October 15, 2016

Puff piece

So, this windstorm of the century we were supposed to have today was a bust. the nearest weather station to me did report sustained winds in the upper 20's with a gusts in the 30's. But nothing like the apocalypse the news stations were touting on Friday. The blow on Thursday was harder than today.

Maybe someday people will learn that the time to do disaster preparedness is not the day before a disaster is predicted, but well in advance. You won't be fighting over D-Cells you won't need, and you'll actually have gas for that new generator you've never tried out before.

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October 09, 2016

Papers, Please

I found an interesting letter from JRR Tolkien today, and used it as the basis for a new essay on my writer's blog on Wordpress.
Papers, Please.

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September 29, 2016


So I recently signed up for Pixiv, since I was able to do it without having a Japanese IP address any more, and using a Google+ ID.

But there's one disturbing thing going on. The tie in to Google+ isn't JUST when you've logged in apparently, because periodically, frequently, and at rather disturbing times a little thing pops up at the bottom of your window saying something like "Welcome Back" and G+ logo. That tells me that Google knows now what page I'm on, JUST the kind of thing you want when looking at ecchi.... (It's bad enough to be tracked with web beacons and that kind of crap, but THIS is just leering over your shoulder creepy.)

I also recently signed up for a free CrunchyRoll account so I could watch some of To Love Ru. Which I've concluded is basically Urusei Yatsura for a new generation.

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September 12, 2016


Damn, that was depressing.

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July 10, 2016

Liquid Coolers

So Himawari is equipped with an Antec Kuler H2O 950, which since I built it has been working splendidly.

Obviously this is no longer the case, or I wouldn't be writing this. And so I'm asking for help.

Basically every once in a while, especially when playing World of Tanks, I get what I'm calling a Thermal Runaway. The LED over the contact plate goes from Green, through Yellow, Orange, and Red in a matter of about 30 seconds while the fan goes into high gear. But nothing seems to stop the inevitable overheat shutdown.

Even exiting all the programs, so the processor load is 0%, it still goes into shutdown.

Once I was able to get it to sleep before it shut down, and it woke up almost immediately cooler, but typically if it shuts down, it stays hot for 5-10 minutes and won't finish booting before it snaps off again.

But it's not entirely predictable. I can play a dozen battles without getting above 45C (Motherboard readout). The last time I was just looking at a web page. It's not making any weird noises, and it hasn't leaked. so it appears to be working normally until this happens.

Any suggestions?

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July 02, 2016

Flying Witch

I'm still working my way through Symphogear GX, but as a change of pace, I just pulled down something from last season that I didn't know about until I saw a mention of it in an article about the current, bleak season.

Flying Witch is very different, there are no world-ending plots, violent fights, or self-doubting to the point of self-sabotage heroines. It's one of those Slice of Life shows except it's about a witch.

I'm about 4 episodes in, and the comparison to Kiki's Delivery Service is inevitable. But aside from being very charming, there are a lot of differences. For one thing, the setting is Modern Japan. Her name is Kowata Makoto. She's from Yokohama, but after the required independence move-out at 15 (13 in Kiki...) she ended up staying with her second cousins in Tohoku region. Her parents wanted her to complete high school, so sent her to stay with family, which is a little bit of a break with tradition. She does have a black cat, whom she can understand, but he only makes cat-noises instead of speaking.

One of the running gags in the show is Makoto's terrible sense of direction. Another is that her Uncle, a farmer, has a near impenetrable accent. Asenshi did a pretty good job at making the subtitles equally understandable....

There is a parade of visitors to the house, like the Courier of Spring, or her older sister Akane, who is a very powerful and famous witch (Who chides her for not practicing enough magic). Or Inukai, a local witch who was accidentally cursed by Akane into being a half-animal person. Others are in the OP but I haven't gotten to their appearances yet.

It is a lovely, peaceful, and cheerful show. Beautifully animated. And perhaps the single thing that really makes it great is that it's not all about "Oh, We have to hide that you're a witch," like so many other comedies. It's more like the world has to deal with her being herself.

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June 20, 2016


Yay! I finally earned my Arpeggio "Kirishima" battleship!

Now I need subtitles.

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June 05, 2016

Symphogear GX

So, what do you do when your sequel has used up every last bit of continuity from the first season of your show? There are no loose ends. What does your band of heroines and the government agency that supports them (With their own sub!) do?

Well, apparently they willingly let themselves be subsumed by the United Nations. So there's your cultural difference between America, as embodied in Captain America: Civil War, and Japan.

A Space Shuttle went to go pick up the remains of the old lady who restored the Moon, and collect technological samples from the piece of Frontier she got launched in, but a systems failure means it's going to crash into a populated area. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters? No! International Rescue? Good Choice, but also Wrong. No, you call the newly renamed S.O.N.G. Only before they can break into action, they have to wait for UN Approval....

No, Seriously.

And there were two No votes.

So the sub launches a missile at the Shuttle, and the astronauts think they are doomed, but the missile MIRVs into three warheads. Okay, not warheads, but our three heroines, who apparently can survive in space (To be fair, they did in the first series as well). And then they deploy their powers to change the trajectory of the shuttle. It's very over-the top.

How over the top? "Oh no, now it's going to crash into K2!" They blast an entire layer out of the middle of the mountain, fly through the gap, while the top falls back into place, and one of the techs calmly announces "Updating K2 as the third highest peak in the world." They are gliding down the mountainside towards the treeline, and Tsubasa mounts a giant blade on the front of the shuttle, and trees go flying like an episode of Speed Racer. Hibiki punches the canyon walls to redirect their course, which unfortunately leads to another populated area. As the shuttle smashes down main street, towards the city hall, she jumps ahead, and with a punch, causes the shuttle to flip over the city hall and land on its tail behind the building.

That's how over the top.

BTW, we also get to see that the two Lolis and Maria are prisoners, wearing what looks like straitjackets with all the straps, except the sleeves aren't closed, they end in cuffs - big heavy metal ones that aren't actually attached to anything.... But I guess they have privileges, because they get to watch the live feed of the crash/rescue. In fact, later on Maria and Tsubasa get to do the actual concert together that got interrupted in S02E01 by Maria's terroristic announcement that went nowhere.

But, there IS a new enemy, and a little girl carrying a wooden McGuffin box with Norse runes on it is being chased by a woman firing coins at her, who isn't named Misaka. And apparently she has a teammate who ambushes Maria backstage after the concert whose power is draining the life out of Maria's guards. She also has ball-joints like some kind of doll... this can't be good.

Meanwhile, Hibiki is playing Fireman, rescuing people from a burning building (The life-sensors on the sub are just that good). and after saving everyone, she calls out to this strange girl standing on an overpass that it's dangerous to stand there. Little does she know this is the little witch who is behind this (we know she's a witch because of her outfit, and her flashback about her father being burned at the stake), and she wants to destroy the world. Cliffhanger as she fires a shot at Hibiki, who had unarmored after the rescue....

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May 26, 2016

New Wordpress Hugos Post

"If there is Hope, it lies in the Proles Fans"

(Symphogear G updates will continue to be comments on the main thread.)

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May 06, 2016

Symphogear G

This one is giving me a lot of trouble to get through, and I'm only 4 episodes in!

A lot of the things in the first series that were slightly off the tropes have been rigidly reigned in. I suppose it's a problem with what happens when a character's story arc has already been completed in the first series.

I'm speaking of Yukine Chris, the third member of the team who got there after a Heel-Face turn, who was so down on her existence the big bad had turned her into a severely masochistic wretch, and who, even though her powers were musically invoked, hated singing her song.

Now, she's at the musical high school struggling to fit in with the regular school girls who like her anti-social ass for some reason, getting drafted into making spring fair decorations, and shanghaied into the school's talent show, where at the end she decides that she really, really likes singing in front of people.


The big bad is back, sort of, since after all, she was a genetic memory from thousands of years ago, so she's manifested in another woman. Interestingly, the oldest and most powerful of the evil Gear users suffers from the same condition, and the danger of using her power is getting taken over by her incarnation of the big bad.

The other two baddies are a pair of lolis. One dead serious and her overeager protector.

Yeah, those rare magical crystals that turn into armor at the right sonic key are now apparently all over the place, and the baddies have even summoned a monster who eats them. As if the original "Noise" weren't bad enough. It really changes the whole scope of the story when the enemy is basically other humans with the same powers, rather than an extra-normal force and a secret internal enemy.

There are some real groaners. The baddies completely fumble their first plan, making a big splash at a concert demanding the world surrender or else, and then  blowing off their own deadline. They have a tilt-rotor, and an artifact they can use to make it invisible (But the good guys have a Submarine now!) however, apparently invisibility also cancels out the rotor wash too....

But the thing that bugs me is the whole pretense of normalcy in school. I liked in the first series that they kept school life out of the picture for the most part, and battles did NOT accommodate Hibiki's class schedule. But now... The bad lolis are infiltrating the school fair, and know the real identities of the heroines and want to steal their crystals... and it's just bleah.

Although the animation is better, I'll give it that.

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