Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tut

I was in junior high -- they call it middle school now -- when I first read about King Tut. It may have even be elementary school. I mean, it was a long time ago, so I'm not quite sure exactly when it was, but I was truly fascinated by the whole thing.

Use to be, when I'd run across some program or documentary about King Tut, I'd take the time to watch it. Of course, over the years, Tutankhamun became the subject of all kinds of theories about how he died and was he a space alien or -- okay, I don't know for sure that there was one about him being a space alien, but you get the idea. Lots of videos about Tutankhamun that ranged from good historical information, to a bunch of myths, to just plain crazy.

None of them capture or bring back what I felt when I read that book so many years ago about King Tutankhamun.

This came to mind because I found out that November 26 is the anniversary of the day in 1922 when Howard Carter first peered into the tomb of Tutankhamun, and when asked if he could see anything, replied "Yes, wonderful things."


[The YouTube]

Yes, I did think about the whole Steve Martin thing, but I decided to skip that.

Plex

As you may know, I have a fairly large movie library. Well, it's larger than most people I know. Over 1,500 movies and growing.

One thing I like to do is have my movies available to me, both at home and when I'm away from home. I don't know why I'd want my movies when I'm away from home, but I do. It seems like something I'd like to do.

Since most of my movies -- over 1,200 -- were purchased from iTunes (or through other services that are part of Movies Anywhere), I have them available on my iPad. They aren't available on my Android phone though. Well, a little over 700 are (the Movies Anywhere movies), but the rest aren't.

At home, I'm running iTunes and have downloaded all of my iTunes movies to the computer. I've also ripped out my DVDs and loaded the files into iTunes. That's over 6 TB in video content (that's movies and TV shows). I'm able to watch all of that through my Apple TV. However, I have to be at home to watch it all -- specifically, the content ripped from DVD. I can't watch my ripped DVDs away from home.

Well, a while back, I tinkered with Plex. It was okay, but iTunes was really easy. Besides, at the time, it worked on Roku, but not on Apple TV. It also won't play copy-protected content. I didn't have a single source for all my content other than iTunes, and that was only on Apple TV.

I've decided to take a second look at Plex, now. There are apps for Plex on iOS and Android devices, on Roku, on Apple TV, and most other platforms. So, I can play all of my non-DRM content through Plex.

Well, as good as all that is, I still want a single source for everything. I purchase my content -- I've even purchased the streaming version of content I already had on DVD in order to watch it anywhere -- and I don't pirate content. I just want to be able to watch my content that I bought. I'm not gonna give it to anyone else. I'm not gonna sell it to anyone else. I want it for my own personal viewing.

Since I don't mind ripping DVDs, I don't mind removing copy-protection from my personal local copy of purchased digital content. I'm not advocating that others do that, because I know some people that will turn around and attempt to profit from the work of others. Not me. All of my purchases are for my use only.

Anyway, I set up Plex on my Windows desktop computer and copied over all of my DVD movies from iTunes. All of the content I had ripped out from DVD. I did some file renaming to fit the Plex suggested naming conventions. Then a little bit of housekeeping to ensure everything looked good.

Whaddaya know? I had a good working Plex server and movie library of over 200 films. I was almost impressed with myself. Then I saw the names of all the movies. Most of them are not available streaming for a reason. Lots of really bad films -- I not only have all of the MST3K episodes, I have as many of the actual movies they riffed as I can find. That's a lot of really bad movies. Some I got from a "50 Classic Science Fiction Movies" collection. It was cheap for a reason. And I not only ripped out the MST3K-inspiring films, I ripped out all I could (some discs didn't rip at all but I'm not gonna pursue that; I'm happy with the 45 movies I got from it). So, I got around 300 movies from DVD, and the vast majority are movies I wouldn't really want to watch anyway.

Still, I'm committed to this. All of my DVDs are now in Plex, and I've begun ripping the digital purchases. That includes the first ten seasons of Doctor Who (classic seasons), or at least, the digital releases. Each night, I'll set up some digital TV episodes to rip, and the next night I'll set up some digital movies to rip. I'll probably switch over to Christmas movies and specials this week.

It's gonna take me a while to finish this. But, I have been able to do a little bit each day. By the time I'm 96, I should just about be done. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

In Which We All Lost Our Innocence

November 17, 1978. A day which will live in infamy.

That's the day the Star Wars Holiday Special aired on CBS.

Those of us that went to see the original Star Wars movie many times in the theaters just a year earlier were eagerly anticipating this special. What we got was a grand awakening of things to come.

The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 was great. Return of the Jedi in 1983 was good. Yes, despite the Ewoks. Those of us who saw the Holiday Special were not shocked by the Ewoks. Nor were we shocked by the Prequels that came years later. We all realize just how bad Star Wars could be.

And, in case you were (or still are) a Star Wars fan, and in case you missed the Holiday Special, well, here you go.


[The YouTube]

Remember, this was followed up by The Empire Strikes Back. No matter how bad things seem during the moment, things will can get better.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

About IMAO

Some of you may know I also work behind the scenes at IMAO. And you may have noticed that IMAO is down at the moment. And has been down for several hours.

Frank J. is working with the hosting company to resolve things, but I don't have much more information than that. Hopefully, it'll be back up soon.

Moon ain't gonna nuke itself.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

My Last Disney World Trip

Love the ride until they start shooting back!
Well, I went on my last Walt Disney World trip recently. It was fun, but was kinda tiring, too.

Normally, I like to go to Magic Kingdom, and I like to ride Haunted Mansion. That is my favorite all-time ride at Disney World. It holds up after all these years. Sure, they've made some updates to it, but the best parts are the parts that were there in the '70s. It's a classic.

But, as I said, that was my last trip to Walt Disney World.

Tickets are expensive. Food is expensive. Rooms are expensive. Everything is expensive. But it's fun.

I spent a lot more time at EPCOT than I had in previous trips. The Food and Wine Festival is underway, and that's fun. Well, it's filling at least. They got lots of food. Lots and lots of food. Expensive expensive food. But good food.

I used to go to Hollywood Studios more, but only made one short visit this time. The lines are long and they've changed how the Fast Pass works in that park. Now, it's a lot more waiting.

Didn't make it to Animal Kingdom this trip. It never even crossed my mind. Mostly because I was always at EPCOT eating, it seemed.

So, now I've completed my last trip to Walt Disney World. Yes, it was fun. But it was my last trip.

My next one is the weekend of November 9 & 10. And I'll figure out the next after that one. But I sure enjoyed my last trip. I can't wait for the next one.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Silly Old Bear

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Walt Disney World
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
at Walt Disney World
One of my grandsons -- the 4-year old -- really loves Winnie the Pooh. Well, the Walt Disney version of the character anyway.

I've taken him to Walt Disney World a couple of times and one of the rides he always wants to ride -- usually the first one he mentions -- is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. And, when he's over at the house, he loves the Google Home device that is linked to a Chromecast. He doesn't know or understand all that, but he knows that if he says, "Hey Google, play The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," that it will say "Okay" and that Walt Disney movie will start playing.

The boy loves Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh.

What brought this up? Well, the first Winnie the Pooh book (titled Winnie-the-Pooh) was first published on October 14, 1926. My grandson has never read the book. I've read the book to him, anyway. But the fact the book was published this date 93 years ago was the first in a series of events that eventually led to my grandson and me having some fun times together.

Will you or I do something that impacts others some 90-something years from now? Maybe not. Probably not. But we might.

Is that too deep for a Monday?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Worst Director?

Edward D. Wood, Jr., born 95 years ago today.

Some people say that Edward D. Wood, Jr. was the worst movie director ever. I'm not sure about that.

Yes, he made some really bad movies, but if I learned anything from watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 is that a lot of people made bad movies. Ed Wood wasn't the only one.

I mentioned on IMAO the other day about Manos: The Hands of Fate, which is a move we love to ... well, hate isn't the word, because we don't hate it. Far from it, we love it, both despite of and because of how bad it is. But, from my understanding, Manos was never intended to be a great film. It was intended to be a film that came in under budget, and it was. Didn't make any money, but still, it came in under budget. Mission accomplished. Sort of.

Plan 9 From Outer Space was intended to be a money-maker. It wasn't. In fact, all of Ed Wood's movies were suppose to be successful films. Mr. Wood fell short of that goal a lot.

But, is he really the worst director of all time? A lot of critics say he was, but I think a lot say that because they're expected to say that.

How bad can someone be who directs Bela Lugosi's compellingly awful lines from Bride of the Monster?

[The YouTube]

I'm not sure Ed Wood is the worst. Not by a long shot. But, if you want to think he is, go right ahead. He won't complain. He's been dead since 1978, dying two months after his 54th birthday. And that birthday? October 10, 1924. 95 years ago today.

Happy birthday, Edward D. Wood, Jr. You may or may not have ben the worst, but you were certainly the best of the worst.