We discuss a variety of topics today. Little weather since Alan is in California and experiencing the torrential downpours. There’s a bit of tv show recommendation talk with a focus on Keifer it seems, even though Jack Ryan and Last of Us are the newer shows we discuss.

We are still looking at different activities and events for the year, and we share where we look and determine what we want to do.

Have you watched Last of Us or the Jack Ryan show?

What are some of your activities that you are planning to go to this year?

Experiencing the weather?


Civilization® VI – The Official Site

Watch Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan – Season 1 | Prime Video (amazon.com)

24 (TV Series 2001–2010) – IMDb

Designated Survivor – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5296406/

The Last of Us (TV series) – Wikipedia



Stephen: Watching. Okay, , good morning. Where are you at? You look like you’re in Venice.

Alan: and actually I’m I’m, I chose that background to indicate I’m in California, I’m out on Oceanside. Ah, and as you might have been reading for the last month, California has been getting atmospheric rivers that dump just a ton of rain and mostly it’s been upstate and so all the way up by like Ukiah and Eureka and of course Sacramento.

There’s been little towns that had one road left in and out. Sure. Where it was so flooded. I’m all the way down in the south. I’m actually between LA and San Diego. Yet I have, I’m gonna be out here for a week and my first four days have been rain every day. Much different than usually I come out to California and it’s 30 in Cleveland and it’s 72 and beautiful out here.

And. . I guess it’s a little bit worth talking about because whenever there’s things like this, it’s just so humbling. I live a relatively safe and virtual life I live in Lakewood, Ohio, and the roads are good and everything snow gets cleaned up. But once in a while, nature like, shrugs it shoulders and lets you know who’s really boss.

This Rainier has been unending and they’ve had flooding and mudslides and power outs and all kinds of disruptions to services, and sadly precipitated haha by global warming where there’s so many changes now that not only the bad droughts, but the bad floods and the bad tornadoes and the bad hurricanes.

It’s all these big disruptions of weather patterns and we, I don’t think we’ve seen, but the start of right, how bad it’s, yeah. in terms of not a hundred year storm is gonna happen like every three years instead of every hundred

Stephen: And worse. I know when I lived in California I was driving on the freeway, it’s 70 most places there.

And suddenly everybody’s hitting their brakes and slowing down like 45. And I’m like, oh, is there an accident? I’m trying to figure out what’s going. Here it was misting, raining, lightly. They’re so not used to having the rain that they reacted much more strongly than we do here. Here we’re like, oh, it’s just a trench downpour, we can drive to five and it’s like in, in Texas, when they get light dusting the snow, it’s like everything shuts down.

Nobody can go anywhere. And we’re like, really? We got eight feet here. We’re good. And it’s just what you’re used I’ll tell you it isn’t only a disaster. They had really bad drought for I think the last 15, going on 20 years. So you might have seen also those pictures where all of various different reservoirs and lakes were so low that they were discovering like ancient Indian American Indian carping on things.

Alan: And also discovering like cars that had been driven into the reservoir, bodies in cars where had. Tragically died or disposed of where they thought they might have been, like a crime finally solved and that kind of stuff. So because of this incredible rain, they’ve got incredible snow pack in the mountains in the Sierra Nevadas, like six feet when they usually have two.

And that’ll not only are the reservoirs filling from the rain, but that’ll help to get the whole everything recovering as that snow pack melts as the year goes by. So here’s hoping that it a, again it isn’t only that they have it, it’s that they have to manage it. If the snow melt is so much that causes another round of flooding or canals overflowing and stuff like that and especially I feel really bad and sad where people that have lived all their life and this isn’t the flood zone.

I don’t have to worry about that. So they don’t. Anything in place for how to slce the water our way to the correct places. You might have had this when we had some of this in the Midwest, Colleen and I actually happened to be traveling. We were going across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, where it’s so flat that you can stand on a chair and see us third at the state.

You know what I mean? It’s really flat there. Then when you get flooding, you might have flow like an inch of water, but it is miles and miles across things because it doesn’t have any right. Allies and creeks to go into. So I don’t know what’s gonna happen here. Anywhere that there’s a desert. Part of the reason that they get mudslides or other things is that it doesn’t soak into the ground.

The ground is so drought packed and, it’s it might be carving new paths and stuff like that. We’re still finding out just how much it’s gonna alter the landscape. Is it gonna carve a whole new bend to the river because you don’t need it. So it’s kinda fascinating that these are the kinds of things that in the history books you get to read about, Hey, there was an earthquake and the Mississippi jumped its banks and carved a new course and stuff, right?

Happening now. It’s like apocryphal times and not in a Bible way. We’re not getting punished for anything. That’s always a sad thing to see is the people that are talking about, oh, that’s punishment for you. A bad state’s oh mean when it happens in Louisiana and Texas and the other Bible thumper states.

That’s not God

Stephen: as well, but Vincent late if it’s any consolation, we’ve got rain going on here too, expected rain tomorrow, so you’re not missing anything. And this, I know it sounds a little silly, but. If you’ve ever played SIM City or civilization, these types of things are built into the games, and you have to sometimes learn to deal with them.

Now, I’m not saying, oh, we know how to handle this now, and I could do planning for a city. I’m not saying that at all, but it gives you a right understanding and, and you think about it in respect. It’s if I put my house here and it’s right by the river and we do get a flood, that house is going away.

It lowers the property values and people move out and then they’re it’s a sim. It gives you an idea, but definitely not real life. I understand that. .

Alan: Yeah. A as I’m a huge fan of civilization and I have played it in so many different the archipelagos the PGA type continents, the islands, and all depend.

And also you play it based on where it is along in our ecological history. So when I’ve played it really old, all you’ll have wow, my city’s really thriving, and then all of a sudden a volcano erupt next to us, right? And works it out. And that really is historically, that’s like Aetna going off that’s we, we have had earthquakes and I don’t know that the game has, like the earthquake makes the tsunami happen, built into it. I haven’t seen those kinds of things. Maybe the more current versions do it, I’m not aware because I tend to play, I’m almost lagging like one or two because I get into that sweet spot of it.

Stephen: Fun one or two decades a challenge, .

Alan: It’s funny. It really is. My favorite version, I think it’s up to Civilization six. And I often, when I want to just have a soothing game, I go into Civilization three where I really understand the entire progress tree and stuff like that, and the various different competing tribes and just that it, but I’m still when I get that, when it’s oh, I just lost my city to a volcano.

That doesn’t happen nowadays until we find out Hawaii has stuff going on right now. A friend just posted a picture of, it’s like ama volcanic rock is like nothing else. Imagine the heat coming off of that. And he posted a pictures that looked like he was kinda like looking down into the cone of a volcano.

And he said, actually he was about a mile away, but he was just this. Amazing infernal plane of new Earth being formed, new rock being formed by stuff bubbling up. And as we’ve got our own possibilities of the super volcano that’s right underneath Yellowstone and that’s what I mentioned.

I’ve been close just to geysers and mud pots and stuff like that. And they’re giving off their own incredible intense heat and smell. And what’s that like to have it be a real volcano? I don’t want to find that out here in the United States, cuz that’s gonna do all kinds of stuff, right? It’s not gonna have the big cone there, but it’s gonna start putting ejecta up into the atmosphere and who knows how that’s gonna affect weather patterns, right?

Like, Like Kilimanjaro, not manjaro. Cro blowing up and apparently affected the weather in the world for a whole year. Jet stream effects as it made its way around the globe. So that just ought to go back to my initial statement. It’s really interesting to see nature cause these big things to happen and in some cases, unfortunately aided by man, but it really can be that just today’s, this is a wet year and we’re gonna find out what crops make it, even if they’re immersed.

And I think we already know that, but we didn’t plan for that. If we’ve got the Central Valley of California is much, the bread basket’s not the right word because it has more crops, nuts, all different kinds of things. What happens when that gets disrupted and we do without avocados for a year?

And that doesn’t seem to be a big thing. Avocados, it’s not like wheat where it’s the staple of our, but think of how many ways we’ve integrated all the nuts, all the various different crops that out. We’re gonna take off

Stephen: for a year. How is it affecting like the insects, like some of the bees and stuff in that area?

What’s it going to do for things like that? And people Exactly. Disregard and don’t think of those things cuz oh, it seems insignificant, but it can have a huge impact and totally change 10, 20 years from now have completely different flora, fauna and animals in that area because of this 1, 3, 5 day, week or whatever.

Alan: You’re exactly right. There’s ripple effects as to if that thing gets disrupted, then what are all the other crops that depend on it and insects, flora and fauna, like you said, that depend on it, or at least that it all integrates. I don’t know. It’s scary and fascinating all at the same time.

So my mind consists of, I’m in a hotel at Best Western. They it’s a nice California hotel, so they don’t, they’re not designed for flooding. They had to put extra mats outside mine and other rooms to make sure that before I stepped into my room, I wasn’t stepping in a puddle. It’s just enough of a little down slope.

And luckily it’s, my room is high enough off the ground that I didn’t have water coming into my room. But the first night I got here when it was really torrential rain and I actually put a towel up against my door cuz I didn’t wanna get up in the middle of the night and step on my rug.

There’s now I, it’s, I, it’s nice. Let me see how to say this. I’m safe. I don’t think that I’m really gonna get flooded out, so I’m getting to observe it instead of participate in it. But it’s not that way, wow. Best wishes and hope for. Everybody up in the northern parts of the state.

One of the biggest things I read lately we, the Sonoma and to Napa Valleys are now in a lot of danger of flooding. I was gonna say, what’s that country? The United States wine country. So who knows what that’s gonna do too. This entire vintage, if you will, and the entire economy that’s based on that, right?


Stephen: wine is good. Plant plants, getting water is good, but they can only take so much. Even us, if we over drink water, it can actually put your system in an imbalance and kill you. People don’t think that water other than drowning can kill you. But too much of any of it, plants are the same way.

There’s some that are very sensitive to too much water. And if you read house plants don’t over water. You gotta put certain things in the soil to keep their roots from molding and things and then there’s other plants that soak it up and love it and will flourish. That just besides mold being in all these hotels and everywhere else now,

Alan: Exactly and that’s I guess we’re all gonna learn about it together, whatever. They didn’t have to worry about it, that it was so dusty that they were worried about viruses that get they, because it’s so dry, they get born on the air and now instead it’s gonna be like molds and fungus is that thrive in moisture places.

And so we’re just, the environmental impacts are gonna be amazing. It’s, I don’t know I know that wasn’t the series called The Last of Us is apparently it’s a, an adaptation from a video game. Yes. A very good video game. And, but apparently the villain, if you will, is one, one of those fungus is fungi , that like spates and takes over creatures and wow.

If we really start to have that, it doesn’t just take over cats, but takes over people and makes you climb high so that when it spates and your head blows, it goes as far as it can on the wind. I. I’m not a it’s not gonna really happen monster movie wise, but it will happen on the that small scale.

everywhere that you get black mold in your basement, there’ll be more of it. Yeah. Everywhere that there’s crop and things that are affected, that are spoiled by, wow, bread is rotting in three days instead of five or something like that. It really will the environmental impacts are still to be seen in lots of ways.

Oh, so you mentioned last of us and it’s not out yet, but I’m very excited for that show because I love the video game. The video game is we’ve talked a little bit about it. Some of my workshops and my talks with parents, and last of us is the great, perfect example of what I’m talking about, that as a video game, it is very story based that you are getting a story.

Stephen: You’re not just through cut scenes, but your play and what you do and how you act. There have been games in the past like Fable and a few others where you can act good or evil. This isn’t quite like that, but definitely the way you act affects the gameplay and the opening sequence that you play through is one of the most powerful opening sequences as far as story goes.

It rivals some of the most powerful movies and books that I’ve ever read, that opening sequence. So I’m very excited to see how they go at the show.

Alan: Yeah, I guess I must admit I’m one of those guys that I really hate. I like to read the book before I see the movie because I kinda I guess I like the book format better.

I make my own pretty pictures in my mind and then I compare the movie as to what it’s gonna be like. And should I seek out a copy of this game and try to play some of it before going into the show and see how it captures it well and stuff like that. What do you think? I would say yes, but I think you can only get it on PlayStation.

Stephen: So unless you want to go by a PlayStation three, you’re probably not going, or ask your nephews, see if one of them have a copy. The one. Exactly.

Alan: Damn, you

Stephen: platform dependence, right? Yeah. Yeah. I don’t think it’s on Steam or windows at all. I think it is only PlayStation. I think they’re remastered.

They’ve remastered it for PlayStation four. I wouldn’t doubt if it gets a PlayStation five remaster now also, . Yeah,

Alan: I’m sorry. Also, I’m curious, and this is a whole big topic, so there’s been, there’s always that, that cross pollination that things where they’re trying to make it that, Hey, if it was successful here, can we make a Broadway musical out of a movie?

Can we make a movie out of a video game? That kind of thing. I’m, I guess I’m also looking for have they done it? There’s been many things where people talked about they made Mortal Combat into a movie and it was Total Cheesecake. It was not as, it’s hard to capture what makes a game successful in a movie necessarily.

But let’s see, what’s the series with Underworld? Maybe that was a video game first. No, I’m trying to, there’s any number of things where it’s actually like, turned into a, there’s four movies on it, so apparently, resident Evil. President Evil with Mila Jovi. Exactly. Yes. So I, hopefully the game was good enough and the movie made of it was either good enough or the people that are so loyal to that series that they’re gonna see no matter what movie they put out.

But I’m of happy when it actually is not. Oh, what a cash in. We, since just last week was, Hey, how about selling out? I don’t want it to be that they just slavishly make a copy that they actually say we’re in a different medium now. How about if we see what we can do to be at least different than it may be better than the where we came from and the resident evil movies definitely have a different feel than the games as far as I’m concerned. But what makes me hopeful with Last of Us is it is very much a story-based game that the story matters. Mortal Combat what’s the story? Oh, we’re in a tournament, we’re fighting to the death.

Stephen: I gotta kill 10 of them. There’s the story let’s make a movie out of that. Very artificial. There’s

Alan: nolo, there’s no, yeah, exactly.

Stephen: So with this, they have a lot of material already to work. and they’re doing it as a series, not just a two hour movie. And I’ve talked a lot on my wordsmith podcast with authors that the new version of TV where it’s treated as like mini-series that are eight to 12 episodes long, usually that’s totally different than what TV used to be.

So it, it really focuses on, let’s get a good story, let’s tell it well with good characters and when they really hit that just right. It’s amazing. You get some great stuff and I, I would argue better than a lot of movies, so I’m very excited to see the show.

Alan: We’ve talked about that before where they comic book, movie wise, how do you compress 90 years worth of mythology into what exact elements are you gonna fit into that two, two and a half hour movie?

And a lot of times it’s been you don’t need to have six villains in the movie. You could really just have one great one instead, or the compression of the origin. And if anything, each time you do the movie, you don’t have to retell the origin. You can make it that the people who saw the first one are still with you and they wanna see a new story, not a third of it, re rehashed, so I’m, TV is a much better medium for that, that it’s episodic by its nature and that I don’t know just like comic books and maybe a little bit like video games, as you go from face to face, there’s often a cliffhanger ending. There’s often some satisfaction in having achieved a small goal, but there’s still the main goal to be done.

And so I I’m sure that at the cool. Story writing conferences that you’ve been to. They talk to you about character arcs and story beats and things like that. And how do you make the big wall that has all the little colored post-Its that say, okay, here’s where we’re gonna start, and then Neil, here’s the divergence and if we come back in, here’s the main line, right?

Here’s the dive diverse side quest and stuff. I love that there’s not a straight jacket, but at least some science, some organization to how to write a compelling story like that. It’s cool. It, I don’t think it makes them the same cuz the conflicts and the characters are always different.

but it’s cool that they know how to do it. Let’s keep building tension and then a little bit of release with humor and whatever

Stephen: else it might. And you just touched on such a perfect spot that intersects with writing and music too. That Okay. Peop book authors quite often the more newbie usually, and I’m not saying I’m experienced or per the best, okay.

I’ve been doing it for a couple years, but what I’ve noticed is the more newbie they are, oh, I wanna do something different. I wanna stand out, I want, and what really happens is if you go too far out of that line, people don’t enjoy it because. Built in internally, we expect stories to be a certain way. We expect certain things to happen.

There’s gotta be that conflict, there’s gotta be the interest. You gotta have things where the hero doesn’t always succeed and there are certain beats and there’s actually frameworks. The Hero’s journey being one of them. Save the Cat is another one and you can use those together.

you like that one? Yeah. Yeah. And it really is, honestly I talked with JD Barker who has written with James Patterson, so if you’re gonna talk about anybody who’s been successful writing James Patterson would be the guy

Alan: and Exactly. He’s got a whole section in the bookstore of him and his collaboration.

Stephen: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. He’s a brand what does he write? He writes James Patterson But people don’t like that. I don’t wanna be stuck. Framework and told what to do. And it’s too methodical. And uh, but if you’re saying that, then you don’t have the experience and you’re missing the point.

You need to go write some more until you understand that. And music’s the same way. If I’m going to do a hair metal song, I wanna do something different. I’ve only got these 12 notes for my scale. And I’ve only got these six chords. I can’t make a hair metal song. Yeah, you have to.

Hair metal has to have certain elements to make it sound like hair metal folk music sounds like folk music, heavy metal sounds like heavy metal. And the point is, each one of those. Sounds a certain way, and if you don’t make your stuff sound like that, but unique, then nobody wants to hear it.

They don’t like it. And we talked about sellouts, maybe sometimes that’s what the sellouts do. They try and do something different. But the books are the same way with that same as music. But it you’re more successful following the known framework because people want that and they’re comfortable with it.

Alan: Yes. There are, there’s certain expectations of here’s the three act play. Here’s the right. think I love Doc Savage. He’s one of my, my favorite heroes from growing up. When I read, he’s a pulp hero from the thirties and forties that then got reissued his banton paperbacks with great James Bama photorealistic covers.

Everything was right about that at that time in my life was, this is what I want to be reading. And Lester Dent, who the house name for the guy was Kenneth Robeson. But Lester Dent is the guy who really wrote like 160 out of the hundred 80. He actually had the master plan and they published it of here’s how he structures his stories and.

It was the introduction of the mystery and the introduction to characters and and at one point I remember the particular phrase was something like, the hero gets it in the neck bad. How will he recover? That kinda thing, right? And. I knew that there was a sameness to the stories, but it didn’t seem formulaic.

It actually seemed, cause he was so creative with his characters, his locales, a new villain, a new mystery science threat, or whatever else it might be that they might have been similarly paste, but they sure didn’t seem just like stamping him out, and may, or maybe it’s cause I’d like that kind of pacing.

I like that kind of book of where there’s a whole bunch of different hassle and mystery and just when you think the hero might not pull it out there’s a big final heroism, a big final effort. And indeed he comes out on top. And that’s, I and I know I’ve read books where I was like maybe 50 pages in and went, oh, this is the hero’s journey.

You know what I mean? Where it’s like a young man bound for adventure and of course he’s gonna have to know he’s gonna be an orphan or something like that. He’s gonna be taken out of his element. And how does he learn and mature and. and I laughed about this for tv maybe I’ll store it.

There’s 36 basic B plots. It’s boy gets girl, lose this girl, whatever else it might be. And after a while you can identify those and Colleen will vouch for this. Can’t tell you how many times now we watch a lot of TV together cuz that’s our dinner and then cuddling time And not only will I say, oh this is probably gonna happen, I will supply like the next line of dialogue.

Oh and it’s really close and she, I’m not trying to show off but I should be like, I’m going to Hollywood because I would be the script doctor that would say, that’s exactly what I would’ve said at the time to make it the right amount of drama, the right amount of humor that it’s in, the character’s voice and all that kind of stuff.

And I guess out of, I haven’t any, anywhere near Dun it as you have, you’ve actually written. Books and stories like that, but I sure have taken it enough of them now that I’m very familiar with what should come next in order to make. The right thing. You know what I

Stephen: mean? It’s funny, I did that on Stargate once.

I loved Stargate. I love Richard Dean Anderson, everything he’s done. Legend MacGyver. Yeah. Some of the other stuff. And we were watching one episode and they were stuck on an asteroid that got sent hurdling the Earth and they’re trying the science geeks are trying to figure it out and resolve things.

Jack, Richard, Dean Anderson’s character is a military. He’s done know the science. All he knows he’s an un asteroid, he can see the earth. And he walks up to the view screen and he’s looking at it and I said, Hey, I can see my house from here. Literally, I got done and he repeated the exact line. I’m like, that is knowing the character.

That is the writers just nailing who that character is, that the people watching it know what that character’s thinking. And I was very

Alan: happy with that. In that trustful situation. He’s gonna say something sardonic and, yes, exactly. That’s funny. And

Stephen: The thing with this, the movies the movie, the Last Jedi, one of the number eight in the series.

Colin loves that movie. It’s one of his favorite Star Wars, I argue. Now if you take it as a standalone movie, evaluate it for the Hero’s Journey or the Save the Cat, the framework and doesn’t hit the beats, does it give the story points? You get the highs and lows. You have the three acts you can evaluate all that.

Maybe it’s great and does all of those things. And he loved the directors thought the director did some wonderful things. My argument was, I don’t care. It wasn’t a good Star Wars movie. It did not hit the points and feel Star Wars like it was different and did not go with what the others were. And in the Star Wars context that made it a bad movie.

In the movie making context, it might be a great movie, but again it may not, should have, may not should have been star Wars it should have been something else, maybe. Yeah.

Alan: And sometimes you can see that where they shoehorn something a little out of place, a little alien to the main thread of the series and stuff like that.

And I don’t know, I kinda like that where even we haven’t really talked a lot about Firefly, but how well written that was as like a western set in space, but then also how aware he was of, there’s been, there were tons of westerns, a generation and a half, two generations ago here in the United States.

Let’s go through all those plots. This is gonna be the big showdown with a longstanding rival . This is gonna be, we have to get the stage coach through. This is gonna be, we’re almost dead, but we have to make it to the water hole. And you could see kinda that really is, that old Western right now done with ray guns and spaceships and stuff like that.

And I guess the reason that some of those were so good is cuz those stories are compelling. You know what I mean? They’re really their character might die here. They’re really isolated. They’re really, there is a, there’s so many bullets flying that you can’t be a good enough gun fighter to dodge 300 bullets John Woo style.

So very fun too.

Stephen: Big damn heroes ain’t we Just love firefighter. You know what I always thought would be wonderful? Yeah. Take the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, hang ’em high few dollars more on that and redo them as Boba Fe movies. Wouldn’t that be absolutely

Alan: perfect? Interesting.

Cuz there’s, that’s that’s another thing that I get that’s funny. We, that. I don’t, it’s, we’re well beyond calling things sellouts. It’s very interesting to see things repurposed. And and just things off the top of my head when an artist decides that, like Mark McCluer did a whole bunch of albums before Dire Straits that had his dire straits period, but that did some were country and western, some were folk, some were guitar instrumental type stuff.

And it isn’t like that he sold out. It’s just that this guy had a lot of music in him in various different genres. And if you owned it like the Dire Straits Arena rock, period. Then you’re not gonna like his other stuff. But what’s also interesting is even in dire straits like the early dire straits albums are quite different than when you get to brother in arms and he got better at his craft.

And I guess one of the cool things is when you do a certain kind of craft really well, you make a lot of money and you buy your freedom. You know what I mean? That you get to then do whatever you damn please. And if sells a hundred thousand instead of a million copies, like you don’t need, you’ve already got your Platinum Album money , that kind of thing. So I like, I regularly follow artists. Where they’re trying something, where they’re gonna do a different genre and stuff like that. Because I admire their skill, their craft, their curiosity, and I wanna see what they’re gonna do.

Stephen: And it’s interesting you bring him up in that example in regards to our talk on Sellouts last week, because I think that’s the best solution is he did solo stuff and he did what he wanted, but then dire straits was separate.

So if you like dire strait, You don’t necessarily expect his solo stuff to be the same and you’re not as upset and disappointed. Dire Straits does what it does, and that fits right into this, that here’s how dire straits sounds in what we do. If we wanna do a different style of music, maybe it should be a different group named differently.

And authors do that with pen names. There’s some authors out there that have absolutely three to five pen names cuz they wanna write different styles. JK Rowing had a problem when she wrote her adult romance cuz she used JK Rowling and people weren’t as happy with it. If she would’ve used a pen, name it, even if it was Joanna Rowling or Joanna Row or something and everyone knew who it was.

But it was separate so I think that’s a solution right there.

Alan: Absolutely. And especially sometimes people are so prolific that it’s not only their choice as an artist, it’s almost like market forces that say Stephen King, you can’t put out three books a year because they’re the current system of how we sell books, get ’em into stores hype them that doesn’t match you.

Like just popping out great books. He gotta slow down. So that’s why he went with Richard Bachman and stuff. And various other. And I know that just, I seeing that once in a while people have to like, almost I’m trying to think who it is in particular that they reissue.

Or even put out for the first time things that they had written earlier in their career when they weren’t as famous, didn’t have maybe the economic power that they had. But you can actually see the style is different. The craft that they had gotten better is different. Michael Kreton he wrote as ed Lang or something like that.

Stephen: It was like crime thrillers. And he wrote a medical thriller book too. And then Anne Rice had a few books she wrote under some pseudonym that they

Alan: re-released, or Charlotte Rampling or something. Or maybe that’s an actress name, but Anne Rampling or something. Yeah. Yeah. It’s I have a, I use a book collecting software from collectors, and one of the things they.

Added was like ghost writer slash pseudonym because some people really want to say, Hey, I’ve read everything that Stephen King ever did. But then you can’t just look for Stephen King. You have to look for who else he appeared as he experimented and stuff

Stephen: like that. Someone we know that does a lot of that bill Keith writes his bill, he and Douglas, but he’s written as Robert Kane.

He’s written as William Keith. William H. Keith. I believe so. Okay. He’s got four or five different ones. If you go to his website, he lists ’em all. It’s not like it’s a secret, but he’s a perfect example. His Ian Douglass stuff is military sci-fi outer space future. Usually if he wrote the Army Ranger stuff he did with his brother as Ian Douglass people probably like, eh don’t wanna

Alan: do that. Yeah. Yeah. Stop doing that. Come back to where we love you. Come back to Yes. That kinda thing. Because I let’s see who does the It’s kind of funny. I’m blanking on names today. I’m not sure why. I know it’s the rain. It, it’s the rain.

Exactly. It’s the fungus. Oh my God.

Stephen: Oh, . I thought something looked weird about your ears coming outta your ears there. Exactly.

Alan: I’m lady what? Every time that I learn like new words like that it’s funny how you think you’ve I’ve never seen that word before. And then you see it like three times in print or hear it over the next couple days.

And is it like the universe reinforcing that for me? Is it just cuz I wasn’t aware of it and now I’m hearing it, but Right. ,

Stephen: you know what’s really difficult? I have an author. Okay. Here plug, I have an author event at the library on Saturday. There’s gonna be four authors there. We got table set up.

So I’m trying to finish up my study guide to go with my. It is so hard to look through what I’ve written, pick out words that maybe like a fourth or fifth grader wouldn’t know in why I chose it and get the definition for the study guide, man, that is much more difficult than it sounds. .

Alan: What an interesting exercise to look at your own work and say what level reading.

And like you said, why did I use this word? Because it’s like Mark Twain has a quote about the difference between the right word and the not quite right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. You know what I mean? , and it can be really drastically. Okay. Yeah,

Stephen: so you mentioned another thing which made me chuckle.

You, you just said you noticed stuff multiple times. So the other day I started watching season three of the Jack Ryan show, and then last night on Jeopardy there was a Tom Clancy question that we got. And then you mentioned, Hey, how about Jack Ryan? So I’m like, oh, is he watching the new Jack Ryan series or the third season?

Alan: I had not been watching it up until the last two weeks or something like that. And sometimes some people have a real thing of they don’t wanna watch it until the whole series is done cuz they don’t like the waiting week by week. Whereas to me it was just, I’m, when we’re watching so many different things nowadays and some things I watch apart from Colleen she and I will watch things we both enjoy up until, I don’t know, nine, 10 o’clock and then it might be then best time and bedtime for her. But I still got a couple hours left in me . And actually sometimes she stays and watches more chick oriented things, and I really don’t, I don’t want to care.

I so much don’t wanna see the ban cheese of Irin, even though it’s being , getting great reviews and so forth, but just that kind of movie about, oh, friendships breaking up. It’s a rough movie. I I don’t know, irrational reasons and stuff like that. I have things that I know will affect me that I put off until I’m in the right mood and sometimes the right mood is 10 years later.

I know that’s a weird Schindler’s list I didn’t see for a long time because I knew that it would, break my hearts and immerse me in a thing that, that is a very difficult thing to watch.

Stephen: If you go through a day with work, kids, family, the car, whatever, and it’s a stressful day, you really don’t wanna go see this heavy handed movie that’s gonna make you think too hard and get depressed.

I’m looking for

Alan: escapism instead of her accuracy.

Stephen: Okay. Me and Colin saw the Banes. We went and saw Babylon recently, which was interesting. The first two hours were wonderful. The last hour was not quite as much, but I understand what they were trying to do and the movie had its good points. But I was like, dude every time you pick a movie, it’s some really deep art house flick, which great.

Appreciate you loving those, but dear God, we gotta go see something with explosions next time because I need something different. . So Jack, I like improving myself, but not all the time. Yeah. I

need, I need to escape. That’s what it’s for. Exactly. So are you watching Jack Ryan? Because I just started season three first two episodes.


Alan: So the reason, like when I first started them, I had a little, like one of the appeals of Tom Clancy’s, Jack Ryan is that he’s so much in every man. He’s not the schwartzenegger and like human terminators of the world. Then instead he’s an analyst, happens to be a smart guy that finds patterns that he’s concerned about.

And he does have military background, so he is not useless in a fight, but he isn’t that gung-ho I’m gonna strap every gun I have onto me and stuff like that. . And having said that, even then, I wasn’t sure, I don’t know Krasinski he doesn’t strike me as an action hero, and yet I, the office accepted Bruce Willis, I accepted.

So I gave it a try, and they’re excellent, in my opinion. Yeah. They really are so good about Spycraft Tradecraft about that, that, that wilderness of mirrors that John Laka writes about, that it’s really tough to live in a world where you’re never quite sure that people are who they are and that they’re gonna side with you and stay true or betray you, or that they really are good people, but oh no, somebody captured their family and now they’re gonna do a terrible thing because there are levels of loyalty, if you will.

And so the, all the ways in which it portrays these things are screaming from today’s headlines. Yeah. The first thing, if I remember right, was about like middle Eastern conflict and making a dirty making like a possibility of a plague release and stuff like that. The second one was and I don’t think no spoilers like how could we bring the world to the brink of war through misinformation instead of actually shots fine.

And just that, that there’s, that there are conspiracies in not only Russian government, but our own, and that people’s in intents are not always clear when they’re going in. And that sometimes, people, they’re loyal, but they go like insane, loyal and they’re willing to do anything. And that’s not, the world has to have some people that will say let’s, who’s not, I’m not turning that key.

I’m not sending missiles to, to end the world in a nuclear exchange, et cetera, et cetera. So the way they portray, he’s not, it’s not only him, it’s this great cast of supporting characters and divided loyalties, and the locales are fantastic. You know what I mean? Yeah. When you’re learning about what’s it like to be running around, I don’t, Marrakesh or wherever it might be, that was a whole different thing than the streets of New York where we’ve had too many cops shows about.

It’s a great series. It’s really great.

Stephen: Krasinski really does a wonderful job. And I, I started watching it and I got hooked on it. It is it they’re, the seasons are like eight, 10 episodes, something like that. It’s a, it’s one story a season. So you really could watch ’em out of order without too much difficulty.

But it is not the. Cliff hanger ending for every episode, like 24 was, or like Game of Thrones and stuff. It’s not like every episode has to end in this, oh my God, I gotta watch another and eat my popcorn. They’re a little more thinking. It, there is a lot of politics without diminishing the action.

It’s got just that right mix. It’s not again, like any show, maybe not be for everybody, but like you said, the Every man Krazinsky pulls it off just as well as hairs. And Ford did or Chris Pine actually, I think that’s right. Krazinsky and Harrison and Ford did it best. Out of all three of those actors.

Yeah. Yeah.

Alan: It’s I compared a lot. Let’s see what’s the one with Matt Damon? Born. But there’s a series of born movies. Yes. And like some of the fights in those movies were the. Grueling realistic thing. It’s not gonna be the people like, Hey, fisticuffs and fight by the marqui of Queensbury rules.

They’re gonna pick up anything they can and beat someone to death with a magazine

Stephen: or something like that. Very calculating strikes. It’s absolutely,

Alan: they’re maximum damage and hurt the joints and all that kind of stuff that if you’re a military and even like an assassin you’re not worried about anything fair.

You’re worried about what’s the most effective way to take out this guy or this room full of guys. And so I like a lot of that, and especially they really well portray the chaos of it, that it’s hardly ever clean a sniper from far away. It’s that there’s there’s a convoy and then they ram the front car with a truck and then all of a sudden there’s just everybody in windows and everywhere coming up running.

And the amount, like I said, the number of bullets flying. It’s Not exhausting, but it really is like, when it gets done, you’re like, oh man I gotta take a break. I there’s just so much going on. I, another thing it’s cool is because the the world is big and the service has any number of different offices.

It isn’t only that they had a great ensemble cast at the start, that they’ve been introducing new characters who they’ve been going on. Because now there’s not a Tel Aviv office. There’s a Moscow office or whatever. So wish I’m horrible about names today. Michael somebody who was a big part of Bear with me.

Great series with why am I blanking out? He played the aid de camp to the president, the corrupt president played by, Man, I can’t believe I’m doing this. I, I,

Stephen: it’s been like four or five years since I’ve seen the first two seasons,

Alan: right? So it I sometimes I, this is like my worst episode for this. One of the things that I really like is where people make a career out of playing certain types, right?

But instead thinking, oh no, that poor guy’s been typecast. I’m really happy when I see that guy plays a great mobster. That guy plays a great cop. That guy plays a great dirty cop. And that when you see Dennis Farda did that very well, yes. That he could be really menacing or could be really fatherly, if you will.

And so getting, seeing tho like they, I’m sure that in the casting room, they said something like, I’m gonna need somebody like Dennis Farina. And Guy goes I can get you Dennis Farina, . You know what I mean? And so th this I like when they get that injection and it’s they’re aware of.

That not quite typecasting, but at least stereotyping of, we need a guy that is, he plays by the rules, but he understands that once in a while you have to break them, but he’s not gonna make it easy. He’s not gonna say, just go do what you want. He’s gonna be the one that kind of says if this doesn’t work out, you’re going to jail.

You’re not gonna get a medal. You know what I mean? I love that they’ve got this huge cast and that almost everybody seems very, Placed very well typed into it

Stephen: and stuff like that. It’s very believable from my viewpoint. I’m sure there’s some actual politicians or CIA or what, watching it going, ah, that’s not what really happens but I’m not that, so I like it.

Did you ever watch 24 when it was on with Keefer

Alan: Sutherland? See, I never did. I never did because I got, I had the idea that it was kinda like an ongoing stunt, that it was done in real time, that every episode had a cliffhanger ending and that I just never, I didn’t get into it and I haven’t returned to it to catch up though, from what I understand, there really were some, yes, some good episodes, some great tension and stuff like that, that was built up.

So I’m curious one of those where it’s like, okay, there’s how many different seasons? 24 hours. I really am gonna be like, wow, I gotta dedicate myself to 72, or how many hours of viewing to take in all of 24?

Stephen: Oh my gosh. It’s one of those things, Watch the first season, and if you like it, watch the second.

I do know it’s one of those that the later seasons didn’t have quite the powerful impact that the first couple did, but it was a new experiment when they started. They didn’t know how it was going to go and it, there’s a lot to it. There’s some great characters, like you said, there’s some good subplots and interplay and I thought Key for Sutherland was just amazing in the show.

And the other show he did that I’d recommend you should go check out, I think it’s only Two Seasons, is Designated Survivor. Have you ever watched that one? I’ve never

Alan: watched that one. And, but another one that I’m really curious about, and it seemed like that it was a lot like what had gone on with 24, but in this case he’s the guy that’s supposed to be the one who takes over in case the president and the whole he was like the right, he was like the second under Secretary of Plants or something like that it was just like the lowest guy on the totem pole and he’s the only one left alive and now he’s president. So it and does the everyman thing and as president and people are trying to take advantage of ’em and he’s handling it and he is smart, but the problems he faces.

Stephen: And so that’s a pretty good show. And I mentioned that cuz I’ve been trying to get my mother to watch Jack Ryan because she loved the Tom Clancy movies and he, she reads Tom Clancy all the time and she loved designated survivors. She’s been rewatching that, and her and I watched 24 together back in the day.

I, I introduced her to it. So I’ve watched 24 all the way through, three times. Interesting. Okay. I will have to look into that. I gotta share this with you. I think I mentioned that I had discovered a series, the Gray Man. There was a movie Yes. That was made with Ryan Reynolds and. Not Ryan Reynolds.

Alan: The other Ryan

Stephen: Gosling, wasn’t it Gosling Exactly. What’s up here? No, it was uh, Chris Evans and it’s playing

Alan: a really good villain instead of the usual Captain America, et cetera. That show was so good that I then, oh, it’s from a series, and I started those and I, I’m now on the sixth or seventh book of the series of course I had to go back and get them and read them in order.

Cause I didn’t wanna, and they are similar enough to the Jack Ryan series that any number of times when I’m watching on TV or reading my book, it’s okay, so who’s which is part of which I really, they were enough. Because they go to exotic locales and they have a strong supporting cast.

And I I wasn’t losing track, but in any number of times I had to say, oh, they’ll just call this guy. Oh no, he’s in the other series. He’s not the guy. And what an interesting thing that they’re substantially different. And yet they go back to our opening discussion, they get story, then they get how, if you’re gonna have this pressure cooker, nuclear threat, plague threat, whatever else it might be, there’s certain ways to build it so that you keep.

The little reveals that keep the audience involved. The showing the heroism or the cravenness of various different characters. They’re similar enough that I’m like, okay, I’m in two different worlds and I have to make the difference between them because they’re similar enough that I get, not confused, but I’m aware of.

They’re, especially if I’m almost reading ’em in parallel, it’s okay, we’re getting to a really exciting place in both of them which is gonna blow up first, that kind of thing, oh wow. Okay, so you brought this up too, beginning of the year looking at events and all of that.

Stephen: I’ve been doing the same. And it’s funny you mentioned that cuz I have a post-it note sticky note on my desktop. I can hide. But it has a. Beginning of the month, go to these places and check what events are coming up. Different libraries. Lock three the Akron Civic check it the, all the online Facebook stuff, different MENSA groups, meetups.

See what events are coming up and add ’em to my calendar. So what are you doing for all that?

Alan: Honestly it’s funny you just said a lot because I know that we. Really participate in the world. I think we must have similar things. I have I go through like last year’s calendar and say, okay, what did I miss la what did I do last year?

And I wanna do it again this year? Or we’re in an odd place because of Covid that a whole bunch of things that I really haven’t enjoyed. Not only last year, but five years ago. I’m like, wait, when are they gonna start replay FX up again? I really want to go to have my pinball and video game immersion weekend and there’s no sign of it yet.

So it’s okay, check back in once in a while to see whether they’re gonna take over the convention center in Pittsburgh. And immediately I’ll get, and I got my comic-cons and my pop culture cons and all that kind of stuff and. Interestingly, they aren’t always on the same weekend.

They’ve been like the Comic-Con that is Wizard World slash Comic-Con. Now fan expo in Cleveland has moved from February to March to April. And I’m having to keep track of, okay, now I can’t say February’s that last weekend is taken up cuz that’s when that’s gonna be, no, now it’s here.

And does that bump into anything? So I regularly check like Cen Cinema, Cleveland Cinema, cinema, cinema Tech. Cause it should be like disco tech. What’s their upcoming movie lineup and what am I interested in? I’m looking for the Ban Mountain Film Festival, which Colleen and I have so much enjoyed in the past.

The Oscar Schwarz that usually come to the Cleveland Cinemas, like the Capitol Theater that we’re like going to. So same thing, I have a big tickler file of not only be aware of them, but get in early enough so that I’ll get tickets and sometimes they sell out. And so that’s really, so for instance, There’s an interesting thing coming called Beka that is one of those immersive music and light show experiences.

It’s gonna be at the Dome Theater at the Great Lake Science Center. And maybe two or three years ago we went to see a show called Meser. That was a similar thing, and this is version two of that. And when I first saw it, I went and checked dates and it was like, oh exactly the dates they have is I’m in California and we’ve already got plans with friends or whatever else it might be, and it’s man, I really wanna see this show.

and then you can become aware of, okay, am I willing to look that it’s gonna be done in Cleveland? Where does it go next? I’ll drive to Pittsburgh, I’ll drive to Detroit, maybe that kinda thing. And then make a proposal for, it’s not just going to see the show, which seems a little maybe over the top.

Let’s make a nice weekend out of it and go to Columbus, go to Kosi, and that kind of stuff. So having sadly resigned myself to, but then in my mind, I’m also saying if it’s successful, they’ll add dates, just like the Asian Lantern Festival does sometimes. And indeed they just released one more weekend here in Cleveland.

So on the 27th of this month, I now have tickets. Nice. It goes to Beka. And there’s a little bit of persistence to that, that you have to be willing to check back and be disappointed three times until the fourth time pays off. But and some things it’s okay, I I really wanna see Little Feet.

I love that band. And they’re actually gonna be like at the Akron Civic Theater and the Lorraine Theater, but they really are exactly on dates that this time around we’re not gonna see them. And I’m like and sometimes am I willing to move the other thing in order to do this? No.

It’s a show. I already have tickets. So I like having, like you said, I have lists on the computer, not I sometimes it’s not Post-its, but I just have The backs of all the D Desk a day calendars. Oh, I use those as my scrap paper and that’ll be my list of, don’t forget to do the men annual gathering, do mind games.

And I have that, here’s a bunch of Mensa things I wanna look into when are their gatherings coming up? Here’s the comic book things, here’s the science fiction things and our comedy festivals and trying to make all that work together. Cuz once in a while he is man, out of all the year you guys had to cross program.

And I can’t go to Toronto the same weekend as I have to be here because it I’m once in a while disappointed. Gilda’s Laugh Fest is gonna be up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. And I’m like, okay, so that’s middle of March. And is there that, that’s like a five hour drive. So then it’s not only do the dates work, it’s also all right, that’s an investment of time.

Am I willing to go there? There’s other cool things to do there. You can go to, you know that eastern side of Lake Michigan and there’s Grand Haven and there’s there’s good minigolf there, but it’s March. Will mini golf be open yet? Maybe not. The Lavender Labyrinth is up close to that in a place called Shelby, if I remember right.

So then I’m like, oh, I wish that they had it just into April, may, June, when it’ll really be in bloom. Cuz am I gonna make that drive twice this year to go see the Labyrinth and Gilda’s Laugh Fest and they haven’t announced who’s gonna be at the laugh? So I’m like I’m not gonna commit because it really might just be like local comedians.

But then last year or two years ago, I waited too long and then it was like, oh, Maria Bamford’s gonna be there up. Tickets are gone. Fuck. I really would’ve, I would’ve loved to, I did see her actually in Toronto. But there’s a cool thing about seeing people like at a small town festival Oh yeah.

Where it’s a smaller venue and they like hang out with you after the show because what are they gonna do in Grand Rapids, Michigan except be with their Aduring fans. And so some of those are really great experiences of seeing ’em in a smaller venue and being part of that cool in crowd that know about it.

You know what I

Stephen: mean? And for me this year, cause I do the same thing especially when the kids were younger, it was like, let’s see what’s coming up that I could take the kids to, that we could do something together. Now it’s what do I wanna do? And Facebook is really good.

Showing you lots of events that are similar in that. And I’ve

Alan: done that. I just go into the events thing and I like scroll through and click through. It’s like interested, and let ’em tell me more about it as the date approaches

Stephen: And I found a little hack that I was bitching about and then I real, I, someone showed me and I’m like, wow, okay, great.

So before with Facebook, I’d go through and I’d interest a lot of things because then you’re in the algorithm and then you could get it and add it to your calendar. You’re not necessarily committed. If other things come up, you got choices. And then you were able to download one i c s file with all your stuff and import it.

And I had a calendar. But they changed that to now where if you export, it’s each individual item you have to do. So I just interested 55. But what I found out was, cause I always did that on my desktop, what I found out is on the app, on the phone, you can, there’s a setting you turn on that if you interest or say going, it’ll automatically add it to your calendar.

And I’m like, heck, let’s do that. .

Alan: I I thank you very much for that because I’ve noticed that there’s discrepancies between, I have my iCloud stuff all syncs together except sometimes not. And I’m never aware why it doesn’t do it. And like you said, the ICS file that it’s supposed to be, that it, no matter what it comes from, then it should reflect it to every one of my platforms.

Cause I have the phone and the laptop and the desktop and I’m like, I could swear that I had something going on that day, but now I’m being offered something else. I don’t want to commit, but I have to go check something else. That’s disconcerting where you get used to the elegance of the solution and it breaks once in a while, so thank you very much for that cuz the phone will be a good way to be able to first get him into my system and then hopefully it will replicate everywhere,

Stephen: And the the one thing I can’t figure out, My Google account with my calendar, I’ve got several calendars on there. I have an activity calendar that I basically turn off if I wanna see my real stuff coming up, doctor’s appointments, interviews, whatever.

And I turn the activity calendar on to see what’s coming up that I might want to do that. But the stuff from Facebook just goes to my default calendar. I don’t have a choice, so I’d like to figure out how to fix that. But Right.

Alan: I have a whole classification system as to what each of the various different things are.

Then I can look at for my year, how much am I doing in science fiction? How much am I doing with family, how much, and that kind of thing. And then I can see I’m, I guess I am looking forward. I want to, I wanna have balance. I don’t wanna do too much, one more than the other. I don’t want to neglect any of family.

I should have something going on every month with Colleen’s family or my family, or, that kind of thing. It. . I sometimes, like the default setting when I’m at the dentist office is not medical dental. So it’s like I have to go and look at, oh, that guy classified as books or something, whatever, my , so then I, when I find things, I have to correct it. And then sometimes I say should go look for every one of these and correct it. And once in a while it’s just that’s so much overhead. Can I just, I’ll keep track of the fact that it’s misclassified.

Stephen: Oh and it should this stuff should be easy, right.

It’s all connected. Like Facebook, they changed it to where it’s each individual event, I’m assuming, because they want you to just get on Facebook and look at all your events there and use that as your calendar, which exactly isn’t realistic.

Alan: There’s a good end of the podcast rant.

I really am hating more and more I have a number of news, if not apps, at least areas that I go to, cuz Facebook and Apple and various others haven’t integrated into their stuff. I can’t stand that. They’ve got a two or three line headline and all it’s designed is to get you to go click to the website, click the link instead of tell me, don’t tell me Hollywood Star Dead.

How could you not tell me who it is? That’s just so obviously manipulative and the more that I see it that there’s a whole new craft that comes from how do I bait you instead of how do I inform you? I hate it. Yes. You know what I mean? In the, so it compares this way, right? You could go through a newspaper and just, if you just glance around, you can see which of those column inches am I willing to read and which ones Can I just flip to the next page because the headline was the summary statement of what was to Reed, and then you can go into it further if you want.

It wasn’t only trying to lure you. So I don’t know if that’s gonna get fixed anytime soon because so much of how the internet economy works is did you click through, did you get attention, did you give it attention? Et cetera, et cetera. And yet it’s maddening. And especially now, it’s not only luring, it’s actually misleading.

It’s hey, star of cheers is dead. And then it turns out to be someone that was in like three episodes and I’m not ghoulish, I don’t really want to know everybody who has died, but when they. Just misspeak when they tell you it’s not true. hate it. There’s two things that have exacerbated that issue.

Stephen: Number one is Apple’s fault . And I say that kind of jokingly. They put the security on their phones and iPads and everything that you can choose not to be tracked and not have ’em. So everybody’s scr Android’s now done the same, but all the advertisers is scrambling because they can’t track like they used to.

They can’t set cookies, they can’t get the clickthroughs and all that. So they’re losing data and they don’t know. So they’re doing these other things. How do we charge the

Alan: rates we do if we can justify the clickthrough rate and stuff?

Stephen: Exactly. Exactly. So the second thing that has made the issue worse is all the AI bots that are doing the writing.

You don’t know the number of articles. I’ve clicked on the RA read and I’m reading this going. This sentence doesn’t make sentence. And these are out of order. And they’ve repeated this. And the one that made me really laugh was they said star changed their life when they learned these two words.

Okay, I know it’s clicked ba I’m gonna check it out. So I clicked, I read the article and they repeated it, said and their life changed when they heard the two words. But nowhere in the article did it ever give the two words, two magic words. Exactly. Something. AI

Alan: got once in a while. I know that I’m, that I got lured in.

Like we’ve talked about some of these things before. They’re just such artifacts of how the internet has grown over time. It used to be that you get, and you’d scroll through an entire article instead of having to go page by page, clicking all the

Stephen: pictures

Alan: and exactly. And get, re, re the amount of advertising that they throw at you all around the article or the image or embedded in the text or whatever else it might be that it’s so much all about that.

And I like refuse to click on any of those things cuz I know that’s why they lured me here. But now even things like, oh I’m gonna go watch a cute little puppy video. And it’s just maddening how much it’s laed with unnecessary, extraneous. It’s not even hey, if you came to see a puppy video, here’s dog food things.

It’s more all of a sudden there’s, you name it, political things or clothing things or whatever else it might be. That’s just, I, I have never, I always thought that I’d be willing to give up a certain amount of privacy in order to have our advertisements be more targeted to me. So people talk about that as spooky of Oh no I mentioned that I was looking for ski poles and now I’m getting ski pole.

I don’t have a problem cuz I did that voluntarily to myself. It’s very weird when they’re wasting my time. And that’s one my big mantras is when I, on Facebook or the social media, I won’t waste people’s time. It’ll be something informative or something witty, but it won’t just be crap that I’m trying to get other people to have a spoon full of it along with me.

And those are the kinds of things that I there’s whole sites that I’ve stopped going to. I never click on the low down or something like that, because every single one of them seems to be only the opportunity to get you to come in here where they can just splash you with not things that you’re not interested in.

You know what I mean? And that said brain overhead like how do I keep track? Which of the sites are good or bad? I really wanna see that Otter video, and yet I’m going to this pit.

Stephen: Oh, that said, we’ve always made this podcast and the website that accompanies it a haven of getting geeky, nerdy, classically scientific this, that music topics right.

Of interest and recommendations and these are the things we talked about. Go check them out. Here’s activities, here’s the music, whatever. And

Alan: we choose what the links are. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Stephen: And we’ve got clips that we’ve been putting up both on the website and on YouTube with the same thing.

Here’s a clip of what we talked about. We usually stay away from politics. We try and stay away from religion and those trigger topics and keep with the geeky, nerdy, fun, informative, something to think about. We do trivia sometimes in that. And that’s

Alan: what up against those topics.

But it’s not just proselytizing. It’s here’s how a geek approaches that. Yes. They collect data, they , you know what I

Stephen: mean? Anyway. Okay. So you know that for everybody that’s made it this far in this episode, check out the website. We’ve got recommendation links. When we mention something, we try and get it up there.

We’ve got we’re adding to our top 10 list. We’re starting to push that again a little more.

Alan: That’s right. There really is a resolution for this year, is to like, add some weight to the website and other things yeah, I, cause I, I love doing this wherever you, like at episode 1 28, there’s a cool binary number.

We’re way up there. Wow that’s a good body of work right there. Yeah. But there really should also be like the actionable things that like, hey, if we mentioned this is a really cool antivirus what’s your favorite? That it should be, we make it easy. Not only I’ve have any number of friends that say, Hey listen, I take notes.

Then I go research. . But getting it to be where it really is a clickthrough for them. The convenience to our friends. It isn’t about, oh, now we’re gonna advertise to you, but it is making it easy. You know what I mean? Making it easy to make this a part of your life, you know what

Stephen: I Yeah. We don’t pick topics because it’s the topic of the day to get clicks.

We don’t pick and recommend things cause we’re going to make some kickback on it and we don’t really use it. Everything we talk about is what we’re interested in and we use it. We’ve done it. We’ve seen like the shows today we’re watching Jack Ryan. That’s right. I’ve watched 24 and Designated Survivor.

You listen to Kansas all the that’s why we talk about ’em. That’s right.

Alan: That’s right. So in fact, that’s, I once in a while we talk, so I just. I love the idea of there’s a vast amount of stuff out there that is still getting digitized and made available to the public that might have been out of print, if you will, for a while.

I just got a box set of Space Rock that’s curated by like the main guy from Ogre Tentacles, one of my favorites rave bands, if you will. And it’s like an eight CD set, six or eight for 24 bucks. They were like three or four bucks of cd. So it’s right in my sweet spot for, but not only is it a lot of stuff that I already knew enough about that I knew I’d like it.

It’s Tangerine Dream and it’s canned and it’s Foust and stuff like that. It’s all kinds of other space rock practitioners that now I’m like, now I gotta learn more about sigmoid or whatever else it might be. So it’s this wonderful exploration that I get to do if I really like that cut, I get to go see what else they have out there.

But I think I’ve mentioned when I write, I tend to not have songs on because words in the background tend to distract me from what I’m writing. Space, rock, oic, tentacles all those things are so perfect for giving you energy, giving you ebb and flow up and down to inspire you to write things.

But there’s no it doesn’t give me the words, if you will. So this is going to be like my writing suite. I got eight hours of Space Rock that I can listen to. Nice. And once in a while it’s interruptive, it’s odd and gives you too many beep boops and all like that and stuff, . But otherwise, what a great find.

And there continuing to be those kinds of things. Like when I the other day talked about how much I love Kansas for a lot of people, if you weren’t there in the mid seventies, going on 50 years of Kansas it’s worth not as a nostalgia play, but very much as this mo music didn’t only impact me when I was young and of form my life.

It’s still really good. Now I get that. Music is one of those things. It’s very generational and it’s very, people have very different favorites. I couldn’t tell you about Maroon five and Blink 180 2, but some people love them to death. Yeah. And they couldn’t care less about Kansas. And yet for those particular people that are looking for, where’s their quality music to be found?

And now because it’s older, it might be cheaper and you can get into it not for 15 bucks a cd, but for 3, 4, 5. That’s one of those things that I, when I go back and listen to Emerson Lake and Palmer, it’s like they really hold up well. There really are good songs and there’s good virtuoso musicianship and that it doesn’t only sound of the period, if I, if this came out today, it’d be like, man, that’s great, that’s like perfect arena rock bombast and et cetera, et cetera.

So maybe that’s another, like when we talk about top 10 lists, it, that’s funny. So a part of it is, Have you ever done this? They really don’t have these anymore. When I used to be in like a CD store record stores became CD stores, I’d come across something like Thomas Dolby’s, astronaut and Heretics for three bucks.

And it’d be like this is a shame that it’s here because someone should have bought this at this price. Everyone should shooting this album. I should buy this and send it to a friend. And I’ve done that a couple times where it’s like, at this price, this absolutely deserves to be more out in the world, that more people know about.

Tears for Fears and Thomas Dolby and some of my favorites and heroes that just some of ’em have gotten a lot of radio airplay, but there’s a lot of others that just, they’ve never made it big, but they’ve made a career out. . And so I, that’s what I want to talk about once in a while is, man, if you’re looking to start your year off go listen to these Kansas albums.

They’re just so consistent. There’s not a bad song like many albums are two or three hits and a bunch of filler. Yeah. And instead, Kansas never made a clam. They were, every single song was the Kansas sound, but different enough. Oh oh enough of gushing. I just love like Alan Parsons project for a long time.

Every single song on the album was good there. I love that idea. The Perfect Icks Equinox is like from Needle Drop to the end, fantastic album, every single song. Great. And not every album is like that. So it’s kinda like you should have a little list of albums where it’s if you’re looking to get maximum musical enjoyment for your dollar, you have to go get Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run because it’s got not only Born to Run, it’s got, it’s got so much good stuff. Same with Darkest on the Edge of Town, those two albums. It just loaded with great music. Definitely. Definitely. So real quick before we go, you mentioned did we already talk about, we. That was cryptic.

I’m like, what? And I, yeah. Yeah. That is Wednesday the series, not next day.

Oh, . No, we have not have a big schedule. No. It’s another one of those that I’ve really been enjoying, and it’s not for everyone. It’s really the kind of like the Heather’s thing where every teen is sardon, snarky. Not everyone, at least many at this misfits school. So it’ll be really good for all the kids who are misfits that are saying it’s okay to not be like everybody else.

But that the Christina Ricci in that, one of those cool trends, she’s actually in the series as one of the teachers because she had immortalized that role in the Adams family movies. Yes. And so I really liked it because it wasn’t it had a good mystery. It had good extra monsters it’s a school for misfits and, but then there’s all kinds of who’s the werewolf, who’s the banshee, who’s the, whatever else it might be that the Banshee’s a siren.

Very fun. And it returned me onto to Tim Burton. By that meaning I, we, Colleen and I have certain directors that we’ve watched, like every single Alfred Hitchcock, every single Woody Allen, whatever else it might be. And I just realized I’ve seen a lot of Tim Burton, but not all, and I don’t understand why I haven’t, cuz I really love his style.

He’s quirky, he’s odd. You can tell a Tim Burton movie often, right? Even if they’ve been in various different genres. So here I go to Netflix, get all the Tim Burton movies, line them up get let’s watch ’em all and watch him in chronological order so you can see his growth as an artist and stuff like that so very fun.

happy for. Being reminded of what a craftsman he is. Yes. So watch Wednesday. It’s really good. .

Stephen: Yeah, it’s on my list. Yeah, we say that. How often? Oh, it’s on my list. We’ll just add that. That’s 50, cause there’s new Marvel coming out. There’s the bad batch cartoon that I’m watching now.

I’ve been watching the New Quantum Leap. I heard that they’re doing a new night court. John Leket is in it and it’s the, that it appeared outta

Alan: nowhere. Yeah, exactly. So

Stephen: yeah. And what’s her name? That played Bernadette on Big Bang is the judge. So I’m just, Guys just stop the new season of Magnum’s supposed to start soon it’s just just stop.

There’s too much .

Alan: When am I gonna sleep? I’ll sleep when I’m dead. That’s what I’m gonna, yeah. And

Stephen: then Vicky was looking at my Blu-rays and DVDs and she goes, oh, maybe I’ll put this on. And she picked up Firefly. Cause I’ve talked about it. I said, no, we’re gonna watch that and sit and watch it. Not while you’re doing something else.

That’s true. .

Alan: It’s kinda funny. Oh, and one last thing I know we’re way over time. Yes. So I’m hearing in the hotel room, I’m on my laptop. They have a TV here that I’ve worked on getting my Chromecast to work with it. But I’m discovering that one of its Achilles heels is when you’re in a hotel that has the wifi, they have to put in a name and a password and has a specific.

App that all kind of drives that it doesn’t. You can’t make the connection correctly. So instead I just I like when I’m working on something here, I have something on in the background. I discovered that there was a station, maybe Comedy Central playing South Park, like one after the other.

Stephen, they are so good. Yeah. I love that. They’re so hilarious. They’re so fearless in what they’re willing to lampoon and watching a bunch of them in a row. I was just reminded. I’ve not seen as many as I have seen in South Park, even though I loved the show for a long time. So now I have a, when I get done with the day and I’m back in my hotel room, I’m putting South Park on heavy rotation no matter what I’m doing.

And I’m gonna watch as many as I possibly can because it’s

Stephen: so funny. So did you ever see the original little clip? They did. That was before the show. The Yes. Jesus Claus versus Jesus. Exactly. Oh my God. That I was, when I first saw that, I was laughing so hard for so long. And the funny thing is in the show, because it was on Comedy Central, they would bleep out swear words.

and then they did the movie and it was over the top and they didn’t bleep things out. And the thing is, I found it funnier when they would have to restrict themselves and bleep things out. I think with that restriction, they tried to make the joke funnier and it was harder. Whereas when they could do anything they wanted, I just didn’t think it was as funny.

Alan: Yeah. That’s a good way to look at it. It is. Sometimes you need those parameters that instead of it being, so I just, there, one of the episodes was making fun of the Mormon religion because the Mormon family moves into South Park and you could see where that was the inspiration, the genesis for the entire religion musical that they did.

Yeah. Mormon. And, but our, and they had great songs and they, you could just see where they must have watched their own episode and say there’s a lot still to be said here. There’s a lot of things here. Luke . Exactly.

Stephen: Let me just say, having been involved with the Mormon religion for a time Yeah.

That, that show, that episode. Is 100% factual. It’s not even joking and pushing it over the top . And that’s what makes it even funnier is everything in there is exactly what they teach and that they believe and it’s not stretching it at all. That’s, I

Alan: hear you, that’s so much what, how the episode struck me is, was they didn’t have to do anything except tell the truth and just hold it up to say that this can’t be real, this can’t be the truth.

And yet people are like wide-eyed going, yep, Moroni. Yep. Joseph’s

Stephen: and add music to it. Dumb. Exactly.

Alan: Yeah. That was, at first it was like they know they’re doing that. And of course you’re repeating theme .

Stephen: Yes. Yes. Alright, man. Have fun in California. Stay dry.

Alan: Thank you much.

I’m here through the weekend. I’ll be back in home for next week. I’ll

Stephen: be here all week. Try the fish tip your

Alan: waitress. Try. Exactly. Just tip your weight, Steph. There we go. Take.