730 thoughts on “On to the next thing

  1. We picked up Apple TV last night to see some of the original content, such as “Greyhound” and “Wolfwalkers”.

    We gave “Greyhound” a try. I liked it quite a bit, but it seemed like it was greatly edited down to 90 minutes. There was hardly any character development, and the movie was focused mostly on the sub-hunt action. That’s not a bad thing since it was obviously the main intent of the film.

    T Cat and I agreed it would have been a much better movie if some sort of story was woven into the action. There were obvious hints that this was intended. Unfortunately, there was no narrative to hang this information on, so those scenes and flashbacks felt out of place. I saw that this was based on an old WW2 book. When I looked into the book’s story, it was obvious that those scenes were a key part of the story. I’ll probably read the book to learn more, but I’m hoping there is a director’s cut of the film.

  2. So, I’m going to start 2021 with a bit of controversy. Recently got to finish the animated “Lower Decks” Star Trek series. I have to say, as much as “The Mandalorian” folks understand Star Wars more so than anyone involved in the Sequel Trilogy (especially JJ Abrams)….the folks behind “Lower Decks” understand Star Trek far more so than the ones involved in Picard and Discovery.

    Discovery certainly has it’s moments and I’m cautiously optimistic about Strange New Worlds. Picard was everything I feared it would be and worse. Lower Decks has renewed my hope that Star Trek can still be a viable property.

  3. First film of 2021 is WW84!!!!!

    What a bloated slog of a film. Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig are glorious, tho the latter is criminally (no pun intended) underused. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine more than hold their own as leads with the crap script they’re given; but boy, it’s 2.3 hours that feels like 5. WTF are you doing, DC? This is the ONE hero you had gotten right. (Shazam! notwithstanding)

    Also as much as I am an MCU apologist even I admit many of their Deus ex Machina’s are ridiculous. But boy oh boy none reach this level. I WISH this movie was good. I WISH the writers knew what they were doing from the get go. And I WISH that it mattered that this film was set in 1984, other than to give the poor man’s Steve Rogers some laughs.

        • So it’s clear that you didn’t think it was “good” … but did you “enjoy it” or “hate it” ?

          Fwiw most reviews I have read ranged from “It’s bad but I enjoyed it” to “It was good but forgettable”.
          I haven’t seen anyone who thought it was “Great” or even gave it an enthusiastic “good”.

          • I…enjoyed parts of it. But nowhere near enough to say I enjoyed the film. I can def see the overall “good but forgettable” stance but in hindsight that’s not me. There’s no enjoy. There’s no hate. Only meh.

          • I didn’t hate it or enjoy it – – which is worse than outright laughably terrible. I might rewatch a complete turkey again, just to shake my head and laugh. There is no reason to ever watch this P.O.S. again.

            But. . . there are people who dig it, in spite of its flaws. I recommend you see it for yourself.

            /butting in

          • Please butt! Cough.
            I’ve had some more time to chew on it and my dissappoitment on it is ever-growing. This is the last I’ll think of this film.

    • I thought it was okay. I thought the actors did their best with the script that was given, that was one of the few pluses of the film. The 80’s as a backdrop was woefully underused. “Hey look, breakdancers”, doesn’t count. It felt like they were just making stuff up at the end, “wishes” I guess. I did enjoy the film, but like Jack, I don’t feel a real pull to rewatch it later.

  4. Disc 1 of the extended Fellowship of the Ring tonight! (So part 1 of part 1. . .. or part 1 of part 4, depending on how you look at it).

    -This movie is 20 years old, as of this year.
    -The effects are dated at times, but overall, seriously impressive, and still better than many movies big-budget being made even today.
    -These are the most meme-ified movies of all time.
    -Goddamn, these movies are my happy place.
    -The extended editions are far better than the theatrical versions.

    • I’m curious. I loved the LOTR Peter Jackson movies. Then again, I loved the books and have read them through several times. I know that love of the Peter Jackson LOTR movies are high amongst us who are extremely familiar with the books. Anyone know if it’s equally well likes (especially the super long extended versions) by people that didn’t know anything about the books? The only people I know who watched the movies and didn’t read the book were also not fans of Fantasy movies in general.

      • Couldn’t get thru the books. Not a fan of the films. That’s to to say I wasn’t familiar with the books per say, just never read them.

          • The Hobbit and LOTR were my first major book series. I remember going to the theater with very low expectations, and walking out with my mind blown. They’d gotten it right!

            Another cool memory. I recall a blind guy sitting in the row with us, eager to hear his favorite books in the theater.

      • I’ve read the books multiple times and love the LotR movies. They are about as good an adaptation as can be done, imho. I haven’t seen The Hobbit movies yet and have heard split opinions on them.

        • The Hobbit movies fail in every way you’d expect. I’m positive that there must be a fan edit that cuts away all the bloat for something close to the book.

          • The Hobbit almost seems like the opposite syndrome. The worked so hard to condense down the enormity of LOTR into one movie per book and people familiar with the books seem to be the ones that love the adaptations most. For The Hobbit, they took a very small book written at the 10 year old reading level (seriously, he had his 10 year old son read it and provide feedback) and bloated it out to 3 movies, changing everything they could get their hands on. And in that case, it’s the people most familiar with the books that seem to dislike the series most.

    • All reasonable people have to remember: trump and the proud boys have already planned a riot on Jan 4-6 in DC to ring in the new year. Lots of people will see this as a sign that the whole year is hosed.
      Yes, a white supremacist riot staged by the sitting president is a terrible start to any year, but it doesn’t need to be an omen for the whole year.

  5. PArt 2 of Fellowship was done last night. Boromir’s moment against the orcs and afterwards with Aragorn is so, so, so well done. I recall that it didn’t resonate so powerfully and emotionally in the book.

    I don’t know when we’ll get to Two Towers (which we’ll also divide across 2 nights), but I can’t wait.

  6. Our son mentioned that he was watching “Twin Peaks” with his roommate. “Twin Peaks” was a series that neither Teresa or I had caught when it aired so we figured we could get through most of it over the holiday. The show is comprised of the initial two seasons in the early nineties. Then the 1992 movie “Fire Walk With Me” and then the 2017 3rd season on Showtime. I found it funny just how far down the rabbit hole it goes by the third season. Starting out as a humorous parody of soap operas and morphing into a David Lynch mindfuck, I can’t imagine anyone jumping right into season 3. Overall, I’m enjoying it, although I loosing Teresa fast as it surpassed Teresa’s tolerance for psychedelic themes by the second episode of the 3rd Season.

    • I haven’t watched season 3. I watched the old series on Netflix a bunch of years ago.
      There was a lot of cutting edge, innovative stuff there, sure – – but also a lot of Maximum Cringe. I made it to the series finale, but only because I fast-forwarded through as much awfulness as I could (e.g.: the middle-aged woman becoming a teenager with super strength, the cigar guy becoming obsessed with Civil War miniatures).

    • So many TV series in recent years take a season just to get ramped up and people will tell me just to ignore or power through the first season so it can get good. Twin Peaks was much the opposite. First season was great. Second season meh, and so on and so forth.

      • It’s hard to get across to people who didn’t see the original seasons on network TV, just how groundbreaking this show was.
        I wasn’t just unapologetically trippy, it wasn’t just that it was breaking the standard molds of what weekly, serial TV shows did in script, acting, cinematography … it did it DURRING what was referred to as “Prime Time”! Somehow they convinced a major Network to put this “front and center” when there really weren’t more than 3 stages out there. This ran opposit scripted comedies with laugh tracks and cookie cutter weekly serials.
        For much of America at that time, this was a complete mind frack … and somehow it got 2 SEASONS!

        Twin Peaks will always hold a high place for me.
        That being said, I only made it through part of the new season. It’s mainstay of just being weird doesn’t set it appart anymore. I now have access to all kinds of streaming content and there is plenty of weird out there. Legion s1 &s2 had Max weirdness but was also extremely compelling. Much more so then I found the new Twin Peaks.

        • We are almost halfway through the 3rd season. I’m still… intrigued. I understand how Twin Peaks would be ground breaking in 1990 and also why it got canceled after the second season. I also remember that there were other series that tried to ape the quirkiness but tone down the surrealist aspects such as “Northern Exposure” and “Key West.”

      • I admit, I had to look up what a French dip was. Yes, it’s the same thing. I have no idea why we call it something different from the US.

  7. Crap joke for the evening:

    At the end of the nineteenth century there was a little known Dutch Artist. His work was characterised by bold, dramatic colours and impulsive, expressive brushwork.
    He wore dark, mysterious and antiquated clothes. Dyed black hair and raven coloured lipstick garnished the dark cake.
    His name, Vincent van Goth.

      • “We” didn’t do a goddamn thing. This is the work of one man and his personal “army” and that of those that enabled him these past 4 years.

        This is exactly what “Stand back and stand by” meant

          • This was never not going to happen.

            And it was more the decades of propaganda disguised as patriotism and news from FoxNews and other far-right media. trump’s narcissism just reaped the benefits.

  8. I’d always felt like I’d never given Iced Earth a fair enough shot. I’d been planning ot check them out further.

    It turns out their singer was part of the mob of terrorists in DC yesterday. . . So. . . one less band to investigate. I will not be supporting that.

  9. Longtime Deadpanites may remember that I interviewed Jennifer Batten, back in 2006. Well, I’m going to talk to her again! This Sunday on a Facebook Livestream. She and 3 other will be promoting a big guitar event for the following weekend.

    • A 31 minute video, Ed!? That’s about 30.5 minutes more than my attention span can squirrel.

      I really dug the first 4 minutes, but I was interrupted.*

      *The interruption actually came from other people.

  10. Parler being removed from Google App store.
    The Apple Sotre may follow.

    46 yr old me is happy about this.

    18 yr old me would’ve been screaming, “Censorship!!”

    This is an interesting debate, imo.

    • I don’t know enough about Parlor to weigh in on that but 8 have the whole censorship thing some thought and don’t think I can eloquently explain the peace I came to but the basic is-
      Your rights come from the community in which you live. Therefor, you can speechify about changing your community but if you want to talk about destroying that community … you are destroying the rights they gave you as well. THUS your right of speech no longer exists.

      Adjacent to that –
      You do not have the right to speech that advocates for removing or ignoring of the rights of others in your community. As that is aimed at the distruction of the community who gave you your free speach rights to begin with and if you destroy the community you destroy that which grants and defends your rights.

      Did any of that make any sense?
      You can advocate for change but not destruction.
      You can advocate for altering everyone’s rights but not just a targeted group. ???

      Blah

      • It does, but I’m afraid I have to disagree. The very concept of “free” speech is that any idea should be able to be argued for. You need to be ready to defend it your argument and you’re not entitled to have anyone agree with you. But, to argue that some ideas are simply off limits is something I find anathema.

        More importantly – change vs. destruction: which side you stand on an issue is going to determine how you view its impact on the world.

        For the White Supremacist, arguments for Civil Rights, interracial marriage, etc. are arguments for destruction.

        Who gets to decide what ideas are off limits? The state? Apple? The Church? Hollywood?

        I know to some degree I’m playing devil’s advocate, but that’s the point. Defending the expression of speech and ideas that aren’t offensive to anybody is easy (though, these days, I can’t even imagine an idea that we could get a majority of people to agree on anymore). It’s always the controversial and offensive that most requires protection of expression.

    • I don’t use Parler. It’s my understanding that it’s more like Twitter than Facebook and I really don’t care much for Twitter.

      That said, while I appreciate the threats that can be posed, I’m deeply concerned with the level of power Google and Apple now have over communication and information.

      While the 1st amendment doesn’t apply and these are “private” companies, there are still public accommodations considerations, particularly since section 230 was supposed to insure that these companies were protected liability for not exercising editorial input over the content on their platforms.

      This feels akin to the movie companies back in the day trying to outlaw the VCR over piracy concerns.

      I still lean toward the view that the answer to “bad” speech is more speech – countering and contesting the ideas not just trying to suppress speech that you disagree with.

      At least from the chatter that I’m hearing, it’s not like trying to shut down Parler is winning anyone over. If anything, it’s galvanizing them.

      • I’d read that the stated concern about Parler is the lack of moderation. Which is completely fair, especially considering its intended use (official or unofficial).

        I kinda feel like violence/hate-inciting rhetoric needs to be treated the same way we treat illegal porn and images of violence. In the pre-internet, pre-social media past, we could shun those people into inactivity, or into isolation. Their hateful ideas wouldn’t flourish.

        In the social media world, you can find any validation you want for your shitty ideas. (There are probably Leonard Part VI fan clubs out there).

        My final comment. . . Ed, I don’t have the solution, but I don’t think that serious discussion with these haters will change a damn thing. Even if they nod their heads at your valid points, like drug addicts, they’ll go back to alternative facts FoxNews, hate radio talk shows, their hateful message boards, etc. and fix on their poison and forget your message. At best. At worst, they’ll mock and target you.

        The only thing I can think is to shun them (as a society) drive the hateful messages deep enough underground that they can’t flourish.

  11. OK guys, we are going to have to slow down political talk on FaceBook. As an administrator of the Jack Mangan FB Page, they sent me notification that they are flagging some content. While the content they flagged was posted to show what was wrong, FB’s bots don’t know that. They just see a misleading repost.

  12. I’ve started reading “Thrawn” (2017) by Timothy Zahn. I’d never read the old Thrawn books, but I’d read a few Star Wars comics years ago that featured him, and I liked him in Rebels.

    Anyone else read this one? Or the “Legends” versions of hiim?

  13. Today’s movie is Fantasy Island
    This is horror a prequel to the series

    The Amazon write up:in Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island, the enegmatic Mr. Roark makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxbut remote tropical resort. But when those fantasies turn into nightmares…

  14. Answering Jack’s pre-movie inquiry:

    Yes, I’ve read Zahn’s original (now “Legends”) Thrawn trilogy as well as the three new canon ones. The original Zahn books pretty much kicked off Star Wars post-ROTJ. They’re not perfect and have some bit of cringe along with a very different idea of what the Clone Wars were about since they predated the Prequel Trilogy. Still, Thrawn was the villain that Star Wars needed and his story made a lot of sense (as opposed to a somehow how more powerful “First Order” showing up out of nowhere to destroy the New Republic with a more powerful than ever superweapon…cough cough).

    As for the new ones – the first Thrawn book does a great job bringing him into the new Canon. The story there predates his appearance in the Rebels TV show.

    The second one….largely fails. It tells two parallel adventures with Thrawn pairing up with Anakin during the time of the Old Republic, then again with Darth Vader some ten years later under the Empire. Both times, they go to the same planet (Batuu, Bantuu?) which is the setting for the Star Wars land at the Disney Parks. It feels like a book that Zahn was forced to write in part to create some backstory for the planet that.

    Thrawn is essentially Sherlock Holmes. In the old books, he has Captain Pellaeon to serve as his Watson and it works well. In the new Thrawn book you are starting, he gets the sidekick of Eli Vanto. In the 2nd book, Zahn has to try to make Anakin and Vader serve the Watson role…and it’s a poor fit both times.

    The third new Thrawn book (Treason) gets back to form. It sets during the time of the Rebels series, but has Thrawn on an assignment that ultimately gives us a visit to see more of his own species, the Chiss. This is something we never got to see in the original trilogy.

    So, I definitely recommend the originals, they are still a great story. For the new ones, 1 and 3 are thumbs up. I think you could skip the second (Alliances) without missing anything of value.

    • Thanks for that, Ed. Thrawn mentions early on that he’d worked with Jedi Anakin, but it seems like that will be no more than a a one-off reference, in book 1, at least.

      I love the idea of Anakin/Vader and Thrawn working together, but I will probably heed your warning about book 2.

      My only grumble. . . At times, the writing style is a little hard to follow. E.G.: There was an early scene where Thrawn gives a hard-to-parse description of some plan, and all of the other characters talk about how brilliant it is. . . but I’m going, “Huh?”
      It’s quite possible it’s just my deficient brain, and not Zahn’s writing.

      • I really enjoyed the Audible book versions of the original trilogy and the two book follow up. Haven’t read any of the post Disney Thrawns.

    • I read the old Thrawn series, but not the new ones, nor have I watched Rebels. For me the old Thrawn series was good, but his Sherlock Holmes-ness seemed a stretch at time.

    • Apparently the folks at Parlor were increadably lazy/sloppy with their security and just before they were shut down, hackers were able to download terabytes of posts and media.
      They estimate they were able to get 99% of everything including account identifying info.
      First reports are that it contains a treasure trove of info on Jan 6th terrorists.

      It will take a minute or two to sort through but that’s ok. We don’t get a REAL Attorney General for a few more days yet. At that point there may be no place to hide and no pardons.

  15. So, I’ve been playing Star Wars Squadrons. I’m pretty meh on the game. I know some people love the multiplayer, but I’m completely uninterested in that. The story mode is ok, so I’ll finish the game. My biggest complaint is that the different ships really don’t feel all that different.

    • I’ve played it a few times, haven’t really got into it yet. Teresa hasn’t been traveling with her job (because COVID) so I’ve been playing on the PS4 less overall. I bought 3 games for cheap I haven’t even broken the plastic on. Must be getting old.

  16. So, #twatfacechallenge is a thing, mostly in the UK.

    It’s funny and not what you think.

    A coworker of mine is in the equestrian world and it’s a horse thing mashed up with a UK thing.

    Ha!

  17. Keep the noise down, you kids! I’m watching the Wheel of Fortune on the television and doing my scratchoffs! When I run out, I’ll drive 6 MPH in the left lane to double-park at the Walgreens, so I can write a check for a $1.29 bag of sugar-free hard candies.

    (Because I’m old, you see. . . )

    Thank you, my friends.

  18. Happy Birthday to my Better Half!

    Enjoy the sweet things today (and the pasty.)

    May they fill your tummy with as much yummy goodness as the girls And I do every day. :-). Love you!

  19. Just saw this in a “Pandemic news roundup”-

    Here’s some very exciting vaccine news: According to press yesterday (Wednesday Jan 13), “Early stage trials of Johnson & Johnson’s experimental coronavirus vaccine [Ad26.COV2.S] show it generated an immune response in nearly all volunteers, with minimal side-effects, after a single dose.” ETA for submitting an application for emergency FDA approval is the end of this month.

  20. The Two Towers Extended Edition is definitely packed, and slow-paced until the big, concurrent climactic battles – – but again – – these versions are for the deep geeks.

    I could really never go back to the theatricals, as long-running as they are, and as much as I loved seeing them in the actual theater.

    I don’t know when we’ll get to ROTK, but I’m already psyched for its best moments. I especially love the Mouth of Sauron, who was cut altogether from the theatrical version (IIRC).

  21. My poor littlest one has a cold 🙁

    No one else in the house is sick and one of us is vaccinated – – and we’re pretty goddamn careful, so logic dictates that we shouldn’t be too highly alarmed. But I’m a panicker-type, so. . .

    No matter what, I still hate seeing little ones feeling sick.

  22. WandaVision episode 1 consumed.
    Fascinating.

    In and of itself, it’s painfully terrible, but. . . *that’s the point.*
    I’m very intrigued to see where this is going.

    I won’t say anything more. Does it need its own discussion page?

  23. Watched both episodes and they’ve nailed what they were trying to accomplish. I’m quite impressed with Elizabeth Olsen’s acting. Looking forward to the next episode.

  24. BTW WandaVision #1 isn’t a laugh track. Its a live studio audience.

    Reading about what and how they used to film the first two eps and discovering the Easter eggs throughout makes me love it more. Like Lost, binging this series would be fucking no fun whatsoever. It would absolutely take away from the slow burn mystery. I adore watching week to week and being able to have a virtual drink among friends and talk about it.

    I love that it would hold up as a goofy 50’s/60’s sitcom if that’s all it was. Lizzie Olsen and Paul Bettany have clearly been doing their research; they’re wanderful. But clearly it’s not just a sitcom and Marvel knows we know it’s not. There are SO many layers in these first two eps it’s ridiculous.

    Make mine Marvel. This series (so far) seals it that deal.

          • Yeah, I was just poking you. I think Liam Neeson turning to comedy would be as interesting as Leslie Neilson doing the same thing.

          • But Liam Neeson has done a wide range of stuff. We’ve seen him be funny, deep, philosophical, angry, etc.

            Part of the Airplane/Police Squad/Naked Gun joke was that Leslie Nielsen had always been so stiff in of his previous roles.

            Anyway, I’m a bit meh on MacFarlane, so I’m not really interested in this anyway.

    • I know I don’t want a reboot of anything from anybody. But if there is a gradient to which I don’t want something, this one is pretty high up there.

    • Instead of a reboot of a movie that spoofed a show that none of the current generation has ever seen… how about applying Naked Gun’s “joke”, to a send up of Law & Order or CSI ?

      • Even at that time, most people hadn’t seen Police Squad. There were almost as many movies as episodes of the TV show it got cancelled so fast. Guess the Zucker Abrams Zucker humor just worked better for the mass audiences in movie format. It worked in any and all formats for me.

    • The orange one looks like it would make a great slide. I wouldn’t mind having a stair case that converts to a slide (like the traps in the old movies). Some seem downright impractical (like the Edouard Brunet and François Martens) where you have to climb up on a bookshelf in order to access the first step.

  25. I had a couple of attractive ladies ask me to take off my shirt to touch my skin today. Yep, I still got it. . . .

    (Never mind that it was a routine dermatologist appointment)

  26. I really REALLY want to like “The Watch”.
    I feel like all the pieces of a good show are right there.
    Somehow though, they just aren’t coming together.
    I’m not giving up yet though.

  27. We are working on alt text for our e-books to make them visually impaired accessible. Basically I have to describe every image in our books as if to a blind person. It’s harder than you’d think.

  28. Bleccch is the word.

    It takes a lot for me to take a PTO day, especially in WFH lockdown world, but I needed it today. Grateful that Desert Pixie let me sleep it off as much as possible.

    Yes, I seem to have caught what the littlest one had. At this point, I fully believe it’s just a cold.

  29. Watching the Foo Fighters from tonight’s Inaugural Celebration… rocking much harder than old guys have a right to.
    I am inspired.

    • I can say that it will be a relief to hear pundents discussing the various merits/effectiveness of a “National Pandemic Plan” … as opposed to hearing them wonder WHEN or even IF we might actually get one.

  30. Cat is on her way to the vet. We’re a little concerned… ok, a lot concerned… that she might not be coming back home. :’(

    Positive vibes accepted.

    • The latest Fiona Apple Album (at least the 2 or 3 tracks that get airplay) are starting to grow on me.
      Or maybe I’m getting numb.

      That being said- The latest Foo Fighters single that is getting a ton of airplay (“Shame”) … I HATED the first time I heard it but now to is growing on me.

      • I only gave it one listen. I hear and read all of the critical gushing, but the album just didn’t connect with me.

        TBH, I only love “Tidal.” I always respect her integrity, but I haven’t heard anything from her to match that.

        • Yeah, no gushing here. For me it’s just gone from “hating it” to “not changing stations when it comes on.”

          I certainly wouldn’t buy it.

  31. A question for the Deadpan Hive Mind –
    Has anyone here ever had a Tankless, gas, water heater?

    If so, what brand and what did you think of it?

    • They called combi boilers in UK.

      Had one installed for a good while now and it’s much better than the old system where you had to have a cold water tank and an gas fire heater.

      No brand recommendations though I had no choice what was installed.

    • We had one in our house in Calgary. It was great. We would never run out of hot water. We could run the dishwasher, do laundry and still have a shower as long as we wanted after. It was a Rinnai. We installed it about ten years ago so technology may have changed by then. But it was quite good. We even had wasps try to nest in it and it still ran. (the vent runs to the outside – it took us some time to figure out where all the wasps were coming from in the house). Of course we got rid of the wasps and had it cleaned out after but it did still run throughout.
      The one thing I don’t like about being in a condo now is we aren’t allowed to install a tankless hot water heater or I’d install one in this home in a hot minute.

      • I’m pretty sure a Rinnai is the same that I’ve got in my house now. We did it as an upgrade when we built the house. The “standard” was two 40 gallon water heaters. Definitely glad we did it. I honestly don’t even think about running out of hot water. Ours is gas heated.

    • Wow! Super thanks guys. Seems I’ve been living in the Hot Water heating stone age. BTW Van – they have the “combi boiler” option available in the States and Canada as well.
      It really looks like Rinnai has been a reliable choice for most folks. I have a friend here who said he went with one 6 years ago and wondered why he waited so long! Do you guys (or did you) do the annual “flush” to keep “scale” from building up in your heat exchanger?
      My plumber is pushing for the Navien brand. I really like their tech but am worried about their reliability.

    • For some reason I actually read this piece instead of just looking at the pictures.
      By about 1/3 the way through I was laughing out loud… then again, I laugh at “2 1/2 Men”.
      In fact, if you will read this with the voice of “Jake”, the young son from that show … even funnier.

        • I have watched this one but off the top of my head I can’t separate it from the rest of the Anime I have watched with my youngest.
          Seems like there were swords and maybe something vaguely supernatural and maybe Nature was attacking everyone and there were stupid bad guys. and giant (vaguely steampunk) airships.
          Also, might have been a girl who rode a large wolf and saved some Miners?

  32. Just finished a session of D & D. We wrapped up that particular story and made 10,000 gold each. We then retired and lived happily ever after…
    Except, as an assassin drow, I decided to keep killing people. Not because I needed to, but because I enjoyed it.
    There might be something wrong with me.

    • Seems like the only recent giant monster movies I’ve actually enjoyed were “Kong: Skull Island” and “Pacific Rim.” While I’m excited about the concept of a modern Godzilla vs Kong movie I have a feeling in my stomach that this will be two hours of CGI monsters and explosions. I’m hoping for a strong story to connect with, but I’m not expecting it.

    • I mean they talk a bit about that in the article, but I remember reading about the cause for a while now. Still, I guess this is new information.
      /shrug

    • Nice!
      I’ll have to give this a try sometime.

      This is where I admit that I have a “Garage Microwave”. A friend got a new microwave oven and mentioned she was wondering what to do with the old one. It worked ok but It was a small, apartment sized unit that had seen years of wear.
      I offered her $20 for it and she was happy to be rid of it.
      It was the perfect thing to put on the end of a heavy duty electrical cord, in the center of your driveway, away from the house and anything else … and put things inside of that you had always been told to NEVER put in a microwave oven. 🙂

      BTW – This makes your young kids think you are the greatest dad EVER! It also perturbs your spouse when they find you in the driveway with the kids, creating lightning storms in a box.

  33. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman to Publish a New Series Based on Classic Dragonlance

    Wilmington, NC – January 25, 2021 – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are pleased to announce a multi-year licensing agreement with Wizards of the Coast to produce a new, three book series of Classic Dragonlance novels.
    The new trilogy will return fans to the most beloved characters from the original novels along with introducing a new strong protagonist. The books will be published by Del Rey Books, an
    imprint of Penguin Random House. Although a publishing date has not yet been formally set, they anticipate announcing when the first book will be released later this year.

    • Alright, I could probably Google this, but I’d hope that some of our literary Panite’s might have a more insightful answer –

      What does it mean to be “an imprint of” in terms of book publishing? I’ve seen that mentioned a few times, but never really grasped the context.

      • Without googling or wracking too much, I always understood imprints to just be subsidiaries, like a small publishing company operating under the umbrella of a big company.

        I assume our resident publishing expert can give a better answer tomorrow.

  34. Thanks for all the water heater input guys.
    In the end I’ve decided to go with the Rennia .
    The brand that the plumber was pushing IS perhaps the nicest and the more I read about it the more I wanted it… but my contractor’s plumber is not a “certified” service guy for that brand and apparently the company will void the warranty if not installed by one of their own.
    On top of that, the closest “certified” service tech is 50 miles away!!! I’d be having to pay 2 hours of drive time on top of any actual work time if I needed any thing done and didn’t want to void the warranty.
    That’s a deal breaker.

    • While mine has been trouble free, I certainly wouldn’t take the gamble the could lead to a minimum two hour drive for a repair.

      You chose….wisely.

    • Nigel Powers : There are only two things I can’t stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.

      And I know riots and corrupt governments aren’t funny. . .

  35. I just watched “The Forbiden Zone” again for the first time in over 20 years.
    I had forgotten how truely outrageous this film is.
    My mouth was literally agape by midway through the first scene and the movie just never lets up.
    I have trouble wrapping my head around how low budget and yet, completely off the rails, this fever dream is.

    • For me, Forbidden Zone is the strangest movie that I enjoy. There are stranger movies out there (like Eraserhead), I just don’t enjoy them. Others at the top of that list include Rubber, Happiness of the Katakuris, and Tampopo.

  36. Ahhh, I get it now.
    I just watched the documentary that is included on the disc. (It was done 20 years after the film).

    “The Mystic Nights of the Oingo Boingo” was a theatre, performance band. Really good musicians doing just crazy off the wall, stage shows in clubs back in the late 70’s.
    I would have loved to see one of their shows.
    Anyway … the idea for The Forbidden Zone was to get maybe a dozen of their musical numbers on film and then just figure out a way to tie it all together with some words and bits of scenes.
    Elfman had no idea who the audience would be or how he’d market it and he didn’t really care. Art for art’s sake.
    I got respect for that!
    As a “film”, it’s bat crap crazy.
    But as just a bunch of friends who knew little about film making and were
    basically just screwing around on camera, some of this stuff is pure brilliance.

    • One of my favorite comments from the commentaries is the Elfman brothers talking about the older guy with the really heavy Yiddish accent and mannerisms. They said they got called anti Semitic for that portrayal, but in fact it’s their grandfather just plain being their grandfather. That’s just the way he is.

    • The Soundtrack Show did some great background on Elfman. There were 4 episodes covering his early history, The Batman score, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

  37. How often do I talk about tech gear and that stuff? Tiffany got me some nice Bose headphones for my birthday. They sound great!

    Quietcomfort 35 II, for those keeping score at home.

    • Just finished watched the original pilot episode…which, FYI, didn’t get remastered because the original film stock has been lost. The remaining episodes did get new high res scans and color corrections, so they will look a lot better.

      I know that the first season was pretty rough but…man that pilot was pretty heavy with the 90’s cheese.

  38. Morning Pan
    A late night from hubby. Although, I don’t understand, if the parent teacher interviews are all virtual, why do the staff still have to be at the school?

  39. I’m pretty fucking furious. Someone deleted our interview last night before I had a chance to download it. I don’t think it can be recovered. We were on the phone with this guy for 3 hours.

  40. Tonight I finish my qwest to watch all the Pierce Brosnen, James Bond movies, in order, one a night.
    Btw – If you are on your own, Bond and cocktails are a lovely way to spend an evening.

    Anyway… I’m sure you’ll get an essay on this part of the franchise from me in the near future.

    • No essays from me, but my wife and I decided we should be watching more James Bond movies based on a Bond Special of Top Gear. I’ve seen some of them, she hasn’t really seen any of them. We decided to go in the order they were released. We have one more Roger Moore movie to get through before I start my hunt for the next set. I will say that the first bond movie I saw as a kid was Moonraker at a drive in movie theater. So Moore was who I considered Bond to be when I was growing up.

      • My first MovieTheater Bond was “Live and Let Die”!
        Can’t remember which Bond film was my first to see on TV. Probably a Moore.
        I loved the franchise so of course I loved him.
        From the first Sean Connery I saw though … HE was my top Bond.

  41. I’ve been getting more and more sheet music through my ipad. However, my eyesight not being what it was, it’s also harder to read. This morning, hubby helped me jury rig a full page magnifier to my music stand in such a way I can just slip my ipad behind it and then I can see my music.
    Hooray for a smart hubby!

  42. Crap joke for the day:

    The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time. The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband’s occupation. “He’s a funeral director,” she answered.

    “Interesting,” the newsman thought.

    He then asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living. She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she had first married a banker when she was in her 20’s, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40’s, and a preacher when in her 60’s, and now – in her 80’s – a funeral director.

    The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

    She smiled and explained,

    “I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.”

    • Worth the read.
      Excerpt-

      Too many are still asking the question, ‘How much can we get away with?’ When they need to be asking, ‘What are the consequences?’

  43. So I got the Lost Cities board game for Xmas. We played it tonight for the first time. Should a board game engender extreme frustration? Probably not.

    It was a bit like the E.T. Atari 2600 game in tabletop format.

  44. And there you go – – I typed “THE END” on a different Comics script tonight!

    (Not Am I Evil? Something different.)

    (It’s just the first draft)

    • I’m not sure how people could watch the trailers for Wandavision and not perceive that Marvel was trying something really different. This is the Marvel universe in the Twilight Zone.

  45. In preparation for Godzilla vs. Kong, I did a watch this weekend of the first 3 films as I had not seem them (yah yah late to the party as usual.. Here’s my one sentence non spoiler review of each,

    Godzilla – Fine but forgettable.

    Kong Skull Island – The best of the 3 by far but it’s definitely more fun than it is good.

    Godzilla: King of the Monsters – WTF is this is bullshit….

    I gotta say these as a whole don’t get me too amped for Godzilla vs. Kong, especially the meh to just bad 2 Godzilla films. But I liked Kong enough, and I do like Kong as a monster a lot, to give it a whirl.

  46. Looking at video of my daughter, practicing the PoleVault with her college track team … she (and the rest of them) wearing a mask the entire time.

    I now have even less sympathy for those who complain about having to wear a mask to go shopping.

  47. BTW, Facebook friends. Ray Murphy is an old friend from my teenage days in NJ. TBH, I don’t know if he ever listened to any Deadpan episodes.

    His sense of humor is sometimes “edgy,” but I’ll vouch for him. He’s a good guy.

  48. Having recently rewatched “Captain Marvel”, it was cool to see that CM’s pilot friend’s daughter, Monica Rambeau, is the agent sucked and kicked out of Westview.

    • Apparently it’s an old Saga song, but they’re redoing and rerecording select tunes from their catalog. I’ve always loved “On the Loose,” but never explored them beyond that song.

  49. My wife was showing me a catalog we got in the mail this morning. It was a group of items that you typically see peddled on late night tv, but focused mostly for old people. There was a page on motorized wheelchairs, incontinence pants, and a two-page spread for vibrators.

  50. I’m gonna say. . . I believe Marilyn Manson’s accusers. Not just because I dislike his music or because of his shock schlock career, but because their claims seem to be credible.

    And if evidence proves his guilt, then yes, we cancel him.

    • I’ve enjoyed a few MM albums, but yes, the accusations seem credible. MM has never seemed particularly emotionally stable, to put it lightly. Plus, there are a multitude of sources that give credence to the accusations. While I’ll wait for more information, things don’t look good.

  51. This is that game going round FB:

    First concert – Whitesnake (Great White opening)
    Last concert – Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey with Gregg Bissonette
    Best concert – Roger Waters – The Wall
    Worst concert – Three Doors Down
    Loudest concert – Overkill
    Most surprising – Depeche Mode
    Band I’ve seen the most – Joe Satriani
    Wish I could have seen – Jimi Hendrix

    • Cool. Here’s mine.

      First concert – Doctor Hook
      Last concert – In Flames
      Best concert – Nevermore
      Worst concert – Chicago
      Loudest concert – Ratt
      Most surprising – Opeth
      Band I’ve seen the most – Iron Maiden
      Wish I could have seen – The Who

      and you were there for Iron Maiden and Opeth. LOL

      • First Concert – Don Maclean
        Last Concert – Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies
        Best Concert – Martyn Joseph in a pub in Sunderland
        Worst Concert – Wishbone Ash
        Loudest Concert – Texas
        Most Surprising – Loudon Wainwright III
        Band I’ve seen the Most – Martyn Joseph (singer/songwriter)
        Wish I could Have seen – Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny on vocals

    • First concert – Harry Chapin (my mother took me)
      Last concert – They Might Be Giants
      Best concert – Rush – R40 tour
      Worst concert – Captain & Tennille (my mother took me)
      Loudest concert – Ozzy Ozbourne
      Most surprising – Kansas (the first time I saw them they were a contender for the worst, second time they surprised me by being fantastic)
      Band I’ve seen the most – Rush
      Wish I could have seen – Pink Floyd – The Original “The Wall” tour

    • First concert – Spoons
      Last concert – Rush
      Best concert – Beach Boys — outside on a beach
      Worst concert – And most bizzarre lineup: Barenaked Ladies, Smashing Pumpkins, Blues Traveler. The Pumpkins sounded terrible, played terrible, and were terrible to the crowd.
      Loudest concert – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
      Most surprising – Kraftwerk
      Band I’ve seen the most – Barenaked Ladies
      Wish I could have seen – Pink Floyd

  52. You know, for that concert game – – one of the lines is for “Next concert.” Most people have “?” – – but I actually have outstanding tickets for 3 different shows: Apocalyptica, Ministry (with KMFDM), and Judas Priest.

  53. Our oldest turns 34 today. At what point can you stop counting your kid’s birthdays since they are a reflection of your own age?

  54. There is a blanket of snow over my world this morning. The weatherman says we’re going to get between 10 to 15cm once it’s all done falling.

  55. Ok, for those panites that live in colder climes, how do you heat your homes?

    I have an electric fire in the sitting/living room that I never use dues to costs. So rely on the central heating, a combi boiler, that burns gas to heat the water for the radiators in the house.

    • We have a natural gas furnace to heat the home. That’s pretty common in Canada. Although older buildings, like John’s school, have an actual boiler.
      We do have a (natural) gas fireplace in the living room. We don’t actually use it to heat the house, but it’s nice to take the chill off first thing in the mornings. In the warmer months we shut it right off as even just with the pilot light it puts out a little heat.
      I have friends who have wood fireplaces but, like our fireplace, they aren’t used to heat the house

  56. While not supposed to be in “colder climes” it did get down to 28F last here night.
    We have a Heat Pump with built in gas heat as “emergency” back-up.
    When the temps get below 40F I usually just switch the system over to gas, as the heat pump struggles with those temps.

      • Generally, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can run in reverse. At temperatures below freezing, air source heat pumps don’t do as well as electric or gas heaters so you usually need an auxiliary heat source: Ours is the hot water heater. Ground source heat pumps don’t have this problem.

      • I have a heat pump in Florida as well. Similar setup except ours has electric coils that kick in if the temperature drops below what the heat pump can handle.

        • Even if I owned the house I live in, I don’t have enough land for ground source. Dread to think how much it would cost to bore down 80m to install vertical pipes instead of horizontal.

  57. In my subconscious, I can hear Cyndi Lauper singing “Truc Colors”, but with the lyrics from “Free Falling.”

    “But I’m free falling and that’s why I love you.
    There’s a freeway, don’t get discouraged.”

    etc.

  58. Morning Pan
    We are doing a Reddit AMA for most of today. I’ve never participated in one before. A number of our authors, editors and such are taking part. Hopefully there aren’t many questions directed at what I do specifically.

  59. Still cleaning out a lifetime worth of stuff from my office. Do you think it’s safe to throw out these tax documents from 1985 through 1988?