February 28, 2007

"Elmer Season!"

Gotta love the expression on the duck's face in panel 2...

(from Lio, by Mark Tatulli. Check out more about the series HERE. Thanks in advance to the syndicators and the artist for not suing me.)

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February 26, 2007

F1 Pr0n: Goofy Edition!

There are no words:
Picture from Sutton.  Vomit by Honda.

I'm not going to talk about the differences in aero or whatever here. I'm going to talk about the paintjob for the new Honda.

Actually, I'm simply wondering who thought this was a good idea:
Earth: The Stupid Frontier.

Yes, it's a marvelous technical achievement, the globe on a F1 car. Bravo. Even better, YOU can put your name, website, or whatever you want on the car as well, just by purchasing some pixels on the image. Proceeds go to a good cause, or chassis development, or something.

What the hell were they thinking?!? They're going to look ridiculous out there. Hell, they look ridiculous now. I can't wait for the first engine fire, it'll look like the aftermath of a nuclear exchange.

The paddock is SO going to make fun of them...

UPDATE: In an e-mail to me, Official First Reader Mallory brought up a good point... namely, what is the pit-crew fire suit going to look like? What if Saudi Arabia ends up on the butt of a tire changer? Will Japan be over the heart of all of them? We need to know the answers to this!

In a similar vein, does anybody see the emergency gear release on the car anywhere? It's supposed to be clearly marked for safety reasons, and I'm not seeing it.

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February 25, 2007

Kanon 2006: ongoing thoughts

As the blizzard blew outside last night, I pulled my comfy armchair in front of the computer desk and got caught up with Kanon 2006, watching episodes 17-21 (that's the entire Shiori arc and the beginnings of the Ayu and Natsuki arcs for those of you watching the show).

There are plenty of sites out there covering the show episode by episode, so I'm not going to do it here. Instead, I'm just going to comment about my thoughts and feelings regarding the show.

Maybe I'm just a sap, but this show is really, really managing to yank every emotional string I've got. Be it with the storyline or the visuals, KyoAni seems to have the ability to make me laugh or sob at will, and isn't shy about doing it. As a result, I've fallen head over heels with this series. Even if the story stunk, which it doesn't, I'd like the show because of the visuals. For example, this scene:
Fountain spray AND snowflakes?  Details matter, and KyoAni knows it.
This is almost a throwaway shot, just something in passing, but it's stunning. The lighting on that fountain goes through five or six colors, for example, affecting everything around it seamlessly. It's an effect that would have been impossible to animate well a few years ago, but KyoAni uses it to 'set the mood' perfectly in the Shiori arc.
But the entire show looks as good as this scene. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it's the best looking series I've ever seen, bar none.

I never saw the Toei version of the series, nor have I played the game, so I haven't the faintest idea where this is going to end up. Yeah, Makoto, Shiori, and Mai are out of the picture for one reason or another, so they aren't likely to be Yuuichi's final love (too bad, too, in the case of Mai; I have a feeling that I'd never see any ending in the game other than her's). The common wisdom seems to be that Ayu will be the last one standing, but I can't even guess. For once, I'm stumped, and I'm loving it.

The series is FUNNY, too. A lot of it can't be conveyed in pictures (such as the not-incredibly-subtle [but still funny] eye twitching) alas, but it is. Some of the more obvious humor comes from 'Zombie Nayuki', the girl that can't wake up to save her life:
...and Yuuichi's reactions to her. The bulk of the credit would have to go to his voice actor, Tomokazu Sugita, who also did the role of Kyon in Haruhi Suzumiya.

The worst part of this is now that I'm caught up to the most recently aired episode, I won't be able to marathon the new ones. That's gonna kill me. Actually, what's going to kill me is knowing that there won't be a sequel. There CAN'T be, the series ends when it ends.

As a final thought, when Jun and Yuuichi were dancing during Shiori's birthday party, did anybody else expect them to break into Hare Hare Yukai, the ED from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya? Using my mad l33t 5k1llz with Photoshop, I threw this together:
...aru hareta hi no koto / mahou ijou no yukai ga...
I'm sorry 'bout that.

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February 24, 2007

There Are Ducks In Anime EVERYWHERE!

The First Two-Duck Anime!!!

Kanon 2006, episode 20. And it's computer generated, to boot!

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"I hate Illinois Nazis."

The Brickmuppet is looking for the source of this picture, as well as having a bad week.

G'wan over and take a look. I think it's a piece of fanart, m'self, but I could easily be wrong.

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February 21, 2007

They were silly to even THINK about...

...canning The Duck.

Of course, all of this talk about putting an end to the Duck was true... until We had a little talk with them. If we can end the Tsar's rule, we can handle an insurance company...


No relation, but that's one good lookin' duck.

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February 20, 2007

D@mn you, Sid Meier!

He's done it to me AGAIN. I've got "One-More-Turn Disease" again!

Civ IV is the culprit, but I can't entirely blame Sid this time around. No, he's got an accomplice now, a modder that goes by the name of "Sevo". Sevo took Civ IV, a good but not great game, and tweaked EVERYTHING.

The result is Sevomod. New units (including ethnically diverse settlers, workers, and scouts... no longer do the Zulu look like they're from Sweden!), new leaders and civs, new buildings, new techs (that make sense!), new wonders (and movies), new resources (salt? Who'd ever think THAT was important?***), and, even more impressive, new music and quotations for everything! It's an 170mb download, though... thank heavens Duck U. doesn't block 'direct downloads.'

To say this game has become engrossing is to put it mildly. Tonight is anime night, and I'll have to pull myself away for the evening... I hope I can manage it.

*** more...

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February 18, 2007

Daytona 500

Say what you want about NASCAR being a 'hick sport,' perfect for the redneck set. Say what you want about the cars 'going fast and turning left.' It's pretty much all true.

But DAMN, can they put on a show!

The ending of the Daytona 500 had the winner, Kevin Harvick, coming from somewhere around 10th on the last lap, beating Mark Martin by .002 seconds. On the tube, that was about, oh, two feet.
Photo from Fox Sports

It also had a huge accident on the last lap. One driver finished 18th by crossing the finish line upside down on his roof AND on fire to boot.
That's JPM on the outside... finishing BEHIND the car that's upside down and on fire.

You won't ever see something like that finish in a F1 race... for good AND bad.

UPDATE: I couldn't resist this...
Happy Monday!

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February 17, 2007

Ducks In Anime: The Return!

Snowy day, hot bath, and a duck.  What could be better?

Hidamari Sketch

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250 mph on the water.

Better traction on the ground.

More manueverable in the air.

Ph34r!  Ph34r t3h 3\/1L!  Mwah-hahaha-HAAAAAA!

Next step: biplane ducks. Then ducks with the CC gear. Then ducks with heat-seeking missiles! Then we will RULE THE WORLD!!!!1!1!!eleventy!

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February 15, 2007

Parody AMVs

So, you're watching an AMV, and you think to yourself "hey, you could do this EXACT SAME VIDEO, using (insert different anime here)." Well, most times, you'd be wrong.

But not with these vids.

The first set of AMVs is Nightmare by Mousepotato. Using "Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums" by A Perfect Circle and Neon Genesis Evangelion, this is a tightly edited, dramatic, almost scary video. Highly rated in my book, it's an excellent AMV.

And because the video takes itself SO seriously (to it's benefit), it's a PERFECT target for parody. That's where Floyd's Nightmare comes in. Using the same song, and the original AMV as a framework, Parodic Productions remakes the viddy using... Azumanga Daioh? And it's ALMOST as technically perfect as the original. Want some examples of how it works? Here's some screencaps: the ones on the left are from Nightmare, on the right is Floyd's Nightmare.
...if you can read this, you're probably looking for something funny.  Sorry, got nothing.

Download 'em both, and prepare to giggle like a schoolgirl.

The other pair I've come across have a similar idea behind them. The original of the two is Mitternacht by Pwolf. Using scenes from three of the best known vampire animes out there (Hellsing, Blood: The Last Vampire, and Vampire Hunter D), and music by E Nomine, this is a neatly done action AMV. And who doesn't like vampires, huh? It's also another AMV that takes itself VERY seriously... and it shows; it won more than a few AMV contests at cons.

Now there comes Mitternacho by FallChild42. It's an attempt to do a shot-by-shot remake of the original using... um... Chobits, Cromartie High School, and (oh look!) Azumanga Daioh. Please note: NONE of these shows have vampires in them. That DOES add a certain level of difficulty to the proceedings, doesn't it?

And while it doesn't entirely succeed in the shot-for-shot thing, it DOES come pretty darn close. And more than a couple of times, it made me laugh out loud. A word of warning, though: to play it, you need a pretty hefty rig, as the file has TWO video streams, the 'vanilla' AMV, and the AMV with the original Mitternacht viddy playing in the corner, so you can compare the two. Neat trick! And a pretty neat vid.

Now, there are others out there, of course. AMV HELL 3: The Motion Picture had a fantastic (but short) clip called Ophoria parodying the legendary Euphoria.
Euphoria left, Ophoria right.  Still got nothing funny to say.
It's a shame it isn't a full vid. Oh, and that too, uses Azumanga Daioh.

I'm noticing a theme here...

Anyway, download 'em, and laugh.

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February 14, 2007

Um, Steven? About that fansub...

"Noodle Fighter Miki" has been licensed, and is going to be released in March. (scroll about halfway down)

(The Duck Sez: Snarky, insulting bit removed. See "Further Update," below.)

Oh, and Hanayuko Maid Team is pretty atrocious, at least through the first few episodes or so. After that, I couldn't take it anymore. Nudity is rampant... which is fine. MORE than fine, actually, but it just didn't much work for me. And it wasn't funny.

FURTHER UPDATE: Upon thinking about it, my "snark" DID come across as much more snarky than I intended, and I can see why he reacted the way he did. Sorry, Steven, I truly didn't mean to insult you, just 'poke' you a bit... seriously. That'll teach me to blog during whilst at work... I might have thought longer about it if I had been at The Pond.

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February 13, 2007

Ahhhhhh, spring!

Yes, Spring is here... Spring is here, life is skittles and life is beer.
(/Lehrer off)

Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training camps today. In 49 days, the baseball season starts for my Chicago Cubs.

The return of baseball is one of those things that, well, makes me happy. Then I realize I'm a Cubs fan, and life goes back to normal, but for those few short minutes... things are Good!

All of which is my way of saying that I had a really nice post on parody AMVs that I was going to put up here, but I took a nap that lasted for almost five hours, and now I don't have time to put it up tonight.

Wednesday night, though...

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February 11, 2007


That's good, Steven.

The Pond had the same mascot ("Zsolt, the F1 Duck") back in October of 2005, though.

I appreciate the gesture, though.

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February 10, 2007

Sad Girl In Snow?

So I'm visiting my folks (Momzerduck and Ph.Duck) for lunch, doing laundry, that sort of thing, this afternoon. Normal Saturday stuff, y'know? So I look out the window, and what to my wondering eyes does appear?

A fox, hanging out in the backyard, chasing birds! THIRTY YEARS the Duck family has lived in the Olde Homepond, and never THIS! And we're in the middle of Duckford, nowhere NEAR where a fox should live!

Of course, considering the Kanon '06 kick I've been on recently, I blurt out "Makoto!"... then "Ph.Duck, get your camera!"

He dashes out of the dining room, gets his camera, and hustles (quietly... he's the only person I know who can hustle quietly) onto the back porch, secures the cat (who normally goes berserk at any sign of an interloping animal; not this time... this time he came slinking in with his tail between his legs. He may not have known what he was looking at, but he knew it was WAY out of his league), and leans out the back door to snap the photo.

And an amazing photo it was, too!

Then I got my wings on it:
Makoto?  Makoto!!!

If an amnesiac girl shows up at my door later, I'll be sure to let you know.

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February 06, 2007

Kanon '06: Mai's Story.

I've just finished Mai's story arc. I feel like I've been put thru a wringer. The whole thing left me stunned beyond belief.

I know how you feel, Mai...

Bravo. Simply... well, maybe not perfect, but about as close to it as I've ever seen in an anime. I laughed:

I cried:
...though not at this part.

I yelled at the screen in frustration:

And in the end, I cheered:

But I know, because of the way the story of Kanon is structured, that we'll probably never see Mai again. Dammit. THAT'S why this arc wasn't perfect.

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February 05, 2007

"For those who don't like Sport, there's Sport."*

"Am I getting tired of anime? Or is it just that I can't find anything new to excite me?"
Death Note

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya


Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru

Welcome to the NHK


Hang on, Steven! There's help on the way!

*quote from Monty Python's Flying Circus

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February 04, 2007

SuperBowl XLI

Just a few hours away now. I won't be liveblogging, but there will be comments at halftime, not to mention trashtalking over at The Astronomicon's place. WARNING: foul language is expected from sk8.

Remember my prediction: Bears 30, Colts 24. Actually, I think that predicted score is a little high; after the past two weeks, I've come to think Bears 27, Colts 21, but I'll stick with my original.

That way, when it turns out 27-21, I can say 'well, at least I've got it on a post.'

Any other guesses?

Update @ 223pm: Just saw an interesting little factoid over at AoMM..."And, finally, the past national championships for various pro and college sports have all been won by the underdogs. The NBA in 2006? Miami featuring a beyond washed up GP, Shaq, and Alonzo. The MLB? St. Louis with Suppan and Weaver as their 'aces.' The BCS? Florida berating Ohio State like a random Chinese guy berating another random Chinese guy... ...I think you get the feeling for the trend for the Super Bowl. In other words, be careful betting against the underdog."


UPDATE, 527pm: Three things just before kickoff...
1) The Thunderbirds did the flyover. They were HERE for DuckBurg's Airshow this summer. Neat thing: they had a camera inside the cockpit of the lead plane, and the shot was shown on the jumbotrons in the stadium.
2) Patrick Mannely, longsnapper for the Bears, has a great porn mustache.
3) Bears win the coinflip.


UPDATE, 706pm, Halftime. Bears down by two, 16-14. Sloppy, sloppy game by both teams, but the Colts got things cleaned up in the 2nd quarter, while the Bears kept dropping the ball. The D is doing the job, though, if only the offense (read "Rex Grossman") could actually show up. Losing Cedric Benson to a badly sprained knee ain't gonna help.

Prince rocks.

UPDATE, 717pm: Prince went from Hendrix's All Along The Watchtower to The Foo Fighter's The Best Of You, and made my jaw hit the floor. DAMN nice cover.

UPDATE, 903pm: ...and the party's over. Close the coffin, fade to black. The Colts just kicked the Bears butt all over the field. Congrats to them, kudos to the Bears for a great season.


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February 03, 2007

So, what's new?

The Bears/Colts SuperBowl is tomorrow.

I'm up to episode 13 of Kanon 2006, and will probably catch up to where the 'subs are now tonight.

I'm kinda bored with the games I have on my computer.

...and we just finished the Rush/Returns/Inventory three-week stretch at Duck U.

Anybody have anything they want to discuss? Or have discussed via duck?

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February 02, 2007

About That Energy Source...

SDB's at it again: "20070202.1005: A viable source of infinite free energy has been discovered. Naturally, the great Duck Revolutionary cabal has been suppressing it, to maintain their power."

Not quite. The Infinite Source of Power doesn't use a potato. Ducks don't eat potatoes.

Close, though.


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