As summer winds down, we discuss some of the events we’ve been going to and some still to come. Summer’s are always busy, and we try to enjoy everything about it.

Alan had a talk at the Akron Geek Fest, but it was kind of a bust. Not to worry – we both are giving several talks over the next several months.







The Sandman – https://amzn.to/3CaGivm


Regional Gathering




Alan: A new shirt for the birthday. I got a nice, and it’s this dark green looks black on screen. Yeah. But that’s have things very muted here. I need to have face glow instead of side light or whatever else might

Stephen: be happening. Yeah. I told you I got all the parts from my new computer and I haven’t got it together yet because I was an idiot.

I thought I took the case out and I couldn’t find the screws and stuff. So I took it all the way back, which is like an hour drive and exchanged it and came back and here they had put the screws in a box and put it in the hard drive bay, which I’d never seen before. So

Alan: I it’s the case. Exactly.

Stephen: Yeah.

So then I was putting this one together and I was like, oh, the little IO shield dust guard in the back where you plug in everything, I left that attached to the old one. So I called ’em up and they have it waiting for me. So I still haven’t gotten it together

Alan: an hour, drive a penalty

Stephen: each way. Yeah.

So good thing I save money is I can spend it on gas, so happy birthday to you. And so summer’s winding down. We, we’ve got just a couple weeks left. Kids are going back to school this week, next week so there’s I suggested, Hey, let’s talk about events, cuz you mentioned a whole bunch of things you’ve been to and we got some things coming up, but this past weekend you were at the geek Fest in Akron Akron library.

So it sounds like you had an interesting talk so

Alan: it’s yeah let’s just dive into it. The geek Fest itself. I had not heard of it before. You said you’ve actually been there, so that’s cool. It’s been going on, I think for 3, 4, 5 years, but I just wasn’t aware of it. I had used the form they had online.

That was for getting a booth to say, Hey, I don’t wanna run a booth, but I wanna give you a talk. Here’s the topics on which I could speak. Here’s my, my specs, I’ve been at Kent state and at Baldwin Wallace and at various different libraries and ComicCons in medicine. So I’m legitimate. And I didn’t hear from them for a long time except getting that form letters about, Hey, you’ve got a booth stop in at 9:00 AM and we’ll get you all set up so that the con can start at 10.

And so I was then look not only responding to that, but looking for other ways to get ahold of people so that don’t please don’t get this wrong. I’m trying to do this. So two days before the con I got contacted by Wyatt saying, oh my God, I’m so sorry. I’ve been out of town and I was busy and all that kind of stuff.

And we still really want to have you, and we’ll be able to fit you in first thing in the morning in this room at 10 o’clock please do come. And so I was like, Wow only two days to go. And that’s usually not enough for you guys for them to be aware of me, even though I know I’ll be on site.

So I had misgivings and wrote him back with that. And he said no, we really want you to come, please come. So I not only wanted to do it, but I relented to his it was indeed after all the printed materials had been done up the posters outside the rooms, the printed program, whatever else it might be.

They got me onto the website. 4:00 PM on Friday afternoon was my talk schedule for Saturday at 10:00 AM. So who’s really gonna be checking it on Friday. I saw bad things arising to quote from Jesus Christ superstar. And yet I went ahead and did it and I got all set up. And of course What he had told me about how it was set up was not entirely true in terms of, Hey, I had to thank God.

I have learned from many talks to be very self defensive about bring every adapter in every way that you’re gonna be able to have to get video and sound out and just be able to hook into power and get wifi in case I have any internet connectivity. So I pushed their laptop aside a windows box and I was still able to use HDM.

and I got it all working. And then I watched while no one showed up. So no lie. I did my presentation because honestly, I usually just work off my outline and talk. And I was curious as to if I really just went through it as if I was, it was practice run, what would it be like? And so it was a perfect 50 minutes, no lie.

Usually when it said no interruptions. I even laughed about that. Exactly. That none, that pesky speaker interaction with the audience and I guess it’s a good talk. It’s ready to go. I’m ready for Halloween and whatever other messes or libraries or various sort of things might come up.

But I must have looked insane talking to a room full of Phantoms and and of course I comment on this line and my friends are both witty and snarky about wow. That one, anyway, it was, I didn’t realize how much it would bother me, how much it would affect me that no one showed up.

And why would they, there was not a sign there wasn’t even like a what I should have also done is not just got my rig together. I should have printed off my own little signs. Yeah. And just stapled them to things, taped them to things to say Hey, big, gal’s here to talk. And he is really pretty good.

And you should last

Stephen: minute edition. You won’t wanna miss it

Alan: exactly. That roving reporter joins convention that last minute, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah. But I didn’t do any of that because I had again been given so many reassurances, sorry, Wyatt to name you all enthusiasm, no follow through no execution.

It’s really heartbreaking everybody else there to, to not, I don’t wanna put out the entire thing. Everybody seemed to be having a great time. They had dozens of booths, all kinds of science, fiction, things for sale Hey teas and coffee cakes and whatever else that might, it was a really nice little festival.

All kind, not just all families, lots of young people really into it. Coplay. I hear there were other lots of other presentations listed, so I sat in my room after. And as you might imagine, another fun transition was for the next presentation to come in and say Hey, you all done? And there was nobody filing out of my room that they had to work their way through to the front of it.

So it’s oh yeah, I’m all done here. Yeah. I had a great old time. So they were actually talking about other cons other. Gatherings that are going on throughout Ohio. And I that’s I learned lots about, I’ve been to con on the cob once, that’s a fun one and that’s really very underground, odd stuff, but they have science fiction focus and fantasy focus and whatever else it might be.

So I took some notes had fun, but it didn’t take me long to go through all the booze. You know what I mean? I have lots of stuff and I didn’t need another cupcake. And I, they, I didn’t hang out for the rest of the Fest and not only out of oh, no feeling dejected, but boy, my Saturday was packed.

We had the liquid arts festival to go to if we wanted to, they had sandcastle building at the beach O over in Lakewood. We were having dinner with friends at Georgetown Bosch, and then going to a play called something rotten at the Beck center, which is our art center local and. Company was great at the dinner.

The show itself was hilarious. It’s a Shakespearean farce that’s itself a takeoff, a send up of Shakespeare and what it must have been like to be a playwright at the time when Shakespeare was just have the world on fire. So very witty, very self-referential and stuff like that.

So it turned out, I had at what, what having said that it was sometimes when things are so loaded, you don’t necessarily appreciate any one of them. Cause you’re of running from one to the other. It was a little bit like that, cuz we did so much, but it was still a very nice time.

Stephen: And no, that’s good. And then that’s a couple lessons from all this number one, if you’re a speaker and author, you get a table and we’ve talked about this with giving the presentations, you’re in charge of yourself, be ready like you said, flyers and make sure you have

Alan: able to get all set up, yeah. But like even not being in the printed program on any, the things like my, they got, what they got onto the website was a truncated version of what I had submitted to them. so this is no lie. I don’t know how they decide how to do that. But sometimes you don’t truncate from the end, you truncate from the middle and make sure that you save the end, which is oh my contact information, my relentless geekery.com, my Facebook identity, that kind of stuff. So it, I just, there were amateurish aspects of this that really affected me and that I didn’t. Make sure in follow up that it was as good as it could be, know? and

Stephen: we were talking you and I are get busy. We do a lot of things. Summer’s a great time, but it doesn’t stop winter fall spring.

There’s always stuff to do. And I was looking at the events on Facebook and meetups. And literally if you go the Facebook and hit events, your area just for the week, you’ll get a list of hundred. It’s like things happening all the time. And I know people really love those and the communities love to put ’em on and I’ve been on both sides.

What people don’t realize is the amount of work. It really does take to put something on like that. And I think people aren’t appreciative sometimes, and they just wanna complain that it’s not as comparable as Disney world. Here, you got a guy that works at the library. That was probably the lowest man on the totem pole that got shoved this job.

And he’s trying to put. This together. Yes. With a little more work, a little more planning. It probably could be bigger. It probably could grow. It probably could get a lot okay I’ve gotta handle this. I’ve gotta handle this. I’ve gotta handle this. So this is not the highest priority all the time.

Alan: Exactly. I was only one speaker, one thing out of the entire thing. I very much my getting complaining about it is because it affected me. But absolutely. The fact that someone took that on and was juggling a hundred different things. It really is amazing. There only one or two things fall through the cracks.

Stephen: And just coordinating the people coming in and getting tables. And I I’ve done this with Colin when he did all his conferences and talks you get people saying now my booth is in the sun most of the day. You should have had your and now I need electricity.

You should have brought electric cord. You didn’t say you need electricity. Where’s the water. You gotta bring your own. There’s so many little things. People don’t think about how huge it is. So what I’m saying, and I’m not saying you are complaining, I’m saying the people that go to these things that aren’t involved.

It’s one thing when you’re involved in helping at some point at some part of it, but then the other thing on the other side, which you and I have dealt with also is once you kinda get sucked into being involved, suddenly you get way more involved, cuz there’s never enough people and they want you to do more and more and it’s hard.

Alan: That’s Colleen and I have had many conversations about. Why are we always the most responsible person? You know what I mean? We tend to say yes, and then not only do yes, but make sure that it’s a big loud yes. That we help other people that we commit to the event and make that come off. And her at work and us both volunteering for Mensa and various other things, I’m tongue tied this morning.

That’s weird. It it’s, we’ve tried to scale back on that, that a lot of these things are a matter of setting expectations. And so when you say I’m willing to do this, but that’s all that I really have time for now. Yes. Cause sometimes what’ll happen is you’ve already made other commitments and she, and I just had to talk about this.

I not now, but there was one point in my life maybe 20 years ago, when you learn about triage for work, that you have to have a certain amount of Overscheduling and disappointing to just keep everything moving forward because there’s uncertainty involved in everything. And even though you make a commitment, other people don’t, and so you have to be able to make contingency plans and of turn on a dime when something changes well, that works for where everybody understands that’s the game that’s being played.

But when it’s scheduling friendship things, instead of work related things, it’s terrible to have to disappoint a friend and say I wasn’t sure this was gonna come off. And apparently you really were sure that it was going to, and so now I’m really leaving you in the lurch. And I never meant to do that from the start.

This wasn’t a ruse to get you to commit time, money love into this thing, but here’s the situation. What can we do now? And a number of things have been fixed and gotten better because of it. But a number of things were like not friendships broken, but they sure were different after a big disappointment.

And not only me disappointing them, my being disappointed because. Sometimes from the way it works out and the questions that are asked and what people are willing to do, you get an idea as to whether there really is care and love involved, or whether it really was juggling with no sense of proportion or sense of how much it affects other people.

And they think that if they maximize the number of things happening, that was the win as compared to well, here’s five people that really were hurt because they were the ones that were left in the lurch. You know what I mean? So I’m trying to be, you learned that over the course of life, you just don’t do that to your friends.

If at all, you can help it. So you say something upfront here’s what we got going on. I’m out of town and we’re trying to get back for your party by seven o’clock, but I’m not sure I can leave here on time. I’m not sure there’s gonna be crappy traffic, et cetera, et cetera. So you of try to let ’em.

Like I’m gonna be there, but please don’t depend on me for the guy that is the opening ceremony, because I dunno, right then I’m gonna be there at seven o’clock. Don’t be icebreaker. Boy, be I’ll be there to add my, my, my enthusiasm later or something like

Stephen: that. And I love being involved. I loved helping.

But at one time I was, I had my kids every other weekend of the summer. So that was a juggle in itself. And I was a a Cub scout leader and I was a girl scout leader. And that was like the max. I tried to do some other things. We did martial arts. So that took up a lot of time.

And so people would be like can you help with this? Can you do this? I’m like I just can’t I can’t add that, but I wanted to, so now I’ve found I don’t have to worry about the kids so much. But I enjoy doing the things, but like for Halloween or the Western Pennsylvania Mensa, or even the geek Fest, if I could have done that.

I want to give a talk. I want to maybe run a game, maybe teach a game. They have that at the geek Fest, which I found interesting. That’s have a table help set it up. I can do those things. I don’t wanna be the one in charge because I know how much time and effort that takes. I will gladly be one of the subs doing something niche, and I will handle that.

I will take care of it. You don’t have to micromanage it, but really I know how much time those take. And I don’t think I’d give it the right amount of time, which the geek Fest. I I’m not saying why it’s doing a bad job or anything like that. I think he’s probably way overloaded, but if somebody was really dedicated that geek Fest could probably grow and get bigger and be a big event a very worthwhile event.

And right now it’s. Fun event that’s okay. Exactly.

Alan: You know what it’s also there’s, I’m sure that one of the reasons they have these things is so that people can get real life experience about how to do that. How to plan an event juggle between the contingencies, all that kind of stuff.

Without it really mattering, it’s not like business and that wow, someone’s gonna get fired. There’s gonna be money lost, whatever else it might be having said that it’s also even for volunteer stuff I’ve come to the, so I’ve run big things for regional gatherings, annual gatherings for Mesa.

I’ve done a lot of organizing and honestly, I’m really good at I’m the guy that runs the spreadsheet and really has an idea of how everything fits together. And when something shifts I not only have planned it, but I’ve also been the one that kind of came in to say, oh, you had speakers cancel.

What’s the least amount of moving things around that you can do so that everything happens like it should, but you only have to put up three signs, not 30 to accommodate the ripple effect of it, that kind of thing. And a lot of what I’ve come to a conclusion is if I’m gonna put in two years, let’s say a year worth of work to make a regional gathering come off.

And it all happens like in three days, it’s not enough. When I used to see my mom slave in the hot kitchen for eight hours to put together Thanksgiving dinner, and then the hoards arrive and we’d do our in 20, 30 minutes. It just makes me kinda like mom, man, that was a ton of work. Maybe love. I Cooking is love.

There’s other things involved, but I’m just getting really aware of the kind of a single yes, can lead you to be involved in a hundred different ways in this thing. And the event, even if it’s stellar, we did the great lakes RG like 12 years ago here in Cleveland and it was excellent. It came off really well.

We had Colleen Draki did a fantastic speaker group where we had like the guy who discovered the earliest known proto man spoke to us that night. Wow. And honestly we had and not only that tons of other speakers and a great games and tournaments room and list and great hospitality and all that kind of stuff.

But when the smoke clear, a huge book sale and selection hat off to, and I should start naming names cuz you know, you don’t hardly ever get a chance to thank your volunteers in a way like as if relentless geekery is the time to do it. But Nancy did a great job. Colleen did a great job. Scott did a great all these people that did a great job.

And then when smoke clears, it’s still wow, we’re all like exhausted and happy, but also kinda thank God that’s over. And when I look back at how much I had done that year, how many meetings, how many God, how many emails and phone calls to make sure that everything moved forward, nobody’s egos bruised.

We really got the right AV in the right room at the right time. All of that stuff. It just it’s. It’s not worth it to me nowadays. I’m not looking to be an RG chair. Even though I, or Colleen and I together because we’re MEA twofer, when one of us says, yes the other person gets dragged into it and is always helpful.

And yet I just, I don’t know whatever that resume is that you build for, Hey, I successfully ran multiple RGS, multiple AGS, and you’re working your way up. I don’t know that I need to reach that pinnacle and I’m not looking to be on like the, sometimes those are also a way of getting national awareness that you are a calm person, an organized person, a person that would be good in a leadership role.

Do I wanna be on the American Mensa committee? Not really. I had my taste of that and I, it wasn’t pleasant. And so I’m just kinda like, where do I contribute nowadays things I love doing Hey, let’s go play some mini golf. Let’s go get some ice cream. Let’s have a gaming. A day. That’s just like lots of fun or else I contribute to the success of people who I really like, you know what I mean?

So I best, wife’s a really good friend just around the end will gathering in Reno. And that’s why I wanted to do it. There’s other people that I kind like him. They’re my kind of friends but, and this is a rude way to put it. Facebook has really made it that you’re aware of what level of friendship people really are at

Do you know what I mean? It’s I really don’t think that way in my mind, I don’t rank them. I don’t have my, my pan friends, right? And yet someone saying, Hey, you wanna do this thing? It’s different saying, Hey, you wanna get in this submarine and fight a war? Or do you wanna go play a game of cards?

It’s a different thing. And so the level of love and care and commitments that I put into things nowadays really seems to be who do I wanna work? And maybe that’s a better way to put it. I know I’m going on, but there’s philosophy in this. It isn’t only, Hey, I like you, no matter what, it’s, you know enough about them to know that they’re gonna be good people in running it, they’re gonna be compatible.

They’re gonna be when you see them make decisions, it’s not gonna be, oh boy. Now I gotta explain this to everybody. Cause I have worked for some people that were like a lot of the work was cleanup and UN mussing hair and making up for the things that they did cavalierly instead of being the climbing influence, being the person that really makes sure that everybody’s having a good time cuz you, if you depend on a dozen different lieutenants, you can’t chew ’em up and spin ’em out you to make sure that they’re with you till the end.

You know what I mean? So I, that’s how I approach things nowadays is my compatibility with those people. And I guess their compatibility with me, if they don’t want someone who is enthusiastic and not to be weird, thinks really quickly and has done this before. So they’re not gonna.

Deal with bullshit. They’re not gonna tow the line. They’re gonna say, Hey, there’s a better way to do this. And it’s not just because I’ve done this before. It’s it’s proably. So right. This is more for less money. This is more people, et cetera, cetera. I don’t want it to be that I don’t cotton to blind face.

I don’t cotton to dictators. You know what I mean? So small macro version of what we see happening in this country. How can people continue to believe in such an obviously incompetent. As of a man, it boggles my mind. Because I have big sensors that say the minute I see those signs of corruption, I don’t wanna work with them.

I don’t wanna be associated with them. I don’t wanna be part of that team who wants to be on a team of let’s make world worse. Let’s

Stephen: a little shitier place. Oh my God. Part of the problem with a lot of these is people get a little bit of power, local big fish, small ponders. Fish in a small pond you’re running a small festival at downtown, whatever population 3000 people that’s not the Uber power of running the world, but they get that.

And then they make it miserable and people don’t wanna volunteer anymore. And then people attending these events are miserable and don’t want you know what, this is way too hot today. We can’t control the weather. It’s just, it’s funny. It’s amazing. Like you said, it happens with homeowners association.

Alan: It happens with little Mensa groups. It happens with bicycling clubs, whatever else it might be. There’s a great line along the lines of academia has often described as the battles are so fierce because the stakes are so small. It’s wait a minute. That’s no, it really is like that, that people get quickly over overcommitted to something that really doesn’t matter.

That’s really pick a U and yet, because that’s their thing. And that’s their level of. Power. They can’t let it go. And I stay out of those situations where it’s wow, another tin, pot, dictator, another little desperate. Oh man, if I’m in it and I have to be in it, then it’s I guess I’m gonna be the court gesture because I will not be able to stop myself from speaking up.

You gotta speak truth to power when it’s man, how can you do that? You know what’s going on here? And even if you’re not penetrating to the person that’s being the jerk about it, everybody else must be saying, I’m not the only one. I’m not the only one that thought this was a really bad idea.

You know what I mean? So summer events that we’ve been going to have gone to now, I’ve been noticing over the last couple years, vena, which is kinda the closes. Town . And it’s been really growing. They’ve been doing like movies on the courthouse lawn during the summer. They’ve been trying to spruce up downtown.

Stephen: We still got the balloon affair coming up in September. Both partly downtown, partly at the ranch. But they’re, they started all sorts of cool new things. This summer. They’ve got a summer concert series where they’re once a month they’re pulling in bands, live music downtown. Oh, on the square.

Exactly. That’s cool. And they just got approved for Dora, which if you don’t know what that is in small towns, it’s a certain road and area with all the bars within there that you can get a cup of alcohol and walk through the streets and go to other bars. As long as you, your alcohol is only allowed in that.

You can’t use any of your own stuff. You can’t walk off and they have cops and

Alan: stuff. So I’ll call that these places volunteer, that they’re part of it. And if you make it to all 12, you get a t-shirt

Stephen: or something. It’s not even that it’s just a regular open thing. It’s not even a planned event.

So every Friday, Saturday night, I could go to this bar with my friends and get alcohol, but I can walk the streets with the alcohol to

Alan: go to which usually not allowed open carry. Yeah. Don’t, let’s not overload that term. Okay. Or now that they’re, I think now that they’re doing these events, that way people can go to the bars, support the local bars, but still go to the events instead of whatever.

Stephen: So this is that thing, I’ve seen it in Wooster also that that’s the first place I saw it, but it’s one of those things like if people are gonna be drinking and walking the streets, let’s allow them, give them some boundaries and just keep it under control. And I think that.

They’re trying to do it because it’s go be less problems or whatever. So that’s a whole nother issue. The whole legalized marijuana, alcohol stuff only. There’s a

Alan: way we can get people to drink more and then drive home. That’d be great. But I think part of it also is they have the hotels involved, so you can stagger to the hotel and if they really do that, that they make it that it’s I that’s always why I.

Spencer gather were a cool thing is even if they have unlimited beer and alcohol, all you gotta do is be able to push the up button on the elevator and have friends help you

Stephen: to your boob, or at least have a friend that’s sober enough to drag you. that’s

Alan: right. Exactly. Or there’s a nice, comfortable area under the table that you can curl up yeah.

In fetal

Stephen: position. So are they breathing? Yeah. Okay. We’re good. So there’s all these cool events and Kent just got approved for a trolley to run on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights. So again, if people are at the, yeah, they get moved around, Kent has a lot of music and events in the bars and the restaurants and stuff.

So that’s cool. It’s a great idea. Basically what I’m saying is damnit people get out, go enjoy life. Some of these events and festivals going on, go to them and support them and have fun. We don’t need to, we talk about movies, TV all the time, but there’s so many things out there to do.

Alan: Honestly, so you’re boy you’re exactly right. One, one of the things, one of the reasons that it has been so much, what we’ve talked about is because we grew up in the era of when it really was, how are we gonna entertain ourselves, staying home, and is back up there, there really is.

I don’t even wanna use the word. Disclaimer, the stark sadness is there’s still a pandemic going on. It is still claiming lives. People still are getting sick. It really might be that it’s nowhere near as bad as it first was when there was no vaccine and people really were going on to respirators and it was terrible.

There are still long-term effects. There are still people getting sick for five, 15 days, depending on what they get, but it doesn’t seem to be lethal anymore if you’re getting vaccinated. And the strains that it has mutated into are nowhere near. Quick kill as they once were. There’s all kinds of reasons that we can start to unmask and go out and do things.

And Colleen and I have indeed been doing that.

Stephen: Or even if you still feel comfortable wearing a mask, go ahead. Nobody should be giving you grief about it at this point,

Alan: that, it’s sadly and Elton John, we went to Elton John and we’re out in the stands and we were some of the few that were masked, but that really was, even though you’re out in the open air, two close quarters, you’re right.

Elbow, elbow with various other people and someone in the row right behind us was like, why do you have your mask on? And instead of letting me speak, Colleen was very wise, cuz I would’ve launched into why don’t you? But it, he was like, I, we have a wedding on Tuesday and we’re not putting our friends at risk by seeing this show and then being the carrier.

And so it by, by doing it out, its cause of love. It’s because of consideration for. We allayed his desire to get into a discussion. And that was just fine. Yeah. You know what I’m

Stephen: saying? See, I’d probably be very tempted even if I’m not, I’d be tempted to go well, that’s cuz I tested positive this morning, but I didn’t wanna miss the show.

Do you want me to take it off as I lean closer? These people there, like you shouldn’t have to wear mask. I guarantee he’d be like scrambling back. just cause I’m a jerk sometimes, i, yeah, I haven’t. I’ve thought of doing those kinds of things and I have not yet. And yet it’s, I don’t know that kind of from the very start when we Colleen and I would walk through we’d do our walks in Lakewood in the evenings and we’d walk around and someone would be sitting outside of the winking lizard and yelling even back then.

Alan: This is three months in when people really were dying and it really was a public health crisis and it was just, people were dying. All the people, they were exposing all of our healthcare professionals that were being put a terrible risk. This guy’s yelling. Why do you have your mask on it’s all a hoax and just, I wow.

The amount of. Smart. I’d have to explain to you so that you stop thinking. So foolishly it isn’t worth interrupting my talk to do. I just wish you didn’t exist. I wish you weren’t so easily. I wish that you weren’t so foolish to not only be like certain but wrong and aggressive in trying to make others wrong too.

Yeah. What weird world we’re in that, that I’ve seen that more in these last, I don’t know, 20 years than I have ever before that they’re not only probably wrong. They’re aggressive about

Stephen: yeah. Oh my God. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you mentioned Caden puzzles that you got at one of these events. I don’t know what a Caden puzzle is.

Tell me, so

Alan: They’re wonderful. Caden stands for Caden, Don Kate Jones is the developer and Don her husband is the craftsman. They’re beautiful, mathematically rigorous puzzles where it’s like. Here’s all the ways to take Teros or pen dominoes and put ’em. So they make a square or they make a pyramid or whatever else it might be.

And they’re usually beautiful laser cut wood or acrylic depending on which puzzle it, they have, they run a booth, various different. They did it for Mesa for a while at various different arts FARs or Renaissance fairs or that kind of thing. And the site is called game puzzles.com. So you want to go there and just see over the course of her doing this?

I think for 40 years, I think they just had their 40th year anniversary. Wow. They’ve developed an amazing array of things that she herself developed or that they have contributors who they come to them with this idea. And Kate helps them say, okay, so how would we do this? How do we what materials will we use?

And then there must be some kind of licensing agreement, if you will. I have dozens of herds because they’re beautiful. As usual, I really need to like pull prop and I don’t have it right here with me the combination of the colors are beautiful. And to me, the math of them kinda like speaks to me.

They’re symmetry, there’s beautiful complexity. And yet and I don’t know, I think it’s very cool. You can represent there’s one solution to this thing out of the 1.3 million possibilities, you’re gonna have to work to get this to work. And it’s provably that it’s only one solution or eight solutions or 20 solutions.

Some of the things are rigorous in terms of they have multiple solutions, but then you start playing with, can you make it so that the colors are separated into islands? Can you make it so they’re symmetric across the form? Sometimes it’s not fitting it into a particular rectangle or square or triangular or some kind of tray.

It is. And maybe this goes all the way back to tan grams. They’re an ancient puzzle about how to di sorry. Dissect a square into two big triangles, two small triangles, a parallelogram and a square. If I remember right. But the, you can make tons of figures out of them. So this is a cap, this is a flower.

This is a wall. And once you go, not 2d, but 3d like Somas the Soma cube, then you start to be able to make here’s a zigzag wall and here’s a, the lighthouse and whatever else it might be. So sometimes you not only get the puzzle, you get a little booklet of here’s 40 figures that we’ve discovered Lego does that website.

Exactly. and other people are still contributing. So it’s who knew that out of this particular dissection, you could make a reasonable fact similar of every letter in the alphabet. It looks enough like an a all that kinda stuff. So they were at the let’s see, Cuyahoga falls, maybe art fair and had a booth.

And just to me there’s many other things that are other artsy crafty type stuff. There’s lots of candles and lots of wood carving and lots of high dye shirts or whatever else it might be. And some of them are of sedate. They’re boring, cuz, oh, it’s just clothing to me. But you walk up to this booth and it’s an explosion of color and an explosion of cool patterns.

And I how I first met them was the very first Halloween that I went to. I didn’t know a lot of people in med. So Halloween was a big Halloween party in Chicago. I didn’t know a lot of people, so whenever I wasn’t at a program or like getting to know other people, I would sit down at her booth and I would do puzzles and I’m an odd duck.

I’m really good at them without understanding fully why, but she had one where it was like I think it was maybe Halloween 35 or something like that, maybe 25. And so she had taken the Halloween, the Mensa logo, which is, looks like a little Trident and dissected that. So you could make it into the number 25.

I sat down and oh hi, I’m Alan bolts, your Kate. And were like, while I’m talking to her, my hands are figuring this out. And so she’s how’d you do that? you know what I mean? That’s usually much tougher for people to figure out. And I, sorry, lemme get the light out of this extra window off.

It, it was so in the succeeding years, she was really kind like I, so then we played a lot of different puzzles and as you might imagine, it wasn’t all you can play with them. You can buy them. And so I went home with treasure, my first discovery of Caton puzzles, and then each many years, probably for the next five years that Halloween was going on.

She used to come and we’d have, she’d have a booth there. And same thing whenever, I didn’t know what else I wanted to be doing. I want to play pulses with Kate on and any number of times she’d, I’d walk up and she’d go nobody solved this one yet, Alan. And then it’d be like oh, and now you didn’t though.

So I hardly. Brag on myself like that. But for this kind of thing, I have an odd facility that really is how do you solve a puzzle like this? You quickly scan to see, which are the most difficult ones or the most oddly shaped that they have the least ability to slot into other things that are already laid out.

And you put the big rocks in first, you make sure that you have of those used up. And then as that gets done, you keep looking for how am I keeping my options open versus closing myself to options where only one piece will fit here. If I have a room where there’s easy to use pieces and a relatively contiguous space instead of a gnarly space, and then they just go in the tray I wish I could.

I hope I explained that kind of. And since then, she has not only they’re not inexpensive, they’re probably five to $500. You know what I mean? She has really beautiful, like super tetras, which is all beautiful laser cut wood pieces in a beautiful, like a humidor, like a beautiful box and very rigorous with all the things you can do with it.

So luckily she keeps on putting out new things each year. And so now, because she often goes to this particular art fair, which happens to be just around my birthday time a is very happy to say we should go to that art fair, because if Don is there, I know that I will get you something that you will just love.

And that’s indeed what we did this year. I got one that’s a new one, orange, blue, and white pieces. I should again have memorized it kinda like kites and crates or something like that, where it’s particular combinations of squares and triangles and all the ways in which you can fit them together into four, five or six triangle ish type pieces.

And then they all fit into this thing with some beauty and some symmetry and stuff like that. And I haven’t played it yet cause I only got it yesterday yesterday was the big birthday table, but I can’t wait. You know what I mean? It’s one of those things that I set up my little Coffee table in front of the television.

And while I’m watching some of the things I’m playing with them, and once in a while, it’s okay, I gotta tune the TV out because, huh, this is harder than I thought it’d be. It’s not by the way that I’m magic. And that I really solve everyone just sitting down and putting ’em in. There’s all kinds of ones that I really have to learn the secrets of it.

Okay. My usual algorithms mys for how I do this, they’re not working quite. So what do I need to do to change my brain so that it can handle the shapes are a little bit misleading. There’s a little bit more complexity here. I love that. I love that there’s still puzzles for me to solve instead of being that I’m arrogant about it.

Oh, I can solve anything. No, I can’t prove proves it to me every single year that they keep making beautiful artsy. And so I not only do I have them in a closet, like when you walk into our house along the top of our bookshelves, our. Big things on easels where it’s man, that’s so beautiful and striking.

It’s a checkerboard with red and white squares and it’s dissected so that, there’s just, I there’s hardly anything that’s like that then I can’t help. But do you mind if I dump that out and try it because it’s really intriguing to me. I being challenged like that and now one of the, one of the prime uses of a cell phone is you can take snapshot of a puzzle before you dump it out of the tray.

So if you have to, before you leave someone’s house you can return it to a good stage. Leave me in a heap and saying, sorry, couldn’t solve it all your now,

Stephen: which is a better use for your cell phone than to just Google, how to do it. Follow a YouTube video boy

Alan: For a long time you’d buy things.

There were there’s long standing puzzle creators like magni noting is stayed in business, but they arrive. They had 10 different puzzles. The way you get solutions to some of them, we had to send in a self-addressed stamped envelope, right? Does not even anymore Sasse. And they’d send you a solution, but like for a quarter and only for a particular puzzle.

And then once the internet got to be there really were for all the existing companies and many of the defunct companies, people started sharing, Hey, if you had phony baloney and were not able to solve it, I have a solution for you. And not only of course we’re how to put things together, but for some it’s a video, how do you solve rubiks cube?

Even if you totally explain what you’re trying to do that doesn’t mean you can solve rubiks cube. You have to talk about the algorithm for how you’re getting from a known perturbed state to a better state and do that each time to and what funny is the best way to solve rubiks too, is.

How I first started doing it, which is okay, get one surface all done and make sure that everything matches colorwise and then work on the next layer. And that’s its own set of things. To be able to get a side cube from here to here while being able to return everything else, the state that, and then you finally finish the top.

The real way to do it. And if you’ve seen speeders, they like take a look at the cube in its entirety, and they’ve got the algorithm that says, I know where everything should be in the end state. And then they’ve got their speed cube, all like Silicon looped up so that they just, and in eight moves, it’s where it should be.

And and until the eighths move, there’s not a lot of sign that you’re making progress. It still looks very jumbled and weird. And then in the last 3, 2, 1, boom, it’s all done. And that’s incredibly magical if you don’t get that, there are algorithms

Stephen: behind that, right? Yeah. They’ve even created Lego robots that they have color sensors that will solve rub.


Alan: exactly. And I know we’re, we digress all over the place. This isn’t about going outside. I’m sorry. We’ll get back to it. have you seen the people where they can take a look at the cube and they look at each of the sides and then they go behind their

Stephen: back. Oh yeah. And I like, oh my

Alan: God. Is that cool?

Yeah. I, we often talk about you and I are both right guys, and it’s really cool to be bright and celebrate that and have so much, the world is cooler, bigger, brighter, bigger boxer crayons. And yet it’s very cool to me to have something demonstrated that I don’t know that I could do that. I’ve been able to solve all kinds of difficult problem puzzles as a coder, as a puzzle solver.

That kind of stuff. When you see someone that can do that and do it in 10 seconds, it’s there’s a different mind involved there. There’s a younger mind that didn’t get my bad algorithms put into it first so that it kinda leads you astray. They learned how to do it. And then they just sped up perfected that skill.


Stephen: I definitely, I think that’s where they have three of

Alan: them and they juggle them. And each time

Stephen: in one hand, they,

Alan: and all of a sudden there’s two solve cubes. It’s come on now. That’s just magic. Yeah. That’s real really be going on. And definitely, I love being humbled like that. Someone could do

Stephen: amazing things.

I’m definitely more impressed with the people who sat down, figured it out and can do it fast by working with it, figuring it out, not quite as much as the people that get online, watch the videos and are told, do these steps and you got it. And that’s they didn’t learn themselves. They I don’t care if it takes you 20 years to figure it out.

It’s more impressive that you figured it out than you just followed instructions. Same reason. I don’t like to look up puzzles on how to solve them or that same reason I don’t binge watch most shows in a weekend. It’s a, there’s a joy there.

Alan: Yeah, so that’s I worked with professors at U of I, Michael and I think he was the guy in particular Wolfman was one of the ones that worked on the first algorithms to I guaranted Salva rub and actually to come the notation for how you talked about what does that 3d thing look like and of the individual 27 cubes so that you always have it’s, there’s an absolute value to it, if you will.

You know what I mean? And it, it was very cool. What kind of mind, not only takes that, but says I have a guaranteed solution. There’s no luck involved here. It really is a mathematical problem. So hats off the he’s the first guy I knew that had put that together, then books started coming out that said how to solve it.

And they took you through that. Anyway, so the art fair itself, by the way, yes, was cool because it wasn’t only Kate that had a boost. There was another puzzle and these were. And like where they had little burnt edges on the sides of them. And somehow that makes ’em look like oldie time. You know what I mean?

So I have this, I can show one off here. This is my, I think I’ve talked about this one before. It’s the dragons whole puzzle. If I remember right from a puzzle today, and it’s mathematically rigorous where you can put this set of pieces into the tray, so that every combination of January through December and dates one to 31, you can solve it for everyone.

So I just solve it for my birthday yesterday. And for eight nine today, I don’t have it working. I’ve got this little gap here and I’ve got this piece that doesn’t work anyway, it, but you can see, they actually have a little bit of texture or death. And that I like the look of that.

And so sometimes I don’t necessarily want it to. Only beautiful. I want it to look like a Renaissance’s object. And Colleen found me a couple of those that how you’re doing as you walk by. You’re like, Ooh, that high dye top is nice that she got a nice shirt that is kind of Indian stylings and stuff like that.

You see these up on their walls oh, I don’t think I’m gonna be betraying Kaydon if I get a couple other puzzles, cuz those are really handsome. Those are really beautiful looking. And I wanna have those in my menagerie as well. So let me ask you before we run out of time you also went to the Asian lantern festival at the zoo.

Stephen: So do they still do that? Cause I thought Asian lanterns were getting outlawed

Alan: I, so apparently not because it’s gotten, we’ve been doing that for either five or six years and it’s gotten bigger and better each year. So whatever would lead to it, getting outlawed out of safety or.

Stephen: Cultural instances. Yeah.

I probably both, but I think the flame and all that,

Alan: So the way it’s at the zoo, it’s at the Cleveland Metro park zoo, and it doesn’t seem to be open flames. It seems to be that now of course, everything is LEDs and okay. Stuff. You know what I mean? That especially LEDs are certainly run so cool, but there’s no chance of anything pushing into flame.

They do beautiful sculptures of thin paper, kinda like a SCR in the theater much more than that, but they have oh, here’s a whole Diora of Panda bears playing in a bamboo for us, or here’s a dragon and of course the scene runs throughout. So they have a beautiful, great wall of China and they’re, they have the Chinese Zodiac, if you will.

And you know it, and it they already look beautiful in the daylight, but what we usually do is we get there, we tour the zoo once and see all the animals say hi to all the bears and snow Leos and stuff. And then night falls and then these things are lit up and they’re just, they’re beautiful with the vibrant colors.

Many of them are automated and animated. So you can see the dragon opening his jaws, or they’ll have butterfly flapping his wings or something like that. In this case I, and I really wanted to see if they were gonna do this. And they finally did. They had a chameleon, a big old chameleon, and indeed the light changes with peel.

Oh, cool. So that his skin, like they have, what is it called? Morphism, chrono, morphism, promo, morphism, something like that. They did it so that it did a similar thing on this big paper or plastic sculpture. And I don’t know, it’s just something that it’s magical. You kinda lose yourself in it.

There’s just enough people that there’s, that, that hum of excitement, little kids are loving it. But it’s also not so crowded. Like even when we were there during COVID years with our mask done, we weren’t so much worried about, oh, someone brushed my elbow and now I gotta get my sanitizer. You know what I mean?

It’s it’s a really nice addition to the regular zoo. And I’ve mentioned this on the show before Tony and I got married there. We got married primate cat and aquatics building because we’re not necessarily religious affiliated. And it felt weird. I don’t I, we don’t do that. And so why go to one of those?

So we had a friend who is bet he is licensed. And did our ceremony. And actually he was at one time the ack of Cleveland D Mensa. And I didn’t realize it’s in the bylaws that if you’re the looks, you can marry people. I it’s not really true, but I thought it would be funny to say that.

I like the captain on a boat captain on ship. Yeah. On the African queen. I now pronounce you man and wife proceed with the execution.

Stephen: Anyway, that’s even more the enterprise instead of the African queen, but okay.

Alan: even a better nerdy reference. Thank you very much. Exactly. So we it was really a fun wedding because we were married a little bit later in life.

So a lot of our friends already had kids and oftentimes the gating factor for them is the kids are getting tired and they want to go they’re in the zoo and they’re able to go visit with the gorillas and with the big fish tank and the snow leopards. And so they were just, nobody got tired until they like fell asleep on their feet.

So everybody got to stay. We got to have wonderful dancing. You couldn’t have open flame that isn’t good for the animals, but everything else, music, we had jungle book dancing with the animals, dancing with this stuff. I’m not kidding. It was really sweet. And at what I, the story I always tell is our, we had our, our head table was in front of the dusky TD monkeys.

And why are they cool? Cause they sit next to each other on a branch and they hang their tails out. And their tails SW together, like holding hands. It’s just the cutest little monkey little thing in the world. So every time that one moves the other one moves silos back over and then go the tails again.

It’s just the sweetest thing. So we got married in the eyes of Musk, TV, monkeys, and every, all of our friends seemed to have a good time. I’m sorry. We didn’t know each other back then because you would’ve had that. Would’ve been great. I love chocolate had banana cake. We had little animals on on the tears and everybody we had a thing where instead of just banging glasses, to be able to get people to kiss, we had people, they had to sing a song involving animals.

Cause we’re this. As you might imagine, they’re wonderfully creative. We had people that’s awesome. Alligators and long neck geese that kinda stuff. We had a whole bunch of kids come up and sing the SpongeBob Squarepants theme song. And we said, we kissed it. It just what a, is there any better feeling in the room to have a couple hundred of your best friends celebrating you guys getting together and then all the fun that we have.

Good. That sounds cool. Big steak die. Dr. Pepper. Me it was really nice. Really you had a steak. I hope it wasn’t like from a zoo animal.

no it was not leftover boar from when one picked off earlier that day. No, I’m pretty sure it was domesticated. I’m sorry. I’m doing so much of the chatter today.


Stephen: being very nice and throwing. No, that we talked about we talked about events and I think you’ve gone to more events lately. Cuz I’ve been working weekends at the store and doing some our stuff. I went to the taste of rooster a couple weeks ago, which I told you was, eh, not quite as up to but here’s my contribution.

How. The way I find out all of these things, because sometimes it’s who you’re talking to, but like I said, Facebook on the events you can really get by day by location by type of event, you can do a search. So that’s one way, but I also look on meetup. If you go to meetup, you can join a lot of groups.

That you’re a good part of.

Alan: Yeah. These guys are going on a hike or a bike. Yeah. These guys getting together for a philosophy discussion. I know we, one of the things I did long ago was look into there’s cultural festivals all over the state of Ohio. Oh yeah. Where a Chris, an Fest or as a pumpkin Fest or flag days or something. And over the course of my being in town, 20 years, we’ve gone to tons of them. We’ve been to the Starr Fest. We’ve been to the potato Fest, the melon Fest. Yeah. It, the duct tape festival, it’s honestly we just, we are really good. Just picking out one and going couple hours drive.

Why not? We love driving. We’ll see a different part of Ohio we’ll wander around and get our shave ice and our, you get different fair food. If you will, when you go to one of these little festivals, everybody’s got homemade pies that are just like the best thing you ever put in your mouth, it’s really a delight that little

Stephen: bit of America, those little ones. They’re great. And so besides all that also like Portage county has an actual website, Portage county events, and it, and anyone in Portage county can add to it. So I’m subscribed to that. And then just visiting the different almost every little county or town or whatever it has a website.

And a lot of times they list events. And I go to, but I go to the library and check out what’s going on there a lot, because even. Even if you don’t like, oh, I don’t wanna do all the library events, but a lot of times if the geek Fest you find out about other events they, they like feed on themselves.

You find out about stuff. That’s right. So there’s I do that a lot. Yeah. Just walking around and even if I dismiss 90% of what I’m seeing, it’s oh, this guy’s a local author. I didn’t know that I like his work and he’s gonna be in EIA or something like that. It’s I’m going to the EIA library.

Alan: So we’ve had a couple wonderful discoveries like that bill from Calvin and Hobb, as is from Cuyahoga falls. And I keep waiting for the day that they’re gonna do something like will Batterson they’re trying to hide his identity so that, but if he ever shows up for anything, I know he’s very press and public shy.

Yeah. And that there’s gotta be he does cool things. If you go to the Cuyahoga falls bookstore downtown, like you’ll find out that all the Calvin hum books are signed because he stops in and signs him and what a cool guy, I would love to wanna Rob him. I just wanna be like, yes, exactly.

Stephen: I’d love to meet him, but not at a big event when there’s hundreds of people just at the grocery store, but I don’t wanna intr to his personal life either that’s right too would he shaped me I have so much sense of humor, like from mad magazine, like from other things where you have lines that you picked up and Colleen and I oftentimes will talk about Calvin and Susie lines she had her son, Tim so much like Calvin so sharp and so sarcastic.

Alan: And so getting into trouble, but not bad trouble, but just. Always haunting authority and stuff. And so he, she lived Calvin and

Stephen: Hobbs the philosophy you can get out of Calvin and Hobb sometimes, but from both sides, Calvin being the reckless, but dreamer and worldview that he has and hampered by Hobbes’s realistic, philosophical commentaries.

Alan: It’s based on those philosophers. Exactly. It’s

Stephen: yeah. So it was the perfect mix. And I, my kids that was some of their early books was Calvin and Hobbs when they started reading.

Alan: Absolutely. That’s. Is there anybody that doesn’t have that for a certain generation, everybody read attacking the butt and killer snow.

You know what I mean? That they just and they ran, he was so good at it for so many years. And the fact that he stopped, was such a heart rending thing once in a while he does surface. He contributes to pearls before SW or something like that. You know that he’ll do little collaborations and it’s oh, that’s definitely his work.

Nobody draws an airplane attacking a dinosaur like he does. Yeah. You know what I mean?

Stephen: Yeah. So hat off, bill water. If he’s listening, we love

Alan: you. Exactly. Our old, our love,

Stephen: the reason he stopped though, is admirable because he said it was too commercial and he was, they were cutting parts of his comics out.

They wanted to just do as small and heads and he couldn’t do the art and the full artistry that he wanted. And he is that’s not for me. I’m done. Wow. How admirable is that at the top of your game? He

Alan: wanted to do like little Nemo level, beautiful Sunday scripts. And indeed they were over overs restricting him and he was.

Like you said admirable, yeah. When you read his collections and he actually goes into the, how things started and how they reached peak and then how they had to stop it’s he’s such a good man, as well as being such a funny man, a brilliant artist and all that kind of stuff.

So hat’s off to him, man,

Stephen: and Colin and I talk about this with comics all the time. I would love, and again, comics aren’t dead or anything, but I would love more comics like what they did with the gun Slinger from Steven King and Jay Lee, that, okay. There was a lot more, not just little boxes, but there was a lot more full page spreads, half paid, and these gorgeous colored arts and oils and paintings and stuff as part of it.

And Colin’s sometimes you need the boxes to move the story along. And I’m like instead of having to move the story in two pages tell less story in one book and then you get six. So it’s a philosophical difference. I think, I don’t know if everybody would enjoy it as much as I would, but the gunslingers are some of my favorites.

And when there’s a lot of gorgeous art, I love those sometimes more than. Trying to get a whole story in with lots of boxes and little

Alan: texts. Exactly. I hope that there’s enough great sales of those things that are more art artist E than they are writer Lee, so that people can still say, like you said, let’s do this as a six issue series as four, because we know they’ll all sell.

Why not sell sticks instead of four. And artist gets to have the vision that he has of this stretch out and do beautiful stuff, not just Workman

Stephen: like stuff. But the downside Marvel and I don’t think DC quite as much, but Marvel’s oh, Spiderman’s hot. Everyone’s buying Spiderman. Let’s bring it out three times a month instead of once.

You’re gonna get crap. You’re going get three different teams trying to do cohesive story and different artists. And they’re rushing to get it out. Cause they have to hit that deadline and you don’t get as good equality. It’s just a product. And there’s

Alan: a couple great books out about that. People that were there to see it happening about When they used to have the big conferences where they’d say what’s the big summer special that all the annuals are gonna go into and then maybe they’re gonna be crossovers and do all the titles and the dynamism, the conflict between wow, what a great story.

We really can have the scrolls everywhere. And the money people was saying, and how are we gonna make more money by doing this special thing? And we’re able to get titles that people don’t ordinarily buy. Yeah. They’ll have to buy Ms. Marvel, because that’s part of the ongoing story and it’ll only make sense if you and so isn’t, it always like that art is much about as, as much as it is pure art and finding the right balance is not easy, right.

And often there’s life or death struggles. So I why is the Sandman finally on TV, like 30, 40 years after it was publish. Maybe 30, but because they continually had to say, can we even do this? Is it film, right? What is it gonna cost you this? The Sandman isn’t like BI BA pow it’s.

Okay. And then he throws some sand in he’s suddenly in hell and hell is a vast place and you’re gonna have to show. So I’m loving the fact that as special effects have gotten better and that as people have said, don’t just buy the rights and then do our version of it. They brought Neil Gaman in. And he’s the one that’s really running the show. So the fact that they’ve made changes in the sand man series, I know we’ve now segued to that. So I won’t try to do any spoilers anybody because you gotta watch it. We, what you said earlier, we don’t binge.

Stephen: I haven’t watched it. Is it actually


Alan: It’s OK.

Three Fridays now. Oh, OK. But instead of gobbling it up, maybe even only two Fridays, it might just be like 10 days out. We tend to make sure that we, I don’t want to be like, oh my God, we ate it all up. And now we have to wait a year. I don’t wanna be that disappointed that much in withdrawal, but Colleen and I are taking that and watching other things that we still enjoy our baking show, our castle.

I just got the disks for the new Dexter series, which they had a teaser available, but then in order to buy it online, it was like 30 bucks. It’s I think I’ll wait for the DVDs to come. So anyway, that’s, they’re really doing a good job with the Sandman. Nice. They’ve made some changes compared to the comic books, but Hey, if Neil thought that those changes were legitimate, I’m trusting him to see where he goes with these various different things.

Nice. Now I gotta go watch it. So I gotta get running. So we’re cutting it shorter, little shorter than normal but so to tie it all together, everybody listening go. Buy the comics you like and go to the events you like and watch the shows you like, but be appreciative of the time and effort that it does take to do some of these, but also support the things you say need supported because I don’t know how true it is.

Stephen: I know it’s probably partly true, but they a little me, I saw going around was that the women’s NBA, who you get a lot of people yelling women should have equal rights. Women should get more pay. Women should have more sports. Great. But the amount they’re getting the game. Yeah. the amount they’re getting paid is like a third of what LeBron James gets paid in one year himself.

The whole league is. So if you’re going to yell and scream that they need this, that, and the other thing you need to support it too. I’ve seen this with TV shows and that’s why I roll my eyes when people are like, they’re killing my favorite TV show, let’s start a a thing online, everybody sign it.

So they’ll bring it back. And that’s happened where companies are they’ve killed shows and then fans go, no, we really want this. And they said look, when it started, 5 million people were watching every episode and it got down to 75,000 people watching it. That’s why we killed it. Oh no, we all want it.

And then three and a half million people signed this and great. We’ll bring it back. And then 700,000 people watch it. Wait a second. Where’s these other two and a half million people just, oh, we’ll sign it. So that’s why those online things mean nothing. And companies are like, eh, you people aren’t go watch it.

You’re signing this. Yay. You’re in the fervor of the mob mentality. But when it comes out you’re gonna be like, eh, I don’t have time for that. So I think

Alan: Colleen and I really do live that, when we go to a comedy festival, it’s because not only we wanna see comedy it’s cuz we want this thing to keep going.

If it doesn’t get enough attendance, it’s not gonna stay in. Yeah, it be or something like that. I bring that up and I know there’s multiple things involved with this, but I tell, I talk to authors all the time and they’re like, oh, it’s a shame. All these bookstores are going away and stuff.

Stephen: I’m like when was the last time you went and hopped at a bookstore? Oh no, I buy online. Okay. Did you release your book and paperback? So it could go to a bookstore? Oh no, that’s too much hassle. Then shut up. You don’t love bookstores. That’s harsh, but if you really do.

Love bookstores. You should be at bookstores. You should be releasing your book for bookstores, and that’s how you support. And the same with events. When you go to an event, just find out, do they need somebody to sit at the registration booth for two hours? Do they need somebody to go clean out the garbage cans once?

Do they need somebody to do a talk? Do they need somebody to help out just volunteer and help out and support the things you say you love? Not just, oh, I bought this new $300 Ironman statue, cuz MCU is cool. I appreciate that. But the MCU doesn’t really need you to be buying the Ironman statues.

If all your local festivals are disappearing from my viewpoint. Yeah.

Alan: I gotta tell you. So you’re exactly right and brilliant in how you stated it. And I retract a little bit of what I said before. When I talked about how I do this year worth of work and then we had the event and it just wasn’t satisfying enough.

And yet why did I wanna do it in the first place? Is. I remember it being at a Mac user group in Chicago called the rest of us. Oh yeah. And they got to where nobody was willing to be president. And honestly, I just stood up and said, this group is gonna founder because nobody I’ll do it. Good Lord.

I’ll do it. I can run a meeting once a month. I can. It took that. It took someone saying, and in a way, not only I’ll do it, but come with me. You know what? I meantimes, it’s just someone that ha does have a little enthusiasm a little, you don’t have to be great at it, but you just have to say,

Stephen: I can’t let this

Alan: thing die.

I like this too much. I’m willing to put a little work to what you just said is support the things that you love keeps them ongoing support the artists and writers that you love. The events that’s patronage is why that happens. And it isn’t a matter of this rich person should understand how good this is and buy it and make sure that it exists.

It’s all of us. It’s that? It’s that group action. That’s gonna make this book state. Stay running this bookstore stay open. That kind of thing. Yep, absolutely. Yes. Yes. All right, man. All well, I gotta get going. I got an interview coming soon. So

your best of luck. Best of skill. While them, I hope you get just what you want.

Okay. I hope so too. The pleasure. See you. Yep. We’ll talk to you later, man. Okay. Take care, Steven.