Tag Archives: Netflix

I’ve been watching Star Trek: Enterprise on Netflix recently

Greetings, readers. Over the past several weeks, I have been watching and thoroughly enjoying Star Trek: Enterprise. It was not one of the more successful Star Trek spinoffs, but it did have a cult following. The series ran for four seasons and ended in a unique way. More about that later.

The show depicts the Federation and the world of Star Trek approximately 100 years before James T. Kirk and the iconic Enterprise NCC-1701. Jonathan Archer is the captain of the NX-01, the first warp five starship. He is played by actor Scott Bakula, of Quantum Leap fame.

I am currently one episode away from being finished with the second season. So, I’ve watched about half the series and am loving every minute of it. If I had to make one observation of something about the series which doesn’t quite make sense it would be this …  most of the technological gizmos that the crew carries around with them, such as phase pistols and scanners, look more modern than what Kirk, Spock, and McCoy used. I realize I’m being picky, but this is supposed to be 100 years in the past. McCoy had a lit-up salt shaker as his medical scanner.

In the last episode, (spoiler alert below) we see Commander Riker and Counselor Troi on the Enterpirse D, just as if it were an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Riker was studying something about the end of Archer’s mission and the final episode of the series was supposedly a holodeck simulation. It was cool to see the characters Riker and Troi again and even a voice splice-in of Commander Data. Although Riker never interacted with Archer’s crew directly, he did observe such things as Chief Engineer Trip’s noble sacrifice to save the ship and Captain Archer’s final speech at Star Fleet Headquarters. The last scene of the series was Riker and Troi shutting down the holodeck program and going back on duty aboard Picard’s ship.

Now on to some other characters. T’Pol is the Vulcan science officer. She is played by Jolene Blalock. I must admit dear readers, but at first, I did not like this character. She’s grown on me though. To me she’s a Vulcan who is trying to act like Voyager’s Seven of Nine. Blalock does a wonderful job, but her voice is just a little too sexy in my opinion.

Next is the chief engineer, Charles Tucker III, who goes by ‘Trip’. At first, I couldn’t figure that one out, but then it hit me. Trip is for triple and triple is the third. Got it. He is played by Conner Trinneer. Trip is from Florida and has that slight southern accent. In the series, his sister is killed during a vicious attack on Earth. Trip is the do-gooder of the series and usually ends up getting in trouble for it. During one episode, there was a character who had no rights and was treated like a pet. He took interest in her, taught her to read, to enjoy music and other interests. It was against that species’ wishes, so of course the Captain reprimanded ‘Trip’ and for a while the Captain was quite disappointed in his officer.

I would have to say though that my favorite character is the doctor, Phlox. He is a Denobulan. That’s easy for me to say. He is extremely positive, very friendly, and does his very best to save all his patients. Whether it’s the actor, John Billingsley’s regular way of speaking or not, Phlox has a very whimsical cadence and distinct diction. Charming, yet strong, he is one of the biggest heroes of the series to me. During one episode where the crew was being invaded by aliens which were basically wisps of smoke, Phlox was able to save the ship from being taken over, and in turn save the crew.

I don’t have enough time to give you a synopsis of every character, so I suggest if you have Netflix, check it out for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. Journey along with the crew of the Enterprise NX-01. You will get a brief glimpse into not only the beginning of Starfleet and the Federation, but enemies such as the Klingons and even the Borg. After you have watched the entire series, I’m quite certain that you will want to start again and boldly go where no one has gone before.

Until next week, I bid you a great weekend, take care, and, as always, happy reading.

P.S. I was happy that the Eagles won the Super Bowl, but all the local Eagle’s fans kept me up Sunday night until close to 2:00 in the morning. Not good.

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From Rebecca: Our Souls at Night

There is a new film on Netflix streaming that I have been watching in parts for the last week and finished today, called Our Souls at Night. It stars Jane Fonda as Addie Moore and Robert Redford as Louis Waters. It is a gentle slow-moving story of two people connecting to one another after decades of living in the same town. It is based on a book by Kent Haruf, which I see our local library has in its collection.

Our Souls at Night starts with two lonely people who have trouble sleeping at night, until Addie knocks on Louis’s door and asks him over to sleep in her bed. She isn’t proposing sex, just that they talk and keep each other company in order to fall asleep. He needs some time to think about it, but then agrees. It is awkward at first, but as they eat dinner together and lie down in the same bed, they begin to talk about the events of their lives and the choices they made. They become friends and companions. The town starts to gossip about them, and they brave it out. Partway through the film Addie’s grandson Jamie arrives to stay with her, played by Iain Armitage (the actor who now plays Sheldon Cooper in Young Sheldon on CBS). Having Jamie living there changes and adds to the relationship developing between Louis and Addie.

There is not much action in this movie, just the two main characters interacting with each other and other people. The big actions in the story come from decisions contemplated and emotional risks taken. There are no shouting matches, smashed dishes, or dramatic reveals. Just mature adults in relationships with the various people in their lives doing the best they can. By the end of the film, they have both faced mistakes from their pasts, and worked to make the damage better. The performances by Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are strong, understated, and good, from the first awkward pauses to the last comfortable conversation.

I plan to recommend this film for Joe, given his love of On Golden Pond. The films are very different, but they do both have as a plot point an older couple taking care of a boy for a while. In On Golden Pond, Jane Fonda played a character leaving the boy with her parents, and in Our Souls at Night, she plays the mother agreeing to take care of the child. I think Joe would appreciate having the same actress portray two sides of the same event.

I know not everyone has subscribed to Netflix’s streaming service. My thoughts on the various streaming services and the shows that some people have access to but not others might be a good blog topic for another day. But for now, if you do happen to have access to this film, I do recommend it for anyone who enjoys a gentle film about a developing relationship between two mature adults.

Until next Wednesday and a blog entry from Joe, I hope you are comfortable in whatever weather you have, take care, and happy reading.

A compliment at work yesterday made my day

Greetings, readers. Yesterday I was on the last day of my five-day work week and feeling a bit worn out and discouraged. I was not ready to quit by any means, but the shine of the job was wearing off. Then it happened. As my boss was working on one of the ordering iPads, we got to talking. One of the employees was sent home early because we were much slower than expected. I told my boss that I knew I was not his fastest cashier and offered in the future to be the one sent home. He then told me that I was one of the nicest and friendliest cashiers he’d seen. He said, “Why would I want to send you home?”

That was exactly the shot in the arm I needed for the rest of the work day. I was on cloud nine, knowing that I was one of their go-to people. Now, believe me, the person sent home is no slouch either; she’s been working with an injured foot in a boot and has done a remarkable job. I truly now feel like I am part of the team. Someone whom they know they can count on when needed.

Am I glad for my two days off, today and tomorrow? Oh, yes. As easy as the cash register job has become now, since I’ve learned where every menu item is, it still puts a strain on my feet. Tomorrow I will be purchasing my new shoes. That should help. But after 50-some years of basically sitting around, any kind of long-term standing begins to hurt me and make me stiff.

At the end of my shift yesterday, I met my friend Jim and one of the things we talked about was the TV show Star Trek: Enterprise, which is currently on Netflix. I did not watch it during its first run, but I am enjoying it now. The whole concept of the era before Captain Kirk, which had less technology but better special effects, somehow initially turned me off to the series. The acting is excellent and all the main characters are strong. It is a pity the show only lasted four seasons.

I am still enjoying Out of the Park Baseball 18 immensely. When I manage a game, I like to see every pitch and every play. (There is a one-pitch per bat mode, where every time you tap it the game shows just the ball that went into play and the play’s outcome. Faster, but not what I want.) When I have the time, I really enjoy the realism of a real-life paced game. I am still trying to create my very own fictitious league; several attempts have failed. I would have to rate this game one of the ten best I’ve ever played.

This is a regular work week for Rebecca and me, where we work today and tomorrow; my days off from my other job. I am planning to do a little bit of laundry, a little bit of shopping, and a lot of time with my feet up. Lol. Tomorrow I will have a top ten list for you, so until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

My friend Dave is coming for my birthday

Greetings, readers. My buddy and brother Dave Trost is coming up tomorrow to visit me for my birthday. What a fantastic surprise. I’ll be turning 52 tomorrow and it will be nice to have Dave here. We’re planning on having birthday dinner at the Indian restaurant right underneath my apartment building. I suppose after that it will be back upstairs to watch movies or YouTube. Quite honestly, I would not mind just sitting and chatting about the old days. I love it when we reminisce.

Dave is able to take this two and a half day vacation because the poor boy cracked a bone in his ankle playing softball. That is a major ouch. Luckily for him, since he is planning to drive down for the visit, the walking boot is on his left foot. I don’t imagine we’ll be walking to Panera or any of the other eateries because I’m going to want my buddy to rest that foot as much as possible.

Another reason I don’t want Dave walking around town is that this just happens to be the week for our Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Panera and Sheetz will be crowded and who knows if we will even get a table. I might try something called OrderUp, which is an online service that will pick up food ordered from a restaurant and deliver it to your door. I think David will enjoy staying off his foot as much as he can.

Although Dave’s visit will be a short one, it has fallen on my birthday week and Arts Festival week. If Dave is feeling up to it, we might check out the food venders on the block nearest my building. I heard they have yummy corn dogs, bundt cake and funnel cake. That sounds like a treat for a person with a sweet tooth.

The weather, as is usual for this time of year where we have the Arts Fest downtown and the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg, is supposed to be warm and muggy with a chance of rain. That in itself is reason enough to stay in and play Yahtzee all evening. I can remember many an evening at Bear Spring Camps when Dave and I would play Yahtzee to pass the evening away. I still have very fond recollections of those nights. I even know where to find my Yahtzee game and score pads.

I’ll be certain to have a 12 pack of Coors Light so that when Dave arrives he can sit down and begin to enjoy his weekend. Usually we would walk together to get it, but this visit he gets pampered a bit. One of the movies that I know David will want to watch on Netflix is the Minions. My buddy just loves those yellow little characters.

The next blog entry we will be doing when we are together again next week will be a review of my new laptop computer. I won’t go into the full review here but I can give you a spoiler, I like it very much. Rebecca will be doing the blog tomorrow from home, which I am sure will be awesome.

Until I write again next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Netflix streaming

For many years my husband and I have subscribed to the Netflix service of DVDs through the mail, which we liked very much. Last year we got high-speed internet and one of the first things we did with it was to expand our Netflix subscription to include the streaming service. We like that very much too. While we don’t do it often, I can see why so many people get into binge watching shows for hours at a time on streaming services like this. Being able to watch as much of a new season of a new show as we want in one sitting or in the same week is pretty nice.

Netflix is putting a lot of money into original programing, in many genres, and there is a lot to choose from. One of the first shows we watched on streaming was Grace & Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Two seasons were available right away by the time we came on board, and we had them watched in a few weeks. I hope they do another season at some point. Last week we finished watching the first, and so far only, season of a new original show, Santa Clarita Diet. It was a little gross in places, but we liked it. We would not have been able to watch it without this streaming service, at least not before Netflix got around to putting it on disc.

Netflix also took over production of a few network shows that got canceled, and put out new seasons for fans. One of these shows, Longmire, was one I watched when it was on TV, and missed when it was abruptly canceled. I am almost through the last season now, and I appreciate seeing these characters continue for the two new seasons so far that Netflix gave me and other fans.

They also have a wide selection of older shows and movies. Darren and I are watching The West Wing, which we both watched when it was originally broadcast on network TV 15 years ago. It is bringing back a lot of memories of the Bill Clinton presidency, from which the show got a lot of material. Two weeks ago we watched the movie Lost in Space from 1998. We saw it listed, decided to watch it, clicked it, and then we were watching it. That fast and easy. Amazingly cool. Currently I am watching the first two seasons of a show that is still running on network TV, Jane the Virgin, which I didn’t get around to watching when it first came on the air. Now I am catching up on Netflix, finding that I like it, and will continue to watch each new season.

There is something to look out for though, especially when watching older shows and movies. They can go away, sometimes without warning, and we can’t finish the series. I remember reading somewhere that it is because of how Netflix has to license the rights for streaming. Half way through me working my way, over the period of some months, through the run of shows featuring the character Inspector Morse, it was discontinued from streaming. And last week I went on to look up a certain episode of Murder, She Wrote, and found that the whole series was gone, too. Poof, vanished. I can get them on discs, but they went off the streaming part.

We still get the DVD discs in the mail, though we did drop it from two discs at a time to one. Netflix has a much better selection and library in discs than in streaming, and some of the stuff we want to watch is only available on discs. We enjoy the selection, but the one downside we have with this service is the time it takes; between having it mailed to us, then we watch it, and mail it back, we might have only one disc per week and a half. Still, this works for us for the most part.

We also have to balance all this TV watching with other activities of life. Right now I am writing this blog post while my husband is on reading. (Working from home is another advantage of high-speed internet – yay technology! Good luck on the additional writing time, Joe.) It is a strangely hot day out for February, and we should get outside to enjoy some of it later. The more we enjoy the wonders and bounty of Netflix, the more we also need to keep it in perspective. I love entertainment shows and make-believe, but real life can be compelling, too.

Until next week, as Joe would tell you, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

I’m on the verge of a major writing idea :-)

Greetings, readers. I have enjoyed the series reboots of Fuller House and One Day at a Time on Netflix very much. That gave me an idea. Why not think of a series from the 1970s or 80s and write a pilot script for it? Hey, don’t laugh. I know lots of TV shows.

At first I didn’t like the idea of reboots, but they seem to be the in-thing in television entertainment. Let’s see what’s already been done: The Love Boat – disastrous!, Charlie’s Angels – even worse!!, The Bionic Woman… lol. My point is, I know reboots have a tendency not to work rather than to succeed. But I am encouraged to give it a go because of the overwhelming success of these recent Netflix original series’. I feel confident that I can find an old show and bring it back to life.

The key is to add enough new elements to the mix so as to make it my own idea. For instance, The new One Day at a Time‘s family is Cuban, where the original show’s was not. They live in Los Angeles, not Indianapolis, etc. If I can find the right series, with the perfect new angle, watch out! I will once again be in writer’s heaven.

Some of my favorite series’ that I have enjoyed are Cagney & Lacey, The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, and Starsky and Hutch. My first idea this morning, I must confess, was a female version of The Rockford Files. Luckily, the original Rockford Files is on Netflix right now, so I can study the series in-depth. Then before I write my pilot script, I can peak and tweak, create my own new characters, and begin the first draft.

Whichever series I choose, it’s going to be fun. I feel like I am ever so close to finally getting into that writing groove that for so long I have been searching. I even found on Spotify music a movie soundtrack that I used to play over and over again while writing 15 years ago. I can’t tell you how many pages I cranked out to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back record one side two. 🙂

For those of you who were expecting the new top ten list of Air Crash Investigation episodes, that is still in the works and will be put up next week. I’m taking a personal day tomorrow but I will post a new entry a little bit later than usual in the day with Rebecca’s help in editing.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a good Wednesday afternoon, take care, and happy reading.

I think I’ve discovered why I’m so sleepy

Greetings, readers. Although it is true that I don’t usually get eight or nine hours of sleep a night, I still often feel like my medications are zapping me of energy from the late morning on. Even the nights when I do get a lot of sleep I am still needing a nap. Rebecca told me about a conversation she had with someone who is changing from the same anti-depression medication that I take because it caused them sleepiness. This is information I did not have before. On Friday I am going to talk to my therapist and see just how true that is.

At first I thought my lack of energy and appetite were the winter blues. But in the last several weeks we’ve had a few days of sun, with temperatures in the upper 30s F. I enjoyed them very much. I walked around, went to my favorite hang-out and saw my friends. Still I did not want to eat very much and my favorite word was nap. I concluded that it must be my four seizure medications. Now I am wondering if it is the anti-depressant, or even that medication in conjunction with the seizure meds.

Even at this very moment as I am dictating this blog entry I am doing so with eyes closed. I am coherent and am aware of exactly what I wish to say next. There are some mornings when Rebecca is not scheduled to work, that I will close down the computer, shut off the lights, and go back to sleep – sometimes for as long as four hours. That is one hell of a nap.

Another thing that has me a little worried is that my weight is 190 pounds. I was at 204 not too long ago. On the good side, my blood work is perfect. Pulse and blood pressure are outstanding. I just need to find what is draining my energy and appetite.

If indeed it is my anti-depressant, I think I can get by without it. I see my therapist every two weeks and have more coping tools in place to battle depression. One tool is watching stand-up comedy on Netflix. Gabriel Iglesias has a new special out and also Anjelah Johnson, whom I wrote to on Twitter complimenting her on her performances. To my surprise and amazement she wrote back and thanked me. I felt so special.

For my regular readers and family members please do not worry. I’m planning to take steps as soon as this Friday to rectify this situation. I hope that in a week or two I will be back to the energetic self that I enjoyed when I was younger.

Finally, on a side note, though I did not watch this game, congratulations go out to the Clemson University football team on winning the National Championship over Alabama. It was a close game and Clemson won with six seconds to play. I really feel for the fans of Alabama.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a great day, do take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Reflections in the first week of the new year

For the first time in three weeks, I am sitting in the office, AKA Joe’s apartment, at work. Two weeks ago I had surgery to take out my gallbladder. I truly expected to be back to my normal routine the following week, but I was fooling myself. While I was able to go home the same day as the surgery, I needed a little more than a week to recover, rest, and heal. My husband, Darren, was a big help to me, especially in the first few days when I was groggy, cranky, and in pain.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to write a blog entry and edit Joe’s entries from the comfort of my own home. That was mega-cool. Thank you to Joe for letting me do that and for your patience and support.

Speaking of modern technology, last year we got high-speed internet at home, and we have been enjoying Netflix streaming through Darren’s PS3. He especially likes watching shows with no commercials. He was watching Lost for a while, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I watched the four-part special of Gilmore Girls, and Longmire. While I was recovering, we started to watch The West Wing, and we are up to the second season. It has been a while since I watched it, and I am enjoying it a lot. I remembered some things and other parts were a surprise reminder. So many of the issues were from the Bill Clinton presidency and I am strongly reminded of that administration with its ideals and its problems. We binge watch a bit, but we want to be careful with the PS3 so we don’t wear it out. A few hours at a time seems to work for us. I am certainly looking forward to exploring more of what Netflix has to offer in the coming year.

So, back to a new year starting. Next to me, I have my work folder ready for notes and reminders and my new engagement calendar, full of January’s information, and waiting for the appointments yet to be made in the next twelve months. We ended 2016 with the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds nationwide, and locally the shocking unexpected death of a resident of Addison Court Apartments, Joe’s next door neighbor. A new year feels like a new start, like anything good is possible. I’m ready for that new start and I want it. There was so much yelling and strife in 2016, and with the new Presidential administration coming in there will have to be a lot of people taking action to hold on to civil rights in the coming four years. But right now, this day, 2017 is a new beginning and it has a lot of promise.

My thoughts on Fuller House season two

Greetings, readers. I’ve already talked about the Netflix original series Fuller House in a previous entry last March. Season two came out December 9th and I watched all 13 episodes in a two-day span. Yes, I’m a binge watcher. This is my review and I must warn you that there are SPOILERS. If you haven’t watched the new season yet, you might want to come back to this and read it, after you do.

I found season two just as entertaining and satisfying as season one. Both of the heart-throbs D.J., played by Candace Cameron Bure, had previously been dating, begin the season with new girlfriend’s, much to D.J’s disappointment, but she ends up with one of them by the end of the season. I won’t say which one. Also, Stephanie, played by Jodie Sweetin, gets a boyfriend. It was so cool to see Stephanie with a steady love interest. There is a touching scene towards the end of the season where D.J. counsels her sister not to push people she loves away, and to embrace the love she has received.

One of my favorite characters, young Max, played by Elias Harger, is a wonderful little actor who plays his character with spunk and spark. I’m not sure where he learned his acting skills, but he is brilliant. Towards the end of the season, he meets his puppy-love girlfriend, Rose, the daughter of Steve’s girlfriend C.J. Rose is played by Mckenna Grace. The two are magnificent together. The children imitate what they see grown-ups do for romance, for example they act out the famous bow railing scene from the film Titanic, but with such innocence that it comes off as clean and sweet. This storyline probably won’t last, but boy I wish it would. To see these two grow up together, grow close, have their first meaningful kiss, etc., would truly be a pleasure.

Kimmy Gibbler and her husband Fernando, played by Andrea Barber and Juan Pablo Di Pace, began the series almost divorced. Now in season two, they are back very much in love and caring for their daughter Ramona, played by Soni Nicole Bringas. Miss Bringas is a wonderful dancer, and the actress has a marvelous on-screen presence. Fuller House has showcased dancing throughout its two-year run with many of its cast members joining in. I love the music and their creative expressions. They even had the New Kids on the Block featured in D.J.’s birthday episode.

If I had to give this series a negative mark, believe it or not, it would have to be for the presence of Danny, Jesse, Rebecca, and Joey, played by Bob Saget, John Stamos, Lori Loughlin, and Dave Coulier. The actors are all in their late 50’s and somehow just don’t fit in. I get the sense that the actors are trying way too hard. Especially Bob Saget, whose over performance in the mid-life crisis episode was almost laughable. I know, I know, Danny Tanner was always the comic relief as the house-cleaning geeky dad, which worked back in the original series, Full House. It just doesn’t work in Fuller House.

A very sweet moment took place at the very end of season two, when Jesse and Rebecca adopted a baby. Next year, there will be another bundle of joy, saying her first words.

I’ve tried to be as thorough as I can with my report of Fuller House, season two. I hope I didn’t give away every plotline. From all indications, there will be a season three, more than likely in seven to eight months. I give season two a solid 7 out of 10 rating. I think this series could go on another five or six seasons if it wanted to. But please, give the Olsen girls anything they want to make an appearance during a holiday episode. Either that, or kill off the character of Michelle. It truly looked bizarre to not have Michelle, played by either of the Olsen twins, in holiday episodes where everyone else in the family was present.

We will not be working next week here at the office. Rebecca will put up a blog entry sometime on Wednesday on a topic not known yet. On Thursday or Friday I will put up a blog entry myself, more than likely dealing with how my Christmas holiday is coming along. Until then, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

David arrives tonight. Yay!

Greetings, readers. It has been a year and a half since my buddy and brother David has visited me from New Jersey. I always love it when he comes because we’ll sit and chat, get caught up, watch movies, and play video games. This time around I have some plans made for Friday and Saturday evening with friends whom David hasn’t seen in a number of years. Everyone is looking forward to it.

There’s always a lot to do to get ready for Dave but I love it. Being a bachelor, I sometimes let the place go and use the bedroom for storage. That has to change for five days. Now the question becomes, where do I put it all? Don’t worry, I’ll find a place. It’s not horrible swamped with stuff. After the Christmas season is over, I plan on doing a winter cleaning which will involve letting some things go that are dear to me. I don’t like it, I don’t think anyone likes it, but in a small apartment it is necessary. I already have a few ideas of items that will not make the cut, such as books and DVDs that I never use.

After David goes back home on Tuesday, I will meet my friend Jim as usual at Denny’s and then on Wednesday morning get ready for Rebecca to arrive and start another work week. It’s going to be a fast long weekend, and if it is anything like last time, I’m going to need a holiday from my holiday. That is fine with me because Dave and I are not the kind of people who just sit and let time go by, and call that a vacation. If I want to relax with a book or a meditation video, I can do that on my own time.

The last time Dave came, bizarrely enough, we watched Disney movies. I didn’t think I was going to like them. “Dave, these are for kids,” I said. We had a blast. I am hoping, however, that we chose something slightly different for our entertainment this time around. Netflix has lots to offer, and, of course, there is also the Big Ten championship game on Saturday.

Well, there’s what’s happening. We will have two more entries for you next week and I’ll share all the news from Dave’s visit. Until next week, have a wonderful weekend, take care, and happy reading.