CRRRaSh! 396 Heatwave

By Roy Mathur, on 2021-07-22, at 22:41:09--23:43:16 BST, for Captain Roy's Rocket Radio Show, Listen

Heatwave

The pod was away longer than I intended because a heatwave in England that made me sick with heat exhaustion. A few weeks ago, in Vancouver, the city where I used to live, it was 49.5 degrees and the heatwave killed 68+ people. And wildfires? Look at the news.

Every year you hear me inundate you with personal weather woe bulletins. You hear me talk about having no heat one winter, the polar vortex, but mostly I complain about the heat.

It's reached the crazy stage when politicians are finally acknowledging the climate crisis, but will anything happen? Who knows?

Freedom Day

Freedom Day happened in the midst of a big surge of infections, the world laughs at us and even the CDC in the USA puts out a travel advisory against travelling here.

Despite all that, people like Andrew Lloyd Webber and some nightclub owners bleat about it. It's as if they think complaining about Covid-19 restrictions will somehow make the whole thing go away.

Altogether, not exactly our finest hour.

No, it won't go away, we can't wish it away, and you can't hold back nature. We're just have going to have to go on being safe and live with the virus until---young and old---are all inoculated, and then inoculated again with a booster vaccine, and then maybe inoculated each year forever.

It's either that, or accept the death, in a really nasty way, of millions of the most vulnerable annually. I once nearly drowned and can tell you there're few things worse than not being able to breath.

I want things to go back to normal as much as the next person, probably moreso as I'm not getting any younger and the cinema was a huge part of my life before the pandemic. I physically miss going to the cinema, like heroin, but I'm not sure we will ever return to the kind of normality we were once used to. We will have to simply adapt to survive.

Wasps

Mum was stung multiple times by a swarm of wasps (2021-07-21 c. 22:00). I dabbed on lidocaine and gave her antihistamine and rushed her to my local A and E.

On the way home, I had a call from Mum saying that the staff told her they couldn't see her and she'd have to make her way on her own to the Urgent Care, where she'd have to wait another 4 hours. My mum is tough, but she's also 77 and was covered in painful stings and shaking with shock. Compassion anyone?

This isn't the first example of awful care I've seen from that same A and E. Mum was once told to walk to another department on a injured leg on which she could barely stand. And what about the time I helped a guy who tried to kill himself with pills, only to find he'd been discharged immediately after having his stomach pumped. I found him sitting in Outpatients with the cardboard puke box they'd given him.

I've had surprisingly terrible experiences with that hospital, even in addition to the above, but to be fair, I've also had a few positive ones too. Not sure that entirely makes up for shoddiness, but the speech therapy and hearing departments have been great. However, is this really the best we can do, even if the NHS have their hands full thanks to that blathering baboon Boris?

Update: the wasps stung me right on an arthritic thumb when I went to shut the garage door later that night. Hey, entomologists, why do wasps go for the joints? It is because they are seeking a vulnerable spot on a larger animal or simply because they are gits? The next day, feeling like Mr Inbetween, I suited up and took them out. Yes, I do feel guilty, but it was them or us.

Car

The car, that has already been "repaired" three times by two separate garages, is again suffering from the same fault, which manifested on the same night I drove Mum to the hospital. I crawled over a tiny speed bumb at about 0 mph and felt the pop. Joy.

Update: I took it in (2021-07-22 c. 11:00) and was told it was a parts failure.

The Tomorrow War

The Tomorrow War was vastly enjoyable. A bouillabaisse of Edge of Tomorrow, Robert Heinlein's Elsewhen and Starship Troopers, Joe Haldeman's The Forever War, FPS/TPS, a dash of The Thing, etc. But hey, Hollywood, why was the protagonist a white guy yet again? And again. And again.

It's sppoiled by that one thing. Sure, it's a diverse cast, but the white guy cannot continue to be the only type of action hero, or the future of humankind, even in fiction. It has to stop. It had to stop years ago. It's unhealthy and fetishizes maleness and whiteness and smacks of imperialistic ideas of The White Man's Burden (see The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands by Rudyard Kipling). It's weird and sick. Stop it.

The Unholy

Jame's Herbert's The Shrine transplanted to America. (Yes, that old crap again).

Anyway, in this a drunken, embittered, jaded weird press hack stumbles onto a genuine miracle at a small Roman Catholic Church, but is it Yahweh pulling the strings?

It's average and very not scary.

Black Widow

Scarlet Johanson's Black Widow tries to break out her enslaved sister assassins from the Red Room.

It's a refreshingly bone-crunching female action movie, that is also instantly forgettable.

Infinite

Appalling derivative crap about nice people who can remember their past lives fighting nasty people who can also remember their past lives. It's Inception, Highlander, Assassin's Creed, Intruders (BBC America 2014 TV sci-fi thriller series) mixed in with a bit of Hindu Lite, and oh, the V.O. exposition. Shut the hell up, I can see what's happening.

The one shining beacon was Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was excellent in this otherwise dismal shambles.

A Quiet Place Part II

Emily Blunt is supermum in this sequel to the alien invasion story. After her husbands death, she tries to enlist the help of bitter Cillian Murphy, while one of the kids searches for possible salvation via a radio message. Why play Beyond the Sea, when you can just record a message saying come find us at---? While I appreciate the attempt at poetic purple prose in the script and love the crooning of Bobby Darin, that was needlessly cryptic.

Those aliens as basically the evolved bats on ITV's Primeval and stylistically the demogorgon from Stranger Things.

A kid saved the day, which was nice, but please less dystopic sci-fi. I don't want the cultural zeitgiest of 2020s to be that we've given up, so fuck it all.

Loki

The finale happened and, much to my surprise, there is going to be a second season.

So far, the series as a whole and the big reveal ending---that the wizard behind the curtain controlling the TVA was Kang---was okay. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the show, I particularly enjoyed Tom Hiddleston's acting, but I know next to nothing about Kang the Conqueror. Though, from what I've read recently, the descendent of Mr Fantastic seems like an awfully fascinating character; a normal human fully utilising his intellect to be a complete and utter bastard. What is wrong with us as a species?

Firefox

Fresh after boot, I was 20+ min stuck trying to download one document in Firefox. Then it took down my desktop. Then the crash reporter's crashed. It almost made me late taking Mum to the opticians.

I've narrowed down my worst computer problems to Windows and Firefox (all versions). Why is such basic computer functionality so difficult to attain? Rhetorical---I worked in IT---a few good staff does not make up for a huge, incompetent, bureaucratic corporation.

By the way, I just about made the appointment, though I had to leave without the right documents. Of course, they were in the printer tray when I returned. Tangentially: at the appointment, a scab randomly fell off my arm, which started bleeding. I'm a wreck.

I eventually downloaded and update and, boy, has Firefox changed again. The UI at least was different, but the RAM usage? The same.

Do I sound ungrateful? I really hope I do.

Windows 11

For many years years, you've heard my complaints with many versions of Windows. Though I tried and tested 10 extensively, I've stuck with 32-bit Windows 7 because of software compatibility issues.

Initially, I liked the look of 11. The rounded corners and shadows soothed my mature eyes in comparison the flat sharpness of Windows 10. However, hardware compatibility means that I will never upgrade unless I buy I new machine.

Windows 365

I don't know too much about this, but cloud Windows as a service sounds horrible.

Sure, don't worry about updates, but pay a recurring subscription instead. Oh my god, how Microsoft would love that. And do we really want the Thin Client/Server type architecture in our homes, that was once common to the locked down corporate workplace?

Audacity

Where to even begin? Audacity was bought out by a music software company called Muse Group, who decided to load it up with telemetry

I don't know the full skinny, but even if their intentions were pure, telemetry in an Open Source audio recording app was bound to set alarm bells ringing.

My point of view is that I don't care what the reasons are, I don't want any telemetry in Audacity. Frankly, I don't want any software---paid or unpaid, proprietary or Open Source--- dialing home, full-stop.

I personally use version 2.1.3 from 2017 because I hate newer UIs. This is of course way before Muse took over. You can use slightly newer, but still legacy versions, or support the various forks that have sprung up.

Job

After I said creative jobs are few and far between, I found another and I'm applying for it right now. I'll do my my absolute very best with the application, but I hold out absolutely zero hope that I'll get it. Isn't that the way of the samurai? I have no idea, but it sounds plausible.

The trouble is, I've applied to many jobs where they say, "We want diversity, we want unique voices, blah, blah, blah", but when those same people are looking over your application form, they seem to suddenly think, "Whoah, maybe this person's too diverse."

Social Non-Interactive Media

Am I wasting my time Tweeting or podcasting, because my interaction with listeners is slumping again.

I'm sorry not every episode is rosy, but this is a pod about my personal creative journey. While I don't think this is a misery cast (is it?) it's not going always going to be a ride on the Joy Fest Express. As a grown-up, I have a lot of adult crap to deal with, on top of trying to be a productive creative, but if that's not for you, I understand and adieu.

Being any kind of artist is fraught with obstacles. Perhaps you'd like to get in touch and tell me how you overcame adversity to create something; about how you never gave in, like I'm trying to do. Although, at times it feels like crashing over and over again into the same brick wall like Volvo crash test films.

I'm not interested in hearing from Spielbergs, I'm looking for more modest achievements, though that probably required as much and possibly greater effort. Maybe you finally got a book deal or sold your first script or artwork, after decades of trying. I'm waiting to hear from you.