February Month in Review: Recording Some Music, Gaming, Etc.


The past couple weeks have been incredibly busy ones, but actually fairly productive for music production. I have a couple of songs sitting in the pipeline that I simply need to sit down and record. I hope to perhaps to get some of that this weekend since I had an opportunity to clean off my hard drive on my laptop to free up some recording room. I am very much due for a new computer, but times have just been busy and I am actually waiting for a re-fresh of the iMacs from Apple. 

I also need to sit down and finalize an album out of the faux 8-bit tracks that I recorded in most of 2010. They are all done, but just need some polishing before re-recording them. 

On a slightly related note I need to finalize the albums page here on the blog so people can once again find my albums on the net. That page has just been languishing over the past month as I worked out details for the new blog format. 


I am slowing working my way through A Game of Thrones, which I hope to have done within the next couple of weeks. It has been close to three months now on it and I have to say I am fully enjoying it. Not quite sure what book I want to read next, but I will definitely have to take a break from this series. I don’t think I can handle another 900 page book. 


Over the past month I have enjoyed a few games and I worked through Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and Singularity. Both are fine enough, but Singularity took me a bit by surprise. I have also gone back to Halo: Reach for some multi-player action which has been quite a fun time. I have also had a really good time with Onlive and the micro-console. The service is by no means perfect, but there are some good games on there and I have really been working through Trine over the past couple of weeks. The game is quite fun, but a bit long for what it is. 

The Passing of Brian Jacques and How Redwall Shaped My Life

It is not often in our lives when artists, musicians, poets and writers touch us in such a profound way as to shape us for our days to come. This past week I read on several blogs and book outlets about the passing of Brian Jacques, the author of the Redwall series of books. I personally have not actually read a Redwall book in probably fifteen years, with the last one probably during my junior high days. For some reason though this pronouncement touched me in a very profound way. 

I first found the Redwall books when I was in grade school when I saw Salamandastron in the Scholastic book catalog, that I presume all school children are familiar with. This was my first introduction to the Redwall series and if I remember correctly, one of my first introductions to a full novel as well.  I was instantly taken to the book as its stories played out the adventures of the noble badgers in the mountain, their leader and a weasel assassin. I quickly fell in love with the series and after that read several more of the books. 

Over time though I outgrew the books, mostly because of my immaturity in assuming I was too mature for them. They always had a place though in my favorite’s list and I often found myself recommending them to some of the most unlikely of people. Just six months ago I actually recommended Salamandastron to a coworker of forty. 

A blog post on Tor.com though this morning hit home though when I read about how the author discovered and ingested the Redwall series of books. As I read comments on the blog post, almost all of the stories were so similar to my own. Young boys in grade school discovering a series of books about adventure, intrigue, honor, friendship and to some extent war. It is perhaps the perfect mold for a young boy in many ways and it certainly solidified my love of fantasy on the whole. 

I often remark on how Brian Jacques does not get his due credit as being one of the best young adult authors of his time. He touches on so many relatable subjects for the young male reader and in a world where young adult books are increasingly being catered towards the female crowd, young boys need something they can identify with. 

As I mentioned before, these books in some way changed me as a child and shaped my tastes and personalities and it has taken perhaps years to fully realize how something that I read when I was twelve could do so. If you have not read any of the Redwall series before I highly encourage you to do so, and if you happen to be a parent I encourage you to share these books with your children.