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Messages - Dincrest

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Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: December 16, 2017, 08:43:11 PM »
Well, you're going to have to, because LOTR made me "WTF?!?!" again in a not-good way. 

After the masterpiece Treebeard chapter, I'm now in the middle of the next chapter: The White Rider.  Early on in that chapter, Aragorn
Spoiler: show
manages to figure out exactly what happened to Merry and Pippin simply by perusing a leaf.  Look, I know Aragorn is a ranger and the most skilled tracker in the history of tracking, but I'm not buying this.  The level of clairvoyance Aragorn displays here is beyond even Gandalf's capabilities and last I checked Aragorn is no wizard and there's nothing in his lineage, as far as I can see, that would indicate he is any sort of magical being with wizard-level clairvoyance. 

The Soundroom / Re: Favorite Albums of 2017
« on: December 16, 2017, 04:54:51 PM »
And in looking to the future, I'm looking forward to the new Eluveitie album.  Thanks again to some of the folks here at RPGFan for introducing me to that band. 

Their single "Rebirth" (released two months ago) straight up scorches, particularly those guitar solos.  The band lost some prominent members (including vocalist and hurdy gurdy player Anna Murphy), but with a revamped lineup, including a powerful new siren in Fabienne Erni, this song "Rebirth" is the heaviest I've ever heard this band.  And I love it!

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: December 15, 2017, 08:06:55 PM »
Every subculture has that instinct to weed out poseurs.  It's like a misguided protective instinct to want to keep your "thing" pure and unsullied.  Like back when RPGs started becoming trendy/mainstream with FF7 opening the floodgates, a lot of old-heads cried foul that, "All these n00bs aren't true fans; while we were playing Final Fantasy I, they were playing Mario!"  And now, looking back, did any of that righteous indignation nonsense even matter?

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: December 15, 2017, 07:38:20 PM »
Wait wait wait... is there a video game actually called Dragon Maid, or is it some made up thing to make the weeaboo in the story seem really cringey?  I feel like Dragon Maid would be a thing. 

Memorable game shop encounters. 

-I was at a shop to buy a Game Boy Advance and Broken Sword many years ago.  I took my copy of Broken Sword to the counter and asked for a GBA to go with it.  The clerk said they only had blue and magenta and proceeded to grab a blue one when I said, "Yo, I want a magenta one." 
And he replied, "You want a pink one?" 
I said, "Yes, I want a pink one." 
"You seriously want a pink one?"
"Hell yeah I want a pink one."
"You 100% sure you want a pink one."
"Yes, I want a pink one.  None of my friends have pink ones, so when we've had a few and play multiplayer games, I will always know which one is mine."
"Whatever floats your boat, I guess..."
"I dare to be different!  Now give me a pink one or I walk."
I'll admit, a part of me did it out of spite because he simply assumed I wanted blue and did not have the courtesy to ask what color I wanted... but I also do dare to be different and I do like pink.  That being said, my favorite color is orange. 

-I was picking up my preordered copy of Persona 4.  The girl behind the counter helping me started geeking out about the game, and as she gathered my stuff to ring me up she started talking to me about cosplay and conventions (I had recently gone to ConnectiCon that year).  Yo, she even made me pinky swear not to look at the artbook till after I beat the game since it had massive spoilers.  The girl could not have been more than 18 or 19 and I was 30 at the time, so there was no way I was going to try to hit on her or anything because that would be creepy.  She was super cool, though, and were I 10 years younger, I would have tried my luck asking her out. 

And as far as people making assumptions based on your appearance and all... I got that most in the music realm.  People look at me and don't think I'm someone who listens to metal or punk, yet I'm a total metalhead punk rocker. 

Years ago, when I was in a punk band, this one old head punk offered me a beer and I said, "No thanks, man.  I don't drink."  Then he asked if I'd join him for a cigarette and I said, "No thanks, I don't smoke."  He looks at me with a raised eyebrow and asks, "So what the hell you doing at a punk show?"  I replied, "My band is playing later tonight.  Stick around, I'll see you in the pits."  (I didn't have punk attire like the other guys in my band; I was just a dude with glasses wearing jeans and a  T-shirt.)

*time passes* 

After my band completed our set, we were out in the parking lot loading our gear into our vehicles when that oldhead comes up to me, claps me on the shoulders and exclaims, "DUDE!  Why the hell didn't you tell me you could shred like that?!?!?!?! (referring to my bass playing and stage presence.)"
I smiled, "That reaction is exactly why."
And he's like, "Well, your band fucking rocks!  You fucking rock!"
Me: "Appreciate the support, man.  Did you grab one of our CDs?"
Him: "You bet!  And I'll definitely be at more shows." 
Me:  "Sweet!  See you in the pits then." 

As far as I'm concerned, being part of a subculture isn't something you wear.  It comes from within.

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: December 15, 2017, 04:56:48 PM »
Suspending my disbelief is something I do all the time, especially when I play RPGs.  And in fantasy, I can totally suspend my disbelief about eldritch worlds with talking trees, monks shooting fireballs from their fists, a small party of meddling kids overthrowing an imperial army to save the world, all that good stuff.  I get plenty immersed into that stuff.  But sometimes things happen where I feel very consciously forced to suspend my disbelief and it makes the "this isn't logical, even within the illogical rules of this fantasy world" part of my brain hiccup.  It bugs me when some little thing is too pat and the planets were so perfectly aligned for something so incredibly specific to happen and there is no explanation. 

Sorry, but that one little interaction between Pippin and Grishnakh was that one place where it broke my immersion. 

That's a big reason why I like a lot of Brandon Sanderson's books.  Nothing in the first Mistborn trilogy happened "because F you, that's why" and everything was explained utilizing the "logic" of how that world works.  Sanderson deftly rode the edge of that knife where things could have totally slipped into "because F you, that's why" territory, but it didn't.  Dude is a master. 

At this point, Arvis, it may be best that we just agree to disagree. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: December 14, 2017, 06:17:01 PM »
But Bilbo sometimes outright lied or withheld the truth in his "tall tales."  And even when he told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth at the Council of Elrond, Merry and Pippin were not present.  And in both The Hobbit and Fellowship, Bilbo was extremely secretive about the ring throughout his life, so I'd venture he remained secretive about the ring.  I also wouldn't put it past the ring's influence to feed that. 

And then we come to the whole thing about how in the world did Pippin know to use that specific Gollum tease on Grishnakh?  It felt too calculated to be a simple hail Mary/shot in the dark, especially given Grishnakh's reaction that he seemed aware of Gollum and precious. 

I don't know... that whole interaction just doesn't sit right with me.  Everything around it feels too coincidental.  How would Pippin innately have that innate, very specific understanding of how to say "gollum, gollum, precious" and act as Gollum would?  Would Bilbo's tall tales and books written mention all those details, especially given how secretive he was about the ring and how he admitted that the book wasn't the truth?  And Merry and Pippin strike the others as kinda flighty and not people you'd make privy to the most pertinent information.   Maybe (and that's a BIG maybe) I'll buy that maybe Merry and Pippin badgered Samwise to tell them everything he heard at the council of Elrond, but I'm sure there are details he may not have picked up on, since whenever multiple people are exposed to something we all naturally attune to different details. 

Anyway, I'm still in the middle of the Treebeard chapter and it's a good one. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: December 12, 2017, 07:53:18 PM »
I had some time to read more Lord of the Rings.  I'm in the middle of the chapter "Treebeard" in The Two Towers.  I must say, this and the preceding chapter "The Uruk-Hai" have been two of my favorites because they're Merry and Pippin chapters.  Merry and Pippin actually have personalities, unlike everyone else (particularly the folks in the Fellowship) who are all just boring slabs of exposition.  Like, when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli talk, I have trouble telling who's who since none of them have distinctive personalities and have all just been interchangeable mouthpieces for exposition.  Aside from Merry and Pippin, only Treebeard has shown a personality.  Tolkien's worldbuilding is incredible, but his characters leave much to be desired. 

One thing is bugging me from the Uruk-Hai chapter, though.  When Grishnakh
Spoiler: show
frisks Merry and Pippin for the McGuffin in order to stage a mutiny against Ugluk, Pippin teases him by saying, "Gollum, gollum" and referring to the ring as "my precious."  HOW?!?!?!?!  There is NO WAY that Pippin had any prior knowledge of Gollum to even know to do that.  And no amount of logic-leaping rigmarole is making this make sense to me. 

The Soundroom / Re: Holiday music thread (tis the season)
« on: December 12, 2017, 06:26:53 PM »
My favorite Charlie Brown holiday song by Vince Guaraldi is "Little Birdie" from Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. 

And here's another fun one: Deck the Halls by Kasio Kristmas (it's instrumental)

The Soundroom / Re: Favorite Albums of 2017
« on: December 11, 2017, 06:16:56 PM »
Oh.  (I have no idea who Kendrick Lamar is, so that's all I can say.  I live under a rock and mostly listen to obscure metal and punk.)

EDIT: On another note, my biggest disappointment for 2017 is the self-titled debut album from Prophets of Rage, a supergroup featuring members of Rage Against the Machine, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and B-Real of Cypress Hill.  Now, Public Enemy is my favorite rap group and Rage Against the Machine is one of my favorite bands (songs like RATM's "Bulls on Parade" and Public Enemy's "By the Time I Get to Arizona" still sound dangerous to this day.)  However, Prophets of Rage sounds rather... toothless.  Chuck D is a rap legend who's not afraid to "go there" and drop intense knowledge and RATM was such an explosive and innovative band... but none of that is present in Prophets of Rage.  It all sounds very superficial, very surface-level, too safe and too sanitized to the point of being almost politically correct.  I mean, these are times that demand explosively powerful music that can inspire a revolution and Prophets of Rage says they want to do that, but this album is too shallow to really do that.  It lacks danger.  The lyrics are hollow and the riffs lack creativity.  I should NOT be saying those things about Chuck D and RATM, since Chuck D is known for his incredible lyricism and RATM is known for their unbridled creativity.  Chuck D was able to rap strong with Anthrax, but is woefully overpowered by the guys in RATM.  And B-Real's performances feel phoned in.  I wanted to like this album, but came away feeling like I completely wasted my time listening to it.  They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and this was a terrible album founded on good intentions.

Sons of Apollo is a supergroup done right.  Prophets of Rage, on the other hand, is a supergroup gone wrong, where the whole is far less than the sum of its parts.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: December 09, 2017, 02:32:15 PM »
Been jamming a lot on my bass during this snowy Saturday and in less than a day, I've already made more progress on my new musical project than I have in weeks.  Okay, it helps that I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel regarding a ton of things happening in my life and I actually had some time to sit down and play. 

Being a bassist has been a part of my identity for most of my life and I simply love playing bass.  And most people I meet perceive me as someone who'd be a bass player.  However, a few years ago when I was rehearsing with Pool of Thorns for a gig, someone in the band told me I'd make a better guitar player than a bass player.  This struck me totally out of left field and I can't figure out why.  I've never played guitar before, the few times I picked one up just felt strange to me (guitars feel like fragile little twigs that make my fingers feel all smushed up) and I've never once perceived myself as a guitar player.  Even in my musical history, I was primarily a bass clef instrumentalist: baritone horn in the school band and then took bass lessons privately.  Sure, I'd kinda like to be able to play keyboards so I can compose music better (and my bass teacher did teach me to read both bass and treble clef) but in my heart and soul I am a bassist and the other instrument I'd most want to learn to play is the drums. 

The Soundroom / Holiday music thread (tis the season)
« on: December 09, 2017, 11:46:20 AM »
Xmas/Holiday music.  Some people love it.  Some people hate it.  So let's spread some holiday musical cheer with our favorite yule-time music. 

I was one of the Xmas music haters until my friend Ray did a "Punk Rock Xmas" compilation of wild, weird, wacky, and out there Xmas music.  Here are some of the piece from his compilation that I really like:

"Christmas in Las Vegas" by Richard Cheese

"The Season's Upon Us" by Dropkick Murphys (lyrics kinda NSFW)

"Christmas Party" by Dead Milkmen

"Happy New Year" by Spike Jones and the City Slickers

"Winter Wonderland" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

"The Night Santa Went Crazy" by Weird Al

"Oi to the World" by The Vandals

"My Mother Gave Me a Gun for Christmas" by The Pork Dukes (That song amuses me, because the bridge where he sings about a Coca Cola ICBM reminds me of the Pepsi missiles in Project A-Ko)

"Xmas has been X'd" by NOFX

"Credit Crunch Christmas" by Toy Dolls

"Homo Christmas" by Pansy Division (This one is a VERY NSFW song, but hilarious):

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" by Bad Religion

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: December 05, 2017, 07:57:44 PM »
I have no problem with the oversized letters and welcome them.  My biggest complaint in, like, all my recent game reviews is fonts that are too small and that there are no menu options to increase font sizes.  It's also why I favor my e-reader over real books, because with the touch of a button I can make the fonts bigger and read my fantasy tomes without straining my eyes. 

So this ornery old man is anything but ornery about this development and will probably complain more if these young whippersnappers take away the large print. 

For some reason, the theme song for the Heathcliff cartoon from the 1980s has been stuck in my head all weekend.  What's interesting is that, thanks to the Internet, I found the actual lyrics of the song and some of them are very different from what I thought they were as a kid.  Gotta love misheard lyrics.  So I'll be posting the lyrics along with the ones I misheard (and I actually kinda like some of mine better.  They'll be in orange)  The most notable of my mishearings is "Johnny Never-there" which my kid brain thought was a euphamism for someone who's really out of the loop and misses out on stuff.  Either that, or someone who's lost a competition so badly it's as if they were never there.

Heathcliff, Heathcliff, no one should
Terrify their neighborhood
But Heathcliff just won't be outdone (But Heathcliff just won't be undone)
Playing pranks on everyone

There's a race to be on top
The competition doesn't stop
Mixing with the ladies fair (Mixing with the ladies there)
Being charming, debonair (Beating "Johnny Never-there")

The gang will reign supreme
And no one can deny
They'll make some history (To make 'em history?!?)
And always have an alibi (They'll always have another bite)

So join in the jubilee
The cats are great, they'll all agree
You'll find in each calamity (Fighting each calamity)
The cat's superiority (With cat superiority)

Heathcliff, Heathcliff, no one should
Terrify the neighborhood
But Heathcliff just won't be outdone (But Heathcliff just won't be undone)
You should realize, he can win it WITH YOU!

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: December 04, 2017, 05:06:49 PM »
One of the guys I dormed with in college said it best after a squirrel got into our suite: "Squirrels are cute when they're outside.  When they're inside, they're little monsters."

Two songs of the moment:

One is "Revolving Door" by Jordan Rudess.  I was driving my mom somewhere and this album came up randomly on my iPod and after we got home, my mom was humming some of this.  It was like modern classical to her and to me it's like the orgy love child of all my favorite video game soundtracks.  Even though Derek Sherinian is my favorite keyboardist, Rudess is a keyboard god.

My other song of the moment is "Desert Song" by Def Leppard.  For some reason, that song just popped into my head when I was taking a shower.  I must say, this is one of the best, if not the best, Def Leppard song and easily one of my top 3 favorite songs by them.  I used to be a huge Def Leppard fan.  In fact, the first concert I ever went to was Def Leppard.  And the album cover art for Retro-Active is absolutely sick!

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