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Well, here we are. The end of another year. And as a year, overall, I think it’s safe to say that the majority opinion is that the year of our Lord Twenty-Sixteen SUCKED on so many levels, I’m pretty sure its effects can be felt on alternate dimensions and frequencies. Yes, there were a lot of celebrity deaths this year; however, this being a personal bligity-blog of mine, I’m not going to focus on all of those (though I really could, there have been many childhood favorites that have fallen this year). Instead, to at least make an acknowledgment of the ones that have been an inspiration to me, I’m going to pepper this post with YouTube clips of some favorites of mine while I wax nostalgic for the past year. However ugly it was.

First, I would be remiss if I didn’t start off with perhaps one of the biggest losses my family had this year: In the very first week of June, my Grandmother Betty Strand passed away. She was always a constant anchor in my life, as she was a strong, tenacious and lively cornerstone of the family, raising three children on the farm and being active in the community and such. Her loss has left a void in the lives of many.

And as long as we’re on the subject, along with Grandma, two Great Aunts also passed away this year: Aunt Janice and Aunt Muriel. Aunt Janice was Grandma’s younger sister, and was also a presence in the family growing up. Aunt Muriel was Grandpa Strand’s sister, and was another presence in the family growing up. We have a big family, and for better or for worse, we’re still pretty tight as a unit. I’m thankful for that, and thankful for having known them.

In July, there was a massive shakeup at the church I was attending. I really don’t want to go into the details (as we’re still healing and moving on), but suffice to say, there was a split. And after much deliberation, I decided to go with the ones who left, in helping to be a part of the healing and moving on. A new church was birthed out of what essentially started as a Sunday morning therapy group for those who were hurt from the split. Fortunately, this wasn’t formed out of spite, but out of a genuine desire to continue to serve God and Christ Jesus despite of the circumstances. Almost immediately, we’ve been seeing the Holy Spirit work with us to that end. In case you’re morbidly curious, here’s the website to peruse.

Of course, no year-end blog post would be complete without mentioning all the wackiness that happened in the culture. And this was probably the wackiest of the wacky. As in, the world just threw up its collective hands and went, “Okay, we all go crazy, now.” Besides all the celebrity deaths (which, as of this writing, still hasn’t stopped, it seems), who could forget the year-long freak show that was this round of Presidential elections? To quote one of the best parts of the movie Resivuar Dogs, “Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right”. On the left of the Presidential ring, the Senator wife of a former President. To the right, a business mogul/former reality show producer-star/comb-over enthusiast with little to no political experience whatsoever. After months and months of mud-flinging, passive-aggressive public whining, really bad ideas and desperate character assassinations (among other things), at the end of the day, it turned out that we all collectively stepped in some Trumpy-Dumpy. Gads, that episode of MST3K is so endlessly quotable. And given the fallout and the various updates on how Trump is lining up his next four years…yeah, this might make 2016 seem like the Golden Years in comparison. We shall see, as always. The road to Idiocracy stretches out ever before us. Still, I’m trying to figure out why so many of my fellow professing Christians seemed to treat his election as the next best thing to the Second Coming of Jesus.

And lest the Presidential elections overshadow the other bits of wackiness of the year: Britan decided to leave the European Union, citing “It’s not you, it’s me” and further stating “We can still be friends, though,” before deleting them from their Facebook lists; a cartoon frog is now declared a “hate symbol” because…reasons, I guess; the President of the Philippines threatened to burn down the UN; for several months, the entire country freaked out over clowns (well, moreso than usual); and last but certainly not least, there was that Dakota Access Pipeline protest that got rather ugly before an agreement could be made, only to have the protester’s point made for them by the pipeline itself. Delicious irony.

Okay, on to some more pleasant stuff. For all the downers, at least there were some really really good \,,/METAL\,,/ that was released: Megadeth came back in form with Dystopia in January, and then Anthrax released the melodic-yet-heavy For All Kings in February. Babymetal released Metal Resistance in March, which was more of the mutated J-Pop/Metal hybrid I somehow find irresistible. Death Requisite released some rather good death metal with their Revisitation release, while I found myself disappointed with the debut release from Becoming Saints, Oh The Suffering. Ricky Puckett unleashed his In Darkest Dreams project with The Vanishing, a much-needed injection of dark and brutal for my earholes. And then Hell apparently froze over, as Klayton dropped a surprise brand-new Circle Of Dust album, Machines Of Our Disgrace. And finally*, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Metallica releasing Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, which turned out to be quite decent.

On the movie front, this year started off strong with the most excellent Deadpool. The year had some decent ones, like 10 Cloverfield Lane (a lot better than what I expected), the new Ghostbusters, the Magnificent Seven remake, the Pete’s Dragon remake, Suicide Squad (surprisingly decent), and Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them (sorry, no review posted yet). The rather good movies this year were Captain America: Civil War, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Star Trek Beyond, Doctor Strange, and of course, the year’s capper, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Of course, there were some stinkers in this year’s mix, which for me were Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Independence Day: Resurgence, and the surprisingly “meh” X-Men: Apocalypse.

And last, but certainly not least, in the more happier aspects of my personal life this year: This last Spring both my Nephew/Godson Christoper Rinas and one of my cousin’s eldest son Trevor Donahey graduated High School. Gads, I’m old.

So, that’s my year in a nutshell. To quote from one of my favorite episodes of M*A*S*H: “Here’s to the new year. May it be a damn sight better than the last one, and may we all go home before it’s over.”** Take that as you will. Whatever you do, celebrate heartily, but also somberly. Don’t be stupid. Me, I’m going to be doing my yearly Haunted New Years horror movie marathon whilst deciding what part of the clutter in my domicile is going to get the heave-ho. And there may be a bacon pizza in the mix, somewhere. Until next year (see what I did there?), I remain your humble servant Uncle NecRo. God bless, my wonderful freaks.

::END TRANSMISSION::

*– While I did review the new Klank album, the official release isn’t until January 13th, so that’s actually one to look forward to.

**– Season 9, Episode 6: “A War For All Seasons”

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OBLIGATORY YEAR-END POST: 2015 Edition

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NecRoSarX Chronicles Header

OBLIGATORY YEAR-END POST: 2015 Edition

Once again, your Uncle NecRo blinked, and it’s been another year. It continues to amaze me at how fast these things are going. I’m told that time–the relative and fickle thing that it is–tends to go faster the slower you go. Which fits in with my getting older and slower in my ancient age of…well, 42. I guess that falls into “Middle Age” territory rather than “Old Geezer” territory. Tell that two my nephews. The five-year-old marveled at how I managed to live this long. But, I digress.

When compared to the massive hope-sucking void that was 2014, 2015 was a veritable tiptoe through the tulips. If said tulips were just fertilized with the most pugnant of fertilizer only minutes prior. And you were barefoot. And the center of these tulips had an eyeball that followed your progress through the patch. What did you expect? This is my brain that’s reviewing the prior year. This is the pleasant version, trust me.

Anyway, we started off the year that was 2015 with the hope that there would be fewer family deaths I’d have to attend. And, that was the case indeed. Though, it didn’t have the hopeful promise at first, as right off the bat the family lost our Aunt Jan to cancer in the first couple of weeks of January. And then, not too long after that, Grandma Krohn shook off this mortal coil after what one can only describe as a very full and interesting life. Both ladies were awesome and are very much missed. And then, I would be remiss not to mention that, merely a few weeks ago this month, my friend Scotland “Kuba” Kubinski lost his life in a motorcycle accident. This year hasn’t been without its moments of reflection on this, let me tell you.

A couple of weeks into the month of January, I moved fully into Omaha, a resident of a house that I refer to as the Haunted Victorian. The others, including the landlord, refer to it as The Vic, but I prefer Haunted Victorian, for it fits my sense of humor. It’s populated by five other gentlemen, all of whom I rarely see or interact with, due to our various schedules and waked-ness. If that’s even a word. Eh, I’m too lazy to look it up properly. Besides, it’s more fun to imagine the sounds from the unseen others to be the disembodied “ghosts” that “haunt” the Victorian we all dwell in. Or, could I be one of the ghosts as well? Ooooh, how my mind could snap while pondering the implications of this.

As with last year, this year was pretty much a steady stream of work-eat-sleep, with some respites scattered in hither and yon. NECRO SHOCK RADIO has been going whenever I’m able to get around to it, and/or whenever the WiFi allows to upload. Also, launched another podcast…more of a “Pubcast”, really, as it’s just recorded bits of the conversations we have at the Thursday Bar Nights with the usual cast of irregulars. This necessitated not only buying the Premium setting for Soundcloud, but also gave me an excuse to purchase the Yeti microphone. Fantastic piece of equipment. Highly recommended for all of you wanting a nice quality studio sound without breaking the bank.

I just need to say this: Series 9 of Doctor Who was perhaps the finest I’ve experienced since getting back into this British sci-fi show ten years prior. Peter Capaldi is just awesome. Let’s keep him around for a while longer, shall we? Also, glad Jenna’s gone, as I’ve found her presence to be more-or-less superfluous ever since the whole mystery surrounding her existence was solved. More-or-less. And in case you’re wondering, no I haven’t seen the Christmas Special as of this writing. I’ll get around to it, but right now I’m not too keen on seeing another River Song episode. Reasons, you might understand if you knew me and the nature of my previous relationship.

This year, I witnessed one of my cousin’s offspring graduate from High School, further solidifying my slip into old man status. Then I helped out once again with my Uncle Pat and Aunt Joyce at the annual pancake feed that their Volunteer Rescue puts on. And then I went to my first-ever Comic Con in Omaha (technically Council Bluffs) and had some fun there. That was my month of May, by the way.

October was a banner time for the year. Of course it was, as it’s the only time that I really look forward to, really. The season of Halloween. Fall, and the chance to once again not worry about letting my freak flag fly. Due to my youth group’s annual trip to the Fontenelle Corn Maze, I was given a chance to work the Haunted Corn Maze that year. And I did…for one night. I was going to do the night before Halloween and Halloween night as well, but then the Aluminum Falcon was lost in a freak road accident. I was without transportation until Halloween day, and by then I had already called the proprietor of the corn maze with the news that I would have to cancel my performance on the other two nights.

In case you’re wondering, my new mode of transport I have named the NEKRON 7. All caps. With the misspelling to make it seem more edgy. Much more sleek than what I was going to call it: NecRo Wagon. You’re welcome.

So, now that the dark, downward spiral of the Holiday season is almost over, and the New Year is almost upon us, I take some time to reflect on the past three-hundred and sixty-five-ish days. I’m probably not going to be doing the One-Book-A-Week thing this year, as I had hit that goal this year. Also, I want to focus more on finishing up all of the stuff I began writing over the years, waiting to be finished finally. Who knows…maybe this is the year I finally focus enough to catch up on everything, and be able to post whenever again. Or, more than likely, I’ll probably find myself going in with gusto, and then getting distracted by something shiny.

I’ll have more to say about my depression, as there are a bunch more rattling around my head. Though, this past year I was able to connect a bit more with others in my church group about things. I’m still keeping a reign in on sharing anything. I still don’t trust very much. We’ll see how this goes.

I am looking forward to seeing my nephew/Godson Christopher graduate from High School later this year. And I’ll probably make the trek out to Cozad to watch my cousin Allen’s son graduate as well. So far, these are the two family things that I know I’m going to be a part of. The NEKRON 7 is going to get a workout, for certain.

And thus, this has been my thoughts on the year that was 2015. I’m certain I’ve missed something. Bits and pieces here and there; if not recorded on this blog or my Facebook page in passing, then it’s been recorded in my unplugged journal, the UNCLE NECRO’S NOMICON (see what I did there?). Overall, it’s been a fairly decent one. Standard, with its usual crushing lows of depression, tempered with some moderate Level 5 despondency, through to a handful of good days. I have no idea what the future brings; all I know is, the Master has deemed it necessary for me to remain alive for now, and by the Grace of God alone go I.

I thank you all for continuing in my ongoing journey though this reality. If I’m still around to hammer out another bunch of words together into sentences–and those into paragraphs–talking about 2016, then I hope you’re there with me. Cheers, and God Bless my wonderful freaks.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Obligatory Year-End Blog Post: 2013 Edition

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candles

It’s that time of year again. Namely, the end of the year. That magical time when everyone scrambles to try and make as much of a dent in the resolutions list they made back at the start of this same year they’re about to wave bye-bye to. Among other things, I’m sure.

Me, I’m not really what you would call the ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ kinda guy. I made a resolution years ago never to make another resolution, and so far I’m doing a great job sticking to that.

I’m also not much of a party goer. The closest I’ve come to actually celebrating the advent of a new year was back when 2011 turned into 2012…you know, the one that seemed to turn out to be a massive bummer for many people. And not just because the whole Mayan Calender Apocalypse was a no-show, either. But, now I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, here.

Since this is the last day of 2013, I felt it was a good time to make with my customary End-Of-The-Year blog posts, which is also about as close to a New Year’s Resolution as I come. Ready? Here we go:

The biggest thing to happen this year was the little fact that I happened to fall in love again. I know, I know, that sounds far too cheeseball for to be coming from the word processor of someone who refers to himself as “Uncle NecRo”, but…yeah, that’s about the whole of it. I proposed and got engaged to my best friend. No other way of putting it, really.

Looking back, though, I think 2013 was more of a recovery period from the grand awfulness that was 2012. Started off 2013 licking my wounds and tending to my bruises, getting situated and settled in with my new lifestyle that comes with being a Type 2 diabetic and all. 2013 was definitely a year for healing, and the Holy Spirit really worked well within me. Not to mention the help that Pappa God sent in the form of Kim. She’s been a tremendous blessing.

So, while there’s not much to report on this year, I do wish to mention that, while 2013 was a recovery year, I definitely think that 2014 will be the period to get up out of my cave, dust myself off, and get back to accomplishing what I set out to do before the unpleasantness of 2012.

Also, here’s the list of the books that I read in 2013 (alphabetized by title):

24 Karat Gold Bathroom Reader (Bathroom Reader’s Institute)
The Academy (Bentley Little)
The Case Book Of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
The Collection (Bentley Little)
Death Instinct (Bentley Little)
Doctor Who And The Brain Of Morbius (Terrance Dicks)
Doctor Who And The Ice Warriors (Brian Hayles)
Doctor Who And The Invasion Of Time (Terrance Dicks)
Doctor Who: Peacemaker (James Swallow)
Doctor Who: Revenge Of The Judoon (Terrance Dicks)
Doctor Who: Shada (Gareth Roberts)
Doctor Who: The Coming Of The Terraphiles (Michael Moorcock)
Doctor Who: The Dalek Handbook (Steve Tribe & James Goss)
Doctor Who: The King’s Dragon (Una McCormack)
Doctor Who: The Pirate Loop (Simon Guerrier)
Doctor Who: Vanishing Point (Stephen Cole)
Doctor Who: Wishing Well (Trevor Baxendale)
Drawing Blood (Poppy Z. Brite)
Gil’s All Fright Diner (A. Lee Martinez)
His Father’s Son (Bentley Little)
His Last Bow (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Horns (Joe Hill)
The House (Bentley Little)
The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul (Douglas Adams)
Memnoch The Devil (Anne Rice)
Mine (Robert McCammon)
The Monster Book Of Zombies (Stephen Jones [editor])
NOS4A2 (Joe Hill)
The Oxford Book Of Gothic Tales (Chris Baldick [editor])
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
The Return Of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Star Trek: How Much For Just The Planet? (John M. Ford)
Star Wars: Dark Tide I- Onslaught (Michael A. Stackpole)
Star Wars: Star By Star (Troy Denning)
Stir Of Echoes (Richard Matheson)
Teacher’s Pet (Andrew Neiderman)
The Thief Of Always (Clive Barker)
The Valley Of Fear (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
The Waiting Room (T. M. Wright)
The Woman Next Door (T. M. Wright)

So, here’s to the end of a year that turned out to be far better than 2012 was. A few hiccups, yes, and not without its own form of drama here and there, but overall a less dark one.

Happy New Year, everybody. Now, I shall do what I always do every New Years Eve, and seal myself here in my dungeon and listen to a bunch of podcasts, or something. Maybe do a bit of reading, watch a movie…the rest of the year is my burrito, really. Cheers.

::END TRANSMISSION::