Escape From New York

I loved Escape from New York as a kid. It was the first R-rated movie I ever saw. I own it on Blu-ray and decided to re-watch it.

The opening sequence describes the situation with an uncredited narration by Jamie Lee Curtis…

In 1988 the crime rate in the United States rises 400%. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A 50-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline across the Harlem River and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States police force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don’t come out.

It doesn’t sound so far fetched anymore: create a place for people that do not want police.

I love John Carpenter’s synth soundtrack. Opening track here.

I did not know there was an alternate opening to the movie. This opening shows Snake getting busted for robbing the Bank of the United States…the crime that sent him to New York Maximum Security Prison. You can see that they have created “USART,” a subway that covers all of the USA (looks like it is the BART station in Berkeley to me). I like the original opening better with the focus on New York as a prison.

I watched the credits and noticed something new to me: James Cameron (Terminator, Aliens, Titanic) is listed as doing special effects and matte artwork.

Highly recommended.

Mini Reviews: Ozark season 2,3, Dead To Me season 2, The Wrong Missy

Ozark Season 2 and Season 3 (Netflix)

I loved this show. It is really well done. Season three really got to me. Highly recommended. I put it up there with Breaking Bad as one of the greatest TV series of all time.

Dead to Me Season 2 (Netflix)

I really liked the first season. Season 2 was not as good, but still worth watching. The characters (Christina Applegate and Linda Cartdellini) are still fun to watch.

The Wrong Missy (Netflix)

This movie is dumb. But I have to admit I laughed out loud several times. Looking at the trailer, I thought Lauren Lapkus was trying too hard. After watching the movie, I thought she was hilarious. She makes this movie work.

New Printer: HP Tango

I have had problems printing for a while. Everything worked OK until I moved from a direct connection to my printer to WiFi wireless printing.

I tracked down the problem: my WiFi printer only supports 2.4GHz WiFi, not 5 GHz. I can print if I set my WiFi router to use 2.4 GHz.

I want to use 5 GHz for WiFi. My download speeds are about 6 times faster with 5 GHz vs. 2.4 GHz.

What to do? I decided to upgrade my printer and get one that works on 5 GHz WiFi: The HP Tango.

Tango is a very different printer. It does not have a screen. It does not support a direct connection. It is designed for use via WiFi, both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

My favorite thing about Tango is how you can hide it when it is not in use. This is what it looks like when I don’t need to print (i.e. most of the time)…

I bought an Indigo linen cover that fits the printer like a book cover. You wouldn’t know it is a printer. It is out of sight/out of mind. No lights. Nothing digital.

The printer is small enough to easily fit on my bookshelf. The only cable is a white power cable that blends in with the wall.

When I need to print, I take the paper off the top of the printer, open the cover, open the printer, place the paper in printer…

Here is a video of the process…

There is something magical about this printer: how does it connect to WiFi in the first place? It does not have a display or buttons for you to choose a connection and enter a password.

I actually do not know the answer to this question. The HP setup app showed that there was a Tango printer that I could setup. How did my computer know there was a printer it could setup?

Once I selected to setup my new Tango printer, I was asked if I wanted to use the same WiFi my computer is using. I said I did, and then my printer started working.


There is a Tango and a Tango X. What is the difference? The Tango X is a Tango with an included cover. The Tango is $150. The Tango X is $200. A cover is $50.

Print quality is great. It is very fast. It is out of the way. And it works.

5/5 stars

Braid Game Mini Review

Braid is an older game, from 2008. I started playing it recently on my Xbox and finished it…without any help! It has the qualities I like: easy to pick up, unique/different, short. It is basically a Mario platform game, with the twist you can go back in time. You only have a single life. When you die, you reverse time to avoid the thing that killed you. Watch the trailer above to see what I’m talking about.

There is a lot of story to go along with the game. To be honest, it was lost on me. Once I finished, I had to search the internet to understand what just happened. The finale is not what you typically get in a game.

This game is special and worth trying out.

4.5/5 stars

Mini-Review: Song of the South

You know the music (Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah), but have you seen the movie Song of the South? Probably not. The movie has not been released to home video in the US out of fear of accusations of racism. It has been released to home video in European and Asian markets though. I bought a non-US DVD and watched it last night for the first time.

The mixture live action and animation is well done. It is hard to believe this was done in 1946. The music is great. Story was a little slow. I did not see any racism. I am glad I got to finally see it so I can have my own opinion about it.

2.5/5 Stars

Mini-Review: The Hunt

Even though “The Hunt” came out in theaters less than a month ago, it is streaming now $20. I watched it last night. I was afraid at first it was going to be overly political…it isn’t. It was a fun film to watch with some surprises.

3.5/5 stars

The Best (analog) Notebook

I prefer taking notes in meetings using paper/pen. I did some research and found the perfect notebook: The Oxford Black n’ Red Wirebound Notebook.

What I like about it…

  • Opens flat so you can write on two pages
  • Can store a pen in the wire binding
  • Paper is thick enough so that you can write on one side and the other side still looks blank
  • Elastic red band to use as a bookmark when closed
  • Protective plastic front and back covers
  • 5 3/8″ x 8 1/2″ size…small enough to easily carry around, but big enough to write notes
  • Perforated pages are easy to remove cleanly
  • 70 college ruled pages
  • Distinctive look: all have black cover with red binding, red elastic band, red title
  • Cost: $9.65 at Amazon

Mini-review: No Safe Spaces

“No Safe Spaces” is a documentary about the attack on the first amendment. Who doesn’t want freedom of speech? The people featured in this movie.

It is scary stuff that does not get much airplay. It’s worth checking out.

It is available for $20 for streaming from

4/5 Stars

Mini Review: The Black Cauldron

The Black Cauldron is a Disney animated movie that is hard to find. I was interested in seeing it after I read it was the first Disney animated movie to receive a PG rating and use computer generated imagery. It is not available on Disney+ nor will it be. It is not available for streaming. It is not available to rent. It is not available on Blu-ray.

It is available on DVD. I bought that so I could see it.

And…it sucks. It looks like TV-quality animation. It was boring. The characters were awful (think Jar-Jar).

0/5 stars