Tag Archives: Media

Things I’ve learned from moving my office

Phase 2 of the office move was a roaring success. I still have a lot of clutter, but frankly my office has always been kind of a chaotic space. Moving my office has taught me a few things and I thought I’d share them.

1) IKEA directions do not have words. I also believe they invent a step or two just so you have to use the iconic Allen wrench.

2) A shim is your friend, especially in a basement that kind of dips toward the middle. A shim can be anything, pizza box lid, wooden dividers from an old CD rack. Also “shim” is not a particularly SFW Google image search.

3) You never know how much crap you have until you have to lug it across the house, and down a winding stairwell. And you have to figure out a new place for everything, some of which is the garbage can.

4) Build the new area fan first. Yes, basements are naturally cooler, but on a 90 degree day they can still be crazy hot.

5) Empty the dehumidifier when it beeps.

6) You didn’t bring the laz-y-boy downstairs for you. It’s so your beagle can have a new favorite spot.

7) Seriously, map out a whole day for putting together furniture. I didn’t know I had to build drawers when I bought the thing.

8) The thrift store is a great place to get under the desk organizers or additional small shelves. Also trash-picking.

9) Since I’m probably never going to move this stuff again, it’s a good time to actually go through everything. There’s that Star Trek game manual I’ve been looking for for years!

10) You can go to Target to buy a new fan and a small bin, and come home with Lego Batman 3, a piggy tea-light and a lamp that has a USB charger and outlet.

11) It’s a whole other world under desk furniture. These aren’t dust bunnies, they’re dust monsters!

I still have a whole lot of crap in my closet to go through, and my comic books are still sitting in bins till they have a space downstairs. In the meantime the future nursery is the comic-book reading room! Just joking honey.

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Mixed Media

I am a completion-ist at heart. If I’m collecting something, watching something, reading something, I want it all.

I don’t mean every obscure fan-fiction Star Trek story, or every piece of Babylon 5 paraphernalia available. But if I’m reading a series, I want every book in that series.

And here lies the quandary, do I mix my media?

I tend to split things this way: physical books (especially comic books) are for my really prized series. The best of the best. The rest is digital. But it’s the digital I actually have  time to read, so some of my “best of the best” series are actually all digital (Chew for example).

bleach-logo

Then there’s the stuff in the middle. I like to read Bleach (a manga). I own volumes 1-34 physically, but know that I do not have the shelf space to buy any more (the series is up in the 70’s now). Digital volumes of the series are actually half the price of the physical, and take up no more space than their electrons. And they’re way more likely to be read. But I’ll never make enough money from selling 1-34 to buy their digital equivalents (maybe a good number but not all), so selling my existing stock doesn’t make much sense. But I’m much more likely to actually read these books if I buy them digitally, and I buy a whole row of a shelf’s worth of space in the process.

So for the moment I have mixed media (1-34 physically and I just bought Volume 35 digitally). At least it’s a clean split.

But sometimes price can get the better of you.

If you’ve been reading a series on the Kindle, then suddenly find the next book as a paperback for 1/5th the price, do you go for it? Or do you buy the Kindle book anyway so you can have the whole series in one form?

Kindle Matchbook is a nice theoretical solution to this problem, except that you have to buy the books from Amazon, and not everything participates in that program (in fact most things don’t, Bleach doesn’t). What’d be nice is to be able to buy cheap digital copies of everything we own physically, regardless of how we got it, but that’s an impractical business model.

I don’t like buying things twice any more than the rest of us, but the urge to be able to take things with me is strong.

Maybe this is why libraries are awesome. You can read things without the burden of figuring out how to own them.

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Things we come back to

My consumption and frankly obsession with media tends to be cyclical. I’m really into something for a couple of weeks, then it dies down for a little while, then often it comes back. I think some of this is encouraged by streaming services like Netflix, where you can simulate the cable TV model by watching a season of a show obsessively for a week or two, then catch it next year. Some interests are more sustained (like Star Trek), but even these wax and wane.

My current cycle seems to be watching things I watched years ago, in part again because of Netflix. And I realized that there’s a taxonomy of how we evaluate things we go back to. On the left hand side are things that on a second viewing we don’t like, and on the right are things we do like. I would further sub-divide likes and don’t likes into two categories:

Likes

  • Pleasant Surprise – It’s as good as I remember it.
  • Nostalgic – I like this, but probably wouldn’t if I was seeing it for the first time now.

Don’t Likes

  • Tastes Change – I may be able to understand why I liked this in the past, but I don’t now.
  • Holy Crap – What the hell was I thinking?

Some examples from my recent viewing (with the exception of Chapelle which was a few years ago):

Red vs Blue – Watched this pretty obsessively through college, one 3 minute episode at a time. The first five “seasons” are on Netflix, and even though I cringe at the distinction of this being the longest running sci-fi series (at 11 seasons and counting), these first seasons are as good as I remember. Sure the language is crude (sometimes imaginatively so), but the pacing and building storyline are hilarious even when I know what’s coming. (Pleasant Surprise)

Chapelle Show – Another college show. Maybe this one was more of its moment than I realized, because watching it again I couldn’t stand it. It was crude, it was gross, and it wasn’t nearly as clever as Key & Peele. I had bought the first season cheap out of memory, and promptly resold it. (Holy Crap)

Batman: The Animated Series – It’s a kid’s show and I am one of those people who contend cartoons were better in my day, based on my limited knowledge of current TV. This show shaped my perception of what Batman should be, and some of them are really quite good to go back to. But the dialogue is definitely a little hokey in spots and it lacks the stakes of more mature Batman tales told in the comics. This one’s somewhere between Nostalgic and Pleasant Surprise.

The Rescuers – What can I say, I love Bob Newhart. And it’s the rare Disney movie that doesn’t involve saving a princess and actually shows a woman (admittedly a mouse) being fun loving and capable, and even having to encourage her more nervous partner into bolder steps. I would love to show these movies to my kids someday. (Pleasant Surprise)

Foamy (Neurotically Yours) – This one’s a little trickier because I already sensed the quality dipping when I was watching this (again back in college). But truthfully as I get older I find less of this funny and just crude and gross, and occasionally sexually creepy. I still love the Matrix one, and the burping one about (when’s the last time I had a f-ing hot dog) but that’s about it. This one is somewhere between Holy Crap and Tastes Change.

I could go on, but I’d love to hear from you. What have you gone back to recently and how have you reacted to it? Where does that show, comic book, video game, book, or movie fall on the taxonomy?

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