Sunday, January 27, 2013

Martian spring

It happens, and it does some weird stuff that can only be seen on the Red Planet.


(from Space.com)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Accept: Stalingrad




















Well, here are my initial thoughts on Accept's Stalingrad: Very, very good. My thanks to the South Texas Pistolero for convincing me to give it a whirl.

This is timeless metal/hard rock at its finest. Accept has been around since the mid-1970s, and it's really kind of amazing that they are still around. And that they are still cranking out the heavy music like they do. But, they are, and they're doing a good job of it.

I haven't listened to Accept much lately, but part of my rock and metal education came from the band's earlier albums, like Breaker, Restless and Wild, their self-titled debut album, and Balls to the Wall. So it's gratifying to see that they can still get together and produce quality material, and that Wolf Hoffman still shreds like he used to.

The current singer, Mark Tornillo, is a worthy successor for the original screamer, Udo Dirkschneider. Udo was unique, and his contribution to the world of metal is undeniable, but Tornillo works well. At times he kind of sounds kinda like Udo, but at others he sounds a lot like Brian Johnson, and that makes for a fine metal wailer.

The songs that have struck my fancy so far are "Twist of Fate", "Hellfire", and the title track, though all of them are fun to listen to. This was a good buy to make (especially since I got a cool download deal at Amazon for $3.99!), and I thank the Pistolero for his recommendation. By all means, keep making suggestions!

video

Monday, January 21, 2013

Preparing to read

I finally received that book that I ordered on recommendation from Alan at Blogonomicon. I've just started on it, so I don't have any opinion to share, yet. But here's what the book looks like: 


























Dragon's Egg
Robert Forward
1980

 This book must be out of print, because I could not find any copies on Amazon labeled "new" that were less than $19.00, and all of the other copies available were from third-party sources (with new paperbacks starting at $10.49). So I found a hardcover from some obscure book seller that came out to only $5.09, including shipping, and I ordered it.

Here's what I got in the mail:















 Look like any particular kind of book to you? Like, maybe a library book? Awesome, because that's what it is! An old library book!

















My copy of Dragon's Egg by Robert Forward is a discard from the public library in Manchester, Connecticut. That's kind of cool, I guess. I've never gotten such a deal on a hardcover book that didn't come from a yard sale or from Half Price Books, and I'm glad I got this one. But I wasn't expecting to see a library book show up on my front porch.

And, bonus surprise? The branch library's name:















Yep, the colonial city of Manchester apparently has all of two branches in its library system, and one of them happens to be named after Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary.

No real connection to anything the book is about, but something quite interesting to notice, anyway.

Now, on to the reading ......

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Two things I ordered today

Both came from recommendations from blog buddies.

This:




















On a recommendation from the South Texas Pistolero at Live from the Alamo City. (Downloaded and ready to listen to tomorrow on my way to work.)



And this:
















On a recommendation from AlanDP at Blogonomicon. (Ordered, awaiting delivery.)


I've got some listening to do and some reading to do. Check back with you later when I have something to report.