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Monday, November 29, 2004

Plutonium Rocks !

I've been on a steady diet of U2 this week and have been listening to their new album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb incessantly. And I must say, I like what I hear. Have no doubt, this is an Edge album, Bono was prolly somewhere saving the world and left his old mate at the helm.
So what we're getting this time is more beef and less garnish. Various reviewers are comparing this latest offering to the early albums like Boy, October & War, but I think that's just lazy reviewing. Granted Edge rediscovered his typical guitar sound (hard to explain, but you know what I mean) and most songs are short and powerful. But I never really liked the Anthem-feel of the first albums, which happily has not been used here. What U2 did do was listen to a lot of garage rock bands like White Stripes and Black Keys and took the best of what these had to offer and incorporate it in their sound. Is the album derivative ? Not not really, the up-tempo songs are unmistakably U2, the slow songs are where Bono shines the brightest.
It's not up there with my all-time favorite U2 album which is Achtung Baby, but I do see myself still playing this album in a few years time, something I would not do with the 4 or 5 previous albums.

Who was that masked man ?

Well thanks to Redryder52 http://redryder52.blogspot.com/ I'm finally able to put some linked pictures in my right colomn.
My solution was to have a pop-up window, but even though the scans can be bigger this way, many people have pop-up blockers now, so I'll prolly be going with the smaller embedded images.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Throwing money out the window

Today was one of those red letter days, Avengers #2 and #3 finally arrived...I was most impressed by the quality of #2. This 1963 book grades out as FINE+ and is a little jewel to behold. I had a lot of fun reading the damn things, cool ads for other early Silver Age Marvel book, alas no reader's page (well the series was only 3 issues old by that time)

I've also ordered 27,25,60 & 61. Which leaves just 4,5,6,11 & 14 on the want-list.
Santa are you listening ?

click here to look at Avengers #2

It's a geek world and I just live in it

Hmmmmm still can't get the hang of things completely, been trying for a while now to have my blog show pictures in the (unused) left side of the page...so far nothing I tried looked good..

Guess I'll have to try the forum to see if there are bigger geeks out there than me who could give me some pointers...

Man, just when you think you are finally a member of the Geek-club, reality bites you in the arse and shows you there's still a long way to go

CLICK ME to see what I came up with

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Yes I'm buying...no I'm not

Had to make a big decision today, a collector I know was raising cash for a big buy and was offering part of his collection at a discount. I was interested in his Amazing Spider-man #1 in GOOD and in his Avengers #4 in VG...we haggled a bit and he came down to $1000 for the pair. I had to think long and hard, but in the end I just couldn't swing it...it's still a grand.
Maybe if it had been Fantastic Four #1 + Avengers #4 for the same price, I would have found a way, but at the rate I'm going, early Silver ASM will only become a target around the Summer of 2005
Oh..and still no Avengers #2 and #3 in the mail today

Monday, November 22, 2004

Avengers (nearly) Assembled

Well much to my surprise it's looking more and more like The Avengers is the first of the big Marvel series I'll complete. At the beginning of the year I needed about 80 Amazing Spider-man issues, 25 Fantastic Four ones and over 200 Avenger books.

At the time of writing I just need 9 more...
Last week was pretty expensive as I bought #2,#3,#7,#9,#13,#15,#19 & #23... (still waiting for #2 & #3 to show up in the mail)

I still need to find #4,#5 #6, but the other six missing issues should be no problem. Fingers crossed that I manage to complete the full run of #1 - #503 before 2005 rolls over

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Mmmmm CeBop

After putting it off for over a year I finally bought a memory/stick Mp3 player. When the 128meg version came out, I told myself I'd wait for the 256. Once that was there, I wanted the 512 model. Much to my surprise a store in Brussels just got a 1Gig model for less than most 512Meg models were selling. I was kinda worried about buying an unknown brand (it was still € 150.00) but I was in a wild and crazy mood and took it home with me
(when I say "take" I mean "bought" Mmmmokay ?)

To my surprise the player was already half full with mp3 files, seems the nice people at the store sold me a demo model or just play around with any model they find. But hey I'm easy, it's all firmware, so it doesn't wear out. It weighs in at a ridiculous 28 grams, and is German made (which made me feel slightly better). After two weeks of fun with it, I'm very glad I bought it, it holds over 250 hours of music, weighs nothing and I can transfer full movies on it from one PC to another.

I did replace the headphones with a Sennheiser 550 MX (which is the KING of lightweight headphones) and the sound now is crystal-clear, bass goes real low without the distortion some players have. I'm pretty happy with the new toy, I even volunteered to rake the yard so I could listen to it for a few hours...

The 1GB Cebop run

Come in alpha

Moon base Alpha...Commander Koenig...Victor NO !!!
For some reason typing all of this gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling and takes me away to Saturday mornings in the mid-70's watching Space 1999 on my parent's television. Back then it was the next big Sci-Fi thing after Star Trek.
I recently acquired all of the episodes (two seasons, 48 one-hour shows) but something doesn't quite gell...to use Mickey D's words..."I'm not loving it"

I've had the series for over 2 months now and I am about to watch....episode 7...for some strange reason I can only watch one show per week...
The effects are non-existent (smoke, mirrors and flashing lights)...backgrounds are the same week-in week-out, the typical 70's vision of what a future home would look like (70's furniture, orange, silver, black and white colours) and everybody is wearing bell-bottoms :)
Some of the actors are very good, some are pretty dire, storylines are reasonable...but not outstanding. And the pace....oh boy the pace...I grew up in the 70's and even I think the story revolves very s-l-o-w-l-y.

I have to force myself to watch an episode per week, and always put it off (why do you think I'm typing this instead of watching it) While watching it I have the urge (at least every ten minutes) to push the FF button on the remote (but I resist)...

So do I hate it ?? Oh Noooooo..not at all.For some strange reason once I've finished watching an episode I find it quite rewarding...fun even. But I don't want to watch another one for at least 7 days...

So what's my verdict ??? Well sorry, but this time you are going to try watching it yourself. I do plan on watching all 48 episodes, it will take me until the end of Summer 2005, but I'll do it...there's something strangely captivating about the show..
You tell me ??

Old men and new Songs

After buying my Cebop (see the geek section) last week I was finally able to listen to some of my new albums...and boy doesn't music suck these days.

First off was "Rakim - The Master".... I was expecting some old-school hiphop, fondly remembering the days of Eric B. (Paid in Full)...but this was bland. Rakim used to be a force to be reckoned with, these days he's just hoping to get paid at all...
Cruising back to 1987 can be fun, but not with Rakim on the radio... Save your money (or your download time) and get Paid in Full or Follow the leader instead

Looking for a change of pace I tried "Leonard Cohen - Dear heather"
Now the old (and I mean old, the dude is pushing 70) Canadian bard has never really disappointed, true, his best work was in the 70's....but I'm your man is only 15 years old and was GREAT. Too bad Dear Heather isn't. Hate to say it, but besides a few really good songs (The letters, On that Day) the rest is really mediocre. The Song "Dear Heather" made me reach for the skip button in under 30 seconds. I don't know if the old geezer is having trouble breathing at his old age, but he doesn't even sing anymore..he has a few (excellent) back up singers crooning away while he mumbles his poetry over the backbeat...Give it up Leonard, it's been a long strange trip, but consider retiring with style.

Next up were "Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak" now I loved their debut album, great fusion of 70's rock with some down and out blues. So these guys were in my good book. And I'm glad they were as otherwise I would have tossed this record after the initial listening session. This is NOT the same sound as "Youth And Young Manhood"
The songs are much subtler and therefore take a few listens to appreciate, but the wait is worth it. Aha Shake Heartbreak takes you on an interesting journey, those 70's roots are still there, but more hidden and the boys are keen to show they have been listening to a lot more 80's underground music, Television and even The Velvet Underground are never far away

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Weird Word Tales

I need a blog like a need another hole in the head, I barely have enough time as it is...but I just can't stop myself..call it ego, call it craving attention, call it another reason to hide away from the rest of the world in a small dimly lit room....call it what you want, I'm calling it 'Nuff Said...

I'm a collector by nature, I CAN throw stuff out, but I always remember what I had, sometimes the memory is enough. For some strange reason this can happen with friends as well...sometimes somebody who has been around for years, drops out of sight or takes a different road than the one you chose to travel on...hey it happens.
Some people are wrecked by this, some try everything just to keep those old ties alive. I just say, to each his own, go your own way...some memories never fade.

Why this piece of fake-philosophy (ok it's mumbo-jumbo I admit it) ? Well it's the same with my thoughts, opinions, reviews, feelings etc...I like to remember them...I used to keep journals in my teens, and they are fascinating to read through (well fascinating to me, because I let's me look at myself years ago when I was really a big dope)
So I'll be using this blog mainly to confront myself with things I do, think,read, buy or listen to...
Because let's face it, most blogs are never read by anyone else than the author and a few friends he's bullied into reading it...

But hey, if by some weird way you stumbled in, I'm not ringing any bell and shouting 'Time gentlemen please !" welcome, stick around, just don't move any furniture around, I like it as it is