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17th January 2019

7:48pm: Magfest addum: Soulja Boy Consol
Ahhh, I knew I was forgetting something in my Prior Post.

There was a panel on Soulja Boy's video game console- yes, Soulja Boy the rapper- and the console is mainly full of bootlegs. A ton of which were 'Mario X'.

Like I think they showed some of Mario 6 and 14- both other games reskinned *if that* as Mario. One was a Tiny Toon game where you started as Mario, got an item that turned you into a Tiny Toons character, and that's it, it was just TT from that point forward.

There was a Sonic game where you played as Mighty (minor sonic character)... and was super glitchy, got stuck in a wall. They had the buttons you pushed to reset the console (not an intended feature, they just learned hitting the right combination to crash it) memorized for this reason.

In another game, the person playing literally found a new glitch they hadn't encountered that let them fly over the (otherwise super-hard due to crappy controls) level.

They also handed out dreamcast games for some reason, and they were all Space Channel 5. I have a dreamcast so... bonus?

A video on the console if you don't believe me-

Which really doesn't get into the hacked games!

4th January 2019

12:36am: Movies of Last Year
I watched six movies in theaters last year- which is a high amount for me, so I'm going to rank them!

First to go through my letter-grades-

Black Panther, A+

Avengers: Infinity War, A

Rampage, B+

Pacific Rim Uprising, B

Ralph Breaks the Internet, A-

Into the Spider-Verse, A

(Some of these have changed a bit since initial watching- I've decided that Ralph, while surprisingly good and well-done, isn't likely to draw a rewatch from me)

And into how much I enjoyed them/my favs among them-

1. Black Panther
2. Pacific Rim Uprising
3. Avengers: Infinity War
4. Into the Spider-Verse
5. Rampage
6. Ralph Breaks the Internet

You'll note this is not too closely tied to my letter grades ^^ Panther's pretty much the whole package, I loved it and it was fantastically done, with a strong message, and such.

Pacific Rim Uprising, it had some flaws but I did like the cast, the scientists had great chemistry and Jake and Amara were fun, and it's still a love-letter to giant robots and giant monster movies with a ton of fun.

Spider-Verse and Infinity War are neck-and-neck, time may move Spider-Verse up above it possibly, and Endgame could affect IW's placement. Infinity War just had more emotional gut-punches and the results of all the build-up, but Spider-verse is a visually and audibly (The Prowler's theme was terrifying!) incredible movie that does a ton no-other spider-man, or superhero, movie has done, and itself had some tremendously memorable moments. Could easily move up.

Rampage, Dwayne Johnson and giant monsters. Enough said. I'm more into the big-kaiju of Pacific Rim types, but hey, still very solid.

Ralph Breaks the Internet, as said, surprisingly good, managed to make a sequel that both stayed true to the original and wasn't a retread either, I just don't think I'll be as inclined to re-watch it as I was the original or some of the others here.

Honestly the 're-watch' list is pretty much... Spider-Verse on up, and I certainly wouldn't object to seeing the other two ago. All in all it a very good year for movies for me!

31st December 2018

7:20pm: Holiday times!
I've been doing various stuff for the Holidays!

For X-Mas, we went to another family's place up in Maryland- which was a great time, they had good food, their house had a pupperfish and bearded dragon and chameleon, and it was fun! Turkey and roast beef. They also had a massage chair which I used to rest up for the way back, which was needed.

DC at night, for the first time, with fog, and one of the bridges half-closed. At some points it was really hard to even tell where the road curved! And didn't see where the road split at places til I was right on it. It was really good that I had my dad there for directions, I was saying how I'd probably have to pause and mentally rest for a bit, but then got into familiar territory and woosh, so much more pleasant driving, it was pretty interesting and for the next few days whenever we were in the car together I couldn't help but mention how much more pleasant it was to drive in normal turf in comparison.

Actual present stuff we did, like, books, cloths, pretty standard our-family stuff, it was nice. Oh yea, and my dad got a really cheesy small artifical tree that blew little foam 'snow' over itself and then caught it in an umbrella. We also got new bathroom mats and those are so soft and fun to walk on....

I also saw Into the Spider-Verse. Very visually interesting movie! And a type of film that'd never happen a decade ago or even five years ago, but we've reached a superhero saturation point and enough versions of Spider-Man specifically where you can, with no buildup, go, "Yea, here's a film with 5 spider-people. And the main one? Ain't Peter." Spider-Gwen was the best of the bunch, but it was solid all-around.

Also? Happy New Years!

21st December 2018

2:16am: Actual conversation
Me: "I'm going out."

Dad: "You sure? It's cold, wet, and rainy."

Me: "It's not like I'm planning on spending time outside," I say as I go for my coat.

Dad: "Let me check the weather ap to make sure it's not freezing...

... it says it's 52 degrees." (F)

Me: "Huh. The thermometer says the same thing." (we have an outdoor thermometer by the window)

So this late December 21st, in the evening, hours after sundown, while it's raining, it was in the 50s. At one point it hit 57F!

18th December 2018

7:23pm: Ralph Breaks the Internet
I watched Ralph Breaks the Internet the other day, and it was a good movie!

It's kinda hard to go into much of the plot without spoilers, but it was a very solid followup that didn't re-do the first as many sequels do, and yet still followed after it very naturally- even the going to the internet bit.

The plot focuses on Vanellope a lot (Ralph being fairly happy after the events of the first movie), and we got some cool new characters in there too.

Depictions of the Internet-wise, it's one of the best I've seen, a lot of abstract presentations of it makes you wonder if people have ever *used* a computer/the internet.

Plus a really, really good disney song ^^

Heck, speaking of Disney, the Disney Princesses were there, and had a surprisingly large role, it wasn't just the brief cameo in the trailer!

The after-credits stringer was a good one too....

So... I think I'm going to give it an A. It's not easy to do a solid sequel and it seemed hard to see why the first one needed one, but this movie easily clears the bar.

Ralph Breaks the Internet gets an A from me.

26th November 2018

1:30pm: Pumpkin Seeds
One thing I like is roasted pumpkin seeds, which my mom used to do. Last Halloween my sister bought some, but they weren't as good, and this year I planned to, but I kinda forgot about it until we were talking about throwing out the pumpkins almost two weeks after halloween... just-in-case we checked and, no rot and it opened up and it was still fresh pumpkin seeds!

So I cooked 'em up and they're really good snacks. Still got some left!

(And only got around to writing it down now ^^)

21st October 2018

1:37am: Ultraman
I've started watching the original Ultraman! Since it's a classic of the kaiju genre, I figured I should at least see some...

... but one thing in the first episode bothers me. It sounds just like King Ghidorah!

No, no, not the monster, they didn't use Ghidorah's roar for a monster of course. Their phone ring sounds like Ghidorah! Since my brain is primed in Kaiju mode this puts it in an odd place whenever someone makes a call ^^

23rd September 2018

5:23am: Idea for an Urban Fantasy world: Copy History
So I was watching OSC's video on magic:


And the bit on how it's hard to believe a world that's just-like-ours history wise while also/always having magic is unlikely.

So my idea is a modern-ish urban fantasy parallel world that has a history just like ours... except it doesn't. Due to the long-lasting prevalence of memory spells and other stuff to mess with perceived history, they know any history they write down is untrustworthy as heck and likely yet-another-attempt to manipulate it to take over or gain political legitimacy or sell you on a new soda by inserting evidence it'd been there all along. People on the world don't view their history as a knowable thing.

So, they copy ours and use it as a guide. "Yea, we didn't really have a WW2, but it totally resonates with us, y'know? Never forget to fight against fascism!". And use it to pick up tips and see bad trends and learn from them and such. So their society resembles modern earth a lot, but it's just a total copy-cat where stuff is done with magic and the looking like us is a deliberate thing.

10th September 2018

8:07am: In which I complain about very minor aspects of restaurants
I currently hunger for restaurants that won't open for hours, thanks to thearn restaurant open/close cycle. If I want non-breakfast food, my options appear to be subway and mcdonalds

Or wait exactly 3 hours.
Or, ugh, cook my own.
Like an animal!

An animal who has access to oven, stove, and microwave

Or there is a chipotle that opens in 2 hours, that's not... as bad. And most of the others nearby open at 10:45 because the chipotle opening hours are hipster who don't follow trends/realized being just slightly before everyone else is a competitive edge.

Other annoyance: Places that only sell exactly what's on the menu. Three pieces of chicken? Can I get... two? Or one? Nope? Ah well, guess I'll not get a snack/small meal here. 6 wings? I'm hungry, can I pay more to get, say, 8? Ah, it's 6 or 12, gotcha. Either way, your portion sizes are wrong for me to give you money!

3rd September 2018

5:06am: I am going to talk about fixing a language error on a wiki
Today I discover that the Dragonball Wiki has had the same word misuse- which people have been copying into other articles- for nine years.
Without anyone fixing it.
Till me.
('Went defunct' instead of 'defected')

I feel disproportionately proud about doing something about it.

7th August 2018

9:23pm: Con Crud has Digivolved!
Ok, remember that bit about 'done with con crud?'

Yea, turns out that was more a temporary reprieve.

In short, it's gone, "Minor throat thing starting on last day of con, seems to vanish a few days later, comes back much stronger making it hard to talk for awhile, fades for a few days," and now it's gotten to the point where my nose has finally decided to join the party. It's like, body, it seemed to be going away, no need to add symptoms!

3rd August 2018

12:21am: Blerdcon
Alright, con crud is well past so time to talk Blerdcon!

The name's short for 'Black Nerd' con, so yea, there were a lot of black nerds there! And a few non-black ones like myself.

The panels were pretty interesting, they had four rooms, most of which had stuff going at any one time, and there were lots on Afrofuturism, Black Panther specifically (of course), cosplay, race in fandom... one of my favorites was black portrayals in cartoons (did you know Silverhawks had a black character named 'Hot Wings'?), which had both the good and the jaw-droppingly bad, plus the note for the most part, it's still not them making the shows and how they're portrayed. Also just other nerd topics in various other areas.

A few of the panels had obvious newbies who took awhile to get to the point, but hey, only the second year they've done this and they were keeping four panel rooms running, so

Dealers room was solid, variety of stuff from comics to figures to artist to lots of indie press comics- and a different selection than is *normally* in con dealers rooms. Two I'll mention, and are available online, are Ni'sana, one about the son of the African trickster-spider god Anansi,and Tuskegee Heirs, about in the future where most in-cockpit flight in banned, a squadron is being formed and trained in preparation to defend Earth from a new threat, and taking the Tuskegee Airmen as inspiration. Both are pretty solid, worth checking out.

They had some industry pros there, including the artist who made Blue Marvel over at Marvel, a character I quite like and happily told him so.

The middle of the con (two floors, the first one just had registration and the dealers room like a C, the bottom one was more like a * with panel and event rooms around a middle) was full of arcade games, and there was a lot of classics- got some nice Rampaging in. Plus a shoot-alien-invaders one that I managed to finish literally a minute before the games got turned off on the last day ^^

Oh, and I saw a couple people I knew from the area- one from an old comic store that closed, yikes, almost a decade ago? And another who ran the anime video rental store I used to use back when that was a thing ^^ Back at that old store, they also sold some airbrushed anime shirts... of which I was wearing one (and got complements on), so that was cool! Apparently he runs a t-shirt store now, which makes sense.

Heh, speaking of those shirts, due to my Ryoko shirt, sparked off a discussion on whether or not Tenchi qualified as 'old school'.

Anyway, yea, a new con in a convenient location for me to get to, good selection of stuff to do, convenient to get around, not too crowded, zero line problems, rating: A

Oh, and one smart thing someone did- the Democrats had a both in the dealer's room encouraging people to register to vote. Few places better for it ^^

30th July 2018

4:53pm: Con Crud
I just went to a cool new con, Blerdcon, over the weekend. Gonna delay con report a bit, because I think I'm fighting off a touch of con crud!

21st July 2018

10:17pm: Thinking about Pacific Rim Uprising
Pacific Rim Uprising wasn't a perfect sequel to PR1, but it was pretty fun and had a number of good points. It, alas, also failed to kickstart it into being a full ongoing franchise.

Pacific Rim and it's franchise potentialCollapse )

21st June 2018

12:44am: Today I learn something new about my car's traffic map
My car's navigation system has some arrows it puts alongside major roads to indicate traffic. Hopefully green, often yellow or orange, sometimes red.

Today I discovered it has black traffic arrows for the first time.

I'll let you picture the kind of traffic that represents.

17th June 2018

8:35pm: Jordan Peele wants to direct a Gargoyles movie
Source: Slashfilm
"In today’s edition of the entertainment industry newsletter The Ankler, writer Richard Rushfield reports that Peele “walk[ed] in and says he wants to do a new version of Gargoyles.” But instead of green lighting it or turning it down outright, Disney is apparently sitting on its hands.

“How do you turn down Jordan Peele? Well, you can’t. Who wants to be responsible for that decision? So in the absence of a good reason to say no, but prevented by their Big IP box from saying yes, Disney is slow walking the decision. It’s hoping, it seems, that they’ll run out the clock, he’ll sign other deals elsewhere, and the project will just fade away.”

Rushfield suggests that because Peele’s take on Gargoyles doesn’t fit neatly within Disney’s branded silos (live-action fairy tale, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel), the studio sees it as too much of a risk. He characterizes the company’s lack of decisiveness as being based on the paralyzing fear of not wanting to turn down a project that may turn out to be a great idea. Instead of turn it down, he says, they’ll just play a waiting game with Peele and patiently sit there until he moves on to something else."

Fingers crossed so hard that Disney caves and give Peele the goahead, I would love this so much.

13th June 2018

9:51am: Ahh, mosquito!
Aggh, there's a mosquito inside the house, it bite me three times around my right knee, and once on the bottom of my foot!

And the foot turns out to be one of those places where rather than itching, it just hurts!

Ow ow ow!

23rd May 2018

8:43pm: Aquatic Dream
I had a dream set in a base of I wanna say WW1 German styling. Actually the dream started out with me in an abandoned creepy hospital type place but then the setting segued and shifted. So there I was, at this base, I think it was partially military. I was working with the people there and I'm not eeentirely sure where most of them lay on the goodie/baddie scale, but what I do know is there was research being done in some underwater ruins nearby as part of a weapons program... I think. However, myself and a few others had an inkling there was an amphibious people there and had made secret indirect contact through translated texts. Eventually things started to go south- there was some flooding and I think fighting... as I bugged out I dropped some of the stuff we'd written into the water for the amphibious people. Not exactly sure if they were good or bad, but it was their place so giving the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, that's where that dream let out.

I had another separate dream where I was in a hospital where one patient was attacking other patients and, like, draining their psychic energy or something and announcing their intent to rule the world before disappearing through a portal. I thought this was bad so I decided to go to the authorities about it. So I enter a large cubical complex full of Transformers. Eventually I found Optimus Prime and Marissa Faireborn (head of the Earth Defense Command, y'know), and informed them, just a heads up and all.

20th May 2018

10:36pm: Tale of the iPhone
Ah yes, one other thing that happened recently- my phone had a problem with the touch screen on-and-off working, seemingly heat related (it'd work briefly, then stop, then after it'd warmed up for awhile start again).

So I took it to be repaired, and left it there for a few hours, and came back, and noticed the battery was super low (I had left it charged), mentioned it, and they went, "Yeeea, the repair technician kinda wasn't paying attention and put in a brand new battery too. No charge."

So, bonus!
8:33pm: Happy Birthday to me!
I'm a year older!

My day started out nice, or rather the prior night- I had a dream about my mom. Pretty much as soon as I realized it was a mom-dream I lucid-dreamed away the prior stuff -it was like, at a school or something, I was in a basketball game with jumpjet-wings ala Pharah from Overwatch, then there was some class I was headed to, met her there, started talking, waved the location from being in the hallway to rebuilding the setting to already be at the classroom, and just spent the rest of the dream telling her how I'd been doing (also the jump-jets turned to feather wings for some reason). It was exciting enough I actually woke up, but a good way to start a birthday ^^

Went out with my dad to lunch to Tyson's, ate at a Mexican place called Sandia that I liked, it was good- and the porcelain plate until the hot metal plate cracked so they brought us a replacement order, so bonus food!

Opening a present my sister left on her last visit, a puzzle which looks like a good one (I've been into puzzles recently, did 'em with my mom in the last few years).

Got some books/manga/comics, walked around, generally had a nice day.

17th April 2018

10:32am: I got a new laptop!
Actually a bit ago, but when I tried posting more at the time the partially written post got eaten and I've been lazy about redoing it ^^;

My old comp is still functional, but 7 years old, the trackpad button doesn't work... you get the idea. Also it never had a graphics card to speak of, so I couldn't game and I wanted to try Overwatch or even Civilization: Beyond Earth.

I initially tried one or two laptops, but discovered that, gasp, the sound on most is horrible! And I mean simple speaker-placement, they often have speakers on the bottom and/or no real sound holes for noise to come out of, so they have a reverb through the case. I went around listening to, well, nigh everything, and found a brand/model which had discovered 'sound comes out better through holes'. Heck, some companies had holes where speakers *should* be, but just used them for air venting. I don't expect great sound from a laptop, but I do want it to at least be not-through-the-case level.

I ended up with an MSI Dominator, slightly-used, 1070 graphics card, and wow does this thing have power. Boots up in 5 seconds, and the only thing I've been able to do that has made it feel strain is do a buncha other stuff while transferring over hundreds of GB of material.

Bonus, the light-up keys are rainbow, instead of just-red like many have- basically if you want a graphics card, it's a gaming laptop, and most assume that means "black and red only!". Mine's still black, but at least it's not red.

And now I play Overwatch ^^
10:29am: Plastic-eating Bacteria
Scientists discover a bacteria that can digest plastic in a landfill... and accidentally alter it to make it better at eating plastic

This could, echologically speaking, be huge.

19th March 2018

12:18pm: I love Black Panther!
Waaay delayed, but I had to make a journal on how I love this movie!

The culture, the colors, Shuri, Okoye, T'challa, Killmonger, M'Baku.... this is definitely a 'the more I think about the movie's themes and touches, the more I like them,' flick, and it's become my current favorite superhero movie.

If you haven't seen the movie, I recommend it! I rate it as an A+ movie.

Oh, and I could've sworn I wrote up a post on my time at Katsucon and my thoughts on BP before.... but... I guess I accidentally deleting it without posting it? I can't find sign of it!

Katsucon con report in short:
This was a really really good year. The sign in was so much easier than last, much more organized with no line confusion (last time there was confusion on *their* part, sending people to the wrong lines. This year, each line had a person who knew exactly what they were doing) and far shorter lines.

They've always had culture panels but this year seemed to have even more/better than normal. Japanese Hells (funnily, seems to have been invented by a monk to troll rich people), Christianity and Japan and how it was even possible to suppress it (the initial missionaries wanted to get the word out to more people over other tasks like training local priests... also they were racist), yokai, hidden worlds, early Japanese history (and I mean starting from the stone age!), etc..

At the dealers room I got some Japanese gameboy games since that was the cheapest way to get a replacement Super Mario Land, and also the only way to get a Sailor Moon game.

Honestly I just had a fantastic time, a top grade convention. A+!

And that I rate two different things A+ is not a sign I hand those out easily, two different things just happened to be top shelf examples of what they do!

16th March 2018

1:50pm: Black Panther
Gah, I gotta update this thing more often!

Anyway, I saw and loved Black Panther. I came out of the theater liking it, but it was a case where the more I thought about the scenes and motives of the characters, the more it came together for me. I'm going to see it again before too long, I'm sure, since I loved T'challa, Killmonger, Okoye, Shuri, M'Baku... fantastic cast all around, really. While the basic structure is not that unusual for a superhero movie, the strength of the cast (and the fact much of it was women), the greater relevance of it's commentary and themes, the visually spectacular Wakanda, the sense I hadn't seen a place like this before, and the best villain I'd seen in a superhero movie means it's my favorite superhero movie.

I rate Black Panther an A+

I've also ordered a new laptop- my old one is 7 years old and while, frankly, amazingly functional (remember when computers had a really short lifespan before they became too slow for anything?), the trackpad button isn't working and I wanna play Overwatch.

2nd March 2018

12:06am: Katsucon Con Report
Bit belated, but I went to Katsucon a few weeks ago!

I had a blast, it was so much better run than last time- the registration lines were both shorter and had people at each line making sure there was no confusion.

The best part, by far, was the cultural panels. There's always been some good ones but it seemed like there were more than normal and/or they were more conveniently scheduled. Yokai, 'other worlds' (which covered both Japanese spirit worlds and stuff like Peter Pan/Alice in Wonderland and what they thematically response), Japanese hells (written by a trollish buddhist priest for the purpose of trolling the upper class, according to the presenter), early history of Japan (started at the stone age!), the history of Christianity in Japan (and why it was even possible to suppress so thoroughly)... so much good stuff, and presented in fun ways. There was also a martial arts panel where I learned some fun history, like you know the old-timey boxing stance with the back of the knuckles facing forward that people do when pretending to be an old-timey gentlemen preparing for a fight? Turns out that's an anti-knife stance, since that way you're less likely to get an arm cut that stops your arm from working.

Video room, caught a bit of Captain Harlock, before having to ditch to see a panel, but I have got to get more Leiji Matsumoto anime, it is good stuff ^^

Dealers room, good haul there too, picked up the print version of the romance webcomic Avialae (two guys, one finds out he has wings, etc.), some volumes of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (Battle Tendency... also found out an anime store is relocating somewhat closer to me. Not super-convenient but within reach!), the fantasy comedy light novel Konosuba, that sort of thing.

Video game room was a lot of fun, I tried Dragonball FighterZ and wow, that is an easy to get into, intuitive and fun fighting game! My computer can't handle it (7 years old, no graphics card), but, well, more on that next post ^^

Met my friend Z there again, though we didn't spend much time hanging out due to schedules. Someday we will actually hang! At least this time she too had a much easier time in the lines, last time she gave up due to the mixups.

So yea, very good Katsucon, well scheduled and so much smoother than last year's.
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