CRRRaSh! 272 Temple of When

By Roy Mathur, on 2019-06-28, at 23:00:00 to 23:50:11 +0100 BST, for Captain Roy's Rocket Radio Show, Listen

Mostly Nerd Life

This episode is mainly to tell you I'm still here, and to chat about a few non-specific, but still geeky, things in my life.

Kojak

Every now and then, when it's about haircut time, I debate whether to just whip it all off. I'm thinning you see. In fact I have been thinning at an infinitesimal rate for about twenty years and I am not perceptively thinner than I was ten years ago, but... men. So, this time round, forgetting the other times I've tried this, I thought, "Hmmm Roy, it'll make it easier to manage, cut down the dandruff, eliminate the cold spot, and make you look younger." The last of which was the one wot dunnit. And the result? I look exactly the same age. Bugger. It does make it easier to manage, but as for the others? Even bald pates get dandruff and now my whole head is a cold spot, with the added benefit of the possibility of sunburn. And a shaved head does not mean you'll look like Telly Savalas, Yul Brynner, Patrick Stewart, or Amrish Puri. (Happy birthday Amrish Puri, 22 June 1932–12 January 2005, Mola Ram in the Temple of Doom). Look, if it's really, really going, and all you have is a ridiculous fringe surrounding the North Pole, then maybe shave it or buy a wig. Otherwise, visit your barber, which, for me, is yet another problem. Last time it involved me getting flustered by a highly attractive woman hairdresser and later bumping into a celebrity, who I knew, but I fumbled his English name and he just had to correct me. Try living with an Indian name in the UK mate. Oh, and back to hair, The Stun (yes, I'm parodying the name of the newspaper, as I will do with another august UK publication later in this episode), reports new stem cell research offers hope for the bald. I'm not holding my breath.

Chicken Like a Head

This isn't one of those clever ironic titles. I actually saw a roast chicken in Marks and Spencers, that somehow, by combining the configuration of spaces between the legs, wings, body, gaping gut hole, and over-roasted, had attained the shape of a roast human head. I ate vegetarian that night.

Every Spare Moment Gardening

The Garden is again out of control. I only recently managed to semi-tame the towering hedge. Then there's the grass, the weeds, the landscaping, the general fight against nature... I am physically exhausted.

The Appointment

The ongoing saga of the medical thingy that has led to month delayed phone call for an appointment that was further delayed continues. I had the appointment, I won't go into specifics, but it is a scheme that is supposed to make my life better. I will let you know...

Dad's Ship

With the Windrush controversy still in full swing, despite the government's awkward and painful attempts at a clumsy semi-apology, I thought I'd mention another ship that brought immigrants from the Commonwealth to fill jobs that most of the white British population thought beneath them. In 1960, with GBP 5.00 in his pocket, a childhood friend called Jack acting as his immigration guarantor, my father paid MUR 1013.00 (GBP 22.44, EUR 24.98, or USD 28.44) for a 4th class passage to England aboard a French ship called the Jean Laborde. Arriving at Marseille, he took the night train to Paris, Gare Du Nord, then Gare Saint-Lazare, then on to Calais, where he boarded a ferry to England. From Dover, he took a train to London Victoria. You can see the ship, that regularly plied the Marseilles-Madagascar-Mauritius route, in my Tweet.

Both my mother and father say that lodging signs really did say, "No dogs, no Irish, no blacks."

Pennyworth

The new trailer for Pennyworth, the Batman prequel/spinoff about the pre-Batman life of one of our favourite butlers. (He's not bad, but Parker from Thunderbirds is a better butler). It looks to be a London The Krays-like crime drama. It looks good, but I'm not sure expanding on Alfred Pennyworth's life is something that interests me. Expect a lot of "cor blimey gov" and "shooters".

Legends

Legend is undercover parlance for a fabricated identity. Sean Bean is Martin Odum, an FBI undercover operative famous for sinking deep into his cover identities. In the pilot, he is infiltrating a White Nationalist terrorist organisation. There's also a sub-plot about a conspiracy centred on whether or not his real-life identity is not itself a cover. It comes off just as awful as NCIS, with the usual boring Scooby team supporting the main man.

It also shares the ignominy of burying the Asian guy. First it was bury the black guy, then it was fridge the woman, then kill the gay character, and now it's murder the brown guy. Thank you very much. See All the Boys Love Mandy Lane; CRRRaSh! 4 and Escape Room; CRRRaSh! 262, for further examples of this annoying trope. Hey, when filmmakers stop doing this, I'll stop talking about it.

It's not good, and was cancelled after two seasons running in 2011 and 2015. This is a sub-par realisation of the eponymous spy thriller. The novel it is based on is currently available for GBP 1.00 in UK Poundland. That is, in fact, how I heard about the show. Buy that instead.

The Three Musketeers

This film 1973, starring Oliver Reed and Michael York, is one of my favourite films. It also contains one of my favourite scenes, and we are staying in the spirit of poultry related topics, when the companions steal a roast chicken right from the table of a customer and hide it under Athos's doublet. Huzzah!

Temple of Doom

From listening to the Slash Film Cast Daily, I found out that Temple of Doom is set before Raiders of the Lost Ark. Mind blown. How many times have I watched that? More like the Temple of When.

Pet Sematary I saw this second adaptation from 2019 of the Stephen King novel quite some time ago. I liked the look, the effects... I liked everything until after the tragic thing happens. After that, the film just lumps along through the quagmire. Great that we get the Ramones Song of the same name in the end credits, which legend has it, was conceived during the band's visit to the home of Stephen King.

Nitin Sawney

Usually I'm jealous when I hear of someone doing much better than me, but not in this case. There was this article about a bloke, with a really familiar face, accepting an Ivor Novello lifetime achievement award. I suppose it struck a dull bell in my head because I had mentioned in CRRRaSh! 268 that the Verve's Richard Ashcroft had also recently been awarded an Ivor Novello. That chap with the familiar face turned out to be Nitin Sawney, who I had last seen years ago playing a comedy bit part in some TV movie. Apparently, he had not spent all the intervening years post-Goodness Gracious Me on the Z-list, but had made ten albums and become a roaringly successful musical virtuoso. Check out his off-the-cuff attempt at Van Halen's Eruption or just stick his name into YouTube search and see him playing the flamenco guitar with flying fingers that appear possessed by Mephistopheles. His ease with the guitar reminds of Dominique Valera's ease karate'ing the hell out an unfortunate opponent. (This is an old guy reference, you'll have to look up yourself). Or the flow of words in an early Stephen King novel. Anyway, seeing a brown person doing well accounts for my tweet to my mum of this chap accepting an award.

Ray Garton

I recently almost finished rereading Live Girls by Ray Garton. It is a schlocky vampire horror from the 80s that was making the geek rounds back then. Ray Garton has a reputation for writing and not pulling back... Let's leave it at that, so we can retain our cleanijng rating. But it may be unjustified, as I've read James Herbert passages that you would not want to read to your granny. I'll talk it more soon.

Final Crisis

I gave up trying to untangle Grant Morrison's Final Crisis trade about 30 pages in. It's a seven issue series about a Darkseid plot, blah, blah, blah, New Gods, blah, blah, blah, Apokolips. It felt indulgent make-weird by going wordy Grant Morrison, rather than good Grant Morrison, like All-Star Superman.

Chewy and Solid Sweet Reversal and Manufactured Outrage

Remember those sweets that I've been hoarding? I recently tucked into a hard, crunchy sherbet lemon and found it had turned into a chewy yellow toffee, while my soft and squidgy Percy Pigs had gone as hard as baked clay. What an odd chemical reversal.

While Googling sherbet, I also found out that there had been a national outrage (almost certainly manufactured by the Daily Heil) regarding one of my favourite sweets, when Barratt changed the packaging of their Sherbet Fountain (a tube of lemon sherbet with a stick of liquorice) from cardboard to plastic. I also read that the traditional liquorice straw had changed to a solid stick, which accounts for my almost aneurysm-inducing futile attempt to extract sherbet via this obsolete method a few years ago. Marks and Spencers also changed Percy Pig to a vegan recipe, further incurring the wrath of the Heil. I'm not concerned with the latter, because I always hankered after Percy Pigs and I can now enjoy them guilt-free, but, while I don't miss the soggy cardboard mess of the old Sherbet Fountain packaging, I do miss the liquorice straw.

Time for a trip to the sweet shop.

Paterson's Revolting Shortbread

Another stunning product dumped in Poundland. The low fat, low sugar change of recipe has turned Paterson's Shortbread biscuits into inedible breeze blocks. Paterson's made the change for health reasons, but that is like making a healthy chocolate bar—why bother?

Disregard My Previous Glasses Cleaning Tip!

Yes, a 5% solution of vodka in distilled water is non-toxic, but it's terrible as a cleaning solution for plastics. That is because ethanol is corrosive, which explains the weird streaks on the frames of previous Glasses of Nerd made of cellulose acetate. This is why commercial cleaning solutions often use the toxic, but materials safe isopropyl alcohol. My revised advice is to use nothing but your breath and a high quality camera lense cloths (e.g. Pentax) to clean your glasses. If they are very dirty, use a drop of dish washing liquid in water.

Caramel Brand Cheap Baritone Ukulele Review

One of things that makes life better is music, and my latest instrument purchase arrived! It's a solid mahogany baritone electro acoustic ukulele by the Caramel brand. It also has a truss rod (rare) and costs about GBP 50... 50! And it's okay, apart from a few things, like a cracked tuner button. The tuners are pretty bad because they have been mangled by the fitter, so I will change them. I also stuck my phone into the body to examine the interior workmanship, and it is a little slapdash. It sounds absolutely fine though and is easy to play. I think the fretboard, fret finishing, and action is superb. Judging by the parts of the ukulele that require human attention in the largely, one assumes, automated process, that is where the problem lies. I saw blobby glue, sloppy workmanship, roughly tied strings etc. Although I am not a luthier and can barely play my instruments, even I could have done a better job than the factory workers, which suggests they are using either a totally unskilled labour force or ridiculous time constraints, or both. The declared customs value is USD 10.00 gives you an idea of Caramel's profit margins.

Doctor Who Overload Imminent

A Doctor Who specific episode is coming very soon... and another soon after that... and then another. In fact, prepare for an overload of Old Who talk.