scratch-mark

Thanks

I went dark yesterday

Got up, turned off the phone, the iPad, the MacBook Air and didn’t rejoin the digital world again until this morning. My birthday gift to myself. Didn’t watch any TV—except episode after episode of Breaking Bad in a dark room (midway through season 3, now). Yea, I know, so don’t bother to link up The Family Guy.

The world could have burned down and I’d not have known, nor given a shit. Gotta do that more often. It was reminiscent of the days pre-90s, where I might be completely unreachable for days, weeks or even months at a time (especially while at sea, where day one is the best: that’s the day you get away from all the people trying to help you).

Woke up today, after 9 hours in the sac, got digital this morning. Downside: 88 unread emails. Many happy birthdays, FB notices on my wall, etc. Here’s the funniest thing I was sent.

601125 10152498347550515 1437316326 n
Crybabies

One of the more prescient; Marie, frequent commenter linked this (I pulled up a live version, but same deal).

It ought to be my theme song (another good live version from ’88). On the other hand, it doesn’t begin with “men who hold high places,” it begins at home.

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mould a new reality
Closer to the Heart
Closer to the Heart

The Blacksmith and the Artist
Reflect it in their art
Forge their creativity
Closer to the Heart
Yeah, it’s closer to the Heart

Philosophers and Ploughmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the Heart
Yeah, it’s closer to the Heart

You can be the Captain and
I will draw the Chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the Heart

Thanks all. Onward.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

33 Comments

  1. […] Posts RSS ← Thanks […]

  2. Val on January 30, 2013 at 15:02

    Belated Happy Birthday wishes, Richard!

    Son & I have been working our way through BB; it’s gonna be a long haul until Season 5, bitch 😉 !!!

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/every-time-jesse-pinkman-says-bitch-in-breaking

  3. Elenor on January 30, 2013 at 17:37

    Burfy hapday, even if late.

  4. Pauline on January 31, 2013 at 07:29

    The cave is where all the good things happen, in the rich darkness you find your self again. Alone and not lonely, thinking your own thoughts, dreaming your own dreams. Many happy cave moments and stoking of inner sparks to you. I stepped outside late last night to take the rubbish out and saw overhead a canopy of stars glittering far and away and saw at once how small I am in this magnificent lighted cave universe we inhabit. Here we sit and watch the earth turn and count our days.

  5. SteveRN on January 31, 2013 at 08:25

    I wish I could go back and watch the whole series again for the first time, such an amazing show. I will miss it, but glad they look to be going out on top, creatively. For my money, probably the best show ever. Glad to hear you had an enjoyable, isolated birthday, a rare treasure in our times.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 31, 2013 at 09:17

      Aren’t there about 6 more episodes to come that air later this year? (I’ve only just begun Season 4)

      • el-bo on January 31, 2013 at 13:42

        >> “I’ve only just begun Season 4”

        season 4 is fucking fantastic…might have to watch it again while i wait for the last half of the last season…it’s THAT good

        great show

        happy birthday 🙂



      • SteveRN on February 1, 2013 at 02:03

        Yeah, still 6 episodes left, I think Iheard it starts in May. I will just miss that thrill of every week just feeling blown away by, if not the whole episode, at least a few different scenes in it. And the acting, from everyone, just incredible, writing, directing, all just on leval all its own.



    • el-bo on January 31, 2013 at 13:45

      >>”probably the best show ever”

      f’sure

      • Richard Nikoley on January 31, 2013 at 14:02

        I’m still on the fence about that (best show). I thought the initial 2 seasons of 24 were really fucking awesome and I did a similar sort of marathon run.

        Also, in the sci-fi realm, Battlestar Gallactica was really fracking surprising. They really made it something quite interesting and went far, far, far beyond the original rather corny series.



      • el-bo on January 31, 2013 at 14:22

        tons of great shows…’24’ was a blast to watch..the more ludicrous it got the better :)…and ‘battlestar’ was also great tv..got really hooked into that

        i just find BB really blows me away….i think it has a much better story and character arc than either of the above..in fact, most tv seems 2D and kinda linear in comparison….

        not many shows could pull of the episode with the fly in the lab…just beautiful stuff

        as i said, season 4 really cranks it up a few notches without ever losing that ability to just coast around building up the tension

        so many standout moments that await…i’m excited for ya 🙂

        and the first half of season 5 has one of the most incredible and brutal vignettes/sequences ….hit like a hammer to the head and left me feeling strangely uneasy for quite some time

        and as much as i normally like buscemi, he has nothing on cranston for the awards



      • Richard Nikoley on January 31, 2013 at 15:20

        “i just find BB really blows me away….i think it has a much better story and character arc than either of the above..in fact, most tv seems 2D and kinda linear in comparison….”

        I’m reminded of the introduction of the reprint of the first Jack Reacher novel, which I read whilst in Mehico over the holiday (knew nothing of it before seeing and loving the film). Lee Child explains that for the Reacher character, he explicitly didn’t want someone broken, with issues, always at risk of death but gets out by the skin of his teeth. He’s a winner, always. Accordingly, Reacher is a bit super-hero but still believable because he’s 6’5, fucking smart, well-trained, and always pays attention.

        I see the brainiac and passive-agressive in Walt; it’s the beta-male and his “issues” I can’t get over and I so want him to get over that. From bits I’ve heard here and there—and I’m seeing signs with how he went against Gus to outright kill what’s his face tea & coffee loving chemist (we’ll, having Jesse do it)—I’m anxiously waiting for him to grow far bigger balls (maybe he can borrow Hank’s).

        It’s inarguably more complex as a story and probably better suited to a TV series like this that a novel series of a killer.

        “not many shows could pull of the episode with the fly in the lab…just beautiful stuff”

        How funny. Yea, I grok how it fits in the story and Walt’s chemical perfectionism, but found it irritating. I also find depressing Jesse’s slide into trashing his own house I was so happy for him to have “screwed” his parents out of what he got screwed out of (I yelped and clapped). I also love both girls he loved. I may have shed a tear or two at the death of the one, and so far, parting ways with the other. His endless calling her voicemail to just hear her voice was pure emotional gold—but never tell anyone I said that.

        Didn’t you used to post about vegan stuff, and now you’re bringing up Buscemi to get on my good side? 🙂 Buscemi is God, along with another actor who’s name escapes me now, but so often does off kilter characters. He’s the one who did a reading of Lady Gagas Paparazzi a while back that was so hilarious.

        Cheers mate. That was fun. Way better than bullshit & drama.



      • el-bo on February 1, 2013 at 06:13

        >>”I’m reminded of the introduction of the reprint of the first Jack Reacher novel, which I read whilst in Mehico over the holiday (knew nothing of it before seeing and loving the film). Lee Child explains that for the Reacher character, he explicitly didn’t want someone broken, with issues, always at risk of death but gets out by the skin of his teeth. He’s a winner, always. Accordingly, Reacher is a bit super-hero but still believable because he’s 6’5, fucking smart, well-trained, and always pays attention.”

        maybe something to add to a very long ‘to-read’ list 🙂

        >>”I see the brainiac and passive-agressive in Walt; it’s the beta-male and his “issues” I can’t get over and I so want him to get over that. From bits I’ve heard here and there—and I’m seeing signs with how he went against Gus to outright kill what’s his face tea & coffee loving chemist (we’ll, having Jesse do it)—I’m anxiously waiting for him to grow far bigger balls (maybe he can borrow Hank’s).”

        would love to share my thoughts on this, but am afraid i cannot as all roads lead to spoilers….

        >>”How funny. Yea, I grok how it fits in the story and Walt’s chemical perfectionism, but found it irritating.”

        i found it irritating also, at least the first time i watched it…the 3rd season was the first season that i watched week-to-week, and so i was disappointed that it wasn’t something different….but when i watched the first few seasons back a 2nd time after watching the end of season 4 i really appreciated it much more…in the bigger context of the whole story it definitely has it’s place…i see it as almost an attempt by ww to get back to that kind of anal attention to detail, in the middle of all the madness and out-of-control-ness, as if to ground himself…it just ends up showing just how crazy he had become

        i’m pretty sure that they had already decided by that point that the series would not continue past season 5, so to just pull it all back to such a bare episode is real cool…all killa no filla

        >>”I also love both girls he loved”

        indeed…and a great vehicle/impetus to eek the extra dimensions out of jesse’s character and aaron paul’s acting abilities

        >>”Didn’t you used to post about vegan stuff”

        haha, yup 🙂

        >>”and now you’re bringing up Buscemi to get on my good side? Buscemi is God, along with another actor who’s name escapes me now, but so often does off kilter characters. He’s the one who did a reading of Lady Gagas Paparazzi a while back that was so hilarious.”

        you mean christopher walken reading ‘poker face’ ??…give me both walken and buscemi in ‘things to do in denver’ (or better still, walken and hopper in ‘true romance’), just don’t give me buscemi in ‘boardwalk empire’ 🙁



      • Richard Nikoley on February 1, 2013 at 06:39

        Yea, I was cooking dinner last night and all of a sudden, CHRISTOPHER WALKEN. Yep. And yea, Poker Face. No wonder I got no hits when I Googled.

        Oh, yea, and Dennis Hopper. Another great on that score.

        Haven’t seen any Boardwalk Empire.



  6. Pauline on February 1, 2013 at 01:18

    We have just finished watching Boadwalk Empire over christmas and new year (great to watch when you are snow bound inside) up to the current series still to be filmed. That was brilliant. Deadwood was in a league of its own, my partner reckons that was the best tv series he has ever seen. And Boston Legal is currently running again on UK channels so we are re-watching and recording it. We enjoy its quirky humour and weird and wonderful characters.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 1, 2013 at 06:17

      Yea, loved BL. Spader’s closing arguments, Shatner’s bizarre behavior and Betty White…. What can you say about her? And She just turned 91 last week or so.

    • el-bo on February 1, 2013 at 06:36

      aside from ‘the walking dead’, ‘boardwalk’ is the only how i continued to watch to justify the investment of time already given…’the walking dead’ got it’ shit together eventually, but i’m almost ready to cut ‘boardwalk’ loose…we shall see….

      5) reasons to watch boardwalk empire : 1) stephen graham as al capone 2) michael kenneth williams (one of the best in the wire also) as chalky white 3) the developing story line of agent nelson van alden (michael shannon), michael stuhlbarg as arnold rothstein and 5) richard harrow (jack houston)

      2 reasons not to watch 1) the ceaseless whining of margaret schroeder (kelly macdonald) and 2) steve buscemi’s sullen, sighing, face-ache portrayal of enoch ‘nucky’ thimpson

      let’s see how season 4 starts off 🙂

      ‘deadwood’ was definitely a top show… watched from start to finish while de-husking and shelling an huge almond harvest last year….a real shame it got cut before it really hit it’s stride…mcshane was incredible in it, and i really loved robin weigart as calamity jane, who was about the only character they really developed well over those 2 seasons

      as good as it was, i still think it has nothing on breaking bad…deadwood was a standout period piece, but bb just has a lot more depth, more twist, more character and uses great ‘devices’ to realise the hwole thing

      give it a try 🙂

      • Richard Nikoley on February 1, 2013 at 06:42

        I believe I got season 1 of Deadwood some years back. I thought it was OK, but it didn’t really grab me that ferociously.



  7. Richard Nikoley on February 2, 2013 at 07:36

    el-bo:

    Check out the new Original Netflix series (all episodes go up at once) “House of Cards.” Stars another favorite of mine: Kevin Spacey. If you don’t have NF, you can get 30 days free trial.

    I’ve only seen a couple of the trailers so far, but looks to be worth a look.

    • el-bo on February 2, 2013 at 09:27

      might check it out, but not via netflix..one needs money for that 🙂

      just been dipping my toes into ‘the following’ along with a couple of britcom’s…add season 2 of ‘homeland’, stockpiled and ready to go, and i might start to drown in it all…

      will definitely check out the trailers though…spacey is always worth watching

      cheers

      • el-bo on February 2, 2013 at 09:41

        haha, no fucking way !!! 🙂

        just looked it up and discovered it’s a remake of the 1990, u.k series…..man, i fucking loved that shit…..ian richardson was great in it, wonder how ol’ kev will match up

        the shootout in the carpark from the clip above is was filmed at brent cross shopping centre (mall to y’all)…i lived with my family only 5 minutes from there…spent tons of time there growing up…even got one of my 1st part-time jobs selling hi-fi in one of the shops 🙂

        “You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.” (francis urquhart, house of cards)

        thanks..now i have to re-watch this 🙂



      • Richard Nikoley on February 2, 2013 at 10:14

        Well there you go. Now I’ve got you half hooked, right along with myself. Misery loves company, but so does delight.



      • el-bo on February 2, 2013 at 10:57

        >>”Misery loves company, but so does delight.

        hahaha, yup 🙂



      • Richard Nikoley on February 2, 2013 at 09:43

        Yea, but at $8 per month it’s a pretty damn good deal. Far better than the anciently business modeled premium services where you have to have the cable or satellite subscription to even access it, and that’s before you get the privilege of spending even more for their services. You can get a month free trial, plenty enough to watch the 1st season of the series.

        …I was just saying the other night that even the idea of a DVR is becoming silly. We were at my bro-in-law’s house and the only other white guy besides me was laughing at his father-in-law (my bro-in-law) because he has like 150 episodes of like 50 different programs on the DVR. And, even though they have HD, they record in standard because HD fills up the disc too fast.

        Why not just buy or rent a right to watch (buy: indefinitely; rent: for a period of time) and you access from the cloud?

        That was why I just got rid of my 1st generation AppleTV last weekend and got the new one. The old one was essentially a rent/buy DVR, where it downloaded on the disk to watch. But the whole series of BB in HD was far more than the disc could handle so I’d have to watch, delete, download, etc. With the new one, no disk, it’s all stream and has Netflix and HuLu built in as well. Everything streams, now. The only tradeoff is that while I can watch all 5 seasons of BB on Netflix, I had already purchased on iTunes in HD. But, now I just stream episodes as I want to watch them.

        Make sense?



  8. el-bo on February 2, 2013 at 10:55

    yah, $8 sounds pretty good to me, but unfortunately it’s unavailable in spain

    i’ve not had a tv for years…watch it all on my ‘puter..in fact it’s only the last couple of years that i have started watching television series…they disappeared along with my tv, but then i started to catch wind of some good u.s shows and realised that i kinda prefer shows to films most of the time, when they are done right of course

    anyways, i have been wwoofing (working in exchange for food and room) for the last couple of years so all my media has been coming my way via certain, achem, sites to be found on the darker side of the web…streaming’s not very practical for me, as i often find myself at farms that don’t have stable or rapid internet connections…either that or they have prohibitive download limits

    the other downside to streaming is that you don’t have a copy to go back to….have already seen bb, to mid-season 4, twice now and i reckon i could easily sit through ‘battlestar’ again

    i know it aint really ‘on’ to pirate stuff the whole time….when i do have proper paid employment i have no problem paying for my media…

    i did have a vpn subscription a couple of years back which allowed me to watch hulu etc, but i doubt that i could use that for a paid thang like netflix….will look into the options when i have a little cashito

    • Richard Nikoley on February 2, 2013 at 11:07

      “the other downside to streaming is that you don’t have a copy to go back to….have already seen bb, to mid-season 4, twice now and i reckon i could easily sit through ‘battlestar’ again”

      That’s the one bit you didn’t take away from my comment. With cloud storage, now, you buy or rent a right, not data bits you store for a day or so, or indefinitely. So now that Apple has gone cloud, I no longer have any of my music or TV shows or movies I’ve ever purchased stored locally. From wherever I access my iTunes account, any computer anywhere, I can stream anything I’ve ever purchased in history. A rental means I get to stream it for a day or so, as many times as I want.

      Music is one of the cooler aspects. They have this thing now called iTunes Match, I think. For $25 I think it was, per year, I no longer have to worry about losing anything I’ve ever purchased and even more importantly, the dozens of hours to burn the hundreds of CDs I have. So, even my own CDs are available on the iCloud. It looked at my library, substituted its own (higher quality) digital versions of everything it could match in my library of burned CDs. For the obscure stuff (old, or like African drum beat shit I bought off a guy on a street somewhere in 1987), it uploads those and stores them.

      Now, I can stream all my music from any device or anyone’s device (so long as I log in), so long as there’s a good internet or mobile data connection. but, for my own devices like phone and such, it buffers a few gigs so even if I don’t have a connection, i’ve got at least a few hundred songs in storage.

      Fucking brilliant, mate.

      • el-bo on February 2, 2013 at 11:25

        ok, now i see

        i guess one day i will jump on (or onto) the cloud…problem is that all the places i have been to in the last couple of years have had something ‘interesting’ going on with their internet….coverage in spain i think is a little bit behind, but coverage in rural or mountainous parts of spain, such as the places i have been living, is just terrible…as such, i can’t really be relying on connection..and no, i don;t have a 3g or 4g data plan 🙂

        that ‘itunes match’ seems pretty cool, especially the quality substitution thing…again, though, the connection issue would cause problems for me currently…i like the idea of the buffer also…might check it all out, at least so i can undertand it…i’m not as on top of tech as i used to be, and i always think it’s part of keeping young

        the one thing i would like to use the cloud for is to store the data for my music compositions…i have them backed up over a few different hard-drives (and even a hard drive at a friends house to cover any eventuality), but this is stuff that i could never get back if lost…will look into some hosting options



    • Richard Nikoley on February 2, 2013 at 11:14

      “so all my media has been coming my way via certain, achem, sites to be found on the darker side of the web”

      I had a friend who was a bit torrent master. Looked into it. At the time (mid 2006-09ish) it just was not worth my time. Plus, I do like to compensate the people who go to the trouble—and I understand the other side of that, too, as do more artists, increasingly. I don’t know how it is now, but then there was no streaming and the storage wasn’t even useable until burning onto a DVD. Too much trouble. Time was worth more than that for me.

      • el-bo on February 2, 2013 at 11:57

        >>”Plus, I do like to compensate the people who go to the trouble

        i do too….as a creative artist myself, i also understand the other side of it and have made a certain peace with it…but the argument is kinda complex, and i’ve been involved in many heated discussions about this (the other’s tend to get heated 🙂 ), such that the bigger reply i was going to type is no more

        yeah, i became a bit too good at one point at the ol’ torrenting game, but have definitely slowed down…these days it’s too easy, and doing it all on a mac does cut down on most of the pitfalls



      • Richard Nikoley on February 2, 2013 at 12:42

        “i also understand the other side of it and have made a certain peace with it”

        There is not cut & dried either way. For very top artists, it probably makes sense to protect turf from slippery slope stuff (I’d do it too). On the other hand, being someone who writes and would like to make more than $10k or so per year doing that, I’ve heard of self published authors who actually set up “pirate sites” and there are number of anecdotes about how their sales explode.

        It’s only counter intuitive to silly moralists who conflate moral with calculated business decisions.



      • el-bo on February 2, 2013 at 13:07

        yup

        in my lifelong experience, as short as it is, i have always seen this kind of thing as a loss-leader

        i’ve lost count of the amount of cd’s i have bought because a became a fan of a band after being given an illegal copy of a cd by a friend

        i’m a musician and a bit of an amateur composer….the whole self-publication of music has exploded as a result of the internet, but also the availability of cheap computer power (relatively speaking) and insanely powerful software packages allowing a huge surge in the amount, and quality, of bedroom producers such that the whole market for unsigned, artists is completely saturated

        the supergroup is all but dead…selling music is completely different…even signed acts have to deal with the idea of going out and performing live to make any real cash

        i’m a big fan of the pay what you can, when you can and only if you can idea for repeatable/reproducible art such as music….if i were to release an album next month, not being able to pay for it would not be a barrier to owning it…i’d rather a million people own it without paying than only a hundred people owning it having paid……just encourage people who enjoyed it, and can afford it, to pay what they feel it was worth…

        if i enjoy making music and do it for the enjoyment, then any money is just a bonus…..i lose nothing from someone downloading if they would never have been able to buy anyway….it’s not like i have to do more work for every copy made, just have to cover a bit of hosting…and who knows how many of those would slip me a couple of quid for my following release (oo-err)



      • Richard Nikoley on February 2, 2013 at 16:57

        el-bo

        Yea, I think you pretty much highlight the reasons why so much of music has gone to big production TV like American idol and the shows it has spawned.

        They’re getting people to make an investment in voting. Spending $20 each is not big problem after that.

        But that’s fine. I’d rather see them adapt than use a bunch of layers to try to force the way they’ve been used to forever.



Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

YouTube1k
YouTube
Pinterest118k
Pinterest
fb-share-icon
40
45
Follow by Email8k
RSS780