CRRRRS 474 Bookwormery

By Roy Mathur, on 2023-01-16, at 02:43:12 to 03:38:46 GMT, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show, Listen

A Deliberate Lack of Telly

I haven't been watching much apart from a touch of YouTube, when I'm not incensed with the bloody thing. That means there hasn't been too much to report on in a podcast and I'm catching up on my reading. Considering literature was supposed to be what at least third of this podcast was about, it's about time.

This episode is again taped, not ideally, using an Shure SM7B mic plugged straight into a Sony PCM-M10 recorder because of squeal from the PC, which still isn't resolved. By the way, mic know-it-alls, you can pop an SM7B even with its big foam windscreen, as I found out in the last pod.

I also woke up late, then suffered many interruptions before I could record. So I am very stressed and very tired. If it's not one thing...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

To celebrate HHGTTG Towel Day last year (2022-05-25), and to kick start my sadly neglected bookwormery, I started re-re-re-, etc. reading The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Two days later, by pod 442 Doctor Who: Shada (2022-05-27), I was I'm about 6 chapters in. In my controversially received 443 (2022-06-06), in which I heavily critiqued the abysmal latest adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth, I was up to the scene in chapter 8, where Arthur and Ford were rescued by the Heart of Gold's infinite improbability drive's field. I reached chapter 20 in the 10th Anniversary show 449 (2022-07-03) and finished on 2023-01-05 at 05:30.

Conclusions? It's a short book, but it still took me more than six months to finish. A book that short would have taken only a few days to read 10 years ago. My reading pace is still fast, it's just that I go on long breaks between spurts. Er, that sounds wrong. Hare, not tortoise; that's better.

As to content, some characters have different names and dialogue, and there are more of them to those I remember from the TV series, which was my first encounter with the franchise in 1981, and the original stupendous BBC radio series from 1978.

Finally, as I've grumpily said many times before, there are quite a few grammar and punctuation mistakes. It's funny/ironic/infuriating what literary agents and publishers let pass back then, compared to the hypocritical bollocks they spout about how perfect they demand everything to be today and the crap they will publish. Bantam? Really? You published that ghostwritten (by J.R. Moehringer) crap, Spare? This is the same company responsible for the Star Trek novelizations.

I'll re-delve into the rest of the HHGTTG series on all it's formats---I have them all---at some stage, but for now, I'm moving onto a something else; a secret something else. Okay, you've twisted my arm, I'm revisiting an old comic series and then reading the sequel. That's all you get for now.

The Wizard of Id: The King is a Fink

Quite some time ago I believe I may have mentioned acquiring the 1981 Coronet paperback reprint, of the first collected edition from 1969, of Johnny Hart's The Wizard of Id newspaper cartoon strip.

I bought it not to collect or to speculate (don't do that), but to cheer myself up because I love the hilariously overpowered and unreliable wizard and his catastrophically misfiring spells, and I adore his good-natured, but lethal pet dragon Henry. (Well, he is a dragon).

I have now read it through several times over. The wife jokes are corny and sexist and the lack of diversity grates (that hasn't changed half a century later), but it mostly never fails to amuse me.


Kevin O'Neill

I hate doing obituaries, even brief ones, because they remind me of how many of my own family have popped off recently, but here we go again.

RIP Kevin O'Neill 1953--2022, who died in November. He was a comic book artist, best known as co-creator of co-creator of Ro-Busters (Starlord), A.B.C. Warriors and Nemesis the Warlock (2000 AD), Marshal Law (Epic), and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Dungeons and Dragons Open Game Licence Rent Seeking Retraction

A leak from Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast (WoTC), owners of DnD, revealed proposals change the terms of their Open Gaming Licence (OGL). In brief, this allows tabletop gamemakers to use the DnD ruleset freely in their own expansions and other games even commercially and for profit. For example, revenue over USD 750,000 would have to surrender 25 percent in royalties.

This rent seeking behaviour understandably rubbed the DnD community the wrong way, almost leading to a boycott of DnD (particularly DnD Beyond digital creation tools). WOTC, panicked and withdraw their plan.

Don't get too excited, the OGL is still changing, this is just WOTC getting caught with their pants down. I can't see WOTC clawing back credibility after this, especially after their parting shot: "You're going to hear people say that they won and we lost because making your voices heard forced us to change our plans. Those people will only be half right. They won---and so did we."

If I was making a paper-based tabletop RPG today, I'd think twice about DnD's OGL, and would be looking for an alternative. Kobold Press, makers of DnD content, jumped in quick and said they are: "...moving forward with clear-eyed work on a new Core Fantasy tabletop ruleset: available, open, and subscription-free for those who love it---Code Name: Project Black Flag."

Reading Area

In the 70s I stayed with a neighbour during the day while my parents worked (thanks for treating me nicely, Aunty Colleen). I used to take along a bag full of comics and sit at their dining table in a nice spot where the daylight streamed in from the window of their modest sized semi. (Boxer Henry Cooper's old house in Bellingham. There's even a plaque over the door.). Then, all day, I'd escape into an action-packed world of pictures and word balloons.

I recreated this childhood reading area in my bedroom recently, though the table and chair is now plastic garden furniture. To provide a pristine reading surface, I cleaned the velour table cloth with my ancient Ronco Brush-O-Matic style 80s clothes brush knockoff. My only problem is the fixed position of my desk lamp, which blasts photonic death straight into my brain; another sterling design from Ikea. It doesn't really matter as the original had neither lamp nor cloth, what matters is that I have a comic book reading area away from social media, TV, etc.

Tangent time. A passive-aggressive flung poniard at someone who told me that S.E. London's Bellingham was named after an area in Northumberland. It wasn't. A form of that name, for that specific area, has existed for about a thousand years. Similarity is probably down to parallel etymology.

YouTube Playlist Songs Vanishing

It's an uphill battle to stop songs disappearing in the few YouTube playlists I curate.

I'm not sure what the problem is. I have read that it could be copyright or some technical issue, but it's becoming a pain in the backside trying to share some hard to find music like post-punk/goth Q Lazzarus's Goodbye Horses (1988) featured in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). BTW, RIP Diane Luckey AKA Q Lazzarus, December 12 1960--July 19 2022. A documentary film, Goodbye Horses: The Many Lives of Q Lazzarus, is coming this year.

I'm fed up of YouTube's endless ads, restrictive copyright policies, and bugginess. Of course there's also Facebook's crapified UI and Twitter's more restrictive than ever, thanks to freedom of speech absolutist Musk (has he read 1984?) As I said back in the mid-2000s, I'm sick of social media.

Why then, am I still a user? Try getting traction without social media if you're a podcaster.

Clown Suit Update

I ordered my braces from a third party seller on Amazon. I decided on tasteful purple, rather than psycho clown polka.

They are efficacious in easing the strain on my middle, but weigh on my shoulders and yank my trousers up my bum, so...

John Donne Can Get Stuffed

After a video call with relatives, made me see myself, in the brutal light of day and crap front cams, as an old, er---mature chap, I shaved off my isolation beard.

Elizabethan poet and lawyer, John Donne, can get stuffed (please refer to pods 472 and 473).

I Made Bread Sauce

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I made my own bread sauce. I fried onions, nutmeg, cloves, seasoning, then added white bread crumbs, milk, water, and a tiny tot of Mauritian rum.

The Medieval English sauce with a spin tasted great and went well with our vegetarian dinner. I couldn't move for hours afterwards. Vegetarian? Yes, because it is the Hindu festival of the sun god Surya, so Happy Makar Sankranti until next time.