My Little Pwny

Exactly one good thing came out of the blur that was the last three weeks. Specifically: this link in an email from Brian.

(Word on the street is that the Something Awful forums have gone gaga over the new My Little Pony cartoon. One result of that obsession is the above link of animated gifs.)

Nate promptly responded to Brian’s message: “From now on whenever I read an email from you I will think of that one with the eagle talking.” I.e. this:

At the time I was popping antibiotics but still contagious, and so was stuck in my bedroom with only my iPad to keep me company. And while the iPad is certainly not a full-fledged computer, it did allow me to assign MLP icons to my (ex-)friends’ email accounts.

Email has been twice as fun since that day.

For whatever reason, my brain has associated Andy with Applejack, and I’ve become partial to Spike and his magnificent ‘stache for Brian:


Nate remains an enigma, but I’m going to keep trying. The stakes are too high to stop now.

Happy VD

As (uh) Unicrons reminds me, today is VD & Unicrons day. When Geocities closed down, this was the one site that I felt compelled to save for posterity. You know what to do.

And for something new, I point you to Destructoid’s Dragon Quest VI launch coverage. I’m reasonably certain that Nintendo chose to launch a Dragon Quest game on VD based solely on the strength of this shirt:

(Also: VD is now referred to only as “VD.” Pass it on.)

Let’s do this

I’m going to start the process of migrating to WordPress here (though I’m going to begin by taking a break to watch House), so things may be unusually interesting for the next {period of time | couple hours <= period of time <= couple weeks}.

(I am using math notation in a midlife crisis sort of way, to try and prove to myself that I haven’t lost all my math skillz.)

Expect this place to look unusually generic, until I wrap my head around WordPress’ templating system. On the off chance that inline pictures survive, I have included a random anime picture below, so you know you’re in the right place:

I don’t know if the RSS feeds will be in the same place when I’m done, so if you’re using that to keep tabs of my sporadic updates (I would be using RSS, too, if I were you) you may want to check back at the site proper and re-add the feed, if you don’t get any new posts after this one. You could make a snarky comment about how that wouldn’t be any different than normal, like I was going to, but then you might think about it a bit more and correctly surmise that I’ll post something once WordPress is up and running.

Awkward Stock Photos: the name says it all. My favorite, so far, has to be this one:

Matsue

(This is photographic follow-up from my previous link, and will make a tiny bit more sense given that. Only a tiny bit, mind you!)

Here’s my own take on Matsue castle, complete with Awesome Action Tree:

And the view from the top of the castle (yes, that poor woman in the pillar supported my weight for a short period of time), looking down into the castle grounds:

Matsue’s actually quite pretty, and definitely a different side of Japan from the major cities. (Though it felt more like a small town, Wikipedia states its population was about 196,000 back when we visited. Hrm.) I forget what about it caught Brian’s interest, back in the day, but I’m glad it did. Aside from the castle, the other “major” attraction (as I recall) was Shinji-ko, a major lake in town (photo by Andy):

Sunriver & thereafter

Sunriver 2010 was this last weekend, which is a time for my group of friends to gather and have fun. This is the last year that we’ll be gathering without babies present—if not the last year we’ll be gathering, period. Unlike previous years (the years I’ve gone, at least), the weekend was entirely laid-back and relaxing.

Myles set up a Google Spreadsheet that we could use to determine who was bringing what food and games; an instant later we demonstrated everything that was wrong with collaborative spreadsheets. This is the document’s final form (after Brian spent a good half hour cleaning things up, mind you—click for super-sized version):

Our general plan for the trip was to spend it playing mahjong and watching curling. Turns out that NBC kept curling on various fancy-pants channels that we didn’t get, so we settled for mahjong and (among other Olympic events) ice dancing.

I didn’t even know ice dancing was an event until Sunday evening. I somehow got started making some smart-ass comment about preferring undead girls right before Tessa Virtue and her partner started their routine. Virtue, for whatever reason (makeup? pre-routine jitters?), had absolutely no color in her face—fitting my “undead” criteria perfectly, and causing me to become an immediate and vocal fan of hers. (I’m not a hypocrite!) Turns out she and her partner are pretty damn good, too. Also, her competition all wore these garishly flamboyant costumes—that certainly didn’t hurt, either.

As for mahjong? I bought a $0.99 mahjong app for my iPod touch (I like it, and would recommend it if you want to practice Japanese “Riichi” Mahjong) and practiced furiously in the week leading up to Sunriver. Here are the results:

Most of us—save Jon and Brian, I think—chomboed (lit. “screwed up big-time”) once each during the weekend; we didn’t bother with the stiff penalties that are usually associated with that, instead writing them off to learning the rules.

Still, not too shabby. I didn’t pull off the monster hands that Brian did, but at least I finished up overall. (Again, ignoring chombos…)

Other events of note: Nate baked a whole bunch of bread, and it was delicious. Jon, Brian and I played some New Super Mario Bros. Wii (generally acknowledged to feature “divorce mode”) and finished with our friendships intact. Andy reprised his epic version of No Doubt’s Bathwater in Rock Band. Andy and I began Saturday with a good old-fashioned game of Streets of Rage 2, much to everyone else’s chagrin. I spent a good while engrossed in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, as is my nature when a new Phoenix Wright game comes out. Brian and I made more progress in Growlanser II—just enough progress to realize that we cannot save the girl. (It’s actually rather depressing.) Multiple people dawwed over Pixel the Cat.

I’ve only managed to exercise once since getting back from Sunriver, but that was enough to finish off my latest anime series: Bamboo Blade. It didn’t strike me as a super-awesome show, but it was fun enough—and it’s (kinda) main message caused me to reconsider how I approach my dance classes. I generally tend to focus single-mindedly on learning whatever moves or pattern that’s being taught in class… but that’s not exactly fun, and why bother learning the moves if you’re not going to have fun doing so? I don’t know that I’m actually any worse off in remembering the new moves—and tonight was certainly more enjoyable than most.

Wherein I gush about dancing

A one-time (barring overwhelming demand) waltz variations class was offered this term at OSU. It’s been a bit over five years since I’ve taken a dance class, so I figured what the heck and you should pay for experiences, not things and whatever else I could tell myself to justify the cost, and signed up.

The thing about taking a credit of classes, these days, is that there are comparatively huge fixed costs involved—and those get halved, per-credit, if you take a second credit. So I also signed up for west coast swing II—a course I had taken at the end of my college career, which was both appropriate and far too early in my west coast swing experience to be wholly useful.

Thus my Tuesday and Thursday nights this month (and next) have been shot. Wednesday night is still, of course, the weekly dance practice… and suddenly the middle of my week is packed. With awesome.

After a little-too-sweaty first week, I determined that I should exercise after I danced. I’ve also been trying to make notes about the various moves I learn (Marin tells me that this is very much something I would do), immediately after class, because I have a terrible memory for physical motions—not just dance, but sports in general—until I do something a few gajillion times. End result: I’ve been exercising around the midnight hour in the middle of each week (witness the awful timestamp of this post). This has thrown pretty much everything else in my life out of whack.

It’s been worth it, though. Five years of casual dancing with no instruction has made me a sloppy dancer, and now I’ve been getting called on it. My waltz and west coast are cleaner than they were before, and (get this) I can spin the other way when waltzing now.

I’ve only been spinning in one direction for ten years, now.

Even better is that my plantar fasciitis, which had benched me for the latter half of 2009, appears to have finally cleared up. (Knock on wood.) The first two weeks were a bit dicey—I was icing my foot every evening, hoping that it wasn’t going to give out—but the last two weeks have been the most pain-free my foot has been in ages.

Barry and Meredith are in my waltz class. Poor Sarah is in both waltz and west coast, which means she sees me three nights a week. That’s fun for me, but maybe not so much for her.

Work’s been me staring at my computer screen in anguish as I attempt to redesign a website; I now have an idea where I want to take it—I just have to finish the job. Like, say, tomorrow. (Er, today.)

This week Apple announced the iPad, of course. (I still wish they had gone with “Canvas” instead.) Andy, Farm, Webb and I gathered in a virtual huddle over email to enjoy the revelations; at the end, pretty much the only response was Andy’s “well, it’s cheaper than I expected.” (Save yourself some time and just read Steven Frank’s commentary on the iPad; I wish I had some sort of brilliant insight like that every once in a while.) I have some PDFs—and maybe (oh) some Kenichi manga—that the iPad might make pleasant to read… beyond that, though, I’m rather underwhelmed so far.

Brian came down and visited last weekend, and he, Nate, and I wound up watching the Higurashi Rei OVA and the first five episodes of Saki. Saki is mahjong anime crossed with light lesbian romance, and is pretty darn entertaining. I had previously informed Andy about who my favorite Saki character was, prior to watching any of the show.

Andy’s response? Gratz on picking the worst Saki character.

After actually watching the show, I can safely say that my runner-up favorite character is the mahjong club president who plays everyone like pawns.

Project Shinji-Dog III is slated to occur this weekend. We have yet to see if anyone (beyond Nate, Brian, and me) will attend, though—I still wonder if it’s been too short a time (only a year!) since the last Shinji-Dog.

While I’m having mixed feelings about posting pictures in my pseudo-tweet posts, here’s one courtesy of Myles:

So it just occurred to me that the phrase that girl really cooks! has a literal meaning, in addition to the outdated-slang meaning I would initially read into it.

Check this 4chan thread

A spammer says what?

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