7 Days!

Hello all!

7 days! 7 days! What about 7 days? Well, in exactly 7 days it will be Friday the 28th November, which will affectionately be referred to from now on as Black Widow Day. A day usually known for being Black Friday and/or the day where you try to get over your Thanksgiving hangover (so much turkey, right Americans? I think that once I’ve experienced my first big dinner on Thursday, I should automatically be considered an honorary American) has now gained extra significance. Why? Because next Friday – I mean, Black Widow DayIn This Moment and Starset (along with two other bands) will be in St Paul, Minnesota on ITM’s Black Widow Tour, and Vanna and I will be right with them! (alas not literally, but we will be in the crowd watching them perform, which is still pretty damn cool).

Now I did briefly mention this exciting news a few weeks back, but as we are within touching distance (I said 7 days, right?) I feel it is worth discussing again because I. Am. So. Very. Very. Very. EXCITED!

Wow, I’m practically a screaming preteen girl at a…uh, Disney’s flavour of the month concert (I’d refer to Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber here, but I think both those ships have sailed…are the Jonas Brothers still around? I’m proud to say I’m clueless) at this stage, aren’t I? I would apologize, but being stuck in the house (stupid snow, stupid cold) editing for hours isn’t exactly fun so I need to jump on any occasion where I can go out and enjoy myself. Besides, Black Widow Day is pretty damn exciting, isn’t it? I think my use of bold text and capitals (the two best ways to convey important emotions) was justified. I have no regrets!

Anyway, I was going to use this space to review the Starset album and the new In This Moment album (which we got earlier this week), as I said I would in the link above. But as I have no idea how to review music (or anything, for that matter) I think I’ll settle for just saying both albums are very, very good. I wasn’t entirely sure about Black Widow when I first started listening to it, but I think it is In This Moment’s best album to date. Their music direction may have changed, but overall, I have no complaints with their ‘new sound’. Some of the songs on Black Widow are spectacular, including the standout song, Dirty Pretty, which I really, really love. 9/10.

As for Starset, I knew I’d like them, but I didn’t realize how much. Transmissions, their album, blew me away with its majesty. The music (both the orchestral elements and the techy stuff they do…told you I have no idea what I’m talking about), the lyrics and the overarching concepts within those aspects (space, exploration and a host of other meanings that I’m too tired to go into) complement each other beautifully.

…Does that even make sense? I’m sorry, my mind is completely frazzled for me to think properly. Just know that I think Transmissions is a seriously compelling album, and a very impressive debut for Starset. 8.5/10. Here’s another song for you. Enjoy!

I still haven’t listened to the other bands on the tour yet, but hopefully I’ll get round to that sometime next week (before the gig that is!). Until then, have a great Friday, and I’ll speak to you later.

Alex

Halloween Revisited!

Originally posted on Even More Photography On The Citadel:

Hello everyone!

I know, I know, it has been a quiet blog again. But with the Xbox One, repeated internet issues, snow and editing, oh so much editing (6 hours a day…I’m getting there slowly…), I’ve not had much time to talk. Hey, in all the excitement, I even forgot to talk about my Halloween in Bemidji. I bet you’ve been desperate to hear all about it, right?

No? Oh. Well in fairness, there isn’t a lot I can say about it. Essentially we drank a lot, ate pizza (so much pizza), met some people, and slept on floors. Oh, and, of course, got dressed up. I didn’t really take any pictures – too much alcohol for that nonsense – but I made sure to get at least one (or two) for your guys. Here we are in our Halloween costumes. You’re welcome.

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Vanna was a very cute, Little Red…

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The Man Cave (Oh, And Some Wild Turkeys)

Originally posted on Even More Photography On The Citadel:

First I should clarify the Wild Turkey’s are not in the Man Cave. I’ve already got kitten up here…that would just be a disaster.

Also, sorry for not posting this yesterday (or Thursday). Our internet has been incredibly sketchy of late. We couldn’t even watch Gracepoint or Dr Who (uh, I haven’t mentioned how much we like/love those shows before have I? Um, well not being able to watch them was a big deal) so there was no chance I could upload photos to the blog. I only managed to sort it out for today because I brought my laptop to Brainerd. So frustrating.

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SO, we (Vanna and I, with the help of our friends Meg and Larry) moved all the furniture up into the loft space yesterday. I was dreading the sofa – we’ve moved it before and it was awful – but surprisingly it was the recliner…

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Urgh, Technology Problems

Originally posted on Even More Photography On The Citadel:

It has been a frustrating day today. I woke up determined to get things done, but annoying everything just hasn’t quite panned out how I hoped it would.

What’s gone wrong? Well…

Norton

It is that dreaded time of year where I need to renew my anti-virus subscription. I have several codes but no matter what I did (uninstall the software, make a new account), they wouldn’t work. I’m now on a thirty-day trial while I try to figure out my next move. Urgh.

Windows 8

A few months ago I managed to lock myself out of my Windows account. I could still sign into my computer and emails, but I can’t download apps from the App store, sign into my music, use my OneDrive etc etc. It was a minor inconvenience, so I didn’t rush to fix it. But as I was trying to sort stuff out today, I…

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XboxOne, XboxOne, XboxOne, XboxOne, XboxOne, XboxOne!

I’m so excited! Buying an Xbox One does mean I have to move all the furniture upstairs (part of the deal with Vanna was that in return for buying the Xbox instead of food etc, I must game out of sight in the loft) but I’m still super pumped!

Three days! (Okay, more likely to be 4-6 but still, less than a week!)

This does mean I will have to play and complete Assassin’s Creed Revelations AND Assassin’s Creed 3 in the next three days, but eh, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

Why haven’t I completed them yet? Well Revelations annoyed me with its tiny control changes, so I stopped playing it. As I like to play a series in order, I consequently haven’t started AC3. And now I’ve got two more Assassin’s Creed games waiting for my attention, bringing the total to four (plus I need to recap on what happened in the three games prior…oh man). Good thing it is nearly winter I suppose; that’s my entertainment sorted for the next 5 months!

Ah, so excited. I was going to tell you about my Halloween weekend, but that story can wait until the Xbox high dies down a little. I need to upload the pictures first anyway, and there is quite a few to go through. I look pretty fantastic though, so they are worth waiting for. Possibly.

 

 

A Day Of Tomorrows

Before I begin, a quick apology once again. I don’t intend to be this sporadic with my posts, I really don’t. Uh, maybe things will be better in November? I don’t know. Sorry all the same. I’ll try harder in future.

So, A Day of Tomorrows. A little bit of terrible word play to start us off. You’re welcome.

What am I talking about? Well, of course the biggest tomorrow is the actual tomorrow to today. Unless you’re in Australia or Asia (aren’t timezones fun?!), then it is today, and this whole tomorrow thing is lost. Damn. But for everybody else (in America and Europe anyway) tomorrow is the 31st of October, aka Halloween, and this makes sense!

(Got there eventually didn’t I? See, isn’t the title totally worth it?)

Ah yes, tomorrow is that magical time of the year when Americans celebrate and everybody else just gets on with their lives. Isn’t it fantastic?

After 21 Halloweens where I’ve done either nothing or next to nothing (I’ve went trick or treating twice, I think), this year I’m actually going to make an effort, mainly because I’m now in the country that loves Halloween more than it loves some family members, and I’d certainly be outcast forever if I didn’t. Okay, probably outcast. Hmm, possibly then, possibly rejected from society? All right, it is highly unlikely that I will be struck out. But still, it is not worth the risk.

It is going to be strange. Normally Effort and I don’t often go together (I prefer to settle in with Lazy), but as Vanna loves Halloween, what choice do I have? I’m expected to join in. I tried arguing (“can I not just go as an Englishman? I’ll be the only one there!”) that it goes against my culture, but she played the ‘wife card’ on me which, as all husbands know, is more or less applicable for, well, everything. Something to watch out for, future grooms.

So I’m dressing up as well. In fact, I have two different costumes, one for Friday night and another for Saturday night (seriously, Halloween is like a second Christmas in the States). One is a couple costume that I have no idea what is going to turn out like (it involves face paint…), and the other is a half-assed superhero costume. If you need more than one guess to work out which superhero it is, then you should be ashamed of yourself.

(Even if you don’t know me, you should know. And no, not Batman)

How about some pictures of the costumes? Or at least some more details? Not yet, sorry. I’ll provide both after the event. Why not this weekend? Well, Vanna and I are going up to Bemidji tomorrow to ‘party up’ with her friends there (I’m going to be the cool guy in the corner shouting ‘party up’ to everybody) and won’t be home until Sunday.  I plan to bring my camera so hopefully there will be some decent pictures by the time we head home. The full (well, abridged) story will then follow once I’m home and I’ve sobered up (Tuesday maybe?).

Now you probably think that Halloween is the most exciting date in our calendar. But you’d be wrong! So wrong! Even more exhilarating than the day I wear makeup (ugh), is November 28th, which happens to be exactly four weeks tomorrow.

(Now do you get the title? Another tomorrow! Told you it was worth it.)

The day after Thanksgiving (another new holiday experience for me), Vanna and I (along with her cousin Britt) will be going to see In This Moment and Starset (they are both bands, old folks/my dad) at Myth (a club, I believe) in St Paul!

Super, super pumped up for that. In This Moment and Starset (who you may recall from the Trivium gig in March) are two of our favourite bands, so we can’t wait for that. The fact they are touring together is fantastic (once we saw ITM’s Black Widow Tour was going to Minnesota we were interested; once we saw Starset were involved we were incredibly interested), so yeah, definitely excited to see them play. The fact they are at a venue less than five miles away from Vanna’s grandparents is just an added bonus.

There are two other bands with, but I haven’t listened to either yet so I’m not sure whether I’ll like them or not. I just hope Starset get a better reception than they did last time they were in MN. Given their recent upsurge in popularity (I think ‘My Demons’ was the longest number one in 2014 on Loudwire radio) and the fact they aren’t supporting a heavy metal band should mean the crowd are more receptive to their presence. Either way, I’ll be wearing my Starset T-Shirt to show my support.  Thanks to this blog, I was once on the sixth row of google images for the band, so maybe the band will recognize me. If not, I have a mildly interesting fact to tell them if I manage to speak to them afterwards. Better than just saying ‘thank you’, right?

(I’ll talk more about the bands, their respective albums – Starset’s I have owned for a while but forgot to talk about, while ITM’s comes out in a few weeks – and the gig closer to the event. So excited!)

And finally, there is something potentially even more thrilling than Halloween and the gig. How could there be, I hear you ask. What could be better than wearing makeup without judgement (urgh) and a concert involving two of your favourite bands, I hear you exclaim.

Well, people, there is one thing even greater than those two things: an Xbox One. After weeks, months, years of waiting, I might be on the cusp of owning one. Nothing guaranteed, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll have bought an Xbox One sometime next week. How fantastic is that? I know it doesn’t quite fit with the ‘tomorrow’ theme, but it is worth mentioning, no?

Will update you on any developments. Hopefully it’ll happen soon.

Speak to you later,

Alex

Auction Number 3! Oh, And Swans!

Originally posted on Even More Photography On The Citadel:

Hello all,

So I went to another auction yesterday. This one was a consignment auction up at Reinhardt’s estate in Palisade. Though it wasn’t one of their biggest consignment auctions,  it was on a larger scale than the two I’ve been to previously, which was exciting.

How big? Well, it started at 8am (we arrived shortly after the hour mark) and ended sometime after 5pm (we were there for the finale too; that is 7 hours standing around!) with the different auction circuits going on more or less throughout…so yeah, there was definitely a lot of stuff there. It was pretty big.

Highlights? Well there was plenty of cool things to look at…guns, antiques, toy cars…all sorts. Plus about thirty or forty vehicles (cars, trucks, farm vehicles tractors, ATVs etc) that went for sale.  Most of them went for four figures as well, which was pretty interesting to watch.

Oh…

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An expression of my love for gaming and writing

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