Showing posts with label maintenance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maintenance. Show all posts

Saturday, May 11, 2019

We're Starting a Newsletter: The Signal Watch Planet



Everything old is new again.

A while back pal Max Romero started a newsletter (recommended), and I've been thoroughly enjoying his routine missives.  They're thoughtful, insightful and keep me up to date with Max who lives in Chicago and who I don't get to talk to often enough, me still in Austin.

So, newsletters - the thing people started doing about ten minutes after inventing the printing press - are back.  Frankly, I think it's a good thing.

Twitter has its place and purpose, but isn't great at getting a complete thought expressed, and tweet threads tend to feel like someone shouting points at you.  Frankly, as a content creator - you're fighting against a sea of noise and algorithms as people scroll on by.  Facebook is... facebook.  Its ways mysterious and inscrutable.

I've subscribed to a few newsletters myself.  Writers, internet personality types, people I just happen to know...  Everyone does it a bit different.  Updates on what they're watching, reading, recipes, etc...  recommendations.  Sure, why not?  I just like to keep up with folks.

So, yeah...



I'm not sure I'm going to do what Max and others are doing.  I already blog a-plenty, so if you want what my brain is generating, you can see those writing or hear me podcast for an hour every week or two...  Going into it, my notion is to gather together recent blog posts and related links, maybe comment a bit on the posts, etc...  Nothing too heavy.

But I also care a lot about what people are doing around me.  Paul works on movies, Hilary and Stuart are musicians/ singers/ songwriters, Amy does Nerd Nite, Nathan has jazz shows and interviews, Maxwell has any number of projects going on at any time both personal and work-related...  People win awards.  People blog.  People make stuff.  I want to point out that stuff, too.

Maybe I'll occasionally get old school League of Melbotis-style and share more personal stuff in the newsletter which, frankly, I just don't want to do on a public blog anymore.

And... recipes!  You never know.  I could learn how to make something.

So, if you want to sign up - you can always look at the tab I put in the horizontal menu bar, or you can just fill out the complicated form here:




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Thursday, April 25, 2019

So, yes, I have now seen "Avengers: Endgame"



I expect Jamie and I will be putting a PodCast together on Avengers: Endgame, so... bear with us until that gets recorded, posted and edited.  We are seeing it again tomorrow, so we get 2x the chance to miss things, I suppose.

All I will say for now, in spirit of keeping everyone spoiler-free, is:  I didn't think any time was a good time to go to the bathroom, so plan soda intake accordingly.  It is a LONG movie, but dense.

And, I genuinely wasn't spoiled by toys or anything else on the shelf.  The trailers I've seen mostly covered the first 20 minutes of a 180 minute film, so...  lots of movie there to grapple with.  But Marvel has done a great job of keeping the movie under wraps.

1 SPOILER after the break...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Maintenance Watch: Stuart, Wedding, B-Day

Friday was my birthday.  Please, please... hold your applause. 

I'd already gone out last week with some pals (including JuanD, who created the music that is the current opening and closing to the PodCast), and so wasn't planning anything much as I had a busy weekend ahead of me.

For my b-day, I got a noir movie box set from my brother's family and Jamie got me a Mickey Mouse lamp and Mickey Mouse Lego set.  I don't talk about it a lot, but I'm a fan of the Mouse and part of our living room decor is "Vintage Mickey" (it's semi-tasteful, I guess.  I've lost track of these things.). 

After watching Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, my brother dropped in.  A former semi-permanent fixture on my sofa, Steanso long ago fell prey to romance, the vagaries of domesticity and - eventually - child-rearing, but for one evening he showed up and we shared some bourbon and chatted.

Saturday we both attended the wedding of a family friend, which was lovely.  Outside and thus windy, but lovely.

Sunday, longtime reader and internet pal Stuart came into town a bit early for a work trip, and I did my best to point him at some sites around Austin before dropping him at the location of his conference.

Showing anyone Austin is very weird to me.  I don't really get the appeal of Austin as a tourist town - you can drink anywhere.  Yet, folks fly in from all over to drink here.  We have no gambling, Sixth Street is a cess pool, and any music worth hearing in Austin is not happening in a bar on Sixth.  I mean, I love my town, but it's the same way you love your favorite t-shirt that's been perfectly worn in.  And I know I take a lot of what we do have for granted, so I don't think to show it to anyone. 

Stuart and I get along pretty darn well, which I knew from our previous meet-up in Metropolis, Illinois about 4 years ago.  We chat online, but it's always best to have face-time and tacos.  I hope he wasn't too bored.

Following, I watched some baseball and then the first episode of Fosse/ Verdon, and then did some PodCast editing. 

So - this is all a long way of explaining how I watched so few movies over the weekend and why the PodCast may drop late this week.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Now taking our TV and Film Recommendations via THE FORM



Boy howdy, is there a lot of media out there!  And, boy howdy, are people both cavalier about jumping in mid-discussion about a movie or TV show to insert a movie or TV show you really should be watching. 

In this era of way-too-much-content, where I'm already burning out on TV shows just because, man, I dunno, another episode? and a raft of new movies that trend for seemingly no reason (like, why DID you stop and watch Birdbox?  I'm not saying it's bad, it's just... it just showed up so you watched it) we've all gotten pretty bad about telling people what they *should* be watching. 

Back in the 90's when seeing a movie or TV show took some effort, you actually wanted a running list of things from trusted sources so when you went to the local video monger and they were out of VHS copies, oh, The English Patient, you would go and get Faces of Death III or whatever your friends had said might be worth a watch.  If someone said "I like Larry Sanders" and you found out about in season 3, that kinda sorta meant you were given a pass to not watch the show, because no one had the expectation you'd drop everything in your life and track down copies of episodes. 

NO MORE.  We may not be able to educate our children or work out public transportation, but we can all watch Gator at the same time if we feel like it.  If someone suggests catching up on the entirety of The Simpsons, you can do so.  Somehow, people are able to "binge" watching 10-22 hours of TV in a week or two, plow through entire shows in a matter of a few weeks or less. 

I'm not wired that way.  At all.  I don't even like watching more than one Avengers movie per every two weeks or so for the PodCast.    Seeing episodes backed up on the DVR is enough to just make me quit on a TV show.  And while I deeply believe in, like, and will defend a handful of TV shows, I don't necessarily get the urge to insist others watch the shows.  Likely an after-effect of really going to the mat for Star Trek and Max Headroom as a kid.

And, movies... ahhh... movies.  If there's one thing that's true, it's that all of us know, in our heart of hearts, that we have amazing taste in film, and everyone else's taste is suspect at best.  It's a nicety when people agree on a movie, but we also may find ourselves in deep disagreement about, say, Aquaman (sorry, Max.  We'll need to talk about that sometime.). 

But what I really, really believe is that we all need to slow our roll on movie and TV recommendations.  If we can learn caution when it comes to suggesting music to others (and if you aren't exercising caution there, I assure you, your co-workers are making fun of you), we can learn to do same with moving picture media. 

And it's not that I don't WANT recommendations, it's that I want thoughtful recommendations.  If you're going to suggest I spend a few hours doing something other than eating cotton candy and watching puppies play, I'd like a reason WHY.

THUS - The Form.

From now on, we're taking our recs from you and from people anywhere in my life via an easy to use Google Form.  If you can't take the five minutes to fill it out, how much do you really want for me to watch that movie, anyway?, is what I say.

The good news is, the few of you who will actually use The Form will be captured in a spreadsheet I can review and use.  Those of you too good for The Form?  Well. 

Anyway.

Without further ado: THE FORM

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Movies 2018 - Running the Numbers


So.  Here's a rundown of what we watched in 2018.

The categories and methodology here are my own, but I think they work and they're fairly understandable.

In 2018, I watched 179 movies.

The numbers are derived from my blog posts, and should be fairly accurate.  It is likely I missed a movie or three somehow.

You can view the spreadsheet here.

I do not include movies I watched only in part, especially on television.  Example: I did not include National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, as I only watched 45 minutes of the movie in the largest chunk, and other chunks I caught out of order on cable television.

I am also not including anything that is a television series or part of a serial of episodes.  I am including movies that were intended for an initial release on television, streaming services, etc...  The movie does not need to have had a theatrical release.

(edit:  NathanC released his watch list for 2018 within minutes of this post going up.  Here you go.)

So... how'd it go?

We've got a Patreon - support The Signal Watch PodCast!



Hi, y'all. 

I've set up a Patreon!  Yay!

No, really, it's to basically defray the cost of hosting the PodCast.  I don't need much, but I won't turn down a huge cash gift, either.

So, anyway, the only tier is $1.50 per month.  I figure that's less than a Medium Pike Place at the Starbucks, so... affordablish.  And I set it up as a recurring monthly because my bill for hosting is monthly, too.  So. 

If we go over what I need to pay for SoundCloud, I'll figure something out - you might hear better microphones used or some such.  If we're all good in the neighborhood, I'll see about reducing the cost monthly.

If I can't convince enough of you good people that a $1.50 a month is a good idea, well...  let's just say we know where The Signal Watch PodCast stands.  (cough)

So.  Anyway - we'd sure appreciate your support.

We'll have exclusive blogposts and whatnot on the Patreon page (there's one there now!), and I may develop some behind-the-scenes content for the Patreon as well.  I mean, you guys would love to actually SEE what we look like and view our amazing production facility, I assume...?

So, I mean, really, a $1.50 is not exactly highway robbery.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Coming Up in 2019 Here at The Signal Watch

by November 2019.  The movies promised us.


Hi.  Happy 2019.

2018 was something of a year here at The Signal Watch. 

After years of pointed suggestions to do so, AmyC got me fired up and we started the PodCast, and, honestly, I've been delighted at the results.  On the actual blog, I've covered movies and comics.  Comments have all but dried up, but I've talked to a lot of you on social media and elsewhere.  I hope it's been worth the occasional check-in to see what's what here at the site.

The past two years, The Signal Watch has more or less turned into my personal film-watching journal which I like to share with you good folks.  I've written a post of some sort on virtually every movie I've watched for over 700 days, and in short order we'll do the numbers and talk about what we saw in 2018.

In 2019, I am not going to write a post on every movie I watch, even if I make a marker post of sorts that I did watch a film  (that marker post is for me, not you).  I'm not sure what form posts will take, but the steady pace of blogging on film will diminish - not that anyone is asking for it. 

I expect we'll find ourselves writing up a movie or three, especially those all-important superhero movies, and maybe some noir. 

For those of you who have been around since 2003 (2018 marked my 15th year since launching League of Melbotis), a change in format this year is just one more change.  Thanks for sticking with us, by the way.

Some of that energy we'll apply to improving the Signal Watch PodCast.  Last year I recorded and edited about three dozen episodes, and - brother - is that more work than I like to talk about. 

It's good that we produced episodes in volume.  I learned a lot quickly, technically and whatnot, but I think both my co-contributors and myself learned something about improving quality of content over that time, and I'd like to keep on that path, even if it means fewer episodes per year.  I mean, no one will cry if there isn't a new Signal Watch episode each week, I expect.  And I'd like my evenings back.  And, mostly, I want to make it worth everyone's while to spend time hearing us out.

Curiously, a lot of folks who aren't the usual co-contributors want to do an episode with me.  I'm not made out of time, but I do want to have friends jump in when we can manage it. 

I've been considering a very low-entry Patreon, simply because it does cost me *some* money to have a Soundcloud account.  I'd also like to get some better recording equipment, etc... and, shockingly, I have not been approached by any networks or sponsors to defray the costs.  I love you guys, but the economics of this are not terrific. 

On the comics front, I'm hoping to get back to writing up the Super books a little.  We'll see how it goes.  As always, that's so I spend some additional time with each issue and savor what's there, and I hope it's a nice thing for you to check in on and comment if you're also seeing what Big Blue and the Maid of Might are up to in the funny pages.

Keep talking to me on social media and in the comments.  It always makes it way, way more fun and less like I'm howling into the void. 

Anyway, onward and upward.  I expect 2019 will be part of this amazing trend of "what the actual hell is happening?" outside of the realm of entertainment, but we'll attempt to be a port in the storm.  Certainly worrying about mid-century crime movies is a better alternative than the news a lot of days.

I hope your 2019 brings joy and prosperity and our better tomorrow.




Saturday, October 6, 2018

Real Life Information - I'm Outta Here For a Few Days



I may not have a life, but I do have a fulltime job.  I like it.  Good gig.  Sometimes it requires travel.

Months ago and far apart, I scheduled attendance at two different conferences, and - fun - they're on consecutive weeks.  Starting, like, now.

"Great," you're saying to yourself.  "So the @#$% what?"  

Well, first, why are you so angry?  Second: Things will slow down here for a short bit.  Most of you won't notice.  But, I like to keep you posted.  Makes me feel important.

But, that doesn't mean no content.  You will get Halloween PodCasts on Sundays through the end of the month, so keep checking in.  

Coming up:  
  • Ghostbusters
  • Isolation
  • Night of the Demon and The Haunting
and I think I can get The Thing edited for Halloween itself.  We'll see.


Monday, September 17, 2018

ANNOUNCEMENT! PODCAST SERIES! A Signal Watch Halloween 2018!

Coming Soon (like, this week) - The Signal Watch will begin a series of PodCasts for the Halloween Season!

Here's our 90 second promo!

     

I'm assuming some of these movies will be unfamiliar to viewers - they were to me.  But we hope you can find them and watch along with us!

In the can:

  • Psychomania!
  • Late Phases and Dog Soldiers
  • Horror Express and Death Line
  • Isolation
  • Ghostbusters (1984)


and more to come!

Music by Franz Waxman from The Bride of Frankenstein

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Where In The World Is The Signal Watch?


For the next week, I am in Bozeman, Montana on a work trip.  Big conference.  And if noir has taught me anything, we will all wear matching fezzes and get drunk and provide cover for someone trying to hide out in a hotel

I'm also taking some vacation days while I'm here because I've never been to this part of the world, and I'd like to see a mountain, a moose, a bear and water that is neither gross Texas creek water or gross Texas lake water.

Thus far I've eaten lunch here, had some coffee and walked around to see Downtown Bozeman, which is high-end knick-knackery and touristy eateries.  Which serves my purposes well.

So, no movies for me this week, I'd guess.  I might read a Superman comic or two.  But expect a slowdown in posting, etc...

Yes, Jamie is still in Austin, but The Dug is set to be there by this evening and is hanging with her all week.

Monday, April 23, 2018

I think March 30th was the 15th Anniversary of the Start of my Blogging


So, I guess I missed my own 15th Anniversary of blogging.  We were over at League of Melbotis back then.  Here's a link to the first batch of posts.

Back then, kids, we had no facebook, no twitter, barely had iTunes and it took me forever to figure out how to upload photos and have a comment section.  I was a lad of about 27 and living as a Texas ex-pat in Arizona at the time.  I was busily learning about Superman and comics, and I was oh, so, sweetly naive.  Reading those early posts is sometimes a teeth-gnashing experience but also a journal of what was going on in my head in the blogging salad days.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Monday, January 1, 2018

Pondering How to Cover 2017



The theme with which I entered 2017 with The Signal Watch was: who cares?

The answer was a resounding: nobody.  Get the @#$% over yourself.

This isn't something I'm upset about.  It's been really nice, honestly.

Monday, October 23, 2017

My Space Bar is Broken


If I haven't posted much lately - the space bar on my laptop is going, and every few hits, it just doesn't take.  So stuff lookslikethis.  Which doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but writing anything longer than a fb comment is kind of painful.

So, bear with me while I figure out what to do.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Non-Post: Enjoy the Silence

here, for no reason, is Lynda Carter on skates


Sorry about the lack of posting - if, indeed, you noticed my rate of posting has slowed.  We're all fine here.

I'll have a link to a review I did for Texas Public Radio up in the next 48 hours or so.  That was a fun one, so I look forward to sharing.

We've also hit that late-winter/ spring-time period where all our shows are on and so I'm not watching many movies.  Everything from The Flash to The Americans is currently running (no pun intended), plus I've got an episode or two of Twin Peaks left.

No, I haven't seen Logan.  I thought that movie was coming out in May or something and wasn't paying that much attention.  The X-films haven't really been my bag for a while.  It's supposedly pretty good, so I'll fix that next week if I can.

Yes, I have tickets to see Kong: Skull Island.  I will have seen it by late Saturday night.

I'm currently listening to the audiobook of Altered Carbon, and I'll have plenty to say on that when I wrap it up.  And I've been listening to podcasts of You Must Remember This and am making my way through the HUAC/ Blacklist episodes.  There's something that suddenly feels a whole lot more present.

Anyway, hope you're all well.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Checking in - and Happy Thanksgiving (if I'm not back online before then)



It's been a busy week for us here at League HQ.  I had two separate trips out of town between Monday and Sunday, to Waco and then Ft. Worth.  In my 1.5 days in the office, I was catching up and adjusting to both a new office and a standing desk (we're gonna have to work on the standing desk arrangement.  Complications have arisen from the fact I'm about 6'5" and this desk thinks that's too tall for a reasonable desk jockey.

I even went into work today for about three hours even though I'd asked for Monday - Wednesday off - but I didn't want to not show my face around the office for that long.

Today Dug and K arrived at our house for the Thanksgiving holiday, so I expect to be in low content mode while I pay attention to our house guests.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.  I am not sure I'll be online or posting, but I also didn't want you to think I'd fallen off the face of the Earth.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blogging Slow Down - The Olympics Are On



It's that time again.  Every two years I disappear for a bit as the Olympics come on and we slow our TV and movie watching to make time for sports we normally wouldn't watch if you paid us.  But not Beach Volleyball.  I always watch Beach Volleyball if its on.  We can make jokes about the uniforms being less than modest, but Kerri Walsh Jennings and new partner April Ross are amazing.  Tune in.

Jamie is also a fan of gymnastics, and if you don't like your athletes standing over 5'10", I have good news for you.

Simone Biles is a ninja

And these gymnasts did A-OK in the team competition, doing the U.S. proud


Also been enjoying Michael Phelps' return to swimming in top form, the amazing performance of Katie Ledecky, catching some sports I don't usually watch like handball, field hockey, etc...

And as Jamie long ago determined - after Beach Volleyball, I really, genuinely enjoy track and field coverage.  Which is weird, because UT has a great track and field program, but I never, ever go watch and we put people on the team every four years.  Go figure.

So, yeah.  Olympics!


Sunday, July 10, 2016

I'm Going to Harvard!


For a two day conference that starts Monday morning.

Just, you know, something that is happening.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I have gone to Port Aransas


Port Aransas is an island off the Texas Coast near Corpus Christi.  I'm here with family for a few days on a belated birthday trip for me mum and early birthday trip for me dad.

I haven't been to a Texas beach for a relaxing stay in about five years, and that's too long.