Month: August 2009

Weekend

While Tara was away for a girls weekend, I was puttering around at home getting up to no good πŸ™‚

Friday I tried to catch up on Horror movies, but only made it through 1(My name is Bruce) and then watched Caprica. Which kinda sucked.

I tried to watch Saw 5, Phantasm 2 and something else, but just couldn’t get into it. Granted, it was late on a Friday and I guess I was tired. I should have switched out to TV.

But I did watch most of Life After People which talks about what might happen to the world if people suddenly vanished. And for the most part, everything turns out fine. I guess just like it was before us.

Anyway, Saturday was better. Started early with a good breakfast and watched TV. Tru Blood is better than I thought it would be. I was expecting mostly hokey, but it was more than that. Also watched some Warehouse 13, which is a new SyFy show, and it’s in the same vein as Eureka, so good and kinda goofy.

That evening I had the boys over and asked everyone if they would be in my wedding party. And as I expected, they all said No πŸ™‚

But then they said yes as I would be providing booze and food πŸ™‚

We played poker most of the night and somewhere down the line the game shifted from who would win to who held all the white chips. Not sure how that happened πŸ˜‰

In the end, Jim won the big pot of $25!

There was much drinking and eating and all was well with the world.

Sunday was much like Saturday. Caught up on some Burn Notice and House, then mowed the lawn with my dads mower.

My weed whacker is more powerful than my mower, and the grass was very very long in the back. But it got done, and that’s good.

Then my sweety returned to me and all was right in the world πŸ˜€

Steam

The problem with Steam is that it offers good games for cheap.

I’ve run into this problem before when it offered all the X-Com games for like $10. They recently offered 10 indie games for $30, and I fell for it.

Now they’re offering Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics for $20. And sure, I could go online and snag these for free, $20 just isn’t a lot of money for three long games. Hell, Fallout is going for $9 by itself. That alone might be worth it(assuming I just don’t like the game).

And now that I have an unlimited download rate(which reminds me, I should cancel Rogers) I don’t mind downloading games to play them. Save me loosing disks and whatnot.

Damn you Steam!

How dare you bring me quality entertainment on the cheap!

Now I just need time to play them all….

Metallica Musings

Tara and I watched most of Some Kind of Monster the other night and I finished it off(mostly listening to, not watching) yesterday while working.

I want to say that it was interesting to see Metallica in that kind of light, but it wasn’t really. It just reminded me of the glut of Emo bands that popped up around that time(or at least hit the radar). I wanted to write a full post just about the movie but thought better of it when I realized that I wasn’t really saying anythingΒ  that doesn’t make me sound like a dick or unsupportive of group therapy. I guess it was just seeing Metallica in that environment that made me think; what a punch of pansies. In fact, during the movie, Jason said just that and I suspect that’s one reason they parted ways.

Anyway, back to the point.

I fell out of love with Metallica shortly after the release of Load as I felt they were moving in a direction that I really didn’t like and I decided to stop supporting them. That was in the mid 90’s, and I’m a little older now (probably no wiser, but that’s another story) and my tastes of changed over the years. So I thought, why not snag a copy of all the new albums, sit down and just listen again.

So that’s what I did today, and here are my findings:

Load:

I remember the day this came out. Doug and I wandered out, we both picked up the CD and went back to his place to give it a listen. When it was over, we both had this disgusted look on our face. Doug was still in ‘hard core fan’ mode, and the best he could come up with was “well, it’s not my favorite Metallica CD, but I still like it”. I traded my unopened copy for Soundgardens Superunknown and didn’t regret it.

However, listening to it today, it’s a fine fine album. Just not a Metallica album. In all honesty, if they had released this under a different group name, say, Bobo and the hard rockers, I would have accepted this album a lot more than I did. It’s got a great rock groove going and is very easy to listen to and enjoy. It’s just not the Metallica I grew up with.

Going forward, I think that’s going to be the main focus here. The Metallica I fell in love with is gone, and it’s been replaced by this other Metallica. Ok, so that’s kinda sounding Emo, but you know what I mean ;P

Reload:

Interesting name for a CD. I guess it was all the left over stuff from Load, which I can understand.

So far, it’s mostly the same feel as Load, which, again, makes sense if it was mostly left overs or do overs. I really don’t know the history of the CD as I gave up on them before this.

At this time I would like to partially blame Bob Rock for all of this. He produced the black album, Load, ReLoad and St Anger. Before that he was producing Motley Crew. I can hear that now. I didn’t like the idea then, mostly because I didn’t think he fit for the role, but one thing he does is create a very nice and clean album. No question.

So again, if you can get over the idea that this is Metallica, then it’s a fine piece of work.

Where the Wild Things Are really reminds me of 70s Alice Cooper, and that’s not a bad thing. Too bad it had nothing to do with the book. I could see that happening as they all started having kids around this time.

Over these last two CDs they really branched out and went in different directions, and for the most part they work. It’s almost as they dropped the past and just reinvented themselves. I’m not sure if the idea of ‘selling out’ comes into play here or not. I mean, there’s a song from Tool that kinda sums this up nicely:

All you know about me is what I’ve sold you,
I sold out long before you ever heard my name.

I sold my soul to make a record,
And you bought one.

All you read and
Wear or see and
Hear on TV
Is a product
Begging for your
Fatass dirty
Dollar

So…Shut up and

Buy my new record
Send more money

Did they change their sound? Yes. Did they do it to make more money? Very possibly. Or did they just want to take the band in a new direction without any thought of money? Hard to say.

I mean, it’s a business, anyone who says differently isn’t doing it right πŸ˜‰

Anyway, moving on….

St. Anger:

This is the one that the movie was about. There were a lot of rumors floating around with this one; that they had gone back previous form and that there was no solos. This last one was a little confusing because, if that was the case, what was Kirks role then? After watching the movie though they kinda explain it, saying that they wanted to change the idea of what a solo was.

This brings me to another point. I’ve getting tired of Lars trying to sound deep and smart. He just comes off as a pompous prick that wants to sound smart and deep.

When I downloaded this the first time(yea, I’m not paying for crap I might not like), my first response is that I really really don’t like how the drums are laid down. It sounds cheap and, well, bad. I suspect I stopped listening after the first couple of songs and never actually heard it all the way through.

Listening to it further it sounds way under produced and I wonder if Bob Rock was out to lunch half the time? It’s a departure from the last three CDs he worked on. Again, this could have been done on purpose, but really, I dunna like it.

Also, half the time it seems to follow the “Metal by Numbers” formula.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chiVMrWMHko

Watch the video, it makes more sense than I could explain.

Death Magnetic:

Right away this is a better sounding CD. The annoying drums are gone, and overall it’s a much cleaner sounding mix. The old style solos are back(meaning that there are noted solos) and this is a heavier/harder album than Load/ReLoad/Black.

At the moment it doesn’t seem to follow the Metal by Numbers and the time changes are consistent within the songs. There’s no fast/slow/fast/slow for no reason going on. I guess you could say this is closer to traditional Metal. At least traditional for me πŸ™‚

I’m closing in on half-way through Death Magnetic, and I have to say that it’s the best Metallica CD in close to 20 years. God I feel old.

I don’t think it fully pulls away from the 90’s and St. Anger, but it’s a far sight better than the last two and much heavier than anything they did in the 90’s.

It might be enough to make me a fan again πŸ˜€

So I think it’s time for a summary. Why not πŸ™‚

If you’re an older fan like myself, and, like me were ‘burned’ by Metallica in the 90’s, I would do this:

Buy Load/Reload, remove the word Metallica from the CD Cover, replace with a made up band name, and enjoy. They’re actually pretty good CDs.

Dodge St. Anger. Sorry, nothing short of a complete makeover can save this for me.

Go for Death Magnetic. It’s got something going on that has been missing for some time now.

There you have it.

I should do this for Megadeth to. They pulled the same stunt at the same time and I had the same reaction. Maybe it’s time for a relisten.

SteamPunk

I’ve been bitten by the steam punk bug again.

Not that I did anything about it the last time, but this time I might make something.

Or, it could be an excuse to go buy welding goggles.

Yes, I actually mean making physical costume peices. I’m even building this whole backstory/persona about it.

I should really write it down before I start forgetting it. Not sure what I want to make, or, more to the point, where I want to stop.

I suspect the first thing I’ll try to do is a cool watch/arm band thing. I might extend it up the arm and also incorperate a glove into it somewhere/how.

Well, I suppose the where would be on my hand πŸ˜›

Why the sudden interest in Steam Punk? No idea. Granted, I’ve always loved the concept of steam punk, and what people do with modern things to make them steampunky.

http://www.sillof.com/C-CUSTOMS-Main.htm is a great example of custom figures gone steampunk.

And Steampunk Daleks are just cool!

Anyway, right now it’s just research and cool ideas, but I really hope that at one point I can make this stuff and maybe dress up at Anime North in a couple of years.

Or I’ll just shelve it like almost everything else I do πŸ˜›

Latest Updates

You know, one day I’m actually going to do something with this blog other than posting random updates. Mind you, I’ve been threatening that for years πŸ˜‰

We got a new couch set today. It’s the second on in a couple of weeks really. The first one, while looking nice in the show room, really didn’t fit well with out TV/Living room. So we ditched it and got a couch and loveseat. The other one was a sectional with a cheise.

Looking at it now though, I think this one isΒ  a little bigger than that last one. Granted, it does have a space for a coffee/end table, so it’s all good. And I think if we play with it a little we can make it work.

August will be a busy month for Tara and I.

Tara has her medical terminology exam this weekend, so she’s studying like made for that. Then we head off to St Catherines and then the riding next weekend. I’ll be working out of the hotel room for part of it and the riding office for the other part. It’s close enough to Toronto that I might be able to drop into the TO office and meet the team I work with πŸ™‚

After that Tara has a girls weekend in Tremblant. I suspect they’ll do all the girly things there. That means I’ll have the guys over for a BBQ or something. And I get to catch up on my horror movies.

After that it should be a nice quiet weekend/Saturday in the 1000 islands. We’ve been meaning to do this for a little while, just a nice little getaway. So we’re finally going to do it. Sure, it’s a single night, but it’ll be nice.

We’re going to cancel with the Rogers high speed service this week or next. I’m just tired of keeping tabs on my downloads. It’s tiring. So I’m moving back to Velcom. It’s slower(5megs instead of 10, but probably 2.5) but it’s unlimited downloads and no throttling. And it’s cheaper by about $25/month, which is nice. I just hope the phone line isn’t wonky anymore. I remember there was a connection problem everytime there was a storm coming. I guess I’ll find out.

Also, we’re going to drop Vonage as the service is pretty assy and I just don’t want to pay for it anymore. We’ll probably be using Skype for most things. People already have my cell number so I don’t need to worry about incoming calls. Not that I get a lot to begin with. Skype has a service of $13/month where I can call out to 40 different countries. Which is just perfect. So in all we’re saving $50/month with the different ISP and Skype.

Tara and I have made it past Plants vs Zombies, and we’re waiting for the sequal that’s bound to show up.

The grass hasn’t been cut in some time now, and it looks like it’s about to send down hail so I doubt it’s getting but tonight.

With any luck tomorrow will be better and I can tame the thing that I call a back yard.

Until next time!