Stranger Things 4

Last night, we finally got to see the final two episodes of Stranger Things 4. It seemed like an eternity between the May 27 release of the first seven episodes and the July 1 release of the final two installments.

About those final two installments, it felt more like five episodes than two because of how long they were. That made it all the more exciting, that’s for sure.

I am not going to go into plot details here because, well, you know, spoilers! Again, this is not a review, mainly just exuding how I feel about what I saw.

I do have one hope for the final season. There has been a lot of debate about the sexuality of Will Byers. Is he gay? Is he longing for Mike? I think he is. Will the writers go there? I don’t know. I hope they do, it feels like that’s the way it should be going.

Oh and my wallet when it comes to the Soundtrack to come from Lakeshore Records. Two, that’s right, TWO 2-LP sets of music to be released later in the year.

When I wrote my journal entry last night on the typewriter (yeah, at just short of 2:00am, I’m sure our neighbors love the electric typewriter action at that late hour,) I ended the entry with one word that sums it all up:

BITCHIN.

Dystopia Here We Come

What else can I say on this insignificant blog that hasn’t already been said elsewhere?

I don’t need to link to anything here because you definitely know what has been going on in the last 30 hours before this post.

The clock is racing backwards in America (can we even call it America anymore?)

I personally am frightened. Literally. I. Am. Frightened.

You know what I am not going to let this do? Kill my hope. Hope that we can still turn this wayward ship around. There has to be something better on the horizon, right? Even though the waters look mighty dark now, hope has to be there.

Have I given you enough nautical references for one blog post? Yeah, we’re good.

Hang in there, reader. We’ll get through this together. We have got to keep believing that.

Thoughts on Paper

Is precise typing a lost art? Maybe it was never an art to begin with unless you were a secretary.

Maybe we just take typos for granted and have gotten so used to the convenience of computers and the ability to use the backspace key to correct mistakes.

There is a beauty in using a typewriter however that I have always felt a comfort in. A few years ago, Greg found an electric typewriter from around the late 1980s/early 1990s and asked if I wanted it. I took him up on the offer. We then saw a manual typewriter from around the late 1950s/early 1960s and got that one too. That was a pain to use, but I decided to start using it for a personal, typed journal. I ended up getting more often than not annoyed with how often the strikers would jam up with each other when typing too fast. Or that I would have to smack the keys hard to get results (which was a common complain of typewriters of that era.)

We ended up selling both of them well before we moved to Atlanta.

Fast forward to last weekend. Greg sees this beauty in a store:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is a Smith Corona Electra 210. I’m guessing it’s from the mid-to-late 1960s, maybe early 1970s. It’s hard to date because Smith Corona is notorious for not putting date tags on any of their products. The only thing we needed to get for it was the ribbon, which fortunately is easily found.

It works great! I have resumed my typed journal after almost 5 years. I am going to make something of this.

In case you are wondering, a typed journal might look like this:

There is more to the entry than that, I’m not going to show you everything.

Now you may be asking yourself: why in the world am I not just typing in this blog instead of doing this? That’s a good question.

A lot of stuff I want to put down on paper is really not fit for the darkest recesses of the interwebs. I don’t want anything salty that I way write to really come back and get me when I least expect it. The internet has more ears than a field of corn and once you put it out there, you’re never going to get it back.

And, by the way, White-Out correcting tape that is instantly dry really helps when you commit mistakes.

Preservation

Old CBS Studio 33 Switcher

Thinking about the necessity of preservation.

There are lots of things in the world that need to be preserved. My focus happens to be old TV shows, specifically (and unsurprisingly to the reader) game/quiz shows.

I recently started streaming hand-picked old game shows on my Twitch channel. It’s a weekly affair on Monday nights for the moment and it seems to have a very sparse, devoted following for the moment. So far I have had a good time showcasing some of the rarer stuff in my collection.

I sometimes ask myself, “How important is it to preserve and showcase these things?” The best answer I can come up with is that these items are solid entertainment from a time when TV was an easier thing on the eye.

In my opinion, the modern way shows are done is too polished. The rise of non-linear editing has taken some of the charm of a live-to-tape show away that was a drawing factor in some of these shows. This is exactly why I sparsely used non-linear editing tools when doing Clue Me In in college. Polishing the show to a perfect thing kind of makes it a non-organic thing that doesn’t quite seem like what it should be.

Bringing a show in on time and rolling with the punches while the show is in performance was an innate skill. That is what should have been preserved.

(See, I stayed on point, lol)

2022 (or is it 2020 too?)

I feel the same as a lot of people do, that we have been perpetually stuck in March 2020 for almost two years. You know, everything has been a blur in all of that time. It seems that lately every bit of hope that I might feel is so instantly dashed by the grim reality of the world’s situation.

I have tried to come to terms with the fact that I, like most other people, want to move past this pandemic so much and try to establish a new normal.

Will anything ever be the same? Of course not.

I don’t want to go off on a tangent of feelings that have been shared time and time again by other individuals in other media.

The question I can answer is: “What will the new normal be for Greg and myself?”

I wish I had an answer to that. I don’t think anyone can answer that question of themselves. Those kinds of answers will come when most sane, logical people are assured that we can put this behind us. Unfortunately, as long as there are people in the world that are putting stupidity over logic… we aren’t getting out of this anytime soon.

It’s hard not to feel that we are doomed as a society. Not just the pandemic, but in civil discourse as well. I’m sure you know what I am talking about. People that cry that they don’t get their way even when the facts say otherwise. All of this hits closer to me than you ever could imagine. Not just at home, but it did at work as well. Would you believe two different people at work got let go because of vaccine mandates? Yeah, I was shocked as well. Shocked that people can’t make the obvious decision for the greater good of their co-workers and society in general and get the freaking shot.

OK, I’m rambling now. Time to get off the soapbox and go to work.

Coming Full Circle-ish

3 years.

It’s been 3 years since I started this crazy journey to becoming an ATL-ien.

3 years since I started sending job applications out and then ultimately getting hired and starting the whirlwind that brought me and my husband to where we are now.

3 years.

While that amount of time is not so notable in and of itself, what is notable is that I have at this moment regained something which I regretted giving up to come here.

In my old job, I had weekends off. I have worked every weekend since early November 2018. Starting this week, I have Sundays and Mondays off. While it’s not the entire weekend, at least I have one weekend day off.

Someday, Saturday, Someday.

Meanwhile, I will certainly enjoy being off the exact same days as Greg again. We already have these last two days. There are many, many more ahead. Just you wait! 😊

Turning the Tables

Yeah, I know, that’s a cheesy title for this blog entry. Wouldn’t you have done the same?

If you follow me on social media or are a subscriber of the Nick & Greg YouTube channel then you already know that I sent the U-Turn Orbit back and got another turntable instead. If you want the short version, here is the vlog:

I wanted to get my expanded thoughts out there as to why. Why did I do that?

First off, let me say that the U-Turn Orbit was not a bad product. It was well made, simple, and didn’t take a lot of fuss to operate. For an ordinary individual, it would perform well.

Problem is, I am not that ordinary individual.

My hands are not the best, most reliable things in the world. If it involves something small, I am more than likely to futz it up and get angry at it. This belt was no exception. The more I kept trying and not getting it on, the more frustrated I would become with myself.

Greg is a saint. He had to put up with a lot of audible cussing from me and he would keep trying to calm me down and work with me. You, as the reader, would have to be there to understand just how much this was an issue. I have no shame in talking about it now.

At the same time, I was looking at lots of reviews and videos talking about the Audio Technica AT-LP 120 and all of its versions. The more I looked at that turntable and its features, the more I liked what I saw. Several times over the course of a week together that we had off of work, I kept regretting the decision I made to get the Orbit.

So, one night I decided to pull the trigger and buy the AT-LP 120XBT-USB from Best Buy. I got it home and the setup was very simple. I carefully balanced the tonearm (which is something I didn’t have to do the last time).

So, it’s been a couple of weeks since I put it in and have been listening to a lot of material of varying genres across the scope of what I own. What do I think?

I think I made the right decision. I just want to put a record on with no fuss and have it sound good. This turntable does that and I couldn’t be happier. I have fallen in love with my vinyl yet again and even deeper. As a matter of fact, at the time I am writing this post, I haven’t listened to an album in a couple of days. I think I might do that when I get home tonight.

My Love Affair with Vinyl

The evening of this blog post, I am going to receive a nice, new, spiffy turntable that we bought over a month ago tomorrow. Details on that to come.

It got me to thinking why I love vinyl so much. I’ll just give you the bullet points.

  • It has a warm, pleasing sound.
  • It has a nice, physical feel.
  • Lots of rare things that haven’t been released on other media, like, ever
  • It just looks good
  • I love a good used record shop, and there are plenty of them in the ATL and other cities
  • I always find a good super-rare bargain!
  • The format has always fascinated me since I was a kid

I distinctly remember that I probably was the only kid in school that would check out LPs from the local library. This was in the mid-90s and they probably didn’t hold onto them much longer after that. One title I loved to check out was the Return of the Jedi soundtrack (RSO Records, 1983). Alas, I don’t think I have that particular pressing myself. I have a Polydor repressing from later in the 80s (date unknown) and a gold vinyl 180-gram repress from 2016. But I digress… (BTW, if you want to see my vinyl collection, you can go here and filter it down by LP, 7/12″ Singles, and for that matter look at my CDs too)

Me and Greg bought our first turntable, a Sony PS-LX250H in 2005, not long after we became a couple. It has served us well for these last 16 years and has never given us a problem. It sounds great.

But there are reasons why I wanted to go with a new, middle-range turntable. Details on that will be in a video on the Nick & Greg YouTube channel in the coming days. You see, I am going to do an unboxing video of the new one! (What, you thought I was going to spill all the beans here?)

Needless to say this purchase has been years in the making. Not on account of affordability, this turntable was always very affordable. It just felt like the right time to do it.

Plus, a 16 year old belt drive turntable has had a good run.

Stay tuned for more!

Random Thoughts – 03/18/2021

I sit here with my mind in a blur. It’s been a hell of a week in Atlanta. I am going to assume the reader by now has heard of the tragic and hateful events that transpired earlier this week.
(However, in case you’ve been living under a rock, go get up to speed.)

I echo what a lot of other people have said, hate has no home in ATL. None whatsoever.

What I do want to talk about is how I personally feel about all of this and how it relates to me.

As a gay man, I have had my fair share of hate, scorn, epithets and what have you thrown at me. It’s not fun. In my travels here, I have driven past the places where this all happened lots of times. I never though anything of them. They are legitimate businesses ran by good people. To have so many lives cut short by a terrorist claiming he was trying to remove sources of his sex addiction is just the most ridiculous thing I have heard in quite a while.

How can a person live with themselves after that.

Gah. I don’t know.

There is lots more to digest out of this, but I don’t want to ramble on. A lot of other people have already said what I am thinking.

Let my good friend Ron educate you a bit:

Atlanta is strong. We won’t let hate win. I know this place is a good one. I still love it here and we will go forward stronger. Say their names.

Obligatory Blog Update – 12/20/2020

OK, so what has happened.

Well, the world is still so far upside-down.

I am still upside-down.

I am not sleeping well. I need to start exercising to try and help that.

We got the condo, we moved in over a month ago. Maybe someday I will get used to the obnoxiously loud engines on 17th Street.

Xmas is this week. We are doing it virtually like most everyone else is and we are OK with that.

Live stream Xmas Night at http://youtube.com/nickandgreg/. Please join us.

Kthxbai.