It’s Undead Cary Grant

Posted in Headlines on December 18th, 2014 by Noggle

White House: ‘Sophisticated actor’ hacked Sony.

The hardest part about making fun of this headline is that I can’t think of a living actor I’d call sophisticated. Maybe Morgan Freeman. George Clooney? Almost.

Help me out here. Who do we have that’s sophisticated?

More National Attention, They Mean

Posted in Milwaukee on December 17th, 2014 by Noggle

Fate of Mary Nohl’s ‘witch’s house’ gets national attention:

The fate of Mary Nohl’s art environment in Fox Point, referred to be generations of Wisconsin teenagers as the “witch’s house,” made national news over the weekend.

An essay by Debra Brehmer, a gallery owner in Milwaukee and one of the leading scholars on Nohl’s work was published Friday at Hyperallergic, a widely read art site, the art world’s equivalent of The Huffington Post. The story went viral over the weekend. It has been “liked” more than 4,000 times and by Monday morning was listed as the site’s top story.

Well, how do you like that? Here at MfBJN, we’ve been writing about the Witch’s House since 2006 (see The Milwaukee Witch’s House, Whitney Gould on the Nohl House, and It’s Just As Well They’re Moving It; I’ve Forgotten The Way), and do I get accolades for drawing attention to this unique landmark? Of course not! I am no la-di-dah art critic writing for a niche publication.

Also, it is fair to say, I’ve not received 4000 likes in the eleven years I’ve been blogging.

But, to sum up: They’re still probably moving it; there’s not a lot of news on that front, although it has been reported on a niche art site.

Christmas Album Review: The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole (1962)

Posted in Music on December 12th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverGentler reader, I know I’m not saving the best for last in presenting this album on December 12, but this is the best Christmas album of all time. This album makes me wish Nat King Cole were my dad, okay? His warm, smooth voice infuses all of these tracks with a hominess that makes all of them mood music. Or better yet, primary music: you want to put the record on, stop what you’re doing, and just listen to it.

The track list includes:

  • The Christmas Song
  • Deck The Halls
  • Adeste Fideles
  • O Tannenbaum
  • O, Little Town Of Bethlehem
  • I Saw Three Ships
  • O Holy Night
  • Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
  • A Cradle In Bethlehem
  • Away In A Manger
  • Joy To The World
  • The First Noel
  • Caroling, Caroling
  • Silent Night

If I had to gripe, I’d say the version of “Deck the Halls” is a bit manic, but, hey, who hasn’t been a touch manic getting ready for a big party.

The modern CD rendition of the album features five extra songs and opens with a spoken Christmas greeting. Yes, I have both. Let that be your guide as to whether I recommend it or not.

Album mentioned in this review:

This Town Needs A Good Haberdasher

Posted in Life on December 12th, 2014 by Noggle

The current issue of Forbes Life has an article about a Manhattan hat store:

This is such a dead art that all of the people who know how to do it are actually dead,” jokes Ryan Wilde, the director of millinery at New York’s historic J.J. Hat Center, as she adjusts a bright orange fedora. “There’s no one to ask.”

But as the 34-year-old Wilde explains it, that’s half the fun of her work. Her decadelong career has been filled with experimentation and boundary pushing. “I love when a client walks in here and they’re like, “What can we do?’ ” she says. “ I like making it happen. I like challenging myself. I like being afraid to make something.”

The online article doesn’t include the photos that the magazine does, but, Heavens to Betsy, it almost makes me wish I lived in NYC just so I could go to that hat store.

Here in the Midwest, hat stores are pretty rare; there’s one I visited in Kansas City last year that’s good, and Donge’s used to be good in Milwaukee before it closed up.

I’m sure I have previously noted I’ll buy shirts off the rack and slacks and jeans from the stack at Walmart without trying them on, but if I get into a hat store, I have to try on pretty much every fedora in the store before selecting one after much consideration.

So perhaps it’s best I generally have to order hats by mail these days. The actual elapsed time including days of reviewing options and several go-rounds of ordering, trying, and returning is probably more efficient than me going into a hat shop and browsing.

Christmas Album Review: The Little Drummer Boy by the Abbey Choir (?)

Posted in Music on December 11th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album includes the definitive version of “The Little Drummer Boy” in my mind. When I was a little boy, I had a book with the lyrics to the song along with some pictures of what’s depicted in the lyrics, and when my mother played this album, the song came to life. Or so I thought at the time.

The truth of the matter is that this disk is a collection of choir renditions of some common Christmas carols and some uncommon ones.

The track list includes:

  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • Silent Night
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • The Twelve Days Of Christmas
  • As With Gladness Men Of Old
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Christians Awake
  • The Wassail Song
  • While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
  • Once In Royal David’s City
  • The Holly And The Ivy
  • Angels From The Realms Of Glory
  • Ave Maria

For the most part, I’ve reviewed individual artists’ albums and collections of individual artists’ songs, but the choral album is integral to the whole Christmas experience, and you can’t hardly go wrong with them as background music. This album gets plenty of play in the household. And, apparently, it’s available on MP3s for you 21st century types.

Album mentioned in this review:

The Place My Paychecks Went To Die

Posted in Milwaukee on December 11th, 2014 by Noggle

On Milwaukee has a tour (from 2012) of an old, closed mall: Inside a ghost mall: Northridge sits quietly, unknown future ahead:

If you grew up in Milwaukee or have lived here for some time, you certainly remember Northridge Mall.

The 800,000-square foot former shopping center on the corner of 76th St. and Brown Deer Road sits just 10 minutes from River Hills, one of Milwaukee’s most affluent suburbs. Built by Herb Kohl and his partners, it opened in 1973, a virtual carbon copy of Southridge. And after a slow decline, it finally shut its doors 30 years later in 2003.

Back when I was at the university, my job was on 76th Street, so it was easy after clocking out on a Friday night and cashing a paycheck to hop on the number 67 bus to Northridge, where I could spend my less than a hundred bucks at Suncoast Video, Sam Goody, Babbage’s, Waldenbooks, and B. Dalton’s (yes, children, there were two bookstores in the mall in those days before Amazon.com. Sometimes, my friend Doug and I would walk a block to Camelot Music, which was a store in itself and larger than Goody. And at the end of the evening, I’d spread the loot on my bunk and enjoy all the prospects of the weekend to come. What first? The music? The books? The video games? The videocassettes?

It’s funny, now that I’m older and I can just get what I want if I want it that nothing really captures the anticipation I got from that.

Looking through the pictures of the empty mall, I can still tell where things were and where the pictures were taken.

(Link seen on Facebook.)

Bad Fortune

Posted in Libations, Life on December 11th, 2014 by Noggle

Apparently, Miller has some sort of beer called Fortune. Whose branding is a single Spade:

Miller's Mis Fortune

A single spade.

Like the Ace of Spades.

As anyone who knows anything about fortune telling could tell you, the Ace of Spades card means misfortune or death.

I’m getting awfully damn curmudgeonly, but I loudly suspect our younger generation is even getting educated poorly in superstitions and pseudo-science.

Christmas Album Review: Christmas with Bing by Bing Crosby (1980)

Posted in Music on December 10th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album is a Reader’s Digest compilation that collects a number of popular tracks from Bing Crosby. Jeez, I feel a little weird here, wondering if I have to explain who Bing Crosby is to you damn kids. You know him for his rendition of “White Christmas”, which he originated in the film Holiday Inn and then again in the film White Christmas. But, for Pete’s sake, you know he was a big time recording artist, the father of all pop music and music recording, and a hip enough fellow that he poked fun at his hipness and its own aging in the film High Time when the man was older than my father ever was. He’s Bing Crosby, &%^$&*!

Where was I?

Oh, yes. The album was released after his death, and collects a number of his songs, including:

  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • O Holy Night
  • What Child Is This?/The Holly And The Ivy
  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • I Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Frosty The Snow Man
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  • Christmas Dinner, Country Style
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

What’s missing? The aforementioned “White Christmas”. Instead, we get a treat that doesn’t appear often elsewhere, “Christmas Dinner, Country Style” about a large family gathering for a meal. The song is a treat; the others, standards. You’ll find them elsewhere, on compilation collections, but it’s fine to have them on a single platter to have as either background or mood music.

I mentioned that you don’t find Perry Como albums outside the Christmas work in book fairs, garage sales, or antique malls in southwest Missouri often. You do, and by “you do” I mean “You might if you get there before me,” find the occasional Bing Crosby album in the wild. I suppose that’s because he sold more albums than Perry Como did. Or maybe it’s just because that’s what I’ve found.

Regardless, this album should be pretty widely available since it’s a Reader’s Digest pressing. You could do worse, and probably will with anything you buy with a copyright date after 1980.

(See also Famous Today, Forgotten Tomorrow: If we don’t remember Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, will tomorrow’s generation remember the Beatles and Bob Dylan? from today’s Wall Street Journal.)

Album mentioned in this review:

Akin to a Quiz

Posted in Life, Quizzes on December 10th, 2014 by Noggle

Someone scanned an old Parker Brothers catalog: Monopoly to Ouija: Parker Brothers Games of 1972.

Quick, how many of these games do you currently own?

Here’s the list, with my current possessions in bold:

  • Monopoly
  • Landslide
  • Careers
  • Clue
  • Sorry
  • Dealer’s Choice
  • Risk
  • Masterpiece
  • Square Off
  • Snapshot
  • Gnip Gnop
  • Bug Out
  • Qubic
  • Probe
  • Scan
  • Spill and Spell
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Screech
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • The Uncle Wiggly Game
  • Birthday Cake
  • Pit
  • Flinch
  • Soma Puzzle Game
  • Rook
  • Mille Bornes
  • Nerf Games
  • Johnny Horizon Environmental Test Kit
  • Ouija Talking Board

I’d put the ones I used to own in italics, but I’ve never owned any of the others even in my eBaying days when I’d buy old board games at estate sales to sell on eBay.

I’d underline the ones where I have all the pieces, but I think that would just depress me. On the other hand, I have an idea for a great 3-D printing business: Print part sets for out-of-print games. Don’t steal my idea, now. I CALLED IT FIRST.

I suspect I do better than most of the population, though. And this list provides a handy shopping guide for estate sales in the future should I decide that I’m collecting Parker Brother games from 1972. And I’m just crazy enough to do it.

(Link via Ace of Spades HQ.)

Christmas Album Review: Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music by Perry Como (1956)

Posted in Music on December 9th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverIt’s strange; Perry Como was pretty popular in the early part of the 20th century, as he released records and starred on television, but you rarely see his albums in the wild. My mother owned a copy of this album, and I guess it must have sold for a buck at one of her garage sales as I had to buy my own copy. At an antique mall. For $3. That’s how fondly I remember the album from my youth. I spent three dollars on it.

Como has a baritone voice and inhabits the songs much in the way his early influence Bing Crosby does. As such, he does a great job with the Christmas music.

The track list includes:

  • ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
  • The Twelve Days Of Christmas
  • God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  • C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s
  • Joy To The World
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Frosty The Snowman
  • The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
  • That Christmas Feeling
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • Silent Night
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
  • Jingle Bells
  • White Christmas
  • Winter Wonderland

This is definitely a definitive Christmas album to own, as Como really was associated with Christmas television specials into the 1980s and beyond (apparently, his last was in 1994). Unfortunately, my copy sticks, so I’m in the market for a replacement for it. And I’m willing to pay $3 for it.

Album mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Chains of the Sea edited by Robert Silverberg (1973)

Posted in Book Report, Books on December 9th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis book almost makes me regret saying:

It’s an interesting bit, an enjoyable little read from the era–the middle 1960s through, what, the 1980s? where the future is dystopian and overcrowded and the plots are novel and clever.

The book collects three stories, only the third of which I would call novel or clever. The other two are run-of-the-mill apocalyptic bits that put Man in his place.

They include:

  • “And Us, Too, I Guess” by Geo. Alec Effinger, which presents a scientist and a working man who wants to breed fish in parallel story lines in the near, dystopian future, when the “scientists” (who work in their own labs on simple experiments that only recreate past discoveries) discover that a single species is dying every day (and might have been for a long time). Hey, here’s the shocking ending: MANKIND DIES. Because of nature or maybe what mankind did to it.
     
  • “Chains of the Sea” by Gardner R. Dozois, in which aliens invade, but nobody can see them. A child, however, who has maintained his imagination even beyond his very early years in the dystopian near future can see the “Others” which are intelligent species that adults cannot perceive. Through them, he learns that the aliens have come to renegotiate compacts with the other species and with the new species, the artificial intelligence in human networks. In a moment of poignant coming-of-age drama for the lad, MANKIND DIES. Also, I’m not sure what the title means or how it applies to the story.
     
  • “The Shrine of Sebastian” by Gordon Eklund tells the story of a reluctant “pope” of a decadant church is tasked by the previous, newly deceased “pope” with burying her remains at the shrine of Sebastian, a future profit who convinces mankind that it should leave the wasteland of the Earth behind. Most men do, but some remained with the robots in a decaying society. Then, MANKIND DIED. Sorry, I was going on habit there. In this case, the things that thought they were human discovered they were Androids, like Sebastian. Mankind might have survived, somewhere out beyond the sky, but here on Earth, ROBOT AND ANDROIDKIND WILL DIE.

In an essay in the Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky ponders
When Science Fiction Stopped Caring About the Future

Most people think of science-fiction as being about the future; it’s a genre that explores possibilities, from Dr. Frankenstein’s invention of artificial life to Ursula K. Le Guin’s world populated by humans who have all evolved into single-gendered hermaphrodites. What might happen if? What could happen when? Sci-fi thinks about new technologies, new societies, and new ways of being, good or bad.

And then science-fiction fans turn to the new Star Wars trailer, and find, not the future, but a reshuffling of 30-year-old detritus.

Read enough of the C-List science fiction from the past, and you’ll learn that the best of science fiction sticks with you but most of it, especially the pedestrian stuff, falls away from you mostly unremembered. A lot of the old stuff retreads common tropes just as much as new stuff does; we just forget it if we even bother to read or to have read it.

So I won’t remember these stories much, but innovative and imaginative stuff from the era will still captivate me. And in time, I’ll recycle my line about how all the science fiction from the past is better than all the science fiction now. Because I’ll mostly remember the good and won’t remember this particular volume much at all.

Books mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: That Holiday Feeling! by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (1964)

Posted in Music on December 8th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album is the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Christmas album. No, I’m not emphasizing it enough: this is the Steve Lawrence and EYDIE GORME Christmas album. Too subtle? It’s the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Christmas album. Listen, bub, they’ve taken the <blink> tag away, so I don’t know how much more clearly I can make it: I’m an Eydie Gorme fan, and I was very happy to find this album this year. Oh, her husband is okay, too. But he’s not Eydie Gorme.

The track list includes a number of common songs and a couple variations:

  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve
  • Happy Holiday
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Winter Wonderland
  • White Christmas
  • Let Me Be The First To Wish You Merry Christmas
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  • The Christmas Song
  • Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
  • That Holiday Feeling
  • That Ol’ Christmas Spirit

“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” has become a jazz/songbook standard of sorts and makes its appearance mixed into Christmas carols on the radio, but I don’t have many renditions of it on LP. “Let Me Be The First To Wish You Merry Christmas” might be the only representation of that song I have available, and “That Ol’ Christmas Spirit” is infrequent enough to be a treat when it appears.

As you would expect, especially if you’re familiar with the LPs where Steve and Eydie appear together, the songs are duets in most cases and they switch off primary duties on the songs. Their version of “Sleigh Ride” is particularly fun, with Steve singing the lyrics and Eydie chanting “Sleigh Ride” at the end of lines. Sadly, their laughter at the end of the song is forced and a bit desperate and maniacal.

Gorme’s voice is expressive and fun, and Lawrence’s is warm and engaging as well. It’s definitely mood music; something worth listening to with a bit of focus.

As I mentioned, I only bought this album this year, but it’s already in the rotation here at Nogglestead as often as I can get away with without making my wife fear I have an unhealthy obsession with Eydie Gorme.

Album mentioned in this review:

The Audiences Are Becoming More Selective

Posted in Government Overreach, News on December 8th, 2014 by Noggle

Food sales drop in schools, but changes have kids eating more fruits, veggies:

Health advocates applauded new federal school nutrition guidelines that began taking effect two years ago, but students are grumbling, mainly older students long used to their hamburgers and nachos. Disgruntled teens are sharing unappetizing pictures of their lunches on social media under the hashtag “ThanksMichelleObama” — a sarcastic nod to the first lady, who championed the changes.

At Parkway and other districts across the area, as many as 20 percent fewer students are buying their lunches. Statewide, the number of lunches served has dropped 11 percent since the 2009-10 school year, according to the latest figures from last year.

In these modern times, we can all celebrate that government programs are benefiting fewer people, but in a better way than ever before.

Note these government goals are coming into conflict:

  • Expanding lunch programs so that every student can get a healthy mid day (and often breakfast) meal.
  • Compelling healthy meals according to the latest phony baloney studies.

However, the number of students eating the meals is declining. Which probably means they’re eating something less healthy.

Never fear, though; whenever government’s mandates conflict, more mandates are the solution. If students are choosing not to eat the healthy meals, why, one only has to make consumption of the healthy meals compulsory to solve all the problems.

Christmas Album Review: The Sinatra Christmas Album by Frank Sinatra (1957)

Posted in Music on December 7th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverI got this album a couple of years ago, and I play it a couple of times a week throughout the season. It’s a serviceable collection of known favorites and a song that appears sparsely on Christmas albums (“Mistletoe and Holly”). It’s good background music, but it’s not ideal mood music because Sinatra’s more of a technical perfectionist of a singer rather than a warm singer who inhabits the songs. That is, when you hear these songs, you imagine being in a room where Sinatra is singing the songs on stage instead of someone who’s singing the songs with you.

The track list includes:

  • Jingle Bells
  • The Christmas Song
  • Mistletoe And Holly
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • The Christmas Waltz
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • The First Noel
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  • Adeste Fideles
  • It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • Silent Night

According to Discogs, this is one of the more expensive Christmas albums I’ve reviewed so far. And I only spent a buck on it at a book sale if I remember correctly.

So it’s worth a couple of spins every year in fairly heavy rotation at Nogglestead, but mostly it’s because of the Sinatra cool factor than the music itself.

Speaking of the Rat Pack, I’ve already reviewed the The Dean Martin Christmas Album

Album mentioned in this review:

The Key to Moving Books

Posted in Books on December 7th, 2014 by Noggle

Thanks to Oregon Muse and Ace of Spades HQ Sunday Morning Book Thread, this is the biggest sales day for John Donnelly’s Gold. So far.

Bigger than an Instapundit In the mail mention. Bigger than reviews on other individuals’ blogs. Bigger than a review in an actual news stand magazine.

Let that be a lesson to you.

Christmas Album Review: A Very Merry Christmas Volume Two by Various Artists (?)

Posted in Music on December 6th, 2014 by Noggle

Album coverThis album belonged to my mother from the time she served in the Marine Corps; the address label in the corner was for El Toro MCAS. The price tag in the corner means she tried to sell it at one or more yard sales after she moved on from LPs. Obviously, it didn’t sell, which is fortunate, since it is a relic from my youth I can hold onto.

It’s a compilation album, and the second of a series. It has Christmas carol standards by a number of the popular artists from the middle of the 20th century.

The track list includes:

  • Mitch Miller And The Gang, “Joy To The World”
  • Robert Goulet, “O Holy Night”
  • Anita Bryant, “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear”
  • Andre Kostelanetz, “Sleigh Ride”
  • Steve Lawrence, “The Christmas Song”
  • Mahalia Jackson, “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”
  • The New Christy Minstrels, “Here We Come A-Caroling”
  • Jim Nabors, “Jingle Bells”
  • Doris Day, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
  • Johnny Mathis, “Silver Bells”
  • Skitch Henderson And His Orchestra, “We Need A Little Christmas”
  • Johnny Cash, “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”
  • Eydie Gorme, “White Christmas”
  • Bing Crosby, “What Child Is This? The Holly And The Ivy”
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, “Silent Night, Holy Night”

It’s a fine mix, and I enjoy the compilation albums more than most Christmas albums by a single artist simply for the variety’s sake. Some songs on the compilations appear on some of the individual albums (cough, cough, Robert Goulet).

This album includes “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, a song not found on many of my other compilation discs and a couple of artists I’ve not heard of or seen in record bins (Mahalia Jackson, Skitch Henderson and His Orchestra). Additionally, this album, played in my youth, would have been the first times I heard Eydie Gorme, and how could I tell thirty-five years ago how big of a fan of hers I would become?

At any rate, this album is aces and gets a lot of play during the Christmas season here.

Album mentioned in this review:

Live Soldiers

Posted in Life on December 6th, 2014 by Noggle

We like to save a little money, or enjoy the illusion thereof, by buying refill bottles of window cleaning products at the local warehouse club store. However, each of the refill bottles comes with a spray bottle of its own as though you were that excited about the product that you were going to try it for the first time and buy a bunch of it.

And, being as I am, I can’t throw out a perfectly good spray bottle especially since there’s likely to be a small amount of cleaning agent in the bottle and I have the means to refill the bottle.

As such, we have six partially filled bottles of Windex in various locations throughout the house.


Including two in the master bathroom alone

Face it, I’ve got more Windex now than Nia Vardalos’s father. I’ve got enough freestanding Windex bottles that, if a hockey team showed up and wanted to do my windows and mirrors, they wouldn’t have to share bottles.

And the worst part?

The more bottles I have to refill, the faster I have to buy another refill bottle…and its attendant new spray bottle.

They are working together and reproducing in their own fashion, people. Wake up before the Windex army makes its final assault!

Christmas Album Review: Come All Ye Faithful by Kate Smith (?)

Posted in Music on December 5th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album features Kate Smith of “God Bless America” fame singing a selection of Christmas carols and other things. I know, a day after saying that Robert Goulet’s Christmas album was too big, I’m giving a favorable review to Kate Smith’s.

However, the different between the two is a big voice and a big delivery. Although Kate Smith has a big voice, she’s singing these songs instead of belting them out. Additionally, she’s balanced well with the other musicians on the album, including other vocalists who help out and the instrument arrangements. Besides, Kate Smith is like your grandmother singing these things if your grandmother could sing.

The track list includes:

  • Deck the Halls
  • White Christmas
  • Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
  • The First Noel
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  • He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands
  • Greensleeves
  • Joy To The World
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Moonlight In Vermont
  • It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • Silent Night
  • Jingle Bells

The set includes a couple of interesting, non-Christmas specific songs (“He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and “Moonlight in Vermont”) which tangentally touch on the theme. They’re nice enough interludes in the Christmas music to be welcome.

You can get this album in vinyl or MP3 on Amazon, but it looks to be a collection that the studios overlooked when releasing material on CD. I, of course, recommend the vinyl.

Album mentioned in this review:

As The Proud Owner Of A Halberd, I Concur

Posted in History on December 5th, 2014 by Noggle

I’ve always said that the halberd is the Swiss army knife of weapons. You’ve got an unarmored peasant side, an armored enemy side, and a mounted enemy point.

MyArmoury.com agrees in an article that explores the overlooked history of the polearm:

Most of these poleaxes, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries, had a spike on the top which allowed them to be potent thrusting weapons as well as being able to attack in both directions (axe or hammer on one side and a hammer or spike on the other). The presence of a spike(s) (or a fluke as it is sometimes called), hammer head and/or an axe head on the same weapons creates problems in classifying these weapons. A single poleaxe may combine the crushing power of the warhammer, the cleaving power of the long-handled (Danish) axe, and the thrusting capability of the spear.

I concur, mainly because it gives me an excuse to re-run this image of a boy and his best friend:

Does anyone else remember the IMAO Peace Gallery? Even IMAO doesn’t.

Michael Williams quips:

Don’t bring a longsword to a poleaxe fight.

I shan’t.

Just in Time for Next Christmas

Posted in Books on December 5th, 2014 by Noggle

A new Ayn Rand novel, something she never published, is coming out next year:

Ayn Rand fans, here’s something to whet your appetites: New American Library has released the cover image for “Ideal,” the first Ayn Rand novel to be published in more than 50 years.

Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead,” invented the philosophy of Objectivism. More than 25 million copies of her novels have been sold around the world.

“Ideal” tells the story of a screen actress who is accused of murder and visits six of her most devoted fans to ask for help.

I’ll get it, of course. And that reminds me: It’s been almost ten years since I read The Fountainhead.

(Link via Ace of Spades HQ.)