Phil's Newsletter #28

Robots, competition, streets of rage.

Previously on Phil’s Newsletter: A Bunch of Stuff Happened.

You can subscribe to this newsletter to get some perks and directly support me. If newsletters ain’t your bag, I’ve got a Patreon you can join for $1. Phil’s Newsletter is brought to you by paid subscribers Jessica Nelson, Jeff Powers, Vikas Reddy, David Demchuk, Ian Scott, Adam Rodnitzky, and Kat Angus. You are each, individually, the best.

This week’s guest on OpenCV Weekly Webinar was Ye Lu, of Team Cortic Tigers. They have a cute Lego robot named Charlie who can do all sorts of smart things and is programmable with a drag & drop interface. It was awesome. The episode will be uploaded to the OpenCV YouTube channel soon. Phil’s wresting t-shirt of the week: New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Special, San Francisco

Just before newsletter time I published another OpenCV AI Competition 2021 update on OpenCV’s blog. It’s currently at #19 on Hacker News. Huzzah.

Sticks & Fists Clean Up The Streets of Rage

Last night we recorded episode two of my Beat ‘em Up series with John Inacay, Sticks & Fists. We beat Streets of Rage for the Genesis in about an hour and 20 of your earth minutes. Topics covered: Jumping side kicks are for kicking people off of horses, Journey to the West, and botched suplexes.

The best way to watch these is to subscribe to my Twitch and YouTube channels.

Next week we’ll be playing Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie. I don’t know how John convinced me to do this one. In my defense I was still processing AEW Blood and Guts.

Did you know that Amazon owns Twitch? Because of their connection, if you have Amazon Prime you can give me free money. Here’s how to use your free Prime subscription to subscribe to my channel at twitch.tv/extrafuture. You’ll unlock no-ads-mode and get a shout out during our broadcasts, plus some other perks we have not announced yet. 

Since it’s Amazon, you have to re-do this step every month, which is annoying. Thanks so much to those of you who have hooked us up.

1993 Divergent League Baseball World Series Update

The San Francisco Giants pulled off a dramatic win in Tuesday’s game, taking a bite out of the White Sox series lead with a swing of Matt William’s mighty bat. “Rags” had both of Giants RBIs in the ballgame.

Frank Thomas crushed a 451-foot moon shot in the losing effort.

Can the Giants tie up this series, or will the Sox prove it was a fluke? Find out when Divergent League Baseball returns Friday, May 7th, and 5pm PDT for Game 4!

RetroStrange Movie Night Season 1 Countdown

RetroStrange Movie Night is going to be taking a hiatus after our 26th episode. That is just one episode after the next one which broadcasts on May 15th.

We’ll be taking in The Phantom Planet, which has an awesome trailer, and The UFO Incident, which does not. The UFO Incident does, however, feature James Earl Jones and the grandma from Rosanne. So it’s got that going for it.

We’re cooking up something special for the Season Finale, and some interesting Hiatus Activities. Stay tuned.

This hiatus does NOT affect RetroStrange TV, our 24/7 streaming internet TV channel, or LOFI SCIFI, our 24/7 streaming Old Time Radio science fiction station.

At Last, The Good Links

All I want is to have my peace of mind.

It’s almost 2pm! D’oh. I’m just gonna send this, don’t mind me.

— Phil Nelson

extrafuture.com

San Francisco | 5.6.21

Phil's Newsletter #27

Pain points and friction

Previously on Phil’s Newsletter: We discussed The Bacon Grease Jar and its time travel powers.

You can subscribe to this newsletter to get some perks and directly support me. If newsletters ain’t your bag, I’ve got a Patreon you can join for $1. Phil’s Newsletter is brought to you by paid subscribers Jessica Nelson, Jeff Powers, Vikas Reddy, David Demchuk, Ian Scott, Adam Rodnitzky, and Kat Angus. You are each, individually, the best.

This week’s guest on OpenCV Weekly was Raymon Lo from Intel, who gave an awesome live demonstration of building and deploying an AI classifier using OpenVINO and Jupyter Notebook. I learned a lot! Next week we will talk with some OpenCV AI Competition participants. Wrestling t-shirt of the week: Gentleman Jervis Cottonbelly.

I have no special wisdom today, just A Bunch of Stuff That Happened. Join me in recapping the Week Of Phil. I re-arranged my office/bedroom to better suit the streaming and hosting duties that take up my time lately. I put my friends books in the background because if your friends were as cool as mine you’d brag on them too. They sit just below my dad and gramps’ ashes.

I am joining all the dating apps. Everybody wants someone to go kayaking or jump off a cliff with them, and you can absolutely miss me with that shit. I like my skin and bones where they are. Rest assured, I still Hate Doing Stuff.

I am now partially vaccinated and could theoretically interact with other humans in about 1 earth month. This timeline puts us into June before I’m all vaxxed up.

My lease is up in September. Who wants a roommate?

New Weekly Streaming Schedule - Now With Punching… and Evil

Over on my Twitch channel I’ve posted a new schedule. Sundays are now Evil Genius 2 days. On Wednesdays we’re doing a new series called STICKS & FISTS where we play Beat ‘em Ups. John and I did a first run last night, playing some Streets of Rage for Genesis. I created a little custom intro for it:

You can watch the saved video. We had some opening night technical issues, with RetroArch deciding to hard lock at one point, and then John ran out of continues. Whoops. I may become an embedded journalist in Noah’s GTA5 rampages at some point, too, so smash that subscribe button.

Last night’s stream was my first time using the Twitch Studio app, and I have Thoughts. Those will have to come later, though. Speaking of streaming…

This Saturday @ 7pm: RetroStrange Movie Night

For the next Movie Night, this Saturday at 7pm, we’re going hard on the Devil Movies. First we’ll take in Lon Chaney in The Devil’s Messenger, then Christopher Lee will terrify us in City of the Dead. There are only a couple more episodes left in Season 1 of Movie Night. If you’ve been waiting to tune in, now is the time!

Subscribe to our Twitch channel to get notified when we go live http://twitch.tv/extrafuture

Did you know that Amazon owns Twitch? Because of their connection, if you have Amazon Prime you can give me free money. Here’s how to use your free Prime subscription to subscribe to my channel at twitch.tv/extrafuture. You’ll unlock no-ads-mode and get a shout out during our broadcasts, plus some other perks we have not announced yet.

Since it’s Amazon, you have to re-do this step every month, which is annoying. Thanks so much to those of you who have hooked us up.

Divergent League World Series!

The Chicago White Sox have taken a 1-0 lead in the 1993 Divergent League Baseball World Series, beating the Giants 4-1 at home. Game 2 streams live on Friday, April 30th at 5pm PDT. We simulcast on Twitch and RetroStrange TV.

Phil’s Good Links

A post shared by @philnelson

That’s all for this week, dearies. The Pink & Black Attack salutes you. I will holler at you next week.

— Phil Nelson, extrafuture.com

Wizard Tower Gamma

4.29.21

Phil's Newsletter #26

The Door Is A Jar

Previously on Phil’s Newsletter: We got back to… taking it back. I wrote about my hurt fee-fees.

You can subscribe to this newsletter to get some perks and directly support me. If newsletters ain’t your bag, I’ve got a Patreon, too. Phil’s Newsletter is brought to you by paid subscribers Jessica Nelson, Jeff Powers, Vikas Reddy, David Demchuk, Ian Scott, Adam Rodnitzky, and Kat Angus. You are each, individually, the best.

This morning’s edition of OpenCV Weekly, the webinar series I host every Thursday at 9am, featured Tyler Compton of AOTU.ai. Tyler and Satya discussed Video AI pitfalls and solutions and as always we took some questions from the audience. This week’s pro wrestling shirt: This Is The Worst Town I’ve Ever Been In

Published this week: OpenCV AI Competition 2021 Highlights and Team Profiles Part 1. I wrote this post highlighting some of our favorite videos and pics from the early part of #OAK2021. In it you will learn about a super Lego robot named Charlie, how to control a jet with your face, and more. It got to #2 on Hacker News last night. Cool.

The Door Is A Jar

I have a deep abiding love for The Bacon Grease Jar. I mostly eat vegetarian these days, at least until vegan cheese technology improves, but I do sometimes grab a pack of bacon. I savor the bacon, and I savor it’s sweet sweet grease. After cooking any, I filter the grease through two layers of cheese cloth into an old pasta sauce jar. The pic above is 2-3 cookings worth, carefully strained into a (relatively) air tight container and kept away from the light and heat to maximize its longevity.

A little bit of this goes into practically everything I make, and a little goes a long way. Adding to the The Jar is one of those processes that must be done in a specific way, and you need to pay attention. It requires just enough focus that when your mind wanders, it wanders only along the path of The Jar. When I am pouring grease from the tilted baking sheet or skillet, I imagine my mother and father doing this, my grandmother and grandfather, their parents, stretching back beyond my knowledge of our bloodline. All of us alike in that single moment gazing intently, if not slightly dreamily, at the slow yellow drip.

Time is never time at all. Hail The Jar.

New on the Extra Future blog: Where to Find Phil Online April 2021 Edition, a list of all my active haunts and projects for the Phil completist.

Speaking of blogs, I've been using Linode as my web host for like entire 10 years. I’ve built tiny blogs and million-dollar storefronts with them. They're very affordable, plans start at $5 for your own virtual server, and support has always been responsive. If you’re looking for your first web host, or looking to leave your current provider, look no further. Sign up with my code and I get a little kickback

RetroStrange TV and Movie Night

You can watch my intro for Movie Night #23 on the RetroStrange YouTube channel. For the next movie night we’re bringing the DEVIL MOVIES. The kind your momma warned you about.

Join us on May 1st for Lon Chaney in The Devil’s Messenger, and City of the Dead starring the the one and only Christopher Lee. More info on the RS blog post.

We also added some content to the RetroStrange TV channel for the first time since launch, and increased the quality of the feed. It’s still low bitrate and meant for bad bandwidth scenarios, but it looks a lot better.

Thank You, Patrons

This is the card that shows every single RetroStrange Movie Night, and I’m gonna start posting it here every month too. My Patrons, and you newsletter subscribers, have helped me through a really hard time in my life when I felt absolutely worthless. Thank you.

1993 Divergent League ALCS, NLCS, and World Series

The Divergent League season is winding down, with the Chicago White Sox winning the ALCS. In the NL we are left with Charle’s Expos down 3-2 against his son Henry’s Giants. The final game of the NLCS broadcasts tomorrow, Friday the 23rd, at 5pm PDT.

Phil’s Good Links

As I type this I am watching The Doughnuts on my TV channel. I love that this just happens. I love my TV channel.

Someone told me I need to post most photos of myself or it’s not a real newsletter. I bought a new shirt. This is what I look like right now:

It cost $40 and that seems insane to me which is why I am scowling in the photo. You’re welcome for the glimpse into my bathroom. Yes, that is a tray I use when I take baths. I am a fancy boy.

Whelp that is another Phil’s Newsletter down. Officially half a year of these. Happy Earth Day, I guess. Thank you for reading this, and thanks for your support. See you next time.

— Phil Nelson

Wizard Tower Gamma

extrafuture.com

4.22.21

Phil's Newsletter #25

Trying to forget there ain't a normal to go back to

Previously on Phil’s Newsletter: It was WrestleMania, I had a rough week.

You can subscribe to this newsletter to get some perks and directly support me. Phil’s Newsletter is brought to you by paid subscribers Jessica Nelson, Jeff Powers, Vikas Reddy, David Demchuk, Ian Scott, Adam Rodnitzky, and Kat Angus. You are each, individually, the best.

This morning was the 4th weekly episode of the OpenCV Weekly Webinar, and featured Brandon Minor of Tangram Vision discussing sensors and robotics. Me and Brandon worked together at Occipital, so it was cool to have him on the show. We’ve got the show booked out 3 weeks in advance, and I feel pretty good about that. This week’s pro wrestling shirt: The Powers of Pain (thanks, Chuck!)

A post shared by @philnelson

Last weekend was Wrestling Mania and I got to spend a lot of time talking about pro wrestling with my friends and family. It was so nice but I think reminded me too much of what my life was like a couple years ago, and that put me in a real weird mood which I am still in today.

Most days, I am just trying to make it through that day. I feel like I am working toward nothing. “What comes next?” weighs so heavily on me now that I do not know what to do. It’s been a traumatic time.

Worse, even a lot of my favorite movies, TV, and songs do not help me anymore and actively kinda make this anxiety-depression fog worse. My ex “took” a lot of my comfort media by association, because we did everything together for 9 years, and I have trauma from how that relationship ended. I am trying to reclaim my favorite stuff. It’s work. A line from The Rockford Files, another one of those beloved media things I am taking back:

We're all scared to death. I guess that's a penalty we pay for living in a world where all the price tags end in 99 cents and they sell mortuary plots on billboards next to the freeway. What you do is... you just keep laughing. Just... keep laughing.

It is a struggle to keep on laughing. Every day I wake up and I push myself to keep writing, keep talking until it’s finally, finally, an acceptable time to go to sleep and I won’t have to think for a few hours. Right now, laying down is my reward for getting up.

Sitting alone in this room, feeling worthless, staring into an empty future I do not want yet unable to even imagine one that I do. That’s where I am, personally. It’s grim. It’s not a good way to live and from here it seems to be endless.

My grandma took a bad fall a few weeks ago, and she needed surgery and stuck in a local medical facility while she heals up. She is very senile, and does not remember much of anything for more than a few minutes, but is very angry at being there. We know where I get my ornery-ness from. This is extremely hard on my poor mother, who is her caretaker. Keep them both in your thoughts, yeah?

I typed “let’s move on, shall we?” here and then laughed for 30 seconds at the irony. LOL, imagine moving on.

Anyway, I’ve got deadlines. Here’s Ted With Sports.

1993 Divergent League Baseball Comes Back

Sorry, everyone! I was too sad and didn’t do Divergent League or the podcast for over a week. There are just FOUR teams left in the 1993 Divergent League postseason, and we’re kicking those series off tonight.

Join us at 6pm PDT for game 1 of White Sox .vs. Orioles, and game 1 of Expos .vs. Giants. Come watch along in the Discord!

As always, the latest news, stats and standings will be on https://divergentleague.com and our podcast Divergent League Update will make it’s return tomorrow.

RetroStrange Movie Night #23 Is This Weekend!

That’s right folks, it’s a movie night week. We are not tired of the Japanese scifi, and are going back to the well for Gamera .vs. Gyaos and The Mysterians. Lordy, we love us some Gamera.

If you, too, love Gamera I hope you will join us in Discord and watch-along this weekend, starting at 7pm PDT. RetroStrange Safety Squad starts at 6:30.

Phil’s Good Links

Welcome to the part of the newsletter that acts like a slow-time blog. No not like my blog at extrafuture.com.

That’s all I got in me this week, friends. Thank you so much for reading, and subscribing, and watching, and listening. Yes, you. I'll see you next week.

— Phil Nelson
Wizard Tower Gamma
4.15.21

Phil's Newsletter-mania

Previously, on Phil’s Newsletter: We dropped the numbering gimmick for newsletter titles, we launched a TV channel.

You can subscribe to this newsletter to get some perks and directly support me. Phil’s Newsletter is brought to you by paid subscribers Jessica Nelson, Jeff Powers, Vikas Reddy, David Demchuk, Ian Scott, Adam Rodnitzky, and Kat Angus. You are each, individually, the best.

Today’s edition of the OpenCV Weekly Webinar featured Roboflow CEO Joseph Nelson (no relation), Satya Mallick, and me. It was a fun discussion about Why Computer Vision Projects Fail, and at the peak we had almost 450 people in there. Wowsers. Phil’s Pro Wrestling T-Shirt Watch: 100% Chance of Rain

It has been a LONG week, cats and kittens. Your boy, me, is somehow going through it EVEN MORE than last time. This shit is annoying. I don’t have much else to say, about Phil, today. But we have other good news!

The Extra Future Discord Server Is Now Open

Until now the Discord server I run, Extra Future, has been invite-only and reserved for Patrons and Subscribers. Now, it is open to everyone as a community server but Patrons and Subscribers get special perks. You can join or invite your friends with this link:

https://discord.gg/uNahVCDU

We have added some new channels, and have access to Stages, which are the Discord version of drop-in audio with hosts and whatnot. Mainly folks who hang out in the server talk about video games, pro wrestling, computer vision, and suchlike. You oughta come say hi.

This weekend in particular its WRESTLEMANIA, like every day is.

RSMN #22, and then, RSMN #23

Last weekend’s Other Than Dracula edition of RetroStrange Movie Night was fun especially in the audio chat. If you haven’t dropped in yet please do! We do this for ya’ll.

The next one is some more kick-ass Tokusatsu, with an all-time great in The Mysterious, and the third Gamera movie. We love us some Gamera here.

Divergent League Postseason

We are now into the final four of the 1993 Divergent League Baseball postseason. The Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, and Montreal Expos are in the League Championship series. We break the seal on these matchups Friday, April 9th at 6pm.

THE BY-GOD GOOD LINKS

Those links had a family, damn it.

OK That was a time. Thanks for reading. I hope I see you in the discord. Yes, you.

— Phil

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