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12th September 2010

9:25pm: I had the TV on, and was watching a program about hummingbirds. I didn't set out to watch a program about hummingbirds, it just happened as I was clicking through the channels. Anyway, my cat happened to notice the fast moving little birds flitting around in the TV and she got *really* interested, sitting up on her hind legs and reaching for the screen with her front paws. It was weird, she never does that sort of thing. She even got up on the table where the TV is so she could get a really good look. I ended up changing the channel just to get her to calm down.

29th October 2009

11:24pm: Thumbnail reviews
Halestorm - Halestorm (2009)

This one feels like a gimick. Female singer with a bunch of male players, I listened to the whole album in the car on my commute home from work the day I bought it, I was struck by how the album front loaded the three most rocking tunes and then the rest devolves into a bunch of mediocre ballads. I like a rock ballad as much as the next guy, but most of these were forgettable. I have to classify it as radio rock, the guitars are workmanlike, nothing really to write home about. I Get Off is the lead single.

Ace Frehley - Anomaly (2009)

It amuses me that there are people today who listen to this record without the slightest bit of knowledge of that little band that Ace helped make famous back in the 70s. Anomaly is his fifth solo album, and the thing that always strikes me when I listen to his work is that he just doesn't have a good singing voice. Don't get me wrong, Ace Frehley is a master of the guitar and his talents are on full display here, but listening to him sing tends to take some of the fun out of it. Occasionally he gets a song that suits his vocal ability, like Outer Space on this record, but the rest of it I can pretty much take or leave.

Powerman 5000 - Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere (2009)

So glad these guys are back. I love the whole Sci-Fi/Metal thing they do. Good, fast paced stuff, I like this one.

Breaking Benjamin - Dear Agony (2009)

God help me, I bought this on the strength of a video I saw on MTV2 late one night before I fell asleep. Definitely radio rock, but I like it.

Five Finger Death Punch - War Is The Answer (2009)

Another band I really like, this record is as heavy as their previous effort, 2007's The Way Of The Fist. The first single Hard To See is on the radio these days. Definitely a metal band, with aspects of metalcore and thrash all rolled together.

Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue (2009)

I started hearing Check My Brain on KNAC.com and I thought it was some previously unreleased track. Whenever a band loses its lead singer, generally speaking they're never the same. Some bands get a new guy to front so they can keep touring but never release anything new (Journey, Boston, Queen) or they'll get a new guy and keep releasing albums that most fans don't ever accept (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest). This guy William DuVall they got to front the band sounds really good, the thing that struck me the most while listening to it was 'Wow, this really sounds like Alice In Chains,' and that's a good thing.

Shadows Fall - Retribution (2009)

These guys are among my top favorites. Heavy and melodic, fast and rhythmic, this is the kind of metal I live for. Still I Rise is the first single, supposedly there's a video for it somewhere but I haven't seen it. Great album, highly recommended.

Megadeth - Endgame (2009)

Dave Mustaine's songwriting has ever been overwrought, and there's no change here. This Day We Fight! bugged the hell out of me every time I heard it, not because it's a bad song, but because I could NOT figure out where the title came from even though it was setting off an alarm in my head every time I heard it. Finally I remembered it was from Aragorn's speech in that LOTR movie before the big battle scene, but the lyrics in the song don't make any reference to that at all, he just grabbed the title. In any case, Dave's formidable guitar work is right out in front, so I'm marking this one down as recommended.
Current Mood: awake

13th September 2009

1:06am: Addendum
Wow. It's almost been a year. I find that amusing.
1:06am: Have you ever seen the DiGiorno commercial with the guy impersonating a pizza delivery driver and crashing a party at some Puff Daddyish type character's mansion? Unless DiGiorno has changed radically in the last few years I'm still not interested in their pizzas, but there's one scene at the end of the commercial where the guy is talking to this staggeringly hot blonde. I'd love to know who she is.

21st September 2008

3:20pm: Thumbnail Reviews
(In no particular order)

In This Moment - Beautiful Tragedy (2007)

Very gothy. Metalcore, with a female lead singer reminiscent of Amy Lee. It's what Evanescence would have been if they hadn't imploded. I like the album a lot, it's very symphonic, reminds me a lot of Nightwish.

Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone (2008)

I like Slipknot, but I don't follow them. So, it's always a surprise when they do something new. I think I heard Psychosocial several times on KNAC.com before I realized it was new. Not much to say about the album here, if you like their previous stuff you'll like this one.

Metallica - Death Magnetic (2008)

Buying this album proves that hope springs eternal in the heart of a metal fan. I've been hearing a couple of songs off this record for about a month or so before I went and bought it and I gotta say, it's well worth it. I'm sure you'll never hear anybody from within the Metallica machine say anything bad about St. Anger, but this album repudiates everything about that previous record. Most of the songs start slow and ramp up, I liked everything I heard on it. It'll take more listenings to get to where I have everything internalized, but I can recommend it without reservation.

Primal Fear - New Religion (2007)

Probably my favorite band, these guys are probably the greatest European metal band most people have never heard of. The lead singer was originally in line to replace Rob Halford when he left Judas Priest, but for some reason he didn't get the gig, so he went on to form his own band. Priest's loss was our gain, every album Primal Fear has done has been stellar and this is no exception.

Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (2008)

Meh. Another album that sold on the strength of one single. Generic metalcore, the lead single Devour is a really good song, the rest of it is completely forgettable.

Five Finger Death Punch - The Way Of The Fist (2007)

Apparently this is a re-release of an independent record with some new tracks, I heard The Bleeding and Never Enough before I bought the album. It's thrash done right, this is one record any metal fan should have.

Rev Theory - Light It Up (2008)

And, another album riding on the strength of one single. I keep getting caught on these, the lead song and single on this record is Hell Yeah, which absolutely is a cool rock song, but everything else on the record is filler, which is too bad. I don't mind buying CDs on the strength of a single song, but it's depressing how often that one song is the only one worth listening to.

2nd September 2008

5:21pm: You know what I miss? I miss that you used to be able to look at somebody walking down the aisle in the grocery store, gesturing and talking to the air, and assume that they were crazy. Now everybody has their little Borg ear attachment and they're running around talking ALL THE TIME.

27th November 2007

10:13pm: Man, what the hell. I don't like sports, I get bored to tears hearing about it, but I'm really enjoying Dennis Miller's new show on Vs. Sports Unfiltered With Dennis Miller, Tuesday nights at 10pm, check it out.

25th November 2007

10:59pm: Holy moley. I had no idea there was a live action movie made of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. I just finished watching it and it was amazing. I must own it, I seriously hope it comes out on DVD.

7th June 2007

3:05pm: Thumbnail Reviews
Clutch - From Beale Street To Oblivion (2007)

Clutch is an acquired taste, and I have definitely acquired them. This album is every bit as good as their previous release Robot Hive/Exodus, which followed on to 2004's excellent Blast Tyrant. The band is a weird mix of blues, metal and something else, hell if I know what to call it. The current single is Electric Worry.

Diecast - Internal Revolution (2006)

Another metalcore band, this album is enjoyable, but nothing really stands out like I hoped. The single is Fade Away, which is a really good song, but nothing else on the record rises to the same level. The band is in the same vein as Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall, but not as good as either of them.

Firewind - Allegiance (2006)

Heavy metal band from Greece, I'd never heard of them til I heard the single Falling To Pieces. That song is brilliant, but the rest of the album is a disappointment. I like European melodic metal quite a lot, but this one just wasn't that good besides that one song.

Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain (2007)

Damn it, I got sucked in here. The first single off this album is I Don't Wanna Stop and it's brilliant, it's everything I want in a rock song. Fast, heavy, and defiant:

All my life I've been over the top
I don't know what I'm doing,
All I know is I don't wanna stop
All fired up, I'm gonna go till I drop
You're either in or in the way, don't make me,
I don't wanna stop

Problem is, the rest of the album descends quickly into post-Black Sabbath dirges. It has the obligatory ballad (Here For You tries to be Mama, I'm Coming Home) and the rest is just dull. Someone needs to tell Ozzy heavy doesn't mean sloooooooooow.

15th November 2006

3:03pm: This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club. Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien (***)
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein (Didn't *hate* it per se, but I didn't like it either)
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe (Boring books, but I read them anyway)
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson (***)
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams (*)
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien (***)
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson (*)
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein (*)
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

I pride myself on reading a book to the end once I start it, so there's nothing here that's italized for me. I can only think of two books that I was ever defeated by, one was Children of Dune and the other was a horrible bad Star Trek novel called Ghost Walker.

13th October 2006

8:05am: "Lost" Hit by Battleship Patinkin

Starting the day with a funny headline is always a good thing.

11th July 2006

9:48pm: It took me all day to figure out why I kept hearing Shine On You Crazy Diamond every time I turned around.

Funny thing is, I didn't really get into Pink Floyd until The Wall, to this day I've never heard any of the Barrett material.

17th April 2006

11:42am: In the most recent World of Warcraft patch they added a level 50 druid quest that starts in Un'goro crater. Now, I've done the lvl 50 quests they added for paladins and priests already, but I was 60 for each of those and neither of them was all that interesting (plus they go into Sunken Temple for the last part of the quest chain, by far one of my least favorite instances in the game.)

My druid, however, was 54 when I started, plus she's feral, so there's a pretty nice quest reward that's better than the chestpiece she's already wearing. Plus I'll do just about any quest I can find for XP, so I got started on this one the other day. The first part is relatively easy, collecting stingers off the Gorishi wasps in the south part of the crater, and Bloodcap mushrooms from the Bloodpetal sprouts scattered here and there. After I went and turned those in, the tauren guy who's the questgiver made a spear (he called it a barb) with a toxin made from the stuff I had gathered and told me to go stick it into one of the devilsaurs (!) that wanders around the crater.

There are only four devilsaurs that you'll find at any given time, the generic adjectiveless one, plus a Tyrant Devilsaur, Ironhide Devilsaur, and King Mosh. Normally I steer clear of them, because they're enormous and my druid is looked upon as a tasty treat. Now I had to go find one and deliberately stick it with a spear.

First one I came across was the Ironhide one, but there was a 60 druid and 60 rogue in the process of killing him. I kept wandering around looking, since I have a pretty good idea where each of them paths around, but of course when you're actually looking for something you never can find it. Finally though I did spot the adjectiveless devilsaur and went in after him, I actually had to moonfire him first to get his attention and then stick him with the spear. I don't know what I thought would happen, I guess I assumed he'd be paralyzed or something, but no, he went berzerk and tried to eat me. I shifted into travel form and ran for it, but as I was frantically trying to get away I noticed the debuff icon under his picture, so I moused over it. It read "Devilsaur Barb: Extremely Angry". Actually cracked me up, even as I was running like a scared rabbit.

Of course, the next stage of the quest goes to Sunken Temple. God knows when I'll get that done.

In other World of Warcraft news, my paladin finally got Lawbringer legplates last night. Woot, only one piece left for his full LB set. Plus my rogue got a Brutality Blade last week, her already high DPS output went up by a third. Must have more Nightslayer though, only have two pieces now.

15th April 2006

9:18am: This is a goofy thing I ran across courtesy misshallelujah:


10th April 2006

3:19pm: Too Much Time On My Hands
How Many DVDs Do You Own?
Two hundred and ninety-four.

How Many Of Them Are TV Seasons?
Twenty-nine. Not too bad, I was thinking there were more.

How Many of Them Are Legal?
All of them except for my bootleg versions of the original Star Wars trilogy. Giving George Lucas any more money makes my skin crawl.

Which DVDs Have You Not Watched? Why?
I have watched every DVD I own at least once.

"Yes, I Bought It Twice" Section:
Oh god. Umm, Star Trek II, The Usual Suspects. I generally refuse to buy a movie twice, unless I got a barebones edition and a new one comes out later that has additional material. I'll touch on that more later.

"I Own The Full Series" Section:
Star Trek: The Original Series, The X-Files, Firefly, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, and I'm working on collecting M.A.S.H.

I had a conversation with my mother about this recently. I love that you can get TV shows on DVD now, but at the same time I don't want to go nuts buying them. I mean, after all, how much TV can you watch? If I bought shows like Frasier and Magnum P.I., I'd probably watch them once and never touch the discs again, even though I liked those shows a lot. That being said I desperately want to buy Monty Python's Flying Circus, Red Dwarf, Stargate SG-1, and the new Doctor Who.

The Worst "Movie I Bought Because People Told Me It Was Good, But It Turned Out To Suck" Award:
Hmm. I can fairly say I have never bought a DVD because people told me it was good. I buy one or two DVDs a week, unless I go on a tear on eBay buying cheap used copies of movies I haven't seen in twenty years.

Most impressive DVD, in terms of features:
I think the one that impressed me the most is Terminator 2: Judgment Day The Ultimate Edition.

Most Obscure Legal DVD:
Trinity and Beyond - The Atomic Bomb Movie

Guiltiest Pleasure, a.k.a. "The Movie I’ve Watched The Most But Don’t Really Want People To Know About It":
Man, that's a tough one. I really like Equilibrium (gun-fu!), and Jet Li's The One.

Worst Movie That I Still Inexplicably Own:
The Perfect Storm. I bought this DVD because I enjoyed the book, and the commercials for the movie showed some really cool visuals. But somehow they screwed it up, because the movie is a dull boring slog.

Approximately what percentage of the special features have you watched?
Call it about 50%. I like the documentaries and the behind-the-scenes stuff, but I find commentary tracks boring as hell. The thing that causes me to buy a movie twice is if a new edition with special features comes along, the most glaring example of that is The Usual Suspects, but I also bought Bad Boys (guilty pleasure) a second time because the first one I had was a barebones version.

13th March 2006

8:18am: Too freaking cold this morning. Forgot to turn on heater last night. Woke up this morning with my cat plastered to my chest, I always know it was really cold in the bedroom when she does that.

33 degrees, gah. I am *so* ready for winter to be over.

20th December 2005

6:39pm: U.S. District Judge John E. Jones is my Hero of the Day.

16th December 2005

7:18am: Holy crap it's cold today. 24 degrees they said on the radio when I went out the door this morning, I must have spent 15 minutes excavating my car from the ice that had built up on it.

The sky is very clear. The moon is beautiful, a circle of ice white in the western sky. I could have spent more time looking at it, but I had to focus on getting in to work in one piece too.

29th August 2005

10:27am: This is why I don't live in the Southeast any more.

I suck at posting. I know. I apologize to anyone who friended me in response to me friending them. I assure you, I do read my friends page regularly because you all still post interesting tidbits about your lives that I enjoy reading. My life mainly consists of going to work and playing World of Warcraft when I'm not at work. Someday I should do something about that.

2nd June 2005

5:38pm: I bought myself a UPS today (for the uninitiated, an Uninterruptible Power Supply). I get all giggly looking at it, it makes me feel all sysadminish to have my very own UPS sitting under my desk, my computers cheerfully humming away while plugged into it.

31st May 2005

9:13pm: My New Motto
There is no overkill. There is only "open fire" and "I need to reload."

21st May 2005

3:10pm: Today's lyric of the day:

Just cause you don't understand what's going on
don't mean it don't make no sense
And just cause you don't like it,
don't mean it ain't no good

18th May 2005

8:21am: Ha!

What kind of Jedi are you?
LJ Username
Dark Side Growth Potential - 80%
Light Side Growth Potential - 57%
Master's Name lancez
How likely you are to lose a limb - 40%
Lightsaber Blade's color Red
Lightsaber Style normal Lightsaber
This cool quiz by neo_epyon - Taken 38347 Times.

8th May 2005

10:15am: 1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:

309. List can be found here.

2) The last film I bought:

The last two DVDs I bought were Apollo 13 and The Incredibles.

3) The last film I watched:

Umm. The last one I can remember seeing in the theater was Shaun Of The Dead.

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:

The 13th Warrior
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan
The Usual Suspects

2nd May 2005

10:13am: I have heard the term geekgasm a few times, but I was pretty sure I'd never had one. I mean, sure, I'm a geek. My TV generally starts out on Sci-Fi, I have a lot of SF movies and TV shows on DVD, I even prefer to read SF over fantasy by a wide margin. But I've never really devolved into drooling fanboy mode (not even when I walked into a hotel elevator in Denver and realized I was sharing the space with Patrick Stewart).

Last week a friend of mine at work told me I should come by his office and see his new toy. I walked in there and saw this.

Oh. My. God.

I spent at least a half hour there oohing and ahhing. I can't use enough superlatives to describe this model kit, it's beautiful, gorgeous, magnificent, everything I've ever looked for in an Enterprise model. Naturally I went straight to the website and bought one.

Fully constructed it's 3 feet long. I can sit and stare at it all day, it's that gorgeous.

All they need to do now is release an original series Enterprise in that scale and my life will be complete.
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