December 31, 2007

Happy New Year, Everybody!


On Mars Aqua, hats fall from the sky when the clock strikes midnight. 
It's considered good luck to catch one.

So another year draws to a close.  2007 will go down as quite the interesting one for The Pond.  Consider:


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December 29, 2007

Odds and Ends

Things I've neglected to mention:

Thanks to Robert for his efforts on the behalf of all the Kanonistas out there.  He somehow managed to convince ADV to let him sell the first DVD of the show a couple of weeks ahead of the streetdate (1/1/200 ... of course, as soon as I found out, I placed an order (along with four boxes of Chocolate Decorer Pocky).  A few days later, it arrived in good shape, with only ONE Pockystick broken.  He's the bestest!

Now, if I can only convince him to get the Kanon soundtracks in stock...

I've been watching Zipang! recently, and the Pacific War otaku in me is giggling like a schoolgirl.  I had a post about half-done, but I pressed the wrong button and poof, all gone.  Still, here's a preview:

Yep, that's the Yamato there in the center of the harbor at Truk... guess Yurie's been around, huh?  Actually, the anime's set in 1942-43, so the Yamato hasn't been sunk yet.  The show is full of "anatomically correct" technical details, the type that would make Tom Clancy drool in recognition... like the revelation that the Rufe carried an auxiliary fuel tank in it's mail float, for example.  Watch for the post soon.

Oh, and because I know you've all been wondering, the cookies the Librarian's Mom gave me are quite yummy.

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December 27, 2007

Anime... um... Afternoon!

The Librarian and I are both on vacation this week, so instead of getting together this evening as we normally would, we decided to do an afternoon Anime Night.

In some ways, this was a lot better than our normal routine, as we got right into the watching and watched a whoppin' seven episodes of Kanon 2006, instead of the usual three.  And which seven, you might wonder?  Episodes 9 through 15, also known as the end of the Makoto arc and the entire Mai arc.

In other words, my favorite stretch of the entire show.  I wrote about the Mai arc back in February, and everything I mentioned there still apply: I laughed, I cried, I yelled, and I cheered... well, not out loud, but you get the point.

What makes this all the better is that The Librarian is as taken with the show as I was.  Oh, she's denying it, but she's quite hooked... why else would she be looking for Kanon AMVs in her spare time?  Okay, she was making fun of the end of Makoto's story ("awoo... awooooo... awoo?  Awoooooo."), but I did too, back when I first saw it (as an aside, the seiyuu for Makoto, Mayumi Iizuka, must have thought she had died and gone to heaven when she realized that she was going to be paid three times over for, essentially, making puppy-dog noises.  A hit videogame, a successful anime adaptation, and then the smash remake?  It's like a license to print money!).

It's gratifying to watch The Librarian enjoy the series so much, honestly.  I mean, I'm a fan, and Jeff's a fan, and Ubu's a fan, but they're also anime bloggers.  The Librarian is more of a casual fan, I think (even if she created an anime/manga club at her Library)... it almost seems like redemption of a sort for me.  We both enjoyed CardCaptor Sakura, and liked World of Narue, but Kanon's got her locked on the screen, hard.  Even if she did call me a sap.

As an aside, Mai's awfully cute with those bunny ears:



UPDATE:  I would be remiss if I didn't mention that The Librarian brought me a tin of Christmas cookies today... it appears that I'm permanently on her mother (aka "The Evil One", for reasons that aren't clear to me)'s cookie list!   T'anks, Librarian!  T'anks, Librarian's Mom!

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December 26, 2007

THERE IS A SANTA!!!

Via Don comes news that all our Otaku Day Wishes have been answered:


There's going to be a STRIKE WITCHES series!

I'll never doubt that there's an Otaku Santa again!

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December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!



Sorry 'bout that...

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December 24, 2007

Happy Otaku Day!

It was in the year 40 ATA (After Tetsuwan Atomu) that the long-lost religious holiday of Otaku Day was rediscovered.  Celebrations were joyous, if a bit strained (with schisms forming almost immediately, mostly around alternative veneration of one Haruhi Suzumiya).

With this year's Otaku Day rapidly approaching, I would be remiss if I didn't return to those heady days of last year.


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December 23, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Twelve



And so The 12 Ducks of Xmas series comes to an end... with thirteen ducks, including the largest and smallest in my family.

The Pond will return to it's normal programming, including a couple of posts on Clannad and Bamboo Blade.  And remember, if you enjoyed the 12 Ducks of Xmas half as much as I enjoyed doing it, then I've enjoyed it twice as much as you. 

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December 22, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Eleven... With A Special Guest!



Readers of The Pond, The Librarian makes her first appearance at The Pond!

Tomorrow is the last Duck of Xmas... or is it???

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December 21, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Ten



A Snowduck on a pole.  Hm.

Tomorrow, The 12 Ducks of Xmas will have a special guest.  Got a guess who/what the guest might be?  Leave it in the comments!

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December 20, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Nine


(Taken on the counter of the Duck U. Bookstore)

What else would a Santa Duck have for a nest than a strand of tinsel?

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December 19, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Eight



What I wouldn't give for the "light box" lighting rig I owned when I was in grad school... four 250w ERS, four 2" fresnels, and a nice selection of gels.  It would have let me light the background AND foreground in this picture...

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December 18, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Seven



FOUR WINGS!!!  FOUR FREAKIN' WINGS!!!

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December 17, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Six


(the Bookstore's building is behind the trees back-left, by the way)

You can't really see it, but it was snowing like a sunuvaduck while I took this photo of Rudolph, the orange-beaked Reinduck... AND it was cold as heck, to boot.

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December 16, 2007

Two Questions For The Peanut Gallery

I'm looking for a good, free, Flash-to-Video (wmv/avi/whatever) converter.  Can anybody out there recommend one?

Now, here's the other question for y'all.  I'm wanting to watch an anime series that I can also write about here at The Pond... is there anything anybody is curious about, or wants a review on?  I'm open to just about anything, be it currently running or available on DVD.

For both questions, of course, leave your choice(s) in the comments, and thanks in advance for your help!

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The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number 5


(That's the building the Duck U. Bookstore is in on the left...)

It's amazing just how difficult it was to take a picture of this Snowduckie.  The camera kept focusing on everything BUT the duck...

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December 15, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Four


(Thanks to the Duck U. Admissions Office for the use of their poinsettia)

It's a little late, but I now present the Hanukkah duckie!

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December 14, 2007

McLaren Completes Driver Lineup

As expected, Heikki Koveleinininnie has been named by McLaren to be their second driver for the 2008 season.  Recently booted from Renault so they could have HWMNBN and Junior Piquet, Heikki beat out Pete Rose (aka Pedro de la Rosa), McLaren's test driver in 2007.

Hm.  Think that Pete's involvement in the Stepneygate mess had anything to do with him not getting the drive?  Myself, I think not: he's not as good as the Finnish 'ninnie.  De la Rosa is a good driver, though, and if he doesn't stay on as the test driver, I'd be shocked if he didn't get a drive somewhere.

McLaren's driver lineup of Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Koveleinininnie is one that's pretty impressive for a couple of reasons.  First, of course, is their ability: Hamilton led the DC until the last race weekend, and Heikki, after a bad start to the season, came back strong and pretty much left his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella in the dust.

Second, though, is their age: Heikki is 26, Hamilton is about to turn 23.  That's probably going to be the youngest driver lineup on the grid in 2008 (David Coulthard, the oldest current driver, will turn 37 in March).

Still no word on Farce Force India's lineup... we wait with baited breath.

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The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Three


Cookies provided by the Duck U. Cafeteria... who gave me some odd looks.

A Gingerbread Duckie!

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December 13, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number Two



Just another day at Duck U...

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December 12, 2007

The 12 Ducks of Xmas, Number One



Look for a Holiday Duck every day until Xmas Eve!

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