Saturday Morning Brain Drain [12/6/21]

A place to let it all out.

Image via IMDb

What I watched: Vintage Roads Great & Small, a surprisingly delightful road trip show featuring Peter Davison (Tristan) and Christopher Timothy (James) of All Creatures Great and Small fame. First off, they are quite a bit older, and make no bones about it, especially as they crawl out of a low-slung roadster. Their friendship has endured over forty years, and the unscripted series reflects their enjoyment of each other’s company.

The premise is that they get in an antique, very cool roadster and drive across the UK, emulating famous road trips of years gone by, “experiencing the thrills of the era when Britain first fell in love with the motor car, when the open road was a gateway to adventure and exploration.”

I even learned how the Michelin stars for restaurants began – Michelin tires made guidebooks with recommendations of places to stay and dine, intended for wealthy motorists who owned vehicles which frequently required repairs and replacement tires. I also learned that Peter Davison’s daughter is married to my Scottish boyfriend, David Tennant.

Here is a clip:

Here is the episode two, season one:

What I read: I read the new (after a seven year wait) Kerry Greenwood novel, Death in Daylesford (Phryne Fisher Mysteries Book 21). I am a total Phryne Fisher fan girl, and love reading about the clothing, cars, foods, cocktails, etc. of roaring twenties Australia. (Hispano Suiza cars, anyone? This is the company founded by an airplane engine designer – even in 1923, they were fast.) Oh, yes, the storyline…classic Phryne, a fun murder mystery at a spa, with a concurrent mystery solved by her adopted children.

The television and movie adaptions are pretty good, except that in the books police inspector Jack is not her lover, and Phryne is the concubine of a Chinese crime lord (which sounds more fun to me). Here is link to last year’s Phryne Fisher movie and and here is link to a season two intro from the television show.

I also read a bunch of bonbon books, including Act of Surveillance: Paranormal Security and Intelligence® an Immortal Ops® World Novel by Mandy M. Roth (bear shifters, vampires, Russian bad guys) and The Unforgiven (Krewe of Hunters Book 33) by Heather Graham (formulaic history-lite mysteries featuring a psychic FBI division).

What I listened to this week: The Dramas – Bloodbath; LFNT – I Won’t Tell; and Villagers – A Trick of the Light.

So, dearest DeadSplinterites, are you feeling good? Are you ready for the weekend? What have you watched, read, or listened to? Please tell us what is up in your world!

About Elliecoo 518 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. Watched:  The Mountain Between Us.  I’m not much of a Kate Winslet fan but I’ve always liked Idris Elba (well, except for that disasterously stupid adaptation of The Dark Tower, but that wasn’t his fault).  Anyway, this movie is excellent.  Two strangers charter a private plane to get around their grounded commercial flights, the plane crashes and they have to survive.  The premise is typical, but the execution is not–particularly the ending.  Definite recommend.

    Read:  Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.  I was kind of disappointed with this book.  It almost entirely consisted of scene setting, with only a small bit of plot driven stuff near the end.  A very slow read which I’m not used to getting from Clarke.  I’m hoping that Rama II will be better.

    Listened:  I’ve been listening to a lot of Diana Krall lately.  I first heard her over 20 years ago and was totally hooked.  One of the rare modern jazz artists who can make the old standards sound brand new again.  Her pop music excursions have been awful, but fortunately it seems she’s learned her lesson on that front.  I’d love to see her in concert.


  2. My watching and reading have been limited this week thanks to foreseen tragic events.
    However, I’d like to share a Youtube channel for people who like to cook.  I watch Epicurious from time to time.  It compares the cooking styles of pros, amateur auteurs and plodders like me as well as go thru the food science of what makes food taste good.  It has helped my cooking a lot.  A lot of simple tricks and tips that I’ve used.
    From things as simple as spaghetti and meatballs to cooking seafood.  They also have a series how a chef can remake cheap ingredients into something better (and an amateur can use expensive ingredients to make something special.) 

  3. Watched Mare of Eastown. Thank you to DS for bringing it to my attention.
    I love the Miss Fisher tv series. I’ll save those 21 books for when my kids are both in school. Have you read the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series by Deanna Raybourn?

  4. Almost forgot, I watched The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. It was lame. The first movie in the series is one of my top 10 scary movies and all the others fall short.

  5. …I discovered that netflix has another five episodes of the lupin show…haven’t made it through all of them yet but I think I’d still say they’re worth a watch?

  6. This week I saw a carolina wren very quietly move away from the house when I went out the cellar door. Thought there might be a nest nearby but wasn’t looking for it, then I glanced up while weeding and there it was, in a hole in an old peach basket hanging on the foundation wall. Too cute.
    Watched a couple of movies on Acorn. Anner House and The Return, with Julie Waters. Both were very good.
    Listened to Fatoumata Diawara, I don’t understand a word of it yet it is terribly moving.

  7. I love travel shows, this looks really good!

    I’m watching Sweet Tooth and am enjoying it very much.

    Still reading the same book as last week, The Committed by Viet Thanh Nyguyen. It has a lot of commentary on capitalism, communism, colonialism, and racism. While it’s done in an amusing and entertaining way I can’t rush through it. I do recommend it, but It’s not a stand alone book. You have to read The Sympathizer first.




    • @Hannibal me too, re SweetTooth. I like the producers, and the story us timely and poignant so far (3 episodes in). It will probably be next week’s BrainDrain “watched”, but I promise to not do spoilers.

  8. Watched: series finale of “Pose.” Gutted, but it was a really nice send off and Elektra ended up being my favorite character, even though I disliked her in the beginning. Also “Killing Patient Zero” on FX. It ties in nicely with the book I’m reading (And The Band Played On). In the book, the author pegs one guy as being patient zero of the AIDS epidemic in America. He editorialized a lot about this guy’s story and died of AIDS himself in the 90s before he could correct the story. Gaetan Dugas (“Zero”) had a fairly garden variety strain according to scientists later on and was very helpful giving his contacts and blood samples. It was a very interesting coda. It’s probably on Hulu since all FX’s stuff goes there after airing. 
    And I’m annoyed that new episodes of “Evil” are going to Paramount+. I didn’t even cave into P+ when the new Drag Race announced it was going there. NO MORE NEW STREAMING SERVICES. FFS is tew much.

    • @PumpkinSpies, was the referenced patient zero the gentleman who was a flight attendant and contracted the illness in Africa? Also, I hear you regarding streaming prices. We dumped cable in lieu of a fire stick and NetFlix and BrutBox. Not really any difference in price, but no commercials, per say.

  9. @elliecoo
    He was a flight attendant with Air Canada but it was never mentioned how he contracted it, and doesn’t mention him going to Africa. The earliest European cases have an African connection though.
    I actually have a Fire TV, i bought with the express purpose of cutting the cord. But when I watch the apps thru the Fire TV interface, the sound doesn’t match up with the mouths. Like, it’s off by about a minute. When I watch the exact same thing thru xfinity’s app interface, everything is fine. So, that’s how they get ya. And yes ive googled it. The instructions how to fix it don’t match the settings on my tv so i can’t click what they tell me to click, it doesn’t exist 😐 

    • I had an old Fire stick which I finally had to replace because the processor was too slow, or something like that. The stress of trying to handle the streams from a lot of services was overwhelming its ability to stay connected to wifi, and it would constantly cut out.  If it had simply been a case of a long buffer time at the beginning while it got a head start on the data, I’d have been fine with it. But instead, it would kill the connection midstream and refuse to reconnect without rebooting.

  10. I rewatched Midnight Run after many years, and it still holds up. The connections between characters, especially Grodin and DeNiro, are extremely well done, and it’s nuts how Hollywood still gets the balance between plot and characters so wrong so often.

  11. watched…nothing…well…football and youtube junk..waiting for this one tho 

    i just like van damme…also this one looks like it will be delightfully cheesy dumb entertainment
    reading…nothing…i tried..but its summer and i only read in bed after dark…with a window open… did you know moths are hyperactive noisy bastards once they get inside the lamp shade?…hard to pay attention to the book with that shit going on
    and listening to….the fearless flyers

    they randomly turned up in my recomendations earlier this week and might be my favourite thing ever till the next thing

    • …did you ever catch the film they just called JCVD?

      …it walked a line between self-deprecation & the ridiculous that I really enjoyed so if you haven’t I’d recommend checking it out while you wait for the other thing to drop

      • i have not seen that one…completely missed it in fact as thats the first time ive seen the trailer for it..probably coz in 2008 i was still getting into trouble in england and not paying much attention
        ill be trying to find that one thanks 🙂

      • got a solid 7 ish hours last night…hopefully something like that again tonight as its relatively cool and windy
        after tomorow all bets are off again tho…they’ve adjusted the forcast for next week for the worse…looks like we’re heading for temps in the 90s
        that is not going to be pleasant with high humidity and no air conditioning

  12. @Elliecoo forgot to say…vintage roads great and small looks wonderful
    and the whole thing seems to be on youtube…..awesome..i think you just filled my what to do with 45 minutes of nothing much to do for the next month……..if i dont binge it

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