MUCH nicer Christmas than last year's disaster. Oh, the Christmas itself wasn't the problem, it was the leg injury that occurred for reasons that are still a mystery to me... and that led to me being stuck in bed for 24+ hours. From there, it's an easily-drawn line to where I am today.
None of that happened this year. Therefore, it was INFINITELY better. And it allegedly hit 61 degrees too. In December. On Christmas. In Duckford, IL. What in the blue blazes...? In any case... huge thanks go out to Ph.Duck and Rn.Duck for putting up with me for another year, and the annual bottle of lingonberry will die happy soon enough.
And of course, you... the proud members of the Pond Scum. I've been letting The Pond down over the past year, which I hate but haven't been able to do anything about. Hopefully, next year will be better in all sorts of ways! Merry Christmas!!!
I just started playing Fate Grand Order. I'm fairly sure an opening draw of three lancers (and one of them duplicated!) and an assassin is pretty cruddy. Welp, we'll just see where it goes from here.
I gave FGO a spin a while back, ended up bouncing off of it but that might have had more to do with my chuggy old tablet than anything specific to FGO's gameplay. If you stick with it and need a buddy/guildmate/whatever, let me know. I'll probably have some gacha-game bandwidth available before much longer. Depends on how Crossing Void does long-term, really.
(Crossing Void has my attention probably more for the "Index-verse characters and SAO-verse characters and butterfly chick from Accel World all at once, sweet" value than for anything it actually brings to the gameplay table, I admit.)
Posted by: GreyDuck at December 26, 2019 01:06 PM (yisPP)
I'm honestly surprised you haven't tried out Azur - that one isn't so much "up your alley" as it is "let itself in your front door and is camped out on your couch". Though what they did to Mutsu is a crime, just a crime...
Posted by: Avatar at December 26, 2019 07:30 PM (v29Tn)
Well I'll tell ya, Av... I've watched a few episodes of the anime and it honestly left me feeling quite tepid. I'm not a huge fan of the Iron Sakura (or whatever that fleet is called) character designs, and what they did to HMS Unicorn is a travesty.
It's just a Chinese bootleg of KanColle, only as a 2D shooter. I mean, I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, but...
Posted by: Wonderduck at December 27, 2019 04:50 AM (cTMj+)
I don't think "bootleg" is the most accurate way to describe it, as the goal of the game is card-collecting the characters, which predates KanColle. I personally would say it rips off the idea of KanMusu...although even there you have to ask whether KanMusu is a unique idea, or was it just a spin on Tank Girls and Plane Girls, etc.
What is is, undoubtedly, is a cash-in on KanColle's popularity.
I quite like the anime, even with the apparent low budget. It takes a few episodes to figure out what story they're actually trying to tell. I don't know if that's budget, planning, or direction.
Posted by: Ben at December 27, 2019 10:18 AM (osxtX)
The anime is not impressive. It's bad enough they're going to delay the last episodes until -March- (presumably in despair of getting a single in-between cel drawn in that time...)
Azur had a few hooks for me: the actual game element is more fun than Kancolle, it's in a language I can actually read so playing it isn't a pain, and I do like most of the character designs. (Unicorn is not one of those, but I do get that they're selling it in Japan, so that sort of thing is going to happen. Would be nice if Warspite somehow got some -pants-, too.) I also know a couple of people who were playing the JP version, and being able to talk shop with friends definitely helps interest in these.
Story-wise, it's a slice over Kancolle only in that they kinda tried; it's not a GOOD story and FGO is going to win out there.
I'll say that FGO has a reputation as a game that is very hard to play as a free player, whereas by contrast Azur is almost absurdly generous (without spending money on resources for ships, I've gotten almost everything from every event).
But in the end it's about whether you think it's cute or not, and if you don't, the rest isn't gonna save it...
Posted by: Avatar at December 27, 2019 12:33 PM (v29Tn)
I think you nailed it, Av...I like the designs, so I'm getting more out of it. Unicorn is one of the big tests, and Nagato and Mutsu (I think they're cute). Doesn't mean I don't like KanColle, either; I do...I just keep the two properties separate.
Now if I could just figure out who Ayanami reminded me of...it's on the tip of my tongue...
Posted by: Ben at December 27, 2019 12:47 PM (osxtX)
"Now if I could just figure out who Ayanami reminded me of."
Just in case you're NOT joking, it's Kantai Collection's Speedslut with ears.
Posted by: Wonderduck at December 28, 2019 02:11 AM (cTMj+)
I wasn't joking, but oddly that isn't what I was thinking at all. Low pigment in the hair, expressionless face, and monotone voice. Add to that the creators have tended to "on the nose" allusions and characterizations, I think she's intended to invoke NGE's Ayanami.
Posted by: Ben at December 30, 2019 12:22 PM (osxtX)
Glad I'm Out
I had need to call my local Walgreens' pharmacy today. Nothing complex, not even all that important as it turns out. I easily could have not bothered and nothing would have been changed or affected in any way... that's how "not important" it was.
As the conversation came to an end, I did what any decent human being would do: I wished the pharmacy tech a Happy Holidays. I mean, Christmas is just a couple of days away, I'm sure they were stupidly busy, and they took a moment or two out to answer the stupid question of someone who was, honestly, wasting their time.
If they had gone off on me, well, I can't say I'd have been happy about it, but I would have understood. As y'all know, I worked retail for far too long to ever really blame someone in the biz for losing their minds at this time of year. Instead of that, however, what I got was either a great acting job or someone who was honestly surprised and pleased to have gotten pleasant holiday wishes.
Which makes me wonder... just how bad IS it out there these days? I mean, retail employee abuse doesn't shock me, but I didn't even say "Merry Christmas." Just Happy Holidays, like I was taught to do when I was behind the counter so as not to potentially offend anybody. Yes, I know, but old habits and all that. I've stayed out of the stores and malls this season, so I have no clue about crowd size but judging from that one phone call, the grind apparently sucks quite badly now.
Be nice to retail workers. They're trying to help you have a merry Christmas, don't make it hard for them to have one too.
I've been going to the local Walmart's built-in McDonald's for breakfast a lot lately, and so the Walmart greeters all recognize me. The usual one who's there on weekdays has been "Merry Christmas"ing people.
But this is Texas, not California.
Posted by: Rick C at December 24, 2019 10:27 AM (Iwkd4)
I'm so, so, so glad I'm not in a client/customer-facing job much anymore. I've heard too many horror stories lately from those still on the front lines. Oof.
Posted by: GreyDuck at December 24, 2019 05:42 PM (rKFiU)
Oh, Haruhi. On the one end of the spectrum you had Endless Eight. On the other... Disappearance, a film that only makes sense in context and is useless to the newcomer, but that doesn't matter because it's superbly well-done.
I'm very "over" the Haruhi thing nowadays but I have fond memories of some of it, at least.
Posted by: GreyDuck at December 16, 2019 12:00 PM (rKFiU)
Never watched any of it, but apparently there are people who make watching this an annual thing.
Posted by: Mauser at December 17, 2019 10:03 PM (Ix1l6)
The Haruhi anime properties by KyoAni are modern landmarks, moreso than I think they're given credit for. The two anime series deserve credit for experimental filmmaking. They also were produced right as KyoAni was really upping the standard for quality art and anime, from "these guys are pretty good" to "the benchmark for tv series production". The sourced material deserves some credit for the storytelling, at least to the extent of providing and setting that made all this possible; but I have to admit I find the English translations to be rather pedestrian reading. It's possible the books read better in Japanese, as you can load more levels of subtle meaning in sentence structure and the use of various kanji and kana.
Posted by: Ben at December 18, 2019 09:04 AM (osxtX)
Beg to disagree. I find the first season to be entertaining enough, but the second season was very much a monotonous bore (Something that the English VAs discovered to their dismay.). However, KyoAni's experimental production actually decreased my enjoyment of the series, and represents the classic 'Just because it is different does not mean it is good' - which was something that was apparent to me back when fans were gushing over how great Season 1 was (IIRC, one guy on AnimeTV actually called it the greatest series of the decade.). The original light novels were about as readable as Monogatari, and after a while, less interesting. I would prefer reading anything by Kinoko Nasu than have to read Haruhi again...Though at least it is better than the works written by Kazuma Kamachi.
In terms of production quality, I would agree that KyoAni did an excellent job, but I always found to their anime to be just a hair under the best, even at their best. There never seem to be enough difference in the quality to stand-out against, say, anime from A-1, assuming equal budgets.
Posted by: cxt217 at December 19, 2019 12:42 AM (LMsTt)
They should have painted it in Azur Lane's Prince of Wales color scheme, or just painted Prince of Wales on it. Itashaboat. But I would be lying if I said teh white doesn't look good...it just needs a gold-trimmed red jacket and black skirt to go with the white stockings.
Posted by: Ben at December 11, 2019 09:41 AM (osxtX)
Once Upon A Time...
Back in the days before the Duck U Bookstore, heck back before the days of CowPuters, I worked at the local news-talk radio station as a buttonpusher show producer on a fill-in basis. I did have one regular shift however... the Sunday Morning Church shift. I mean, it started at 6am with the Catholic Mass in Swedish, for heaven's sake, pun not intended. The Salvation Army had a recorded program, there was a program I literally never paid attention to except to make sure it was still running, there was the live-in-studio show with the purple-suit-clad preacher who was, eventually, removed from his position in his church because he got a little too close to some of his female parishioners, and then there was the show I privately called "the church ladies."
Yeah, kinda like that, except not at all. The preacher in purple I mentioned earlier? The church ladies usually matched him sequin for sequin when they came in, spoke loudly and cackled even louder. But their chat show took place in and around gospel music songs... and since I was the button-pusher I had to pay attention for the cues and stuff. And along the way, I discovered something: gospel music could be quite good.
I found out today that one of my favorite groups from that show, The Blind Boys of Alabama are still recording, and what I was playing for the Church Ladies was already 30 years old at the time.
Really, there's no reason for this post other than to mention that. Have a nice day!
Oh, definitely. I can NOT take "Cyber Monday" seriously.
Posted by: GreyDuck at December 03, 2019 09:55 AM (yisPP)
I'm familiar with the other meaning, but I've heard just "cyber" used as an abbreviation for any longer word starting with cyber (esp cybersecurity) often enough that it doesn't register that way to me anymore.
However, when our elderly office secretary sends a quick note to everyone with the subject line "Quickie"...
Posted by: Kathryn at December 03, 2019 11:06 AM (fn0LI)
And now we get the additionally artificial "Giving Tuesday".
Posted by: Mauser at December 04, 2019 08:21 PM (Ix1l6)