Saturday, June 30, 2007

Music - Minstrel Boy

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I was watching Black Hawk Down over at the cable channel (AXN, ch19) for the 6th (or more, I lost count) times tonight. Incidentally, I did not see it at the big screen because during the screening then, I was not into war movies, and I thought it was just another war movie. But after seeing it (less than a year or so later) on DVD, I was hooked onto it.

The movie got me into it mainly due to actors that I could recognise (eg Ewan McGregor, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, etc), the cold reality of war portrayed, it being based on the novel, which is in turn based on a true story, and the overall story and characters. If you have not seen it, please do pick it up and have a look. It is a good movie.

Near the end of the movie, there were 2 songs that captured my attention. One was played when the rest of the pack was running back to the U.N. camp, and the other was played during the end credits. The former is called Gortoz a ran - J'Attends, and the latter Minstrel Boy.

An emotionally stirring and inspirational song, The Minstrel Boy was written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) who set it to the melody of The Moreen, and old Irish aire. It is believed by many that Moore composed the song as a memorial to several of his friends he had met while a student at Trinity College and who had participated in the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishmen. One died in prison, another was wounded, and a third captured and hung. The song originally consisted of two verses. Due to its popularity, the song was a favorite of the many Irishmen who fought during the U.S. Civil War, primarily on the Union side. Original article can be found here.

Buy the soundtrack, and listen to them. Both are very nice songs. Lyrics to Minstrel Boy:

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
"Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never sound in slavery!"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Haul of the Day - 25 June 2007

Went down to Far East Plaza again today to get a haircut (in preparation for my incamp training tomorrow) at It's Hairy. This has become my regular place to get a haircut. Even though it is a bit on the high side, I am far more at ease than my previous places at the neighbourhood Malay Barbershop. At the end of the session, I never get what I asked for. At It's Hairy, I do not need to ask. I just go in and get a cut, trusting that Laurence (the owner) will give me what I need. And I also like his devotion to get a best cut for his customers. If you are at Far East Plaza, do check out his salon at #04-100, Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, S(228213).

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Ok, on to the haul. Today I just went to TFH to pickup the 2 heavy weights I left there ages ago - Hottoys ED-209 and Fewture Getter-3. While I was there, I also picked up a Transformers movie Scorponok at a pre-sale price of S$15 (cool !). And thanks to Roy for the free set of 4 Fun Factory Post Pet Kubricks and Clifford for the set of Marvel Legends comics. No pictures today as the camera run out of juice (Update 1 Jul: Picture uploaded).

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Plug - Omnitrixland

Please do checkout my newphew's blog at He is a big fan of Ben10, the animated show, that is currently showing on the local cable's Cartoon Network.

Though not as good as Justice League or Nickelodeon's Spongebob SquarePants or Avatar: Legend of Aang, it is nonetheless one of the better shows out there. There is also variety in the show, with new developments on the omnitrix. Do check it out if you can. I am beginning to get hooked as well.

Haul of the Day - 24 Jun 2007

Had to drag my butt down to TFH to pickup some stuff that are long overdue, due to coming down with fever and cough. Spent over S$50 and visited 2 different doctors, and the condition has improved only slightly.

Only managed to collect the following, with the Transformers Movie Sector 7 basic figures and Revoltec INOUE Toro out of stock at the moment.
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Marvel Legends Fearsome Foes boxset, a warehouse find by the good folks. Without them, we would have never seen the lights of this boxset, except from evilbay. Through the help of shaun who help me secure a set of BBI 1/6 Female Perfect Body (Caucasian and Hispanic) for some custom down the road. Oh, and do checkout the customs that he did of Wonder Women first take, Wonder Women second take and Mary Jane. And lastly, the bubble warpped figure which you cannot see anything is actually a HyperHobby magazine mailaway Kamen Rider No.1 Sakurajima version.

Will be making another trip tomorrow to retrieve 2 heavy weights that had been at the shop for ages, due to space constraint at home. Have to bring them babies home as the folks are going to move out of the Far East outlet to their new Waterloo location soon.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

DC Comics for September 2007

I am back again this month to look at some of the comic covers solicited by DC for the month of Sep 2007.
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First up, from last month's recommend BATMAN/LOBO: DEADLY SERIOUS miniseries, comes the cover for #2. The colours are nice on Batman, but the proportions seem to be really off. It looks like Sam Keith did not put in effort in this series. I am having second thoughts about this series. It's now on the wait and see list.

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Next is the cover to GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE #5-6, also introduced last month. Another colourful and great piece by Jock.

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A new cover for this month is from METAL MEN #2. I must have missed the cover for the first issue. Surprisingly, this series is written and drawn by Duncan Rouleau. He is a great artist. I noticed his artwork when he was doing some work for Marvel's DR DOOM and VENOM series. His work is in the likes of Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos. But I did not know that he is a writer as well. And incidentally, he is also one of the creators of the animated show BEN 10.

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Another missed title this month - THE PROGRAMME. It's not mainstream superhero stuff, which is why I had overlooked it. But the cover to issue 2 is very striking, with the nice usage of black and white, and a dash of red to bring out the image. The art and cover is drawn by CP Smith. His name rings a bell, but I just cannot place it. Maybe I might have mistaken him for Matthew Smith. Anyway, this guy's art is incredible. He also did the art on a standalone issue of WOLVERINE #61. Do check it out.

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The last 2 covers, from ROBIN #166 and GREEN LATERN CORPS #16, have one thing in common - they are drawn by the artist Patrick Gleason. Nothing special about the covers, but the style of this artist reminds me of Jason Pearson. I hope he goes on to do more interior artwork.