Needle in the Hay
To all you Beam following, Billy Bumbler loving, Nozz-A-La drinking, Big Coffin Hunter, Tower junkies out there!
I finally finished Stephen King’s epic, The Dark Tower!
It’s only taken me about 3-4 years but I’ve done it lol, what a relief!
I’m surprised I don’t see more Dark Tower readers here on Tumblr, it really is a great series of books to get your teeth stuck in to but it does take some dedication.
If you’re fed up of waiting for George R R Martin to finish Game of Thrones, this mammoth 7 title series might just keep you busy until then.
I’m kinda sad to let it go even though i’m not quite sure how I feel about that ending. Maybe I should have stopped when it told me too.
Either way it’s been a journey,Thankee Sai King

To all you Beam following, Billy Bumbler loving, Nozz-A-La drinking, Big Coffin Hunter, Tower junkies out there!

I finally finished Stephen King’s epic, The Dark Tower!

It’s only taken me about 3-4 years but I’ve done it lol, what a relief!

I’m surprised I don’t see more Dark Tower readers here on Tumblr, it really is a great series of books to get your teeth stuck in to but it does take some dedication.

If you’re fed up of waiting for George R R Martin to finish Game of Thrones, this mammoth 7 title series might just keep you busy until then.

I’m kinda sad to let it go even though i’m not quite sure how I feel about that ending. Maybe I should have stopped when it told me too.

Either way it’s been a journey,Thankee Sai King

The Leftovers
It’s September and that can only mean new TV shows!  Yesterday I decided to check out the new HBO show, The Leftovers.
Before watching the first episode I knew almost nothing about it, a guy from work just recommended I give it a try.
The premise, one day 2% of the world’s population just simply vanishes in to thin air, no explanation, no bodies, they just simply cease to exist.  We then resume with the story 3 years later with the aftermath, people still have no answers and are still dealing with the incident.  We follow several loosely interlocking characters and how they are all affected and continue to live their lives.
The opening episode directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) has a feel of say Twin Peaks or Donnie Darko too it, an underlying sinister feeling with some darkly comedic moments as well as some disturbingly brutal ones too.  This is a HBO show, so it has a more adult, gritty feel to it which fits the setting perfectly.
The Leftovers has a strong recognisable cast including Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler and the former doctor and fellow Brit Christopher Eccleston to name but a few. The lesser known names are just as impressive here and really help capture the atmosphere that’s so important to the look and feel of this show.
Episode one was laced with intrigue, smothered in secrets and then covered with a blanket of mystery. They really aren’t giving anything away this early in the game but they are planting the seeds.  So many questions but no answers, I feel this could become frustrating the longer they drag them out but in this opener it’s enough to hook you right in.
That white wearing smoking cult…
The show is written by Lost alumni Damon Lindelof and to be honest I’m not his biggest fan.  There’s too much build up in all of his writing and then the answers (when we finally get them) are either left hanging or given incredibly weak explanations, sometimes we’ve spent that long waiting for them we no longer care.  I hope this isn’t the case here as based on this episode alone I’m incredibly intrigued and excited to see where this series goes, I for one really enjoyed it.
The Leftovers is on tonight on Sky Atlantic but with On Demand you can get an early sneak peak at episode one.

The Leftovers

It’s September and that can only mean new TV shows!  Yesterday I decided to check out the new HBO show, The Leftovers.

Before watching the first episode I knew almost nothing about it, a guy from work just recommended I give it a try.

The premise, one day 2% of the world’s population just simply vanishes in to thin air, no explanation, no bodies, they just simply cease to exist.  We then resume with the story 3 years later with the aftermath, people still have no answers and are still dealing with the incident.  We follow several loosely interlocking characters and how they are all affected and continue to live their lives.

The opening episode directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) has a feel of say Twin Peaks or Donnie Darko too it, an underlying sinister feeling with some darkly comedic moments as well as some disturbingly brutal ones too.  This is a HBO show, so it has a more adult, gritty feel to it which fits the setting perfectly.

The Leftovers has a strong recognisable cast including Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler and the former doctor and fellow Brit Christopher Eccleston to name but a few. The lesser known names are just as impressive here and really help capture the atmosphere that’s so important to the look and feel of this show.

Episode one was laced with intrigue, smothered in secrets and then covered with a blanket of mystery. They really aren’t giving anything away this early in the game but they are planting the seeds.  So many questions but no answers, I feel this could become frustrating the longer they drag them out but in this opener it’s enough to hook you right in.

That white wearing smoking cult…

The show is written by Lost alumni Damon Lindelof and to be honest I’m not his biggest fan.  There’s too much build up in all of his writing and then the answers (when we finally get them) are either left hanging or given incredibly weak explanations, sometimes we’ve spent that long waiting for them we no longer care.  I hope this isn’t the case here as based on this episode alone I’m incredibly intrigued and excited to see where this series goes, I for one really enjoyed it.

The Leftovers is on tonight on Sky Atlantic but with On Demand you can get an early sneak peak at episode one.

Does anyone else remember the anime show Monster Rancher?
It was televised in the UK on digital channel Fox Kids and me and my brother adored it!   It first was broadcast around 1999 when I was 12 years old, at around the same time as other popular anime shows such as Digimon and Pokemon were becoming huge.
The anime was based on the popular Japanese video game. The protagonist Genki, was a huge fan of the games and after winning a special disc he found himself transported into the world of monsters that he loved so much.  Yet the world he finds himself in is now in turmoil, due to the the evil villain named Moo. Genki befriends a girl named Holly and uses the disc he won to release his own monster, Mocchi.  The three set out to end the reign of the deviant ruler Moo by locating the phoenix disc and saving the world, picking up a few friends and allies on their quest. Golem, Suezo, Tiger and Hare ring any bells?
Sadly I never got to see the end of the anime, Fox Kids only got so far into the series, then just kept on showing repeats of the same old episodes.  This was long before the days of crunchy roll and online streaming, it was even another 4 years until we finally acquired internet connection at my house.
I never got to play any of the video games either as many (not unlike the early Dragonball Z games) never saw a European release.  There was a couple but sadly I never got my hands on them.  Apparently they featured an incredibly unique system of creating new monsters by scanning DVDs, CDs and other game disks that is unrivalled in its uniqueness.
I’d love to have a go at them and I’m currently looking to get one for my brother for Christmas (I pretty sure you’re not reading this Alex) but the latter PS2 English language titles are all U.S. release only that will most likely not play on his PAL PS2.  There are some DS titles but they lack that unique CD monster creating feature due to cartridges instead of disc.   
I guess I’ll have to keep looking but if there’s any Monster Rancher fans out there that can give me any info/advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Check out the English language intro sequence here for this awesome anime show, that really was one of my favourite things to watch as a kid.

 

Does anyone else remember the anime show Monster Rancher?

It was televised in the UK on digital channel Fox Kids and me and my brother adored it!   It first was broadcast around 1999 when I was 12 years old, at around the same time as other popular anime shows such as Digimon and Pokemon were becoming huge.

The anime was based on the popular Japanese video game. The protagonist Genki, was a huge fan of the games and after winning a special disc he found himself transported into the world of monsters that he loved so much.  Yet the world he finds himself in is now in turmoil, due to the the evil villain named Moo. Genki befriends a girl named Holly and uses the disc he won to release his own monster, Mocchi.  The three set out to end the reign of the deviant ruler Moo by locating the phoenix disc and saving the world, picking up a few friends and allies on their quest. Golem, Suezo, Tiger and Hare ring any bells?

Sadly I never got to see the end of the anime, Fox Kids only got so far into the series, then just kept on showing repeats of the same old episodes.  This was long before the days of crunchy roll and online streaming, it was even another 4 years until we finally acquired internet connection at my house.

I never got to play any of the video games either as many (not unlike the early Dragonball Z games) never saw a European release.  There was a couple but sadly I never got my hands on them.  Apparently they featured an incredibly unique system of creating new monsters by scanning DVDs, CDs and other game disks that is unrivalled in its uniqueness.

I’d love to have a go at them and I’m currently looking to get one for my brother for Christmas (I pretty sure you’re not reading this Alex) but the latter PS2 English language titles are all U.S. release only that will most likely not play on his PAL PS2.  There are some DS titles but they lack that unique CD monster creating feature due to cartridges instead of disc.   

I guess I’ll have to keep looking but if there’s any Monster Rancher fans out there that can give me any info/advice it would be greatly appreciated.

Check out the English language intro sequence here for this awesome anime show, that really was one of my favourite things to watch as a kid.

 

Nintendo

I took these a while back over on my Instagram account and whilst I’ve posted them as singular images I’ve never got around to doing a group post, so here you go.

NES, SNES, N64, Game Cube, and Wii.

After my last post I decided to look up and see what Dashboard were doing these day as it’s been years since we’ve heard anything new.
Turns out Chris is playing Riot Fest in Chicago but my jaw hit the floor when I saw the rest of the line up!
The Cure, City and Colour, Taking Back Sunday, The Offspring, Wu Tang Clan!!! Dashboard Confessional, Weezer and Slayer to name but a few!
What an awesome show!  Anyone fancy adopting an English guy for the duration of this event?  No?  Didn’t think so but it was worth a try lol.
Embarrassingly I put up the completely wrong photo before, so I’ve amended that lol, the Toronto date looked amazing though! 
Hope everyone there has a blast!

After my last post I decided to look up and see what Dashboard were doing these day as it’s been years since we’ve heard anything new.

Turns out Chris is playing Riot Fest in Chicago but my jaw hit the floor when I saw the rest of the line up!

The Cure, City and Colour, Taking Back Sunday, The Offspring, Wu Tang Clan!!! Dashboard Confessional, Weezer and Slayer to name but a few!

What an awesome show!  Anyone fancy adopting an English guy for the duration of this event?  No?  Didn’t think so but it was worth a try lol.

Embarrassingly I put up the completely wrong photo before, so I’ve amended that lol, the Toronto date looked amazing though! 

Hope everyone there has a blast!

I’ve got a huge nostalgic urge to listen to this album. 
I’ve been singing songs from Dusk and Summer in my head all week but I have no idea what has brought it to mind.
Especially Rooftops and Invitations, that song always reminds me of the Andy Greenwald novel, Miss Misery.
I can’t believe the album is eight years old, wow time sure does fly.
Never listened to Dashboard? Well I think this album cover will tell you exactly what to expect, it was 2006 after all lol.

I’ve got a huge nostalgic urge to listen to this album. 

I’ve been singing songs from Dusk and Summer in my head all week but I have no idea what has brought it to mind.

Especially Rooftops and Invitations, that song always reminds me of the Andy Greenwald novel, Miss Misery.

I can’t believe the album is eight years old, wow time sure does fly.

Never listened to Dashboard? Well I think this album cover will tell you exactly what to expect, it was 2006 after all lol.

Currently

Blogging -  I’ve been real slack over the last month, my record player is on the fritz so I’ve fallen behind on my Randon Vinyl Selection posts, I’ve done no themed other posts and I’ve been tagged to at least two questionnaires (from Badbooks and Azkabanter) that I still haven’t done, sorry.  I managed only 18 posts for August and although I don’t believe this is a great loss to the Tumblrverse I owe it to myself to at least be consistent. 

I’ve been picked to take part in a fellow bloggers sketch book project!  She’s sending it around the world to fill in and I managed to make the cut.  I’m no artist but I’m really looking forward to putting my own stamp on it :)  

Books  - I’m still reading the final volume of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, I really need to make more time available to read!

Next up (if the library delivers it next that is) Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

TV-   Currently watching The 100,  The Sopranos and George Clark’s Amazing Spaces. The 100 is sci-fi teen drama, a little cheesy (nothing wrong with that) but I do enjoy watching it and spotting all those former Neighbours actors lol.   Finally got around to watching The Sopranos and I absolutely love it, currently on series 2 about half way through, such a well written series.

George Clark’s Amazing Spaces is such an great UK show, basically it’s a guy who visits people turning small vehicles such as milk floats, caravans, horse boxes and even double decker buses and making them in to fantastically unique liveable spaces.  It just makes you wish you had guts/plenty of dough to do something similar yourself.

Music – As per my last post I’m off to see New Found Glory and The Story So Far in a few months but sadly that’s about it.  I’m depressingly off the musical radar at the moment, I did turn on the rock music channels the other day but everything new was terrible, maybe I’m just getting old lol.  Loving DFA1979’s new effort though!

Gaming – Wake me up when they announce Rival Schools and Shenmue HD remakes.

Personal  -  I got a new position at work, it’s more a move sideways rather than upwards but it’s permanent.  My current secondments of sorts ends in Jan so I had to make steps to try something new.  I’ve been here 6 years and owe it to myself to push in a new direction, this new role could even end up in business trips to India!

In other news, I still need a hobby, my quarter life crisis is not as bad as it was a month or so ago but I still need something to get my teeth into.

They’re back!!!
This one snuck up on me like a ninja, I knew they’d been back performing together over the last few years but I had no idea they’d got an album on the horizon!
It’s different, don’t get me wrong but it’s been 10 years since the amazing You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine, the world is a different place but this is still undeniably DFA1979.
I’m really enjoying it so far.  Check out Trainwreck 1979!
Whatever next The Test Icicles to reform, a follow up to Give Up by the Postal Service?…a guy can dream lol.

They’re back!!!

This one snuck up on me like a ninja, I knew they’d been back performing together over the last few years but I had no idea they’d got an album on the horizon!

It’s different, don’t get me wrong but it’s been 10 years since the amazing You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine, the world is a different place but this is still undeniably DFA1979.

I’m really enjoying it so far.  Check out Trainwreck 1979!

Whatever next The Test Icicles to reform, a follow up to Give Up by the Postal Service?…a guy can dream lol.

Thanks to my good buddy Dan (of the awesome Yorkshire pop punk band All Down but 9) giving me a spare ticket i’m now off to the Pop Punks Not Dead tour in November!!!
I’ve been a fan of NFG since I was about 14 but i’ve never actually seen them live, I mean how can I even call myself a lover of pop punk when I’ve never seen these guys live, terrible lol.
I’m just a big pop punk fan at heart and I think I always will be, especially from the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
It’s hard to believe their debut album, Nothing Gold Can Stay is 15 years old!
I managed to catch The Story So Far at Slam Dunk last year and I really enjoyed their debut album, so i’m really looking forward to seeing them too. I’ll have to check the others out before I go.
So bring on November, can’t help wishing this tour was in summer though,
In the mean time check out one of my very favourite NFG tracks, albeit without the awesome original intro, it’s got me feeling very nostalgic indeed!

Thanks to my good buddy Dan (of the awesome Yorkshire pop punk band All Down but 9) giving me a spare ticket i’m now off to the Pop Punks Not Dead tour in November!!!

I’ve been a fan of NFG since I was about 14 but i’ve never actually seen them live, I mean how can I even call myself a lover of pop punk when I’ve never seen these guys live, terrible lol.

I’m just a big pop punk fan at heart and I think I always will be, especially from the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

It’s hard to believe their debut album, Nothing Gold Can Stay is 15 years old!

I managed to catch The Story So Far at Slam Dunk last year and I really enjoyed their debut album, so i’m really looking forward to seeing them too. I’ll have to check the others out before I go.

So bring on November, can’t help wishing this tour was in summer though,

In the mean time check out one of my very favourite NFG tracks, albeit without the awesome original intro, it’s got me feeling very nostalgic indeed!

I <3 LAN parties

Just hosted my 2nd this year and it went incredibly well.  Online gaming is awesome but nothing beats having your best friends around at your place, eating nachos, drinking beer and playing video games.

4 TV’s, 4 Xbox’s, 10 players with Halo 3 and Reach.   12pm to 12am with a barbeque in between.

One game with a 50 kill to win limit with 4 teams ended  50, 49, 49, 38.  Man that was intense lol.

I don’t get the chance to play many video games these days but Halofest more than makes up for it.

Bring on the next one.

For the last month I’ve been on a Paleo detox.
No bread, milk, cheese, sugar or wheat.  That means no pasta, cakes, chips, coca-cola, pizza, cereal or sandwiches to name but a few things I couldn’t touch. It really is as crazy as it sounds. 
Going Paleo for a month isn’t easy at all but the I have to admit the benefits really make it worth it.
The cravings aren’t so bad past week two as long as you’re not around a buffet or party…I’ve been to several which is torture. 
Yet to be honest the worst thing for me was the amount of prep, cooking and washing up you have to do which is 3x more than my regular non-paleo amount.  It’s also a pretty expensive detox due to the amount of meat and fresh fruit and vegetables you have to buy.
Despite my moaning the positives are really great. It may sound weird but I’ve been far less grouchy, my tolerance of things that annoy me has gone up ten fold and I feel far more awake when I get up in a morning, no grogginess in the slightest and no headaches past week one. I’ve lost 10lbs (I don’t think I needed to lose any but I’m looking a lot leaner which is always a bonus).
Though some of this could be down to going to sleep at a reasonable hour and not watching Netflix on a laptop screen sat at the end of the bed lol.
Apparently now it’s over I can’t just gorge on bread and sugar immediately as I could end up in a lot of pain due to my insides not being used to gluten lol.  I’ve got to reintroduce it slowly, boooo.   I’m really crazing brownies and pastries lol.
At week 2 I actively said I would never ever do this again as it was that tough, but after getting through week 3 and 4 I think one day I just might give it another go.  I’m certainly not going to rush back to my old habits.
If you’re thinking of giving it a go I’d say it’s honestly worth it.  Whether you’re doing it to lose weight, to eat less processed foods, detox or even just supporting your other half you will definitely see results.  Just make sure you stick at it, get past week 2 and you’ll be fine.

For the last month I’ve been on a Paleo detox.

No bread, milk, cheese, sugar or wheat.  That means no pasta, cakes, chips, coca-cola, pizza, cereal or sandwiches to name but a few things I couldn’t touch. It really is as crazy as it sounds. 

Going Paleo for a month isn’t easy at all but the I have to admit the benefits really make it worth it.

The cravings aren’t so bad past week two as long as you’re not around a buffet or party…I’ve been to several which is torture. 

Yet to be honest the worst thing for me was the amount of prep, cooking and washing up you have to do which is 3x more than my regular non-paleo amount.  It’s also a pretty expensive detox due to the amount of meat and fresh fruit and vegetables you have to buy.

Despite my moaning the positives are really great. It may sound weird but I’ve been far less grouchy, my tolerance of things that annoy me has gone up ten fold and I feel far more awake when I get up in a morning, no grogginess in the slightest and no headaches past week one. I’ve lost 10lbs (I don’t think I needed to lose any but I’m looking a lot leaner which is always a bonus).

Though some of this could be down to going to sleep at a reasonable hour and not watching Netflix on a laptop screen sat at the end of the bed lol.

Apparently now it’s over I can’t just gorge on bread and sugar immediately as I could end up in a lot of pain due to my insides not being used to gluten lol.  I’ve got to reintroduce it slowly, boooo.   I’m really crazing brownies and pastries lol.

At week 2 I actively said I would never ever do this again as it was that tough, but after getting through week 3 and 4 I think one day I just might give it another go.  I’m certainly not going to rush back to my old habits.

If you’re thinking of giving it a go I’d say it’s honestly worth it.  Whether you’re doing it to lose weight, to eat less processed foods, detox or even just supporting your other half you will definitely see results.  Just make sure you stick at it, get past week 2 and you’ll be fine.

Yesterday I attended my first ever convention, Comic Con Sheffield, and I had a blast.
I didn’t get any autographs but it was bizarre to be walking down the corridor when Giles from Buffy walks directly past you in the opposite direction.  I felt I was at Sunnydale High!
I was really impressed with the cosplayers,  for some reason I expected them to be good but not that good, they were amazing.  So much time, effort and money must have been ploughed in to those costumes because it really showed.  There was an awesome Scorpion from Mortal Kombat and a group of ladies as a female Avengers troupe that really were impressive and drew a crowd.  
The majority of cosplayers were definitely Dr Who related, I saw some great Tennant and Matt Smith lookalikes, athough sadly no Amy Pond’s .  There was also at least 4 Harley Quinn’s
The only thing I actually bought was a Totoro badge but I was more than happy just window shopping and enjoying the experience of my first convention. My brother must have spent over £100 easily.
I was eagerly hunting for Dragonball Z and Cowboy Bebop memorabilia and was definitely tempted by the POP Vegeta and Piccolo figurines.
One day I’ll make it out to San Diego but in the meantime I think I may just take a journey to a couple more here in the UK.

Yesterday I attended my first ever convention, Comic Con Sheffield, and I had a blast.

I didn’t get any autographs but it was bizarre to be walking down the corridor when Giles from Buffy walks directly past you in the opposite direction.  I felt I was at Sunnydale High!

I was really impressed with the cosplayers,  for some reason I expected them to be good but not that good, they were amazing.  So much time, effort and money must have been ploughed in to those costumes because it really showed.  There was an awesome Scorpion from Mortal Kombat and a group of ladies as a female Avengers troupe that really were impressive and drew a crowd.  

The majority of cosplayers were definitely Dr Who related, I saw some great Tennant and Matt Smith lookalikes, athough sadly no Amy Pond’s .  There was also at least 4 Harley Quinn’s

The only thing I actually bought was a Totoro badge but I was more than happy just window shopping and enjoying the experience of my first convention. My brother must have spent over £100 easily.

I was eagerly hunting for Dragonball Z and Cowboy Bebop memorabilia and was definitely tempted by the POP Vegeta and Piccolo figurines.

One day I’ll make it out to San Diego but in the meantime I think I may just take a journey to a couple more here in the UK.

1st September 2014

And so Billie Joe’s 30 day slumber begins.

1st September 2014

And so Billie Joe’s 30 day slumber begins.

I said it was coming, so here it is, a selection of Death Cab for Cutie gig posters.

From left to right, top to bottom.

- @ the Mann, Philadelphia, 5th August 2011. Art by Joe Castro.

- @ Bikini, Barcelona, 23rd Feb 2006.  Art by Salvador Lopez.

- @ Graceland, Seattle, 21st December 2001. Designed by Tyler Stout.

- @ Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, 26th October 2006. Art by Strawberryluna

- @ The Grand Theatre, Reno, 12th July 2009. Art by Furturtle Printworks.

- @ Crystal Ballroom, Portland, 8th December 2011. Art by Ben Wilson.

- @The Ryman, Nashville,  3rd-4th May 2009. Designed by Print Mafia.

- @ Stage AE, Pittsburgh, 13th July 2012. Designed by Strawberryluna.