We conclude our tech talk of the last couple weeks – at least for now. This time, it’s still a bit about remote work, but how things synch up and you can keep settings across platforms.

Then we talk about life on earth – how did it start? Based on a recent science article, it could have been from asteroids that crashed into our planet.







[00:00:00] Stephen: I hear a noise.

[00:00:02] Alan: Try this again.

[00:00:05] Stephen: Ooh, comic background.

You disappeared. I heard you.

[00:00:10] Alan: Let’s try it again. Okay. It’s funny. I didn’t do anything to change the desktop setup. I was doing everything on the laptop while I was out of town. Yet I come back and zoom must have some idea that it’s always me from place to place and it leaves little remnants of settings behind.


[00:00:31] Stephen: we were talking that in the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking tech and remote tech and doing all that. And that is something a lot of them do. If I look something up on my phone, on Chrome, I can send it to my Chrome desktop and it’ll be there when I get back. And if you save a bookmark, it goes everywhere.

I now even click the thing and I went, oh crap. Now my safari on my Mac is getting all my Chrome bookmarks. I don’t care for that, but okay. Whatever,

[00:00:58] Alan: I don’t mind the [00:01:00] synchronization, but it’s this kind of thing where if it’s smart enough to say, Hey, I know that you’re on your desktop instead of your laptop system, then it should also be smart enough to say, but your screen real estate on your desktop is different than on your laptop.

And so it should adjust. And only those so much,

[00:01:18] Stephen: the scary ones that I think everybody’s seen is you stop at a shopping mall and you just walk into a mattress store because you’re looking at mattresses and then you get on Facebook and suddenly you’re seeing ads for mattresses. I didn’t do anything.

He said, if walk into the store, that’s where it’s starting to get a little.

[00:01:36] Alan: Yeah. It’s I, when I first so I had a Mac set up and I, now I have everything on parallels and I run windows still on my Mac before I actually had a windows box over to my right. And that’s where I did all of my testing and so forth.

I remember plugging that windows box in and the first thing that I did was check her window [00:02:00] system updates and check for antivirus stuff. And I also had a firewall running and the firewall within seconds. And I’m not kidding. I was getting pinged with. Attempts to penetrate, that it’s immediately aware when something new comes on the net and they know that if they get in, before you even run your set up, run your initial load of your machine, that they can somehow get in. And. Similarly, when I came back, I had, I turned off the Mac set up here at home for a week, came back on and safari, apple keeps track of it, hides your IP address, and it makes sure that you can’t get tracked in some of the ways you just talked about it.

Shouldn’t be that I get a coupon for beds because I walked into a bedding store somewhere with my phone. I it had no IP trackers have tried doing anything. Cause I had been gone for a week. It usually gives you a number that, that day, when I just happened to go back in and out so far, it was like 19 have pride it.

So with it and I wasn’t on the system until like noon. Cause I had to crash a little bit because I hadn’t slept on the plane and all that kind of stuff. [00:03:00] So within the first couple hours that I was on of just doing pretty standard, Hey, check my email here, do my Facebook there. 19 different places that tried to get information that I, that unbidden by me.

You know what I mean? I have all kinds of places that I’ve said, sure cookies are okay, but this is where they have the trackers that are. Keeping track of you from site to site, from machine to machine. And I don’t believe there’s any way to avoid it, but at least you don’t have to be out in the world naked and put on some kind of armor.

You know what I mean? Oh man. So

[00:03:36] Stephen: you should see a WordPress. Sites. I don’t know if you’ve looked at a stats. It’s like 55,000 and 70,000 hits a day trying to get

[00:03:45] Alan: in exactly. I, the first version of the smart life before I went to Ning and was actually doing it as a social media platform, wasn’t deed a WordPress site.

I figured I’d do a little bit not a blog, but a blog we’re actually right. And [00:04:00] give them a little and just that know, you said, Hey, a first note from a friend, Dave rose, and then it’s oh, and here’s the first 30 spams and penetrations and garbage. And it just the overhead, even though I had from my ISP and from WordPress to various different filters and defenses in place, they are ingenious in terms of how all the ways in which they’re willing to change their subject line, change their ISP.

They have a whole raft of places as they try to look like a white hat site while they’re being or not, or a white listed site while being black. It really was well. I’m having trouble keeping up with this. And I know what I’m doing. I think of all the folks that are just going, oh, I’m going to start a a blog about my kitten.

I got a new kitten. We’re going to grow up together on the internet and then they must just get

[00:04:49] Stephen: pounded. No, they do. But that’s the really scary part is they don’t know it because they’ve learned that people are smart enough now they’re not going to click at most people. Aren’t going to [00:05:00] click the links.

Aren’t going to answer the emails. So they do this stuff some of them now they’re trying to get in so they can start processing for cryptocurrency and use your computer without you knowing it. And that’s all they want or this malware now where it locks everything you own. And and I tell you, I always feel bad for there’s all kinds of people that created a tool for the world saying, Hey, we should have a web server that anybody can use.

[00:05:27] Alan: Apache and all the open source movement that created that. And my guess is that they now. 10% of their time on new features and better stuff. And 90% of their time on cybersecurity because they know how popular patchy has become. And they know that it’s so targeted and same with WordPress.

These guys said we should make an easy blogging platform. We should have a way that you can, or other places where they do things you can write a post and then it automatically sends it out to various. Blogs or podcasts or whatever. And they just wanting to figure all that out with how to use RSS [00:06:00] and stuff.

And then you find out you have to be now you’re the guardian at the gate for everybody that’s using your tools. Oh man. That’s not what I’ve always signed up for. I like learning about cybersecurity. I’ve done hacky type things when I was younger, but the reason I didn’t make it as a career, it was because it was just so tedious.

The level of detail, the closeness to the machine, you have to

[00:06:22] Stephen: get to be able to, I actually have considered delving into WordPress website security, very in depth and doing contract work for that, because that

[00:06:34] Alan: could make a career on it.

[00:06:37] Stephen: You can charge if people’s sites are getting hacked and they’re losing money every day.

Yeah, how much do you want us to pay you to get this fixed? Here you go and I know I could do it. It’s just a matter of learning spending whatever days, times I need to learn it. I how many things have I learned in the last 30 some years or whatever. Exactly.

[00:06:57] Alan: Anyway, there’s power there’s [00:07:00] value in all those having novelty is always, I want to learn something new. Why not? This is an important thing in the world. You’d probably be like, I am I have all kinds of friends, family members that like, when something goes wrong, I think of Peter, Hey Al, can you come over and take a look at it?

Both Mac and windows. And so I had. Back way back when sets of diskettes or CD ROMs or an L thumb drives and all that kind of stuff. Being able to get on the internet, all the tools that you use. And unfortunately, a lot of people, they interpret anything going wrong because our machine says, oh, I think I got a virus.

I think I’m being attacked. And it’s funny. It wasn’t often that sometimes I would go on and they really weren’t. Infected infiltrated. And I really had to run multiple scans and multiple tools to be able to get all the various different things that they allowed to happen to their machine.

And most of the time I was able to leave them in a clean state and with things that like, okay, it’s going to automatically update your virus definition. So you need to make a list when Sofos was update, say yes, because that’s a legitimate one. Sometimes what they’re doing is [00:08:00] they’re masquerading as, Hey, I got a fresh update for, and then they spelled McAfee wrong or something like that.

But if people don’t catch onto that. And so the reason for saying all that. That’s another way, which my job just changed, that it used to be that most of the time it was no, maybe you need to be de fragmented back when that mattered. When, before solid state drives, maybe you’ve just you don’t have enough space and we need to clear your caches or whatever else it might be.

And nowadays it is often they really do have malware. They really do have stuff that has gone on and it’s cracking every press on their keyboard. And this is meant to be a little paranoid inducing. A lot of time felt a little bit extra reassures and says, as long as you keep your virus definitions, up-to-date, you’re going to be okay, man.

They just there’s money to be made. There’s so much cunning and stuff being done, especially. This could this, as we have a pipe, 10 different topics. It could be, let’s only talk about that. The entire thing, I have all kinds of friends that they don’t keep up to date, even in the version of windows.

And so as you [00:09:00] lag it, your virus definitions and whatever windows does to keep you up to date, they’re good, but they’re not as good as whatever they’ve done now to create a really secure management of memory. And really it’s better and better just with the windows version. And if you’re like two or three versions of windows old, you might be getting new virus definitions, but you are not state of the art in terms of all the ways in which they try to penetrate.

[00:09:23] Stephen: It’s the other idea I had too is taking old laptop. That for 50, a hundred bucks 10 years old, like life and putting Lennox on it and making it into a like gateway between people’s cable modem, or router and their computer. And that kind of would sell it, reselling it for 200, 300 bucks.

And Hey, it’s protects you very well. It does it it’s a possibility, but a lot of people don’t want to mess with that. And that’s, I think the biggest thing they can do is get a little [00:10:00] educated, learn a little bit, think a little bit before just, oh my God. And clicking and whatever.

[00:10:05] Alan: That’s right. Yeah. I don’t know. I’m spoiled by apple. The Macintosh has been relatively secure both out of it and it’s, Linux-based exactly that. Under the hood it’s relatively strong. It’s less of a market it’s still got maybe I think like 25% market share compared to 75 for people who are doing it for money or doing it for a claim, they’re going to go after the biggest the corpse have.

[00:10:30] Stephen: So that’s where real valuable data lives and stuff like that. But having said that it’s. I like the fact that they have a gateway they make sure that you can turn things on for your Mac and they mostly operate in the background pretty strongly without constant alerts, cause that’s one of the other things is if you set your alerts to tweak gully, then you’re continually getting Hey, there’s something came into an email that is suspicious. So we quarantined it. And the more that there is [00:11:00] overhead associated with these things, the more people start to go.

[00:11:03] Alan: I don’t have time for that and then not do it not clean up, not run the scan when it should be done. So I, the Mac seems to have found a pretty good balance between that and I have. The only times I’ve ever had problems is when I made a mistake, I brought it on myself as compared to that the Mac software failed even zero day exploits and stuff like that.

They’re very good about immediately getting word out in all the ways they can about you need update to xyz.one and make sure you have the latest things that are going on. It’s what an unfortunate overhead, but that’s not the way the world is. You know what I mean?

You can’t get anything in the mail nowadays without worrying about, Hey, is this another car wor G extension? Is this another yeah. I was going to ask you what’s it like to have gone to California and realize you hit a time warping come back to Ohio and you’re in winter.

[00:11:57] Stephen: Again,

[00:11:58] Alan: it really was weird. [00:12:00] You know what I mean? I, it’s kinda funny. I dressed for here when I left and I wear the same clothes back. So I actually had like sweats a, in a and a heavy shirt on and stuff like that. Everybody else on a plane coming out of California was in shorts and et cetera, et cetera. My flight went from San Diego to Vegas to here.

So everybody was Vegas dressed. You know what I mean? And yet there, I was waiting for calling to pick me up at seven in the morning yesterday, and really being glad that I happen to have a hat and gloves with me because otherwise it would have been like hiding inside, looking

[00:12:32] Stephen: for her car. I woke up in with freeze warning and I’m like, it is may this weekend, but it should be planting crops and mowing lawn, not battling striping frost off my windshield.

[00:12:45] Alan: Exactly. It’s very fun. While I was gone, we had enough rain so that the grass really grew. And so I risked get out there and mow it. But then the grass had like hoarfrost on it. It had a tinge of it’s I got to wait for that to melt off and dry out. And then almost along the lines, they’re going to have [00:13:00] Columbia.

Oh we’re I’m invested now in this cute little apple tree. We got the Honeycrisp tree. I’m trying to go out. I put all the right ointments on it so that it should be going, but really anytime you get close to a hard freeze after it started to bloom, that’s the kind of stuff that like kills orange crops in Florida.

I don’t want that to happen to my little tree and yet we sure seem to be that nice, relatively steady flow between seasons has been disrupted by climate change. And we’ll go back that we’re sure showing few signs of that. You know what I mean? We’ve done it an historic thing in the last 30 years to work what’s happening and maybe the new normal is going to be that there’s going to be an Indian winter, just like there was an Indian summer, they’re going to start to warm up and then it’s going to clamp back down and.

I have certain overhead. For instance, I have a closet where I have my summer clothes and my winter clothes in the front and the back. And I do a big transition usually like around May 1st, because I’m pretty sure that I can bring out all the t-shirts [00:14:00] and the muscle shirts and put away all the sweatshirts.

Well, given that I have three days to go and that I’m still wearing long sleeve shirts and sweat, it’s like the weather report a little bit and see whether I could really cause it’s two hours worth of work to move all of my stuff and arrange it and clean it up a big really it’s funny taking things down off of it.

I know I’m all over the place today. I’ve noticed I got the weird thing. I, I. A certain direct lift with my arm. I’m still strong this way, but if I do a certain thing, like back this way, twinge and it’s that’s where my shirts are hanging there over my head. How many I have to be precise in my movements now instead of just being unthinking to make sure I don’t twinge myself moving shirts and stuff, like I’m lifting concrete blocks over my head.

Darn this aging thing. It’s just so undignifying

[00:14:57] Stephen: I what’s that me, which I didn’t [00:15:00] really expect is my elbows at night. If I have my arms up a little bit, my, they fall asleep. I have to, and then it just started in the last couple of years. I’m like, oh, whatever and

[00:15:13] Alan: I just again, this is worth mentioning.

I am very happy and surprised that I’ve never gotten carpal tunnel syndrome because I’m really on a computer a lot. And that’s those repetitive stress injuries, that’s an invitation to do it, but I’ve usually been pretty ergonomically, correct. Where I sit at my desk correctly and I have it’s right angles and all that kind of stuff.

Having said that I did have a thing, I guess last year about now this time where I started to think I had, oh, no, I’m finally getting it in my right forearm. And when it turned out to be is it’s not from that movement necessarily. It’s that? I have in my neck and back. Places where if I stay in the wrong position too long, I’m squeezing, pinching, doing things with nerves there, and it doesn’t hurt back there.

It [00:16:00] radiates dollars into your limbs. And so that’s where I’m getting it. I had gone to the physical therapy place and they had given me all my exercises for how to strengthen your neck muscles and do your things that keep things tense. And it went away over the course of time, not instant, but I actually got rid of it.

I was a fool. I went out to California and set up at a dining room table cause they don’t really have a desk for me to work at. And in between not having all my usual ergonomic correctness a week worth of being out there and now I’m feeling it again. And it was also, I was right mouse thing instead of left mouse in this is a cool thing.

A Testament to the brain’s plasticity. One of the first things I did when the right one was hurting as well, I’ll switch to left mouse thing. And as you might imagine, if I was writing with my left hand, I’d look like a fifth grader because you just don’t have the precise motor control if you were writing instead of a lefty.

But if you do it every day, no I’m very facile. I don’t know if that’s exactly the right word. I’m very good with moving the left mouse and being able to do things. But somehow when I set up. I did it. What [00:17:00] was most instinctive to me was, which was right-hand mounting. And I paid the price. So now I have to redo all the work I did a year ago.

I don’t want to be, it’s like fragile. Do you know what I mean? I don’t want to be there. Oh no. If I work in the wrong place, if I don’t have exactly the right angle, I was at 85%. So the 90, and that did me wrong. And sometimes you don’t realize it until you wake up or you’re going to sleep. It feels a little like it before.

Damn it. I don’t have time for

[00:17:27] Stephen: this energy to put into this. Most of that blame can be placed on civilization.

[00:17:32] Alan: There is that if I was being a hunter with less fine motor skill and grocer movements, like throwing that spear into a Mastodon, then I’d be getting Tommy John’s things up here, your life expectancy would be a lot less too. So before that even happened,

that’s true. There was no such thing as room rheumatoid arthritis and heart attacks when you live to 35. That kind of thing. So

[00:17:59] Stephen: Bob has had [00:18:00] it, right?

[00:18:01] Alan: Yes, exactly. Live live fast, die young leave a beautiful corpse.

Corpse is going to be pretty grizzly.

[00:18:06] Stephen: So you know, okay. Segue, speaking of. I sent you an article that they discovered all the base proteins needed for life in asteroids. And that was pretty cool to see. Pretty interesting.

[00:18:21] Alan: Exactly. It’s a big question, right? Where do we come from? And if you will, why are we here?

But at least for the, where did we come from? A big hurdle for most people to get over is the idea of spontaneous generation. That if you really just had things in a primordial puddle on this planet, and you had electric strike lightning strike, go through it and give it some electricity. And that, from that you get enough arrangement of amino acids and all the various different things that they feed on to create life and Frankenstein you.

That’s more of a revival if you know what I

[00:18:55] Stephen: mean.

[00:18:55] Alan: Yeah. I guess that’s an interesting thing is the big hurdle [00:19:00] and it’s very like almost monster movie science fiction. He is, maybe it didn’t take that very against the. Spontaneous generation, maybe we were seated that if those meatier rights hit the hit us and they have the building blocks and those things were interstellar space.

They’re totally frozen. There’s nothing to, that makes up. They have the potential and then they come here and they say, good Lord, we got water. We got all the nutrients that we need and they just start growing and recombining and doing all that miraculous from single cell to multicell to like starting to have senses, all you need to have is a pass. It’s slightly more sensitive to light than others. And those develop into I like things and little sending out tentacles. It’s actually, it’s funny. I make fun of it because it’s a difficult thing, even though I’m really sure that’s how things worked out.

It’s difficult to think of. How did that happen? [00:20:00] But then how maybe we’ve talked about this a little bit. I did on genetic programming for awhile. And what genetic programming does is it simulates natural selection. You run, you start off with very simple building blocks and then each generation you will, the survival function.

And it says more of, it’s not a single solution. It’s a colony of creatures. If you will. And the ones that are getting some slight advantage in terms of how much they are getting better at solving this problem, have them breed into the next generation and not drastically, but just slight variations over the course of time.

But you start off with 10,000 trading creatures and you run it for 10,000 generations. And it was amazing and heartening to see that’s enough. I got incredible sophisticated quotes, life forms, things that really were doing some very sophisticated things, just under that natural selection pressure and the survival of the fittest and all the things that Darwin [00:21:00] spent speculated about.

And we see in nature the way that the finches beaks are different in the way that we go from Singleton multicell and all that kind of stuff. I created in my own. And I really it wasn’t the prime mover unmoved. I did not design anything into the system that said, make me something that’s a really good at for instance, because I was doing it for trading systems, it was am I going to buy low and sell high?

Am I going to buy all of something and try to monopolize? Am I going to look for the little changes that happen quickly and see if I can get in first and all that kind of stuff. I didn’t tell the systems do any of those things. But then the observations of what I had created, you started to see, wow, this is a really good predator.

This is a really good herbivore that it just beats its resources around it and grows bigger over the course of time. This is really a good scavenger. It doesn’t try to eat anything new. It waits for things to die off and then gets what nutrients that can out of them. And there was like little analogies.

You could make all the different kinds of things that [00:22:00] lived in my colony. And so going back from that, it’s. The way that I most understand it, myself is well, I’ve seen it happen. I’ve I tried to do exactly what kinds of things would have been around at the very start. And we’ve had let’s see universe has been around for 15 billion, right in the earth has been around for 4 billion of that.

And people’s eyes glaze over when you think of big numbers like that, there’s a classic where what’s the difference between a million and a billion seconds. And it’s this one, I wish I had this exact, this one is like days plus hours. This one is many years. It’s a huge difference in order of magnitude in, in that kind of thing.

And so man, the world solves things you can see just I’ve been around for 60 years. I’ve seen how various different environments have changed. Different plants that are better at being photosynthesizers or better at covering more territory or [00:23:00] better. You know what I mean? Like they breed because they make one really good, strong one where they put out tons of different saplings, and then you get a whole field of these various different things and just all the ways in which nature tries things.

And then you see wow, it doesn’t work the same everywhere. So that’s why it’s not a whole planet of the Oak trees. It’s because based on how much sun and what kind of soil and how much water and the temperature variation during the course of the year, you get that incredible. Diversity that infinite diversity in infinite combinations lead you to amazingly beautiful bio scapes.

And it’s it’s all around us. How can you refute the truth of it? And then they have court cases in Dover, Pennsylvania that are still trying to say. There must’ve been a plan for it. No, there’s a million skillion trillion, unplanned things going on all the time, all the

[00:23:50] Stephen: you, and that’s you get that a lot and that’s what people think automatically.

You can say, oh, there’s life out there. Why haven’t they contacted us? Why don’t we do it? There’s multiple problems wrong with that. First [00:24:00] of all, when you do talk about that large scale of years bill gave a really great example in the one talk that essentially, if you take the beginning of earth as the bottom of the empire state building, you go all the way to the top most tower, and then you put a dime on top of that and then a playing card on top of that man has been around in the width of that playing card.

So there could be on the 94th floor, there could be another planet like that one big one that we just heard about from 12 billion years ago, that’s already gone. There could be an, our planet at the 94th floor timeline that had life that could have been there for 50 million years before it was destroyed.

And it still wouldn’t be alive when we’re. So there’s that issue. But the other thing that even less people realize and think about, we’re not talking about life necessarily. That’s human beings that fly spaceships life could be creatures. Like the dinosaurs that have they were on our planet for 65 million [00:25:00] years.

It could be life like that somewhere else. There. Yeah, because it didn’t

[00:25:04] Alan: go

[00:25:04] Stephen: interstellar. Exactly. Yeah.

[00:25:08] Alan: There was a great thing called the Drake equation. I think you might have heard about this, right? Where it tries to take, what are all the factors that make it easier or hard for us to ever have a an extra terrestrial encounter and it’s the vastest of time and the vastness of distance and the coincidence of of all those places that might be able to actually grow life forms have become relatively complex.

How many are really going to make it to sentience life, where you can actually think of going off planet? You know what I am. And so it’s vanishingly small. It will be an incredible coincidence if we’re able to ever make contact because the universe is just too big and time is too

[00:25:45] Stephen: long. And people say things like we’ve been broadcasting, radio and TV.

For a hundred years who cares in interstellar terms

[00:25:55] Alan: and how far have they reached things are light years away and then radio signal [00:26:00] doesn’t travel at the speed of light. And so it is just that we just dropped a rock in the pond and it’s, we got a circle this big, but the pod is,

[00:26:08] Stephen: and they said they’ve been looking at the stars and they haven’t detected any.

Okay hold on. First of all, our equipment just now is starting to detect planets that have water and have the right golden zone that they’re in and all of that. We’re just now being able to detect this. So we’ve just been shooting out. Do they understand how many stars there really are that you couldn’t even see the percentage number of the amount we’ve seen so far, yeah. It’s whenever I want that sense of wonder, that sense of we’ve been out to dark star parks and you really get an idea of the Milky way now, that it’s not just the constellations, the hundred stars you can see in the sky against city light light pollution, but, and not only dark star, which you’ve got into a whole area of the country, like north and South Dakota, you get [00:27:00] away from the cities and it really is just an ocean of stars.

[00:27:03] Alan: And so you can think of what an amazing thing that was to the ancients where they no wonder, they thought that gods lived up there or the things were different than how we are, but even just getting a taste of that recreates, the wonder of it and everything that NASA is doing now to say.

We have a now telescopes that can see further back towards the start of the universe and what really happened. And we have a manmade objects that like the first one that made it outside the solar system and then made it outside of the, I think it’s called the heliosphere like where the sun’s energy is not the most important thing for how to find a solar wind and stuff like that.

So the fact that we can even contemplate that kind of thing, doing it and getting outside of our tiny little ball around this relatively yellow. Observed little star in comparison to what kinds of things are out.

[00:27:58] Stephen: And [00:28:00] that satellite that went out there, this is why we need to keep the humpback whales.

It will be back. And it has to talk to them exactly

[00:28:09] Alan: that exactly. Someone’s going to come to the planet, just talk to things in the water and then go away because they contacted the most intelligent form of life. We haven’t been listening to the dolphins, humpback whales, because it’s going to happen.

Yeah. It’s there it’s science gives us so many opportunities for wonder that’s I like the rigor of it. I like that you can actually have a way of explaining to each other in a way that we can all agree. Here’s why we think this is true. And having said that there’s a certain amount of science built into religion and that they want to curtail it, or they want to say no, That isn’t a complete story.

Here’s a better story if you will. I don’t know. I there’s a really good one from Eddie Izzard if I remember right where he has a little. Oh, so if you were [00:29:00] God and you were to see that on this little green marble. That some little animals that you created long ago have finally got smart enough that they made it off of their blue marble and made it to the gray marble nearby.

That would have been the time to show up and say, well done. And yet that didn’t happen.

It’s what did amazing achieve. To escape the surly

[00:29:27] Stephen: bonds of earth, or is it, is that just a common expected thing that we need to really break the multi-dimension and the time boundaries, it would be

[00:29:38] Alan: all that’s exactly a tiny first step towards what really our awareness of the university.

Isn’t really what God has expectations for us and stuff like that. But I just, that’s another one of those things, like sometimes the absence of something, any proof, but it’s more oh, that would have been the right time. That would have been a good opportunity,

[00:29:56] Stephen: big bang theory when they’re signing Sheldon’s roommate agreement.

[00:30:00] And he says this is an effect. Unless of course I invent time travel. In which case I’ll come back to this exact time and we’ll change it. And then they look around, okay, we don’t have to worry about that one.

But I love hearing those things and seeing those things because when people say there’s no life out there, I don’t believe in aliens. Great. I don’t believe in aliens necessarily either, but it doesn’t mean there’s not life out there. That’s a lot harder to convince me that there’s nothing somewhere else.

[00:30:30] Alan: W we’ll see, when we first start to see some sign of, wow, that’s not a natural structure that there’s actually some sign of radiation, a an emitted thing that isn’t natural, then we’ll say what could have created that? And you have to start thinking that maybe places are doing what we’re doing first fire.

W we’ll get to nuclear, we’ll get to perfect solar. We’ll get to whatever zero point energy. There will be signs, if not direct observation of creatures walking around on a [00:31:00] planet that something’s going on. Interestingly.

[00:31:02] Stephen: So that kind of supposes that there’s another planet with that’s the same age of star, same age of the planet.

And the evolution has been the same time span. There’s still so much variable in there. Again, billions of years, folks dozens of years, it could be. Bill use an example of slime mold and how interesting slime mold is compared to any other creature on earth. If we’ve got something like that right here on earth, and it’s a lie.

We wouldn’t even be able to detect that on something that is 200 billion, light years away. Even if we could see the star know that’s right.

[00:31:41] Alan: That’s right. It, I I love the fact that science keeps on doing things to expand what we’re even capable of. And we’ve talked about this a little bit before.

It’s the instrumentation that has giving us new insights. The more that you can see really tiny and see how things happen at that sub molecular, maybe even subatomic level, [00:32:00] you get insights as to how things really work and that it really is not certainties, but probabilities. And that it really is.

You want there’s. Maybe there’s linking spooky action at a distance in terms of synchronicity between corks across and just that, that as we had the Aristotelian model and then went Einsteinian, we’ve had to change our view of how physics, how the world really works. And there’s probably still things to be discovered there.

And then also those views out into the big world, we were actually able to see that star that you think is really beautiful, that stars dead monitor time that it took for that light to reach us is such that star burnt out that Nova no longer really exists, but we’re getting the after effect.

We’re getting the

[00:32:46] Stephen: shadow of it. You know what I mean? So how can you say that there couldn’t have been a solar system formed than the, had a planet that had a son that was very similar to ours and they went through. Several billion years of [00:33:00] changing growth to where the star went, Nova, because what’s what’s the say that whenever 4 billion years from now 8 billion, whatever it is when our star goes Nova and destroys the earth and there’s nobody left here.

Some other planet people are going to say there’s no life there. Again, there was. And what you said about the wonder, oh like you said, we’ve got the spooky science, the quantum physics, which I’ve gotten into in love and all that. And the fact that NASA scientists have said, yes, we’re able to detect.

Dimensions, but we have no way of interacting or seeing them. We can just see the effects they have on our dimension. And that’s the only way they can say they’re there. So we don’t know much, but you know what? This is really doing all of this science, all these things we’re learning and changing the way we’re thinking and all of that, what it’s really doing.

It’s destroying science fiction as a genre for books, because it’s not going to be that interesting anymore science fiction that I read, it really is [00:34:00] substantively different than from the fifties or nineties. You know what I mean? I’ve read various different generations over it, if you will.

[00:34:06] Alan: And so it’s cool that they’re still, they’re finding ways to speculate. They’re finding ways to say once we really figure out how DNA works and we can alter it, what could we do to create various different strains? Artificial strains of humanity will all still be the same race, but it really might be that you’ll have we able to colonize other planets because we give people better lung capacity or a better muscle mass or even just different senses or whatever else it might be.

So I’m hoping that science fiction will actually continue to say totally different way. This might’ve been a really naive thing and the HG Wells days. And yet nowadays we can talk about nanotechnology. We can talk about the. I’m still liking the fact that there still such remarkable creativity that they’re still out there on the edge a little bit.

Yeah. Yeah,

[00:34:52] Stephen: absolutely. All right. Hey. Okay. I got a recommendation for today. If [00:35:00] you got anything you were hankering to really bring up,

[00:35:05] Alan: I’ll say real quick, fan expo is happening this weekend. I will be there Sunday. Okay. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to go because it was going to be California stuff and mind game stuff.

And then you and I had actually talked about at one point, Hey, how are we going to do maybe a podcast, right? We’re going to do a presentation. And as life has gotten complex, I really stopped trying to over-commit myself and make all that, not a joy, but a hassle, but oh my God, that’s it. It’ll be a pleasure to bump into you, hook up with you on Sunday.

If you’d I’ll probably going to be there all three days. There seems to be enough. Panels and guests and all that kind of stuff. And as usual I’ll be the guy that’s I’m going to go to artist’s alley and talk to my heroes. I don’t really care about the movie stars as much. I don’t care about waiting hours in line in order to get into a specific presentation.

I’m just gonna drink all that in. And, but we will see all of our usual friends there our Cleveland creators and some some bigger look them up. [00:36:00] So William Shatner is going to be there again. Jim Lee is going to be, I’m trying to think there’s a whole,

[00:36:03] Stephen: Jason muse, Kevin Smith,

[00:36:05] Alan: my fruit Jay and silent Bob will be there both in and out of character.

[00:36:09] Stephen: And that’s cool. Jason muse is almost always in character, so I really think that might just be him,

but John is going to be there. And I know everyone thinks, oh, Q great. But he was in a series with Richard Dean Anderson in the early nineties called legend. And it was. It was a Western in the light, the late 18 hundreds and Richard Dean Anderson was a writer who wrote adventure books, but everyone thought he was.

The character in the book and this adventure hero and John Delancey was a scientist queue type. So they combined it to have adventures and help people out. So the adventurer and then John de Lancie would create all these gadgets and science. And but I know

[00:36:59] Alan: [00:37:00] some

[00:37:00] Stephen: really cool, it was pretty cool.

It’s not the best ever. It only lasted for one season because obviously no one else really got it at the time. I loved it, but I wanted, I don’t want to pay 55 bucks and stand in line for my whole day, but I’d love to take a copy of the DVD to have him sign because I bet hardly anybody else has ever done that to him.

[00:37:22] Alan: That is actually a wonderful thing. I’ve been at various different places where when you don’t just go with the, everyone knows about at work, but you do, they’re more obscure, but maybe they’re also favorite labor of love. They’re just so tickled that somebody remembered. Not only their main thing, but other things in their career.

So that’d be cool. Okay.

[00:37:42] Stephen: I did I forget who one of the star Trek actors or whatever was somewhere. And I wanted to take the latest star wars movie and ask them if they liked it. Why wouldn’t you do that? Remember that idiot that asked me [00:38:00]

[00:38:00] Alan: you’ll become a story for them. Exactly.

[00:38:02] Stephen: That’s yeah, that’s a little thing I’d love to do that.

[00:38:05] Alan: It is very cool with all the Picard stuff going on leading to a next generation. Really not a revival, but at least a reunion. Exactly. That’s

[00:38:16] Stephen: very cool. Did you see the trailers for the Christopher pike show? No, I have not. Oh my gosh, Alan, look it up. The Chris I’ve talked to several people and a lot of people are like aunt discovery.

It’s not been my thing. It’s not starting


[00:38:33] Alan: all the way back to the menagerie. The very first

[00:38:37] Stephen: pilot, you look up the trailers because it looks like the best star Trek in years. It really feels like the old series, but looks a little bit more like next generation with the production value. And it just all I’ve seen as a trailer you got a grain of salt, but I looked at it.

Yeah. Th everything [00:39:00] about this trailer just speaks to me of star Trek. So I’m super, I like McCarthy. I like discovery. I like the lower decks. I haven’t seen the prodigy yet. But I would just absolutely love or I’m. So I hate look so good. I can’t

[00:39:17] Alan: wait. You can just show runner, maybe the main writer of stuff like that.

They really have caught that essence of star Trek in the same way that I thought about the Mandalorian and how John Favreau really gets star wars. You know what I mean? That sometimes things are only an offshoot. They really don’t have. The core of what made that series cool in it. And sometimes they do, sometimes people are enough of a fan boy or enough of just a smart guy.

That’s taken all those other things and said that wasn’t quite right in each of these cases. So I’m going to avoid all that. And I’m going to try to go closer to the main line of what makes those series,

[00:39:51] Stephen: so you should look it up and just look for the trailer. So

[00:39:54] Alan: legend plus pike,

[00:39:56] Stephen: Christopher pine.

Yeah. I don’t know if you’ll find legend anywhere. [00:40:00] Sometime I’ll loan you the DVD, if you want to watch it, it’s it’s not too many episodes that won’t take you too long again. It’s nineties, so it’s different TV, but it was a quirky, unique aspect of TV for me. Okay. So

[00:40:15] Alan: here’s

[00:40:16] Stephen: my recommendation.

Colin. And I discovered a new game. Mochi, Coro. Have you played it? No, it’s a think of it, like a SIM city, a card game, but not that complex. It’s a SIM city light in a way. It’s interesting. Cause you get a little bit like demeaning, you get places to buy and you have restaurants, you have major establishments and you have various things.

Some that give you food and stuff so you can buy them. And then on your everybody’s turn, you roll a die or two and it activates certain. Of your city, parts, your cards depending on the die roll [00:41:00] and each card, then we’ll either give you money or you steal money from someone else or you trade establishment there’s various abilities on the cards.

[00:41:10] Alan: Yeah. So that’s the randomizer, instead of it being everything deterministic, there’s a random element of if you’ve planned, not all your plans will work out exactly like you intended.

[00:41:18] Stephen: Yes. And each person has four legendary places. I forget what they call them. That once you build those for you win the game.

And they give you powers. And so the idea is some of these cards, you get money on other people’s turns some of these cards, everybody gets money if it gets activated. So there’s a do you want something that will get activated on other people’s terms or only your turn or whatever? It’s a fun game.

My family loved it. We played it over Easter and it was like let’s play another game. Let’s play another game. So that’s a sign of

[00:41:56] Alan: a good game immediately. Think of I got a new strategy I want to try or [00:42:00] just, that was good. And the length is correct where it’s not, oh my God.

This took all night. I’m exhausted.

[00:42:05] Stephen: Yeah, it’s an hour and a half. Let’s try again. And everybody felt good afterwards. It wasn’t like one person dominated, like sometimes Collins good at that. We’ll play games with him that he knows in and out, and we get done with it. It’s like Colin at 80 points. I had four so it wasn’t like that at all.

It’s like even the person who won other people had two or three of the four built, so it always felt close enough. Colin and I have played a couple of times and we agree that if you have just the base set, it’d be very easy to build a strategy. Do that every time. And okay, now it’s no fun. It’s too repetitive, but we also got the expansions with it and they randomized the cards and we played one last night.

That was really difficult just in the stuff. But and he said I guess your strategy didn’t work. And I was like that’s part of the fun of the game. Like dominion. I was trying to. Completely [00:43:00] different. He went with a standard. I analyzed all the cards and these are the powerful ones.

That’ll give me this. And now I won the game and okay. Fun for you. But I tried something totally different. It didn’t work. And I did make a mistake on some of my buying and, but I realized, oh, if we had this other card, I could have fixed that mistake and hampered him. So you know, it’s got that to it.

So there’s, the recommendation is mochi

[00:43:25] Alan: Coro.

I love things like that, where it isn’t only, Hey, I read a review in a magazine and it’s got four stars out of five and stuff. It’s that someone whose taste matches mine who’s every much about their, how they evaluate something I trust and that out of all the ones that you’ve played, this one stands out and that’s a very cool personal recommendation.

[00:43:46] Stephen: It’s a good one. It’s not quite as much fun with two people. I had much more fun with four and if you give the expansion, you can then play five. But with two, eh, it wasn’t quite as much fun because some of them. Take three [00:44:00] coins from the active player. With two people, it’s always or it’s even get one coin from every other player.

That’s lessons so yeah, Mo a couple of people is much more fun. It’s a casual enough game with enough strategy to appeal to everybody.

[00:44:18] Alan: Interesting. That’s it. As I mentioned, my games is going on this weekend and for those of us who we listened to our podcasts it’s a very cool event.

It’s something that I don’t know, anything else like it, besides what Mensa runs, it’s Mensa deals with tons of different game manufacturers and composers. And we get 60, 70, 80 games, which have not been released to the market yet. And we get hundreds of people, 300 going on 400, all gathered together in a big old hotel ballroom.

And we play all those games over the weekend. Everybody has to play at least 30 out of that set and they’re randomized so that it really isn’t, oh, the strategy people only play strategy and the word people and the [00:45:00] party people or whatever else it might be. So from all of that, you get all the different reviews and the manufacturers get feedback like, Hey, this the quality of your materials could be better.

Or this was a particular way, which this turned out that you might want to alter a rule because we kept running into the same law jam or whatever. It’s an immersive. Sleepless experience often, but out of that comes the Mensa select that we get we put the sticker on, so that between now and Christmas, where they all gear up for the Christmas buying season, if you went and bought those Mensa select games every year, and you’d have a really good game collection, cause there’s usually a variety of a deep strategy and kids games and a card game with a new twist, or whatever else it might be. And I love that event and it’s killing me this year that I was signed up it’s in Portland, Maine Coleen, and I were ready to jump on the road drive there besides the event, do a little bit of touring around there because the Northeast is always interesting and beautiful.

And then taking care of mom out in California [00:46:00] just was wrong, overlap to make it so that I couldn’t just get home and immediately get on the road. And but all of our friends are going to be there this weekend and we’re all going to have that great experience. But it’s thing because. One of the things that I’ve also thought is it’s, some people are really completist.

They try to play every single game, not just 30, but 60, 70, 80 games. So they get the whole survey what’s out there. I always thought would be another interesting indicator of success as a game would be that we start on Thursday and you go until Saturday midnight, let’s say you have to get your votes in by a certain times where they can tabulate and be ready with the awards on Sunday morning.

They should, for people who have finished, they should do a continual browse around the room and see. Of all the games that people have already played. Which ones are they playing again now? That not because they have to, because they voluntarily said that mochi game was really interesting. I’m sorry if I mispronounced it and I want to try it [00:47:00] again.

I had the ideas as to, I should try a different strategy. I want to play with two people in six people. And I want to me like to me, games that have great replayability are the one that probably is there multiple different factors. And that’s the one that matters the most to me is that it won’t be, I played that and I played it to death and it got stale.

And then I never played it after the first two years or something like that. I like games. And every time you take them down, it was different groups of people and different frames of mind that you just have a different experience. There’s something very cool. But people figure out something that has that infinite diversity to tie it all together.

Do. That little observation of what are the things that are never sitting on the table where the games are stored, what does they’re always out being played? Yeah, that would be very cool thing to add as additional statistics to correct.

[00:47:46] Stephen: Even in the comments and it’s important. And I think, yeah.

Touched on this, that people we’ve run into it. Everybody has biases and stereotypes for stuff. And you mentioned Mensa people. It’s [00:48:00] Ugh, big brains. And they think they’re all rocket scientists and, oh, I wouldn’t play a game that they all that’s not it at all. Our goal is a Mensa select game and I’ve not met anybody that doesn’t like crinkle.

When I introduced my family to coracle, they all went out and bought it and they put it in their camper. They bought a copy for home and they people who say, oh yeah, they say, I don’t play a lot of games. We’re not games. People will try this one. And they played it. Oh yeah. I had to go buy it.

It’s it’s you mentioned monopoly, everybody’s played monopoly. Even non-game people know monopoly of work was one of those. My, my point is. Like you said, Mensa select can be depended on to be games that have really been tested by people who liked to play games that know what makes a good yet.

[00:48:46] Alan: And I love so you start off at everybody’s really intent because they know they got to get their work done. And then there’s all Vander variety. So many of which are party games and suddenly in a corner of the room bursts of [00:49:00] laughter because they’re playing curses for the first time where there, they’re playing something that. I can’t wait to try that one. Even if it’s not on my list, I want to try them on because it made spontaneous laughter happen. And that’s a cool thing. I, my particular quirks, they often not only have two to six type games, people, but they’ll have puzzles and individual type things.

And I love like in between my playing and really paying attention and tuning into humanity, it’s fun to me to go off and do the latest variation on Rubik’s cube, the latest variation on shifting pieces puzzle. You know what I mean? You gotta make your little cars go through the parking lot in the right order.

And I just. Often the way it also works is that everybody gets to take a couple of games home with them. They really keep everything is kept in good repair. Things are worn down by everybody playing and they actually do a big collecting of all the straight pieces that say just somethings fall on the floor.

Whenever they rebuild all the games that everybody’s got a complete and copy of the game. [00:50:00] And Sunday morning they go through an, a big random order and people get to choose the ones they want. I will often go with, cause I’m a geek fun per dollar. You know what I mean? I really love a game, but I can buy it for 12 bucks.

I’ll go buy it for 12 $5 game. Even if it’s like third down on my list, it’s like 55 bucks for free. I, so I have a certain amount of that sum and another way in which they do the Mensa select are often based on the card votes, but if they just went on, which were the games that flew off the shelves at the giveaway, that should be another thing where Really wanted that either sometimes because it’s expensive.

And that for terms that a little bit, but it’s also just people can’t wait to get a copy of that for home. They’re going to have that for eight months before Christmas. They can’t wait. They can’t wait for the buying seat. There’s something about the fanatic vote. The gamer phonetic vote.

That also is something that should be captured. Also. That’ll be fun. It’ll be a great event.

[00:50:56] Stephen: And it’s interesting too, because Collin, I also played this week, a game called [00:51:00] Lochness because we like the cryptids and it looked cute on the box. Good artwork. So we opened up the start playing and as reading the directions figuring it all out.

And now this was good because our local game company in Ravenna. Donates games to the library that you can check out for demo. And I was like, this is great. I’m going to do it and support that if nobody checks them out. And so we’re trying like this and I’m reading it. And the very first thing was, I run into grammar errors in the instruction book and I’m like, and then they, there were a couple of things they said to do. And I’m like that makes absolutely no sense because this would be a better way of doing it. So I questioned how. 10 much testing it got. So then colonize said, let’s give it a try. And we’re reading and he’s like, why are we doing this? I’m like, I don’t know, makes it doesn’t make sense.

He’s like this would make he’s like the strategy is broken right from the start with the, so we stopped halfway through. We’re like this isn’t even worth [00:52:00] finishing and put it away. So you miss that with Mensa select you don’t you make, you got a good game, even if it’s not your type of game, it’s a good game for most people.


[00:52:11] Alan: In fact that’s a really good observation because it does get reflected. What’s going on. That the way it’s done is it’s supposed to be the out of the box experience. You don’t get a chance to sit there and read the rules and prepare for it. If you will. You want that experience to be, as if someone bought it from the store, took off the shrink wrap and now we’re trying it.

And so just that the ones that really don’t make any sense, the ones where. There, it’s missing something inside the game. Sometimes production quality is not good. Anytime Colleen has a real thing about she likes playing games where it’s maybe a two, four page booklet that explains everything when you’ve got a 30 page book, because it really is, some games are complex and you really need to explain what’s going on, explain all the various different pieces, explain the ways like example turns so that people catch on [00:53:00] and I get that, but that means that if you really wanted to sit down at family game night and play a game for a couple of hours and the first hour was taken up in just getting set up correctly and figuring out how everything works.

There’s a different level of. Of that kind of game compared to a card game that is like of hearts, but it’s got extra cards and here’s how they’re different. You know what I mean? There’s some games that you can grasp in a five minute explanation and what’s often, oh boy, we have some friends that are really great at this, that they’ve played the game.

And instead of having everybody read the manual, they’ll say, okay, here’s how this works. Here’s how you win and what matters. Here’s how you start and what matters. So Orielle is great about that. Steve is great about it. We can start naming the people that are really good explainers of that kind of stuff.

Also. Yeah. I can also tell you some people that are like, they know all that stuff, but they don’t let you know they are using the fact that they’ve played before as an advantage. And it’s you’re going to get one game out of me, but no, I hate you. No, I [00:54:00] know that your information that you know, that you’re there.

It’s not cheating, but it sure isn’t friendly. Let’s all have an equal chance at this game. And so I don’t know what it is in people that drives them to do that. It’s don’t you want to have your experience be better because you actually had competition and contention instead of just steam roll it over everybody, because you forgot to mention the rule until two thirds of the game.

Oh yeah. That’s how that works. It’s oh oh, it’s funny. You mentioned that too. There are definitely games that I wouldn’t play with my family. I wouldn’t introduce people to, but is something I might mention if I have a gaming group that I go with regularly Def we’ve got Arkham horror and we’ve got the Pathfinder card game, both of which are very big rules, take a long time to play and set up.

[00:54:53] Stephen: And if you don’t play it more than once, you’ll never remember how to play. Arkham, horror, [00:55:00] Colin. And I got a friend of his who definitely should have been in Mensa he’s that type. But the three of us spent four and a half hours playing the game, going through the rule book, every turn and trying.

And we only got two and a half turns done and we realized okay, we’re not even enjoying this because it’s just so big, so complex. And the Arkham horror game, if you look it up online, people that have pictures of their complete collection, 800 to a thousand cards in these holders and multiple boards all put together the table topics.

Yes. I have a friend who loves access and allies. He’s but I can never play it because nobody wants to spend seven, eight hours playing one game with all the statistics and the tracking. And it’s just hard

[00:55:49] Alan: to do. Core group of gamers that like doing that are willing to do it really is an investment of playing it haltingly step-by-step to figure out how [00:56:00] things work and then to start the game over and say, okay, now we know what’s going on.

And then they find out, I don’t know, like you mentioned dominion often, that was one of the ones that mind games that I thought there really wasn’t. It wasn’t a great mind games experience because there was enough complexity that at first blush, it just seemed like, wow, this is a lot of tedious resource management and I’m not getting the thrill of it yet.

And yet the people who liked that they were willing to do the investment that became one of their favorite games. You know what I mean? I think that another cool thing about going to my games is it’s you can learn so much about playing games with people. You can have conversations for hours and not get our people.

Really competitive or not. Are they information sharers or, withholders are they do they get angry when their plans don’t work out or they just say I’ll plan B. How about plan C? You know what I mean? There’s an, and we really, there are all types. You know what I mean? People who are driven to go to mind games, or sometimes they [00:57:00] liked the company.

Sometimes they like the competition. Sometimes they like the novelty of everything. It’s very cool to have that experience and money hasn’t been going on for 30 years now. I’ve been, I haven’t been to every single one. There are people that have been to every single one. I usually go where like the.

The expenses are not prohibitive. So I’ve been to 10, maybe as you get to know the various different people a little bit, we talked about earlier. I have people that can’t wait to play with them. I’ll never play with them again because they were just such unpleasant company or they were, or whatever it is about me, that it rubs them the wrong way.

You know what I mean? I’ve always joking around. I’m chatty. I’m some games that require more concentration and I don’t do the chattiness needs to be a distraction. What’s the point of a game if you don’t have a little bit of fun. Yeah.

[00:57:48] Stephen: I’ve played magic for 25 years or so. And you can ask my friends I’m rarely paying enough attention to win the game.

If I get into it in series, [00:58:00] I can win. And I I get made, but a lot of times I’m like, I got one friend, we play with some of the same decks a lot. And I got my one friend that I’ll play something. He’s what are you doing? I’m like why? He’s you don’t want to play that. This is out.

You want to play this? I’m like, oh. And he like tells me how to play my deck. So a couple of weeks ago when I was playing my buddies, I won the first three games in a row. And then my one friend said, you’re not winning another one. And he made it his mission just to make sure I didn’t win anymore.

I still want a fourth one. Colin still doesn’t believe that happened. He He’s I’ve never seen you in four games in one night. I’m like, it’s true. It happened. It really did.

[00:58:41] Alan: I was paying attention, lucky, my way, whatever it was. It’s kinda funny. I liked playing well, but I really don’t care. If I win, I like the act of gaming.

However, if you win a lot, people interpret that as being that you really care about winning, and then they take it [00:59:00] upon themselves to make sure that you don’t. So it’s go ahead. You know what I mean? The fact that I read well, and I think ahead five moves instead of two, and that I get often the game mechanics pretty early.

That’s why I, when it’s not, because I’m trying to hurt you. It’s not because I’m trying to crush all the competition. You know what I

[00:59:19] Stephen: mean? Like I said, I take all that back at Mensa that’s if you really are the guy that often wins games amongst family and so forth, all you gotta do is go to get your head handed to really good at everything.

[00:59:31] Alan: And I love that competition where there’s no. If it’s not, there’s not easy, but it sure isn’t a cakewalk. You know what I mean? It really is that if you have a little strategy going and then they make a move that lets you know, that they saw your strategy and are moving to Florida, it’s hats off to you for something that might’ve been opaque to other people, but you saw right through my clever ploy and you’re not letting that happen.

I got off my game. I gotta be smarter about what I can expect [01:00:00] for my competition. It’s really a cool

[01:00:01] Stephen: feeling definitely times. I know that. There’s the people that play sports that get into actual high school and stuff, whatever, playing sports, that competitiveness got a win and that, yeah, you can have that in other ways.

And I can definitely get that playing games that I’m on the opposite. There are some times some people it’s okay, you’ve been an a-hole to everybody all night. You need taken down a peg and it may not be me, but I know this person over here has done in for you also. So between the two of us, you’re not going to live this game and you get that competitive mind going.

It shifts into higher gear. But when you’re just casual, especially with family, you’re trying to downplay, you don’t want to always remind family you’re in Mensa because sometimes they use that against you. You want to be casual and play games and have fun. That’s the big point. I barely remember.

Most games I’ve won or lost, but I remember what we talked about or the weird things that happened or [01:01:00] the things that made everybody laugh. Like you said yeah. A couple of quick things about that. It really is in me. I’m not sure why that it doesn’t matter so much that I win, but it does matter if I see somebody really being a jerk at how they play and stuff like that it really does matter to me that.

[01:01:16] Alan: Beat them or that I don’t give them an easy time of it because I, it’s just, there’s something about, it’s almost like bullying. I really stand up to bullies cause I just hate it and I can’t stop myself from doing it. There’s I’m going to try to describe this. I don’t know if I’ll be able to portray this in the same way that I just talked about, Hey, I had a little strategy and I could see that they got it and they moved to stop me.

Sometimes there’s not even talked about, while you’re working on things, you’re just like concentrating, you’re doing things and you’ll play something and then they’ll play something in opposition and you just look up at each other and smile. And it just, all that telepathy of, I see what you’re doing, I got what you’re doing.

I know what’s going on. There is such a cool connection [01:02:00] for the perspective that goes with that. The joy of finding someone that is right there with you. It’s there’s a dance that goes on in a really good competitive game that it’s not competition. It’s cooperation in a weird way. Do you know what I mean?

They’re often they talk about at high level games, chess or Scrabble or whatever else that if you have best play that there’s the games are more predictable. If you really know that people are always going to do the best move they have with the tiles they have in their rack or chest is very well-studied.

And that there’s really a best movement in many positions. And to recognize that so many is there that you can count on, this is going to be a best play game instead of just a random pricing’s game or where there’s so many is so random that they’re disrupting all of that. There’s something really cool about like horses that are racing along and they’re in tandem and they’re just, there’s a really cool thing about that shared experience [01:03:00] of we’re going to do this. This beautiful thing together, even though we’re in competition. I don’t know if I’m describing that well, but I love when that happens, when it really is, it doesn’t matter who wins. It matters that we both gave it our all, and it was just the game had to end somehow.

And I was ahead by a nose or you were hit by a nose, and speaking of cooperative, there’s a lot of really good cooperative type games nowadays. I don’t remember those so much when I was younger, but there’s a slew of them out there for families, with kids that there’s a lot of games that work well where you’re not competing against your kids.

[01:03:36] Stephen: You’re working together for a common goal, you’re

[01:03:39] Alan: competing against the game. If you will. We had a whole year where we played a pandemic with a couple of friends and just that whole thing of it’s a different experience for some people to be like, okay, before I do what I’m going to do, I’m going to talk it out and see if anybody has another idea as to how this could be better.

And just some people don’t do that instinctively. They really are. [01:04:00] They want to have everything be almost like a fait accompli. I want to do what I want to do, and I don’t want anybody to gain save me. And it’s then don’t play this game. But if you’re going to play this game and we’re going to figure out how to get out of this burning building together, you can’t do something heroic, but not foolish, but not guaranteed success.

And then drag us all down with you. We all have to be in on

[01:04:20] Stephen: this. And that make is a great one. We just got the second version of sentinels of the multi-verse the superhero one. Actually I should be getting, oh yeah, the forbidden island. Oh my gosh. That is my that’s a good one with kids and with family that doesn’t normally play games because it’s got that little bit of danger and they.

They’re like, oh, I don’t play games. I don’t like games. I don’t like competition. I’ll try forbid Niland. And they get into it and the island sinking it. Oh no. Move over here. Move over here. And then they’re like, what else do you got that? All the time a munchkin for the longest time was used as that.

But Colin said is like munchkin [01:05:00] kinda is. It’s not as interesting anymore compared to a lot of the other games that are out

[01:05:04] Alan: there. There’s not enough to at least two forbidden island and forbidden something. Desert. Thank you exactly. And I just, the fact that whoever designed those games was good enough.

Like they must have played, tested that so well to say, what’s the balance here. We have to make it so that it’s winnable, but not easy. And we have to, it’s it’s really cool to see how much. They’ve thought about it to make it so that there’s really tension building and you’re like, wow.

Ever, it’s like continually raging themselves in their seats because they’re really paying attention. It’s a very cool thing nowadays in this era of continual partial attention to the TV and the phone and the laptop or whatever else to get something that tabletop gaming. It’s it requires your full attention.

It’s a wonderful thing to everybody put their phones aside to not be looking for, what am I going to do with my extra time? No, this takes all your time. You really need to be thinking about [01:06:00] everything that’s going on. So I love that. All right. Cool. Wonderful session. Thank you so much for taking time and for a little juggling of schedule and stuff.

I really do appreciate

[01:06:10] Stephen: that. Yeah, of course. And I hope to see you up at FanDuel fan expo, not Fandel fan expo this weekend.

[01:06:15] Alan: My guess is by Sunday, I will have walked the floor a lot and saw privacy and what panels they have going on. But panels are also often sparser on Sunday because there’s already people that are heading out and stuff like that.

Don’t mind. My was just like three years ago. She asked me for pandemic. COVID kicked in I on Sunday morning, I had a wonderful conversation with Jim. . One of those guys that’s like a legend, but there was nobody else at his booth and I wasn’t monopolizing. I, we must have talked for half hour, 45 minutes and it’s it’s really cool to know a lot about comics, even if you’re not in the industry, because then you can immediately say enough.

So they know that you’re not just a walk by fan boy, but that, because I’m older, they know that I’ve been around. And so we didn’t just talk about what’s [01:07:00] going on. Now. We talked about Alex, Raymond and Alex Toth and other older artists that were his favorites growing up. And to be able to like name works of theirs and have a sheer joy of that, it’s I got he, I got to make him into a fan boy for a while that he was talking about what kind of stuff he really likes. And as he was coming up, who gave him breaks and who was a Dick, he did that. He didn’t really bust anybody for being uncooperative but he definitely he had a very interesting career.

He was also an escape artist and a magician he’s a very interesting, a, who was a pop culture icon besides a Kypo guy. While he was gone while those things were going on. And like his history of kind folks, his two volume series is some of the best stuff I’ve ever read about him showing how much he really understood what went into comic books from the, from their inception onwards and how his time in them was a joy.

So there’s almost certainly there’s going to be people like that there this time that there’s the older artists that’s going [01:08:00] to be like, wow, you created green lantern. How, wow. That’s

[01:08:06] Stephen: and look through the list. He’s got a plan. What he’s taking, who he wants to talk to he’s got it.

I’m going to look for Tom and Ted. Definitely. Cause I think I think I’ve got the latest stuff that Tom came out with because of the Kickstarter. But I think I’m a little behind them, a few of Ted’s bloom and stuff. So I’m going to pick those up with them there.

[01:08:24] Alan: One of the things I always do is they have artists, Sally, and sometimes they have here’s the main row where it’s all.

It’s the thronging crowds. And I love going to all the other places where it’s like I’ve never heard of it before, but this artwork looks pretty good. Sure. I’ll buy it. And I ended up buying 2040 things for just cause I want to, because I want to support the starving because I want to give it a try because and so we’ll see.

That’s my, that’s me at my most medically phase where it’s like I wave my hand and give you my bed addiction. Hey, everybody, this looks really good coming by this

[01:08:58] Stephen: call, man. All right. [01:09:00]

[01:09:00] Alan: All right. Take care of Steven. All right, bye. Bye.