011423 • Thrift Store Finds

I paid full price for most of these. Usually on Saturdays, the “half-off on selected tags” day, I try not to do this, but all of these books were too good to pass on. Still far cheaper than buying them new, or used online.

Modern Submarine Warfare • This book is part of an unofficial set, of which I have several. It’s always nice to find another one!

Atrocities • Not a happy topic, yet a very interesting one.

The Devil’s Hand • Jack Carr has six books out (This is what the Terminal List series with Chris Pratt is based on) and has the distinction of being the first new fiction series I’m adding to my Brad Thor / Vince Flynn / Kyle Mills library of thrillers. I’d like to find the other five at thrifts, to avoid the higher prices, but they are all relatively new, and with the series doing well, that could take a while. I have thirty more books to go in my Brad Thor / Vince Flynn / Kyle Mills re-read, so I have some time before I have to worry about it.

Italy’s Sorrow • Italy’s involvement in World War II is very interesting. When Hitler and Mussolini created the Pact of Steel, it stipulated that when one country got involved in a conflict, the other would join in. Mussolini didn’t realize Hitler would do what he did so soon, as both Germany and Italy still needed years to rebuild their militaries. Italy was farther away from being able to be effective with its armed forces, a key reason why they did so poorly.

The New Tsar • Interesting for obvious reasons.

Had To Fix It…

Aaron Copland composed one of my all-time favorite symphonies, but I haven’t listened to much of anything else he’s composed. I did collect this three-cd set, and was listening to it today, and as it is with some of these cheaply designed cd covers, there was something that bugged me.

The person who designed this cover was looking for a way to spice it up, and make it more original. Either that, or had just learned the Paint Bucket in Photoshop or Fill in Illustrator, saw the closed “O” and “A” on the cover, and couldn’t help him/herself. I find this similar to most modern art, because if one doesn’t accept this as an artistic vision of sorts, well hey, it’s all subjective!

I disagree. It just looks cheap. If you look at the above “A”, it doesn’t even fill accurately. This was done very quickly, something I’ve noticed on so many of these low-volume classical discs.

So, I fixed it by redoing the covers, so that I’m no longer irritated. I think it looks a lot better without the fill.

On Volume 2 and 3, I did too much contrast to the photos and it’s a bit washed out, but I’m leaving that for now.

There is a page dedicated to my compact disc cover restorations on my portfolio site. Most of the discs I get from thrift stores require some sort of touching up.

Predator Soundtrack

For years, this soundtrack is hard to find at a decent price. This copy was brand-new and remastered in 2012 even. I haven’t noticed any of these until recently, so a batch of them must have become available somehow. I haven’t paid this much for a cd in a very, very long time, but it’s worth it as the movie has one of the best soundtracks ever. When I watch this movie, I’m always sad that the soundtrack is always out of reach.

I did find the Predator 2 soundtrack earlier this year at a thrift store; that is a rare find. Most of the soundtracks that get to thrift stores are always the same, and nothing by way of classics like these.

Again, it really looks like a batch of these just came out at the same time, because I’ve looked multiple times over the years and it’s never within reach. This one was thirty bucks, and I had to get it because I’m not going to run across this remastered version at a thrift store, ever. And I’m not in the thrifts very much anymore, anyway.

This is one of the best movies of all time, with a perfect soundtrack. A sign that it is a perfect movie is that most movies in the genre try to copy it, and all of the sequels can’t equal it. I’m a fan of the first three, but the fourth was a real disappointment, and I am not going to watch the fifth, or any other sequel unless it is regarded by people I trust as a worthy sequel. I haven’t seen the last two Terminators, either, nor the Kenobi or Boba Fett shows for the same reason. Just tired of my favorite characters being treated badly by poor writers and show runners. It used to be that a sequel to any of the big franchises was so rare that one had to go see it; now, the norm is that whatever you like is going to be sub-standard, even offensive. It took a lot of disappointments for me to figure out that the new normal is to just let them come out, and after time goes by, if sources I know to have a good track record (Critical Drinker) with these things say it’s okay, then I’ll watch. I’m not wasting time and money on them anymore, I’d rather spend on hard-to-find soundtracks instead.

Also. The classical music genre is so deep that I am never without good music to listen to, familiar or new. A sub-genre of this is soundtracks, and my soundtrack collection is pretty good, but with even bad movies often having good soundtracks, it is another area to explore or collect that has a great track record for good music. I would be more into soundtracks (I have about thirty or forty) if they were generally cheaper and I wasn’t so occupied with regular classical. But it is a nice diversion.

102922 • Thrift Store Finds

We only went to two thrift stores, and I went to a third. We’ve been to zero for a long time, so this was fun. Almost made it to a fourth store, but something came up and we had to call it a day. Amazing that I found no music, but that’s okay as I have plenty keeping me busy.

Western Apache Raiding & Warfare • I have read a bit of this already, it is full of first-hand accounts, including the 100-year-old woman, born in 1830, daughter of an Apache chief!

War at Sea • Full of fantastic paintings by the same artist, illustrating a history of the World War at sea.

United States Navy Destroyers of World War II • The different classifications for ships has been explained to me a lot, but I still don’t understand exactly what the differences are, which is made far more difficult in that different countries have different definitions, and there are a lot of gray areas. But it looks to be very interesting and I wasn’t going to see it again if I passed it up.

Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia • I almost didn’t get this one, but it goes into a lot of authors and has a lot of great book covers in it. Maybe I’ll keep it, maybe I won’t. But I will read it!

Hellfire Boys • This looks to be a very interesting book on the logistics of trying to kill and maim the enemy in new, innovative ways. So glad I wasn’t a part of this war.

Churchill By Himself • A big book full of quotes big and small and in context. Not many people can have a book like this made about them, and this is the only one I know of like this. There might be one on Abraham Lincoln in my dad’s library, but other than that, this is it!

Grant • I saw this when it was on television, and it was great. Thanks to this, I have an interest in learning more about Grant. Picked it up on DVD at Walmart for three bucks!

Act of Valor • I did see this a long time ago, and all I remember is that all of the action was really, really good. After watching Open Range last month, a movie I saw years ago and only remembered it as boring, that movie upon re-watch was very good, so maybe this will be the same for Act of Valor. Also, I’m far more interested in this kind of movie after American Sniper, 13 Hours, 12 Strong, Lone Survivor, and Hurt Locker.

Lone Survivor / American Sniper • I didn’t have a copy of Lone Survivor and only the DVD of American Sniper. Considering that all of the Blu-rays I found today were two dollars or less, it was time to get them.

Lord of War • I watched this years ago, and every once in a while catch a little bit of it on cable. It’s a bit depressing, but interesting and like I said, it was two bucks.

1883 • Paid full price for this at Walmart today, on the strength of Yellowstone. Just finished the first episode, and it’s very good so far. I don’t buy full-price, new Blu-ray series very often, it has to be something I know will be really good.

Just finished all twenty-one Vince Flynn books! (The last eight were written by Kyle Mills.) That only took thirteen months, with breaks in every book or two. I actually bought the latest one brand new, something I never do (except for the Collectors Editions) because it was released right as I finished book number twenty.

So, now I’m starting the twenty-one Brad Thor books, and then I’ll read the ten Kyle Mills books (that he wrote before taking on the Vince Flynn series after Flynn passed away from cancer.)

One of the interesting things about these books is the research that goes into them; Flynn was investigated by the CIA at one point because his books went into things he wasn’t supposed to know; I think it was Thor, who actually went to Afghanistan, embedded with some troops, so that he could accurately write one of his books. And, Mills posted last year about how things he’s been writing about has been coming to pass, which is terrifying since Total Power was about how quickly the world as we know it goes away if the power grid is suddenly gone, and how inept the government is in preventing and dealing with it. Within weeks, millions would/will be dead. It is a pretty simple catastrophe, which doesn’t take much to understand. We all live by a thread.

Reading In The Car

After work, I tend to read in the car for a bit as the traffic dies down so I can have an easier ride home. When I’m caught in traffic, I keep thinking how that time could be better used for reading, so now I just read for a while and relax, which makes the drive home far less stressful and I get a lot of reading done. And I have this position where I stick my feet out the window that is really comfortable, believe it or not. A great way to end a work day.