Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Crazy Stuff

So, it has begun again.

The damn Caltex just up the road from our beloved BP has begun raising its fuel price on Tuesday mornings again.
As a result, both yesterday and today, they were selling fuel at 97.9 cpl (cents per litre, for the uninformed), and we were at 82.9 cpl.

As a result, I have had two ridiculously busy shifts. $2500 in the shop yesterday, and $2200 on tonight's shift.

As if it isn't busy enough this time of year without that shite going on?!!?
And, of course, along with this, we have the know-it-all tourists coming in and demanding to know why this hasn't been done, or why that dopesn;t work, and why don't I just get out there and fix all of their problems RIGHT NOW, because they are the mst important people in the world....

I hate Christmas.

Anyway, such is life, I guess...

Steven decided to add a 'Most Annoying Of 2003' list on e-mail today.
Here's mine :

10. Collingwood again failing at the final hurdle. God it’s a hard life following the Mighty Magpies…

9. Brett Kimmorley. Cockhead that only gets picked when his Dad (Chris Anderson) insists he should play.

8. Steve Waugh. Just fucking go already!!!

7. Shane Warne. Admit you’re bloody wrong, have NO idea about style, and get on with it. If he replaces MacGill in Sri Lanka I will be one very pissed off lad…

6. Darren Lehmann. Finally scores runs a-la Dean Jones (at the very last chance before being dropped), then injures himself BOWLING!!!

5. Shane Fulton. His less-drinking, leave-early, don’t-show-up-at-all tendencies of 2003 have been extremely ordinary. Needs a good kick up the pants.

4. Iron Maiden and Metallica. Both should have pulled the plug in 1993. The world would remember them more fondly.

3. Fucking tourists. They should all be lined up against a wall.

2. Masterton Homes. Just because.

1. My bloody in-laws. This has been the worst year ever. If I cut them out now, maybe 2004 will be redeemed!

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Top 10 Albums of the Year

So, it’s December, and in December one should always try and figure out their favourite ten albums released during the previous 12 months.
(In point of fact, one could do a lot of lists, including movies, but I don’t reckon I saw 10 movies this year, so I won’t bother with that!)
So here goes – the top 10 releases of 2003 :

10. Odyssey – Symphony X.
The first album I have heard from this band, and fairly impressive. Very Dream Theater-ish orientated, along with the typical power/progressive metal influences that permeate the scene these days.

9. St. Anger – Metallica.
Really gave this a huge try, and it is certainly better than recent efforts. Still, despite this, it is still missing those elements from the 80’s that made Metallica stand out from the crowd. The songs they have played live certainly sound better that way.

8. As Live As It Gets – Blaze.
A highly impressive live performance from this band. This proves once and for all that they are not just a bunch of musicians with a high-profile-two-band-ex-singer. They are terrific in their own right. Excellent versions of their own songs, along with Maiden/Wolfsbane songs that are not performed anywhere else these days.

7. We’ve Come For You All – Anthrax.
Overdue return from the New York lads, and a good one at that. They’ve been talking up ‘metal’ for 18 months now, trying to portray themselves as one of the leaders, but you still get the feeling that they could have done more with this. As good as John Bush is, his vocals sometimes feel one dimensional…

6. Rabbit Don’t Come Easy – Helloween.
Listen to this after The Dark Ride, and you wouldn’t believe one followed the other. ‘Rabbit…’ is an excellent album, but pales in comparison to its predecessor. Still, it compares favourably with all of their other albums since Andi Deris joined the band after the appalling ‘Chameleon’.

5. The Blessed Hellride – Black Label Society.
Zakk goes from strength to strength in his one-man stand to keep metal at the forefront of the community. Each Black Label Society has gotten better and heavier than the previous instalment. Can anyone imagine what Ozzy’s next album will be like with Zakk writing it?

4. Train Of Thought – Dream Theater.
I’ve only had this for a week, but it is certainly a pearler. The heavier sound, in particular on the opening tracks, is damned impressive. It took me a long time to get into Dream Theater, but this album easily ranks this highly in the releases of the year.

3. Dance Of Death – Iron Maiden.
It isn’t often that a Maiden album wouldn’t be #1 on my albums of the year, but this one is just that – not. The album itself is great (or it wouldn’t be #3…), and though my choices are not dictated by the “no tour of Australia AGAIN”, that has probably hurt it. I’d also say that Maiden have reached the middle-age security blanket of metal – nothing ferocious, just dependable. Not that there is anything wrong with that…

2. Skeletons In The Closet – Gamma Ray.
Simply superb live album, showcasing rarely-played songs that ROCK! In my humble opinion, the premier metal band on the planet.

1. Masterplan – Masterplan.
Why was Helloween’s album unable to match their previous effort? Because they kicked out Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch, who wrote their heaviest material. They then formed Masterplan, and this is their debut effort. Very classy, and with great songs and vocals. Following it up may be difficult, but in 2003, they reign supreme!