Dragged Kicking and Screaming…

Yes, I have been accused of being a luddite (current usage), and the accusation may be justified. After all, I don’t do any “social media” except email and this blog, which these days hardly counts. Just ask anyone under 40.

Let’s consider that forty-two inch thing in the living room. On it, we watch sports, PBS Newshour, other programs on PBS such as Nova and Nature, occasionally Masterpiece and Father Brown.

These days, it impossible to avoid all the streaming discussion. This is streaming, that is streaming. Good grief. But I kept seeing things I’d be interested in watching, but…they were being streamed. So I called Comcast, since they’d told us our equipment was of need of an update, and we did it. We got a DVR. We set up streaming for Netflix and Amazon Prime. We subscribed to TCM, which used to be free, but is now part of one of those damned extra-cost packages. So I guess we’ve joined the twenty-first century. Sort of.

I’m not interested in signing up for a bunch of costly providers such a HULU, or Acorn, or any of the other many, many choices. But if the good stuff is there… What this mostly means just now is things that will be on late, or that we would have missed, we can now record and watch later. So, anything we should keep an eye out for?

Reading? What reading? Too busy setting up and playing with the new box. Looks like screen time will go up (probably accompanied by headaches), but in addition to all the money, that’s the price we have to pay. ** sigh **

How about you? What are you reading?

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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17 Responses to Dragged Kicking and Screaming…

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Congratulations! Good choice. We have Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as Acorn as an add-on to the Amazon. Don’t know how you feel about subtitles, but if you don’t object too strenuously there are a number of foreign language shows available, and if you do, you can generally watched them in a dubbed version. We’re watching the third (fourth due next year, yay!) series of the Spanish EL MINISTERIO DEL TIEMPO (The Ministry of Time) which, in addition to being fun, is giving us stories about episodes in Spanish history I’ve never heard of. We also watch Finnish (BORDERTOWN), Swedish, Danish (THE RAIN), Icelandic (TRAPPED) and Norwegian (OCCUPIED) shows, as well as French (BLACK SPOT) and Belgian and German (DARK) and Israeli (FAUDA and SHTISEL). And Welsh (HINTERLAND, though we are getting the English language version). Of course, not everything is foreign language. Will try and think of a short list of others, THE CROWN is on Netflix. Also the Aussie WANTED and GLITCH.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    What am I reading? Currently, the new Allen Eskens (and if you haven’t read his previous books, you should), NOTHING MORE DANGEROUS. I haven’t read enough to talk about it yet, Before that was the first in a new Ann Cleeves series set in North Devon, THE LONG CELL. Good but not great, but has potential as a series, Also THE NIGHT FIRE, the new Michael Connelly with Harry Bosch and Renee Ballard working together, plus appearances by Bosch’s half brother Mickey Haller. Not his best but pretty darn good.

    As for the streaming, my opinion is, who are you saving the money for? Aren’t you worth it?

    • So is Acorn under the Netflix umbrella? I’m not a big fan of Bosch, either in the books or video, so no on that. A number of library books have just popped, so I’m reading those, starting with Nicholas Meyer’s The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols, then will be The Novice Dragoneer by E. E. Knight.

  3. Jerry House says:

    There’s a lot of good stuff out there, rick, and there’s a lot of crap. Think Sturgeon’s Law (but far less optimistic). We have dropped our cable television service and are now on Apple television. We’re hooked into our daughter’s various accounts so I’m not even certain what streaming services we have and what we don’t; we just click around until we (eventually) find something that may interest us. A lot of British and foreign mystery shows. We tend to skip most of the “popular” shows (with the exception of THE CROWN, which Kitty loves). Lately we’ve been watching old episodes of NCIS and CRIMINAL MINDS (but not their spin-offs) because we can find little else. Last night we watched — well, I watched while Kitty texted with the girls — IRON SKY: THE COMING RACE, about moon Nazis who destroyed the Earth and humanity’s last hope is to locate a grail in the hollow Earth occupied by dinosaurs and evil aliens — a very cheap sf send-up. How cheap was it, you ask? Cheap enough so the only “name” in the cast was Tom Green of FREDDY GOT FINGERED fame. Among the bad acting, bad plot, bad production values, and just about bad everything were a lot of clever lines with even a few “guid pro quo” jokes; yep, the movie was hastily thrown together this year and managed to skewer Trump and a lot of others.

    Now, onto reading.

    I finished Eric Frank Russell’s SENTINELS FROM SPACE, in which Earth and many other planets are watched over by an alien race determined to keep the planets free from a possible invasion by Denebians. Good old-fashioned 50s SF. I like Russel but, for some reason, can only read him in small doses.

    My FFB was Conan Doyle’s THE MYSTERY OF CLOOMBER, a lesser-known work by Sherlock Holmes’ daddy. My basic reaction was that, with a little bit of tweaking and with the use of a time machine, it could have been a 1960’s paperback Gothic romance. Set in the 1880s with flashbacks to the 1840s, this was a fast, somewhat inconsequential read. A minor work, but entertaining.

    I read two books in F. Paul Wilson’s LaNague Federation series, AN ENEMY OF THE STATE and HEALER, and I am halfway through a third, WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS. All three are heavy on Libertarian ideals and all are Prometheus winners. I outgrew Libertarianism (and most other -isms) in my twenties but I try not to let interfere with my reading. AN ENEMY OF THE STATE was an overblown mish-mash about the beginnings of the LaNague Federation — plodding in parts, fast-paced in others. HEALER was a much better read — a fix-up novel that spanned some well over a millennia. In WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS a “monstrous conspiracy is brewing against the LaNague Federation and the freedoms it guarantees to its member planets.” It’s actually pretty good so far.

    Next in the dock is a historical novel by August Derleth, part of his Wisconsin Saga, and perhaps the latest Peter Diamond mystery by Peter Lovesey.

    May you and Barbara enjoy the blessing of Thanksgiving and — perhaps — gain ten pounds each.

    • Of course I’ve read SENTINELS FROM SPACE, but long ago. I remember liking it. As opposed to the Wisconsin stuff by Derlith. I’ll stick with his Solar Pons stuff, thank you. I’ve read out-of-canon things by Doyle, and Rex Stout, and found them all to be inferior.

      We will enjoy Thanksgiving, it’s just the two of us as usual (I imagine you’ll have a crowd), but Barbara is making the traditional dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean something (there’s a bunch of green beans in the fridge), and there will be pumpkin pie. We hope we DON’T gain, as we are both trying to lose. The weather guessers say we may get a dusting of snow on the day.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Amazon Prime: #1 on any list has to be BOSCH.

    WE also watched MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE (though you will see quite a few changes from the book), CATASTROPHE (British comedy with serious elements), THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (not sure if it would appeal to you), GOLIATH, 19-2 (Montreal-set police series; was originally shot in French, then re-shot in English with the same actors, mostly), Some very good British shows are on Acorn – LINE OF DUTY, THE GOOD KARMA HOSPITAL, DOC MARTIN (also on some PBS stations here). BODYGUARD is a British show on Netflix. Didn’t you say you watched THE EXPANSE? That’s going to continue on Amazon. They also have CROSSING LINES, which we liked, and THE MISSING, a dark but well done series. And if you missed JUSTIFIED on its original run, it says Amazon Prime has picked up all six seasons.

    • See my earlier comment to you about Bosch. Mrs. Maisel may be of interest, not sure. Barbara may like it too. Can’t stand the appearance of the lead in Doc Martin, which is on PBS here, so no. I recorded MORSE last week and will do so again this week.

  5. Jeff Meyersonn says:

    Jerry, that Moon show sounds like something Bill Crider would have loved.

    We’re also watching the original NCIS on Netflix, as well as THE WEST WING, And we went through the entire run of MIDSOMER MURDERS on Netflix, other than the newest series on Amazon.

  6. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Enjoying Watchmen and His Dark Materials on HBO. Sneaky Pete is another good one on Amazon. Can’t watch network tv. The shows are just so badly written compared to the better cable/streaming shows. Can’t stand either NCIS or Criminal Minds (every serial killer seems to kill on a daily basis). Also catching up on the third season of Handmaid’s Tale. Never got into Midsomer Murders. Always seem to fall asleep from boredom in the middle of an episode. Saw and enjoyed both The Irishman and Ford vs Ferrari at the theaters.
    Finally finished Book of Bones by John Connelly. Liked it a lot but a slow read. Then raced through Galway Girl by Ken Bruen. Didn’t enjoy this one as much as his previous couple. Now finishing up The Cabin by Jorn List Horst, a Norwegian writer I like.

    • I read the first two books in the HIS DARK MATERIALS series and decided I didn’t like Pullman’s plotting or writing, so I’ll skip the video. Maybe I just expected more. Barbara has that Connelly on hold at the library.

  7. So this morning I go into Netflix to print my queue before it goes away, and then looked up some of the movies on it. None of the first 25 movies on the queue are available for streaming! All are DVD plan only! What the…?

    Looks like most of the streaming is either stuff from the 80s or a bunch of crap. I hope a closer look will show me something we want to watch. Otherwise, we’ll go back to the DVD plan and to hell with streaming Netflix

  8. prettysinister says:

    I sympathize with your luddite status. I’ve not had cable TV provider in over 25 years. I have stuck it out with the old antenna. But recently nearly every Chicago TV station (along with thousands across the USA) had their digital airwave signals reassigned. Now I have completely lost both my local PBS channels. Not matter how often I re-scan the channels on my digital TV I cannot get Chicago’s WTTW and WYCC. I may be joining the 21st century also. The only streaming I do is on my laptop and not via my TV. I watch movies and TV shows using Amazon Prime. I’ve paid up to an additional one time charge of $29.99 to watch other TV series like The Handmaid’s Tale which comes from Hulu but I can get through Prime. I’m still trying new methods to get WTTW to come in (how will live without Masterpiece Mystery?) but I may just end up watching everything on my laptop using PBS’ Passport service via the internet. What a mess! Sometimes I just can’t deal with the constant changes and updating of modern technology.

  9. tracybham says:

    I finished The Black-Headed Pin by Constance and Gwenyth Little (from 1938) and enjoyed it a lot. Very funny. Set at Christmas. I am now reading Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz and continuing on The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler.

    We have Netflix and Amazon Prime, and have considered adding Acorn or Britbox to Prime. We used to have both streaming and DVD from Netflix, then dropped the DVD portion. I sometimes regret that but we did let the discs sit a long time…sometimes. We watch more things on Prime than on Netflix. We have watched nearly all of the Mission Impossible TV show on Prime. But we also have a lot of our own DVDs we watch or rewatch.

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