Episode 98 – Improve the World


Once again, we are here to help you and solve all the problems in the world. we start off by talking about bucket lists. Where did the term come from and what does it mean? What a better life? Make a bucket list and then go do those things. #1

If you put travel on your bucket list but are stopped by things like lack of money or a pandemic – well, get some Oculus tech and visit everywhere you want. #2

There are apps on the Oculus that allow you to see and hear concerts that you might not be able to go to. Problem solved. And the bonus is that you can experience it from many angles. #3

And if you think things are bad for you, lighten up. There’s probably another universe/dimension where a version of you is having a great day – like in the new Dr. Strange movie. So let that make you feel better. #4

And to top it all off, some of the tech advances in medical health are even better than the fun stuff. Diabetes may not be cured, but with some of the new things you can use to monitor it and better understanding to control it – we help you solve that. #5




[00:00:00] Alan: There’s Allen and here we go. Okay. Got some Northern lights, so forced legs. And I still have not seen these, but that’s definitely on our bucket list. We And actually Kelly and I were just talking about that the other day, how their bucket list is such a handy term and it really didn’t exist until that movie people usually want having a life list and various other ways of things to do before you die.

But bucket list is just such a nice, condensed distillation of it before you kick the bucket, it’s even got like colloquialism built into it and stuff like that. Yeah. And I’ve tried to live that way, especially with my kids, but man, even with all the stuff I tried to do with my kids, there’s so many things I’m like, oh, we didn’t do this it.

[00:00:54] Stephen: And even sometimes simple little things. Like last night I was playing rock band for the first time in [00:01:00] long time. And I’m like, man, I really wish we had played rock band a little bit more just things like that. It’s funny when w. When I first sat down to do one, it was so easy to come up with a hundred things.

[00:01:15] Alan: I honestly, it wasn’t two or three or, and most of it was places to travel to. You know what I mean? I’m really hungry to see more of the world. And more specifically, when you read travel books about, oh, here’s an active volcano and here’s the painted not desert, but actually like mountains that have striation with colors in them and stuff like that.

It’s I’d love to stand on this Ridge and look at that and see this beautiful stuff. And but also Colleen and I have said we’ve done so much cool travel and been around most of the United States. Not yet Europe, Australia, other places who want to go, but at this point, the bucket list, isn’t that a half to do.

It’s more. Everything is bonus. You know what I mean? There’s things that are on the top or prints. I really want to go to ake Watsu [00:02:00] falls. You know what I mean? It’s that it’s right on the border of Argentina and Brazil, I think. And it’s just a massive amount of water and noise and power and stuff.

And somehow I just want to be in the middle of that and just overwhelmed by it. If I don’t go, it’ll be okay.

[00:02:14] Stephen: It’s, it’d be nice to, and this is no substitute and no way am I condoning, Hey, just do this. But there’s a, an app on the head Oculus headset called wander, which is connected to Google earth maps and you can pick a place and go to it and scroll around and look, it’s not perfect.

It’s not 3d it’s a flat map, but I like the we were on it with my cousin and it’s oh, this is what the state looks like standing in the middle of the Amazonian jungle. So

[00:02:48] Alan: how cool is that? That’s one of the Modern technology has given us so much more than go to the library and look it up in a book.

Even if it’s an album sized book, I got a 15 by 15 inch picture of something [00:03:00] that isn’t anywhere near what you can do with Oculus. Like you were saying to give you the immersive experience. And even if it isn’t the smell of it and the noise of it, in the jungle, obviously it’s fecund and there’s little Twitters and all kinds of slithery noises and stuff like that.

But just to not be. I dunno. I should look into that. I really would love to be able to get a preview of next to a pyramid. You know

[00:03:23] Stephen: what I mean? We went to the pyramids, Giza was one of the first, that first step. And for us, it’s oh my gosh, this is great. 20, 50, a hundred years from now when it’s commonplace and it’s holographic and you get smells and feels when it’s advanced beyond what we can even imagine.

People like, they thought that was cool but it really is. And. Th the thing I like to do, because now you can do Panorama pictures with your phone and you can look at those on the Oculus. So P places I’ve [00:04:00] been I’m back there so we’ve

[00:04:02] Alan: not done enough of that. I’ve done things where I actually did the back when you didn’t apple have a stitching function in photos.

So you can really do as long as you overlapped, it would to figure that all out for you. And so I have a couple of things of where we were at Cedar breaks or something like that. And it really was. I wanted to get the immersive here. We are at the top and there’s beauty all around you. Here’s the path that led up to it.

It’s wow. Pretty foreboding actually look at what we did. That thing I’m looking forward to doing more of that. Not only the curated stuff that other people have, but just us being willing to say, wow, we really have been some cool places and here’s the proof like, look it all around.

And then there’s my boots. That’s me there

[00:04:39] Stephen: right now. I know it’s not perfect. I know I’ve done a couple where the stitching that wear crosses around and gets back. It’s a little off and it’s probably from me gliding as I but it’s mostly good enough for now. I will warn you. It doesn’t work on the separated Oculus quest [00:05:00] headset.

It has to be connected to the computer. So it either has to be the Oculus quest to connected to the computer or a rift headset, which is always connected to computer. It won’t work standalone.

[00:05:12] Alan: Thank you. Before I attempt it, I’ll make sure that I have the necessary equipment to give me the good result and stuff like that.

I don’t want to be great now I got nothing but stuttering and I know that you’re. Patches things together. We don’t see continuously, we see in saccades where it takes sampling like snapshots and stuff like that. But we’re wired so that we don’t notice unless you, until you get that, that they play with persistence of vision we’ve long learned how to do that.

24 frames per second, whatever we do for video games or movies or something like that’s where you get to seamless instead of stutter. So you can play with it. You can play with how your, what we know about our brains algorithm.

[00:05:50] Stephen: And I’d really like to meet my fill-in artist in my head. Cause that’s how they do a lot of the great cartoons.

This guy. Draws [00:06:00] this frame and draws this frame, and then they give it the flunkies to fill in the movement in between. There’s some poor little guy in my head go down.

[00:06:10] Alan: And in fact, so we just come in and I just recently talked. That’s why we both got new phones. You know what I mean? We finally have where the old phone was just enough.

Like I’m dropping calls, not just glitchy enough. And we as you and I have laughed about, we get a lot of use out of our technology. I’m not at eight and nine and 10 and 11. I just made the jump from eight to 13, all kinds of. Temptations that have come along and it’s oh, I could use that. But one of the cool things is now you’ve got the new phone.

Men really is five generations of stuff is enough to notice differences. I was at the comic con that is a fan expo. And I was taking pictures of the cosplay as they go across the stage. And in the past, if I didn’t get them to stop and pose and my sink was that, then I say, how I got a good picture.

Otherwise, [00:07:00] everything else had a blurred because they turned or just, it didn’t come into focus quickly enough for me to capture it the way cameras work nowadays, from what I understand is they don’t just take a picture when you hit the button, they’re continually sampling images.

And then when you hit the button, they say, okay, take the three or five images that are right around that in time and do all that interesting statistical interpolation so that it puts together a great combined image. And so I got as if I was Mr. Professional photographer with all the lenses and all that kind of stuff, the best set of pictures I’ve ever had.

From being four rows back by usual. I wasn’t real right at the front, but just had no motion blurred. No, I didn’t have to be as careful it fixes all those contingencies and they’re great in low light. And this might’ve also been that there’s specific lights on stage, but it’s not evenly lit.

So the cameras come to figure all that out so that you don’t get some part of the costume lost in shadow if you will. So I’m all about that. Instead of going old school [00:08:00] where I have to learn all about how all that works f-stop and

[00:08:04] Stephen: overlords like that,

[00:08:07] Alan: I and it might be, am I getting a real image?

Where am I getting. Even better than real hyper perfect real image, but that’s okay. Why don’t I hit take these pictures so I can sell them to a magazine so that I can have a good image to reminisce by. You know what I mean? And they do the things now where they focus on the main thing and blur the rest out and they get samples.

[00:08:28] Stephen: So you get a little bit of a 3d effect and the mine will do what they call a single take, where it really does nine seconds of photos, but you get a black and white, you get a wide screen, you get a focus and it’s pick what you want. And it’s holy crap.

[00:08:45] Alan: Exactly. It’s the fact that you just looking at the back of the camera and seeing that it’s got not only three lenses, but other light centers and stuff like that.

And yeah, it being that miniaturized, that it really has changed the world. [00:09:00] Obviously with everybody has a phone. Everybody has the ability to take pictures. So everybody captures news. Everybody captures like amazing once in a lifetime type things or crimes or whatever else it might be.

It’s a little bit weird, cause it can also be very intrusive, but I love the fact that we’re now getting, wow. I it used to be, had to be right at the wild park, right at the right moment to see a giraffe give birth or something like that. And nowadays it seems that there’s tons of those things because it was everybody having a phone that the number of minions that you have out gathering those images were blanketing the world with awareness of what goes on every day,

[00:09:38] Stephen: w which has led to some really good modern Saifai stories of that.

But it’s also what you just said and what we were talking about with the Oculus, oh man. The draft gave birth. Put on the Oculus and there you are 3d, you’re walking around in the virtual world, you know exactly

[00:09:57] Alan: that,

[00:09:58] Stephen: not that would be my [00:10:00] first choice. I grew up in farm country.

It’s not much different than a cow, so seriously,

[00:10:06] Alan: I get it came to mind because I’ve seen that. And I was aware of wow, I don’t know that everybody in the world, like by far, they don’t get to see this. You really have to be right in the zoo or right in the wild at exactly the right time to catch it.

And I some part of how you and I have talked about travel lately has not only been places to go, but also events. We don’t want to just go to the desert. I want to go there when there were torrential migration is happening and see a carpet of spooky moving spider.

You know what I mean? And there’s festivals here where they have a little boat floating on the river and it’s like Venetian nights and they’re all lit up. And obviously what’s behind me, the Northern lights. Don’t wait for you to come see them. You actually have to get the reports or the ionization of the atmosphere and be in Iceland, Norway, or by luck where it pushes down into Northern Michigan, Northern Minnesota or New York or whatever else it might be.

And any [00:11:00] number of times, Colleen and I had been really tempted to be like, oh, it’s like an eight hour drive, but we still haven’t seen the Northern lights. Let’s make a weekend out of it. Let’s go up to and we’ll get some pasties. You know what I mean? We’ll do something with it, I like that the, I don’t like it, where if people are living through their camera, instead of actually being there for my having said the miracle, catching them a draft, giving birth or something like that, I don’t know. I’ve never seen a picture of fireworks that captures that as good as being in the fireworks.

But I can take a hundred pictures and it still won’t be the cascade of light and boom and all that kind of stuff. So did it any number of times, but I’ve, I capture a picture of a concert so that I can prove I was there a little reminiscing photo and stuff. Mostly my camera is down.

I’m not trying to have of any song being played. It really is. Wow, please. Everybody really puts your homes down. Believe me, this experience is better than

[00:11:56] Stephen: anything you’re going to capture from it. Okay. So two things, [00:12:00] one sometime I’m saying we’re going to have. The ability for like multiple drones to be in the air, recording a firework show that then the AI is going go stitch it together.

And you can float through the firewall. But here’s another thing to entice Al, which I think you’ll appreciate. There’s an app on the Oculus that musicians bands go they work with, you have to pay for it, but it’s experiences of concerts, but it’s not. So you can walk around, but you have a choice of 12 different places.

You can be stage front center, back up in the nosebleeds stage, stage left behind the drummer. And you can switch while they’re playing and you’re listening to this concert. You look up and you’re looking up into their notes, oh my gosh. I’m that close to Eddie better.

So I know a lot of people like, oh, I wouldn’t want to see a concert that way. Concerts get really expensive. [00:13:00] And there’s a lot of people I’m probably not going to see I all $10 to see foo fighters because Hey, I missed them and their drummer died. And I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see them now.

Okay, I’ll do

[00:13:11] Alan: that. That’s true. Now that’s artifacts of time. You know what I mean? It’s not a place to go to, but it definitely, boy we’re feeling that we just missed a cruise to the edge because we were worried about COVID and a cruise ship is pretty much a floating Petri dish. You know what I mean?

There’s hardly ever, I know that people got off and they had a set of people that got the thing and got isolated and it wasn’t the whole boat. But the reason for saying that is there’s 35 40 bands on the boat. And that set of bands will never be together again and so much prog rock.

My heroes they’re aging. Yes. Is not what it once was. At least one death and one person that really can’t play as he wants, did. And the same with Genesis and same with ELP, two deaths out of three, I only have P left out of ELP. You know what I [00:14:00] mean? So we’re seeing, given the opportunity those more than ever, because as our heroes are aging and dying, you won’t get a chance.

You might be able to see queen with Adam Lambert, but it sure ain’t Freddie mercury. And so maybe the things that were captured that perfect Wembley stadium show or what you’re saying, where they plan on capturing it. So you really have that full experience. So I want to watch Keith Emerson’s hands while he plays.

I want to see miraculous virtue, also musicianship being done. You know what I mean? And. I don’t do a lot of that. I tend to like the concert experience so much that I don’t try to capture it at home, but maybe there will be what you’re saying, a breakthrough of, okay. This really was worth when I’ve seen a concert film and they actually do the backstage of the talking heads, chatting the show and Alice Cooper, whoever else they’ve made.

Good. Frank Zappa did a couple videos of before the band goes on and all the kind of fun chatter between the music. [00:15:00] It just, I like that because it widens the experience. It’s not just the music, it’s all, what goes into it that kind of thing.

[00:15:06] Stephen: I’m not going to get the, see Zeplin at their height or the Beatles but if they had the technology then, and I get to sit down and experience it as much as I really could. What about a hundred years from now? Everybody, we like that we listened to, they won’t be able to experience at all, but my great grandkids that’d be so cool that they could say, oh, here’s a concert.

Like the Cleveland rush concert. I didn’t get to go to it. And I really wanted to, they have a video. But how much cooler would it be to be some virtual reality thing and even better that my great grandkids say, oh yeah, my great grandfather was in the audience. This there’s definite benefits. A lot of people think, oh, I’d rather go to a real concert, spend money you’re right.

But again, if I could spend 10, 20 bucks to see the Beatles and be that close and watch them play,

[00:15:56] Alan: instead of one $70 show, I can get seven, $10 shows with [00:16:00] slightly the lesser, because it’s only the TV instead of the live and stuff. But I am numerous enough that I’d love to be able to see things. I never got a chance to see you.

It’s also, it isn’t only that people are dying. It’s just that some people have never been prolific in their touring. So I the ones that got away from me, again, bucket list things I’ve never seen Manford Mann’s first band live. And I don’t know that anybody cares about them as much as I do, but I love like four of their albums in a row is perfect.

Artists at the height of their powers collection of songs. And blinded by the light and spirits in the night and without growing silence, the whole album is just every time I listened to it, I like listen to that again, because it’s just so good. You know what I mean? If I had a chance to like, if somebody had captured those things and I had a chance to see, I never saw queen live with Freddie mercury, I never saw man for man’s or band.

I have seen all the, who I saw, I would loves apple and I’ve seen all kinds of other bands that now have disbanded [00:17:00] or died or whatever else it might be. I hope that there really are things like when we watched the Beatles documentary about the making of let it be right concert get back exactly that.

It was really cool. You really had to be a Beatles fan for some of it because it was long. It really captured all kinds of backstage stuff, but to see them play live and to see them like getting along, still loving each other, it really was the best time for them. So

[00:17:27] Stephen: I bet. Seeing the Beatles when they were still playing little clubs before they broke out think about all the bands that are playing right now, touring their asses off that.

If they recorded the show, maybe we’re not going to buy it now, but 10 years from now. Oh my gosh. That was them when they were like 17 just learning the tuna guitar. Let’s go see that again, it’s all that historical thing I’ve talked about. I think it’d be great to be able to wear AR headsets, walking around town and see overlays of what it looked [00:18:00] like 150 whatever years ago.

I think that’d be so cool.

[00:18:05] Alan: Yeah, it’s I, we probably have both big, any number of concerts that were like, man, I saw like Los Lobos in a bar. I saw the rolling stones in a bar after one of their big shows. You always muddy waters. And I’m sorry that wasn’t my. Sorry, a whole bunch of Chicago luminaries.

I think it was muddy waters because they don’t work and they did and so certain of my experiences. And maybe we’ve laughed about this. They’re indelibly branded on my brain, even though I then realized later from having seen a captured video, that I was wrong about the site who was playing on what song, but having said that it really makes a big impression on us.

Like we’re about to go see Melissa Etheridge this summer at cane park loved for a long time. I remember seeing her when I knew nothing about her. She was like the opening act for Rick Springfield or something like that. Poplar Creek in Chicago. And one of those people like in the [00:19:00] album, like you’d never heard of them before, but they made such a, they were so good from the start. And so I know that I’m going to get a chance to come full circle. This is going to be like 40 years later and her voice will have changed a little bit, but she’s now got an even greater oof of songs that will be really fun to be able to like.

I’ve missed you, Melissa. You know what I mean? I was an early supporter, yeah. It changing. I that’s one of the things I always love looking at like the VR, what new experiences, not even so much the gaming anymore, but what cool new technology things are they doing? Exactly.

And especially, yeah, I guess we are talking that’s exactly what should we be encaptured is that instead of being the only people that could see it, where the thousand ticket holders that night let’s call it a hundred thousand in the stadium, that’s still out of a city of 7 million.

That’s not, that’s far from everyone. And in that point of time, it’s far from everyone. And so it’s very cool to be able to count. Those things [00:20:00] so that they’re not just lost in the midst of time, not just tears in rain and that it’s really cool that we’ve got the ability to go back and appreciate.

[00:20:08] Stephen: Now see back in the day when things were just starting to ramp up, I said, you know what, movie theaters and movie makers, producers, whatever companies they need to like offer. I can buy this ticket and go see the movie. But what if I paid $20 more? And when I came out, I got the DVD right away. Or what if it was twice?

Exactly. Yeah. Or what or not. And then it became the streaming. I think there was some movies where you could buy a ticket. And get the streaming two weeks earlier than everybody else. That type of thing. I’m like, why aren’t, why is there more of these things? How much Harbor good. It really be, but they’re so worried about pirating or word leaking out.

But come on, we’ve got spoilers. We got people sitting in theaters with their really cool cameras, recording Blu-ray quality or it’s all [00:21:00] digital, you get that sneaky little kid that hooks up a portable drive and copies of the file over in the theater. Oh, he’s in there for 30 seconds.

No one even knows he did it but they’re so worried about this stuff, but I would do something like that. I, oh, I got the movie early. I paid for it. I helped support it. It’s mine. Whatever.

[00:21:19] Alan: I’ll tell ya. I just had some commentary about. How are we going to live an evidence-based life? Are we going to make a decision and then collect evidence to support whatever we think, because so much of the world is like that nowadays you don’t, and there’s so much ideology.

And to get away from all the crazy politics and stuff, just about something like this about copy protection, there were some people that were sure that if you allow free things that they will you’re stealing money from the artists know, we’re not maximizing value, et cetera, et cetera. But there was another side that said we looked at the number.

And when you make these things available, people sample and they do go out and buy the album, or they go and buy more albums because they have more of a chance to convince themselves [00:22:00] that I had to re pre-commit that I’m going to love it when I buy it. And so whoever were on each side of that, they finally found who how are we going to do this?

How about a dollar, a song? That’ll be enough to do sampling where I’m not breaking the bank. And maybe if I want to go to the album, vacuum a little discount from the album. And so now we, and maybe now we’ve swung the pendulum a little bit further, where, from what I understand, Spotify, you can have all the music you ever want as a consumer, but the artists are getting micro pennies on each of those listens.

And so I don’t know that I want the middleman to be the one making the most money I want the artists to, and I want it to be available to me for a reasonable price. And so I was hoping that the world would come to. That the middleman would be just they’d be the ones making micro pennies, but micro pennies on billions of listens is still good money.

I don’t want them to be the gatekeepers. I don’t want them to be the rapacious hoarders content. And we go back to the whole God, the studio system where people would make a fantastic [00:23:00] album. And then three years later they’d finally get money because all those charges for studio time and for promotion and stuff, the record companies were insidious in how they, it so that the artists got nothing next to nothing.

If they signed the wrong contract. It’s one of those bands that like early onset, I’m just not going to operate like that. Tom petty was another where they just kinda, they told the studios, this is so not a good deal that you’re asking me to be stupid and self sacrificing. And to do this.

And so king Crimson, for instance, has been recording their stuff for their. Issuance for a long time. And so I’m just so happy to get the little snapshots of this was a great show in Chicago in that year. And it was exactly this band they’ve had changes in personnel. So you want to catch, where do you want the Adrian Ballou years?

Do you want the Marco minimun years? Do you want the anyway it’s I love that some bands have Morillion have been early on saying we’re going to take on the additional risk and get the [00:24:00] additional reward. We’re going to have a one to one relationship with our fans instead of going through 1, 2, 3 middleman.

[00:24:06] Stephen: I know a lot of people are like, oh technology’s ruining it. Spotify is ruining it, but I’m all over. More of the positive. Let’s see what what opportunities are. There’s so many opportunities now that I think people miss and this applies, I see this in book publishing a lot.

But like with music okay, great. I can go to Spotify and listen to whatever this new band I discovered they have three albums on there. Oh. But wait, if I go to their homepage, they have deluxe versions of those albums with three extra songs on each one and oh wait, they’re coming to town. And if I get a ticket, I can pay 10 more dollars and get a QR code to get a recording of that concert.

I went to an, oh, wait, I can go to Patrion. And every month they do. Thing on YouTube that you can attend only at Patriot on you. There’s there are ways. Yes, it is work, but honestly, have you ever heard of a [00:25:00] band that didn’t say I worked my ass off only the boy bands or the the girl singers that they get promoted because they look good in whatever.

Yeah. Those, but the real bands that we listened to they went out and they practice, they worked their ass off guns and roses for what two years? They all lived in one little apartment and they would sell instruments to have food on Monday and then go buy instruments back on Friday, practice all weekend so that let’s, there’s other things that can be done.

It’s just a matter of a little more thinking and work and the same with the book publishing. There’s a lot of people I hear everything’s going through Kindle unlimited. I don’t make game money. It’s not worth it. Great. Don’t write because I have ideas of things I want to do less competition there I used that I’m proud of everybody makes the best of the situation that they can. They optimize, they go to where it might be that the initial connection is through Kindle or something like that. But then they do [00:26:00] have, they put the work in to have their own webpage and all those extras and establish a relationship where I.

[00:26:06] Alan: Wow. So many that it’s work to keep up with all the people I like reading and listening to, and that kind of stuff. And a little bit of guilt of wow. I already bought my four albums for the month. I kinda it’s, I’m going to have to let you go. I’m going to put you on my maybe one day list and this is.

Wow. Sadly, there’s all kinds of people that are really to do all that work, but you know what, they’re not the best music. They really are hungry and they’re willing to do all the work and yet, and so I want to support that. I want to support, I acknowledge your work ethic and yet as a comedian I don’t need you to be great about social media.

I need you to be funnier where I want to have your album and listen to it more than once. We just went to the rubber city comedy festival this weekend in Akron, no name comics. And [00:27:00] maybe there are in this world of you can be a name comic if you’re only on YouTube, if you are there’s all kinds of alternate ways of getting through besides being on Johnny Carson or performing at Playhouse square.

But having said. My radar for comedy is pretty wide and maybe deep. And yet most of these folks I had never heard of. And without being a jerk, it showed they, we probably saw 40 different comedians over the course of the weekend. And everybody had the, all the starters each had 10 minutes each and then there was a headliner and I’ll tell you even the headliners were not like the funniest guys of the night.

The very last one. Rick Madonna, Michael Mike, Rick Madonna. Solid. And I would go pay more to see him, whereas every single one of the headliners, before that they were still rough. They didn’t have the people who had the tight 10 that good 10 minute burst of stuff. And then you worked at 20 and 30, so you can be the opening act and all there’s a whole hierarchy in the ladder of comedy.

There are some people that they don’t have the material, [00:28:00] they don’t have the stage polished. And while when we saw people on more than one night, and this is a big thing for us, that they actually didn’t only have 10 minutes of material, they did different sets and some people went up and the first time you saw them, they were seemingly.

In tune with the audience, working with them, ranting about things. And then when you see them do exactly that same thing, two nights later, it’s wow, that was all fake, all that, like getting feedback from the audience and letting it build how you’re going to go on your rant that instead it’s this choreographed well-written, the outrage was written.

That’s all. It was a little eh, that’s so false. It really is things that are worth being outraged about, and yet I just, I don’t get much out of a only repeated show. I really like it where they’re seeing what works and they’re maybe choosing amongst their material instead of just reciting.

Do you know what I mean? So that being back to, I don’t know, most of them weren’t like, Hey, I have a [00:29:00] CD on sale or Hey, you can catch me on. I will go look at comedy dynamics or various different places that they mentioned. Cause I of. Seeing people that were early in their career and then got better and better a local comedian Mary Centura is going to be there in June, like headlining for maybe the first time there.

I think she might’ve already headlined it. Hilarides. We’ve seen her, where she really was rough young and not the greatest material, but then you could see how she would throw out the jokes that weren’t working or throw out the jokes that were going to keep her from all the clouds, because they were a little too sweary or a little bit, I dunno, there’s rules of comedy.

You don’t talk about poopoo. You know what I mean? Even if you have the best poopoo jokes in the world, that’s just not the funniest you can be. That’s six year old humor in a lot of ways. And and so I’m looking forward. I love when I see my friends succeed the Jim twos and the very center is on the bill Squires that have gotten better and better as we’ve been seeing them.

That’s and

[00:29:56] Stephen: you still have to work on your craft. I know in the book [00:30:00] thing it’s similar. You get these people going well, should I advertise here? Should I put my book up here? Should I do this? Should I try and get a I’m like, okay how many books you got out while I’m still working on.

Okay, finish three books first you got to work on your craft. You still have to get people interested before any of that other stuff works, which is the comedy Fest. That’s great for that. Cause you can hear, like you said, here’s who I liked. Here’s what I did. I went, I took my daughter to a music thing.

It was a band she was really into, I wasn’t as much, but the first of three opening night. I really liked. I’m like these guys are good and I looked them up and I listened to more the other acts, even the headliner, I was like, eh, these aren’t my thing. But the first ones I really liked. It’s good to open.


[00:30:50] Alan: it really is we tend like we were comparing it to is we not only have been to Cleveland’s and Akron’s, I was, we’ve been to like the Toronto one, we’re going to the Montreal. We went. [00:31:00] And a lot of times we’re seeing the headlines, we’re seeing bill Burr and folks that we already know a lot about.

But all the clubs shows what we really love is finding someone new that we knew nothing about. And they’re already so good that you’re just delighted in the discovery. You know what I mean? We, I, and sometimes it will because like Toronto is close enough to Cleveland that we’ve seen any number of people that we discovered at the Toronto festival.

And then they come through Cleveland and we’re like, oh, we’re going for sure. In fact, let’s tell all of our friends, we have to make sure that they know. I guess I still love that discovery. You know what I mean? It’s a little bit of, a lot of people have this, he liked being the guy in the know you like being the one to say, oh, if you haven’t seen this movie, you gotta see it.

You’re the oh, the Pathfinder to guide other people to good stuff. And once in a while I must admit it amazes me when I hear somebody like make a recommendation and it’s we saw them. And what did you find in them that you’re actually recommending them? You’re putting your reputation on the line [00:32:00] for someone that I thought was fair to middling at best people, of course have different tastes and stuff like that.

[00:32:06] Stephen: And sometimes it’s the night that the venue or the the band changed just they, they got rid of that guitarist that just didn’t fit and got someone different. Just one little thing and bam there you go.

[00:32:21] Alan: We have empty seen that where we see people like three nights apart, it’s wow, something happened between there.

They were so much better. The second time they were more comfortable in the venue or they were just, it was Saturday night where there’s crowd energy instead of a Wednesday night where it’s oh, we’re just going to go through this. Exactly.

[00:32:38] Stephen: So we, I don’t know. Did you see a doctor strange yet? You mentioned movies.


[00:32:44] Alan: We played hooky on Friday afternoon and it’s kind funny. Uncharacteristically, I wasn’t there like the very first show I could see. I think they already had Thursday shows at 7:00 PM. He used to be, had to go to the midnight 1 0 1. They could be by law of movie to him. You have to go on [00:33:00] the Friday

[00:33:01] Stephen: movies.

[00:33:02] Alan: I’ve stopped. I just finished. I don’t want to compete with all the other people vying for first. Cause I don’t really care about that as much. I don’t want to be elbow to elbow in a COVID environment. I don’t want to be with the, I don’t know I’m a fan for sure, but I don’t want to be with the fanatics all the time.

Sometimes it’s really cool to go to the show where oh, people dressed up and they’re really into it and they get every reference. And I love that. But once in a while, I just want to go see the movie for the movie and not be part of an experience. So we went to a matinee on Friday at the Capitol theater instead of a big Megaplex and the Capitol theater still has the great screen, the great sound.

So it was really an enveloping experience and I really liked. But this is one of those movies where I was aware of that because I’ve read so many comics and got so many of the references that they were making by being as a multi-verse. I’m pretty sure that I enjoyed it more than Colleen, just because it was a delight to say, oh, that’s the Illuminati reference, but it’s not exactly

[00:33:58] Stephen: the Illuminati [00:34:00] it’s its own

[00:34:00] Alan: beast.

Exactly. And I’ll tell you. It’s and it’s amazing looking. They have done such great things with special effects. Now they’re fleeing through universes through dimensions. It’s funny. I still use the term dimension because I’m more comfortable with that. The whole universe is way big, but anyway, different vibratory plate.

However you want to term it where they’re busting through half a dozen in a row. And they have just enough in each of those slivers to say, oh, that’s a Waterworld. Oh, that’s where everything is colors. And they were creative and perfect. And how they portrayed those things that you got this burst of.

Wow. That’s there really is an incredible infinite diversity in infinite combinations and all of these universes and stuff like that. And so seamless it wasn’t like, oh, I can see the glow of the green screen around the edges of them because they haven’t figured out how to do it yet. And the step away from Dr.

Strange, for a moment, we saw [00:35:00] a trailer for the next avatar movie the way of water, if I remember correctly and I’m looking forward to it, but I gotta tell you. I saw the first avatar movie, like three times, I think twice. And then once in 3d, because I was so overwhelmed by all the cool stuff he had done.

And I was just waiting to be impressed and envelop. I don’t know what he’s done in this next movie, but special effects have really caught up to the miracles he was working then. And unless he’s pulled off another miracle of being light years ahead and even more immersive and et cetera, et cetera, I’ve got a feeling I’m not going to be as impressed because there’s so many great special effects movies out nowadays where it’s seamless and it’s beautiful.

And the imagination of someone, I made something that doesn’t exist. Look real. You know what I mean? A fraud world, a jungle. It doesn’t have our jungle plants, but has anyway, it. I’m a little worried about it, because I think that the world has [00:36:00] caught up and it

[00:36:00] Stephen: wouldn’t be impressive.

Honestly, I really never cared for the avatar movie back in the day. It was not great. It was the snow, that’s what really set it apart. Was it looked fantastic and light years ahead of what other things were at the time. And I think it was really the first big 3d movie and looking like that, that people were just overwhelmed and and then three D really had things floating out from the screen.

[00:36:28] Alan: Would you like some pancakes? And yeah, it had depth, not just trickery for three and that. Yeah. And I think that’s what really made people go. My God. That was so fantastic. What was the story? I’m not sure, but it looks so it really, that’s what it was and I’m watching that trailer and I’m going, yeah.

[00:36:46] Stephen: If I don’t see that I’ll be okay. And I asked her and I said, okay, based on that trailer, what the heck is the conflict? What’s the story. He’s I have no idea.

[00:36:57] Alan: My guess is it’s going to be a continuation of the first one where it’s [00:37:00] ecological conflict a colonialism thing, a raping the environment taking resources out of land.

It might be on a little right. Repeat. Let’s see. My other buddy ever has done other good things, Terminator and other things I’m waiting to see if he can pull off a good story, as well as this amazing special

[00:37:20] Stephen: effects. My, my buddy on the other side of me leaned over when that was playing, he goes, yeah, I think I liked it better when they called it from golly.

So exactly.

[00:37:31] Alan: Yeah. And it’s funny, they’ve been able to do those things as in animation for a long time. Like when we went to see how to train your dragon and they have the swooping dragon flying scenes and all kinds of stuff, it’s wow. I know it’s only animation, but that’s pretty convincing.

I was getting the stomach alert as you go over and stuff like that.

[00:37:50] Stephen: I loved Dr. Strange his costume. Was so good. And he

[00:37:56] Alan: looked and Wanda with her and everything, the [00:38:00] magic when the, to stuff away, but the one scene where things changed as wow, that looks really cool. We’re going to go see it again tonight and 3d.

[00:38:09] Stephen: So it was

[00:38:10] Alan: good enough to go to, and on my own, I don’t think Colleen would be up for that, but I might go do that because not only because I want to see it in 3d, but also because there’s so much going on and I know that I didn’t get everything. And so already I’ve been not trying to read about every single Easter egg and every single, but I’d like to.

What I thought was what an incredible opening of the Marvel universe they’ve done. They’ve just brought in so many possibilities and I’m not sure that I like all of them because I don’t mind there being like one true history. I’m not sure that everything has to be versions of Dr. Strange out of the Scarlet witch and of captain America for that matter.

[00:38:46] Stephen: And which that was great.

[00:38:50] Alan: But I, my, when I did my little review on Facebook, one of the things I didn’t was so when they first revealed the Illuminati, that these are really [00:39:00] the guys that are running the whole Marvel universe for behind the scenes, because they’re the smartest or the most futuristic, or they’re the most ruthless or whatever else it might be.

And to bring them into this movie and then to have them so quickly dispatch. It was, I guess that shows off someone who has a lot of power and it shows off the alternate versions that might’ve been involved in this, but I thought it gave that whole concept of the Illuminati incredible short shrift.

Like the whole point of what they do is they foresee things they’re futurists. They would have seen what happens if the Scarlet, which with all of her ex unreality powers comes in wouldn’t they have said luckily we accounted for it with the Zappo I am a story standpoint. The reason they did that was like, here is the most powerful people that we can get in this multiple.

[00:39:48] Stephen: And she took them out because she couldn’t go no more mutants. They had to find some other big, powerful thing for her. That’s the thing I can see. [00:40:00] But again, I know Collins had a lot of people were complaining because of certain people in that Illuminati getting killed. But he said, folks, it’s a multi-verse.

That was the point. There’s an

[00:40:12] Alan: infinite being of replacements right outside the dimension. That’s ready to step in and now they know don’t let that happen. You know what I

[00:40:19] Stephen: mean? Captain and Marvel that wasn’t who we’re looking forward to, huh. I know the comic books, aren’t real and they’re not really serious necessarily. One of the things that’s weird is when you have the multi-verse like people talking about this for a long time, whether her death was permanent or enough in the DC universe, they had all kinds of people that went away.

[00:40:43] Alan: And then somehow they found a way to bring them back as if it was only an imaginary story as if it was it wasn’t really lightening lab that died. It was protein and all that kind of stuff. But in the Marvel universe, they really had a number of people die. Like the original captain, Marvel, not the big red cheese, but the Cree warrior.[00:41:00]

And it seemed to then have more weight than it really was. It was a life or death struggle and they died. And there’s really repercussions. There’s echo effects of all the people that are bit rough by that tragedy and that kind of stuff. And now they’ve undone that when you die, like you just said, we’ll be seeing professor X again, because there’s an infinite number of professors ex that might be.

Just coming to and they’ve done that for a long time. Now in comics, they had the original X-Men come back to be in modern times and actually get trapped here. So you get a chance to deal with what would the sixties X-Men do with the 2000 world and all that kind of stuff. And I like the craft and the ingenuity that goes into some of those stories, but in some cases, I really think you’ve just made that.

Now it doesn’t have any weight that one particular penny got thrown away, and there’s a sea of other pennies that you can substitute easily with slight variations. This one’s angry, or this one’s green, this one’s, [00:42:00] but that I miss that there was one continuity and that have real life implications, if you will.

And I’m still getting my mind around that. The motion of a single reality, I guess I’ll have to see how I deal with it. So you


[00:42:17] Stephen: all the people now going, oh, so iron man, Tony can come back and oh, when guardians comes out, we’re go get a different Gomorrah, but it’ll be the same people and I totally understand that, but I also like to see change. I like to see a progression I’m writing that same, like conflicted William show me what you can do. It’ll be like anything else sturgeons lies, 90% of everything is crap. And so we’re going to get a whole bunch of stories that were like, what a great concept to have multiple universes.

[00:42:48] Alan: And what did you do? You piddle the round that this guy wins the Scrabble game and this guy, this university loses it. It has to be something that there’s poor temps to it. That there’s a depth to the [00:43:00] three Spiderman meeting each other in no way home and. And that was handled very well because of the SD amazingness.

Wow. I guess I’m not just me, I amazing spectacular like that.

And and there must be. So off the top of my head, what are some of the plots where someone really made a big mistake and they’ve just killed their life. They’ve been so depressed. And so maybe trying to make up for whatever.

And then they find out that there is a universe where that they didn’t make the mistake and that they want to go be in that universe and be free of all of this guilt and all this horror. I could see how people would be like, what kind of want to take that guy’s place? Are they really going to kill themselves or they’re there’s, I can think of immediately big plots where.

I dunno when the black hairy Canary came over from earth to earth. One because her husband had been killed and I’m going way back in JLA Laura. Now there’s always been because DC had early on, [00:44:00] they not only had earth want earth to earth, the crime scene to get world, et cetera. They actually had displacement of those people and they really did deal in a good honesty way with the people that were like, this is a world, but it’s not my world.

What if your high periods. And your whole universe got destroyed and you’re the sole survivor talk about survivor guilt and things like that. So they’ve had good examples in both Marvel and DC. And I guess I’m, I don’t know how many more stories of that they can tell. Are there really that many Batman that we’re now going to have to deal with?

Which ones are the most brooding, which ones have had more Robbins die? You know what I mean? It’s I’m hoping they don’t have to keep upping the ante and thinking that heightening is the only way to go there really. Subtle differences. And at the actually you’re like, wow, who’s my best friend, a guy just like me.

You know what I mean? And we get together and have Memorial day picnic because nobody understands us as best as good as you and I do.

[00:44:55] Stephen: I hope they don’t use the multi-verse [00:45:00] to bring back people that they’ve killed off or to keep characters going, oh, we killed them off. Oh my gosh. Okay. We’ll bring them back.

Oh, we killed, don’t please. Don’t do that. Please keep a plan with Kang and whatever’s going on in the fracturing of the multi-verse

[00:45:17] Alan: I’m very and low-key and bang and all the stuff that this was tangentially connected to, without being it’s obvious that there’s going to be now conflict on that basis.

Yeah. Big bad in the Marvel universe. Not that we’ve used pheno and Ultron might be Kang, but it might be that it’s not all the kangs, it’s the particularly megalomaniac version of, and there are some that are the reformed Kang. And as the cat Kang is also Rama touch and Scarlet Centurion, and there’s all kinds of other versions of the Tang because that’s what you get with time travel is you get an infinite number of possibilities.

[00:45:51] Stephen: And this obviously is part of the whole big plan because you had Spiderman, which broke things with dr. Shane and [00:46:00] coming up, we got Ant-Man and wasp in the quantum mania,

[00:46:03] Alan: quantum verse. So

[00:46:06] Stephen: it’s all connected. Out of who’s around Dr. Strange and ant man. Those two quantum era and how time works.

And then the time stuff with Dr. Strange breaking the universes, there’s some good stuff that they could do. And low-key and so let’s not just go back to what we’ve already done. It’s a risk because people want, oh, I loved this. Let’s do it again. It was so big and popular, but it usually isn’t if you redo it, but if you take a chance, it’s not always better.

If people don’t let you. I hope that they just keep pushing. Better and bigger and more and different.

[00:46:47] Alan: I have a lot of confidence in Kevin and I hope I say his name, right? Because he really has guided so many movies to the best version they could be at the time of what’s good about comic books and what’s good [00:47:00] about movies and he hasn’t slavishly follow the comics, but he also, hasn’t only, I just really trust him.

I trust his taste. Like we’ve talked about before I trust Jon Favreau over in the star wars universe that he really gets it. He really has internalized it and he knows what a fan would want to see. It tells a good story and all the kind of stuff. So I’m looking forward to whatever happens in the Marvel universe in phase four and phase five, because there is still that interconnection.

And as usual, they have the little extra clips at the end of Dr. Strange third eye coming open. Why shouldn’t you give a spoiler? Yeah. You already talked about some people in Illuminati and people who died. So we’ll put a big spoiler.

[00:47:37] Stephen: But I know connected to this timeframe for us moon night just ended. And I know a lot of people were complaining about moon night because well, it didn’t have enough mood nine. It didn’t have enough action. It didn’t have enough powers, blah, but I give them so much kudos for telling a different story for really building this character.

I hope they don’t just let them die. It’d be gone. I

[00:47:59] Alan: agree. [00:48:00] I was as intrigued by this as I was with wander vision where you really don’t know what’s going on it sure. Isn’t delineator story. And it, isn’t only a comic book story. It really just was all about what if it’s not only us that don’t know what’s going on?

What fits the guy? The protagonist, the one that’s in the middle of the story that isn’t sure what’s going on. He doesn’t know the unreality. He doesn’t have to come because there really are multiple dimensions. It really can be that your brain isn’t like working. And that your vision of reality is undependable.

And then. Actually, maybe it is happening that way and I’m not just imagining things, but there’s enough evidence each way that like, how do you continue to function? Because you’re heroic because you’re stubborn because you’re, it’s very interesting. The character study that they’ve done, this was more of a character study than it was An adventure movie

[00:48:50] Stephen: and people don’t know Moe night, they needed that origin.

I said this about suicide squad. Nobody knows who they are. They don’t care. And under getting killed

[00:48:59] Alan: before you even [00:49:00] get a chance to know them. You know what I mean? So pointless.

[00:49:03] Stephen: Suicide squad into the name. Exactly

[00:49:08] Alan: what you’re saying to someone might

[00:49:09] Stephen: die, but a moon night I was hesitant I’m like cause I knew.

They had to do a lot of explaining of the character. They had to build up the character to get this superhero in the universe. And I’m like, man, they could really screw this up because it could suck. It could be boring. And they didn’t. I liked it. It was good. That was it. The action pack that we saw from the first iron man.

And we’re like, oh my gosh, that was so no, but we’re in different times. If you want the action back, we’ve got those, this is a little different. And that last episode, Layla with all men, and then when he got the thing up and you saw the moon behind them, I was like, oh, that was way cool. Well done paid you battle of gods in the background while they were fighting in the city.

That last [00:50:00] episode gave everybody everything they wanted. But the story before that may be. Important and made it worth watching. That’s what people miss. Sometimes

[00:50:08] Alan: I think what I’m liking is that instead of there being one Marvel way of writing something, they really are bringing in very good writers, maybe multiple writers, show creators directors that are running the whole thing, and they’re allowed to have their own artistic vision.

So like you said, it doesn’t have to be a slug Fest. Doesn’t have to be about technology. It doesn’t have to be only hewing to what we already know about Moonlight. It’s very cool to see that these things really do have different flavors. And if you want the gritty urban drama, you can go with Jessica Jones and that, that defender’s universe, if you will, if you want cosmic that you can go with the Avengers and the Qatar. Anyway,

exactly. I remember that. So I like that. That’s what I’ve always liked about comic books is that I’m not just reading the same story over and over again. There was a substantial difference in reading a hook tail versus a Thor tail [00:51:00] versus an X-Men tail. You know what I mean? And I like each of those things.

It’s not that I just here’s my one favorite and I just read these others so I don’t lose track of stuff. So I am, I did not go to free comic book. W what was it like? I haven’t been to one in a while because this was the same thing just a minute before you go on, I’m not collecting currently.

And it breaks my heart to then go to a place where I’d be reminded of all of this. I want every one of these comics and I want to be reading them all. I got to tell you when I get to my retirement and I really look at my money and I say I could buy my 300, $400 a comic books a month.

So I get everything and read everything and I won’t go broke. I really might return to that. I got stopped it because I had to buy the house and get my social security and get everything right. For me in Coleen’s 401k, all that kind of stuff. But now that I, if I win that game and I’m ahead, and I really won’t run out of money, man, I would love to go back to that world.

And in fact, [00:52:00] sorry, another minute I saw I’m seeing Dr. Strange was the second Virginia, her, him, and his Scarlet, which also America Chavez. Oh, I got literally a glimmer. What should see in the young Avengers or something? She’s big in the Marvel universe now. It’s a big old thing, but I do not have the last seven years of comic books in me.

Heartbreaking to be the guy that I have to say, who’s that I bought a Marvel movie. So anyway

[00:52:24] Stephen: Colin and I worked down at Adam’s store that day. And I have been to free comic book day when Collin was little, where we showed up early, this was pre Adam’s store. He didn’t exist. So we went up to Kenmore comics, John, who I’ve been going to literally since the second year, third year he was open.

So I’ve known him almost my whole life. But we used to go up there. You’d get there. You’d stand in line. There’d be lines of people it’d be packed inside and stuff. Was steady all day, but we never had the influx rush of people. I don’t [00:53:00] know if it’s COVID if it’s people just not as interested or the word didn’t get out or because the last two years got a little screwed up that people’s rhythms and schedules were off.

I’m not sure. We had a good time RAC was there. He was drawing pictures. I was glad to see a lot of little kids come in which was good. And we we tried that. Talk to him and get him, oh, you like, who do you? Oh, you like, Spider-Man okay. The elders guiding

[00:53:25] Alan: them. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:53:27] Stephen: And one of my best I didn’t want to be the creepy old guy type.

It was very tough that there, this mother that came in with a couple of kids and I just I’m walking around the store and I looked around and I come around the corner and over by the rack of comics, there’s this little girl, like for long hair, but she grabs an Archie and she’s standing there flipping through Archie.

And it was just the cutest thing. And I I’m like, that’s what this day is about America. That’s exactly. So it was a good day. Some good stuff. I guess the judgment [00:54:00] day with X-Men and Avengers that came out, everybody was hot for that. But there’s, I don’t know, free comic book day started as let’s get comics into kids’ hands, get them interested.

And it’s turned into, Hey, let’s put a comic out with the first appearance of someone so that it becomes a big collector item before it’s even on the shelf. Let’s put variant covers that real. So it lost a little bit of that for me. But all in all, it was a good day. I think Colin said the store itself sold more than it did the previous.

So a

[00:54:35] Alan: little bit coming out of COVID is a good sign for the places that I want to continue to exist, I want to see the restaurants full bookstores

[00:54:42] Stephen: for great. So yeah, it was a good day. I got my, a stack of stuff and I sat down and read some of them I even read some of the kids ones because they’re cute and fun sometimes.

And with super pets coming out, they had a super pets comic. It was cute. I liked the [00:55:00] cutesy art sometimes. That’s one of the things I always liked about Scotty young. It had that Calvin and Hobbes feel to it for me yeah, it was a good day. We had a good time.

[00:55:11] Alan: Very cool. I, like I said, I didn’t go over there because they had schedule conflicts or anything. I went over there because. Tough for me. I need to, and it’s almost like a little bit of AAA, no AA. You know what I mean? Walk on the other side of the street, go don’t go to a place where you’re going to recapture the addiction, the weakness.

I don’t think of it that way. It’s been a joy all of my life, but I know that I really did make a very concerted decision to stop. And I don’t know that I’m ready to start up again. And that might’ve been I’ll have to check it out though. I’ll have to. Oh, I just I missed it. I missed being like, for instance, at Carolyn Johns, they had Jim shooter, like how did I not go talk to Jim shooter?

You know what I mean? He’s not always done the best stuff, but he is absolutely essential to the industry in terms of how many things he changed and started and a giant, he was [00:56:00] working when he was like 14 years old or something. The first Legion of superhero stuff was when he was a punk and yet they were good stories.

And so he has comics in his blood, oh, I just, while we were there, we heard. God, forgive me. I forget the name, but who was Perez? Yes. While we’re at free comic book day, we hear about George Preds passing. It’s ah, and Neil Adams earlier in the week. So the

Comic-Con is where I heard about Neal items and I just it’s really wow.

Interesting. What we just talked about like our artists heroes, music wise, we really are getting to where guys that have been drawing already 45 years of comics, their sixties and seventies. And maybe they’re like human beings like us. They’re going to get their share of cancer and lung thing.

[00:56:45] Stephen: No, which how much now would you pay to put a VR Goggle on to witness a George signing and talking? There we go again.

[00:56:57] Alan: I’m just going to do a sketch, a real quick sketch and yet it’s [00:57:00] perfect. It was one of those guys that really could like, was incredibly prolific and could do. Sketches and then redo it and fix it.

He was just like perfect off of his pen again and again, he

[00:57:12] Stephen: was an amazing artist. Yeah. Yeah. He’s one of the artists that I was out of comics and stuff for awhile work and kids and whatever. And I picked up the final crisis and I’m like, oh my gosh, this art is amazing. Wow.

George Perez so

[00:57:28] Alan: I am one of those guys. I loved him early on, when he was first doing fantastic for various other things. And then as he got that reputation for and perfectly. So he’s the guy that drew those big team ups. He’s the one that grew up.

There’s going to be a book that has multiple characters, teen Titans or JLA or Avengers give it to him because he really will have. 10 20 characters on a page and they’ll all look distinct and they’ll look, there really will be human expressions on them. And there’ll be, the powers will be correct.

The uniforms will be correct to costumes. You know what I mean? Like he, [00:58:00] as opposed to some people that are really known for one particular gene Colan I still think of very much as the Daredevil artists, maybe the two Dracula artists, but he wasn’t the guy to give the authority and have them draw all of the big team conflicts, if you will.

Perez was that guy. So when they had crisis on infinite earths, when they had the JLA Avengers crossover, he was the go-to guy and it wasn’t like. Because he earned it. And then when he did it, he knocked it out of the park was beautiful. But when there’s a run on Avengers, where did everybody talks about when he’s he drew the perfect ultra and he drew it.

He just, no matter what character it was like, did he do the definitive edition of a hundred different characters? The perfect Ironman, the perfect wonder, man, the perfect, just, he was the guy that had it in him to say, what makes this character, what he is. And if I’m going to draw a dragon, man, I’m going to make him that he really looks.

A dragon. That kind

[00:58:57] Stephen: of thing. Yes. High quality art [00:59:00] time after time panel, after panel people that exactly. It’s oh, that’s good stuff, man. You got to see some of this.

[00:59:07] Alan: That’s right. It’s beautiful. It’s realistic. It’s it? It has emotion. It draws you through the story.

Wow. A big law. And we didn’t talk enough about Neal Adams. Really? He was he’s to me, he’s not so much the go to guy, he’s more of a stylist. Nobody else looked like Neal Adams so much was his good stuff for complex, for Batman and for let’s see some X men and stuff like that, that other people actually imitated his style because it was shown to be a fan favorite kind of style and

[00:59:34] Stephen: energetic and yeah.

Yeah. Both of them, some of the younger artists, that’s their influences it shows sometimes, and they’ll say it this is who it was green lantern, green

[00:59:44] Alan: arrow. Not only drawing the superheroes, but drawing the, in their journey across the United States. All different kinds of scenes, city, scenes, and desert scenes and everything, just so it really felt dry when you were in the desert.

You know what I mean? W as usual [01:00:00] we talked about many topics, none of which are what we plan on talking it’s most of the time

I got through it, I don’t know. I think we did a free comic book day. We got through and we got through a bunch of stuff. We’ve been actually segwayed correctly instead of, oh, we forgot this.

[01:00:18] Stephen: I don’t want to run out of total time, but I’m really curious. You mentioned going into our health segment of today’s episode you mentioned that your experience now with a glucose pump. So let’s talk about that. Why you have one, what they do and w what you’re looking at

[01:00:34] Alan: here, right?

And actually, sorry, not a glucose pump, but a glucose monitor. It’s a continuous one. Exactly. So what it is I’m a, pre-diabetic. And, but I’m right on the edge of your A1C, which is your long-term blood sugar is too high. I want it to be at less than seven, less than 6.5, if I can.

And between the last time and this time doing well, bug work, I actually crept [01:01:00] upwards and I actually haven’t been eating, I thought relatively healthy. Haven’t been doing enough exercise. Haven’t been eating perfectly. And w one of the worst things you want to do, if you’re pre-diabetic is advanced towards actually having it.

So they prescribed to me, what’s called a Libra too. It’s a little, in fact, I hear, because it came off early. It’s this little guy it’s a little disc. Wow. That actually adheres to your body. They put it like right here on your

[01:01:24] Stephen: bottom of your arm. So it’s not in the way it’s not real noticeable.

[01:01:28] Alan: It does have a little filament that goes into you.

It’s not a needle. It’s more of a plastic, I think, but that enables it to continually take samples of your. And it works with an app on your phone so that you it holds up this guy itself holds up to eight hours of day data. So you can every eight hours or so you put your phone up to it and beat boop.

It does it by wifi or Bluetooth. I’m not sure which I have to, would like to know the specs. And then you get all the various different readings and charts of what [01:02:00] your blood

[01:02:00] Stephen: sugar has been light, just like the watches we always talk

[01:02:03] Alan: about. Exactly. And that’s my next apple watch will have even more of those capabilities.

What really helped for me this one was it isn’t, I wasn’t just doing it every eight hours. I really wanted to do as you have done watch what I’m eating and see what eating or activities, how it affects my blood glucose of the day 200 to 80, if I remember, that was a safe places where you’re not hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic.

And so I don’t want to go into a coma and I don’t want to go manic or whatever. I was. I was startled, not so much by it. I knew that certain things weren’t good for me. I don’t, I can’t have I had a couple of potato chips, not a ton. And boom, I had the spike that I think you’ve mentioned you get from mashed potatoes.

And so it’s I really can never have those again. What I’ve been doing with it is trying things that are part of my usual diet and not an everyday diet, but I have them often enough that I’m curious. So for this popcorn does not do that. There’s enough fiber [01:03:00] and other roughage that it’s absorbed more slowly.

It’s not only a simple carbohydrate. But potato chips are just like mainlining carbohydrates, sugars. It gets quickly turned into that. And I went, I had some sushi and I’m like sushi. That’s fresh fish and I’m going to have very careful knows who she is surrounded by.

Rice. Rice is a perfect, simple carbohydrate things that I saw spice. I was like, I’m really going to have to like, not do that. I can’t do those. I can’t even do one or two pieces because it’s enough compared to everything else that I’m usually eating my fruits and veggies and fats and proteins that I really need to be careful about it.

But then, and it’s I like gamifying what I’m eating, where it’s I’ve last the last 24 hours I was I started off probably first thing. It was like 72%. That sucks. So I, as I worked with it for this last 10 days, I got to where I was consistently in the nineties, 92, 96.

And on the last day before he petered out, I think he fell off because I went [01:04:00] out like mowing the lawn and doing out things. And apparently I have ultra sweat, as I say,

[01:04:06] Stephen: sweat like

[01:04:07] Alan: that, he came off and four days early, they’re supposed to be good for two weeks. So I’m going to have to think about the next time it’s a prescription.

You go in and get another one. And I think I have to find out whether I can apply it to myself, wherever I have to go to an office where they actually there’s a little delivery mechanism that kind of shoots it at you so that the filament penetrates correctly. Cause you don’t want that bending or anything weird.

And so I’m gonna, I like the fact that I’m getting feedback, that’s giving me a bad. Feel and control than ever before of if you’re going to try to back away from being a diabetic, here’s how you have to do it. You have to avoid certain things. You have to add more exercise because you can see that exercise does indeed take you down.

You know what I mean? And I’ve gotten myself a better feedback loop than I’ve ever had, and it really might be that my, I have an old watch apple watch it, that it has features like your Fitbit and I should have been doing this all along now. They’re really, [01:05:00] what I should do is if I can do this, can I not have to have where the Libra, because this is going to be doing it for me.

And and I guess I like that fact that medical technology is making it, that I’m not having to do finger sticks. I so much never want it to get to that place of having to keep track of my little plunger and then a little drop of blood and all that kind of stuff. I kinda am happy that they’re finding out how to look at your blood through through your pulse or your fingertip, that kind of stuff.

And that it’s not only. Die of diabetes and so forth. Cause I’ve had other things now having had atrial fibrillation and flutter, I do have a guy that monitors that and has never detected that. So it really is that whatever I got done to fix it, the ablation in the cardioversion have worked and continue to work and I haven’t reverted.

And so it’s that’s a really heartening thing as you move into your sixties and it’s not like I’m a fucking wreck ready to break down on the road. No, I actually am in okay. Shape. I just need to not do my own damage. You’re not going to be a good [01:06:00] driving car. If you have poor Sandy into your gas tank, don’t do that.

You know what I

[01:06:04] Stephen: mean? So I think first of all, a lot of people need to understand, I know we’ve talked about this. People say, oh, your blood sugar. Then people start thinking and they’ve thought for decades, oh, if you eat anything with sugar that you can’t do that. But I’ve seen people like, oh, I can’t have a Snickers, but then they’ll eat a whole plate of mashed potatoes.

And that’s not it’s, they really now focus on carbohydrates because sugars are a carbohydrate, but beer is also a big carbohydrate and rice, like you said, and things like that. So in actuality, we talk about the data. We’re geeky, nerd people. We want the data and my doctor and Gina were a gold.

Don’t get so up be manic about it. Like you said about no. I’m just trying to find out the data. So I know what I can eat when I can eat it. And how much, because for me, I can go to dairy queen and get a medium [01:07:00] chocolate cone dipped in cherry, like my favorite. And that does not spike my blood sugar nearly as much as a blizzard.

And if I eat them, you

[01:07:10] Alan: know what, you can handle it no to everything. Exactly.

[01:07:16] Stephen: And like you said, the rice and the mesh heads, if I eat a couple of scoops of mashed potatoes, yeah. It’ll be up to 10, the easy. But if I eat that chocolate cone dipped in cherry, it’ll maybe be one 60 maybe, but. If I have really watch my carbs for the rest of the day and I’ve gotten some good vigorous exercise in, oh, it’s only one 30.

So you got to have the data to back up what, and know what you need. People just, oh, I can’t have candy bars. Okay. But you just ate a whole bag of potato chips. You should check your blood sugar.

[01:07:52] Alan: Exactly. That’s what I’m looking for. It isn’t only, also despite it’s the recovery and how quickly it was my body is not so [01:08:00] insulin resistant that it doesn’t know how to handle that.

Oh, you put some sugar in your blood stream. I’ll put some insulin in. And I, the whole point of being. Non-diabetic is you don’t want your body’s insulin response to get so compromised that it can’t do that anymore. You start taking artificial insulin, which is a terrible road. It’s a difficult have to do it all the time.

Can’t travel without worrying about it, et cetera, et cetera. I’m so much wanting to avoid that. And so I don’t think I’m doing the thing where it’s like, how much can I cheat? It’s not how close to the edge can I come? It’s more like I already had some pretty good habits. So for instance, I know should be eating fruits, veggies and so forth.

Berries, good watermelon, not so much. Somethings have a real direct effect, others. And then, so it’s I just, I have watermelon once a month instead of weekly, even though the summers

[01:08:47] Stephen: cup more, or you’re thinking ahead, oh, Memorial day is coming. I know we’re getting together with family. We’re going to have a buffet of all the stuff.

And 90% of that stuff is bad. You shouldn’t eat. [01:09:00] So you think ahead a little bit, then I know. For the rest of the day, I’m going to really be careful and watch, I’m not going to have these things instead of grabbing a Coke, maybe I’ll take some unsweetened tea to drink, to balance that I really want some of this macaroni salad.

So I’m not going to have a big play to the mashed potatoes or potato chips because I really yes, it sucks, but Hey, yeah, you got it. What’s the alternative. You start gain greening your limbs and getting them cut off. You go blind bedroom. You know what I

[01:09:35] Alan: mean? That’s you know, and that, it’s kinda funny.

I almost complaining, we talk about how I’m relatively asymptomatic. If I had the, Hey, I have a numb toe, man, we talk about a wake-up call. I’m not losing that toe. I’m not doing that. And so I’m unhappy that it has an evidence itself, but. Because I would be more serious about it, but I really [01:10:00] am happy that so far I have managed it.

And also that I have no retinopathy, no extensions, no extremities, nothing in the fingers or the toes. Although all of the ways in which you can complicate your life diabetes plus obesity, plus heart things is like, just kill me. You know what I mean? I’m combating all of those things. I’ve always been a big guy and I’ve always had a lot of animals strengths so that none of what I’ve been through is ever stopped us from going hiking up a mountain.

I really don’t have heart problems where I’m going to have a stroke, but I have things that are just. They’re not quite right. And I need to tune them as opposed to get a new heart or something like that. But I’m willing to do a lot to not have to get a new heart, to not have to shut my pancreas down and things like that.


[01:10:43] Stephen: and there’s so many, like you said, popcorn is a great alternative and I like popcorn. I put a little flavoring on it. It tastes great. Got to watch the sodium. Cause those seem to have lots of salt, which bad. But then there’s things like chickpeas, garbanzo beans we [01:11:00] roast them, dry them out, put seasoning oil and seasoning on those nice and crunchy.

I don’t feel like good. I don’t feel like pretzels cause I’ve got these to eat and chickpeas are wonderful if you’re diabetic. So how many things can I put chickpeas in every time on my salad, and be,

[01:11:18] Alan: yeah, I’ll tell you. Of course. My, my biggest foolishness is I still do fast food.

Much more often than I should. And not every day because I usually do it, like if I’m out running errands when I’m returning books to the library, but even then it’s if you just stayed home and had a can of beans, had a salad, had something safer than that you would do so much benefit.

So this last week I had it like twice instead of three, four or five times. And I don’t know that I want to wean myself totally off of it, but I really seeing that also you can’t have a sandwich without buns and those buns are not like whole wheat, young Bogan buns. They’re empty calories, empty carbs.[01:12:00]

And so I need to work on that. I need to work on work and I get things. For instance, I can’t, I used to think that if I go to subway and portly, I can control the ingredients going on. Sure what Lee’s wrapped in a big burrito shell and somebody who’s got a big old button and I haven’t gotten to that thing.

Oh I’ll open it up and just eat the inside. I need to start having salad at those places

[01:12:23] Stephen: For people that aren’t diabetic to understand this, and if you have a good doctor they talk to you about this and they explain it the mindset, the whole, the overall health is what they go for.

They’re like, if you’re going to drive yourself crazy and irritable and all that, because you didn’t have fast food once last week, that’s not worth it. Either mental health is just as important and your lifestyle and things. And but sometimes you have to understand and know. So I don’t have a problem when we go.

And grab fast food. I just know, okay. I’m telling myself I need a bigger salad and avoid [01:13:00] any type of carbs for dinner. And maybe after dinner, we go for a walk. So I get just a little more exercise in the day, so you can take care and compensate. And again, I know people that are like, oh, that’s too much work.

I don’t, but that’s your choice then if you weren’t following this, you knew you were pre-diabetic, you didn’t follow anything. Don’t ask for my sympathy and I’m sorry to sound when you’re

[01:13:24] Alan: in that chair, because you have lost a foot, please. I don’t, I won’t

[01:13:29] Stephen: have much sympathy. I know people that like my father he can watch it.

He can do all the things, and it’s still drops or spikes and so he’s screw it. Why do I care? It’s going to do it anyway. But he’s a little bedridden now, but he hasn’t lost any fingers or toes. And he’s had diabetes for 40 some years. The fact that he’s still alive is a attribute to our modern medical science,

[01:13:54] Alan: That’s true too. So at, I dunno, just, I guess two more minutes as a [01:14:00] closer, what did I discover? I’m taking a swipe. Metformin as the first line of defense really does help to lower your A1C. And then I take, I’ve been taking Jardiance that’s in particular good for diabetes. And especially you had any kind of heart complications and I’ve not had a stroke or a heart attack, but I have had my atrial fibrillation and flutter.

And so this is something that helps to guard against further recurrences of that. Metformin is a longtime drug and it’s available generically and I get it for 80 cents. Jardiance is not, it’s still fully owned by and I should know the company’s name move liquor high-blood or something like that.

And it’s a wonder drug and wonder costs money. So when I had insurance type stuff until my insurance deductible is met for the year, I pay for prescriptions to Jordanians are like $1,500 for three months, 500 bucks a month. You know what I mean? It’s a lot it’s 20 whatever.

Let’s see 17 sensitive. I’m sorry. [01:15:00] $17 a day. And I want to live, I want the best stuff. I want this

[01:15:05] Stephen: But you don’t want to be in a cardboard box under the bridge while you’re

[01:15:10] Alan: healthy on the way to the poor house. You know what I mean? And we we always talk, Colleen and I are okay, we’re going to be safe, but there’s still something that just really, I just don’t want to pay that much.

It’s if there’s other, so what I did the research. You that’s the price in the United States. You can buy things around the world by the same manufacturer for lesser money. And what I, by doing the research, I didn’t want to get they say they’re the same manufacturer, but they farm it out to a company in more vicious or India or Turkey where it’s not guaranteed to really be the right drug at the right potency and the cleanliness and the standards and all the efficacy that Nythia, or FDA has.

It’s really good to have that government agency that says they can’t sell stuff. It’s just snake oil. They can’t. Oh, you, if you will, Canada has its own [01:16:00] CDA. If you will. You know what I mean, compared to ours. And so I found a place that not only deals in Canada made drugs from the manufacturer, but a pharmacy that isn’t just a fly by night place, but actually has a street address and so forth.

But those have a web presence and I’m not getting anything through insurance now, but the cost is like $313. Instead of 15, I’m saving $1,200 on each of my prescriptions. And $300 for 90 days of pills is still 30 cents a pill, but compared to $17 of did I do the math? You know what I mean? It’s just amazing.

And so of course it really is, Hey everybody, if you want to deal with Canadian cloud pharmacy, they really have all kinds of things that are in this weird bracket of there’s no generic equivalent. You have to get it from the manufacturer, but it’s Canadian made. So it’s not the United States price gouging that we have.

And of course, no. Why take away my experience from all of this is how in the world are we in the richest country, in the world with all of the med [01:17:00] tech and all of the discovery of these things that’s being done, but we don’t have enough concern for our citizens or enough care from our government to have negotiated a price that Medicare, Medicaid, and therefore the entire industry knows what this really should cost.

You don’t have to maximize your profits on everything, especially if it’s really like life altering. And yet I’m in that pinch point of they’re not going to lower their price until they have to. They’re not the lower for the first 10 years. If they get to be on patents and then it’ll be in that reasonable Stettin price and Metformin price and whatever I’ve taken in the past, that is long-standing drugs instead of newly developed ones.

I want medical research to continue. I want numericals to be found. I’m not saying that that they should be expensive in some ways, but I am saying that if you’re really looking at a capitalist economy, like there are forces in the capitalist economy that should bring prices down to where it’s really the kind of true cost based on marginal [01:18:00] cost and utility and so forth.

And that isn’t happening in the United States. As long as we don’t have our biggest bias. Meaning Medicare, Medicaid, and big insurance providers, negotiating strong to bring that price down. That’s a

[01:18:14] Stephen: Coval and that’s the perfect example. We want our capitalist society. We want to be able to have that American dream of making money of running our own business of living our life, blah, blah, blah.

The opposite of that is if you’re the guy making the only drug that works for this particular thing you get to set the price and it’s like you can get mad and upset about it, but that’s built into our system. That’s what we say you can do. There’s not saying it’s right.

Not saying there shouldn’t be that’s part of our problem. Plus the other problem, which you mentioned like the insurance. They get the kickbacks. If you tell people to use our drug, we’ll give you [01:19:00] so much money. And then we make this much on my end. So everybody’s oh good. We’ll help each other out now, even better.

And the

[01:19:07] Alan: DV it’s kinda funny. I’m a reasonable consumer. I want to know what’s the trade-offs like how much am I? I’m a consumer reports guy, right? Here’s all the various different lawn mowers. And I can get the top of the line. Perfect lawnmower for a thousand bucks. I can get something that’s.

80% of what the top line does for half that price. If I shop around and find the right one, and they tell you that they look at all the things and say, this guy has 80, 90% of the capability, but for much less price. And that’s almost all is what I do is I go to that second, third, fourth down the list, and I don’t need the premier Harvey, Everett.

Do I need every single gadget and capability? I need to have it be that it’s the value. It’s a cost per capability. And so applying it to this, if I find out that here’s the various different drugs that are available for diabetes, and this one will lower your A1C by 0.5 to one, this one will do it from 0.2 to [01:20:00] 0.5.

A third of the cost of the first one. I might actually take that lesser of as a benefit and get off my ass and go exercise in order to save a thousand dollars. That’s not the conversation that you have with your doctor. They don’t give you all enough information unless you really look into this and find out how do each of these drugs work.

And what’s the expected efficacy of them and what’s the expected costs. And then I’ve got a what’s the dollar per lowering of my A1C and this one’s the bargain. It’s not the best one, but I don’t necessarily need the best one. I could even get three of the lesser ones if they’ll give me three, but you know what I’m trying to say.

I don’t want it to be that I’m not at all in the decision. Don’t just prescribe something for me and then find out, like you said, that maybe there’s a little bit of, we got a deal between you HHS and Smith pine that says we support this drug for. I don’t think it’s really conspiratorial like that, but I do know that there is enough of that.[01:21:00]

How do they sell these drugs? They don’t sell them to the consumers. I guess I take it back nowadays. You can’t get on TV without seeing every ask your doctor about XYZ and a number of them are these what was that picking all these diabetes drugs. So then you have a, an uninformed consumer going in and saying, give me someone to add on this epic.

It’s it’s not right for your condition because, and I don’t want to waste Google binders

like that. I’m not just going to like to find this stuff. But I like being involved in my care and

[01:21:32] Stephen: I like told me there really is a I’ve got to go.

Just the, as a little example, do you really think that there’s a coincidence that we don’t, we’re not pushing electric cars and these alternative fuel cars in America, and the fact that most of our politicians make money from oil? The thing there’s no like thing connected [01:22:00] there

[01:22:00] Alan: that’s honestly, the reason that I have.

Ongoing suspicions is because if not exactly, with this drug and this company, it is so rife in so many other places that you worry about are our 500 people that are in Congress that are getting all those lobbyists and all those kickbacks and all that money that they’re really, aren’t making the best decisions for 330 million people, they’re making the best decision for them and calling to find out how many examples there are from the drug companies and the oil companies and the financial companies and everything else that there’s very few decisions that are being based on science. And trade-offs like, I’m talking about,

[01:22:40] Stephen: or what’s good for the country as the one versus the many.

We saw it in Spock. Come on star Trek again, predicted the

[01:22:50] Alan: exactly. Just and it happens so often then after a while it’s that’s just the price of doing business. No, it’s not every time that you get I am an I’m an [01:23:00] investor. I want a reasonable return on my investment.

Let’s say for all the course of time, it’s 7%. And you might take on more risk and try to get to the twenties and thirties, or you might take the solid 4% for your blue chips and utilities and whatever else it might be. And then when you find out that the investments that the lobbyists make into how much they’re willing to bribe these various different peoples are not 20 or 30%, they’re 500000%, even if they pay these guys a hundred million dollars to get this sweetheart thing written into some law in one of these big budget packages. Hundreds of billions of dollars scallions, trillions. It’s just amazing the return that they get for every sweetheart deal, every cutout and set aside and specifically named thing that benefits such a specific company, because they were the ones that were cutting enough to bribe the right guy.

And that mass level of corruption is crazy-making. And [01:24:00] yet we sure have gotten to that place every time you read the Panama papers and find out just how much money has been spirited out of the system by the corruption, not by we’ve made a mistake, not by that experiment didn’t work out, but that level of a hundred percent corruption is built into everything.

Why do we have trouble balancing the budget and keeping social security flow? Not necessarily because we don’t know how to do interest and it’s because there’s continual

[01:24:28] Stephen: let’s lower. Okay. So here’s the tech solution. Here’s how we talk tech first of all, you have new tech on your arm and you can monitor this.

So keep healthy. And you, you use tech to keep healthy and that when you don’t have to pay them those big money and all that. And go see these great movies and support the great movies that you get, the entertainment and

[01:24:52] Alan: $10. I can go to another universe where this shit doesn’t, there might be technical Beasties,

[01:24:58] Stephen: and you can [01:25:00] visit the world and connect with people through VR goggles.

And now we’ve tied everything up for the day.

[01:25:06] Alan: Honestly, Kelly and I often say that what’s the best solution is just, how do we get them to leave us alone? How do we not participate in as many corrupt systems as possible? And that’s protect yourself with money, protect yourself with.

[01:25:18] Stephen: It’s worked remotely and you’re not contributing to the oil and gas.

[01:25:24] Alan: That’s right.

[01:25:24] Stephen: Exactly. All right there. We always solve the world’s problems for the week. Once again.

[01:25:29] Alan: Exactly. Okay. Take care of Steven. Okay. Bye-bye


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