Saturday Morning Brain Drain 21/11/20

DIY Channel

Hi! Popping in to give Elliecoo a break this weekend. To keep the doom scrolling to a minimum and my sanity somewhat intact, I’ve been watching Maine Cabin Masters on the DIY channel. As the title indicates, they take old decrepit Maine cabins and turn them into bright shiny new Maine cabins. The hosts are a brother and sister team, Chase and Ashley Morrill and their merry band of bearded misfits. It’s pleasant with the usual low stakes drama of most DIY type shows. The end product is usually really beautiful, although I find their budgets a little low for all of the work they do and the size of crew that they have.

The only books I’ve been reading are recommendations from all of you lovely folks, so I’m going to wade into Podcast territory.

To keep up with financial news, I listen to Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal. It’s really just the daily episodes from the NPR show. Kai has served as my voice of reason, these past couple of years. For murder and mayhem, I usually listen to Casefile and Criminal. I don’t like a lot of host fluff in my podcasts, so I’ve found that these two are the best for jumping right into the story. Casefile is the more serious with it’s look into various murder cases. The host is an anonymous Australian with a very deadpan delivery. Criminal is another NPR show – the host is Phoebe Judge and she has a very soothing voice. These stories tend to be about interesting crimes and criminals, and rely less on murders.

I also listen to a gardening podcast Cottage in the Court with Terry Speight. She does interviews with gardeners, and just chats about gardening in general. It’s not as professionally produced as some of the others, but she’s a very good interviewer and pretty delightful to listen to.

What I’m listening to: How about a little Esparanza Spalding to kick off your Saturday.

So, what’s everyone up to this weekend? Podcasts? Errands? Something good? Something bad? Bit of both? And, thanks, as always for your support of Deadsplinter and a hardy welcome to our newest Kinja refugees.



  1. These guys turned me on to Ted Lasso and I stayed up late last night watching the whole first season. It’s on Apple TV. It’s charming, uplifting, with some low stakes drama. Also, hot guys. 

  2. Happy Saturday Everyone!
    My weekend is going to be pretty chill. I already took Cosmo for a ride to the bank and now I just need to get to Dollar Tree once they open. The rest of the day will be spent loafing around.
    I’ll probably spend some time doing a puzzle and later I want to start reading one of the books I picked up a few weeks ago. I’m just having a bit of difficulty deciding which book to start with. I don’t know if I want to read one of the ones geared towards developing therapeutic skills, or the ones that are more like memoirs geared toward inspiring those in our field. 

  3. Hi @Lymond, what an excellent inaugural Brain Drain – thank you!

    We are on season 8 of 12 of Old Tricks; watch The Great British Baking Show on Fridays; and plan to watch Ted Lasso soon.

    I read a darling book, complete with happy ever after, about a bookshop and eccentric, talented, angsty people who overcome tragedy. (But not as deep as that sounds – very cute and it made me giggle.) It is the Little Bookshop of Love Stories by Jaimie Admans.

    As for music, here is a beautiful, poignant song by Gang of Youths, Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane.

    Happy weekend to all you darling DeadSplintertarians.


  4. Watched:  Marshall (not the film about the football team–the one about the man).  Excellent film about one of Thurgood Marshall’s cases with the NAACP.
    Didn’t read anything of note this week, but I am here to pile on as a fan of the Marketplace podcasts and Kai Ryssdal.  I like the fact that they leave politics at the door and just stick to the objective facts.  The result is that their shows demonstrate reality does has a liberal bias.  Also, Kai is an excellent interviewer who doesn’t take shit from anyone.  Nothing aggravates me more than a journalist who asks a challenging question, gets a bullshit answer, and then just moves on–which has the effect of validating the bullshit.  Kai doesn’t do that.  He pokes people in the eye and calls them out.  I also really like the Make Me Smart podcast with Kai and the tech reporter, Molly Wood.  They have a great rapport, and I also really like Molly’s approach to tech reporting, because she never drinks the Kool Aid.
    Listened:  So, as a former audio engineer, I will frequently enjoy certain tunes based on their production value, or simply how well the recording sounds.  This week, I was watching TV and saw one of the iPhone 12 commercials, which was playing this song:

    Now, I also listened to more Remi Wolf, and more Polo and Pan, but it seems that they are better together than they are separately.  So, I only added this one to my playlist.

  5. Good morning, nice SMBD @Lymond! I think I’d like Maine Cabin Masters.

    I just started reading The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri. It’s the story of Nuri, the titular beekeeper, his wife Afra and their flight from war torn Syria to the UK. Lefteri’s parents were refugees from Cyprus after the Turkish invasion, it’s written with the compassion and love that you’d expect from the child of displaced people.

    I watched S4 of The Crown. Others have already discussed it so I don’t need to say any more.

    I’m listening to Eels – Earth To Dora

    Are We Alright Again


  6. ill skip the reading…coz im just re reading everything i got

    i figured id watch one episode and hate it…but ended up binging the whole season..its really good… between the steampunk style and the story its just hard to put down…helps its easy on the eyes too
    also watched
    (bloodshot….if you dont want spoilers..dont watch the trailer…. goddamn…wtf is wrong with trailers nowadays?)

    its a solid popcorn flick…even surprised me in a couple places…gotta say tho…ive really soured on vin diesel as an actor… we should have euthanized him after pitch black..let him go out on a high note
    and listening


    • I stop watching trailers 30s in (unless I know that I won’t be watching the movie). It’s not a perfect system. But for the most part it provides me with a glimpse of what to expect while saving me from spoilers.

  7. I’ve been catching up on my late night TV stuff on the DVR…

    and from a conversation with RIP on DUAN the other night I’m revisiting some of my old Zap Mama albums…

    Today we are going wine tasting at a friend’s winery, it is outdoors because of our current situation so luckily weather looking good.  He makes some great Cabs, Syrahs, and Malbecs.  Should be fun.

  8. We have taken to watching “Agatha Christie’s Marple” on Hulu every night. It’s an amazing soporific and I have no spoilers to report since I rarely make it to the point where a crime has even occurred. Last night, for example, for Meatless Friday I made this incredibly rich and cheesy risotto. We watched an episode and within half an hour I was sound asleep. The Better Half soldiers on, though, because he has to remain conscious long enough to take The Faithful Hound for his final walk. 
    Just as I suspect that Jessica Fletcher was a serial killer let loose among the innocent citizens of Cabot Cove, I have a feeling unassuming Jane Marple terrorized the English countryside in the postwar era (these episodes are set in the past, which is partly what makes them so fun.) Setting: small English village. “Miss Marple! What are you doing here?” “I’m visiting my friend X because Y.” Body count: 3.

  9. …still haven’t quite found the time to get to the latest of the “stormlight archives” books brandon sanderson has been churning out the last few years but they’re pretty fun if you like that sort of thing so I could be said to be looking forward to that…so in terms of fiction I’ve mostly been re-reading pratchett discworld books as an antidote to the unhealthy news intake I seem to subsist on

    …have thus far only managed to dip into the new aesop rock album someone was kind enough to give me a heads up about on the DOT a few days back but that’s also pretty great if you like that sort of thing

    …& aside from trying to catch up with some shows (for my sci-fi fan sins I’ve been keeping up with star trek: discovery…but I haven’t got to season 2 of the mandalorian yet & I’ve fallen behind with season 2 of a thing called warrior that’s…again…pretty entertaining if you like that sort of thing…with that sort of thing in this case being kung fu gangsters in the early days of san fransisco) I did wind up watching a bunch of the netflix “space force” show with steve carrell…& a deeply silly film I’d seen a while back called “the other guys” for reasons that currently escape me but might be connected to having recently re-watched “the nice guys” which is only quite silly by comparison…both of which are pretty funny in places but it’s safe to say the latter is the better film?

  10. Podcasts: I’ve been listening to season 2 of Dr. Death (this guy treats for cancer where there is none) and Qanon Anonymous (about the batshit insanity of the Q people). 
    Speaking of the DIY channel, does anyone know if it is still supposed to turn into the Magnolia Channel? There was an article on Jez over a year ago, bc it was supposed to have happened over the summer. Not sure if it got corona’ed or they just changed course. I don’t want to watch an entire channel of those mega-church shiplap people.

    • I think it’s still on, but delayed because of corona. I can’t watch it when it becomes Magnolia. I used to watch Fixer Upper – but my family made me stop because every time Chip and Jo would do the exterior of a house – they’d plant a magnolia tree right next to the house. I’d end up yelling through the whole rest of the show “Magnolia’s are huge trees, you stupid dipshits” or something to that effect. Anyway, it’s ridiculous that they use the word magnolia and don’t even understand where to plant them. To have to watch a whole channel called Magnolia by those dipshits might give me nervous breakdown. 

  11. Every week I am left feeling ashamed and astounded at my lack of personal enlightenment. You are all truly amazing in how you keep up with reading and podcasts and such a variety of filmed media. 
    How do you have any mental capacity for any of this? I want to get back to reading as there is a trilogy I am excited to finish, but I simply do not have the mental energy to deal with anything after work. I am aware I need to stop doomscrolling Reddit constantly. But even leaving that out, I still feel exhausted and without any of the reserves needed to devote myself to anything new.

    • …I can only speak for myself but I’m pretty sure the answer is far from aspirational…I basically can’t remember the last time I got a decent night’s sleep so I’m frequently a) exhausted b) trying not to wake anyone nearby up in the antisocial hours & c) in need of something to stare at that isn’t an out of focus ceiling to take my mind off how annoying it is to not be asleep

      …kind of a slacker on the podcasts, though…I quite like one called “opening arguments” where a lawyer discusses stuff I’d normally fail to appreciate about the legal side of some of the stuff I read about in the news with a comedian/audience surrogate…which I suspect I only found out about because he turned up as a guest spot a few times on the one podcast I actually subscribe to…originally it was called mueller she wrote & was pretty great for all that sort of stuff but these days it goes by “the daily beans” & describes itself as “news – with swearing”

      …aside from the main presenter the “cast” has changed somewhat since the other two that used to be regulars have moved on…but it’s still pretty great?

    • When I was still working in the office, I used to always have a book to read during my lunch time.  It allowed me to separate myself from the job for a little bit.  Now that I’m working from home, my book reading has taken a steep dive, but instead I have been catching up on all of the TV shows that I haven’t had time to watch until now.  So, it’s all a trade-off for me.  I do still keep up with my podcast listening because that’s simple to do no matter where I’m working.
      Ultimately, the key for me is to not treat any of it like a homework assignment.  If I do that, then you can bet I’ll ignore it.  I was always a lousy student if I “had” to do something, so I always try to keep the mindset of “wanting” to do something like read a long form article or listening to a podcast.

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