Saturday, December 16, 2006


The temperature is dropping (It'll be 41ºF out there by morning! Well, it's about as cold as it gets here, so we take note.) and now the butternut squash is finished becoming candied so the oven is no longer heating the place and the day's lounging clothes are starting to feel slightly chillier than the peak of comfort would allow, so I pull out the nice wide shall-like woolly scarf. It's very soft, the result of a trip to Italy (not mine, though). It provides a nice bit of warmth for the shoulders. It has a nice matching cap, too. It has a big hole where a moth must have been chewing.

The gloves that don't match, but I gather were added to complete the ensemble since my hands tend to hurt when they are cold, were the first to gain a hole and get sewn up. Now I have to patch up the scarf with a bit of thread. They've gone after the cashmere sweater too. They don't seem to find stuff in the camping gear stash, so the old recycled wool sweater is fine. Blasted beasties. They'll be chewing my hiking socks next.

So I need something to keep them at bay. Not that I think anything short of a real cedar box, air tight, will do it. Still, someone claimed the lavender "wands" they were making would do the trick. Couldn't hurt. So bugs, stay away from my scarf! This wool is so soft it is pleasant to bury the face into it! So back off!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Never forget

It has been known to happen that I find a manga I want to read but my illiteracy prevents it. One of those has been recently translated, so I finally got to read it!

夕凪の街 桜の国 (Yuunagi no machi, Sakura no kuni, translated to The Town of Evening Calm, the Country of Cherry Blossoms) is a snapshot of the life of one family in Hiroshima. The first part, the Town of Evening Calm, is set in 1955 as one woman tries to deal with the last of her demons of being a survivor. In the second part, the Country of Cherry Blossoms, visits her brother's family in 2004.

The story is elegant though sad. Certainly deserving its awards. Click on the link to see for yourself.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

That's all folks!

Guess I'm already all done writing. That certainly didn't take long. Although if I fiddled around with things I could make a post about The Prestige with huge spoilers. The "tagline" for that should be, "Nobody cares about the man in the box." For some reason IMDB doesn't think so. What else did I want to do? Well, I'll write about Finder some time too.

I bet leetle seester wants Absolute Sandman. But she already has Sandman. I've only got Brief Lives and the two Death collections. Leetle seester thinks there's no comic shops near her, but a list that must be over 10 years old (just going by the 626 area code on the shop related web site and the 818 area code on the list) shows that just 70 miles northwest on the interstate, there's an indie friendly shop or two. Now three, but only because one got a branch going. And just 100 miles east and a little south, there's a couple indie friendly shops that won't even charge sales tax. Not near? Okay, for more recent information, the Comic Shop Locator Service actually finds one of unknown quality right in her own city.

I really need to be actually finding the gifties, time is running out.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's time to talk about the nude in my bed... I mean art!

I think it may be suitably late to post this, so...

Ahem. Yes, our hero has murdered someone along the way, but it's sitting nekkid on the side of the bed that'll get the shops in trouble. Oh, wait, says here it's "just a shadow." Well... "What strange curves you have!"

Pointed out over and over again, but I must say it is done well in the article above. May even beat the bit in Last Action Hero where he can't say a "dirty word" after blowing up much stuff and leading a few to their Hollywood death because the movie is only rated PG-13. And the observation is even extended a little.

When is the older teen audience, most of whom have their own naughty bits of that particular flavor, get old enough to, well, see incidental naughty bits? Abstracted? In deep shadow?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Noooo! My router died! The one I got for free a few years ago! Well, it needed a hard reset, anyway. It does seem to be working again now.

Although it would be nice to replace it. This one doesn't do loopback like the Linksys (pre-Cisco) does but the Linksys doesn't have 100Mbps up, like this one. That will count for something when I upgrade my Mandrake from the local mirror, which will happen soon. But there's one thing that neither does: wireless. Wouldn't that be nice?

I should try to remember to get a ATA133 card to replace the Promise card, too. Last time it had a problem, it made a non-repairable error on my ext2 drive. That's really a bit much even if the data is still readable.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tea done right

So beeg seester thinks she likes Japanese green tea. That's not meaning green tea grown in Japan, but the powdered green tea (茶 - matcha) unique to Japanese tea ceremonies. She doesn't say if it's the stong (濃茶 - koicha) sort of the actual ceremony or the weak stuff (薄茶 - usucha) served at the end, she may not have read that far on whatever web page of Japanese tea ceremony she was looking at. It takes 2 to 4 times as much to make koicha and you use better grade powder -- not that you use different amounts for koicha, actually it's usucha that changes.

The minimum equipment needed to drink the tea (not have a ceremony of any sort) would be tea bowl (茶碗 - chawan), whisk (茶筅 - chasen), and matcha. There's a few very cheap items of these out there, but not a lot because to make the tea right you have to use good equipment. If I look around here, though, there may be some interesting solutions that don't break the budget. Keeping in mind that it should be done right or not at all. An interesting problem which could have some nice stores to visit like futon store (that had much more than traditional futons) I was in last week.

Yikes... fresh cedar chopsticks, it says. I've been using a pair of ceder chopsticks for a few years now and it took many months for the cedar smell to fade. Until it had, the food always tasted a bit of cedar. Oh, did you figure out how to say and write tea?


I read that one Tim Sale was "ghost painting" the images for the artist character on this new (well, not so new now) show Heroes. Well, that's interesting because I know who that is and that's half of my favorite Batman team. Lots of other people's favorite too. They're quite popular.

So I got hold of it and watched the first show. Which did not blow me away one bit. It didn't really strike my interest nor did it put me off, but had it meant remembering to watch the next week, I probably would never have seen another episode. Since I could watch the next one and still had some time, I went ahead and watched it too. It got better. By the fourth episode, it does really start to get good. Not knock your socks off, I want the DVD! good, but fun to watch at least once.

At the fourth episode, I also noticed the other half of my favorite Batman team. Jeph Loeb is apparently co-executive producer. Guess that means he's got a certain amount of creative control over the shows. I'll be watching where he and the rest of the creative forces take the show.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Such a lovely paradox

This is a very cool song. A fairly unique group doing it, too. Quite interesting, I've toyed with getting it.

And my title has reminded me of a couple of plays on video that I wanted that probably don't come on DVD, and I can't play a VHS. There is Pirates of Penzance and Stop the World, I Want to Get Off! Both are plays and stay true to their roots since they are actual play productions. Both display the lovely effect of utility in set design that you'll probably never see again in a filmed production as special effects have become something anyone can do on their own home computer.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Initial D

Oh, Initial D, as alluded to in the last post, is originally a manga. It has also been made into some three anime series, a few anime movies, at least one movie that's basically a clip show of the first anime, some sort of Hong Kong live action movie, and will surely have more in the future. You know it will have more because it's still making money and the manga isn't even over yet. Also, the whole train thing bombed, so sometimes you just have to stick with what you know.

For me, it falls into that class of Things I Like, But I Wouldn't Recommend To Anyone. Why does such a class exist? Because sometimes we just like things we don't expect to have wide appeal, or at least we think they don't. I've found that often they do, so maybe I just have bad judgement on this particular topic.

So anyway, my first introduction was the anime. It had been out of print for a while and people were doing fansubs from the laserdiscs and even claiming to have some sort of permission, which seems doubtful. At some point I came upon them and watched them and they were good. I like driving. I like driving curvy roads. I wouldn't race down one, but this was exciting. The drawings of the characters were horrible, but I could get over that.

Then I came upon the second season. It was technologically advanced for the time, though not for when I saw it. The ending sequence was computer animation, for instance, and thus supposed to be very cool but in the end there's a fair bit of going down the road past trees and every single one of those trees is the same tree, just turned one way or another. It isn't enough just to turn it, you have to build at least a second tree. Maybe a normal one with just one trunk. The content wasn't as cool either, I used to say the series went downhill faster than Takumi.

Then, like I say, various movies and a third season (stage four) recently. The mood is changing, but it's still fun to watch.

And a while back I found the manga with the changed names and it turned out I couldn't get over the artwork so much for the still pictures and, anyway, who were these people? So I haven't followed the manga at all.

Vrooom vrooooom go faaaast

Yeah... racing pedals. Racing pedals make the car go faster. Like the racing stripes on the D-50 Sport did. Well, actually, a couch could do more to get it going. But anyway... zooooom.

Then I could learn to really drive those curves. You know, like Takumi in Initial D. The 2 could become my Mount Akina. Is that what it was called? Doesn't matter, Tokyopop probably changed the name anyway. Initial D anime came to the states back when we thought laserdiscs were the best thing ever, and they've got the nerve to go changing names. In the second volume, no less. You're past the point of no return if you've already published a volume. You can't go changing names. And you should never leave your established fans thinking "who?" when people are talking about a major character. Oops, getting off topic.

So... zooooooom. Yeah. Ignoring for a moment that it's just an Echo engine powering it. Weak engines never bothered Takumi, anyway. Although I'd rather go uphill, downhill is not so easy to control. That's three pedals, got to be in control. Guess I'll never really drift. Dangerous, anyway.