January 29, 2008

F1 Pr0n: Honda RA108

First the good news: that gawdawful "myearthdream" livery is (mostly) gone.  The bad news is that it appears that Honda doesn't go in for glamour photos.


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January 28, 2008

I'm A Sick Duck.

I need some of these, stat!

Not that this is a surprise to any of my readers, but I've got something wrong with me.  Unfortunately, in this particular case, it has nothing to do with a mallard on a surfboard, and everything to do with a case of the unfortunate ick.  Consequently, posting may be somewhat light while I attempt to deal with it.

(pictures of duckie tissues from The Tissue Store.  No, I'm not kidding.)

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January 26, 2008

It's Time For The VCAs!

Over at AMV.org, the 2007 Viewers Choice Award contest has begun.  If you're a member of The Org, this is the best way to find all the great AMVs you might have missed during the year (I can count the number of amvs I've downloaded this year on two hands)... if you're not a member, you should become one, just because it's free and you get to d/l all you want.

The contest is in the 'nominations' phase (basically Round 1), where all qualifying videos are put to a general vote... the top vote getters move on to the actual contest itself.

Of course, yours truly has an entry in the VCAs this year:

I'd particularly like to get a few votes in the "Best First Video" category, maybe make it into the contest itself.  I don't expect to win, but weirder things have happened.

If you liked "...Angel", pop over and give it a vote, won't you?  Heck, even if you DIDN'T like it...

Yes, I'm begging for your vote.  Guilty.

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January 25, 2008

Surfin' Bird? You betcha!

Step 1)  Let the top video load, but DO NOT press play yet.
Step 2) Turn down the volume on the top video.
Step 3) Load the bottom video.
Step 4) Start bottom video, then start top video.
Step 5) Wonder just what the h*ll is wrong with Wonderduck.

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Ducks In Anime Are Unavoidable!

-Shigofumi, ep01

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January 23, 2008

What If...?

It was a brilliantly sunny day that Sunday morning, seemingly not a cloud in the sky.  People made their way to church, or did laundry, played golf or slept in.  Out in the harbor, motorboats took men from one point to another, seemingly at random. 
A few miles out to sea, a metal behemoth sailed towards the harbor.  On its flat wooden deck, a white painted number "6" gleamed in the Pacific sun.  The Enterprise was coming home.  The time: 710am.  The date: December 7th, 1941.

The term "first order counterfactual" refers to the changing of one detail of a recorded event, and seeing where that change takes you.  In the world of "alternative history," such as Harry Turtledove's writings, a first order counterfactual may be something as simple as the Confederate Lost Orders not falling out of an officer's jacket, leading to the United States being divided permanently.

742am.  A huge flight of Japanese fighters and attack planes approach Pearl Harbor. Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, gazing out of the cockpit of his Nakajima B5N, has just keyed his radio to life.  "Tora tora tora!" 

Back on board the Akagi, the flagship of the attacking Japanese fleet, static whispers through the speakers of the radio room.  Then, unexpectedly, Fuchida speaks again.  "There's a carrier in the harbor!"

In the actual events of history, the Enterprise had been on a mission to Wake Island, delivering fighters to the garrison located there.  Scheduled to return to Pearl Harbor on December 6th, she was running late... and thereby missed out on being the main target of the December 7th attacks.


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January 21, 2008

Random Anime Picture #6

-ARIA the Natural, ep04

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Double Ducks In Anime!

Sayonara Zetsubou Ahiru?

(Both from Hidamari Sketch Special, pt1)

I had forgotten just how much I really liked Hidamari Sketch, and not just because there's a rubber duckie in every episode.  Thank you, Shintani-Spoonsubs, for fansubbing the Special, and reminding me. 

It doesn't get any slice-of-life-ier than this, and I loved every second of it.  There's practically no chance it'll be licensed, though, which is a shame.  Yuno, Miya, Sae and Hiro deserve a larger audience.

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January 20, 2008

F1 Pr0n: BMW F1.08

The Great White Hope
There are days where writing this blog is tough, where it's hard to think of anything clever or witty to say.  On days like that, it's easy to let the pictures do the talking.

This is one of those days.  Fortunately, the BMW F1 Team has given us some sweet automotive hardware to drool over.

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January 19, 2008


(warning: graphics-heavy post ahead)

Dear Son...
     I know you're too young to understand this letter, but I wanted to write you so you might know what your father did while he was away from home all the time.

You see, I was an able crewman in the JMSDF.  I served to protect Japan against... well, not much, really, since we weren't at war, but I still did an honorable job on board the JMSDF's newest ship, the Mirai.  Here's a picture of her at sea:

Beautiful, isn't she?  Lovely detailing in that photo.  Anyway, the Mirai is a modified Kongo-class destroyer, which is a modification of the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class ship. 

Our first mission was to be a joint exercise with a US Navy task force, but along the way something strange happened...

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Steven's Eye Is Better!

SDB had an icky eye problem, but he reports that it's gotten a lot better overnight.

That's good, because I looked up the thing he had at Wikipedia, and this was the photo used to illustrate it:


As he says, not something you want to see just before you eat. 

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January 18, 2008

Battle Rush Week... Is OVAH!

Crossed the finish line in style, too...

So we finished up rush week in fine fashion, blowing last year's numbers out of the water, and making the year at the same time.  Can't complain about that, that's for sure.

And I got my boss hooked on Kanon '06, to boot.  She hasn't watched anime for about six years, and not much of that, either.  Here's a conversation we had a week or so ago:

Her: I saw a movie about a machine...
Me: Ghost In The Shell?
Her: Nooo...
Me: (thinking) Howl's Moving Castle?
Her: Nooo... it had a guy with a motorcycle in it.
Me: Akira?
Her: YES!  I didn't like it though.
Me: Believe me, Kanon is nothing like Akira.
Her: Are you sure?
Me: Pretty sure.

As I was leaving today, she asked me "So what's up with Ayu disappearing like that?"  My job here is done.

Now, a few days to relax, and not go outside... Saturday's high is supposed to be 5 degrees F. (That's -3107degrees Celcius to my Euroreaders)  And sleep.

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Random Anime Image #5


We've made the final turn and we're coming down the home stretch at the Duck U. Bookstore.  Business has dropped off to only 10x our normal sales, instead of 25x or 50x, and tomorrow is the last official day of Book Rush.

In fact, I've only a three-hour day scheduled for Friday, then it's a quiet three-day weekend for all of us.  Whew.  I forsee a nap in my future...

(screenshot is from episode 1 of ARIA the Origination.  Looks like they got a budget this time around...)

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January 16, 2008

Random Anime Image #4

"...I thought I saw a flash of light blue."

Y'know, there's been two F1 rollouts this week, by BMW and RedBull.  I just don't have the oomph to say anything about them, so here's another Clannad shot instead.

It hasn't supplanted Kimikiss on my "when is the next episode coming out?" list, but it's getting there...

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January 15, 2008

Random Anime Image #3

-Clannad, ep10

Take Kanon, and mix in some seriously funny comedy.  Stir vigorously.  You get Clannad

Are there sad girls (not in snow)?  Well, yes, of course, it's from Key, after all.   But it's not as overwhelming as Kanon or Air, and teh funnay is brung in every episode (save ep09, but that's the end of an arc)...

Two wingtips up, so far.

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January 14, 2008

First Day of Duck U.'s New Semester

So today was the start of the new semester at Duck U., or as we call it in The Biz, "Rush."  It may not have been the busiest day we've ever had at the Duck U. Bookstore, but might have been the busiest we've had in a Spring semester...

How'd it feel?  Like this:

Other than a quick bathroom run (even ducks gotta go sometime), I pretty much was on the cash register for nigh on seven hours straight.  My back hurts, my neck is stiff, and by the end of the night I fully expect a bruise to have formed on my left hand.

It's Christmas in the Bookstore!

In his comment section, Steven mentions that he could never work retail.  It does take a different type of person to do the job well.  I really enjoy helping customers, usually... but by the end of a day like today, all I really want to do is hide underneath the counter.  "Nope, not here, sorry."

A good CSV person has to have a hook.  It might be detailed knowledge of everything in the store, for example.  Mine is humor.  I'll be funny and try to make the customer laugh at least once.  It helps that I've been at the Duck U. Bookstore for almost four years, AND a graduate of the U. to boot.  I know the school like the back of my hand, I've been in the classes they're taking, and I'm on a first-name basis with a lot of the professors.  And the duck collection gets mentioned every once in a while, too.

Hey, it works.  I was the best salesman at the CowPuter store for the year I was there... mostly because I could be less-than-serious.  Computers are 'serious bidness' for most people; newbies are often afraid of them.  If they saw someone having fun talking about them, in English, they liked it.  It's the same way at the Bookstore.  Sure, the kids need the books, but they don't have to get 'em from us anymore.  Plenty of online places to get 'em these days.

They still come to us, though... I'd like to think some of the reason for that is the humor.

And the free burrito.  Don't forget that.

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January 13, 2008

How To Make Subs Unreadable.

I've been eagerly awaiting the second season of Gunslinger Girl since it was announced a few months back.  I really enjoyed the first series, and seeing more of those characters was going to be the high-point of the winter anime schedule for me.

A few days ago, I noticed that the RAW for the first episode was available; when the fansub came out today, I was really enthused.

This evening, I settled into my chair, started up ZoomPlayer, cued up the show...

...and lasted two minutes before I closed the episode.

Look, I appreciate all the effort that goes into making a fansub.  You need a translator, a typesetter, a proofreader, and probably a few other things that I don't know about, but most of all, you have to really enjoy doing it since all that effort ain't gonna earn you anything.  I respect that, and I've never ripped a fansub group for doing what is basically volunteer work.

But for the luvva pete, AEN, how could you think that this was acceptable?

Please note that all I've done is adjust the size of the picture to fit The Pond's formatting.
This actually made the subtitles easier to read.
Oh, and the translation notes for "Nii-san"?  Just a guess here, but I'm thinking that those people who are d/l'g anime fansubs in the first place already know what words/phrases like that mean. 

I'm sure you can say that I'm only ripping on AEN because these problems have shown up in a show that I've been looking forward to, but I have to wonder if they even looked at what they were doing.  When I did my AMV, I had the good sense to have other people look at it before I made it generally available.  They found mistakes I hadn't noticed, made suggestions on how to tighten it up, and ithat made the thing better than it was before.  Quality Control is an important part of any project, folks.

I hate to say this, but even if they're the only group that winds up fansubbing the show, I won't be watching; those subtitles are just bad.

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January 11, 2008

Random Anime Image #2

There's sakura on Mars Aqua, too, it appears...

In celebration of the new season of ARIA beginning (c'mon fansubbers!), here's a shot from season two, episode two.

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Force India Sneak Preview!

Down in the MP4-23 rollout comments, reader Buttons wonders how the Spyker car will look once the Farce Force India folks get done with it.  Well, thanks to the sharp eyes of Official First Reader Mallory, who noticed a small link on the Formula1.com webpage, we have our answer!

Pretty okay, I think, but click below for a shot that'll make you forget all about that MP4-23 hussy...


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January 10, 2008

F1 Pr0n: TF108!

Another day, another rollout!  Today, it's Toyota, with their 2008 car, the TF108... and to be honest, I'm somewhat underwhelmed.  There's some change from the TF107, such as the McLaren flying nose, but truthfully, it's a minor evolution over last year's car.

Which doesn't mean the car isn't photogenic...

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