Saturday Morning Brain Drain [30/4/22]

a place to let it all out

What I watched:  Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings.  Not having ever been a comic book reader, I hadn’t heard of this particular character, so I had no preconceived notions.  It’s an entertaining, pretty standard, Marvel movie.  It was certainly one of the funnier ones I’ve seen.  If you’re looking for a couple of hours to sit back and escape for a bit, this one hits the mark.

What I read:  Destiny’s Road by Larry Niven.  This book was within the Heorot universe, but didn’t have anything to do with the Heorot Series itself, so I decided to read this one last.  It’s…kind of slow actually.  It takes place on another planet that humans have colonized, but one of the more interesting aspects of this plot is that at some point the inhabitants have lost the knowledge of the original settlers, so their technology is breaking down and they don’t know how to fix it.  These techs are referred to as “settler magic” by the characters to give you an idea of just how far down the ladder they’ve fallen.  It’s a good story, just not as action packed as the Heorot Series books.

What I listened to:  Our latest stop on the best engineered albums of all time brings us to Zenyatta Mondatta by The Police.  Recorded in 1980 and engineered/produced by Nigel Gray, this is another one of those albums that shouldn’t sound as good as it does because of the circumstances surrounding its creation.  This album was recorded while the band was performing here and there, and was finished the day they left for a world tour.  The band themselves weren’t particularly happy with the album which is probably why they recut a couple of the singles during a short-lived reunion in 1986.  But the reality is that this album still kicks some sonic ass.

I plan to start putting our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants into the cold frame for a few hours today.  It’s still stupid cold for the end of April, so they’ll only go out there for a few hours before I bring them back in again.  I’m growing fewer plants this year because it’s getting to be too much work.  Besides, I still have a shitload of canned goods from last year’s garden.

So, what’s your plan?  What have you been reading, watching to jamming to?  Tell us all about it.

About butcherbakertoiletrymaker 575 Articles
When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.


  1. I liked Shang Chi a lot while it was a martial arts movie. Simu Liu was great. But I thought the big CGI battle was as bad as all of the big climax CGI endings in these movies. The characters all get lost, the uncanny valley is even bigger.

    I started watching The Flight Attendant, speaking of dumb entertainment. So far at least it’s fun, and I’m pretty sure it won’t end with a big CGI battle.

  2. I watched Choose or Die (Netflix). It’s about a cursed choose your own adventure style video game which alters your reality and inflicts pain and suffering on those around you. It was a bit underwhelming.

  3. I watched the second season of Russian Doll. Slightly weirder than the first, but I enjoyed it. I also watched the new version of “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” They switched it up but I thought it was good.

  4. Destiny’s Road reminds me of the plot of Dark Eden by Chris Beckett. A couple of space explorers crash land and are stranded on a somewhat inhabitable planet. The book is set multiple generations later and follows the descendents of their inbred offspring who have no access to modern technologies. While most people in this society are happy to live the “simple life” some teens decide that there must be more to life outside their village.

    • There’s an interesting fix to the inbreeding problem in Destiny’s Road: A couple of caravans of merchants which go through the various settlements every six months, mostly to sell the only source of potassium on the planet, but also to fuck everyone they can find to keep the gene pool diverse. The merchants are well known for their…skills.

      • In Dark Eden, everyone is a descendant of one couple. The village has a population of around 500 and there are no skilled merchants yet because no one has left the village in 160 years.

  5. Watched White Hot: The Rise and Fall Abercrombie & Fitch

    It was not surprising that a company built on the cool white kids would kick out non whites, non skinny and non straight kids (which is ironic as their catalogue had totally homoerotic tones).  I thought it compelling as being the outsider who looked from the outside.

    I had a couple of shirts from them in the late 80s from a trip to NYC, but that’s it.

    The late MAD TV used to make fun of them a lot.  They were pretty dead bang on about them.



  6. i havent really watched much of anything thanks to @hammerzeitgeist just a couple episodes of fairy tail whenever i have time

    at the rate im going….ill probably run out of episodes in a few years

    aaaand listening to ye olde privateers

    first time ive seen a 360 view music video…cool

  7. I read an odd little book called Pin by Andrew Neiderman. Someone recommended the movie but I always like to read it first. Now I can’t wait to watch it.

  8. Thank you to @Butcherbakertoiletrymaker for this week’s Brain Drain, and to all who posted in April.

    You all did an excellent job if it, and it was a pleasure to hear from others. If anyone wants a regular week for Brain Drain please speak up…one a month may be an acceptable commitment?

  9. I also watched a couple of episodes of HBO’s Julia. But only a couple.

    I wanted to like it more. Sarah Lancashire and David Hyde Pierce are great as Julia and Paul Child, and there are plenty of fun bits about early TV.

    But it ended up feeling way too stagey for me, and leaned too far into ABC Afterschool Special/ NY Times Opinion Section territory — too many obvious lessons awkwardly delivered.

    It’s pretty good, to be fair, but I wish it was more interested in Julia Child as a person than as a Meaning with a Capital M.

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