Saturday Morning Brain Drain [5/3/22]

A place to let it all out.

What I watched:  I am still watching the Murdoch Mysteries, most recently the eighty-fifth show, number seven of season seven of fifteen seasons, Loch Ness Murdoch. In this show, Murdoch invents Scrabble and Constable Crabtree invents Frisbee. Detective Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are still not married, and the solvable hourly murders are fun (or fun as murder gets.) So, no change.

Fine people of DeadSplinter, it is up to you offer and share your viewing pleasures!

What I read: I read many books this week. I can only watch a few a Murdochs at a time, so I get bonus reading in. I’m on book six of the eleven book series Modern Magick by Charlotte E. English. It is a comfortable series with sentient houses, magical creatures, good guys vs. bad guys, and a heroine with a magic ring that changes her hair color to coordinate with her attire. Here is the blurb from book one, The Road to Farringale:

Can British magick be saved? Hell yes. Imagine modern Britain without magick. No fae enclaves. No flying chairs. No magick wands. Giddy gods, no unicorns. Who wants to live in that world? Me neither. But with magick on the decline, that’s the world we’re ending up with. Meet the Society for Magickal Heritage. Our boss is a disembodied voice. Our headquarters is a sentient house. You could say we’ve a vested interest in keeping magick alive. Can a ragtag bunch of magicians, necromancers and fae prevail against inevitable ruin and decline? Hell yes. Try and stop us. First mission? Find the source of a magickal disease that’s decimating Britain’s troll enclaves — and fix it. Simple. Or… maybe not. For the only place that might hold the information we need is the ancient and inconveniently lost enclave of Farringale…”

Then I bumped into the unexpectedly delightful five-book Heartstriker series, beginning with Nice Dragons Finish Last. Did one of you recommend these books? Author Rachel Adams writes for those who like the same genres that she reads, “fantasy (urban and traditional), Romance (paranormal and Regency), and Science Fiction (all kinds)”.

Here is the blurb:

As the smallest dragon in the Heartstriker clan, Julius survives by a simple code: stay quiet, don’t cause trouble, and keep out of the way of bigger dragons. But this meek behavior doesn’t cut it in a family of ambitious predators, and his mother, Bethesda the Heartstriker, has finally reached the end of her patience. Now, sealed in human form and banished to the DFZ–a vertical metropolis built on the ruins of Old Detroit–Julius has one month to prove to his mother that he can be a ruthless dragon or lose his true shape forever. But in a city of modern mages and vengeful spirits where dragons are seen as monsters to be exterminated, he’s going to need some serious help to survive this test. He just hopes humans are more trustworthy than dragons.

And I read Storm Blood: A Montague & Strong Detective Novel (Montague & Strong Case Files Book 15) by Orlando A. Sanchez, which I inhaled in an evening but will not be a fun read unless you’ve read the previous books, because prior characters are mentioned throughout, in passing and out of context.

What I listened to this week: Three versions of I’m on Fire/Bad Desire, by The Dead Rose Music Company, Johnny Cash, and the Boss:

So, darling, dearest, DeadSplinterites, are you feeling all right? What have you watched, read, or listened to? Please check in, tell us how you are, and share what you are up to!

About Elliecoo 506 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. Watched:  All Is Lost, which is a solo Robert Redford film in the mold of Tom Hank’s Castaway, but much more extreme.  Redford is literally the only person you see in the film, except for the hand and arm of one other person.  Also, aside from about a minute of narration at the very beginning of the film, Redford doesn’t say anything else until just over an hour into the film when he yells, “Fuck!”.  Now, to be clear, while I was watching this film, I thought to myself, “Redford’s character must be the most spiritually advanced person on the planet, because if I were in his shoes the movie would consist of a non-stop stream of ‘FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK’ through the whole thing.”  Even with one cast member and almost zero speaking, the movie did a good job of holding my attention.

    Read: Whoops, Humans Made a Space Barrier Around Earth.  This is an article on Popular Mechanics and at first I thought it was going to be about all of the space junk in orbit, but it’s actually about our use of VLF waves and how these keep cosmic radiation at bay around the planet.  At the end of the article was the suggestion that this could be the solution to keeping humans safe from radiation during long haul space travel–put a VLF emitter on the ship and it could keep radiation from getting to the people inside.  Interesting read for a geek like me.

    Listened:  The latest stop on the best engineered albums of all time is Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings.  Engineered by Geoff Emerick, an alumnus of past Beatles albums.  Most of the initial tracking was done at a studio in Lagos, Nigeria, which had just emerged from a civil war and was…not a nice place to be.  At one point Paul and Linda were robbed at knife point, with the thieves making off with a bag of song lyrics and various tapes.  Also, just before heading down there, two members of the band quit, so Paul had to take over playing the drums, percussion, and most of the lead guitar tracks in addition to his regular bass playing.  The studio itself was in a terrible state of disrepair.  Overdubs were done in England, and the song “Jet” was cut entirely in England.  Aside from all of these issues, the album sounds very good, which is one of the reasons why it’s on my list.  This is a great example of overcoming a ton of technical and logistical problems to put together something that sounds much better than it has any right to be.


  2. Remember websites? Like 10 years ago, they used to be a big deal until Facebook muscled in?

    Remember Cracked? Well I just caught on to which was founded by a few of their refugees, like Seanbaby. A lot is paywalled, but there is still a lot of stuff like rundowns of 1990s VHS cassettes of Christian ventriloquist acts and online debates about the appropriateness of shoving dummies into suitcases in front of children.

    I hesitated a bit about posting this link because Cracked had a me too problem with one of its top writers and management not taking evidence against him seriously. I searched a bit and I don’t think the people involved are connected to this new site, but if I’m wrong, please correct me.

  3. Slightly Stoopid did a good cover of I’m On Fire

    I’ve been in a serious funk this week.  Watching too much news, my shitty basketball team, and hoping late night tv would help make it better.  It did not.  Had my loneliest birthday, wife working late & kids gone.  They are both coming home today so that should help.  Listening to lots of Reggae/Ska to get me through…

  4. …one way or another I’ve not had the energy to fight the netflix algorithm so I’m moderately surprised I’ve actually caught a handful of things I’m kind of glad I watched…like butcher I wound up with a redford movie…three days of the condor…which might be from a while ago but holds up pretty well for the most part…though one strand of the plot is a mite problematic, you might say?

    …also saw the hunt…which is not an entirely new idea but pretty much does what it says it’s going to & isn’t any the worse for that…& the jim carey/téa leone remake of fun with dick & jane…which is indeed quite fun…& involves some vicariously enjoyable consequences for unscrupulous rich people

    …& also something about consequences less pleasant to contemplate but some undeniably beautiful images called a life on our planet with david attenborough…which to put it mildly is a sobering account of the changes wrought upon the world in the space of his lifetime…& somewhat jarringly for anyone trying to take their mind off the news opens with some stuff about ukraine…or more specifically chernobyl…but if you bear with it through to the end does make room to mention a pretty optimistic perspective on the possibility of avoiding the worst precipices of climate change?

    …& to my utter surprise…I haven’t finished reading that expanse book yet…not sure how much fun I’ve been having but apparently time flies under a variety of circumstances?

      • …was going to say it was only the fiction reading that took a dent…but given some of the purportedly non-fiction stuff I’ve come across that might not be strictly true…even so I’m genuinely surprised not to have churned through this one the way I did the others in the series…might be that I know it’s the last one…although I don’t think I’ve read all of the novellas?

    • Yes, Faye Dunaway’s role in Three Days is really 70s thinking. The rest of it is great — really more in tune with the intelligence world than most movies, starting with Redford’s employer.

  5. Just popping in to say I haven’t been watching anything lately because I’m replaying Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is the most therapeutic game that I’ve ever played (not generally a goal most games strive for). I spend my time climbing mountains, paragliding down to valleys, taming horses, foraging, solving puzzles and button mashing in a panic if I can’t run away from a baddie (yes I’m that type of gamer even though I’ve played video games since childhood).

    • …I know someone who (certainly for a while, anyway) used to play something I gather belongs to a genre known as endless runners (might have been alto’s adventure but I think it was something else?) for a similar sort of reason…they said the graphics & soundtrack were calming enough that they could sort of zone out & it was a bit like a tech-heavy sort of meditation for them?

    • I have a copy of Breath of the Wild that’s my daughter’s but I haven’t ever finished it. Actually, that’s true of a ton of video games. My new goal is to set aside time each week for leisure pursuits. I don’t commute, so there’s extra time there.

      • The commute time saved is wonderful, isn’t it? I did as much as 45 minutes one way in optimum traffic and weather for years. Hooray for working from home.

  6. I watched Taika Waititi’s new joint – Our Flag Means Death on HBOMax. It’s as goofy as you expect but maybe slightly more violent than you expect. Kind of funny, kind of not.


    Watched The Gilded Age – I can’t remember if everyone here liked it or not. It feels like a poorly written community theater production of someone’s vanity project fanfic of Downton Abbey set in the US. And I don’t like the costumes – looks like the Designer just bought fabric  and trims from an upholstery store. The outdoor sets looked like a backlot. Also, the main girl has zero charisma. Sorry to be so salty if other people liked it – but obviously I did not.

    • Blasphemy! Hahaha I love the show for being an American bastardization of Downtown Abby. The costumes a so shimmery and uncomfortable looking and I love that too. The main woman (Meryl Streep’s other daughter) is boring. She gets a few clever quips in but is mostly a vessel for the audience to tour that world in. Peggy on the other hand is way more interesting and I hope she gets her own plot instead of just the token Black character. I’m not up to date because of Zelda (see previous post).

  7. heartstriker sounds like something i might enjoy as a bedtime read…ill keep an eye out for that one

    anyways hi! cant say ive read or watched anything i’d recommend this week….ive been glued to all things ukraine for the last 10 days…cant help myself…so much going on and i have to know everything

    • @farscythe, me too…heartbreaking, and seving as witness feels like something. I hesitate to post sunflowers on social media or make it about me in any way. I did get an Obama foundation email with a list of places to contribute for direct, on the ground, relief, and did so. Still…

      • it does feel like something….we have a national all purpose donation adress giro 555

        unfortunately i have no money to give at mo

        sooo… keeping tabs on everything and sharing links to crowdsourcing stuff like the drones in the dot….and generally being frustrated that theres fuck all i can do but watch it all play out

  8. I realized HBOMax added all the seasons of Big Bang Theory and I’ve been binging those. I stopped watching around season 6 (I don’t remember why, maybe I kept getting scheduled at my retail job at night that year?). I’m in season 8 now. 🙂

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