Archive for May, 2007


Full Metal Magazine

May 13, 2007

I’ve always loved all kinds of music.  I think that music probably has a broader and deeper appeal than any other art form.   One of its most impressive qualities is it’s ability to affect the emotions of the listener.   When I’m feeling particularly frustrated, for example, there’s a certain type of music I enjoy listening to:  death metal.  There’s something about the raw power of the genre that appeals to me.  I look at it as an effective, therapeutic, and safe outlet if I’m having a bad day..  

Since I have a 6-disc CD changer in my summer car, I like to keep one of the magazines loaded with this stuff so that I’m ready when the mood strikes (no mp3 player in the car; call me old school).  I have carefully chosen 6 CD’s to remain in the magazine.  I just thought I’d share the secret formula with the rest of the world (although the mix isn’t immune from a little tweaking every so often).  WARNING:  This music is not for the faint of heart.

  1. Lamb of GodAshes of the Wake (2004) This is my most recent discovery.  The album is pretty darn solid all the way through;  tight riffs can be found on virtually every track.  It is a guitar player’s favorite, as it is listed at #49 on Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Albums All Time .  Recommended  track:  “Laid to Rest” (also featured on the Guitar Hero II video game)
  2. ObituaryCause of Death (1990) This album features vocalist John Tardy in his absolute prime, and he unleashes some of the most blood-chillingly scary vocals ever recorded.  The tracks were intended to be played in order, as one blends into the next.  Also noteworthy are the James Murphy guitar solos.  Recommended track:  “Chopped In Half”
  3. CarcassSymphonies of Sickness (1989)  This has to be one of the most aptly-titled albums in the genre, as it features both sickening lyrical topics and surprising melodic passages mixed in with the onslaught of riffs.  It’s hard to describe, but there are parts you might actually find yourself humming.  Also unique here is the use of two very distinct vocalists.  Recommended track:  “Exhume to Consume”
  4. SlayerReign in Blood  (1986) While technically labeled as thrash metal (no “death growls“), RiB remains a timeless masterpiece.  It has served as inspiration for countless bands, and is listed at #29 on the aforementioned Guitar World top 100.  Just plain classic.  Recommended track:  “Epidemic”
  5. Cannibal Corpse – Butchered at Birth (1991) This album was actually banned in Germany (Germany?) until last year, primarily due to the artwork on the cover.  I had a chance to see CC live back in the ’90’s, and I remember wondering how the drummer made it all the way through without collapsing.  Amazingly, and creatively,  brutal.  Recommended track:  “Covered with Sores”
  6. DeathFate: The Best of Death (1992)  This is a compilation album, and it’s probably the only disc you’d have to buy from the this band (although I’m not sure why “Lack of Comprehension” wasn’t included).  Great stuff from one of the pioneers of the genre.  Recommended track: “Left to Die”

There you have it.  I usually just set the changer to random play and let it go.  Play as loud as needed.


Memoirs Of A Muzzled Milblogger

May 8, 2007

There were a few headlines last week about a change with regard to the Army’s regulations on milbloggers.  Well, just a few days ago, I noticed that one of the blogs in my blogroll is no longer active: Another trip to The Peoples Republic Of Halliburton

So, I sent Ed (the milblogger) an email to see what was up, and he posted a response in my comment section.  I thought I’d reprint it here, and I’ll be his voice. 

Ok so I sent you an email explaining it a little, and then I seen this comment. So I think I should copy and paste the email here as well. I think that is a crime that they can argue that gays should be allowed in the military because they have the freedom of speech, but that we dont have the freedom of speech when it comes to anything else.

I am more then likely going to make the blog active again really soon. This is a fight that I really didnt want to take up, but what have I got to lose at this point? What more can they do to me? Im already in Iraq again.

Besides, if I end up in jail, at least my family can visit once in awhile. And I would be able to watch cable tv. And I cant imagine the food being worse.

So give me a day or two, and I will see what kind of fight I will be up against.

They changed the rules regarding military blogs. Basically we are not allowed
to post anything anymore without first sending a copy of it to the commander
and the security officer for review and approval.

In other words I look at it the same as I do abu graib. The problem wasn’t
that the soldiers were stacking naked prisoners, or torturing them. The
problem was that the soldiers had cameras. So now they are no longer allowed
to have cameras at the prison. It is a lot easier to control the information
than the behaviour.

And with the blogs, it is a lot easier to quiet the soldiers that are pissed
off about the changes to the deployment periods and the ability to redeploy
the guard units as often as they wish. And as long as the people back home don’t
hear the truth about what we think of this war, then they can try and convince
the american people that we are all just happy and that we are proud that we
get extensions to our deployments, and we now get deployed more often, and
that they are taking away our extra money for longer deployments with less
time at home in return for 2 extra days off a month when we get home.

As the old saying goes, the beatings will stop when the morale improves.

I am considering putting it back up anyway. Just because Fuck Them


by Ed May 7th, 2007 at 3:29 am

Call me progressive, but I find the idea of muzzling a guy who is putting it on the line in the Iraqi desert to be a little insensitive (to say the least).  These are people who could literally die tomorrow, and have used blogs as diaries.  Diaries that can’t be destroyed by an IED.  There must be some comfort for these guys to know that their thoughts will be there forever. 

Well Ed, they were there. 


Support Our Mercs!

May 3, 2007

It’s not hard to find ribbons these days.  It seems there are different colored ribbons for just about everything.  As hard as I tied, however, I couldn’t find any ribbon expressing support for the tens of thousands of mercenaries we have in Iraq right now.   So, I decided to whip one up:


Feel free to copy the image and distribute as you see fit.  Show your support for, um, whatever it is they’re doing over there.

Update: The NYT has an interesting article about the increase in contractor deaths, which reveals (inadvertantly, I think) how privatized this war really is:  Contractor Deaths in Iraq Soar to Record

WASHINGTON, May 18 — Casualties among private contractors in Iraq have soared to record levels this year, setting a pace that seems certain to turn 2007 into the bloodiest year yet for the civilians who work alongside the American military in the war zone, according to new government numbers.

At least 146 contract workers were killed in Iraq in the first three months of the year, by far the highest number for any quarter since the war began in March 2003, according to the Labor Department, which processes death and injury claims for those working as United States government contractors in Iraq.

That brings the total number of contractors killed in Iraq to at least 917, along with more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job, according to government figures and dozens of interviews.

The numbers, which have not been previously reported, disclose the extent to which contractors — Americans, Iraqis and workers from more than three dozen other countries — are largely hidden casualties of the war, and now are facing increased risks alongside American soldiers and marines as President Bush’s plan to increase troop levels in Baghdad takes hold.


All Hail Playoff Hockey In Hi-Def!

May 2, 2007

Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately.  There’s just so much intense hockey action on TV right now, that’s all.

 Anyway, I know I gave Comcast some crap in the other post, but I have to give them some thanks for presenting so much hockey for my HDTV on the Versus channel.  Great stuff.

I suppose I’ll make this an open thread for like-minded individuals to share the love. 🙂