I always struggle with coming up with the overview because we bounce around sometimes. Most of the time.

We have a bit of a discussion on education and how the focus should be on education and not dress code.

We discuss the Flash movie – which we both liked. There’s some good reasons to enjoy the movie and too many people didn’t give it the love it deserved.

Then we talk about Kevin J Anderson and Rush, along with some other music.




Stephen: We are visiting Egypt today.

Alan: Exactly. We’re gonna go see some ancient wonders of the world. I think this is the only one left standing right. You know there’s the seven ancient and the seven modern and I think that the pyramids are the only ones left standing. Oh really? Colossus of Rose is gone. Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Yeah, the temple of Maus. All of them. I think that they’re all swept away by history and this guy was just too big to demolish, too big to have a storm, take him out, whatever else it might be.

Stephen: So yeah just give people a chance. They’ll destroy it and ruin it. They probably wanna parking lot or something.

Alan: I wonder, there’s been wars fought right near here. I hope that there’s they had some rules of engagement with that said, how about if we not climb on it? How about if we not fire on it? How about if, don’t do anything. I just, it’s funny, we, I never intended to talk about these things, but they, all these things spark connections.

Someone just got arrested for. Yes, hugging or writing his girlfriend’s name, his fiance’s name into the coliseum. And like we’ve talked about this probably a year and a half ago where I’ve been at Nashville Parks, beautiful old petroglyphs, amazing sequoias and redwood type trees. And someone got out there spray can, or their pen knife or whatever the freaking, and that kinda crazy ego that kind of disregard for this is everyone’s, this has survived a thousand years.

It’s not been waiting for you to mar it. How, what ego, what incredible jag do people have? It’s the same thing as you get where you put Trump on everything. You know what I mean? You gotta put your splash, your name on various different things right

Stephen: off. Let’s record it and post it on social media. Cause I’ll be such a hero. See, freaking moron. I’ll tell you

Alan: th this is a common theme now, I don’t know that we need, one of the things you can count on with vandals, with a assholes nowadays is they’re not too bright. They film themselves, they create their own evidence, right?

They around to look for surveillance cameras, they supply their own, right? Yeah. It’s unbelievable. We did. They just I, so North Carolina has been trying to put a rule in place in their charter schools about a dress code only for girls, not boys. Because as girls are the ones that need to be taught how to dress, not boys.

It, I can’t even think of a way to compress down the stupidity of a dress code and a sex specific dress code down into how much I want to mock it and. Agreed. I said that it made it all the way to the Supreme Court what state is our country in now? I just wrote about this on Facebook, that’s the kind of, that’s coming up before the Supreme Court, not how are we gonna save ourselves?

How are we gonna fix our education system? The education system isn’t getting fixed because people are not wearing the right skirt. It’s all of this is going on and as usual, the reason I bring this up is because, Jerks are often so shortsighted and so stupid that they hang themselves.

Yeah, they hoist their own batard. So they discovered charter schools have been fighting for decades to drain money away from public schools because we had a good education system. But they decided that what they wanted was an indoctrination center, not an education system. So they created these charter schools so they can have often a religious, or a, let’s say, a prejudice bent.

And then they said we’re not gonna sponsor that ourselves and we’re not going to. So they started to actively compete to get, public funds drained away in terms of vouchers and stuff like that. Like often happens once you start dealing with public, especially public funds, you buy all the laws that go with that as well.

So you can’t build a road, call it a toll road that used public funds. No, it’s the public, right? You can’t bring money into a public school and not abide by. All the non-sex discrimination rules, all the, you have to have Title IX sports because that’s the law of the land. Every time that you try to put together, hey, it’s religious freedom, so we get to put up our 10 commandments.

Along comes Beth Holme from the Satanist Society. It’s hey, we got some religious symbols to share as well. So how many times do you see that what we want for religious freedom is freedom for us. Our in indoctrination for

Stephen: us? Yes.

Alan: Not for everyone. And yet that’s not what the rules free society say.

Stephen: Yes. And we’ve talked about this, how these types of things change. I know the Darwin Awards definitely love social media. I’m sure that’s been a boost for them over the years, but it’s so funny you bring this up because, and I’ve said this before, that it keeps changing, we’re against the gay marriage and the trans and all that. That’s the big thing now. Let’s go back 50 years. It was a black man and a white woman. That was the big thing. Let’s go back 50 years, be, it keeps changing. And I joke about this, I’m like, don’t worry. All the L G B T community don’t worry.

Give it 50 years. And they won’t even care about that because they’re really gonna be concerned about somebody from Mars dating somebody from Earth.

Alan: Exactly That an uplifted animal that you’re not allowed, like they make fun of Now, once you have marriage equality, you’re gonna have man marrying animals.

And it’s soon as we find out that indeed dolphins and crows and white mice have been as smart as people all along, and indeed they should be able to enter with consent into various different things. Oh no, we can’t have that. A marriage is only between one man and a consenting goat apparently.

Stephen: I saw a thing, a lady married the ghost of a pirate. But south Park did it. South Park did it? Not the Simpson South Park did it. Okay. They had a show where it was pointing out some of this, in, in their way. Mr. Garrett wanted to be a woman okay. They like made it as disgusting looking as possible to say, this is what you’re doing.

Then Kyle. I think it was Kyle wanted to be on the basketball team, but he was basically told, look, you’re the wrong color. You can’t play well. And oh man. And so he went and got changed to a tall black kid and joined the basketball team. And then his dad said they have all sorts of surgeries.

He became trans-species, he was part dolphin, and, and so it was done in that over the top way that comedy has a way of doing to point out the issues and, all this stuff with it. Like you said though, if. We’re going to pass this law or tell girls they can’t dress a certain way.

We’re going getting back to uniforms, and people don’t want uniforms. They, and it just goes back to we demand everything being our way. This is what we want. The other doesn’t matter,

Alan: it’s not equal. It’s not fair. It’s not, they’re not striving for like the most basic tenets of the civilization, which is treat all your civilization, your citizens equally.

That the minute you start to say, I don’t know, there’s. I, it’s not even a humorous thing to talk about anymore because people are so fanatically crazy about it. Whatever I am is right. And anything that’s not exactly like me is wrong. And when you start to see that from every direction, from whether you’re male or female or black or white or gay or straight or whatever else it might be, there’s the people that will take it one step too far where it becomes absurd, but they don’t see that it’s one step too far.

They really are. Like, there’s, they’re always pushing their test cases and their demands, if you will. And eventually we’ll get to the law says this, but reality says John Cleese just had a request when they, where they’re gonna put out like a 50th year, a 50th anniversary edition, maybe 40 of life of Brian.

And there’s a scene in there, where they’re talking about It’s one of the many splinter groups that are trying to decide it with what religious, how they’re gonna accept whether Brian is the Messiah or not. And one of them speaks up and is always interjecting, every man should have the right or woman.

And it’s will you, would you cut it out with that? He goes actually, I want to be a woman. Call me a Loretta. And then they, so they say, sure, that’s okay. And then she goes, and I wanna have babies. And the Cleese’s character kind of says you can want them all that you want and you will indeed have the right to have babies.

But you haven’t got a womb. You haven’t got a uterus. And until, and they don’t talk about when the future, when we can do that kind of operation. But it just is that break for reality, of people saying I demand that, there’s an amusing thing that comes on the net all the time of, I disregard your reality and substitute my own.

You got a lot of work ahead of you. You know what I mean? You can, you can make. The world is filled with dissatisfied people and that’s where true progress comes from. But there’s still a sense of how real is what you’re asking for. And sometimes goals are seem unattainable, but it’s still something that if you work hard and work smart and get all the everything in a row, it can still happen.

But you can’t flap your wing, your arms and turn ’em into wings magically and fly to the moon. And again, you can’t think of an exert enough thing where people are saying ridiculous things. And it’s up to everyone else not to talk about what’s legal, but pretty much what’s real. And if you talk about what’s real, then you’re the guy that’s discriminating somehow.

Not all the time. Some people are very much I see what you’re saying. That really is a difference of break from reality. I have all kinds of people that I’m very sensitive to mental health within circles of my friends, within my artistic friends, within my Mensa friends. There’s all kinds of people that are differently abled, and I own it.

You know what I mean? I we’ve laughed about, we ha we are somewhere on the spectrum. You know what I mean? I think I’m a pretty high performing guy, but I still like symmetry and I really like to have things in a little stack for Yeah, some elements. Some elements. And having said that, I don’t expect that I need to pass a law that says that’s the right way to be.

You know what I mean? When you flip it over into some of my. Disability is actually a superpower. My ability to focus, my ability to think quickly, do numerics in my head quickly, all that kind of stuff. But it never occurs to me that’s the way it should be for everybody. I don’t take that next step that says, whatever I’ve got, I’m happy that I’ve got it.

I got a whole bunch of blessings, but I, it never occurs to me that it should be like me. I celebrate the diversity, I celebrate the, oh, the everything. Not everybody is a big white, Lithuanian German guy, oh God. Hold the world. Be like, if that was the case, so this isn’t going anywhere except to say, boy, it’s all around us.

Not a day goes by without someone. Asking for something that like isn’t in touch with reality and that the argument nowadays has to be on that tightrope of not like I’m bigoted and I don’t want you to be able to have things that are, you’re right as a citizen, the possibility of the future and so forth.

But you can’t just snap your fingers and make an untrue thing true or make physics stop working or make, chemistry different than what it is some connection with the natural world is so necessary for just like feeling that you’re part of it, that you’re not a ghost moving through it.

That you really do have the senses that are, have you aware of how the world works? And in fact, maybe that’s the segue is one of the joys that I’ve been doing lately is, I love maker spaces. I’ve always loved understanding material science, how things work. Hey, I just. Greased my garage door.

So it stops making a, that little scream of, metal on metal. I just built a little raised bed garden box so that Colleen and I can plant some herbs but not be down on our knees and, oh, back strain. You know what I mean? Like it’s, I love the fact that not only am I relatively handy, but nowadays they’re really good from an i, an IKEA sense or from kids, you can get on Amazon.

These have been around for a long time that they precut it and they supply exactly the right screws and all you have to do I just did this all with a ratcheting screwdriver, I was able to build this sturdy level useful thing because the algorithm of how to build a raised bad garden box is now all like a solved problem.

And they sent me one on from Amazon Yahi Tech, and I’m, I just I admire still the people that are able to cut their own wood and make this all happen that can build the staircase from scratch and stuff like that. But what I also like is I don’t have to do that. I like solving certain things myself, but the one where I wanna spend my time is what are those cool problems and all the other things.

I want to just go watch your video on YouTube, how to grease it up, what not to grease so you’re not, there’s plastic components that are there and that grease doesn’t work well with that. In fact, it actually might dissolve them or things like that. Or at least grease it up where no, that’s where it’s getting its traction.

You don’t grease up the part that’s pulling the door, cetera, it’s et cetera. So I love the fact that one of the ways in which the internet is great is that humanity has wonderful shared information and in some cases things that used to be. Kept to the techno priests or the the car fixing priests or the how to build a fence priests that now people are putting those things online.

And here’s Bill from garage door openers.com and he’s like, all right, here’s what you gotta do every couple years to make sure your garage door stays in work in order. And he knows his stuff. He doesn’t have a lab coat on. He’s the guy that works on these kinds of things. And yet he knows that stuff. He really is the expert.

I love seeking out the experts instead of, I’m gonna figure this out on my own and maybe make a mistake. I sure don’t wanna make a steak with a garage door. It’s like my spring just took my face off. You know what I mean? It’s, anyway, boy, I’m just all chatty today. I’m not letting you get a

Stephen: word in that.

You’ve got an exciting

Alan: week. I know that you are off. Exactly. You build your own computers. Isn’t that wonderfully satisfying? You

Stephen: know what I mean? Much more so than working on a car.

Alan: Like that. And nowadays cars are like, they’re taking steps away from that. It used to be that you could be a gearhead and really take a car entirely apart and put it back together.

And now they’ve got so many solid state components and so much that it’s not as easy by sight, by, by hearing to figure out to, to troubleshoot a car and fix it.

Stephen: Yeah. Cause it, it’s sensors and computer chips, which I’m not down on that at all. That’s definitely progress. Things have improved because of it in most ways Mo there probably isn’t any tech through the last several hundred years that hasn’t been.

Absolutely perfect that there’s something downside to it. We always have that, but the improvements outweigh the downsides. It’s a leapfrog type thing. Absolutely. Have you

Alan: ever talked about this? My, the first car that I ever bought, I inherited a car from, like a dollar from my dad.

I bought his old Rocco and that kept me going for the first couple years outta college Volkswagen Rocco. I killed it because I put some gas into it that I found in a can at home. It wasn’t gas, it was a gas oil mixture that you used for lawnmowers and it just totally clogged. So I bought a Chrysler Laser and one of the cool things about the Chrysler Laser at the time was, it had, so far as I can tell, the first trip computer, it had all those little sensors that would take The door is a jar, if you didn’t close the door correctly, if your wheels were getting tires were getting worn if you needed it, it had a whole bunch of sensors that instead of just putting up a check engine light, they had sensors before that would let you know, you’re running a little on oil, you’re overheating, whatever.

But it actually had smart ways of telling you that. And I got really pretty good about maintaining my car exactly like I should. Cause I didn’t wait for the flashing red. You are in danger, light. I listened to what it told me and said, I’ll be happy to put more air in my tires. You know what I mean?

Exactly so what I, and I don’t know that I bought the car specific for that, but when, as I was reviewing various different cars and. I got, I, I got this car cuz I like the future. I like that. Even if it’s not perfect yet, every time I get in, I’m gonna be happy. Every time that I have a passenger, they’re gonna be, hell.

This car is so you, it’s kit your car is talking to you, it’s says, your hood latch is not quite correct, and the questions were perfect in t so I’m trying to if you change your oil or your windshield washer fluid and didn’t put the hood down correctly, it would let you know that.

So it doesn’t go s spraying and come like every movie while you’re on the road. Exactly. And so I don’t know that it saved my life. Did it? It sure. Made me more aware of and little bit what you just said, I don’t mind the sensors at all. Something that’s in my car that every a hundred times a second is checking.

How’s the pressure? How’s the pressure? How’s the pressure? I’m happy to have that in the same way that I near self-driving cars because instead of how often do I do the scan that I was taught in my driver’s ed course of little look forward, look behind, check your mirrors, all that kind of stuff.

It’s doing that all the time for how fast is what’s coming in front of me and is there anything on my side and how, what’s the road conditions? And the fact that I’ve been able to offload all of that attention into something that’s doing that for me is a wonderful, miraculous, cool thing, right? I can spend my time enjoying the drive instead of looking out for everybody who’s hovering in my blind spot because they still love to do that.

Stephen: And I’ve heard so many people. Yeah I do understand and. Myself, there’s a little bit of missing those days when an engine had, half a dozen parts that you could pull out, put back in and fix up and keep it running. That’s our muscle car era. I can appreciate a good muscle car, but with what you just said the self-driving cars, so many people not in the know, oh, I don’t trust those self-driving cars.

They cause accidents as they cause a lot less accidents than people do. And the only reason they’re having accidents now is because we still allow people on the road. As soon as every vehicle is self-driving and they talk to each other, our accidents are go down to almost zero I bet.

Alan: I think you’re right.

I really do. One of the, I mentioned a couple months ago now, at the start of the season, I worked on my lawnmower. My lawnmower wouldn’t start and I’m like, at first I was gonna take it to lawnmower repair place. It had closed down. And you know how sometimes necessities, the mother invention as I like, did a spiral with my little mapping software of how far I might have to take this thing in the trunk of my car to just get it looked at.

It’s those days of figuring out a car with the six moving parts, that’s what a lawnmower is. It’s got what a a two stroke engine and it’s got, it’s got some oil and gas and a spark plug. I know enough about this from when I did learn about cars. I should be able to figure out this little fella.

And so that’s what I did. I bought a new air filter and I bought a new spark plug and I put oil and just, it purred at like this 20 year old Honda makes good stuff, they really do. If you don’t run it on until it’s metal on metal inside because you didn’t change the oil. And so I’m just.

It’s cool to, and I don’t know, is it a manly thing? I think it’s just a capable person thing of Hey, so I rewired it as Tim Allen used to say it, working just fine now. And I really, the fact that I was able to take long, buried information and reuse it here and say, that makes sense.

This is where your gas line is. And this is, yeah, this all works just like I expected to, so it’s not like we’ll pour some fluid in and hope it works. It’s like that’s where the fluid would go. That’s, did you? Yeah. So I every, maybe that’s one of the reasons that I’ve been doing those things lately is, and spring does it or something like that.

When we have hanging baskets in the front of our house, and they weren’t exactly always where we wanted them to be. We just took down a big hedge. And so now there’s a big opening to the front. That didn’t have hanging baskets before because they would’ve been blocked by the hedge. So here I am with my power drill and I’m like, okay, how far do I have to go up?

And I wanna make sure that I’m doing it like right up, not in a weird angle. And so it’s it, and you’re, I have hooks that you screw in. You try screwing that into a hundred year old wood, that’s the underside of the, over our porch. And it’s I’m gonna carve into the pyramid.

I can’t do this. Did you find it? You look at the screw thing and then you get your bits and you think, okay, what’s. Half that size, three quarters of that size, so you get your starter hole, but enough so that the screws are going to still get a good grip into the wood. Figured it all out. Just like my dad taught me, like I knew in shop class, like I’ve done from other projects and now we have hanging baskets where we want them to be.

It’s very satisfying to like altered material things, when I did, so there I am with my can of WD 40 having fixed the garage door. Then I’m like, I should go check all the locks in the house and make sure that they are,

Stephen: oh no mad man on the loose.

Alan: Exactly. You just kinda this is something that I’m sure that there are 535 things you should do to maintain your home.

And I don’t wanna do 500, but I sure can do the top 20 and so it’s what maintenance should I do? You name it to my faucet, to my toilet. I should be able to switch a wash route in case something is dripping. I should be able to figure out, this electrical outlet is you cut. The wall is, it’s flexing, it’s pushing in and out of the wall.

I don’t want that with anything electric. So how do I take it off? Put a little shoring up of it that I know is not gonna be any problem with electricity and just, it’s cool to have. I’m not solving problems on the computer. Oh, this bit of code isn’t working cuz it’s making a wrong call and I did a stack overflow.

It’s wow. I looked at it and I saw that. That’s cuz that’s work. Its way loose and it’s a skew. And if I got enough tools in the house and it’s funny, once you start doing this as a guy, you’re like, I need like new tools. I need more tools. I need faster, bigger, better tools. Right?

And so trying to resist that, of this being an opening of, I don’t, I talked about getting the garage. I’ll have the big peg board that my dad had where all the tools are up outline and you got the jars that have all the various different nces. Yes. I

Stephen: still have those.

Alan: And so I don’t, I have this is no lie.

When I first got my home, my town home in Hoffman Estates, I had a tool, pumpkin, I had a trick or treat or orange pumpkin. That’s where I kept all my tools because. I knew I wouldn’t miss it. It’s bright orange. If it’s sitting anywhere in the garage or in the basement, it’s like bump, pumpkin.

That’s where the tools live. And but I always wanted to have that next step of you really do have a sea clamp that you can hold onto things on your workbench. You really, all that stuff. Now that I have a garage, haven’t done it in the first year, but I really am getting to, where am I gonna do the little set of hooks where that’s where all your rakes and brooms go.

Am I gonna put a hooks overhead so you can hang your bike up there? I got all these things that I learned from how my parents did it, right? They didn’t have limited space. Nobody does. So they were very, Cunning about how do you have not only the two of them, but three kids and not overcrowd your garage?

Make it so that everything, there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. It’s a very German way to live. Ask my mom. It’s very cool to set that up, to know that if I have a tool, I don’t just put it down when I’m done with it, put it back so the next time you need it.

It’s just where it should be. That’s right. It’s like life. Isn’t that a good rule for life?

Stephen: It’s funny, I, my father only made it to the eighth grade. He never was able to read his whole life and we’re pretty, at least I am pretty sure he was somewhere really high on the autism spectrum somewhere.

Never got tested, never got looked at. He had learning disabilities, but. Was it that he had learning disabilities or was it some other things because of his autism that he needed done a different way? We don’t know. They,

Alan: they intermesh, yeah. And how that, yes, yout get tested you, but you won’t get tested if you’re already showing.

Anyway, anyway. Okay. Yeah.

Stephen: Yeah. So he figured out a lot of things throughout his life and it, there were times it was like something was jury rigged and it’s what is this contraption that you’re doing to make it work and when are we going to die from it? It was like the thing, and I’ve had to deal with some of that through the last couple years.

He’s, he wasn’t able to do anything, now he’s passed away, so I’m running into and dealing with some of these issues. It’s like we go out to the building and we, he has a, an extension cord running to a pole that had a light, and that pole was wired to run an electricity into the thing, and there was one extension cord with one power strip with all these extension cords coming off of it, coming and out of it.

Yeah. When you go to turn it on, it shocks you. So it’s that’s really not how it should be. So that’s the type of thing we dealt with. I learned a few things from him, but he hated teaching and showing me things cuz I’d be like why are you doing that? What’s that for? Why is it, why isn’t like this?

And he couldn’t answer it because he really didn’t know. And it would just cause friction between us. So the faucet was dripping, it was just wearing out the washer and things. So I went and got, I did like you, I okay, what needs fixed on this? I, oh, that looks like all it is. Great. I can pop that off and stick in a new thing.

Put that back on. The overlay part that you actually turn has a little screw that you tighten. So it’s nice and tighten on the valve that you open and close. Okay. But they have this recessed. Screw in there that comes from the inside and I didn’t know that and picked it up and the screw fell out and I’m like, oh, damn it, the wall.

Exactly. There’s no possible way cuz it’s like it, it goes like this, so there’s no way to put it in backwards. There’s no way to get anything to get that in there from the inside. So I looked around, I’m like, huh. That chopstick is about the same size as this hole. So I stuck the chopstick in. There was some glue broke off the end of it, and my son comes and says, what are you doing?

I’m like, I’m fixing it. And he goes, you’re channeling your father right now. I’m like, shut up.

Alan: So is it Jerry rigging? Jury rigging? You know what I mean? I’ve heard all kinds of fiddly hooking that kinda stuff where you’re like, it works. I’ve mentioned a number of times a good friend named Tom Cortese that he worked in the music lab.

That was all the way at the top of this Cyril building at school. When I went at the U of I, they had a thing where you’d be able to take the elevator to the fourth floor, then had to take a staircase up to the fifth and. In order to take that staircase, you still had to already unlock a door, like there was a cage there.

It’s like zurk, honestly, it was it, he did a thing where instead of him having to come down the stairs to let you in that thing, he like put a line down and et cetera, et cetera, so that he could pull on this thing and it would automatically lift the latch to let you in. Saved him two flights of stairs every time that someone had to come in and like he called it a kluge the first time I had ever heard of that term and forever, you know how that’s sometimes the word.

It’s that’s a perfect word. It’s klu is like ally sounds like what that is. Yeah. And he kinda includes it together, yeah. And I just love that he was that ingenious that after the. I don’t know how many times does it take doing unnecessary stairs to say, I’ve done this 10 times, I’m not doing an 11.

I’m gonna figure something out here.

Stephen: Yeah. That’s been my family, my grandfather, my father. And if you remember back in the early days of the internet and the early nineties the guys at m i t were some of the first to take advantage of it. They took a, we a early webcam and they rigged it up to point at their coffee pot so they could just check to see if there was coffee before they walked all the way over.

Alan: I, I honestly, I love those stories that, that. Some of the most advanced technology in the world, and the first thing you want to do is don’t you wanna play like a Space War game? You know what I mean? Don’t you wanna check the coffee pot? It’s a, the first person there was a time when cha every character mattered.

And so some part of why people came up with emoticons was to be able to put a little thing that looked like curious or disgust it or whatever else it might be, without having to write that out and put it in brackets and what, I love that. I and having said that, I think you and I have both run into code that way.

Back in the days when memory really mattered, people wrote some really convoluted, near understandable code, even them for themselves. You preserve every single cell, every single bit, not by bit of memory. Yeah. And trying to figure out what, where would they do it here? Why would they do it this way? They had to figure it out.

You had to put yourself into their mind, the empathy of computer coding. This guy was really desperate to come up with this kind of, ball of yarn type solution.

Stephen: So it, I was gonna say earlier when we were talking about the Darwin Awards and stuff that there and the L G B T and Health somewhere here’s a nice segue somewhere there’s a.

World that exists, that’s just like ours, except those things aren’t a problem.

Alan: And speaking of that, speaking of, I went to see the flash. Yes. Which you had seen, and now I have, and it is a great movie for, it is the law of unintended consequences, the way that everything is linked together, even ways that are not immediately apparent, even if you try to figure out how it’s linked together.

That things happen for reasons that you don’t fully understand and they always will. So that, a big part of, by the way, I really loved it. I’m I did too and amazed that it’s got, what’s one of those movies that like, I think like Morbius after the first weekend, it had a 70% drop off at the box office and like, why what is there not to like here, maybe it’s Ezra Miller is not as likable and majestic as other characters.

Maybe it’s too complex a plot line and people wanted more biff bam pow. Overall, if you’re a comic book person, It’s really well done and the philosophy of as soon as flash of two worlds occurred and you had different vibratory planes, different timelines, different, they’ve much expanded that with Flashpoint and everything over the years.

Now it, what’s a good way to put it? It’s like in the same way that people are talking about, Hey, AI is coming on strong, but maybe we should have some guardrails so that we doesn’t, the minute that we started talking about the multiverse, there’s been a couple, the last Doctor Strange movie, the Spider-Man movie.

Oh, man, how cool. Multiple Spider-Man’s many Spider-Man’s in the Spider Verse movie. And now this was really a cautionary tale over, it’s not only, Hey, everybody take off all the expectations. All those stories that you read, there really is every kind of Batman. There really is every kind of Spider-Man, every kind of flash cetera, et cetera.

But that you don’t get that without the penalty of unintended consequences. That not every flash will be a good guy. Some people, some, part of what makes you a superhero sometimes is being a vigilante, being obsessive, being damaged goods. And if that, Gets too obsessed, turns towards the wrong side.

You, you really can have all kinds of weird things happen, right? In some cases, that butterfly effect of it really shows small, it changes in initial conditions can lead to huge changes elsewhere in the system. Like the destruction of Exter entire universes, the thing they do with Crisis on Infinite Earth.

The thing they did with in, in the Marvel Universe, all the various the Council of Reeds trying to figure out which entire universes are gonna be able to, who’s gonna win out of all of those universes that are gonna collide and subsume or destroy each other and stuff like that. And that, one of the great montages in the Flash movie was that they really.

I love comic book movies that have a wonderful awareness of all that has gone before. So this didn’t just show like the last two years of superhero movies. They went back to the Superman TV series from the

Stephen: fifties. Yeah. Breeds in

Alan: black and white. Exactly. All the various different animated Batman regular.

And of course in the movie itself, there’s. Not too much of a spoiler cuz it’s out there now there’s maybe more than the one true Batman, cuz the movies themselves has offered us half a dozen of them now. Yeah. Michael Keaton and Val Kilburn and George Clooney and Christian Bail and who’ve I missed out of this generation of various different Batman’s Adam

Stephen: West.

Alan: Adam West. Exactly. Previous

Stephen: generation that’s not to mention. Yeah. The cartoon ones, cartoon Kevin Conroy and stuff.

Alan: And that Flash is not only our modern version, but there’s his, Wally West and various different successors. There’s the previous Jay Garrick Flash from the golden Age who was in it.

And so that montage where they showed all the various different incarnations of various different characters, it was really cool to say that they all do exist simultaneously. Time is not linear. The universe is not a singleton, it’s a multiverse and all that kind of stuff. And they found a way to capture it.

Some of the more interesting graphics, and I don’t know that they portrayed it exactly as, They tried really hard to show. There’s whole universe walls, there’s timelines that intersect, there’s this energy that goes between them and stuff like that. And so that was one of those things. I’m really glad every time I see something like that, that I’m in the big theater with the big sound.

Cuz no matter what kind of big TV you got at home, 65 inches is not gonna be enough compared to I am Max Big.

Stephen: Movie theater, mean. Now I loved the spaghetti explanation of time and where things cross and come in because we always, have the branching parallels, which is kinda like a choose your own adventure novel, but this is, once you get on a new track, it’s completely different front and back, and which takes into account

Alan: time Exactly. That it’s a fulcrum. That it’s not just going forward, that you change, you retroactively change things and that’s why you’re getting. Wow. I thought I was just gonna change something as simple as moving one object from one place to another, and yet it has implications,

Stephen: consequences, which does help all the naysayers for back to the future, because it’s a different way of looking at all of that. That’s right. And the story, and I thought it was great. Colin was super excited, but then once he got to it, it was like, eh, but I think he got influenced too much by too many other people.

I was like, who cares? I loved it. I thought it was a really good movie. I thought it was one of DC’s better movies. There’s that. But fact

Alan: that it had cameos from all different kinds of shows, but that they didn’t then say let’s all team up and have a Justice League movie. Yes.

Stepped in for a while, did their thing, and then stepped back out. So it’s very cool to see their attempt to have what Marvel did really well in the comic books, which is, if you’re swinging around New York, you really might like bump into Spider-Man. You might bump into the Fantastic Four, or whatever else it might be.


Stephen: Sorry. And the basic story, if you cut out all of that time travel stuff. The basic story is flash, and I thought his character arc in the movie was fantastic. He started a snot nose kid and in a way, and realized the consequences of being a superhero and their actions and grew up beyond wanting to fix it.

The flash net did not died. There’s something to say about development there. You didn’t grow your dead. But yeah I thought that basic story was pretty strong and well done

Alan: showing the character arc, not being just, how do you become a hero, but how do you become like an adult?

How do you become a responsible human being? How do you make the sacrifice that might be necessary? Who doesn’t want their mom? Absolutely. Who doesn’t love their mom? You know what I mean? That kind of thing. Very well done.

Stephen: And this is a big spoiler if you haven’t seen it. Sorry.

But when you originally got into the speed force and in, in the time and it was all around, I loved how they portrayed that, but then the demon creature that attacked him, I’m like what the heck is that? Yeah, they did. I was

Alan: thinking. Is that their introduction of Professor Zoom or the reverse flash or like what other speedster could it be?

I was like, okay. My mind will work on that in the background as they offer clues and it was indeed a well resolved, it was

Stephen: tragedy. Exactly. It was very well done because the thing that bothered me to most about it was there wasn’t a big battle, didn’t pursue ’em. He knocked them out and then just watched them and I was like, that is weird.

Alan: Okay. That’s true. You’re right. In fact, that’s, but that’s still part of the clues, is it wasn’t a battle to the death, it wasn’t lethal, it was stop messing around. You know what I mean?

Stephen: So I it was himself trying to cause the things to fix. It didn’t, it looped and stuff.

So yeah, I thought that was well done. I don’t know. Personally I liked it. I thought it was great. The Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League, I thought was great. The extended version of Batman versus Superman, I thought was great. Honestly, the two extended versions are 10 times better than the theater version.

It’s like, Lord of the Rings, I’m never going to watch those theater versions again.

Alan: That’s really true. One of those things, if you’re gonna hire a director because you think a lot of his talent, then let him do the job. Don’t show up with your notes and say I’m gonna need more merchandising.

I’m gonna need less time because I gotta do three shows a night not to, and then you don’t get the. The magnificence of what some superhero movies can be, cuz they really are a larger scale than regular life. You know what I

Stephen: mean? And I think what hurt the movie, obviously Ezra’s actions did not help the movie whatsoever.

People are much more sensitive to that to type of thing nowadays. So that did not help. But for them to say, here’s the Flash movie, it doesn’t really mean anything cause we’re just scrapping all of that. That probably wasn’t a wise decision. See I’ll tell you what

Alan: I, I. One of my objections, to the Marvel universe thing of it all ties together is I’m really happy to go see Mobius.

It’s a slice of life. It doesn’t have to be that there’s big tie-ins, right? All they did to build into the Avengers movies with the various different cameos and previews and that kind of stuff, I think it’s okay to have one shot and kinda like self-contained things instead of it all being a big river novel, it all being too connected, right?

Some people will say man I have, I, everybody must have had this thought in the comic book World. Summer shows up and this year it’s the war with Atlantis. The next year it’s the scroll secret invasion. In order to follow that, I have to buy every single annual and a whole bunch of different issues of all kinds of titles.

And I have always been a completist, so I was getting all that kind of stuff anyway. But when I looked at the stack of stuff here, let’s get on the visual that you would have to buy in order to really get this entire story. If you were just like a Daredevil fan you’re gonna have to buy 30 other things in order to see what really happened from this whole story.

I thought that was, it’s very cool for them to build big stories like that, but how much of that was driven by let’s do an epic as compared to we can do all the tie-in dollars here. And hey have special, prismatic and silver colors to go with certain issues. Oh, I have be over very much, one of the reasons I am not unhappy with having stopped buying comic books is because I could see how the.

The branding people the, we got a live audience here that are addicted. What can we do to stretch that addiction? Let’s

Stephen: not, let’s not focus and worry about the stories. Let’s focus and worry about how much money we could get from and throw some story into it. And that starts to really show sometimes.


Alan: It’s I am I really do like that. Lemme step away from that. The speed force that you mentioned never have made sense to me. Never has it made sense. I think it was Mark Wade. I’m trying to think who first came up with it. Like it, A lot of comic book things make pseudo sense. If it’s Superman came from a different gravity planet and Red Sun instead of yellow sun.

I’ll buy that. Sure. You’re solar charged and it’s in a different way. I’ve never seen a good explanation for how the speed force works, why certain people can tap into and others can’t. What the dangers of it are, what the benefits of it are. It was a way of externalize something that was super metabolism or when they’ve had the various different speedsters that were, it’s a magic thing or it’s a science thing, right?

Or it’s a, the spoken formula from Johnny Lightning. No, what is his name? It doesn’t matter. There’s been multiple ways in which you could get super quickness, if you will. And I liked all the various different tries that people made for explanations as to how that really worked. And in fact, some of the downside of it.

I remember there being an Alan Moore Swamp thing issue where they I think it was that maybe he did a little bit of Justice League or something, but they talked about how the flash lives in a world of statues. That if you are operating at that kind of mega speed and what you’re trying to do is continually slow yourself down so you can just communicate with other people so that you don’t continually phase through the floor.

You know what I mean? That you’re not just sitting there vibrating with how much power you’re continuing. I like those kinds of things. Maybe not an explanation of super speed, but the implications of it that once you’re super fast, that and I, you’ve heard me say this, a lot of my life, my brain is not the flash, but I am really good at figuring out what’s happening next in movies that I’m watching, music that I’m listening to, people that I’m talking to.

It is heartbreaking in some cases to be like, when am I gonna get where I’m just so impatient that I’m gonna go get to it. Come on. I don’t, I’ve got all the governors on because my mom and dad raised me to not as a little kid, be that jerk, be that impatient ass. That and yet I play hearts online and.

The game is just fun enough for me to think of what I’m doing, practice keeping track of cars, that kind of stuff. But the glacial pace at which people play just kills me. It really is difficult in certain contexts, certain games are like that, where it’s like, Wow, there’s four of us here at the table.

And when it’s your turn, you’re not just starting to look at it. Haven’t you been looking and thinking about what you’re gonna be doing while the other people were taking their turn and then make your turn for the love of

Stephen: God. Put that in the context for non-gamers. It’s when you have a super long line at McDonald’s and the guy in front of you is waiting for 25 minutes to get to the counter, and then they get up there and they’re like what do I want?

It’s oh my God, are you kidding me? You could have done this already. And just told them like that. But I remember dominion, which is one of my favorite games, right? And me and Colin introduced it to Gina and her kids and we played at times and. She enjoyed it, but she kept saying that we made her feel bad.

We’re like, we’re not doing anything to make you feel bad. And she’s I’m not. I’m just barely done with my turn, scooping up to get the next hand. And you guys are throwing cards down and grabbing them, and I haven’t even shuffled. It’s my turn again. And it’s that’s because we already figured out what we want.

My hand didn’t change. The cards at the table didn’t change. I know what I want. I don’t have to like, think about it when it’s my turn. It’s not a strategy game where the board shifts and changes and you may have to reevaluate on your turn. This is literally I got my cards. I know what I want.

I’m good for my next turn. And we weren’t trying to make her feel bad and we weren’t rushing her. We never, like once said, come on, hurry up and do it. That was her. But we’re like ready to go. Bam, man. If you take dominion with the base set and the initial setup, they recommend get started.

And it’s just me and Colin we start going so fast. We’re like, wait a minute. Whose turn is it? Did you go? Is it my turn? Cause we’re like throwing things down almost like real time fast.

Alan: And I’ve talked about that with all different kinds. When I, we sit down to play er, and to me it really is one of those things like, doesn’t everybody know how this is gonna go upon first looking cards?

It’s really mechanical. One out of a hundred hands is any kind of surprise. Sometimes people misplay, but otherwise with best play, it’s really pretty obvious what’s gonna be happening. Any number of games that are like that. And so I, I don’t stop playing them because a big part of it is the social aspect and so forth, right?

Absolutely. Sometimes a mismatch between like skilled and a novice or experienced an other that they even have nowadays tournaments where they say, please don’t join the tournament if what you’re looking for is a casual game, a pickup game, right? Because there’s a level of play here that’s gonna be the ex the expectation and.

You will feel bad and you’ll piss people off. You

Stephen: know what I mean? And the guys I play magic with regularly. We, we played for years and we have some of the same decks we’ve used for years and played against each other, and literally we play a lot of times we’re like I know you’re holding this, so if I play this, you’re going to play that.

We’re ma and we’re all, we all know what everyone’s playing and has, and, it’s yeah, you shouldn’t do that. That type of thing. So I really tick my friend Brian off sometimes I, I play just to literally mess, play chaos, sow seeds of chaos throughout the game.

He’s what are you playing that for? I’m like what are you gonna do about it? I gotta do this. Of course you do. Now I can play. It’s just I just, did I win? Nope. Did I like make it a more memorable game? I think so. Exactly.

Alan: It, it’s funny. I really I do well in the games because I think a lot of moves ahead and stuff like that, but I don’t think that I’m super competitive.

I want the game to be fun. I want it to be interesting, and yet because I win, Sometimes people talk about how I’m hyper competitive. It’s it’s just a different way of looking about at the game. And in fact we just, we spent time a couple weekends ago with friends where we stayed because we were wedding in Chicago and they were so kind, Michael and Christina to let us stay at their house.

Part of the the cost of staying there was that they’re big gamers and they were looking for live ones. And so Colleen and I sat down and one of the joys of playing games is that everybody’s good at different things, we played a couple deep logic games where I was, they were very good at it.

I was able to keep up, but not anywhere near as well as they, and it’s not Colleen’s kind of thing to think of five moves in advance. And so not as much fun. Then we played like Boggle and without going into it, I am like such an anagram, such a good Scrabble player, et cetera, et cetera, that I did really well.

And after a while it was like, It’s obvious that I’m, no one can catch me. It’s such an awful way to say it. You don’t say it while you’re playing. It’s just not only the volume of words I was coming up with, but the kind of words and just the kind of thing where okay you don’t just look for a word, you look for every way of adding an s or an ED or an ER or an E S T or what all the other things you do.

And I’m really good at that aspect as well. You know what I mean? All the variations extending the word, but it doesn’t make the game not fun for me and hopefully not for them. It’s more I don’t know. I love it. This is I am, I don’t think arrogant, but I’m confident in certain games that I’m good at.

And then when you bump into somebody that’s just as good as you, if not better, it’s I am so happy to have this really be a game instead of a cakewalk. You know what I mean? It’s a delight. Colleen and I are very well mashed at Scrabble, for instance. You know what I mean? Once in a while we might have to take a little bit extra time on a turn, but never so much.

The other person is tapping their, foot or something like that. But we both have big vocabularies. Good anagram ability, all that kind of stuff. Often our games are like 300 each. It’s within 10 points. It comes down to the end. Once in a while, o one of us will have an extraordinary game.

And it’s not like the other person is ab betting you, but you’re just like happy to be there. To see it happen. Yeah. To be like, How did the guy get like five bingos in a game? Easy, perfect letters and the vocabulary that lets you say, yeah, you must have heard about, in Scrabble, if you have six letters, spell out satire, and then four out of the other 22 letters, we’ll make a bingo, a seven letter word, and then it keeps happening.

I’m getting all the ss all that kind of stuff. I, without going into it I, at one point I played like antiques from triple word to triple word with the q on the double letter or the triple letter. So it was like 210 points for a play better than a bingo. You know what I mean? It really was, and I think my total for that game was something like 667.

Wow. And it really was, she wasn’t setting me up or anything like that. I’ll never have a game like that again, but just she was, after a while you’re like punchy with I’m so sorry, but I got another one. I can’t play it. You know what I mean? And it’s every time that you play it, because they’re long words, you then leave all those possibilities for the next thing.

And so if you can hook you in any way, it just was. Bam. Bam. While it’s going on. The fact that was one game out of a thousand, it was like, but I was there for it. I love not only to see it happen, but God, I was getting the tiles. How cool is

Stephen: this? Yes. And there are times, there are games that I definitely will not pull out if I know the people I’m with aren’t big gamers.

There’s just some games that are too many rules and complications and too strategic that if you know you haven’t played game to the party Exactly. To the people. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. And that’s why there’s a lot of great party games. That’s why. Cards against humanity and apples to apples is so popular.

And things like Forbidden Island work well because it’s look, or pandemic. I love playing pandemic. I introduced that to people that aren’t big gamers.

Alan: Everybody’s in, on every turn. Everybody matters. Yeah. There’s no expertise. There’s a certain amount of you can talk things through.

It’s yeah, that would work. I love that.

Stephen: Yeah. And if I do something really well, it’s to benefit you. I can’t play in a vacuum because then we’ll all lose and it’s, all lose or all win. And I know a lot of people like that. But, so I gotta tell you I have a problem and I need stopped.

I need something. So I, a while back, I was talking about the DC deck builder that I won the kickstart not one, but I got the Kickstarter with, million Things. Yes. Oh, variations. Sorry. Yeah. We’ve played it a bunch. Love it. I’m having so much fun. My buddy Brian. Who’s one of those?

He likes certain games, certain ways. There was one set he didn’t like because it, it made it too difficult. There were too many things taking away from the power of his hand. It’s he did not care for that whatsoever. I thought it was cool cuz it changes. It makes it different. Yeah. I’m playing the same game, but with a whole different strategy.

It keeps it alive. A while back, I I’ve been wanting the Firefly game and it’s been out of print. They have eight or nine expansions and as at Barnes and Noble and they had the fire Firefly game with an extra bit of stuff for a fifth person, a few extra story cards and things like that.

And I’m like, cool. I love Firefly. I’ve wanted this game to find some people to play with. I’m gonna spend the money, at Barnes and Noble before. Totally. Cuz I wait another year. Nobody may have it. And then I’m stuck trying to find it on eBay and, oh look, now it’s $80 or something. All you

Alan: have to do is have that happen once there’s something you really wanted and you let it go and then when you go back it’s gone. And then you never see it again. Exactly. You don’t see

Stephen: it. Exactly right. So I got the game I’m like, okay, cool, now I’ve got it. And then two weeks ago, I’m scrolling through Facebook, which is a dangerous activity, and because the AI know what I like and I’m scrolling, I’m like, wait, what was that?

Oh look, the company is now celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Firefly game, and they’re remastering it and re-releasing it as a, it’s game found instead of Kickstarter. But it’s every expansion and they have stretch goals, so they add new things to explore new pieces and new car. Oh, man I’m just doomed.

No, I, and I couldn’t get the base game. I already owned the base game. I needed those expansions. I’ve got that coming. Merry Christmas to me.

Alan: A actually, see, isn’t that cool though, like we’ve talked about before, there’s like game sites, like good old games gog, and wow, certain things I’ve always thought I’d love to be able to try that again.

But it’s five generations old and yet somebody does the labor of love to make Ultima three work again. Yeah. You know what I mean? Final Fantasy now it’s isn’t it waist

Stephen: plan 14 or

Alan: something like that. And they, the fact that these things continue, it doesn’t compare in terms of graphics and that kinda stuff, but the game play back then was good.

And I really love the fact that there are still. Things that there’s labors of love that people will keep those things going. Yeah. We issue them with new stuff, whenever they put out new music, it’s we scraped the the vaults a little bit and so here’s a couple extra queen tracks.

King Crimson tracks, Marion tracks. It’s oh, I am a sucker for this. Why do you

Stephen: do this to me? Five, this 12 album box set? Because we have one new interview and two new songs that weren’t released before.

Alan: See, I tend not to do that. I don’t let myself get totally juiced by getting next to nothing for your money that you don’t already have.

But what, when I have a big LP collection and then I started to collect CDs when they started putting out CD box sets. And it wasn’t just reissues of stuff I already had, it was the first one I bought was a JETRO tall box set that was live performances. Rarities u Unreleased,

Stephen: b p c, recording.

Alan: Oh yeah.

That kinda stuff. It’s I can get like 30 songs. I don’t have I gotta get this. And then once the dam breaks, then I started to get all kinds of box sets back in Chicago. Like you could go to Tower Records and Rolling Stone records, and they carried ’em all and it’s wow. It was back then you didn’t get, just get the music.

The other thing they would do is they’d have the little booklet that was Here’s photos and the Libretto, all the lyrics, right? All the stories from the band members. So that’s a cool additional thing that you don’t get otherwise. And then, Once you start to get all those kinds of things, it’s I don’t want to just listen to the death rot rarities.

I’m really missing now that I’m doing CDs, I gotta get a couple CDs so I have Aqua Lung to listen to whenever I want and thick as a brick and et cetera, et cetera. And then the damn really broke. And now I think I have everything the few things that I only have on lp, cuz it’s never been reissued, or at least I’ve never found it.

They’re few and far between, but I got a wall of CDs and that’s even in the face of the world is now all digital. You can go out and get things on Spotify and Apple Music where you don’t have to buy anything except listen to it. Or you can buy things for a dollar or two and improve your collection.

Yeah. I instead have. Ripped every, ripped Yeah. Digitized everything. And I just, it’s, once you have that convenience of you’re on your computer and you got pretty good speakers attached to the computer, I used to have a wonderful stereo system with the big speakers floating in the corner so that they filled the room with sound.

And that guy is very dusty now. I haven’t listened to anything. I’m just a dedicated stereo in a long time.

Stephen: Yeah. Time. Yeah, you’re right. I haven’t either. My kids, I got them boomboxes when they were like 10, and at first they were like, why don’t we go do with this? They, they couldn’t fathom it, but, My son just told me the other day, he’s you know what, that was like one of the best gifts ever.

I use that thing all the time.

Alan: Yeah, I, I was out in the storage locker cataloging all my comic books. There’s no source of power there. It’s battery only. Luckily I have a boombox that takes batteries. So I’ve got my rechargeable batteries and I got, CD sets that I would go out there like today it’s gonna be cat Stevens and you just listen to the, for the hours that you’re out there, all a bunch of Cat Stevens come home, trade it for something else.

It’s gonna be Huey Lewis in the news or whatever else. And just that, making it portable so that you don’t have to have a wallet an outlet to plug into. It’s really worked out well in certain specific things. Can’t play a at the beach or something like that. You can play this like impossible to hurt thing.

I don’t wanna have my. Phone out where saying grit in it. You know what I mean? Where bot runs easily,

Stephen: Speaking of games this past weekend I went down to Columbus to Origins Game Fair, which

Alan: for Origins, which is, the longest running that and GenCon are Gen Con.

Yeah. They’re the biggest

Stephen: game shows. Yeah. And I’d never been down there. Okay. But I really wanted to go here. Here’s the backstory of why I wanted to go. So a couple years ago, my buddy Jay, author friend up in Cleveland, he was having a conference out in Colorado and I signed up for it. And another author I don’t know if you’ve heard of Drafted Digital.

It’s a distributor of books, independent authors sign up and you get your books distributed to 27 different stores just in one place to consolidate. Yeah. And Mark Lafe goes by Mark Leslie Lafe for writer. He is part of Drafted Digital. He’s one of the heads of the company now, and he had been on my podcast and he was also going to do a talk out at Jay’s conference in Colorado.

And I know. That Mark likes Rush. He’s Canadian, and he wrote a short story for a rush anthology. Okay. And I said, Hey Mark, I hear you’re going to be talking at Jay’s conference. I’m gonna be out there. We should, go out for a drink or something sometime. He goes, yes, that would be great.

He’s I’ll ask my friend Kevin to come. Sure. Ask your friend Kevin. That’d be great. He’s cool. And I’m like, is he a writer? What’s he do? He says, oh, it’s Kevin J. Anderson. And I’m like, what, Kevin? Really? Yes. I, you need me to pay for tickets or something? I will get, I was like, yes, because I love me.

You like his works. That’s very cool. Yeah. I love meeting people when it’s a signing event or it’s a con or something like that, but. There’s also a thousand other people doing that, and they don’t remember people. It, those, and you have

Alan: seconds. They’re really polite. Give ’em 20 seconds, move on

Stephen: mode.


Alan: A chat while having a drink

Stephen: or two. How many and better Mark was going to bring that bat down, some rush beer and I’m like, oh my God. How much better could that be? Sitting in a pub with Kevin J. Anderson and Mark LaFave drinking Rush beer. Nothing. I was actually going to take my Clockwork Angels comic and have Kevin sign it, but I was going to put it on the table and put my beer on it so it’d have a watermark stain because who has a comic that was sitting on the table while you were drinking beer with Kevin?

I can prove that

Alan: this

Stephen: was the beer. Yes. Way better than having a 9.8 cgc. I’ll tell you. Let me, but that all fell through the, okay. The whole thing got canceled and I was very disappointed. So I found out Kevin J. Anderson was gonna be down at Origins. At Origins this weekend. And I’m like, okay, he’s two hours away.

I can’t. Not go, I mean it, my next chance is Houston, Texas in November, so I could drive down and see him and that’d be great. So I did and he was wonderful and great. His wife Rebecca was there. And I have some Star Wars books that they co-wrote, so I got both of them to sign a couple of those.

Talked to him a bit. He was friends with Neil Pier. They co-wrote The Clockwork Angels. Ok. And the third book in that series just came out and he said, it’s tough for me because I had to write this one without Neil at all. Without Neil. Exactly. Yeah. And the, they had a copy of the first book for sale hardback signed by Neil and Kevin, but it was $600.

And I’m looking at it going, I don’t need to eat and I don’t have to pay my editor for my next book right away. Exactly. Okay. Yeah. I was like so tempted. Seriously, there will never be another chance probably for me to get a book signed by Kevin and Neil, both and Neil, you know I hear you.

But I was like, it’s gonna sit on a shelf. I’ve got a. Reproduction copy of Dracula coming from Daker Stoker. Okay. And that was almost 300 bucks. So I’m like, can I really fathom 200 or a thousand dollars for two books in one year? I don’t know about

Alan: that. Yeah. I must admit I have very few things like prominence type stuff like that where I paid for the signature.

I’ve had things where I got ’em signed at conventions or, but I, when they have, nowadays, C G C sponsors all these various different events where they actually have, we’re gonna send in 500 books, a thousand books to a particular writer or artist. Sign them all and send them back.

And somehow that. It takes away the magic of, I got a sign because I talked to the guy, we shook hands. Exactly. I told him my formative story of how I really love your art Jean Colon, because you wrote this, you, you drew this issue of daredevil that, et cetera, et cetera. So it means way more.

I know it means money, you know what I mean? I know that it really is good to have those kinds of things by luck. In fact, another thing that I often do is when I’ve had things, remember we were visited with Pete Craig Russell, and I feel obligated to say to people, I promise that this isn’t gonna be on eBay as soon as I get home.

I’m getting, because I’m happy to meet you and I want to have this cool little interaction. You know what I mean? Your silver pen is. Such a cool thing to have. Like anybody else who knows comics, if they see this, I want them to say, oh man, you met Pete, Craig Russell. It’s I

Stephen: really did. I didn’t see, and you didn’t just meet him, you were standing around talking to him for a couple hours.

A couple hours,

Alan: exactly. That, so just that it became a story. I liked the stories behind things. We just, I had a friend post Where we had Bruce Springsteen at the assembly hall in Champaign Band in 1981, so that’s 40 years ago. We worked a group called Star Course and we worked backstage and one of those things where it’s like he was just so decent.

The entire East Street band was so decent. I got my copy of Darkness on the Edge of Town signed. I think he was touring in support of the River, but I had, ba past albums that he I don’t wanna just show you that I got the most current one. I wanted to go all the way back to Greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey.

But I like, I didn’t wanna seem oh, now I’m the stalker fan either. Having said all that, it’s just so nice that was a great story that Reid and I could both share. Reid Engal, guy, he was like our tickets guy for Star course. And that’s, I always thought if ever I write like the memoir of my life, The fact that I’ve been a collector, all of those things are gonna like trigger story after story.

They all have those little associations and I’m just happy that maybe it’s been weird to accumulate all this stuff, storage lockers full of stuff, but there really are so many things that don’t just have the book. I remember getting this book at the Chicago Comic-Con where the air conditioning failed and then with paper and you’re like, my God, I don’t want to touch things with my sweaty fingers.

I gotta be careful, but I don’t hear anybody’s merchandise and I don’t want anybody to, you know what I mean? Yeah. To make the story out of it, that’s absolutely

Stephen: Oh so yeah, origins I’m like, man, I really gotta go back next year for way longer. Cuz there’s so many play tests that were going on.

There’s so many people just putting up a sign, Hey, we need a player. Stop in and play. It’s like a RG or an ag and I’m like, ah,

Alan: I never been in decades. I used to be a regular, a GenCon when it was in Milwaukee. And then First India and stuff like that. And it’s one of those things that. Because it’s something I don’t share with Colleen.

She’s nowhere near the gamer than I am, and so it’ll be just like I’ve escaped for a pinball weekend or something like that. I’ll have to keep track of an escape and just say, Pook, let me go be a total geek for three days. It’ll be $500 for a hotel plus pizza, plus, that kind of stuff.

And yet, There’s nothing I wanna do with 500 more than Yeah. You,

Stephen: You didn’t mention to her all the money that have you spent on all the cool games that you’re discovering at the no,

Alan: that, that comes from the secret slush fund that I maintained. No,

Stephen: but to be honest there, there were.

Not every single booth was selling stuff. A lot of them really were play tests or showing their new stuff, but not a big store to sell. Yeah. So it really was, you could get, go around and talk and stuff without feeling pressured into buying something or that they were only trying to sell you. I ran into Jacob Way from Deep Water Gaming, who I’ve had him on my podcast.

And they have monstrosity and I’m taking that to the rg for Pen Pennsylvania to test out and give him a little review and stuff on that. Very cool. And then,

Alan: I really thinking about doing that one, by the way, we haven’t been at Pittsburgh in a long time too, because we’ve always had that Labor Day was family stuff going on.

And now that we’re both gonna be retired and it isn’t, we, if we might not be able to make it for the entire thing, but just like Friday, Saturday with Benson’s would be wonderful. I. Doesn’t matter. Whatever part we can make it, it’s so close. It’s an hour and a half down the road,

Stephen: I’ve, I’m, I am probably gonna be super busy that I wanna play a lot of games.

Shout out to Amber, a friend that lives up in Akron cuz she got, she’s, I saw she’s with this game group and they’re meeting at the Green Dragon in Akron like every Thursday. So I’m like exactly that. I gotta start making it. But I’m, let’s see, I’m doing an author panel on Saturday and I’m gonna have some amazing.

Authors. I’ve got Bill, who’s, published traditionally and he’s been around the industry forever. But then I’ve got this 10 year old kid who wrote a book and all the money is going to charity. And then there’s this like 74 year old grandmother who writes poetry and decided to start publishing them.

And then there’s a few of us in between that. I’m like, wow. I’m like the least interesting author on this whole panel. You

Alan: know, the fact that you know all those people and can be the nexus that brings it all together. That’s wonderful. That’s

Stephen: really cool. It’s cool. My buddy Reese is going to come down and give a horror talk.

The same one he did up at Cleveland. I convinced him to come and do that. I’m thinking of doing a a talk, and this is personal. I wanna do a talk on. Trading card games and living card games and deck builders and how they’re similar, how they’re different and the great things about ’em, just because I wanna see who’s interested, so I know who to bug to play those games with me for the weekend.

Alan: Exactly. Sometimes the reason to do a talk is to find your tribe. Yeah. And then say let’s not just have this hour together, let’s make an association. Exactly.

Stephen: Very good. Okay. So it’s gonna be a busy, fun weekend. Colin’s coming. Okay.

Alan: Are you gonna be at the ag? I think not. Are you going to the AG in Baltimore?

Stephen: No. Not I was thinking about it originally and I was actually gonna try and do my talk there. But with some of the stuff that was happening at signup times and stuff, I’m skipping that. I really wanna get back to it. So I’m hoping next year maybe to give it a try again.

Alan: Exactly Colleen, Ken, that’s, the week after Colleen is retired and so we’re gonna go there and have a lot of fun.

We, John Waters is the gala dinner speaker and we are both big fans of his, so I’m really looking forward to seeing, especially him with Manson’s. It’s gonna be very fun to see this brilliant, odd guy dealing with a whole bunch of brilliant, odd people and we’ll see what happens with that. Nice.

Baltimore’s cool to explore. Let’s go see po let’s go. You know what I mean? Where there’ll be fireworks. It’s always a nice time, so yeah. Yeah. Go there and be in a very relaxed mode. I had no role this year instead of being, I’ve been on the Ag committees multiple times in the past, and it’ll be really nice to just show up and see our friends and stuff like that.

And game and relax. Yeah. Talk late at night yes. Okay. Alright thanks as all for Ready today. We have, we had some catching up to do and actually having said that, the ag start, like the colloquium is on Tuesday of next week. And that’s a whole day and can’t easily get away from an event.

And then, as opposed to taking a break from the ag, I think let’s take next week off if that’s okay. And then I’ll have a lot to say on the following

Stephen: week. Good. We’ve got a couple of shows backlogged anyway so it work for fine. And if anybody, the people that really care would probably be at the ag anyway, I would hope.

Exactly. Alright man.


Alan: you later. All pleasure. Okay, bye-Bye.