Saturday Morning Brain Drain [26/6/21]

a place to let it all out

My expression the whole time I watched this movie.

What I watched:  Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.  I expected a movie with the two of them to be well written and acted and otherwise interesting and good.  I was wrong.  This movie was unfathomably dull, with terrible writing and a plot that was disjointed and went aimlessly nowhere.  Save yourselves.

What I read:  I’m finishing up Rama II by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee.  I’m not totally done yet but I’m close enough to the end that I can render a solid judgement on this book.  Compared to Rendezvous with Rama, it is better and it is worse.  The plot is much better.  It has a slow start because they need to address the 70+ year time that has elapsed since the first book, but after that it gets going pretty easily.  Which is more than I can say about the first book which read like it was in plot development until the last 50 pages.  However, the prose in this book is much, much worse, to the point of being corny.  I can only attribute this to Clarke’s decision to work with an untested author in Gentry Lee, because it reads like no other Clarke book I’ve read so far.  So, this one is a mixed bag.  I’ll let you know how the 3rd book in the series is next month.

What I listened to:  I’ve been checking out Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam.

My back took a serious beating when I was younger.  Between getting hit by a car, all the times I was thrown by horses, and the general beatings, it’s not in great shape.  I’ve managed to mitigate most of the problems with good posture and body mechanics, but roughly once or twice a year my friend will come to visit for a few days.  The most maddening part about it is that I won’t be doing anything particularly strenuous when it goes out.  I could be getting a pitcher off a shelf, or putting trash in a dumpster, or—as in the case yesterday—just wake up in pain.  So, no shower for me yesterday, I had to put my laptop on my dresser so I could stand up and work, and I never got out of my pajamas.  Fortunately, I have my own personal savior in the form of a portable TENS unit.  TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation.  Most people experience them at a physical therapist’s office and they’re the size of a small briefcase with lots of wires that attach to sticky electrodes on your body and you have to lay there for 30 minutes while it works its magic.  Mine is the size of a pager and connects to two sticky electrodes.   Many times I’m able to put it on myself, but that morning was so bad I had to have Mrs. Butcher do it.  It short circuits the pain signal to the brain so I can function.  There’s a dial that I can use to adjust the level of signal and never before did I need to go past 7.  This time, I wished I had Nigel Tufnel’s amps that go to 11.  But, it’s good enough to allow me to move around—and moving around is what helps most.  So, I still plan to do some gardening today—mostly because there will be no time tomorrow as we are heading into town to visit Mrs. Butcher’s youngest daughter and her husband for a combination anniversary/birthday celebration.  I won’t work too hard, but I also don’t plan to sit on my ass all day either.

So, Desplinterinarians, what have you been watching/reading/listening to?  Any plans for the weekend?  Any tingling legs that are on the mend?  Let’s hear it.

About butcherbakertoiletrymaker 581 Articles
When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.


  1. I watched ManTracker on Amazon Prime.  It was a Canadian outdoor show (2006-2010?) about a guy who has a lot of experience in search and rescue as well as criminal manhunts in the Alberta wilds.
    I used to watch it with my (late) friend and we loved to goof on the few macho idiots who thought they could out fox a guy who spent his entire life and career looking for tracks/markings and understood the importance of terrain.
    At one point I thought about auditioning for the show, but my health problems negated that idea.

  2. I watched Mare of Easttown, and while I liked a lot of it, by the end it felt overloaded to me — I thought they probably should have dialed things back and maybe have the cast inflicted with two or three plagues and not all ten.
    Constant twisting of the knife is fun in a more comedic movie like Knives Out, but I thought this was too serious for that kind of roller coaster trip.

  3. I watched the few episodes of Season 1 of Manifest on Netflix. What a dud. It’s boring, preachy, badly written and acted. And for some reason the #1 show on Netflix right now. 

    I listened to the podcast Pee Wee Gaskins Is Not My Friend and would recommend it for true crime fans. I’d never heard of this guy, a mass murderer from South Carolina.

    Also listening to Good For What Ails You Music Of The Medicine Shows 1926-1937. You’ll no doubt see some of it showing up in future DUANs.


    Stovepipe #1 and David Crockett – A Chicken can Waltz The Gravy Around



  4. Watched Workin’ Moms S5. The series started off relatable and hilarious but by S5 it’s just ridiculous. I was still entertained but not as impressed. When it comes to the momming genre, I prefer The Letdown.
    Infinite is a typical Mark Wahlberg movie. He’s a bitter dude who’s been shit on his whole life until he finds out he has the unique ability to save the world. It’s got a good budget and I enjoyed the opening car chase scene.
    Evil is back and this season is gonna be awesome! Same goes for The Good Fight.

      • I’m pretty sure I watched the first season on Hulu and that it was a cable show. I don’t have the full Hulu package anymore so I’m watching it on Paramount+. Not sure where else you can find it. It airs episodes once a week. E2 comes out tomorrow.

      • There are 2 seasons of Evil on Netflix, that’s where i watched it. But yes it did come from cable somewhere. However i saw it’s going to be on Paramount + now so i guess I’m done with it since I’m not paying for another goddamn thing.

  5. Currently reading – book 4 of the Rivers of London series, Foxglove Summer, by Ben Aaronovitch. I’m really liking this series, and I know I heard about it from someone here, so, thank you, whoever you were! I like the writing and the world building and the main character is delightfully snarky.
    Also reading book 10 of the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr and… well… let’s just say that I tossed my Kindle on the bed and announced that they’re (the main characters) both assholes and they deserve each other. This series is kind of hit or miss, but it’s managed to stay juuust interesting enough that I keep getting the next book. 
    Watching – we finished with Worst Cooks in America and had started on Worst Bakers, but then most of the Food Network stuff vanished off Hulu, so, so much for that. I’ve been watching movies while the guys are at work and have watched Vanity Fair twice, Little Women (the 90’s one) twice, and the original Dragonheart (the sequels are crap).
    Listening to – Other-Husband got a Sirius XM subscription when we got our fancy new car, so I’ve been exploring that. I found a channel that’s all 80’s and 90’s pop-country and I’ve been listening to that the last few days, reliving my childhood. What really amazes me is the number of songs that I haven’t heard in probably 20 years… and I still know every lyric, every lift, every pause. And yet, I can’t remember if I ate breakfast. 

  6. what i watched 

    it was cool… easy to look at and lots of wire fu over the top swordfights
    as its called the final i kinda figured there was more of them
    so now i just need to watch parts 1,2,3 and 5
    coz of course the final isnt the last one….that would just be silly
    part 5 the beginning is….coz of course it is….i dont know what else i expected from japan
    anyways..still not reading…and listening wise ive been on a bit of a funk kick

    • …live action rurouni kenshin…huh…I can see how that might be fun

      …pretty sure there’s many-seasons of an animé version & as whole slew of comics…somewhat like that samurai champloo thing…or blade of the immortal

      …also…did you ever come across the afro samurai cartoons?

      …those were fun…there’s something on netflix called yasuke that’s not bad but if I remember rightly the afro samurai thing was more fun?

    • eh…probably should have added that kenshin assumes you already know all the characters (it being the fourth movie i guess that makes sense)
      ive seen the anime so it wasnt an issue for me…but i imagine you’d want to start from part 1 if you dont want to be all who are these people? and why should i care?

  7. I’m reading slowly “The Spy And The Traitor” about Oleg Gordievsky, the most important spy that MI-6 had in the USSR.  CIA traitor for hire Aldrich Ames’ sold him out because he had enough of Oleg’s info to allow the spy hunters of the USSR to ID him (Putin served among them.)

  8. I was waiting for Brain Drain.

    First of all, I want to flack for “Flack,” an Amazon Original Series. It stars, and is executive produced, by Anna Paquin. It is both screamingly funny and very, very dark. I can’t find a clip of this but there is a funeral episode and what goes on at the funeral is possibly the funniest material in the entire 2-season run. Tangential, when Jezebel was riding high they did a Friday Night Pissing Contest where the theme was Stuff You Saw At Weddings. I commented, “Oh, you should do one about wakes and funerals!” My comment was one of hundreds but the writers used to read the comments, I got a writer reply telling me that was a good idea, and that’s how I got into The Black (I’m assuming.) Then my hard drive died, I never wrote down my burner key, and the writers stopped reading comments and pulling people into The Black, I have no idea what’s going on over there, and now they…

    Second, this morning as part of my physical rehab I took the Rollator/Greased Lightning out for a spin unaccompanied and picked up orange juice at the local CVS. The place was deserted, so I used it as my test track, roaming the aisles, to the point where I was asked if I were looking for something in particular. “No, no, just browsing, thanks…” It’s amazing to use a Rollator outdoors, by the way. It’s like you’re Moses parting the Red Sea. All pedestrians get out of the way. I’m on the verge of not needing it, I think, but I may keep it handy (it’s mine to keep apparently) and deploy it as necessary. It is the NYC equivalent of a handicapped parking placard.

    Anyway, in my travels up and down the aisles looking wonderingly at feminine hygiene products and wondering why razor blades were kept in a locked cabinet (I can imagine) a catchy little tune came on. “I like this song. I wonder if it’s on YouTube?”

    It was this. I’d never heard it before, even though it came out a decade ago. The next time I see a “Simpsons” rerun I will no longer laugh at the antics of Grandpa Simpson because I have become him. Where are those Obama death panels I was promised?

    When Better Half returned from the gym I was happily slicing strawberries at the kitchen sink and asked him if he had ever heard of the song. I don’t have the best singing voice but warbled out a few bars. “Of course I do. That’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’. You don’t remember this song? Did the rehab mention anything about your cognitive decline? What year is it? Who is the President? What is 100 minus 37? What are you doing?”

    “Well, I don’t know if you remember this but you bought three pints of strawberries and I have to do something with them. And by the way this is a fruit knife. It looks small but I know how to use it, I’m just pointing that out.”


    • I’m banned on Jezebel but ungrayed everywhere else. I don’t know what they did to kinja recently but i can’t even reply to comments. Clicking a reply from notifications doesn’t take me to it anymore, and if the person is in the grays I can’t see them. So you just can’t have a conversation anymore.

  9. I started watching Manifest on Netflix. I’m somewhere in season one but i just read on AV Club that it was cancelled after S2, and veers into jesus territory. So maybe i will add it to the heaping pile of abandoned shows.
    now I’m rewatching True Blood. I have the dvds. The whole thing is a metaphor for discrimination against gays but they treat women pretty shitty, too! 

  10. oh also listening to

    its been played at me by the radio so much its now stuck on a permanent loop in my head
    but im okay with that….a little positivity up there for a change is actually quite nice

  11. Watched my company unironically kick-off DEI training. [hard eye roll] Y’all do realize except for maybe 3 women management is 40-50 yr old white guys?
    Was looking forward to The Shop but tom brady was on and I noped so hard I scared the cat again. fuck that guy.
    Still enjoying Monday episodes of Whitstable Pearl.
    Started to watch The L Word from the beginning but 4 or 5 episodes in it got  excruciating soap opera-ish and not in that good way. Queer As Folk is much better but I’d love to see the original british version.

    • …it certainly seems to be entertaining thus far…but I hesitate to speculate about it lest some piece of conjecture turn out to defy the odds & turn out to represent some sort of spoiler?

      …but I’d agree that hiddleston is pretty great in the role & I’m not sure the show would work properly without his version of the character

      • Yeah I am not going to chat about any plot at all here because who knows where people are at with watching. Plus I like to wait and watch several in a row, so I probably won’t watch any again until I can binge episodes 4-6 in a night. 

        But I think it’s very well thought out and I’m enjoying it mightily!!!

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