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Messages - Dincrest

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General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: October 01, 2017, 01:26:04 PM »

Second pull attempt for low weight, took 9 of us, combined weight of 2080 pounds.
@Dincrest I know you wanted to see it.

Buff Plankchest!

Slab Squat-thrust!

Big McLargeHuge!

Seriously, though, that is freaking sick, brother.  Are you going to attempt it again next year? 

As for my haps, good club ride today.  Our 42 mile ride became a 44 mile ride because we were experimenting with a new loop and took a few wrong turns.  But like I always say, "We're not lost, we're on an adventure." 

Saturday was an accomplished day as well, thanks to the SA truck coming in and taking a whole bunch of furniture and stuff we do not need any more.  My mom and I are in the process of downsizing because, as much as we love the family home, it's too much house and too much mortgage.  We're hoping to get it on the market mid-month and hopefully find and move into a new smaller house before year's end. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 29, 2017, 09:41:02 PM »
Back to @Agent D's plane pull... is it getting televised or streamed anywhere?  Because I'd want to watch.
Uhh....idk actually. I'm gonna have a video of my team's attempt for sure, but as far as an actual televised thing, search me. Maybe on the local news channels in new jersey, it's being held at Newark airport.

I figured as much.  It was perhaps too much for me to think that with it being at a big airport and such a large scale event in terms of feat (I mean, teams of people are pulling a freaking plane) it would get more coverage.  They'll televise a hot dog eating contest but not a plane pull (which I think is infinitely cooler).  I get that one's a charity event and one's a commercialized glory event, but...

Definitely post a link of your team's video because I want to see it. 

As for my haps, I have a lot of things happening in my life right now (both positive and not so positive) but I don't feel like unloading. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 28, 2017, 08:03:59 PM »
Back to @Agent D's plane pull... is it getting televised or streamed anywhere?  Because I'd want to watch. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 26, 2017, 05:50:31 PM »
Well that just plain sucks.  Hope the tooth decides to cooperate in time. 

Happens to the best of us.  I've had to either go wimp-mode or bow out of event rides due to health issues (e.g. bad knee, stomach virus) and it always bit big wind. 

Song of the moment is another Album of the Moment.  The album is "Reaching Into Infinity" by DragonForce, which came out in May of this year.  Reviews of this one have been mixed, but I absolutely love it.  From beginning to end, every song is an absolute winner and even despite being over an hour long, the album never wears out its welcome.  I haven't listened to a DragonForce album since Ultra Beatdown (which was an ultra yawnfest outside of maybe 2 songs), and this one was like a refreshing splash of cold water to my tired face.  The album has plenty of classic DragonForce hallmarks, but is very experimental (I love the album's occasional forays into thrashy stuff and occasional harsh vocals), which shows that the band is branching out and not staying rigidly within their little comfortable formula.  I believe their bassist did a lot of the songwriting here, which is cool.

I listened to it because my iPod randomly shuffled to Sonic Firestorm this past week and I thought, "This album is a lot of fun.  This band is a lot of fun.  I wonder what they're up to." 

My epic history with DragonForce:

Valley of the Damned is one of those mindblowing albums that damn near changed my life.  That album was a total gamechanger and still DragonForce's best. 

Sonic Firestorm was solid, but it adhered pretty much exactly to the formula precedent set by Valley. 

Inhuman Rampage was their breakout album, since it featured songs on Guitar Hero, and it had some enjoyable moments, but I found it to be a pretty mediocre album. 

Ultra Beatdown had the songs "Reasons to Live" and "Heartbreak Armageddon" which showed DragonForce's capability to wrote songs in between blistering speedfests and ballads.  However, those were the only two songs I liked and I found the rest of the album a formulaic yawnfest.  This was when I decided that the band has gone stale, they simply rehash the same formulaic drivel over and over again, and it's time to move on. 

After Ultra Beatdown, it seems they parted ways with their original singer (ZP Theart) and recruited a new one (Marc Hudson).  I didn't think much of it since I was "over DragonForce."  Ergo, I never listened to "The Power Within" or "Maximum Overload" albums.  I'm okay with this, because sometimes a band needs time (and a few albums) to really get their sea legs with a new lineup change like this.  Marc Hudson's voice is in a lower register than Theart's so the songwriting has to change in order to showcase his range and talents, and sea-legs aren't gotten right away.  Takes time.  I love Marc Hudson's singing on "Reaching for Infnity."  He employs a wider variety of dynamic vocal styles than I've ever heard from ZP and his timbre is more my style these days.  Hail Hudson!

So after being inspired to listen to "Reaching for Infinity" I was pleased to hear that bassist Frederic Leclerq had taken a lead role on the songwriting (I love the ballad "Silence" which was written about his friend who committed suicide), and I love how the music has classic DragonForce signature hallmarks, but also experiments with other styles of metal (e.g. thrash).  This is the most experimental and diverse I've ever heard DragonForce and I'm glad I gave the band another chance.  If songs like "War!" (with its amazing marriage of thrash and power metal) are hints of what the new DragonForce is going to be, I welcome it with open arms. 

So far, "Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora" by Darkest Hour and "Reaching for Infinity" by DragonForce are my favorite albums of 2017.  And I can't wait for "Psychotic Symphony" by Sons of Apollo.

General Discussions / Re: Today In The News
« on: September 23, 2017, 05:36:40 PM »
I don't get that blind level of "cop hatred."  I mean, sure, there are ogre/bully cops that pull rank or profile you, but most don't want to ruin your day at all.  The coworkers and subs I've gotten along with best were retired officers.  They simply want to keep communities safe and make sure laws are upheld, or it would be total chaos.  And you could say this about any profession.  Yes, there are some teachers that should not be in the classroom, but most are in it for the right reasons.  Mechanics?  Yeah, there are those who will take monetary advantage of your ignorance but many are honest (because if you screw over enough customers, word will get around and you're toast.)

I've been pulled over by the police several times and every time, 100% without fail, it was because I did something wrong (be it speeding, missing a stop sign, etc.)  And even then, my encounters with them were always pleasant, even in the middle of nowhere.  A couple times I was caught speeding, I should have gotten hefty fines and points on my license, but the police always let me off with a warning or a lesser offense.  Racial profiling and all that is all over the news, but in the 20+ years I've been driving, I have not been racially profiled by the police.  And I'm not a blond-haired, blue-eyed white male by any stretch.  However, I am always respectful. 

In general, as long as you're not a jerk to the police, they won't be a jerk to you.  And if your house is burglarized, your best friend is shot, or a drunk driver smashes into your car, who are you going to call for help if there are no police? 

I think back to 2015 when I was doing the ACS bike-a-thon.  My legs had cramped up to the point where they went completely stiff and I had to force my knees bent so I could sit on a guardrail and let the lactic acid work its way out of my legs.  The police officer manning a nearby intersection went out of his way to make sure I was okay, even fetching me a large bottle of Gatorade.  I cannot thank him enough.  And I believe one of the founders of my bicycle club is an ex-officer and one of our sponsors is a police department.  An important mission of our club, both on and off our bikes, is to advocate bicycle safety so that riders, motorists, pedestrians, everyone is safe.  And the only way we can advocate for better vehicular safety legislation and all is to have the police on our side, and we do because we are sticklers for riding safely, always paying heed to the laws, and setting a positive example. 

General Discussions / Re: Today In The News
« on: September 22, 2017, 12:13:26 PM »
Danny Trejo is the man.  I love the way he calls out actors who insist on doing their own stunts (including a particularly douchey one recently whom he does not mention by name.)

And for a more serious minded news story, it's an absolute crying shame that politics and our broken health care system is causing the rampant shutdown of rural hospitals all across the US.  The underprivileged are the ones who most direly need health care yet are the ones getting it taken away from them.

General Discussions / Re: Artimicia's Food aid plea
« on: September 22, 2017, 12:11:24 PM »
Ummm... the Jucy Lucy (a cheeseburger with melted cheese inside the beef patty) is an iconic sandwich  to Minneapolis in much the same way that the cheesesteak is iconic to Philadelphia or the pastrami on rye is iconic to New York City.  In other words, the "molten lava cheesburger" has been an Americana thing for decades and will continue to be an Americana thing.  Besides, I like the idea (even though I'll never eat one because vegetarian.)  It's like the burger version of molten lava cake. 

Yes, a vegetarian approved of the inside out cheeseburger. 

(Truth be told, the only meat eating that truly offends me is when people order a steak more than medium rare or fish more than rare.  If you order the doneness of your steak more than medium rare or fish more than rare, I will rake you over the coals as a culinary failure because you ruined/asked someone else to ruin perfectly good pieces of meat by overcooking it.  The poor animal's already dead, there's no need to kill it more.  So don't ruin, or ask people to ruin, steaks and fish.  Respect your food.) 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: September 22, 2017, 07:36:32 AM »
Lately, I've been pretty unmotivated to read even though Lord of the Rings is really good.  I'm about 2 chapters into The Two Towers. 

However, I did recently read Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets, which was the goofy palate cleanser book my addled brain truly needed.  I was bulk-buying at a price club last weekend and some kids and parents from a local soccer team were seeking donations.  Since I like soccer and community initiatives I donated a few bucks.  As thanks for my donation, I was offered a free book from their table.  As I scanned the table I saw Captain Underpants and exclaimed, "I'm going with Captain Underpants."  This got universal smiles and even cheers all around from the kids and the parents, which definitely amused me. 

It was definitely a fun book... but my favorite is still Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants.  Under the Professor Poopypants regime, my name would be Zippy Gigglechunks.  (So far I've read Poopypants, Talking Toilets, and Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman.) Tra La Laaa!

The Soundroom / Re: Random VGM
« on: September 20, 2017, 09:33:22 PM »
I think I posted this elsewhere on the site years ago, but it deserves to be posted again here.  It's a video of my pal Justin doing a rocking cover of the stage 1 theme from Altered Beast on guitar.  Although you don't see it in the video, the dude is also a really good singer.  Back in both my Pool of Thorns and Kryovax days, I played many shows with Justin's old band.

I don't know about anyone else, but I think it would be cool to see a new Altered Beast game. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 16, 2017, 08:06:20 PM »
TI calculators with color screens?  At the high school I work at, students use the regular TI84... and I work at a school in a well-to-do area.  And back when I was in high school (in the 1990s), we used TI82s. 

Still, I'm surprised TI is still kicking.  I mean, you can get apps on smartphones and iPads (a lot of high schools issue iPads to students) that do everything the TI calculator does for less money.  The TI calculator itself is priced higher than many smartphones that do so much more. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 16, 2017, 06:27:34 AM »
You know, ol' Frosty, I've been thinking about a generator all week.  But we really do try and live simply, so we can pursue other things besides work/money.  And a generator is a luxury purchase.  Or so I keep telling myself.  We went an entire decade without a hurricane making landfall in my area.  Now we've had two in an 11 month span.  Maybe it's a necessity after all.

I'm hardly the sort of man you would call "handy", though.  Maybe I've survived for too long off my wit, charm, and good nature.  My wife deserves a little better, perhaps.

Yeah, purchases like that are difficult decisions. I'd probably be relying on power banks, a dyno torch and a WakaWaka light or two instead, because I'm a cheapskate with relatively low living standards.

That said, having the food in your fridge spoil is expensive too if it happens too often...

Medications too.  A few years ago, a storm knocked my power out for about a week and I was buying bags of ice daily to keep my diabetic dad's insulin cold. 

General Discussions / Re: Youtube
« on: September 15, 2017, 09:37:54 PM »
I'm not even going to qualify this video with an explanation.  Just watch it.  Don't worry, it's totally safe for work and everything.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 15, 2017, 08:42:21 PM »
No Way!  I've been on a power/prog kick lately too. 

Bands I've been listening to lately:
Cyborg Octopus:


Sons of Apollo (this is the new band of Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian, Jeff Scott Soto, and Bumblefoot):
(This Sons of Apollo album may be the first CD I've ever preordered.) 

A Sense of Gravity:


Divine Ascension:

Scarab (they're a death metal band from Egypt):

(And during my commute home, Ever Forthright was randomly selected on my iPad:

Playing bass is back in my life again too.  One of the guys in my bicycle club wants to collaborate on songwriting with me and jamming with him last month was awesome.  He's a little older than me (though he looks crazy young) and is more interested in songwriting and studio playing than gigging and touring.  He had asked me earlier this summer if I wanted to jam/write with him, and I said sure, because though I want music back in my life I don't want to be in a gigging/touring band.  I hadn't touched a bass since parting ways with Pool of Thorns in 2015 and almost thought I could/should just close that chapter of my life. 

But when jamming with my cyclist friend, it felt right.  I felt whole again.  Like a missing piece was filled in that I didn't know was missing.  Sure, my busy life of work, cycling/fitness, RPGFan, and voiceover stuff is fulfilling, having music back in it is nice.  There's a lot on my plate, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  You have no idea how stoked I am to have music back in my life again.  It's like, no matter what, I'll always be a bass player.  It's in my soul and a key part of my identity that can never be shed.

After I parted ways with Pool of Thorns in 2015, I donated two of my basses (a Warwick 4-string and a Zon 5-string) to the music department of the school I work at.  And from what I hear, those instruments are inspiring the next generation.  The two basses I kept are my "swirl" bass ( and this exquisite 6-string bass that I bought used for $420 that must have cost at least $2000 when it was first commissioned (it has some seriously high-end components and quality tonewoods.)  I didn't do much with that bass when I was with Pool of Thorns, but I want to do stuff with it now so I'm glad it found its way into my home and stayed.  This bass was no garage baby; it's definitely been gigged by its previous owners (I'm the third owner).  It plays and sounds so good. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 15, 2017, 06:24:34 PM »
What's up, everyone? I don't know if some of you remember me...

I remember you having excellent taste in metal music and I rarely forget a metal brother. 

As for my haps... the beginning of the new school year has been draining, because I've been assigned to be a 1:1 with a very challenging student this year.  Yeah, I know I'll come out of this school year far better at my job because of this challenge, but it's probably going to be a long year.   

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