Because I decided to start a Facebook page for Thrilling Days of Yesteryear some time back, the social media behemoth takes it upon itself every now and then to remind me when I haven’t generated any new content on the blog. (As if I wasn’t already aware of this. Facebook must be taking guilt lessons from my mother.)
I don’t want Facebook threatening to take family members as hostages, so I whipped up this post to give you the skinny as to why the blog fields have been fallow of late. I was planning on having a review of T-Men (1947) up last Friday (November 24) to coincide with a showing of that movie on the ClassicFlix YouTube channel that same evening. I’m a physical media guy at heart, and stream movies only as a last resort…but I had hoped my piece would influence a few of the TDOY faithful to purchase a copy of the T-Men Blu-ray since it’s simply a first-rate presentation.
But my T-Men efforts were stymied by an annoyance completely beyond my control. As I worked on the essay on Thanksgiving, I noticed that my laptop was losing a lot of its juice even though I had the adapter-charger plugged in. I took a closer look at the charger…and that’s when I noticed that it had become severely frayed around the USB connector. I sashayed over to Amazon to order a new one (which took me a while, tracking down one compatible with my laptop) and after placing the order said to myself: “I’ll just use the adapter that came with Mom’s Kindle Fire until the replacement arrives.” (I didn’t know this at the time—but I found the perfect adapter-charger at Kroger Nation that next day as I was trying to find some blank DVD sleeves. But I digress.)
When plugging in my mom’s adapter yielded no results…that’s when I realized I had a problem on my hands. I can charge the laptop…but I must hold the charger’s plug while it does so. I’m not a math scientist—but it didn’t take me long to deduce that this was counterproductive; clearly sterner measures would have to be taken. The next day (Black Friday), I took the laptop to the repair place that had doctored my desktop when the hard drive went tits up a while back. The Reboot guy confirmed what I suspected—there’s a loose connection…and to repair it he would have to replace the entire motherboard, an expense that would run me in the neighborhood of 400 simolians. Since I get dirty looks if I even take a stroll in that neighborhood, I wasn’t at all successful in hiding the wincing in my face; “You’d be better off buying a brand-new laptop,” Repair Guy observed. “Especially this time of year.” I was inclined to agree…though later, as I perused a few candidates online, I had difficulty locating any priced in that neighborhood—and the ones that were kinder to my wallet were all out-of-stock.
I’m not entirely without computer (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this); the desktop is working okay (though I should probably invest in a new keyboard), but I was a little nonplussed at the laptop since I’ve only had it for less than two years and finding the scratch for a new one will be an arduous task. (It would appear that I’m rough on electronics…something you might want to consider if you ever ask me to look after your small pets for an extended period.) I loved my laptop because I could sit in Count Comfy von Chair and compose to my heart’s content; the desk chair in my bedroom that I use for the laptop is, hands down, the most uncomfortable item of furniture in this house.
In addition to my computer cock-ups, I’ve been spending entirely too much time in the company of Netflix after answering the siren song of a free month trial. (This might also explain my aversion to streaming movies, now that I think of it.) It was this article at Paste that induced me to sign up; it’s been a long time since I’ve sat down with “the golden dozen” of Fawlty Towers and I thought Mom might get a kick out of watching them again. (She asked me one time why I never put them on and I had to explain to her that they were serving a stretch in Dad’s storage shed…though interestingly enough, we are working on the terms of a parole for those items and more.) Along with Fawlty Towers, I’ve been revisiting another classic Britcom fave that I hope to have a post about in future.
With the free Netflix, I indulged in a handful of movies that possessed varying degrees of merit. Coraline (2009) was most impressive from a technological stand point…but it’s one of those films where the parts are greater than the whole. I probably would have enjoyed The Big Short (2015) more had I not already watched the documentary Inside Job (2010)—which covers similar ground and doesn’t try to make the folks involved sympathetic (they’re all scumbags, to be honest). (I’d also already watched Margin Call —which I believe to be a better movie.) I watched Zodiac (2007) for a second time and will admit it improved with an encore presentation even though I still think the movie could have been trimmed quite a bit. My favorite of the films I’ve watched so far is Tower, a 2016 documentary about the tragic events at the University of Texas in 1966—told with both archival footage and actualities and supplemented with animation (and performances by an unknown cast, portraying the individuals involved).
So, there you have the state of the blog…and I need to bring this to a quick close as I’m starting to lose all feeling in my ass bone. I hope to have additional “stuff” ready for you sometime this week.