By Roy Mathur, on 2022-05-16, at 23:08:36--00:13:28 BST, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show, Listen
This is a sci-fi, fantasy, and tech podcast, but it's also a full-service geek podcast, which means also talking about tech, as well as the trials and tribulations of geek life. (Unless you're an undead geek because I don't cover undead geek life, though with my vitamin D problems, perhaps I should).
In fact, since the very first episode in 2012, I nearly always have something to say about tech. It is the reason I got a job as a technology and pop culture columnist in the first place. (Boy, would I like my old job back. Editors, are you listening?)
I'm finally arriving at my point, and that is I primarily talk genre entertainment in both weekly shows, but on the one uploaded on Wednesday, I also talk about life (including health issues), and tech because I'm am alive, and I'm a geek, and geeks like me like tech. Maybe I make this point too often, but sometimes new listeners are confused when I transition from pop culture to tech on the show. I'm hardly unique in this and I am not the only geek show that does it, but they usually do it the other way around: tech shows that also cover a little media on the side. Rest assured, this will always be mainly about SFFH, as it has been right from the beginning, and through all those eccentric name changes.
Geeks like me also like lots of other things too, like art, and music, as you are about to find out... again. It is the full stack, though SFFH is my addiction of choice. Be forewarned to expect spoilers in every damn thing I say. Forever. Enjoy enjoy.
I've been off PPIs for a couple of months. I still suffer bouts of acid reflux every day, but less severely.
Benefits, if any? I'm less gassy and I've lost weight; mainly because I can no longer enjoy being human dustbin. I'm sweating less. I'm less gassy.
Disadvantages? I can no longer longer be a human dustbin. I smell bad, despite being forced to eat less spicy food. Is that related? I also seem to be getting more migraines, though that could just be the stress of family life. Finally, my Tourette Syndrome seems to be playing up, though that could be due to the loss of weight (when I get fitter, it gets worse), allergy season, and stress.
As you get older, many of us, with health conditions of our own, have to at least partly take up some care duties. For me it's Mum and Dad. But don't let those health duties adversely affect your own otherwise you will end up failing, not only yourself, but everybody who relies on you.
I'm talking about this because, ignoring visual auras that soon pass and pain, phonophobia, and photophobia that does not, the one thing I didn't count on with migraines was the confusion. Last Thursday (2022-05-12) that lead to me quite literally driving around and around the same roundabout trying to get my parents to a clinic. Road diversions added to the fun on the way home, making a total of ten minutes of driving time each way into half an hour. As I write this, I've just returned, and even typing is difficult.
Take care of yourself, otherwise you won't be able to take care of anyone else.
Ending on a lighter note, I discovered last Thursday (2022-05-12) that I get the migraine munchies and crave sweet stuff. It's like the pot munchies, but less fun.
My new blue post-Brexit passport arrived weeks ago. It is nothing like the old large formart hard card passport I remember from childhood. It's just like the pre-Brexit document, only a different colour and with less words. I am entirely unimpressed. What I am impressed by was how phenomenally early I received it, considering the hellish passport backlog in the UK.
But the supporting documents, including my Canadian and Mauritian passport only arrived a couple of days ago in a suspiciously torn envelope via normal mail. I say suspicious because identity theft is fairly rampant today. Fingers-crossed it was just damage sustained by a bulky packet negotiating the hard knocks of the British postal system.
I was quite worried at how long they took because the HMPO say on their website that they aren't responsible for returned documents lost in the post. I.e. they are adjuring all responsibility for the lost of possibly life altering documentation. So I was very glad I got them back.
Of course, that still means I have the stress of renewing the other two passports---the fun of dual or triple nationality---but maybe that can wait until after a sorely needed holiday.
Travel enough and you'll grow to hate passports and borders. I can only see this bureaucratic bullshit get worse as we spread through the universe. Can you imagine the fun it will be applying for a Martian visa?
Great segue! This is the most opportune of times to announce the return of cult parody metal band Spinal Tap's return in a sequel to the 1984 mockumentary rockumentary documentary, This is Spinal Tap.
This is Spinal Tap 2, premiering in 2024, will catch up with the now aging rockers. Smell the Glove... of the future, metal heads.
It turns out my Picard finale review in 439 was hasty as there was another episode. (Duhhh!) I have since watched and enjoyed episode 10. It doesn't change my overall feelings about the show, but I did find it enjoyable and it twanged my heartstrings mightily... on a deeply personal level. You'll have to go back in time to earlier pods to understand, I'm not explaining now, though we'll be revisiting the topic in a later show. I know how opaque that is, but read between the lines.
I thoroughly enjoyed the return of Wesley Crusher, a character I liked in TNG (I still can't understand the animosity). Though I found it a little too trite how they wove him into the Gary Seven lore.
Finally, Allison Pill's final tentacular Borg Queen scene made me to somewhat favourably reappraise her performance.
Christopher Pike' Kirk's predecessor on the Enterprise is back in. Is he still doomed to the horrific future of TOS, or are we still throughing all the lore out with the multiverse of new possibilities created by the reboot movies, etc.? I don't know, but I'm glad to see Pike back.
And for the diehard TOS Trekkie, we've got new actresses and actors playing Nurse Christine Chapel, Doctor M'Benga, Urura, Number One, Spock, the damned Enterprise... The Enterprise! Oh. My. God. And a whole adventure on a, not-so-strange new world honestly, but at least initially seen from the eyes of aliens, who regard us as the advanced visitors from outer space.
Look, this is never going to equal the original series for TOS fans like me because look at the writers they had back then. But it is a return to the traditions of Star Trek. It's intelligent, adventurous, but grown-up, instead of relentlessly grimdark gritty.
Anson Mount's pretty damn good as a haunted Pike. You get that from the original actor from TOS, Jeffrey Hunter, and you get it from Mount. And I really envy his Earth countryside abode and I love that he loves The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Fanservice, but who cares?
According to the BBC, David Tennant's tenth Doctor and companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) will return in 2023 for the 60th anniversary celebrations.
Showrunner Russell T. Davies says, "...it’s going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime."
Once upon a time, I started a band. It was mostly to meet a partner because apparently, I mean you can't meet women if you are a shutin. It took about two jam sessions for me to get sidelined in my own band (through my innate lack of talent). Band members seemed to have forgotten that we were doing a social thing and not Judas Priest. I immediately rage-quit/dissolved the band. It's like the writing group or the bloody beach trip or the gaming group or the... Don't get me started. I come up with something then some other bastard swoops in. Can you tell I'm not bitter, but that's rock and roll.
I'm getting side-tracked. This week, we explore science fiction, fantasy, and horror based music; given my personal tastes; that will predominantly, though not exclusively, mean the rock'n'rolla! NB/ I have covered snippets of this topic in previous pods, but this is a longer, but still fairly potted, delve.
Science fiction, fantasy, and, horror is a rich ground for fleecing ideas, sorry, I meant, "inspiration".
To be fair, though, bands like Hawkwind were space rock auteurs, rather simply acquisitive musicians fans of science fiction and fantasy, through their long working relationship with Michael Moorcock. Yeah, sure, songs like Silver Machine and Needlegun are full of school boy innuendo, but I tend to ignore that and literally contemplate the futuristic, iconic weapon of super spy/wizard/scientist/post-human/post-gender/multiverse-trippin' and rockin' weirdo, Jerry Cornelius. Wait, what I just said was exactly double entendre; the eternal curse of being British, or so I've been told by those from abroad. Picking but one of a prolific back catalogue, Hawkwind's The Chronicle of the Black Sword is all about Moorcock's most famous creation; the pale, skinny, sorcerer, Elric of Melnibone; cursed with a giant sword. I can't stop, can I? Let's set sail on the seas of space and move on from Hawkwind; too obvious an exemplar.
There's the stoner dream of Sleep's beautifully bluesy Dragonaut; a soaring sonic fantasy painted on a vast landscape, evoked by psychedelic lyrics, "Ride the dragon toward the crimson eye" indeed.
In Iron Maiden's Somewhere in Time album's, Caught Somewhere in Time, undead mascot, Eddie goes full-Terminator.
What about the worship of vintage Hammer Films and other British horror movies---a past time I share---in the kitschy, catchy doom of Electric Wizard?
The contradiction of the both rhythmic and discordant sinister prog of Goblin; featuring in so many Italian horror movies, particularly those of Dario Argento's movies, and other giallo films.
There's also amateur indie rock metal in the form of Jeff Buser epic death metal song, The Traveller, (podcast episode 28) dedicated to E. C. Tubb's Dumarest Saga.
This has been a necessarily time-limited sojourn into genre rock---for god's sake, I haven't even mentioned Ziggy Stardust, Marc Bolan, or Pink Floyd.
And we haven't even dipped a merest fraction of a little toe nail into the vast ocean of film soundtracks. But let us somewhat briefly appreciate John Carpenter's low-key, but narrative driving synth and, more latterly (-ish); Toto's grand earworm theme for David Lynch's Dune; entirely appropriate for the giant sandworms of the titular planet, and Mandy's epic Conanesque electro-doom by Oscar nominated film composer, Johann Johannsson; his final masterpiece before he passed beyond our mortal plane. Those are but a few of many standout soundtracks.
If this has whetted your appetite for aural adventures in the stars, it is the easiest thing to type "space rock" into your search engine and return a whole lot of the genre. Plug in your cans, hop the hyperlight fantastic, and meet me at Altair. This is your Captain, heading for a snooze in the pharoah's spaceship, signing off.
He offered how much for Twitter? But wait, he's actually going to have to pay how much? And the banks lent him how much?!
Jackanory time. When I was a baby, Mum and Dad couldn't buy a house in Catford because a bank (the Leeds Building Society; may you rot in hell) would not lend them 25 quid.
But the banks will lend a clown like Elon billions, to essentially buy a worthless micro-blogging company that sells advertising. Good old reliable, trolling, SEC flouting, man-child, Elon is a safe bet for the bank's billions, whereas my hard-working, law-abiding parents weren't allowed to borrow GBP 25.
But, his fans say, he's cool, like an Old West outlaw. No, he's not an outlaw, he's just rich. Beside, did you remember his junior-grade huffing on Joe Rogan? That guy's an outlaw? Don't make me laugh.
But he's protecting free speech! No, he's a whiner, with his knickers in a twist, inadvertently protecting Nazis, and late breaking by the way, realising that maybe absolute free speech wasn't a good idea in the first place. And you can take that to the bank (if he doesn't change his mind and pull out).
Last Monday I talked about how back in March Facebook's added an extra layer of security that locked many users out of their accounts.
After DM'ing and tweeted the company and their top brass a frankly disturbing number of times, because there is no other way to directly contact Facebook, my account was finally reinstated later that day. However, as well as that stream of consciousness/psychosis I fired at then, I also had to pull the, I'm a tech journalist move. I said, pp., "...I'll mention my little problem with your august company on tonight's show...What can I say? I used to be a tech columnist."
There is no question that I've surpassed Kara Swisher in how annoying a human being can be in the lengths I went to fix my access to Facebook, but for saner mere mortal civilians, i.e. non-journos, still locked out, I'm not sure whether, if at all, my experiences of getting back in will help. But I have tried speaking up on their behalf in my closing message, pp., "I would like thank @ngleicher, @Facebook, @Meta, and @finkd, who (after many, MANY tweets) finally fixed my Facebook account. However, I believe there are still many locked out after March's security update. Help them too."
I complained in pod 439 of yoyoing download statistics from archive.org, where I host my podcast MP3 files. This is a widely reported problem, though for me, it has now stabilised after some automated process kicked in and the webpage and my statistics updated.
Though I'm grateful it worked out in the end, I'm not sure what to make of what happened, and I would reiterate that anyone hosting anything anywhere should always have a complete backup in case they need to move their data one day.
I watched the Verge's supercut of Google I/O last week. Blah, blah, hardware this, hardware that... That's not why I am grumpy.
I'm grumpy because of the presentation that was, like just about all big tech presentations, including post-Jobsian Apple, a boring clone of Steve Jobs era Apple. This is the best thing ever spiel, graphics of trendy people, dark clothes, and, of course, no use of determiners; "Google Watch", not, "the Google Watch". Something I see more and more of is the naff power stance, which, admittedly, is not something I remember Jobs doing, though he did appropriate the Hindu pranam, which immediately made us brown people cooler. Didn't it? Yeah sure, Sundar Pichai and Parag Agrawal, but they are few and far between.
Look, big tech, just do something different, you boring bastards.
Much as I hate having to spread myself all over the internet to get podcast listeners, I'm not doing as well as I should be, so, despite hammering Big Tech for years, I'm re-engaging with social media.
If you're a civilian, or an in-demand journalist, this might not matter to you. For me though, I need the downloads, the interaction, and my own community, hence getting back on the socials.
However, my time is finite, so if you to communicate with me and get a quick response, try Twitter, or better yet, drop me an email.
The last model, the iPod Touch is ceasing production. Honestly though, the touch never had the iconic cache of the iPod Classic line discontinued in 2014. And let's not forget Apple's stubborn refusal expand format compatibility; unlike almost every other manufacturer.
Oh my god, at long last, someone finally lobbed a few galactic credits my way. I set up ko-fi, a competitor to Patreon, so long ago that I no longer even had a functional PayPal account.
My thanks to supporter, Kate Rogers, who chucked a very generous tip into my busking hat on ko-fi. Kate is an, "...aspiring podcaster and stands on the shoulders of creators like you who keep pressing on." (paraphrased). Thanks Kate, and good luck with your endeavours.