Everyone Loves a Marathon

I’m listening to NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. You should too; it’s fabulous.  For discussion this week is the recent Simpsons splat onto the new FXX.  If you’ve been under a rock, Fox has created a new cable channel and arranged licensing of all things Simpsons to them.  As part of that, they ran a 12-day marathon of all Simpsons episodes back-to-back

Simpsons FXXThose discussing this event had widely varying (all interesting) opinions.  One thing they did all seem to agree on was that the public and concurrent nature of the event was something that we have tended to lose in the Era of Time Shifting and the Season Dump.  The communal experience of the event, like a sport or appointment television, would bolster the enjoyment of the show.

This has always seemed a missed opportunity of streaming services to me. Particularly Netflix, but also Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others, always dumps a full season of a new, sometimes hotly sought after, content onto their service.

Season One Poster
Season One Poster

Surely there are those that binge watch the full season, often over the upcoming weekend.  But inevitably everyone you know who is watching it is out of sync with you.  I think the services could obtain more fan excitement and perhaps media coverage if instead they ran a marathon, then dumped the whole thing.

Pick a time and stream the whole thing, back to back.  Alternately, you could stream a few hour each night a la mini series of old.  Make the past episodes available for streaming thereafter for those who can’t make the live event and want to catch up.

This would create huge buzz in social media, something content generator love.  It seems a total no-brainer to me. Why hasn’t it been done, yet?

Synchronize the Binge. #sinchronizethebinge

Bicycling: Heights to Montrose

I frequently cycle between the Heights and Montrose. Often taking the most obvious Heights/Waugh corridor.  The stretch of road from Washington south over Buffalo Bayou, then continuing on Waugh past Dallas to W. Gray is a bit harrowing for some. I don’t have issues with it, and have taken the route both day and night.

But there’s another route I take that’s a bit east of that – closer to town.  Close and parallel to Studewood/Montrose.  It’s a bit less harrowing for those who are timid about Waugh and doesn’t add distance if your endpoints are on the eastern peripheries of these neighborhoods.

map of route
Heights-Montrose Bike Route (click to embiggen)

Going from the North to South, from the Heights, first take the MKT path south past I-10.  Immediately take a right after passing under I-10 on the sidewalk before approaching the Target shopping area.  This will lead you along the sidewalk on the south side of I-10, up to Studemont. Continue reading Bicycling: Heights to Montrose

The Drugs I’m On

I’m still suffering some lingering effects of a virus that seemed itself to only last for a few days, though it’s been nine since they symptoms first started. These are the drugs I’m on:

the anti-flegm active ingredient in Mucinex – C10H14O4

guaifenesin chemical structure

everyone’s favorite sign-your-name-here the-government-is-watching behind-the-counter methamphetamine precursor – C10H15NO Continue reading The Drugs I’m On

The Pixies Superabound

I just finished watching the latest episode of Covert Affairs on Hulu (they really should make it available on Apple TV devices – i have to stream it on my computer, redirected to my TV).  Hang Wire.  All the episodes this season have been named after Pixies song titles.  (Previous seasons were Led Zeppelin, R.E.M., and David Bowie.)

That man is a liar / The day is like a warm night / Salt rusts the cold line Continue reading The Pixies Superabound

Locations for Fine Beer in the Houston Area

Circa 1998.

Memories led me to dig this up. It’s a list of establishments that make, sell, or serve good beers in the Houston area.

I maintained this list for fivemap of Texas with Houston highlighted years.  I received lots of emails from locals and travelers because of it’s presence. It even made it into some dead-paper references, including at least once at the Houston Press.

It was initially hosted by Tenagra.com, and I left it there after acquiring shirl.com because initially I didn’t have a web hosting provider, just the domain, and later because moving things about on the internet might get people lost back then.

I should include this review on my résumé:

… Bill Shirley’s labor of love is one of the most useful to foodies. It’s an exhaustive, encyclopedic, thirst-provoking list of Houston’s microbreweries, brewpubs, pubs, bars and even home-brew clubs.

Without further ado, or comment, from the way back machine we have Location for Fine Beer in the Houston Area.

Beer and Probability

I took up a friend on joining her at a West Galveston beach house this past weekend.  I used the opportunity to get down there a little early and check out the Board Game Island and to ride my bike around the town and the sea wall.  Board Game Island is a cafe a few blocks off the Strand that has many board games for its visitors to borrow while there.

I had a nice sandwich while there, though they were out of bacon, what’s up with that?  They also serve beer and coffee.  The beer selection was a bit minimal, and the St. Arnold Weedwacker was server almost room temperature in the bottle (likely due to the face that the waitress was quite young an unfamiliar with beer – though she did know to offer some that weren’t listed in the menu.) Continue reading Beer and Probability