From The Dream Files…

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alone on a stoopI found myself smitten by a special lady last night. It was while I was in the middle of fighting off an invasion of alien squid creatures. One of the horde had eaten her cat, and she wasn’t happy about it. We managed to beat them back, and as the last of the tentacle faced invaders left, we looked at each other, realizing we may have meet our significant other.

But alas, that very same night, as we sat on the porch, splitting a root beer and telling each other about ourselves, I opened up and told her about my struggles with clinical depression, laying out everything, my flaws and broken-ness, just being as straightforward about what she was getting into. There was silence when I finished. Without saying a word, she stood up, and walked away into the misty night.

Even in my dreams, I end up alone, it seems. Stupid subconscious.

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From The \,,/METALCUTENESS\,,/ Files…

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NecRoSarX Chronicles Header

I believe I may have found my new mascot:
deathmetalpanda
That there is Aggretsuko, a red panda that hates her office job and blows off steam with the help of death metal. This is from the same company that brought us Hello Kitty. It makes sense that it comes from Japan, really. They can take anything and make it into their own weird version, like some kind of pop culture alchemist.

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Sunday A’La Carte’: February 15, 2015

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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…


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Sunday A’La Carte – September 21, 2014

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daily lobsterman hangover bathSUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY! Ah, yes, that time of the week again. I just got back from the yearly end-of-summer church family picnic. This was my first year going, as the entire time that I’ve been attending Country Bible (since 2006, in case anyone cares), no one has clued me in to where this so-called “Grandpa’s Farm” was. It was always “Grandpa’s Farm”, like I should automatically just know where this place existed. Or stumble upon it after wandering inside an old Victorian-era wardrobe. Finally, after nearly ten years, I figured I would at least show up once, and to do that I had to socialize with someone at the church to give me an actual address to work with. And not just general directions, like the farm folk community around here tends to do (“You drive down on that highway there, turn left-ish at the water tower, and keep driving until you come to old man Rutherford’s son sitting atop that fence post. He hasn’t been quite right since the accident, there. Anyhoo, you turn right, and pop in this here copy of Deep Purple’s greatest hits, and when it just gets to “Smoke On The Water”, you’re there. That’s if you have it on side one. If you’re listening to side two, then it’ll be halfway through “Highway Star”…what d’ya mean, ‘What’s a cassette tape”?”). Sorry about that mental detour. It happens. Anyway, I found the place–surprisingly easy to locate, really–and partook of the massive amounts of seared cow and pork flesh, and what you humans refer to as “side dishes”, and “macaroni salad”. Also, there was pie. For the evening’s entertainment, there was a gospel cowboy band playing. Not a Country Band, a Cowboy Band. There is a difference. Like you half expect Graham Green to show up from beyond the grave and say, “Life’s a true bonanza,” at some point. Talked with the scant handful of people I knew, and spent the majority of the time watching people meander by. Also, there was a couple of air castle jumping-thingies. I should have brought the two youngest nephews. I would have looked less conspicuous. Though, wearing all black and a Megadeth shirt to boot, I’m certain that maybe wouldn’t have helped. Still, at least Dylan would have had a blast. And made new friends. He does that. And now I’m really off of course, here…

Then again, this is the Sunday A’La Carte, after all…

Due to a link in this week’s Saturday Ramblings (which was part of the inspiration of me doing this weekly post, by the way) on iMonk, featuring this hi-larious Onion-like news piece, I think I have found a new thought-provoking and snicker-inducing time waster…

Because of a family gathering of sorts in Grand Island Saturday morning, and because I really needed to walk around a bit after we all went to Valentino’s buffet afterwards for lunch (“dinner” if calling the Noontime meal “lunch” makes you twitch pedantically), I went to the local Conestoga Mall in the afternoon. I did need to pick up a more portable external hard drive to replace the bulky MyBook that I’ve had for a few years; but, I decided to do a bit of Halloween’ng and check out this place in the mall that my cousin’s wife (“cousin-in-law”? I never really know how to address that) tipped me about, one of those seasonal Halloween costume and brick-a-brack stores called Halloween Spirit. And oh my, was this place fantastic to look around in. Not only was there the standard costumes, accessories and fun stuff to be had, but they really went out of their way to build some very fun and effective animatronic displays, including a video-based one right in the front entrance that was very nice. Alas, I figure this will be my only time to go there, as I rarely am out to Grand Island, but I did take some pics in the store, of which I shall share with all of you now:

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Click to embiggen…go on, you know you want to…

STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: I review the fourth in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary series of re-released novels, and I give my thoughts on how Season Eight of Doctor Who is going so far. Yeah, it’s a bit Who-centric this week. Blame my obsessions, I guess…

It’s a bit short this week, as I’m still fighting off a bit of fatigue due to the change in seasons (always happens this time of year, nothing to get worried about). I leave you now with this video I stumbled upon while watching a video someone in my youth group showed me. I like to think of it as “Cosplay Metal”. These guys are now my new METAL obsession. Cheers, all.

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Sunday A’La Carte – September 7, 2014

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television glassesOnce again, I’ve blinked, and another week has flown by, much like my innocence. Pie gone. Where did pie go? Regardless of whatever fresh existential quandary may be taunting me this week, there is one bright spot I can take away: On Friday morning, as I was buying my breakfast and lunch items of the day at WalMart to take with me to work, I noticed they were putting up this year’s Halloween items. Which means, my wonderful freaks, that another glorious season of HALLOWEENING is upon us! Halloween may be technically on October 31st, with the season not being in full swing until early-to-mid October. Or, a week or so after the Christmas decorations go on sale, in other words. But for me, the spirit of Halloween has arrived, making me all sorts of giddy with anticipation of the wondrous crap that will be on display. And while the selection in WalMart is really a pittance, I did give in to picking up a small plastic skull and a smoky-colored translucent plastic skull mug to decorate my desk at work with. My pens will be going into the mug. Over the weeks leading up to Halloween (the most wonderful time of the year) I hope to be able to explore the various places selling the seasonal kitsch and wonderment. Stay tuned, as I feed my misappropriated youth and all that.

So, the big celebrity death this week was one Joan Rivers, from cardiac and respiratory arrest after some time in a coma. Sad, though I must admit I was never really that much of a fan. One could say I wasn’t a fan. Nothing against her; when it came to comedians from her generation, I leaned more towards Bill Cosby and Carol Burnet. I do find this quote of hers rather interesting, given the situation: “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.” Well, now…time to rethink my alegance to Rubbermade and Ziploc…

METAL IN INAPPROPRIATE PLACES…the title says it all…

In case you need a reminder of your own intellectual prowess (and that trip to WalMart just didn’t do the trick this time), here’s a list of 17 People Who Are So Dumb They’ll Make Your Brain Hurt. It reminds me of the time, not too long ago, when I overheard some kid say, “What does sex have to do with making babies?” Followed immediately by someone else in that group saying, “I know, right?” I seriously am beginning to think that the movie Idiocracy was less of a comedy and more of a long-form Public Service Warning…

ocd nightmare

Here’s a lovely commercial for a German home improvement store, featuring a dad being awesome to his outcast Goth daughter. Just tugs at my heart strings, this.

Fortune Cookie Messages:
-“Your talents will prove to be especially useful this week.”
…finally, the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us! Many of you thought I was crazy. Some of you even requested to be transferred to a different department. But who will have the last laugh now?
-“You will do well to expand your horizons.”
…I always thought that my personal space bubble was too small. But, everyone always insists on invading said space. From now on, it’s 10 feet minimum radius, or it’s purple nurple time. You’ve been warned, extroverts.

scary

STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: I discuss how I first discovered one of my imported geek obsessions, and I review a book based on that obsession. Not much this past week. I really need to remedy this.

h8CFAFC08

Anyway, that’s it for this week. I’m posting a bit early, as I’m about to embark on a movie night with my mates, and won’t be back until much later. I was assured there would be cupcakes with bacon. I’d like to take the time right now to apologize in advance to my pancreas. Cheers, all.

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NOVELTY TRIBUTE BANDS I HAVE KNOWN

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…so, the other day at work, while listening to Black Sabbath on my MP3 player, I struck upon a rather genius idea:  A Black Sabbath tribute band, with a Sean Connery impersonator as the vocalist.

sean connery
“What ish thish that shtands before me?”

The band itself would be called Shabbath Bloody Shabbath.  In my, shall we say, excitement, I relayed this idea of mine to my fellow coworkers.  Fortunately, only one person had to ask, “Who’s Black Sabbath?”  I work with a lot of teenagers and college-age kids whose idea of “classic rock” includes Nirvana.  But, for the most part, I was fortunate to work that night with those who are savvy enough to know what good rock music is, even if they’ve only heard it on Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

Anyhoo, that got me talking about some other wacky tribute bands that I knew of through the years.  Starting with Dread Zeppelin.

I first discovered this interesting group in 1990, with a pin-up pic in an issue of Circus Magazine.  They started off playing reggae covers of Led Zeppelin songs (later branching off to other band covers and a few original compositions), featuring a 300-pound Vegas-style Elvis Impersonator named Tortelvis as their vocalist.  The result is about as bizarrely fun as you would expect:

Then there’s Hayseed Dixie.  I heard an interview with them about a decade or so ago on a local rock station’s morning show, and thought “a bluegrass band, playing AC/DC covers?  I must find this record.”  And like Dread Zeppelin, Hayseed Dixie branched out to cover other bands’ music other than AC/DC, and the novelty of hearing a great hard rock and metal song redone into bluegrass does tend to wear off rather quickly, but it’s still hilarious for a little bit:

Richard Cheese is a bit different, as this cat didn’t set out to focus on just one band or artist in his “tribute” covers; Richard Cheese doesn’t discriminate when it comes to his lounge interpretations:

And in a rather similar vein, there’s that bizarre Gregorian chant covers of various songs from the 90s that I remember actually owning in college back in the day:

If anything, “tribute” bands like these remind me that if you can’t laugh at your own music tastes, then you’ve missed the point entirely.  Cheers.

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