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11th February 2015

9:28pm: Beds
*Considering getting a new bed

*Goes to store. Sees mostly styles I'm eh on, then... oh, that one looks cool! Stylish and minimalist.

*Can't find price. Ask about price.

*"Oh, that one's just there to show off the linens and stuff. It's been there for years, I don't know if we sell it anymore. You can check our furniture section upstairs..."

*They have nothing remotely similar.
8:21pm: Jupiter Ascending
So, I saw this movie, and I should've posted about it before now!

It's a very visually impressive Space Opera with a ton of world building. Something that quite appeals to me, as most of you know!

It's also a movie that is getting mixed reactions, and I'm glad I had some warning going in. I think a lot of people were expecting something like Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy, and it's not that. It's closer to Fifth Element or Dune, in having a more baroque styling to it, with even a few shades of Mass Effect thrown in. It's an old setting and a diverse one.

More review withinCollapse )

Rating: C+/B-. Really not sure where to put it exactly, but on the border between those two. It if weird space opera with worldbuilding and a not-action female lead sounds reasonably down your alley, I do recommend giving it a watch, even if parts could be better.


*Edit* Oh yes, and incredibly rarely for a space opera? This one had a sense of scale. It not only talks big and has some impressive vistas, but it feels like it backs it up by how the characters act. In a world full of no-sense-of-scale science fiction, this was very refreshing.

3rd February 2015

1:06am: It's surprisingly hard to find good space opera
As occasionally happens, I get a desire for new space opera books. And I go through the book store looking at titles, and most look like generic mil SF or such. Others, I pick up, say, "Looks promising!", investigate online and find phrases like 'unearned bleak ending,' 'handles the female characters horribly,' complaints about low-qualify prose in first-books, poor character relationships, etc..

I'm sure I'll find more good ones (hopefully a newer one, I prefer more modern style), but I thought the flip-through method wouldn't run into so many misses!



Anyone read the Liaden series? That's on my list of 'investigating, may or may not try out' books.

1st February 2015

11:56pm: Magfest '15
Last week I went to Magfest. Normally I tend to con-report immediately after a con, but I didn't this time because... well, I guess I don't have that much to say about it!

First thing worth mentioning, though, and definitely worth saying about, was going to the premier of Famikamen Rider (as in Famicom, aka Nintendo, and Kamen Rider, as in the Japanese suit-superhero), a fan-made film made in honor of Justin Carmical / "JewWario", who died a few weeks after the last Magfest. He had started a project before he died, and his friends used a bit of that footage, plus a story they made, to finish things and pay homage to him. And... well, it was both fun and a loving tribute ^^ It wasn't actually quite finished, a few minor effects shots weren't done, but I don't think anyone there cared. So yea, fan-made film (on a similar production level to the Channel Awesome anniversary movies) that I quite enjoyed. A.


Aside from that, well, I played games! I got to experience first hand the difference between a pinball game with used, weak springs and bumpers (twilight zone), to a fresh one (Batman), and even a fun old Dr. Who pinball game.

I did a lot of shooters- enough that, due to some of them having stiff triggers, my primary hand got tired and I started switching off to my left, and found, surprisingly, I was able to adapt to offhand lightgun shooting *really* well! So I trained myself to be an ambidextrious lightgun shooter ^^


I also got introduced to the card game Coup, a game all about bluffing, and played it on two different days (winning once). It played fast, and was easy to introduce people to- after a few rounds I could help introduce newbies. And it's newbie friendly in the sense that newbies tend to have certain bad bluffing habits, but also tend to figure out that they do, and can use that ^^ It feels like everyone has a chance while at the same time feeling strongly skill-based and not random, which is a delicate balance. So, I recommend that, rating: A.

Saw some videos, one on the history of Smash Brothers Melee and it's top players. Fairly fun, but I also boggled by the fact that it was *four hours long* in total. Liked what I watched but still! There was also a video on LGBT in gaming which, alas, I had to miss due to tiredness setting in.

Not many of the other panels interested me.

Bought a few comics and books, got a few commissions, nothing big to report really aside from that. Only an 'ok' dealers room. Oh yea, and for a 24-hour a day con, they *really* should've thought of where one can get food after 11, there's one vending machine in the whole place and it's hard to find (on the pool level, below everything else), as I and a nice guy called Eddie found out late at night.



All in all, I give it a B-. Lotsa games to play, some fun stuff, but aside from the premier, nothing that's likely to stick out in my head long-term.

31st January 2015

9:57am: [Comic] Lazarus
I just picked up and read through the first two volumes of Lazarus, which I think many of you would like.

To begin with, it's by Greg Rucka, who's always good (Gotham Central, the original DC 52 series, Batwoman, etc.). Comes with good art too.

It takes place in a dystopia (I think post-apoc but the nature of the apoc if it happened is unknown, but a lot of soil is hard to use and such) future where things are run by 'families' who've divided the land up. The Family rules. The Serfs serve them and are kept comfortable. The Waste, everyone else, makes do. Each family spends a lot of money to create a 'Lazarus,' an effectively unkillable enforcer (they can be killed, but recover rapidly from bullet wounds and such and are moderately superhuman), including the lead of the book, Forever (or 'Eve') Carlyle, youngest member of the Carlyle family. Though it doesn't just follow her- the second arc is about a family of Waste going to a 'Lift,' where they apply to serve the family as Serfs.

A bit mob in style, a bit future, it's very well written.


It's the best indie book I've gotten into since Saga.

Rating: A

28th January 2015

8:42am: Eat It, Saturn
Originally posted by marianlh at Eat It, Saturn
planetary-rings-640x384

This is a newly discovered planet 116 light years away, and its ring system is 200 times larger than Saturn's. (Link.)

The universe is far more interesting and varied than we thought back when the only planets we knew about were our own.

26th January 2015

6:36pm: Meme Thing
Questionnaire meme, courtesy of seawasp

01. Your Name:
02. Your age:
03. Male, Female, other, or not saying:
04. Favorite Film:
05. Favorite Song or Album:
06. Favorite Band/Artist:
07. Dirty or Clean:
08. Tattoos and/or Piercings:
09. Do we know each other outside of LJ?
10. What's your philosophy on life?
11. Is the bottle half-full or half-empty?
12. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest?
13. What is your favourite memory of us?
14. What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
15. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:
16. You can have three wishes:
17. If it were possible would you want to hang out with me sometime? (Pretty sure I just asked everyone on my LJ out on a date..)
18. Which country is your spiritual home?
19. What is your big weakness?
20. Do you think I'm a good person?
21. What was your best/favourite subject at school?
22. What kind of cologne or perfume do you wear?
23. If you could change anything about me, what would it be?
24. What do you wear to sleep?
25. Trousers or skirts?
26. Caffeine or nicotine?
27. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together?
28. Will you repost this (optional)?

21st January 2015

6:11am: Manga Review: Assassination Classroom
I just picked up the first two volumes of a new series.

Assassination Classroom is superficially about a class of kids assigned to kill their teacher who is a non-human creature capable of destroying the world- and, indeed, it is about that, but more than that, it's about learning, and what makes a good teacher to begin with.

With a name like Assassination Classroom, I expect a more cynical work (despite the smiley-face esque design of the teacher, Koro), maybe a bit of Battle Royal dog-eats-dog esque classrooms stuff between students, especially when we're informed the kids are the lowest class in the school, but you're likely to finish reading this volume with a smile on you face and a warm feeling in your heart.

Visually it's reminiscent of the manga OnePunchMan with it's contrast of realistic (the students and other humans) and cartoony (Koro-Sensei) characters, and the overpowered nature of the seemingly unkillable Koko Sensei, all of which fits the setting well, as the characters deal with this frankly unworldly situation in front of them.


Rating: A

9th January 2015

8:48pm: [Webcomic] Stand Still, Stay Silent
I recently was introduced to Stand Still Stay Silent

It's a Scandinavian post-apoc story where, after a plague, Iceland's the center of the known world, while the other Scandinavian countries have a few scattered settlements, and beyond that, in the 'Silent World,' who knows? Oh, and there are monsters.

It's interesting that it's not just-post apoc like most stories. It's about 90 years later, society is stable but changed, and it's about an expedition sent out.

Also the art is fantastic.

4th January 2015

2:43pm: Transforming Toys
I've been getting interested in toys recently, pretty much for the first time since I was a kid. Of the Transforming variety- turns out there's a 3rd party market with some interesting ones (my collection's small, but I picked up a cool female transformer figure 'Azalea,' which is fantastically poseable and cool looking), and meanwhile Hasbro itself is getting more active on making female figures like Windblade.

Anyway, since my dad expressed interest in possessing as astrotrain (Decepticon spaceshuttle/train from back in the day- he is, of course, a big train person), I was looking for 'transformers trains' in search, wondering if maybe there were others that'd do the job, and I found this beaut:


Godly beast Antelope

It's a pink antelope (or possibly kirin) / high speed train transformer! From a Chinese show originally.

My dad's still getting his astrotrain as a gift, but this one's for me ^^

3rd January 2015

4:08am: Skin-Deep kickstarter
Skin-Deep, a webcomic I really really like, is doing a kickstarter for it's third book.

It's a really good, and the KS is both near the end and near the line, so I'm trying to push it as much as I can. If the books look interesting to you, now's a really good time to get some of them. And the writer just threw in some extra beanie options- card game, commission drawings, etc..

1st January 2015

4:48am: Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!


Since a lot of people are doing it, some of my best-ofs of the last year:

2014 favorites!Collapse )

25th December 2014

4:09am: Happy Holidays / Agnostica!
Merry Christmas or whatever other holiday you celebrate- which, in my case, is Agnostica!

Not celebrated by many, it does involve sending presents, having fun, and piggiebacking off larger holidays ^^

23rd December 2014

7:39pm: Undercity by Asaro
Hey, you know how I've recommended the Skolian saga on here a lot?

Well, there's a new book in it, and it's a jumping-on point. It's about a detective who gets picked up for a missing person's case, one familiar with the forgotten undercity beneath a high tech city- forgotten except to it's inhabitants, of which our good detective was, before she left decades before. Now she's back, and she's got to find a missing pretty boy before it's too late.

The vibe is fairly cyberpunk-detective story, where people in the undercity know the tech of the main city and use it, even as they have to worry about problems the normal citizenry never has to think of.


New main character, fairly early on in the universes wider's timeline, and a good starting place. Obviously doesn't have the space-fights or politics common in the series, it does include plenty of the culture-clash elements. A smaller novel than the others in the series page-wise, which made it a pretty fast read for me ^^

So yea, worth checking out.

17th December 2014

11:50pm: Dreams times 3 + 1
A weird thing- when I remember multiple dreams in one night, it's often not two, but three.

So the other night I had such a trio. Then, last night, I had a memorable solo. So, dreams!

Poor decisions under the influence of superpowers, multi-layer meta story, turtle island, and fnanite-doom evacuation and refugeesCollapse )

16th December 2014

6:15pm: Ancillary Series by Ann Leckie
At the advice of hamsterwoman, I checked out the book Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. I really liked it! And read the sequel too.

Positive reviews behind cut about books involving ships and language usage withinCollapse )

1st December 2014

2:25am: Huh, that's odd
So, I go out to the street late at night, to put some empty gatoraid bottles in the recycling bin, and what do I see but... a pillow. In the street. White pillow, too heavy to have blown there, wasn't there hours ago, actually pretty clean looking.

I put it in the trash but was quite confused. I figure a car driving by and dumping it out the window is about the only explanation.


Oh yea, also while outside I saw a black catapiller. It was pretty cute looking.

30th November 2014

10:08pm: Favorite Female Character: D'bra
So, the comic community Scans Daily is doing a '31 days of scans' event, starting with favorite female character day. My contribution to this community event is, unsurprisingly, from Fred Perry's Gold Digger.

More surprisingly, my contribution is a dragon!

One of my fav female characters, Queen Debra behind cutCollapse )

26th November 2014

4:49pm: GD 216 panels
Gold Digger 216 had an abnormally high number of panels that I found hilarious without even needing to know the wider issue context.


So without further adieu,



The Panels! Warning, may contain unrequited Autobot crushes, and emergency t-shirtings. Mostly SFW but with some sexiness, and an Optimus Prime dakimakura.Collapse )

25th November 2014

6:43pm: Ferguson....
Why, why, why, do the authorities pull out so many stops to prevent even the *possibility* of events looking like they get proper scrutiny?


FiveThirtyEight: "According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them."

Cases almost never stop at this point. It's like they're trying to send a message that they won't hold police accountable, that whatever the truth is it doesn't matter to them.

11th November 2014

4:25am: Love Big Hero 6
I just got back from- and loved- Big Hero Six! No spoilers in the review, though comments may contain spoilers.


There's a lot that it has going for it. It's tightly paced, the characters are really good. I wanted more of the team, but going over it, I'd be hard pressed on what one could cut elsewhere*, so all I can say is, needs sequel!


It also has a strong pro-science theme, which is neat! New inventions are shown taking time and work and all kinds of people can make stuff, and those discoveries can really make a difference.

I'm not sure who my fav on the team is... Gogo, Lemon, Hiro, Wasabi... they're all pretty awesome! Eh, prob'ly Wasabi ^^


The plot's strait superhero movie, but with a nice sense of style and well done. I think I liked it even more than I liked Wreck-it Ralph, and I really liked Wreck-it Ralph. So if you haven't seen it? Do so if you get the chance!

I give Big Hero 6 an A



*Note, this is one of the phrases you will almost never hear me say about a movie!

8th November 2014

11:33pm: Realization
*Gets a small windfall of spending money

*Proceeds to buy a bunch of comics/books on my 'secondary, get sooner or later' list.

*Reads through them.

*Goes, "Yea, these are pretty good, but I might as well have waited and read 'em spaced out...."

*Realizes that primary obstacle to reading good comics/books is discovering them and/or waiting for them to come out!


I've almost certainly had this realization before, but it's a bit sinking to remember, 'Darn it, just having more money available won't get me the stream of awesome stories I was hoping for!'.

4th November 2014

11:20pm: Mid Term elections
Expect 2 years of griping on how the Republican's tiny margin in the Senate doesn't let them do anything they want, while overlooking that when Democrats had a larger margin they themselves shut down everything... and in two years we're almost certainly going to see all this reversed and then some.

1st November 2014

8:17am: Halloween in Review!
I forgot where the normal decorations were, so I pressganged some of my stuffed animals into place (Including: A Bat, a spider [specifically Charlotte from Charlotte's web], Cthulhu, and Nyarlathotep. They... do the job pretty well ^^).


Best costume I saw of trick or treaters was a lobster costume.

Problem: He had, y'know, claws! Grabbing candy was hard ^^

Solution: He had a nice friend (in a SWAT team costume iirc) willing to help. So that was nice.


The trick or treaters almost stopped at one point and I was worried there'd be too much candy left, but two late-coming groups helped there.


Also, I finally saw Treehouse of Horror XV and.... it was a good one! Like, a really good one. The first segment was interesting (my only complaint is I'd want to see more with the premise), the second was the best 'period' segment I think I've seen (hunting a killer in old England), and the third was a not-scary but fun fantastic voyage story.
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