55 billion silly faces

Shamus Young is the most dangerous sort of guy, with lots of ideas and the time and energy to implement them. He first came to my attention several years ago with The Lemon. Later there was The DM of the Rings. Currently he is one of the parties responsible for Chainmail Bikini. His most recent effort is a WordPress plugin, “Wavatars,” which I’ve installed here. If you leave a comment, your name will be accompanied by an eighty-pixel-square avatar determined by your email address. (If you have a Gravatar, as I do, that’s what you will see instead.) On a weblog like mine where comments are infrequent, these are just a cute novelty, but on sites where comment threads get lengthy, these could be useful for keeping the various writers straight.

If you like the idea but want something a little more macabre for your own site, consider MonsterID. (Via Aziz.)

I’m back

3,500 Nutcracker pictures. Gah. I’ve gone through them all, selected the best and cropped and edited them and burned a stack of CDs for the dancers and crew, and I am done, done, done. Life can return to what passes for normal around here. Maybe I can even watch some anime. (The morbidly curious can see a selection of the pictures here.)

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Congratuations to Avatar.

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What happened to Astro? (Update: he’s back, sorta.)

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I probably will add Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to my “buy” list. I did watch the first two episodes and was not entirely unimpressed. Since this was a Gainax series, though, I decided to wait until it completed its run and see what the final word was before investing any more time in it. By all accounts the show succeeded on every level and is probably one of the best of the year.

I can’t resist posting the Gurren Lagann Jack:

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Every time I hear someone say “Ohayo,” I have a strange urge to reply, “Illinois.”

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When I lived with my folks, I got stuck every year with taking down the Christmas tree, which by that time was thoroughly dried-out and prickly. It was not much fun. Since then, I have never had the slightest interest in putting up my own tree. However, if I were to decorate a Christmas tree, even though it’s utterly inappropriate, I would like to include a Belldandy angel among the ornaments.

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Sooner or later I’m gong to want to upgrade to a more recent version of WordPress. Before I do, however, I want to make sure that I can still post the occasional phrase in Japanese characters and not see “???.” When I upgraded my other weblogs, I lost this capabiity, even though the selected character set is still UTF-8. How can I make the Japanese look the way it’s supposed to?

Pre-holiday miscellany

Congratulations to the LLamas, who turn five today.

Congratulations also to Angus and Sarah.

Final Fantasy A+ (Via Shamus).

One way to handle a telemarketer (Via Ken the Brickmuppet).

I found a website that makes Flash jigsaw puzzles from pictures on your computer. There’s one made from one of my photos below the fold.

Update: A memory from my days in the SCA that I’d like to forget.
Continue reading “Pre-holiday miscellany”

Miscellaneous notes

An unexpected Star Trek fan.

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I didn’t much care for Peter Jackson’s version of The Lord of the Rings, but it did make The DM of the Rings possible. Shamus is about to wrap the story up. It begins here. Shamus’ next project will be here.

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The first tune I heard Saturday morning was “Wipeout.” I also heard “American Pie,” some Jethro Tull and an a capella rendition of the riff from “Smoke on the Water.” Where was I?

Continue reading “Miscellaneous notes”

Excuse me, I’m going to go listen to The Smiths

If you haven’t finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet, don’t click here. (Language, etc., advisory.)

(While I’m on the topic of Pötterdämerung, let me point out that there is a Potter-related poll in the sidebar. There is a similar poll, worded differently, on my other weblog.)

Update: J.K. Rowling tells all (spoilers, spoilers, spoilers),

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You might have wondered where this site was this morning, and several other mornings recently. I wondered, too. Apparently, whenever there is emergency maintenance to be done at the hosting service, or an outage or a kernel panic, the server where my site is currently stored is always affected. I guess if you go with a cheap hosting plan you get cheap service. Still, none of the other inexpensive web hosts I’ve used were as unreliable, not even my original free GeoCities site years ago.

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I knew Steven has a powerful mind, but I never realized just how mighty he is. According the the “recent comments” widget in Avatar’s sidebar, “… Steven Den Beste ‘… has a temper and can toss building-shattering attack spells around.'” For your own safety, do not nitpick.

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While browsing around the Anime Tropes Wiki, I came across this:

When A Modest Proposal was written a lot of people thought it was actually talking about eating babies.

Some years back, a friend wanted to write a satirical letter-to-the-editor. I suggested that he read Swift’s dispassionate discussion to see how it’s done. My friend mentioned it to his literature professor. The professor said, “What do you want to read that for? It’s about eating babies!” He was the head of the honors program at Wichita State.

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It may be a while until Guchuko plushies are available. Until then, there’s this.

Think, thank, thunk

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I was flattered yesterday to find that Mark Sullivan named Scuffulans hirsutus as a “thoughtful blog.” I was also a little surprised. I’ve retired from the thinking business, and nowadays I mostly just take pictures, pretty and otherwise. (There may be more music in the future, but thoughts will probably remain rare and fragmentary.)

The rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote…

This particular game started back in February, and probably every weblog that has provoked any thoughts anywhere has already been recognized. Nevertheless, I’ll list five deserving sites just in case any have been overlooked.

Aliens in This World — everything from the motu proprio to Megatokyo.

Dyspeptic Mutterings — the art of the fisk, Byzantium, and science fiction, too.

Eve Tushnet — if there ever was an insightful blogger, it’s Eve.

Total Dick-Head — i.e., Philip K. Dick.

Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor — reflections on literature, life and Catholicism.

In the key of aarrrrrr

Kashi, alias the invisible CapnFlynn, artist and animator, formerly the proprietress of Synonyms and Sugar (one of the ten best-named weblogs ever), has illustrated a book, The Voyage to Ruin, by H.L. Trombley. According to the website,

For the sinking of her ship and the death of her lover, pirate Captain Franceline Drake seeks revenge on Captain Acheron Zeal of Her Majesty’s Navy. For her most terrible crimes against the ships of Camembert, Zeal pursues Drake across the seas and skies of the Quadra Terrarum. And in the midst of the intrigue and mystery, the fate of a man named Flynn Freeborn will follow in their wake.

If you think you’d might enjoy a “pirate adventure fantasy,” check it out.

Here’s some more information on the book.

(Cross-posted on my other weblog.)

In the key of aarrrrrr

Kashi, alias the invisible CapnFlynn, artist and animator, formerly the proprietress of Synonyms and Sugar (one of the ten best-named weblogs ever), has illustrated a book, The Voyage to Ruin, by H.L. Trombley. According to the website,

For the sinking of her ship and the death of her lover, pirate Captain Franceline Drake seeks revenge on Captain Acheron Zeal of Her Majesty’s Navy. For her most terrible crimes against the ships of Camembert, Zeal pursues Drake across the seas and skies of the Quadra Terrarum. And in the midst of the intrigue and mystery, the fate of a man named Flynn Freeborn will follow in their wake.

If you think you’d might enjoy a “pirate adventure fantasy,” check it out. There’s further information here.

Miscellaneous notes

I had planned to wait until after The Major Purchase before ordering any more DVDs, but I really want to know how the Divergence Eve saga ends. Then Steven has to go and find another damned four-star series, grrr. So I’ve got an order off for Misaki Chronicles and Shingu now.

I had already added Shingu to the “maybe” list, but I never saw much information about it. As Steven notes, the series received virtually no attention. I did a little browsing last night to see if anyone besides the not-utterly-reliable Chris Beveridge has reviewed it. There was a “B+” review of the first disc at Anime News Network, and that’s all I found at a half-dozen review sites. If Shingu is as good as Steven says it is (and he’s never been wrong on a four-star series), then The Right Stuf did a lousy job of marketing their edition, and reviewers did not do their job at all.

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Fledgling Otaku is moving house, from Texas to Wisconsin. The Google maps route passes near Wichita. I doubt that he’ll have time to stop, but if he takes that route, he can imagine me waving as he drives by.

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Discovered while looking at my site statistics:

Avatar, a frequent commenter in this corner of the otakusphere, has his own weblog now, The Ego’s Nest. There’s also a nikonian’s blog, featuring photography and anime as well as current events in Bangladesh. Finally, there’s StarShipSofa, with podcasts on science fiction writers. Search string of the week: “pachelbel dog the bounty hunter.”

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A couple of occidental movies might be worth trips to the cinema: Ratatouille and Surf’s Up.

Update: Here’s another review of Surf’s Up.