December 11, 2007

The Long-Anticipated Return of Ducks In Anime!

Aria The Animation, episode 10.

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A View From The Pond

Ice storm last night, more predicted later today.  Duck U. is closed, so I've gotten an unexpected day off, hurray!  It's a good thing, as long as the power stays on... 

Oh, who am I kidding?  It's a good thing, period.  I've got me some anime to watch...

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December 10, 2007

HWMNBN Gets A Drive

As long speculated, Renault announced that HWMNBN and Nelson Piquet Jr will be their drivers for the 2008 season.  This means that both Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Koveleinininnie are looking for drives, though it's likely that the young Finn will wind up teaming with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, and Fisichella is likely headed to Farce Force India.

HWMNBN, after his scorched-earth season at McLaren, will be reunited with Flavio Briatore, whom he teamed with in his Driver's Championship seasons of 2005-06.  He'll be expected to bring the team back into the championship hunt.  For his reported three-year, seventy-million Pound contract, he'd best also make the coffee and paint the white grooves in the tires.  Piquet, son of three-time Champion Nelson Piquet, is an up-and-coming driver who was Renault's test driver last season, and finished 2nd in championship points in GP2 in 2006... finishing behind Lewis Hamilton.  Many think him as talented as Hamilton... at least potentially.

So I guess the Silly Season has really begun in earnest now, huh?

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December 09, 2007

Anime Night @ The Pond

So The Librarian came over this past Thursday night to renew our more-or-less weekly tradition of eating Chinese food (well, Panda Express.  Their orange chicken is one of the Perfect Foods, along with rye bread and Chicago-style deep dish pizza), discussing work, nibbling on Pocky, and watching anime.

As you may remember, last time we finished up Elfen Lied.  Earlier this week, I had sent her a list of shows I had available (around 100, on DVD or fansub).  She reminded me, however, that she had chosen EL, and that it was my turn to pick.

Oh.  Hm.

See, here's the thing.  The Librarian and I have maybe slightly different tastes in anime, so choosing a series is always a little adventuresome.  Fortunately, though, I've known her for nigh on ten years, so in some things I've got a good concept of what she likes (I don't think I'd be able to choose a wallpaper for her, though).

So after browsing the web for a bit, I made a decision.

Thursday night rolled around, and after orange chicken, I provided her with a bottle of strawberry ramune, offered pocky, turned down the lights, and looked out the window as the DVD player spooled up...

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December 06, 2007

Wait... WHAT?!?!?!

A ruling has been handed down by the World MotorSports Council in the Renault spy case.  Their public statement is as follows:

"An extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council was held in Monaco on December 6, 2007.  The World Council found Renault F1 to be in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code but imposed no penalty.  Detailed reasons for this decision will be issued on December 7, 2007, and a transcript of the proceedings will be published as soon as possible thereafter."

Let's put this in plain English: Renault is guilty of spying, but the FIA isn't going to do anything about it.  On the other hand, McLaren was fined $100million and excluded from the Constructor's Championship because of unproven allegations.

I can't wait to read their "detailed reasons", to see exactly how they justify this decision.  I'll admit that I just don't see how they can, but it'll be good for a laugh, if nothing else.  As a F1 fan, I now feel like the ruling body of the sport has just proven that they can't steward the sport fairly.

To repeat:  Renault ADMITTED they were spying, and the FIA isn't even going to slap them on the wrist.  Nothing at all.  I'm speechless at the level of disregard for the rules... from the people in charge of them, no less!

More info as it becomes available.

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December 05, 2007

Renault's Day In Court

Thursday is the day Renault is hauled in front of the World MotorSports Council.  They stand accused of espionage in 2006 and 2007, essentially stealing the complete plans for McLaren's F1 chassis in those years.

It will be interesting to see what the WMSC does.  There's substantial (as opposed to circumstantial) evidence against Renault, and the FIA has shown what they think espionage is worth, penalty-wise ($100million, exclusion from the constructor's championship). 

If Renault is found guilty and doesn't get hit with a similar penalty, one might expect McLaren to go slightly batsh*t insane.  I'm thinking that Renault will be found guilty, but won't have anywhere NEAR the "McLaren Penalty" levied against them, because I have no confidence in the FIA to actually be consistent.

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December 04, 2007

Here We Go Again... AGAIN!


They're saying we're supposed to get three-to-seven inches of snow tonight, and the way it's coming down at the moment, I'm leaning towards the bigger number.  Of course, idjits out there can't drive in snow.

Honestly, it's not that bad out there, but there's still people WHO CAN'T DRIVE IN SNOW on the roads.  I mean, there's maybe a quarter-inch on the ground, and I saw five or six cars in ditches, fender-benders, whatever.

I swear, humans can't drive safe.

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December 01, 2007

I've Got The Knack!

Will asks, "Do you have the knack?"

What do you think?

Who needs Sharona?

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Sad Duck In Snow, 2007 Edition!

Here we go again!  Exactly one year to the day of the last Snowmageddon, The Pond is in the grips of another potentially big Winter Weather Event.  Last year, it was twelve inches of snow... this time around, they were forecasting five inches of snow, followed by up to a half-inch of ice.

Well, the snow part has proven to be a bust.  Oh, it did snow, but it wasn't more than a light dusting... now I think it's sleeting, and it has been for a few hours.  The wind is steady around 20mph, with stronger gusts.  Local media is warning that tree damage and power outages are possible.

This isn't pleasant, but it's really small potatoes in comparison to the winters The Pond experienced when it was in Minnesota.  200 inches of snow in a winter, -100 degree windchills, two weeks where the HIGH temperature was never above fahrenheit zero... now THAT's winter, my friends.

As is, I'm well stocked with supplies.  On Friday, I discovered another source of Pocky and other Japanese treats (including two flavors of Ramune soda, which I was previously only able to get at a local sushi place... for $3.50/bottle!), so I'm set for a long winter's night.

To keep with the new tradition of the Sad Duck In Snow posts, here's my favorite photoshop:

O'Hare has delays up to an hour, with 150 450 (as of 6pm) flights canceled to this point.  Here's hoping it just "blows over".

UPDATE 705pm:  Roads are reportedly quite ice-covered across Duckford, and  the authorities have strongly discouraged travel except for emergency purposes.  Lots of crashes on the highways in the Chicago area, with a 20-mile stretch on one closed completely.  The trees around The Pond have become popsicles... it's quite pretty, honestly.  The news says that temperatures are slowly rising, and the freezing rain should be stopping any time, changing to regular rain.  Until then, though, cross your fingers.

UPDATE 958pm:  I think the worst is past, though the wind is still blowing hard, so trees and powerlines are going to be at risk.  One of the trees outside The Pond is audibly creaking (though I'm not sure which one).  Fortunately, it's nowhere close.  One of the local TV stations is off the air, which isn't surprising; it was on generator power back at 530pm.  There's at least two known dead from the storm.  About 12000 people are without power in Duckford.  It's not just downed lines, but quite a few transformers have gone boom.  In Iowa, a plane bound for O'Hare skidded off a runway, with no injuries.  The lights flickered here around 830pm, but so far so good.

UPDATE 210am:  All clear.  Wind has died down, the rain is now just rain, and the tree is still up. 

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