Tag Archives: Netflix

Entertain Me

Now that I have a lot more spare time on my hands than I’d like, I have had to find ways of occupying my attention. For someone who claims to be an avid reader, of late I have had very little motivation to open a book. Technically, I have two books on the go at the moment, one being the complete fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, and one on the history of the Celts. For some reason, I just don’t have the patience to sit down in a quiet room and read. I suppose I should get back into the habit while I still own some books, but who knows if I ever will.

I have been spending more time than is good for me playing video games, though. Even this attraction is beginning to pall, however. As you can imagine, new games are not in my budget, so I have been replaying those I already own. I have been a big “Call Of Duty” fan ever since  I had the opportunity to play the “United Offensive” expansion pack nearly 13 years ago.  Much as I love blowing stuff up, sniping and shooting fascists in the back as they run away, the games all blur into each other after a while, as there are a limited number of situations available, and one mad dash through a city or the countryside in an armed vehicle with a bunch of enemies in hot pursuit is very much like any other, be it in 1944 Normandy, modern day Russia or some post –  collapse nearish future.

This leaves television and films, and this is where I have to expend some actual effort. I don’t miss having television service, not for a minute, as the vacuity of most television makes even the biggest of super-massive black holes seem small and insignificant. when I do find something worth watching I tend to burn through it in very short order: A  case in point would be season two of “The Expanse”. I watched the first season on disc borrowed from the library, but as season two isn’t out yet, I looked online for a streamed version. I burned through the entire season in three days.  I know this is not much to those of you for whom binge watching is a fact of life, but in all probability you follow many shows, perhaps even on a one episode per week basis and have enough in your queue to keep you occupied. I don’t and now have to wait 12 months for the next season. Presuming of course, that I have a roof over my head and a screen on which to watch it.

Netflix has never appealed to me, as even $8 a month isn’t worth it to me, especially as there are plenty of free options. My sweetie subscribes, but she doesn’t watch all that much, and she tends to request films that don’t interest me at all. Of course, streaming has it’s drawbacks, and this manifested itself recently. My daughter is a big sci fi / horror fan ( the subject of a future post), and as she has inquired about my H.P. Lovecraft interest, I suggested we watch “The Whisperer In Darkness”, a film produced by the HPL Historical Society and made in the style of a 1930’s movie. I spent quite a while trying to find a feed that didn’t require me to subscribe and didn’t try and get me to download malware under some spurious context, but eventually one was found and we sat down to watch. Alas, it was not that simple. The feed was so slow that we watched the first 20 minutes in 10 second bursts with five second pauses in between. Even pausing the feed did no good, so I searched again and eventually found a feed that didn’t pause. Yay.

DVDs are my other, if somewhat limited choice. The county’s last DVD rental store shut down a couple of months ago, although I never used it, so make of that what you will. The library has a good selection, but it’s difficult to get the timing right. My sweetie and I watched all five seasons of “The Wire” on discs borrowed from the library, but the wait time for various seasons meant interruptions to our viewing, although it’s so great a show it was worth it. My own collection is also something of a problem, in that 90% of the films I burnt onto disc from the DVR in my married days were ones I’d already seen,  so I have little new content. I own quite a few movies and series, and recently  re-watched “Band Of Brothers” over the course of a week, so it will be a couple of years before I watch it again.

I dug out “The Prisoner”and am only three episodes away from the end, but I’m having difficulty in motivating myself to finish the set. The show hasn’t aged well, despite its’ cult status. I hate to write that last sentence, but it’s true. I haven’t watched the show since my ex bought me the complete box set for Christmas before my son was born, and it may well be another 16 years before I watch it again, if at all. To be honest, the show hasn’t stood the test of time. At times it borders on high camp and pastiche, the production values don’t hold up despite it’s high budget for the time, and the final episode is so pointless and full of dross as to define explanation.

The English football season is still two months off, so I don’t even have that to look forward to on Saturday mornings. I realise that all of the above can be categorised under “First world problems”, but once I’ve finished my work, my job searches and any chores I am motivated to undertake I still find myself with too much time on my hands. Does anyone have the complete run of The Simpsons on DVD they could lend me? It’s going to be a long summer.

 

.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under boredom, Reading, Television, Video games

Paperback Writer.

The end of last month was marked by an experience that not many people will have undergone: you see, I received a royalty cheque. Or rather, and electronic deposit was made to my bank account. I’m pretty sure that most of you are unaware of the fact that some time ago I turned my first 75 blog posts into an e-book available from Amazon.com. It was a logical progression from taking the blog public and required remarkably little effort on my part. All I had to do was copy and paste the blogs into Word, tidy up the formatting and correct some small errors. I also added an explanatory paragraph to each post in order to provide some context for new readers, and, I have to admit, in order to increase the page count to something approaching respectability. This done, all that was required was for me to follow the instructions provided by Amazon, hit “Accept” and wait for the cash to roll in.

You may wonder what sort of life I lead as a published author. Perhaps you imagine me sitting in my leather wing-back chair in my wood paneled study typing posts as I look out across the perfectly manicured parkland that surrounds the baroque edifice that is Singledad Towers. No doubt you imagine I spend my off time playing croquet with J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison and Salman Rushdie before retiring for drinks on the deck of a beachfront villa. Where that it were so.

You all know that I have a day job (post to come), so I ain’t fooling nobody. Much as I would love to be able to support myself purely from my ability to string words together in a coherent, um, thingy, the reality is somewhat different. You see, the royalties amounted to a whopping $1.05. Yup, you read that correctly. Not even enough to buy a cup of coffee.

I can see that none of you is even remotely surprised by this. Let’s be honest, only a few friends even know that the book exists, and most of them have absolutely no interest in buying it. The payment equates to exactly one sale, for which, lest you imagine otherwise, I am very grateful. My appreciation, to you, J.T. I hope you enjoyed getting up to speed.  I know exactly who bought the book: let me explain.

A couple of months ago a school friend moved to the area and I was one of three people who helped him unpack the van. Afterwards, as the others had prior commitments, he and I retired to a local pub in order to catch up, as we’d not seen each other for quite some time. During our chat I mentioned the e-book and he told me that as he hadn’t read my earliest posts, he would use some of the money in his Amazon account to purchase a copy. That $1.05 is  the result of his purchase.

I’m not complaining. At no point did I expect to make real money from the e-book, and seeing as most of the 10,000 books published in the U.S. every year go unread, I’m doing better than most, although when I consider the amount earned ( this isn’t my first cheque) compared to the amount of time involved compiling the book,  let alone writing the posts, the hourly rate is so low as to be invisible. I wonder if Andy Weir went through this. As you know, “The Martian” started as an episodic e-book, which through reader feedback he was able to parlay into a hard copy novel and then a movie. Bully for him. Seriously. He took a great idea, corrected the science and turned out one of the most enjoyable novels of recent years. I don’t see that happening in my case. I doubt very much if some bored producer from Netflix is going to stumble up on my e-book and decide it would be perfect material on which to base a T.V. show. Even if she or he did, would it be a comedy, a tragedy or a farce? Who knows, it could even end up as the next “Wolf Lake”.  I guess, to paraphrase Mr. Weir’s eponymous hero, ” I’m going to have to literature the shit out of this”.

Songs In The Key Of Single Dad

Leave a comment

Filed under writing