Iced Earth Sells 74 Million Albums

Pro-Trump heavy metal guitarist reportedly identified as Capitol rioter:

A pro-President Trump heavy metal guitarist has been identified as one of the US Capitol rioters, according to a report.

Multiple sources told the Indianapolis Star Wednesday that one of the suspects in the deadly Jan. 6 siege is Jon Schaffer, a founding member of a Florida-based heavy metal band called Iced Earth who is originally from central Indiana.

The article also notes no charges were filed against the artist. Maybe that means yet.

According to Iced Earth’s Web site, they have released like 30 albums and EPs since the founding in 1988. I have never heard of the band, but that’s true for most metal bands, even metal bands with recording contracts and multi-decade careers.

Don’t expect to find Iced Earth on my musical balance posts, though: I’m buying jazz lately, not heavy metal. And by “lately,” I meant this week. Last week was a long time ago. I cannot remember that far unless I look at my purchase history.

But I want you to know, gentle reader, I am keeping up the latest metal news for you.

In Florida, You Cannot Overlook The Possibility That Someone In Town Might Have a Lightly Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle That Looks Like A Tank And Gives The Press The Vapors

Maniac drives tank around neighbourhood scaring neighbours in disturbing footage:

In many parts of the US, it’s commonplace to see people carrying guns in the streets.

But even the unflappable people of Florida draw the line at a tank.

The apparently street-legal armoured vehicle is owned by a man living in the sleepy gated community of Old Cutler Road., in Palmetto Bay, a little way down the coast from Miami.

The shocked residents complaining that the tracked beast that’s been smashing up their kerbs is a “military-style” tank – to avoid any confusion with the perfectly-normal civilian-style tanks we’re all used to seeing on our roads.

Amateur video taken of the vehicle suggests it could be a current FV107 Scimitar or possibly an FV101 Scorpion, a light armoured reconnaissance vehicle that saw service with the British Army through the 70s and 80s.

It looks like the British press has typed up a local (Florida) television station’s minute-long segment on the story. Basically, the television story is some phone footage of the vehicle out on the road, a couple seconds talking about the tank, allegations that it’s destroying curbs (kerbs, as the British say), and a shot of the television report buzzing the intercom of the walled estate asking to talk to someone about the “tank.”

The British tabloid story extends it by calling the driver a “maniac” (unsupported) and identifying the vehicle not as a tank but a British scout vehicle (to women, apparently, all military vehicles with guns look like tanks, which is why when you’re picking you’re Civil War II fantasy team, you should probably leave the anti-armor to the boys, he said, incrementing the variable in the algorithm to his eventual deplatforming with a +1).

I mean, come on now. Let the guy drive his street-legal British scout vehicle in peace.

Here in Missouri, I have seen a number of pieces of post-military equipment out on the roads, generally on the way to an event or parade or perhaps on loan on loan for small-budget local movie shoots.

This is America, [Union] Jack. There’s a rifle behind every blade of grass, and there just might be a privately owned armored vehicle behind every wall.

Come On, We Need To Call It Something Scarier

The polar vortex is about to split again, and it could bring a ‘big’ winter storm by MLK Day

Polar vortex? Ho-hum.

What about a nuclear snowwicane? A neutron coldaclysm?

I mean, snow bomb and bomb cyclone have already been taken.

Meanwhile, in Britain, speaking of which, the tabloids are talking about an ALL CAPS STORM whose weather has not been seen in the north of England since… since…. Well, I saw it at the beginning of Wuthering Heights, but I’m going to go out on a limb that I am one of the few who has recently.

This being Springfield, I’ll believe it when I see it. This leading story from the local paper looks to be, beyond the headline, the weather over the weekend for New England and the very eastern edges of the midwest.

You know, where the important people live.

On the other hand, teams from down south are going to be playing in Buffalo and Green Bay, so that might be fun to watch.

Back Into The Past It Goes

Springfield area Family Videos will soon close for good.

As you might recall, gentle reader, I joined Family Video in 2017 and went on a slow-motion binge of renting movies for a while. After that summer and running the boys up to pick various movies for their days at home, I kind of fell out of the habit, although I was just in on Christmas Eve because I wanted to rent Scrooged but had to settle for It’s a Wonderful Life.

The stores are closing not just because of Covid traffic levels, but because the cinema releases getting pushed off meant new video releases were getting pushed off and because studios were bypassing video releases for their own streaming services.

I hope someone grabs a bunch of the stores’ inventory and opens a smaller video shop, but maybe not. Its time might truly have passed.

Meanwhile, I have to think whether I am going to try to snatch up some of those DVDs for myself. Because I am not eager to spend a bunch of ten dollar bills every month to watch what the studios and multinational conglomerates want me to see (which is why I joined Family Video in the first place).

One Of These Things Is Like The Other

The front page of

On top, we have the paper going after a Hollywood evangelical for holding an event to pray for the country. The tone, of course, is look at the funny Christian.

The next headline down? Protesters vandalize St. Patrick’s Cathedral early New Year’s Day.

I ask you, gentle reader: Are these headlines culturally related? I would think so. I won’t say that Christians are the only group that one can easily marginalize safely in this, the third decade of the 21st century–skeptics who don’t believe in Received ScienceTM also come to mind. But this looks to be an attempt to dunk on a Christian who was on television before the journalist who wrote the story was born. And othering the Christians is what leads to vandalism against Christians and perhaps eventual violence against Christians. It’s happened before, and it happens now elsewhere in the world.

Rule 5 Model Dies

I saw this headline at a British tabloid and remembered I used one of her photo spreads as a Rule 5 post: ‘SO SUDDEN’ Stella Tennant dead aged 50 – Victoria Beckham and Stella McCartney lead tributes to model and ex-Vogue star.

The Rule 5 post is High Concept (II) from 2012.

I guess she did some other things besides appearing on this blog. And in the WSJ magazine spread that I made mock of back then.

Only 50. Which is awfully close to how old I am now. I have taken to reading obits in the various papers I take, not so much to see if I recognize anyone (I won’t) but to root for the deceased to be in their late eighties or early nineties. Because I’d like to think I have plenty of time to do those things even though I know I probably won’t.

Apparently, I Am Not Eligible To Start For Denver Today Either

NFL rules wouldn’t allow Colin Kaepernick to help COVID-19-stricken Broncos:

The Denver Broncos not having any quarterbacks available Sunday may have been seen as an opportunity for Colin Kaepernick to play in the NFL again.

But that was never a possibility, as league rules mandate that acquired players must remain in COVID-19 isolation for six days before joining their new team.

You mean someone might have been actually interested? Nah, bro, we were just working his name into a headline again:

Then again, Denver, along with every other team, has never seemed interested in reaching out to Kaepernick.

The guy has been out of football for three years now. Let it go.

You know whom the Broncos wanted to bend the rules so they could play? A coach:

The Denver Broncos are starting undrafted rookie practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, but the team wanted their starting QB to be Rob Calabrese, their offensive quality control coach for the past two years, sources told ESPN on Sunday.

Denver felt that Calabrese had the strongest command of its offense and he could run the system better than anybody, sources told ESPN. The league denied those requests that were made throughout the day Saturday, saying that the Broncos could not activate a coach to their active roster. The league doesn’t want coaching staffs being storage areas for potential players, sources said.

Considering that the Broncos are playing the New Orleans Saints, who are starting gadget quarterback Taysom Hill again this week, it would almost be worth turning it on to see who does better. However, the Red Packers are playing at the same time, so Nogglestead will be tuning in to see the team that the Packers defeated in Super Bowl I instead.

UPDATE: Sorry, the quips keep coming, so I’ll add them:

  • Where is José Oquendo when you need him?
  • “And starting at quarterback, Sarah Fuller!”
  • I told my youngest, who broke and dislocated my finger with a football pass that he needed to suit up. Strangely, and disappointingly, enough, my boys are nominal Broncos fans because the oldest had friends in kindergarten who were Broncos fans. My boys have grown since then, but they still sleep under Broncos blankets and the youngest, at least, has not yet outgrown Broncos apparel. He did not believe me about having to start for the Broncos. So if the Packers game goes badly, we might well end up watching former Packer Taysom HIll.

Missed It By That Much

The description of the suspect from Saturday’s post on a shooting at Mayfair Mall was:

“Preliminary statements from witnesses indicate that the shooter is a white male in his 20s or 30s,” Weber told reporters. “Investigators are working on determining the identity of that suspect.”

Turns out:

Police had said Friday that witnesses described the shooter as a white man in his 20s or 30s. But Weber described the suspect as a 15-year-old Hispanic boy. His firearm was recovered during the arrest.

Hey, I understand the mix-up. Everyone under 35 looks like a damn kid to me, so I can easily confuse someone who is fifteen for someone who is thirty and vice-versa.

Milwaukee Natives See The Headline And Think “Mayfair”

Police: 8 injured in Wisconsin mall shooting; suspect sought.

Of course it’s Mayfair Mall:

Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber gave no motive for the attack at the Mayfair Mall in a brief update about three hours after the 2:50 p.m. incident near an entrance to the Macy’s store. He said the extent of the eight victims’ injuries was unknown, but all were alive. He added that the shooter was “no longer at the scene” when authorities arrived.

“Preliminary statements from witnesses indicate that the shooter is a white male in his 20s or 30s,” Weber told reporters. “Investigators are working on determining the identity of that suspect.”

* * * *

“Preliminary investigation has led us to believe that this shooting was not a random act, and was the result of an altercation,” said police, who added that the mall was now cleared and secure.

It’s easy to guess as it’s about the only mall left in the Milwaukee area and because it has been in the headlines for a couple of years for incidents including brawls and a police shooting earlier this year that triggered the now-customary “protests.”

Kind of like the Galleria in St. Louis; it had a reputation for being upscale, but its central location allows Sumdoods to congregate there, and we only hear about it outstate when there’s trouble every year or so.

A number of mall owners have entered bankruptcy here recently. I have to wonder if the mall as a concept is dead.

My Question Answered, Unfortunately

I’ve been seeing Salt Life stickers on rear windows of cars for years. Well, I have been seeing something for years, and I only relatively recently pieced together that the stickers said Salt Life. I wondered what that meant, but never really enough to look it up when I got home. Or maybe I did but it didn’t stick with me.

Well, I know now:

A co-founder of a popular Florida clothing brand has been charged with manslaughter and gun possession in the death of an 18-year-old woman found shot at a South Florida hotel, police said.

Michael Troy Hutto, 54, who co-founded Salt Life apparel in Jacksonville Beach with three friends in 2003, was arrested Friday at a hospital in Jacksonville while wearing hospital scrubs and skid-proof socks, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

To be honest, I don’t really get putting a sticker on your car telling everyone your clothing choice. Or the Ron Jon Surf Shop stickers on cars here in Missouri. Maybe beach people are just different. I am sure Jimmy Buffett would explain it to me.

One thing is certain: I will know what Salt Life is, although I might be seeing it on fewer cars in the future.

The Real Problem Is

Confession: I read the Agony Aunt columns in the British tabloids, particularly Dear Deidre in The Sun. Do I do it for the salacious and seamy/unseemly details? Do I do it to feel morally superiour (the British spelling, if I had my druthers) to the people who might write into Dear Deidre not so much for advice but for some sort of validation that what they did was not wrong, or at least no so wrong:

Of course that’s why.

I have to wonder how much popular culture, from Dear Deidre to Melrose Place (what, that’s not popular culture now? Gentle reader, I don’t want to make you feel old, but the most recent reboot was eleven years ago already, so it’s ripe for another comeback–if there is one boon from dearth of fresh ideas in modern popular mythmaking, it’s that any cultural allusions will be perennially fresh as the same old shows and movies get endlessly recycled), where was I? Oh yes, that popular culture has fictively normalized bad behavior. But that’s neither here nor there.

What I wanted to point out is how the answers to a lot of such letters feature first and foremost the condemnation not so much for how people have betrayed sacred vows or presumed trust but rather for putting people at risk of getting Wuhan Flu. Continue reading “The Real Problem Is”

Counter to the Narrative

One of these things is not like the others:

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Missouri adds 1,500+ cases; Arkansas up 800+ cases!!!!

Hospitalizations rising in Missouri, prompting worries!!!!!

Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports 4 additional COVID-19 deaths!!!!!!!

Nixa, Mo. Mask Order: Mixed thoughts on new masking ordinance!!! and City of Ozark, Mo. enacts masking ordinance after cases spike, wherein two nearby towns went through the whole legislative process, where the city councils met, had citizens make their voices known, and ultimately decided to not have a masking ban, but the news and the executives at the hospitals are now SHOUTING EXCLAMATION POINTS, so the mayors, modern day Cincinnatuses (Cincinnati?) have unilaterally taken EMERGENCY ACTION.

But: Mo. State COVID-case downturn leads to ending lease with Q Hotel:

Confirmed cases of coronavirus have dropped off substantially at Missouri State University so that the school no longer needs to use a local hotel to house students who’ve tested positive.

The “Q” in The Q Hotel & Suites stood for “quarantine” when Missouri State announced in August that it was leasing the then-closed 120-room building next to Hammons Field as a place to house students who contracted COVID-19.

* * * *

At its peak on August 31 the university was housing 122 students in either quarantine or isolation.

Now that number is 10.

Where are the exclamation points for this data?

Does anyone else here draw parallels between counting deaths and casualties in the Iraq War, with Grim Milestones based on context-free metrics, every day up until a different party took the White House and today? Will Karens become the Cindy Sheehans of 2020 and disappear should Biden win?

Ask me in a couple of months!