This year’s RetroStrange Halloween track is now available on Bandcamp. It’s called “Forest Quest” and it was created by Nicky Flowers, thanks to the support of my Patrons.
You can download it free, right now!
Softly and quietly launched this week: Set Side B. A new gaming blog from John Harris, one of my favorite games writers, and a small-but-growing cast of characters.
The name Set Side B has been kicking around in my head for awhile, being the huge Famicom Disk System nerd that I am. It’s a reference to a common message that appears on screen instructing the player to eject and flip the disk.
As usual I’m Kermit The Frog / Ed Wood-ing this one, and the infrastructure is shared with RetroStrange and Extra Future. Set Side B is ad and tracker free.
Visit the site at https://setsideb.com/
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 , you can catch 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.
So what if real baseball is back, let’s get weird again!
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.
Check out this episode of Start From The Beginning featuring my brother Charles Nelson.
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, , 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.
Go and get the latest issue of my newsletter, where I wrote about a deeply personal and kind of painful memory. Hooray!
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 3, this coming Wednesday to my Twitch channel, will feature Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie: The Game.