Let’s talk about Vegas. Alan just went with his wife and we discuss what it means to travel to Vegas in today’s world. There are some Vegas oddities, like smoking indoors, something we’ve gotten used to not having.

We also discuss the new Guardians of the Galaxy and Stephen thought it was his favorite Guardians movie.




Alan: morning.

Stephen: Alright. That does not look like Vegas behind you.

Alan: I just, someone just commented, Hey, why does anybody go to Vegas? And I said it’s got glitter it. And someone else mentioned that it’s like Disneyland for adults. And so I figured I would embrace the Disneyland theme

Stephen: for today.

I disagree with that. I think Disneyland is like Disneyland for adults. I would vote to go to Disneyland 10 times over Vegas.

Alan: You know what, it’s sweeping statements. We were just in Vegas for probably our third or fourth time and it’s lost some of its charm. Maybe out of repetition, out of, there’s not much new.

A lot of things are the same as they almost have been, and a lot of things have worsened. Actually everything is more expensive. Everything seems to be more crowded or our tolerance for crowds. Our, the delight in finding bargains has been overcome with everywhere you go, it looks like people are just trying to get a little bit more out of you and in a sneaky way instead of a straight up way.

Colleen has made the comment that it used to be, other places have always done that. There’s always been hidden fees and stuff like that, but Vegas made you so happy that you were like, happy to give them your money. And now it just seems that whether it’s this is sweeping statement again, back when it was run by the mob, they knew how to make it so that you were a willing participant in what whatever was going on.

You knew what the odds were and you decided to take the bet. And now it just seems to be they’ve, for instance I play blackjack. I’m, I count cards. I’m pretty good

Stephen: at it. Do you like Go Bond James Bond? I know his game was Buck, close.

Alan: Exactly. And that’s true. I, of course, I wear my tux after six, what am I, farmer?

You know what I mean? And so it’s, instead of it being that they just say, Hey All the other bets in the casino are bad. Ro roulette only returns a certain amount of money. All the slot machines, all the video pokers, stuff like that, blackjack, they actually do things to just slightly worsen it so that the dealer hits on or doesn’t hit on soft 17 changes.

It just by that whatever 0.2, 0.4% or whatever your payoff is for blackjack instead of two for one it’s, three for two or something like that. And in all those little ways, and because there’s of course not a universal standard depending on where you go and what time of day it is and what table you happen to sit down on, you have to read the little placards that says, here’s what rules pertain at this casino at this time for this game.

And it’s wearying. Instead of just sitting down and saying, let’s play blackjack. I know how to play blackjack. Every hotel. Has a resort fee nowadays. I remember when they first instituted that and it was just like a little five or $10 thing where hey, we want to compete on price on all the various different websites that do that, the kayaks and the price lines.

But then once we have you kinda like airlines with baggage fees, once we have you, then we’re gonna start jacking up the price with all the extra things. And there’s, I’m sure perfect scientific psychology behind. Once they have it, you’ll just keep putting a little bit more down instead of undoing what you’ve already done and looking elsewhere.

Resort fees are not to 45 bucks a night. Wow. And I don’t know, I guess if the resort consists of, hey, I get a massage and a manicure and a pedicure and someone puts on my lotion out at the pool. But it’s not, it’s just the same things they’ve always offered. No place has upped its game in terms of, now it’s even more like a resort and the, the cabana boys come around with free drinks.

I, I just, I don’t like the fact that it seems sneaky and that, and it’s so much of any consumer decision is real capitalism is knowing what your choices are and choosing which one fits your profile, whether you’re risk averse or risk tolerant, or risk embracing or whether what strata of society are in as to whether you’re in a five or a 25 or a $500 game of blackjack.

And they’ve made it harder and harder for us to figure it out. Because I’m like a shopper and I don’t mind doing a little bit of that research, but, you get to a certain point where this is just too hard. I don’t want to be suspicious of everyone. So like for instance, we went to see a bunch of shows and shows have a face value for the ticket.

Then you go to the various different sites like vegas.com or spotlight.vegas.com where they give you a discount back. And then you find out that they take some of that back by say, now there’s a per ticket fee charge and one of them Mads a per transaction charge, kinda like Ticketmaster and all of its, longstanding evil.

And then you find out, wow, my discount turned out to be like percent, not the 30, 40, 50% that they advertise and I can’t, was there a single interaction that I didn’t get? That little bit of disappointment riding the double deuce bus. It was like it goes up and down the strip and of course it’s the double deuce cause it’s the double decker bus.

And it’s if you don’t mind taking the bus, we actually get. To avoid all the walking or all the traffic of the strip, which is amazingly terrible, right? We actually did time with only Lyft, Ubers no car, and so you have to have a way of getting around and my little older feet are getting a little bit unwilling to walk five miles a day.

Hey, let’s have the planter Faciitis kick in. So that was like 20 bucks for a three day pass. All you could eat Uhhuh on the, I was like, wow, a bargain in Vegas. You know what I mean? It used to, I don’t mean to go on, but like I used to subscribe to a thing called the Vegas advisor that had really good reviews out where’s the best buffet in town?

Where are the real bargains? You can still get a dollar shrimp cocktail, five big prawns hanging out of a glass with cocktail sauce. But it’s like from six to 10 in the morning, just when you’re thinking breakfast, shrimp cocktail sounds great. And how many things have worsened every hotel. We stayed at a place called the oyo, which was just off the south end of the strip and it had reasonable reviews and turned out to be okay.

We saved a certain amount of money, but it just, we had a fire alarm one night. We had one of the elevators go out. So every time you went up and down in the building, a little extra time. And maybe it’s not just Vegas, maybe it’s the world in general, but is everything getting just a little bit worse and the clerk just looks at you and says, what are you gonna do?

And I’m so tired of it. I’m so tired of just the acceptance of. It used to be that, like I said, Vegas, you got bellman bell women hopping to help you with your bags and maybe some part of it, this is weird, is there’s stratification of society. I’m sure if I pull up in my Bentley at Caesar’s Palace, I will get fond over and treated very well.

But if I’m there in my polo shirt with a pair of shorts on and I have greenbacks ready to spend, but you don’t adopt the whole treat me right, and I’ll pay you big. We tipped handsomely many places we went, but some places we got such shitty service that we were like I, whatever I test over gave over here.

I got a guy, this guy next to nothing because it was the lack of service made things unpleasant. How in the world am I still expected to tip? And of course, nowadays, Things don’t start at 15%. It’s 18 20, 22, 25. The suggested tips at the bottom of the thing. And honestly, I’m so happy for working any service shop is not easy.

I’m happy to help those people make a little bit more money. They did me a turn. They gave me one more diet coke refill that, you know, faster than when I had asked for it. All those little really

Stephen: matter to me, attitude of it. And, some people I’m sure could jump on this telling me no, you’re wrong.

But it seems like the service attitude is I’m doing something for you, so you better gimme a good tip. Instead of, Hey, let me do a good job, so I earn a good tip. It’s like this job sucks, so you should give me more. It is the attitude it seems,

Alan: That was a little bit in evidence, lots of good service, but the few places where that wasn’t, it was like, man, maybe you shouldn’t be in the service industry.

And maybe you shouldn’t be doing this. That, and especially in Vegas. Wow. It’s two in the morning and I know you’re tired, and so I get it and I have sympathy for you when there’s a big rush lunch crowd or something like that. And it isn’t that they’re so overburdened from what I could tell about how many tables they were handling or how many people they were handling.

There just was a certain attitude and Here, we can just leave that alone. A big discovery was how much I hate smoking more than I ever have. All the rest of the United States has really just pushed back on. It doesn’t happen in restaurants, public places, Vegas hasn’t done that yet.

Nevada is still full of ices and one of the vices that people can’t do without is a lot of drinking and a lot of smoking. People can drink and not bother me at all, except when they’re like vomiting on me on the side. Yeah. But everywhere we went, I just, I couldn’t be in there for more than five or 10 minutes where I’m like, This, it’s really and it’s funny, I had a bit of a sore throat.

I actually got diagnosed just before heading to Vegas. They gave me the amoxicillin for pharyngitis. So maybe I was more vulnerable than usual, but maybe that’s exactly the test case that you gotta have for, man, if I’ve got a sore throat and every one of these places makes it worse and I have to get out because I’m really feeling terrible.

That’s not good for your health overall at any time. So at the OYO, they actually had a dollar blackjack game, and because I was rusty, I hadn’t done real blackjack for a long time, I figured, I’ll tune up my basic strategy at the OYO and then know that I can play the $25 game and not immediately take a bath.

They, when. If you read any kind of blackjack books and you’re supposed to have 40 units to make sure that the ups and downs of cards and stuff like that. So for 40, 40 times, 25 bucks a game, I gotta have a thousand dollars. That’s the stake that I gave myself going out there, but I’m like, really, I’m gonna lose it all in one session.

Having said that I better practice every time that I went to the dollar blackjack tables, it wasn’t just a little smoke. There were multiple people, chimney wise, smoking. Yeah. And I couldn’t sit at a table of 7, 6, 7 With how much was being put into the air right in front of me. I’ve lost my tolerance for it entirely.

And this is sad, we still have members of colleagues, family that smoke. We still we still have some places that we go to that, it’s not in Ohio in restaurants or concerts or anything like that, but there’s some places that it still happens. And even out of doors, I, I just, I hate walking by and smelling it.

Person that just smoked coming inside, it’s it’s in you, it’s in your, it’s in your

Stephen: breath. The ones that are the worst are when. We’re outside. Yeah, but you’re three inches from the door right in front of it. Like I have to go around you to it’s move over. And then they get all indignant.

That’s taking away my rights. Blah, blah. Oh my God. Seriously you wanna smoke, find smoke, but have some consideration. Just move to the side. Is it that hard to move to the side? You’re obviously standing here to make a point and be a dickhead about

Alan: it. I’m pretty sure that there’s a statistical, like big match, whatever, 98% between the people that first, when smoking was revealed to be really bad for you and really bad for others.

That’s what they said, I have a right to smoke. It’s like, how does that word even enter this conversation? You have a vice that you can’t stop yourself from having and that you, it runs your life so much that you’re willing to harm your children, harm your wife or husband, harm your pets, harm friends who come over to visit you.

It’s really. I hate how it changes people. Most vices have that weird thing of wow, that’s an uncharacteristic, indecent un mutual thing to be doing at the expense of where’s the money in your family going to, how’s your health doing? Yeah. Are you killing yourself early? Don’t you think that your friends and your loved ones want you to stick around long?

No, but you need this more than you need all of that. It’s sick. It’s how it warps

Stephen: your brain. And it’s funny you’re in Vegas, like you said, it’s one of the few places that people just smoke everywhere, that they haven’t enforced those laws and. When they’re smoking, it’s affecting you, it’s affecting everybody.

And it makes, you know it, heck, if you’re smoking in your house, it lowers your house value. There’s nothing positive about it except for the fact that they’re making some people at some cigarette company, very rich. That’s the only positive and that’s a negative positive. If there’s anybody that you don’t wanna put your

Alan: hand yourself

Stephen: into their hands, it’s the evil Yes.

Echo companies. Yes. Again,

Alan: scientifically, they know exactly how to get started early when you’re young, Joe Campbell, how to keep you addicted, how to tune what goes into a cigarette so that it’s just the addictive ingredients and the right mixture that you just can’t not

Stephen: have it. Yeah. So my, my, here’s my thing.

I know this is a personal rant on it, but. You’re gonna smoke, you’re gonna, every negative thing just mentioned. But you want to think that me playing Dungeons and Dragons or watching super or reading a comic or something, that, that’s something that is like unworthy or not an adult thing or come on, is I, and you’re in, I love Vegas because you got your vices.

You can go and drink all you want and you’re at the hotel, you’re not driving and stuff okay, that’s fine. Like you said, smoking. Is the worst because it affects other people, but it’s also legalized prostitution in the area. That doesn’t affect anybody. So honestly, out of those three smoking’s, the worst one for people to be

Alan: doing.

Amongst the vices that Vegas embrace by being Sin City. Exactly. Actually, this is another big observation. There used to be a lot more naughtiness by that meeting. There are still billboards where they have showgirls from the various different shows or a new thing. They actually have showgirls out walking in the streets so that you can take a picture with ’em if you’d like.

And they’ve got beautiful but skimpy costumes and big headdress, and they’re gorgeous. You know what I mean? And but it used to be that even more than that, you had the boxes full of the publications where it’s like you can have this beautiful showgirl slash. Ho sent to your room, and people handing you cards and stuff like that. And that seems to be a little bit less in evidence. Maybe part of the corporatization of America is, Hey, we’re willing to kill you, but we don’t want you to get laid on a inappropriately. That’s the

Stephen: worst thing to do.

Alan: Exactly. So I guess as they’ve made it kind of family friendly, they’ve had to, and I didn’t see there was a particular, maybe downtown is senior than other places.

I know there’s still a part between the main strip and downtown. There seems to be the rundown section of the city where they have all the drive-through chapels and the board stores and stuff like that. But on the strip, it really seems to have been cleaned up isn’t the right word. It’s just less in evidence.

You know what I mean? There’s still and it’s funny cuz it’s Vegas and it’s already 80 degrees out. You don’t really need to show girls. There’s all kinds of. Ladies that are dressing up, cuz hey, it’s Vegas baby. And it’s wow. They have underwear on and then a sheer dress over it.

And they’re beautiful. Women are, there’s all kinds of beauty amongst the ladies and yet that people shed their inhibitions in that way. So if you like is handsome men or shapely ladies, they’re much in evidence just from looking, doing the

Stephen: crowd watching. So some of these people probably go to Walmart dressed the way they do, then they go to Vegas.

It’s kinda the same thing at

Alan: times. Exactly. It was funny to see some people really dressed beautifully, gold, lame outfits and stuff like that. But because they know they’re gonna be doing a lot of walking along the strip, they still had like gym shoes or sandals on or something like that. Some had high heels.

They really did it to the nines. I dunno, it’s a great town for people watching. And a number of times, Colleen and I would point out people to each other. They were just like, okay, there’s lots of amazing and beautiful and so forth, but what? Look at this one, this is wow. You know what I mean?

Or wow in the other direction. It’s oh, did you not look in a mirror? What are you thinking? Some costumes, some people love doing the full anime look, where they’ve got the black spike hair and they embrace their nerd or their nationality or their, whatever they play to their strengths as to whether they’re, shapely or teenage boy.

You know what I mean? There’s lots of people with lots of tats on display. You know that the nerd wise, the, the geeky part of this was, I really am, I don’t wanna just be a sucker, gambling is pretty much a tax on people who don’t get math. You know what I mean?

And so if I’m gonna do it, I know the house has an advantage in everything, so I don’t wanna sit down and play keno where it’s 50%, but you can look for. Good video poker games, the reasonable blackjack games, that kind of stuff. And that’s what I tried to do. We ended up, like I said, I had a big stake that I’m like, how much of this am I willing to pay for entertainment?

We were down about 55 bucks over the course of four days. Nice. That’s not bad at all. Yeah. Compared to we’ve, I’ve had a couple big wins. I had one time where I won like $1,300. It’s let’s go to a show and let’s have a big dinner. And then I think I mentioned this even last time. We did that early on the first time that Colleen and I met in Vegas.

And so then you have this thing of we’ll just go to Vegas whenever we want and make a thousand dollars and have that sponsor the rest of our stuff for the weekend. And you know what? Winning early on, not a good thing because then it has that little, not expectation, but the lure, the dangle of, Hey, this is easy.

Let’s go to Vegas. I’ve never had. I’ve had some good wins and never a go home and a barrel loss. And in this case it, I was able to maintain and Colleen was able to maintain. We had, this is so much wow, are you not a man? Al we had so much fun, the two of us playing video poker for 25 50 cents a dollar a hand and maybe multiple hands, three five hands.

Yeah, but just choosing as to go for the royal flush and sometimes an a against the odds bet, you know that drawing three door flush is not good, but wouldn’t it be cool? I want the story of saying, and then the royal flush happened and ding, dinging ding. So we just had like laughing fun instead of Another thing that seems to happen in casinos, as is.

Like we walk in and it’s like, how do all these people have all this money that they can just piss it away into the tables and they don’t seem to be having a woo-hoo type time. It’s glassy-eyed and they don’t have the one arm bandits. There’s still a couple in each place, cuz some people want this cool, field, but most of ’em all touch the screen.

Digital. Yeah. That kinda stuff. And so you can really tear through how many spins, how many hands dealt and that kind of stuff. And And even when they get a big win, they don’t seem to be like, huh, and revel in it for a moment. They just go back to hitting the buttons again. Yeah. It really is like rats hitting the buttons to get that food pillow pellet.

It, they’ve got it. They know how. The little endorphin rush, little serotonin in your brain is such a thing for everyone. That, that you have to fight how smart they’ve become. Yeah. In tuning it. So there’s intermittent reward and just enough little lights and glitter and stuff like that. And people are coming around applying you with free drinks, which of course if you’re looking to make a better decision, throw some alcohol in there.

That will help. Yeah. You know what I mean? So we resisted a lot of Vegas’s Blandishments and had a really nice time. We made a point of seeing very vegasy shows. I can see comedians everywhere that we go and rock bands and stuff. And so they have, they have shows raging from I don’t know, $20 to $500 tickets and stuff like that.

And we made a point of seeing like the magician. Where do I see Slide Ahead. Magic Irie, Pennsylvania actually has a magic club called Kellers that we have not been at since it became the Magic Club. So we made a point of seeing a guy named Ferrell Dillon, who did really good closeup magic and some illusions, and another guy named Murray, the Magician, that had great pattern and great audience involvement and stuff like that.

And then we saw v the Amazing Variety show because another thing you don’t get to see is who’s gonna be spinning the plates like on Ed Sullivan who’s gonna be doing the contortionist? Amazing. How did they hold all their weight on one hand and then move around and all of a sudden they’re hips in a different thing and like perfectly balanced.

So we made a point of doing very vegasy things. That’s cool. Not seeking out necessarily like their spectacular Cirque Dulay shows. We kept thinking that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna do ka or o for mye. And just when we looked at like the price compared to it really is Vegas. They’ve taken residencies and some of ’em been here probably running for 20 years now.

Yeah. And yet, you know what? We just. I, and we’re not cheap. And yet it seemed like that’s not as much. I can wait for it. Cirque du Soole to come to town and set up their tent or be at the Wolstein Center or whatever like that. And we just had a nice time trying to find something a little more obscure.

And then when you have not a whole thronging crowd, but the place is half full, you get a little bit of attention. In many cases, the kinds of tickets that we bought, they moved us up because they want people to be closer to the stage so that the comedian or the magician has more fun.

The big luck that we ran into was we, so we’re staying at the Oyo or right near the Tropicana. We go into the Iana for the Bernie the Magician Show, and we see like on one of the electronic things, Rich’s little, every Sunday to Wednesday. It’s you mean like rich little I didn’t know that he was still around.

I haven’t really for the last 30 years and yet, There he was a little bit of a nostalgia show where he had like films of him being on the Tonight Show and being at the Fryer’s Roast and all that kind of cool stuff. But he still sounded great. He still did a perfect John Wayne and a perfect Ronald Reagan, and admittedly, some of his perfect was from 30 years ago, and yet it, we were old enough to be like, wow.

I can still appreciate that. He does a perfect Harry Grant, a perfect James Stewart. An amazing by Luck, who was our last night in Vegas and like we, we had seen the four o’clock show and we just turned around and went back into the six 30 show for Rich. Looks like when you get a chance to see a legend, Don Rickles, rich Little, norm Crosby, the people that built Vegas.

Cool. How cool. So wow.

Stephen: It sounds like a good trip and I agree with you. That’s, I’ve never been attracted to the gambling, the big shows as much. I agree. I would much rather just go find those little shows, go to the magician and find that buffet that’s a little weird and different, off the strip and stuff.

That’s the type of stuff I enjoy doing. Me and the kids always did. When we go out on vacations, something a little different.

Alan: We, Colleen and I love Buffets. I think we might have talked about this before and again, maybe the geekary component is, I kind of love not having to read the menu, make a commitment.

And that’s the thing I get. I love being able to try 20 different things. Yeah. And if you like something, then you go back and get a heat more, so we looked into it and the best breakfast buffet was at a place called main Street Station, like the Garden Court. And it really was wonderful, big high ceilings room, very airy, all different, everything you could imagine for breakfast and going on brunch and stuff like that.

And not the press of people. So we took our sweet time and didn’t think we had to like, render our table up cuz a certain amount of it is about table turnover. Unfortunately the best reviewed friends of ours that are very Vegas savvy had told us, it’s not 50 ba buffets anymore.

Covid slaughtered that field. And so a couple of them reopened, but now it’s like a dozen, not 50. Wow. So we read the reviews are the best ones and the bal is the best one. But in Caesars Palace it’s like a hundred dollars each. And I don’t know that I could eat a hundred dollars of food, even quail eggs and, gold schlager and stuff like that.

I just, that it startles me to think of. I’m so happy with a $20 pizza. How can I eat five times as good as that? So I had that weird thing. I’m like, is that really 60 Big Macs? You know what I mean? That’s such a crass thing because I have that kind of pedestrian taste, but it’s in me. Then I, maybe I am gonna get the Wagyu beef and the crepes, the best crepes in Vegas, and I’m still like, wow, a hundred dollars is a bunch of meals to me.

Not one. Charlie said that. We found that the Wicked spoon at the Cosmopolitan was the best rated Vegas thing. And you know what? Nowadays, and it used to be that you had to get the Vegas advisor to know that in the age of the era of the internet, everyone knows that. Yeah. So we got there one time, two hour wait.

We’re not waiting two hours just to have lunch. So we bailed and went elsewhere then we really wanted to go to it. So on Monday when we figured it would be less busy, we went and it was still like an hour and 20 minute wait and we just said, we’ll be okay if we just chat in line and then people watch and stuff like that.

But it was still, that’s galling, like I’m kinda used to just. Walk it up to do things. And it was good, but it was it worth not only the money, but the extra hour 20? No. So not only Vegas, but like buffets in general, this would not have been the thing they would say, I can’t wait to go back and get more what?

Whatever they, they really had good variety and all kind. Man. One of the things they’ve done is it’s not only about the food they have groaning under the weight of how many desserts they have now. And you’ll see little kids, like that’s their idea of heaven is they’ve got for their first plate, they haven’t gotten lunch, they’ve gotten dessert, and they’re gonna work their way through dessert until their eyes are vibrating in their head from all their sugar.

So they had gelato and I could try three different flavors, little scoops of each. It wasn’t like a bound of gelato. I. I had a nice time, and Colleen and I, we love each other’s company and we’re like commenting and giving each other little tastes and stuff, but it’s still how much time and how much money we just owe.


Stephen: And that’s always been my thinking and my arguments with it that, yeah, Vegas is fine. But for the amount of money and, that I would spend, I would much rather go to some local festivals, go to one of Collins Crypted things and go to the talks. Have a nice hotel there, I find as much enjoyment in doing those things and without spending all the money at Vegas, I could do more of those things, around. So that’s just how my brain’s always worked. I’ve never been that attracted to Vegas or Atlantic City or just some of the big oh, you gotta go to this or that, I’m just as happy doing the smaller stuff.

And we talk a lot about all the stuff we go to in local things. I know some people go do you guys like ever sleep? Or, you, yeah.

Alan: As Colleen and I had done a Christmas letter for a long time, and that’s what often the comment on that is wow, I read your letter and I’m exhausted.

Like how much? And it’s instead of just sitting at home, you really can go to a hike to an old growth forest in Ohio, an hour drive away. And why not? If you, once you find out about it, then you get to decide when you wanna do it. And is it, fall when the leaves are changing or is it spring when the frogs are croaking?

A little bit of that of everybody should go to Vegas once to see it, to I kept thinking if I was seeing this with new eyes, it really might be still spectacular. The hotels are amazing. Like when you see New York and it’s the simulated New York skyline and they got a little Statue of Liberty, and you go to Paris and it’s got an Eiffel Tower and the balloon, and so maybe that’s another thing is that instead of it, like we used to go and as you walked up and down the strip, you’d see the dancing fountains at Bellagio, you’d see the pirate battle at Treasure Island.

And those kinds of spectacles don’t seem to be as much in evidence. Instead of having every hour on the hour, like Old Faithful, the Geyser, I, we just didn’t see them. Some places the lobbies are spectacular and the. Just the decorations, it really is still a monument to excess the number. Another thing that seems weird is I remember when I first went to Vegas, all the lights of they have big light displays and like at the start, as it goes up and then boom, it explodes and westward ho the cowboy waving his hand.

Yes. Nowadays, as that’s corny and so they’ve moved to solid state and big screen, but it was, it’s not as cool as seeing like an old ion machine where instead of being the computer controls it, somebody worked out how to make this mechanical thing operate to such a level of precision that it’s really a.

Like beautiful and nothing you’ve ever seen before. So there has been replacement creative destruction of the old Sahara, the Sands, the, and some of them are still around. The hers hers is there, the Mirage is still there, but those older ones like Westward Ho, and I think the Flamingo is still there.

Now there’s actually a neon museum, and that’s one of the few things we really were gonna do and that we didn’t end up doing. Cause you have to see it at night, like nine o’clock in thereafter when it’s nice and dark. It’s at the north end, even beyond Fremont Street, which is the old downtown Vegas.

And so I really wanna, it’s kinda like I’m sure there’s been a movie film there where it’s a little bit spooky, like old circus stuff and you’re like, wow, the people live here and we don’t know it, know what I mean? It, I really would like to see some of those old things that have been preserved so that you still see The guys are going off in just light bulbs, not simulated TV screen stuff.

You know what I mean?

Stephen: So anyway there’s definitely an appreciation for some of the old type stuff the way they did ’em. And I miss some of that stuff and I wish more people would at least appreciate it. I know there’s people like, ah, that’s stupid, that’s old that, it’s not everything has to be big flashy to be cool.

Alan: It’s I like, like they, they compete for your attention in all the right ways. They really do still have the flashing lights to get you to come in here and, little arrows and that kind of stuff. And even the shows, the backdrops behind the magician shows, or especially the variety show was all kinds of things in a back screen, a back scrim, doing all the lighting effects and stuff like that.

And it really adds to it and bigger, better sound instead of being like a four piece playing live, it really is, of course now all computerized and perfect and stuff like that. I don’t know. I don’t, I like the transition in some ways from old to new. And because I’ve now been going for 40 years, I really have a taste of how long I, since remembering the old days and coming to the new it I think that the understanding of how gambling works I like the fact that I think I can get an edge on the various different things.

I feel sad for all the people that just go in there to be fleeced, someone made a comment also like, why do all those beautiful things exist? Because all the losers that put their money into it is how you can build a pyramid and Eiffel Tower, all that kind of stuff.

But they’re all there willingly. You know what I mean? There’s nobody there. It’s like you’re go to Vegas and you spend your money and you have to, they’re everybody there is seemingly having a wonderful time, all kinds of. Late night tattoos, there’s a bad decision that’s gonna follow you for the rest of your life.

How much alcohol did you have to have? Anybody? The Jimmy

Stephen: Buffett

Alan: song Margaritaville Exactly. That they, and I don’t know that I noticed specifically bad tattoos, but when you look at what’s in the window and it’s really, someone is gonna come here and get like the transformers and then forever after, look at this thing on their chest

Stephen: or on their calf.

Or, the ultimate bad though, is the wedding chapel with the tattoo parlor next to it. So you get a double, you both get matching tattoos from the wedding and you wake up the next day, you’re like, oh yeah, we’re in so much trouble.

Alan: I did propose that to Colleen. It’s we should go these places that does temporary tattoos when we go home, have all of our friends go.

Oh my God, I thought you were gonna go all your life without getting one. You finally broke down and it’ll be something like, where you get your forearms, then you can put it together and they go shaza and you get

Stephen: see, ok, so you brought that up. I’ve advocated for temporary tattoos for a while because I’ve had family ma, Colin’s got a Batman tattoo.

Gina had several tattoos and various people I know have some tattoos. I’ve just never felt the real desire to get one, but I understand how they can be cool. I just don’t like the permanence of it. So the temporary tattoos are great and people are like, oh man up. It’s not about manning up, it’s not about worrying about the needle.

It’s not, I just don’t like the permanent that I, it’s there. And I was telling, I’m like, look. People change their hairstyle, their hair color, their earrings, they change ’em, the necklaces they wear. We change our clothes. We wear different clothes to look like, why does tattoos have to be permanent?

Why can’t we just have a temporary? And I do that I’ve actually got paper I can print out on my laser and it’s makes temporary tattoos and I’ve done that and printed out things I’ve wanted and worn ’em or whatever. Yeah, because it’s like any other adornment we have and I feel. Different. So maybe I want something different at times.

So the temporary works perfect for me.

Alan: Exactly. Honestly, we are so much in alignment. I have a problem with, I’ve never found an image that I thought, I wanna see that every day and I want everyone else to see it on me that it so represents me. It gonna be a band logo, is it gonna be an ethnic thing where it’s like I should have a German or a Lithuanian thing on me?

And it’s but I don’t know that I present myself to people that way. When you get to know me, it’s not like the first thing you know is, Hey, he’s German. It, that doesn’t occur to me to be, that. That’s the foot forward that I would put to everyone in the world. Why am I, how am I even talking to them that’s how I wanna represent myself, so I would I get the men logo? No. Like same thing. Sometimes I wear a Mensa pin and sometimes it’s it’s just me. You don’t need to worry about I like, I, it’s funny when someone insists that you call them doctor because they’ve got their PhD. It weirds me out a little bit because it’s wow, I know that’s a big part of your identity and it really is a cool achievement in stuff like that.

But for you to actually correct a friend in how they address you, I don’t have any kings, I don’t have any Duke or Earl or Doctor that I think they automatically can demand that respect from me instead of maybe I’ll choose to say that, but to be corrected, to call someone something

Stephen: different. It weirds me out.

Especially in an intimate situation with a friend or something, exactly.

Alan: And it’s kind I always thought that some part of the way in which you become friends is that after you know them, people have nicknames for each other. So it’s either Alan or Al or, I don’t know, big guy iron Man, whatever I’ve had at various different times in my life.

And when I have people like a friend Catherine that was like, Hey Kathy. It’s oh no, it’s Catherine. It’s wow, how about if I call you? How about, I start making fun of the fact that it’s, it wasn’t an offense to me to shorten their name because it sometimes it matters a lot.

It matters that their parents gave them that name and they respect their parents and they want that. Or it matters that there’s a particular kind of name, because the father is Robert, but they go by Rob. So there’s some distinction between them or whatever. But, and I, and there’s magic. There’s power in naming things.

But to have that little extension of we are good enough friends now that we can have a nickname for each other and to have it refuted. It’s like that. I know the extent of our friendship. Okay. I know the depth of and or that it’s, that, that matters more to you than that little bit of intimacy, that little bit of connection that would be, we have things for each other that other people don’t ordinarily use.

So it’s funny. I really have that. I really have that. Oh I thought so. We were already friends, right?

Stephen: Oh that’s never bothered me a whole lot. I grew up as Steve in fact, my one neighbor still calls me Stevie

Alan: which is funny. Exactly.

Stephen: I’ve known her, I’ve known her since I was like seven, so she still calls me that.

But when I got my job, it job at the insurance company in Columbus, I created the position. This was in the mid to late nineties where peop, companies were just now rolling computers. They had been using a green screen connected to the VAX terminal in Tennessee. That’s what they were coming from.

Wow, okay. And they were talking about upgrading the computers. And I approached the head of the office, I said, Hey, I’d love to be in the IT department. They said, oh, we’re not gonna have one here. And I went oh, you don’t know a whole lot about this, do you? Because we had 70 people and 20 external salespeople, and I’m like, yeah, oh, we’re just gonna use support in Tennessee.

So I kinda worned my way in, traded the job, and suddenly I found myself with an office and a desk and I locked the door and, I was only like 25

Alan: worse. You made a proposal and you, they, you proved easily that you wanna come on site if you can get

Stephen: it exactly right. And so I was like the, one of the youngest people in the office.

I’d been there the least amount of time, and suddenly I’m like, have the third most power in the office. And a lot of people were a little, so I started going by Steven and I’ve just kinda kept doing that. But all my friends still Steve or, and my neighbor still calls me Stevie, okay.

Alan: Yeah, it’s funny I, because.

Because I know you was Steven, I think I called you from Steven. If I ever call you Steve, it really isn’t trying to, but

Stephen: I don’t even notice you. I don’t even really care. It’s just no, no sense in fighting and arguing, telling people, oh no, you can call me Steve. Or and I know a lot of times I get people’s on the interviews, especially other countries where automatically they say, Stephan and I don’t get that as much in.

The States, but from other countries. I get Stephan a lot. So whatever I don’t care. Yeah.

Alan: I have had people, I’m Alan, a l a n and sometimes the, depending on whether you’re like Continent or England, they have the A L E N versus the Alan. There’s different forms, but I had people tell me, because I go by Al a lot they’re like what’s your real name?

It’s what’s Alan? And it’s oh man, because it was al we thought it was like aics or Albuquerque or something like

Stephen: that. That’s my uncle’s aics

Alan: like that. And Wow. I guess if you shorten it, it really could be because you don’t like the full blown version Albacore. I but it never occurred to me, it just was an I don’t know, one less syllable to, and now it’s funny, whenever I see ai, I’m like, Al it, it looks like al

Stephen: on every, it always reminds me of these names are

Alan: fascinating and interesting.

Stephen: So yes, it always reminds me of Aladdin, the movie with Robin Williams. He is going, shall I call you? Al? How about la? He is just spewing off of Aladdin. How about.

Alan: Exactly. Den. That’s right.

Stephen: Yeah. It’s always a good scene with Robin Williams in there.

Alan: Absolutely. You don’t know what’s gonna happen.

Yeah. He’s amazing in terms of how he, his mind makes such amazing connections and does the funniest version of each of those,

Stephen: Absolutely. Speaking of comedians, yeah. There’s a pastor you mentioned earlier that back in the mob days of Vegas, how things were, and that’s funny because the TV show Sons of Anarchy w which I never thought I’d wanna watch it’s a motorbike gang, and just eh, okay.

It’s just not my type of show. But I had a friend said, oh my God, it was amazing. I loved it. I ate it up. I’m like, okay. I’ll give it a chance. I got a good recommendation and I did. I pretty much binged it over a couple months and just couldn’t stop watching, fell in love with it. But it was that same thing.

And that’s, the discussion is you have this motorcycle gang who, they do illegal things but they control the town and they keep drugs from coming in. They keep guns from coming in, they’re doing it outside, they’re doing it in controlled ways. And that keeps the town safe in a way. And I know

Alan: people are, it’s a little bite, but they offer other services to the king, just saying, okay, that’s the right amount of corruption or something.

Stephen: Exactly. Exactly. And they don’t take advantage of the town. They don’t, it, it’s a weird balance and it’s a weird way of looking and thinking of the world. Does everything run well that way? No, I’m I hope not. Of course. You mentioned corruption. Look at all, oh, the good and bad. I was thinking, oh one of the good things in today’s world is it seems a lot of politicians are getting in trouble for their actions lately.

So that’s a good thing. But, it’s a, with the Sons of Anarchy I watched the whole show and I’m like, wow, I totally get that. Yes, they were good for the town could have been worse. Yeah.

Alan: I watched the first couple, maybe three seasons, and then unfortunately there was a, as I recall, a really graphic rape scene.

And I, it disturbed me enough that I I need to take a break. I’m not gonna keep binging. And I’ve never returned to it and I don’t fair, I sure don’t like rape, but I don’t think it’s enough that, I would say that can be a plot point for, it really is a terrible world you live in. And some part of how people assert control over each other or how they attack others is, and really so much what world, the world has become is it isn’t people competing with each other.

It’s finding out how they can hurt the other guy. And that isn’t, it’s I’m gonna attack your family. I’m gonna attack your hometown. I’m going to do something to hurt you and stop you from being able to compete with me. Like that bullying, that coercion that comes from that kind of thing. It’s all around us now.

It’s never been as much in evidence the previous 20 years to the last 20 of how people are always on the attack and always. Maybe that’s a bad mob thing is, you know what I mean? The police would be hey, we’re gonna go after this guy. And then funny, none of the r the witnesses were willing to testify because they were all getting threatened that we will kill you and your family and your dog.

If you did this, and now that’s politics. Now it’s how much stuff do you see going on where we’ve got the thug, former thug in chief that they just, for the Gene Carroll verdict that came out they told all the jurors specifically, don’t reveal who you are because we’re worried that you’re gonna get harmed.

That this nut that in a rally says, Hey, that guy who we don’t like, get him. Not just usher him from the building, but beat him up, kill him and every other enemy that he wants to name. What a disgusting evil world to be. He’s got crazies that are willing to do things for him and he just, points ’em at various different things.

How are we gonna get away from that? You know what I mean? All those willing minions that really are willing to do evil things. Yeah. Cause the lead devil. Oh my God. What? It’s worse than it’s been in a long time in that way.

Stephen: It’s e everything’s let’s sue somebody. If we’re not going to threaten their life and bodily harm, we’re gonna sue ’em.

We’re just, before Biden, even with president, they were already writing up an impeachment and a lawsuit against them. And I’m like, are you serious? This is where our politicians are focusing that let’s just do what we can to make life horrible for the other party we don’t care what they bring up.

We’re going to just fight it and deny it, whatever it is. Hey, John, that’s not and you mentioned the death threats in that. I remember hearing the guy Ahmed Best, the guy who played j r Banks, he’s an actor, so he was handed a script of what to do and say he had a director telling him what to do and say, and he did that as his job yet.

For some reason people hated Jar so much, that character. Exactly. They threatened him and his life. What is wrong with

Alan: people? Absolutely. That level of nuttiness that are looking for, how can I make a statement by killing someone, by killing a cartoon, by killing

Stephen: a, I wanna control everything in the world to my way of thinking so much.

Yeah. And honestly, George Art is not that bad. Again, wake up, this was a story written for kids. It’s a fairytale, it’s another character in the world. So what if you don’t like it? I don’t like the Housewives of Beverly Hills or whatever the hell those shows are. I’ve never threatened any of those actors.

Alan: I, I, whatever that is in people’s psychology that says, Not only do I not like it, but I’m determined to have nobody like it. Yeah. You know what I mean? I’m gonna eliminate that, or I’m gonna intimidate others or what That maybe that it’s the politics of intimidation and kind of funny superheroes, once again, to geek it up.

So much of what we see in superheroes and any number of crime things is that they’re the people that are willing to be the untouchables. They don’t have families that can be threatened. They’re not gonna back off, no matter what, I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do, and then you do what you’re gonna do and I’m not gonna stop.

And that’s you have to have that steal that spine that says I’m not gonna be bullied, pre threatened into not doing the right thing. But so many, maybe it’s funny. Maybe it’s a a reversion in nature. A lot of times when animals have confrontations, they don’t fight to the death.

They tussle enough for one or the other to figure out this isn’t worth getting maim. This isn’t worth the amount of food I won’t be able to hunt. I’ll give myself another year of growing up and then I’ll come back and threaten the alpha male again, but they back off instead of it being to the death.

And maybe that’s one of the things you knew grow up when you’re for getting bullied, you gotta stand up to ’em. And I think that we’re losing a certain amount of that, the way that the jerks of the world have made it, that they can use lethal force over nothing. That now that their threat is very real, even if you don’t want it to be, it’s I don’t know.

I’m a relatively big guy. When I’ve had people bark at me, I usually didn’t have to like, get in a fight. I was just like, I sure you want to do this, I’ll give as good as I get. We’re both gonna get hurt. Maybe we can just calm down a little bit here. Yeah. You know what I mean?

And if it, I don’t like the fact that now like being smart or fast or big doesn’t matter to the guy that has Smith and Wesson on his side. Yeah. You know what I mean? So the great equalizer.

Stephen: All of this kinda, kinda makes you reevaluate Thanos way of thinking about the snap. I know he was doing it cuz he was saying resources and stuff, what if it just half the people just suddenly disappeared?

It’d be, people I agree with and people I don’t agree with. I get that. But with, when suddenly 50% of the population dis disappears, I would think people might, stop a moment and back up a little, maybe not. Maybe not.

Alan: It’d be like, wow, it’d be mad Max. Look at all the resources that I can grab because half the people are gone.

How do I take advantage of this situation? Not how do I learn from this?

Stephen: Yeah, you always got that disaster movie where Godzilla is trampling the city and destroying everything left and right and you got the guy that’s looting the big screen TV outta the store. It’s what are you doing? That’s right.

But it’s that’s right, that’s what people would do. You look at the Mad Max movies and the Walking Dead and the apocalypse and you get all these, it’s always these people trying to take over everybody else by force. And we’re go and I look at it and I’m like, okay, there’s so few people left, but if everyone banded together, you could make things good.

You could grow the food, you could do, but no, we have to stay separate and fight for the power.

Alan: I’ll tell you that those shows. Really might be one of the best things that’s happened in these last 20 years because they let people see who the real monsters are and what you just said.

What’s the right way to live in a mutually dependent, communal world. It isn’t, how do I grab the most resources? How can I have the biggest bat with the barbed wire on it? When they showed various different things, remember there was the town had a certain number of limited resources and they found out that the one that was the master of the stores was actually eating more than his share.

And if I remember right, they either exiled him or killed him. Yeah. And that’s exactly what you have to do is if you really are all in this together and then the first thing that happens is somebody starts to say, how can I get a little bit more, how can I be sneaky or be forceful in getting more than my fair share?

Everybody else can say That’s not fair, and stop it if they want to. Then you find out how much it was, but I’m gonna gather bully boys to me and now the 20 of us can run the community of a hundred cuz nobody’s willing to stand up against 20, maybe a hundred, be willing to stand up against 20.

And it just, it has played out so many scenarios that we see going on right in the world now about wealth inequality, about ridiculous

Stephen: politics,

Alan: All of that. So when we learned the lessons, we’d be better off.

Stephen: Me and my friend Casey just had this conversation that we were talking about. He has a friend that’s a prepper that the guy said, oh yeah, if the world ends, I’m set.

I’m good to go. And Casey’s really? How are you? Good to go. He’s oh look, I’ve got this whole collection of guns. In case of Okay, but what are you going to eat? I’ll just use my guns and take it from people until, till it’s gone. And then what? I’ll figure it out. Don’t you think learning how to grow food that you’ve never done before would be a little more important than worrying about a gun that you can then take the last remaining canned food from somebody else?


Alan: that is someone’s plan. I’m gonna keep from somebody else instead of make my own or contribute

Stephen: to where I have. It’s the grasshopper and the ant. You’re going to hit winner. There’s gonna be no food left. You didn’t grow anything and all the cans are gone. Now what do you do? Cuz food doesn’t grow like that.

Trust me, we’ve had a garden for years. I know how long it takes.

Alan: I, but I, we’ll see what happens with the way the world is going. You know what I mean? That the way that the fear mongers stoke it is that there’s automatically scarce resources and so you have to fight for your own, take it from others and say no, a better way to go.

Competition is the law of nature. Cooperation is the law of civilization, and people have to learn that because we’ve been fraying it at the edges and wow. How many different groups do you think you’re threatened by that you really don’t see that If we all stopped feeling threatened, we’d all be better off.

Yeah and I don’t know, there’s people that are expert at stoking those flames again and again. And it’s funny how, like I said, as long as I’m the one that’s telling everybody who we should hate, then I have an extraordinary position. Whether it’s a politician or a priest or whatever else it might be I, you gotta be the other example.

You know what I mean? Like I was saying, I we mostly tipped quite well. I don’t have a problem with, I’m not looking to take vengeance. Some people really love the whole tipping thing because they get to really be in judgment of other people and they get to be persnickety and even nasty about it.

Yeah. And mostly Colin and I, Colleen and I were, wow. They’re working so hard. They, they added to our experience, give them far more, give ’em 30% because we’ve got, if I was gonna, what would I do with money instead? Another hour of video poker. No, I’m happy to say go have them get something cool for their kids.

Who knows how the real numbers and ratios work out there, but, Makes reference to, I think maybe a book called tree Grows in BR Brooklyn, where being able to be generous, being able to like tip like that is an amazing privilege. And if we want to feel privilege, it’s not a matter of I wore my top hat in tails.

It’s a matter of I was able to help somebody else out with a little extra money that didn’t harm us in giving it, gen charity begins at home. We weren’t really generous people, I guess would be leaning living even more leanly in order to make sure that everybody had some, but in our own little way, we have at least the spirit of share instead of hold on to Right.

Stephen: You know what I mean? Or words see how much more you could take away from others. You

Alan: like that, so it was nice to get. Those things cast in such stark relief in a weekend in Vegas as to what kind of people are we really risk takers beyond sense? Are we gluttons beyond?

You know what I mean? Are we, were still very much ourselves in the middle of all this. Vegas. Let’s get a good deal. Let’s take the deuce bus. I don’t care about riding the bus. We could’ve taken the monorail, but it doesn’t go as many places. But the monorail sounds cool. All right. We should take the monorail at least once.

You know what I mean?

Stephen: Oh oh yeah. So much

Alan: the conversation. I’m sorry. What? What? No. Has been happening while I was in

Stephen: Vegas. I’m going to assume you did not see Guardians of the Galaxy yet. Hello? Uhoh. We there?

Alan: Oh, actually we did. Oh the Thursday night bef are we okay?

Yes, I boy, exactly, because that was Thursday night before heading out to Vegas on Friday. I. We a bunch of us went to see it and had a really nice time. We, so I really liked it. I think that it was a good conclusion to the series. Maybe not conclusion, cuz of course they always lead the seeds for how these characters can continue.

Will there be a Gardens of the Galaxy for, it’s not based on, there’s no more stories to tell. It’s more based on how many of the actors wanna return to those roles. And whether there might be a new set of guardians and stuff. It sure was a lot of money up on the screen. All the CGI was really well done.

There wasn’t like, Hey, let’s play 20 million to Lex Luthor slash Marlon Brando that instead I, I don’t know, of course what everybody made, but it sure seems that it was a great ensemble cast and really good conflicts, understandable ones. The galactic things really were galactic. There’s a dead real sentinel head or whatever like that floating eternal head, right?

Floating in space. That’s nowhere. They did really good stuff with. What has come before and then what should come after that for what do we need to resolve about this person’s family problems, this person’s the forces in the universe that are always trying to. What we just talked about, either take over or steal resources or, anyway, what did you think?

I really had a nice time.

Stephen: Honestly, I think it’s my favorite Guardians movie. I really enjoyed it and I was talking to Colin about that. I said, If you evaluate the story itself, it’s, it fits me perfect. It’s a middle grade story. This is a story that is told that it could fit a middle grade book.

There was a lot more violence probably than most middle grade, but, that’s the. Part that made it more adult, but I really, it, we’ve had how many Marvel movies and how many guardians that we have to save the universe. We have to save this huge thing. And this time what it came down to was we’re hel we’re saving a friend.

It’s family, right? It’s a smaller it’s as emotional and as big of a problem as anything else that has come before it. But it’s extremely personal. And I loved that they were able to do that because I too many times you get the movies where they just keep ramping it up or ramping what do you do that’s bigger every time?

So I loved that. I love that about it.

Alan: That is great analysis. And I don’t know, again, it’s only weak so spoilers, but Right. And it’s kinda funny when somebody said, no spoilers, but you mean I shouldn’t tell who dies. Oops.

Stephen: I hope you didn’t care for the guardians that much.


Alan: I thought the integration of the high evolutionary, and it’s funny in the comic books, he’s. Quietly insane. Yes, he’s obsessed, but he doesn’t rave. Whereas the guy, they got to play the high evolutionary, they really added that element of a little bit of screaming madness because he’s so committed to the cause and that little weirdness of if what I’m trying to do is create perfect life, better betterment, move towards the future, and I’m willing to break a lot of eggs in order to make that omelet.

They showed that really well.

Stephen: Yes, he was like a bond villain. That’s

Alan: a great way to put it. Absolutely. That he actually delights in what he’s doing and maybe it’s at other people’s expense, but that’s just tough. They’re in my way. The fact that. Maybe it’s been obvious, like from the first a character, rocket Raccoon was a fan favorite and for all the right reasons, hey, he’s cute and fussy and culpable, but he is also was the hard talking drinking shit thing.

Ec, kle, maniac, that kind of stuff. And they really did good work with, oh, showing where he came from and what that he was at stake and stuff like that. And how much that, I don’t know, even people who are a little rough around the edges, they could really create. Loyalty in their friends, that they really are, that it’s kinda funny.

I thought they’d more up play the fact that he and Grut, I thought were a pair that they were like even in the middle of the Guardians, they were still those two together and they didn’t do that as much. I thought that they gave Grt kind of a separate existence than he wasn’t the one to run most towards.

We must save, of course in saying, I am grot, we must save rocket raccoon. You know what I mean? But they had great stuff with everybody had a turn. Drex Mantis. Yeah. Everybody had a chance to show off a little bit the cooling off of what goes on with Gamora and Star Lord, Peter Quill.

I don’t know, I. Maybe the best ensemble movie I can remember for everybody got time and it wasn’t just, we gotta give ’em sometimes, so let’s cook up a plot. It felt right, it was that they all had issues they had to work on and they all made sense and tied together. Yeah. Proportional, or something like that.


Stephen: and here’s big spoilers, but the two parts that I didn’t care for and didn’t ruin the movie for me though, the one was minor and it’s more a personal thing. Okay. When Star Lord was in space and freezing at the end, why didn’t Gamora save him? That would’ve book ended the first movie perfectly.

You’re right.


Alan: right. So maybe it was to say that they really are not a couple really are. Yeah. Maybe. You know what I mean? But you’re right. It would’ve been,

Stephen: But her growth in the movie was seeing. That life could be different and seeing that other part that Peter remembered of her, this new Gamora was seeing it.

So that would’ve helped that character arc. But the worst part of the whole movie was Adam Warlock. Totally unessential,

Alan: The fact that in the comic books, he is a messian figure, that it really was him created to be a perfect human being specimen and then actually gets elevated from there to being a guardian of the galaxy.

Ly aware, not quite to the level of Catherine, let’s see, Starlin whoever, whoever took those things and made them much more what they, what we think of them today. Like the starlin things about Adam Warlock and his counterpart, the Magus and all that kind of stuff. Much more really cosmic and existential.

Not even like Biff bam pow heroes and stuff like that. And here he was just a doofus on, not necessary. Kinda like a pretty draxx Yeah. You know what I mean? All bronze, golden, et

Stephen: cetera. Anyway, how can you really do anything with Adam Warlock, post Infinity Stones? What did he have in his head?

It was nothing. The thing is, what bothered me about him is he was that DEO X Mackinac, because he would just show up. Why did he just show up? Oh, now he started a fight. Why, like three times He did that. And once or twice. Yeah, exactly. It’s just I was just like, eh, I, Colin said they hinted at him and introduced him a little bit way back before, and then they didn’t have him by end game, so they were like putting ’em in there cause they needed to or something.

I’m like, they should have just left him out. I’d rather they just left him out.

Alan: Yeah. I, maybe it’s a favorite of James Gunn, whatever. I’ll say this also, seeing how James Gun has done a couple great movies now. The Suicide Squad, I think, in this one. And now that the DC Universe is in his hands, I think it’s gonna be much more the kind of movie that I like to see.

Kind of the marvel. There’s a lot of personal relationships as well as the big battles. And that he’s just got certain people really have a feel from growing up with it. What makes. Comic books Cool. What makes Marvel or DC the different things that they are, but there’s enough crossover that you want to include elements of those kinds of things.

So I’m confident now more, more than I knew just in I agree interpretation in seeing his work that I think there’s gonna be some really cool, it’s got the big buildups and then those little quieter and like humorous passages. He’ll let you catch your breath. Yeah. And to move the spot forward without it all is just being a freight train rolling forward, gaining speed,

Stephen: and I’m looking forward to the DC the new Flash movie. The trailer looks great, so we’ll see that one of the

Alan: joys of going to the theaters when you’re see a superhero movie is you get to see six trailers of I’m there. I’m gonna see that one.

Just like my, my, my palette is set from the end of the year.

Stephen: Listen, any of those said, oh, we gotta start taking notes of all these movies we wanna see because we went and saw Beau Is Afraid With Joking Phoenix. It’s from Harry Astor who did mid-summer and hereditary before that, which are worky horror.

They’re not your typical horror. And I made the comment, I says, wow, there’s it’s I’ve started calling it New Horror because the stuff over the last five years is nothing like the Slasher Flakes. Nothing like Evil Dead or Exorcist. It’s a. It’s sometimes demonic in possessions, but there’s a lot of mental health issues, or they delve into horror in different ways and that’s what he’s done.

So Beau is afraid, oh, air Astra did a movie. It’s gonna be hor. It wasn’t, it was, you could say, you could argue some facts of it, but it was totally different and it was weird, it was essentially viewing the world through the eyes of a man with mental health issues and how he viewed the world. Wow.

Okay. And then at the end, the horror twist is, How his mother created that in him, and that

Alan: was where he did the wall by Pig Floyd. You know what I mean? She, yes. Mom did this to me and I suffer for the rest of my life for it. Okay. Yes.

Stephen: Interesting. Okay. Yeah, it’s not Cup of Tea Fe but there’s so many good horror movies coming out that look good.

Evil Dead Rise Over the Weekend, I guess made over 20 million. So I was like, wow, I haven’t

Alan: seen that one yet. I need to go catch, in fact, there’s a couple things I still haven’t seen John Wick four and I really wanna see of I the theater

Stephen: instead of, sorry, I haven’t seen it either.

Alan: Yeah, okay. I don’t know.

I, there’s certain I still have, I want the enveloping experience of being in theater instead of even on my nice, relatively big screen TV at home. I wanna lose myself in too many bullets, I just and I’m trying to think, there’s a couple, maybe because I. Finally I’m getting to a wonderful, stable place.

Mom is here, I visit her regularly. Things are not broken up by being out of town a week out of each month. And so it’s like time to go back to the health club, time to clean up the house a little bit. You don’t realize how much, I didn’t realize how much I was putting things on hold, even though I had three weeks out of four out of the month.

I always seemed to be working on, making sure mom is safe, making sure the house gets sold, making sure all the paperwork, all of the legal, I didn’t do it all. My brother did so much of it. He’s done an amazing job in handling a lot of as executor and point man for the family, if you will.

But I was always trying to be his backup, that I’ll take care of some of the details and. Having said that, the details have gotten down to a more manageable level and now it’s time to, like Colleen’s getting ready to retire. What are our plans for retirement? And start to make those big lists and start to they’re not gonna happen just by here’s Hop start to looking into what would it take to go to Alaska.

We still have Alaska and Hawaii our last two states to go to, out of the 48 out, out of the 50 state capitals. And like, when’s the right time to do that? What’s the right cruise to go on? Are we gonna drive up through Canada, five days of wheat fields in order to get to Alaska? We have kibosh that, even though we love driving vacations, you know, anyway, I’m.

Because of that, I haven’t done, I used to go regularly and play hooky. Go to see two movies at one in three, be home by five and have the whole theater to yourself. They went on hold during covid, but there’s a couple times when I went and I just stayed mashed up. Didn’t eat any popcorn or do any drink, didn’t touch anyone, but I and now it’s. It’s more hospitable and I don’t need to worry about that. I need to recover some of those good habits. Cuz it’s very cool to see Yeah. A good movie in the big theater instead of in the smaller

Stephen: version. Yeah. Absolutely. So yeah, and this weekend the New Fast and the Furious movie comes out ah, I’m gonna go see that even after the stupid Toyota in space in the last movie.

I’m hoping Jason Maoa is in this one. Everybody’s in it except The Rock, these are just such huge ensembles anymore and the stunts are ridiculous and, but I

Alan: have never seen one through IX all the way through. Not a single one of them. But having said that, why not? But, I’ve seen all the expendables, I’ve seen all the John wigs, I love expendables, all kinds of other, just that kind of thing where let’s shoot everything and blow everything up.

It. I maybe, it’s funny, some of these things I also go to by myself because Colleen doesn’t really love the guns and explosions movies like I do. You know what I mean? She wants to go see Capote and I wanna go see John Wick, that kinda

Stephen: thing. I know VIN Diesel said something about that he got producing control or something of the franchise for the last couple movies.

Okay. And so he wants to get it back to what it was originally, more of the racing and not so much the other stuff they were doing. Okay. I don’t mind conspiracy type stuff. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t mind the, everything they’ve done, so some of the heist movies I think were just loads of fun. But I just, I love the cars.

I love watching the racing, I’m hoping they have some good race chase scenes and stuff, that’s what I go for it for.

Alan: I’ll tell you real quick there. I’m regularly browsing Netflix, Amazon, et cetera, and there’s some movies that I see that it’s that never got theatrical release cuz it’s a Netflix or an Amazon production.

But boy would that be great on the big screen. I just saw a movie called Polar with Mods Nicholson as a hitman that’s getting ready to retire. But the agency for whom he works would rather kill him than pay him what they owe him. And so there’s, a lot of people trying to kill him and him it’s really well done.

It’s got some great combat scenes, great scenes of depravity, if you will. The I just. Some of these, I’m like I’ve watched Red Notice more than once. That’s good. Cause great dialogue, great scenes. I’ve watched gray Man more than once, and that by having watched it, then I went and I read all the books.

It really is certain people, either actors or the characters are so engaging that it’s I’m glad it’s a series, cuz now I don’t get just one dose. I get to think maybe they’ll make a sequel to Polar though. I’m not sure. But I know that there’s gonna be more than one Gray man movie.

There has to be, and other things I just, I’m really enjoying that some people really seem to get what makes a movie like that good. That it’s, yes, not only a good hero, but a good villain. James Bond has proven that formula again and again, and that the combat scenes have to be not only over the top, but like once in a while, just like a Jason Bourne movie.

Some of the fight scenes in that are so realistic, so exhausting that you’re like, wow, that really is what it would be like that you’re. You have to survive, no matter what it takes, you’re gonna kill a guy with a magazine. You know what I mean? Thing. So I’m, and that’s, I don’t, of course only watch, shoot ’em up and explosions movies.

I’m still enjoying many comedies and many mysteries and stuff like that. But some of those, like I said, the particular thing of, I would like to see that on the big screen, if ever really do like a theatrical release, I might actually go see that. It’ll see,

Stephen: I guess there are some Netflix movie theaters around the country where, cuz they wanted to get into the Academy Awards or whatever.

Alan: Oh, that makes sense. Exactly. And unfortunately Cleveland is not one of their market. No.

Stephen: Okay. There’s a, speaking of all those movies, gray Man and stuff, there’s one on Apple TV and I’m like, are you kidding me? Another streaming service that I now wanna get, but it’s got Chris Evans in it and he, it’s called Ghosted.

He’s, he goes the. Date this girl, right? And then she ghost them and it turns out she’s a spy and he gets pulled into it. So instead of it being the hunky man, as the spy and the woman getting into it, it’s now this lady that drags him along and he’s, he’s the bumbling fool. I think that’s wonderful.

I I’m like, okay, I’m gonna have to buy, get Apple TV for a while, but at least I could now watch Foundation.

Alan: It’s funny, I we’ve been watching, I still have Apple TV because I get it from being Apple something or other, but we’ve been watching the Ted Lassos and that’s worth getting in. We just saw a trailer for Ghosted, so now it’s oh, that, and something silo, maybe it might be on there, or maybe that’s not another one.

Regularly, there’s always new stuff coming out, and so we talked a little bit about this, the difficulty of putting together the lists of what you should see if you’re looking at the a hundred movies of all time. But there’s almost so much new content coming out that it just pushes those things off of everybody’s screens.

Who’s gonna go watch the Thin Man from the forties when I’ve got. New murder mysteries,

Stephen: new bar, et cetera. That’s the sad part about losing the Netflix D V D because there’s so many movies there that aren’t on streaming or they’re hard to find on streaming. You have to really, they’re not on the main ones.

You have to go to find Pluto or T or Tuby or something. That’s right. I

Alan: just did that. I got a big queue. I got 500, 480 movies in my queue, and I just bubbled up all the ones that if I don’t see ’em on Netflix, I might have to go searching libraries and looking on tuby and stuff for the old style stuff.


Stephen: I did the same thing. I saw the announcement and I went, oh man. So I went, okay, move that one up, move that one up, move that one up. It’s I know I can get this elsewhere. I can see this. It’s not a big deal for this. Oh, move these up. I did the same thing.

Alan: Lots of urgency to those kinds of things.

And as I mentioned, I, we have watched. All the Hitchcocks that we could, all the Woody Allens, all the Cone brothers, various different things. If there’s anything left in those lists, sometimes they go away and then they come back. I’m bubbling all those up so that I will see as many of those particular directors or types

Stephen: as I possibly can.

I will say H B O definitely has become a major streaming service for us to watch because they’ve added so many good old movies or older movies, they’ve

Alan: got I didn’t know that. I didn’t realize that. I don’t haunt them enough.

Stephen: Okay. They’ve got almost all the universal, they’ve got Godzilla it, it’s every time I go on there, it’s suddenly there’s oh my gosh, you have these movies.

It’s, there’s a few movies that haven’t I haven’t seen on streaming, and now they’re there on H B O, so I’m like, we got HBO o originally for something that was on there Oh. For friends. Okay. When Gina had her knee surgery, we got HBO so she could watch friends. Okay. And then they, I like, and then all the DC stuff was on there and Right.

So we watched that. But Thrones particular stuff. Exactly. Yeah. It was always intended okay, we’ll cancel this, but it’s I can’t, me and Colin watch H b o almost as much as we watched Star Wars and Marvel on Disney. So I get rid of Netflix streaming before I get rid of H B O at this point.


Alan: That’s a big statement. Cuz Netflix has so much. I bet. See what you’re saying. It does, but do whatever our tastes are, yeah. Okay. Alright hey. Okay. Let’s see. Thank you very much for your flexibility this week. I’m sorry about, the no problem, the whole thing of Vegas and weirdness about schedule and that kind of stuff.

We, we had actually added up waiting like two hours for after we rushed to the airport to get there and wish that I couldn’t be in a place where I’d be able to do. Then we sat, mechanical difficulties and luckily it didn’t turn out to be mechanical difficulties and we don’t have an engine in the plane.

You wait another day, know it’s

Stephen: like that commercial now. Yeah. It’s good. It’s pretty good now, that commercial that they

Alan: have right before things blow up or

Stephen: fall apart. All right, have a good week and we’ll see what we have for next week then. Sounds great.

Alan: Thanks Steven. Okay. Bye. Bye.