Not again, not again. It’s 25 below again for the next week, with the wind chill. People used to say “that’s not really the real temperature” but no one says that much anymore.
Long-term forecasts call for high seventies, but not for another five months.
Maybe I’m just old. Perhaps if I'd grown up with an Xbox controller I'd have that special instinct that says “of course, to get to the main screen, you press right-trigger / Y / left toggle.” For a while I thought I had it: A, that was the important button! A did things. And the button with the little lines, that seemed to go to a top menu! Except when it didn’t.
Trying to watch a DVD with an Xbox controller is like trying to have sex when you’re both in different phone booths. The glass kind with doors. You can see what you want to do and you know there’s a way out, but there’s no way to do anything where you are now. After downloading the Blu-Ray app, I had no option to return to the main menu and adjust my settings, because as I mentioned the other day there was a PROBLEM with 4K. Why? Because there was a PROBLEM.
okay I managed to get back to the top menu by pushing every single button on the controller in sequence. Got back to the top menu where my name is CANDYCREDIT for some reason. Great. I’m a stripper with a portable chip-card reader. I drill down to the settings for video, and it turns out I do get 4K, but it’s a bit more complex.
I have no idea what any of this, and I don’t care. Except I do. I’m annoyed. I bought this schmancy new TV, and I’m running in EIGHT BIT MODE?
Wouldn’t care except now that I know there is a TEN BIT MODE I am aware of something better and I can’t have it.
The disappointments mount and compound, I tell you.
So I put in the Blu-Ray 4K Ultra HD ATOMIC DETAIL disk, and walked away, because I didn’t want to see the black screen that says, in essence, I’m sorry Dave I can’t do that. But the disk loaded, which meant I had an S.
What’s that, you say? An S? Yes. An S. As I may have mentioned the other day, the salesman at Target sold me an Xbox that was not an S, believing it would play Blu-Ray 4K Ultra HD etc disks. (Or discs.) I did not, because it was not an S. So I took it back and ordered an S, and the Xbox box did not say S. Nothing on the packaging suggested it was an S.
Imagine the conference:
“So we have just one Xbox this year, right? The Xbox One! It’ll be a smash hit.”
“Well, no, Bob, we have an Xbox One S.”
“The Woness? Why?”
“It plays Blu-Ray 4K Ultra HD disks.”
“That’s the future, right?”
“It’s part of the future, Bob. For a while.”
“So include it in the basic model. What, it uses a special artisanal laser to get all the extra bits?”
“The drive is a bit more expensive, because they can charge more for a while. In a year or two they won’t be able to charge more. But for now they want to charge more.”
“Look, include the Blu-Ray 4K Ultra HD capability. Bump the price up ten bucks. Put on a sticker that says FUTURE READY or something. We have two models, it’s confusing. People get a 4K TV in a year or two, boss, they’ll be pissed the Xbox doesn’t play the disks.”
“But then they’ll upgrade to a new unit, Bob. We'll make more money!”
“No, they won’t. They’ll get a separate player, and those things will be cheaper than getting a whole new Xbox. It’s a bad idea.”
“Unfortunately we're already in production with two models, and one is called the S.”
“Tell me it’ll say so on the box, so people aren’t angry on Christmas.”
“Sorry, Bob. That would diffuse the brand.”
“But what about the people who buy the wrong one? They’re going to be frustrated. They’re going to blame us. They’re going to wonder why -“
“They are statistically insignificant. I’m sorry, but your way of thinking indicates I must shoot you in the head. Please kneel.”
“Aw, come on, man, we’ve worked together since -“
“One box. One product. Say your prayers.”
Later: I’m watching TV, “The Expanse.” This is the show I thought I was watching a few months ago, which turned out to be a substandard by the numbers sci-fi dreck with a TOUGH FEMALE and a MYSTERIOUS GIRL with ABILITIES and an Asian Dude who had a CONNECTION to BLADED WEAPONS because of the Asian thing, and so on. That show was awful, but "The Expanse" is pretty good.
There’s a scene that’s dark, and I have to admit I was not studying the qualities of the blackness like I’m supposed to. Perhaps becauseI was annoyed by the word SAMSUNG in bright lights on the bottom of the TV set. So I paused, googled, and figured out how to kill it. I also saw a setting for voice commands, so I enabled it, thinking “to enhance my experience I would like to send every spoken word to a Korean chaebol that listens to everything we say and sifts through the phonemes for marketable keywords.” I have to press a button to tell it to listen. So instead of pressing the button that pauses the show, I press another button and say “Pause.”
And it does! Voice-control is the new paradigm. Everything that can be voice controlled should be voice controlled.
Note: no one in "The Expanse" is talking to things to control them, at least so far. Do you want to know why? Because this is the gritty future where everything is blue and underlit, and voice-control would make it seem too easy.
Really? Really? Anyone believe this? Well, it's stated as true on "idiotlaws.com," where there is one comment and it goes INSTANTLY to politics. Demtardlithugs!
Other citations do not exempt the mayor and councilpersons, which seems more plausible.
We begin our 4th (!) year of serial analysis with something quite intriguing:
This distinguishes him from the open, forthright Dr. Satans you might meet. The theme is mysterious, inasmuch as it’s a mystery what the melody is.
Hint of Brahms' Piano Concerto #1.
In case you think we’re going to spend 15 episodes waiting to see who Dr. Satan really is:
Our hero, I presume:
Not exactly a two-fisted type, is he? Looks a bit slow.
Comic relief sidekick:
Spunky Gal Reporter:
Don't know where she fits in all this, yet:
Usually these begin with a series of explosions, plane crashes, cars hurtling off cliffs, and so forth, indicating the reign of terror that’s begun because of Strange Dr. Moon Agent X, but this time a guy just gets plugged outside an office building. He was going to see the Governor, who has an office downtown for some reason.
Bob Wayne shows up because he has to see the Governor about something, and discovers the murder. Turns out the dead man was" the country’s Greatest Criminologist," and the Governor says “It was Dr. Satan.”
Ah, hah: right off the bat we learn that the Authorities are up to speed on Dr. S. The Governor tells our hero a story about a pal back in Arizona; he went bad, and started committing raids as The Copperhead. The governor shows Bob the Copperhead’s mask, which he has in a box in his office in case he gets in a yarn-spinnin' mood. And then he tells Bob: “your father was the Copperhead.” But he wasn’t really a crook. He righted wrongs. The Governor wants Bob to know this now, in case Dr. Satan kills the governor. Bob, I raised you like my own son.
Got it? There's a lot of exposition packed in the first few minutes. And we're pretty sure from the start that Bob Wayne is going to put on tht Copperhead mask eventually, right?
And we’re pretty sure the Governor’s going to get some lead from Dr. Satan’s henchman as soon as Bob leaves, right?
And that Bob Wayne will go right back to the Governor’s office, find him dead, and . . . well, of course:
You will note that one hat is knocked off almost right away. The other hat comes off a few punches later. This could mean that all the conventions are out the window.
The killer says he gets his orders from Dr. Satan’s chest implant:
We learn that Dr. Satan wants to get the inventions of Dr. Scott, who happens to be Spunky Gal Reporter’s father. OF COURSE. Satan kills the henchman by remote control bzzzzzt! and then it's off to protect Dr. Scott.
Bob Wayne has a simple request:
Quite understanding and accommodating, the cops are. Too bad, though - Dr. Satan is already on the train, and has used sleeping gas to knock out Dr. Scott.
But! Bob Wayne and his comic relief sidekick are chasing after the train in a car, and thanks to great skill, athletic prowess, and good editing he gets on the train.
He goes right to Dr. Scott’s cabin, where Dr. Satan is getting the Secret Plans. He request permission to enter, and they let him in. And so:
So not only do we not have to wait for the identity of Dr. Satan to be revealed, we don’t have to wait for the hero to finally meet the villain. They meet in the first 5 minutes. Dr. S shoots our hero with a poison dart, but it’s deflected by . . . THE CHAINMAIL MASK OF THE COPPERHEAD. He puts on the mask, gets the plans back, and escapes. So he’s pretty good at this.
Dr. Satan decides to give up, because he’s seen serials before. “I know what’s coming,” he sys. “We’ll try to kill this fellow at least ten times, and it won’t work. We’ll lose men and time and money. No, we shall abandon this line of criminality, and try something else.”
Nah. He goes to Dr. Scott’s house in person, introduces himself as Dr. Satan, and says you know, your daughter is on a boat, right? I’ve loaded it with exploding charges. I’ll take the plans now.”
The plans, by the way, are for a remote control cell. I don’t know why he needs one. We’ve already seen his has a device that can give orders from a great distance and electricity disobedient minions. Anyway, the lab assistant was tied up in the barn, and she finds a way to escape . . .
and just then Copperhead Wayne arrives and holds Dr. Satan at gunpoint . . . and to make a long story short, Dr. Satan makes a move for the safe where the plans are held, and oops: it's boobytrapped.
Infallible mastermind he isn’t. But unfortunately he can’t call his team and tell them to cancel the blowing-up part of the plan, because he’s out cold from a severe shock. So the Copperhead gets in a handy speedboat and heads out to intercept the yacht. Alas, they're observed by Dr. Satan's employees, via Televisor:
But the first one always is.
That'll do! New this year in 20s: Sheet Music. You'll learn a few things, I promise, and if you like, hear some toe-tapping tunes. I've added them from my own collection instead of embedding YouTube clips, because you know what I usually do when I see a YouTube clip of a song? I think "I don't want to listen to that."