retribution because there’s slight differences there depending on the circumstances and somebody who does that.

It’s Batman.

[00:24:30] Alan: So you, that it’s I just saw it. I just saw last week. I went to the theater, had my mask on set far enough away so I could sneak some popcorn and stuff. It’s a great movie. It is the fact that it wasn’t like one of the flaws of the Batman movie from the past too many villains, but they really just had crowded in and tried to make it how can he defeat five people went in the comic books.

Usually one good villain is good enough for a three six issue arc. [00:25:00] They didn’t retell the origin story one more time because they also they like, I don’t know, they didn’t just make it that it’s a Lark. It’s not a millionaire Playboy having a good time, but that he’s really consulted, suffering, punishing being punished for this kind of thing that he ended up.

And that it isn’t as comic book. It isn’t Hey, I’ll go punch a couple of bad guys and I’ll be it very much prove it presents the conspiracy theory aspect of how many people are really in on this who really wants a vigilante who really owns the cops who really owns industry. And I thought that the performances were really good.

The guy who plays the Riddler the Riddler became a joke ever since the TV show from the sixties. And maybe he was presented as a joke version of the joke or when he was first created, but they reformed him over the last 40 years where he’s really brilliant and just has that weird need to confess quirk about him.

But [00:26:00] after a while, he also has that I’m tired of being upstaged by the joker and by Mr. Freeze and whatever else, I’m brilliant. I can do really evil plotting. I can really make it so that it’s more like. You know what’s the seven, that’s a really grizzly death. What kind of med would do that?

So the fact that he could hide in plain sight, that he’s just an ordinary looking Joe, that happens to also be insane and therefore capable of anything. Brilliant, and insane. Exactly that. And the involvement of there are elements in society that are going to do what he wants, just because they want the chaos.

There really are anarchists. There really are people that if I ally with this guy and I can let my purge craziness out, there you’ll find that there’s no henchmen, aren’t just, Hey, he pays me $15 an hour to wear a funny shirt and go into the bank. There are people that are going to be happy to say, army, I will be [00:27:00] your execution arm or whatever else it might be.

So they captured a whole bunch. Past Batman through the mirror of today. And what we’re thinking,

[00:27:13] Stephen: what I remember thinking that the movie is that. Every scene, they put weight into it. It’s hard until you see it. It’s really hard to understand that comment, but every scene just feels like it’s bearing down on you and they don’t rush.

They don’t. Batman walks almost what that gunslinger pace they show the heavy boots to hear the loud tread of the boots.

Yes. But and this is spoilers. He has the Bain Jews, so that could come up in the next movie. And he goes, yeah. And he goes really crazy when he has that going on.

But and just the whole movie, every scene is. [00:28:00] Precise and thought out and it doesn’t feel like it’s dragging, but they’re not rushing to get to the end. That all, that’s

[00:28:06] Alan: a great way to put it. Matt Reeves did perfect pacing. And boy, I’ll tell you it hats off to the soundtrack people. So much of the movie was it wasn’t at all chipper, bright it, usual swoopy adventure noises.

It was a whole bunch of deep, like all in a minor key all with deck. If you’re looking for how to build that brooding, that sense of menace, et cetera, et cetera, the absolutely this soundtrack is like third star of this film. It really lends atmosphere to everything that’s going on.

[00:28:36] Stephen: Yeah. And Bruce, that they hardly ever did any focus on the philanthropists millionaire, Playboy that wasn’t really a part of this at all.

It was. At man, it really was.

[00:28:48] Alan: Yeah. It’s funny part of comic book missiles lately has been who’s the real person superman plays Clark Kent. You can tell there, Clark [00:29:00] has goes on an alter ego. You know what I mean? That really he’s Superman and that’s the same for Batman that when he puts on the whole costume to disguise himself, he’s actually putting on the costume that reveals himself.

You know what I mean? That it really is him that angel of vengeance stats that a tortured, they had, they did have, though they didn’t repeat the origin. They had a whole bunch of references to how his parents died and how that sets that entire way unfortunate into disarray.

And that it actually, the way unfortunately, is got abused by making it a renewal fund that became this slush fund that the criminals use. So one generation was all it took to have it be here’s this young man, not in his majority yet that couldn’t guide things. And the vultures, the evil people swept in and were able to do terrible things.

I just, another one of those movies, you really got to see it, like in the big theater with the big salad and everything. So that it’s an enveloping experience. What’s most effective on your home TV, no matter how big your TV might be. Cause you’re really, as you want to [00:30:00] be enveloping in it not have any distractions.

You know what I mean? Yeah. We say this all the time. Every time that I go to a theater or a show and it’s really good. And yet I see somebody checking their phone. I’m like, what is fractured in their brain? That this thing is not riveting. That they still had to check that little beep boop of their fault.

It can’t be the whatever’s coming on. The phone is as interesting as this as well done as this

[00:30:26] Stephen: It’s the addiction quality there. And by the way, it’s going to be on HBO in two, three weeks, that’s cycle. Those seem to be quicker and quicker than it used to be. They released in the theaters as long as they were making any kind of box office.

[00:30:40] Alan: They keep it there nowadays sometimes there are simultaneous releases and then there’s. And been some friction about that, that if you didn’t black widow, actually that is Scarlett Johansson, the studio, because some part of her compensation was based on box office instead of pay-per-view or whatever the equivalent free, if you will on Netflix.[00:31:00]

And so by not staging it that way and having initial public demand all be dedicated to seeing the movie, she kinda got short shrift. I don’t know how that turned out. Then there was a settlement, but no numbers were revealed, but all that stuff is still being decided as to when you have digital everything everywhere.

It’s very much the choice. It’s not a matter of how quickly can you get the, can fill them out to the various different theaters

[00:31:25] Stephen: and what you said about the music anyone that’s oh, I’ll just wait until it comes at home. What I don’t get is the people that. These huge TVs, but then they don’t have any type of good sound system.

It’s just the little speakers on the DV,

[00:31:39] Alan: right? Not even a soundbar, no subwoofer.

[00:31:41] Stephen: It makes so much

[00:31:42] Alan: difference. Yeah. I, a good friend, Denny was one of the first guys I knew that had actually created that home studio that, that home theater where it really had the big screen, but also just had everything arrayed correctly so that when ducky watched Armageddon, if I remember was the movie that he [00:32:00] showed me where it really was a huge space ship, swooshing noises.

And when something explodes, it really like chest thumping kind of deep bass and stuff like that. So I don’t really need to watch everything that way. I don’t mind TV kind of being on in the background while I’m doing something else. But when you want to watch it, it’s very cool to have.

[00:32:23] Stephen: The Batmobile this time was so nice.

Oh, it was because again, all this movie, they didn’t name the bad guys. It wasn’t the joker and the Riddler and Catwoman. And it was just, these are vigilantes crazy, but and so I liked that also they didn’t use the names to make it campy. They kept that out of it.

And then they come out with the car and that looks like if I was, if I had the money and the expertise, that’s the Batmobile I’d

[00:32:57] Alan: make, man. Yeah. I don’t know, like a Mustang and then just [00:33:00] soup it up to how a power plant. It’s exactly that. So we skipped right over Catwoman, very effective. You know what I mean?

Whatever that thing is that they’re both on the edge. I don’t know, living very dangerous lives and yet there’s attraction. And there’s something about that, that they can’t refute it, even though they know that they really shouldn’t be doing this kind of stuff. So she was appropriately flirty and slinky, and yet very much for a woman, she isn’t just an appendage cat woman.

Like it used to be that she was just a love interest. No, she’s very much her own solid character and threat if you will. And so she’s walking me where’s that man’s walking into a vigilante and justice and vengeance line. She’s walking that I like pretty things. I’m a great thief, but if I steal it from the bad guys that I’m actually doing society, a service and all that kind of stuff very much, what they also showed was that it, isn’t only the costume crazies that are the threat.

If you’ve got deeply embedded crime, deeply embedded [00:34:00] corruption I don’t know, a hundred cops chasing you around the city, a thousand it’s more dangerous than the Riddler tried to set up a deathtrap for you. You know what I mean? And the fact that they had obvious like the mafia references and president Moroni right.

Without cones. Exactly. And John, Turturro very good as the like very polite looking a salt and pepper haircut gentlemen, that kid speaks very calmly and nicely while he orders people’s desks. You know what I mean? You don’t have to be spit flying off your lips, raving lunatic to still be a very dangerous.


[00:34:39] Stephen: and penguin they didn’t give him the cheesy nose and the flippers or crap like that. And you saw who the penguin was, yeah. Oh my gosh. I didn’t recognize him at all. That was fantastic.

[00:34:55] Alan: Just enough scarring and not like you said, not prosthetics to make them look grotesque, but [00:35:00] absolutely that these.

Dick Tracy, maybe it might’ve been the first one to start this where it said, if you really are disfigured, deformed, et cetera, it really might separate you from society. And especially if what you get is often derision and that kind of thing, it’s no wonder that you get a chip on your shoulder.

And that very much seems to be the case, a huge iceberg on his shoulder the penguin ha you want to mean that he really was very effective. And so was Colin Farrell. Exactly. So

[00:35:37] Stephen: Daredevil.

[00:35:38] Alan: Exactly. And and not to be weird, a very handsome guy. And yet you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the really distorted scarred, terrible stuff.

[00:35:51] Stephen: Yeah. The thing I really loved about the Batman himself is it really felt like he was a young 20. [00:36:00] Kid that was just doing on anger more than skills. He would jump through a window and stumble and fall and he got knocked down and beat up as much as he took care of other people.

And he did, he at first I was like, oh, come on Patterson. He’s too much of a skinny little guy. It worked so well. And it made me feel closer to the Batman because yeah. He’s if I tried to do that, when I was 23, you

[00:36:28] Alan: know, there’s been some great series, as Ben, Matt has a long history, but what they’ve done currently, and I say currently, let’s say 20 years ago, it was, they started to do, maybe this was even 30 years ago, Batman year one where like Frank Miller, David Macelli.

If I remember right, they did things of what was it really like when he was starting off, he didn’t have the whole bat cave full of souvenirs. He didn’t have the bat pewter. And he just wasn’t an accomplished guy. Yet. He had done all of the training of schooling so that he was a martial arts proficient and was young detective and that kind of stuff.

But he sure wasn’t anywhere [00:37:00] near the formidable kind of running the universe, Batman, he isn’t the justice league. You know what I mean? He’s always 1, 2, 3 steps ahead of even the most super powered guys he’s ahead of the flash. How do you do that anyway? So that you’re right. It was good to show him when he’s just starting off when he’s not, I don’t know.

He hasn’t he’s not in vulnerable indomitable. He really has to work for it. And that is a more coachable guy, like you’re saying.

[00:37:27] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. Good movie event. If people haven’t seen it yet go see it. If it’s still in the theater, grab it when it comes out and speaking on the Spider-Man is out now.

So got to go get that copy of that. I think

[00:37:39] Alan: it comes out this weekend and I’m looking forward to more, and another one where let’s see it’s is it Jude law, but who’s doing no, Chris, Jared Leto, George Leno. Exactly that. And he sure looks like he’s got that. The ability to go from Placid to violent quickly.

That would [00:38:00] be what you were, if you were like, hydrophobic, crazy funeral rabies, do you know what I mean? I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. And moon night dropped today. The first episode with Oscar Isaacson. Oh

boy, I need to get out. I’m going to have to watch that because I’m I must’ve been, I have some misgivings, I don’t think of Oscar Isaac, as a happy weight.

And I really was looking forward to, I don’t know who I was looking forward to, but he wasn’t there all that’s perfect. So I’ll have to see what he does with it. He really does accurately. He’s I’ve liked him in various different roles. I haven’t been like, wow, he’s the actor of his generation. So I’m hoping that I am very wrong and that he does the right amount of crazy, the right amount of threatening the right amount of charming because Moonlight in his various different identities is all of those things.

You don’t get Marlene without being a really good Playboy and stuff like that. [00:39:00] So we’ll see. And

[00:39:01] Stephen: it’s one of those I find interesting because. Except for the comic book geeks, people don’t know who Moonlight is. They’ve never heard of them. They have no idea. The general public who loved iron man and loved them game and all that have no clue.

So drawing those people in is going to be a tricky thing. Even the ones that have watched Loki and one division is cause one division had split reviews. A lot of people were like, eh didn’t care for it. So this is another one that I think Marvel is going to have to work harder than they have.

In the past to get people into it. I’ll

[00:39:37] Alan: tell you so much of what I’m hope goes on here is that they use the right stories by that meaning multiple originally created by, I think Doug match. And like I like multiple people have put their stamp on him by having done the various different miniseries.

He’s not been an ongoing character for the last 40 years. He’s had 12 or 32 or whatever issues. And [00:40:00] then it has never been a big seller, so he fades away, but then it comes back. Sometimes he’s been with the west coast Avengers or whatever. Warren Ellis did a really great version of him.

Multiple people have, but I’m like, just I was very happy that the do patrol was done with grant Morrison as the principal. That’s why it is so quirky and so much like nothing you’ve ever seen before, because he’s got a vast imagination. And so just that, whatever that combination. Charm and threat and madness that they has to have Warren Ellis really captured that well, and I’m hoping that a lot of what’s going on here is not just he’s a different version of the Batman.

You know what I mean? That I really want it to be that they go with the best source material and adapt a lot of that into what’s going on here. The show runners will not just do it slavishly. They’re going to combine different parts of the mythos and move things around tie wise, just like they did with.

Dr. Strange where the punished[00:41:00]

[00:41:00] Stephen: Keep good Egypt references and things. And don’t give them just a gun when you can use something Egypt those type of things. I bugged me when shows do that. Oh yeah. It’s Egypt, but he’s wearing a a Punisher type costume and he’s using a gun.

Where’s the Egyptian part. Come in. You said Egypt. So that’s it.

[00:41:23] Alan: I, one thing I know that they retained that I’ve always, I liked this. I think it was L somebody done this the first time is people talk to them about your, you operate at night and yet you wear a white costume why would you do that?

Doesn’t it make you less effective? He goes, oh, no. I want them to see me calming. Just so perfectly arrogance or threatening or,

[00:41:44] Stephen: and I always took his outfit to be like like he rose from the moon. Cause it’s kinda moon color.

[00:41:52] Alan: Exactly that and it’s funny. So from they have established now that he got another thing is interesting [00:42:00] about him, is that it isn’t just I’m the avatar of country on earth and it’s not only the goddess thought of vengeance, which could be like the specter, if you will, on the, in the other DC side.

But it’s also, I protect travelers by. Very interesting specific thing. And yet that enables them to pull in all of the, wow, a woman walking down the street that somebody is getting threatened by the guy with a knife or something like that. And th the parts of him that are about that that I, as an avatar I got get my powers from country.

There’s the moon tie in. So that the more that it is, the fuller moon, the stronger he is, I’m not sure if that’s in the series, but that’s what it has been in books, but he’s not only a psychosomatic thing because he is mad and any, it’s like, how much can you transform yourself on a basis of you’re going to believe what you want to, and if you are with hysterical, strength stronger, because you [00:43:00] think the full makes you stronger than you are.

There’s a whole bunch of cool things going on here.

[00:43:07] Stephen: And they had that revamp. Bendis series where instead of just being different personalities, it was personalities of captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man as well. That’s a chance to bring them in a little cameo out like they did with captain America when Loki turned into him for five seconds just a

[00:43:29] Alan: little, yeah.

They’ve had a lot of like, whenever you have a I dunno, all kinds of superheroes have a code against killing, not so much Moonlight, not so much the Punisher. And so sometimes when you get a team up, if you will, or at least stay, meet the superhero sometimes feel well, I got to bring this guy and he just shot someone.

Except with the guy, bad guy was really just the most evil rapist. That’s new shit in the universe. Superhero has to be saying, all I got to do is just walk away. All I gotta do is not do [00:44:00] anything. And justice will have been done in a way that I couldn’t have done, but we might need to have this brutalist.

You know what I mean? This last sanction, instead of Nope, put them in prison, put them in the asylum hall. He got out again in three months. I’m menaced again, the world is menaced again. So

[00:44:17] Stephen: we’ve had that ethical conundrum discussion because it goes back to again. Okay. What you just said, captain America stumped.

This guy, put him in jail, but we know he’s going to get out 10 more times and kill a thousand people each time. Moonlight came in and just killed him and he didn’t go to jail. So ethically captain misery. Oh my God. You can’t do that. That makes you a monster. Does it? Isn’t it more of a monster to.

Yeah, you’re more of a monster. If he’s going to kill people and you let them live, there’s that ethical discussion. And it comes up in comics all a whole lot. Absolutely.

[00:44:53] Alan: And that’s what there isn’t a right answer, obviously, but it is going to be one of those things that, that shows how [00:45:00] comic books have matured since the sixties, seventies, eighties, where the first time that you had that dilemma of are really going to put them away one more time.

And it was really that him getting out that his crimes were then on your neck and your head, you didn’t take care of business all the way to make it. We could never get out. And the more that they, not only the asylum aspect, but they have super powered criminals a day, keep building better prisons, right?

The raft or project Pegasus or whatever else it might be. When a whole bunch of them count it once it’s, as if a title wave has hit the city how do you stop 10 super powered rhinos and wrecking crews and the crazy strong guys, how do you recapture it? How do you undo the damage that they’ve done while they rampage?

There’s some pretty, one of the joys of talking about comic books nowadays is that it really is the real world. I know that’s a terrible way to say it. Cause of course it’s not, but they bring in I dunno, they had a series about damage control after they have a big fight who cleans [00:46:00] up, who’s responsible for the cost of that.

Who’s going to get sued because somebody got trapped in the wreckage. You know what I mean? It’s superhero, real-world intrusion in a way, but it sure is real more real.

[00:46:13] Stephen: Th the best superhero, modern superhero stories are like what we were saying with the Saifai stories, where they can reflect society in a way that you can’t do in just literature fiction or something they can show and people accept it.

But even though it’s, Hey, this is what’s going on. And, you

[00:46:32] Alan: know, Exactly. I’ll tell you a breakthrough series, as you might know, was the green lantern green arrow series by Denny O’Neil and Neil Adams. They were it might be that you’re a superhero. What you do is punch out the bad guys when they robbed the bank or somehow tried to take over the world.

What about systemic problems? Prejudice aids, [00:47:00] drugs,

what are you doing to save the world from harder things than even any villain? And that’s what the series is about is them if you really are like so powerful, shouldn’t you be spending your time elsewhere?

Shouldn’t you be like a willing into existence that heroin doesn’t exist anymore or something like that.

[00:47:21] Stephen: So it’s multifaceted in later. Problems cause Greenland, he can use his ring and his will to do just about anything. So then does he go around and snatch up all the drug dealers and then what does he do with them?

And we go back to the moral thing and is it his right to do that to other people? And I can see an argument either way, depending on your, depending on what you were assigned in the debate class, it’s rarely

[00:47:57] Alan: What’s cool is the seeds for what [00:48:00] then later happened was parallel.

Are all planted. And to me, that Denny O’Neil series where green arrow was saying, you really have to step up, you have to do more. If you really have this power, you shouldn’t be wasting it on petty thing. You should be doing big things will when green lantern does that, like my city was destroyed by Mongol.

If I remember right, I’m going to bring it back. But in order to do that, I’m going to have to do all kinds of terrible things. So how much does the end justify the means? Same as what, maybe the same, similar to what went on with civil war. You know what I mean? There’s a clash of philosophies and neither one of them is neat.

They’re all messy and interconnected and tangled. And yet when you start to have the absolute. That insist. It has to be one way and only one way that it makes people take sides about what we’re really going to let that happen. It really going to aid it in happening. And boy, there was the whole concept of a superhero vigilante taking the law into his own hands, no matter how many good guys you’ve Catherine bad guys, you captured, I’m going to how much a good [00:49:00] guy you are.

If you’ve done it without sanction from society, your elected leaders and so forth. It strikes at the heart of that. We are a representative democracy, you know what

[00:49:09] Stephen: It goes back to what what who gets to decide, who makes that choice. And when is the line drawn it right there.

Greenland or, and if you could bring this whole city back with all these people, cause it affected you. How come you didn’t save my daughter when she was going to get hit? Or how about it’s all about

[00:49:29] Alan: you? Wow. It’s funny. One of the joys of talking about these kinds of things is for all the people that really don’t know how cool comic books are, if they have to get past a Biff man, Powell, part of comic books saw Batman in the sixties and they think that it’s all kind of silly.

And boy, instead, I’ve gotten so much out of the moral and societal conflicts that have been presented and how people deal. How do you deal in a relationship where I really love with this woman, but I can’t tell her my [00:50:00] biggest secret. What does that do to erode love? To know what I mean? Like boy, it’s they really.

I’m very happy with all the kind of books I read, because they’ve prepared me as much as anything else for the world and how difficult it is, how messy, how intricate, how, there’s very few Bracketology. Yes. Nos. It’s all. Wow. This is a fifty one forty nine call and I’m still not sure that I went through.

I’m going to have to review it in three months and see how did it turn out? You know what I

[00:50:28] Stephen: mean? And it’s still funny to me, the people that, oh, you read comic books, those are for kids. But they will go see the superhero movies and enjoy those. And even beyond that, they’re like you shouldn’t be reading those comics.

But they’ll go see a movie based on a book, but not read the book.

[00:50:48] Alan: Ah, boy, there’s no accounting for things people do with their brains, that draft analyzed, whatever they’re doing. It’s right.

[00:50:57] Stephen: It’s the right. But the great thing [00:51:00] is we get the best of everything when we enjoy the books, the comics and the movies.

[00:51:04] Alan: Exactly it I I continue to use Comixology, try to catch up on current stuff.

[00:51:12] Stephen: I got news on that.

[00:51:14] Alan: In fact, let’s go into that. I’m enjoying certain things. I love your son turned me on to the house in the woods, a nice house in the woods. Very interesting. You know what I mean? It’s nice to see some of the new names.

My past Amazon followers were all people. I already liked the Ellen Moores and the Brian Bendis these and so forth. But that was like I got to throw tinny on in there. I got to throw him Ryan. I got yo there’s all kinds of Tom king, all kinds of new art. Writers and some artists that I like enough that I like, no matter what they’re working on, I want to see it.

I want to see what their latest is. There’s not only them on Batman it’s that they showed such craft and what they were doing, that I’m just ready to see. I’m ready to see whatever they’re working on. So I saw on some news that [00:52:00] we weren’t the only ones that was complaining about the switchover, Amazon and Konica.

[00:52:05] Stephen: So I heard, and I. Talk to the app off my iPad, which I need to put back, but the comics ology app, I guess they made some tweaks and improvements to address some of the problems and concerns. Now they really need to do that with the Kindle app. I hate digging through all my comics now to try and find the books I’m looking for.

[00:52:26] Alan: I hear you that the main, who, as any kind of serial reader, any kind of collector, doesn’t want to wait to manage their collection. It’s not just dog’s dinner that it’s not, or it’s not chronological. It’s not only alphabetical. I need to be able to do multiple things to get quickly to what I’m interested in right now.

And they sure haven’t set themselves up in that

[00:52:45] Stephen: way. No. So hopefully that’ll get better. And FYI, I I don’t know if it’ll go anywhere, but and I know some people like. Websites, some don’t, but comic book [00:53:00] resources which they, I know they spew out a ton of news all the time. Tons of articles and a lot of it can be

[00:53:07] Alan: rumor mill stuff, which I don’t care for.

[00:53:10] Stephen: Okay. Yes. A lot of times they have the updated info and they talk, they have some good articles on characters in comics. So anyway, I submitted a writing sample to do we’ll submit articles and news and stuff for them. So the first guy read it, got back to me and said he passed it onto the editorial team.

So I feel I got past one gatekeeper. So we’ll see

[00:53:34] Alan: what happens get another byline. So I have to make a funny observation. So here we are the fact that people can see us. So I occasionally go and get my little drink here. And I’m like when you’re on a talk show, when you’re trying to look like big Mr.

Hollywood, there’s not a lot of people in. Moving on. So I remember, [00:54:00] I, I guess I, I remember seeing a comedian and I wish I could cite who it was. Cause it was hilarious where he’s one of the things you don’t want to do in a bar is know if you’re sitting there, Hey told me to come over there and kick your ass.

I still drink from a straw often is automatically like unmanly or something. You know what I mean? Like instead of sitting there going down, wiping a little bit, I got to get my morning beer. I got to get my shower. Scott’s first thing in the morning instead, me and my diet, Dr. Pepper in a little plastic cup with a little straw.

That’s I guess that’s my tea. So I’m not running them out of my

[00:54:43] Stephen: head other than drinking a beer from a split a straw. So there’s no

[00:54:49] Alan: way to get even drunk faster because it error rates. Really. I think I heard that read that anyway.

[00:54:56] Stephen: I can’t drink a beer at the

[00:54:57] Alan: restaurant. It’s funny most [00:55:00] of the time, I’m just paying attention to you, but I glanced over at myself.

It’s like turtle or something,

squirly strong that goes down to Tanzania.

[00:55:20] Stephen: I’m going to run out of time over the weekend we had the date and the Archie, and we’re getting back into the RGS. And you mentioned that earlier. So feedback response, we’ll send it to Dan, maybe

[00:55:36] Alan: there we go. For those of our listeners who might not be mentioned, Mensa has a very cool tradition about regional gatherings all over the country.

They have various different groups in cities that put on a big party on a weekend, usually Friday to Sunday. And it’s not only a party where everybody gets together and mingles and drinks. They have programs, various different medicines who are knowledgeable and passionate about various different things.

Present. [00:56:00] They have a big games room where you can play all different kinds of games. Most groups have a huge games collection. So you’re, if you are all a gamer, that’s a great place to go to find like-minded people. There was a big hospitality suite. 24 hour food and drink and snacks and stuff like that.

And you could just sit at a table and have the wonderful art of conversation just catch up with your friends, this case, because it was our first RG in two years. Plus it really was a delight to see people, men, since a big hugging crowd there’s all the, it, of course the science says, it’s good for you.

It makes your oxytocin go off. Now, your Oxycontin just teasing. Gosh, Towson golf. It’s really good, but it just is man, I’m a hugger and I like getting hugged. And for the last two years it’s been pretty much Khaleed and I touchy couple and stuff like that, but to go there until man, I missed you so much, Dave, I miss you so much, Steven, that kind of stuff.

It was really. And so I [00:57:00] saw you did a couple of wonderful programs that make you happy to attend. Went to had a couple of late night games. We played Encore where everybody sings eight words of a song based on various different words. And it’s amazing if you want to see it’s a very different game with medicines than with regular people, if you will, because medicines are just so encyclopedic in what they’ve heard on the radio, they know coal miners Didi’s they know it’s sometimes you get out of work.

45 minutes later, you finally run out of songs that use the word love in it. So Helene and I’ve actually been working on a version where it says as odd, specific as you can. You know what I mean? Like songs that spell out numbers somewhere in it. So you gotta get your

tribute. So at least it’ll be only three things per category, not 300. My, this is the snacking thing is dangerous for me because I did not have empty calorie [00:58:00] city. And yet you got peanut M and M’s, they’ve got various different kinds of chips. And so I really am good. I restrict myself to one set of fun size things so that I really don’t just go into a hypoglycemic coma.

Exactly. One of the, one of the things that’s hilarious. They have a, usually a cooler that has ice cream treats in it. And tell me that, that isn’t like a 10 year old fantasy. Gosh, I can have as many. Ice cream sandwiches and dream circles and nut bars. And all of that is I want to stand next to it with the lid open and just keep my face.

[00:58:38] Stephen: That’d be a lot worse than the straw thing. Let me die.

[00:58:42] Alan: I once went to a party at a basket Robins. They used to do these. I’m not sure if they still do, especially not in the era of COVID we’re like four 20 people and you have an hour and they could eat as much ice cream as they want. You get to go behind the counter, if you will.

Oh man. We did that in college and there were a couple of people. I was like, I’ll take it all in the trailer. [00:59:00] I just, I must’ve tried a dozen scoops in an hour and that’s talk about brain freeze. Talk about my head. This hurts so good. But give me the chocolate

a little bit. What this is. That’s silly kid fantasy of man. I don’t even have, I didn’t even have my tonsils out and I could have all the ice cream that I want. And I know sometimes you describe what an RG is to somebody who’s never been to one. I did that when Gina and her kids first came.

[00:59:33] Stephen: What that’s weird. I’m like, really, you’re going to say that’s weird. And yet you’ve been to a Superbowl party. So you can’t say this is weird and once you get into it, it’s great. Cause there’s so many talks. You get the gamut talking about astronomy, then learning how to cha-cha and then talking about how certain dog is better than a different type of breed of dog and real

[00:59:58] Alan: world stuff.

They talked about, [01:00:00] like the fall of empires, they talked about Ukraine and Russia. As current and topical is that they had all kinds of things. And that usually it’s not only the person that presenting this knowledgeable in a room full of people that can try them in sometimes no discharge him in.

They actually try to take over the stage. Speaker has to be a good manager of maybe ask a question instead of make a statement but honestly, that’s an anomaly only once in a while. Do you have those. Unsociable people, most of the time, there’s just such a great exchange of knowledge and of enthusiasm for the topic in the room.

I that’s my favorite part of going to gatherings, the annual gathering, where it’s five days long and there’s hundreds of programs and there’s five each time slots. So you really have to make some choices. It kills me to be like my God, there’s a comic book talk and there’s an origami talk at the same time, my weird quirks that I’m going to have to pick one.

So right.

[01:00:57] Stephen: And for like me, [01:01:00] it’s good practice to do the talks cause they’re always eager for someone to do something. Program-wise so you get some good feedback and I’ll tell you. It’s one of those. If you don’t do much public speaking you really have to practice way more than you may think.

You may think you have it down, you know it, then you’re giving it. You’re like, oh, I forgot this. And oh my slide. That’s not right. And when I got done with these two this time, it really clicked what I need to do to rearrange, fakes out and streamline the talks a bit more.

[01:01:34] Alan: Exactly. I shoot a live talk more than a hundred times, probably about a hundred.

50 now and on many different topics, I really have over the course of my 40, 50, 45 years in Mensa, I’ve presented a lot. And often by the time that I’m doing, like I do a talk and I’ll take it on the circuit, I’ll do it in Dayton and Cincinnati and Columbus. And then over at Chicago and maybe at the ag and by about the third version, is it what [01:02:00] I really wanted it to be all along?

I’ve included the things that I left out or I tuned things based on people’s feedback, or I just like this isn’t flowing. How do I rearrange things so that I get to the cool stuff where everybody’s just that. So I like it when people do. Constructive feedback. I like it when I, myself take a moment and just jot down a little note of I need a better picture for this.

I need a better example or whatever else it might be. Almost always, I am so loaded with information that I run over. And so often I’ll say Hey, if you need someone to speak over dinner, it’s not that I’m like, oh, high quality is the dinner speaker, but it’s more if that’s the hour and a half slot and people don’t mind having me talk while they’re eating, I’m willing to forgo and get whatever scraps are left to just have it, that the comic book movies talk that it has given is wonderful and lengthy and people are really enthusiastic about it, but it doesn’t fit it in an hour.

You know what I mean? So we’ll see. I didn’t speak at this one because we weren’t, I wasn’t even sure that we were going to be there. The more that [01:03:00] things in California changed, what weekends were available and stuff like that, the more that I have to maintain some. So I’m going to be speaking on comic book geography at the annual gathering.

Nice. And that’s a form. That’s a relatively recent one that I did for Baldwin Wallace. You know what I mean? I did my course six things for bald walls and that’s one of the, I did it there and I’ve updated it and bettered it. And especially with things coming out just now with, Spider-Man no way home and the Mo multi-verse of madness, where they’re getting an idea that the comic book universe is big, that there’s all different kinds of timelines and all different kinds of planets and dimensions and alternate universe as if you will.

I, another one of those ways, and it works. People are like, that’s not like little Lada and Huey Dewey and Louie. Big stuff. That’s like string theory, level smartness, the universe really might be a multi-verse so that we bleed over into each other or whatever, how do black holes work, whatever else it might be.

And so I’m looking forward to [01:04:00] being like, this is me stretching out my mighty Mensa brain through the medium of Chi books as best I can. We’re going to talk about, could it be vibratory planes? How do you hide a continent? You know what I mean? There really were places that were Terra incognita on earth until 1940, a rule filled with people.

And it was still hadn’t penetrated that jungle or that. And architect place. And that’s one of the reasons that I loved reading pulps when I was young is because the books offered, figured that doc Savage went to all kinds of places on the planet, under the planet subterranean, whatever else it might be that we’re just, if you don’t know what it might be, then you can make it, Hey, there’s this big crystal cave under the earth and the people that lived there anyway, I’ve always loved that idea.

Kind of full circle. I love that when I was like 15 and I’m going to get a chance to share it when I’m 62, so that’s fun

[01:04:50] Stephen: anyway. Yeah. Good times. So I played the craziest dominion game I’ve ever played when

[01:04:58] Alan: you first came in. That’s what you mentioned if [01:05:00] anybody’s into dominion.

So tell, say, because it really is extraordinary. The number of

[01:05:04] Stephen: curses. Yeah. We had 50 curses that we went through because we had four different cards that not only gave curses, but manipulated them that you could put one in exile if you did this, but you got this other one and you traded them and put them back.

And it was crazy. We went through 50, we had a hard time buying cards that cost five. So nobody was buying the gold because we just couldn’t afford it ever. We just couldn’t get the cards out and we ended up finishing the game. But. The, so if you buy three stacks, the game ends or you buy all the provinces will provinces cost eight.

The last stack to finish was the estates. Nobody ever buys a states that much. And that’s how we ended up with

[01:05:53] Alan: that’s, especially one of the cool things is when you play a lot of certain games and then there’s a game that’s like any you’ve [01:06:00] ever played before. It’s so what had to happen to make it so that it didn’t go in the same pattern and flow as.

Thousands of times that I played this previous and it feels really weird to be, not inhabit, but an uncharted territory to be like holding this. How are we all handling? Nobody seems to have money. Nobody seems to you what? It’s a very cool thing to get new circumstances. Okay.

[01:06:22] Stephen: And if, even if you look at the cards and you’re like, okay, I got a strategy.

Some of that strategy is going to depend on what everyone else is doing. So it could totally change. And it’s fluid and flexible because afterwards I was talking to of the other players, I’m like looking back, we should have just started buying all the silver. We could forget the actions at all, because we would have had.

More chance of having money. In our hand, the actions really clogged it up too much with all the curses we had. So

[01:06:52] Alan: in the aftermath, not while it’s going on and you’re like this has worked before. So I’m going to keep doing what I

[01:06:56] Stephen: think should work. That’s a great thing with the dominion though.

[01:07:00] That’s why I love it. And Robert was there. He has all the expansions, including the newest one. You get that variety. We played one Sunday morning with witches and werewolves and vampires and haunted houses. And it was, it had night. They add another phase to your turn. So you have your action, you have your bike, then you have night.

It was different. It was

[01:07:25] Alan: fun. Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny. That’s a relatively new kind of game. You know what started with settlers of Catan now, Catan, from what I understand, and Puerto Rico and various others that to talk to people about why is that interesting? Why is and to me, it’s classic game theory.

There’s people that have the same goal. That is due to accumulate resources and the game with the most, but the pairs they take and the right balance of luck and skill and memory and strategy. It’s some of those things, the common tutorial [01:08:00] explosion of what might be different per game is very interesting, especially when you start to have naive players versus skilled players and that kind of stuff.

And so it’s very cool to sit down and say, I, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m two thirds of the way towards being able to guess what’s going to happen. But anything that involves that little bit of luck in that little bit of various skill levels of the player, I guess it’s like sitting down at the blackjack table and say even it was perfect play.

If someone keeps taking my card, then I’m not even if I’m counting cards or reading into the deck into the future, it really might not work out based on like minions. And there’s something interesting. That’s the whole point of a social game. The air on a table is to. Share that experience and get sometimes forwarded and sometimes forwarded, even if they don’t know they’re doing it.

[01:08:50] Stephen: Absolutely. So any updates before we get off, get going investing or the volts or anything.

[01:08:58] Alan: So investing, I [01:09:00] had a very good day yesterday. I had a 98 out of my 102 stocks were up. Wow. Very good day. And especially what seems to happen. I think I mentioned I’ve been in the doldrums for about the last year out of my 102 stocks back when I.

Picking more precisely and not just going into an entire portfolio. I was a very good stock pick, right? I usually had 95 of my stocks were up and they just varied as to how much they were out. Once you go into a portfolio we’re taking on more volatility and risk, you often will have half of your guys will not make money.

Are the ones who are making money are making so much that they make up in the overall as the portfolio level. That you’re way ahead. It’s still frustrating to have 50 out of your a hundred stocks down and whatever has happened yesterday with good news from the fed good news from Ukraine greed, there’s all kinds of factors that go into this.

A lot of my ones that were the most negative were the ones that were most Boyd up yesterday. So I made big progress with a whole bunch of things, flipping [01:10:00] from negative to positive and a whole bunch of meaning like four, but after having had everything wallowing at 50 or less, it was nice to have my big guys go up and to have a whole bunch of my scope, small guy.

Showing signs of recovery. Instead of being down at the lowest price they’d been for years, they actually started to move up to the 25% mark or whatever else it might be. And it’s we’ll see what upstart was one of the ones. So here’s I have a couple of things I’m amazed are not doing better than they are like Teladoc, like Roku, like DocuSign and the fundamentals behind it and the story behind how they should be doing in the market.

The story is finally coming true. If these markets continue to get smarter and that we the world becomes the better future that we want to do. At least those couple, I’m not sure if they’re going to be the ones who might right now, my ones that are making the most money are Tesla. Palo Alto networks, Etsy, Shopify, the [01:11:00] trade desk, Mongo DB.

There’s a couple, many of whom may be people

[01:11:04] Stephen: that never Mongo DB,

[01:11:06] Alan: Mongo, DB, exact well it’s a freeform compared to the world of SQL. It’s much more of a freeform database because now there’s so many things you want to store in a database, rich media and stuff like that, that they had to have a way of handling that assigning keywords doing quick searches of it in Mongo.

DB is doing a really good job of corralling all the different data types that are out there for what kinds of things we see in a made averse in a rich media world. That’ll go well with all the AI stuff coming around to deep dive into things in correlations in that. So they’re probably going to do really well coming up and the Teladoc that you mentioned, that goes right along with my talk, because that’s one of the points is we’re not going to need as many doctors because 90% of what doctors do is being taken over by the robots.

[01:11:59] Stephen: And I think I [01:12:00] even mentioned in my talk, we were going to need more nurses. We’re not going to need accountants because the AI will do that, but we need people with hands on type stuff.

[01:12:10] Alan: Exactly. So it’s funny, intuitive. Surgical was probably the one that’s even more than that. You don’t want to have the DaVinci robots that allow you to do remote surgery at an amazing precise level, but instead of having to have doctors and all these different places, you have one of those in a hospital and then a doctor can telecommute in, if you will, and still do difficult things, even in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska or whatever else it might be.

And as you might imagine, there’s a whole bunch of cybersecurity plays that are coming through right now. Shockwave was good CloudFlare that with all that’s going on with Russian incursion is I’m not just into the Ukraine, but into the world in general. I’m seeing good responses from them.

So they’re the quick stock report of, and I think they’re going to continue to win.[01:13:00] We’ll see. Cool. I haven’t been out to the vaults lately, so I don’t really have a good report on that, except I really am not in the final stretch. I got, I have probably eight boxes to go and then it’ll have catalog.

Everything. When I did do was I bought bags from Gerber, which is the highest rated good Mylar inert bag and so forth. They have no backer boards available until at least June because of supply line issues. And it’s I doesn’t really, I don’t want it to be that they are in a bag, but flimsy.

So I actually went to a place called hobby Depot or hobby lobby, hobby, something that had BCW boards. They’re slightly less quality. They’re still acid free, but only on one side instead of two and all that kind of stuff, but I needed to have. A lot of my collection is still raw. It’s all lined up nice and safe, but I have not bagged 90% of my collection for anything that I’m going to be sending out to get graded and then auctioned off.

I really want it to be that it’s in as [01:14:00] good, a shape protected wise and a sealed as I can be. And so I invested in my first raft of those things, ready to go out about 500 of each of those

[01:14:09] Stephen: things. And just Adam at the comic store had this issue where they sent something out, it came back to be graded and it was not the same comic they sent out.

And they’re trying to trace that what happened. So the best guess is whoever’s unboxing and going through the mail, knows the values and would switch comics and take better ones. Yeah. So

[01:14:39] Alan: there’s nothing more important for those firms. To maintain absolute integrity. What’s going to kill CGC is not, oh, my grade was only 9.4 instead of 9.6.

It’s going to be that worm in the apple of someone, not from stealing at their site. And I hope [01:15:00] that doesn’t happen with enough.

[01:15:02] Stephen: He’s never had,

[01:15:04] Alan: it has to be, and I don’t know. I, as I think I mentioned I was also looking into insurance because the biggest risk I’m taking is not me having it here at home, having it in my storage locker.

It’s the transition between here and Florida or Texas. And how do I make sure. Most places it’ll be it’s automatically covered for a thousand dollars. That covers most things. It doesn’t cover a $35,000 comments. So I really got to be careful about what, how I’m looking into now that I’m at the 10 yard line, don’t find a way to fumble at the five or

[01:15:34] Stephen: just horrible.

Exactly. So a quick writing update for me. Last summer I went out to Salem with a group of writers and we had a nice little couple of days. Talking writing. And we created a world and then in Salem with all the witch stuff, and then we all went back and wrote short stories of using our world [01:16:00] with witches.

And that short story anthology is coming out at the end of April. So a couple of weeks.

[01:16:06] Alan: So let me please let me know, I’ll buy a copy. Let’s put something on the websites where everybody can buy a copy.

[01:16:13] Stephen: It’s 14 different authors with short stories. So you’re go get some you like better than others.

I’m sure. And different levels of authors. I’m new and there’s others that are new, but there’s others that have been doing it for 20 years, so it’s a big difference, but all the money goes to charity. It goes to the house of seven Gables charity, which was where Hawthorne lived and wrote the story and the money is going to them to help preserve and educate and things like that.

So we don’t get any money it’s it was our for the experience and all that. So

[01:16:49] Alan: yeah, I republished work as adds to the portfolio, the resume

[01:16:52] Stephen: I’ve got two anthologies coming out and probably two books this year, possibly.[01:17:00] A third book of short stories that I’m just using as a freebie to entice people.

So I might have, by the end of the year, five things out as is what I’m sharing,

[01:17:10] Alan: that’s it’s a privilege to know people who really are published authors not only yourself, but I have a friend, Kate Hutchinson, who’s a poet. And if there’s anything, maybe even less trafficked than comic books, it might be poetry.

And yet she’s got a number of what they call Chatbooks, a number of full, beautiful collections. I got a couple of for Colleen, cause she loves poetry for Christmas and love them. Cynthia Clampett, a friend of ours in Mensa has written a number of books on food and traveling the world to find food and to find the stories behind it.

So she just had one, I think it’s called something like rediscovering the Heartland. That’s all about Midwest. The travel and so forth and just published by university of Illinois press. So it’s a very, it was one of those things where you could pre-buy and then [01:18:00] based on a crowd funding and stuff like that, but just got to have it ready yet.

But she’s one of those people that no matter what book, no matter what talk she’s doing, I’m there because she really knows her stuff. And really. Spins a good tale has great vocabulary, has wonderful humanity and enthusiasm. So Cynthia clamp, if you’re here for next book in her

[01:18:21] Stephen: series. Cool. And I got the spend part of the weekend with bill Keith rights as Ian Douglas.

And he’s got a book coming out. It’s a game coming out. So we something to check out. It’s called Leviathan’s, it’s steam, punk, and it’s battle ships in. Huge cruisers in the steam punk era. But this group of authors wrote short stories and have an anthology based on the board game.

And he was one of them. So he showed me that book.

[01:18:50] Alan: I can’t say it now until it’s published, but I will have wonderful big news about bill Keith doing me a solid, he called me and told me about [01:19:00] a very cool thing that he was thinking of doing. And I said, sure, go ahead. And so like when that comes out, I’ll be happy to, I might be like in it.

I might feel

[01:19:12] Stephen: when’s the possible expectation date for this

[01:19:15] Alan: secret. I don’t think he revealed that to me or if he did, I don’t remember it, but it was like one of the books he’s currently working on. So within a year or two years, I don’t know what his time horizons. I don’t, I think he might work on multiple things simultaneously instead of only one though.

I don’t know that for sure. Not as author, he talks as I’m sure you and he’d have had, but we’ve talked about that. And he’s so prolific that you can’t, I don’t know that you can do 30 books without maybe having multiple ideas, multiple shifts in the mood you’re in and stuff like that. But we will say it was great seeing him and

[01:19:50] Stephen: Bri.

Yeah, it really was. And he had a great talk, which I’ve sat in before about the Fermi paradox Drake equation. And he came up with

[01:19:58] Alan: this, what was [01:20:00] I doing? Double deck. Cause I was in the

[01:20:01] Stephen: tournament. If you’ve seen his talk, it was the same talk with a few additions. But he came up with his own law. So basically it’s if you can imagine it, it exists somewhere and it’s, it doesn’t break the laws of physics,

[01:20:18] Alan: essence precedes existence.

That’s, we’ll have talk about the Drake equation for those who don’t know is the way of trying to say what’s the chance of intelligent life in the universe besides us. And what’s the chance of us ever meeting it. Yeah. It’s very cool to see how they boiled it down to the universe is really big

[01:20:37] Stephen: and there’s a lot more to it than people think when you’re talking billions of years all right.

Maybe we’ll talk about that sometime. Why is it the list

[01:20:50] Alan: later?