November 29, 2011

Jingle Hell

There was a bit of drama over the holiday here as both my father and grandmother ended up in the hospital. My father has a hernia that will be operated on in January and we finally found out what has been causing my grandmothers issues. It's an auto immune disease similar to Lupus. She's being treated for that now and for the first time in months is walking! Both were major scares but both turned out surprisingly well.

Which is good because...
It's now Christmas season at UPS.
It's exam and term paper season at ODU.

With 3 remaining papers due and a start time at work approaching midnight it's getting hectic. I keep telling myself there will be cake at the end of this month.

Delisheus cake presented by the girls from K-On! vol3  Another review I haven't finished.

But looking at the piles of reference materials by day and the cardboard tsunami every morning I'm beginning to fear that this song may be more representative of what is to come....

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November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that those of you in the States and Territories of the United States have a Happy Thanksgiving holiday and that everyone else has a pleasant day.  Remember, that today is not just about the turkey, it's also about perspective. Whatever curve-balls life throws at us there is still much to be thankful for.

This is particularly true those of us that were not present at the Pinedale Shopping Mall on October 30, 1978.

Art by 'Galibo'

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November 17, 2011

A Thing of Beauty....and Safety

...and ACTING!


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Why Today?

A week or two ago #OCCUPYSQUALOR announced that today would be their day of action. The eviction yesterday and multiple arrests seems to have neutered their plans a bit, but why did they chose today of all days. Why did it have to be today when they knew an eviction was coming?

Cdr Salamander knows.

Just be very glad September has passed.

Related item here.

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EXACTO is a guided a missile intended to be launched from guns and be interchaingable with existing ordinance increasing weapon accuracy and reducing the chance of collateral damage.. This is not at first blush in any way unusual. However, the guns in question are not 155mm weapons nor 105's.
EXACTO is to be launched from 12.7mm barrels.
No that decimal did not slip.



There is more here, here and here.

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Schemes to Annoy the Virtuous Fan

Ubu speculates and rants on what may (or may not) be a worrisome development.

His concern is that the Japanese companies are simply going to cut the US distributors off. Instead of going that route they might start providing subtitles on their Blu Ray discs like they have done with Dog Days which provided English, French, and Chinese subtitle tracks. Given the seemingly rather myopic and desperate business plan of much of the anime industry, this does not seem far fetched, especially given that the US and Japan share the same region in Blu Ray. One thing is curious about this example though....France and China do NOT have the same region coding as the US and Japan (though of course there are the Quebecois). France, however, is a lucrative anime market and China is just plain huge, so this may be a reflection on the accessibility of region free players. Still, I'd be more concerned about this particular development if the language tracks were Portuguese, Spanish and English.  So don't go to pieces just yet...

If this DID happen it would be unfortunate. The US releases would almost certainly penetrate deeper into the US market. There is also the fact that companies that bring this stuff over would be nuked and their now quite talented cadre of Voice Actors dispersed.

Then there is cost...Japanese discs cost several times what the US disks do. The business plan for the Japanese companies seems to revolve around really exorbitant BD with lots of extras and steam removal. This has contributed to the narrowing of the market in Japan, where the merchandise is priced high which weeds out the less fanatical enthusiasts which results in a smaller, more intense market which demands more fan service, which appalls polite society, further shrinking the market which causes the companies to raise prices which shrinks the market yet more thereby increasing the percentage of maladroit fandom demanding panty shots which further marginalizes the market until you get hemlines halfway up the buttocks and plots revolving around bust size competitions (oh wait). Eventually the market will consist entirely of 47 rich trustfunder NEETS who will die out never having touched a woman thus ending the industry.

Only moderate BD prices and Josei can save us from this fate.

.....but I digress.

On a related note there is this.

A new company backed by the government will buy the rights to Japanese anime, toys and other creative products and tout them to Hollywood producers.

All Nippon Entertainment Works Co., which has received 6 billion yen (about $80 million) from the 90-percent government-sponsored Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), will begin acquiring rights this month. It plans to invest 3 billion yen over the next three years to acquire the rights to 10 products and get movies made.

This strange bit of corporatism could have interesting results...not necessarily good ones mind you.  I do note that this seems to be a sop to the biggest media conglomerates and they are only going for really big ticket properties.  Therefore, it most likely will not affect most anime releases and certainly won't have much affect on more obscure shows. Dan Kanimitsu has thoughts. I for one wonder why they dont just have Toho and Daiei hire international actors and a few directors for international adaptations.

Of course, perspective is important. None of this is in any way the end of the world.

"Fandom...doomed...must..tweet EVERYBODY!"

...but of course your mileage may vary.

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Decision Points

So...your wife is threatening to leave you.
Do you:
A: Get counseling
B: Sell the boat
C: Get a good lawyer and try to get custody of the kids
D: Burn a cross in your own front yard

I'm failing to see how this was supposed to work.

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November 16, 2011

Would-Be Assasin on the Loose!

Seen here wearing the traditional garb of his native LA-La-Land
 This Jackwagon's name is Oscar Ramiro Ortega and he is strongly suspected of putting a bullet through the President's window.

He's 5'8" tall, weighs 160 pounds and has multiple tattoos. He's reportedly been seen at the #OccupyRingworm encampment but a sweep by the secret service there did not find him.

UPDATE: They got him!


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November 13, 2011

I Always Liked Pertwee did these fans it would seem.

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November 09, 2011

The Debate:

Regards Perry's explanation of which agencies he would cut, I....

Oh hell with it. I'll let this young lady comment.

"He was being coherent and everything!"

I guess all we can do now is blame Texans Avatar and Ubu for that  horrible moment and move on with our lives.

UPDATE: OK. Decent recovery on a later question but damn.

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November 07, 2011

Don't Forget. There is an Election Tomorrow.

There are elections tomorrow for the Senate and House of Delegates in Virginia. A quick overview of whose in what VA district can be found here. The State Board of Elections page is here. There is a good page  on Virginia at Ballotpedia as well.

Three other states have elections tomorrow: Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey.

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November 06, 2011

She's Come From the Sea to Pun-ish Us All

I laughed, I cried..I groaned, I wept, I cried, I laughed, I hurled, I laughed some more...

From the stygian depths of the Pacific, comes a being hell bent upon conquest and fueled by a thirst for vengeance upon all mankind. Spawned of rage at mankind's destruction of the marine ecosystem, the creature lumberers through the surf and slouches inexorably towards its  unsuspecting victims. A beachfront noodleshop is the first to feel her wrath, after which... to various and sundry complications tonight's program of bloody vengeance and world conquest has been delayed indefinitely.

But, there is shrimp fried rice..and the shop's signature ramen.

Thus begins Squid Girl , the tale of a girl from the sea with squid tentacles coming out of her head ,who, due to poor planning, ends up working as a waitress at a seaside noodle shop while she tries to devise various cunning plans to take over the world.

This is actually a nostalgia show, pining for the experience of what going to the beach in Japan was like some years ago. It's also a comedy that is directed by lunatics with a wildly inconsistent style that ranges from slapstick to poignant to just plain silly. The show consists (mostly) of a series of skits. The timing of the sketches is excellent and the production values are top notch.

I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

However, it isn't something that one would think would translate well.  For one thing, the shows particular brand of nostalgia's going to be lost on most people here, and then there is Squid Girl's speech tic...adding "degeseo" (which means squid tentacle) to the end of her sentences. This sort of tic is something of a trope in Japan but doesn't work in English, where the closest equivalent is probably "smurf". Bang Zoom, the dub studio, went a similar route...inventing a number of adverbs and adjectives sharing the root word squid...and some puns...occasionally quite a few... episode 4 packs them in like sardines. Some purists will be unable to fathom why they did this. I suspect it was just for the halibut. In any event I laughed.

This show has sole.

All that aside the translation is faithful in spirit and is quite good.  Six episodes in I'm quite impressed.  It is a cute little show with an upbeat message.

I'm particularly surprised that something as gentle and wholesome as this show was picked up by Media Blasters, who did Queen's Blade, Ikkitousen, and K...KanoKon. I guess it was a fluke.

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An Important Public Service Announcement

It is November.
It is 56 degrees.
If you are a mosquito in the city of Portsmouth VA you are wrong.
There seems to be considerable confusion on this point.

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I'd been up for 2 and a half days dealing with butler issues when I finally got a relief in the form of my sister, who came by Saturday afternoon. So when I laid down, I stayed down and slept through the Gingrich/Cain debate on entitlement reform. Fortunately, being C-SPAN, it is available here.

As expected, Gingrich won. He excels at this format. Indeed at one point Cain dropped a bit on defined benefit vs defined contribution plans. However, he did recover and otherwise did alright. Cain really was no slouch and showed he had a lot of good ideas, but Newt really owned the stage.

  Gingrich deserves credit for setting this up and Cain deserves credit for agreeing to this. It is telling (and a sad commentary on the state of politics) that no one else in the Republican field agreed to talk specifics  about this third rail stuff. These two are at least serious about dealing with these problems. Gingrich's outstanding performance may well have given himself a considerable boost towards escaping third place. However, by virtue of participating, and speaking thoughtfully in intelligent English rather than bumperstickerese both guys are on my shortlist.

A lot of Cains's arguments, tended to be more philosophical, though it is obvious he has given considerable thought to the issues at hand. Gingrich on the other hand was a cornucopia of facts and figures replete with anecdotes related to the mind numbing stupidity he witnessed first hand in congress.

What was most refreshing about the debate was its intelligence and civility. I strongly urge you to take 90 minutes and watch it. Two really smart guys discussing entitlement reform is certainly no roller coaster of thrills, but it is damned refreshing and was a really informative talk.

There is going to be a similar exchange hosted by the Heritage Foundation (with the addition of Paul and Romney) on national security on November 22.

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Random Stuffs

My dad has managed to pull a hernia.
My mom is sick.
My grandmother is also sick and can't walk right now.
I need a butler outfit.

Between this and various other issues things have been hectic this week.

One of those issues involved a History paper.
I finished it a day early and saved it with the intent of going over it one last time after sleep to catch any typos.

Three hours prior to the class....

Now, as I'm a iMac user, I feel especially cheated.

Of course I'd written the paper, I had the outline and a decent chunk of it in another file, so although here was some panicked scrambling,  I got it done and got to class just before the door was locked. Whee!

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November 01, 2011

It's November!

Lucky*Stars Kagami by Atutagawa Manbou

It's time for the ritual of the cleaning of the tabs.

First off, giant amoebas. Yes! GIANT AMOEBAS!
( Or baby shouggaths? You be the judge.)
Marine biologists exploring the Marianna's Trench have discovered amoebas that are 4 inches across.

2005U55 an asteroid over 400 meters across will pass within the orbit of the moon on November 8. Unfortunately, due to the gibbous moon, it will require a telescope with an aperture of 6 inches (152mm) or greater.

Cosmic Butterfly.

I probably ought to be appalled... but this is the first time I've won an election....and at this typing it looks like a blowout. 

Ubu seems to like Ben-To. He gives many reasons, but I suspect it's the syllable count.

Um....Neither do I.

What the hell good is a tractor beam that doesn't work in a vacuum?

Ten more days.

Robert Stacy McCain
(Magnificent Bastard) has jumped on the Cain Train with a brilliant and cunning plan that I wish I'd thought of.

The mice were feet down

Gone to Amerikay is now in the dead tree version of order it now!


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