September 05, 2018

Aria stuff has arrived

Big box of happy was left at my door, and thankfully ignored by my neighbors until I arrived home. Came with a good bit of extra goodies, some of which I intend to pass on to a certain Aria fan who will remain quackless.

Watched an episode and was smiling like a loon the whole time. Genuinely quite happy with the world.

Also, I actually made it to a baseball game over the weekend, and the Astros won, so that was pretty nice too.

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August 20, 2018

Been gaming

Several gacha games, though they're doing well about getting away from the "gacha" and including a game these days.

Granblue's still plenty of fun, though mostly with friends. It has a lot of the same systems as a more exploitative game (characters through expensive gacha, energy system), but the whole thing feels like it's run by a half-senile and indulgent grandparent; it hands out free rolls like candy (like "ten a day for a couple weeks at a time"), and the "forget the energy and keep playing" items rain from the sky; realistically your limit is physical exhaustion. Gameplay's classic-RPG style with fairly simplistic controls, but advancement is less "what you got out of the gacha" and more "how much work you've put into well-designed equipment grids".

On top of that, I've been trying out Girls Frontline and Azure Lane, the latter of which came out in English last week.

GFL is, basically, Kancolle with guns instead of ships. Nicely polished, plenty of cute, doesn't rely on you bringing tons of cash to get characters, no permadeath (and the girls head for the hills when they're hurt). Some customization/leveling, but a lot less than the other two games.

Azure Lane is actually kind of a game - a shmup, even. We're not talking Touhou or anything that crazy, and by comparison the controls are a little mushy and a lot of shots you just aren't going to dodge - but the girls are fairly tanky (the heavy cruisers are slow, but -very- tanky) and so you're less trying for That Perfect Run and more just mitigating the damage. Or if you're slow, distracted, or just plain bad at it, it has an auto mode that'll half-ass things for me. Enjoyable, especially if you were kind of interested in the idea of Kancolle but the language barrier stopped you. Much more international cast, too - the Royal Navy and US Navy are there in force instead of being relegated to a couple of bonus ships, while the IJN is in the "bad guy" role at the beginning.

Life is going pretty well. Got out to visit the Lexington while I was on vacation (was nice, but take my advice and wait for winter to go!)

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January 05, 2018

Laid-Back Camp is maximum comfy

I liked the antarctic show as well, but this one should top everything for lazy enjoyment.

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September 10, 2017

I made it through the big windy rainy thing

Been quiet lately, but not because of any trouble on this end. Here's a quick recap:

-Dallas was way too far north to see any of the trouble (or even more than a little rain). My parents ended up with a few feet of water in their house, though. I spent the weekend before this one with some friends and family ripping out... just about everything they had downstairs. They're insured but the house probably won't be habitable for a while (though, miracle of miracles, the air conditioner kicked on after a few days to dry out).

Doing demo work in a flooded house is not high on my list of pleasant experiences to be recommended to friends. Live on the high ground, folks.

-Went up to DC for Otakon and to do the tourist thing, since I'd never been before. Met a friend of mine a week before the con, and we had a lot of fun going around looking at things. The convention was quite good, and extremely well-run for the first year in that location. The figure shelf gained a couple of new additions (some more of the little Medicchu Kancolle ones, Shiro from NGNL, and yesterday, a Holo!)

-Been playing a whole lot of Granblue Fantasy (a browser game in the mobile style, hosted in Japan but translated to English.) Saw the first episode of the anime a while back and went "meh, generic", but an old friend from the anime company days got me into it and it's actually got some quite toothsome crunch in there; the events also have a fun, light-hearted feel. Technically one of those "play for a while and wait for the energy to refill" types, but they hand out so many items to refill the stuff that I think I could play continuously until 2018 at this point. OTOH, it's Japanese, so the "microtransactions" if you do want to buy stuff aren't really "micro"; at $30 or so for a 10-draw, it's more of a macrotransaction. Still, if you like this stuff and haven't been sucked into FGO, Granblue is a lot of fun.

-I've also been playing FF14, since a lot of my friends got back into that when the expansion hit. I'd tried it when it first came out and it was horribad; enough people agreed with me that they ended up blowing up the world and doing it over. These days, it's quite a good game; certainly prettier than WOW by a long way, and with a much deeper crafting system, though there's also still a few design oddities. Don't know that it'll hold my interest indefinitely, but it's plenty fun for now.

-Anime this season, I'm enjoying Centaur's Life, Clean Freak Aoyama-kun, Gamers, New Game, Restaurant, and the one ep of Knights and Magic I've seen so far. I'm also watching Smartphone in a kind of enjoying-the-train-wreck sense.

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January 16, 2017

Miku Mikku'd

Low posting is a symptom of happiness and games.

Picked up the new Project Diva: Future Tone. Realized that if I put 15-16 hours of play into it, that will be just about enough to have played each song precisely one time. Holy -mackerel-. I thought that Project Diva F and F2 were each worthwhile at about $50 for 40 songs or so, and Diva X was a bit short with a bit less in the way of songs. Of course Future Tone is $60 (two $30 packs, with 120 and 100 songs), and a lot of the content is stuff from the old games... but there were a lot of good songs in those old games, so putting everything into one rolled-up package along with a bunch of stuff that never came out over here is actually pretty great.

Difficulty level is... higher and lower at the same time, I guess? The removal of the double-same-direction takes out some of the finger-fatigue, offset by the addition of mash-two-different-notes-at-once; that's taking getting used to. The standard for passing a level is much lower, but in previous outings "good" and "cool" both counted as a full hit (now "good" is worth a little less) and doing well in portions of the song could get you bonus completion percentage (now it's raw "did you hit the notes right?") Clearing a song on "normal" only takes 50%, and there are a couple that I haven't managed that on, out of the tithe of the total I've managed to play so far. I haven't even tried the really manic ones that I know I have trouble on...

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May 05, 2016

When Uncle Sugar isn't happy, ain't nobody happy

Been lazy about updating. Things going well, many fun games, much good anime, etc, etc.

Steven is pessimistic about the long-term trajectory of the US economy, given the apparently-inevitable increase in debt. Fortunately the situation is better than what he's presenting, though for reasons that aren't terribly cheery in and of themselves.

First, while his analysis isn't incorrect, it's looking at the US in a vacuum. But we're not in a vacuum - we're in a world with a significant number of other countries. And those countries have their own problems... including the same problem the US has with respect to deficit spending. But worse.

While we certainly should be worried about the rapidly-approaching tiger, in practice we don't have to outpace it - just outpace the other competitors. Whether it's Japan's huge debt-to-GDP ratio and incipient population implosion, or Europe's deficits and other issues, or China's upcoming mother-of-all-burst-bubbles, none of our major competitors is anything like financially healthy. (Germany might be, were it not shackled into the Euro. Norway is, but it's tiny.)

The collapse of any of those major competitors is bad, in the sense that they are major markets. But from the chaos would come lots of opportunities for the US as well. Our prosperity in the '50s was not wholly unrelated to the happy fact that most of the other advanced economies had been bombed into rubble while ours was untouched, after all.

Behind all that, though, is a darker reason. We haven't been entirely idle, grasshoppering away in the sun. Sure, the dollar is backed by confidence in the American economy... but it's also backed by a dozen fleet carriers and a bunch of nuclear weapons. The US's naval superiority is essentially absolute at this point (the only country within shouting range, and they'd better use a megaphone, is the UK.) That doesn't mean that we can mwa-ha-ha rule the world... but it does mean that the transport of the commodity upon which all modern industry relies, oil, moves by our leave and no others. We don't use that power - we've never used that power - but it's there, and if push came to shove, it would be done.

When you're a banana vendor in a small room with an 800 pound gorilla, and he's buying bananas, that's a good position to be in. But if he comes to you and says "hey, I'm going to need credit for bananas for a while," you're going to offer him credit... even if you don't particularly expect to be paid. Why? Because the alternative to him buying your bananas is NOT "gorilla goes hungry".

Which is to say, the world's got a vested interest in keeping the US reasonably happy, because if we're not happy, we will spread around the unhappy with a big brush.

Not precisely a cheering thought, but there you have it...

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February 06, 2016

IA, IA, visited Cthulhu

Last weekend was PAX South. Hadn't been to one before, and I caught wind of several of my friends planning to attend, so I decided, what hey, it's San Antonio, that's a cheap trip; why not go?

The convention was all right, though if I'd gone solo I probably wouldn't have been particularly impressed - the game rooms were predictably packed, the panels were not things I'm usually interested in, and a good chunk of the indy games in the exhibit hall were... way too indy (in the bad way). I did see a Marble Madness-inspired game I'm looking forward to, though.

Fortunately, friends made it a good time, especially as I hadn't seen several of them in many years. StarCreator put on a heck of a show at the Tetris Attack tournament, and I managed to boggle Konoha and Cthulhu by drinking a margarita the size of my head (and that is not a small size; I don't call this place the Ego's Nest because of my modest nature!) Didn't end up grabbing much swag, but I did find one thing that had been on my "hey, get this sometime" list - a copy of IA/VT Colorful for the Vita.

IA courtesy of C.C.R

I don't normally buy games in languages I'm illiterate in, for the obvious reasons, but since this is a rhythm game, it's not really an issue. I'm having a good bit of fun with it, but from a technical perspective, it's just not as good as the Project Diva games. Every song in those games features a full CG background with at least one character model you can set as various costumes, and "keep playing to earn points to unlock the costumes" is the hook in that series. IA/VT has some costumes, but they're only visible in about a quarter of the songs - the rest have static videos, some of which ain't particularly impressive.

The scoring system is interesting. The Project Diva games say "you got X score, you get Y points, have fun spending them". IA/VT uses the points only to level up the player, and then songs and costumes unlock based on that level. Play the song again, and get a better score? You get the delta between "points you'd already banked" and "points you've now earned" - and if you don't get a better score, you get no benefit at all. A serious "git gud" scoring paradigm, with the only other source of points being a daily challenge (that you get a -single- attempt at).

This could get frustrating really fast if you were new to rhythm games and got fairly terrible scores. If you're an experienced player of rhythm games, you'll be scoring A, S, double S, and even triple S and have nothin' to worry about - I'm about 2/3 of the way through the unlocks and have not even played all the songs yet. (And there are 60, plus some DLC which you need a Japanese PSN account to get, so I'll live with 60.) This is mostly because of the strike zone for the notes, which is -huge- (with "cool", "fine", and "safe" results all preserving your combo). On easy difficulty you can miss a note, realize you've missed it, go back and hit the correct button and still get credit.

The song selection is all right, given that it's all IA songs; there's some in there I've listened to and enjoyed, but there's less variety than in the Miku games. Good enough to make the game worth it but not so good that I'd shout it from the rooftops or anything. Still, if you already worked your way through Project Diva F and F2, and you're waiting for X in a few months, this will fill up that time nicely.

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October 30, 2015

Coming up for air

Uneventful life is pretty good. Got down to Austin for the weekend to hang out with a couple of friends. Been playing MGS5 to distraction, started up Trails to the Sky (have owned it for ages, just never fired it up...) Next purchase is a PS4 for some Disgaea 5, I think, but I'll wait for the holiday bundles to see if we get a price drop.

Anime lately? One Punch Man (more subtle than it lets on, heh), more Ushio and Tora, more Is the Order a Rabbit, the new Utawarerumono, and Sakurako. Komori-san Can't Decline isn't all that great but eh, two minutes is not a huge time investment. Lovely Muco is terrible but charming for some reason. Ditto Hakone-chan. Shomin Sample is pretty dumb but is enough fan-service to get by. SD Attack on Titan is not doin' it for me. Watching some One Piece - I suppose there's an inexhaustible supply of it out there, not too bad if I've had a little rum to drink. (Incidentally, DarkSong turned me on to Capt. Morgan Cannon Blast, which is goddamned delicious rum; it tastes too good to mix it! Pricey though.)

Reading, I've dug out copies of Churchill's memoirs. Six volumes, this'll take a while...

Kind of a good time to be a 40K fan - GW's releasing a board game with a ton of Mk4 marines in it, and next year they're releasing a 12-book series of Ork-centric novels. Heh, that'll be something to look forward to! (of course, so is the eventual delivery of that Ork kickstarter...)

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September 08, 2015

MGS5 - a history request

Helicopter blasting Ride of the Valkyries when it comes in for extraction? Heck yeah. (Technically it can do the same when it comes in to lay rockets on a position, but so far I've been working a little more quietly. Or more like, Big Boss views those outposts not as enemy positions but as being filled with potential recruits and hardware only awaiting pickup!)

I have a couple of friends who are also greatly enjoying the game. However, they're a bit less into the military history than I am, and were asking me for a book recommendation regarding the Afghanistan conflict in the 80s. And I don't have one; I've never read one even. It's been long enough that there should be some good ones available. Anyone got any recommendations on where to start?

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September 03, 2015


Tip - do not start Metal Gear Solid 5 shortly before you need to go to work.

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August 14, 2015

The dog days of summer

Twenty different things goin' on. Got back into WOW for a little while, though I'm playing the Pokemon game in it more than I'm doing anything serious. Also fired up If My Heart Had Wings, which I had picked up in a Steam sale a while back and am now enjoying immensely.

The anime this season isn't doing half bad, better than I honestly expected. Not everything is great - when is it ever - but there's plenty of stuff that's worth watching for me. So far, keeping up with:

Jitsu wa - thoroughly stupid concept, but funny enough for good background noise.

Non Non Biyori Repeat - slice of life by way of rural Japan, it's amazing they can fill up a show with so little actually happening and still keep it pretty good. Definitely carried by the characters, who don't quite rise to the level of "zany cast" but are done quite well. Ren-chon's cuteness is not to be underestimated.

Overlord - interesting take on the "trapped in an RPG"... I guess we can call it a genre now, huh? Serious power fantasy tripping here, like "Arthas raiding Westfall" level of mismatch. But the main tension of the show isn't so much "is Momonga stronger than the ogres?" (hint: very yes) but more "how can he keep his minions happy as their evil overlord when his actual nature is actually kind of a nice guy?" Weakest point is the pacing - it's a bit slow, this had damned well better be 20 plus episodes or it's not going to get anywhere. But it's fun, it plays well with the RPG tropes while subverting a bunch of them, and I would very much like one Albedo delivered here; she's got 99 problems but a lich ain't one. (Forced that one a bit, but I couldn't resist.)

Monster Musume - this is... actually quite a bit harder to enjoy than the manga, I think. The popularity of the originals wasn't so much "lol it is porn with monster girls" as it was "this is actually some funny comedy with a sweet flavor and oh, it has porn in it". It's not that the anime is significantly different than the manga in content, but in the latter you can pick the parts you want to pay attention to. In the anime, you're going through at the pace the director had in mind, and a lot more of the time is being spent on "lol, we want to satisfy people who want to boink a harpy". Sigh. Still, I can get through shows that have some "dammit Japan, quit that" content (Nanoha S1's inordinate panty shots of grade schoolers, for example), so maybe I just have a callus built up. If I had to cut something for lack of time, this one would be it, methinks.

Himoto Umaru-chan - Huh. Watched ep 1 on a day I was really bored and wasn't too wild about it - Umaru's not that endearing on her own. Watched a bit more and now I really enjoy it, not because of Spoiled Brat In the Middle, but because the other characters are quite good too. (Helps that the show is not merely willing to take Umaru down a peg, but to dump her right off the board from time to time.) That said, this could run out of material REALLY fast, so no telling if it'll keep up.

Ore no Monogatari - it's a romantic show, but it's so completely against the shoujo type that it's scary. Miscommunication comedy? Hell no, it's a couple who talks to each other despite being awkward. Angst? We don't need any of that! At the end of the day it's a show about a boy and a girl who are really into each other, if rather innocently, even though the guy isn't handsome... well. That doesn't really do it justice. Takeo is a man-mountain caricature drawing in a show where everyone (but his parents) got a normal character design. Early on I saw his buddy, the handsome and somewhat withdrawn bishounen type, and thought "oh, here comes the love triangle..." But no! Nothing of the sort. I don't think the show's really good, objectively speaking, but it's so against type that it feels liberating just to watch.

Ushio and Tora - because come on, man, I had this on VHS back in the day. Hell, I screamed and died in the dub, even. Massive nostalgia. I'd watch this even if it sucked, but it's still as good as it was back in the day. Only downside is that it's following the manga just like the original OAVs did, so there won't be anything really new for the first ten eps; however, it's been so long since I've seen it that I'm totally okay with the refresher.

Wakaba * Girl - Not precisely sure why I tried this, and the concept isn't that deep (it's lighthearted rich-girl fish-out-of-water comedy). But eh, at eight minutes a week it's fine.

GATE - if you're reading this you already know why this show is the best thing this season.

I will probably end up watching School Live sometime as well, the recommendations are pretty good. For catch-up from last season, I want to sink my teeth into Euphonium; in my "I really ought to have watched this but I didn't and now I probably won't get to it for a while" pile is Shirobako.

Good times, good times.

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July 05, 2015

4th of July, and back again

I remember looking up at the fireworks on the 4th of July, from the parking lot of the Buffalo Wild Wings off the George Bush tollway in Richardson, and thinking "I probably won't be seeing these again." I hadn't really intended to see them in the first place, just went in for wings and came out to see them going off across the highway.

This year, two years later, I went back there and enjoyed the show from the patio. Same in a lot of ways, different in quite a few. For one thing, there's a lot less of me to enjoy it - I've just nudged under 50 pounds from my heaviest weight, down to 244.

Feeling pretty good, though. Had fun playing games today, had good wings, had some nice vodka when I got home, watched some good anime, overall not a bad way to spend the holiday. Not terribly productive, to be sure (I -really- need to get cracking on that desk so that I can set up my office already), but eh, it's a holiday.

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June 15, 2015

Keep meaning to update

So since my last post I've arrived in Dallas, got a new apartment, and my stuff has caught up with me. Folks helped me get the home-decorating part of things done over the weekend, now I'm to the "unpack all the nerd stuff" portion of the move.

Figures are unpacked, and the damage isn't too bad. Only real breakage occurred with that huge Hayate figure, who had a broken ankle (superglue ho) and one of the little wings snapped at the tab (this will be rather difficult to glue, since it's a hanging part, but it'll look fine when it's done). She's also got some smudges from the newspaper, as do a couple of the other figures, but I'm told that some Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will fix that, so I'll give it a shot. Everything else came through okay. Still need to build out four Nendos - Amatsukaze, Rin, Rico from DD, and Yukiko from P4.

The wrath of the moving gods seems to have concentrated itself on the Warmachine model I had in the same box, which was practically dismantled; it will need massive reconstruction.

The desk for my office will be a big project - going to refinish the bastard, since it's about twenty years old at this point and showing the wear. Gonna take a lot of sanding...

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May 07, 2015

Across the Southwest in a week

Less than a week really. Spent two days in Berkeley, the first recovering from an overnight flight and the second enjoying barbecue with my brother, his wife, their son Rohan (unreasonably cute), and a dozen or so of their friends.

Sunday took us south to Bakersfield, then across the Mojave Wasteland, and all the way to Mesquite,  NV, to stay at a sad little casino with an unreasonably good breakfast buffet.

On Monday, we took a shortcut through Zion (not really that short but oy, don't pass up a chance to visit Zion!) And on to Bryce Canyon, which was pretty good for a visit with Dad - no real hiking involved, just a lot of spectacular overlooks. More hoodoos than you can shake a stick at, and some recent fire scars. We then backtracked a little and pushed on through south Utah and down to Flagstaff late at night.

We took I-40 back from the Grand Canyon last time, so this time we cut south of that on Tuesday. We ran across (actually through) the radio telescope Very Large Array there and fetched up in Roswell for the evening, where we remained thankfully un-probed.

Wednesday took us down US 380 to Sweetwater and then along I-20 into Dallas, at times only a hair ahead of a storm with golf ball sized hail. Did Not Want!

I'm now perched downstairs at the Westin, next door to our relocated office, escaping Dad as he makes noises like a downshifting lumber mill during an earthquake. (Yes, Dad, you should use your CPAP!) We'll get him dropped off at the Greyhound terminal and then I'll work on my outstanding problem - I still don't have a home!

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April 28, 2015

Shipping out

In a couple hours, I'll be taking the ol' desktop to a shipper and having it FedExed to the office. The rest of the day I'll finish the last bits of packing (PS3, firearms, misc stuff from the desk). Tomorrow the movers will get here, and Thursday I have a flight to Oakland. I'll stop off a couple days, see my brother and his son Rohan, and then I'll road-trip back to Dallas from there with Dad.

Road trip should be pretty fun - only main concern is that we want to try something aside from the two usual routes. Dad and I took I-40 on our road trip to the Grand Canyon and Vegas, and so heading back that way doesn't do much for us - and we took I-10 out when I moved out here, so we've done that one too. I'm thinking about heading into Utah and going by Bryce Canyon, which is a pretty good spot without requiring us to do a lot of hiking.

Work is basically "get here when ya get here" and it's not like I have rent to pay until I arrive, so we can afford to stop and smell the roses along the way.

I won't be completely out of contact or anything (internet is on until the moment I unplug the router on the day I leave, and I've got a tablet and, I suppose, a laptop as well), but it'll sure FEEL different. At least this way the computer will be waiting when I get a place to put it.

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April 06, 2015

A taxing problem

Took my return down to H&R Block. It's not that complicated this year, honestly - but on the other hand, I've never filed a state return at all, so I figured rather than try to pick it up I'd just get it prepared.

Imagine my surprise when they informed me that my company had thoughtfully filled out the W2 with information for Kansas instead of Hawaii. Not only does this mean they under-withheld pretty grossly (not something that particularly bothers me - doesn't change the amounts), but... they paid the money to Kansas too! H&R's reaction is basically "derp?". Gonna see if work can get it fixed so I don't have to file an extension.

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March 30, 2015

Kawaiikon - Adventures in Con Dealing

This year's Kawaiikon is over! (keels over)

Had some real potential for awkwardness, since the ex and I were Richard's only help for his booth for two years running. As it happens it wasn't a problem, though... the ex has some health trouble that kept her home and Richard brought out a few other friends: his partner Kaz and old friends Lucan and Tim. The former was one of the ADV translation gang, and the latter is another vet from the #animedvd channel who's mad for concerts. I hadn't had the opportunity to hang with either in a long time and a great time was had by all. We did gangbusters business too - who would have thought that Richard's strategy of putting the lucky bag stuff in Gurren Lagann backpacks and branding them "manly bags" would move so many?


(sorry for lousy photo, busy day)

First time I've ever left a con with more money in my pocket than I arrived with! Major purchases were two nendos - Amatsukaze to keep Shimakaze company, and Rin because RIN. I've wanted one for quite some time. Got lucky on the prize figures too - two GuP ones netted me a Yukari on the first open, and Kotori from a LL one is never a bad thing (no "loser" draws there except Nico, heh). I took the Madoka one as part of my pay and what do you know, the special figure came out...

The little guys off to the side are some Kancolle keychains we were selling, though we forgot about them until Sunday. Miku coasters for fun, and the two little art pieces are from the Nemu Nemu booth. I also picked up a few buttons from artist's alley, which I'll snap a pic of later once I sort them all out. Also not pictured is the entire run of Aria on DVD, plus Blu-rays of Railgun S1.

Had fun, ate fantastic Japanese from the best-kept secret restaurant in Kaka'ako, walked through darkened downtown streets with far too much money in my pocket, ran into a mother/daughter pair of Lucky Star fans... good weekend all around. Hopefully my back will forgive me in a couple days! Getting old for this stuff...

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February 20, 2015

Board tile 1 - Check out my junk

So I've been doing a good bit of painting recently, but not of Orks exactly... I picked up a modular battle board from Secret Weapon Miniatures (Christmas present got me about halfway there, so eh, why not?)

Most games of 40K are played on a 4'x6' board. Usually it's... a flat board with some pieces of terrain put down on it, hills or forests or ruined buildings (and, more recently, fortifications bristling with guns.) The game shop I went to and, presumably, will go back to in Dallas had one with a kind of volcano paint job in black and red, one that was just flat green, and one that was just sand texture the whole way. Gets the job done, but lacks a certain visual interest.

The shop here has one of these that they just acquired. Interestin' in its own way, but like most Games Workshop terrain, both overpriced and Imperial-centric. Good enough for what it is, don't get me wrong.

Instead, I picked this one.

I've got the dirt more or less complete for all 24 tiles, so I picked one with a lot of scrap on it to start messing around with various techniques. Unfortunately the flash on the photo tends to wash out some of the detail, so the wash work doesn't all come in, but a few things look okay...

The rusty crates in the lower left came out really well. That's nothing but silver paint, then rust powder and water. I'm pretty pleased with the brown rust and red rust (both colors from the same place as the board - I've owned 'em for a year but haven't rusted anything in all that time!) The orange powder is, well, quite orange. I used it over the red in a couple of places and the result is quite bright. I think in the future it'll get mixed with some red powder before use and even then maybe only as a highlight on something super-rusty. I also have a "sandy" powder that I haven't tried out yet.

I also have some corrosion paint, which I tried out here and there for rain runoff areas. It's all right - it's another paint with some texture in it so it does "dirty" quite well, but it's also pretty opaque, so it's really only good for really dark-dirty areas. Might work nicely for my ork boots, though, which I've been double-washing with mud and black.

I tried a bit in a couple of the rivulets running off of the scrap pile, but I think it's a bit too much of an effect. Did the same thing with a touch of black wash and that seems to be better at doing "subtle". Might be even better if I try it with a mud wash...

This tile still isn't "done" - I need to go back and put a bit of metal highlighting on the edges and then drybrush the whole scrap pile with that sandy color to help tie it in to the rest. But it's a good start! ...and I have 23 to go, though most aren't quite as scrappy as this one (one is, however, just about nothing BUT scrap.)

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at 05:40 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 16, 2015

On Ana-chan

So when the relationship came apart, it was early on enough that we didn't have a lot of community property to dispose of; my stuff was mine, her stuff was hers, there just wasn't a lot of "ours" to split up. I left her the bed, my copy of Bravely Default (I didn't have a 3DS at the time), and the Mabinogi account (which I hadn't used in some time anyway).

And I got the kid.

Okay, that takes some explanation... when we were playing Mabinogi, that game had a family system where a couple of characters could get married and then adopt other characters as children. Naturally our characters were married (seemed a pretty natural step given that we were planning a real wedding) and she enthusiastically adopted a bunch of kids. Most of them were fun friends... but one of them she took a very quick disliking to.

Ana-chan is a kid, just past 10 now. She was impatient a lot and needed a lot of hand-holding, shortish attention span, "I'm bored!" and expected people to drop what they were doing to come entertain her. It's little wonder that rubbed Jessica the wrong way, as she's a schoolteacher and has to deal with plenty kids around that age at work. I ended up spending a good deal of time with her.

I quit Mabinogi, relationship broke up, I moved out, but I still heard from Ana-chan from time to time. She's... improbable in a lot of ways. I won't list all of them, but the end result is a little like the Perfect Moe Girl from that one Welcome to the NHK episode, but in slightly better health (and not a space alien with cat ears, presumably). Taken as a single lump it's not something I'd believe, frankly.

That said, it's not like I'm being cat-fished (she doesn't want money, she doesn't want stuff; I have to convince her that as an adult with a pretty nice source of income I don't need her to give -me- things.) I mean, theoretically it could all be an elaborate setup, though the idea that anyone would take the time is kind of bizarre. And it's unlikely but my life has been chock full of weirdness from time to time.

At the same time, I don't actually want to check, right? For one, I don't want personal information from a little girl - that heads right smack into the creep zone and I'd just as soon not go there. I don't want photos, I don't want addresses, I even made a point of not remembering her last name (only came up when she was practicing katakana).

The other reason, though... is that I'm not really too worried if it's all true or not. Say it wasn't, and I turn my keen analysis and investigation skills towards proving it wrong. What, am I gonna get a gold star? If it turns out she's just a lonely kid with a rich fantasy life, is there really any point into poking holes in the story? And if it all checks out, it doesn't really change anything either.

So why do I keep talking to her then? Well, why not? She's interesting, most of the time, certainly bright enough, and it's entertaining even if it's embellished a little. She's not asking anything from me but some attention and the occasional online game, and frankly I've got both to spare. She sends me interesting stuff, I send her links to Vocaloid stuff that she likes, life's a little more fun for me. If I can't have a rich fantasy life I might as well have a proxy daughter with one, no?

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at 06:41 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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January 27, 2015

Where the Buffaloes roam

So I'm probably headed back home to Texas at the end of my lease. It's not terrible out here by any means, but at the end of the day, I'm nerdy enough that the benefits of Hawaiian living aren't a major point in its favor... and the potential savings are pretty enormous. Hawaii, not to put too fine a point on it, is a pretty lousy place to live if you're keeping your carb intake low. The cheap stuff is all off the menu, and the things you want to replace it with are stupid expensive (to say nothing of the rent, the electric bill, etc etc.) I'll probably save about a thousand bucks a month by being back in Texas, in a much larger place.

Working from home has been all right but it does turn you into a bit of a hermit. Wasn't so much of an issue when I was living with other people, of course, but on my own there are seriously several days a week that I just don't get out of the house. And when I do, it's mostly to go to the grocery store or to sit down and have dinner; it's a bad sign when the people at Chili's start recalling your name... (I have only big tips to blame for that, heh.) It's quiet enough around here that I'm glad for Ana-chan's occasional company. Ana-chan... will eventually get her own post once I decide what to say about her; suffice it to say that in a life full of weirdness she fits right in.

Biggest point in favor of returning is the boss offering to pay for it. That's pretty huge, honestly. I have the dosh to get back on my own power - frankly if I hadn't, I would not have come in the first place - but it's the difference between "I can get my stuff into a new place and that's it" and "while replacing furniture I got rid of and generally living comfortably." Also a pretty good professional compliment from the company, though a good sign of exactly how busy work is as well...

Been playing a ton of War Thunder (above is Big Tex, my Tiger; I've figured out that I can sort of do an ersatz Texas flag by sticking a Polish flag right next to, of all things, a Somalian flag. They're not quite the same dimensions though, so even if I monkey with the zoom, one is always slightly bigger than another... ah well, when I'm actually driving it I have other things to worry about.)

Also a lot of Harvest Moon, go figure.

I'll talk anime later on. New season isn't bad but not a lot of things jumping out at me really...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at 07:14 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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