Very early, first impressions, AppleTV+ — 2nd day impressions below

I’m all ready to sign up and I understand I have to do the Free Trial dance which will then rollover into a sub. OK. Maybe I’m wrong or Maybe this is just another new Apple way of doing things. Wasted a little time searching the Web. Folks who should know – don’t.

Anyway, only time to respond to a couple of items, so far. I’m not surprised that doubtful, timorous reviews generally populated the Web. Dangerous thoughts don’t get star gigs on the Web much anymore. As Om says, they should be paid accordingly and the folks who own the hardware, control the software, and buy the latter as cheap as they can.

So, my wife watches about 15 minutes of TV a month – apart from the EPL – passing by the living room when I’m in there of an evening watching a film or a BritBox mystery or Amazon Prime something production. We use the cheapest inclusive Sling package to feed a couple households in the compound + their news package to see if the turd in the White House has managed to start a war somewhere in his quest for geedus and self-aggrandizement. Apps often plug in better rez than the Sling feed; but, it’s still needed for content access “approval”.

But, she wanted to watch “SEE” for a number of reasons…not the least of which were anthropology and human healthkits in a blind species. Mine, too; but, been a scifi geek since before most of y’all were born. Though not a new idea – no less interesting.

We both found it a success. Production values are superb. I know a bit about violence and war. Realistic solutions rule in SEE. CGI or not, the episode flowed. Every uptight Xhristian who tuned in will self-destruct over this culture’s version of prayer. Har!

My wife is fine with the way I usually follow serial productions in the streaming world. I watch episodes in order; but, not bound to weekly if the tale has greater availability. I’ll usually watch an episode every 3-5 days if it’s worth watching in the first place. And this tale qualifies, so far.

Other stuff? Lots to look at. They haven’t figured out all the hooks for EPL football Saturday morning; but, the NBCSN app works fine. And, then – I’d noticed there’s freebie time for Apple Music, now, too. Usually, I rely on Amazon music. More for less, simple as that.

Searched for a few groups I really love and got some household sounds I like – and, then – they have fracking music videos. THEY HAVE MUSIC VIDEOS! I feel like I’m back in Poland*.

BITD, I discovered so many new groups and new music just leaving MTV or VH1 swinging in the living room while I went about my day. I usually worked from home; so, that was a breeze. My life has been focused on music more than most…including the occasional decade as performing artist.

They have old stuff. They have new stuff. I have to be disciplined or I won’t get back outdoors for months.

‘Nuff said for now. I’ll return to comment further.

* First music videos I ever saw were on TV in the communal room of a hostel in Zakopane in 1971.


Still haven’t done a thorough enough lookaround; but, here’s what makes my second thoughts not as enthusiastic. I’d decided I would watch a movie tonight. Often my wont on a weekend.

As noted earlier, I’ve been a lifetime scifi geek. Bought my first copies of Thrilling Wonder Stories and Amazing Stories at Freeman’s Drugstore in Bridgeport in the spring of 1949. I had to convince Mr. Freeman it was OK with my parents – because of the “lurid” covers SciFi mags used back then. So, tonight, Saturday night, I decided to watch GRAVITY. An award-winner with a talented cast. Found it listed in AppleTV+ for 99¢. Thought I’d also seen it listed over at Amazon. It was. Free, maybe with commercials.

That was an easy decision. Retirees living on tightly managed budgets decide for price every time, over time. Better learn to do it, folks.

Commercials turned out to be about 4 breaks through the whole piece, pretty much 30-second spot totals. Easy-peasy. The movie, BTW, turned out to be superlative in structure and production. Well written and acted. No complaints.

After the movie I took another quick look around at movies and TV series back at AppleTV+ and now it’s starting to feel like there are one or two free episodes from any series to trial…remaining episodes have a charge for every additional episode. Some few movies free. Most have a rental, ownership fee structure. Apple is definitely trying to compete with Netflix – not Amazon. And Amazon is what I can afford.

So, at this moment in time, my decision looks like AppleTV+ ends with the demise of my free trial. No doubt full-length movies and some series will continue with talented productions. Like their peers on Netflix, HBO, etc.. I still have access to more than enough content between a few individual channels/apps “authorized by SLING” to pair with Amazon and Britbox to keep my video Jones well-fed.

Things can always change. For now. I’ll probably let AppleTV+ lapse in a few days. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to stay up-to-date with the next-gen AppleTV [4K+HDR and more] just as I do with iPad, iPhone and iMac. Hardware and software are a terrific value from Apple. Doesn’t look like services beyond iCloud will be offered to fit my budget. Yet.

Absolutely the toughest marching drummers ever

Most folks don’t know that an early part of the years I spent as a musician were my high school years – especially in marching bands. Though I also played in the horn section of a University concert band at the same time, I played simultaneously in two separate high school marching bands. One played all their football games on Friday nights. The other on Saturday afternoons. Conflict between the two only came up once a season. Plus I still helped out once in a while with the P.A.L. band I’d marched with since 7th grade. 🙂

All I can say is these folks really rock. Close to traditional formation staging; but, everything else is over the top.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia


Yesterday morning, just before dawn, Helen woke first. Rolled over and said, “Happy Lunaversary!” She got me.

Since the day of our marriage over 25 years ago, we always celebrate our lunaversary. Even if it’s just that first minute of waking, one of us will remind the other that this is the day over hundreds of months ago that we stood with friends and family to be together in love.

So, yes, it’s the best kind of game that reinforces memories and good times and tough times – and the growing together we have experienced. Learning and sharing.

I think Ziggy Marley says it pretty well.

Dick Dale, Surf Rock origins

❝ Most musicians have a mild hatred of scales because we were all forced to practice and memorize them without anyone ever telling us what the hell they are…

Dick Dale wasn’t just borrowing the Byzantine scale for his surf anthem. “Misirlou” is a remake of a vaguely Middle-Eastern traditional song, possible Egyptian or Turkish, first recorded in Greece in 1927. The whole melody finds its way into the Dick Dale version.

As it further turns out, Dick Dale’s connection to the scale isn’t crazily random. Dale was of Lebanese descent on his father’s side and grew up playing the tarabaki drum and hearing music based on these scales, which he then incorporated into his surf music.

What goes around, comes around.