The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 7

It’s been a week and a half, can I get used to this already?  Come on, this is stupid.

My normal-life telecommuting day is Thursday.  New episodes of Star Trek Picard come out on Thursdays.

A few minutes ago I was shaving… why?  I don’t know.  As I was shaving I thought to my idiot self, I’m working from home today so there is a new Star Trek Picard to watch before work.  Sweet!

Wrong.

It’s Wednesday.  It’s my eighth consecutive telecommuting day.  Why the hell can’t I stop thinking every single effing day is Thursday?  Brain, would you get on this please?  I’m tired of being disappointed over no new Picard every single solitary day!  Enough already!

And what the hell am I gonna do when Picard is over?  I should have three more weeks of The Walking Dead followed by the premier of the new spin off.  Wrong.  It’s two more weeks and then nothing.  The season finale of The Walking Dead isn’t finished and it won’t be until after this all clears up.  It has been delayed indefinitely.  The new series is also still in post production so they are pushing that off indefinitely too.  Same with (at least some) of the CW DC Comics shows.  The final episodes are being delayed until it’s all over.  Bloody hell!

That’s all right though, our schmuck of a president say’s all of the restrictions will be lifted by Easter.  He said it would be so great to see all of the churches full.  When I heard that I realized what his goal was.  He doesn’t want to be remembered as a nazi.  He wants to be remembered as a great nazi.  Therefore he is going to arrange for the death of millions of Americans.  He’s going to go down in history as the first great mass murderer of the 21st century.  Why should hitler have all the fun, right?

Our president is evil.  He’s going out of his way to demonstrate it each and every day.

Okay, so this goofy post about feeling stir crazy got a little heavy right there.  It’s okay.  It needed to be said.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 3

I just finished season two of Star Trek Discovery.

Ever since I became a step father I have found that I often get overly emotional while watching things that never would have touched me before.  I start crying like a little baby at the oddest things.  More often than not it’s during scenes that involve difficult family moments, more often than not involving parents and little kids.

Most of these episodes happen in the obvious places.  The filmmakers push a button and I respond.  The first season of This is Us was utter hell for me.  I shed so many tears it left me dehydrated for months.  The last scene that Ned and Jon have together in like episode two of Game of Thrones.  On first watch it was a nothing moment.  On a re-watch years later it destroyed me.  Military stuff is really hard to get through.  The opening 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan on first watch was spectacular.  On second watch, now as a married man with two step kids, turned me into a gigantic puddle of emotional goo.  Some things effect me in huge ways when they absolutely should not.  The one I can’t get over is from Wonder Woman.  Yeah, Wonder Woman.  The scene where she jumps out of the trench and crosses no man’s land?  I ball my dumb stupid eyes out.  Every time I see it I completely lose my shit.  Why?  It’s a super hero movie for goodness sake.  It’s a Greek Goddess fighting a bunch of normal people.  Why does it wreck me so?

Well… Star Trek Discovery.  It happened again.  There is a goodbye scene in the last episode.  I literally had to turn away to keep my eyes from leaking like a leaky faucet.  Why did this stupid show mess me up like this?  What is it about the world around me that allows me to be effected like this?

Oh yeah… the world around me… that might be it.  I wonder if being at 99% of my maximum allowed stress level for 24 hours a day for over a week might have left me vulnerable to an emotional unglueing?

Yeah… I wonder.

As for the show?  Season one was really good.  Season two… awesome.  Star Trek Picard is a mystery show.  It’s a whodunit, where you’re trying to put the pieces together.  Discovery has elements of that, but it’s basically just an action/adventure/blow shit up kinda thing and it is just sooo good.

Fight the stir crazy, watch Star Trek.  You’ll thank me, even if you do fall apart like a baby near the end of the last episode.

No School for Me

I tried signing up for a wordpress.com Blogging University course last night.  Nothing happened.  I tried again today using Chrome because maybe it had something to do with click functions in Vivaldi.  Nope.  Same nothing as before.

I was going to have veggie burgers for lunch today but I bought a different brand this week and they need to defrost.  I don’t have time for that.  Crud.  I bought a package of veggie (imitation) chicken nuggets too.  Maybe I’ll have some of those.  Maybe I’ll just make a chicken sandwich and pass on the veggie meal of the week for now.

Senator Warren dropped out of the Democratic Presidential primary today.  If you didn’t see that coming then you weren’t paying attention.  The thing I didn’t see coming was her not running the table.  I really thought she would be the one.  Now I’m looking at Senator Sanders and thinking Senator Warren would be a really good running mate.  Probably not though.  Ideologically they are too similar.  I don’t know.  Maybe if Biden tagged her as his VP it would be a better mix?  I don’t want to have to vote for Biden.  I absolutely will, but I don’t want to.  I really don’t want to vote for Sanders either.  I will, but I don’t want to.  Warren was my choice from day one.  Hell, I wanted Warren to run in 2016.  Oh well.  I guess she has to go back to kicking fascist ass in what’s left of the US Senate.

A new episode of Star Trek Picard came out today.  I watched it before work.  I was hoping the Troi-Riker family would have had an easier go of things, but it was nice to see them.  Have I mentioned this show is fantastic?  I am pretty sure I have.

Apparently there was a suicide at Disney World yesterday.  Some one allegedly jumped from an undisclosed location at the Contemporary resort.  I’m glad this didn’t happen when we were there, though there was an incident during our stay.  We had gone out for something one evening and when we returned there were insanely well armed cops stopping everyone at the entrance to the Yacht Club driveway.  Our Lyft driver was stopped and asked if she had received any threats that day.  No, she hadn’t.  It turned out that the Yacht Club/Beach Club area was on lock down while we were out.  As we were going into the lobby I asked a staff member if anything was up.  He had no clue, or at least he told me he had no clue.

We found out the details the next day and it was all nothing.  There was a report of a suspicious, armed individual wandering around the Beach Club parking lot and everything was locked down as a result.  It turned out that the suspicious, armed individual was neither suspicious nor armed and it was all an overreaction.  I wonder what he was doing to scare whomever reported him.  According to the news it was nothing at all.

Fortunately our stay at the Yacht club was undisturbed, apart from having our Lyft stopped, of course.
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Could I Be That Dumb Again?

In March of 2014, after finishing my February RPM album, I started an album-in-a-month thing.  I didn’t finish.  In April I started another one, even though March was still out there.  I didn’t finish that one either.  In May I finished both March and April.  In June I started another one and finished it (yay).  In July, August, and September I did the 50 songs in 90 days challenge, and in the process completed an album-in-a-month each month.  In October I took a break and did half an album-in-a-month.  In November I did NaSoAlMo… an album-in-a-month.  In December I started one but somehow lost more than half of my GarageBand files and ended up with a little less than half an album-in-a-month.

So… when I woke up this morning, a telecommute day, I looked over at the corner of my room where all of my gear is still set up and thought to myself…

Could I be that dumb again?

I don’t know.  Maybe.  First I have a new episode of Star Trek Picard to watch.  Priorities, kids… priorities.

Projects

March kinda sucks.

I go through this every year.  I finish my February music projects and then feel this gaping hole in the universe during March.  From reading blogs and forum posts on rpmchallenge.com I’m clearly not alone in feeling this way.

So what to do?

A few months ago I was working on a way to add the rest of my old myspace blog to this site.  I started up on that again last night.  WordPress.com is able to back date posts but it’s a royal pain in the ass to go back to 2007 and 2008.  Instead, I created a Blogger account and I’ve been posting back dated entries there.  Once I have them all I’ll export them to an .xml file and import them here.  That should work fine.  The myspace blog covered pretty much all of 2006 through November 2008.  I had pulled all of 2006 into my previous wordpress.com site so those are all here already.  As of last night the Blogger page has almost all of 2007.  I think I have about 75 more posts to go.

I’m still going with my Flickr photo-a-day project.  It suddenly feels difficult though.  It was easy last month.  There was always music happening so I could take pics of that, and Disney made things even easier.  Now?  What the hell do I take pictures of now?  Where’s the cat when I need her?

Back in January Jen and I did a tutorial for a javascript extension (I think that’s the right way to describe it… a scripting language built on top of javascript).  It was fun and interesting but my javascript knowledge is ancient and more or less nil at this point.  I thought I might have gotten more out of it if I did a javascript tutorial first.  I would like to try something like that in the coming weeks.  I would like to be a better all around programmer than I am right now.  My company’s development tools and programming languages are proprietary, so even if I’m firing on all cylinders at work it doesn’t really extend to the rest of the world.

Years ago I found a set of wordpress.com tutorials called Blogging University.  There are various beginner and intermediate level courses to help you get the most out of your wordpress.com experience.  There were classes for customization, writing, photography, and interacting with other blogs.  I might give some of those a try again, just for schnitzengiggles.  If I remember correctly they were mostly prompts.  Things like, today you should write a better About page, or today you should take a picture of water.  Stuff like that.  The photo stuff would be fine to redo, as I just said I’m always looking for ideas for photo-a-day.  The basic blogging stuff is probably too simple for this page, but there is always the lizardfishmusic.com page.  I could make some changes there.  I don’t think I’ve made any changes to the layout there since I first created it.  Maybe a face lift would be fun?

Exercising should be an obvious target for new projects.  I had a really bad night Weight Watchers wise last night and I’m feeling a little crummy about myself today.  I got home from work and just started shoveling food into my face and I really didn’t stop until I fell asleep.  I need to be better than that.  The gym might help in that regard, or at least minimize the damage of any future bad days.  Right now I am having a problem with one of my feet (again).  My right foot feels a little swollen and it hurts to walk.  It’s not the same thing I had a month or so ago, and it’s not nearly as bad, but it is slowing me down right now.  Once that eases up I need to get back to the gym, and I need to get into a regular routine.

There is always more music to record, and more songs to learn for Lizardfish, and more practicing in general to do.  Just because February is over doesn’t mean I can stop playing.  I was doing pretty well with finding time to practice back in January.  I need to keep up with it.  I’m tired of feeling like the weak link in the band.  I’m also thinking of trying something new gear wise.  I want to try to run a two amp rig in the band, but most of the amps I have now are way too powerful and if I paired them up I’d be unable to not drown out the rest of the band during rehearsals.  I keep looking at my 15 watt Fender Bassbreaker as the solution.  If I could pair that with another lowish watt amp that could work.  I am thinking about going to Guitar Center to inquire about trading my Fender Stratocaster in for a Vox AC15.  I think that might be the key to making it all work.  A Fender Princeton reissue could do it, but it’s only a 10 inch speaker and I’d prefer to stick to 12 inch speakers if I can.  I just like them better.  We’ll see.

Should I start looking into using in-ear monitors?  One of the guys in the band uses them.  One of the hosts of the Gig Gab podcast swears by them.  So much so that he’s always inspiring the other host to try them, even though he has a hard time with them.  I don’t really want to spend money on it, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to be mic’ing the room during rehearsals and I always wear ear plugs anyway.  Is it time?  I’m trying to decide.  I’m definitely on the fence.  We’ll see.

I was hoping that by this point in 2020 I would be able to do something to help out with the Warren for President campaign.  I guess that isn’t going to happen.  At least it seems highly unlikely now.  I can get behind Bernie Sanders, but the idea of a candidate in his late 70’s who has already suffered a heart attack during this campaign is a little depressing.  Platform wise I can 100% get on board.  Human wise… ugh.  As for Joe Biden.  He’s a great guy and I love him to pieces, but he’s literally my last choice of all of the candidates we’ve had.  Dead last.  Yet another guy in his late 70’s but this time one who just feels like a frat boy who got lucky.  He just seems a little too dumb ass for the oval office, and we already have a total dumb ass in the office now.  If he ends up with the nomination he’ll get 100% of my support… I was just hoping the rest of the country would jump on the Warren bandwagon, that’s all.  Yet another reason to feel let down by my fellow Americans.

There are a crap ton of TV shows that I want to watch.  February has resulted in me falling way behind on all of the CW super hero shows that I like to watch.  I’m like two months behind on The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman.  I’ve been trying to get caught up on Star Trek Discovery.  Season two is really good, I just haven’t had time to power through.  The last season of Star Wars The Clone Wars is either about to come out or has just recently come out.  I wanted to binge the whole series before I watched the new season but… Jar Jar… he kinda killed my interest in that.  I want to finish season two of You even though it’s definitely meh.  I want to watch Lock and Key and The Expanse and I still want to get back into Breaking Bad and Preacher.  I’ve started both of them, but just haven’t been able to keep going.  I’m not sure why, the are both good.  I’m caught up on The Walking Dead, and the second spin off is just a month or so away.  One show that I did not fall behind on in February is Star Trek Picard.  It is so good.  Just, so very good.  I wish it was going to be a 25 episode season instead of 10 (I think it’s just going to be 10).  I don’t want it to end… ever.

I’m sure there are other projects I can come up with that are just there for fun and a sense of creative accomplishment.  If we get lucky and Spring actually gets here there are always day trips up to the mountains that I can drag my beloved Mrs to.  There are so many waterfalls, and so many scenic views up there.  They are all just sitting there, waiting for me and Jen and my camera to come and visit.

There’s also always Disney World.  Or Disneyland.  Or Euro-Disney, if that’s even still a thing.  I’d say Tokyo Disney too but I have a co-worker who was supposed to go there next week and he told me it’s closed due to some global pandemic* thing.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

On an unrelated note, I am trying a new browser again.  The same podcast that inspired me to try Brave has inspired me to try Vivaldi.  This post is the first thing I’ve done with it.  Isn’t that exciting?  I’m just glad that the Last Pass plug in for Chrome works in Vivaldi too.  That makes life a tiny bit easier.

 

*Go wash your hands.  Seriously.

Prep Work for Picard Episode One

The powers that be behind the scenes of the new Star Trek Picard claim that this show will not be Star Trek The Next Generation The Next Generation.  It’s going to be its own independent thing.  I can see where they are coming from with that, but at the same time it’s a character that existed through seven seasons of broadcast TV and four feature length movies.  He also made cameos in a couple of other Star Trek series as well.  In other words, the dude has history.

In post from a couple of days ago I mentioned that there are a few newly released items that serve as a sort of prequel to the new show.  There is the comic book series (two of three have been issued so far) called Star Trek Picard – Countdown, and there is an 8-9 minute episode of Star Trek Short Treks called Children of Mars.

Now that we have episode one of Picard we can look back to a few more things that could serve as prep work for the new series.  Two Next Generation Episodes and one movie.

First, there is an episode called The Measure of a Man, season two episode nine.  In this episode Commander Data is effectively put on trial to determine if Star Fleet should give him the same rights afforded to a life form, or if he should be considered property.

Second is an episode called The Offspring, season three episode 16, in which a bunch of punk rockers need to keep them separated even though they are pretty fly for a white guy.  No, that was a crappy band.  In the episode, Commander Data tries to create a child.

Finally, there are connections in the new episode to the final Next Generation movie, Nemesis.  In that movie Data does a ton of stuff and there are lots of Romulans.  It’s also the movie that was meh enough to pretty much kill the franchise in its tracks.  I think I have only seen it once and if my memory serves it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that good either.

While it is nerdishly awesome to be able to connect the dots between the old show and the new show like this, you don’t actually need to see any of the old stuff to follow what’s happening in the new stuff.  Picard episode one will give you any information you need from the old stories so you aren’t missing out on anything.

Still, if there is one thing Star Trek is good at, it is building up the universe.  This is just more evidence of that.

Now, given that my last 2300 posts have all dealt at least in part with the new show, you might have pieced together the fact that I am really, really excited about this.  Almost as excited as I was for Star Wars episode IX, though nothing will ever touch the hype I felt for that.  Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to episode two next week.

I’ve Seen It, Carry On

Okay everyone, I have seen the first episode of Star Trek Picard.  You don’t have to worry about spoilers around me anymore, I am up to speed.

How was it?  Episode one is better than episode one of The Manalorian.  It’s not even close.  I am completely, 100%, totally hooked.  Give me the next episode right now.

Right.  Now.

On an unrelated note, the NHL All Stars Skills Competition is on the tube right now.  In all my years of following hockey there has never been an all star game that wasn’t stupid.  When they started doing the skills competition is was a breath of fresh air.  The players clearly loved it, it was fun, it was exciting, it was infinitely better than the stupid all star game itself.

I haven’t watched a skills competition in a few years.  When did this become even more boring than the game?  I mean this thing is oppressively boring.  It is soul crushingly, disturbingly, boring.  The 3-on-3 women’s game is just starting and that should kick things up a notch, but the skills competition itself is just awful.  It is maximum snooze.

Panic Level: Rising

I HAVE A GIG IN EIGHT DAYS!!!!  SWEET CHRISTMAS, I HAVE A GIG IN EIGHT DAYS!!!!

IAmNotReadyIAmNotReadyIAmNotReadyIAmNotReadyIAmNotReadyIAmNotReady

Here’s a bit of symbolism to demonstrate how I feel right now:

Yesterday I ordered some packs of guitar strings from Amazon.  I also ordered a little musician’s exercise tool.  It’s kind of like one of those things that you squeeze with your hand but instead of squeezing one thing you have four, one for each finger.  I was planning to spend the last week or so before the gig working out like a mad man in the hopes of not having the same problems I had back in November.

When I placed the order the estimated delivery date was 1/27.  When the order was processed the delivery date was changed to between 1/27 and 2/3… two days after the gig.  Yup, that sums up my current state perfectly.

Now that I’ve vented about that, let’s get back to Picard.  I found out this morning that there are a couple of prequel sort of things out there.  Tie in’s might be a better term.  The first is a three issue comic series called Star Trek Picard – Countdown.  I started my lunch break by reading it… well, reading 2/3 of it because issue #3 doesn’t come out until next week.  Admiral Picard, Romulans, and a predicted super nova.  Enough said.

There is another tie in too.  On CBS All Access there is a series called Star Trek Short Treks (I think… that’s the name, isn’t it?).  I was looking at it yesterday but I didn’t watch any of them.  Turns out the most recent episode, titled Children of Mars (again, I think) is somehow related to the new series.  It’s 8-9 minutes long so I watched that too.  Two school aged girls, both of whose parents work on Mars, are having a really crappy day at school and they really don’t like each other.  No spoilers, but it telegraphs the ending pretty clearly and it still hit Mr Overly Emotional in the feels.  I should also state that this clip proves that Peter Gabriel is literally timeless.  David Bowie too, but mostly Peter Gabriel.  If I were the director I probably would have passed on Gabriel’s cover of Bowie’s Heroes in favor of Genesis’ Return of the Giant Hogweed, but that’s just me.  Heroes made more sense in terms of the story but it doesn’t have an awesome riff like Hogweed does.  Again, just me.

Speaking of Genesis, apparently Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Phil Collins were seen together at a NY Knicks game the other day.  80’s Genesis reunion confirmed?  What else could it mean?  I’m sure Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett were around too.  Were the Islanders playing that night?  Maybe they were there instead?  I’m sure we can count on a full reunion any day now.  The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway rides again?

Damn… I need to practice.

Picard Part III

This is the bummer part of the story.  Play some really sad music while you read this one, okay?

Harry just came home from work.  He had a Calculus mid-term and a Spanish mid-term and then he worked a full shift at the restaurant.  The man is beat.  He just wants to watch a Disney cartoon or two and then pass out from exhaustion.

Which means we’re not watching Picard tonight.

(Robert wipes away a tear)

Even worse… this weekend is a dad weekend, not a mom weekend.  That means I’ll see him when he wakes up tomorrow, but we won’t get to hang out again until Wednesday.

Wednesday.

(Robert wipes away a second, larger tear)

That means he’ll watch episode one with dad, and I’ll watch episode one tomorrow night while I’m at my mother’s house, nana-sitting.

(Robert is full blown balling his eyes out now.  Turn up the volume on the sad song)

It’s okay though.  We’ll watch episode two together next week.  I’ll just hold on to that.  I was looking forward to watching the new show with him.  We only got a couple of Mandalorians together, but I was hoping for a little more shared experience with Captain Picard.

We’ll always have episode two… I hope.