Friday, April 18, 2014

Retro A to Z Challenge: P – Porcupine Tree 2007 (and Special Thanks)

Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet – 2007

This band has undergone many changes over the years. Their earlier work is surreal and trippy, but they continued to progress and are now an outstanding prog rock band. The title is a play on another album, and there are six amazing tracks. The longest - Anesthetize at almost eighteen minutes – is by far the best, and like a blend of three songs. They are a mellow prog band, with great melody, and an easy introduction to someone venturing into the world of progressive rock.

2007 fun facts –
*Cost of gas - $3.38
*The Tesla Roadster, the world’s most efficient electric car, debuted at car shows
*On June 29, the iPhone was released
*The last book in the series was released, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Movies released –
The 300
Ocean’s Thirteen
No Country For Old Men
3:10 to Yuma
The Bourne Ultimatum

Music released –
Rush – Snakes and Arrows
Chevelle – Vena Sera
Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience, & Grace

Games released –
Mass Effect

And why is 2007 special?
It’s the year Misha Gericke was a freshman at University, and the first time she truly got to spread her wings in a world was filled with possibility!

Misha is an author with goals to make it a career. She crafted a detailed plan and schedule to make it happen in five years and is well on her way. She shares all nitty-gritty, from the good to the bad. Misha is genuine, honest, and an inspiration. She blogs at The Five Year Project.

Ninja News!

CD Coffelt has a prequel for The Wilder Mage available now, Out of Magic. And Saturday and Sunday, it is free! Get it on Amazon HERE

River Fairchild revealed the awesome cover for her next book, A Dragon's Lament, Jewels of Chandra, Book 2. It’s due out next month.

And the Ninja’s lair has been spotted! Father Dragon’s dwarves snapped this shot while out scouting the neighborhood. However, they are no match for my security system and will be teleported off the premises immediately!

Special Thanks!

I would like to take this moment to thank two very special groups of ladies.

First, I would like to thank the awesome admins over at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group : Joy, Michelle, Joylene, Susan, Diane, and Lynda.
All of you have done an amazing job with Challenge posts at the site. Before April even began, you had the schedule filled and ready to rock. Thank you for your dedication to the IWSG!

Second, I would like to thank my A to Z Challenge Minions: Joy. Michelle, SL. Susan, Rhonda, Madeline, LG, Cathy. Diane, and Melanie
You have done an awesome job keeping up with our section of the list. As the keeper of the Linky List (I’m the one who spends at least an hour a day fixing and deleting links) I could NOT do this without your help. Thanks for all of your efforts to stay on top of things!

You’ll notice several of these ladies are on both lists. Many are pulling double and even triple duty, as some are also posting for the Challenge. They are uber-awesome! If you are looking for dedicated friends, you’d do well to follow them.

And notice that all of my helpers and admins are women? I am one lucky dude!

Familiar with Porcupine Tree? Following the awesome Misha? Excited about the new releases? Think you know where the Ninja lair resides? Do you have an support team that just rocks? And what do you remember best about 2007…?


  1. hey Alex,

    Misha is wonderful!

    You are lucky to have such great woman on your team! THEY ARE AWESOME!!!!

    Loved Ratatouille and Transformers... still do!

    CONGRATS to CD and River on their new books! All the best!

    I hope I'm first!

  2. Hey Alex, you have a wonderful group of women helping you in this challenge and also with the IWSG site. Misha is a dear friend and a wonderful writer.

  3. I am in awe at all the participants in the challenge AND the admins and the minions. And you.
    My lazy self has been receiving education and pleasure each and every day. Thank you.

  4. Other than many of the other Pixar movies, Ratatouille may be my favorite.

  5. Misha and all those blog helper minions are amazing. And of course they are women...we rock. Lucky you. ;)

  6. In 2007, I had a reunion with a writer friend I'd met at a workshop & who has remained a dear friend. Friendship is one of my favorite things.
    Kathy @ Swagger Writers

  7. LOL - I did notice that all of us were women. Thanks for the mention and I am happy to help. As for 2007, I can't believe the iPhone is that new, seems like it's always been here.

  8. Hi Alex - I've actually seen one of the movies - I suspect on tv .. but Ratatouille was fun to watch ...

    Alex' Ninja ladies .. well you've all done a wonderful job .. and Misha has worked out an excellent five year plan.

    Love the signpost that Father Dragon found outside your home!

    2007 changed my life .. I started blogging!

    Cheers Hilary

  9. Great post, indeed a big thank you to your ladies, on a great job.
    I have to limit what time I spend on my pc because of pain.
    I remember 2007 as the year I made a mistake in my life I moved back to the UK from Spain. Still from that mistake I have learned much.

  10. I'm sure that Misha will reach all of her goals, and she truly deserves it! Between your IWSG team, and A to Z minions they are all doing a terrific job! It's amazing how they're able to get around almost as quickly as your clones!


  11. Congrats to everyone with book releases and awesome covers. No Country for Old Men was so violent, and I was disappointed that it won Best Pic. of the Year at the Oscars. I have fond memories of reading Deathly Hallows while on vacation lying on a beach...

  12. It's interesting seeing the gas prices. I love River's cover! Yes...thank you so much to the group of ladies!! Have a wonderful weekend. :-)

  13. A good year for technology. Never heard of that band before now. That picture is super creepy, and I love it!

  14. OOPS!!

    Sorry Alex, Out of Magic is free on Saturday and Sunday. I neglected to note the calendar setup on KDP.

    Sorry for the mixup.

    Yay for Misha, one of my fellow contributors at Unicorn Bell.

  15. You were first, Michael!

    Elephant, thank you - I'm glad you're enjoying and learning.

    Andrew, way to commit!

    Ilima, you ladies do rock.

    Rhonda, I couldn't do it without you.

    Hilary, blogging has a way of doing that.

    Yvonne, I hope one day you can move back.

    Julie, I trained them well...

  16. 2007!! My goodness that seems like only yesterday! LOL!! Awww Ratatouille is one of my utter fave films ever!!! So gonna watch it again now after my blogland visit! Yay!

    And what a gorgeous year too for lovely Misha!!

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Easter, Capn Ninja!! Take care

  17. Awe thanks so much for the mention, Alex!

    And for the lovely comments, everyone else.


  18. Lips of Ashes is one of my favorite Porcupine Tree tracks. :)
    Thanks for introducing Misha! I will visit her soon.
    And last but not least, that Dragon's Lament cover is fantastic! Now there's one book that draws me in just by the cover. :)

  19. Hmm, I'm starting to feel less like a Minion and more like a member of some blogging harem…. :)

    Thanks for the shout out, Alex. It's been a blast being one of your Ninja Minions!

  20. Would a REAL Ninja really advertise the entrance? Me smells a trap...laid by you and Father Dragon to lure unsuspecting visitors to your door, and then either make 'em dwarves, or clones, or dwarf sized clones or clones of dwarves...or something nefarious, indeed...

    Love Misha. So driven and organized, as opposed to me...running all over the place, like a chicken, though my head IS still partially attached...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

  21. It is great to have support and you have it!! You have it because you support so many others and is very supportive and positive-I guess you get back what you give-feels good eh?:) These films-I can't believe they came out in 2007 seems like it was only 2 yrs ago. 2007 was wonderful because that is when my hubby moved in with me and we became a family-a dog and his 2 cats. We now have a new dog (my Katie is in heaven with my dad going through the bush) and 4 cats:)

  22. 2007 was a monumental year for us. We decided to have one last baby (something we thought we were done doing many years before) and it's been amazing. I love being an 'older' parent. :)

    Hurrah for your great teams and good friends.

    I just saw the A-Z sign up list for the first time (on your blog). That is an amazing turn-out of participants!

  23. Oh, I feel old. I've never heard of Porcupine Tree. Congrats to CD for the release of the prequel, River's book cover is amazing and a wave to Misha. Sounds like you've got two great groups of ladies looking out for you.

  24. That truly is an awesome list of great people!

    I've never heard of Porcupine Tree before but I like the name :)

  25. Saw Ratatouille and No Country for Old Men. Now that was a scary movie. Only ever read the first HP book but saw all the movies and have several of them.

    Tell you something Alex, this minioning business is much harder this year.

  26. Saw Ratatouille and No Country for Old Men. Now that was a scary movie. Only ever read the first HP book but saw all the movies and have several of them.

    Tell you something Alex, this minioning business is much harder this year.

  27. Wow. You're the first person I 'know' who has heard of Porcupine Tree! I like them, and the solo album by Steven Wilson - Harmony Korine - is pretty cool, too.

  28. What a lucky ninja blogger you are to have such a devoted group of supporters. I curtsy to the IWSG and A to Z Challenge goddesses. BTW, did I ever respond to your earlier post about being willing to co-host an upcoming IWSG post? I stand willing and able to participate, sir, if still needed.

  29. Deathly Hallows was that long ago? I remember practically pouncing on the UPS guy waiting for our delivery from Amazon to arrive.

    Not a huge surprise I hadn't heard of the band--I haven't really kept up with music since high school. But if you ever want to know 80s music, I'm your gal. LOL.

    I know the lovely Misha on FB more than blog land. Clearly I need to go visit her.

    Happy A-Zing
    Laurel's Leaves

  30. Huntress, I will fix that!

    Happy Easter, Kitty.

    Misha, you're welcome.

    Kirsten, cool you are a fan!

    Madeline, I admit to nothing... And thanks for being such an awesome Minion.

    Tina, you may be right.

    Birgit, thanks, and you have a houseful.

    Rosey, our best year ever!

    Jo, that's because there are so many more participants.

    Marcy, that makes us uber cool!

    Kim, I could use help in June!

  31. Misha's awesome! And I love River's cover! So pretty!

  32. I've never heard of Porcupine Tree, but I wonder if I've heard any of their songs. I'm better with remembering a song if I hear it rather than by the name! Yay for Misha! Her book is awesome. I always thought your ninja lair was under your mansion and you had these cool poles to slide down into it. Hehehe! Have a wonderful Easter weekend. :)

  33. You are surrounded by all your fair maidens, Alex. Good thing they all kick major butt!

    That album cover is a bit on the creepy side.

    I love Father Dragon's photo. He's got a great team of dwarves. Then, again, what team of dwarves isn't the best?

  34. I loved Ratatouille.

    I'm proud to be on the IWSG admin team.

  35. ha. i like that ninja entry sign...i need to check out this band...never heard of them...the 18 minute song is intriguing....

  36. Wow, haven't though about Porcupine Tree in a long time. Never a favorite of mine, but a great listen when I'm in that mood.

    My A to Z Challenge

  37. Misha's great! Glad you have such an awesome team. I love River's cover, very cool!

  38. The Incident is an epic album. It's awesome.

  39. The Bourne series, whike so different from the books is so well done I didn't mind.

  40. Misha Rocks!

    So many great movies out that year. Loved almost all of them.

  41. Misha is awesome! I got married in 2007, between my junior and senior year of college. Some people were concerned that I wouldn't finish college after getting married, but that seemed ridiculous to me. I'm the biggest nerd about learning. The idea of not finishing school was as unacceptable to me as the idea of chewing off my own leg. And I'm really not exaggerating about that. :)

  42. What a surprise! Thanks so much for the cover love, Alex!

    Misha is great and a member of our Untethered Realms group.

    Love Father Dragon's ninja sign. :)

    Best of luck to CD Coffelt and her book and a special thanks to your double-duty minions!

  43. Love the bourne movies, and hey not bad, all women on your team haha

  44. Hello Alex
    Oh! I missed Ocean's Thirteen, but enjoyed eleven and twelve.

    Misha is a wonder, an inspiration and has great stamina to blog so prolifically. She's lovely.

    Other bloggers are my support team.

  45. What an amazing team, Alex! And Misha is simply delightful and a wonderful writer!! (That picture of that kid is super creepy, by the way!!)

  46. Glad you have such great helpers. Misha is awesome! She is a wonderful critique partner and her blog is always exciting. Porcupine Tree sounds cool. I'll have to check them out.

  47. 2007 was a great year for me. I graduated college and got my first real job. Plus the Red Sox won another World Series and two of my favorite albums were released: Fall Out Boy's Infinity on High and Paramore's Riot!

    Yeah I know... not heavy enough for ya :P

    p.s. has gas actually gotten cheaper since 2007? We pay about $3.19/g here in NJ, though I'm sure that's at the low end of the country.

  48. Love Al's Ninja pic - how funny. Misha is awesome and River's new cover is fantastic.

  49. Christine, like the Batcave?

    Elsie, surrounded, just the way I like it!

    Diane, happy to have you on the team.

    Bob, their newer stuff is much better.

    LG, good for you!

    River, you're welcome. It's an awesome cover.

    Chris, it's thirty cents lower than ours right now.

  50. You obviously have the support group from heaven! Inspiring to see how much people are involved in not only the IWSG, but also the A to Z. I like it when I come across a blog that caters to both!

  51. We chicks like to help you out cause you ROCK!

    I love Misha!

    Great Ninja Entry sign!

    I feel like I'm walking in molasses today and I have so much A to Z to do!!!


  52. I've never heard of Porcupine Tree, but I adore Ratatouille- one of my fave Pixar movies.

    Huge congrats to Misha on being featured here!

    Yipee for CD Coffelt- I like free books!

    And waita go River- that cover looks awesome!

    Joy, Michelle, Joylene, Susan, Diane, Lynda, SL, Rhonda, Madeline, LG, Cathy and Melanie are all utterly amazing woman and it doesn't surprise me at all to see that they keep company with you because you all rock so hard I can't even comprehend it.

  53. Porcupine Tree! Now you're talking. I do like their music and actually own at least one of their CD's.

    I have a wonderful support team. Special kudos to Rob Z Tobor who seems to be all over the list to keep an eye on things and Connie Rodrigues who keeps a very active international cadre of A to Z bloggers going.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  54. Less than $4.00 for gas?! That is crazy! 2007 wasn't even that long ago.

  55. What?! No porcupine pie?

    Ratatouille remains to be my favorite Pixar film. And check that out, Alex. People are vandalizing traffic signs for you now! :)

  56. I'm not familiar with Porcupine Tree. I'll have to take a listen to some of their songs. :)

    And the cover for River's next book is stunning! I love it.

  57. Sounds like a great team! Most women know how to multitask:) After seeing the Bourne movies and reading a few of the books, I think I should have been a secret agent:-D

  58. Love Father Dragon's sign, how awesome. Now where can it be ...

    Misha is a lovely lady, full of determination. Certainly seems like ladies day here today. Big well done to all your helpers.

  59. You my friend have eclectic taste in music!
    I have seen that Ninja sign around my town, if they were so sneaky they wouldn't need signs!

  60. Porcupine Tree is definitely an unusual name for a band!

  61. I've never heard of Porcupine Tree, but if they play mellow prog rock I might be interested. Everyone in my family loved Ratatouille.

    Some great new books out or about to be out. Congrats to Coffelt and Fairchild.

    Loved the sign.

    Trying to get around to as many A to Zers as possible. So many!

  62. Lisa, I will always cater to both.

    Thanks, Heather!

    Beverly, you'll make me blush...

    Lee, we finally have music in common!!!

    David, I have a great street team.

    David, I do like a variety.

  63. I do follow Misha and had no idea she was so YOUNG. She comes across as such a wise soul. Kudos to her!!!

  64. That was a fun year! My nephew works for Scholastic in NYC so I helped with the release of Harry Potter. Loved the enthusiasm of all those kids - and adults!

  65. Misha is a wonderful writer and a great lady!
    And way to go support system!!!

  66. Misha has done so much, finishing college and writing all the while.

    2007? Saw the movies, enjoyed most of them. Was it really 7 years ago for the last Harry Potter book? Wow.

  67. I will have nightmares about that pictures of the child.

    I love the 2007 fun facts! I was in high school, a junior at the time. That's about all I remember from that year. LoL.


  68. Love the group name Porcupine Tree.

    Checking out the five year project...that's awesome planning.

    2007: The year I started blogging, which opened a new world for me.

  69. It must be that Ninja aura, Alex. You keep that mystique alive by staying out of the bright lights.

    This was a good year for movies. We liked Ratatouille, and the especially the critic. . .

  70. Major, major kudos and gratitude to everyone working on the IWSG and A to Z. I can barely manage participating, not to mention everything else! I'm in awe, too.

  71. I love Misha, and I'm with you in thanks to all these amazing co-hosts. They are awesome.

    True Heroes from A to Z

  72. The admins at ISWG always seem on top of things! Good of you to give them a shout-out. They deserve thankfulness.

  73. With signs like those, we'll find you yet ;)

  74. I enjoyed bumblebees scrap in Transformers 3, it was like David and Goliath.

  75. Alex-

    The constant with Porcupine Tree is, of course, Steven Wilson, who brought PT from virtually a solo project to a proper band, all the while making himself a force to be reckoned with in the rock world (he is at the helm of remastering of several iconic bands' back cataloges).

    "Blank Planet" is also one of my favorites-excellent choice for "P!"


  76. Porcupine Tree is a really neat name for a band. I have no idea what kind of band name I'd come up with if I were musically inclined.

  77. I've never heard of Porcupine Tree...sounds like a group I might need to check out, though.

    Agreed...Misha is awesome! :)

  78. Fear of white paper...nice;) And yes, those ladies are super troopers:)

  79. I have to laugh at the name "Porcupine Tree." Fun year for movies and yay for the electric car!

    Carol's prequel is great! River's cover is awesome!!

    Those dwarves are mischievous, aren't they? lol

    Yes, the ladies have done a spectacular job with IWSG posts and A-Z!!!!

  80. Love your retro bloggging idea. I'll listen to Porcupine Tree when I get the chance.

  81. Robin, yes she does.

    Justine, you are so young...

    John, yes they do!

    T, don't count on it...

    Larry, he had his work cut out for him, but they are an excellent band now.

    Mark - funny!

  82. I was a minion last year. Round of applause for all the helpers. They do work hard and if they're also participating in the challenge they deserve even more kudos!

    Misha has an interesting blog.

    Congratulations to River and CD on their releases!

    I haven't see Ratatouille but I love all the Transformer movies. :-)I liked the The Bourne books better but the movies aren't bad at all.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  83. I do not know Porcupine Tree but remember being newly engaged and embarking on my last full year of teaching in 2007. A beginning and an end.

  84. Man you keep hitting me with these HP facts lol. This was a good year for movies.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

  85. hehe, what's the ninja word for "harem"?

  86. I really appreciate your Challenge theme and all the research you put into it, Alex. As always, there's too much to comment on. That ninja photo of Al Dragon's is the best.


  87. Misha IS wonderful! I feel blessed to be on the Unicorn Bell team with her!

    You also have a great team of women! Lucky you!

    It was interesting to see that the price of gas is about the same since 2007...

    Also, yay for the iPhone. Has it really only been 7 years?

    Congrats to Carol on her prequel--it's a great story, read it a couple days ago. I should do a shout out on my blog...

  88. Loved almost all of these movies...never saw Transformers, The 300 nor Ocean's Thirteen- but the rest were stellar films!

  89. Great post from top to bottom, but I want to focus on one thing: your team of gals. That's what it's all about—encouraging one another and lifting each other up. You have a great support gang!

  90. Sia, it's a lot of work to do both.

    Nicki, I need to come up with one!

    Thanks, Robyn! These were fun to put together.

    Thanks, Lynda!

  91. You are a lucky guy to have such a rocking support team. No one is an island!
    Love your list today. All these great movies and incredible inventions we can't imagine being without. really fascinating that it all happened such a short time ago.

    thanks! jean

  92. 2007 was another busy year. And more books this year to read. It's wonderful that you have such great support. Keep up the good work, ladies and Alex.

  93. Ratatouille is my favorite of the recent (twenty years?) Disney movies. Such a cute, uplifting film.

  94. Actually, I'm trying to think of another Disney film I've watched in the last twenty years. Have Little Mermaid been more than twenty years? I watched that at the cinema with pals and still know all the lyrics to the score. Was John Carter Disney?

  95. They do work hard! I loved 300. and I've never heard of that band. :)

  96. Such great teams in the blogging world.

    It's wonderful seeing Misha featured here.

  97. Wow! Gas was the same price in 2007 as it is now. Thanks for all the interesting facts.

    Mary Montague Sikes

  98. Well, again we can almost coincided, Porcupine Tree has been among my candidates with the song "Trains". At the end I decided on a Spanish representative!

  99. I haven't heard of that band before, but surreal and trippy sounds cool. 2007...what was I doing that year...oh, right, college.

  100. Is it weird that 2007 still seems recent to me? I can't believe it's been seven years!

  101. I get excited if you list something I actually Never heard of the music, but I did know 2 of the movies...woot woot!

    Traveling Suitcase

  102. Jean, I am blessed.

    Suze, Little Mermaid was well over twenty years ago, and John Carter IS Disney.

    Leovi, wow!

  103. Cheers to all the ladies! Misha rocks~

    Alex you are blessed from God-with the gift of rock and other wonderful talents-

    Happy Easter Captain!

  104. My kids are OBSESSED with Mass Effect. They play it and are constantly speculating on a Mass Effect movies and what it should be.

  105. You've got a lot going on here, as usual. Enjoying the trip through the years.

  106. Good stuff. 2007 was pretty awesome. Just watched Ratatouille this week (for the 8th time).

    And can't believe it's been 7 years since the iPhone came out. Wow.

  107. Where is Penny? Relax, Ninja dude, I have arrived.

    Every time my human looks at your gasoline prices, no matter the year, he's amazed at how much cheaper petrol is over there.

    Never heard of Porcupine Tree. Rush and Foo Fighters, I've deffo heard.

    Misha rocks South Africa! Thanks for all the notations. Yes, I read them.

    I remember that 2007 was the year my human started his blog. Then I took over.

    Pawstive wishes,

    Penny the cordial host of the Alphabark Challenge! :)

  108. Ella, thank you! Have a wonderful Easter.

    Leslie, doesn't surprise me.

    Rusty, weird, huh?

    Penny, that was a good year then!

  109. I only know a few Porcupine Tree songs - "Blackest Eyes" is my fave of those. I'd love to explore their music more. Metamorphosis for a band makes them a lot more interesting than some other more 'recycling' bands!

    Misha rocks.

    I have seen all the Bourne movies except the 4th one - not sure I want to see it?? Love the Damon ones.

    And in 2007 ... umm, I travelled. Again. To the US - hung out with friends and saw the Smashing Pumpkins in concert for the first time in both Tucson, AZ, and San Diego.

  110. I didn't realize that the last Harry Potter book came out in 2007. I must be one of the few readers on planet earth that hasn't completed one of these books.

    Thanks for the shout out. Working with you and the team/s is a pleasure Alex. You're a goodun who makes the blogging world a wonderful place to be.

  111. I've never heard of Porcupine Tree, but the movies were some good ones. And I love River's cover. So pretty!

  112. Thanks for the thanks. I know I do so little compared to you. Where do you get the time and energy? If I spot that entrance sign maybe I can sneak in and learn your secret.
    Can't believe it's been seven years since the first Transformers and the last HP novel.

  113. Love how you feature bloggers in your posts. Misha is a good blogger and a talented writer.

    Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  114. Thanks all for the lovely comments! I feel all warm and fuzzy now. :-P

  115. Alex, thanks for the shout out!
    You do triple the amount of work that we do... but it's been really great working alongside you and the other IWSG admins, as well as the A to Z minions.
    And I remember seeing that Ratatat movie... can't rememeber any details though...
    Yay for Misha Gericke - she's a homegrown girl... representing SA!

  116. WOW Ratatouille is seven years already? It doesn't seem that long ago. The grand kiddies love that movie. Your minions are doing a great job!

  117. Never heard of porcupine tree. I'll have to see if any of their stuff is on you tube

  118. Your support teams are amazing, Alex. You are definitely a lucky guy.


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