Wednesday, November 6, 2019

For the November IWSG I'm saying Antarctica is the wierdest thing I've googled in the name of story research.

It's nanowrimo month (I'm not participating), but that also means the calendar has rolled over again. Being Wednesday, I'm going to tackle the Insecure Writer's Support Group's question of the month. If you too would like to participate, then go to this LINK and sign-up. It happens once a month, and was started a long time ago by Alex Cavanaugh.

November 6 question - What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story? 

It's not really all that strange, but I wanted to find out how people actually get to visit Antarctica. I found out that you can't just go there. If you are in the United States, you need to get the go-ahead from the National Science Foundation (NSF) first.

You see, everyone that goes to Antarctica has to be doing something, or they won't let you go. So (in other words) everyone has a reason for being there as well as having a job to do at the research station. However, your reasons for going can be pretty relaxed. I read a blog where one person was allowed to go because they wanted to write a book of poetry about Antarctica and about penguins or something like that. Their request was accepted, and they were allowed to go for six months, and they had a pretty pleasant experience. Antarctica has a lot more activity than most people realize, from parties and beer pong to people sitting on couches outside and watching television just because they can.

One book I read about the topic had an author who said, "Going to Antarctica is always the trump card in any conversation. If you are at a bar, and some guy is talking about all of his travels, you can play the Antarctica card and instantly 'steal' the spotlight, because everyone always has questions about Antarctica." Anyway, that's probably the weirdest thing I've googled. Pretty tame, right?

We are getting into "The Holidays" now, so I'm going to winterize my blog until the first Insecure Writer's Support Group post of January 2020. If you are a regular reader, thank you for all your support, and I'll see you in the new year. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 4, 2019

When I finally got SEE to stream on the Apple TV Plus service it was worth most of the trouble I'd gone to.

This weekend, I got a pleasant surprise. Two years ago, I purchased an iPhone 8 plus and at the time, I purchased the two-year Apple Care. Well with two years of use, being dropped, etc. it kind of wore out quite a bit and wasn't functioning like it should. I took it into the Apple Store here in Salt Lake City, and I used my Apple Care to get an exchange with a brand new iPhone 8 plus for zero dollars. The new phone has been working incredibly well, so I've got no complaints. I would have been completely satisfied with that by itself, but I got a text/notification from Apple that with a brand new phone purchase, I qualified for one year of Apple TV plus for free. So basically, Apple assumed my phone was new, even though it was "technically" an exchange. I was kind of overjoyed, because I don't like subscribing to new streaming services, and this was like a total freebie that came out of nowhere. And it's not one of those, "try this for a week and then we'll start charging you money." No it was a whole year for free.

So the first thing I started to try and watch was the Jason Momoa movie, "See." I thought it would be just a matter of going to a website and trying to watch it, but Apple has got some issues with their technology, meaning they are very cutting edge and unaccepting of older technologies because (in their mind) people should just "get with the program." Sure, I could watch it on my iPhone and my iPad, but I kind of crave something "bigger" if you know what I mean? Those screens are very small.

The first thing I tried to do was cast my phone's screen to my LG OLED Smart TV. This didn't work because my four-year old LG TV doesn't have AirPlay 2 on it. The next thing I tried was seeing if LG had an app I could download from the LG store called "Apple TV." I think the new ones have this app, but there was not one that was downloadable from the LG store for my older t.v. Okay then. What about seeing if I could download an Apple TV app from the Microsoft store for Windows 10? I checked, and that was a no go too.

Next I tried to go to the website and try to watch it in a browser (which the Apple website said was okay to do). Maybe because it was launch day or some other thing, I couldn't get it to stream in any browser but Firefox (I tried Google Chrome and Edge first). And the stream would periodically crash so that I had to reload it, and then it would never remember where I left off. So I ended up having to fast forward it to the point that I last remembered, watch it for twenty minutes, and then it would crash again. Sigh.

In any event, I made it through two episodes of "See" this way before switching to "Titans" and watching this week's episode with no hitches at all. And as of the writing of this blog post (which is happening on Sunday night), I was able to stream "See" in Google Chrome, so maybe Apple got the issue fixed and just had launch day jitters or something.

The two episodes that I did watch of "See" were an interesting story. It's weird watching a show in which all the actors are supposed to be blind, and I think the most compelling thing about it was to observe how well they get around and even fight while blind. One of the things I don't like about the show are the time jumps. Central to the story are two babies who are born who do have the "power to see" and in order to bring them into the story, they are about twelve years old by the time the second episode ends. That means there's a ton of time that passes in which nothing occurs other than daily life around a village.

This isn't the kind of story that really pulls me in, because I kind of detest big time jumps. It's what turned me off the Starz story of the White Queen, which I found compelling until the story immediately jumped years and years to satisfy certain things in which it wanted to concentrate.

Anyway, I do intend to continue to watch "See," and I'm hoping that a patch comes out to make it easier to view the Apple TV Plus streaming titles. I am reminded though (in my negative experience in using it), how cutting edge Apple tends to be. They are the epitome of a company that uses "planned obsolescence" as a bludgeon by which to browbeat consumers. I just find it dismaying that a television which is still beautiful to me that is now four years old, is purposely being pushed toward obsolescence by app makers who are making things available for everything bought this year...but doing very little for those things purchased in the very recent past. I guess that's just the way capitalism works.

Anyone else watching, "See" with Jason Momoa? The cinematography is gorgeous and there are many visually delightful scenes, which seems at odds with the premise of the story. It kind of reminded me of "Clan of the Cave Bear," only with blind people...which I think is strange now that I think of it. Oh, and no young Daryl Hannah, unless Jason Momoa counts as eye-candy (which he totally does in my book).