Thursday, June 27, 2013

Latest Listening Pleasure... KISS

My latest listening pleasure is also my oldest and dearest listening pleasure, the band KISS.   I have been a fan since I first found out about the band, probably 1975 or 76 when I could still count my age on my fingers.  Recently I found a podcast about all things Kiss called 3 Sides of the Coin which brought me back to the band that started it all for me.  When I was a kid I collected everything Kiss that I could get my hands on, which was mostly second hand albums and posters bought with my weekly allowance or traded for other things that are important to a kid that age.  I still have one of my Kiss posters, the first Kiss poster, now framed and on my wall almost 40 years later.  As I was growing up I completed my album collection and still collected all things Kiss that I could manage, but I did soon see that getting everything was an impossible task so I had to pick and choose with the little resources I had.
Kiss' first official poster, 1975

In drafting this post I tried to remember all the times that I saw Kiss live, which didn't come easy to my rusty little brain.  I came up with 10 times that I can for sure recall and I know I'm forgetting and just can't place some others.  For a long time I went to see them whenever they were in Wisconsin, but over time it became less of a priority and/or they just came around less.  Now, if given the chance, I would go see them if they came to town again, but I do not wish to travel to Milwaukee, Lacrosse, or even Alpine Valley anymore unless I expect something amazing will happen.  They're getting old, Gene Simmons is overexposed, Paul Stanley can't hit the notes anymore and Tommy Thayer just bugs me (fake Ace).  The new 'spider' stage set looks pretty good, though, and about time, too.  A couple tours ago they were using Justin Bieber's old stage set!  The 'spider' set is more like it - and original to Kiss.  Yes, if they came to town I would go, but it may not be quite the event it once was for me.

Years ago I started to try to get all the albums on cd but never did finish, everything was going digital so the cds that I had just sat on a shelf.  Eventually I gave many to my nephew (though he should share with his sister) since he was becoming a young fan, including the most recent releases.  I haven't given the music much of a chance since 'Psycho Circus' came out, but listening to 3 sides of the Coin has given me a new perspective and I have been enjoying catching up lately.  Up next is a new video from their newest album, 'Monster.'

Kiss - Right Here Right Now (Lyric Video)

Kiss is out on tour now supporting their newest release.  U.S. dates may not happen until fall or else next year, though.  Well, that's what Youtube is for these days.  Here's a pretty good high quality video from a couple weeks ago.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

1. Sit 2. Type

I know that I have neglected this space for too long now, posting other things to put off writing.  This is just one of those times that I'm not inspired to write anything. So, usually what I do to get the ball rolling is to explain my lack of posting - check - then just start typing and see what comes out.  Yee-haw!

On Saturday evening we went to a surprise birthday party for our friend Zubin down at the Malt House.  Bridget organized everything, rounded up all his friends, got one of his friends to get him down there after a set time, and surprised the hell out of him!  That's the kind of thing you see on TV.  He had no clue it was coming.

Weatherwise it has been about as it should be this year.  Spring was a bit late and the rain is not lacking, very unlike last year and the drought.  We gave in and ran the air conditioner yesterday for the first time.  We could probably handle the temperatures, it's the humidity that kills you.  Okay, that's enough of that, then.

I got a couple more tattoos last week.  I got what I wanted but I was a little disappointed in the artist - I thought he could have done better.  Not him next time.  Eventually my upper left arm will end up in a half-sleeve when it is done.  I envision probably two more sessions like the last two I've had and it may be done.  Who knows when - or even if, this is a luxury item for me.

I made a note to post about the changes I've seen going from LPs, 8-Track tapes, cassette tapes, to CDs and finally digital downloads.  I remember a lot of 8-tracks, but they were on the way out even when I was discovering music.  LPs are the bulk of my physical collection.  There is the fun of the full size artwork, album sleeves, lyrics, posters, etc.  Now they are all boxed away in the closet and haven't been played in years.  Cassettes were a good way to get my favorite songs off the radio when I was real young.  Later they became a good way to get a copy of your buddy's LP, and I even bought several cassette releases, mostly after I learned to drive so we could play them in the car.  For the longest time I held out on buying a CD player.  Looking back, the way digital downloads have progressed, I am happy I waited so long back then.  Think of the money I saved on all those CDs!  Now, I still buy CDs here and there because I'm a fan and still like having the physical copy of some things, but the CD gets burned into iTunes and then may never get played again.  Unless it gets picked for a long car trip.  But now I have an adaptor for my ipod, so never mind that then.  It's a digital world now, yet fallible.  Back up your stuff!

Okay, that's enough time spent on brain spillage.  Remember, if you want to laugh more at what I write then click on the Gizoogled link on the right (nsfw).  Until next time, PTFO!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Super Moon Tonight

Today is also a 'naughty' holiday of sorts, after the break.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Funny Interlude Post

This just cracked me the hell up earlier!

Yes, it has been over a week since I have  posted. All is well, this is a just a fill-in post.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lawn and Garden Work

20130608 023How about that, three posts in three days.  Don't get used to it.

We spent much of this weekend outside doing yard work.  From mowing and weeding to trimming bushes and planting in the garden.  Yesterday while I was outside I took a lot of pictures.  We really do look back and compare the yard to past years or look up when or how we did something. It has come in handy in the past so it is a good habit to keep up.  Last year the peony bushes got pummeled with rain immediately after blooming.  I hope they stick around a bit longer this year, but it is supposed to rain tonight.
20130608 029
I've noticed a couple small dandelions in the yard that I will have to take care of soon.  Also, we have ants in a few places in the yard, front and back, so I have applied an ant poison to those areas hoping to kill them rather than just make them move again.  Yes, I use some chemicals on my lawn - weed spray, ant poison and now a bit of fertilizer - but only as much as is needed.

I placed mothballs around a few of the plants in back that the rabbits like to eat.  I've read that will keep them away so I felt it was worth a try.  Most of the 'helicopters' have fallen from our big old Silver Maple tree so next on the list is cleaning out the gutters, and they need it badly.  But I think we've done enough for this weekend and besides, the rain should be moving in at any time.  That's as good an excuse as any to put it off, right?  PTFO

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Latest Listening (and Viewing) Pleasure - Nightwish's Imaginaerum Movie

My latest listening/viewing pleasure is the new movie," Imaginaerum,"  by Nightwish.  My favor for Nightwish has been well documented by LLP posts here and here.  In the former I claim I shall buy the box set when the movie comes out, and I stick by that if it ever becomes available in the US.  I share the movie here because, well, it is available on Youtube now, and just because I can.  But also because no one who sees it here on my lil' ole site knows what this is anyway, and maybe they'll like it and become a money spending fan like I and enjoy and support the band.

Really, Nightwish is an incredible experience and this movie shows just what an inspired effort between an excellent composer and an imaginative director can produce.  The music is almost secondary in this movie, though it only happened because of the music, and it outlines the themes with the band only playing in the background.  This story is of a dying composer caught within his own memories and his daughter caught resenting, then understanding her dying dad as he relives his memories and ultimate legacy.  This is very much oversimplified, but I wouldn't post this unless I felt that strongly about this band and this project.  Remember, normally I'm not a movie guy at all, but I say watch this now!  Fullscreen!

Nightwish - Imaginaerum - The Movie

Update 12/9/13:  Link is dead and has been for quite some time.  I have not been able to find the full movie online and it is not offered for sale yet.  Read wiki here for a great description.  Spoiler Alert!

Update 7/18/15: The movie is available worldwide now.  I have a dvd from Germany that I got last year, and a month or two ago I got the US dvd+blueray when it was released.

Update 5/21/16

Friday, June 7, 2013

Raccoon Hole Revisited

20130512 raccoon holeA while ago I wrote about the saga of Mama Raccoon and her 5 babies that made a home in my neighbor Dave's attic, you can read that story here.  Well, though the critters have been removed, the critter guy has been AWOL without doing the repair part of his service for a few weeks now.  I had offered to neighbor Dave that I could fix it and that I had the tools and wood to do it, and when it became apparent the critter guy was less than reliable he took me up on my offer.  So yesterday I had a half day off and went about fixing it for him.

I took only one picture of the mama as she was going back in, and none on the ensuing saga with the babies, but I can share these before and after pictures of the repair.  The back of the house is an old addition which left an odd corner of the roof where the raccoon was able to make a hole through some old wood and get into the addition's attic.  To fix this I just blocked off the whole corner with some of my spare treated lumber and sealed it with roof sealer.  After a few days of drying, Dave will paint it and make it less noticeable.

20130607 raccoon hole fixedDave is an older gentleman that lost his wife about 10 years ago.  He is seventy something and hard of hearing but very nice and good neighbor to have and I was happy to be able to help him out.  He was outside with me the whole time so I showed him exactly what I was thinking and made sure he was okay with it.  The wood and hardware was all stuff that I had, I only had to buy the roof sealer but I was not going to charge him for anything.  I was all finished in a couple hours and then we went out for a late lunch together and he insisted on paying - I expected he would and I let him.

I know he really appreciated the help, but hey - that's what neighbors are for, right?  Besides, any excuse for me to make big pieces of wood into little pieces of wood and assemble them into something useful is always a good thing.  PTFO

Monday, June 3, 2013

Spring Party 2013

20130601 party

In what has become an annual event, at least when I'm in good health, we had another spring party for our friends, neighbors and some co-workers on Saturday night.  While the party started at 4 in the afternoon, this pic is much later when we were around the fire, dark and far away to protect the innocent!

The day turned out very nice, after several rainy days during the week and before it cooled off on Sunday.  We didn't have quite as many people as we expected, some friends and neighbors that we thought would be here didn't show up, but we did have about 35 people overall and I think they all had a good time.  Kate again made some wonderful sides and I grilled up 5 dozen brats so there was plenty of food and drink for all.  Most had left by 11:00 but a few hung around into the wee hours.  It's a lot of work to put on this party but we had a lot of fun!  Thanks to all who were there!