March 2009

there are some days when the internet is like a memory machine, keeping precious memories alive. So many afternoons spent listening to Rush on a cassette player, working on gaming and reading paperback sci-fi novels. The teenage years of life and the zeitgeist of those times.

Red Barchetta is still one of the greatest songs ever. Even moreso because it does not fit into the silly 3 minute-repeating chorus meme of radio. Exit Stage Left performance from 1981.

I have been enjoying fansubs of the Ride Back anime lately. Its got a lot of the feel of the ’80s style of anime in it. Its original, something which is lacking in the current flood of moe anime. Ride Back feature a young college student (no high school kids, yay!!!!) named Rin Ogata, Rin is a very promising ballerina who suffers a career ending injury. To avoid a rainstorm one day on campus, Rin wanders into the Ride Back club house. Ride Backs are motorcycles that are articulated and change form into bipedal mecha and can use their arms to balance in turns. 

Wonderfully animated by Madhouse and with a very enjoyable story. I am going to follow this one, Hopefully a company will pick up the rights to this and bring it into this country.
Ride Back opening below:

from manga for 40-somethings

In Ore ha Mada Honki Dashitenai dake (literally translated as “I Just Haven’t Been Serious Yet”) main character Ohguro Shizuo is quickly approaching middle age. In the game of life Shizuo, like many other forty-something males, feels he has lost, and lost big-time. He’s a fat, divorced father of one living with his own single father. If Shizuo was cynical he could take comfort with his managerial position, but then again he works at H Burger. He has no direction in life and there is no purpose. In everyway, to Shizuo, age 41, life is slowly becoming an agonizing affair. But that’s only because he has not been serious about his life

This manga looks really interesting, I hope someone picks it up for translation to the US market.

from io9: A house made of UFOs and Math Puzzles:

If you’ve ever wanted to live in a crashed UFO, this is your dream house. A cracked open sphere with a roof that looks almost shredded, the house only gets weirder as you get closer.

I would love living in a place with wierd angles like that, very nice.

*** (out of 5)

Looking for a new manga and lamenting the FLOOD tide of titles seemingly all based on some combination of high school girls and undead or demons I kept seeing this in the bokstore. Despite some reservations I decided to try reading the first volume and see if I liked it.

Akihabara@deep is a 196 page b&w manga from Anime Works. The story revolves around Shinji Kojima as a reformed hacker just finishing probation (for computer cracking) and visiting the Akibahara electric town district of Tokyo for the first time in years. Shinji is a complete nobody who represents one of the aspects of otaku’s personalities, social awkwardness and shyness. Shijnji immediately gets swept up with a group of fellow otaku and they form the Akihabara@deep company. A@deep and Shinji get sucked into many adventures (told at a lightning quick pace) revolving around the world of otakus and computers. 
The manga focuses on two aspects of the otaku world. Otaku culture itself and the region of Akihabara which otakus have adopted as their home. The clash between the big companies and the small operations which gave Akiba its reputation and start gets a lot of focus and this echoes the real world in which Akiba’s small retailers have gotten pushed out by the big megastores.
I liked the characters although they start out as cardboard thin stereotypes. Later volumes should give them more depth and take them out of the cliche mold.
Akihabara@deep is recommended if you like stories focusing around modern times and the ‘net/technology world. Some of it may come across as cliche but I like it enough to give it time to suceed.

via Jalopnik and YouTube:

We’ve shown you some amateur driftersbefore, but this guy takes the cake. Using a Changan delivery truck, he does his best impersonation of Takumi Fujiwara from Initial D while drifting the Shanghai streets.You’ve got to love the quirky editing, Initial D soundtrack and the utter ridiculousness of the Changan delivery truck. 

A DigiTimes report that Asian company Wintek is making 9.7-10 inch touchscreen displays for Apple to be used in an netbook assembled by Quanta gained some (albeit non-Apple) confirmation today. (via ComputerWorld):

But Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc., said he doesn’t expect to see a traditional netbook from Apple, assuming the reports out of Taiwan are accurate. “It’s looking less likely to me that Apple will do a keyboard netbook,” he said today. “What we’re hearing [from Dow Jones] is consistent with an iPod Touch on steroids. With Apple’s hostility to keyboards in general, I think this will be a touch-based device.”

I am intrigued, an HD video capable, stable, netbook like an iPod Touch with hook ups for external keyboard and mouse (leave ’em behind when you use it on the go) would be very useful and nice to have. Light gaming, Web/email/Twitter access through wifi, something like that would be a solid netbook. Apple has a reputation for slapping price premiums on tech that is behind the curve though. Charging 800+ for something like this would be a death knell though, anything more than 400-500 is stupidity in the netbook category. I don’t know quite what they are planning but a giant/oversized Touch is going to turn me off. Need to see something visual on it and get a price point to make more judgements.

Pics from my tabletop miniatures game on Saturday with friends. We played an English Civil War scenario using the War Without Quarter rules set. I really like the rules set, plays very fast and very simple. Cards for each unit are picked from a face down stack and the unit revealed activates and can perform a manuever. When a commanders’ card is revealed he can also give orders to units within range so therotically a unit can manuever three times during each turn. Of course things rarely work out as planned … 

a full blow by blow write up of the game is here at Jeff’s blog with some great pictures (click the distorted versions on the left).
some of my pics with crappy phone cam are above. Linkie to my Flickr set is here.

A friend wants me to look for Mothra DVDs in Japan. 

I am a fan of the Toho studios tokusatsu films so this will be an easy enough request. Might need to write done the Kanji for Mothra and remember to get a region 0 DVD. Would love to find something that has subtitles and not those horrible horrible atrocious dubbed American voices.
Rebirth of Mothra triology of fims looks good. Hopefully I can find a set in open region DVD.

Somedays I just lurv the internets. Another remix of Downfall with subtitles for Hitler’s reaction to the giant Squid no longer being in the ending of the Watchmen…. 

“I should have listened to Stalin.” “Now Watchmen is ruined. And all the arrogant fatcats in Hollywood with their fancy suits don’t give a shit.”

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