Hollywood Director Joel Schumacher Has Passed Away, Here’s Where You Can Stream Some of His Movies

A Time to Kill (1996)

A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the KKK.

Link at Just Watch.

Batman and Robin (1997)

Along with crime-fighting partner Robin and new recruit Batgirl, Batman battles the dual threat of frosty genius Mr. Freeze and homicidal horticulturalist Poison Ivy. Freeze plans to put Gotham City on ice, while Ivy tries to drive a wedge between the dynamic duo.

Link at Just Watch.

The Lost Boys (1987)

A mother and her two teenage sons move to a seemingly nice and quiet small coastal California town yet soon find out that it’s overrun by bike gangs and vampires. A couple of teenage friends take it upon themselves to hunt down the vampires that they suspect of a few mysterious murders and restore peace and calm to their town.

Link at Just Watch.

St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

Seven friends – Alec, Billy, Jules, Kevin, Kirby, Leslie and Wendy – are trying to navigate through life and their friendships following college graduation. Alec, who aspires to political life, has just shown his true colors by changing his allegiance from Democrat to Republican, which freaks out girlfriend Leslie, who he wants to marry. Budding architect Leslie, on the other hand, has an independent streak. She believes she has to make a name for herself to find out who she is before she can truly commit to another person in marriage. But Leslie and Alec have decided to live together. Because Leslie refuses to marry Alec, he believes that justifies certain behavior. Kirby, who wants to become a lawyer and who pays for his schooling by working as a waiter at their local hangout called St. Elmo’s Bar, and struggling writer Kevin are currently roommates. They are on opposite extremes of the romance spectrum.

Link at Just Watch.

Link: Joel Schumacher, Director of ‘St. Elmo’s Fire,’ Is Dead at 80 – New York Times.

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FREE Trial of YouTube TV? No, thank you.

Google teased me again with a FREE trial of YouTube TV. I looked over the channels included for the $50 per month and it was easy to decline the offer.

Currently, I’m not paying for any live TV service. I have a Roku stick with a bunch of channels/apps on it plus I have an antenna for FREE over-the-air TV. Here I’ll go over what YouTube TV offers.

Local Channels

This doesn’t even include all the over-the-air channels in Philadelphia, missing are channels 2 and 17 (others are missing too). Also missing are the multicast channels (2.2, 2.3, 17.2, 57.2, 3.3, etc.). The regional sports networks – like NBC Sports Philadelphia – are very expensive. They rival the cost of ESPN. I’m guessing that about half the $50 per month will go to pay for the sports channels. I wouldn’t watch NBC Sports Philadelphia that much, so I don’t want to pay for it. Also, I don’t want to give the Murdoch family any money so f*ck Fox 29 (I removed the channel from my TV and the online TV listings I use.)

Sports Channels

This is where most of the cost for YouTube TV – and all TV services – comes from. Personally, I don’t need most of them. I want to watch English Premier League soccer so NBC Sports Network would be nice. The Tennis Channel would be nice too. However, those two channels are not worth $50 per month to me. And I still don’t want to give the Murdochs money, so I especially don’t want to pay for Fox Sports 1 and 2. To watch the Premier League NBC sells a Gold package that’s separate from TV services like this.

Lifestyle Channels

I think of these channels as the basic cable TV channels and none of them are “must have” for me. If I had access to these then I may occasionally watch AMC, National Geographic, Syfy, or TCM but I somehow manage to live without them. And WTF, no History channel? Oh, and I get Comet and Cozi on FREE over-the-air TV. If you just want basic cable TV channels then try Philo, they have 58 channels (including History channel) for just $20 per month.

Family Channels

I would check out the Smithsonian channel but otherwise I have no interest in these channels.

News Channels

I gave up watching the 24/7 news channels back during the first Obama administration, so I have no need for these channels. I thought BBC America was the Star Trek: Next Generation and Doctor Who channel, has it changed? Oh, and yet again I don’t want to give the Murdochs money so f*ck Fox News and Fox Business.

Others and Additional Networks

Most of these “premium” channels I could get separately from YouTube TV and watch on my Roku stick. I don’t know how much they want for MLB Game of the Week but when I had ESPN Plus ($5/month) it included one MLB game per day, so I would compare the cost to that and see how it stacks up.

Tl;dr

Basically the only channel that I would watch is NBC Sports Network (for the English Premier League) and it’s not worth $50 per month. NBC Sports Gold Premier League Pass is how I watch the Premier League. … And I really, really do NOT want to give the Murdochs any money whatsoever.

As Fox News Played Down the Coronavirus, Its Chief Protected Himself
The cancellation of an 89th birthday party for Rupert Murdoch highlights a disconnect between his family’s behavior and statements made on air by some Fox commentators.
Link: New York Times .

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Commander Zero and Jack McKinney

Commander Zero has died and I’m thinking of Jack McKinney – what?

In the late 1970s Edén Pastora, also known as Commander Zero, was a leader of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. They were fighting to over-throw the US-backed dictator. I had never heard of Commander Zero until Jack McKinney, a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News traveled to Central American and wrote a few columns from there. Jack’s columns were usually worth reading. When he was interested in something he usually got involved with it as much as possible. Also, during the 1970s he was interested in The Troubles, so he went to Northern Ireland for a while. Any way, I always remember Commander Zero and Jack McKinney together. It’s strange how the mind and memory work sometimes.

Links

Edén Pastora – Wikipedia

Jack McKinney – Philadelphia Press Association

Edén Pastora, ‘Commander Zero’ in Nicaragua, Dies at 83 – New York Times obit

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NYT: Here Are the 97 U.S. Cities Where Protesters Were Tear-Gassed

Link: New York Times

♬ ♫ ♪ Not tear gas nor baton charge
That stops you taking the city ♫ ♭ ♪
— ‘Ghetto Defendant’ – The Clash

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Jason Myrtetus Ranks the Quality of Sports (& my comments)

Image by Tomislav Jakupec from Pixabay

All this week Jason Myrtetus (@JasonMyrt) is filling in on the morning show at 97.5 The Fanatic as the regular hosts are on vacation. This morning he ranked the sports in terms of quality, by which I think he meant entertaining and competitive play. So I’ll give his rankings and then I’ll comment on them.

This is America, so none of them funny European world sports.

  1. College Football
  2. NFL
  3. NHL
  4. NBA
  5. PGA
  6. WTA
  7. College Basketball
  8. UFC
  9. ATP (men’s tennis)
  10. MLB
  11. Boxing

College Football rightfully belongs at the top. The players in the top conferences (Big 10, SEC, etc.) give their all every game because they’re all playing to make the NFL.

The NFL is number 2 practically by default. The NFL is worse than decades ago because so many penalties slow down most games. People complain about the length of baseball games but a lot of NFL games regularly go 3.5 hours.

The NHL and NBA are really hurt by regular seasons that are long and boring. Teams just play hard enough to make the post season which isn’t that difficult. The NHL just ekes out the NBA because they’ve really de-emphasized fighting, the sport is much better for it.

PGA, no comment – I really don’t follow golf. Most Americans like to cheer on an American in individual sports like golf and tennis.

WTA and ATP, women’s and men’s tennis. There aren’t many Americans contending for the number one spot in women’s or men’s tennis at the moment so there’s little interest. Oh, I know Serena Williams is still a force in women’s tennis, but she’s at the end of her career.

College Basketball players are playing to make it to the NBA, so why isn’t the sport ranked higher? The best players play just 1 season of college ball before heading to professional basketball.

UFC, street fighting in the octagon! You can’t get much more competitive than that.

MLB – so many long, long, boring games. If baseball plays any games this summer they will be longer than usual. Rosters are expected to be expanded. Teams will add pitchers so that means more pitching changes – and longer games!

Boxing, with so many options available today for athletes why box and have your brains scrambled. Also, the kids today prefer UFC so there’s money and glory there. And there are so many weight classes and boxing associations who can keep track of all the fighters? What are there now, like 12 classes and a half dozen associations?

I would put Boxing higher than UFC. Most boxing matches I’ve seen are at least competitive while I’ve seen some ‘big’ UFC matches that are over in a few rounds. I like tennis and I don’t really care if an American is playing or not. Tennis these days is more competitive than ever. When I got into tennis in the 1980s players came mostly from America, Western Europe, and South America and now you can add players from Eastern Europe and Asia. Tennis, both women’s and men’s, is much more competitive today.

So what’s missing? Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) are both entertaining. MLS has come a long way since it started. It’s still a developmental and retirement league but the quality is decent these days. Young players are playing to get attention, so they can move on to the top clubs in Europe and the older players from the European clubs still have enough skill to play in MLS. NFL fans should give the CFL a look-see. The CFL really likes passing and that’s what NFL fans like, right? In the U.S. fans can watch the CFL on ESPN and online at ESPN Plus. I would put both MLS and CFL at around the mid-point of the rankings.

There you have it. Maybe some day I’ll rank my own personal favorites that includes some of them European and world sports.

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Facial Recognition: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

It’s not TV, it’s HBO on FREE YouTube, 21 minutes long.

Links

FindFace – Wikipedia

Clearview AI – Wikipedia

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Pennsylvania Does Agriculture Too

A few articles in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer are a reminder that Pennsylvania is more than just a former Rust Belt state.

Bell & Evans produce premium poultry products. Mostly chicken and turkey is what I see in local markets. They never freeze their meat and advertise it as “flash chilled.” They have some innovative packaging, like a spatchcocked chicken in hard plastic. Their meat does seem to be premium – chickens look meatier, have more color, and taste better. Of course, all this comes at a premium price.

Unfortunately Bell & Evans still want to maximize profits as much as possible. So the production line moves as fast as possible and workers are elbow-to-elbow. The coronavirus has been a problem with scores of people contracting COVID-19 and several dying from it.

Oh, and Bell & Evans don’t seem to clean very well. In addition to the coronavirus they’re also dealing with a salmonella problem. I mean really, stopping to clean costs money!

So, f*ck’em – I ain’t buying their sh!t anymore.

Pennsylvania Peaches Are a Thing

The other agriculture article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer is about peaches. About 20 years ago Pennsylvania was the number 3 peach producing state but then disease struck and the state is now number 5. The disease has been eliminated and over the last few years peaches have slowly come back but this spring a cold spell means that this year’s harvest will be greatly reduced.

Links

COVID in chicken town – Philadelphia Inquirer (paywall, even though they say their coronavirus coverage is “free”)

How to Spatchcock a Chicken Step-By-Step – The Spruce Eats, “Basically, spatchcocking is a method of preparing the chicken for cooking. The method involves removing the backbone from tail to neck so that the bird can be opened out flat (also referred to as butterflying). This method results in a shorter cooking time. It also allows for easier access to the cavity and exterior of the chicken for seasoning purposes.”

Spring freezes are chilling some berry and peach harvests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania – Philadelphia Inquirer (paywall)

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They’re Not Just Guarding a Christopher Columbus Statue, They’re Defending Their White Privilege

Today Americans consider Italians to be “white” but that was not always the case.

In the nineteenth century when Italians (and other southern and eastern Europeans) started to come to the United States they were considered to be on the same social status as blacks.

Over the decades Italian-Americans earned their “whiteness” and Columbus Day (declared a federal holiday in 1968) and statues of Christopher Columbus are symbols of that acceptance.

I’m sure they now fear a loss of those symbols may mean a loss of their white privilege too. So they literally take up arms and defend the Christopher Columbus statue.

Links

Armed vigilantes guarded Philly’s Christopher Columbus statue; outside consultant to investigate city’s use of force against protesters – Philadelphia Inquirer (paywall)

White immigrants weren’t always considered white — and acceptable – The Undefeated

White Ni–er – Wikipedia: During all the 19th century until the early part of the 20th, Italian immigrants in the United States were often referred to as “white ni–ers”.

Columbus Day – Wikipedia: In 1966, Mariano A. Lucca, from Buffalo, NY, founded the National Columbus Day Committee, which lobbied to make Columbus Day a federal holiday. These efforts were successful and Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1968.

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A PostSecret Postcard About Philadelphia

One of Philadelphia’s finest from today’s new batch of PostSecret post cards:

Link: PostSecret.com

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Retail Report: Fine Wine & Good Spirits Shoppe Back Open

My local PLCB State Store in Conshohocken reopened and I visited it this week. The shelves were full. I got a bottle of gin and a pint of soju. There were a few items of note:

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