January 24, 2011

Just An Old 'Shop I Did...


I slapped this together a few years back for a FARK photoshop contest.  If I remember correctly, it got more than a few votes for reasons that escape me to this day.  Maybe there were a lot of Kanon '06 fans reading, I dunno.  What the heck, I liked it.

To be honest, this is just here because I can't drum up the energy to post something worthwhile.  We're still crazy-go-nuts at the Duck U. Bookstore, though that'll slow down starting Tuesday.  Hopefully soon, there will be content.

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TGB S16E01

Over the past few years, I have watched dozens of episodes of the British motoring show Top Gear.  I can't say how many exactly, but I do believe I've seen every episode since Season 7.  Each season tends to be somewhere between six and eight episodes long, plus one or two specials each calendar year.  One thing I've noticed (and been amused by) during the viewing of all of these shows is that, during the News and the Star In A Reasonably Priced Car segments, the producer tends to put at least one very good looking woman in the front row, in clear camera shot.  I've come to call this young lady the "Top Gear Babe," or TGB. 

To show the producer that their efforts are not unappreciated, I've decided that for the 16th season, which began today, I'm going to post the TGB after I've watched the episode.  Without further ado, here's is Season 16, Episode 01's TGB!

At the end of the season, I might decide to crown a TGB Queen.  We'll see how it goes, and if I remember.

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January 23, 2011

Bears Lose... Darnit

On the one hand, if you had told me at the beginning of the season that the Bears would be playing in the NFC Championship game with a decent chance of making it to the Super Bowl, I would have thought you were nuts.  So this was a great season, right?  Right.

On the other hand, the Bears were playing in the NFC Championship game with a decent chance of making it to the Super Bowl, and they lost.  So it's a bad outcome, right?  Right?

But to lose it to the Green Bay Packers?  Having to see Virginia McCaskey, the eldest daughter of the legendary George Halas, handing the George Halas Trophy, given to the NFC Champions, to the hated Packers?  Agony, sheer agony.

Even the unprecedented appearance of The Librarian at Pond Central on a weekend to watch the game doesn't make it any better...

Darn it.  Darn it to heck.  Hope the cheese melts.

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January 21, 2011

Sirius/XM Major Fail

As I sit here browsing the intarwebz, I've got Sirius/XM tuned in on my Dish Network receiver, specifically channel 6022, "Sirius 1st Wave."  That channel plays "alternative" music, ostensibly from the '70s and '80s, but it's more like '80s and early '90s... but I digress.  Anyway, the music this channel plays is exactly what I listened to growing up as a young duckling at the Old Home Pond.

On Friday nights, the show on 1st Wave is "Party 360," hosted by one Dave Kendall.  Mr Kendall just did a promo for another Sirius/XM channel that I didn't catch the name of.  I wish I had, however, as, according to Mr Kendall, it's a Nascar-themed show.  That's mildly interesting in and of itself, but what he said after that really blew my mind:

"...it's three hours of NASCAR talk, hosted by the legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Senior."

Unless they really do have Dale Earnhardt Senior, in which case it's an epic win...

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January 20, 2011

Days Like This...

...make me wonder why I enjoy working retail so much.

See, we're in the middle of Rush Week at the Duck U. Bookstore.  Classes started on Tuesday, and while we expected to be busy, we didn't expect to be this busy.  As in, "we've never done this amount of business during the Spring before, ever" busy.  Which is good.  Exhausting and painful on the knees and feet, but good.

And then, we got the phone call. 

The one from the PR department at the Home Office.  At 2pm on Wednesday.  The one that told us that the CEO of the company was going to be in town to be interviewed by a local TV station, and the interview was going to take place in the Duck U. Bookstore.  At 2pm on Thursday.

During the third day of Rush.

Cue panic PANIC!!!

We had to a) help the customers; 2) prettify the store; III) keep the store prettified.  During Rush Week, a time when it's hard enough to find the time to refold a t-shirt.  Now we had to:

change four track lighting lamps
redo the front window displays
focus said lamps onto said displays
move two shelves full of sweatshirts without messing up the folds of said sweatshirts
dust everything into oblivion
unpack, check in and receive 15 boxes of books, without making a mess
vacuum the floor within an inch of its life
clean the back room, including my desk (cue moans of despair)
...oh, and help the customers too.
all while wearing a dress shirt and tie
and keep the shirt clean.

For the record, the whole thing went off without a hitch; the CEO was in the store for just over an hour, thought the place looked okay, and away he went.  Leaving yours truly and the Duck U Bookstore Manager looking like frazzled noodles.

Yeah.  Love retail.

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January 17, 2011

CV-1

In 1918, the Royal Navy commissioned the world's first ship to be easily recognizable as an aircraft carrier, the HMS Argus.  In 1922, the Imperial Japanese Navy commissioned the first ever ship designed and built as an aircraft carrier, the Hosho.  In between, the US Navy sent to sea the first of an unbroken line of carriers that led directly to today's nuclear-powered supercarriers. 

But on the face of it, the American carrier had a very odd beginning.

The USS Jupiter (AC-3) joined the fleet in 1913 as the first electric-drive ship in the US Navy.  A collier, her job was to provide underway replenishment to the fleet.  This task led to her most distinctive feature, the vertical towers, called kingposts, amidships.  These were structural supports for coaling booms, which would be lowered when a ship was alongside.  Coal would then be sent down the booms to the decks of the receiving vessel.

These kingposts proved to be one of the reasons she was selected to become the basis for the first US aircraft carrier.

more...

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January 16, 2011

The Seaplane Tender That Changed The World

After that headline, you're probably rolling your eyes... what seaplane tender changed the world?

That one... and I'm working on a ship profile on it.  I intended to have it up tonight, but it's not happening.  It will be up sometime Monday, as I've got the day off, so look forward to it!

(ps - no, this isn't a "name that ship" contest, I just wanted to put a teaser picture up, though if you want to take a shot, go ahead)

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January 14, 2011

My First Greenlight!

Over at FARK.com, I just got my first greenlight that wasn't a newsflash about a dead baseball broadcaster... in other words, my first real greenlight!  Of course, it's a topic near and dear to many of The Pond's readers: anime.  Or burlesque.  Both, really.

Here's the linky to the thread:

Five words you never thought you'd read: "This isn't cosplay, it's burlesque." (maybe Not safe for work-ish)

...and yes, I stole the link from Robert's weekly e-mail.  I feel no shame.

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January 13, 2011

Malaise

I find myself not terribly enthused in the Winter season of anime this time around.  Only three shows have been interesting enough for me to even bother watching the first episode: Rio Rainbow Gate, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka.  Only the last of those three made me sit up and take notice.  I'll admit to watching the second episode of RRG to see how bad it would be, and it sure didn't disappoint.  It was like watching one of those incredibly long coal trains go by, except the tracks lead right off the edge of a cliff and you're watching the cars go off one by one.  That's RRG, right there... a never-ending trainwreck of mammoth proportions.

If we're lucky.  If not, it'll just be tedious, boring and ugly.

Meanwhile, the first big event for the upcoming F1 season will be the debut of the new cars.  Unfortunately, we have to wait until the end of the month before Ferarri puts their 2011 steed on display.  That means we're reduced to stories about HWMNBN not being able to ski during the Red Team's annual winter media extravaganza because of a slight muscle tear.

...and his rollout of a new pornstar-grade mustache.  He Whose Mustache Must Not Be Named. 

At least I managed to accidentally come up with an idea for another WWII "What If...?" post.  Now I just have to make sure I don't scare it away, try and sneak up on it. 

Maybe it's just because of the long days at the Duck U. Bookstore.  Classes start on Tuesday, and we've been pretty busy the past couple-three weeks.  Or maybe the fire is going out on my need to blog.  Guess anything's possible.

Hope not, though.

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January 08, 2011

All Bets Are Off... Unfortunately

Back in 2007, my Chicago Bears were scheduled to have a playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.  Knowing that Ubu Roi was a fan of the Fleur-de-lis, I issued a challenge to that worthy blogger, with our respective blogs' front page as the prize.  If the Bears won, he'd have to put the legendary Bears' navy blue and orange on the top of Mahou Meido Meganekko, and if the Saints were victorious, I'd put the gold-and-black here on The Pond.  Ubu accepted the terms of the bet, and the first Anime Blog Football Throwdown was on.

After Saints rookie Reggie Bush scored a TD, taunting Bears' linebacker Brian Urlacher in the process, the Bears defense wound up crushing the Saints under their cleats.  Ubu, ever a class act, wound up not just changing the blog header picture, but the entire theme of his blog.  Even the name changed to "Chicago Bears Meganekko."

Because of that show of sportsmanship, I've been something of an unofficial fan of the Saints ever since... as long as they weren't playing the Bears, that is.  When the Saints won the Super Bowl last year (in wonderful fashion, I might add), I was quite pleased... though nowhere near as happy as Ubu

It's been four years since then, and both the Saints and Bears made it into the NFC playoffs this season... and were pretty much scheduled to face each other in the second round.  The Bears, being the #2 seed would face the highest-seeded winner of the wild card games.  The Saints, despite being seeded #5, were almost certain to beat the #4 seeded NFC-West champion Seattle Seahawks... who managed to get into the playoffs with a 7-9 record.  Assuming the #6 Green Bay Packers would beat the #3 Philadelphia Eagles (quite likely, in my opinion), that'd put the Saints in Soldier Field next weekend.

I had already contacted Ubu regarding a return of the Anime Blog Football Throwdown, and he responded favorably.  Once again, our front pages were the prize.

And then the World Champion Saints went out and peed their game against the Seahawks right down the leg of their uniforms.  Forgetting how to play defense, they lost 41-36.  Well, to be fair the Bears lost to the 'Hawks early in the season, back before their offensive line learned how to block, so I guess the phrase "...on any given Sunday..." applies.  But gosh darn it, I was looking forward to the Saints vs Bears.

I'm sorry, Ubu... I really am.  With any luck, the Bears'll get the chance to avenge your fallen heroes next week... and we'll do so.

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January 04, 2011

Feel The Love, Share The Pain

There comes a time in every duck's life where one feels weak, and gives in to their baser instincts... a desire to cause such incredible pain that it becomes uncontrollable. 

Well, my fine readers, that time has come and boy, are you gonna hurt.



But because I'm a caring duck, here's something to make it even.  We're still friends, right?

Okay.  I'm better now.  Thank you for that.

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January 03, 2011

The Forgotten Hero Ship

In my own personal shorthand, there is a category I call 'hero ships.'  These vessels, for one reason or another, just stick in the mind as incredibly important... even if they really weren't in the grand scheme of things.  Sometimes it's just because they have a cool name, sometimes it's because they seemed to be in the midst of all the action, sometimes it's because they were particularly influential.  Ships like USS Enterprise, or HMS Ark Royal (the greatest name for a ship ever).  The IJN Yamato is a 'hero ship,' even though it didn't do much in WWII.  So are the Bismarck and the HMS Hood, fated to be forever joined on history.  The doomed USS Indianapolis and USS Arizona.  There are probably dozens of others in my head, ships that anybody with any knowledge of WWII have heard of.

Then there's the ship we're discussing here.  Imagine if you will a vessel that was present at the following battles: the Doolittle raid; Midway; the attacks against the Solomons; Guadalcanal; New Georgia; Wake Island; the Gilbert Islands; the Marshall Islands; Truk; the Marianas battles; Luzon; the naval raids on the Japanese home islands; Iwo Jima; Okinawa; Tokyo Bay.  She also just missed the Coral Sea.

And yet, nobody considers her a 'hero ship'... and they really should.  For without her and her sisters, the US would have had a much harder time of it in the Pacific War.


more...

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