Friday, September 28, 2012

De Profundis: a strange inscription

My Fellow Gentlemen

Assured of my faculties and soundness of body I have venture forth.  Into the world or at least the microcosm of my property.  I remained under the grand expanse of sky some three quarters of an hour.   While I was pleased to again leave my abode it was not without unease.  The air and very nature of my property was perplexing.  Foreign and familiar coterminous and haunting my doorstep.

Inspecting the pathway that borders my estate, my sight was accosted.  Vulgar text and symbols had been drawn about, in some strange red chalk or dust.  Much had been cast off by the wind but still enough remained to fill my soul with dread.  I shall aspire to replicate the marks upon this letter.  The text is strange to me though the form suggests the anatomy of the innermost.

I continue to inspect the property of the inscription medium, though my guess powdered brick.  The text appears grim and ugly to mine eye, I have not seen it's like.  Perhaps it will stir remembrance.

Yours very Truly
J.L. Reichl

Krampus for Christmas Part 99

With much menace sewn Krampus tired headed home.  Content in his handiwork the beast stalked the streets alone.  With his wandering Krampus finally came upon a house that wasn't on his list.  Nothing on the good nor the bad; how were they missed.  Those who did keep Christmas were safe from the monsters wrath, the monster would wish them a happy holiday and continue on his path.  But this house had a well decked tree, Krampus peered in wonder who could it be.  Looking in at the lights and winter decorating them; Krampus looked at the family within the scene.  The kids Krampus didn't know both new to his eye.  But the parents the monster remember from times gone by.

Krampus had visited the parents when they were young, visiting them more when their teenaged years had begun.  They had just sort of fallen off the lists many years ago.  Some decided Christmas was malarkey that had to go.  It seemed to be happening more with each passing year.  Soon there would be no kids to eat was a growing fear.  But there was a tree standing proud and tall.  This troubled Krampus he would need to bay Saint Nick a Call.  Were they back on the list and Krampus not up to speed, a better message system than reindeer was sorely in need.

It had taken three buses to get to the Mall. Then Krampus waited and waited in an employee bathroom stall.  Some time after close the jolly elf entered with a tired groan, taking the stall next to Krampus's own.  Krampus got Santa's attention with a few banks and a knock.  Thinking himself alone it gave Santa quite a shock.  Whispering Krampus told the tale. Santa promised to look into it without fail.  The beast was lucky the real Santa was working the mall near his home.  The neighbor didn't let the big beast use his phone.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Krampus for Christmas part 98

Some nights later Krampus slid out of his yard.  He was a swift shadow stopping only to make sure the gate was barred.  Silent as Santa but twice as grim he moved as a monster three times as slim. Down the street he moved in a flash preparing to give naughty kids the lash.  His bag was filled full with a big bundle of sticks. He would leave them on ill-mannered kid's door steps so their parents could give them a few licks. He festooned switches with candy and little toys to soften the blow. But the message was clear for any kid to know. A Christmasy warning to mend their way or the monster Krampus would make them pay.

Krampus was the strong arm to Santa's merry laugh, and the beast was content to be the pairs darker half.  He would give coal or whipping to the kids on the wrong list.  Sometime he could eat the ones that really made Santa pissed.  This night in early December Santa appointed to him.  Krampusnacht it was called, falling on the sixth when the lights grow dim.  Krampus prowled leaving switches at houses where the kids were bad. If he hasn't paid you a visit you really should be glad.

Krampus also delighted in mischief when his night was at hand, his gift for mayhem was really quit grand.  A few streets over Krampus came upon the Barries house that was without lights.  The only house on a well dress street looking a terrible sight. The old man was lazy even though his neighbors offered to help.  Krampus thought of beating him until he cried with a yelp.  A better idea pop into the monsters evil head.  He would Decorate the house himself and run up their electric bill until their wallet bled.   Krampus work was glorious and they even won a prize.  Mr. Barrie tried to argue with the electric company but they said he lies.

The monster was busy deep into the night, beating on bad kids windows to set them right.  He rounded up gangs of drunks to sing and wassail.  Krampus hired lone left out teens sending them to malls to assail.  They dressed like the monster looking for fun, grabbing pretty girls and then would run.  Krampus made sure Christmas included these punks, no one should be left out alone in a funk.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Maybe this year will be better than the last

Lets move into the comfort
of long nights easily slept
Cold that tingles the spine
and goes away with work 

Invoking the autumn
that couldn't come too soon 
warmth that comes at the end
of a year where everyone aches 

Happy smiles and hard hopes
for new a better year
Light that lingers around moments
not speaking of passing time

No more watering eyes
instead lets just pretend
love goes on lasting eternal
and gone doesn't always hurt

I would talk about decay
haunting rooms of our happiness
but it's already been said
and I don't want to feel it

Give me lies a gentle winter
with all of us together

Krampus for Christmas part 97

Rows of pines decorated the hills above the town; all waiting someone to come and chop them down.  Fathers proudly stalking with saw in hand, all searching for the perfect fir noble or grand.  All were happy unless the picked a tree full of ants, that riggled and climb right down their pants.

Krampus hid until the growing dark, crouched under junk hidden with a tarp.  The monster finally crept out around dusk, spending his time  sharpening his tusks.  Parents were most concerned with pines and spruce.  They wouldn't mind a few bites on little Bruce. Only hoof and paw tracks would mark Krampus there, he would have a snack without a care.

In the evening, he spied little Idunn, all innocent and silhouetted by the light of the moon.  Her parents didn't see the monster creep.  Krampus would scare them so bad they would lose sleep.  Then this girl wouldn't hope to be his friend, for the monster a happy end.  The beast leaped from behind a tree with a furious growl.  Her parents, but not Idunn, recoiled with a howl.  Their terror rapped them up like a rug, but Idunn instead ran up and gave the monster a big hug.  Krampus then ran off in fright; he was meant to instill horror never delight.

The brute howled in sorrow only to be joined but near by dogs.  Sad and dejected Krampus needed someone to flog.  Idunn's hug and turned him into a joke.  Krampus walked home deprived of his hopes.  He wandered the hills until he arrived where the sidewalk began.  Krampus didn't notice the kids until they shrieked and ran.

Feeling a tad better the monster gave chase, lashing a teen directly in the face.  Krampus kicked him as he went down, happily cackling with no sort of frown.  The terror that night is legend to this day, though only an urban legend the foolish unbelievers will say.  I can assure you though I still have the scars, Krampus branded me with a red hot iron bar.  The night went and Krampus slept sound in the backyard though many houses lay burned and charred.  Him he was happy; again the raging beast, even Gamera couldn't challenge him being so far back east.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Iron Maiden at Shoreline Amphitheater , Mountain View California 2012 review

So some weeks back my wife and I went to see Iron Maiden.  The experience had some real highs and lows.  Basically these can be boiled down to Iron Maiden Good, Shoreline Amphitheater bad.  Well also our local radio station The Bone 107.7 Also bad with their employee named Baby Huey being told to fuck off and leave by Steve Harris.

Let me go into the good because a lot of it was fantastic.  My wife, friend and I were able to get our tickets through the Iron Maiden Fan Club early ticket sale.  We were able to grab seats in the DDD row and our seats were fantastic.  We were right there better than any concert I have ever been too.  The seats were not outrageously expensive as you may have expected only around 100 dollars.  That is expensive but inline with concerts these days.  Iron Maiden does this for their fans which is fantastic.  Also the show was just great as always.  I even started liking Coheed and Cambria a bit after their set.  I had never heard them but they did a good job at winning me over. Iron Maiden proved yet again they are the world's best live band.  Also they are class acts 100%.  I say this because there was a girl with a sign saying she was going to her first concert, with her dad, and Iron Maiden was her favorite band.  They took time at the end of the show to present her with picks and wrist bands and showered her with love.  Basically they did everything they could to make a real fan feel special. Iron Maiden are great!

Ah now we get to the Shoreline Amphitheater.  I really don't have a problem with your staff for the most part, though you are often draconian with the no bottle policy and you flat our lie when you say its the bands fault.  But two of your staff members really crossed the line.  Both were security in the bottom middle of the show.  One a tall guy with pretty bad hair was letting his friend down to the front but was letting no one from even a row up visit.  As a fan club member I looked on in disgust as a group of hipsters danced in the front, noting angrily that none knew the lyrics or even tried to sing on fear of the dark.  Those are the people we and in the metal community hate they have no business at the show let alone up front.  Facilitated by some trumped up little shit who failed out of police academy and now has a God complex. 

The next and worse offense we from an black guy who had a red version of the Shoreline security jacket.  He was very concerned with anyone being in the aisle often coming up to me when I was waiting for people to come in and out of our row.  Yes I am fat and I am sitting at the end of the row I need to get up to let people out.  At the end of the concert the band tossed out picks and sticks to folks my wife reached out to grab something reaching into the aisle he diligently protected.  I guess she was an evil doer as he pushed her back into the row.  Luckily for us all she did not relay this to me until later.  You don't put hands on my wife.  Personally I would like to see this guy fired and his family exterminated. Humor aside I would have smashed his head into the concrete steps of the shoreline if I had know what he did.

The Bone 107.7 while once a station that played Iron Maiden now is a joke.  I guess maybe you hear them on the Nikki Black metal show but seldom else where. Originally their format included Iron Maiden but the station has taken a change for the suck over the years.  Its funny as the crowd at Megadeth's last also called out the Bone as a bunch of dicks.  Dave Mustaine comment "Fuck them if they don't play our music" and renamed the guitar give away His own.  Apparently their morning zoo includes someone named Baby Huey who is a large fat fellow such as myself.  He was up in the front row and was seated a large portion of the show.  At first I thought he was too fat to stand the whole show and pitied him, as I was sick myself and was forced to my seat anytime the smoke machines were used.  Also I could see myself being too fat to rock out the whole show.  I felt a little bad for him when Mr. Harris called him a wanker and told him to piss off, pointing to the exit.  It was after the show my friend said that was Baby Huey, showing me a picture on his ipod.  This pissed me off and my pity was gone.  The man boy is a dedicated fan of Green Day and pop punk.  You have no business in the front row of an Iron Maiden show.  All of us who say up the Irons know Harris hate punk and sitting at his show is just an insult.  Sitting front row is a slap in the face of every single fan.

Again Iron Maiden were great.  You need to thing about doing a show of just you guys no opener like Rush next time in the states.

De Profundis: a newspaper clipping

My Fellow Gentlemen

I poor through books from within my study, still cowering in fear.  The wounds of my last encounter scab and fester though I fear to seek medical attention beyond the walls of my estate.  I have called for an internist but still await his arrival.  I hold to hope these wounds remain superficial but they appear malignant.

In long hours I devour strange books seeking insight to the events I have so oft written.  Most seem filled with ill conceived science and speak of odd energies, such as Orgone, the mind struggles to grasp.  I am needing a magi of my own to drive away these evils.   Or barring help, provide me a direction of study as much I read is fanciful drivel.   Thought I find words and and pictures which ring true.

One such element of true spoke of Crowley and a residence in far England deemed the Boleskine house.  It is humorous that for all these books I acquire it was an article in the times that provided this revelation.  It spoke of a cleansing of sorts derived from Abramelin the Mage.  I Know little of the work other than the name posted in the paper.   Noteworthy was another of Crowley's endeavors known as Thelema.

Friends I fear my only hope to address Yeats directly and cast my cards upon his table.  Then I shall pray he pities my soul.

Yours very truly
J.L. Reichl

Krampus for Christmas part 96

Christmas lights glowed around the eaves, with Krampus making small talk hoping the girl would leave.  She had been good and the beast couldn't eat her.  Santa wouldn't allow it of that Krampus was sure.  Krampus tried yelling and showing his claws, but the little girl wasn't scared, leaving him in awe.  What did she want?  The beast still hoped she'd leave!  When she said to be friend Krampus gave her a reprieve. I'm a monster he said with a growl.  And if your bad I'll eat you, beat you, you'll howl.  But Idunn stood her ground and still holding out her hand without a sound.

Silent and stoic Krampus finally took the little girls hand.  The beast asked "why aren't you afraid.  like any little girl would?"  Idunn thought a moment "I can pretend; do you think I should?"  Krampus snarled disgusted at himself. "She thinks I'm funny silly like an elf!"  The girl told of her watching so many months, even of following his little hunts.  How after time the monster was a matter of fact, she even accused the kid eating was just an act.  "No" the beast roared, I'd eat you if allowed. Krampus monstered and menaced and furled his brow. 

Idunn just laughed and hugged a hairy leg.  How did a monster scare this girl? Did he have to beg? She was unrelenting and determined; wouldn't bend.  Krampus finally was forced to let her be his friend.  Idunn chattered at Krampus through the fence, the big brute taking each word with a wince.  How did he end up with a kid wanting to be a friend?  If Nick heard of it the torment would never end.  He was a monster!  No The Monster of the merry Yule!  Now this child played him for the fool.

The monster indulged the small talk only as much as he could; even considering a change of neighborhood.  He only took interest when she mention how for Halloween she had her mom make a Krampus costume.  Flattered the beast finally blushed; a little ashamed he wished the child hushed.  Still Krampus had a reputation and couldn't have a kid as a friend.  He plotted and planned a way to make the friendship end.  He listened intently when she spoke of getting a tree, maybe he could scare here off then he would have to try and see.  The morning went on much the same; to her words he nodded his mane.  Krampus hoped to end the talk it was driving him insane.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New words for the hobbyist

We should have a term for the several years of being a parent where you dont get to do shit.  Where the kids come first and your hobby comes not at all.  I present to you DaderKinder! Why can't you go to the movies? Daderkinder!  Why can't you go to see Iron Maiden? DaderKinder!

Its nice, simple and rolls off the tongue.  Because of Kids, in German to not make the little monsters feel like crap.  What happened to Ray in the War Machine league?  "Daderkinder!" Oh shit he knocked someone up?

My Daderkinder is going to the movies.  I used to love going to see movies but now its very seldom.  There has to be something I am really interested in to get a baby sitter and go with my wife to see.  Or some weird alignment of the stars where we see something that isn't so awesome.  But a few months ago something happened that brings me to my second word, mitkinder.

Mitkinder is the great and terrible experience of bringing your child into your hobby or interest.  Its shaky at first and your not sure if they are ready which is why I use the term Mitkinder.  It's not like you are really going with your kid some much as you are supervising your kid through the experience.   On this theme I took my daughter to her first movie "Brave".  She went to the bathroom like five times, our mistake giving her any fluid before the show.  We also had to work at keeping her quiet but she did well.  But you get the distinct feeling that you have to work through the experience rather than sit down and enjoy.

The worry is a lot like taking the kid to a restaurant for the first time.  You want to be there to help them through the experience.  To help them understand their are certain expectations on their behavior when they enter society as a whole. You are lucky to eat, your busy parenting. These rules are not in place at the house and certainly not at the grandparents house.  So you are parenting your ass off MitKinder.

I am hoping to see a few movie before Wreck it Ralph so I am watching a movie with my family rather than my wife and I seeing a movie mitkinder.

Krampus for Christmas part 95

Idunn in her sleep dreamed of dancing with Santa and riding Krampus back.  The little girl didn't know the monster would have preferred her for a snack.  She thought him a furry friend and didn't think of teeth that rend.  The monster would have been wary if he knew of the little girls plans, He was a connoisseur of kids but otherwise not a fan.

The pair finally finished the last tune, and then scurried off in the light of noon.  A bus took the guitarist to the next stop on his tour, what happened to the bum really I'm not sure. But there are many bars and local dives not too far a five minute drive.

Krampus tucked into sleep snuggled up in a sheet, but with all his fur there was plenty of heat.  The monster dreamed deep of not beating kids.  He just wanted a pretty witch with whom he could live.  Nothing fancy just quiet and alone, a cabin in the woods they'd call home.  If the monster dreamed other things I wouldn't know, I was kept up by the musical show.  Krampus was up before dawn the next few days.  Still decorating his dog house, he entered a contest that paid.

Idunn too was up early and looked down on Krampus amused, she was glad her neighbor wasn't caged in the zoo.  With watching Krampus for so long Idunn had grown brave.  The little girl decide to talk to the Knave.  She marched down and looked him right in the eye; offered her hand and said "Hi".  Krampus was shocked at the little girl's bravado.   At first he huffed then finally he said "Hello."

Idunn introduced herself by name waiting politely for the beast to do the same.  When Krampus finally did it was curt.  Idunn was not being afraid, the monster felt a little hurt. But she kept at him with a smile and the innocence of a child.  Krampus temper turned more mild.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Krampus for Christmas part 94

With the night drawing near Idunn's parents called her down from her window.  They were having dinner with grandma Clara and it was time to go!  Idunn came down with a sullen mope. Returning from dinner early was the little girls only hope. She spied a man when she got into the car.  He poked round the neighbors hours with long hair and a guitar.  He had a lock of white hair that bobbed to and fro.  Idunn thought he looked like the leader of a jazz trio.  Then a bum wandered up and Krampus opened the gate.  The little girl wanted to see more but her parents grew irate.  So Idunn and family drove away and the band started to play.

Her family returned to music ringing from the neighbors yard.  Singing and ringing out songs of Christmas under a veil of stars.  Idunn again watched from above a pair playing music with love.  One wore rags and the other a tux but they played in unison without any flux.  The bums voice was ragged but warm and sweet. His beautiful performance would bring crowds to their feet.  He sang of old city bars, streetlight and drinks for free.  Wishing everyday was Christmas was his final plea.

Ancient rhymes sung of olden times with Krampus humming along.  Sang and swelled from the backyard the whole night long.  These miscreants of Christmas didn't care the hour was late.  They didn't even pause when the Trash Men were banging on the gate.  The concert was for Krampus sole and alone.  He was cloistered in the safety of his backyard home.

Everybody have a good time

today is not for this desk nor the indoors.  today is better outside windows down music loud.  It seems made for stops at forgotten shops I prowled in my youth. It rings with the call of backwoods roads and driving fast.  Cellphone thrown out the window solitude for idle hours.  Everything impromptu! Surprise dinner with friends and spur of the moment movies.  Youth creeping back in the spine and smiles that come without warning.  Bowling alleys and wild Whitesnake songs on the radio.  Some night years past recaptured though you weren't even trying.  Dark rides home lit up bright by a moon that seems too big for the sky.  Calavaras, San Felipe and Hicks all on the same night!  Trucks giving chase and drivers with pale skin and eyes.  Silly laughing kids caught up with some stupid joke you said, that only you can say right. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

TV review: Hell on Wheels

I have been seeing a bunch of ads for the AMC series Hell on Wheels everywhere.  Like everywhere, I sort of thought it was a biker series actually from the name but I finally took a look at the series.  I can only speak for the pilot but DAMN! It was crazy violent and not afraid of some gore either.

So far it seems to be the tale of a southerner who lost everything in the war trying to get revenge on the northerners who took it from him.  I guess they were a part of Sherman march and basically raped their way through the south.  Cullen Bohannon is slowly getting his revenge on them.  As several of the union soldiers are now working on the construction of the trans Continental railroad, Cullen also takes a job.  So far that is pretty much all I know other than the show takes effort to display violence rather than shy away.  It was really quit gripping as the pilot takes you on a hell of a ride.

I have not seen deadwood but I think this is in the same vein.  I think fans of Deadwood should probably check it out.  As should gamer fans of wild west games.  It does a good job showing some of the life associated with the rail.  Tent cities that are constantly moving with the construction of the line.  So to sum it up wow, pretty gripping very bloody and worth a watch

Krampus for Christmas part 93

For dessert Krampus gathered Halloween pumpkins that were smashed on the road.  Leaving them on the window sill until they reeked growing mold.  With the mess he baked thanksgiving pies complete with homemade crust and several hundred files.  Yams were hand smashed and candied golden brown, soaked in syrup so sweet they were hard to get down.  Scalloped corn and stuffing rounded out the meal. Krampus heaped on seconds and thirds with a happy squeal.

Who knows what part kids played in the feast, he may have ground their bones to make the yeast.  There was some doubt as it was before the season, but Krampus knew a butcher with meats for every reason. 

The day of the feast he caught a little nap.  Then waited by the mall and set a little trap.  Black Friday shoppers tasted the best; full of thanksgiving dinners from their toes to their chest.  They thought of sales, not their kids.  They wouldn't mind just a nibble; so he waited and hid.

Krampus was happy with the nights mayhem and crept way; planning more for each of the coming days.   It was some days later than Idunn watched and listened on a morning where dew glistened.  Down next door the monster hurried about a table; He was preparing a feast fit for a fable. A meal fit for kings and queens back in olden times, again so much food an army could have dined.

There was a bird or rather many, Idunn guested twenty but really only thirty. The beast was turning them into a feast, a roast of birds from times long ceased.Krampus would laugh at a turduken that was only three; he made his tenfold bigger you see. He had an ostrich, an emu, emperor penguin on down the line a pigeon a blue jay with a humming bird finally stuffed it would taste just fine.  Idunn thought it smell delicious "Yumming" with a sigh.  Krampus even baked on of great grandma's chocolate pies.Idunn wondered where he got the recipe, grandma kept a secret card, but the monster's smelled the same cooling on the table in the yard.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

De Profundis: an assault

My Fellow Gentlemen

I scan the horizons from the high windows of my estate, waiting.  Many hours have passed with my tormentors unseen, though my heart is not set to rest. It was the same some days pasts when my courage returned me, prompting an egress into folly.  The horrors which follow are my true testament before man and God.

I left the residence in the hours of wide daylight, hoping the evil I had attracted had forgot or grown bored.  This was proven not to be the case, as the assault occurred just a few brisk strides from my doorstep.  The expanse of my lawn I had watched for many hours seeing none but the common bird and insect.  In caution I proposed a swift search of the land to the fore of my property.  I could inspect little more than my juniper and cow lilies before the green nimbus light coalesced before my sight. Turning to escape in fear I was grasped by another.  I remember a series of blows following and some words but awoke upon my door; alone.

I can say little other than the words arabesq and strange were uttered by human tongue.  My unknown savior is to be thanked but had vanished before the arrival of my faculties.

For now I remained confined and gripped in fear.  I remain well hidden with the walls of my estate.  I hold few clues of my attackers nor my benefactor.  I pray word to expand this story beyond it's timid scope.

Your very truly
J.L. Reichl

Krampus for Christmas Part 92

The heartfelt music soothed Krampus on lonely nights.  The monster didn't worry and felt everything would be alright.  Sometimes he felt he could even take a break his house had been decorated since veterans day for Pete's sake. Some late nights he prowled record shops disguised in a hat and giant coat.  Luckily the customers looked mostly the same and even smelled a little of goat.  He snapped up Christmas records from country to jazz.  He even bought “A Progressive Rock Christmas” with Greg Lake and Patrick Moraz.  From John Denver to the muppets his collection was very complete only a dedicated collector could ever compete.

Krampus enjoyed the Siberian metal Christmas and wished he could attend the show, but to that Fresh Aire Christmas flatly said no.  He was left lukewarm with saxophone Christmas by Kenny G.  The monster had no use for Bocelli.  The new sung Christmas records kept less than they missed.  A Vince Guaraldi Christmas really put the beast in a Christmas mood.  To such pleasant jazzy sounds the monster couldn't menace or brood.  Some Canadian had a song about a winters night, that Krampus felt really got the tidings right. 

Riding home the station played Christmas too, Oakridge Boys Christmas from 1982.  Listening to the music he basked in peace, but soon he would be down to business so he switched on number of the beast.

There was still more work and other holidays would intrude, interrupting Krampus's Christmas season really very rude.  Krampus had a bird on thanksgiving a flame broiled and nicely stuffed Tom; Eating it right there with the dog on the lawn.  Krampus wasn't too formal with the feast.  A ping pong table in the back yard was fine for the beast.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Krampus for Christmas part 91 very few changes made

Krampus remembered a house on the street Seal, decorated everywhere with Christmas Zeal.  Christmas filled every little nook, if you wanted tips these folks wrote the book.  You couldn't see it all in an evening or season, Christmas spilled out every room no rhyme or reason.  The little couple that lived there decked the halls every year, from the fifties until now without fear.  They started even before Krampus the old beast, so grand kids saw when they came from back east.  There was a tree that magically seemed to snow and a second in the back on the patio.  There were so many ornaments extra branches were hung on the walls and more like a sea of stars on the ceiling in the hall.

Some years they turned the garage into a scene, removing the door and making a window of Plexiglas and beams.  The little lord Jesus slept in a bed a pump for his breathing a drive stirring his head. All the neighbors would come to see, when Krampus showed up they all turned to flee.  The monster just smiled on the couple’s work, thinking next time to hide and lurk.  Krampus had watched the couple’s house fill and fill every year until kids were about to spill.  Most years the traditions remained the same, though some were already pretty strange.  Chop Suey was served for a special treat, odd for a Mexican Irish family to like to eat.  One son often cooked eggs pickled in beets; most would have preferred to lick feet.

Krampus would be sad when they were gone, then only a lesser Christmas could be drawn.  He would be sad for the Kids who wouldn't get to see. Christmas everywhere; even a Crystal tree.  Boys would wonder over a hot wheel covered twig draped with lights, two feet big.  For the girls one decked in dolls and merriness everywhere though the halls.

If the monster could save some in his mind maybe it wouldn't be lost ever in time.  The beast wished he could save some Christmases that were oh so grand, not to have traditions pass from the land. To someone in the family they may pass the flame but to Krampus taste it would be tame.  They would take a tradition or two the rest passing away to the beasts rue.  Krampus remembered too many holidays long forgot, none would be remembered and put at the soul of the plot. The monster turned them over in mind, when filled with longing from time to time.  Still some new ideas weren't so dark, except for that horrid peppermint bark.  Perhaps the couple’s kids would have a grand thought and the spirit of Christmas again would be caught.  Krampus felt a ray of hope. Maybe with the loss of the little couple he could cope.
The thoughts were soon cast aside Krampus would play some Christmas carols then he could abide.  Mid November some start playing Christmas tunes, but Krampus had been playing them since June.  He had vinyl and Cd's and an iPod loaded full of his favorite Christmas songs.  Playing carols so early wasn't right but he was happy being wrong.

Pathfinder adventure path skill checks drive Roleplaying from the table

I have probably moaned about this in the past but I am really becoming disenchanted with pathfinder.   If you take the game at it's most basic you have something that allows you to play a multitude of characters that fit a variety of settings.  But when you start actually playing the adventure paths you are going to find this really hinders you.  Just mechanically the numbers don't work very well if you craft a character that is meant to be very deep and has skill which represent a background.

Taking skills and my experience in Kingmaker into account you really need to completely focus entirely on a very few skills if you hope to succeed.  I keep seeing target numbers of 25+ being thrown out by the DM.  With our level 6 characters we really have to have focused on a class skill or have some related stat that provides pluses here.  My cleric is very sporadic with his knowledge Religion skill which is maxed out.  I really would have set myself up for failure if I had put skill points elsewhere trying to present a background of skills for my character.  This is a problem for me. 

My Cleric has a background of someone who has traveled a bit.  I would like to have skills that represent basic knowledge of places and geography.    But under the pathfinder and therefore D&D system I really can't do that.  I need to drop my skill points in a small set of skills if any are going to succeed.  I don't want to use these skills for a one of knowledge check for some particular history but rather just a general customs knowledge and some broad navigation skills.   This is easy enough to tackle in a skill based game, but becomes a point of difficulty in a level based game like many of the traditional fantasy rpg's.

The difficulty becomes elevated when you get into a skills arms race situation like in D&D pathfinder.  character create characters with splashes of a class which allows them to perform as well as a character with the full class in a subset of skills.  Then you have the DM ramping up skill checks to challenge the party.  Throwing a splash of ranger for tracking on a rogue or bard is a common example of this.  The bard now gains a useful skill for their extra skill points and perhaps some extra combat power, so its a pretty big win for them.  Now you the DM have a more capable party to deal with and hit them with elevating challenges.

I think the Rolemaster system is the only one I have seen that really does a good job of tackling this problem.  Skills have en exponential coast so it just becomes unwise to skill up beyond a particular point.  Mathematically you are driven to diversify.

Krampus for Christmas: part 90

Afterwords was the dreary November with days turning short and somber.  Few thought of Christmas with and election and Thanksgiving on the way.  But Krampus long ago turned his attention to the day.  Idunn could see his yard was already merrily dressed.  But the monster thought his display was a terrible mess.  Some garland the halls when they toss up the tree, others might give a week to adding the house with holiday glee.  Krampus had been decorating since before Halloween, Idunn often watch from her window, under blankets, hiding unseen.

Krampus liked to vary each year with different styles and themes.  Muted and dull ornaments one year; the next crystal trees that gleam.  He could put on a sixties lounge Christmas with glitz and flair, even a sad little forties Christmas when war was in the air.  Some years he hung knee hugging little elves.  Other years nutcrackers filled the shelves. 

Our monster decked his dog house with festive delight, rolling out the holly and electric lights.  There was a star and an arrow, gold links garlanded around the tiny house.   He even forced Christmas sweaters on a very frightened mouse.   Krampus hung wooden ravens all along the door.  They were a Christmas tradition from Alaska's chilly shore.  Some he carved with his wicked Krampus claws; others were bought online.  It was all within the law.  Raven represented Jesus to the Tlingit people up north.  Through virgin birth Raven stole the sun and for the people brought if forth.

In his house Krampus's manger was set with more Caganers than two; all trying discreetly to take a Christmas poo.  One looked like john Lennon another like Peggy lee. He searched without luck for one taking a wee.  Christmas Catalogs filled the rest of his tiny shack, ordered chronologically in a massive stack.  The monster had Sears wish book from every year, yes he had Montgomery Wards and Penny's you needn't fear.  Some had toys circled, he would have liked as a lad; but Krampus never got presents he was Always bad.

Monday, September 17, 2012

De Profundis: I pursue dark alleys

My Fellow Gentlemen

My concern of evenings past has not abated.  I find myself confined to my abode, this missive delivered by my gentleman's gentleman Tilkinton.  The phantasmagoria written within my previous letter continues.  I see their eyes always upon my estate.  I can only conjectures what should happen if they accosted my person. 

I embark upon a dark journey for my own safety, perhaps in error.  I have found myself a babe in the wood; but am determined it will not be so.  I continue to pursue dark and dusty tomes, scouring for some sort of aid.   Perhaps only an initiate, I find I am drawn in by these works.  Often I am devouring the text in long solemn hours.  I pray I find some reason to hope in the pages.  I fear I am doomed without.

My studies have established a milieu in which I believe both Mr. Yeats and Crowley are working.  I believe both are stitched up under the tutelage of Mather.  I have writing this name in the past, it weights heavy in my studies.  I a lone seeker falter against two both mentored at the apron strings of this Mathers.  Odds surly have been stacked against me in this task.

I am confounded by your collective silence, though perhaps I reach to those already under dark sway.  I pray for your sound minds and words.

Yours very truly
J.L. Reichl

Krampus for Christmas part 89

A weird monster who felt Christmas couldn't come too soon. Here at a Halloween party he felt out of tune.  To their roaring electric mayhem, Krampus thought of carols and started to hum. For the candy He thought of cookies and asked the barman for eggnog and rum. His friends had had enough of him when he arranged the skeletons into a manger and started treating Krampus like a stranger.Krampus stayed a few hours and would have stayed more, but found himself always inching his way to the door.  The party didn't notice Krampus steal away I think they were glad he left anyway.  The monster was one too many some had thought, they would see him at Christmas his presence would be sought.

Krampus himself walked deep in Halloween night. After a while of being alone he started to feel alright. He was happy for the moon, leading him home all pink and bright.  The monster pasted other monsters haunting all the streets.  Many masked from Woolworth other with wholes cut in sheets.  These old kids stayed out late prowling for fun, most gave Krampus distance but a few would flat out run.

He wandered not aware where he was going or the night was at end; coming face to face with the sun after turning a dark bend.  It was a new day, but one of the dead.  New sights and smells filled the monsters head.  The monster wandered the small run down shops, a barber and a Baker all painted pink even the sign “Stop”!  Krampus looked at the little Catrina's and sugary skulls for the dead.  A skull faced server gave kids some swaddled baby bread. 

This was a holiday Krampus didn't understand.  Songs of Dia de la Muertos were played but an undead mariachi band. Krampus hid ducking down and tucking himself away then creeping back toward home.  He wasn't the right sort of monster and shouldn’t be caught alone.  Krampus worried El Cucuy was around, if there is one monster then two isn't as crazy as it sounds.  The two argued every time they met, about turf is my bet.

Friday, September 14, 2012

De Profundis: It proves an unwise purchase

My Fellow Gentlemen

I have arrived at some cosmic error!  My purchased stone charm is useless at best and perhaps worse.  Again I prowled the lane ways south and eastward of my abode.  My hope to again travel unaccosted amongst the denizens I have so often spoken of.  My hopes faltered in the passing hours, so I write to you vexed.

I shall not indulge in my preparation but it's safe to assume me armed.  I arrived at Mr. Yeats estate deep past the midnight hour as planned.  My suspicions of a return of the creatures was proven accurate as I was greeted on far with their malignant green light.  My approach again was cautions but less so, as the elder marked stone emboldened my spirit.  Fool though I am!

Proposing to meet the horrors headlong I approached the melee holding to the notion that the creatures would not perceive my presence.  My initial advance was perhaps unseen or ignored; but slowly I drew their attention.  God their eyes!!

Within moments the altercation began to fade from my sight.  Of this I took solace!  The peace was soon dashed under the feet of the creatures whom originally made not of my presence.  Their forms seemed to coalesce again to my vision.  Gripped in terror I fled only to be given chase.  It is by providence's grace I arrived home safely; though now they are aware.  Aware and even playing me visit in the dark hours though I stay well hid.

I plead for your direction my fellows

Yours very truly
J.L. Reichl

Krampus for Christmas part 88

All full Krampus slept deep counting reindeer instead of sheep.  October was a blur until his work well in hand. Krampus was relieved things were going as planned.  Then he took some moments to enjoy the fall knowing it was too early for Santa to call.  A sea of leave caught in the air, whipping and whirling dancing without care.  Lawns left with a patchwork of leaves others cleared piled to the eves.

Then there were the children prowling the streets all armed with bags of treats.  The kids confused Krampus all dressed like someone else, pirates or plumbers or even Celts. One night Krampus saw a little girl dressed like him, she had the horns and hoof but was much too slim. The beast ran away at the doppelgangers sight; imagine a little girl giving a monster such a fright.

But Krampus had more pressing matters at hand, a party to attend. he was a friend of the band.  The monster even dressed up in his little lederhosen, them far too tight.  The monster though a costume was needed for the night. Upon arriving he found his friends dressed as ghouls toting machetes and instruments cruel.  There were too many mummies and a skeleton with wired shut eyes and jaws.  Another had no face at all; it was the strangest bunch of monsters you ever saw. 

Krampus finally took a seat in the corner near his friend Ed.  He was dress in a straight jacket bolts holding down the top of his head.  He said Hi and passed the furry Krampus some wine, spiced and mulled, it suited Krampus just fine.  They all knew Krampus was a monster of Christmas thinking him weird. But one weirdo was nothing to be feared.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Krampus for Christmas part 87

The damage done and neighborhood in surmounting terror Krampus was still hungry and realized he had made some sort of error. Sure he has spread fear and reminded everyone of his presence, but his cupboards were bare except for some pheasants. The monster would need to stock up on meat; no restaurants would let Krampus in to eat.

With the chaos sewn Krampus would have to lay low spending time at the Capitol drive in picture show. For Krampus horror movies were a joy except he would have ate up the camping girls and boys.  He rooted for Freddy and thought elm streets parents were to blame.  For Leatherface and Pin Head it was the same.

A few weeks past until our monster again stalked the streets.  Krampus waited until the full moon to hunt his treats.  Each full moon had a name in days of yore and October's was for hunters said the lore.  High above birds flew south against the moon, but Krampus meat wasn't foul and he would have it soon.

Krampus for Christmas part 86

Krampus hurried on with chores, most of September the best was a whirlwind of Christmas gore.  Repainting his several mangers with care the colors well matched and painted with flare.  His ornaments were inspected each at least twice; any broken were mended and made to look nice.  Idunn only caught glimpse of the monster these first autumn days. Krampus even forgot beer and sausage he was so dedicated to his Christmas ways.

The little girl ,Idunn , still from the window watched.  Only hearing the beast when he returned from a hunting trip that was botched.  He prowled nightly after fall was here; with this new competition the cats howled in fear.  They didn't know Krampus was looking for kids nor Idunn or she might have hid.  The monster got the naught list early and needed a bite.  No one would miss a kid or two, well maybe the might.

Some evenings later Idunn spied Krampus with his sack.  It looked full and something moved in the pack.  The monster laughed and lashed the bag with a chain tied to bells.  Santa bound Krampus with these chains and one of his spells.  Idunn was worried and slunk down to hide but couldn't stop watching no matter how hard she tried.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I palindrome I

I saw my twin yesterday walking down the street.  he was a heavy guy with my same shoes and jeans.  I have the shirt he was wearing in my closet.  I guess that isn't such a coincidence considering all fat guys shop at the same big and tall store.  His hair was mine from a couple of hears ago before it started thinning, so good on him, but the beard oh god so conventional nothing like my triple horseshoe.

It was striking really, why was he/I walking?  I mean we are lazy we don't walk, what the fuck?  Don't you have a car, we love driving around don't you remember.  Are you even listening to metal in those head phones you fuck why are you walking so serene we aren't serene.

I just wanted to role down the window and say, "it doesn't get much better?"  but what if he is the happy version of us oh my god!  Is that even possible?  Does he feel connected to people and act gregariously.  Its like there is a wrong version of me living just down the street.  What am I going to do.  I don't know if this town is big enough for me and happy fucking Jim.

De Profundis: a curious shoppe

My Fellow Gentlemen

The unpleasantness of evenings past still weighs heavy upon my mind. I find myself a naked babe in a world of wolves that stalks about the edges of perception.  With some direction from out esteemed fellows I have located a curious shoppe in an unsavory district of the city.  Most of the wares appeared to be the shoddy export of some foreign land, though one item spoke to me.

A simple stone with an elder mark of a star.  The shop keep reported its origin one of the islands of Ponape.  The item have returned with a merchant sailor through Dunedin and finally across the pacific to a western port.  The inscribed star whilst painstakingly carved appears haphazard and fluid.  This mark circles a burning eye in green flame. I pray it holds some power to hold back this madness.

I now dwell in fear, my night time strolling ceased. I hope to enbiggen my courage and return to you with further words for this tale.

Yours very Truly
J.L. Reichl

Krampus for Christmas: Part 85

Even though it was still early, Krampus considered the date and was worried.  For the monster Christmas loomed even though Oktoberfest arrive more soon.  For Krampus these others holidays just got in the way.  The monster had to celebrate three versions of Thanksgiving Day.  One for the Canadians and two for the Yanks.  Back in the forties Republicans and Democrats each had a day to give thanks. 

But for now it was September and Krampus worried about a tree.  He liked to cut his own though they came with spiders and fleas.  By now he had his light untied and untangled, checking each bulb to make sure none were mangled.  The garland looked nice and angel hair was neatly arranged.  Such care from a monster was pretty strange.

Krampus's supply of switches had grown rather low, last year the naughty list saw a lot of flow.  He would need more and to mend his sack, one kid tore a hole while struggling on Krampus's back.  He almost got away, but ended up in the stew. All the bad kids end up there, be good or you will too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Krampus for Christmas: Part 84

On Labor Day just before the start of school Idunn was surprised the beast wasn't in his pool.  Krampus flame broiled burgers like a king, he also made hotdogs and sausage all sorts of things.  Krampus and the dog would have quite a feast, with left overs and seconds even if he ate like a beast.  His grill glowing Krampus cooked unaware, but slowly the monster noticed a change in the air.  From the high branches a tree cast of a leaf, seeing it caused Krampus grief.  The monster left his grill glowing bright and was hidden in the garage the rest of the night.

Krampus searched through boxes hidden from Idunn's eye.  He looked for garland and lights sometimes muttering with curses and cries.  Untangled strands was difficult with his claws. Krampus hoped the dog would have better luck with it's paws.  Krampus's monstrous hands weren't made for that sort of task.  What sort of monster is this I bet your going to ask. 

Krampus is the Christmas monster or demon depending to whom you speak.  Horned and hoofed and kids are the dinner he seeks.  You see Santa keeps his gloves clean where the naughty list is concerned. Krampus dolls out the punishment bad kids have earned. But Krampus loved Christmas and was full of it's cheer, even on arbor day, all of the year. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

6 Player Board and War Games Suggested to my gaming group

Having asked the question to friends and even a message board I wanted to ask here.  What are some good board and minis games for 6 players.  Really we may even need some seve player games.  but for now I wanted to list some of the replies.  This is for my circle of friends but also anyone looking for larger games.

Our original idea was something not role playing that was easy and had miniatures.  Ideally we were looking for something that allow for players to get a taste of miniatures as well as boardgames.  Here are some of the more recommended games.

Zombicide.  I guess this comes from a kick starter but here is the URL for the site and I think you can buy it now.  I am not sure!  Also in this genre is Last Night on Earth which had a runner up vote.

Wiz War:  This is a classic old game that actually used to be played with a live dungeon back in the old convention days.

Descent: This and another game called Super Dungeon Explore were recommended several times.  I am not sure i am actually leaning to the dungeon explore game but we will see.

Battletech: This venerable game got several mentions from the board.  I think it may work as several players had tried the old game.  I am not sure I remember it as being very random with weapons caches exploding and deciding the game.

Frag! Steve Jackson's Games semi war game was also mentioned a bit.

Infinity: Corvus Belli's miniatures game was mentioned as something we might try out as well.

Looking for the kid friendly Halloween of my youth

Halloween has come full circle for me I guess.  With a young child I am less interested in anything scary and more interested in the whimsical side of the Holiday.  This is funny as I always wanted Spirit to have better merchandise with a more serious look and detail.  Now that it is there I am looking for the old cardboard crap that was around when I was a kid.  The odd part about this is its mainly disappeared.

The good folks over at have a nice picture that I am posting that shows just what I am looking for.  These lame skeletons, witches and cats are just the thing to not scare my daughter but introduce the season in a fun non dangerous way.  Our walk through Spirit the other day introduced many questions about why is that baby eating his foot and why is that one stabbing his bear.  I told here their teeth were caused by the tooth disease gingivitis and that they didn't brush enough.  She is super into brushing now!

Its odd how Halloween is not the same.  For my friends and I Halloween came in boxed costumes with smocks and plastic masks, which I have written about before.  Make up was always around from crappy vampire and Frankenstein kits to the crazy Dick Smith creatures.  Masks were probably the closest one could come to an expensive costume, some were over a hundred dollars which was like a million to kids in my neighborhood. 

Now its almost rare to see a good selection of masks and no one sells the plastic ones on the string like we had.  What I see everywhere are these introduction to being a hooker costumes.  Seriously even the six year old girls are getting short skirts and leggings.  These a full on slutted up by high school.  I worry for the next few years with my kid.  Sadly you can't even steer them down the nerd route as the anime cos play is as bad or worse.

Sort of sad how the holiday has taken a turn.  I understand it started as an adult holiday but it seems like there should be a place for both innocence and the exotic erotic ball or whatever it was being advertised on the freeway. 

Krampus for Christmas: Part 83

Then he would hear a dry leaf scratch cross the street and would check the date even in the summer heat. 

Other days he would lounge in a little kiddie pool.  Drinking a Slurpee and trying to keep cool.  But a calendar was always at hand, the monster circled dates and planned and planned.  Some of his schemes centered on candy corn; others on pumpkin doughnut, without them he would be forlorn.  Seldom was there a day the monster didn't have something planned.  Autumn for Krampus was shaping up to be grand. 

And Idunn watched from her window spying on the dates.  Hoping for to understand the monster who lived over the gate.  She thought it was strange her friends didn't have a neighbor like "Him".  She often wondered if he needed a friend.  He had the neighbors dog whom he treated well, but if they were friends it was really hard to tell.  The dog sleep inside lying on the couch while the monster slept in a tiny dog house his feet sticking out.

Now I said feet but that's not really true.  He only had one foot  not so many as two.  The other was a hoof that clopped on the ground.  It would keep you up at night when Krampus walked around.  But as Idunn watch the monster never did anything mean.  He was well groomed and even kept his claws manicured and clean.

Friday, September 07, 2012

de profundis: the battle beyond

My Fellow Gentlemen

More of my nocturnal jaunts and the feeling of wild ether frolics.  I claim there is some elevating madness in the endeavor for something must be driving beyond common sense.  Some nights hence I traveled the lane ways that divide my residence with those of Mr. Yeats abode.  This serves as a testimony of the transpired events.  True as the Lord witnesses.

I found myself ill prepared for sleep after late hours in my ledgers and again walked.  My travels wild and far eventually arrived near the residency of Mr. Yeats.  Though it is perhaps a wintering home used only to hide from foul weather at his more common reside.  Mr. Yeats presence at the address is not in question as he is often sited in the privileged company of local gentry.  I approached well into the eve , which is to say much later than my past journeys.  I could see this strange green hued illumination from afar, my approach meandering through alleys and side streets.  It was not until finally rounding a final corner that I would see fully unimpeded.

Creature incomparable with those of natural philosophy gripped in combat tussled about the street.  Some wild and daemonic others perhaps mimicked the rudimentary life seen under a microscope all fought.  Their appeared to be two distinct camps, though I know this through action not their individual aspect.  Some battered and charged at Mr. Yeats abode, whilst others seemed to protect it.  I can not say how long this battle had been waged but it proceeded some minutes.  No single combatant paid me attention and after time the melee began to fade from my sight.  Even though I watched with intent it faded and faded.  Soon there was but a street to see.  I wondered if my mind had soured within my skull at first, though their were again signs of the morass upon Mr. Yeats stone work.

I am assured now to say these powers are beyond me.  I beseech you for word and wisdom.

Yours very truly
J.L. Reich

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Krampus for Christmas part 82

Summer was Krampus' Slow time, with hibernation and the odd vacation lined up for the brute.  Sometimes he hid out in the Matterhorn when he traveled to the south.  Snarling at the bob sleds and trying to scoop kids into his mouth.  Disneyland didn't care for monsters though he was a careful guest.  But after a night with Cinderellas sister he thought leaving was for the best.  Besides the weather didn't suit his fluff, he almost shaved himself to be cooler in the buff.

Far north the climate was better for a beast such as he, The Bay was nicer even cold in Carmel by the sea.  There he frolicked with the walrus beneath a sea of green.  People wondered if it was an elephant seal they had seen.  Still Krampus didn't stay long always worrying it was getting late.  If he missed a minute of Christmas the monster would be irate.

Most days he spent at home in the yard.  So Idunn could easily see him, spying wasn't very hard.  He was taller than the fences and his horns towered more.  Sometimes he worked on an old Plymouth from late 66, something was always broken that the beast needed to fix.

The muse returns to mind

The mind and dreams return to their wanting, on these later days of the year.  As if roused and rounded up by a memory of school and it's worrisome start.  Through all that comes an end and the last days here.  The flight of wild wonder for fairer shores.  Amid this moldering the melancholia creeps and I remember you.  My need and myself.

Broken free of the wider ordering understanding these months ride mutable and grey.  Casting of it's mantle of beauty for one of discord and decay even the land wanders in change.  All Autumn colors and doubt fill us through and through. Leaving me alone but for wishing for you. 

In this I dream myself Aloysius and you Nicene my queen, but then I realize somethings amiss and the tale finally begins.  I am lost from the beginning struggling for a connection to you. Lashing out like a hurt animal that doesn't know what to do.  Here I am only a man or rather only the man I am.  Then there is some quest that is transformative and I'm able to speak to you. But the truth is there is no journey that will fix my failing like that. No growth is slow and I am a lazy sod reaching far beyond my grasp.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

De Profundis: A missive of insights

My Fellow Gentlemen

We arrive at a juncture seldom crossed.  The wise and fearing man would turn his back on these matters, casting off further thoughts as a fever of the mind. I now count myself a fool as I only hesitate moments and proceed.  Straying from the narrow way for the wilds of a world marred by new horizons.  Horizons painted beyond the old with elder colors the eye has forgot to see.

If you will forgive mine absence, I have labored in books of research.  I have acquired a small trove of tomes in the past weeks.  Many proved fruitless and in a word falderal, if you will forgive my vulgarity. But some few provides fragments of truth awash in balderdash.  It was not until receiving a wire from Mr. Rast that measured progress was made.  This letter included a series of names and marks of entitlement related to The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. 

We find this cabal links W.B. Yeats and A. Crowly.  Further still presses another name Samual Liddell M. Mathers.  The purported translator and supposed author of the lesser Key of Solomon.  Again I must thank Mr. Rast for his inquiry and information.  I would surely have been lost.

I question if I have not found myself between a matter of greater minds.  Some conflict not understood by those holding powers beyond the mundane.

Please friends Advise my future safety
J.L. Reichl

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Music Review: The Darkness - Hot Cakes

The hot cakes record has grown on me a bit.  At first i really was only into the "nothings gonna stop us" single but I find more and more on the record that is good. I really find myself enjoying the guitar tones as there are a number of tone you haven't heard well represented since the seventies and eighties.  I find a large number of metal guitar tone sounding the same and this seems like they took efforts to get older tone going, sort of like guitar archaeologists.

The record is good if a bit jumpy, which i guess is consistent with the rest of The Darkness records.  You hear some stuff like Keep me hangin on and with a woman that seem less influenced by hard rock and an more Brit rock which is new.  I find myself gravitating to the harder tracks.

Every Inch of you sort of fits its video, sort of strut and strip.  I don't know this is not my favorite on the record.  It does keep the rock sound going which is good.

Nothin's Gonna Stop Us is the first single so I guess its the one people will know.  I like the Hawk the slayer quote and video, feels nice and dungeons and dragonsly lame.  It's funny how lyrically American this one comes off.

Living Each day blind is sort of a nice lets get out of here song.  It's almost a bit of a ballad but not quit.  Good song one of the ones I find myself listening to again and again.

Everybody have a good time is funny as it starts with a riff almost reminiscent of Heaven and Hell and goes out like Nazareth's Holiday.  I like the song its fun and again you almost get an idea if the dungeons and dragons is your idea of having a good time that The Darkness have the books set up at the kitchen table for you.

Street Spirit is a rocker.  This along with the Stone Gods record show that The Darkness could flirt more with metal.  It has great punctuating metal shouts.  Great for a radio song to be turned so aggressive.

All and all a good record.  It is less slick and manicured their their previous outing, but good.  There are a lot of riffs and tones that hint at older rock and glam metal acts.  Everybody have a good time has hints of Sweet.  There are bits of LA Glam metal here and there in the riffs. 

A poem about South San Jose at Night

these last gasps of summer breath
into sprinkler irrigated night
ersatz petichor for the passerby
whose cadence is slow and aware

prescience of the impending autumn
ripening between sun and treetop
threatening change but left unsaid
hinting wonders hiding the profane

South valley garlic and fires
Hint in deeper bursts of air
stirred Southwest lowers to land
Falling instants remembers to fly

wagering seasons we cant get back
But come with worry to be the last