Thought for the Day, August 25:
Neil Armstrong
8/5/1930 - 8/25/2012
He was one of the Good Ones. May he rest in peace.

Starbase 27
USS Kestral

I don't know why I've been
made some kind of hero
When I've done all I can
do to prove I'm not

Cass' Remembrance
June 6, 2000

Theme Songs
How Will I Laugh Tomorrow
What Do I Have To Do?

American Civil War
Bird Maidens

Stuff I Like
Champions On Ice
Cool Quotes
Firearms Rules of Safety
High Flight
Low Flight
Learning to Fly
Last Person on Earth
Without Windows 95

Trinity Site

Comics I Read
9 Chickweed Lane
Beyond The Tree
Dark Legacy Comics
Dead Winter
Dreamland Chronicles
Mac Hall
Order Of The Stick
Penny Arcade
Player vs Player
Questionable Content
Real Life
Schlock Mercenary
Sluggy Freelance
User Friendly
Zombie Hunters

Some of my favorite links
Ars Technica
Blue's News
Daniel Keyes Moran
Dan's Data
Jeff Cooper's Commentaries
The Straight Dope

Updated 8/31/2012
kestral (at) zipcon (dot) net


I have been discussing St. Anger with friends a lot lately, and I have to say that at first blush, I really liked the album. However, after listening to it several times, I've come to the conclusion that it's really not that good. There's very little there that's actually memorable (and I keep wondering if Kirk even showed up at the recording sessions, since there's no solos on the whole thing.) The songs I do like, I still like a lot (Frantic, My World, Dirty Window, All Within My Hands) but overall there's less on this album that I like than I liked on Reload, and that's sad.


Album of the year right here, folks.

If you love rock, live for metal, go out and buy this album today. Buy two or three. Heck, buy one for your mom. But don't miss this record.

Anthrax was one of the holy trinity of thrash metal bands in the early days, along with Metallica and Slayer. They went through tough times like everybody else, but it's obviously just made them stronger.

When I grow up, I want to sing like John Bush.


So last night I finished playing Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance.

Some background is in order. I never had a PlayStation, but I was introduced to the first Metal Gear Solid on my buddy's PSOne. I was prepared to go buy a PSOne so I could play the whole game, but I heard that Microsoft was about to release a PC port of the game, so I waited for that. It was a good decision, the PC version of the game came with a lot of extra bells and whistles over the PlayStation one. When the game came out I bought it, installed it, and started playing.

I was blown away. I love computer games, I've been playing games since the days of my Commodore 64 in high school. I've had great gaming experiences, and I've had crappy ones. Metal Gear Solid was a transcendent gaming experience. I have never been drawn into a gaming world like this one. Some things about it were silly. The character's code names. The storyline was more than a little melodramatic at times. But overall, the game was one of the best I have ever played. In a lot of ways it was everything a computer game should be. Great graphics, great story, tense action and adventure. I played it several times, and the thing I kept coming back to was how much it was like a movie, but one that you were actually playing.

I was excited for the sequel. I was making plans to buy a PS2 for it. I didn't get around to it before I heard about Substance. So I made up my mind to wait for that. But I still didn't get around to buying the hardware. Finally I heard, quite out of the blue, about the PC release of the game. I couldn't get it anywhere locally, because the game has some rather steep system requirements, and is DVD based. So I mail ordered it. When it came I installed it (7GB!) and started playing.

It took me about a week to play the game. While I think it is a great game, it's not as good a game as Metal Gear Solid was. I think the biggest problem is there are even more and longer cinematics. I was up til 2:30am with the game, but I can't say I was up that late playing it. I was up that late watching it. The last actual input from me was a good 45 minutes before the game finally ended.

I'm a bit torn. I do *like* MGS:2. But it's not the amazing experience MGS was. I'm going to play through it again, from reading various reviews I know there was a lot that I missed the first time around.


Kerrang has a very insightful piece about St. Anger in their newest issue:

"The volume is intoxicating, the songs even more so. Metallica haven't gone backwards, they have gone elsewhere, somewhere they haven't really gone before. Much of the speed is back - speed that recalls the days of Battery and Dyers Eve. But the format is markedly different. This isn't controlled aggression, much of it is uncontrolled violence. It's ironic that at a time when the band are so at peace with one another they should make an album that sounds like they're at war. As one track follows the another - there are only working titles like 'Monster' and 'Frantic' - the difference not only between what you expect but what has gone becomes clear. There's no space between the drums and the guitars, there are riffs everywhere, there is anger and confusion - 'Do not know the answer, I don't know what the question is' is one lyric - there is swearing and shouting and time changes and speed and fury. It is difficult on a first listen not to surmise that St. Anger is the finest thing Metallica have put their name to. All the songs I'm assured, sound like this. There are no ballads. Instead there's an assault of speed and volume and anger and intensity. This is exactly the kind of thing that made a slogan such as 'Birth, school, Metallica, death' an apposite and appropriate summation of everything this band could muster, both in themselves and their audience."

I want this album.


Oh my dear fucking god.

Ever have one of those days when you wish you'd never woke up, because maybe then if you hadn't ever heard any news, maybe you could convince yourself whatever happened that morning had never happened?

It's too early in the morning for something like this.


Information is not knowledge,
Knowledge is not wisdom,
Wisdom is not truth,
Truth is not beauty,
Beauty is not love,
Love is not music
and Music is the best!
-Frank Zappa

I have been looking for this for ages!


I'm only barely beginning to be able to wrap my mind around this. Give me another day or so, then I'll have something to say.


The horror...the horror.


Caffeine Prayer

Caffeine is my shepherd, I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction, I will fear no Equal (tm):
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of Juan Valdez:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the House of Jolt forever.


All right. This is your fair warning: This is a personal home page. As such it can be expected to be self-indulgent, not necessarily useful in a strict sense, possibly offensive to some and a general waste of space to others. Welcome to the real world, folks. You've entered onto my own personal space, either by design or by accident, and the things I've placed here are there because I liked them enough to put them here. You are invited to peruse these pages at your leisure, and I've gone to great trouble to make everything here readable, grammatically correct, and spelled right.

You will find various lists of things I like, bits of original fiction, travel and entertainment reports, and the occasional soapbox style rant on whatever interests me at the time. I don't always have something to say on everything that goes on, but every now and then there'll be something I just have to rant about for a while.

One last thing: If at any time you get bored, tired, irritated, annoyed, or whatever, there's the door. Don't let the knob hit you on the butt on the way out.