Hardwired: The Rush of the First Song

If you’re a metal fan and you were breathing on Thursday, you may have seen that Metallica released a new song and new album details without warning.

I was caught off-guard. It’s hard describe the feeling I had when I clicked on that YouTube link and was hit smack in the face with the sweet crunch of James Hetfield’s thrashing rhythm guitar. I can pretty much remember how I reacted to all of the new songs that Metallica has released since I’ve been able to experience it.

My relationship with Metallica goes back to somewhere in probably 1986-87 or so. My older brother had their “Master of Puppets” album on cassette tape (look it up, kids.) I remember listening to it a few times. I especially remember the title track and also “(Welcome Home) Sanitarium.”

I didn’t get into my own musical tastes until I was about 12 or 13, so 1992-93. This was already past the time when Metallica released Metallica (The Black Album) and, I guess, officially “sold out,” if you’re in that crowd. So, my first new song release wasn’t until they released the Load album in 1996. I remember being in high school. That album is probably still debated to this day. The first single off of that album was “Until It Sleeps.” It definitely didn’t sound like what you were expecting, but it still had that Metallica sound. I was excited, yet slightly confused. I was a little soft on most of that album at first, but it has become one of my favorites over the years. I also now laugh out load at that whole “OMG! They cut their hair!” argument.

The next new release was when ReLoad came out in 1997. That first single was “The Memory Remains.” I still really like that song, but it was odd at the time, especially with the singing of Marianne Faithful in it. The video, though, I really liked. It had that cool video effect of the band swinging around on that platform.

The next album, though not an original, was Garage, Inc. in 1998. I remember picking that up in my freshman year of college. They first released the cover of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.” I thought it sounded cool, but I really had no expectation since it was an album full of cover songs.

St. Anger hit 5 years later in 2003. It was definitely a different sound, a lot more raw. “St. Anger” was the first single released. I was excited for a new Metallica single and this one was pretty in-your-face.

We had to wait another 5 years for a new single, this time with Death Magnetic. “The Day That Never Comes” was the first single released. I really liked that one. It had a very “One” vibe to it with the slow, melodic beginning followed by the crushing thrash at the end. I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, I’m less picky about the music I hear. I can always find something I like in almost any music now.

Now, this has been the longest we’ve had to wait for an official single from Metallica. It’s been almost 8 years since Death Magnetic. This one came completely unexpectedly. I knew they were working on a new album. It’s strange in this always-on, social world not to hear anything about something being released. I was really happy for that. I saw the link posted on my Facebook feed and my eyes lit up. “What is this one going to be like?” I thought to myself, thinking about all of the other singles I’ve heard for the last 20 years.

It did help that the volume on my PC was set a bit loud, because when I clicked on that link and that first guitar crunch hit, I literally felt the hairs on my neck and arms stand up. I couldn’t help but smile. This one sounds like it’s gonna be good. The kick-ass video didn’t hurt. Sometimes you forget that 3/4 of the guys in that band are in their 50s.

Like I posted on Facebook with the link, there are very few feelings in life like that the first few seconds of a brand-new song by your favorite artist.

Entering Into Minecraft

Not me, mind you. I’ve been casually playing Minecraft since probably around 2010. I’m talking about my 5-year-old daughter. She’s finally to the age where she can play the game reasonably well (compared to just running around hitting things like my 3-year-old does.)

We can now set up a multiplayer survival world and actually survive pretty well. There are occasional deaths, but what fun would it be without those. For awhile, we played on “Peaceful” mode as she was still a bit reluctant to have to deal with the Creepers and Zombies during the night, but now we play on “Easy” and she’s handling them pretty well.

On our first multiplayer map, we ended up finding a nice mountainside to dig a house into. We spread out a bit from there and built a small living area with animals and some basic crops. The survival mode turned into a slightly more creative mode (using server commands) which allowed us to build some cool things like an automated farm and a short minecart track with a hidden door.

This new map I hope to keep 99% survival mode (only using server commands in dire situations.) I find that playing in the game in pure survival mode teaches her about everything the game has to offer instead of her getting everything she needs at all times. She now knows how to create many items and build very cool things in the game.

Minecraft Family 1


Our new map’s spawn was in an amazing location that looked like it was right in the middle of a blown out mountain (as seen above.) There are tall mountain chunks all around the edges, high floating islands in the air with both lava and water streaming down from them. We decided to build our mountain-top house on top of the highest island in the middle, well not really an island, more like a long, peninsula sticking way out over a massive drop. After securing the area, we’d be more than safe from creatures. Our only real danger up there is falling off, which we have both done on multiple occasions. Fortunately, the spawn point is only a few steps away so retrieving our lost gear is simple.

To make it easy to get up and down from our home, we built a ladder straight up from the ground to the island. I also made a long tunnel from the top to the ground that has a floor of water. This way, instead of climbing down the ladder every time, you can just drop straight into the water since you will survive the fall.

This map is still pretty fresh, so we’re just getting started. We still haven’t found much iron, yet. Though, we did already find a village which is something we still never found on our last map, so we were able to get carrots and potatoes pretty quickly.

I’ll try to keep you guys updated (rather than not posting for over a year like we sometimes do.)

Flashback Friday: Pondering

Sideshow 12/13/06

Here is an early shot of a young (freshly dead?) Sideshow back in 2006 pondering something while hanging out in Uldaman. He's wearing his old Helm of Fire which I also made as a leatherworker and made my first fortune. … [Continue reading]

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Dwarf Fortress

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Throwback Thursday: Gnaptime


I thought I'd use the normal Throwback Thursday meme that is used so much on Instagram and Facebook and use it to post old-school screenshots that we still have. Here is one from about eight years ago on December 3rd, 2006. It looks like me, … [Continue reading]

Battles and Brotherhood


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Munchin’ on Some Grindage


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Diving In

My exploration character. Hopefully the badass angle keeps weaker pirates away.

Since the last post, I've spent a good chunk of Eve Online time training up my character to do some exploring. I have since spent a lot more time (almost all of my play time with that character) in low security space. I now have a T2 covert … [Continue reading]

7 Years and 2 Ships

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It's been at least 3 and a half years since I last ventured into the vast open darkness of Eve Online's universe. I was looking for a different kind of game to play recently, so I decided to renew my subscription and see what has changed. Since I … [Continue reading]

Paying to Game


I thought I'd do a little experiment with my gaming cost. Since I play 90% of the games on my PC using Steam, it keeps all of my gaming information in one place. I can see how much I played a specific game and also how much I paid for it (and its … [Continue reading]