5 favorite audio books NOT available via streaming, spotify or Audible! Book #5 WOLFEN!

There are about two dozen truly great audio actors, whose work on audio books, is a MUST OWN. Among them are Orson Welles, David Birney, Harlan Ellison, Roddy McDowall, James Mason, Michael Boatman to name a few.

Some of these guys work, for various reasons such as rights etc, are not available via streaming or in some cases even on CD. But these are preeminent works, of the greatest voice actors of their respective era, giving their greatest deliveries. And they can still be picked up via LP or cassette, at affordable prices, and deserve to be.

Once bought on LP or cassette go ahead and digitize it so you have these must own works in a preserved format. Here then without further ado, is the first of our 5 must own audio books!

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41-EAZMm3fL._SX295_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Roddy McDowall reads WOLFEN- I am a huge fan of the 1981 WOLFEN film, I think it is a flawed, but unjustly overlooked masterpeice. However, I love this audio book version as much, perhaps even more, and that iis down to Roddy McDowall.

Roddy McDowall, a prolific actor with over 250 credits to his name, who is likely only remembered by a younger generation for his turn in FRIGHT NIGHT (1985),  gave some of the great, humanistic performances of cinema in his abundant career. From Academy Award winning turn in HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)  to his immortal role as Caesar in PLANET OF THE APES (1968) to THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) to the aforementioned FRIGHT NIGHT (1985), and everything in between, Roddy McDowall, despite the quality of the film or script, never gave a bad performance. The consummate actor, he always carried his role, you always believed him; and he brings that veracity to this audio book, and paints with his voice the hallowed and harrowing world of WOLFEN.

Click on the link below to acquire this essential bit of audio book history.

 

The Wolfen Audio Cassette – June 1, 1990

Material Type: Fiction, Audio book, etc.
Document Type: Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: Whitley Strieber; Roddy McDowall

ISBN: 1558002227 9781558002227
OCLC Number: 21983678
Notes: Abridged from the author’s book of the same title.
Performer(s): Reader, Roddy McDowall.
Description: 2 audiocassettes (approximately 180 min.) : digital, Dolby processed, 1/8 in. tape
Responsibility: author, Whitley Strieben.

Best Cheap but GREAT over-sized comic book posters of the Day!!!

Best Cheap but GREAT over-sized comic book posters!!!

Makes fantastic gifts or presents for the pop-culture fan in your life, or give to yourself as a nice present!

 

 

Captain America – Madbomb Marvel Retro” Maxi Poster 36 x 24

 

Alex Ross 70721 Marvel Generations Oversize Vinyl 62×48 Poster

 

Frank Frazetta Red Planet Mars Science Fiction Fantasy Artwork Classic Retro Vintage SciFi Artist Comic Book Cover 1970s Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

Pyramid International X Men Magneto Triumphant Marvel Comics Retro Cover Art Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24x36

Magneto Triumphant Marvel Comics Retro Cover Art Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

Princess and The Panther by Frank Frazetta Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

Guys if you found this post helpful, I definitely would appreciate  you subscribing, liking and using the attached links. It is a win-win.

Early Contender for one of my favorite TV Shows of 2020 – Netflix’s SHADOW Action Series!

The 1st season of THE TERROR, the 1st season of Amazon’s BAD BOYS, and the 1st and only season of BBC’s BODYGUARD on Netflix were my favorite television shows of 2019.

https://occ-0-472-465.1.nflxso.net/dnm/api/v6/6AYY37jfdO6hpXcMjf9Yu5cnmO0/AAAABQbLwHL-cyAClPs0Ujm74GOjtOI4ZUGDyYJTArUiFaKPk2vdkkbjXviqge1RBRVKq2jOctxF4pVqYrRl3FRrmqpe2p-j.jpg?r=e2f

4 episodes in and I am absolutely loving Netflix’s South African action/thriller series SHADOW.

Part EQUALIZER meets WALLENDER meets STRIKEBACK, the other part is its own unique texture and vibe; this series is hitting all the right notes… the actors are fantastic, plots Baroque and strange and compelling, the action riveting. Took a while for me to actually give this series a try, however now it (along with Netflix/BBCs DRACULA) is an early contender for one of my favorite tv shows of 2020.

I really hope both these shows eventually get a Blu-Ray release, complete with special features/director’s commentary. The best of any year deserves the permanence of DVD/Blu-Ray. That said I’m still waiting on season 2 of Luke Cage to make it to Blu-Ray… looking at you Netflix. 🙂 .

 

 

Artbook of the Day : REBUS by James Jean! – One of 15 Best Artbooks of All Time?!!!

If my house, god forbid, was being evacuated, and after family, pets and other essentials, they told me “here is a box you have room to bring 15 of your artbooks” ; REBUS by James Jean, would be one of those books.

Now to clarify, I have a lot of artbooks, and if I do say so myself I only own what I consider GREAT and ESSENTIAL artbooks, so to narrow that down to 15… is difficult.

But here for your list reading pleasure, is one of those 15!

REBUS by James Jean

I actually love the design and construction of this book, more than the actual content. Don’t get me wrong, the artwork is great, very beautiful, and I like it quite a bit, but I do not love it. It is not quite my style, but the stunning construction of the book, with the red gilded pages, makes it such an art object in and of itself. It is the only James Jean book I own, and it is because of the beatiful construction and design of the book itself.

 

You can get your copy of REBUS here!

Closing out Jan 2020 – Here is Steelbook/Blurays of the Day/Month!

Closing out Jan 2020 – Here is Steelbook/BlurayS of DEC 2019 to end of january 2020!

If you do not have these Blurays, and you care about great physical media, then you are going to want to pick up these disks. ideally before they sell out, and go for more on the secondary market.

You can click on the pictures or the names of the films to view their current prices/availability.

 

https://images.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/251625_large.jpg?t=1568652110The Fly Collection (Blu-ray)Ultraseven: The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Temporary cover artUltraseven: The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Temporary cover artPioneers of African-American Cinema (5 X Blu-ray Set)PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA – I dislike the term African-American, it is a bit too much of a misnomer. Just say Black. But semantics aside, this is an ESSENTIAL purchase. This one is actually an older release, however it made the Youtube rounds last year and is very close to selling out everywhere, so as a public service announcement… if you have an interest in this title, you need to get it now!  🙂 .

Black Angel (Blu-ray)

That is it, thankfully December/January wasn’t too stacked as far as MUST OWN Blurays.

If you have found this list helpful, give a like, use the links, subscribe.

Till next installment… be well!

 

3 Best Marvel/MCU Villains 2008-2019

 

22 movies, Eleven years, hundreds of actors, dozens of bad guys, but only 3 stand as the very best Villains of kevin feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.

 

LOKI

 

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LOKI– In many ways the first AVENGERS movie stands as the most important of the MCU films, up there with the first IRON MAN movie. The IRON MAN movie proved these individual characters could work on the big screen, THE AVENGERS movie proved a super-hero team, wide screen Comic Book level action, could work for the masses; proved That this concept of long form story telling in film… could payoff, and should continue.

After 22 movies, THE AVENGERS is still the movie I saw the most in the theaters, a record three times (I almost never see a movie in a theater more than once), and the one I had the most fun with. And that is because Director Josh Whedon delivered the film of his career, the writing was brilliant, actors and effects phenomenal, and the characters… literally the stuff of Myth. And the most memorable scenes of a very memorable film revolve around Tom Hiddleston’s completely crowd pleasing performance as Loki, that sets up such memorable lines as ‘Mewling Quim’ and ‘Puny God’.

Like the best of all Villains, the two other names on this list; the Loki character while wrong, there is something compelling and seductive, and relateable in Loki’s mania. Driven by some hurt he seeks to fix, some reason that reason knows not of, that makes him more than a stock villain, but someone more complex, and someone that in moments… seen from some angle, is understandable, if not approvable.

There is a reason Hiddleston’s Loki ten years later remains… beloved. Because being more than a stock Villain, means at moments he resembles all of us, he is capable of good, as well as evil. And watching Loki navigate that line, grow as a character, makes him more than villain and more than hero… it makes him… interesting.

 

 

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KILLMONGER

 

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KILLMONGER – There were a lot of MCU villains prior to Michael B. Jordan’s acclaimed turn as KILLMONGER, in the brilliant and ground-breaking Ryan Coolger helmed BLACK PANTHER, but none of them, not Red Skull, not Ultron, not Winter Soldier, not even Loki, had me deep into the movie… unmoored about who was right and who was wrong.

To do that in a film, to bring the audience with you into a questionable grey area where there are no more heroes and no more villains, but just principles of better worlds that clash in blood, that is some deep and epic and personal filmmaking, and to accomplish that in a large scale blockbuster superhero movie, is the stuff that awards are designed to recognize.

Hats off to all involved, but particularly to the way Jordan chose to play KILLMONGER, just unique and disturbing and yet another memorable character, from an actor who has quickly become one of the best actors of his generation.

BLACK PANTHER is a film that I loved the action in, loved the fight scenes, loved the story, loved the scale, but what really sets it apart from every other MCU films before it (with the exception of THE WINTER SOLDIER, which did it in a smaller way) is the sophistication of how it is told. The murky grey areas where good and bad become… unsound. It’s a great film, that becomes stronger every time you watch it. Like leather curing in the sun.

At the film’s heart it is a tale of fathers and sons, kings and commoners, and a question of whose vision of tomorrow… is most right. And that hinges on Jordan’s KILLMONGER, a lesser villain or a lesser performance, and we would be talking about a much less successful film. Which is the case with any film, a great film seldom does so, without a great antagonist; and Jordan’s KILLMONGER is one of the greats.

 

 

 

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THANOS

 

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And now we come to the 1000lb Gorilla in the room, (it is an idiom used to call attention to an overwhelming or obvious  idea, finally being recognized – for those of you who may not be familiar with the expression) THANOS.

A CGI character that has been the big bad we have been building to in these 22 films. It is an unprecedented build up, the likes of which we will likely never see again. But boy did it pay off. Josh Brolin (son of the legendary actor James Brolin) has in the last two decades started forging his own legend, in films from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN to AMERICAN GANGSTER to TRUE GRIT to SICARIO (look forward to seeing him in the upcoming Villeneuve directed DUNE and Sean Penn helmed FLAG DAY) he has been solidly delivering the goods.

But I think it is safe to say his THANOS is likely to be the role he is remembered for above and beyond all others, just based on the cultural and historic imprint these 22 films have carved out. You have to go back to Universal Studios game changing monster movies of 1923 to 1955 to get a run as formative and impactful as this current run of MCU movies.

And THANOS is the looming shadow that haunts these films, and in INFINITY WAR and ENDGAME Brolin’s Thanos gets to come out of the shadows and take center stage.

Again as buildups go, you will likely never see, in your lifetime the like again, a 22 film novel for television, that stuck the landing.

Much has been written on the character of THANOS and the sophistication he was written and performed with. following in the wake of Jordan’s KILLMONGER, here too is another villain where, to a lesser degree, you see the mercy in his madness, the humanity in his horror. He does and is going to do horrible things, but toward ends that we must all, at the end of the day judge as… understandable.  And it is the achievement of all involved from performers to directors to special effects to camera to makeup to lighting to sound, that in not one moment of INFINITY WAR or ENDGAME, not one moment of a CGI Thanos interacting with the other actors, do I question the fiction crafted. The vision is solid.

It is a 2 film culmination of a 22 film, 11 year unequaled and un-thought of cinematic achievement, and it sticks the landing. And Thanos quite rightly gets catapulted into the conversation of most iconic cinematic villains of all time, up there with Darth Vader, Dracula, Dr. No, Dr. Mabuse, Khan, Hannibal Lecter, Joker.

 

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So that is it guys, the 3 best villains of 22 movies, and 11 years of cinematic gold!!!

 

And for Honarable Mentions:

  • Ultron
  • Red Skull
  • Winter Soldier
  • Klaw

 

Thanks for looking, feel free to comment with your favorite villain or villains, and if you enjoyed this post give some love to this installment’s sponsor:

 

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Purchase Here.

Must Watch Videos of the Day : 9 Jan 2020

The PORFLE POPNECKER Youtube channel always has great and oft obscure tidbits from the heyday of old Hollywood. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable on classic cinema, however… even I… typicaly am always introduced to something new when watching his channels. I am a huge stop-motion fan, but had never heard of the 1957 movie, BLACK SCORPION. Thanks to the above clip I now know about it, and will definitely keep an eye out for it, to view it when possible.

 

Roland Romero shows off his recent Blu-ray purchases, to include a sought after Indicator Hammer Boxset. Love this channel. As those of you reading this know, while I have fallen off of most Blurays, I am a huge fan of Steel-books and Boxsets. I think while major American companies have under-served the physical media market, boutique specialty companies and foreign companies are filling the void by producing, some of the finest physical media releases ever. Quality mastering, with quality special features, with quality presentation and packing. These releases are works of art, as much as the actual film itself. The ‘dead’ physical media format, has never looked more alive, and more attractive. :). I bought more Blurays in 2019 than just about any year… ever (part of that has to do with the rise of Steelbooks) , and 2020 is already gearing up to surpass that.

 

 

 

Earl Grey released his BEST TRADES OF 2019, and like any of his best of videos, it is a must watch to my fellow bibliophile’s out there. Just a consistently great channel.

 

 

 

TOP 5 scariest Horror Manga You Need to Read! What else is there to say, love this channel.

 

 

11 of the best Cosmic Horror or Hodgsonian or Wellsian Horrors Films! And why it is a misnomer to call them Lovecraftian.

Cosmic Horror is a favorite of mine, and in this post we dive into my favorite Cosmic Horror films.

Now, first there are a lot of misinformed people who will term cosmic horror, as Lovecraftian horror. That is incorrect.

I know why people do it, because they are ignorant of the facts, and they are regurgitating a myth that other misinformed or downright mendacious people have propagated.

So this post I hope to clear it up.

Cosmic Horror, is not Lovecraftian Horror.

The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Vol. 1

 

The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Vol. 2

 

 

House On The Borderland HC by Corben and Revelstroke

While it is a field HP Lovecraft flourished in, he was not the creator of the genre, he was just one of a pretty impressive field. Arguably if you want to lay the mantle of father of Cosmic Horror at any writer’s doorstep, William Hope Hodgson, 1908 Author of THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, would be way before Lovecraft, and even before him would be the great HG Wells who in many ways created the concepts of not just science fiction and the hopefulness of space with THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (1901), but also the concept of the horrors of space and man’s smallness in the face of it, with THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1898).

H.G. WELLS SEVEN NOVELS

 

We forget exactly how prolific and staggering and broad a writer HG Wells was. He created whole genres and fields of thought and whole colonies of lesser writers formed around a single one of his ideas. Such is the case with Cosmic Horror, arguably every writer you can name doing ‘cosmic horror’, including Lovecraft, is simply playing in the shadow of a single HG Wells story.

A single HG Wells’ paragraph.

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”
― H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds

That is the heart of every short story Lovecraft would do, the dread from beyond, distilled into a single concise paragraph.

Lovecraft and others spent entire careers mining just that one idea of Wells, nothing wrong with it, but let us not get things crooked.

Father of cosmic horror, Lovecraft is not.

The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (Chartwell Classics)

The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (Chartwell Classics)

 

And while I appreciate Lovecraft’s writing, the truth is, he is an author who was never in his life… anything more than a niche little known writer, for niche little known magazines. He is more popular in death, than he ever was in life.

Again the same can be said of many very good writers.

However, unknown in his lifetime, that can not be said of HG Wells.

HG Welles was, without argument, one of THE greatest writers of his time, and arguably remains today, over a hundred years later, still the single most influential writer in the English language, since so many writers from both science fiction and horror and fantasy , can trace their lineage to him, and continue to build on his concepts.

So rather than people slapping Lovecraftian on anything remotely resembling cosmic horror, it would be more aptly called Wellsian horror, if you want to go to the source.

Plus HP Lovecraft, being the poster child for racists, makes him a writer I can do without over glorifying. From all documentation he was a pedantic, overblown writer and person, assuming airs beyond him, the racism and class-ism all were affectations of his aspiring to a nobility, when he was not a noble man.

He is a bit like Poe, a writer I adore, but who was also a vicious, insufferable human being (per his writings, correspondences, reviews), who railed against the world for its idiocy in not recognizing his nobility, and talent as a writer, during his life. 

A modicum of humility and honest perspective in either man, would have made them far better human beings, but perhaps their writing would have suffered.  Who knows.

That said Lovecraft (like Poe) is a very good short story writer (he is not as good as Poe, but he is a very good writer), and I think several of his short stories deserve their acclaim. But guys and gals, there have been great Cosmic Horror writers before Lovecraft, and a hell of a lot since.

 

So let us stop slapping Lovecraft’s name, which I will admit is a bloody cool name, on anything remotely resembling cosmic horror.

Now, there can be films that are specifically Lovecraftian, they deal with specific Lovecraft creations, but these Lovecraftian films are just a subset, or a sub-folder, of the larger main folder… that is Cosmic horror. So a Lovecraftian film by definition is a cosmic horror film, however a cosmic horror film, is not necessarily a Lovecraftian film. It can be a Chambersian film, or a Hodgsonian film, or Biersian film, particular subsets of Cosmic Films. Kinda like how every Raven is a Crow, but not every Crow is a Raven.

So now that that is cleared up, please feel free to educate anyone you see using the term Lovecraftian Horror, on all cosmic horror (even creators oft just lazily grab a catchphrase that people know). Tell them call it just Cosmic Horror, or call it Wellsian Horror.

Okay , onto the films:

COSMIC HORROR FILMS:

  • THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOONDark Side Of The Moon, The [Blu-ray]
  • THE THING (1982)
  • III : THE RITUAL (2015)
  • THE VOID (2016) – the filmmakers even have characters named after Lovecraft characters, however it largely feels more like an ode to John Carpenter, rather than the writings of Lovecraft.
  • EUROPA REPORT
  • THE ENDLESS (2017)
  • LIFEFORCE
  • Lifeforce [Blu-ray]
  • 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
  • IT (1990)
  • IT LIVES
  • POSSESSION (1981)

 

Now here are actual Lovecraftian Films:

  • IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994)
  • DAGON
  • THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012)
  • THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE (Upcoming Richard Stanley film) (2019)
  • FROM BEYOND (1986)
  • RE-ANIMATOR (1985)

Here in First Quarter 2019, FINALLY reflecting on BEST Youtube Channels 2018!

Odd the difference streaming has made to my TV watching habits.

I went YEARS without watching cable TV, or really much of broadcast TV, and not really missing it.

I did not want a cable television bill, so I did either free off the air via the digital antenna or whole seasons of DVD. And I had my unlimited clear broadband modem, so web shows were also an option.

But back in 2013 or 2014 when Roku and Netflix really began to become a thing, I jumped in to the ‘streaming revolution’ and man have I, like most of you, had a blast.

So much so, that last year, after a few years of using Roku to watch the regulars (NETFLIX, HULU, AMAZON PRIME, CRACKLE, TUBI, and SHOUT FACTORY TV to name a few) I checked out a ‘new’ Roku station… YOUTUBE.

Youtube, a thing I avoided like the plague in its web/pc version for YEARS (because of lack of moderation of the sewage like comments section), quickly in 2018 became one of my favorite channels.

I spent more time watching the Youtube Channel and assorted programs on my big screen TV (Thanks to Roku) than just about anything else, with the other two big ones being AMAZON PRIME and HULU.

I still have issues with Youtube (the organization) but the regular joes and joettes, who for the love of it… create this unique and passionate content, these unique channels, well I love it for the same reason I love podcasts.

(Quick shout out to COMIC GEEK SPEAK, EPIC MARVEL PODCAST, KNIFEPOINT HORROR, TWOMORROWS, THE DAILY RIOS PODCAST to name a few)

They exemplify the passionate amateur who shows a better grasp and coverage of the material, then the paid professional pundit. And for the hours of joy they gave me, and others, in 2018 they deserve to be applauded.

And here (in a brief paragraph) are my favorite Youtube shows for 2018:

  1. AFTA COMICS
  2. SILVER-AGED DAVE
  3. REGIE SIMMONS IFBB PRO https://www.youtube.com/user/rsimmons1911
  4. RANDY AND TAYLA
  5. RICH REBUILDS
  6. ALL THAT JAZZ
  7. BRAVE WILDERNESS
  8. FIRST WE FEAST
  9. THE GO2 GEEKS
  10. WALLACE RYAN
  11. WORKOUT
  12. HAANTI
  13. EARL GREY https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ZtauWih38Lr1aVEXuZybw
  14. JOHN CAMPEA
  15. DS COMICS
  16. METAROG
  17. MINDSMASH https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC87Lj67s_Ht40lvGhtF9iHA
  18. MINORITY MINDSET
  19. OMELETO
  20. POP CULTURE PHILOSOPHERS
  21. PROFESSOR THORGI
  22. RAPID TRAILER
  23. CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT http://www.cerealatmidnight.com/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsVgZNzzvedehALS-dTIFhACereal At Midnight: Pop Culture in Analog
  24. CHYCHO
  25. COMICHYJINX
  26. COMICS WITH BUELLER
  27. DR JOSH AXE
  28. FURY ROAD
  29. LEEKIRBYDITKOCOMICS
  30. THE DELUXE EDITION
  31. UFC AND MMA

If you are unfamiliar with any show above, do a search ( Not at google, please. Try duckduckgo or ixquick.com. Google and Disney should not own everything guys. Spread the love guys. Competition will help keep you free. 🙂 ). These channels are worth your time.

So yeah didn’t want to drag this post out but those are 31 channels that kicked butt in 2018, and I am currently still enjoying in 2019. And more than that, network and reach out to each other, and make it easy for your fellow youtubers and fans to reach you outside of Youtube. Cause you probably have a lot of fans who reach you via a streaming device. Which means they do not see your comments section, and can not post comments, etc. And I have seen a few channels go dark in the brief time I’ve been following Youtube channels, so an old fashioned email link, maybe not as outdated a concept as people say. 🙂

I would hate some of the above channels to likewise go dark, come 2020.

Thanks for looking!!!

If you liked this post, show support by purchasing today’s item via the below link:

 

https://amzn.to/2El13WP – This one is a little more expensive than the standard or usb version, but is worth the additional money due to a faster processor, HDMI port, and Fast Ethernet port. If you already have a streaming device or use a different streaming device, this one makes a great addition to a guest room, or a great gift.

 

Be well out there!

Is the 1st Quarter of 2019 almost done???!! Quick a few last lessons and observations from 2018!!!!

Wow this year has been flying and busy…so I did not have a lot of time to reflect on 2018. So I wanted to say a few words before we get out of the 1st quarter of 2019.

 

2018.

What a year.

Politics, war, human and civil rights conflicts. Losses both subtle and staggering. And also great achievements to balance out the bloody churning of the 24 hour news cycle.

Other places have spoken on those serious points of 2018.

I wanted to speak on mostly light, trivial, personal minutiae that for what ever reason reverberated with me. And may just reverberate with those of you who visit me.

2018 was, despite the unsteady global outlook, personally for me… a good year.

Those I hold dear were well.

And that for me is the main measure of a good year.

So onto the minutiae:

Umm

  • I spent time in Connecticut in 2018, and absolutely loved it. New London, Mohegan Sun, Terrificon 2018. Just a fantastic trip with my better half. So enjoyed the trip so much, that we will be doing it again in 2019. If you are into Comic Book movies, and more importantly classic comic books, from the great Silver and Bronze Age, and their creators, this is the con for you. If you are with family that has only minimal interests in Comics, this Con is definitely for you, because it is held in a stunning Casino, so it is great shopping,, with great food. And the surrounding area is filled with great things to do with your family, from great small town window shopping, to cruises, and tours, and yes… excellent food.
  • 2018 saw me transition from Fire TV back to Roku Premiere+. Which served me great all year with one little caveat.

  • The Roku Premiere + while it offers improved processing speed over earlier models and a handy HDMI port, it also overs a microphone in the  remote for voice control.  As someone who works in tech two of the stupidest things I think you can have in your home, is a camera you can’t turn off ( or be truly certain when it is on) and a microphone that is always recording.
  • Too many people place devices in their home, that a smarter, more prudent, generation would have called illegal surveillance systems (cough – XBOX – cough), but because these systems come marketed as ‘must have entertainment devices’, or ‘AI convenience devices’, too many people are swayed by the sheen rather than the substance, and blithely allow invasive tech into their home without researching that tech, or means to limit violations of same. Just like before you use a car most people pay a reliable mechanic to check out the car, and seasonally tune it up, the same minimum steps should be in place for these smart/iot devices. Have a tech set it up and secure it for you, and ensure it is safe to use. That is just smart consumerism in this day and age of identity theft, and billion dollar companies unable to keep from losing your data.
  • And these are the companies you pay to put an alexa in your home. 🙂 I am not so lazy that I need an Alexa in my house, always listening to answer an inane question, or turn on a light. Such smart technology can be of use, but not when paired with an uninformed and lazy consumer.That is a recipe for your technology owning you, rather than the other way around.
  • Most notably marketing. There are billions made by game/entertainment machines that has NOTHING to do with gaming. But has everything to do with selling your data to the highest bidder. A not locked down gaming machine, is indistinguishable from a state of the art bio-metric spying machine. Indistinguishable.
  • I’m not saying do not have have a video game console in your house. I am saying be informed about the equipment you are putting in your house and how to limit egress by marketers, and privacy violations.
  • Such as the news item a couple years back of people who bought the smart TVs, unaware that it was recording them.:)
  • Smart Devices, are for smart consumers. And most consumers are not smart. I’m not being insulting, but it is a truth the marketing relies on, that people buy off of a glitzy ad, rather than research. On emotion, rather than reason. How else to explain pharmaceutical ads that sell potentially deadly products, to address the most inane issues. They rely on consumers not being smart, and wanting what is new and hip and popular. We must look at the world, with better eyes than that. All of us. Myself included feel the pull to jump aboard the band-wagon, but those are the times we have to pause, and take a step back. And really look and see where the road of good intentions… is leading you. 🙂 . It takes putting in the effort, which is contrary to the marketed status quo of, just ask your phone, or smart device to think for you.
  • For the sake of entertainment this social media generation is relinquishing rights, that took much loss of blood to get. Technology can be great, if you take the time to hold manufacturers accountable, and make the technology truly a tool that you use, rather than visa-versa.
  • All this to say, I swapped out my mic enabled remote for my Roku for a model without a mic. I do not want to talk to machines. I don’t really want machines talking to me. 🙂 And no, I don’t have a smart phone. I work with smart phones, tablets, and laptops, and desktops for a living. I do not need my phone to be a computer, I just need it to make and receive calls. 🙂
  • Having set those ground rules for the Roku, and some other privacy changes enacted, the Roku Premiere + has served me well for all of 2018. And continues to do so in 2019.

Most notably Youtube, a thing I avoided like the plague in its web version (because of lack of moderation of the sewage like comments section), is one thing I am enjoying on my big screen (non-smart) tv, thanks to Roku. The ‘comments free’ Youtube Channel App, on Roku, is easily one of my most watched channels of 2018. More on this in my next installment.

 

 

And we will wrap this streaming heavy look at 2018 up with my 5 favorite Streaming Channels of 2018 from most to least watched.

  1. YOUTUBE

  2. AMAZON PRIME

  3. HULU

  4. NETFLIX

  5. PLUTO TV

Those five channels were pretty much all I watched in 2018.

Youtube I already mentioned what I watched.

As far as Amazon Prime, they have a huge selection of Big Foot, Werewolf, and other obscure horror films, which is my cup of tea. The slasher stuff I have no use for, but a good Big Foot movie, I’m there! So between many hours of movies and trailers, and their great classic and original programming (JACK RYAN season 1 was excellent) they were a solid contender for most popular streaming channel.

HULU allowed us to keep up with broadcast TV, (ex. AMERICAN NINJA) as well as original programing and classic series. Netflix ran a distant fourth for me, but did have some fun shows and movies as well.

Finally PLUTO TV scratched the itch for us when we wanted the Cable experience.

There you go guys, a streaming intensive look at 2018 from herE in the far future of 2019! 🙂