Old Mask / New Mask

Finally got my new Defender mask to replace my old Sportmask. The Sportmask was second-hand, didn’t cost much and has lasted a very long time. However this new one fits better and doesn’t have all of the battle damage. It’s been a long time coming, but the weakest aspect of my goaltending gear has finally been dealt with! The Defender is a custom mask and is definitely not a thrifty bargain like the Sportmask was as it cost as much as my leg pads did, but it is a long-term commitment and I’ll definitely be getting my money’s worth out of it!

Just waiting to get my custom pants, leg pads and glove back from being repaired and refurbished and I should be good to go for a few years!

091821 • Thrift Store Finds

Rome • Season 1 & 2 • I haven’t watched this since it came out fifteen years ago… and I picked this up, which is both seasons… for $1.50! The discs are in perfect shape and so far I’m several discs in. What a deal! Also, it’s in a sort of book form, with the discs easy to access, without even really opening the ‘book’ up. Great packaging.

Eyewitness Auschwitz: A very raw, first-hand account of being in Auschwitz.

Fulcrum: Escaping the Soviet Empire. That’s what people don’t understand about Communism/Socialism: They wall you in, you have to escape it.

Fatal Voyage: I have several books on the USS Indianapolis now. Sounds like such a sad story.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II: I have other books by this editor, and of the same kind… they are big books! Interesting to just look through, and a handy reference when reading my other books. Amazing that a book this big can be had for next to nothing. This was one of those really neat bargain priced books that would be sold at Waldenbooks or Barnes & Noble. They used to have a really nice amount of great books at decent prices, for new books that is. Now, there is no Waldenbooks and Barnes & Noble only has a fraction of the Bargain Book section that they used to have. So sad. Every time I see one of the bargain price stickers on a book, it makes me think of the time I spent agonizing of which books to buy because they were all so good and all so cheap (not compared to thrift prices, but I didn’t hit the thrifts back then).

Nothing too shocking here: The Zemlinsky Symphonies is totally new to me. The Beethoven Overtures is a nice collection but not totally new to me. The Britten: Spring Symphony is new to me, and the disc and case are like new even though it is a 1997 release!

I have listened to almost all of these already, the Debussy / Ravel album has been the best so far, along with the Faure: Requiem.

Thrift Store Finds • 090421

Some great books here:

Iwo Jima: Twenty-two first-hand accounts. Very interesting read.

Franco and Hitler: How the war would have been different if Franco had joined the Axis, this is very interesting stuff.

The Last of the Doughboys: More first-hand accounts, but this is from the Great War.

Now, this The World War II Album was a risk, as it looked so familiar, and my list had The World War I Album in my library and was very familiar, but all it would take would be one little typo, a “I” instead of “II” and I’d have a double on my hands. This is why it’s good to sample books from one’s library, as to know the library better. There shouldn’t be books in my library that I am unfamiliar with. But as it turns out, I won this gamble and now I have the two-book set! I have never seen this book before or I would have it already. I actually read the first volume five or ten years ago in its entirety. I don’t pay attention much to authors and book titles, which is not a great habit, but there it is. In any case, I’m really happy with all of these buys.

This soundtrack was a gamble as it was scratched up more than I usually accept… and it ripped to my computer perfectly. No issues, I listened to the entire thing, expecting some sort of audible errors… nothing! This is great as I really like the soundtrack to these movies and only have one of the five so far (now, two of the five). This is one of those soundtracks that never hits the thrifts, and was only there because it was so scratched that nobody wanted it. I really like Hans Zimmer soundtracks.

This is one of my favorite symphonies, so another rendition of it is a good find.

This Decca / Haitink series of Shostakovich is almost complete. I’m trying to get the releases with this format of cover, and this Decca / Haitink series contains the first copy of Symphony 11 that I bought right after hearing it live, which hooked me.

This is actually two seperate physical releases that I combined into one cover since it’s a complete collection of Dvorak’s symphonies. It’s nice when the entire set is available at the same time as to avoid having to put up with an incomplete set, waiting for that opportunity to come across the missing discs.

This was still in the shrink-wrap! Thibaudet is one of those pianists I am specifically collecting.

Finding all of these completes my Deutsche Grammophon / Abbado set of Symphonies. I do have to wonder where the missing 3 & 4 and 7 were as I didn’t see it at the thrift I found these at.

I have been listening to more organ music lately thanks to some orchestral transcriptions, so it was nice to find these. One of them was still in the shrink-wrap, too!

Below is the rest of my finds, all good! It took some time to sort through them all, check them against my list, check the condition… I’d thought they were all full price ($3.00) since they were all together in a plastic tray, but it turns out they were all half-off! The Rachmaninov Symphonies and Schubert Lieder were both three-disk sets that come in custom boxes, and looked to be completely unused!

August 2021 • Thrift Store Finds

After not hitting the thrifts since May, we’ve been at at least two per week as Dad was looking for something in particular. So I can’t not look, and not pick up good finds while I’m there.

Above is a slideshow of all the discs; below are selected discs that are in that slideshow.

I listed to Li quite a bit back in 2009, but he’s been lost with all of the other pianists I’ve been listening to… there are so many! But I haven’t seen these three albums in a thrift since then. It’s unfortunate because he’s really good. Odd thing is that I can’t locate the other albums by him that I have, which is strange since my library is fairly well organized.

This was in one of those rare, ideal, quality jewel cases, unlike the normal, cheap, easy-to-break cases that 99.9% of CDs come in. It’s sad that these cases weren’t the standard.

This guy is quite prolific with his recordings… I’ve never seen these two in a thrift before.

Shostakovichs’ Eleventh Symphony is my favorite, and adding these two discs to the set makes for a good day. I need to look and see how many of these I have by Haitink. It would be nice to have the entire set.

Looking forward to listening to this one, apparently it came straight from Japan (Or Korea?)

I thought I had all of these VoxBox discs, and I have yet to make sure that I don’t have this one. If I lose in picking this up, I’m out a buck-fifty. This is one I’d likely have by now. I do know that I have the re-release, but this one matches the others in the original set.

How did I not have this one? I thought I had all of Sarah Chang’s releases! Amazing. I probably was waiting for the price to come down back when I originally collected her discs, and this one was too expensive at the time, and got lost in all of the collecting I’ve done since then. That’s all I can think of for as to why I didn’t have it already.

These guys have so many discs… Happy to find this one, I think it’s a double-disc and only cost what a single disc does, about a buck-fifty.

I have the first disc of this already, so this was a good find! I’ve been listening to a lot of Bach Transcriptions lately so this works into that playlist really well!

Thanks to the recording by Anna Vinnitskaya of the Third Concerto, of course I was going to pick this one up. Also a multiple-disc release for the price of one disc!

I didn’t get this at the thrift, because almost none of Kyle Mills’ books ever end up there. But it is notible for being the last one that I needed to complete the set… after I finish the Brad Thor and Vince Flynn/Kyle Mills books, I’m going to read all of Kyle Mills’ books. I recently did a post on these authors.

Luckily/Unluckily, I didn’t find too many books over the past three weeks. But these were all good ones, the USS Indianapolis book is nothing but stories from the survivors. The Ambrose book, The Victors, I’d thought I had already, but didn’t. The Romanovs comes at a good time as I just watched a really good documentary on them. High-Tech Warfare is part of a general sort of set that I like because it had great art of the subject matter. Grant: A Biography is only the second book in the house dedictated to President Grant. After seeing the miniseries on him a few years ago, I’ve been wanting to read more about the guy. Breakout is on the famous battle in the Korean War, a subject I have yet to seriously dive into.

Reading All Thor/Flynn Books Again!

I started reading Vince Flynn books back when there were only about fourteen of them, upon the recommendation of someone that I trust for this kind of thing. Didn’t regret it. My first book was from the middle of the series, so I didn’t start in sequention order, but that was okay. That makes the previous books more like prequels.

Unfortunately, Vince Flynn passed away in 2013. Although the series was pretty substancial by that point, there was no reason to not continue it, so they found Kyle Mills, who had written twelve of his own books, to continue ala the Tom Clancy books, which are also now written by someone else.

I have only read one of Kyle Mills’ books, but it was good and I have no worries about the Vince Flynn books he’s written (these came out after my first reading of the series). I still have two of Mills’ books to aquire, but they are the most rare and expensive in hardback. I like paperbacks, but hardbacks are my preference if the option exists.

So, enough time has passed that I’ve decided to dive in and read the series again, but this time, in sequential order. What additionally spurred me on was that with the twelve volumes that have been released as Collectors Editions, for all these years, the first three/set has been elusive as it has been unreasonably expensive to purchase. I came in on the tail-end of that era, so they had been out for some time and apparently they are difficult to come by. So for the past ten years or so, I’ve occasionally been checking eBay and Amazon for this set, as I had the other three sets which were not expensive or difficult to find. This first set (the red books above) has been eluding me for so long!

Finally, after all this time, I was able to aquire the set for under a hundred dollars. I don’t know why they didn’t price it as high as everybody else, maybe the rough corners on the box, but at least for them, it’ll actually sell. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the $250-$1,000 copies are the orignal postings I’ve been viewing for the past ten years.

So, upon these books arriving, this was the perfect time to begin re-reading the series. I’ve already completed the first book, and it was at least as good if not better than the first time I read it!

However, it’s not just Vince Flynn. In reading Flynn’s books, I came across another recommendation… Brad Thor. Apparently, he writes the same kind of books, published by the same publisher. I bought the entire Collector’s Editions set before reading any of his books based on how well the Vince Flynn recommendation had gone. And it was just as good as I’d hoped!

So much of the same thing, that these two authors have had the same number of books published, so in my first run of reading them, I read twenty-eight books! And since then, they’ve published about five more each, so when my re-reading is done, I’ll be going straight into the new volumes.

I did contact the publisher of the Collector’s Editions, inquiring if the books after #12 would be sold as Collector’s Editions as well, but I was told that the main publisher hasn’t indicated whether that would happen. Since they did the first twelve at one time, maybe the financial side of this works out to be profitable if they do twelve books at a time, in which case it’ll be a while.

These books are great to break up my usual non-fiction reading. It kind of keeps me on a more consistant reading schedule.

I would get into more series, for instance, for a while, I did collect the Jack Reacher books, but I ended up letting those go because the Flynn/Thor books were so re-readable, and I still have the Kyle Mills books to get to. I have a serious lack of shelf space, so I couldn’t branch out into another series, although in the future at some point, I will. Beyond that, there are the Will Jordan books, which are more obscure, but I follow him (Critical Drinker) on YouTube and based on those videos, I feel confident his books are going to be good. Unfortunately, they are paperback only.

Beyond that, there are a few authors that come recommended from here or there when I’m looking at the Flynn/Thor books, so there is no shortage. And this is before the very idea of getting into Tom Clancy books!

Something I really like about these is that when the author writes about, say, Afghanistan, it’s because he actually went on a trip out there to research what he would be writing about. Kyle Mills grew up in this world as his father was an FBI agent and very much a part of the world of these books. Vince Flynn was actually investigated by the FBI (Or was it CIA?) because one of his books was so detailed. So there is some learning about how politics, people, terrorist groups, weapons, etc. work that isn’t found in other books or movies. Plus, these are very, very non-politically correct. When the bad guys in real life are Islamic, from the Middle East, than they are in the books, too. Nowdays, if the real bad guys are from the Middle East or China, it’s either softened up or changed to Russians.

Unfortunately, 24 (which Flynn was a technical advisor for in season five) had an episode in the middle of it’s run which was specifically to appease the politically correct on this, focusing on how not everyone from that part of the world is a terrorist. Which to me, is pandering. We all know this. Every society has bad people in it, we don’t need story lines to point this out. By the final season of 24, it had become so bad that they had this Muslim character who was being falsely accused of aiding terrorists, and it was always extremely sympathetic to this character. That’s okay to do, but what made 24 so good is that sometimes this character would actually turn out to be the bad guy, which is realistic. Now, it would be unthinkable to do that because it is “offensive”. We’re not babies, we know that some are good, and some are bad, we don’t need our entertainment to be washing away the reality of these things for whatever feels good. 24’s final season started off extremely well, but ended up in a mess of politically correct story lines that never would have been done in the first eight seasons. Hence, it didn’t do well and wasn’t renewed.

Anyway. I’m going to be attempting to get through these books faster than last time, from what I can tell, I read the original twenty-six books from 2011-2015 or so. I’d like to get through these, including the additional books that have been released since my last reading, within two years at the latest. We’ll see how that goes!

Also. I’ve been picking up the additional, newer volumes at thrift stores over the past five years… the newer books take a while to show up there, but at the moment, I’m currently caught-up except for the Kyle Mills books. He’s an extreme rarity in the used book stores and thrifts, only one or two of his can ever be found there. I might just buy the new Flynn/Thor books brand new as this journey is such a long one, it wouldn’t be right to end it a book early because of the price. It isn’t like the books aren’t worth full, or used price.