YOU CAN(‘T) GO HOME AGAIN!

Now that things and events are starting to slowly yet surly open up in terms of becoming back to a form of normal life and style, there is a relief in a number of people knowing that they can venture outside of the home they have been cooped up for a number of months knowing that they won’t be receiving and danger or threat from what’s been billed as the decease of the decade or century, depending how one desires to place this situation. However, there is a number of people that are sporting fear. Not because they will be receiving another threat in getting a virus even if they were vaccinated, but the notion that they may be getting back into a lifestyle that they placed on hold since March of last year.


That fear is in connection of realizing what kind of life they were living in before everything shut down. Once upon a time, many people would be working in some kind of office type setting. They went through the stress of getting to their job site, working for 8, 10, or 12 hours or more a day for five, six, or even seven days a week. They also had to deal with other domestic chores and duties, such a taking care of family members of all age groups, the running of household cash flows, and other notions that only spring from what’s called “real life”–the kind that may be boring, but important!


When things started to shut down, people at first became terrified in being cooped up inside of their homesteads because of an unseen and invisible enemy that was lurking outside. But something else happened. People started to realized that they were entering a life that seemed calmer and more in order. Because restaurants were closed, instead of eating out, they started to cook for themselves and liked doing it! Folks were dusting off kitchen appliances that hadn’t seen the light of day for months, even years. For some, they were allowed to work from home. Instead of going to an office space with fighting crowds on the road as well as forced to make conversations with other people that were not family or friends within their work spaces, they worked when they could. It didn’t matter if one completed a spread sheet at 2:00 PM or at 2:00 AM, just as long as it was done correctly and on time, then everything was OK. To fight off loneliness, people started to reach toward others that were within their family as relatives or those they “adapted” as their family. And because they were cooped up inside of their dwelling spaces, they started to finally get around to do the home based chores they were putting off for weeks, months, years, and even decades! They cleaned out closets, painted walls, fixed or replaced broken appliances, and did things that needed to be done at last!


To summarize it all, people realized that they could live and maintain a relaxed and stress free life. Of course, their are other factors connected to this way of new living that also focuses upon the good and not do good, such as losing one’s source of income. But in short, those out there were living a way of life that could be called “Life 2.0”.


But the questions remains. Do people really want to go back toward a rushed and overstuffed method of living? For many people, the answer is “no”! They don’t want to live their lives they way they did. They want to be with people they want to be with. They want to create means that was much better for themselves than what they had beforehand. And for businesses, they realized that having their employees work from home is less costly, meaning that there is no office space to rent, no business travel involved thanks to many (too many?) virtual meetings through Zoom, and other factors that prove that “smaller, faster, and cheaper” is the way to go.


But there are ways people can maintain the best of both worlds. From the start, one can gradually get back into a life they lived before, and the emphasis of what they are happy to become involved with, such as keeping in touch with some folks while abandoning those that are “toxic” to their well beings. If they wanted to go out to a restaurant, they could take advantage of outdoor seating since many of these places have their seating space “cafe society style” since the weather is a lot better right now than it was earlier this year. They can also attend backyard barbecues with those they know and even would like to know. (Social distancing may still be in place, but not as intense as it once was.) Please can go out to the park to walk their dogs that they got during the lockdown since adapting a pet because all of the rage where many of these pets (dogs and cats mostly, but a few other domestic critters as well), became “keepers”. And yes, one can take advantage of shopping for goods and service that they actually need in a real live store! Yes, shopping online is also part of this new normalcy, but getting back to a physical store has its moments as well!


As the headline of this article suggests if one can really “go home” again, the answer is yes! Except this new home will have a makeover. Not the type of makeover one may find in a reality TV program where the video hosts (their are usually more than one host in these type of programs), do such things as knocking down walls, replace overloaded appliances in the kitchen area, and paint the wall in colors that are not white or beige. But this kind of virtual home will be safer, stronger, and of course, much happier than ever before. People didn’t know how to keep such a life as they way they wanted. Now they have learned. Perhaps they learned in a hard way, but learned nevertheless.

Of course, this pandemic is far from over. If one didn’t get vaccinated, one should do so as soon as possible. One still has to don face masks in selected indoor places unless otherwise noted, and one must be still aware of what’s going on out there. Again, things may be returning back to where it was, but the light in the tunnel is full speed ahead!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

ANOTHER RETRO COLUMN FROM THE ARCHIVE

As we salute ourselves in the twenty-fifth of our existence, we though we would once again dip into our archives to revise another column we had placed within these pages that perhaps you may have overlooked the first time around.

Since the tax season filing deadline has been extended this year to May 17th, we thought we would bring back an article that deals with those pesky taxes! This one was originally published back in 2013 in Vol. 18.-No. 17

THE CHECK IS IN THE E-MAIL

It appears that those that waited at the last moment to file one’s federal and state taxes are expecting to receive their refunds returned by the IRS. Now that the official tax season wrapped up on April 15th, those lucky enough to deserve a refund have already received their refunds or will be expecting to nab ‘em very shortly.

According to stats as reported by way of the IRS, some 81% of those filing a return (out of 96.6 million) are expected to receive a refund averaging $2,755. (In 2012, the average refund was $2,794). And with 89% of those returns filed electronically, the refunds will not only get there faster, but they will still do nice for those folks that would rather have the cash on hand rather than to fob them to the government.

There’s other notions to take in this episode. Some folks experience no bothers when it comes to filing taxes, as 29% reported as liking to do their taxes according to a poll taken by the Pew Research Center. 5% of those who expect a big refund stated that they love sending out those 1040 (and other) forms to the IRS. (25% who expect a small or nonexistent refund hate doing ‘’em!) But the story here is getting the share of the cash that will otherwise go toward paying federal tariffs.

During the “crunch” times where taxes were due or nearly due, many retailers, mostly on the local or regional level, were toting “tax refund” sales. Many of these outlets, usually in the form of physical stores that sell electronics (mostly big screen TV sets) or those that sell cars (a mix of new and used) have been applying in their ads that one can use that refund to use as a down payment on an auto, or to apply the same refund toward the purchase of some oversized TV machine that holds many of the bells & whistles that giant sized monitors tend to have in place.

Then again, there are the 19% of those that filed their taxes on time that will have to pay additional fees (on the worst side of the scale) or to receive nothing–the “best” scenario of the former. Those not receiving anything will not be getting their checks in the e-mail, standard mail, or any form of delivery! Since the IRS will not cut a check for the total amount of ‘zero”, one won’t expect anything to ponder upon.

On the other hand, if one has to file their tax return knowing that no money is to be owed, there will not be any penalty applied to the filer. The IRS applies a 5% penalty fee to the amount owned each month until the amount is paid in full. So if one does the math, 5% of zero equals to zero! However, one does have three years to file a “ground zero” amount. If one is lucky enough to eventually obtain a refund, the money returned may not come around for a while, if at all!. Even though it’s been a little over two weeks since those taxes were due, it’s best to send out the forms on time, but that’s not until the next tax season.

As this article is being finalized, this reporter just received word from a fellow college that he just received his refund via electronic means. The person, who we’ll call “Mr. Taxpayer” (not a very original name to use, but that’s beside the point), had just sent what appears to be an important e-mail message to yours truly announcing that his refund for filing his taxes (rather early–for the record) came to the entire sum of $38.00!

Perhaps Mr. Taxpayer is pleased to receive this amount due to the notion that he once owed a large amount of money to the IRS that came from a failed business that he was listed in the legal paperwork as a partner. To make this longer tale short, he fought with the IRS to clear his name since his partnership wasn’t what is seemed to be as listed on the legal documents.

After all of that hassle was done and cleared, his small amount is welcomed news. Now for the first time in many seasons, the IRS owed him money rather than the other way around.

So what will Mr. Taxpayer do with that amount of cash? Pay off his phone carrier for back money owned due to his cell phone usage! This usage applies to all of those broadband hungry “apps” that’s installed on his phone that he uses on a daily, and sometime hourly, basis!

In spite of this, his refund was in the e-mail as he learned that fact through his smart phone–the same phone he used to send this writer him important message!

Then again, the tax filing fun starts all over again next January 1st. So get those calculators and key strokes ready, willing, and able! The IRS will be there, ready to serve you!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

ANOTHER EMULSION SCRATCH or ANOTHER BROKEN SPLICE

In the ever present and continuing saga of the so-called “war” between how movies and television a.k.a. video content is being consumed, it seems that movies has lost another battle.

Last week, Pacific Theaters and the Arclight Theater chain that has much of its presence in the Los Angeles region, announced that they are closing their movie houses for good, thanks to the results of The Pandemic.

The closing include all of the Arclight Theaters that’s scattered around Los Angeles, including the location in Sherman Oaks, Santa Monica, and the one in Hollywood. Also closing is the Cinema Dome, an architectural landmark that used its repatriation concept based on Buckmeister (“Bucky”) Fuller’s geometric design.

Arclight was one of the profound chains of movie houses that catered to the real movie lover that offered films that were both of a mix of standard blockbusters, as well as “smaller” films that can be deemed as “independent”–a genre that took hold in the middle 1990’s and continued through the early 21st century. Its lobby consisted of a large LED tote board with the names of the movies playing in its theater rooms, with a very large clock that hung over the LED signs. This facade resembled a scene that could have been found in a train station where the names of the movies showed where the “train” was headed to, and the clock reminded when the “train” was “departing” (i.e. when the movie would start!) This design was indeed intentional as if to state that seeing a feature would take the movie viewer on a journey to a place depicted in the film, with the cast of characters as its inhabitants.

The Hollywood location served as a theater that would host red carpet-type premiers, a place where the celebrity guests would have their image taken by the gaggle of photographers and video people along a backdrop, as well as having a space to service as the after party spot. When there was no premier, the space for the after parties would be a cafe where one can order a dish of something along with a beverage (alcohol or otherwise) that would be the ideal place to discuss the movie that was just viewed.

The Cinemarama Dome was one of the many single screen theaters that existed in Los Angeles. It opened on November 7th, 1963 with the epic comedy It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World that played at that theater until January of 1965. Over time, it also screened many other films, mostly of the “epic” variety that used to play first at the more profound theaters that were in downtown regions across the USA, and later arriving at the neighborhood theaters with admissions that were described as “at popular prices”.

As of this writing, it’s not known on what will be the fate of these places. Pacific and Arclight is dabbling the idea for a buyer as Netflix recently obtained the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

This writer has seen many of flick at the Arclight in Hollywood, and even attended a few revival shows at the Cinerama Dome that ranged from The Scent of Mystery a.k.a Holiday In Spain (in its original “Smell-O-Vision” concept) to a (mostly) restored version of Mad World. The Arclight screenings seen there were more of the mainstream films. Some of those titles were worth worth its effort to trek to Sunset Blvd to view., while others were just a way to kill an evening’s time. Ditto for the other Arclight locations, such as the Sherman Oaks place where it was a lot closer to trek to from where the writer hangs his hat (and now works from) to see a movie that either was great to experience, amusing for what it was, or as “meh”! I even attended a few test and advance screenings of flicks there that film reviewers were not suppose to attend. But that was OK since many of the movies I did see as test films stood between the “amusing” and “meh” categories!

Although movie houses are currently open at limited capacities, many folks started getting used to seeing movies and its related content at home, whenever they desired, and at “popular prices”! Considering the notion that admission to view a feature at the Arclight Hollywood location costs an average of $14.00 per person. Concession prices varied. This didn’t count the cost of parking a vehicle be at it the garage behind the Arclight building, or at a meter space on the street–assuming you can find a place to plop the car, as well as getting to the movie house itself.

To give an example, a couple (two people) who wanted to spend a Saturday night at the movies would plunk down $28.00 for admission for both, and let’s say an additional $20.00 for concessions (popcorn, soda, etc.). Parking would cost around $10.00 in the garage. And if they wanted to have a drink in the cafe, that would be another cost. ($20.00) So with the above figures, it would cost the couple nearly $78.00. All of this just to see a feature that may have a running time of some 100 minutes–give or take!

Crunching the numbers, a Netflix subscription is around $10.00 for a month’s subscription time. Food can be anything the views(s) desire, from pizza order out, a pasta dish made at the stove, to a bowl of cold cereal poured right out of the box. Parking costs are non existent. So is the time getting there. And best of all, one doesn’t have to deal with others who may be acting obnoxious, from talking during the movie, playing with their phones, and so on. Granted, it won’t get the viewers out of the house and well as not getting the emotional appeal of experiencing the movie in a darken room with a bunch of strangers who react to what’s going on the screen. But you get what you pay for. And since this is the time where people would want to save their expenses through opportunity or necessity during these trying times, then why not?

I will admit that I am of an age where going to the movies was a big ordeal, and the only way to see such a film that TV could not duplicate was in a theater. Even when home video and pay TV entered the marketplace in the 1980’s, movies seen in a theater still made all of the difference. And over time, I would try to see just about every movie I was given the opportunity to review. Some of these movies I did see did get a review, while others were just placed aside. But as I now see it, The Pandemic because a game changer in both making movies, as well as consuming them.

Perhaps this was the virtual kick in the a$$ that the industry, as well as the consumers, needed and yet didn’t know of it! But movies, as well as TV/video has been involving since they began. This is yet another chapter in the continuing saga on why movies are made, why people go to the movies, and why video content is here to stay.

So as it’s been long stated, stay tuned…!

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On Sunday, April 25th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented the 93rd Academy Awards, presenting the Oscar for the best films of the 2020 calendar year, held at the Dolby Theater within the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood and at Union Station, downtown Los Angeles, as another “no hosted” event.

Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for the feature release The Father. Frances McDormand won Best Actress for Nomadland. Chloe Zhao won Best Director for Nomadland, that also won as Best Picture.

For a list of all nominees and winners, visit the official web site at http://www.Oscars.com

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On Saturday, April 24th, the Golden Raspberry Foundation announced the “winners” for the 41th Razzie Awards, awarding the Razzie for the worst films released in the 2020 calendar year.

Mike Lindell (the “My Pillow” guy) won Worst Actor for the feature release Absolute Proof. Kate Hudson won Worst Actress for Music. Sia won Worst Director for Music, and Absolute Proof won as Worst Picture.

A special Governors Award was presented to the year 2020 for Worst Calendar Year Ever!

For a list of all nominees, visit the official Razzies web site at http://www.Razzies.com


ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

SOCIAL MEDIA AIN’T GOING AWAY!

As the pandemic still trolls onward (and upward, so we hear), we through we would give you readers some news that you already knew about, and how such news is becoming part of almost everyone’s domestic life as it’s presently known!


According to a recent report compiled by the Internet & Technology sector of the Pew Research Center, a greater part of Americans state they use the social platforms YouTube and Facebook, while the use of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok is more comment by those under the age of thirty.


The report, entitled Social Media Use in 2021, notes that based upon the answers given by some 1,502 domestic adults over the age of eighteen from January 25th through February 8th of ’21 via cell and landline phones, 81% have visited YouTube, while 69% use Facebook. Instagram, a platform owned by Facebook, came in third at 30%, followed by Pinterest at 31%, LinkedIn (28%), Snapchat (25%), Twitter (23%), WhatsApp at 23%, TikTok (21%), Reddit (18%) and Nextdoor at 13%.


When the Pew Research Center asked this question last in 2019, the biggest jump of responses were YouTube and Reddit. All of the other platforms remained where they stood. TickTock and Nextdoor had since been added for the ’21 survey.


Many of these platforms are used for various reasons. LinkedIn is mostly used for “networking” when seeking some form of career and employment advice. Pinterest and Snapchat is where one posts pictures or images that speak upon some kind of theme, mostly from the source that is posting the images. (Many of these posts consist of one-line phrases that show off an ideal or an inspiration of some kind!) TikToc is where one can post a video image that only runs a few seconds in length. Nextdoor is a place that is a graphic “bulletin board” made for members of a specific community where if one wanted to join, the person(s) had to supply a physical mailing address that’s located in the neighborhood. Then one would receive a post card addressed to the address supplied that has a code number. Then the post card receiver would log in with the code number. This would avoid anyone outside of the “neighborhood” to be part of this group. Unless of course, that outsider knows of somebody that has an address located in the neighborhood so the post card receiver would pass the code number to that outsider. (Note, anyone not living in the neighborhood won’t be missing out on a lot, since based upon this writer’s viewing of his own neighborhood as seen on Nextdoor, much of what people report deal with complaints, feeble “warnings” of suspicious activity, or other related grudges. But we digress!)


The report contiunes to note that although Facebook lost a bit of its appeal over the last few years, it’s still one of the widely used places to go on the ‘net. This may be true since much of those that keep a place through Facebook tends to be older, while the “digital natives” (people that don’t remember when the internet and its related applications were never around), use Instagram, Snapchat and perhaps the newest kid on the block, TikTok, to get their points across!


And where does everyone else go within the social media world in terms of stage of life a.k.a. age? 65% of the under 30 crowd use Snapchat the most. Those from 30 through 49 (Millenniums and second-tier Gen Xers) cluster toward YouTube at around 93%. Those 50 through 64 (First-tier Gen Xers, the Baby Boomers, and those that Tom Browcaw calls “The Greatest Generation” (65+), flock towards Facebook at around 78% , 72%, and 50% respectfully. Since Facebook became accessible to all that didn’t have access to an e-mail address that ended with “edu”, those that are FB-ing joined as an early generation and still wish to remain, and those much older use it to keep in contact with those long lost (and now found) friends, as well as family members that include adult aged children, and those ever lovin’ grandkids–even if those grandkids tend to be hanging around somewhere else in cyberspace!


The report also breaks down usage on other platforms, such as those with a college degree are mostly on LinkedIn, and females tend to hang around Pinterest. But you readers kind of get the idea on what this writer is pushing.


Since this pandemic began a little over a year ago, social media was one of the top source that people used to get over with what was (and is) going on! One report noted through this writer stated that social media, along with other internet related sources such as online shopping and viewing streaming video contact, kept those people content, including people keeping themselves in check i.e. not going off their gourds!


Interestingly enough, all of those sources listed above were tied when it came to usage for sanity. And if anyone wanted to know what came in at first and last place? “Real” contact with family and friends in first place, and mental therapy and consuming alcohol came in last! So the myths that more people turned toward booze while being locked down isn’t as true as one would suspect!

But until the pandemic is totally over–which may not be for a while if at all, social media ain’t gonna take any vacations! Perhaps others will soon enough. After all, how is anyone going to post those pictures and video of their trips to Hullagaland without the sources to do so? If one is going to brag about the places they have seen and the things they did, they would use their social media outlets. Otherwise, what’s the point of taking a vacation in the first place?

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THE GHOSTS OF MARY LINCOLN, Tom Dugan’s solo show about the final and nearly forgotten times of the widow of one of America’s most beloved presidents, performs for a limited series of shows within a socially distanced and inmate outdoor stage place located within the Woodland Hills-San Fernando Valley region.


The show’s setting is Mary Lincoln’s sister’s attic space in a home located in Springfield, Illinois. It’s the early 1880’s, nearly twenty years after the 16th President of the United State fell to an assassin’s bullet. Mary, now at the elderly age of 63, is nearly alone. She begin to tell her story in front of a few journalists present from some of the leading newspapers. She emotes her way through what’s left of her life. She speaks about how she met the tall young gentleman that was born in a log cabin, self educated himself, and later because her husband. She verbalizes about her three sons, two of the three dying at a young age. Mary also tells tales that were about the president-to-be, the people she knew both in and out of Washington, and the notion that after she left the title of “First Lady”, she had to face her own personal demons. Some of these episodes she emotes upon were true, and some she believes were true. And is she actually speaking to a group of reporters that gathered in this attic space, or are they another series of ghosts that remain to haunt Mary’s own being?


This single act play, written, produced, and performed by the playwright with stage direction by Shelby Sykes, puts in the real picture about Mary Lincoln, a woman that was part of history yet suffered rather silently about her own mental condition. The content is historical in content, yet some of the antidotes spoken may be for real with a bit of creative license added; Mary’s part of the license rather than the playwrights!


Tom Dugan as Mary appears on stage (actually, the side patio pool area of Tom’s personal homestead) while donning a black frumpy outfit yet doesn’t appear “in drag” as Mary. He doesn’t sport a widow’s wig, and speaks in an older lady’s voice–deep in tone with a no nonsense sense of mood. (Since there was no way to know how Mary sounded like, Tome’s interpretation may be actually near the truth!) It was known that Mary was indeed petite in size and frame, far from Tom’s physical stance. However, with the way that Tom portrayed this woman living in a lowly attic trying to escape the aftermath of her husband’s death and her emotionally ill mind, one will become more absorbed with the story of Mary and the way it was told and presented. (Larger size of the actor be damned!)


The set design and construction by Chris & Becky Peterson consists of a number of old trunks, discarded furniture, and various containers scattered about along with some candles to provide attic lighting. Polly Gregry’s consuming is just a black outfit that widows would ware to morn their deceased husband–the type of outfit they would wear for the rest of their lives! But this was how it was done back in the 1880’s when widows were widows until they themselves died. And with the way that the playwright paints this rather tragic tale of Mary on stage, it’s very fitting for this widow to be a widow!

Abe Lincoln is one of America’s best known and most esteemed presidents in history. His likeness is still seen to this very day as a profile on a five dollar bill and as an appearance on Illinois license plates. But Mary Lincoln herself faded from view. This play is a tribute to a person that indeed stood by her man, even if that man was inches taller, and was able to lead a nation that went through a domestic war, financial “panics”, and always giving a sense of courage and hope to its citizens. It’s rather sobering that Mary’s brightest time was when she lived in the White House, rather than in a dingy attic loft somewhere in Springfield.

THE GHOSTS OF MARY LINCOLN, perform at “Dugan’s (Outdoor) Backyard Playhouse” In Woodland Hills until May 1st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM. Reservations are taken by contacting dbptickets@gmail.com. Those placing a reservation will be given the address to the theatre space.

In addition, Tom Dugan’s other play, TELL HIM IT’S JACKIE, about another Presidential widow, Jackie Kennedy and stars Kait Haire as the titled character, makes a return appearance on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM from May 7th through the 29th at the same outdoor location. (See review-Vol. 25-No. 41) Reservations for that program can also be made through the same email address.

It will be advised that face masks will still be required to be worn by all attending patrons during all performances, unless regional and community standards dictate otherwise.

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

GAS OR ELECTRIC?

For those that were into obtaining a new(er) large household appliance that is known in the business as “white goods”, such as a washing machine, a dryer, a stove/oven, and so on, one would have the opportunity to obtain one of these items to operate through electrical current or through natural gas. Some items only run on one source, such as a refrigerator that for the most part, is electric. Washing machines are also electric. Stoves that are available can go both ways as gas and/or electric. Ditto for hot water heaters. It all depends on how one’s household is arranged for whatever appliance is available for such usage through such power devices.

Soon, automobiles will have this option, where one can own a vehicle that runs on gas (gasoline) or electric (battery). Those days are getting closer, but not as close as it could be–or not yet anyway.

General Motors, one of the bigger auto makers in the world, recently announced that within a fifteen year time span, all of their vehicles, bet it a traditional passenger car, a truck, an SUV, or whatever form of vehicle in presently in demand, will run on some form of electrical current in the form of a battery attachment device. The other two domestic auto makers, Ford, and Stellantis, who has controls of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, are also gearing up to push electric autos. Other companies are doing the same thing. Volkswagen are even going forward in adapting their name as “Voltswagon“, that’s joining the electric vehicle bandwagon. (Volkswagen/Voltswagon Bandwagon? A catchy name in its own right!!) However, that change of name was later reviled as an April Fools Day stunt that went wrong. But it still shows how serious VW is in terms of creating electric autos.

Telsa, another leading American based name in electrical autos, is attempting to release a few models that run of power that would be more affordable to obtain. But as of now, many of their models sell for $50,000 and up, making this brand to fall into a slim nitch category feeling that their vehicles are selling to a targeted market that can afford to pay nearly $4.00 per gallon of gas–a price for fuel that is becoming more common within the state of California as of this writing!

But leave it to the Japanese auto makers, mostly Toyota, the biggest auto maker in the world, to start the trend in making available the first real practical auto(s) that uses electricity to operate. That car is the ever lovin’ Prius, a vehicle that’s been around since the turn of the 21st century. But keep in mind that such cars as the Prius is a hybrid auto, meaning it runs on both electric power and gasoline, so its not totally a “gas free” type of auto! But these things could change in the future, just as long as there is the technology and interest to make these line of autos more functional, practical, and of course, more affordable to the public at large!

The whole ideal to this interest in electric autos is to not having to rely upon fossil fuels, and to offer transportation duties to the masses that have the need and desire to get from one place to another using clean and cheap(er) power sources. And offering a car, etc. that operates on power that isn’t gasoline is far from a new idea.

There was the Baker Electric, an auto that was made in Cleveland, Ohio around the early years of the 20th century that used battery power. But for what it sold for at the time, $1600.00 and up, far from from cheap, considering that a Ford was going for a whole lot less–around $600.00 in 1912 dollars! With gasoline selling for around 11 cents per gallon, and the desire for using “clean energy” was non-existent, an electric car was an amusing idea. But that was more as science fiction as to reality. Besides, the notion of the use of a radio machine that produced pictures along with its programming held more interest in terms of science fiction devices, even through that device known as a “television”, would become available for later in the future.

When the first wave of the need to not rely upon fossil fuels started in the early-middle 1970’s, the auto makers were kicking the idea of creating a vehicle that did run on electric power. Those ideas did come and eventually went away. When General Motors produced the EV1 in the late 1990’s, it would serve as the prototype of the so-called “modern” mass produced electric car. But those that were lucky enough to operate one couldn’t buy it outright as it was only made available through a lease, mostly in the southern California market, primary the Los Angeles and San Diego regions. But GM eventually withdrew that line of autos by ending its lease agreements, taking the cars away from those that held a lease, to eventually destroying them all, or at least most of them. (For a better insight on the EV1, take a look at the 2006 documentary Who Killed The Electric Car?, released through Sony Pictures Classics and may be available for stream viewing. Check your local streaming provider for details!)

And there were a few others that pushed for an electric car. Ed Begley, Jr. always drove a modified car that used rechargeable battery power, and pushed for the use of such a car in many of his appearances from his role in the TV series St. Elsewhere, and appearing as the subject in various news reports on the interest in mass production of electric cars. But again, those folks come from a small pool of drivers that can get away with putting both time and money in owning a car that doesn’t rely upon gasoline.

But if this interest is indeed on the rise, there should be more offerings to create a vehicle that runs on electric power that is indeed practical, as well as inexpensive to obtain and operate. There are a few currently available such as Nissan’s Leaf, Chevy’s Spark, and Bolt, among others. But again, it’s going to become a wait and see method of these line of vehicles.

As of this writing, it appears that the type of vehicles that are currently in demand are light trucks (pickups, etc.) and SUV-type autos that can haul passengers as well as goods and freight. Although yours truly doesn’t own an electric vehicle (yet), I do own an SUV. The reason? To haul stuff! And what are my reason to not operate an electric vehicle? A home has to need a minimum of 100 amps to properly charge such a vehicle. (200 amps is also suggested by the electric auto manufactures.)

Unless one has access to use a public charging location, there would be no way that I can change an electric car in my domicile. I can get a 2000 mile extension cord, but I heard that aftermarket places such as Auto Zone, Pep Boys, and other places don’t have them in stock…or not yet anyways! Better luck next year, I guess! ———————————————————————————————————– ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

“WATCHING” TV

It’s real no surprise that when folks tend to watch television, or to be precise, when folks watch a moving video image, be it through a so-called traditional television unit, a desktop/laptop, a smartphone, or through any other electronic device that sports a video screen, these same folks are doing some other task. This means these viewers are not staring into their video screen being totally mesmerized with whatever is appearing on their device.

It isn’t likely that people ever did nothing but gawking into a screen, or not in these days. Perhaps in the early days of television when TV was some much a novelty, people would watch test patters just because they can. Granted, it wasn’t known if folks actually did that waiting for something else to happen outside of seeing an image that resembled a dart board with a bust image of an Indian dressed in a full featured headpiece on the upper center of the test pattern. But this is all besides the point.

Statista, a database firm that keep account to trends and statistics for marketing purposes, recently conducted a poll asking those on what they do while they watch TV and its equivalent devices. According to the results found, slightly over three quarters of those responding (76%) tend to check on their email and/or text messages while viewing their video device. Using and replying to social media portals came in second place at 71%, followed by checking details on content being viewed (68%), playing video based games (55%), shopping online at 54%, and doing their banking came in at sixth place at 41%.

This is a far cry (well..maybe not so far, but comes pretty close) from the things that yours truly once did when I was a heavy(ier) TV watcher. Back in the day when I was a kid that wasn’t that long ago since TV signals at the time was being transmitted in color (when available) although the sound was mono, I would be doing something else!Perhaps the two things I would be doing was school based homework…or at least trying to do homework since I was usually distracted in whatever was going on the screen, or eating breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks. (Take your pick!) If I wasn’t eating and/or attempting to start or even finish my assessments that was due the next school day, I was involved with something else. I would be on the phone on occasion, but only to actually talk to somebody on the other end. The yakking on the phone with one of my school chums would be today’s social media, as well as getting details on what I was watching. If I was playing games, those games would be limited to getting into a game of solitaire (with a deck of fifty-one no doubt), or maybe working on a crossword puzzle that was created for my sense of knowledge that I had, but that wasn’t often, After all, many of the crossword puzzles that appeared in the local newspaper wasn’t as “kid friendly” as they could have been.

But I knew even then I wasn’t the only one that did something while spending (wasting?) time in front of the idiot box when I could have been doing something else. Back in those days, TV signals were only obtained through an areal that was on the roof of my the house (best for catching those pesky UHF channels), or through a rod antenna that was attached to my black and white Sony portable whose screen size was a whopping twelve inches in diameter! Since it was a B/W set, screen size didn’t matter. But since the set only had a rod antenna, those UHF channels came in “kinda” snowy. So every afternoon when I would come home after a hard day’s time in school, I would pop in a frozen TV dinner (Mortons frozen dinners selling for 59 cents each at the local A&P) in the over for 35 minutes at 300 degrees, while attempting to watch an afternoon’s worth of reruns of 1960’s-era idiot sitcoms that local channels 9 and 32 would program! (The Munsters, F-Troop, My Favorite Martian, etc.) I would then be chowing down on my lunch of a dinner that consisted of “Salisbury steak” that resembled a flat four inch long slab of turd that was soaking in a puddle of watery (and greasy) “gravy”, with a side of kernels of corn that looked and tasted like soggy yellowish ball bearings, along with a slice of apple-esque cobbler that wasn’t as bad as one could get. As for homework? I would be working on it that later in the evening, all depending on what shows were going to be on prime time. If it was, let’s say, a variety show such as The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour or The Flip Wilson Show, I would be more engaged with the antics of Sonny attempting to be the cocky leading man with Cher’s upstaging to Sonny with a great put-down gag, or Flip playing Geraldine Jones in a skit featuring one of his “special guest stars”, then the homework would wait until the morning before it was due on the teacher’s desk!

But what this all leads to is the fact that other people are doing a whole load of other stuff while the TV device was blasting away. So those programmers and TV show creator should know that if you want to have people watch their program(s), make sure that it’s accessible to any and all social media platforms that’s out there. One of Quibi’s fallen mistakes that when it was up and running, it didn’t allow anyone to send a link to their content through Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else! After all, how is anyone going to know about some kind of video content if you don’t tell all of your virtual friends that it’s worth a glance? That is, unless those friends are doing something else!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

ANOTHER “THROWBACK” ARTICLE

As so-called “domestic life” is entering its phase of so-called “normalcy”, we though we would ride on the fact that the feeling of nostalgia has been on its all time high.

Thanks to what the media is providing in terms of remakes/reboots/reimaging of the creation of “new” programming as seen through the many streaming services, movies that showcase an image from the past–not necessarily from “good” history, but history nevertheless, as well as the fact that this is Accessibly Live Off-Line’s 25th anniversary year, we through we would focus upon another article that was written by yours truly that is worth a second look.

For a brief time (2000-2006), I created a column named “Richer By Far” that appeared in issues of The Epicenter, the monthly newsletter for the Los Angeles chapter of The Catholic Alumni Club, a group that was for those that were over the age of 21, unmarried, and were free to marry in the Catholic Church. It was generally a singles group that did weekly activities in and around the Los Angeles region. I also served at the group’s archivist that maintained the many documents the group has kept over its many years of existence. (Going back to 1949, the year the group was chartered.

Anyway, I dug through the manuscripts of articles I wrote over those years. One article I found that appeared in the April, 2000 edition of The Epicenter (Vol. 51-No. 4) that was inspired from a change of life that I was experiencing at the time. Of course, it was created based on what was going on with me back then, so some of the points expressed were of and from the era…

When I turned the ripe old age of ten, I made a number of goals for myself. This was more in the line of long term predictions, rather than something I would want right away. I wanted to get three things by the time I reached the age of forty. Those things I wanted were (in no specific order), 1)-A new car, 2)-A house, and 3)-To become married.

The car I had in mind of getting was a royal blue 1970 Dodge Super Bee that I saw at the auto show a few weeks before. The house I wanted would be a single-level home located in one of the western suburbs such as Morton Grove, Arlington Heights, or maybe Schaumburg. As who to marry? I was kind of stumped at that one at the time!

As I look back at these goals now, I found it quite interesting that I had set myself up to have these things in what seemed to be the far and distant future. I also see that my choices were very “adult” in nature, since most of my peers just wanted to get into the next grade up in school and catch up with the “big boys ‘n girls”. I suppose I was ahead of my time, yet I didn’t know it.

There isn’t anything wrong with making long-term goals for one’s self. It gives the motivation to accomplish something. It doesn’t have to be anything that one has to do within the next thirty years. It could be small, such as putting off doing a job only to worry about not completing the task, writing a report, paying taxes, or even taking out the garbage! However, once these goals are completed (or even attempted), then the job is finished. The whole idea is to make an effort of working on one’s goals rather than thinking about them and nothing more!

So what because of my predictions to complete by my 40th? I’m sure I can get that ‘70 Super Bee if I wanted to, though it won’t be new (and necessarily royal blue), and I’ll have to pay top dollar for it. I did get a house, though it was some 2200 miles father west than I had imagined. As to the marriage thing? I’m working on that one! Maybe the person in mind will join me for a burger at the Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, and who knows? At the Friday night auto rally, I’ll spy that car I had pined for sitting in the parking lot, or even seeing my second choice for a car; a burnt orange 1970 Plymouth Road Runner!! (*sigh*)

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

YOUR HOME OFFICE OR YOUR OFFICE HOME

It’s no real surprise that folks are working from their domiciles. That is, people that can work from home. It’s quite understood that there are a lot of occupations that do require an in-person presence, such as the jobs performed by caretakers, those that work in retail, public service positions that range from law enforcement agents to first responders, and so on. However, this article will focus upon those that do have the capacity from performing “office”-type work assignments far away from a traditional office space. (Thanks for your understanding!)

Anyway, since this pandemic is already entering its second year to when things took its turn, people started to hunker down. Over the change of course, people began to work remotely. Beforehand, they would get up at some ungodly hour in the morning–sometimes before dawn or some other time of day that was considered as “too early” for them, got themselves ready for the day by going through what some would call their “s#it-shower-shave” ritual, then grabbing some form of “breakfast” (cup of coffee, a donut, a scoop of breakfast cereal, a piece of last night’s leftovers, or perhaps no breakfast at all), hop into their method of transportation (car, bus, subway train, bicycle, etc.) and fight the traffic in to order to get to their place of work. From there, they would spend eight, ten, or perhaps twelve hours of the day working all through that time at some location far(er) from home. They would have superiors (“bosses”) calling the shots of what has to be done, sometimes breathing down the necks of their employees, always presenting themselves as a friendly guide, an mild annoyance, or perhaps as a threat to their line of work. There is of course, the fellow workers as part of the office staff. Some are nice people to hang around with. Others are amusing for what they are, but never get any father from being a friendly face. And even there are some co-workers that are just there and nothing more. One may see them every time, but it would never go beyond any communication outside of something related to their work detail. Those folks are the “ghost workers” because you sometimes see them, and at other times, you don’t!

After a day of that form of fun ‘n excitement, then the morning drive becomes the evening drive, were once again one climbs into their method of transportation to head over to their post-work place of being. Yes, there is the “happy-hour” joint where one can wind down to tip a few cold ones with others, or sometimes by one’s self. One can grab a bit to eat somewhere with others or on one’s lonesome. Or for many, it’s time shlepping back to head home to take care of related matters from others las part of the home based family, or to just taking care of household chores and duties from cleaning, cooking, and maybe paper shuffling (Paying bills, etc.) Of course, there’s the consumption of video related content through a device that sports a screen for a couple of hours! Finally after all of that is said and done, it’s time to call it a night when for the next day, it’s time to repeat it all again! This form of being can also be called “SSDD”-Same s#it, different day!

The above written description can be described as part of an invisible TV sitcom episode that shows another slice of life as part of the domestic landscape, comical or otherwise. Although not everyone has gone through such an ordeal as described, many has experienced something similar to that effect. A few people actually enjoy this method that’s part of their standard day. Other may see it as nothing to write home about–so to speak! A few actually hate it and would trade it for something else–whatever that something else would be like!

When it comes to working from home, some people see that as something that they always desired for, but didn’t know how to achieve it let alone didn’t know that they could get it. Thanks to technology and other factors, people are starting to ramp up toward this idea. And according to a recent poll, a good majority of workers that can do work from home perform that task, and a few actually embrace it!

The folks at Gallop, the poll takers that’s been around for eight-plus years, recently released a report on the status of those that have been working from home since the pandemic started in March of last year. The report notes that among other factors, that 56% of American workers are working remotely all or part of the time. A slight increase of workers holds the desire to return back to the office, but most are not necessarily ready to do this, and almost a quarter of those (23%) that call their home space their office would be honored to remain remote if they are given that option! This choosing of staying away for good is taken by those that do have others living with them that needs their attention, such as parent figures that have those staying at home that are under aged (“kids”), those that cater to older people living within the same space (elderly parents, family members, or other peoples), for those that just hated to go through the above noted episodes of shlepping to and from the office dealing with bosses and co-workers, and other factors that make working away from home feel as “work”!

We suggest to read the report from Gallop yourself through the link at
https://news.gallup.com/poll/329501/majority-workers-continue-punch-virtually.aspx since it would be too much work for this writer to repeat those facts ‘n figures!

As for this writer? Yes, yours truly is currently working from home rather than through a remote location. This is because thanks to other factors ranging from the technology at hand to obtaining a rather minuscule amount of money through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loan process (an ordeal into itself), I have been able to transcribe these weekly messages within the same place where I hang my hat. I even have a room that’s been a dedicated office space since I relocated to my joint almost twenty-five years ago. This “home office” is indeed an office looking space, complete with bookshelves decked out with videotapes (many of them covered with dust), a metal four-tier file cabinet, a desk complete with a typewriter that’s actually used on occasion, a desktop computer, a side laptop serving as a portal for remote work and that is connected to a high-def video camera for those ever lovin’ meeting through Zoom, a laser printer, a document scanner, and of course, shelves and spaces all loaded and decked with more trinkets and chachkies that I know what to do with! Many of these knickknacks I do hold sentimental value to, while others were collected from places and events I once attended. Some of these events I recall while others were long forgotten! Those little items may be dust collectors (the videotapes are one of them), but it makes an office at home seem like, well, home!

Once time will tell if the return back to the office will become a welcomed event or a moment that is to be dread. Whatever the case, just as long as the work gets done the way it should be done, then it really doesn’t matter where one slaves away, and even when one can pull the punches! If you can work on let’s say a weekend or at some off hour, then why not? I’ve written reports at 1:00 PM and at 1:00 AM. Of course, if one has to do things such as banking or dropping off/picking up dry cleaning, then one is forced to do the Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM standards. And best of all, one can write off their office space as part off one’s personal income taxes. However, it’s best to check your tax preparer and or the folks at the IRS for more details. Then again, you might even be doing your own taxes this season. Just remember the last dale to file is back at April 15th. But with the time you have working from home, you already knew that! Or did you…?

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 9rd annual Academy Awards on March 15th.

The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Best Picture


The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)
Mank (Netflix)
Minari (A24 Pictures)
Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Sound of Metal (Amazon Prime Studios)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed-Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman-Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins-The Father
Gary Oldman-Mank
Steven Yeun-Minari


Best Actress

Viola Davis-Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day-The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby-Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand-Nomadland
Carey Mulligan-Promising Young Woman

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung-Minari
Emerald Fennell-Promising Young Woman
David Fincher-Mank
Thomas Vinterberg-Another Round
Chloé Zhao-Nomadland

The awards program will take place on Sunday, April 25th at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC at 5:00 PM (PST)

For a complete listing of all nominations, visit the official AMPAS web site at
http://www.Oscars.com

On March 11th, The Golden Raspberry Foundation announced the nominations for The 41st Razzie Awards, presented the worst in feature films released within the 2020 calendar year.

The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Worst Picture

365 Days (Netflix)
Absolute Proof (One America News)
Dolittle (Universal)
Fantasy Island (Sony Pictures)
Music (Vertical Entertainment)

Worst Actor 

Robert Downey, Jr.-Dolittle
Mike Lindell (The “My Pillow” Guy)-Absolute Proof
Michele Morrone- 365 Days
Adam Sandler-Hubie Halloween
David Spade-The Wrong Missy

Worst Actress

Anne Hathaway-The Last Thing He Wanted AND Roald Dahl’s The Witches
Katie Holmes-Brahms-The Boy II AND The Secret: Dare to Dream
Kate Hudson–Music
Lauren Lapkus-The Wrong Missy
Anna-Maria Sieklucka-365 Days

Worst Director

Charles Band-All 3 Barbie & Kendra movies
Barbara Bialowas & Tomasz Mandes-365 Days
Stephen Gaghan–Dolittle
Ron Howard-Hillbilly Elegy
Sia–Music 

In addition to the standard award nominations, a special Governors’ Trophy will be presented to the year 2020 as “The Worst Calendar Year EVER!”

The Golden Razzie Awards will be presented on Saturday, April 24th.
A complete list of nominations is also viewable at http://www.Razzies.com. The Official 41st Razzie Nominations Video is also available at RazzieChannel.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
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#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

 

WHEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!

It was about one year ago around this time that the domestic world as we knew it would start to take a turn for the not-so-good. It was during that second weekend in March of 2020 when some little old virus that was given a name that could have been extracted from a vanity license plate number started to become a major concern. All of a sudden, the nation was ordered by such groups as the Center of Disease Control (CDC), as well as other related federal, state, and county health departments, suggested (ordered?) for all of its citizens to hunker down. This would mean that it was within the best interest not to gather in large groups, keep away from public places, get sheltered where one lives, and hope for the best. Although the (then) King of the USA did say that this virus was like the flu and would “go away”, it didn’t! The only thing that did indeed “go away” was the King himself! So much for that statement!

This writer doesn’t have to say that things did indeed change. And those changes were rather drastic. There were some winners involved as well as some losers. Some succeeded and others that failed. People made new discoveries. Many of these discoveries were for the most part, set within the positive side of things. Folks started to find talents and abilities that they never knew they had. The learned to cook. They learned how to spruce up their homes and places they lived within. They learned more about technology. They watched a lot of television, and they recused a lot of dogs and cats from shelters that would have otherwise been snuffed. Perhaps the greatest challenge of them all, they learned how to fight for what was right, and they bonded with those that were worth the bonding! As Charles Dickens once wrote, these were the best of times, and these were the worst of times.

Today, there is as much anxiety going around as there is much hope. New cases are down, and so are deaths. Many places once closed are being opened again with a lot of caution and care involved. Folks are taking advantage of vaccinations. And donning face masks, although a bit of a hassle to do, is still being practiced. So are the notion of keeping at least six feet away from others.

Many people took their new(er) habits of living their domestic life in more of an upbeat mode. Some will go back to what they were once doing, while others are using this change as something for the better, even vowing to never go back! When they started to fix up their homes, they found out that they could even do more than just repairing a crack on the wall or to oil the hinges on a squeaky door. They even got around of getting their living spaces in order, finally getting around to arranging their places. And is it just a coincidence that a number of domestic lifestyle magazines sported blurbs on their covers that taught the reader how to get their places in order? Recent issues of such titles as Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, Reveal, featuring the duo of Drew and Jonathan, had their own spins of living a life that can be called as smaller-faster-cheaper!

Of course, we are not out of the woods quite yet, far from that! It’s going to be quite a while until things start to get back to the state they were once in before all of this happened. Some notions will come back, but in a slightly different stance. Others will not return for the good or otherwise! However, after one year, this moment may have been the kick in the a$$ that wasn’t asked for per se, but was defiantly needed! But giving time, patience, and common sense, we all will get out of what we don’t want, and will embrace in what we long desire! You the readers may think otherwise, and that’s OK! We can’t cover everything, but at least we can scratch the surface!

In the mean time, stay tuned to this news service for the latest and greatest in what you look for here! After all, we ain’t working from home for nothing!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
https://www.facebook.com/accessiblylive.offline
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
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(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

WE STILL SCREAM FOR A STREAM!

As the nation approaches the fist anniversary of the start of what’s been called everything from “The Pandemic”, “COVIG-19” ,“The Beginning of the End”, “When All Hell Broke Loose” and other phrases that are not suitable to print within these pages, millions that been doing their best in keeping safe, sane, or otherwise, while hunkering down in where they live. These folks have been doing anything and everything from cooking, cleaning up their dwelling spaces, fixing things around the house that until recently they never got around in doing, as well as other activities from the aggressive to passive.

In the latter category, folks have been ramping up in their viewing of programming and content that can be consumed through an electronic device that sports a video screen i.e. a traditional television set, a desktop/laptop computer, an electronic pad (“iPad”, etc.) as well as a smart phone that’s gotten a whole lot smarter in recent times.

One of those ways to consume moving imagery (“video”) is through a streaming service or portal. Many of these services are available for free since they are advertiser supported. Yes, they show commercials that run from 15 through sixty seconds each, but not as many spots verses what the cable and over-the-air channels would program. The rest are based on paid subscriptions, akin to what “pay-TV” used to be when HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, etc. dominated cable TV pay services since the 1980’s.

According to a survey report entitled 2021 State of Industry Report: Customer Retention in Subscription Businesses filed by Brightback, a consumer retention software company, it stated that some 98% of domestic video consumers now subscribe to at least one streaming media service, and three quarters (75%) subscribe to two or more services.

Based on their poll taken within the last two weeks of 2020 from a little over one thousand responses by those aged eighteen and up dwelling in the USA that have access to any streaming media service (paid or otherwise), the report notes that a little over half of those (53%) subscribe to a service accessible through their phones. (A “mobile app”). These mobile apps are not necessarily limited to media content. It could be anything from a program that rates one’s health, dealing with scheduling, or anything that holds a practical function that where one pays for per each billing period. (Usually it’s on a monthly basis, but could be extended as much as a year’s time!) 39% pay for news from such sources as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and other traditional news outlets that started out as print newspapers. 37% have a “box subscription”-subscribing to more that one service as a package deal, 34% have a subscription based on health and fitness (one can assume that this health and fitness is both physical and/or emotionally based) 31% is based on food and cooking, while the rest (33%) state as “other”. That “other” can range from everything from sports news and views, online gambling, even porn! (Yep! In 2020, PornHub.com reported an uptick in paid subscription for that year, while it increased its traffic for its “free” services.)

Although there are many streaming service to choose from that caters to many tastes in programming as well as the demographics that go along with it, Netflix is the given choose with a multitude of programs to view from traditional TV-esque series to feature length “movies”. And interestingly enough, that portal has the easiest cancellation option! (23% stated that they called it quits with Netflix without any problems.) On the other end, Hulu had it worse, as 4.7% admitted that bailing out had its compilations. Comparing, Netflix came in second place with 2.7% of cancellation difficulty.

But what would it take for those that wish to bail out with one service to make ‘em stay? Some kind of discount or premium incentive! Almost half (49%) stated that if a channel or service gave them an offer they couldn’t refuse, they would hang around for a while! For a lot of people, filing for “divorce” with a streaming service can be as easy as it is difficult! And if a service offered a “cancel button” on their website or visual portal, it would be the best method to cancel verses cancelling over the phone, by way of e-mail, a “live chat” outlet, or through an app. Of course, depending on one’s age, those preferred choices would vary. 69% of younger Millenniums (aged 25-34) would use the “cancel button”. Older Gen-Xers (45-54) would make a phone call. (25%) Those that were older than Baby Boomers (65 and up) would be the second level to make that phone call at 24%. However, a simple “cancel button” would be the preferred choice by all ages!

For those that desire to read all of the facts and figures from this report, take a visit to Brightback’s website at https://brightback.com/, and view the report for yourself!

As of this writing, although the numbers of cases are down and vaccinations are up or at least as steady, it will be quite a while until things get back to a “normal” that folks would recognize. Until that day (or days) finally arrive, people will still be hunkering down at home to watch the latest and perhaps greatest of what the streaming channels have to offer. And there will be more to look at in the future. Paramount+, a channel operated by CBSViacom, will offer “A Mountain of Entertainment”–or says the advertising campaign for this new entry in the streaming wars. It will offer what CBS All Access (its one time name for this service) presented, as well as properties from Paramount Pictures. It isn’t known if the entire of library of features from Paramount will be available, so it’s going to be wait and see. Then again, even through Paramount has been around in many ways going back to 1912, they don’t necessarily has their entire output on hand.

The studio sold its library of releases from 1927 through 1947 to Universal (MCA Television as it was known at the time) back in 1957, while selling its cartoon unit to Associated Artists Productions (later United Artist Television) around the same time. So much of their output had been resourced. Universal still owns the ’27-’47 collection, and has no plans to get it go. However, Universal is connected to NBC what has its own streaming service named Peacock, named after a bird that’s been NBC’s mascot since 1956 when it first introduced color pictures into the TV landscape. But that’s for another story, and for another feat of technology!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!