Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Tag Archives: lifting

Long Time, No ‘See’

Once again I find myself being more than delinquent in my frequencies of updating this page. So much has happened in the last few months. Let see if I can get a quick update…

I moved to a start-up nanotech company (we’re still trying to keep our anonymity – although it gets harder by the day). I’m absolutely, 100% loving it. We’re really starting to spread our wings and could have a break-out moment any minute now. I’m not stuck in the same, coddled rut that I was before. Right now, I’m the primary design engineer on our tools (we’ll be hiring a more senior guy eventually) and I’m also highly involved with the Motion Team and the CAD/PLM Implementation Team. My hands are in many pots and it’s keeping me busy, but I honestly couldn’t be happier.

The people I’m working with are just awesome too. I can honestly say that I wake up every morning looking forward to going to work. Hopefully it stays that way – I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

WOW! Where do I start. Well, back on my birthday (March 16th), I got the coolest present of all – a black labrador! We adopted him from the North Shore Animal League on Long Island. I wanted to name him Bruschi after the most kick-ass Patriot on the current roster, Tedi Bruschi. My wife didn’t like the beer double entendre, so we went with naming him after my favorite Red Sox, Jason Varitek. This dog is the shiz-nit! He knew all his commands and he is really, really smart (sometimes too smart for his own good). He loves playing catch, is great with kids (Marissa’s cousins had a blast with him at a family barbeque), and is absolutely enthralled with being in the water. I couldn’t have asked for a better pet.

My workout schedule has gotten much better since I started at my new gig (almost wrote the name of the company there). We have a Gold’s Gym right down the road from us (walking distance) and at least two of us – sometimes three – get in there about 3-4 times a week. It’s great. I’m really starting to get back into shape, although tightening up my diet would really help that. Once October rolls around, I’m gonna start a 5×5 workout and see if I can kick it up a notch. I don’t think I’m gonna be playing flag football this season as I’m busy with other stuff. I’ve been surfing as much as possible too…this current flat spell is driving me batty!

The wife and I are doing good. We’re seriously starting the house hunting process – basically getting our finances in order right now. We can’t get real serious until after my sister’s wedding in September due to all the craziness that we’re involved with in that. Other than that, we’re just cruising.

I’m sure there’s a lot I left out here, but these tidbits have been the basis of what’s been up with my life lately…hopefully I’ll be a bit more consistent than doing quarterly updates here.

Metal, Metal, Metal….

I was talking to a friend the other day about needing some music to throw on my iPod Shuffle for when I’m lifting. Given his affinity for metal, he put together the following list of must have metal albums. Without further ado, I give to you:

JP’s 21 (cause 20 just isn’t enough) Must Have Metal Albums

Powerslave – Iron Maiden
If you need to ask why you need this album…well. NWOBHM at its finest, and Dickinson could sing. This is like a textbook of metal.

Sad Wings Of Destiny – Judas Priest
Another no-brainer. Great songs throughout, killer guitar, and Halford is the greatest metal singer of all time.

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Again, duh. It is impossible to NOT like “The Wizard” and “Sleeping Village/Warning”. Throw in “N.I.B” and it’s a classic.

Lightning To The Nations – Diamond Head
Some people would make fun of this album, but without this album, Metallica might not exist. The songs might seem familiar…”Am I Evil?”, “Sucking My Love”, “The Prince”, and “Helpless” are all classic. The whole album rocks, and has the same raw vibe as Kill Em All. Real singing, too.

And Justice For All… – Metallica
Um, yeah. The depression of existence, captured on record at 200 BPM! “Dyer’s Eve” is the greatest Metallica track of all time.

This Darkened Heart – All That Remains
The greatest album of 2004. Phil is a little bit lower and hardcore growly, but not screechy, and if you read the lyrics, you’ll understand him. There is some singing, but this album is about devastating riffery and the sonic assault waged by Mike Martin and Oliver Herbert.

Beware The Heavens – Sinergy
THIS is how chicks in metal should sound. Kimberly Goss is married to Alexi Laiho from COB, and he plays on the album. Kind of like COB but with singing. Great album.

In Search Of Truth – Evergrey
The Pink Floyd of metal albums. This is a very relaxing and simultaneously frightening album. Themes of abduction, insanity, and being trapped abound. Lots of creepy parts, cool singing, and some killer solos.

Burning Bridges – Arch Enemy
Arch Enemy’s “melodic” album. Flat out screaming, but you can understand it alright. And the guitar work is raw and angry.

The Art Of Balance – Shadows Fall
This is the most melodic album from SF, in my opinion. “The Mystery Of One Spirit” is the most screaming track they ever recorded, in my opinion. Similar to All That Remains, but a little more singing and the riffs aren’t quite as good.

Cowboys From Hell – Pantera
Uh……………………dude. “Message In Blood” and “Cemetery Gates” rule, as well as the title track. Phil Anselmo could get up!

Stained Class & Hell Bent For Leather – Judas Priest
Man, another great pair of efforts from The Priest. Both released in 1978, and I usually listen to them together. Awesome vocals from Halford, and some of Tipton and Downing’s most memorable riffs, including “Better By You, Better Than Me” and the back-to-back anthems “The Green Manalishi” and “Killing Machine”. “The Green Manalishi” was originally written by Peter Green, I think, from Fleetwood Mac, I am pretty sure. All of these songs rule, even if they are about gay sex.

Night Of The Stormrider – Iced Earth
Some of Schaffer’s best riffing, including “Travel In Stygian”. Classic metal singing, a little thin at times.

Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden
Paul Dianno rocks the mic on this bad mother. “Phantom Of The Opera” is the best track, great harmony work. Dianno was a great singer, too, but it’s tough to top Dickinson.

The War Within – Shadows Fall
Better drums than The Art Of Balance. “The Power of I and I” rocks, and the drums on “The Light That Blinds” rocks.

Suicide By My Side – Sinergy
More like COB, less happy riffage. ANGRY!!!!! But Kim Goss still r0x0rz.

Pornograffitti – Extreme (I am not joking…)
Don’t ask. Just crank the NON-radio tracks. This is tone like Zakk Wylde, but some weird riffing. Excellent solos, esp. in “Pornograffitti” and “Almighty Dollar”.

Master Of Puppets – Metallica
Nothing to say here.

Melissa – Mercyful Fate
If you like the devil, you’ll like this album. Ha ha. Just playing. Satanic themes aside, this is another big chunk of the Met sound. KD is a goofy singer, but at least he doesn’t just growl. Great thin metal sound. “Into The Coven” has a ripping intro.

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Iced Earth
Their best album ever. Listen to the last three tracks. Great vocals by Matt Barlow and insane rhythm guitar from Schaffer. THIS album rules.

Buried In Oblivion – Into Eternity
Nothing to say here.