February 24, 2006

The Struggles of the Official Overseas Reader

Flotsky is in the process of quitting smoking.

Go give him encouragement... GO FLOTSKY!!!

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February 20, 2006

2007 Camry... NASCAR style!

Man... if only MY Camry looked like this...

Who knows if it's fast? Who knows if it'll be any good? If those pics don't cause teams like Hendrick Motorsports or DEI to start sending hosannahs up to St. Fangio of the Church of Speed, nothing will.

That'd be an interesting look on their F1 cars, don'tcha think?

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February 19, 2006

Daytona a doozy.

Now THAT'S what I call racin'!

As opposed to racing, which is what they do in F1. A more genteel form of motorsports, if you will.

But, man, hoo-hah! What a race that was. I've always thought that NASCAR was crazy to have their "biggest race" first in the season, but every time Daytona goes off, I always have to stop and say "y'know, maybe they've got something there."

There's only one race like it in the world: the Indy 500. Nothing on the F1 calendar comes close to being what Daytona is to NASCAR, unless you s-t-r-e-t-c-h and say "Monte Carlo." First race of the Euro season, glitz and glamour, yadda yadda yadda...
...and I'd have to disagree. Again, I say it: there is no other race in the world (save for Indy) like the Daytona 500.

Indeed, there may not be any races that are more IMPORTANT, either. Jimmie Johnson can now say that he's won his league's biggest race. People who have won the Indy 500 can point to that win and say the same thing.

...but is there something similar in F1? I don't believe so. I'd suggest that being a CHAMPION in F1 is more important than having won any individual race, and it may be the biggest championship of all motorsports.

But shouldn't there be some sort of weight on having won the "(insert name) Grand Prix"? Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Monte Carlo, or Monza, or Silverstone, or Spa. They just don't seem, individually, to be as BigMcLargeHuge as Daytona.

Actually, I take that back. I CAN think of one GP race that would fall into that category... if it was being run anymore: the old Nurburgring. God, what a track... somewhere online I found an 8 minute long video of a hotlap of the old track being driven by a BMW M3 GTR, and it's awe-inspiring. THAT would be a jewel in any driver's crown... if only Old Nurburgring was wide enough to handle two F1 cars. At times it barely looks wide enough to handle one streetcar.

I'd be interested in hearing what Flotsky, the Official Overseas Reader and Simon, the Official Race Correspondent from Bahrain, have to say about this... if you guys have any thoughts, please let us know in the comments!

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February 17, 2006

Coolest Stuff... 3V4R!!!

Gather ye 'round, my loyal readers, for I, The Duck of Wonders, am going to spin a tale of wonder and delight. A tale of a place where the odd is normal, the weird is regular, and the ducks... ah, the ducks are truly revered as the gods they are.

I refer to a little place in Washington state called Archie McPhee's. In the Chicagoland area, there are places of joy and wonderment similar to McPhee's, places like Uncle Fun's, but they pale in comparison to the glory of the McPhee.

Where else can you find enough pirate swag to outfit your own ship, things that would make PETA blanche with fear, the sort of action figures that didn't exist when I was but a newly hatched duckling, and most importantly...

THE BIGGEST SELECTION OF DEVIL DUCKS ANYWHERE!!! All these fine feathered comrades, all in one place... my collection of rubber ducks (current count: 122) would be hollow without the multitude of devil ducks I've acquired (most recently, the terror of the bathtub, the Pirate Devil Duckie).

All hail The McPhee! Bringer of whimsy and mirth! Bring unto them your finest meats and cheeses!

(please note: While I freely admit that this is an entry into a contest that the fine folks at Archie McPhee's are holding, every word of this post is true... I have purchased many an item from them in the past, and intend to do so in the future. I do not give recommendations lightly, my friends, so heed my words: if you need bacon bandages, bobble-head nuns, or a set of tiki mugs, direct your browser to www.McPhee.com. You'll be glad you did... and tell 'em The Wonderduck sent'cha! No, it won't help in the contest, but they'll laugh confusedly.)

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February 11, 2006

"relax... we understand j00."

So you take two American gamers and drop them in Japan. Throw in a few zombies, Rent-A-Zillas, Magical Girls, elite assassins from Sony and Sega, a member of the Tokyo Cataclysm Police, a l337 ninja, a prototype of the new Emotional Doll System... and Tohya, who nobody can really figure out yet.

Throw amazing pencil art and a meandering storyline that takes you from the annual E3 expo to the recording studio for a bishoujo game, from an Anna Miller's diner to The Cave of Evil. Add a huge dose of excellent characterization, ranging from a 'loser fanboy' that's also an artist, to a retired Japanese Idol, a struggling voice actress (who's a dead-shot with a coffeepot), a few schoolgirls, and a space hamster named 'Boo.'

Put in the occasional sight gag and a huge dose of humor.

Mix well.

The result? The long-running webcomic named Megatokyo.

I'm hardly going to claim to be an expert on the series, which has run (as of Saturday, Feb 11th, 2006) for 819 strips, seeing that I've only really gotten into the thing over the past few months. I have read the whole series, and am quite willing to proclaim it worth the time and effort to do... with a dialup modem, no less.

At its heart, Megatokyo is the usual "stranger in a strange land" story, in a Japanese manga style. Woven around that core, there's also a romantic storyline, a technothriller/cyberpunk adventure, and quite a few others.

In fact, the large number of stories and characters are one of the main complaints often levied against Megatokyo. A n00b reader really can't just 'pick up the storyline', because it refers back to itself so often. It'd be like picking up book seven of a ten part series and expecting to understand the whole thing.

Which is why I started from the first entry and kept going, figuring I'd either love it and catch up to the current point (which I did, sometime in December), or I'd hate it and give up after a week or so (maybe 200 entries).

It's quite the read, with a very complex plot... or a very simple one, depending on how you look at it. The art ranges to passable at the beginning to awesome (currently). Indeed, the past few desktops I've had on my computer here at the Pond have been from Megatokyo.

It'll make you laugh, it'll make you think, it'll make you care about these characters... and what more can you really ask for from a storyteller?

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February 09, 2006

Coming Friday and the weekend...

The arrival of a new commenter, named Tohya, in the post about the charming Funky Cat Maybe, has spurred me to finally write a piece about Megatokyo .

Also, some scribblings about an anime series titled Elfen Lied, one of the darkest TV shows I've ever seen... and I'm not limiting myself to just anime here, but all television. Yes, it's THAT dark.

Oh, and some F1 talk as well.

*phew* Looks like I might have some work ahead of me... in that 'not really work at all' sense, of course, but still.

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"Battle Inventory... is OVAH!"

Thank you, Fukui-san, for that headline!

Yes, inventory is done for the year at the Duck U. Bookstore. I'm a happy duck, because now it's more or less smooth sailing until the end of the semester.

Inventory went well, but we had a few rocks & shoals to deal with... like a procedural change from last year that caught the inventory service unprepared and understaffed. Fortunately, they were able to call in another body at zero notice, so that helped.

Only real problem was that it started SO darn early... I was in the store at 730am, when I'm usually not even awake at that time!

Oh well. So it goes.

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February 07, 2006

AIEEEEE!!!

It's Inventory Week at the Duck U. Bookstore. More than a little bit of stress involved, and not a whole lot of spare time to blog.

Just wanted y'all to know.

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