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14th June 2019
Grand Central Arena / Shadow of Hyperion
Remember me talking about Grand Central Arena? : There's a kickstarter for a new book in the series
, Shadows of Hyperion.
Grand Central Arena one of my favs, I absolutely love the Arena as a setting, and the Hyperion backstory with the transhuman characters made to be real versions of fictional heroes. In brief, the first FTL ship takes a crew to a giant construct, where everyone
shows up- all FTL goes to one place, the 'Arena,' so there's a vast number of aliens and factions, mingling and competing in this fantastic place. And the crew themselves are quite interesting, coming from an advanced solar system where AI companions are ubiquitous and genmods are common- and one of them specifically comes from the results of a project to make real versions of fictional heroes and it's so cool.
Spoor's love of EE Doc Smith's stuff (and a number of other things) really shows.
For those who haven't
gotten into it, the first book is on the Baen Free Library
. And if you're curious about the series and have questions, ask, because I am totally
down for answering them.
If you have read some of the series, I highly recommend chipping in for the new one at kickstarter!
4th June 2019
My dad didn't like the new Godzilla, but....
On opening night I decided to check out Godzilla: King of the Monsters, sight unseen and without much in the way of reviews/no feedback from friends yet, and invited my dad along with. I basically liked it, but thought it had some issues (I enjoyed half the human cast but they made a 'dad plot' central again, just like the first. The monster part was good, the world setting was interesting, and Mothra was awesome). Flipside, my dad didn't, finding it too dark- visually as much as anything. :
Buuut seeing it did get him interested to revisit some of the old Godzilla movies with me! He's almost certainly seen some in the past but when I was super-young so he didn't remember much besides the names of the major monsters.
So over the weekend I watched both Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster and Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla with him, curated to pick the ones with good human plots.
Best part? I managed to hide the title with Mechagodzilla, so the twist got him by surprise ^^
Both got thumbs up from him, with Mechagodzilla getting the small nod as his fav of the two.
For my rankings of G:KotM, I find I like the other recent Kaiju movies I've watched more (Pacific Rim Uprising, Rampage), but it is a lot more memorable than the first one. C+, out of kaiju movies. It's better than a number I can think of, but doesn't go in the upper ranks to me. Could go up or down with time- and I am
looking forward to Godzilla vs Kong, so there's that.
Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla are A and A+ respectively, being two of the best Showa Godzillas ^^
6th May 2019
Like nigh everyone on Earth I went to see Avengers Endgame- and really liked it! :
I went to see it at 2:15AM on the opening weekend Friday... and the theater was still
Won't spoil anything, but I felt I was definitely an A+ movie. There really hasn't been something like it, built up off so much.
Then yesterday I saw it again, because my dad wanted to see it. Despite not having seen IW and only having vague memories of the MCU movies he saw 7 and 5 years ago (Avengers 1, GotG), he thought it was terrific!
Considering there's almost no feedback on what non-fans think, that was interesting.
Also? Each MCU movie rated by if it has trains:https://tilt-shift-blur.tumblr.com/post/184613378736/marvel-movies-ranked-by-if-there-are-trains-in
22nd April 2019
So what's everyone up to?
I've gotten into Light Novels and Webnovels recently (probably post more on them soon), but on the whole things have been going good, not much to report. :
And it occurs to me I haven't checked on some of you recently! So what's up?
29th March 2019
Specifically succulents! I brought a new batch home with me the other day: :
This pot used to have a few more (not counting the new ones), but when we took over water the plants of the house they were forgotten for a bit (it was a really busy time and they're the least-obvious plants in the house), so by the time we realized some were dying and regular watering resumed, it was too late and we were down to the skinny one in the corner. It's been on it's own for some time, alive but lonely.
Fast forward a bit and we had a reason to get a new birdbath bowl (we thought it had cracked and had some exterior damage. Turned out the whole inner and outer layer of the ceramic bowl separated and when we picked it up the exterior of the bottom was off!) and went to this really good garden store which also had a room full of succulents which I beelined for and spent ten minutes picking out the best ones- or at least the selection I thought was best ^^ More than the pot originally had, but I think they look good, right?
Oh yea, and when my sister visited she pointed out this big fern that we got from our old neighbors (who moved about a year ago) was pretty sickly and pointed out it had some white stuff on it. I had kinda noticed those things but didn't really think to check, looked it up- they're a sign of bugs! So also got some plant spray for those to help the fern out.
So yay, plant doctored, and lone survivor has company!
25th February 2019
Minor pseudo-con related stuff
Ok, you know how old stores sometimes really pile up merchandise and are designed more for packing in stuff than moving around? And in addition to completely packed shelves, there'll be some boxes of stuff on the ground and even a few piles? :
Well at Katsucon there was an anime store that had a booth there that's somewhat in my area, and had a '40% if you visit the store during the con and mention the con'. So I did! It wasn't super far, just a bit out of the way and when I got there, yea, it had that old-crammed-full-of-stuff feel.
Issue: I happen to know the store moved there the year before (they advertised it at the *last* Katsucon).
So I kinda decided I'm not likely to go back, it's just not that nice a place to visit and if it's like that *now*, what will it be like when it's actually been there for a long time?
Other thing- for a long time when at cons, I've used a pair of charge sticks (power banks/whatever you call them. Small rechargable batteries you plug your phone into) to extend my phone's life (as I'm inclined to read stuff and so on on my phone between con stuff). They're also 5 years old. At the time they held, oh, I dunno, I'll guess a full charge, charge and a half, something in that range. Now they're down to about 80% of a charge if that ^^ So I got some new, larger and fresher ones that can handle 3+ full charges each. Not having to worry about phonecharge even when being out all day is great!
16th February 2019
I just got back from Katsucon! :
And unlike Magfest Aka the Crossfiring
aka one of the best con experiences I've had seriously read that con report if you haven't already, I find myself more at a blank on this one.
I did registration early enough and with pre-reg that while I feel they're still not great at it (unlike the stellar magfest), I had no problems, but I still wouldn't trust them to handle at-door well and they need more people to handle those huge lines.
The dealer's room was of course fantastic and had a buncha stuff- fav pickup is probably vol 6 of A Bride's Story
. Artist alley was solid- Sarah Stone of Transformers Windblade fame was there and told her I was a fan, picked up some Overwatch fanbooks (including a R76 anthology), and the latest of a webcomic I follow on and off.
The panels were mostly enjoyable. There was a weak transformers panel (about Transformers and Religion and while the guy is clearly a TF fan he is not nearly as broadly knowledgeable enough about either of those to do that panel), but I enjoyed the rest... with the note that 2/3rd of the panels I went to were by two different Japanese cultural experts I'd seen at prior Katsucons. And they're fantastic! (and by 2/3rds I think it was something like... 5 panels between the two of them over two days? Definitely a lot, they were busy). Picked up a booklet on Japanese Hells from one of 'em. But didn't run into much in the way of new panels who stuck in my memory as much, save for a My Hero Academia panel on the biology of each quirk (the panelist theorized that due to Jiro's brain spending more room to process her advanced hearing, she likely has poor eyesight, for example).
Video game room remained anemic, or maybe even more-so (no pinball!), and that combined with the bag check (because they put arcade machines and consoles with controllers they don't want people to steal in the same place) and crowd meant I barely spent any time there.
So all in all? I definitely had a good time, enjoyed myself at a buncha panels, bought some fun stuff, but it felt pretty familiar. They could do with spicing up the panels a bit, definitely improving the video game room, and, I dunno, all in all it was solid but it'll be forever overshadowed by Magfest '19 to me.
C+? B-? Something like that.
13th February 2019
Opportunity Rover, the longest-lasting Mars Rover, has officially had it's mission declared over. :
Job well done, little rover! Maybe we'll see you and Spirit up there again someday!
17th January 2019
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!
9th January 2019
Magfest: The Crossfiring
*Edit* Just realized this wasn't crossposted to LJ! */edit* :
I went to Magfest last week- or rather a single long night- and I had a blast!
How big a blast? I must start with one of the biggest things that happened that night- nay, in human history!
The Crossfire Tournament.
Watch that commercial. It was exactly
like that. Dark room with music thumping, people cheering, the contestants in leather jackets and fingerless gloves (the ceremonial raiments were handed over between rounds). People were bought to the game on glowing hoverboard (the wheeled kind), and they made up some plot about how aliens introduced the game and secret Crossfire tournaments had been used to decide many historical events throughout history and had formed into two organizations named after the game pieces, the Order of the Triangle and the Knights Templar of the Star- the latter winning the day that night. It was awesome!
Rarely have I been to something that was exactly
as hype as it sounds.
Other than that, went to a Team Rocket executive meeting (cosplayers answering questions in-character), which was fun. Found out that yes, they allow Helix-worshipers to take our holy days off, and no, we cannot fight the Dome worshipers in Team Rocket.
There was a panel thing supposed to be about game developer stories, but it mostly got sidetracked by their talking about the 1,000 chicken mcnuggets they orders and then the eating of said nuggets. But hey, free mcnuggets!
Played a game called Gang Beast on the LAN room gamer couch, a fun one where your rubbery fighters threw each other around. Watch the Megaman-a-thon play a Castlevania-like (Blood Moon, I think) and Typing of the Damned (a zombie shooter, only instead of shooting, typing words).
In the hallway at one point there was a bunch of stuff, trash and otherwise, in a corner in the hall and I and several others wondered who did it, some of which looked arranged. I wondered aloud if it was just someone's trash they'd left, but then another person pointed at some cards and photos arranged on a small ledge on the wall. "No. Nerds did this." I felt like I had stepped into a bit part of a very weird detective show.
In the arcade room there was a skeeball game called 'Dunk N Alien' where an alien mocks you while you while you try and throw the ball so it hits a moving target. Free to play, so I decided shortly before I left to go at it until I hit it (or decided to give up, one of the two). It was pretty darn hard even with unlimited credits, but eventually I did it! Then noticed I was only 4 out of 5 balls for that set. I felt anything would probably be a letdown after that one but I gave it a try and.. "Not again!" said the alien as it 'dunked' again ^^ So that was a fun thing to go out on!
It was honestly one of the best con experiences I'd had, A+!
I might be forgetting a few panels too, I did a fair amount of stuff, but yea, very fun con time.
4th January 2019
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Idea for an Urban Fantasy world: Copy History
So I was watching OSC's video on magic: : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhonpfb98Kk
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
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
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.
('Went defunct' instead of 'defected')
I feel disproportionately proud about doing something about it.
7th August 2018
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
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
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
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. : ( Collapse )
21st June 2018
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
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.