By the time we get to Woodstock, half of the investors will be gone…

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woodstock 50Watching the saga and drama that is the Woodstock 50 festival has been downright amusing, I have to admit.

Sure, that seems a bit callous, sounding like I take great pleasure at the misfortunes of others. I don’t, but this is a music festival we’re talking about, here. And one based on an icon of the 60s, at that.

Look, I’m no business man. I took broadcast communications in college, and I didn’t make it past a year at that. I can’t even begin to imagine everything that’s involved with getting a multi-band / artist festival going; I presume it goes a bit beyond just “hey, let’s get [insert band name here] to play at [insert venue here]!”

So, if you’re reading this and wondering what the heck I’m talking about, here’s the TL;DR Edition: Plans for the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock festival has been fraught with setbacks, delays and finally cancellation…only to be immediately uncanceled again. Investors are pulling out, and artists are cancelling their appearances, despite having been paid for the appearance.

To be fair, this fiasco is nowhere near the clusterbomb that was the Fyre Festival back in 2017. That sucker garnished at least two documentaries that I know of. Woodstock 50 at least just seems like it’s experiencing PTSD due to the result of Woodstock ’99, aka The One Where Limp Bizkit Incited An Apocalyptic-level Riot. Allegedly.

Mind you, I’m writing this as a casual observer that has no vested interest in the festival itself. The lineup is…let’s just say, I’m not the target demographic for this one. Woodstock ’94 at least had Metallica, King’s X, Primus, and Nine Inch Nails. Not to mention a career-defining performance by Green Day. This 50th Anniversary Woodstock…yeah, the only reason this has my interest is because of the wackiness going on even getting it up and going.

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Eastertide…

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grave of the black sheep
So, here we are. Another Lent season, ending with Easter Sunday, has come and gone. For many, this was a holy time of reflection on their faith and what it means to them. For me…I have to be straightforward with everyone: I don’t really consider the holidays on the Christian calendar to be all that important.

Okay, okay, let me rephrase that: I don’t really consider the Big Two Christian holidays–those being Christmas and Easter–as special as any other day of the year.

Yeah, there’s just no way I can phrase this without sounding like some kind of curmudgeon. I assure you I’m not trying to rain on the celebrations of anyone observing the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Jesus’ victory over sin and death is at the very crux of my faith (pun very much intended).

As I approach my third decade as being a servant of Christ Jesus (as I told the youth group last week, I became a Christian at the age of 15, and it’ll be nearly 30 years in August; do the math), I find myself less and less enamored of any perceived “holy days” and holidays as I once was.

The reason for this, first off, has nothing to do with being sick and tired of having to put up with so many Actual Lee* types who want to nit-pick how un-Christian Easter really is and sucking the fun out of everything for everyone (although I’d be lying if I said they didn’t annoy me); nor does it have anything to do with slowly losing my faith over time.

The truth is, I find that the longer I walk down this path that Father God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit has me on, the less I feel the need to celebrate Easter**. At least, not as all-out as many of my fellow brethren and sisteren do.

Here’s how I see it: Remembering the sacrificial death and consequent resurrection of the Son of God is very important. But, I think, equally important is to remember that we’ve all been living in the Eastertide, the period after His resurrection and ascension. The work is finished. We should be celebrating this every day out of the year.

Shouts of “He is Risen!” Well, He’s always been risen. Do we need reminding? Probably. We are a people that easily forgets what God has done for us. We go about the rest of the year seemingly stuck in the Saturday before Easter, like He’s still dead and our hope means nothing. An empty passion play.

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[*= “Actual Lee”: a type of person who always wants to correct anyone about anything, interjecting their superior knowledge on any topic of discussion, often unsolicited, usually starting with the word “Actually” (“Actually, the Easter celebration has its roots in the pagan celebration of the spring equinox, and was absorbed by the Christian church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.”) SOURCE]

[**=yes, I understand that some prefer calling it “Resurrection Day” due to not wanting to associate with the pagan roots of Easter. That’s fine, I have no qualms with that. I call it “Easter” myself, and that’s why I use it in this post.]

Vinyl Confessions, part 1

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Record Player Old Retro Vinyl Records TurntableAbout a couple of years ago, I started collecting vinyl records again. I say “again”, because back when I started collecting albums, the only formats available were vinyl records and cassette tapes. Well, okay, the only affordable formats were records and cassettes. CDs were just beginning to come out, but being from a modest farming family, the Compact Disc format was a bit too pricy. But, again I digress. The point is, I’m not new to listening to this kind of format, and now that vinyl records have made a comeback, I can safely say that going back to buying and collecting them doesn’t make me a hipster wannabe.

Also, I want to point out that I really don’t hold to the pretentious notion that music sounds better on vinyl. For me, it’s more of a functional nostalgia thing, really. Obviously, the format isn’t exactly convenient; if I wanted the convenience along with the nostalgia factor in the analog music format, I would have started collecting cassette tapes again. Another old format that seems to be staging a comeback itself.

But again, I digress.

Recently, a friend of mine asked what I have in my vinyl record collection. I thought, rather than shoot off a list to her, this seemed ripe for a blog post. And thus, here we are, with the first of what may be many Vinyl Confessions posts on this bliggity-blog o’ mine. And yes, I lifted the title from the Kansas record. Brilliant bit of punning, that.

scaterd-few - sin disease
The first vinyl record I bought during this phase was the Burnt Toast Vinyl re-issue of the Scaterd-Few classic debut album Sin Disease. This album was something of an acquired taste for me, as the band never did conform to what was generally accepted and considered as “punk”, even when this was originally released. But, grow on me it did. This thing is gorgeous, with a gate-fold cover and extensive liner notes…

Side note: I also picked up one of those Cosley suitcase style portable record players that they’re manufacturing now, just to have something to play the record on. I do NOT recommend buying those things, as they’re cheap for a reason.

horde - hellig usvart
Of course, black metal should be experienced on vinyl whenever possible. This is a classic album that I’ve owned on CD as well as MP3 download, but now I have it on vinyl. Fun Fact: the package arrived with a second empty cover for the record, so I went ahead and framed the duplicate cover. It’s hanging on my wall at the Haunted Victorian…

mortification - break the curse
Originally a Light Force cassette demo when Steve Rowe took over and made the band more of a thrash-based death metal band before changing the name to Mortification. The copy I have is on silver colored vinyl, because it’s the 25th Anniversary of the release of this album. The Silver Anniversary. This has been a message from Captain Obvious. Moving on…

recon - behind enemy lines
To be completely forthright, Recon was never my all-time favorite band in the heavy melodic metal category, but it has its moments. This one came with a sticker of the album artwork. I still haven’t found the perfect spot to stick that sucker on, yet…

demon hunter - the triptyct
This is maybe my all-time favorite Demon Hunter album, and thus I nabbed this on the vinyl format. However, I specifically ordered the red vinyl, but got the mustard yellow vinyl. Regardless, this is a two-disc set, with the album on the three sides, and the fourth side with acoustic renditions of some of the songs on the album…

To Be Continued…

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I can only count to 19 and a half now…

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Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Season in the year of our Lord 2018. I thought I’d finally get around to pounding out a bit of an update on how things are going for you ol’ Uncle NecRo. And sticking to the age-old adage that a picture speaks a thousand words, here’s a recent one:
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Yeah, that’s me there, receiving my daily antibiotic treatment that has been going on since the first week in November. Here’s the whole torrid story:

For a while, my large right toe had been getting twingy. Something I chalked up to the diabetes. It’s been a struggle trying to keep the blood sugar levels at a nice manageable place. But, one evening in September, after stepping out of the shower, the nail from that toe came off, entirely. Odd, but I figured I may have inadvertently banged it hard enough against something to cause it to do that. It happened to my left big toenail back in 1994 when I dropped a couch I was helping move on it, while only wearing sandals. That grew back; I figured the same would happen with this one.

Only, there was some dark discoloration on the toe, and underneath the skin of the toe itself. I kept soaking it in antibacterial water and wrapping it up with some antibacterial topical creme, but it only seem to progressively get worse. Finally, on the final day of September, after recording the sermon at church, I checked myself into the ER at the Fremont hospital to have the thing looked at.

What I though was going to be an in-out situation turned into a three-night stay at the hospital itself. As it turned out, the toe–as well as much of the rest of the foot–was dying. There was a battery of tests done, was seen by several doctors of differing expertise relating to my ailment, and long story short: at the tail-end of October, I went in for a procedure to open up the artery in my right leg to get blood flowing again. It was quite horrendous, I don’t recommend having to have it done. They didn’t put me under; they put me into what they called “twilight sleep”, so I was aware of what was going on, but time itself became kind of wibbly-wobbly.

The first week in November, it turned out I had to amputate the toe. While the blood flow was back and very strong (and normal color returning to the foot and other toes), the damage was too far gone to benefit keeping what was left. They didn’t amputate the entire thing; there is enough left to keep my balance and feel relatively normal. Still, the joke is that the piggy went to market and never came back. Ungrateful piggy.

I’ve been staying at my parent’s place during all the recouping process. My mother being a retired Nurse Practitioner, she was more than capable to help out and give advice with all this, and provide much support when things kept escalating further than I thought it would go. The healing is going well, and anticipate being back at my usual place of dwelling when the daily antibiotic treatments end on December 16th.

I would be remiss, though, to mention that, during all of this, my depression spiraled almost out of control, to the point where I would sit in the darkness and weep silently maybe once every couple of days or so. To be expected; I’m at my lowest, feeling like I’ve lost a bit of myself (literally), what’s the point of this existence…the usual. It’s been rough, almost as bad as it was when Kim left, but again I had the support of my friends, family, and my faith to get me through.

The adverse result of this, however, was me not motivated to write. At all. Usually, when a stint like this happens, I am furiously jotting down everything into my unplugged journal notebook or whatever sheaf of paper happens to be around me at the time. Not this time around. I haven’t been posting, I haven’t been reading any of the books I have, I haven’t been doing reviews…I haven’t even been wanting to listen to METAL like I usually do. Mindless drivel on YouTube and movies. Then, staring into the darkness as I lay on the couch, my mind wandering to how things could have been, what could the future possibly hold for one such as myself, yadda-yadda-yadda.

So, in short, that’s what’s been going on recently. I’m starting to kick my own self in the rear to get back to writing something, this particular post being the first swift kick. Hopefully, those won’t just be empty words. Cheers, all.

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A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT SCREAM…

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punpkin screamSo, I thought I’d take some time to bring whatever readers I still have up to speed in the life and times of your Uncle NecRo. It’s been a while, and I thought a bit of venting is in order. In a matter of speaking.

First, with the lack of postings since house sitting for my sister’s family whilst they were vacationing in Nevada: Currently, I’m in the midst of writing and scheduling the daily posts for this year’s HALLOWEEN’ING 2018. I’m almost halfway done with that; all that remains is waiting for the stores and seasonal attractions to open up and let me pursue for the remaining posts. This year marks the return of the Shadow’s Edge haunted attraction, after a two year absence. I can’t wait to check that one out. I also want to hit some places I hadn’t made it to for the decorations and costumes. But, there will probably be visits to my standard favorite places, more because of familiarity. I’m old. That’s my excuse.

old metalheadSpeaking of being old, I probably won’t be able to make the Metallica show on the 6th. My health has been not good, and my eyesight is that driving at night and in the dark is getting kind of wonky for me. I’m scheduled for an eye exam later today (as I write this), but the new glasses won’t be back in time for the show. Also, there’s the regular middle age guy things, like I have to work the next day, it’s an hour’s drive, that section of Lincoln is difficult to navigate in the daytime, let alone post-show congestion in the dead of night. And quite frankly, my knees are all shot, making it difficult to make the hike from the parking garages to the arena. If they would have played in Omaha, maybe. Ten, maybe twenty years ago, I would have been all over this show. Now, though, I’m in my mid-fourties. I wasn’t able to find someone to go with me, so I’m probably going to sit this one out. Yeah, I’m probably pissing away my only chance to see them live. I’m at peace with this. Metal up your ass.

As far as blog postings for the rest of the year: I’m holding off on the standard Movie/Book/Music reviews until next year. Right now, I’m focusing on the HALLOWEEN’ING 2018 posts, and getting some of the standard brain dropping style articles take care of. I’ve had quite a few percolating for a number of years that keep bubbling back up to the surface ever now and again. So, bit of a relaxed schedule for the blog, here.

Anyway, if anything else comes up, y’all will be the first to know. That you know of. Until then, God bless, my wonderful freaks. Cheers and all that…

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House Sitting, Day 6

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clutterDay Six of the House Sitting. Saturday. I didn’t go into Omaha for the standard Lunch + Writing. I was planning on doing so, as I had the Lappy and a couple of notebooks packed up in the bag, but decided when I got inside the NEKRON 7 to just go into Blair and pick some things up at the Family Fair, and just do the writing at the homestead.

Discovered that Blair’s Family Fare is the only one I’ve been to that doesn’t carry the A&W Diet Cream Soda in 2 liter bottles. Minor setback. Just picked up a 12-pack instead, as well as a 4-pack of the IBC brand diet root beer. That stuff is more on the wintergreen side of the taste, instead of the creamy side.

Steve the Hamster keeps getting his hamster ball of DOOOOOOOM stuck. Extension cords, between a yarn basket and the wall…it’s almost like he’s now doing this on purpose, just to get the thrill of me unsticking him out of his predicament. I’m on to you, Hamster Steve.

Watching the 1991 sci-fi-ish action flick Firehead. Why do I do this to myself?

House Sitting Day 5

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me and duchessDay Five. Got a bit of the ol’ cabin fever, so I opted to go have a shorter Lunch + Writing session at Sean O’Casey’s. Had the Breakfast Bacon Cheeseburger, with peanut butter. Onion rings with 1000 Island for the dippin’. Not bad, but didn’t set my world ablaze with flavor.

Kicked things old-school with the writing, meaning I didn’t bring any of the two laptops (I’m typing this on the Linux Lappy, in case anyone was morbidly curious), only a couple of notebooks and my pen. Made sure it had plenty of ink this time. Mostly listened to some albums and taking notes for future reviews. One Disciple EP and a couple of Dead Artist Syndrome albums.

Steve the Hamster rolling around in his Death Ball. Duchess off brooding somewhere. Had some fun running around while I watered the flowers. Back to watching the movies on my Windows Lappy by way of the Prim streaming…horrible, horrible movies riffed gleefully by the guys who brought us the original Mystery Science Theater 3000…even then, sometimes that barely helps…

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