Computer Animation

I’ve always loved computer animation. Back in 1982 “Tron” came out and changed the film industry. Shortly after was “The Last Starfighter” in 1984.

Then in the 1990’s, one of my favorite artsy styles of the animation came out with a mix of music and creativity- “Beyond The Mind’s Eye” showcased the future of computer animation. Shortly after- some of the scenes were used in “The Lawnmower Man”. This was a couple of years before “Toy Story”.

The late 90’s had “The Matrix” making people question reality. Side note: In 2003 I picked up a metallic holographic style poster for the sequel and had it framed.

Back in 2010, we enjoyed Flynn’s Arcade in Disneyland. A throwback of the arcade from the 80’s film “Tron” and a segue into the sequel.

The art style of computer animation has come a long way in four decades. Seeing some of the older shows proves how far film has gotten.

What are your favorite computer rendered films?

Mandalorian

Ok Disney. I have bought into your Disney+ and so far am really happy with it. At first I wasn’t thrilled that the new series, “The Mandalorian”, didn’t have all the episodes readily available to marathon through. But then I realized that what you’ve done is sparked “water cooler talk” amongst everyone.

It took until last weekend for me to really notice. I hadn’t seen the third episode yet, but numerous coworkers, friends, and the Internet in general were discussing it. Not too shabby for a new streaming service. The buzz generated for this series is quite strong.

After finally watching the third episode, I can see why. “The Mandalorian” is far exceeding my expectations. It is not like any other Star Wars film or show. It is written, directed, and filmed in its own way that the pace of each episode is rhythmic and flows precisely. With Disney+ only releasing one episode per week- my anticipation level of each one grows. It has caused me to discuss the show far more than simply mentioning it in conversation.

In a time of instant gratification and marathon watching, going back to waiting for weekly episodes has made me appreciate the show more. As I wait and scroll through the available movies and shows, my kids have got me enjoying another series with guilty pleasure:

Don’t tell anyone…

Saying Farewell To A Coworker

It’s bittersweet when a coworker leaves. You’re happy for them to be making a change, but upset that they are leaving. Especially if you’ve worked side by side for years.

This week at the railroad is the last for a close friend of mine. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye, so the sarcasm and jokes are already coming out. I wrote a note of “encouragement” on a picture that I had hanging in our office for almost a year.

KC,

Good luck @ KM. You’re only gonna last 3 weeks!

#sixseasonsandamovie

-Joe

He and I had very similar tastes in entertainment. We often had discussions about movies and tv shows. My farewell to him is in reference to the show “Community”. A show we both enjoyed.

In a couple of days, he shall be off to a new adventure. We will still be in contact periodically because our railroad services the company he is moving to. The dynamic will change, but out jokes shall remain the same. I wish him all the best in his new adventure.

Guided By TV

There once was a time that the tv required a weekly tv listings magazine to be made available.

Why should I read a magazine weekly?

TV channels were pretty much set in how they ran things. A new show every hour on the hour or half hour. Reading a magazine with the listings for your area was the best way to plan your viewing week. There was also a crossword and articles about the Fall Lineup or a puff piece about your favorite shows. Picking up a TV Guide when grocery shopping was fairly common practice. There wasn’t a listings option to show on the bottom of the screen. Eventually there was a dedicated channel to a scrolling listing that changed about every fifteen minutes.

After a while, people just left their TVs on. Or at least that’s how my home functioned. Monday to Friday was the same routine. My day even began with morning cartoons before school. From the minute I came home from school to well after my bedtime the glow of the boob tube illuminated our home.

Immediately after school, I enjoyed afternoon cartoons for a couple of hours until my parents came home. Then it was 6 o’clock news followed by Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. It was after these few shows that the daily programs would alternate.

Sometimes it was Murder She Wrote. Or it could’ve been Cheers, Doogie Howser, Night Court or Quantum Leap. After a while it didn’t matter. Our TV just stayed on. During commercial breaks was when I ran to the bathroom or got changed for bed. Bedtime? That was the four minutes of credits and ads before the 9pm late night shows. Only to have me slink off to my room to turn on my TV to fall asleep to the horizontal lines of electric hums and late night infomercials.

For me, purchasing a magazine devoted to TV is a thing of the past. In fact, regular tv viewing has changed to streaming at my leisure. No more programming myself to be glued to the tv in thirty minute increments wasting my time. Let me marathon through a tv series at my discretion.

Lost

Recently we have been enjoying the tv series “Lost” on Amazon Prime. The first time I saw the series was on Netflix a few years back. Now I can’t stop watching it.

We are about halfway through the show again. Only this time, our kids are watching with us. And they have so many questions.

So should I spoil the show for them and offer answers when they ask? That wouldn’t be very nice. In fact a few times the show has caught me second guessing what I thought I knew about it. There are so many twists and turns that I forgot about some of the aspects.

In the end, the show is re-watchable for exactly that. I know what is coming up. But I don’t remember the details. I still get a moment of surprise when something happens.

It’s like watching the show all over again for the first time. Only this time I know how it will end. I just don’t remember how we get there.

G.L.O.W.

G.L.O.W. Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling was a wrestling show from the late 80’s (1986-1989). I used to watch it every Saturday night in my bedroom. Hey, I was about to hit puberty- what better way to get myself aquatinted with the female form than to watch them fight? Plus a tv in my room meant my parents had no idea what I was watching.

Women wrestling each other with big 80’s hair and spandex. These were active, hair pulling, smack talking, strong women. I think I developed a type that I began to like in those formative years. Most women I dated (and even married) have been very confident and strong females with a sexy side. And hair! But the show itself was laughable for the most part.

Fast forward my life to earlier this week. I completely forgot about G.L.O.W. until surfing on Netflix brought up the show. Season One was released a year ago and I never heard much about it. I saw it advertised on Netflix but pre-teen me didn’t think the show would be that good. Now this wasn’t reruns or a remake- it was a storyline style show.

I figured what the heck- for a quick show to fill the void of some other sitcoms, I’d give it a try. I was not disappointed. Even my wife got into the show. We watched 2-3 episodes each night this week- loving it. Then last night something odd happened.

We were watching the last two episodes of Season 1. We finished just after midnight. Season 2 began streaming at exactly midnight. What luck! We had managed to enjoy the first season and it rolled over into the next season all ready for our binge-watching enjoyment. In a way I’m glad I missed out on the show last year when it released. Now I am able to enjoy a second dose immediately! Check out G.L.O.W. this weekend, it is a lot of fun.

It makes me wonder though, will Netflix create a series based on “American Gladiators” or “Rollergames” in the future? My inner teen sure hopes so.

Lacking Television

We haven't had cable tv for years. It came to a point where there were too many channels and not enough quality programming. The cost was getting higher and the frustration of trying to enjoy it was too. So we cut the cord.

At first it was tough. But it became easier to just download shows and binge watch. Then came Netflix! (Love that service.) Binge through five seasons of Star Trek:TNG in one sitting? Why not?! Then I discovered Kodi and streaming anything we could find. Of course there are drawbacks to it. But it only costs the price of internet service. Which really is the way to go.


Tonight I used an app called "Modbro". I was hoping to stream Sharknado 5. Because, why not? Alas, I was late in turning it on because I don't adhere to the set norms! So I decided to catch the end of last week's episode of Rick and Morty before this week's episode started. After the episode was done, I tried to channel surf like a normal person. And it sucked.

Usually we watch tv when we are out on vacation. The tv in the hotel room goes on as a way to zone out at the end of a long road trip. Some bad tv is watched. But tonight, even the kids told me to just turn it off so they could watch Netflix instead.


We have been a household of tv show watchers without watching network television. It seems strange. But it works for us. Not glued to the tube. A bit of freedom and the urge to watch tv isn't always there. I don't need to set an alarm to switch on a channel. Even getting schwifty can be done when I want.