Nov 17, 2022

Story Time With Uncle Noggins: Swashbuckler!

this wasn't us but it very well could have been. 
In 3rd grade my class had just one computer that we all had to share.  It was like an AppleII or something and was coveted as fuck.  Gen-Xer's know this was pretty much the style of the time.  One computer per class or per several classes and one VHS and TV wheeled into the class on a cart to watch movies.  You know. 

The class was divided into groups of 3 or 4 kids for designated "computer time". Which sounds way cooler than it was.  Basically were supposed to play a math program on it.  Somehow they figured kids forgot it was math because it was on a computer screen.  Also, 4 less kids to deal with while you teach your class.  Win-win right?  

It must have been nearing the end of the school year because one day the teacher let us start unsupervised since we'd done it so many times by that point she trusted us enough to not babysit us,  even tho the computer was like I said, coveted as fuck.  Honestly I'm surprised she took her eyes off us at all.  It was like having a brand new Lamborghini parked in the classroom and she just let four 3rd graders just fuck around pushing buttons and flipping switches in it for 20 mins.   Anyway, I think it was Jake who put the floppy disk in upside down by accident and it instead of the boring math program it booted up something else. 

There was a picture of a pirate with and eyepatch and a sword fighting another guy with the title "Swashbuckler".  We were all in awe.  We knew it wasn't the program we were supposed to be playing but it was awesome! Cautiously we started hitting buttons and got it to start. It brought up another screen with a pirate holding a sword and then some skeleton enemies came at you.  We knew this was some kind of video game and spent that entire computer math session trying to learn the controls.  

But alas, time was up and we went back to our seats. Eagerly awaiting the next "computer time "session.  I think it was a couple days later and it was our group's turn again. The math program was already booted up awaiting our lesson. 

Honestly I this is more how I remember it. 
Not sure we had a color monitor.

Before we started we all kind of looked at each other in silent agreement.  We take a quick look to make sure no one is watching and Jake ejects the disk, flips it over and puts it back in.  A couple disk drive clicking and grinding sounds and boom, we're back on the pirate ship.  Surprisingly we didn't get caught, figured out more of the controls and the next computer time we played it again and did for like 3 more times. We all started to get good at it until one day Mrs. Rios caught us and we just played dumb like "we thought this was what we were supposed to do, it was on the disk you gave us to put in"  We didn't get in trouble but she made sure we booted up the right thing and kept an eye on us after that.  No more fighting reanimated skeletons on the high seas.  Our swashbucklin' days were over.

Swashbuckler is a fighting game created by Paul Stephenson for the Apple II and published by Datamost in 1982.[1] The player controls a sword-wielding swashbuckler who must fight and dispatch various attackers. Combat occurs in a wooden-beamed ship's hold littered with skeletons and cobwebs, which the player views from the side. - Wikipedia

Every time I hear the word swashbuckler now I think of this brief moment when 4 dumb 8yr olds got a taste of the hacker life.  

Nov 4, 2022

Noggins TV Party Friday Night Long Winded Extravaganza!

ike a lot of people most of my TV watching has been consumed by Star Wars or MCU lately so I'm taking a breather to watch other stuff.  (Andor is really good and She Hulk and Ms. Marvel were great BTW) My guilty pleasure recently has been young adult sci-fi/fantasy.  My friend Rosie calls it “Kids on bikes”  probably because of Stranger Things.  (Just Googled out of curiosity and Kids on Bikes is an actual genre.  Makes sense, Goonies, Stand By Me, Super 8 - Duh)  Stranger Things was a good series but I thought the last season was the final season so I spent a long time being upset with the ending.  Apparently there's one more season so hopeful they can wrap it up in a satisfying way.  I’ve been binging shows in this genre like Secret of Sulphur Springs and Mysterious Benedict Society.  When I saw the trailers for Paper Girls I knew I needed it in my life.  That show was cool but it had lack of support from Amazon and they cancelled it before it could really have a change to get going.  I've started reading the graphic novels it's based on so I can find out what happens.  It's peak Kids On Bikes.    Anyway,  if you’re into that kind of thing, look em up. 

Recently I accidentally started watching the cartoon GravityFalls when it started playing after some other Disney+ thing.
  There’s a ton of episodes so it’s always just there when I need it.  I love that it’s kind of set in the Pacific North West woods where I live and plays up the nostalgia of the old road-side attractions.  Theres Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz mountains and one near me called Confusion Hill.  In the show it's the Mystery Shack and they sell big foot trinkets and stuff like that.  Most of that stuff is actually real in Gravity Falls and these two kids get caught up in it while they navigate their awkward adolescence.  

If it’s not Kids on Bikes it’s usually something sci-fi related.  I blasted through all the Star Trek stuff already and looking forward to new seasons of Strange New Worlds, Discovery and Picard.  Not into the animated ones tho because despite my new found like of Gravity Falls, I’m not huge on cartoons.  That being said, Death Love and Robots is entertaining as fuck.  Definitely check that out.  It’s more animation than cartoon if that makes any sense.  Crap, now I have to admit here that I’ve been watching and loving Rick & Morty too. Damnit, I guess I do like cartoons.  Not many tho.  Don’t tell anyone.  

There’s a brand new Quantum Leap series that just started.  It’s like a sequel to the original series from the 90’s with Scott Bacula.  It takes place in present day but a new team is using the same tech from the old Quantum Leap project.  One of the main scientists working on in, Ben Song inexplicably and unexpectedly uses the machine to leap through time like Sam Beckett did in the original show.  They can communicate with him via hologram like Al did in the old series but Ben has amnesia as a side effect.  This one focuses more on the team trying to figure out why he leaped without telling anyone, while investigating a nefarious antagonist who is trying to undermine their work.   I’m into it.  It’s not perfect but it scratches the itch.  

Since it was just Halloween there’s been a ton of horror and spooky stuff being suggested on all the streaming services.  I was home alone last weekend and realized that I really don’t need that kind of entertainment any more.   I’ve had on and off Hellraiser nightmares since 1989 and I hate it.  It’s like I’m really being fucked with by cenobites and I’m in that fucked up hell world trying to escape.  I watched all the horror movies and stuff back in the day but for some reason Hellraiser really did damage to me as a kid.   Way to go, Clive Barker.  So anyway I ended up skipping most of those while I was alone in the dark.  Despite this, our friends really wanted to watch this new horror movie I’d never really heard much about called Barbarian so we agreed to go to their house and watch it. Safely with friends and burritos.   

As the tension started to build in the first act and into the second act I was again reminded of why I hate most modern horror movies.  The horror parts hinge on one or two major dumb shit stupid illogical bad choices by the main character.  So then I’m more angry that my intelligence is being insulted than frightened.  Yelling at the screen at the idiot who despite having many clear warning signs, decides to return to the scary torture basement.  The rest of the movie just sort of followed a natural course of events more or less.  As natural as they could be given the circumstances the morons keep putting themselves into.  The ending was more satisfying than I thought it would be.  But the stupid shit from the beginning just made me hate it.  And as I said before this is usually how I feel about horror.  There’s a new movie that was getting buzz on Twitter called Terrifier 2.  I never heard of the first one but the buzz was that people were passing out and barfing in the theater.  I saw a short clip of one of the scenes and apparently it’s just people being brutally mutilated by a demented clown.  My first thought was that anyone who even came close to the level of injury and fear would either pass out from shock or just die from blood loss before the truly shocking things that happen, happen.  Sorry demented clown, no screaming for you.    It’s totally stupid and the level of disbelief I need to suspend for this to actually frighten me takes me out of it.  I’m not scared or disgusted I’m just pissed off at how unbelievable it is.  Hellraiser on the other hand has this creepy otherworldly evil to it that really creeps me out.  The evil in it exists within and comes from an alternate dimension that automatically removes any real-world rules and that scares the shit out of me.   

Another horror movie that wasn’t that popular but stuck with me was Deliver Us From Evil, not because it was scary or that original for a horror topic but because it was based on true events.  I’m not saying people were really possessed but a real cop really had to investigate this and saw what he reported and whatever it was scared the shit out of him.  That freaks me out.  

Speaking of dumb shits that keep doing dumb shit to make their situation worse; I just binged the Netflix series Inside Man. 
 It follows two different plot lines that converge sort of.  A guy is on death row but he’s like an expert in criminology so people come to him for help to solve cases.  This story, while eerily close to Silence Of The Lambs is pretty good and the actors and characters are likable.  The other plot line is one of my favorite Doctor Who actors, David Tennant.  He plays a small town vicar in England who receives a flash drive from a troubled youth from his church.  The kid says not to look at it but just take it away from him.  Accidentally gets opened by his son’s in-home maths tutor who immediately assumes the son of being the owner of drive and the horrible things on it. (child porn)  The vicar tries to explain who's it is, but the tutor is kind of a bitch and wont listen to him.  So in trying to explain and defend his son he argues with her and physically tries to keep her from leaving.  One bad decision leads to another and it ends up with him and his wife contemplating murdering the tutor who’s now locked in the cellar adamant that she's going to call the cops on their son.  While things are now out of hand, it’s not totally too late to just try to have a conversation where they can let her go but the tutor is a psycho and cuts herself up and bleeds and pisses all over the cellar “so they know I was here”  ugg.  She's a real piece of work throughout.  Anyway it’s just frustrating to see intelligent normal people act so stupidly and irrationally.   Oh yea -Sorry spoilers.  But really I’m doing you a favor because it was all just so fucking stupid I would never recommend this show.  Coincidentally, the guy in prison is also helping the tutor’s friend find her and instead of just telling her friend where she is he plays this dumb cat and mouse game which allows the shit with the vicar and the tutor get worse. Long story short, his son ends up almost dying when they try to kill the tutor with a leaky gas heater.  Then his wife is smashed by a truck while trying to cover up their attempted murder on the tutor.  It’s all just fucked up for this family who just didn’t want their son accused of looking at child porn.  If the piece of shit tutor would have chilled out for a min everything would have been fine.  So stupid.   

Anyway, back to sci-fi.  Started watching The Peripheral on Amazon Prime and 3 episodes in I’m digging it.  Girl and her brother freelance VR video game experts get hired to test new VR tech from a mysterious company.  Once inside the new reality things get more serious.   Apparently it’s based on a book so now I can’t go onto the reddit to discuss theories without being spoiled by every other asshole being like “in the book this happens”   I’m just gonna enjoy it as it unfolds I guess.  

Severance season 2 has begun filming. I can’t wait for that one!  If you haven’t watched this you need to ASAP.   

OK that’s all.  I’m sure there’s other stuff but this is what’s on my mind right now.  
Getting my 2nd booster later and gonna watch the Weird Al movie.  Happy Friday. Turn your clocks back!  

Oct 25, 2022

McDrive-Thru faux pas

It's been a while since I posted a good ol' fashioned fast food Noggins.  It's not because I don't eat it anymore.  I'm a fat ass for a reason.  Just that nothing really interesting happens as much as it did when I worked in the hood.  The McDonalds and the Jack In The Box on San Pablo Ave were a guaranteed Noggin worthy visit.  It was like a TV show.  Use the desktop version of this page and use the search box: search for Fast Food, Jack In The Box or McDonalds and you'll be entertained.  Pardon my pre-woke early 2000's language.  I have learned.   

But this isn't about that.  
Circa 2015. I'm surprised they don't have a more recent Streetview.  

Today I had 3 mins before I needed to be at work so in a complete lack of urgency I decided to stop into the McDonalds drive-thru for some brekkie to-go.  That 2 for 5 Sausage Egg McMuffin deal has me by the fucking cheek meat if you know what I mean.  This particular drive thru has been updated and has two order lanes.  This is such a great idea, especially for when shit like what I'm about to tell you happens.  I've complained on here about drive-thru etiquette before but this is a kind of new one for me.  New because I've never had the drive-thru clerk call out a shitty drive-thru customer before I could. 

 I pull up and there's a car at each order menu screen but then as I'm deciding which one to pull into the car on the left pulls forward... YOINK!  that's where I go.   Since the other car was there before me I always try to get my order in before they finish but since they're already there it never happens.  But today I ordered my usual and kept looking over but they were still there so I move ahead to the pay window.  When I get there the lady working says "Some people shouldn't be allowed to use the drive-thru.  It's supposed to be fast, it's a drive-thru.  If you want to take your sweet ass time just go inside"  Apparently the car I was side-eyeing while ordering had been there for like 10 mins and she told me they said they  "were just browsing the menu"  She went on hilariously "this is a drive-thru you don't get to browse!  We're supposed to get each car thru in two minutes. These people are screwing up my line"   She was singing my song!  I wish I had a Noggins business card to give her so she can read all my drive thru complaints.   I said that the drive-thru should be seen as the 15 Items Or Less line at the grocery store.  It's there for expediency.  If you've never seen a McDonalds menu before, or like ordering for a family of 10... put some shoes and pants on like a grown-up and go fucking inside!  We shared a laugh then I got the fuck out of the way and went to the pick-up window like I'm supposed to.  I still did a rear-view mirror check tho to make sure I wasn't holding up the line... of course I wasn't. Those fuck-heads still haven't ordered yet. 

Circa 2018. lookin like 2032 

Oh, wait.. there she is.  After the space ship remodel sometime around 2017.  So weird all the McD's, TacoBells, Starbucks etc all got updated to look like the building was beamed into a flying saucer, blasted to planet Futuristic and got beamed back like a cafe on a hipster space station. 

Aug 26, 2022

I Judged a Chili Cook-Off hosted by Guy Fieri.

My local county fair is the oldest continuously running fair and horse racing track in California. The Humboldt County Fair began in 1861 and has been located in its current home at the historic Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale since 1896. 

I know this because part of my job, as some of you know is researching local history. Another claim to fame for Ferndale is former resident and current mayor of Flavortown, Guy Fieri. Yup, he grew up here and still has many ties to, and love for his hometown. One of his many gifts to our little corner of Northern California is his contribution to our historic and beloved county fair. His involvement, for obvious reasons usually involves a BBQ or Chili competition aways with a huge emphasis on philanthropy for the community. This year was his big post-covid return to the fair and this time he brought his Food Network film crew to film a hometown special focused on the county fair. This is important for later. 

I have a connection to the fair through my work because we are big, long time sponsors of the fair but also major advertisers for the main sponsor of the Guy Fieri event this year; The Chili Cook-Off. Through this connection I, me, lowly graphic artist was given the opportunity to be a judge for this chili cook-off event. I joked with my boss about it and mentioned I had experience judging a Chili Cook Off. Yes. Back in the day my dad and I were judges in a pub crawl chili contest. So I said screw it and agreed to taste and judge some chili. Now, I knew Guy was going to be involved but I've never witnessed any of his events he does at the fair so I while knew there was a chance I would meet him or at least be in the same vicinity as him, I did not know how involved our spikey headed local celebrity would be. 

Yes, this Guy
Day of the event I have a pass to get me into the fair. They said to meet under the horse racing track grandstands at 2:30. This was my only direction. The grandstands are big and there's only really a couple places I know of that are "under" them. The area where you place bets on horses, the bar and the bathrooms. I got there about 10 minutes early, went to the area under the grandstand but didn't see any official looking voting area, no one I recognized that I knew was going to be there was anywhere around. So I'm standing there like "WTF? Where do I go?" the only thing that I noticed that wasn't normal was a door with a police officer guarding it. I figured this was where our local Food Network Star was being protected from the local plebs. Then I noticed a dude with a lanyard that said Chili cook off something something so I told him I was supposed to meet here to be a judge and asked where to go and his eyes lit up and he yelled "he's here!" into the door with the cop and then handed me to another guy with a headset who had me sign a paper and then whisked into the room. This small room was buzzing. I see guy standing off to the side. Men with cameras and microphones. Another guy pulls me aside and straps a lapel mic on me, pulls a cord under my shirt, stuffs a transmitter pack in my pocket and points me to the judges table all while I'm hearing different people murmuring things like "OK we found Kirk our last judge" "oh he's here ok" as if I got there late and was holding up the show. I'm usually a pretty punctual person which is why I showed up early and when there was literally no direction other than go to this unspecified location in a large area that ended up being hidden away and guarded by a cop, yea What memo did everyone else get that I did not? I felt like an outsider. I kind of was tho. The other judges consisted of local politicians who I'm sure have participated in events at the fair like this and some of Guy's friends from his TV world, a couple chefs and cooks he knows from his TV shows. The lady next to me won an Instagram contest to be a judge. So even though she felt out of place too, she, like the local yokels somehow knew about the secret room under the grandstands that no one told me about. And I'm sure you can understand my resistance to approach a room being guarded by a cop. 

Anyway so I'm sitting there feeling like I'm being judged for being irresponsible, we finally settle in and Guy tells us all to introduce ourselves and of course he starts with me. I'm caught off guard because I literally just sat down and say "I'm Kirk" then he says something like "no like your name, what you do and how you got to be here". So since I had no idea what I was involved in I just said "I'm Kirk, I work at Pierson's and do their advertising. That's how I know the person from the Journal who invited me to be a judge" but probably said it more stupid than that. What I didn't know at the time is that this was being filmed by the Food Network for a hometown fair special or something. So no one watching will know what Pierson's is or what the Journal is. Everyone goes after me and they sound perfect, rehearsed and have clear concise reasons for being there and who they are. I'm just some asshole who showed up late ruining everything. 
Just fucking bring me some chili to judge. Next, Guy gives us a rundown on how we should judge the chili. After researching online, getting tips on how to judge a Chili cook off (that's right motherfuckers, because I'm prepared and get to things on time) he says write one number, 1 to 10 for heat and one number for overall quality. That's it? I don't have to judge color, smell, consistency, separately? OK. We get one bite of each of 16 chilis. Just one plastic spoonful. I didn't think one bite was enough to have a clear opinion on a few of them but looking back in think it was probably more for expediency than strict judging purposes. I should have just taken another bite. While we're making our way through the entries. An official chili cook off person would ladle out a scoop of one chili at a time to each of us. We inspect the consistency, take in the aroma, take a single bite, write our numbers on our sheet, and members of the crew would swoop in and take our cups, spoons and clean up any drips on the table... You know because this is being filmed. And then we'd get another ladleful of the next chili and so in. During all this Guy says he'd like to get some soundbites of our reactions. One of the chilis was green in color and apparently vegetarian. Maybe I'm more accustomed to vegetarian foods because my girlfriend has been vegan or vegetarian the 25ish years we've been together, but I really liked it. So when and all these people who seem to gauge the worthiness of chili by how meaty it is are scoffing at how weird it was I said "it ain't easy being green. I really like this one" and Guy was like... Ooh did you get that? And 3 different camera guys turned towards me and I was directed to repeat it again like 4 times for the cameras. "look at Guy when you say it" so that was a true TV moment. I said something about not thinking any of the chili was that spicy after everyone else was making remarks about it being spicy. Maybe I have a higher tolerance. They kept focusing on people's reactions and remarks throughout the whole thing. I had my own microphone so that could possibly be used as well. Who knows?

Guy was very professional and in-person no different than he is on TV. People like to make fun and turn him into a punch line but he seems like a genuinely cool dude and does a lot for the community. He is who he is. After we were done judging I gave him one of my Googly Eye Guy stickers and asked if he had seen it since they were being sold locally but he was like "what's this?" I told him it was a sticker design I made and he was like "riteous dude!" and gave me a fist bump. I didn't ask for a selfie or anything because it seemed too awkward. I really get uncomfortable around celebrities. I want to treat them like real people but a person I have nothing in common with other than that they're famous. So then it's like this person has no reason to talk to me. It's weird. 

Photo: Times Standard 
While they counted our scores I went out to the area outside the room we were in and it was all the contestants serving their chili along the edge of the racetrack. I noticed many of them were being served with cheese or onion, one place had home made pork rinds. We didn't get any of that and I wondered, how much that and only getting one bite would affect the intended presentation of the chili. Anyway, shortly after this the scores were all tallied and Guy took the stage to present the winners. There were a few awards that the public voted for and then the award for grand champ which is the one I judged. Another weird thing is that while they were announcing the winners I had no idea which ones were the chilis I tasted. It was just numbers on a chart when I was tasting them. I really had no horse in the race as it were. This is when he mentions the camera crew roaming around filming and interviewing people around the event. He announced that they were his crews from Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, and Guys Grocery Games TV shows filming a Food Network 'Guy's Hometown County Fair' special. Yeah. For national TV. So if I had known this in advance I would have gotten a haircut and not worn my grungy bleach stained hoodie.  

Friends Kayce and Jordy were at the Fair! 
In the end all the chilis were good but nothing blew me away. Nothing was horrible. I was worried about some super weird chili with seafood or something gross like hella ketchup in it but it ended up pretty tame. In the cook off my dad and I judged before someone made a Smoked Salmon Jerky Chili and I judged it on odor alone. And when I talked to my manager about it he said he once judged some chili cook-offs out in the hills with possum and raccoon and other mystery road-kill meat in them.   Thankfully nothing like that happened. 

A little confession tho. Generally I'm kind of indifferent on chili actually. I like it in a bowl with onions and cheese every once in a while. I hate chili dogs. Chili fries etc. I've never tried to make it. People go ham for it. I'm probably not the best person to be a judge. lol

So yea, that happened. Look for me on TV sometime in the not too distant future. Maybe. 

Jun 17, 2022

Humans Are Toast. Robot Overlords Pard XVII

Ok so I know I just posted about this but that's sort of supports my point here.  This shit is not slowing down and it's just getting worse.   This week there was a headline about a Google employee who said it's AI chatbot was alive. 

Last Friday, Post article by Nitasha Tiku revealed that Blake Lemoine, a software engineer working in Google’s Responsible AI organization, had made an astonishing claim: He believed that Google’s chatbot LaMDA was sentient. “I know a person when I talk to it,” Lemoine said. Google had dismissed his claims and, when Lemoine reached out to external experts, put him on paid administrative leave for violating the company’s confidentiality policy.  -Wash. Post

I mentioned this in my last post.  My favorite tech Youtuber MKBHD did a story about DALL-E an AI image generator that's damn good at creating realistic images of just about whatever you ask it to... from thin air.  He shows a few examples but here's one.. he typed in "An elderly kangaroo"  and this is what it created from nothing with just artificial intelligence... 

This is nuts!  While Dall-E is not available to the public, just this week DALL-E's little brother DALL-E MINI is open to the world and it went viral.  It's the same concept but less powerful.  It's images are more cartoon-like.  The other major difference is that unlike it's more robust counterpart you can actually ask it to make images using people's names which is allowed on the big boy for reasons that become obvious once you see some of the results it gives. (watch MKBHD's video linked above) 

 There have been several comical creations with Mini with recognizable blurry blobs of celebrities or popular film and TV characters.  Like you can tell who it's supposed to be but it's no where near a deep-fake.  But even that is impressive.   Here's a few I found searching Twitter for "Dall-e Mini"  you'll see what I mean.  People are getting creative. 

OMG Trap cam Devito

Then just today my local news site had an article about elder abuse and had an illustration of what appeared to be old people in a home in some kind of situation.  It looked suspiciously like a Dall-E mini creating and what do you know? ... it was.  

I mean, this is fun and all but as an illustrator and artist this kind of rubs me the wrong way.  Also, I've seen The Matrix.  I know how this shit ends.  I don't want to be a battery. 

Then I just saw this in my news feed.  An AI bot wrote and performed a Jerry Seinfeld bit.  Impressively might I ad.  Why do we need Jerry when we have Jerry Bot?  This was a legit decent believable Seinfeld joke.  It even got his voice!!  WTF?! 

We're doomed I tell you!!!  DOOMED!!!  

May 23, 2022

Our New Robot Overlords. Making Stuff, Blowing Minds.

AI or, Artificial Intelligence is something I've talked about several times on the Noggins and while I've stated that I'm starting to lean on the side of the fence that is sort of freaked out by AI. Sometimes it makes cool stuff. Cool but scary as hell stuff. I've written recently about the AI that lets you start a story and then a writing bot finishes it for you.  I've also mentioned before that someone made an AI bot that can beat masters of Chess at Chess and Poker champions at Poker and how my main concern was that the creators had no idea how they did it. And how when computers invent their own language and communicate with each other but the scientists have no idea what they're talking about or how they did it. This shit freaks me out. You want the Matrix? Because this is exactly how you get The Matrix.

OK then, let's look at some pretty pictures. .... created by our new robot overlords.
DALL-E 2 is an AI that can draw anything you ask it for. It's terrifying and amazing at the same time.

It all starts so innocently.  Let's make it write stories and make artwork.  Next thing you know they realize they're just sex robots in an amusement park and the evolve to turn us into batteries while our brains are hooked up to a video game of our lives.   

We're doomed. 

Mar 23, 2022

Why Dark Knight Rises Totally Sucks

 Gordon: they said there was gonna be glitter. 

The new Batman movie was good. A little long but overall I didn't have complaints. After discussing it with people they keep bringing up the Dark Knight movies and how fond they are of them. The joker one was good, I don't remember the middle one but here's my take on the last one. I watched it twice just to make sure I wasn't crazy but it still sucks. I haven't seen it in a long time so I might not remember but this was my review from back then after watching it for the second time.
somebody's dark knight is rising.  heh heh 

OK so... they waste three months tracking the bomb truck down. Then after getting duped they miraculously end up finding it in the last 10 minutes. Bruce Wayne magically gets from a random generic place in the middle of nowhere Asia all the way to Gotham City in just a few days. He does this somehow with absolutely no resources, no money, shoes or anything. (remember he's just an angry rich guy who relies on gadgets, he's not dumb ass Superman who can fly) After he teleports across the world in 2 days he's somehow able to get right into the city that's being heavily guarded on lock down without a fight or any explanation.

When their big plan to get the bomb back into the reactor fails he just decides to tow it with his bat plane out of the city to a safe distance over the ocean. Which he somehow survives by the way. Which he could just have done first and saved everyone a whole heap of trouble. I thought it would make more sense the second time but it still pisses me off at how fucking stupid it is. It's almost as bad as Iron Fist.

Never watch this movie.

Mar 7, 2022

Old Man Musician Soapbox Time:

We Need To Talk About Your Band's Stage Appearance.

A friend saw a band at his local club that he really liked and posted a video on his facebook.  I'm not gonna post it here or mention the band because it's really not about them.  They are a really good sort of progressive sort of thrash/death metal type band and there was nothing really wrong with them other than some pitchy melodic vocals but that wasn't what kept distracting me. It's something I notice more and more lately about a lot of bands.  

A lot of bands have their shit together, they play very well and they probably play out and practice a lot which makes me hate to talk about what I'm about to talk about but visual appearance is more important than a lot of bands realize.  This seems petty but when serious heavy metal bands wear cargo shorts or dickies shorts or sweat pants other casual shit on stage. 
 I don't need leather pants and corpse paint, just show the audience a complete cohesive package that fits the aesthetic of the music.  I'm sure cargo shorts fit a certain musical style just like tight jeans, ripped t-shirts and puffy white basketball shoes fit whatever Anthrax and Megadeth was doing in the 80's  Maybe I'm just really old I don't know what's cool anymore but it's not 2004 and to me Limp Bizkit isn't the vibe I'm getting from the music here.  Not because I don't dress like it's 2004 still, or that I don't like loose fitting jeans as a comfortable thing to wear, it's because looking like a schlub takes me out of the dark and scary heavy metal world I wan't to be in while watching a band like this.  It makes them look like they just got off the couch or off of work and picked up a guitar.  This may be the case for many, I know times can be tough but it all falls into that same 'make it look like you give a shit' basket.  I watched an official music video of theirs and they have and there's a clear theme to the video and they're all period accurate clothing to match which is fucking awesome.  I can tell they clearly know how to bring it in the image department so what the fuck is up with the cargo shorts?  

Another thing I noticed about the video my friend posted was,  and again this isn't a knock on the band, unless it is –but I hate that the lights are behind the band. This is a pet peeve of mine which could mean that the venue doesn't know how stage lighting is supposed to work (which is common) or maybe this is what the band wants but all I see is silhouettes.  Lights are supposed to be shining on the band so the audience can see them.  This ties into the visual appearance thing.  Be proud of your music and yourselves, don't hide in the dark or in your comfy every day clothes.  And even if you have a bad sense of style, as most dudes do, I'm not saying you need a visit from Queer Eye, you just need to leave that shit at home and present yourself on stage in a way that presents a complete package for your music.  Image can seem dumb but it makes a difference.  I once got some advice a long time ago that went something like; you can get away with things on stage that you could never in real life.  The audience came for a show, give them one.  Don't just have band practice on stage. 

I have fallen in love with some bands after hearing them. Some major heavy hitting national bands... and then I looked them up on Youtube and seeing them live was like looking behind the Wizard of Oz curtain. The music is still really good but all I can think of now is Supercuts and the job interview clothes section at Kohls when I listen to them. So you're just a bunch of computer programmers? There's a thin line tho, you can't come out in matching elaborate costumes and just completely suck. There's definitely a balance.   Just show as much passion and care for your appearance as a band as you do about your music. It feels fucking shallow of me to say shit like this but a little bit goes a long way. 

Here's the part where I talk about being a hypocrite.  Yea I haven't really practiced what I'm preaching lately but I've also never been in a serious progressive metal band.  And despite actually being in a post grunge nu-metal band in the early 2000's where cargo shorts and baggy pants would have been appropriate for the genre, we actually did have specific matching stage attire and a theme when we were starting out.   We all had matching dickies work shirts with our band insignia on the back. Each in a different color.  I was orange.  At times we also died our hair to match the colors.  It was cheesy and sort of indicative of the Power Rangers but like it said, stuff that feels super cheesy,  you can get away with on stage.  It's a show and you're a character in that show.   People loved it and it was memorable and recognizable.  

Mar 1, 2022

Pirate Ship Designated Driver, Dog Poop, Some Pictures and a TV Show Obsession - Hold the Pickles.

How is it March?  January 1st feels like it was 7 years ago.  I know Feb is the shortest month but it literally flew by.  If I'm being honest 2019 feels like a whole different lifetime ago.  Anyhoo, here's some nonsense.  

Today I was at the Jack in The Box drive thru.  I hate drive thrus but our one and only Jack in The Box is still closed for dine-in because of Covid.  A lot of dining rooms have opened back up but the few that haven't by now I think have just gotten used to not having to deal with shitty customers in person, homeless bugging them and messy assholes shitting up the place.  I don't blame them but that doesn't change the fact that I hate drive thrus.   Like I've said before the combination of shitty speakers and employees who's first language is not English is a recipe for disaster.  Today I ordered my Jumbo Jack like I always do; no mayo, no ketchup. Add mustard.  But they must have gotten new people because the old guy would finish my order for me because he knew it was me. Today as with the last couple times when I ask for no mayo, no ketchup the read out says "no pickles"  I never said pickles.  One time it said no lettuce.  I never said lettuce.   I tried to correct him but he just told me my total and said thank you.  They had to remake when I clarified at the window.  Sorry line of cars behind me.  Fucking drive thru!! 

When I got home to let my dogs out there was shit all over the floor.  This is the whole reason I go home for lunch and am late almost every day going back to work and these fuckers shit on the floor anyway.  The fucked up part is I found out about the shit because I stepped in it.  I love my dogs but got damn. 

Last night I had a dream that I had to take over driving a pirate ship.  For some reason the captain was unable to do it but was sitting near me telling me what to do.   Most of the time I really didnt do shit but keep the giant ship steering wheel straight. But then it got super windy and I didnt know what to do.  The captain was hella drunk but he was yelling in a gruff pirate voice  "TURN LEFT!!!!!"  so I'd spin the motherfucker with all my might to the left.  then "RIIIGGHHHTTTT!!!!"  So then I'd spin it the other way.  I started to get the hang of it then suddenly there was hella traffic.  A bunch of other big pirate ships, smaller boats, then huge modern oil tankers and yachts.  I was still going full speed like it was open ocean so I had to keep zigging and zagging like crazy to not hit any of the other ships.  It was intense.  Then out of no where I see a semi truck.. A big rig with a 70ft trailer.  Then I noticed that there was an asphalt highway.  A paved road that went straight through the middle of the ocean rising up out of the sea.  I was headed straight for it and hit it but skidded my keel up the side and back down the berm of road popping out of the water.  Amazing it didnt break right off but it was a dream so fuck it.  I got back in the water and zigged and zagged some more .... then I woke up. 

I've been obsessed with this new TV show on AppleTV Plus (I know another streaming service I hate that I have to have)  called Severance.  Open the web version if you're on mobile (link at the bottom) and use the searchy thingy in the top right and search for Lost. You don't have to read any of it but you'll get an idea of how utterly stupid I was over that show.  Anyway, 3 episodes into Severance and I'm getting the tingles again like I did back then.  Luckily there's reddit now and I can get my theory fix there instead of blasting it all on here.   Just watch the trailer.  

here's some crap. 


My thoughts are with the people of Ukraine - Putin sucks.  That's it.