December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

...then the space ninjas come.

Quite the year 2006 was, neh? In F1, we saw the retirement of Slappy Schumacher, the birth of SuperAguri, Massa and Button winning their first races, half the field swapping teams (and the other half wanting to), the change of Midlands to Spyker, Alonso winning his 2nd Drivers Championship, and the death and rebirth of Minardi. Also, Vaucaunson's Duck dropped in from San Francisco and watched the USGP live from The Pond this year, which was remarkably cool of him.

In anime, KyoAni ruled the world with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kanon 2006, and Aria, all of which are top-shelf shows (Update: Aria wasn't done by KyoAni. The continuity staff here at The Pond has been sacked). Surprises included Ouran High School Host Club (which I still can't believe I liked so much) and Strawberry Panic (which affected me like a car crash... I just couldn't look away).

Then, there was... Dokuro-chan. The nightmares persist to this day.

I also discovered the joy that was World of Narue and some obscure show* called CardCaptor Sakura... great stuff, both of 'em.

But no discussion of 2006 would be complete without mentioning the acquisition of Chiyo-chan, replacing my 7-year-old computer. Or Oblivion eating up most of my free time.

I'm also thankful for the Panda Express that opened up a month ago.

But mostly, I'm happy that I appear to have entertained my readers for another year. Thanks to Pixy for providing The Pond a home on the 'net.

I'm going to do a Time Magazine-style cop-out here and thank YOU, the readers, for stopping by and actually giving me a reason to write. You all deserve some cookies.


*note: may not actually be obscure at all.

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December 27, 2006

Can't post, clowns'll eat me.

Busybusybusybusybusy.

I've got a post or two coming, but can't post much more than this right now.

One of 'em will be a review of the closest-to-hentai-but-isn't show I've ever seen. I'll let you guess which series it is!

Stay tuned.

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December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas, and a happy Otaku Day!

Merry Christmas, a happy Otaku Day...

I wish all my readers a peaceful Christmas, with you and yours...

It's Haruhi's world, she just lets us live in it...

...and a Haruhi New Year!

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"I Feel G*ack*"thud

James Brown... is dead.

Sad, sad news from the music world. The Hardest Working Man In Show Business has left the stage for good.

These days James Brown is almost the punchline of a joke... the coked-out, drunk, wild-haired crazy James Brown. But he was called 'The Godfather of Soul' for a reason, y'all.

Check this out: James Brown performing at Live 8 about a year or so ago.

RIP, James Brown.

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December 24, 2006

Getting Ready for Xmas...

I'm getting ready to head over to the Old Homenest for Christmas, so not much time to post... but I'll leave you with this:
I'm so very, very sorry.

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December 23, 2006

Cleaning Frenzy!!! RUN AWAYYYYYYY!

As Christmas is Monday, and I'm getting a visit from Momzerduck and Ph.Duck after we do Christmas at The Old Homenest, today I'm going to be up to my wingpits in cleaning products.

I've been awake for a half-hour and I've already cleaned the bathroom sink, mirror and loo, and have the shower 'soaking' in something that is supposed to be able to remove water stains (had a dripping faucet a few months back that wasn't fixed very quickly).

Need to: swiffer the floor, clean the kitchen (oy!), polish the computer desk, and then dust and vacuum. But my duster has fallen apart, sigh.

I summon Mikuru-Meido-chan!
This post was created solely so I could post this picture.  Seriously.

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December 21, 2006

No, really!

They really ARE my duckies!

In recent conversation via e-mail with a reader I shall leave unnamed, there was shock and surprise that the above picture was of my collection of rubber duckies.

Believe me, nobody is more surprised than myself at the size of my flock... but how did it start? Ah, now THAT is a fine question. I remember that day as if it was yesterday...
(cue 'flashback' music)

I was a senior at Duck U., the very place I work at now, and one of my friends had had a death in the family. She was quite saddened by the loss, and I wanted to do something to cheer her up. I nipped off to We 'b Toys to look for something silly and cute... and found a duckie. It just yelled "I'll help her," so it made the trip back to the dorm and found its way into her hands.

She carried that duckie with her EVERYWHERE for the next week. After the funeral, she presented me with, as she put it, a "thank you duckie." That duckie, named "Scooter," is still in my flock, as a matter of fact... here's a not-so-great photo of him, from the original used above:
Scooter, the ORIGNAL Wonderduck.

After that, people began to give me duckies... for Christmas, my birthday, as a thank you for a 'job well done' after a difficult lighting design, whatever.

That's how the flock began... but it really took off just a few years ago. For example, in one year, I added nearly 50 duckies to the flock. It went from a small group that fit on a single shelf to what you see up top. Nowadays, it takes nearly two hours to clean them; about a third of them need to be cleaned with a (really) soft toothbrush.

So, that's the story of The Pond's Flock. They never fail to bring a smile to my face after a long day, and isn't that the point?

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December 17, 2006

Anime Blogging? Meh.

I find that I don't have much to write about right now... not even last Tuesday's Anime Night inspires me to florid prose. The highlight of the night had to be The Librarian's new hairstyle: short. I've known her for close to 10 years, and her hair has always been longer... I was so surprised that I actually burst out with "My god! Your hair! It's gorgeous!!!"

Surprisingly, the kaiju didn't come out and savage me.

Anyway, CardCaptor Sakura is great, there's a lot of unintentional humor ("Bow-chicka-bow-bowwwww." "Shut up, 'duck." "Nice hair." "Shut up, 'duck."), you should really watch it, Robert's Anime Corner Store has a great deal on the entire series, blah blah blah. Same old same old.

Sakura doesn't mind.  She's ALWAYS happy.  Must take a lot of valium...

Except for one sentence that I THINK is going to be a major plot point: "People with power are attracted to people WITH power." It was almost a throwaway line in the episode, but something tells me that it explains a lot... such as why Li and Sakura both have the hots for for Yukito (even though we've not seen any sign of magical ability from him... unless you count his skill at carnival games), why Sakura gets all squishy around the new teacher, yadda.

Guess it's that time of year... the holidays have never thrilled me. I'll try and get more motivated later.

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December 16, 2006

*scratch yawn scratch scratch*

Wow, musta been tired. Last night I decided to take a nap around 8pm.

...usually I make it to the nest, though.

It's 9am and I just woke up. Guess I needed the sleep.

Should probably think about posting something or other here at The Pond, too...

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December 11, 2006

Overheard during the Bears radio broadcast.

"You! You are NOT Devin Hester!"

Just amazing, he is. New rookie record for kick/punt returns for TDs, with six.

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December 10, 2006

HUMANS! *eyeroll*

Fourteen shopping days before Christmas. I was at the grocery store, picking up some Crack for Ducks (aka 'rye bread'), and what do I see?

Some human screaming at a cashier, just going off on her. "I'm not paying that much, that's not what the sign said, you f(censored)ing c(censored)t!"

...and on, and on. Once the store manager got over, he started ripping on him.

Dude obviously had never worked retail.

Look, I know you humans are excitable, particularly at this time of year, but you're not even CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. You're picking up stuff for watching the football games today. Relax. Calm down. It's not that big of a deal.

And, everybody? Heed my words: don't yell at the cashier. For one thing, you look like an idiot. For another, the cashier is able to help you and if you piss them off they're less likely to do so. Remember: the cashier is a person, not your servant.

Nothing you can get in a store is THAT important. It just isn't. And grow the hell up, will ya?

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December 07, 2006

65 Years Ago...

"Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. "
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

It's no great surprise that I'm fascinated by Japan. More specifically, I'm fascinated by Japan's reaction to World War II, and the incredible recovery they have made from their crushing defeat.

But before THAT, I was (and still am) amazed and fascinated by the men, machines, scope and scale of the Pacific War. I've replayed the war dozens, perhaps hundreds of times in games such as Victory In The Pacific (usually in The Game Room at Vaucaunson's Duck's house), and more recently via Pacific War on the computer.

I've read dozens of books, hundreds of websites, and written some long papers on the topic.

But nothing could compare to the half-hour talk I had with a Pearl Harbor survivor that walked into my bookstore some five years ago. I was having a lousy day, up to my wingpits in stuff, and this very elderly gentleman walks in wearing a USS Downes ballcap. I recognized the name from having seen the picture linked to above many times, and he was gracious enough to talk to me about his experiences that day ("lots of noise, lots of smoke, and a helluva lot of bullets...") Unfortunately, his name escapes me now, and considering his age when I met him, I'm fairly sure that he's no longer with us.

He had never managed to forgive the Japanese, and I fear that he would be very angry if he knew of my fascination. I can't help that, but he was pleased to know of my interest in that period of his life. He pointed out that "...kids these days don't know, or don't care, about the history of their country." I'm afraid that he's right.

So in a real sense, this blog stems from that awful day of 65 years ago. The anime and pocky, the faltering attempts to learn the language, the appreciation of the art, theatre and food, all ultimately came from that "Day of Infamy."

May the sacrifices of the servicemen of both sides never be forgotten, so that, perhaps we can learn from them. I saw a story today, relating that there won't be any more Pearl Harbor Survivor reunions, due to their age and dwindling numbers.

I hope that, years from now, people will realize what the USS Arizona memorial means, and that it doesn't become just a tourist spot.

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December 04, 2006

MuNu Pays Off!

As you may have seen once or twice, The Pond is hosted by MuNuVania, which is run by a swell guy (for not being a duck) in Australia named Pixy Misa.

Pixy just announced that he's going to be creating a commercial version of MuNu, and finally will be paid for his efforts! This is fantastic news, and a huge round of applause and congratulations need to go out to Big Daddy Pixy!

I'm only assuming he wears glasses...

I've been a denizen of MuNuVania for about 18 months now, and I thank my lucky stars that Pixy invited me in, and away from the evil Bloggermonster.

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