From Justa With Love

The first ever Deadpan guest blogpost from our very own JustaJoe! Sharing his expertise about the Brosnan-era Bond films. Thank you very much, JusstaJoe!

Jack

Bond. James Bond.

I recently had the opportunity to watch all 4 of the Pierce Brosnan “Bond Films” in sequential order, over 4 consecutive nights.Typically speaking, films in the Bond franchise had not been “good films”. That isn’t to say they weren’t enjoyable or didn’t make a lot of money but other than their music score, art direction or perhaps the “visual sequence”… there was little danger of them being mentioned at the Academy Awards. To a Bond fan though, this is of no consequence.

I saw my first Bond film in my mid teens and I was hooked. It was the Roger Moore era and even though I had read three of Ian Fleming’s novels before ever seeing a Bond Film, to ME these films defined what a “Bond Film” should be!The Bond film is it’s own genre. Well, maybe more of a specific sub-genre of the “Action Adventure” film.
To be a TRUE Bond film it needs several key ingredients;
Stunning action sequences, Stunning females, Stunning cars. Gadgets that are fantastic but not too far beyond the realm of possibility. A 2 dimensional villain (consistent in his character…but not complex because – we don’t care) and of course a stunningly dashing/charming/smart/clever/strong/ruthless/deadly/unstoppable/lLIKEABLE James Bond. Oh, and the opening, pre-title sequence should leave you with your mouth agape … and lead seamlessly into a titillating title sequence that was some graphic designer’s big chance in life to finally shine!

With all of THAT as my premise, I will boldly state, the first two Brosnan Bonds may be the Pinnacle of the Bond Film genre!

1995’s “GoldenEye” is firing on all cylinders as it hits each and every one of my key “Bond Film” metrics! Brosnan is dashing, the women are sexy, the villains are despicable, the quirky side characters are quirky, the action is nearly continuous and the evil plot is not overly complicated. (Note: a negative for a Bond film is slow “plot/character development” scenes that give you too much time to think)
This is a fabulous start to Brosnan’s tenure as Bond. He was blessed with a good director and a great Bond script which play’s him neither “tounge in cheek” (like the later Moore scripts) nor as a tortured, dark, brooding “Batman-esque” character.
I can watch this film again and again.

1997’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” – Holy Crap! Somehow they knocked it out of the park with two in a row! This again hit’s ALL of the “Bond Film” buttons … but they have gone one step farther and added a supporting female character that you’d like to see in her OWN franchise!
Michelle Yeoh is not only a fabulous Bond girl, she can act! … and for the first time in my memory of Bond Babes … her fight scenes look REAL. When she throws a punch you don’t have to suspend disbelief!Additionally, with the benefit (or curse) of viewing this film from where our world is now, the film has developed a disturbingly “prophetic” feel to it. The “fantastic” has become a little too close to reality.
This is another film I could watch again and again.

1999’s “The World is Not Enough“. Ooof. Well, we new it was coming. While not a bad film, it slipped a few cogs from the previous two efforts. When you watch these films back to back, you can feel when a struggle for creative direction starts. Someone has decided that they needed to put in some scenes to “build tension”. This slows things down and gives your mind a chance to wander. Not a good thing for a Bond film. Also, they are trying to slip in some of the 80’s era “tounge-and-cheek Bond” while simultaneously trying to give him “pathos’. That’s a problem and frankly, an over complication of a character that doesn’t NEED to be complicated.Also, Dr. Christmas Jones. OMG! Talk about “product placement.”

2002 “Die Another Day“. Well, that’s a wrap. Right from the horrific, Madonna produced “Theme Song”, you know that something is amiss. In summary, it has too many slow bits and it’s plot is way too convoluted (and after they get to Iceland the film just becomes a big ol mess), and some of the action sequences become “hokey” even for a Bond film. In some ways it feels like different parts of the film were written by different committees who all had their own ideas about what was important in this film. In fairness, if you had never viewed “GoldenEye” or “Tomorrow Never Dies” this film would be an okay Bond film. Or even if you had just not viewed those films recently. If you’ve come home from an evening out and it is the late movie on TNT… hey, it’s still a Bond film!

Sadly, after “Die Another Day”, Barbara Broccoli  who after a previous legal battle had regained control of the character decided she wanted to make a different kind of film for her Bond franchise. Brosnan had ask for more money and while Die” was the 6th highest grossing film of 2002… the market was now flooded with “Action Adventure” films and someone convinced her that “Action Drama” was the future. That Bond films needed to be more serious. That James Bond needed to grow up. Brosnan was “let go”. 🙁

It would be hard to argue that some of the recent Daniel Craig films aren’t much better “Action Adventure Films” then many of the franchises previous efforts and even just all around better “films” … it’s just that they aren’t “Bond Films”.

In the 60’s and 70’s, Hollywood desperately tried to copy the bond formula. Then Hollywood, as it always does, grew on the theme and we got any number of “more realistic” Action Adventure films. Franchises like “Jason Borne”, “John Wick” and many of the Marvel characters (with their dark and/or twisted back stories) were making lot of $$ and I guess Broccoli wanted in on some of that loot.
Now, Bond films are trying to copy OTHER franchises.
For me, “Dark and Gritty” will never be a “Bond Film”. With the Craig films it’s like “The Dark Night” stumbled into the wrong franchise … and didn’t even get to bring his “Toys”. Where’s the “fun” with the new films? After viewing a Bond film I want to leave the theater feeling energized, amped up and perhaps a little giddy.

A true “Bond Film” should be a thrilling but always FUN ride.
JustaJ0e

448 thoughts on “From Justa With Love

      • That was my first Cinema Bond so it will always have special feels for me. Some good action sequences in that one. “young teen” me appreciates the car mirror gun and the voodoo Doctor was just scary enough back then. Also- one of the top Bond theme songs. (Thank you Sir Paul!)

  1. A couple of weeks ago we finished our D&D campaign. We’re thinking of switching it up and exploring the Traveller universe for the next one

  2. I appreciate Jack indulging me in my “creative writing” exercise. Nice to have an outlet for such things. Decades ago, I used to really enjoy writing. When you don’t write for a living… or even in hopes of doing it for a living, you find that you stop writing. Like any other skill, if you don’t use it, you loose it. So thanks again Jack!

    BTW- I know from past posts on The Deadpan that there are a lot of Bond opinions here so I thought this might be of some mild interest. However, this is just my take on things “Bond” and if you completely disagree, no hard feelings!

  3. My first exposure to bond was all the Roger Moore ones when I was young. I loved them all as a kid, unfortunately, they don’t hold up as well as I remembered. Still, there is a special place in my heart for “The Spy Who Loved Me” as young me remembered it. I can’t remember any of the Pierce Brosnan films, but I’m curious to view them now Joe. 🙂

  4. My first Bond was “For Your Eyes Only” on regular TV, which I loved. I kinda don’t ever want to watch it again, because I don’t want to see how corny it actually is.

    I do recall a sadistic delight at the end, when the bad guy was dangling off of a cliff, begging for help, and Bond chose to kick the car rather than save him.

    (I feel like I’ve said this here before)

  5. By the way! We finished Star Wars: Resistance. It was fine. It’s the most low-stakes of the 3 animated shows, in that it has very little connection to the movie storylines, and almost no Force stuff at all.

    That’s fine. The storylines can be low-key and easily-digestible – – for this kind of thing. It is the least of the 3 shows, but also the most consistent, meaning that it had the lowest ratio of terrible episodes to good.

    That shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. Clone Wars and Rebels are both good shows overall, but both have many terrible awful godawful episodes.

    • The most consistent.. are you insane ? Also you’re the only one I’ve met to remotely give a meh to this show. It’s also real unfair to compare a one season show to a show like Clone Wars that lasted nearly a decade. I love you but this is a gross take.

      • Look, I’d never have watched beyond ep 1 or maybe 2 on my own. Its highest highs were merely decent, especially compared to the best of Clone Wars and Rebels. But its worst episodes were just bland, not as actively painful as those shows at their worst. “Consistent” wasn’t really meant as a compliment.

  6. CW: The Expanse S1E1

    No new American Gods episode this week due to the Super Bowl so decided to rewatch the first 3 seasons of the Expanse. So many characters I had completely forgotten about.

    • The surprise is that it took them this long. Part of me hopes they recast because I do like the character but if they write her off completely it ain’t no thing

    • Also, let’s face it – – even if Gina hadn’t turned out to be an asshole, her acting was wooden, awkward, and terrible. Every time she opened her mouth, the TV illusion was shattered.

      I would like to see them get a competent actor and do something cool with this character. . . . just. . . . not an actor who equates criticism of her voting party with the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

      • I am amazed when people whose jobs only exist because a large amount of the population likes them, act in a way the majority of those people find horrible and then are surprised when they lose their jobs.

      • I was mildly amused by her character, but I’m not having any pangs of remorse at not seeing her more. There’s an opening for a more charismatic Rebel character for sure.

  7. Last Night I watched “CQ” on Amazon Prime.
    A 2001 film that I would consider an “Art Film”. It was a bit full of itself but WOW did I love the fact it felt like it was made in 1969!
    Not like the way “Queen’s Gambit” was SET in the 60s … this felt like it was MADE in the late 60’s. Film geek in me loved that.

    Won’t say much else in case you want to give it a go. It is a slow paced “What’s going to happen now?” sort of film with some good performances and trippy “film making” devices but all in all I thought it was fun.
    Want to watch something different? “CQ”
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0254199/

  8. I had to go out into the frikken cold this morning. Putting gas in my car was not fun. However, the mask makes a good face warmer, even if it fogs up the glasses

  9. So with probably no prospect of international travel this year, I ordered myself a big tv that is PS5 ready.

    So yeah, I’m going to get some serious eye rolling from of my sisters when I tell her.

      • There-in lays my disgust.
        I REALLY like the Foo Fighters … and the Go-Go give me a lot of joy … but they just haven’t made the sort of contribution to Rock N Roll or Pop Culture that Todd Rundgren, Devo or Kate Bush have.

        • I believe there’s room in a true Rock n’ Roll Hall for all of the above.

          Because we’re all roughly the same age Wilford Brimley was in Cocoon, we may not have felt the Foo impact as strongly as kids born in the 80s and 90s. They’ve arguably been among the biggest radio/touring bands on earth for the past 20 years.

  10. Tonight’s Beer – Home brewed Belgium Stout.

    Tonight’s film – 2010 “Malice in Wonderland”
    Another “included with Prime” movie.

    I find I really like these quirky little films.

  11. So….

    Don’t sink to the level of anyone making these claims – – don’t engage – – but for your own certainty, here’s Snopes debunking their bullshit.

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/aoc-capitol-attack/

    She was in danger. She didn’t exaggerate or lie. It was a fucking violent, murderous, treasonous riot. Any sensible person would have felt the same fear in her place.

    Dislike her or disagree with her – – OK. But trolls need to check facts before spreading that particular lie. Fucking disgusting.

    (This will be my only angry post of the day.)

  12. CW: Spirited Away

    My Studio Ghibli rewatch continues with the film that got me hooked on SG films, think I saw Porco Rosso on tv before this.

  13. Multi-post rant.

    We’re connected to some people who’ve come to see us as enemies – – primarily because they’re COVIDiots. We don’t challenge them or even talk to them in any way these days, our only partial connection is because our teenagers are close. Although we’ve allowed the girls to remain connected, that household still don’t accept any sensible limits we impose on the girls’ time together. We’ve become aware of numerous unkind comments thrown our way. (Petty, mundane suburban dramas. Not the point.).

    Their adult son recently died in a tragic accident. It’s awful. Unfathomable.
    I said that it was a shame we couldn’t send them some kind of sympathy or condolences, because they’ve become so twisted. Tiffany spoke up and said we’ll mail them a card, because we’re good people, and that’s what good people do.

    She still knocks me out.

    • The looming problem: there’s a wake coming up, and they want my elder to go. I called the funeral home last night with questions, received a voicemail this morning, which basically said, “Masks are encouraged, and hopefully there’s social distancing.”

      Seriously.

      I know human history is loaded with terrible behavior, but I can’t believe that humans have been this irrationally, willfully irresponsible before. I mean, how would we have survived so many eons like this?

      • OK, I tried it out. I have a fondness for these kinds of word games, but I don’t love the interface. That said, I’d be happy to play, if anyone wants. I’m not sure if it has to be live, or if head-to-head games need to be turn-based.

  14. Hubby and I did a Resident Evil movie marathon over the last few weeks. We’ve watched all the live action movies and two of the animated. Tonight will be the last of the animated movies, Vendetta

  15. So tonight, there are many versions of me that suffered a serious accident assembling the new tv stand.

    But not this version.

    Well not yet anyway.

  16. Checking in. We’re coming up on 36 hours since our “rolling blackout” began. It’s odd the pockets that have power vs those that don’t. Yesterday we hung out with the in-laws to charge phones and enjoy some lights.
    Today, we’re hanging with some friends who never lost power. Got to take some showers and wash the dishes we’ve been using the last few days.
    The performance of the grid here has certainly been a disappointment. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s because of wind or solar. Plenty of fossil fuel based generation cratered and I hear even a nuke plant went off line. More than 30% of our generation went down when we were expecting record demand. I hadn’t realized how many homes used electric for heating. We’ve got a natural gas furnace, which itself isn’t so useful without electricity for the air handler.
    It’s going to be interesting to see how many electric retailers go under as the wholesale cost to buy electricity has been pegged out at the max allowed $9.00/kWh. Most of them are selling it under retail contracts running from $0.04 to $0.12/kWh.
    Sad part is that things probably aren’t going to improve until the weekend.

  17. Still cleaning my office but definately running out of steam on the project.
    I am to the point of going through all my file folders. All totaled, I have filled 4 kitchen trash bags full of shredded paper.

    Fun but useless fact- in 2005 I was paying AOL some $14.95 a month for something called “Broadband access”.
    I wonder what that actually was.
    57.5 dial-up ?

  18. Can I just say that Sony really screwed the pooch on the feet for the new TV, not only are the feet too wide apart, they are so big they don’t sit properly on the tv stand I bought.

    Which means I’m going to have to get a VESA mount stand so the tv can safely stand on the other tv stand.

    I’m pissed!

  19. I will never celebrate anyone’s death, but this guy was actively causing harm to the world – – pretty much right up until the day he died.

    So no cruel jokes from me, but I will say that the world is a worse place because of his far-reaching words, and it’s better off without him.

    Hey, at least PG Holyfield and I got a fun Deadpan skit at his expense. RIP, Holyfield. Bye, Limbaugh.

  20. Went to check the mail and there was some guy sitting on his back deck with his bong. Not sure what he was getting out of it though as he was coughing up a storm with each puff. Of course, never having done it myself, maybe that’s supposed to happen

      • I too found it … charming.
        I do give it high marks for tackling it’s biggest issue, head on. That would be that it’s plot is based on an existing quite popular film. It deals with that though.

        Do yourself a favor. Don’t look for anymore info on this film. Just watch it and enjoy.

  21. Well, now the electricity gods are saying to expect several more days without power. We’ve been able to borrow a generator, so we’ve been able to get our food back in the fridge, power the network gear, and a space heater. And I’ve got plenty of vodka, so it’s manageable. I’ve been able to avoid it for almost 30 years, but I think I’ll finally be getting some kind of backup generator of our own after this passes.

    • Power back on here. It came on this same time last night and ran for five hours, which provided a nice opportunity to bring some heat into the house. We’ll see how long this run goes for.
      I had just finished refilling the tank on the generator, so it’s at least ready to go and will get a nice bit of cool down time.

      • I’m seeing similar reports from my other Texan friends. Just be warned, I’m also seeing that the power is dropping again for some. Make the best of it when it comes on.

        Vodka should work as lighter fuel, if your campfire starts to run low.

    • Have to say that we finally broke down and bought a generator several years ago and it has worked like a charm… we haven’t had the power go out since!

      …and honestly, even if it is life’s way of mocking us … worth it to not lose power!

  22. Well that was fun. We got 4” of snow over the last 3 hours. Looked really nifty.
    Now it has turned to a steady rain and the temp has risen to 33f

  23. So Ted Cruz goes on holiday as the state he represents freezes.

    I do wonder if masochism is more widespread among voters than people realise.

    • Very interesting read.
      Discovered behaviors that are very apparent in today’s society.
      Also theorized that the solution was to provide “creativity, artistry, and the type of community not built around social hierarchies.”
      Of course, no one wanted to hear that bit.

    • I’ve been following this saga (a little bit).

      The Sanford guy does seem to have applied one paint brush to all of the authors at Baen Books. Eric Flint, a self-declared socialist, is one of Baen’s elder statesmen, and he *clapped back* at Sanford pretty hard.

      But I have to say, my outsider’s impression of Baen matches what Sanford wrote. I don’t know that world well enough to really say, but. . . I mean. . . when your specialty is old-fashioned military Sci-Fi, you know you’re going to attract some kooky militia types. . .

  24. Stolen from FB:
    Teaching STEM without teaching the Humanities is how you get Spiderman villains.
    Teaching Theatre without teaching the Humanities is how you get Batman villains.

  25. Hooray for Ed’s generator!

    I spoke with my brother, who lives in an affluent area outside of Dallas. He also iwns his own software company. He says that his house and office happen to “be on Grids deemed high priority list” so neither has lost power or water.

    I’m honestly afraid to ask any more questions about it.

    They are housing my brother’s FIL. My nephew is at college and stuck in 15 inches of snow. Bored.

    But it seems everyone is safe and warm, and likely smelling good.

  26. Came on here to see how Ed and family were doing. I’m glad to see you’re ok.

    I just wish the access to power were equal for everyone down there.

  27. Morning Pan
    I’m thinking of changing my phone plan. We’ve been with the same company since our first cell phone a bajillion years ago. Changing is both exciting and scary.

  28. Apparently the latest WandaVision is only 1 hour. Probably a good day to avoid FB.

    At least here at Deadpan, you only have to worry about Van 😀

    • Ah yes, the guy who allows me to be anonymous on the internet by stealing all search traffic. Gotta love him.

      Though, back when that Hillary book came out, I did get an email from somebody disagreeing about “my” portrayal of her. Good times.

    • Weird. This quote from her doesn’t sound radical or anti-American. What gives?

      “Charity isn’t a replacement for good governance, but we won’t turn away from helping people in need when things hit the fan,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

  29. Fought my way thru the 1st 2 episodes of “Derry Girls” last night.
    I’m pretty good with accents but I had to give up and turn on the subtitles for this one.

  30. Eric Flint made some good counter arguments to the Baen Books article. I must admit that I haven’t read any of Eric Flint’s books but (as my actual last name is Flint) I once sat at a table meant for him at a convention that had a sign that said “Flint” on it so I could get a picture. I am an infant when it comes to sense of humor.

    https://ericflint.net/information/controversy-about-baens-bar/?fbclid=IwAR34TyduwWu4MGU4TF-Q4w-D1mjKwYsBMmjoGWfeaQ67CM3i1LbTLq40JGk

    • Well I never thought the token socialist was a thing but here we are.

      Also JS has received death threats and online harassment which tends to make me suspicious that Flint is actually being genuine in his response.

    • Well, even knowing nothing about this “Baen’s Bar” controversy nor having heard of this Eric Flint fellow, that was certainly an insightful read…and an all too rare and forceful push back against the cancel culture mob mind set.

      His being an avowed socialist, there’s probably not much we’d agree on politically – but I could also see being able to actually have a discussion about political ideas with him that wasn’t just a bunch of shouting a name calling.

      Both sides could stand to elevate more voices like these, but those don’t generate the clicks or flashy headlines.

    • I’ve read quite a few Flint books. While I have some qualms with him as an author, I feel we should give him the benefit of the doubt as is expected with JS’s article. When I read the original article, which Flint calls a hit piece, it did feel like selective reporting to me. While it may point out a legitimate problem, the subsequent piling on of Baen and Baen authors is too much of the mob mentality that has been going around lately.

      • This is perfectly stated.

        I’ve not read any Flint, but I think he’s right to defend the place that made him famous.

        I’ve always been drawn more to the human and Cyberpunk aspects of writing and spec fic, so “count the rivets” military Sci-Fi has never been my thing (Recommend a great one and I’ll read it). I don’t expect there’s anything more to see there. It’s surely just going to get uglier.

        • The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, I would advise not reading the sequel (Forever Free), where his fucking obsession with god like aliens spoils everything..so much so that I’m still pissed about it over two decades later.

    • A few final thoughts about this… the death threats seem to be par for the course whenever someone speaks out against the radical right. That doesn’t automatically mean that whatever the person said was entirely true. Again, JS gets the benefit of the doubt from me.

      I agree with Flint, however, that not enough proof is presented. JS says he took screen shots of everything, but he doesn’t use all of them. Nor does he point out whether or not this issue is endemic in The Bar, or as Flint asserts, is just limited to the politics section. You can go to pretty much any forum with a politics section and find pretty distasteful posts. And they get worse when there little moderation.

      The big problem I have with JS’s article is when he asks why won’t Baen do anything about it, he never indicates that he contacted Baen about the problem. Ethical reporting would require him to reach out to Baen about the issue to get their response. There’s no indication he did that. Instead he posted a provocative article that more than strongly implies that Baen is complicit in this behavior. Maybe, maybe not.

      There’s also the nagging suspicion of motive here. Is JS just being a concerned citizen? But then why lead the article with “If you like my writings on genre issues, consider backing my Patreon.” Did JS write click-bait to make money? It is a fair question, especially since the article can have a significant financial impact on Baen and its authors.

      There are some Baen authors I like, and others I very much do not. I think it is fair to criticize Baen in that they do publish some very conservative authors, including some of the Sad Puppy faction. There have been quite a few calling on Baen boycotts just for that. So, I have more than a few questions about what is being said about this controversy.

      I’m going to reserve my opinion before throwing Baen and Flint under the bus.

  31. Ok is CBS all access using a few beats from Wonderwall on it’s logo at the end of tv episodes?

    Sure sounds like it.

    Watched the first two episodes of Clarice, set a year after Silence of the Lambs, not bad but the supporting cast are better actors than the lass playing Clarice, Jodie Foster class she ain’t.

  32. Ouch.
    Welcome to deregulation, Texas style.

    Residents who were lucky enough to keep power this last week but were UNlucky enough to get their power from “Griddy” found their electric bill went up $5000 since just last Saturday. Because deregulation lets Griddy charge based on market factors.

    “ Those spot prices hit $9,000 per megawatt-hour. That means $9 for a kilowatt-hour that usually costs Cosby around 7 cents, and sometimes as little as 2 cents.”

    Dallasnews.com

    • It’s quite a bit more complicated than that.

      https://www.griddy.com/post/griddy-update-why-energy-prices-were-sky-high-this-week

      I’ve actually been a Griddy customer coming up on about three years now. Yes, this past week was not pleasant, but the PUCT and ERCOT made it far worse than it should have been. I got away pretty luck compared to many I’ve read about. It’s going to be interesting to see what the ultimate fallout from this turns out to be.

      • Somehow, there’s going to have to be. If nothing else, I can easily see the Feds getting involved with possibly some kind of civil rights action. Texas and ERCOT may find itself ultimately having to do things like submit to FERC authority and provide more interconnects to one of the major grids as part of some kind of consent decree.

        As a concept, I and several of my friends have liked Griddy. It is definitely not for everyone – particularly folks who aren’t able to make adjustments to their usage. Because the price fluctuates, it encourages a more active form of energy conservation. A couple of my friends have electric cars. Pretty much all electric car users charge their cars over night. With Griddy, power prices are usually extremely cheap at night, as the wind turbines are usually most productive then – which the also like as it means they are making maximum use of green power. We’ve only had a few of the max $9 price spikes and they have usually not lasted more than a couple of hours.
        August 2019 was a difficult round as there were several afternoons where high temperatures were driving the air conditioners hard and the grid ran pretty tight. But, again, that was a couple of hours. We would pre-cool the house in the morning and then, when the spikes came, we would turn off the A/C for those afternoon hours and just let the house temperature coast up. With all of that, my cost per kWh for that month was still only a little higher than what the average fixed rate plan would have charged – and the other 11 months were much less, so I still averaged out way ahead.
        There is definitely a flaw with the system since the majority of Texans are on fixed rate plans – they pay the same price any hour of the day. They therefore have no incentive to conserve or to try to shift energy intensive activities to off peak hours. They don’t see that $9/kWh or even know it’s happening. The peak price is intended to be an incentive to producers to crank up their production – sort of like surge pricing for Uber/Lyft to get more drivers out…and bring the prices back down.
        The other real killer was that it was the government agency, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), that put out the order on Monday that forced ERCOT to essentially ignore the market price action and peg the rate at the $9/kWh maximum. That’s never happened before and I think that is likely to draw the real attention from the investigations that are certain to come from all this.

        • Thanks for the “end user” report. Interesting to know how it works “for realz”.
          Do you have a way of looking at what your rate is “in real time” so if it spikes you can turn everything off?

      • The only thing that struck me odd was the last time I visited Long Island, the people there still seems to always want to pay in cash at restaurants when eating in groups. So the poor schmuck (usually me) that doesn’t carry cash gets stuck putting the whole bill on their credit card / debit card / whatever plastic, and then carrying around all of the cash from their friends until they get to a bank.

  33. Hubby and I are actually looking at our retirement future. We’re hoping for five years. Since my boss has no idea of what I do and how I do it, I’ve started on a detailed procedure manual for everything I do. Because I’m adding screenshots and detailing everything, just showing how book layouts are done seems a lot more complicated than I feel it is. It’s taking forever just for this part. I’m afraid of how much time it will take to detail everything else I do.

  34. Seems it wasn’t a crazy, whacky happenstance that Facebook helped to tear down this country and prop up the racists and authoritarians. It was intentional.

    ++++++++++from the Twitter
    So Zuckerberg personally does not believe Alex Jones is a hate figure, and Zuck re-shaped Facebook’s content policies around Jones — to protect the ideas and beliefs of Infowars.

    Let that sink in for a minute. Source: buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanma…

    • Have not yet read that article, but I learned today that Elizabeth Olsen is Mary-Kate and Ashley’s younger sister.

      . . . Wait, what??? . . . .

      Although I suppose that is another degree of meta to the sitcom theme.

      • You didn’t know that? Yeah, I thought that was kind of funny when she got the job as Wanda. I completely didn’t think of the sitcom connection. That’s even funnier now. 😀

  35. Today I get to visit my physiotherapist. Last time I saw her, I literally came away with bruises. Let’s see if we can not repeat that this time.

  36. My doctors and I have the strangest conversations. For example, I found out today, because she deals exclusively with women, my physiotherapist can write off bedroom toys as business expenses.

    I wonder if it’s too late to change professions…

  37. You know, if my DPSS gift hadn’t been the one most perfectly appropriate gift I’ve ever found for anyone, I might have cancelled the order and found something else. My biggest fear what that she already had it. Waiting for that thing to finally ship and deliver has been a stresser that I’m glad is finally resolved.

  38. And, since I’ve been negligent in checking in and JJ’s question has scrolled to far into the past:

    Yes – Griddy has an app that gives the real time electricity cost, which it pulls from the ERCOT website as it updates every five minutes. The app even has alerts when prices spike.

    The biggest problem is that there are also alerts for low prices, generally when it drops below $0.01/kWh (which, ironicially, it’s actually be running a few cents negative most of the last few days). The low prices are generally also short bursts that are more about Griddy getting to show off to customers about how cheap things are. They are mostly annoying, so I had turned off all the alerts (since you can’t just pick high price alerts, it’s either all or nothing) with the plan to turn them on again come summer, when the occasional spike usually occurs.

    As a result, I didn’t get the warning back on the 11th when some price spikes started occurring as the cold weather was starting to move in. I doubt it would have triggered me to try to switch off the plan at that point, but it would have at least put me in position to start asking questions.

    • Thanks Ed!
      All in all, the concept sounds good. Whether it actually turns out good is totally dependant on the execution.

      IMHO, as long as the program is not being run by a “public utility” whose goal is to “serve the public good” instead of by a private company whose goal will always be profit… I fear it will be hard to live up to it’s potential.

      Hopefully it won’t end up biting Ed this time around.

    • The last time I bought something in Fry’s Electronics, I spent literally 30 minutes arguing with the salesguy that no, I didn’t want the fucking warranty. It ended with him storming off in a huff.

      And that was the last time I bought anything there.

      • Yeah, as time went on Fry’s seemed to get “sketchy-er.” I think it’s been three years since I bought something there. The one close to my house was featured in “Mr. Robot.”

    • I’ve always wondered how people manage to get these posted on YouTube without running afoul of the copyright bots.

      Some years back I had a bunch of vacation footage with a Sam Phillips song behind it and Youtube took it down because of copyright. Then they put it back up because something about it having artist approval because it wasn’t selling anything or making money… then they took it down again stating “copyright infringement” and I never tried to post anything else with music.

      • Word is that YouTube has given up on the copyright thing. It’s probably not worth the time and resources required to hunt down every last copyright violation.

        I think they’re leaving it up to the artists and labels – – who don’t have the time or resources.

    • I skimmed this. . . . Seems like a lot to unpack. I should read it through.

      They seem to be saying “We knew during season 1 that the final shot would be Jack closing his eye, so that proves that we really did have all of the storylines planned out all along!”

      Come on.

  39. This week’s WandaVision is 46 mins long, longest episode this season.

    There is a sequence after the credits start, so don’t hit that stop button.

  40. Speaking of “Wash Dies”…
    I am glad I went back and looked up the first two episodes of “Resident Aliens”, got caught up and have been watching them in order.
    This show just gets better and better each episode.
    It could have been “Mork and Mindy” and it is SO just not.

  41. JW: Greenland on Amazon Prime

    Not what I expected from a Gerard Butler, for a end of the world film it’s quite low key, worth a watch in my view,

  42. So hey, this week we’re talking to Andre, the “rocker guy” from the very first season of The Real World. Even I watched the early seasons of that show. Anyone have any questions for him?

  43. I’m afraid I only ever watched like part of one episode.

    So I’d end up checking his geek cred-
    ( ) Kirk or Picard ?
    ( ) Who shot first ?
    ( ) How many Indiana Jones films are there?
    And of coure
    ( ) Who is HIS James Bond.

    • We did get a former lead singer of Thrash band Exodus to geek out about Star Wars novels.

      He also recommended Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series, which I remember but never read.

    • As long as I’ve been here, even with incredible talent, the Cards have been doormats or bridesmaids. Maybe he’ll be the one to get them that elusive SB win.

  44. JW: Debris E1

    An interesting concept (straight out of Roadside Picnic/Stalker) spoilt with some atrocious acting and emotional reveals from actors that are groan inducing.

    • I’ve been uninterested in this one, and have been waiting for feedback from other people.

      Frankly, it looked too formulaic, especially “ZOMG! We have a mystery!” Almost every major SF show since “Lost” tries to play with this slow reveal mystery show formula, which I’m utterly bored with.

      Thankfully, “Resident Alien” is not doing that.

      • By major, I’m mostly limiting my complaint to the main broadcast channels. So, shows like “Emergence”, “The Event”, etc.

    • Gave it a view.
      Feeling very tepid about it. Love the premise but boy … network TV just refuses to be good.
      After one episode I didn’t care about the charactures and the male lead was just bad (badly written? Maybe)
      Also, there is this line between spending the screen time for characture development/world building … and just filling out the hour because you really only have enough “show” for a 2hr movie and they’ve given you a whole season. It moved at the pace of a soap opera.
      BTW- I use “Firefly” and the “Expanse” as my episodic, SciFi TV benchmark.

      I have a “give it 3 episodes to hit it’s stride” rule … but I don’t have much enthusiasm for that here. 🙁

  45. ICYMI: Scott Sigler has written an official Aliens book. I just started. I can’t tell yet if it’s the classic xenomorphs in a high fantasy setting or what.

  46. I’m expecting a parcel today. I’m hoping is shows up before hubby gets home. It’s harder to hide a surprise gift if he’s here when it gets delivered.

  47. Tonight rewatched Dean Spanley with one of my sisters.

    One of Peter O’Toole’s last films, very charming and I still love it.

        • Oh. My. God. I own and enjoy wingspan. In fact, we like to play it every March with friends because the eggs look a lot like Cadbury eggs. Seriously, he’s putting way too much thought into this.

          I, personally, would recommend this game… and Terraforming Mars. Also a good game, but with different mechanics. Games, books, movies, etc. are like that. They can play differently but still be fun. You really don’t need to look for some grand life lesson from them

          • I’ve read a number of articles on this guy’s site, and they are all like this. His arguments for spoilers are even more eye rolling.

      • Hello, I’m a hero. Somehow I always have only 15 minutes to save the day and manage to do what is needed with .001 seconds to spare.

        • Ha!

          Hi, I’m a sidewalk fruit vendor, and my plywood stand exists solely for the hero or villain to drive right through during a chase scene.

  48. Re-watched first two episodes of “Russian Doll” last night.
    I had forgotten how good it is.
    I had forgotten how good the soundtrack is.

    • Me too.

      We were pleasantly surprised by the theatrical cut, so I’m not sure if this will be an improvement, but I’m willing to give it a try.

  49. We’ve been watching a few episodes of The Muppet Show. Hubby observed all the guitarist play left handed. Why are all muppet guitarists left handed?

    • I started watching Resident Alien because you guys reminded me that it was out there and I really really like Alan Tudyk. I really like it so far (mostly because it’s the right role for him). Although there are some oddities that get under my skin. Like he learns flawless English through 6 weeks of watching television, but doesn’t seem to learn any cultural references at all. And there seems to be some back and forth between whether he has taken on the molecular form of a human or if he simply appears to other humans as a human.

    • This episode had a few “cringeworthy” moments that seemed a bit lazy (writing wise) but other than that… still getting high marks from me. Made me laugh out loud as well.

      …and yeh, with this series it’s best to just check your disbelief at the door and enjoy the ride.

  50. Is it traditional to get a spouse a retirement gift or is that best left up to their company and coworkers?
    Asking for a friend.

  51. I’m only 4 episodes into WandaVision and I am definitely enjoying it. But, dammit, this is exactly the problem I have with the MCU. It started out right and had standalone movies with one hero at a time. Then it went the way of the actual comics and you can’t actually watch a damn thing without first having watched 20 other movies with 100 characters each.

    https://geektyrant.com/news/marvel-studios-suggests-you-watch-these-mcu-movies-before-the-wandavision-finale

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