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Christine Sherman

My grandmother died last week. I wrote about it in my newsletter. It is reprinted here for posterity when Substack goes dark eventually.

She was my grandmother, but of course she was more than that. She was a human being with thoughts and wants and needs and she was not shy about telling you what they were. She and her late husband (who preceded her in death), our Nanny and Gramps, were the bedrock of our extended family. If one of their kids, grandkids, or great-grandkids needed help out of a bad spot, they were there every time. COVID-19 took Gramps from us last year. He died thinking it was a hoax thanks to Fox News. Nanny died gasping for air, too.

Nanny and Gramps would give their last dollar to a family member who asked for it and they would forgive nearly any transgression. Many of their kids and grandkids took great advantage of this and stole from them, lied to them, begged them to co-sign bad loans or buy cars with a promise to pay and just never did. My grandparents had come up with nothing, and knew how that felt and their family was everything to them. They both died with nothing much to their names except their social security checks and a reverse mortgage on the home they built together. Despite this, I know in my heart if you could ask them they would do it again. They would give again, and again.

My favorite memories with her are of waking up and making coffee for us (she liked it strong) when I lived with Nanny and Gramps, and arguing with her about whatever news was on the TV. She was smart and funny and enjoyed that kind of banter. When I first moved out, I’d still call and talk with her frequently, and she’d lament that “nobody here will argue with me.”

Christine Sherman née Perkins had a tenacious mind, and it made seeing her struggle with dementia and senility the last several years all the worse, for Nanny’s own quality of life foremost but not least of which for my mother who has been her tireless (and often sleepless) live-in caretaker. Still, everyone she knew was happy to see her and talk with her every time we could until the very end.

She believed in us, and proved it time and again, and boy did we need it. Without her help I don’t believe any of us, from her children to her great-grandchildren, would’ve had much of a chance at decent lives. Even with their help all of her kids spent time on food-stamps and government assistance, even the conservative family members reading this who like to pretend they never got any help.

I myself owe them so much- for helping my parents get a home when I was a baby, for letting my mother and brothers and me stay with them when that marriage dissolved, for buying us school shoes, for being at our meets and games, for always… being there for us. I could spend days telling you how much they did for us.

But Nanny and Gramps are no more. That bedrock, like so many things and people we used to lean on, is soon to undertake that final change into the inevitable dust and ash. Goodbye, Nanny. You gave us everything you had and more, and we loved you more than words could say. Still, I count myself lucky that I was able to say it, and hug you, one last time.

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Introducing StrangeLine and More RetroStrange-ness

This weekend I did some work on RetroStrange infrastructure and scheduling.

RetroStrange TV (our 24/7 streaming TV channel) which is now fully autonomous and publishes notifications to Twitter when each show or movie begins with the #RSTV hashtag. You can find my TV station code on GitHub. The current setup of two Linode 4GB servers this should provide us with enough space and power to run it basically forever at $40/month. Support via Patreon appreciated.

The next RetroStrange Movie Night is November 23rd and we’re showing film noir classic D.O.A. (1949) see the Facebook Event.

The other big RetroStrange feature is the StrangeLine. I’ve set up a phone number you can call for various RetroStrange stuff. Right now you can call to get info on the next Movie Night, or listen to the Skulking Permit by Robert Sheckley as heard on LOFI SCIFI. We’ll add and change up the content regularly, so go ahead and give ‭(814) 787-2643‬ (that’s 814-STRANGE) a call.

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Phil’s Newsletter #49

is now available in your inbox or on Substack. Learn about the latest episode of Sticks & Fists, get the latest RetroStrange theme tune, and some Good Links.

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I’m Featured on the Linode Craft of Code podcast this week

We talked indie web infrastructure, Troma, Ted Lasso, and the hows and whys of our public domain media empire on RetroStrange. Give the episode a listen on their website, or in your podcast app of choice.

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New Client Work: OpenCV AI Kit – Lite

Like last year’s campaign, I created the video for this amazing spatial AI device. Now available on Kickstarter.

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Where To Find Phil Nelson Online, September 2021 Edition

I’ve found things are easier when I post these periodic reminders of where I am doing stuff online these days, and how people can get at me or support me or both. A few changes from our previous edition in April 2021. Bold items are new. You can find a constantly updated version of of this on my About page. As of right now you can find me at the following online haunts:

Ongoing Projects

  • I co-host OpenCV’s Weekly webinar with Satya Mallick, live on Thursdays at 9am Pacific time. We just aired our 22nd episode.
  • RetroStrange Movie Night, a curated public domain movie night which now broadcasts live from the Niles Outdoor Dining Experience in downtown Niles, MI. There’s a Facebook group for event notifications and chit-chat.
  • RetroStrange TV, a 24/7 streaming public domain TV channel that shows old Movie Night movies and shorts curated by me and Noah Maher.
  • LOFI SCIFI on RetroStrange, the 24 hour streaming old time radio science fiction channel
  • Divergent League Baseball, my simulated fantasy baseball league – the new season is starting soon.

On Hiatus

  • My Itch account, where all of my (pay if you can / free) video games are hosted including the recently-released Chipping Challenge plus old experiments like Duck Jumper, Rassler, and Haunted Floating Eye. Game dev has stopped for awhile.
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Phil’s Newsletter #42, AEW: Rampage Watch-Along

An image generated from an adversarial network.

Over on the Substack you can find issue 42 of Phil’s Newsletter, wherein we discuss generative adversarial networks, release a new Monster Association video, and my sister-in-law Jessica critiques my favorite Beatles songs.

Today (August 13, 2021) is also the first episode of All Elite Wrestling’s new show, Rampage. We’ll be doing a live watch-along with my Patrons in my Discord channel starting 6:30pm Pacific.

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Phil’s Newsletter #39, Sticks & Fists Return

Now available on the Substack, issue 39 of my weekly newsletter. In it, I discuss the labors of the week: Marathoning season 1 of One Punch Man and both seasons of I Think You Should Leave.

Over on YouTube, you can catch the most recent episode of Sticks & Fists, in which we take on Downtown Special: Kunio-Kun Downtown Special: Kunio-kun’s Historical Period Drama! which for the uninitiated westerners out there is sort of a sequel to River City Ransom. It owns and we’ll be playing it again this week, 7:30 pm Wednesday on Twitch.

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Phil’s Newsletter #37

Cold off of last week’s presses, here is the new edition of Phil’s Newsletter. Inside: A tiny keyboard, and a ton of Good Links.

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Sign Up Sheet For the Next Season of Divergent League Baseball

So what if real baseball is back, let’s get weird again!

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Now Available: Magnetic Interference – Reverb-heavy Drum Beats

Magnetic Interference is an album of music produced here in the Wizard Tower, using my KORG Volca Beats, Monotron Delay, and Monotron Duo. They’re meant to be used in your own projects, royalty free. My Patrons get it for $0, but even if you aren’t a member of my Patreon you can listen to it on Bandcamp or buy a copy for $3.

It’s been fun using this little drum machine to make chilly, relaxing beats to put on while I work on client stuff. Expect more.

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My Brother Chuck Is On A Podcast This Week

Check out this episode of Start From The Beginning featuring my brother Charles Nelson.

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Phil’s Newsletter #32

In last week’s continuing adventures of Me, we bought some gay wrestling merch, beat River City Ransom, and I made some shitty music. Read all about it on my Substack

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Phil’s Newsletter #31, RetroStrange Movie Night Season Finale

This week’s edition of Phil’s Newsletter is out– in it you’ll find me repairing an old Phil Collins cassette tape, 3D printing some cute stackable boxes, beating River City Ransom, and generally Trying My Best.

This weekend is the Season Finale of RetroStrange Movie Night, and we’re going out with a bang: By honoring the patron saint of Movie Night, the great Dick Miller. We’ll be starting this episode early to accommodate showing the feature we missed out on last week due to biological difficulties.

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Phil’s Newsletter #29: Zwan, Dad, Power Rangers, Movie Night

Go and get the latest issue of my newsletter, where I wrote about a deeply personal and kind of painful memory. Hooray!

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Phil’s Newsletter #28, Sticks & Fists Take Down Streets of Rage

Issue #28 of my weekly newsletter is now available on the usual place. You can subscribe for free, or kick me a few bucks if you like it and want me to keep doing it.

In other news, John and I beat Streets of Rage on episode 2 of Sticks and Fists. Episode 3, this coming Wednesday to my Twitch channel, will feature Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie: The Game.

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Phil’s Newsletter #27, New Streaming Schedule

A schedule listed in PDT:
Tuesday @ 5pm - Divergent League Baseball
Weds @ 7:30pm - Sticks & Fists (Beat 'em Ups)
Fri @5pm - Divergent League 
Sun @3:30pm - Evil Genius 2

Sat 5/1, 5/15 - RetroStrange Movie Night

Please see the attached image for my new streaming schedule on twitch.tv/extrafuture. My newsletter for last week is available via the usual channels.

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Phil’s Newsletter #26

Today we pass the half-year mark on Phil’s Newsletter with issue Number Twenty-Six. 26 weeks of me talking too much about myself. This week we cover The Bacon Grease Jar, RetroStrange TV content drop, my weekly webinar series, and next week’s Movie Night movies.

Thanks for reading and subscribing.

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Where To Find Phil Nelson Online, April 2021 Edition

I’ve found things are easier when I post these periodic reminders of where I am doing stuff online these days, and how people can get at me or support me or both. Not many changes from our previous edition in December 2020. Bold items are new. As of right now you can find me at the following online haunts:

  • I am @philnelson on Twitter
  • I co-host OpenCV’s Weekly webinar with Satya Mallick, Thursdays at 9am PDT
  • My Patreon, where you can support me directly each month and get exclusive content and early access to stuff
  • My newsletter on Substack is where you can subscribe for free (or $5/mo) and support me while getting a little more personal view on things than I post elsewhere, sent out every Thursday.
  • My Twitch where I sometimes stream video games, and we do RetroStrange Movie Night on every other Saturday night
  • Discord: I’m philnelson#1094, and we have our own Extra Future server
  • My Thingiverse account, where I post my 3D printable models
  • Extra Future, this place here, my blog since 2008 or so, where I announce and release things
  • My Itch account, where all of my (pay if you can / free) video games are hosted including the recently-released Chipping Challenge plus old experiments like Duck Jumper, Rassler, and Haunted Floating Eye
  • The RetroStrange YouTube where I upload the intros to every Movie Night and some additional content
  • My LinkedIn where I mostly follow and post about computer vision / artificial intelligence projects.

Ongoing Projects

  • RetroStrange Movie Night, a curated public domain movie night that runs every two weeks. There’s a Facebook group, too.
  • RetroStrange TV, a 24/7 streaming public domain TV channel that shows old Movie Night movies and shorts curated by me and Noah Maher.
  • LOFI SCIFI on RetroStrange, the 24 hour streaming old time radio science fiction channel
  • Divergent League Baseball, my simulated fantasy baseball league – the new season is starting soon.
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Phil’s Newsletter #25

… is now available on the Substack. In it we discuss: My deteriorating mental state, this weekend’s RetroStrange Movie Night episode, and the return of 1993 Divergent League.

Thanks for reading.