Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath


I can’t stop playing Blitzkrieg. It is the most addictive strategy game ever. It’s fairly accurate to World War II, but instead of being a first-person sort of thing like Medal of Honor, all you are doing is moving around your tanks and troops and stuff on an isometric map that vaguely resembles the old SimCity, except it has way more detail of the French landscape (or whereever you are in Europe.) When your troops run into the enemy, they automatically enter battle and try to do their duty, so you don’t worry about that. What you do worry about is the supply line, guarding the flank, getting overrun, enemy dive bombers (you can call up air support) and about a million other things. It’s not hard to figure out how to move around your dudes, but it takes forever to learn the actual art of war and how to keep your army alive.

Not much has been up here. It’s still winter outside, which sucks. We have a three-day weekend, but it’s in the high 50s and cloudy and generally shitty. I have barely left the house all weekend; it’s the kind of weather where sitting in front of the TV is optimal. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything on but NASCAR and other crap. I went to the drug store yesterday to pick up a $10 prescription and left $119 later, with a ton of stuff I vaguely needed: new britta filters, new cleaining supplies, new toothbrush, new printer cartridges. I spent part of yesterday cleaning this hellhole, and actually got the kitchen somewhat in order. Pretty exciting, huh?

I got about 35 new CDs from Ray. A friend of his is apparently going to prison, and he sent Ray his whole music collection so he could somehow sell it off and scrape together some of the fines he will also owe the government. So for $206, I got this giant box full of Death Metal, Black Metal, and some other old stuff. I stocked up on a lot of the old early-90s stuff that I had on tape a lifetime ago, and haven’t heard in ten years. I finally got a CD copy of the Cynic album Focus, which is pretty cool and weird. I also got the metal cased version of the Slayer double-live album, which is pretty neat.

Right now I am listening to the Saxon album The Power and the Glory; I finally got a version from Holland for like $19 on Amazon. I love all of those old Saxon albums, and had them on tape back in the 80s when they had a deal with Sony (I think.) Now EMI has some of the old stuff out in Europe, and it’s great to hear it again. It reminds me so much of driving down the road in the old Camaro, listening to all the old heavy metal we could find in the local Camelot Music’s bins. But digging around for this old metal on eBay or weird third-party web stores always makes me think that my musical knowledge is somehow stuck at 1989, and I’ll always be trying to find that old Indestroy demo or looking up what Dave Mustaine is doing these days, while all kinds of other music comes and goes. And I’ll admit, I’ve tried to objectively listen to this New Metal a bit to see if I’d like it, and I realize that it’s probably true: I’m getting old.

I was at a party and someone was talking about Metallica, and I said “yeah, I used to be a fan of theirs, but I’m not anymore,” and the chick I was talking to said “oh, you mean you’re not a fan now that Jayson left?” No, since Cliff left.

I want to redesign the front page of rumored.com, but I’m not sure I’ll do it this weekend. I almost saw the sun for a second, but now it’s gone. Looks like I’ll reboot to Windows and continue invading France.