Anime Night: We Like Pie
So The Librarian had a work-related event this evening that wouldn't place her at The Pond until 830p... a little late for us to follow our usual routine. Instead, we decided that we'd do dinner instead.
Well, more correctly, I'D do dinner. She did pie. Specifically, a slice of pie, then an appetizer, then another slice of pie. For the record, I had a slice of pie as well.
And a good time was had by all us. Anime came up for about five minutes ("Gunslinger Girl? Henrietta? Violin case upside the head? How could you not remember that? It was only last Friday!"), the rest of the time was spent being seventeen years old again.
Did you know that KC (of KC and the Sunshine Band) had a brother that invented fried chicken? They called him KFC (I should be congratulated for not spewing pie over The Librarian after that... and for not attempting to scoop her brains out with a spoon).
Yeah, we can be like that once in a while. In this case, it lasted about three hours; it ended with a game of tic-tac-toe in the parking lot (see, it was snowing, and we were the last people out, so we had this really clean flat space...) and brushing snow off our cars (and doing everything we could to dump the snow on the other's car).
So NOIR is on hold until next week, but we had more fun than a barrel of superballs anyway. It ain't always about anime, folks... just most of the time.
(thanks to DbD for the picture... I flat-out stole it.)
I watched religiously for about the first 12 eps or so, then let it slip for a while. I've finally caught back up and I'm loving it as well.
My only gripe is that it focuses too much on Tama-chan instead of Kirino, who is clearly the best character. Nothing against Tama-chan, though - in fact they've done a good job on all of the characters in this show. I just wanted to see more Kirino channeling Excel Excel...
Posted by: astro at February 26, 2008 12:17 PM (RXNsB)
OK, I know this is off topic, but even logged in I can't figure out where to put this (no email, or new post thread).
misty69stuff.blogspot.com pointed to duck balancers unlimited. Follow the links at your own risk.
Posted by: conrad at February 26, 2008 07:07 PM (MDfbw)
Just watched ep 1 this morning. Couple of LOL moments which is rare for a 1st ep of a new series, for me. Looks good so far tho.
Posted by: Ed at February 27, 2008 11:41 AM (WkhvE)
Actually I'm not 100% sure it's 20, but Yomi and Chiyo are sceptical of Tomo's claims that she's studying hard, or at least not playing all the time. It happens right after they part with Miruchi and Yuka.
Posted by: Author at February 24, 2008 05:29 PM (qNSKg)
...and poor me. I actually had to leave work on Friday due to a case of the hacking coughs, accompanied by a head-and-body-ache, combining to make me one miserable duck. While the aches seem to have gone away, the cough still remains. Unfortunately, Ph.Duck tells me that I sound exactly like his co-worker... who was diagnosed with Whooping Crane Cough.
This was bothering me on Anime Night, too, but not to the same degree. If the progression continues, I should be clear of this on Monday... if it doesn't, I might end up like the unlucky co-worker with Whooping Crane Cough, suffering with it for three weeks or longer.
Imagine a cough that feels like it starts somewhere around your thighs. That's what this is like. The weird thing is that it doesn't hurt my throat at all. It just sounds like I'm one hack away from coating the room with blood.
For the record: I'm not. I just want it to go away; blogging is difficult when you sound like a coyote.
*The title of this post is taken from the miserable little film Kindergarten Cop, starring Arnold Schwartzenegger.
Anime Night: It's not called "No Ear".
Last week's Anime Night was canceled, as The Librarian was attending a convention (those librarian conventions seem to be quite the wild times... who knew all the things you could do with whipped cream?). THIS week's Anime Night was nearly D.O.A. due to ickness (on both of our parts, actually), but we soldiered forth and jumped into disc 2 of NOIR.
And then The Librarian fell asleep. Her cold really knocked her for a loop, and in her defense, it was warm in The Pond, and the Official Afghan made her feel snug, and the Official Wingchair is really comfy... and she dozed off. Restraining my first impulse (Sharpie Marker Eyebrows FTW!), I instead paused the show and cleaned up the dinner dishes.
When she woke up a few minutes later ("What time is it?"), I couldn't let Impulse #2 go by ("930pm..." Please note, it was 715pm).
It's not just cats, either--it's almost as if anime artists have never been around any furry animal, but have only seen them in books.
I'd love to see a show where the animators spent some time
observing actual cats or dogs, and made them act right and look right.
Not even human-animal mixes work right. For instance, Inuyasha
doesn't act like a dog very much or very often, only a minor tic now
and then. They missed a huge payoff by not having Kagome discover that
she could get him to roll over by rubbing his tummy, then make his leg
thump by scratching his ribs.
In the otherwise well-drawn Spice and Wolf, when Horo pets her tail, she strokes it tip to base; that is, against the natural lay of the fur. This does not ruffle the fur at all. I've never seen any furry critter do that, except to expose a specific spot of skin, which is then closely inspected for fleas and ferociously nibbled at. It'd be great to see Horo do that.
There's a show about a cat-girl cop (title mercifully forgotten, she had four ears, two human and two cat) whose most significant cat behavior was to go chasing after the bouncing shells in a firefight. That was amusing once or twice, but they never did anything else with it, and it got old.
Oh gods, I'm seeing an adorable little cat-girl loli curled up in a big cardboard box, chin exposed for scritching, or with her tail curled over her eyes....
Hollywood movies don't get cat behavior or sounds right,either. Disturbed cats never, in my experience, make that MGRROUW! squalling you always hear--they just disappear as quickly and quietly as they can. You have to actually step on them to get the noise. I believe that there must be a standard cat screech that the Foley guys splice in whenever a cat appears, like the Wilhelm scream.
I've never seen a movie-cat jump three feet straight up when startled, either. That'd be a great cat-girl effect. I'd also love to see a recently transformed cat-girl try to dive under a cabinet she's now too big to fit under, or jump up a table that can no longer hold her....
No movie or anime I know of has ever shown a cat defending its household by stalking and disemboweling the dangerous paper towel monster. I'm thinking of that cat-girl cop again, only grappling with a real bad-guy....
I'd also like to see a cat being petted by someone who knows that cat well enough to scritch it in the right spots, which can make cats do all sorts of amusing things--make weird faces and strange noises, nibble on another hand held in front of them, or do that rapid-fire scratching thing with the back leg.
The gods only know what an accurately animated duck would be like.
Posted by: refugee at February 23, 2008 09:58 PM (8hipT)
Five Minutes of Silence
At 306pm Central time, Northern Illinois University will be observing five minutes of silence, in memory of the victims of last Thursday's terrible shooting.
Many of the surrounding communities, as well as most of the area schools, will be joining NIU in this period of silence.
Many of Duck U.'s student support staff members volunteered to help out at NIU (in the dorms and such), so we've got even closer ties to them now than we did before, so of course our thoughts (and silence) will be with NIU's student body.
It's actually hard to believe it's only been a week.
Over at The Org, the 2008 VCAs have moved to the Final Round. In the category of Best First Video, "...Angel" did not make it, unfortunately.
Still and all, even making it into the Semifinals is pretty good stuff... and a lot better than I had hoped back in May. Not that I made the video to win awards or anything, but it's only natural to want people to recognize your geniusness, right? "I just don't want it to suck" was what I said before, and I'm proud to say that I met that goal and then some.
For everybody that voted for "...Angel", I say thank you very much! Your support was wonderful to see... and means a lot.
If you've no idea what I'm talking about, here's the video:
That's what I love about DW, you just never know what's gonna come out of his mouth. That's why he makes such an entertaining commentator. He has inside knowledge, passion for the sport, and can be unabashedly "goofy". Now that the season opening events at Daytona are over, we can look forward to the new F1 season! I think I'm going to need to brush up on my Italian so I can keep up with singing that anthem!
Posted by: madmike at February 20, 2008 10:30 AM (o+iiH)
Recently, I managed to get some new decorations up in The Pond, and I thought y'all'd be interested in seeing them.
First up: anime!
The quality of the snapshot isn't the greatest, I'll admit, but you can see what it is well enough... it's a douga (the closest thing to a cel you'll get out of a CG anime) from Azumanga Daioh, nicely framed and matted. Of course it's hanging on the wall over the DVD racks. There's something about Chiyo-chan's expression that makes me grin.
On the wall opposite this, we find ducks!
A couple of years ago, IKEA was selling a pack of postcards and I immediately saw them as wall-art. It just took me forever to get around to picking up frames for 'em.
So that's a glimpse into the sort of place Pond Central is.
The drawing is from the back half of the series, I know that. You can tell from the position of Chiyo-chan's pigtails. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to find the scene yet.
(Yup, the ledge was left behind a loooooong time ago...)
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 16, 2008 11:50 PM (DcSb+)
I was going to suggest that I, too, thought it was later in the series. Not because of the pigtails, however, but because early in the series Chiyo-chan would never have expressed that kind of feeling. It's only later that she's more comfortable with her friends and feels like one of the "big girls" that she's willing to be more frank like that.
A valid point, and absolutely correct. It's also one of the "fall" episodes, since they're in the long-sleeved (pink) seifuku. Those combinations probably narrow it down to about seven or eight different eps.
Wow, forensic anime.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 17, 2008 02:36 AM (AW3EJ)
Earlier today, a man with a shotgun, a handgun, and (some reports suggest) a third weapon, walked into a classroom on the campus of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. He proceeded to open fire, killing four and wounding 15 (some reports say 17).
NIU is about 25 miles from Duckford, and I've spent many a happy day in the library, and a few very happy nights on the campus itself (none of your business exactly where, if you know what I mean).
Because of this tragedy, Duck U. had a few tense moments... nobody really knew what was going on when it started, so there was some concern about the safety of OUR students as you can imagine. Safety first... and the Duck U. security team is quite good (I may owe my life to them, actually, but that's a story oft told).
The Virginia Tech shooting was bad enough... but this is closer to home. I had a Valentine's Day post in mind, but I suddenly have no interest in it.
Stay safe, my friends, and give your mom a call if you can. Just because.
The man who gunned down five people at Northern Illinois University before killing himself had become erratic after failing to take his medication and carried a shotgun to campus inside a guitar case, police said yesterday.
I haven't seen any other mention of that, so your guess is as good as mine. If more comes out though, it may begin to explain what in hell happened.
I've heard the same reports, Steven, and it sounds like it's probably the case. The question becomes why a former NIU student that was practically worshipped by his professors went off his meds.
From where I'm sitting, seeing the anguish he caused (this is just about the only news story in Duckford these days), knowing that a couple of the most critically injured were helicoptered to the same hospital emergency room that I was taken to during The Incident (one of whom subsequently died), and seeing Duck U.'s flags flying at half-mast, I'm not particularly in the mood to be generous.
Today was a very quiet day at Duck U., with a lot of pensive students. One of my favorite kids amongst the student body, a living embodiment of the genki girl trope, looked like she'd been crying off-and-on since the reports came out. She told me she'd not slept, either.
I've seen the news crews crawling around Duck U. and the Duckford Junior College, looking for students in pain to interview. Friggin' vultures... and we're not even where the tragedy occurred, we're just nearby. I don't even want to see what the media is doing at NIU.
So forgive me if I'm not feeling charitable towards this bastard.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 16, 2008 02:33 AM (AW3EJ)
I'm Pandering Again. Still. Whatever. Just a reminder that there's just a few more days left to vote for "...Angel" in the 2008 VCAs Best First Video category over at AMV.org. You got it into the semifinals, now help it into the finals!
Anime Night: "Turn The Plant"
After a couple of weeks where life and illness got in the way, Anime Night resumed this past Thursday when The Librarian, bearing food from Panda Express, dropped by The Pond. If you remember, we had finished Kanon '06 about a month ago, and attempted to begin Uta~kata the last time we'd met.
That last Anime Night, however, met with disaster when Uta~kata turned out to be one of those series that causes revulsion and disgust in ducks (anti-anadatae folks, take note) and DVD players alike. In fact, it proved to be the final nail in the coffin of The Pond's main DVD player, a seven-year old Samsung DVD/VCR combo (please note that the VCR portion still works fine). Unfortunately, the backup DVD player, an inexpensive Coby, didn't like the homemade disc much, either. By this time, it was too late to start anything new, so we watched a couple episodes of CardCaptor Sakura (still as good as it was way back when) and called it a night.
So this put us at the start of a new series. By our unofficial 'rules', The Librarian and I switch back and forth on choosing what show to watch; I had chosen Kanon '06, so it was her turn. Uta~kata was technically her choice, but the FAIL that had occurred was my fault, so it was still her turn. She had narrowed her picks down to three titles. Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu!, Azumanga Daioh, and Noir.
Any of these series would have been a-okay with me, with AzuDaioh of course being my favorite anime of all time. After dinner, her decision was made:
It's been quite a while since I watched this, but from what I recall it's a very serious show with no lighter moments or comic relief to speak of. That's not a bad thing at all, but I can imagine the urge to make wisecracks is very strong when watching it with someone else, since you're not getting any laughs out of the show itself.
You mentioned the lack of blood, which was probably my biggest annoyance with the show. Yeah, I get that they didn't want to exaggerate or over-emphasize the violence, but I thought it was pretty well established that when people get shot, they bleed, dammit.
Posted by: Andrew F. at February 11, 2008 12:38 AM (JI1Qq)
Andrew, there was an interview I read with the director of Noir where he said that he made a specific decision to not have any blood in the show (except for one specific time), because the mass body counts would then detract from the story.
Consider the case of Elfen Lied, where the blood is all anybody talks about, ignoring the rather good storyline in the process, and it becomes clear that he made the right decision. After all, Kirika and Mirelle's bodycount is pretty darn high (I think the rooftop scene, for example, outpaces EL's opening, as far as corpses go). Could you imagine the "death by glasses" scene with blood? Eesh.
Steven, I know two of the fork scenes: the one pictured above (where she actually uses forks twice, though only one is shown), and
Chloe's death. If you count the scene where she hides the fork (that Chloe eventually takes as a memento), that's three, but I suspect you've got a different 'third time' in mind.
So I'm stumped on Fork 3. In my defense, the last time I watched this show was back in 2005, when I was ill and didn't realize it, leading up to The Incident.
Now that I think of it, that's where I first heard about EL... because I was in the hospital the night the Duck U. Anime Club was to meet, and I didn't bring Noir with me to work that morning. The Club wound up watching ADV screener discs that meeting, and EL was the feature on the newest.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 11, 2008 12:57 AM (AW3EJ)
It's been a long time since I saw it, too, and yes you got all three.
I understand and sympathize with the director's intent, but the lack of blood itself became a distraction when I watched the show. I'm not looking for Elfen Lied levels of blood, or even Gunslinger Girl levels. Just enough to avoid breaking immersion, as it were.
It's funny, though, that I get hung up on stuff like that, yet can watch something like Full Metal Panic without caring a whit for verisimilitude.
Posted by: Andrew F. at February 11, 2008 06:50 PM (JI1Qq)
Yowza! Force India debuted its race livery today in Bombay (or do you say 'Mumbai'?), and while I don't like it as much as their testing colors (where'd the crimson go?), this is still a very handsome car.
Officially, the colors are white, gold, and titanium (the stripe running from the cockpit to the nose and back). I've racked my brain, and I can't think of another team that used gold at all... should be an interesting contrast with the McLaren.
Unfortunately for us, the rollout didn't have any good shots from the side or top, but click below for the centerfold: it's worth it.
Eh. The first one wasn't the official paintjob, just something they had while they were doing tests.
It's like Honda's all black car from testing in 2006, or McLaren's safety orange from the same year.
Too bad, though.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 08, 2008 08:18 AM (UdB9M)
I don't know if it has been mentioned here before, but an old axiom of ship building was: If it looks right, it is right. That later carried over into the aeronautics industry, and I'm sure race car design. I've also heard it stated as: If it looks fast, it is fast (or will be). Modern aircraft and F1 car design spends a lot more time on math and wind-tunnel testing these days and as a result we end up with things that look like they will never work, but do. (I would mention the F-117, but apparently that files about as well as a bucket of bricks. Though they managed to get the stealth part right by eyeballing it.)
I have a feeling that due to a much smaller budget and what have you, Force India is going back to the old way of designing aero.
Posted by: Buttons at February 09, 2008 08:44 AM (VjS5e)
"If it looks fast, it is fast." It's a nice idea, but it's a crock.
Remember the P-51 Mustang? Gorgeous plane, wasn't it? Looks like it'd scream?
When the first ones were built, they didn't scream. That's because the Allison engine originally installed wasn't as powerful as you'd like. The Brits got some of the original version for flight testing and their conclusion was emphatic: it's a magnificent airframe, but it needs the Rolls Royce Merlin engine.
And once they changed the engine, then it screamed.
Ah, but Farce Force India doesn't have that excuse, Steven... for they've got the same powerplant that Ferrari uses in their cars.
Allegedly. In the world of F1 customer relations, the general rule of thumb is "we'll take your money and give you the very best of what we're not going to use ourselves."
I'm going to make up numbers here, but let's say that the engines going into the red cars generate 900hp. I'm willing to put good money on Farce Force India's engines putting out about 875hp or so. High-tech engines are like computer processors: you can have two come off the assembly line within minutes of each other, yet one will just be faster than the other. The same is probably true of engines.
Maybe not a huge difference, really, but enough that Ferrari will always be faster than a customer car.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 09, 2008 10:03 PM (AW3EJ)
These guys are buying major component assemblies from people they're racing against?
I would mention the F-117, but apparently that files about as well as a bucket of bricks. Though they managed to get the stealth part right by eyeballing it.
There's an interesting story behind that. The science behind the shape is based on the work of a Soviet radio engineer. The Skunk Works used his method for calculating the reflective properties of a geometric shape to design the worlds worst radio antenna. Then they just had to figure out how to make it fly.
That story starts on page 19 of this book. It's a great read.
Posted by: Will at February 10, 2008 10:44 AM (P2D1U)
Allison was a great engine, it just needed a turbo like the one P-38 had.
Posted by: Author at February 11, 2008 01:06 PM (cFJHG)
"Allison" was the name of a company that designed engines. And the Allison V-1710did have a supercharger. But the problem was that to make it fit in the fusilage, they had to use an inadequate one. As a result, performance dropped off above about 17,000 feet.
Duckford is looking at maybe fourteen inches of snow by the time this storm stops sometime this afternoon. Duck U. isn't going to open today, so it's a Snow Day! Yaaaaaaaaay!
I'm scared to see what my car looks like.
UPDATE 1056pm: The Duckmobile is stuck. I'll need to clear a path for the wheels in the morning, using either a pot or an old pizza pan. I'd do it now, but it's cold and dark and I can't see just exactly where I'm getting stuck. Still, it's better than it was around 6pm, when I could only move a couple of inches either forward or back. Now I can move about a foot. First time in over seven years here at The Pond that I've gotten stuck. Feh.
Here in the "southlands" it has only just started snowing, which suggests to me that perhaps God has it out for the ducks.
Of course we've gotten our fair share of snow this winter, too. Pretty much looks like "luck of the draw", actually. I thought we were supposed to have a "mild" winter, though; instead it's like the 5th snowiest winter on record.
So much for "global warming". If they can't even predict what the next few months will be like, why do we believe them when they tell us what the next few decades will be like?
Oh well. Enjoy the snow day. Watch Kanon or something.
Posted by: Ed Hering at February 06, 2008 12:03 PM (zQemg)
Ed, if The Librarian and I hadn't just finished Kanon recently, I'm sure I would watch it. Instead, I'm watching ARIA the Natural. Not much snow in it, but it matches the mood of the day.
Later tonight, I'll be catching up with KimiKiss, as I've let the last four episodes slip... but for now, I'm back to Mars Aqua.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 06, 2008 12:41 PM (AW3EJ)
There were 89 first videos in the nomination round, and the list has been whittled down to 20... but only five will move from the semifinals to the finals.
Way back when, in an e-mail exchange with Jeff Lawson, I mentioned to him that I just wanted to get a few votes in the VCAs. Now that it's made it to the Semis, though, I find that I really want to make it to the Finals.
It wouldn't've made it as far as it has, though, without you folks. Thank you so much... now lets go to the finals!!!