Friday, January 6, 2023
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Total Number of Movies Watched
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Sunday, November 6, 2022
|your world champion Houston Astros!|
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
For a long time I've been somewhat nervous about the hosting of the Signal Watch PodCast solely at SoundCloud. Look, SoundCloud is a good, easy-to-use service, but it's also a company, and those go under, get bought out, change strategies, etc...
I've used RSS to push the content to other podcasting platforms, and that's been nice - but I genuinely don't know what happens if the SoundCloud goes away. Will those go away? What if Stitcher dries up?
Right now those kids at "Google" seems like they know what they're doing. But, YouTube wants to be about video, and so moving the podcast there had challenges. When I looked a while back, all the recommendations were about manually transforming each episode into a video - which, individually, not a huge deal. But multiply that by 135 episodes and a handful of extras, and I'd be hand-converting episodes til next Christmas.
I changed how I phrased my search parameters for how to get the podcast to YouTube, and up came a service called "Repurpose.io". They seem legit. The service is super, super simple to use, and while it costs money, it also works really well. As of this posting I believe all episodes have made their way to the YouTubes.
Check out our YouTube here. It's also where we've posted some sketches, taste tests, etc... So, all your Signal Watch needs.
Look, I used to work in digital audio and video preservation, and it's a bear of a field. And I don't have any memory institutions like a museum, archive or library clamoring for episodes of The Signal Watch. But right now, I expect that YouTube, which lets me host there for free, will outlast either me or my ability to care about whether these episodes continue to exist. I mean, maybe when I'm 90 I'll be like "what DID I have to say about Streets of Fire?" But probably not. I'll be too busy seeking out water in the wasteland deserts of Trumpland Sector 35 (brought to you by: Confederate Burger).
It's the same reason I'm like, sure, Blogger. They're still here. And owned by spooky ol' Google that's using this blog to mine data and sell ads, but, look. You people didn't want to join my Patreon, so here we are.
Anyway - I need to do some curation inside of YouTube, so bear with me as I get all that straightened out. But I do plan to do some curation there and not just dump episodes.
Oh, and, hey, Repurpose.io lets me use the images I already had tagged to the episode, so it's surprisingly easy to navigate on the YouTube menu.
So - YouTube also does this amazing thing where - when you upload audio at least - it checks for copyright claims. About 85-90% of the videos have some copyright claim due to my use of the music involved. So, even if the videos went wildly viral, I won't make a red cent. And, hey, the song owners might! Good for them.
The only claim that totally blocked the video from release was "Hungry Like the Wolf" from Duran Duran, which is hilarious. Fortunately, YouTube just lets me cut out the song. So - easy, squeezy. No more Duran Duran. I can deal with that minor hiccup.
We'll see what other pitfalls await me, but so far, so good.
Saturday, April 11, 2020
Friday, January 3, 2020
Well, 2019 was certainly a year that we mostly lived through. As years go, I'm not giving it very high marks, but I did watch a lot of movies. Which, boys and girls, is not so much an achievement as a thing which occurred.
In 2019, I watched 204 movies (click that link to see the spreadsheet). This is likely a lifetime high, and I don't really know how or why that happened, because 204 is a good 20 more movies than last year.
I also wrote a post or recorded a podcast for, I think, every movie I watched in 2019.
This 204 number includes movies I saw more than once. Example: I saw Avengers: Endgame three times this year, so it is counted thrice.
The figure does not include partially watched films, half-watched Hallmark Christmas movies, or matter that I watched on TV that some people might consider a film, but I happen to not consider a film.
As always, I may have missed a movie or two. It happens. The data is accumulated from the blog - so if I forgot to post on a movie, it is not reflected here. Also, dates watched on a movie reflect the date upon which I completed a movie, as I watch many movies broken up over 2-3 viewings.
Now, into the nitty-gritty.
Monday, July 22, 2019
Last week I traveled for work and somewhere along the line I picked up a nasty cold. I have my suspects who may have passed along this infernal malady, but shall name no names here in the record of my life which will be preserved and shared for generations.
I got home from work very late last Wednesday (really Thursday morning) and was doing fine. I worked out on Thursday, ate dinner and was doing the dishes when I got the spins for a minute. "That's odd," I said to myself. "But it has been a while since I worked out, and that didn't go very well, either."
And then the symptoms started coming in, and I knew.
Look, it's not dramatic. It's a cold. As of this writing I am now past the point of ear canals screaming at me, a sore throat and a fever. I spent most of the weekend laying on the sofa watching TV, I think. I don't really know. I think I watched all of Clue last night, but I'm not sure. But I did go to an Urgent Care Sunday not because I think they can cure the common cold, but because I have no idea what OTC meds to take when you do have a cold. PLUS - I really did not want get a sinus infection on the other side of the cold. And, you never know. Day 3 of a fever is a good time to ask a pro if you're dying or not.
Anyway - I'm on the road to recovery. Doing much better than I was and have moved into the "coughing a lot and, oh, look, it's producing phlegm" part of the program. Some minor stuffiness. And I'm way more lucid, which I see as beneficial to everyone.
The poor dog, who hasn't seen a decent walk in days, just thinks I suck.
Thanks to Jamie who has been a hero through all of this and hasn't seemed to have acquired this cold, against all odds. But, yeah, she is used to me Man-Flu'ing my way through all illness, but it is in no way fun to watch a giant, sweaty man lay on your sofa and just keep saying "I don't care" about literally everything not related to his phlegm production. Of course she's wrestling with summer allergies, so as I recover, I hereby swear to be deeply sympathetic to her fight via Austin allergens.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Everything old is new again.
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.
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:
Thursday, April 25, 2019
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
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
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.
Without further ado: THE FORM
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
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?
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
|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
- Night of the Demon and The Haunting
Monday, September 17, 2018
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:
- Late Phases and Dog Soldiers
- Horror Express and Death Line
- Ghostbusters (1984)
and more to come!
Music by Franz Waxman from The Bride of Frankenstein