Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Working Day Off...

Well... the schedule said I had the day off. Too bad reality said otherwise... =)

In general, I am beginning to pull out of my funk. There's no doubt I'll end up there again sometime, but it shouldn't be anytime soon...

Took care of a couple of items at the store today, and ran a fair amount of errands. I'll be heading back to the store later after running another errand. What time I'll be going back remains nebulous. Just... later...

Over the last couple of months, we've been dealing with some employee turnover due to our employees getting better jobs. We cannot compete with $20/hr and benefits, and we are genuinely happy when our folks make good. That said, it means we've been doing some hiring and training recently. Tonight, AngryG will be running the store for the first time tonight. Skribl is there playing Warmachine, so the Angry One has back-up if he needs it. Another person (Z-Mo) begins training tomorrow, which means our staff is refilling up to capacity once again. Overall, these guys are young, new, and green, but they are teachable. We can work with teachable.

We've been gathering more folks as we are about to lose Double-L for at least two weeks, if not for good. He got a job that will pay him very well, but has some danger involved, and he's not certain he will be up to the task when push comes to shove. Working at crazy 300+ feet heights will do that to you. It's one thing to climb a tree. It's quite another to climb a 450' tall windmill with not a lot of safety equipment to keep you from splatting on the ground. He'll go through the training and see if he can handle it. If so, cool. If not, our door will still be open.

Unfortunately, errands will not complete themselves, so I need to get gone. I just wanted to get back some regularity in posting.


-- GopherDave

[MUSIC] - Killer Dwarfs: Dirty Weapons

Track Listing

  1. Dirty Weapons
  2. Nothin' Gets Nothin'
  3. All That We Dream
  4. Doesn't Matter
  5. Last Laugh
  6. Comin' Through
  7. One Way Out
  8. Appeal
  9. Not Foolin'
  10. Want It Bad

With over 1600 albums in the physical CD collection, things get lost and forgotten about. Lately, I've taken to pulling random discs out of the racks and ripping them to my laptop so I would have some portability. Earlier tonight, I pulled this one...

I remember some time back we owned two other Killer Dwarfs albums along with this one, but they were all part of a batch of discs we had to sell when Lo' and I were absolutely dirt poor and bills had to be paid. Of the three, this was the only one I made certain to reacquire at a later time.

When it came out in 1990, Dirty Weapons sort of just fell through the cracks. The sounds on this album were a touch tougher than the hair metal that was in the process of falling out of favor, but it didn't have ANY of the self-referential loathing that came with the advent of grunge a couple of years later.

Given today's definitions, I would classify this collection more Hard Rock than Heavy Metal, but back in the '90s, it fit right in alongside Anvil, Saxon, and Def Leppard. The Dwarfs were not as shred-tastic as Iron Maiden or Metallica, and they didn't have the sleaze of Ratt or Motley Crue. What they did have were really solid chops, with basic (but crunchy) riffs, tasty leads (provided by Mike Hall (a.k.a., Mike Dwarf), and a more than competent vocalist, Russ Graham (a.k.a., Russ Dwarf), who should have gotten more recognition than he did.

Highlights on this platter include the title track (about as political as they got), Doesn't Matter (a power semi-ballad that they felt strongly enough to re-record it for the album that followed this one), All That We Dream, and my personal favorite, Comin' Through.

Is this an album that should have changed the world? No. It's solid, blue-collar, rock-metal with enough bite to appeal to most folks who like that sort of thing. Dirty Weapons is not something I'll drag out a lot to listen to, but our collection would be weaker with its absence.

GopherDave's Rating: 5.5/10 (Solid, not unpleasant to listen to, and it will not drive you to wander the countryside killing hookers with a spoon...)

Monday, September 02, 2013

Coming Out Of Hibernation...

Okay... I've been away for a while. My apologies for that, but all the drama bombs I had spoken about previously pretty much paled in comparison to what has been happening lately... A great deal has happened as of late, much of which has had my guts tied up in knots.

I wish I could put things in nutshells to explain, but most of them are not short stories... Here are some highlights, though...

  • Mostly due to the two of us being very much alike, I almost completely destroyed my relationship with my son. It is on the mend now, but it is not out of the woods, yet...
  • We have another game store joining us in the confines of C-U. It is a franchise of a chain not known to be amiable to their competition. In this case I know one of the franchisees on a cursory basis, and we welcome healthy, friendly competition, as it makes the scene better as a whole. This does give us three game stores in the area, and I've never known the local scene to support that many for too terribly long. We shall see...
  • In addition to trying to fix my Champions game, I am gearing up to run yet another set of games in my home-brew fantasy setting, Tai'eres. Yeah, because I have TONS of spare time lying around for that...
  • One of my ex-roommates passed away in his sleep at the age of 52. We haven't been close for a while, but his passing was a blunt reminder of my own mortality. Stupid mortality...

In the middle of everything, I have become a big ball of stress, which makes me very prone to a heart attack. I have had heart issues all my life, and I can pretty much recognize when my heart is prime to start giving me problems. I am not where I was roughly fifteen years ago, but I am at a close enough stage where I could will myself into a heart attack should I desired to.

I did that a couple of times as an adolescent, with one time requiring defibrillation. I can say this with the certainty that comes from personal experience... Avoid being defibrillated at all costs. It sucks the high, hard one. Basically, every muscle in your body is electrically forced to contract simultaneously at the moment of shock, and let me tell you... That. Shit. Hurts.

So, as I have typed this, and writing has become catharsis, I have come to the resolution to care about only what I can control, which is the direction I take socially with my family and friends, how I react to adverse situations that require my attention, and the direction our business takes. Beyond that, well... just isn't worth the stress and the energy...

peace... GopherDave