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Nothing to do with Buckethead

I guess LJ is a good place for this.  For those that do not know, I applied for disability a few years before my surgery and was finally granted it this week after an appeal.   My surgery for epilepsy has so far been a success and by all accounts will continue to be. (Knocks on wood)  It has just taken me a little longer to get back on track. I have to remind myself to be patient, that it wasn't toe surgery, it was the brain. A brain that is slowly getting better. Memories slowly returning and not a seizure in site. There  are of course negatives, focus problems, mood changes, and day today  memory that is a struggle.  Trying to write and forgetting thoughts is not just frustrating it is draining.

  I have family and friends to support and push me when needed and now I will have a few extra dollars to help as well. I owe them all so much more than money. They have given me rides (important in Maine) , time and laughs. For those that knew me before I lost my job (having a seizure in front a teenage client and another at a conference) I was a confident and sulf-sufficient Bandito. I want that back. Living at home has taken some of that away. Although living with awesome parents has softened that somewhat, I hope this 'disability' is simply a step into the next phase that I so desired when I chose surgury and not a hole that I can't get out of. Some laugh when I tell them I didn't want disability. Saying take the check and shut up. They are of course joking, it will take a lot to shut me up.

I look forward to being able to see a few people this summer. As for not having any Buckethead. . . . I lied.

Buckethead - We Can Rebuild Him


Writer's Block: See the music

What's your favorite music video of all time?

Iron Maiden -  The Clairvoyant.

Certainly not the best music video of all time. Although it was a beautiful 'live'  video put together from Maiden at the  Monsters of Rock tour in 1988, a concert I would have loved to have been at.  But it was one of the first metal videos that grabbed me. When I was able to stay up late with  my best friend and watch MTV, when MTV played music. It played during Headbangers Ball. It had a message and a majesty that meant something to my young mind that still resonates today. 

I need a good movie

I love the many different adaptations of Shakespeare now and again, but some directors seem like they will do anything to get the audiences they so desire. Director Roland Emmerich (who I am not familiar with) will be releasing Anonymous in theaters this September. A period thriller set in Elizabethan England that revolves around the man himself. It is not based on any of his plays, rather the fictional story on who wrote all the plays and sonnets. Adding romance, explosions and political intrigue because those plays were just too boring I suppose. 

Writer's Block: Waitin' for a super name

If you were a superhero, what would your superhero name be?

Space Bandito of course. I have had this name since the early days of Futurama and the ancient dialup days of the Internet. It was first used in Half Life.  My super powers?

The Power of Music!

Another challenge! Of course everyone wins :) I wonder what a few professional authors would do with these. Here is my entry:

The words:

Restrung and Agelessness

The bronze guitar string had snapped, but he was used to adjusting his songs. Just as he had adjusted his life after nearly 80 years. He quickly pulled a string out of the case next to him and restrung. His fingers ignoring the pain. He soon began another song he had been working on his entire life. Music was ageless to him. He tapped his foot in rhythm to the song as his fingers slid up and down the neck like the high and low points of his life. It was his last song, but it was his favorite song.


The Reading Turtle Moves

Ok, so I need to Live Journal more . . .

I finished Small Gods about four days ago and while it was not my favorite, it was still very entertaining.

Small Gods

Lost in the chill deeps of space between the galaxies, it sails on forever, a flat, circular world carried on the back of a giant turtle—


—a land where the unexpected can be expected. Where the strangest things happen to the nicest people. Like Brutha, a simple lad who only wants to tend his melon patch. Until one day he hears the voice of a god calling his name. A small god, to be sure. But bossy as Hell. (Terry Pratchettbooks.com)

I guess my one complaint was that Brutha was certainly  not a "simple" lad. While this is only my third venture  into Discworld, I have come to appreciate the characters more than the world and its plots. There have been characters on all levels from gods to generals that I could connect with. I had a hard time connecting with Brutha, not because of his simplicity. But because of his complexity. For Om's sake the guy can absorb books. While I was interested in his gains and losses, I did not always understand his history or motivation.  Thankfully, the book was filled with a collection of other fun and dark characters. My favorite being the two philosophers Didactylos and his nephew Urn. Then there was a trek through the desert where we met philososphers of  a different kind in a lion and a hermit. And of course the 'Small Gods' - gods who have lost their believers.

While the book wasn't as good as I hoped it would be, I still enjoyed it. Many would think doing a parody on religion would be easy, and yes it would as there is a little material to use. But doing it well is something Pratchett should be applauded for.  I might take a little Pratchett break but I will soon return to Discworld.


Mar. 20th, 2011

Just  finished my second Terry Pratchet book - Night Watch. My first being Hogsfather.  As I said after reading Hogsfather, I am definitely glad Pratchett was pushed my way. I admittedly began reading him just to be nice. The person who sent Pratchet my way only had to push gently -- the things I read for love. ;)  

His collection of characters and adventures  filled with a mix of human drama (even the fairies) and modern satire took my reading like a turtle through space into a new direction. To some I think I read like a turtle.

As I said about Hogsfather, it wasn't the plot so much as it was the characters.  Sam Vines (both young and old) , Lu-Tze, Dr. Lawn, Lord Vetinari and even Death of course play a role.  A few I am sure Pratchet readers have seen in more books than the two I have read. The plot of a cop chasing a killer through time was not new, but its mix of humor, mystery and drama took the characters and me on a fun filled ride. While characters die, Death is so nice when he when he takes them away. Yet it is the City of  Ankh - Morpork that is my favorite character so far.

 I am now hooked and look forward to reading more from Terry Pratchet. Any suggestions on order of reading would be great. I understand the next book Snuff will feature Sam Vines and his wife, Sybil on vacation but forced into a murder plot. I am not sure if I need to read the other books featuring Vines and his rise in the Night Watch to appreciate that.

Next I will be reading an older book - Small Gods.  I look forward to discovering more of Pratchett's dark humor and silly plots filled with fantasy wizards and fights ending in realistic results.

Buckethead . . . is back

As many know I am a little obsessed with Buckethead. More than simply a guitarist, he is an artist that is not afraid to bend the paint brush. He has played more than just the guitar, but it is certainly his specialty.  Like many others when I was first introduced to him I was a little hesitant. Why was he wearing a damn bucket? Why was he using a hand puppet to talk to people?  Wait . . . is he using nun-chucks and doing the moonwalk?  So while I  struggled trying  to understand songs about his fights vs robots or silly voice overs giving tours of his famous (or perhaps infamous) Buckethead Land Theme Park, I quickly grew to love his wide range of music.

Buckethead soon became my music of choice. After he left his short work with Guns N' Roses he seemed to put out a new album every month. Each one different than the last. Some playful songs that were simply fun to listen to, while others seemed so emotional that I would ask they be played on my death bed.  

He is an artist that has worked with musicians, artists and directors of all types, from working with actor Viggo Mortenson,  on several political based albums to 'Funk Master' Bootsy Collins. His first video of "The Ballet of Buckethead" featured Primus' Les Claypool. His range and styles seem almost limitless.  My favorite albums are his work with Travis Dickerson who often plays keyboards. While he seems to have an adoration for Japanese animae basing his first few albums and the several Bucketheadlands on it, his albums are much more diverse.  He has released over 30 official albums as well as performing on many others each with their own different style. From blues, to progressive, to funk, blue grass and metal. Some albums with a style I can't even describe beyond experimental. The different styles attracting different fans.

Things did slow down in 2010 after he announced in his own words,  that "Buckethead is having some animatronic parts replaced, Slip Disc snuck into the park and caused some mayhem." Fans who enjoyed so many albums had a slow year as Buckethead recovered from his never fully announced back injury. Now in 2011 Buckethead is making up for it. With just a few tours dates announced and more on the way I will do my best to again see him live again.

Buckethead released a limited Christmas treat for fans to open:


Reading has been both a struggle and good exercise for me. There are days where it is a breeze and days where each page feels like a push up. Yet each page has been well worth it. Having been recently introduced to Terry Pratchett thanks to Alytha, I have completed Hogsfather.   While I have seen his books on the bookshelves for years, with their wacky titles, I have always avoided them. Just like my personality I tended to like my fantasy to be serious and stuffy with humor on the dark side. ;) Like any reader I was simply stuck in my ways.

When Alytha sent me Hogsfather to begin my Pratchett introduction it was like dipping my feet in the kiddie pool and learning how to swim again. Pretty soon, just a few chapters in I was doing the doggie paddle and laughing with glee.  For a book that was originally released in 1996 and was turned into a movie I will hold off on a review. I will simply describe my journey.

"Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree"

And thus began my introduction to Discworld. A world filled with philosophy, magic, history, and a lot of wacky stuff. Pratchett describes it as a world like our own, "like a geological pizza but without the anchovies."   A pizza I am definitely ready to sample, for when I finished Hogsfather I was attached to the characters.  Pratchett quickly took me from: Assassin Teatime's scheme to end the Hogfather, to Susan's silly hope to simply be normal (while "disemboweling" bogeymen), the God of Hangovers search for a cure and a purpose in life,  and the Archchancellor's quest for the perfect shower, and Death playing the role of Santa err the Hogsfather with a human sidekick full of alcohol, and advice.

As I read I struggled to put each fast paced and charming mystery together. When it finished I was able to put the book down with a smile on my face. Definitely a good introduction.

I am now currently reading another Pratchett novel --  Nightwatch.
Welcome to another edition of currently playing. I am usually up for just about any game, and when it involves something I am already addicted to I am  usually sold.  Although I did avoid the Ice and Fire card game since its inception in 2002 for several reasons. One, I was playing Magic the Gathering  and didn't want to branch out into another collectible card game and two I had no idea of the games lasting appeal. As Ice and Fire's debut approaches on HBO I think it's popularity just - might - survive. So when I got a box, of four decks this Christmas I was cautious, but looking forward to giving the game a try. When I finally got enough George R.R. Martin friends together it took us a while to learn, but ended up being a fun and addicting evening.

The main thing was learning that it did not have a rarity system like other CCG. Apparently in 2007 they made this change getting rid of  the random booster packs that were filled with one rare and 3 uncommons in favor of 'fixed packs'. Every pack the same.  Instead coming out with, Chapter Packs every month to add a variety to the decks. I have not purchased one yet, but they also are not random consisting of multiple copies of the same card. The names might be similar like Jaimie or Ned, but the text would be different depending on the plot. 

The focus of this switch was simple.  Competition. In order to stand out you have to be different. We've all seen the discount cards in Hobby stores and wonder why that brand thought they could survive. Its takes more than a popular brand. It takes a fun game, a cool concept and something for fans come back for more. The chapter system seems like that  system.  Fantasy Flight terms it a "Living Card Game". Explaining that the playing field has been leveled and that creativity and deck building have replaced wallet size when it comes to gathering rares. This is a system that should be beneficial for both Fantasy Flights wallet and mine. The one negative is four players is needed to enjoy the full game.

This video was most helpful. I look forward to playing with anyone in the future. :-)

How to Play:


Space Bandito

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