5. Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
I love AIC. One of my favorite bands of all time. Black Gives Way to Blue was my 2nd favorite album of theirs after Dirt. Though the latest release is still a solid album, it remains my least favorite in their catalog. The beginning of the album just doesn’t shine like rest of the songs.

Phantom Limb

4. Megadeth – Super Collider
Is this a different album than Endgame or Thirteen? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No. Not every song needs to sound like Hangar 18. A great release by another of my favorite bands.

Dance in the Rain

3. Ashes of Ares – Ashes of Ares
I had high hopes for this album, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they were met and then exceeded. Can’t wait for the next release. Don’t let this one slip under your radar.

The Answer

2. The Winery Dogs – The Winery Dogs
A supergroup in every sense of the label. Great musicianship, songwriting, vocals, and vibe. I didn’t expect to like this album nearly as much as I do.

Time Machine

1. Killswitch Engage – Disarm the Descent
Hands down, my favorite album of the year. Top to bottom, a great effort. I think of anything negative to say about it.

No End in Sight (best track, IMO)
I apologize for the “video.” It was the best version of the song that I found.

What are your thoughts? Suggestions?

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No, not that kind of pirate. Though it would be funny if those who illegally download an artist’s works wore this outfit when doing the activity

Long story short, I got a Google alert about the audiobooks for Steel and Sorrow and Trial and Glory today. Apparently, someone illegally uploaded the MP3 files to a website for anyone to download for free. Two people commented on the links asking if the person was going to post the first book (Rise and Fall) as well since they would obviously need to listen to that one first (Duh!).

I have mixed emotions about this whole thing. On one hand, it sucks that people are essentially stealing something that I created. On the other hand, the people who usually steal books, music, movies, etc. would normally never buy those products anyway so it’s likely I’m not really “losing a sale.” Plus, I seem to recall Neil Gaimen proving that pirated works actually have an overall positive impact on the product itself since it is just one more way of getting your name out to the general public.

That being said, my first reaction was neither of the above. Instead, it was “wow, that’s kind of cool in a weird way.” This person uploaded my MP3 files beside some pretty big heavyweights in fantasy like George R.R. Martin. So, in a roundabout way this is maybe one more marker in my career of having “made it.”



I’ve been traveling to Pittsburgh for work lately. While there, I listen to a station that plays a pretty wide range of music...60s/70s/80s/90s/00s rock, pop, metal and so on. Pretty cool actually.

Anyway, the below song came on the other day which brought up a lot of memories from my childhood of watching MTV for hours on end (back when they actually played music).

I hadn’t heard the song in years and as an adult the lyrics took on a whole new meaning for me when I realized that the line preceding “I don’t want to lose your love tonight” is “I just want to use your love tonight.”

Yep, definitely not the “love” song I remember it being as a kid.

This had me thinking that as an adult there are quite a few songs out there that don’t mean the same as I thought they did as a kid. Am I alone in this? What are some other examples that you can think of?


I love top ten lists which is why I do them quite frequently. And since it’s Christmas time, today’s blog post only made sense.

I’m not including movies “set around” Christmas on this list. The list consists of only movies about Christmas. Therefore, Die Hard, Gremlins, etc, are not included because they are not specifically about Christmas (though I still do enjoy watching them over and over again).

10. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
I used to enjoy this special a lot more when I was younger. However, the more I watch it now the more I realize two things, Santa is a huge jerk and Rudolph’s dad (Donner), isn’t too far behind. Even at the end, they accept him only because his nose is useful…not because of who he is.

Regardless, Yukon Cornelius makes this still worthwhile which is why it made my list.

9. Elf
Will Ferrell in one of his best roles. A fun movie that is slowly becoming a must watch during the holidays.

8. A Christmas Story
A classic. Oddly enough, my favorite scene is probably not the one most people point to….

7. White Christmas

Tell me you didn’t at least chuckle at that.

6. Frosty the Snowman
One of the best holiday villains of all time. I use the “Busy Busy Busy” voice all year long actually.

5. Garfield Christmas Special
This is one that outside of me and my sister, few people ever reference. However, there is some classic quotable stuff. “Hey, kids!”

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
How many people can make the villain the hero and you love him in either role? Dr. Seuss knew his stuff.

3. Mickey’s Christmas Carol
The best version of a classic story. So many great moments, but none beats Donald’s “I’ll be dog gone.”

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Depressing? Maybe. But I have a tendency to gravitate toward the depressing. I’ve always loved anything Charlie Brown. “Good grief” has been part of my vocabulary for decades because of him.

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Easily one of the most quotable movies of all time. My family watches this every year together and every year we recite the lines. Yet, we laugh all the same.

Honorable Mention: Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas
A nice little story that doesn’t get talked about much. However, it holds a lot of good memories for me.



I Died for you

The Hunter

And one of the greatest vocal performances of all time…

Question of Heaven


So, Man of Steel came out on DVD recently which meant that I finally was able to watch it on Amazon Prime. Though I didn’t dislike the movie, it definitely was a disappointment from what I wanted it to be.

I give it a 6.5/10.

WARNING: Spoilers Below.


  • Visuals of Krypton
  • The fact that Zod was trying to do his job by protecting Krytpton when staging a coup, rather than just trying to seize power. It gives his motives more depth than just making it a power grab.
  • Fight Scenes are pretty much perfect.
  • Special effects are dead on.
  • Casting across the board was great.
  • I like that Lois figured out his identity. It validated her more as a reporter.
  • I like the idea of a more paranoid Jonathon Kent doing whatever he could to protect his son. More realistic.
  • The destruction of Metropolis. This was FAR more realistic considering the parties involved then what happened in the Avengers. I like both movies but when heavy hitters are slugging it out, this is what would really happen.
  • Killing Zod both made sense from a practical standpoint (no prison could hold him) and a Superman mythos standpoint. Superman has killed Zod in the comics (as well as others way back in the day) and in Superman II with Christopher Reeve (Zod died by falling to his icy death).
    • As long as they use this death to drive character development in future films, I’m good.
    • I find it strange that everyone made a big deal about him killing only Zod and not the fact that he damned all the other Kryptonians to the Phantom Zone where it was said they would starve to death. Plus, he heat blasted all those babies in the Genesis chamber…….


  • Most of my issues stem from the actual script itself and the editing.
    • Too many short and choppy scenes left everything feeling like it lacked emotion.
    • Dialogue was sometimes too on point.
    • Humor was severely lacking. It came in spots at the end but by that point it felt out of place considering the tone. I’m all for a darker tone to Superman, but even Batman (in Nolan’s films) had levity from time to time (which makes the darker moments more effective).
  • Despite the great casting, several people were grossly underutilized.
  • Diane Lane and Kevin Costner had some solid moments with a young and even older Clark. The problem is that they were all just a bit too quick (a problem with the flashback method). Therefore, some of the tender moments didn’t fully work.
    • In the case of Jonathon Kent, the paranoia went a bit too far. How does Clark ever develop any sense of morality when his dad tells him not to help people so he can stay a secret. Very inconsistent. Plus, this paranoia didn’t allow for some of the more grounded childhood friendships Clark is known to have with Pete Ross and Lana Lang.
    • Awful decision for Jonathon to die in a tornado and totally unbelievable. No son would allow his dad to die like that, regardless of the consequences. It was much more poetic for Jonathon to die via a heart attack since Superman with all his powers was helpless to save him.
  • Really inconsistent power levels between Superman and the other Kryptonians. There is no reason why Zod and the others could all do the same things as Superman with a similar power level. The whole throwaway line that Zod was military trained so he could adapt quicker was weak. Plus, it matters little since his cells hadn’t absorbed yellow sunlight for 30+ years.
    • Of all the changes in the Superman mythos, this lack of consistency was what I had the biggest issues with.
  • Too many things happened out of convenience such as
    • The kryptonians going to the Phantom Zone in a spaceship so they could easily escape.
    • Jor-El (a scientist) being able to easily defeat trained military personnel (including Zod). Plus, the fact that he can magically appear and do amazing things to help both Superman and Lois Lane when they need it most.
  • Though they did show Superman save a few people in the fighting (Lois and a random soldier), this wasn’t shown enough. It would have made far more sense if part of why he was getting his butt kicked early on was because he was busy trying to protect people.
  • The whole choosing Earth over Krypton scene really didn’t hold any weight for me. This is because the entire movie up to that point showed a Clark Kent who did not feel accepted by anyone other than his parents. He was alone and an outcast who never belonged. Why would he give everything up so easily? It didn’t ring true to me.
  • The Lois Lane and Superman dynamic wasn’t developed enough.

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Last week at the King’s X concert, there was a great opening band named Del Sol. Amazing musicianship from the entire trio (including vocals). I was so impressed I had trouble figuring out who I wanted to watch. They’ve got a bit of an eclectic style as there are some great blues jams as well as some almost Rush sounding progressive work. Though I enjoyed their entire set, I preferred the bluesy cuts. I didn’t see anything on Youtube from them so I couldn’t post a link from there. However, they do have several songs available at the below link which I grabbed from their Facebook page.

If you can only listen to one song, check out “The Hook.”