August 14, 2014

I found it... seven years later

Don't quite know what caused me to go looking for this pic again. But this time Google Image Search found it (and about half a dozen pics from the last post I did on the topic, in 2007).



After a half dozen mecha-musume shows, I have no idea why this pic stuck with me. I hadn't seen it in a decade.

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July 25, 2014

Hot summer and its shows

The good news is that it's not TOO hot. The air conditioning can keep up (barely) and it's about as hot as it's going to get, so I'm not gonna roast myself working from home. This is quite a good thing.

The electric bill was pretty high though... and I've been watching anime to run it up further. Quick takes for the new stuff:

Locodol: Very low-pressure idol anime, even less so than Love Live. Don't come for the music (it's pretty much limited to children's songs so far), but it's cute enough to keep a slot for the time being. A little suggestive without getting in your face with it.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Ilya 2: way, way too suggestive. I mean, god, I watched a ton of Nanoha and this show can still creep me the hell out from time to time. Dunno if it'll hold my interest (or rather, if it dips even a little further into loli-exposure, I'm just done with it). Cute as hell when the creep mode isn't running high, which ain't often enough.

Samurai Jam-Bakumatsu Rock: Watching this one on a recommendation, and I'm obviously not the target demographic for this show (hey, finally, guys with exploding-clothing transformations...) Interesting take on the somewhat-overdone Meiji transformation and not bad in the music department, though obviously they're pushing the hot-bishounen-band angle. We're up for a few episodes of filler early, I figure, but it's all right (and, frankly, a good palate cleanser for Prisma Ilya).

Hanayamata: The other cute-girls-doing-cute-stuff of the season. I have NO IDEA what yosakoi is, never even heard of it, but eh, dancing cute girls is not a bad thing, and when the show pulls out the stops it's awful pretty. Pretty generic sports plot so far, not really strong there. We'll see where it goes.

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun: Another one I picked up on a recommendation. Funny if you like shoujo-trope jokes subverted. Good for now but feels like it might get stuck in a rut if they're not careful.

Sabagaebu: Damn. Ep 2 was terrible - somehow the characters were even less pleasant than the worst parts of C3, and that's a big non-recommendation. Ep 3 didn't have that nasty feeling to it, though. Much less "this is an introduction to a sport you've never heard about" and more "this is a pure comedy where they happen to have guns", narrator breaking fourth wall, impromptu flamethrowers, etc. But ugh, that second episode. Now I really don't want to try natto.

Rail Wars: Harmless police fun with a railway theme, though forget suspending disbelief, you should just expel it before showing up for class. Mildly pervy shounen action plus train-otaku fuel. Decent production values though.

Sword Art Online II: Not bad so far, though if you were a big Asuna fan, it's definitely telegraphing that she's gonna be in the background for this one. New character Sinon is actually pretty well-done, an interesting take on things that leaves lots of room for development and at least a suggestion that they'll go that way. I still don't like it as much as Log Horizon, but the stupid level is toned down enough to pass.

Invaders of the 6-Mat: probably will be the first drop of the season. Magical harem show, though at least so far it's more "magical everyone sitting around playing cards to try to evict the others". When even your characters say your premise is boring it may be time to move on. That said, the next ep is doing something different, but if it's not a lot more interesting than it's been so far, it ain't worth the time.

Jojo's: still Jojoing. Still not as good as the first two arcs. Screw the villain of the week, bring on the WRYYYYY already.

And... Sailor Moon Crystal: which I tried because I was pretty drunk, and actually enjoyed well enough to give it a few episodes. Looks like it'll move at a faster pace than the original show. Production quality is... not precisely "good", but more "retro" than "no budget". Never really had a good reason for disliking the original other than irrational prejudice, but eh... still not really sold on it.

Lots of shows, nothing that's on the OH YES list really, but plenty of "good enough to fill time" so far. Still a few that I'll probably save for mid-season after the weak ones drop off.

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July 12, 2014

Last season, post-mortem

Didn't watch that many shows through.

Is the Order a Rabbit?: Too cutesy at times, but not quite enough to keep me from watching to the end. Rize was the best thing about the series, and possibly "the only good thing".

Jojo: Working on a bunch of shows, this was always one of the things that got referenced all the time but which I never really had a good handle on. The first two seasons were a gateway into a past, more fabulous era, where barely-clad musclemen named after rock bands could pose up a storm and still be manly as heck. The new season is... not a fit successor. Jotaro is sullen and basically coasting through the Bad Guy of the Week, and Polnareff is so annoying I keep cheering for the bad guys to finish him off, but they never quite manage it. The only bright point of the show is Joseph Joestar, who's aged into a comic Indy Jones type - definitely carrying the show so far. Still, eventually they'll get to Egypt and we'll get to see some Dio, at which point I'm hoping things will become appropriately epic. Ongoing.

Love Live! School Idol Project - got into this late through playing the game, which a number of friends are into, and am through most of the first season so far. Enjoyable if you like the idol genre but don't want to go full Idolmaster or AKB48. Working on this as time and ork-painting permit.

Mekakucity Actors: I watched the first ep of this because of not-Miku, and it was all right, but somehow I never got around to watching any more of it and I'm not really inclined to get further into it. Did anyone find it to be any good?

Nisekoi: I picked up some of the manga for this to read on the plane trip here and enjoy the manga; the anime is decent but I haven't really been following it regularly. Think I might prefer the manga, honestly.

No Game No Life: Far better than I was expecting, though I was expecting it to suck pretty badly. Has the usual "these characters are geniuses so of course they know everything and can do everything" trope in play, but for all their mutual NEETness and Shiro's residual creepiness, it's actually quite a clever show. Plenty of T&A (and, alas, lack-of-T&A) for those interested in that. Definitely one of the hidden gems of the season just for the cleverness of the puzzle-challenges, though. In particular, the world-shattering game of shiritori was just pure happiness to watch.

Nobunaga the Fool: Watched the first six eps or so, dropped it, didn't go back. Not necessarily ruling it out, but I got better stuff to spend time on.

Rowdy Sumo Who Cares: Gawd, this show was terrible. Gave it a chance because hey, why not a sumo sports anime? And it's been a while since my last Taisho-era story... But the lead is so repellent, such a tremendous asshole, that I don't even want to see his comeuppance and redemption. I'd rather he die via meteor strike, or even better, Ebola virus.

Comic Artist and Assistants: I'm torn on this one, because in one sense, it was quite, quite terrible - a pure fanservice exploitation show with a protagonist that's by turns sniveling and lecherous, or sometimes both. But at the same time, I saw the manga a while back and the cat Branya is one of the cutest things on this planet. Girls are cute too, but then again, they had to be, else I would have gone far, far away. I got a little enjoyment out of it but I can't recommend it to the self-respecting.

Kawai Complex: A fun main romance plot buried under a steaming pile of cliched secondary characters. By the time I had gotten to the end of this, for the meager payoff on offer, I'd slogged through episode after episode of masochist jokes, virgin jokes, slut jokes, evil-woman jokes, more masochist jokes, more virgin jokes, more slut jokes, more evil-woman jokes... they went on and on and there just wasn't any cleverness or variety there. Frankly it's a miracle I didn't drop this and I darned well ought to have. I blame my susceptibility to cute girls who like books.

Magica Wars: Watched three eps when I had a bit of spare time. Not totally wasted but not really anything there to make me want to dig in for more.

I also watched some Puchimas. They're like eating potato chips, it's hard to stop at just one. Not really something to recommend though - either you know Idolmaster and already tried it or you don't and probably shouldn't.

Other stuff I heard was good, but haven't tried yet: Chaika.

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June 06, 2014

Love Live and orks

Dropped the time-waster tablet card game I'd been playing (Valkyrie Crusade, if you're curious, and it wasn't really much good) and tried out Love Live, as some friends had gotten into that. And... I'm enjoying it, honestly.

It's a pretty basic rhythm game with your performance being somewhat dependent on how good you are at tapping the screen in the correct locations at the correct intervals, but really also on how good your group is; a beginner group and a flawless performance might only score you a C rank on an easy song, whereas I can take a group I've put together (with no money spent, after a week) and do only so-so and still score an A or an S on a normal-difficulty song. I could see this as massively frustrating to a true aficionado of the genre. For me, with my getting-older-these-days reflexes, it's actually a bit liberating - I can genuinely enjoy the challenge without a run where I make a mistake immediately turning into a waste of time.

Advancement is the usual "here are a ton of crap-quality cards, which are mostly useless except as food for the good-quality cards", plus the usual "pay us real monies for extra chances to draw good cards". The other monetization model is "here is your energy, you've used it up, pay to refill the gauge right now or come back in a few hours", but going through the songs takes enough time that by the time I'm out, I'm ready to put it down for a bit and do something else.



Cute girls on the cards doesn't hurt none either.

Tried the first episode of the anime and it's cute enough. Enjoyed Idolmaster well enough but haven't tried AKB...

A couple of friends have been playing the Japanese game for ages, and they just came out with the English version last month, so it's pretty new here. Not particularly deep though - if you don't enjoy the rhythm portion of the game then nothing else is going to make you stick around. It'll be interesting to see what they do with it. The Japanese version has umpteen kinds of different magazine tie-ins and events, but obviously the merchandising opportunities aren't going to exist over here...

And orks? Finally, they're getting some new kits, so it's off to the game store. Any time you have a gatling gun made out of more gatling guns, you have the right idea!

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May 05, 2014

Moving on: Mo' bettah

Got out Sunday to see the Missouri. Quite a lady!

Pros:

  • Air conditioned spaces below deck!
  • The teak deck is pretty interesting. They don't do it the same way that they did originally, mostly because there's no army of navy enlisted men to holy-stone the thing all day, but they had some interesting exhibits on the original construction, the replacement methods they used in the '80s, and the modern construction. It is still teak, though... just with a surfacer under it to keep it level.
  • The Tomahawk installation is still in place. Four quad-cell launchers. Pretty clearly not part of the original armament, and I sure wouldn't want to be standing around one of 'em when it was fired (not that, you know, the 16-inch guns would be less of an issue!)
  • I hadn't appreciated just how thick some of that armor was. The turret magazine plating runs to 17", and even the con is in a massive armored shell. Guess you don't want your steering to take a hit if you can avoid it.
  • I also hadn't appreciated just how darned pack in living conditions on ship really are. There just isn't that much space on the racks and they stack 'em in close. And if you consider how much the ship can wallow in the waves... wonder how often people on the top bunk fell out?

Cons:

  • The really neat stuff (by which I mean the engines and turbines, and the interior of the gun turrets) are restricted to the special two-hour pay-double tour, which I arrived too late in the day for.
  • Not everything is really set up well as an exhibit. They could do a lot more for fire control, which is full of mostly-unlabled, mostly-incomprehensible consoles.
  • The place is a real warren - it was kind of difficult to figure out which stairways, etc. were open for use to get to certain parts of the ship. This was exacerbated by...
  • Lots of construction. I can't really be annoyed by this - these things take a lot of maintenance even when they've got a full crew aboard, much less sitting on the dock with a few tour guides all day.
  • Pricey. At $25 for the visit, it wasn't a cheap date. Makes going back for the $50 go-see-everything tour a little questionable too.

One of my friends had wanted to go to see the Pacific Aviation Museum, but he was busy with hockey playoff games, so I figured we could both go later on. Another pricey one, but hey, sounds like fun...

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April 24, 2014

Moving on, moving in

Finished moving, and comfortably ensconced in the new apartment. Working in air-conditioned comfort is no bad thing... I'm actually quite a bit more comfortable here than I was in the house before. Still busy spreading out, changing addresses, and getting back into a routine. Did discover that the internet service is very much up to the task of streaming Fairy Tail to the big-screen TV in the living room...

Ought to be all right in the hobby department. Plenty of room for a painting table, and I also picked up Elder Scrolls Online - not revolutionary but plenty fine to waste some time.

I figure I'll head out this weekend to the Big Mo, and I've also been informed that the aviation museum nearby is not to be missed.

Getting used to my own cooking again is going to be interesting. I can't really afford to go back to my old habits of eating out every meal - not only is the rent high here, the food bill is out of this world. Went to the grocery store and dropped the kind of money that would normally constitute a car payment (granted that there was a bottle of Tito's in there... and why the heck is the BOOZE the same price as it is on the mainland? Shipping just that much less of the cost?)

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April 17, 2014

Moving on, step one

I've managed to pick up a new apartment out here. Not cheap, but not too bad, truth be told. Unfortunately it'll be a few days before I can get fully moved in. (Remoting in to work for a living means that internet isn't really optional anymore; gotta wait for the local Time Warner outfit to get out here and hook it up.) At the least, I can get the rest of my stuff moved and ready, so that's good.

Still need to pick up a bunch of household stuff, but that's not a big deal really.

Of course, the real question is, what the heck do I do from here? I certainly don't mind the opportunity to get out on the weekends, and I've already done a little hiking, but I ought to find other things to do with my time, right? (more like, if I'm going to stay in and watch anime all the time, there's plenty of places where I can do that with lower rent...)

At the same time, it ain't like I'm thinking of taking up surfing. Might spend a bit of time at the beach though.

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April 06, 2014

On the worst case scenario list

I broke up with my fiancee a few days ago. (On the first, to be specific... didn't want to post on that day for the obvious reason.)

Communication issues - neither of us did a good job of finding out what it was the other wanted out of the relationship. Fault on both sides, and while it's awkward, we're not angry. Just wasn't going to work out long-term.

I'm still here (by which I mean, living at her house) in the meantime, though naturally that's not the long-term plan anymore. Thinking of finding a place locally and taking a year, basically making a nice long-term vacation out of it.

Obviously not really happy with the situation, but eh, them's the risks, better to have loved and lost, all that jazz. Pretty cold comfort but I'll take what I can get...

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February 05, 2014

Hawaii is really different: PV Power

It's a truism that current photovoltaics aren't quite cost-effective at current power prices. You can get systems that show a break-even in a decade plus, but that's highly dependent on the mean time between failures estimates being accurate to that kind of time span; if they're even a little short, you pay more for the panels than you save on the juice.

But that's only the case if you're paying US prevailing power prices. Electricity is a lot more expensive here, for a whole slew of factors some of which are thanks to the gummint, as usual. Which means... that PV power pays off a lot faster, because the panels aren't more expensive here (and the installation ain't that much more either).

This means there are a lot of panels on rooftops around here. Enough, actually, that the utility had real problems with entire neighborhoods which had negative power consumption during daylight hours. (Not just one or two - apparently it's something like 100 of the 451 stations on the grid.)

This led to a really stupid result - the government actually mandated a limit on the number of houses on each block which would be allowed to have a PV installation. It looks like the utility has finally gotten its head out of its rear and is signing on to allowing additional installations so long as the proper gear is in place to prevent a voltage spike of incoming power from blowing out a substation transformer not built to deal with power running the other way. Fortunately, we've already got our panels installed...

Apparently "the government has enacted a really dumb regulation" is not uncommon here. They have a ban on sparklers...

That said, they did give me credit for having my car registered in Texas - I only had to pay the modest plate fee to get registered here until my renewal period in June. At which point it becomes $300/year... oy!

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December 30, 2013

Setting up the new office

So one of the side effects from working from home is needing a home office. This wasn't a particularly big deal back in Dallas because, hey, that's just wherever my computer was. It's a bit more complicated when you're sharing living space, especially already-set-up living space.

There's a room for it and the furniture aspect isn't a problem. However, we need to get data into that room, otherwise the "log in remotely" aspect won't go so well. Complicating matters, I also have an IP phone that I need to plug in - so while I could get the PC to just use wireless to connect, it's not that easy for the IP phone. Complicating matters still further, the intake router is across the entire house from the office.

It's POSSIBLE to route the computer's traffic through the phone so that I only need one connection, but I'd prefer to avoid that if I can.

So here are my options:

-Have someone come in and run wire through the ceiling to the office, and put in a secondary router in the office. (Theoretically I could put two wires in, one for IP phone and one for PC, but the intake router is short on ports to start with, so there's a new router purchase involved either way...) This is probably the best long-term method but is also the most restrictive if I end up moving stuff around.

-Run a cable along the ceiling into the office, into a secondary router in the office. Would result in a pretty long length of cat-5 running around the ceiling of three different rooms, plus we'd still have to drill it through the wall of the office if we ever want to be able to close that door. Easiest solution in the sense that it doesn't really require anything from a technical perspective, but also dead last from an aesthetics perspective.

-Look for a way to hook up both PC and IP phone wirelessly. What I suppose I would need is a router which would hook up to the wireless already in place (or, failing that, a transmitter and receiver router). This... sounds like something that has to be a solved problem somewhere, right? Is this something that your generic router with wireless is capable of doing if you change the configuration settings, or do I need to get dedicated hardware to make it work? Or is this in fact a dumb idea that I should ditch, and is it time to go buy a big spool of cat5 and get working on the ceiling mount?

(I'm not too worried about the performance end of the wireless - I'm pretty sure that any added lag would be more or less transparent for playing MMOs and the days when I played twitch shooters online are mostly over. But I would like reliability, if I'm going to be VPNing in to a company network for several hours a day...)

Anyone have any advice?

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December 28, 2013

Closing of the Texas chapter

Road trip is done, holidays have been celebrated with the family, which is a little bigger now - yesterday Rohan Kent was born, making me an uncle. (Probably the weird uncle... no real prospects of avoiding that at this late date!)


I'm sitting in the airport in Oakland,  heading for LAX and then Honolulu.  In pretty much every way, this is the best-case scenario.

I'm off to live in a tropical paradise with a beautiful woman whom I shall marry. I'll be working from home in normal hours while filling the evening shift at the office (not known for having hordes of experienced people wanting to fill it!) I get along well with the prospective mother-in-law, who is almost as much of an anime fanas her daughter.

This is just about a win condition for life, folks.

Should be in HI this evening, and just about every evening thereafter. 

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December 12, 2013

Another week in Texas

More to the point, the last one for a long while.

Moving out on the 20th. Am I all packed? Nope. I've got most of the fun stuff packed away, but I still have to pack up the display cabinets and the art. I've got plenty of old clothes to take to a charity drop-off (and some that are in no shape even for charity that will be given the heave-ho). I have a number of items of furniture that need to be divested, sold off, hauled away, or otherwise gotten rid of. The computer's not packed. The BACKUP computer isn't packed. The orks, though, are all packed.

I'll be road-tripping for a few days and then spending Christmas in San Fran with the folks, hopefully coinciding with the arrival of my first nephew, Rohan. (Ask my brother, not me...)

And so of course now is when the Starbound early access opens up. Go figure.

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October 14, 2013

Outbreak Company

Went into this with low expectations. Otaku brought in to flog otaku goods to a fantasy world? Cute maid and princess characters? Yeah, yeah, just another otaku validation show where the hero's utter lack of other redeeming traits is glossed over because he's a generic nice guy, which makes him the most desirable target for every female in the show...

And this show isn't particularly different from that. Shinichi's just a short step above a hikkikimori - he filled out a job application and went to an interview - but ridiculously out of his depth, thrown into the position of cultural ambassador by virtue of the Japanese government not trusting its own export-promotion planning (worth a chuckle but a fairly thin premise for the show).

And yet it's working, so far, mostly because it's not pulling any punches on the class issue - Shinichi is spending less time feeling up the maid and more trying to figure out how to sell manga to illiterate peasantry with no disposable income or free time. In a way it's a little cheap (Shinichi is a nice guy not because of generic inoffensiveness but because he's horrified by the concept of beating the servants and doesn't have racial prejudice against pointy-eared maids or lizardmen...)

But it also gives the show something to do besides devolve into the typical brew of romantic comedy misunderstandings, and there's the opportunity for some real reflection... to what extent do you have to share the values to enjoy the entertainments? Will they have to import their values along with their anime? (Or for that matter, is the whole thing a smokescreen for a resource-hungry Japan to finish preparations before it rolls in the tanks?)

I'll give the show two additional good points - it tackles the literacy problem head-on, and it's not afraid to spoof some recent stuff (that's Attack on Titan they're reading there...)

Could get good, could throw it all away with maid grab-ass and beach episodes, no telling which it'll actually do yet. Pleasantly surprised so far but mostly because I wasn't really expecting anything from it.

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October 04, 2013

Kill la Kill - ep 1

It's like drinking a double espresso of Go Nagai. Holy throwback, Batman!

Not good in any kind of conventional sense, but it taps a thick vein of that cracked-out logic-what-logic gimme-some-boobs-and-blood stuff of the early 80s. Cutey Honey by way of Subekan Deka done as an homage by the staff from Gurren Lagann...

I'm amazed. A totally unexpected bit of goodness.

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September 29, 2013

Eccentric Family

No, my family's not eccentric (well, the rest of my family isn't... your not-humble-at-all correspondent excepted!)

I'm always hesitant to say things like "anime of the season" because, frankly, everyone's mileage may vary. But I don't think I enjoyed any of the anime that I've watched this season quite so thoroughly as this one. Very simple character art combined with extremely realistic backgrounds, a cast that delivers comedy without being comprised of a series of moe tropes, and a solid story arc with a few surprising and well-executed twists along the way.

Oh, it's weird - thoroughly weird, though not randomly in the sense that something like Excel Saga was. Does a good job of keeping you surprised without breaking its own internal consistency.

If you've got any patience for the odd, do give it a try.

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September 27, 2013

Good night's sleep

Part of the good luck lately has been a run of takin' care of myself. Made it out to various doctors and got a few things taken care of (the acne medication is surprisingly effective...)

One of the things I'd wanted to do was get my hearing checked, because bluntly, it's never been good. Went in and had it screened, and it turns out my hearing's actually quite excellent - any problems I've got in hearing people are in my brain, not my ears. Well, they can't fix brains yet, but eh. Interestingly enough, though, the ear-nose-throat doc who was examining me easily guessed that I had pretty lousy sleep full of snoring, and recommended that I go see a sleep doctor.

A few tests later, it was determined that I have sleep apnea, which frankly I was pretty sure of before I'd gone in. The doc suggested that I try a CPAP device, which forces a little extra pressure into my airway to keep it open. Downside is that I've got a funny little nasal mask. Upside is that I sleep quite a bit better. Not just a little - I'm waking up much, much more easily in the morning, and hardly waking up during the night at all. I was a bit worried that it would bug Jessica, but she's happy with the results ("you don't quit breathing in the middle of the night anymore!") and, frankly, the machine is pretty quiet too. Took a little getting used to - pretty much gotta sleep on my back, but eh, I can manage that.

There is one other downside - a positive diagnosis of sleep apnea means I can pretty much forget getting life insurance. It's a big ol' heart attack risk, though apparently a lot less nasty if you're getting treated.

Also picked up a nice, new, biiig bed which the two of us can fit on without fighting for space. Alas, it is waiting for me in Hawaii, and now I'm back on my ol' saggy mattress. Ah well, one more thing to look forward to, hm?

I'm hardly in perfect health... frankly, I could drop about fifty or sixty pounds and not miss 'em one bit. But I'm feeling better than I have been in a long time.

Next time I'll do an anime post, promise. ;p

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September 24, 2013

Must be absorbing all Brickmuppet's luck

The problem with posting infrequently because you have nothing major to talk about is this: when you have things happening, you're out of the habit and have even less time than usual to talk about them!

At any rate, things are moving along swimmingly over here. Biggest piece of news is a change of locale. I'm shipping out to Hawaii this winter, there to live with my lady-love (and prospective mother-in-law, heh). This is, not surprisingly, my first move off the continent, and so there are a lot of details I've got to deal with. Plenty of stuff won't be making the trip, so I've also got to find good homes (or the dump) for some furniture and lots of excess books, manga, etc.

Gonna be quite a big change, but fortunately I don't need to look for new work - my current employer is perfectly happy to have me do my same job from a few time zones away. (and since I'm on the evening shift as it is, that's even more convenient...)

I'd resisted the idea for a while, but after some thought, it hit me; I don't really DO anything local here in Dallas, it's just a city I'm in for work. I don't have a lot of friends here and I almost never see the ones that are; I don't do anything local that I couldn't do somewhere else; and it's not like I'm here for the weather! (not that Hawaii's weather is particularly superior in that sense - it's hot and muggy, if not nearly as bad as Houston, but in Houston people adapt by not doing damnfool things like going outside.)

Hawaii's a lot more expensive than Texas, naturally, but all told my total expenses will probably be going down (certainly my FOOD expenses will be, given how often I go out to eat here, which is "essentially every meal"). And it's not like my commute will be expensive...

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April 12, 2013

Devil is a Part-Timer - ep 1

Really ought to grab some screen shots next time...

Basic setup is bog-standard simple. Evil demon lord tries to take over fantasy world, heroes beat his forces back and attack him, he retreats to another world with a promise to return one day and conquer it. In the meantime, he and his minion will bide their time... in Tokyo, as it happens.

The remainder of the episode is adjustment humor. Minion spends time trying to figure out where to get magic out of a world without any, while Satan (yes, that's his name) buckles down and takes work at a McD's clone. He's improbably good at it. With absolutely no sense of just how far down the totem pole he is, he's the kind of employee that everyone wishes they had (because, of course, for him it's An Important Step On The Path to World Conquest!)

And then the end of the episode introduces one of the heroes, who have followed him (presumably to finish him off), and who the heck knows where the show is going to go now. Could get fanservice-y. Could just get Odd Couple. But it has some charm for now, mostly in that Satan is a genuinely nice person (though so far with no description of how someone like that became a world-conquering demon lord...) Playing against type can't carry the show all the way, though, so we'll have to see what direction it goes with the next ep.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at 12:40 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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March 25, 2013

Back from the Western Isles

Needed that... almost two weeks in Hawaii. Notes:

  • Girlfriend is doing fine.
  • Maoyuu bogged down a little, but is still pretty decent.
  • Problem Children was pretty good, but suffered from being as short as it was. An intro arc, Asuka's character arc, and then... that's it? Surely not. It's okay to keep your powder dry, but there comes a point where you ought to fire it. We have a pretty good idea about Asuka's motivations and reactions, and some about Kasukabe, but Izayoi is kind of... we know next to nothing about him, save that he's apparently invincible and invulnerable. You know, that's not good for maintaining dramatic tension, guys - even Superman has to worry about kryptonite.
  • Senyu is a good way to spend two minutes a week. Most of the other shorts were forgettable.
  • Polar Bear Cafe ends this week, proving that there is in fact no god.
  • Spent the first weekend in Oahu helping an old friend run a booth at Kawaiikon. I'll do a separate post on that later - was interesting, definitely different from the normal con experience.
  • Who would have thought that the best luau show in Hawaii was the one that was put on by the guys at Brigham Young? If you get the chance, GO.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at 09:15 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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March 07, 2013

Rest in peace, Toren Smith

Reported at ANN.

I didn't know him personally, though he commented here a couple of times and more frequently at Steven's blog. Still, anyone who enjoys anime or manga as a hobby owes him a kind thought. He was one of the people who broke the trail that made so many things possible today. I've several of his translation works on the shelf too - on top of pioneering the American business, he was also a fine translator.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at 03:38 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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