“What was I laughing about? Oh, yes. That crippled Irishman.” – Montgomery Burns

Haven’t done an everything/nothing post in a while.  Thought it’d be fun.  So there’s the Simpsons quote that friends of the blog will recognize as a signal that it’s time to get random…

  1. Just bought a new laptop!  Well…not JUST.  But yesterday.  My previous one started experiencing “oops I’ve punched the screen” related problems and then finally completely died on Wednesday.  My fault–even if you remove the punching from the equation.  I’d been using it hooked up to a monitor, which is a little purpose defeating, but still functional…  What killed it is kind of complicated…  In brief, I’ve discovered that in post-Windows-8 platforms, Windows has a funny habit of forgetting where the DVD burner that was installed from day one is located.  Mine disappeared.  Fortunately, I’m not the only person it’s happened to and it wasn’t the first time I’d dealt with it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t re-read what I was supposed to do to fix it very well…  So I remembered the trick where you go to a certain folder and delete the “Upper and Lower Filters” and then reboot and the drive is there again.  Except it turns out that if you delete the filters from a folder that ISN’T the certain one you were supposed to find, you make the hard drive completely refuse to ever boot up again.  So…thank goodness Best Buy was running a sale!  I’ve still got to pull the hard drive out of the old machine and hook it up with some USB cables to retrieve some old info…but in the long run, now I’ve got a more powerful machine with a full terabyte of storage for the first time in my life.  So it worked out.  Kinda.
  2. The back pain I blogged about earlier hasn’t fully left me.  It’s lesser though.  Mostly just right between the shoulder blades now.  And the rash has if not completely disappeared, it’s so much lesser I’m not focusing on it.  So I guess I’m on the mend…but the back pain has hung on long enough that I wish I’d held out for some cool-ass pain killers (as opposed to cool ass-pain killers) at the doctor’s office, rather than just antihistamines that make me feel like time is happening around me rather than to me.  Still don’t know what I did to cause it.  I think the “allergic to something in the sushi” is probably the best guess I’m ever going to come up with.
  3. Went to the record store after work on Wednesday.  Along with a vinyl copy of The Who’s “Face Dances” I picked up three new records by acts I like.  So far, that’s seven new releases that I’ve picked up this year.  Since we’re a little over a quarter into 2016, here’s a quick summary of what I’ve picked up so far.  (The three I bought this week are the first three on the list.)
    1. Bob Mould – “Patch the Sky” – Sounds like Bob. Works for me.
    2. Cheap Trick – “Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello”  – Stupid title, but good rock and roll.
    3. Explosions in the Sky – “The Wilderness” – Ambient and moody, just like all their stuff.  Not in love with the drum sound.  But like it overall.
    4. Dream Theater – “The Astonishing” – I’m a little underwhelmed by it as a concept.  (People keep talking about it as being just a longer version of Rush’s “2112,” but a better comparison would be Styx’s “Kilroy Was Here.”)  However, it’s two FULL discs that doesn’t FEEL like two discs.  If nothing else, that’s…well…astonishing.
    5. Iggy Pop – “Post Pop Depression” – Puts you in mind of Pop’s “The Idiot” and stuff of that ilk/era.  Kinda boring.  Sounds like Josh Homme is involved…and oh look at that, he fucking IS…  Clearly Iggy wanted to make a Queens of the Stone Age album, and he did just that.  I might like it better if I give it a few more listens.  First song’s good, but it feels like the record meant to build to something, but then forgot to.  Which might be exactly what he was going for–it’s hard to tell with Iggy.
    6. Anthrax – “For All Kings” – Great, heavy, ballsy metal.  A common criticism is that Anthrax isn’t as fun as they used to be–the band that brought us Not Man is now bringing us lyrics like, “What would your God say to that, motherfuckers?”  But what it lacks in zaniness, it makes up for in thrash.  Not quite as good as “Worship Music,” but damn close.
    7. David Bowie – “Blackstar” – You know how I feel.
  4. Trying to get McCartney tickets, but pre-sales are for sucks.
  5. Bummed to hear about Merle Haggard dying.  I used to cover “The Running Kind” from time to time in my solo act, especially when I’d play churches. We could do the list of great Hag songs…but we’d be here all night.  He was more than just an “Okie” (which he wasn’t, by the way–he was born in California–you’ve always misunderstood that song).  He was one of our great songwriters and the magnitude of his loss hasn’t fully hit me yet.  I like that he died on his birthday.  It’s like the odometer hit “0” and reset.
  6. Just heard something outside that kind of sounded like a gunshot. But I’m hoping it was a firecracker. I kind of don’t like that I feel it necessary to question which it was. The times mixed with the town sometimes combine to make me more paranoid than I’m proud to be.
  7. Tonight I finished reading the 1965 novel “Stoner” by John Williams.  Picked it up on a whim at Barnes & Noble, because it was a “staff pick.”  It was a good one.  It’s about a teacher who won’t be particularly remembered for anything, but whose life had its moments that meant something to him if no one else.  I believe it’s in the genre of “Academic Novels” that people like Thomas Wolfe tend to rest in.  Not normally my cup of tea, but this one found me at the right place at the right time.  Highly recommend it.  Beautifully written prose about a man who really goes nowhere special.

That was short…but I’m tired from the antihistamines and they’ve made time move so strangely for me that I also can’t remember much of interest from the week.  Until last Sunday, it had been about 15 years since I’d been to a doctor.  I haven’t been on a prescription-strength pill in probably 20 years.  And the first thing I take is something that makes people sleepy even in the best of times!

Anyway…Derek go sleepy time now.

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