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4th February 2016

10:47am: Mail!
Ever since the big East-coast storm, mail's been spotty. We've heard word (from the means of going to the post office and listening) of people who haven't gotten mail in a week (and reportedly due to personal shortages), and we had two days of mail in that week but no packages, and finally yesterday a whooole bunch of packages arrived, some ordered as far back as the 19th last month.

First time I've seen something like this happen, but the US mail service totally needs more funding...

2nd February 2016

9:35pm: Infested Space Mecha dream
I had a dream where I was a crewmember on a giant mecha- not a pilot, more an engineering type down lower in the mecha- this was a giant giant mecha, and there were five of us down below not counting the two pilots in the head to do engineering and such.

Anyway, the reason for the mecha's existence was to fight alien monsters that had a nasty infectious property. So we were one of the forces sent up to fight them in space.

Of course, down in the mecha I didn't get to see much of the fighting I was technically involved in, but I helped keep things going while obvious combat was going on. I think we were doing well.

Then word came down- while most of the enemy was gone, we'd been infected, with a hit to the gut. They could maybe do something about it... but it'd involve doing stuff we in the guts were unlikely to survive, just the pilots.

We looked to each other and nodded, and immediately agreed, telling them to do what they had to do to save themselves and fight on.

We got into the neck section, and it ejected along with the head- a not-very-protected position, mostly to protect us if there was something to pick us up in space, and we were going through the atmosphere to burn off anything.

Me and one of the women engineers when to a room that had a window (again, not very protected. And again, this mecha is huge, even the neck is fairly substantial), and held hands as we looked out and re-entry began, since if nothing else, it was a great view as we were going down.

Much to our surprise, we survived.

To our greater surprise, we landed safely.

To our less-pleasant surprise, it turns out that one of the groups that sent us up didn't like that we had survived- the intent was apparently to sacrifice us and use us for propaganda purposes or... something, we didn't really get a chance to ask.

So, with a group of baddies that outnumbered us a lot, we once again had to decide what to do. We looked at each other, and took out the sidearms stored in the mecha for emergencies. Then grinned, because we'd already survived the incredibly unlikely and were doing way better than we'd expected to live, so why not keep trying?

End of dream.

28th January 2016

3:56am: Blarg
Blarg, the snow shutdown stuff means I didn't get any mail yesterday and my store didn't get comics.

23rd January 2016

1:38am: used book store bites the dust
Last week I traveled to a used book store that I've used occasionally- and they're closing! Seems they didn't have enough money for the lease.

I have a fair amount of credit since while back in the day I'd go there a lot, and got lotsa game books (large sections of my Rifts library, a few GURPS books, some good stuff!), when the game store near it closed some years back, it's selection slowed down as well.

Which was a sign to start blowing some of the credit I'd saved up there (even when I wasn't getting stuff myself, they were a good place to put books so they'd end up in other's hands) and gets some stuff I'd been holding off on like Robert Asprin's myth series, books by authors I like in genres I don't, and so on. Oh, and whatever the person behind me wanted, since I just handed whatever was left on one of my credit slips to her.

I still have even more credit and they don't full close til February, so I plan on going back, and using every bit I have and then probably just handing most of those over to the library so they can benefit :)
1:32am: Snooow
I tried to get out to lunch before the snow hit today- only to call ahead and find the two nearest places were already closing their doors!

No way was I going into old town.

So, it seems I'm trapped at home for several days at least- not so much due to being literally trapped (I mean, sure, will be snowed in, but I can shovel), as everything being closed!

21st January 2016

12:26am: Snoooow
We got incoming snow :) After a season of warm, winter's finally arrived, and it's supposed to arrive *much* harder on Friday.

Went out today to bookstore, then did food on the way back- and apparently so did everyone else, the particular place had *one* milk left (not counting chocolate milk or soy milk).

Also, the actual snow we got came down with light flakes and plentiful- but so far not excessive- amounts. It was very picturesque, and on the road it'd swirl after cars in a very cool fashion.

12th January 2016

6:46pm: Legendary Pictures purchased
Wanda Group purchases Legendary Pictures

Which matters, of course, because Legendary is currently the big font of US Kaiju movies- Pacific Rim and Godzilla.

Legendary being acquired by a Chinese company is interesting. I’m curious what effect it’ll have on Pacific Rim 2- considering the first movie’s success there, hopefully positive.

Fingers crossed!

(See last post for how big a fan I am ^^)
11:48am: Pilots of Wanderer Chimera by Kory Bing
I got a Pacific Rim commission of my characters! By Kory Bing, of Skin Deep

"I can't believe I'm only drift compatible with you," Eirene complains.

"I can drift with anyone I want!" Zeroia brags.

"You only drift with me!"

"I only want to drift with you!" Zero reassures, unreassuringly, as the two head to Wanderer Chimera, their mighty Jaeger.

Ah, the joys of a partner who can get their mind on piloting inside the pod, but is totally exasperating outside it :)

Zero Zeroia and Eirene Cir Tigerbat are my characters, Pacific Rim is by Guillermo Del Toro and Travis Beacham, and art's by Kory Bing
Pilots of Wanderer Chimera by Kory Bing by Q99 on DeviantArt

28th December 2015

1:25am: Kowloon Walled City Themepark opens in Japan
Hong Kong's Infamous Kowloon Walled City Rebuilt as Amusement Park

Some article textCollapse )

It seems like, for whatever reason, a Japanese company thought it'd be a draw to their gaming center to do a really faithful representation of part of Kowloon Walled City. Not just a cheap version, but spending effort to work with Hong Kong people and get things as accurately as possible.

I know several other people here find the place interesting, so I had to share :)

17th December 2015

7:28pm: [Kaiju Movie Reviews] I just watched 'Reptilicus'
I watched 'Reptilicus,' the Kaiju movie of Denmark, with my mom yesterday.

That's an old-style giant monster movie :) Pretty standard giant monster stuff, you know, 'find the thing, scientists study, monster breaks out, military fights, come up with clever way to take down,' thing, but the effects- not a guy in a giant suit or stop motion, but a puppet! (who looks a lot like Manda)- ranged from 'ok' to 'some totally hilarious moments.'

The dub could definitely use some work ^^ There were bits where characters spoke with a really odd cadence as they matched the lip movements of the original actors.

If you're not a fan of old monster movies, give it a miss. If you are, Gorgo's better, but I've certainly seen a heck of a lot worse, and if you're a fan of classic giant monster movies, the chewing of scenery of scientists vs military men, and a sea-serpent monster puppet, it's a movie to check out :)

Rating: C- in purely quality terms, B in cheesy-old-movie terms

16th December 2015

7:39am: New Star Wars rumored to be mildly popular
I've heard there's a new Star Wars movie and the buzz is it's going to be mildly popular.

Has anyone else heard of this new movie and it's rumored somewhat popularity, and/or is planning on seeing it?

11th December 2015

2:21am: Closed up Gaming Shop
Discovered a few days ago that one gaming shop I used to go to, Game Parlor, closed it's doors. It had a 25 year run, apparently!

Talking with someone at my other gaming shop, they're of the opinion it was because it was because they didn't do sales to get rid of old inventory, and I'm inclined to agree.

Back when I went there a lot, one of the things I liked was that they had a lot of old stuff to look through and get. I stopped going regularly after an incident with the comics person (they didn't feel compelled the need to process my comics into the database so I could buy them that week... with 2 hours notice. Other people there were fine, but yeesh. Canceled my subscriptions and did my comic buying elsewhere). About 6 months ago I visited, wondering what new RPG stuff would be there... and there wasn't much. I had attributed it in part due to fewer RPG books being published, but really it was likely just as much their shelves being choked by older stuff. The person at my other gaming store said they'd even stopped stocked new comics (and this store increased it's comic section in the last year due to how well it'd been doing). And apparently I missed a big closing out sale all November. Ah well.

So a lesson in business models. You can have a big location with a lot of inventory space and selection, but eventually you need to clean out the cruft or the store will choke.

Also a side thing, at one point they had two locations, which also happened to both be near a used book store with two locations. They each closed one location a number of years back and were no longer near each other, but back when there was overlap, sooo many good used RPG books ^^ Made up a good chunk of my collection.

6th December 2015

5:48am: Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift #2
Issue 2 of the Kaiju vs Robot comic is out, and it's just as impressive as the first.

A New Challenger arrives, and it"s name is CoyoteCollapse )

4 pages from Tales from the Drift 2, plus the alt cover by Pat Lee!

4th December 2015

11:57pm: Learning Rabbit Speak
The Language of Lagomorphs is a fascinating page on how to read rabbit 'language.'

Like, did you know that rabbits don't really ask for grooming, so much as *demand* it, as is the proper order of things?

It also tells how to tell if a rabbit is annoyed with you, and by how much. And how to diffuse a fight if a rabbit is angry! (Try turning your head and running your hands through your hair!).

I love this kind of stuff ^^
1:37am: Planescape:
Ok, so last post I waxed on a bit about DiTerlizzi and how awesome his art is.

Which inspired me to go look for my old Planescape books, chalk full of awesome. If you don't know Planescape, it's, like, the best D&D setting, an array of weird planes centered around Sigil, a massively well-developed city full of doors that lead to other planes and worlds.

Looking for them lead to the discovery that... *ominous music* ... they're gone! Out of about a dozen, I found two. Big pile of classic gaming, gone.

And since I've recently had cause to move and sort almost everything, I can be 97% plus that I didn't just misplace them. And I'm *fairly* sure I didn't lend them to anyone (though I e-mailed an old friend just to check). Which leads me to believe they're gone for good. Can't say when, but probably not recently.

Some are fairly easy to replace (monstrous compendium 1? Turns out everyone has a copy, few bucks), others are in 'heck no' price range, so I'm likely not going to be able to replace a lot of the stuff.

On the 'plus' side, this'll be the first holiday season in a long time where I can get D&D books ^^;

2nd December 2015

8:56pm: Artbook: Realms by Tony DiTerlizzi / finding Artbooks in Bookstores
At first I was gonna write this one, then in the process of planning it something else came up and I was gonna write that, then I decided, 'nah, I gotta do this one as setup'.


The other day I bought an art book, Realms by Tony DiTerlizzi. DiTerlizzi, of course, is famous for doing the D&D setting Planescape (the most visually stunning D&D setting to this day), the Spiderwick chronicles, and some other stuff.
Review withinCollapse )

29th November 2015

7:11pm: Flu shots!
Got my flu shots today :)

Been awhile since I received one, and I'm glad I did. It both keeps those around me protected via herd immunity, *and* gives my immune system something to do. Bored immune systems are trouble, give your immune system something to play with every now and then or you may find it starts acting up and making a fit! Enrich your immune system's life today, it's good for everyone.

27th November 2015

10:13pm: Thanksgiving Dinner
I had an interesting Thanksgiving. We ate at the house of a friend of my mother's, and it was an interesting house.

It was literally an old small house, with a newer addition built all the way around it, with large picture windows and fantastic views (and treacherous stairs between the different levels).

One of the neighbors had a dock that cut in front of them, and the deal was they could have that in exchange for building an osprey nest in the water.

And they had so much interesting stuff- they had a lot of old art, plus she'd lived in Japan a fair amount and had picked up a lot of Japanese masks (as well as a few from other places she'd visited, like Korea). After the meal, a lot of the time was just spent talking about the cool stuff they had around.

A rather enjoyable night.

26th November 2015

9:39am: Happy Thanksgiving!
In celebration, here's a picture of one of my characters in a swamp:

Swamp Summoned Eirene Tigerbat By Bar1scorpio by Q99 on DeviantArt

... ok, this is a halloween pic I forgot to share back then ^^

The artist does some roleplay game book work and had a halloween special.

23rd November 2015

7:33am: Sasquatch dream
I had a dream that I was helping a sasquatch / bigfoot do his paperwork for official citizenship so he could apply to be granted stewardship of some land that he could roam in and take care of.

And he was, just, like, waiting in line with us, I was just helping him on with the paperwork and stuff.

The place for doing so was near a fancy bookstore, which had changed hands once for free when the old owner had thought it too creepy or maybe haunted. But it had books so I wanted to go.

20th November 2015

4:39pm: Baba Yaga's guide to Feminism
This is a great article from an old feminist icon, and her advice!

Russian Witch Baba Yaga's Guide To Feminism

It contains such gems as:
"1. Subvert traditional gender roles by taking a common kitchen implement and using it for your nefarious feminist activities. For example, fly around in a mortar and wield the pestle as your weapon. WHO'S MAKING ARTISANAL SPICE BLENDS NOW, EH?

The answer? Not you. Because you're too busy oppressing men to even think about setting foot in the kitchen."

"4. Reject the male gaze by being an ugly old crone with long greasy hair and a hooked nose. Try dressing yourself exclusively in filthy rags, or, if those aren't available, maybe just wrap a huge bed sheet toga-style around your body. What's most important is that you're comfortable and can move your arms easily to cast wicked spells. Dress for you and your needs, not for anyone else.

Get yourself a set of iron teeth because why the fuck not, those are super metal. Like, literally metal.
Remind yourself that you don't exist to please men – you exist to be a terrifying witch who does whatever she wants."

Truly, a guide for our modern world.

19th November 2015

6:14am: You've heard of the Bechdel Test and the Sexy Lamp Test, now there's the...
You've probably heard of the Bechdel test, the simple question of whether a movie or piece of media has,
a) at least two female characters;
b) who have at least one conversation;
c) about something other than a male character.

Which has some issues, something can pass and still have significant problems with portrayal of women, something can not pass but still be good, especially if it has a small cast.

Then there's the Mako Mori test (name after the co-lead of Pacific Rim),
a) at least one female character;
b) who gets her own narrative arc;
c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.

Which catches films like Gravity with women leads, although again it's not perfect.

There's also the 'sexy lamp' test, to test for a low bar.
a) Could the female character be replaced by a sexy lamp without the work falling apart?

I.e. if a female character's role is to die and then a male character seeks revenge, it could be replaced with a sexy lamp breaking. If they're kidnapped and take no active role in events other than being rescued, etc..

Now there's...
The Fleshlight with a postit note test!

SFW believe it or not, just cut for spaceCollapse )
12:34am: Steam Wars: the teachings of Yodel
Now, everyone knows the story of the Jed- er, I mean Quantum Dragoons, and their rebellion against the Empir- ... er, Hegemonic Order, but do you know how the Dragoons first learned their fantastic powers?

It all began with a teacher named Yodel...

Steam Wars asks-what if Yoda was a small black girl?Collapse )

From Steam Wars: First Empire by Fred Perry

12th November 2015

8:42pm: Greg Rucka's Lazarus: Transhumans playing poker
I've been digging Greg Rucka's current comic, Lazarus.

In part due to scenes like this: A room full of people, each packed full of their Family's technology (their families being the ultimate 'Haves' to everyone else's 'Have Nots') to make them as unkillable and deadly as possible... playing a few hands of poker at a political summit.

Bit of warning, one of 'em is an ableist jerk.

Here"s the deadliest people on the planet holding a poker gameCollapse )

Pages from Lazarus #13, by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, and Santi Arcas

6th November 2015

8:30pm: Various stuff
Lesse, I got a new crown in. While I had it worked on, my mother checked out the Freedman cemetery/memorial right near the office. She was worried that I'd be done way sooner than her. Hah! I knew it'd take plenty of adjustment ^^

My new bed got delayed a week and a half- they had asked me about some specifications half a week ago, and I guess maybe they cut the wrong thing. Oops! Well, they get a bed in their inventory of that size, and my new one comes soon enough, no rush.

Also, I've been seeing college woman's field hockey on TV at two separate restaurants. I like it when I see new/different sports on, but I'm also pretty surprised- they televise, not just the finale, but the lead-up championships of that? Huh.
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