Sunday A’La Carte’: March 1, 2015

Leave a comment

spock metal horns

First day of March. Which means that the accursed Spring is just around the corner, here. It was a relatively warm day here in my neck of the woods. The weather reports promised snow, and for the record, yes, there was a light dusting overnight, I believe, as I saw some on the walkways and parking lot asphalt surrounding the Victorian. That didn’t last long, as the Day Star was out in full force, with the weather having become only one-layer coat weather. Not necessarily Black Metal weather. Melodic Death Metal, maybe. That’s why tonight’s soundtrack is IV: The Requiem For The Art Of Death by Immortal Souls to accompany tonight’s serving of A’La Carte’. Thought I forgot to make the meta joke, didn’t you?

First order of business: Another icon of geekdom has succumbed to the great equalizer of all mankind. I speak, of course, of actor Leonard Nimoy passing away on Friday, February 27th. Most will remember him as the iconic Vulcan science officer Spock on the original Star Trek television series, as well as eight movies (yes, I’m counting the Abrams reboots) and a couple of appearances on The Next Generation as well. But, his work as an actor stretches back well before that, with extensive bit parts in several B-movies and television shows (including Dragnet, The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits); even after the original Star Trek run, he did extensive acting, voiceover work, and directing, among other endeavors. The Star Trek Animated Series notwithstanding, he was the voice of Galvatron for the 1986 Transformers movie, as well as voicing Sentinel Prime for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. He co-stared in the Invasion Of The Body Snatchers remake (the good one, 1978), and not only stared in the original Outer Limits series episode “I, Robot”, but also the 1995 Outer Limits series remake of the same name. I have rather fond memories of listening to him croon his rendition of “Proud Mary” in a friend’s dorm room in college, who just happened to have the vinyl copy of one of his albums. So, it is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to the man who was Mr. Spock. Live long and prosper.

doctor who - dalek color

I take a few days off of Facebook at the beginning of the week, and come back to find that the entirety of the interwebs is up in arms about the color of a dress. Good. Bloody. Grief. Archaeologists from the future are going to list this as one of the Greatest Mysteries of the 21st Century. And then label the 21st Century as the Era of Stupid.

I’ve been designating Fridays after work as the night I try out something from a place I’ve never been to before. On February 27th, I decided to try out SmashBurger off of 72nd and Jones streets in Omaha. Mainly because it’s on the way back to the Victorian. I’ve been hearing a lot about how tantalizing and superb these burgers they produce are, and I’m always down to try out a new establishment’s take on the classic Bacon Cheeseburger. I did order the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, to go; I got the order, made the trek back to my domicile, and then opened it up to discover that this so-called “BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger” had neither BBQ sauce, nor cheese. They remembered the bacon, though. No, it was just a bun, the meat patty, a couple of strips of bacon, and some fried onion strings. Since driving back to the restaurant to lodge a complaint at this point would have been pointless, I ate the burger anyway. It didn’t taste too bad, really…it’s just NOT WHAT I ORDERED. You get one chance to impress the METAL DEMIGOD, and you failed, SmashBurger of Omaha. FAILED. I’m afraid that 5 Guys still remains the top of the heap thus far.

optical-illusions-photo-manipulation-surreal-eric-johansson-3

STUFF I WROTE: Hard Rock + Proto-Metal FEBRUARY ended with posts for the Motor City Madman Ted Nugent, Bean Town rockers Boston, and all-around American band Grand Funk Railroad. My never-ending quest to read and review all of the Doctor Who novels continues with reviews of the Tenth Doctor tales Feast of the Drowned and Sting of the Zygons. Then I posted a metric-ton of music reviews from the likes of doom metalists Place Of Skulls here, Texas groove metal band Faithbomb here, four (count ’em) One Bad Pig reviews here, here, here and here, something from metalcore band Mindrage here, and Seattle death metal band Mindkor here.

That’s all for this week. I leave you all now with a tribute to Leonard Nimoy, performing “The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins” on…some television show. Cheers, my wonderful freaks.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Advertisements

Sunday A’La Carte – February 22, 2015

Leave a comment

hell froze over

Sunday night, time for a bit of the ol’ A’La Carte that I can’t seem to stop doing on a weekly basis. You’d think I would have given up by now, but no. Here I am, listening to some doom metal by way of Place Of Skulls, and typing out my randumb brain droppings to sum up the week. Yeah, I’ve been listening to a lot of doom metal lately. Mostly the afore-mentioned Place Of Skulls, some David Benson, and Randy Rose, with some Paramaecium thrown in for the brutality fix. For those wondering what this “doom metal” is about, the easiest way to explain is metal made by those who probably haven’t owned any other album besides the Ozzy-era Black Sabbath collection. Gothic music for Metal-Heads. And I am in that dark mood, as per usual, but I needed something heavier than The Cure or Sisters Of Mercy at the moment. Besides, Place Of Skulls’ cover of Third Day’s “Consuming Fire” makes the song tolerable.

Some may remember my old internet show, the glorified mix tape that was NECRO SHOCK RADIO. Ever since giving it up all of those months ago, I’ve noted a curious increase in “likes” on the Facebook Page, which I haven’t pulled because there really wasn’t much reason to do so. I enjoyed doing it for the period that I was driven, I’ve had many people tell me they enjoyed listening to it, and probably have inspired a person or two to start doing their own Christian Metal show and find some success in doing so. Mind you, I’m not planning on resurrecting the show again. But, I am tossing around an idea for another completely different kind of METAL show, where I just focus on one album at a time and talk about it. Memories of when I bought it, how it may have impacted me, that kind of thing, then play a handful of songs from the album, four at the most. Something like that. This isn’t a done deal, it’s just the rampant speculation of someone who has a ludicrously large music collection and a pesky, undying need to play dee-jay in his spare time.

DSC_8963-photo-by-Joshua-Nowicki

It’s almost March. Which means Spring is just around the corner. Bummer. I can, however, enjoy the scant handful of Wintery weeks while I can. Which lead me to muse this morning while I was driving into Blair, why do people complain about the cold during Winter? They may not enjoy the cold, I can understand that, but it’s still February. This kind of weather shouldn’t be surprising. Especially here in the Midwest. As a matter of fact, if you’ve never lived for an extended period in the Midwest, you probably don’t understand just how brutal the seasons can get. Not just Winter. I work with people from Baghdad who have complained about the heat in Summer here in Nebraska. It takes a special person indeed to make the Midwest their home. I’m not saying we’re better than those who dwell in milder climates, I’m just saying we’re insane for choosing to stay and get our collective butts handed to us by the weather on a year-long basis. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I just discovered that there exists Christian Mingle: The Movie. It stars Lacy Chabert—that angsty wunderkind on Party Of Five, but I remember her better from the Lost In Space movie—and the plot itself looks like your typical rom-com with a light Christian glaze. I watched the official trailer, and my brain immediately screamed “I NEED TO WATCH THIS!” It does that sometimes, independent of what I would term “common sense”. It’s part of my masochistic need to torture myself with bad movies. Also, I really, really need to get onto figuring out how to make that Christian Movie Review video show. Also, needing to get to watching all of those movies I have on backlog. I have a lot to get to, it seems.

dt150220

STUFF I WROTE: The Hard Rock+Proto-Metal FEBRUARY of the YEAR OF METAL continued with postings about Black Sabbath, the Alice Cooper Band, and Aerosmith. Then, I posted a bunch of music reviews for CCM Rock stalwarts White Heart, Jesus Hippie Rock duo Malcolm & Alwyn, Detroit crossover thrash band One Bad Apple, the orchestral Gothic artist Mark Thomas Hanna, 80s hair metal band Mass, and ortho-industrial band Mental Destruction.

That’s it for now. I’ve got a bit of tweaking on the notes I’m using for the youth group lesson I’m giving tomorrow night. Given my perfectionist nature, it might be a while. I leave you all with the official trailer for the afore-mentioned Christian Mingle: The Movie. Cheers, all.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Sunday A’La Carte’: February 15, 2015

Leave a comment

radio shack adios

Greetings and salutations, everyone. It is once again Sunday, which means it’s time to dispense with the week’s brain droppings and various other inane babbling that bubble forth from my head. Meanderings, maybe? I don’t know anymore.

I had to work yesterday. I usually don’t work on Saturdays, but yesterday was a bit different as I had to get something done during the week that I couldn’t do on the weekend, nor was I able to do so after I got off work during the weekdays. So, I traded the one day off that I had during the weekend that my place of employment was open—Saturday—with Wednesday to take care of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. I also chose Wednesday to do the deed, as that was also Youth Group night, and I figured I would just hang out at my sister and brother-in-law’s place before heading out to the group, then going back to the Victorian in Omaha. Make a day out of it and all. Which meant I worked on Saturday. Which gave me a reminder of why I usually don’t work Saturdays. The call volume was relatively low; it’s just that there was an unusually high number of people who made my brain hurt talking to them per capita. I’m content with my usual Monday through Friday, thank you very much.

That also meant that I had to miss my youngest nephew’s birthday party. The kid turned 5, a monumental year, as that means he has to now go out and find a job, earn his keep and all that. Or, you know, get set to go to Big Boy School soon. One or the other. I brought him his birthday gift on the afore-mentioned Wednesday: a bunch of Hot Wheels cars and a semi trailer set. His favorite part of the gift was the card that had a pop-out monkey inside. I think he played with that more than the Hot Wheels themselves. The 10-year-old nephew came back home from school, we all hung out watching a space documentary series from the History Channel, where I amused them with fun comments with the CGI dinosaurs and referring to solar flairs as “Sun Farts”. The five-year-old spontaneously made up a song about these “sun farts.” My work there was done.

Speaking of space, it looks like the Hubble telescope has finally found God’s emoticon

Radio Shack is finally going belly-up after 94-some-odd years of being in business. I used to work at the Radio Shack in Fremont, Nebraska. It was in the “Mall” there since I could remember, and was the source of my family’s very first computer purchase back in 1985. It was a Tandy 1000, and didn’t even have a hard drive–it booted up with a series of floppy discs. It predated Windows, and came with a complementary copy of the very first King’s Quest. Anyway, Radio Shack was already showing signs of stress fractures when I was hired on back in 2005, starting to emulate the Apple stores rather than be the niche place for gadget tinkerers and other tech geeks of the like. There was talk of eliminating the entire parts and pieces stock and focusing more on cell phones, media players and televisions, before my tenure there ended. Frankly, I’m surprised they lasted this long after that. They will be missed, but because of the parts and encouragement to mess around with electronics. But, we have New Egg and Think Geek for that now, I guess.

In kind of related news, though: the Family Christian book store chain recently filed for bankruptcy as well; however, it looks like none of the 250 stores will be closing. Don’t really know how that works. I am relieved, though, as where else am I going to go to replenish my stock of Testa-Mints?

STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: The Hard Rock + Proto-Metal month of February in this YEAR OF METAL continued with posts for the Scorpions, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin. Also, I picked up a bit on my reading, and thus cranked out reviews of the recent Stephen King novel, and a handful of Doctor Who novels here, here, here and here.

That’s all I’m willing to give for this week, folks. I’m going to do some more writing on other things, do a bit of reading, then it’s off to bed for my beauty rest. Gotta look good for the office, and all that. I leave you now with a classic Bugs Bunny cartoon. Because, why not? Cheers, all…


::END TRANSMISSION::

SUNDAY A’LA CARTE’: February 8, 2015

Leave a comment

2012-01-16-beetlejuice

Greetings and salutations, everyone. It’s Sunday again, in case you may have not found out yet. Or, unless you’re on the other side of the planet–say, Japan–and it’s Monday. Which means, if I call someone in Japan right now, I’ll be talking to someone IN THE FUTURE! Wooo, mind-boggling. Yeah. Anyway, at the moment, I’m going through some issues with WiFi connectivity here at the new-ish abode. Meaning, the WiFi that’s set up by the landlord is…I have an inkling of what is going on, maybe due to my dwelling right next to the bathroom (for reasons, nach). Point is, with the setup, I have to constantly reset things on the computer to get things to go through. Like, every other minute. Literally. And even then, it kind of takes its time to decide whether or not to let me through. So, today I went and invested in one of those Mobile Hotspot thingies that Straight Talk puts out. They were having a half-off sale at the WalMart, so I didn’t pay the full $100 or so dollars it would have cost. Went with the 2 gigs, for hooking up with the posting and general reading of a few web pages. I usually do my video streaming on the Android, anyway, as well as anything I download on Play. Interesting place to get my television fix, that.

Last Thursday, I let slip around a few people at the gathering of the Exalted Geeks that I have yet to watch the movie Beetlejuice. After all the gasps of shock died down, it was decided that it was in my best interest–after we had to talk a certain person out of demanding my Geek Card be revoked–to watch the movie today. So we did. This afternoon, a couple of us gathered together at the home of one Nex Nocturnum, and watched the movie. Interesting flick, that. It’s one of Tim Burton’s earlier works, obviously, so the whimsically morbid glee is still very much apparent, rather than glossed over in his recent outings. Certainly not what I was expecting. Considering my admission to not having watched the movie in the first place stemmed from talk about a sequel, I have to wonder how in the world this could be coming about. And will that head be all shrunken still.

STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: In this hear YEAR OF METAL, we kicked off Hard Rock + Proto-Metal FEBRUARY with bits on Motorhead, AC/DC and KISS. I also reviewed the book Brave New World, the movie Lucy, and a couple of Pantokrator albums here and here.

Gonna cut it short this week. Mainly due to still figuring out the configuration of this hotspot thingie. Seems to prefer Google Chrome over Firefox, so I may have some browser adjusting to do. Until next time, cheers all.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Sunday A’La Carte: February 1, 2015

Leave a comment

Pillars Of CreationGreetings and salutations once again, from my humble domicile deep in East Omaha. It’s time for another steaming helping of Sunday A’La Carte. Today was spent mostly snuggled up inside the sea foam green walls of my dwelling, mainly due to the snow that started late yesterday morning and didn’t stop until…well, today some time. The result being a long-overdue blanketing of the white stuff. Which may or may not be a good thing to a lot of people. Me, I think, if it’s winter, let’s get some snow going. Maybe not all at once like it just did. And if you’re wondering how much snow we got, here’s a picture taken from one of my house mates from his third-floor dwelling area (not used by permission, I’m sure he’ll understand):

snow day picThe worst part about this? Having to go to work and hear all of you normals complain about the weather. It’s winter, people. I presume you all knew that, and all of the weather that comes with it? The snow was long overdue. Quite frankly, I love this time of year. And as this article I came across yesterday reading an issue of Reader’s Digest while waiting for my car’s oil to be changed proves that I’m not alone in this. The problem, though, seems to stem from having too many mild winters, and everyone getting used to the warmer climes. People around here are either too spoiled, or maybe have emigrated from California or Florida or some place that doesn’t have the proper seasons going for them. I’m just thankful the potholes are filled in, albeit temporarily.

It seems that last week, as I was discussing the Superb Owl, I made the error of jumping a bit too early: as one of my cousins pointed out, the Superb Owl is happening today, and not last week. My apologies. Sometimes I forget that not everybody has s chronos device and can experience all times at once like I can. Now that I’m back in the regular linear (and boring) time stream, I can still say that I haven’t participated in any gatherings or celebrations concerning said sporting even. Mostly because I’m snowed in. And that I don’t care. And I’m snowed in. Though, according to some of the posts on my Facebook news thread, many of my Facebook Souls rather enjoyed a commercial by some company that calls itself “McDonald’s”. I may have to see if it’s on You Tube.

STUFF I WROTE: The YEAR OF METAL continues, as this week spotlighted the bands Blitzkrieg, Girlschool and Tokyo Blade, and thus bringing a close to NWOBHM JANUARY. Tomorrow, Hard Rock + Proto-Metal FEBRUARY begins. I also reviewed the completely forgettable horror flick Lake Dead, and then the one movie I never thought I’d ever have to write a review for, the current youth group darling God’s Not Dead.

That’s it for this week. I have to get up earlier than usual tomorrow to try and dig the Aluminium Falcon out to be able to make it to work in one piece. I leave you now with the one Superb Owl commercial that I saw a couple of days ago, and it amused me to no end. Cheers, all.


::END TRANSMISSION::

Sunday A’ La Carte: January 25, 2015

Leave a comment

all about that grace no devilGreetings and salutations, my wonderful freaks. It’s once again Sunday night, so I now dispense with a bit of the ol’ weekly brain droppings I cheekingly call A’La Carte. Of course, you may have noticed that I skipped doing this last week. Or, maybe you didn’t, I don’t know. Point is, I took a bit of a breather last week due to a couple of things: my Aunt Jan’s funeral, and my final move to the old haunted Victorian house in Omaha, referred to lovingly as “The Vic”. Although, I personally like using the full Victorian when referring to the house, as it sounds much more…I don’t know, British? “I’m headed back to The Victorian.” Cue ominous minor-key chord.

Concerning the funeral of my Aunt Jan: it was lovely. Very touching. Got a bit long at the end, when the Eastern Star group she was a member of gave us an interesting ceremony chock full of symbolism, plants, and bad dry readings. Sad she’s gone, but given the circumstances, at least her suffering is done. The family reunions on that side won’t be the same, though.

As to my new place of dwelling: let’s just say, it’s very fitting for a reclusive, curmudgeon-y old recluse like myself. It’s a good place, very atmospheric, very much fitting for my writing sensibilities, and it’s in an area that I find ideally isolated while being nearby places to go. Which, of course, I will probably never really utilize to its full potential, but then again I’m not planning on going anywhere else any time soon. Especially after lugging all of those boxes of books to the second floor room. Gads, that makes a strong case for getting a Kindle or something.

nq150117As a third point of issue: Apparently, today was the day of something you…er, I mean we humans (I’m not an alien) celebrate by pitting our nation’s finest warriors to a battle to the death over an leather egg-shaped item of questionable inflation and size. I believe it is called the Superb Owl, and its acolytes mark this day of jocularity (pun unintentional but nifty) by feasting on copious offerings of adult libations and what are referred to as na-choos. It’s not the same as the roasted tender flesh of the fearsome Kryack washed down with a goblet of the fermented urine of a Kraphlar beast (what you…er, we humans would call “Mountain Dew”), but it is sufficient. Also, the commercials are delightful. I didn’t watch it. I was busy…not watching it. I’m not an alien.

hEAD850A3Do you ever find yourself getting confused when it comes to deciphering the coded language we Christians sometimes use ad nausium called Christianese? While I personally have made conscious efforts to not use it in my daily conversations with anybody, after over twenty-five years, I am fluent in the Charismatic, Non-Denominational, Baptist (both Southern and Independent Fundamental strains), and General Youth Group and Bible Study dialects. Which leads into this blog post here that deciphers Christianese for the common English speaker.

nq150116STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: The Year Of Metal continues on with some posts on the NWOBHM bands Jaguar, Raven, and Saxon, then I post reviews for the movies Knights Of Badassdom and Annabelle and the Star Wars zombie novel Death Troopers, and last but not least I posted the praise and worship playlist I listen to at church every Sunday in lieu of the music played by the contemporary worship band.

So, that’s all for this week. Tomorrow is another day, but I still have a bit of writing to do before succumbing to the siren song of the bed, there. Until next time, leave your comments, suggestions and rebukes down below, and I shall see you all next week. I leave you now with your nightmare fuel, brought to you by one of my surrogate nieces. Cheers.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Sunday A’La Carte’: January 11, 2015

Leave a comment

10918990_10152507530246854_4920962642766011397_nSunday again. Second Sunday of the month. And already, I’m kind of wanting a reset button for the year. Why, you ask? Well, aside from this last week being the first full post-Holidays work week, back in the same-old swing of things at work (unavoidable, happens to all of us), this week brought about the death of another family member, as well as two other family members getting rushed to the ER for unrelated reasons. I’m in the middle of moving my things into the new digs in Omaha—the move will be good, but the actual moving process is not one of my favorite things. Especially all the boxes. It’s seriously making me rethink the whole owning of so many books. But, it’s a minor quibble, considering the other things that have happened so far. So, you’ll forgive me if this week’s A’La Carte’ is rather brief, yes? There will be plenty of time for writing when I’m settled in at the Victorian.

eek150105If you’re a regular watcher of the Radio Dead Air video series WTFIWWY?, then you already know that more stupid is reported from the state of Florida than any other in this here country of mine. And while I, myself have had that momentary lapse of reason to not realize a door is unlocked before going through, not even the rare (but true) reports of people thinking they’ve been locked inside their own car can compare to the utter jaw-dropping incredulity of this couple’s harrowing two days inside a closet. To be fair, meth was involved, but still.

h4E05189CFor those of us who sometimes wish they could present a classier look for their non-Metal-head (and thus, not as awesome) friends, this guy here has redesigned some classic METAL album covers as Jazz record covers. I kind of want to have some of these as framed pictures, especially the Megadeth and Anthrax ones.

STUFF I WROTE: NWOBHM January continued with bits on Iron Maiden, Diamond Head and Grim Reaper. Then I posted reviews of Living Sacrifice albums here, here, here and here, a Klay Scott retrospective here, a Kohllapse album here, a Lament album here, something by a Lee McDerment here, a couple of Leper albums here and hear, a Lo-Ruhamah album here, a Letter 7 album here, and some Light Force albums here, here and here.

Anyway, I have some more packing to do, and then to bed, as tomorrow is the beginning of yet another work day. To quote my sister from earlier, “Is this week over yet?” I leave you all now with a video of two grown men playing Slayer on preschool-sized instruments. I believe the proper retort is, “Your argument is now invalid.” Cheers, my wonderful freaks.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Older Entries