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.

I Should Have Known That One

In last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead there is a scene (no spoilers) where Eugene is talking over the short wave radio.  He is trying to find a record to play a song to whoever he is talking to and he can’t find it.

I now know why he couldn’t find it.

The song was published in 2010… there is no way it would have been released on vinyl.  C’mon guys, you should have thought that through.

(okay, at this point I realize that I am not sure that he was digging through vinyl.  I just assumed that but he might have been digging through CDs.  I have to watch again to verify)

Worse than that?  Later in the show he sings the song and I didn’t recognize it.  I can’t say for sure, but I doubt I’d ever heard it before… but there is a chance I might have actually seen the band who wrote it do it live.

It was an Iron Maiden song.  It’s not from a record I really know at all, but I still should have freakin’ known it was an Iron Freakin’ Maiden song!  I am such a tool!

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.

Mind Blown: TV Edition

I’ve been watching The Walking Dead pretty religiously since season three.  They are in the middle of season 10 now and the show is so good it’s unbelievable.  There were some lean years quality wise, but right now it’s absolutely stellar.

We started watching This is Us not long after it first aired.  It’s probably the best straight drama I’ve ever seen on television.  Game of Thrones and Walking Dead are dramatic excellence too, but they are more action/fantasy/horror than just straight drama.  This is Us is just superb.

I just realized that the two shows are connected.

In seasons five and six of The Walking Dead, Alexandra Breckenridge played Jessie Anderson, and Austin Abrams played her son Ron Anderson.  They were both involved in the TV adaptations of one of the most iconic moments in the entire comic book run (“Dad?….”).

Throughout the whole run of This is Us, Alexandra Breckenridge has played Sophie, the ex-wife of one of the main characters.  I just noticed that in the current season, season four, Austin Abrams is playing Marc, the prick boyfriend of the teenage version of one of the main characters.

Mind…Blown.

I think this means that This is Us takes place in The Walking Dead universe.  At some point they are going to have a story line where The Big Three have to fight off zombies.  It’s going to be one part gore-fest, and one part emotional roller coaster.

You heard it here first.

Upping the Nerd Level

I’ve always been a nerd. Going all the way back to 1977 when Star Wars came out, my nerddom was well established. Two things have happened in the last few days that have actually upped the ante on my nerdishness.

This one is a little hard to see. It actually demonstrates nerd level alpha for me, but brilliant level alpha for my wife. I use a Windows machine when I work from home, but a Mac for everything else. I had a Windows laptop, but it’s kinda a P.O.S. I thought that maybe I would like to get a Windows desktop and set it up to share the same monitor I use with my Mac. My brilliant wife sketched out a way that we could plug everything into a switch and make it happen. Also, she just built a new Windows box and could therefore let me inherit her last machine! She set it all up yesterday, and I just set up the VPN so I can connect to my desk at work. Success! WOOHOO! My wife is a total genius who is more brilliant than any of you reading this, and I am a complete nerd!

Now for the really, really, super, uber nerd admission…

So, you know how when you watch an episode of The Walking Dead premier on AMC it is followed by the after show/talk show The Talking Dead? Well, when you’re not watching on cable you don’t get that hour long decompression discussion show and sometimes you kinda need that. Talking Dead is available on AMC.com, but not until later in the day on Monday, so if I watch the main show on iTunes when I wake up Monday morning, I can’t watch the Talking Dead until I get home from work. That doesn’t work nearly as well. So what to do?

Podcasts. I got this idea to see if there were any post-show podcasts that I could listen to on the way to work. Turns out there are a shit load of them. Most are recorded on Monday or Tuesday, but there are one or two that are already out on the ‘net by the time I leave for work. For the eight weeks the first half of season 7 was airing, I was listening to tons and tons of post show podcasts. Most of them are somewhere between annoying and okay. A few are enjoyable listens. All, even the bad ones, are worth a listen. When the show went into its mid-season break though I started to miss it. I decided to start watching the show from season one episode one and pick one podcast that’s been running since the beginning and listen to the episode corresponding to each episode I watched. Yes, Virginia… I am the biggest effin’ nerd who has ever lived. I found a podcast that is a discussion as opposed to just a recap, and everything I listened to from season 7 had a positive vibe, even when it was being critical of the show. Most of the podcasts were really, really negative, but this one was upbeat even when the episode was weak. I appreciated that. I finished season two yesterday and right now I am listening to the last two episode’s podcast episodes.

If that doesn’t win me the Biggest Nerd Alive award, then nothing will. Nothing.

Quiz

Few things in life make me feel as pathetic as getting a question wrong on The Talking Dead’s weekly quiz. Three weeks in a row saw me missing one of the three questions. Last night’s quiz though?

Three for three.

Oh yeah, the kid* is back!

*and by “kid” I mean “insufferable nerd”.

It’s Going to be a Long Night

The season premier of The Walking Dead starts in a touch over one hour.

We don’t have cable in the house anymore, so I will be downloading the episode from the iTunes season pass. Unfortunately the episode does not become available until around 3:00am tomorrow morning. Amazon video and the AMC iOS app are on the same schedule.

That means I am about one hour from turning my house into a spoiler free zone. I will do that by taking all of my connected devices off line until tomorrow morning. I hope to be able to sneak a viewing of the new episode before work tomorrow, but until that happens I can’t be anywhere near twitter or facebook or instagram or myspace or friendster or anything.

…and I just ran out of episodes of Rick and Morty on Hulu.

It’s going to be a long night, friends. A long ass kicker of a night.