CRRRaSh! 328 Blackberry Preserve

By Roy Mathur, on 2020-08-13, at 23:00:00--00:01:47 BST, for Captain Roy's Rocket Radio Show, Listen

The State of Me

Life is a ginormous pain lately. The bloody virus is killing getting my life started again and is wearing me very thin. Well, not thin, actually fatter, but thinner metaphorically speaking.

If you listened to the last episode, you'll have heard about the almost-flood caused by my father's DIY and averted by my mother, the broken sofa repaired by my mother with a big rubber mallet (it worked, but don't do carpentry this way, please), and the vertical blinds repaired by me after more of my father's DIY. Again humans, I beseech you, don't DIY if you can't. As I've quoted many times before humans, as Dirty Harry says, "A man's gotta know his limitations."

I Made Blackberry Preserve

Preserve is lightly cooked jam made with whole fruit. I couldn't find it the shop, so I made my own bramble preserve. It looked sloppy, but cooled and firmed up nicely.

I used a vegan jam sugar with added pectin. Recipe: 400g sugar, 400g blackberries, simmer and stir whole fruit carefully for 20 minutes, then seal in sterilised jar to cool.

Bad Haircut

I made a mistake. It's when I often make every time my hair grows and I can't get an appointment with the hairdresser. I cut my own hair. In other words, I cut it down to grade one.

It sucks because I've been told I look younger, or cleaner, both of which are slightly true, but why mess with a thinning widow's peak when you can be the Delgado Master?

Job for listeners: if you hear me say I'm going to cut my hair, perhaps warm me to seek an expert, i.e. a barber, not s shrink.

The Umbrella Academy

Season 2 boxsetted.

Time travelling super assassin, Five, has a plan to get his family back together and back to the current era as they are stranded in the 60s just before the assassination of JFK. There's a bit about civil rights and the baddy's daughter, and it ends with 5 managing to further complicate the situation.

I said season 1 was better than the comics, I'm not sure about season 2 as I haven't, and probably won't, read that far.


Much as I've come to hate the series, I had to watch the final season.

After the consistently disastrous outcome of the machinations of supposedly very clever people like Saul and Carrie, I guess the recurrent theme of the show is that no matter how clever you think you are, you will mess things up in the end. Dirty tricks are futile and will bite you in the bum. Karmic justice.

No Dar Adal! Damnit, I loved F. Murray Abraham's scheming evil genius, but I guess he's still in jail where he belongs. Man, I hope Abraham is cast in something else soon, but not a sitcom! Do you remember By the Sword? (1991).

The Deceived

I started watching it, but I hate the antagonist so much, I can't go on. In real life, I actually knew a guy very like him (it's not an entirely unfair characterisation of some university lecturers), so it's hard to watch.

Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant to Star in Doctor Who Audio Drama

Not quite the return I hoped for. I wish Christopher Eccleston would come back for just one last appearance in the TV show because he as definitely the coolest looking Doctor. I'm sure David Tennant took a few cues from his predecessor's performance.

Monopoly Big Tech Special Edition Board Game

After those big tech anti-trust trials in the USA, I have to wonder why the Hasbro hasn't brought out Big Tech Special Edition of their Monopoly board game.

Okay, sure, libel lawsuits and brand copyright infringement etc., but wouldn't it be good?

Has Anybody Seen My Girl? (Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue)

I'm learning this song. It is incredibly kitsch, but one of those standards for ukulele players. Its origins are disputed, but it was written sometime between 1914 and 1925.

It was the time of banjoleles (1917), flappers, and sheiks. Yeah, sheiks, the boater wearing male counterparts to female flappers, named after the titular character played by Rudolph Valentino (Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filiberto Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguella) in 1921, and the trends set by people like the unbelievably cool celebrity Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa.

Best of Bond James Bond 50th Anniversary Collection

The best singer of the lot is, of course, Shirley Bassey, the queen of Bond themes, though they are all good, even the widely dis'd Another Way to Die by Jack White and Alicia Keys.

I wouldn't mind adding some of those to my repertoire as they fit the, frankly, campy nature of my banjolele.

Mauritius Oil Spill

The Prime Minister declared a state of emergency and members of the public are helping to clean the oil spill caused by the MV Wakashio, apparently carrying 4000 tonnes of fuel oil, which hit a coral reef on the 25th of July. Though the reefs have declined in health of the past 50 years---I should know as I have dived them many times---they are still vital the tourism economy. France is also assisting and Akihiko Ono, executive vice president of Mitsui OSK; the owners of the ship, apologised and said that the company would help. A fat lot of good that apology will do. Seriously, how useless is that?

The police are currently investigating the cause of the collision and the leak has stopped after 3000 tonnes of 4000 tonnes of oil were pumped out. Of course, that leaves 1000 tonnes of oil destroying the reefs, fish, beaches, and polluting the local air.

Roku YouTube App Suddenly Terrible

I don't know what update caused this, and whether it's the fault of YouTube of Roku, but the app is starting to suck badly. If you look at the Roku forums, you'll find that I'm not the only one complaining. Fast forwarding and rewinding tends to send the video into buffering hell, which should not happen, as my connection is obscenely fast. Pause also kicks you out after a few minutes.

And the sudden inundation of YouTube ads---why are there so many recently? I've been hitting the feedback icon repeatedly to complain.

Isn't Google replete with enough devs to fix these problems, and also rich enough to maybe make a little less from ads?

Custom Duck Duck Go Website Search

I changed my website search from Google Custom Search to Duck Duck Go, and semi-learned how to add a plain text box and button on my website.

"Semi", really proves I'm a proper coder, because why reinvent the wheel, when you can cobble together code from others? Seriously, if you want to learn to program, learn from examples. Hack your code together, because learning from scratch is utterly and completely pointless.

It worked, sort of, but I noticed it won't search directories lower than the page that contains the search code. I checked lots of DDG parameters, but nothing works. Let me know if you know how to fix this.

Microsoft Might Acquire TikTok

Microsoft Kiss of Death: Hotmail, Skype, LinkedIn, Nokia, and TikTok?

Okay, this is an admittedly subjective view, as not all those buy-outs have tanked, but they haven't improved, and Nokia... Microsoft didn't do such a bang up job with them.

A-Level Algorithm Chaos

The lockdown meant that exams were cancelled and replaced by an Ofqual statistical model, which uses schools' exam history and pupils' previous results.

The result of this algorithm meant that many A-levels were downgraded in England.

This is slowly being redressed through appeals, but unfairly downgrading results because a school is in a deprived area is another case of biased algorithm design and the reason for including this item in the tech section.

Later breaking: I just heard on the radio that the exam results cannot be lower than mock exam results on appeal, which shows that the government has acknowledged that the algorithm is flawed.

Heat, Cold Food, and Motivation

I've mostly been eating cold food, because the heat is doing me in. By doing me in, I mean exactly that. I can barely sleep and my brain is addled, hence no shows recently.

That and motivation, which has also been lacking. Sorry, but if I don't get feedback, my motivation to do new episodes tends to plummet.

Saying that, although the pod was only downloaded 825 times in June, and barely at all this month, the figure spiked to 1371 in July. So if you listened in July thanks, tell your friends, and get in touch and tell me if you think I should set up a Patreon account CRRRaSh!