Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

The doors of perception

May 2, 2019

The’ hell is that? Jon Snow lopping the noggins off wights? The Night King riding Viserion to battle like Robert Duvall in a Huey? Melisandre lighting it up? Nope. Just Maester O’Grady taking a picture of his TV in the dark.

And now, for something completely different. …

If you thought Sunday’s epic battle between the dead and living seemed a little, well, dark, even for “Game of Thrones,” you’re not alone. But before you dash out to buy a new TV, attend ye to the wisdom of Maester Devin Coldewey at TechCrunch (h/t Jason Snell at Six Colors).

Speaking of the walking dead, Matthew Butterick (h/t John Gruber at Daring Fireballhas a few words to say over the lumbering carcasses of the typographical foot soldiers employed so far by the Democratic candidates for president. The lede? It kills:

“You cannot bore people into buying your product,” according to David Ogilvy. So true. Nevertheless, election season arrives, and radical boredom inevitably becomes the preferred strategy for most candidates. Let’s have a look at the typography anyhow.

And yes, today’s headline is drawn from William Blake via Aldous Huxley and Jim Morrison.

Oscar Mayer’d again

February 25, 2019

Lights, camera, inaction!

Well, I see there’s still space on my shelf for that Oscar. Also, for the Emmy, Reuben, Pulitzer, Peabody, MacArthur Fellowship, Nobel, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

I’ve seen just one of the Academy’s picks — “Black Panther,” which like “Wonder Woman” drew raves but to me seemed like just another superhero movie. As a comics fiend I appreciated that genre for a while, but I’m finally over it. You can paint it black or pink, but it’s still basically what Herself calls “punch porn.” Another franchise, like Mickey D’s, with about as much nutritional value.

Now, TV, that’s the thing. There’s some great stuff happening on the small screen, which these days seems bigger than the one down at the multiplex. A favorite around here is “High Maintenance.” On the surface, it’s about a bicycling weed dealer and his clientele, but there’s plenty of depth to the thing. It’s like peeking into random windows as you stroll down an unfamiliar street.

Still, there are some movies worth watching. And one of them has its roots in a TV show. We checked out the 2018 documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” this weekend and it was surprisingly revelatory and touching.

I wasn’t a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” kid. “Captain Kangaroo” was my guy. I knew Mister Rogers primarily through the various sendups on “Saturday Night Live,” National Lampoon’s “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick,” etc.

But Fred Rogers comes off looking like much more than a punchline — he seems like a thoughtful gent whose own childhood was not all that rosy and who came to believe that children’s TV had a higher calling than selling toys.

Some lovely filth, Kaintucky style

December 16, 2018

Cyclocross! Getcha cyclocross here! Get it while it’s hot!

OK, so more like “Get it while it’s cold and sloppy.”

• Late update: Congrats to Katie Compton on No. 15! Damn, I love watching her race. She puts on the Great Stone Face, hangs out the “Open for Business” sign, and goes to work serving out heaping helpings from that 55-gallon drum of whup-ass.

No laughing matter

October 9, 2018

ABQ Studios. Just take a left turn at Albuquerque.

No joke: Netflix, which seems to have cornered the market on standup comedy, is investing in Marc Maron’s old hometown of Albuquerque.

The streaming service is acquiring ABQ Studios from Pacifica Ventures, with a $14 million economic-development assist from the state and city, and says it anticipates bringing a billion smackers and up to 1,000 production jobs per annum over 10 years to our little corner of the cinematic universe.

Terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

Netflix has produced in New Mexico before, of course — there’s “Longmire,” “Godless” and some Adam Sandler vehicle that I will watch just as soon as there’s nothing else on TV and I’m chained to a chair with my eyelids wired open.

And ABQ Studios, which opened for business in April 2007, has hosted everybody’s favorite Duke City drug drama, “Breaking Bad,” along with bits of Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise, according to Variety.

“Our experience producing shows and films in New Mexico inspired us to jump at the chance to establish a new production hub here,” said Ty Warren, Netflix veep for physical production.

“The people, the landscape and the facilities are all stellar and we can’t wait to get to work — and employ lots of New Mexicans — creating entertainment for the world to enjoy.”

This has to be considered good news, which we so rarely discuss here, and I’ll look forward to learning more of the deets once the cheerleaders drop their pompoms and the joyful noise abates somewhat.

In the meantime, if you don’t have a Netflix subscription please acquire same with all possible speed. We need to make that $14 mil’ back before all these Netflix execs get their cars stolen.

Threescore and three

March 27, 2017

The clouds were creeping in over the Sandias come afternoon.

Got the birthday ride in — did 63 kilometers, not miles, for anyone keeping score — and it looks like I picked the right day for it, because the weather seems to be taking a turn for the worse. I’ll be running tomorrow, if I get out at all.

A powerful tailwind added a couple miles per hour to the usual slog back from the Paseo del Bosque, and glad I was to have it, too. One of these days I need to acquire one of them comosellamas all the Kool Kidz have, whatchacall your e-lectronical whizbang that tells you how much vertical gain you’ve logged over the course of a day’s cycling. My educated guess for today’s little outing is “a right shitload.”

Anyway, pizza for dinner and a couple episodes of “Fargo” for dessert. It’s a weirdo, just like its daddy the Coen brothers movie of the same name. But you can’t go wrong with the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Bob Odenkirk, y’know. Yah, real good now.

 

Out on a limb

February 8, 2016
It was pleasant enough by afternoon to ride with knee warmers, but it ain't spring yet.

It was pleasant enough by afternoon to ride with knee warmers, but it ain’t spring yet.

We just can’t seem to get in step with mainstream America lately.

The interminable “feets ball” season came to a conclusion yesterday in San Francisco, but we did not watch, as we do not care for the “feets ball,” not even if Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson are performing “Uptown Funk” at halftime. The poor sonsabitches are doomed to do that number for the rest of their lives, or at least until their first hip replacements.

No, instead we watched “Saturday Night Live” a day late, so Herself could catch Comrade Sanders serving up his patented Kamchatka Fried Chicken (“Left Wings Only!”) to the kool kidz in the key white/50+ demographic.

Larry David was hosting, and did his spot-on Sanders impersonation, but the only real laugh-out-loud bits were his monologue and the closer about two rummies (David and Kate McKinnon) deep into the mating ritual at closing time in a bar.

OK, that’s not true. The musical guests, The 1975, were pretty funny, too. But I don’t think they had intended to be.

Sin City, here we come

September 14, 2015

Apple, Samsung and Hanes

February 2, 2015
What director Quentin Ferrentino sees just before the iMac hiccups, stutters and croaks.

What director Quentin Ferrentino sees just before the iMac hiccups, stutters and croaks.

Is the Super Bowl finally over? No, I see we’re still second-guessing coaches, lip-syncing sharks and that crucial, botched call — Nationwide’s decision to run that dead-kid ad instead of throwing it into the trash.

We didn’t watch any of it here at Rancho Pendejo, not even the ads. Herself was on a mission from God to clean up the joint, and I was doing a job of work, hammering away at a video review of the Novara Mazama for Adventure Cyclist and trying to troubleshoot ongoing technical glitches with the old iMac.

At 6 years of age, this ‘puter may be nearing the end of its useful existence, though a 15-year-old G3 “Pismo” PowerBook is still ticking right along with all its original equipment. Not so the iMac. Its optical drive croaked a while back, and ever since I “upgraded” to Mavericks I’ve been enjoying occasional and inexplicable freezes that force me into an irksome hard reset that occasionally costs me a bit of work. Kindly old Doc Google tells me I’m not alone in my suffering, and this is one of the reasons I’m dragging my feet on the Yosemite and iOS 8 upgrades.

Last night after a weirdo crash that left both monitors black, but with a moveable cursor, I booted into Safe Mode, which runs a few diagnostics, then said fuck it and booted again, this time into the Recovery HD, and ran Disk Utility.

The hard drive “appears to be OK,” says DU, so I repaired permissions and called it good. This morning nothing was on fire or defunct, which is better.

Now if Samsung will get around to installing a new drain pump in our 5-month-old washing machine, we’ll really have it going on. The goddamn thing has been on the sidelines for a week and I need to upgrade my undies to something a little, um, fresher.

 

Roll on buddy

January 31, 2014
The back deck this evening around dark-thirty.

The back deck this evening around dark-thirty.

Jeebus. One of those days, to be sure.

I got up this morning, went straight to work, and with time outs to prepare two meals I’ve pretty much been at it ever since. If I’m so busy, how come I ain’t rich?

We got a nice little snowfall today. I moved some of it around this morning and should’ve moved some more this afternoon. What the hell, it will still be there tomorrow, and it will have company. Good for the lawn, what there is of it, and good for the trees. Good for me, too, as we have no gym membership and pushing the mouse around hardly qualifies as strength conditioning.

Speaking of wintertime activities, remember: Cyclo-cross worlds kick off tomorrow with the junior men and elite women. If you’re so inclined (and so equipped), you can stream the action at Universal Sports. Other possibilities include the various feeds at Cyclingfans.com and the UCI. Geo-restricted options may be workable using Hola — I downloaded a Firefox extension for same to the old MacBook and it seems to pull in the UCI feed just fine.

And don’t let me catch any of yis rooting for Marianne Vos. Lovely person, tremendous athlete, stout competitor, and to hell with all that. It’s time to be a shameless homer, goddamnit. Katie Compton über alles!

All systems normal

January 16, 2014
So far, so good. Two more OS updates and we'll have a casual relationship with the 21st century.

So far, so good. Two more OS updates and we’ll have a casual relationship with the 21st century.

One down, two to go. I forgot we also have a Mac Mini in need of an OS upgrade. But the cute li’l Cupertino doorstop only has 2 GB of memory, which is the bare minimum, so I’ve ordered up some mo’.

The MacBook Air install went smooth like butter. The whole process took a shade over two hours, with a long-ass download, a couple-three restarts and six app’ updates. But that’s my newest machine, a mid-2012 model, so it should be open to new experiences; the Mini dates to mid-2010, and the iMac to 2009.

The Air is for lightweight road trips when an iPad won’t cut the mustard. For heavy duty I haul an old black MacBook, ’cause it has software I don’t care to upgrade, like Word and Photoshop and all the other high-falutin’ gewgaws, thingamajigs and comosellamas a fella likes for professional rumormongery of the finest quality. That beast is too long in the tooth to run Mavericks; it’s pegged at Snow Leopard.

The Mini is for watching TV at Chez Dog, and I back up work-related items to it whenever I get The Fear (I also use SuperDuper and Time Machine with an external Firewire drive for regular clones/backups).

And the iMac is The Main Device. It’s how most of the Mad Dog media is generated, save for the cartoons, which get done the hard way — drawn in pencil, then inked, and finally scanned into a superannuated 1999 G4 “Sawtooth” AGP Graphics Power Mac, where I apply color using Classic mode and a full CMYK version of Photoshop (4!) that I got for free with a scanner about a thousand years ago. Hey, it still works.

I thought I might do the iMac today, too, but wimped out. Paranoia strikes deep, as the fella says, and I’d like to fiddle with the Air a bit to make sure it didn’t lose a kidney to Somali pirates or something during the operation.