January 31, 2013

Ampontan Has Passed On

Bill Sakovich, an English teacher in Japan who blogged on all things Japanese at the informative and enjoyable Ampontan blog has passed away.  According to one of his neighbors, he died on December 21 after going into the hospital for what he thought was an ulcer, but turned out to be late stage cancer. Eerily, his last post was January 1. It turns out that his last several posts were pre-written and set to auto-post as he expected to be home by the first of the year.

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This May MEAN Something

Looking over the two most recent fusillades of spam comments, I've come to the conclusion that spammers really like Kannagi.

Heh. Perhaps she'll she'll exorcise these impurities for good. She'll need a better staff though.

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January 29, 2013

On That Thin Line....

...between cute and terrifying.
...between Kawaii and Kowai.

Don continues to ask the important questions.
Now he needs your help as he ponders these things.

UPDATE: That first video over there actually precipitated a nightmare. Use caution.

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January 28, 2013

27 Years Ago

Sharon "Christa" McAuliffe, Payload Specialist, Gregory Jarvis, Mission Specialist, Judy Resnik, Commander Dick Scobee. Mission Specialist, Ronald McNair, Pilot, Michael Smith and Mission Specialist, Ellison Onizuka smile for one of the last photos taken of them as they head to board United States Orbital Vehicle 099...better known as Challenger.

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January 27, 2013

46 years Ago Today

Apollo 1.

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January 25, 2013


Aieee! Break out the aerosani!

We're doomed!

ZOMG! The roads are destroyed!
The whole town is shut down.
Oh the humanity. It's a new ice age.

" Ladies and gentleman. Please be advised that residents of the southeastern corner of Virginia have a different definition of "snow" than the rest of us. "

Oh hush.. We got 3 inches and its still coming down. Besides, you Ruskies and your scary-math are no match for our knowledge that Alderaan is imaginary. (Unless, of course,  he meant Aldebaran and the Russians really ask grade schoolers questions involving celestial navigation....Then terror is completely appropriate. )

In other scary news: The likelihood of spontaneous human combustion just went up.

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January 21, 2013

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Thus there really is only one thing to watch.

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Dear Nature

  This is Southeastern Virginia. That is, counting the width of Virginia itself,  two states south of the Mason-Dixon line.  Tonight's predicted low temperature is 18 degrees. Obviously this is indicative of an error on your part.

Also: With today's high in the vicinity of 44 degrees (Fahrenheit) mosquitoes should not be about. Be advised that they are. (I expect that this will be rectified by tonight's aforementioned error but it bears mentioning. )

Finally regards precipitation: The drought was in fact unwelcome and we do greatly apreciate the efforts put into correcting that misallocation of hydraulic rescources. However, there is such a thing as a "happy medium" . That is, I should not sink up to my ankles in mud as I walk to my car, the end of the road should not be submerged and the back yard should not have 2 inches of standing water on a sunny day.

Please rectify these oversights ASAP.


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January 20, 2013

  I'd done a review of episode 1 of Usagi Drop some years ago and liked what little I'd seen at the time, so I was quite pleasantly surprised to learn recently that all 11 episodes are currently streaming on Cruchyroll.

 Despite being one of the most low key shows in recent memory, this very short series ranks among the most compelling bits of television I've ever seen.

The art direction and animation are interesting. This looks VASTLY different from most Studio IG shows. Bunny Drop has very minimalist animation and often gives the impression of an animated watercolor. The detail varies with what needs to be expressed ranging from near portraits to caricatures and yet somehow the show manages to not feel at all "artsy".  This is a major achievement and really conveys the moods of the story quite well.

 A 30 something bachelor rescuing his 6 year old aunt and raising her could be the set-up for a wacky screwball comedy. Thankfully, it is not.

In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anything passing itself as entertainment that talked so candidly about the sacrifices required to raise a child and the social stigmas against those who make those choices.

In spite of the dark places this show ventures into,  it never actually gets grim. In fact it manages to be an exceedingly upbeat show.  It's not exactly funny as such, but it's cute and uplifting like few shows I've seen. It highlights some of the worst as well as the very best humanity has to offer and it does so very well.

Shorter Review:
It was all that and a bowl of grits.

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January 19, 2013

A brief conversation in an Italian restaurant during the cultural decay of civilizations last years

Though classes started on Monday, the first day I've actually been able to attend class was today. I also returned to work this morning so it was a full day. my last class gets out at 7PM and on the way home I dropped by the house of occasional commenter Dalek Hal (link NSFW). We decided to hit a local Italian restaurant to kibitz.

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