And So It Goes

Mar. 19th, 2017 02:41 pm
lovelyangel: (Haruhi Thoughtful)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
I think a few years ago I finally did give away my copy of “And So It Goes” – Adventures in Television, but I was (am) a huge fan of Linda Ellerbee… and it’s a sign of my age that I used to watch NBC News Overnight. I remember mainly when Lloyd Dobyns co-hosted. Metafilter brought my attention to Never mind Jon Stewart, I still miss NBC News Overnight.

Well-timed

Mar. 18th, 2017 08:25 pm
lovelyangel: Yumiko Sakaki from Grisaia no Kajitsu (Yumiko Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Kara no Kyoukai ~the Garden of sinners~ The Animation art book
Kara no Kyoukai ~the Garden of sinners~ The Animation art book

I ran errands today (Saturday). At Uwajimaya I bought tofu and fortune cookies (using a gift card from Debbie). At Kinokuniya I wanted to check out the anime art books since 1) I had a new gift card from Debbie and 2) this weekend Kinokuniya was having a 20% off sale for members.

I’ve been going to most of the 20% off sales over the last six months but hadn’t found anything I really wanted. I think the last time I purchased any art books at the store was last summer. So I was a bit skeptical I’d find anything. But you never know.

I was quite surprised to see Kara no Kyoukai ~the Garden of sinners~ The Animation art book. I’d never seen this book before, and since Kinokuniya shrink-wraps their books, I couldn’t tell what was inside. So I used my iPhone to search online for information. I was surprised to learn the book was published back in February 2014.

The price of the book is ¥3300, and at the current currency conversion rate, CDJapan offers the book for $29.28. But shipping for an artbook from Japan is going to be around $10 – say, $40 total.

As usual, the markup from Kinokuniya is breathtaking…

Price Sticker
Price Sticker

But with the member sale – 20% off – the price comes down to $41 – pretty close to my cost from Japan. And it’s all a gift from Debbie – no cost to me.

I do love Kara no Kyoukai, and I’m eager to rewatch the movies – if I ever get the time. The new art book is filled with gorgeous, full-color illustrations, and I’m delighted with the purchase. All 144 pages are in color, even the interview in the back of the book. This is an excellent addition to the library.

Treats

Mar. 18th, 2017 07:43 pm
lovelyangel: (Ayu w/taiyaki)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
It was another tough week at work, and by Wednesday I was already wearing down. So I was quite surprised that evening to get a Happy Hump Day notification from Jenni that there was a small package on my doorstep.

Brownies from Hawaii
Brownies from Hawaii

She and her husband had returned from their recent trip to Hawaii with a gift for me. Sweet!

Thursday night was my monthly dinner with Debbie. Besides the usual catch-up, Debbie also gave me a birthday gift – a gift card to Kinokuniya! Awesome!

Friday I ended up working at the NW campus, and when my day had ended there, I stopped at the Cold Stone Creamery on NW 185th and got two Signature Creations to go. I had a 2-for-1 coupon – plus the Gift Card from Jenni, so the two cups didn’t cost me a thing (although I left a cash tip). It took me two days to finish the strawberry one; the other cup is in the freezer.

Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream
Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream

My friends continue to spoil me rotten. I’m absolutely not complaining, mind you.

Anime Winter Week 11

Mar. 18th, 2017 06:41 pm
lovelyangel: (Kuroyukihime Happy)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Hinata Hyuga
Hinata Hyuga
Naruto Shippuden, Episode 499

Here are the quick takes on the episodes I watched last week…

Gabriel DropOut: Episode 10
Nothing much interesting about each character’s home life. Gabriel, Satania, and Vigne’s homes were so-so. The most fun was with Raphi and her butler. The only other cute bit was Vigne’s pet, Chappy, vs. Satania’s familiar, Alexander.

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.): Episode 10
The inspection tour of districts continues. There doesn’t seem to be much secret about Jean and Lotta’s royal blood. This week seemed to be a calm before the storm. Perhaps the passing of the king will launch the coup. I’m patient in letting the story unfold.

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maiddragon (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid): Episode 10
Christmas episodes are generally trite… and while this episode started out dully in that manner… there is nothing trite about “The Little Match Girl” production by Tohru and friends. Related link: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Production Notes 10 – at Sakuga Blog

ChäoS;Child: Episode 10
I’m kinda not caring much about any of the characters right now, but I’d like to know how this story turns out. Onoe is Onoe. Sakuma is an annoying villain. Takuru is… well… an uninteresting, broken something.

KonoSuba 2 (Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! 2): Episode 10 (Season Finale)
Well… a bunch of budget dollars went into this flashy season finale – Aqua never looked better in battle. Wiz and Megumin were pretty awesome also. The Axis Church credo was pretty funny – perfectly aligned with Aqua. The aftermath was pretty much as expected… including Yunyun.

Naruto Shippuden Episode 499
Overall a fairly flat episode, putting a weak spotlight on Hinata – and the rather artificial conflict underlying this entire arc. One would have hoped the penultimate episode of the series would have more kick. But whatever. Highlights: screen time for Hinata and a brief get-together with the Konoha women from the Chunin exams.

Tenten, Hinata, Sakura & Ino
Tenten, Hinata, Sakura & Ino
Naruto Shippuden, Episode 499

Yōjo Senki (a.k.a. Saga of Tanya the Evil): Episode 10
While the big plan by the Empire appears to be going well… and Tanya has kept coming out on top… it looks like comeuppance time is scheduled for next week. Or not. Who can tell?

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen: Episode 11
The big battle we’ve been waiting for… it was spectacular – and at the same time a little bit underwhelming. But I can’t complain much as the good guys came out on top. The actions with Yukio were mildly annoying… Shiemi’s battle resolution seemed too simple given the struggle in the previous episode… Rin’s triumph was rather matter-of-fact. Only Shura made me smile.

Descending Stories: Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū: Episode 11
This was quite the amazing episode – dedicated completely to the journey in the afterlife – with many nods to the past. I was pleased – and sometimes surprised – to see Sukeroku, Miyokichi, Konatsu, Shinnosuke, and Matsuda.

BanG Dream!: Episode 9
MIA this week. No word from Crunchyroll on the absence. I guess we’ll catch up later.

Sangatsu no Lion (a.k.a. March Comes in Like a Lion): Episode 22 (Season Finale)
Well… this was depressing all around. Any focus on Kiriyama is a downer, as he remains a pathetic figure. The writers tried to be a little bit upbeat at the end so that the season ends happily, but there’s no current foundation for optimism going forward. As a sports anime, there haven’t been enough small victories for Kiriyama to generate enthusiasm. The best parts of the series are when the Kawamoto sisters are around – and they haven’t been seen much towards the end of the season. Ah well. Season 2 has been announced.

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (a.k.a. Interviews with Monster Girls): Episode 11
Maybe the best episode yet. Serious and heartwarming. Really nice vignettes with the other classmates… and I’m glad the potential conflict with the Vice Principal got worked out.

Before the Sixth Hokage
Before the Sixth Hokage
Naruto Shippuden, Episode 499

Ended previously
Koro-sensei Q! (Koro Sensei Quest!)

Sakamoto desu ga?

Mar. 18th, 2017 04:46 pm
lovelyangel: (Kagamin Miku 1)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
No Japanese anime/pop singer performs better in English than Maaya Sakamoto. Her rendition of "Gravity" (SLYT), the ED for Wolf’s Rain, is one of my favorites. The full length version is on one of my anime commute CDs.

Most recently she is in the Japanese dub of Sing, and I’m enjoying clips of her (English!) covers of Katy Perry’s "Firework" (SLYT) and Taylor Swift’s "Shake It Off" (SLYT). I love Maaya!

Photobucket

Mar. 17th, 2017 02:41 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Thanks to everyone who let us know that Photobucket images were not loading properly on some pages. The problem seemed to be mostly limited to HTTPS requests; Dreamwidth maintains a list of known high-traffic image sites that support HTTPS, so that our secure content proxy service doesn't cache them unnecessarily. Unfortunately Photobucket seems to have recently changed their site configuration such that HTTPS requests aren't being served as expected, and we've now taken it out of our list of "proxy-exempt" sites.

If you continue to have issues, make sure you're not using HTTPS Photobucket links. It's a bit counterintuitive, but if you use HTTP instead, it will be automatically transformed on our end to an HTTPS link that uses p.dreamwidth.org.

Hope that clears everything up for now! Let us know if it doesn't...

Portland Saturday Market: Lens Test

Mar. 12th, 2017 07:26 pm
lovelyangel: (Riho Camera)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Street Performer
Street Performer • Portland Saturday Market
AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E • f/1.4 • 1/350s

The sun returned today, and I could not resist making a excursion into Portland to give the AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E lens a sunny day workout. I grabbed my gear and drove to the MAX station. MAX arrives every 20-25 minutes or so, and I had a 10-minute wait. The ride to Skidmore Fountain took 30 minutes.

I spent about 70 minutes at the market – sometimes taking pictures… sometimes shopping. I didn’t want to stay more than an hour. Counting an hour total on MAX, 20 minutes total between MAX and my home, and 70 minutes at the market, I took 2 1/2 hours out of my Sunday.

Post-processing, of course, took a bunch of time. It didn’t help that I found out I was running out of space on Tsukasa, the 2TB hard drive that holds my Lightroom catalog and files. I had replaced my photo staging drive – but for some reason completely blanked out and neglected to do the same for my Lightroom production drive. D’Oh!

I’ve long had a task on my list to reorganize my Lightroom catalog, but I don’t have time to do that now. In the interim, I’ve started a new catalog on Miyuki, the newest drive in Belldandy. There’s nearly 4TB of space there. I’ll migrate this year’s photos to the new catalog, and the new catalog and the staging drive will then be in sync.

The hour at Saturday Market was a good test of the 105mm lens. Fairly bright sunlight at times required that I have the X4 ND filter mounted. This was good practice for OCF in July. The lens performed extremely well – better than the photographer. I didn’t come away with any super pictures, but the lens did an excellent job isolating the subject from the background. Nice, smooth backgrounds.






The photos are posted at: Nikon Test 2017: Saturday Market

Anime on the Side

Mar. 12th, 2017 09:18 am
lovelyangel: (Mahoro Playful)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
In recent seasons I’ve been following about 16 weekly anime series, but I did work hard this season to cut down to 12. The number I can manage in a season depends on my extracurricular activities as well as how the shows are distributed across the week. After an intense schedule in January, my personal schedule is calming down – although work demands add stress to the schedule. But… when I’m under stress… I actually watch more anime. Anime is my escape and stress-relief.

So… I’ve been watching some anime outside of the shows I’ve had on my weekly watchlist. First of all, I’ve added Naruto Shippuden to the watchlist, bringing the total to 13. I’ve been watching since the start of the “Perfect Day for a Wedding” arc.

I’ve also continued to watch Nobunaga no Shinobi (a.k.a. Ninja Girl & Samurai Master). The 3-minute episodes based on yonkoma are simply too fluffy for commenting on each week. But it’s a good series.

The “filler” that I’ve been watching are the weekly episodes of Akiba’s Trip The Animation, Seiren, and ēlDLIVE. These all are mediocre shows that I can’t recommend to anyone. They got dumped off my initial watchlist, but in idle times I picked them up simply to see what was going on. These truly are filler as I wouldn’t have a problem if they went away at any time. I’ve got no emotional investment in the shows.

The real problem, time-wise, is that I’ve been inspired to revisit Naruto. Part of the reason is with Shippuden coming to an end, I wanted to go back to the introduction of all the characters… I had a yen to again watch the Chūnin exams. Part of the reason was the nostalgia generated when The Last: Naruto the Movie used the old soundtrack music from early Naruto. I love that music. To get to the Chūnin exams I figured I’d best start at episode 1. In the last week I’ve gotten up through episode 19, so I’m getting close. I’ve seen the first season a few times, so I’m skipping through slow parts and recaps. I’m not sure how far I’ll go. It would actually be nice to get through all the Shippuden episodes I’ve missed. I’ll see if I get there. I’m not going to watch all 720 episodes; I always skip filler episodes. That’s about 310 episodes. I’m using the Naruto Filler List and the Naruto Shippuden Filler List to identify canon episodes.

Man. That early, rough animation… and the 4:3 aspect ratio! Was 2002 that long ago?

Ino Yamanaka, Naruto Uzumaki & Shikamaru Nara
Ino Yamanaka, Naruto Uzumaki & Shikamaru Nara
Naruto, Episode 1

Plus, we can’t forget Naruto’s earliest admirer!

Hinata Hyuga
Hinata Hyuga
Naruto, Episode 1

Anime Winter Week 10

Mar. 11th, 2017 06:52 pm
lovelyangel: (Kagamin Upbeat)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Kanna
Kanna
Kobayashi-san Chi no Maiddragon, Episode 9

Here are the quick takes on the episodes I watched last week…

Gabriel DropOut: Episode 9
Christmas already?? New Years? Winter Vacation in Heaven and Hell? A surprising batch of stories. Sometimes really funny. Sometimes not. This was an OK if out-of-season episode.

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.): Episode 9
Finally Lotta is in on the secret – and caught up in the action as well. And there were some surprising reveals in the political game – introducing as many questions as answers. I have no idea what Lillium is up to. And Chief Owl is a lot more savvy than I’d given him credit for. The writing has been excellent, and my curiosity is deep.

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maiddragon (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid): Episode 9
This was just the sweetest episode yet. The exchanges between Kanna and Kobayashi were priceless. And the extraordinary effort Kobayashi undertook to be able to attend the sports festival was heartwarming. The animation didn’t have to be spectacular, but KyoAni did a great job – and the short scenes had all the right touches. I smiled a lot.

ChäoS;Child: Episode 9
Except for the duel, there was a lot of exposition. We knew there was something weird about Onoe – but the reveal this week was unexpected – as have been most of the recent reveals. This is why I’m just tagging along for the ride instead of being emotionally invested. The response to every plot twist is simply… “Whatever.”

KonoSuba 2 (Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! 2): Episode 9
This town is wearing me down. It’s not a particularly funny place, and this week’s episode was rather dull. Aqua is more annoying than interesting.

Naruto Shippuden Episode 498
The remaining two members of Team 8 – Kiba and Shino – tackle the mission for Naruto and Hinata’s wedding gift. Maybe because these characters are among those that I’m least interested in, this story didn’t enthrall me. The best part was Iruka-sensei suggesting to Shino that he become a teacher – as we know that’s how he ends up. Mainly, I’m eager to get to the wedding itself. I’m hoping the studio has saved the best two episodes for last.

Koro-sensei Q! (Koro Sensei Quest!): Episode 12 (Series Finale)
Not the ending I expected – but perhaps not too suprising for a video game. There was a nice nod to each of the students.

Yōjo Senki (a.k.a. Saga of Tanya the Evil): Episode 9
Amazingly, Tanya is still managing to come out on top. At some point she’s going to get into real trouble. She’s certainly got enemies in the wings – aided by Being X. Something bad is going to happen. Soon, I think.

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen: Episode 10
When you know the episode count, you can pretty much guess the event timeline. As expected, this episode was the darkness before the turnaround. The action was fun to watch; the show has been ramping up the intensity. Next week will be the resolution of all the battles. I’m eager to see the good guys take control.

Descending Stories: Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū: Episode 10
Everything played out like a series finale… and then that last scene… I don’t know what to think. But there are two episodes to go. Should be an interesting wrap-up.

Sāya Yamabuki
Sāya Yamabuki
BanG Dream! Episode 8

BanG Dream!: Episode 8
This episode went by the book… standard school cultural festival activity… Saya’s mom to the hospital… the barely-on-time arrival at the concert. At least Kasumi continued to show restraint. The best part, of course, was Saya performing on drums. I’ve been rooting for Saya. The band’s special song, “Star Beat! Hoshi no Kodou!” wasn’t as great as I’d hoped – but then we shouldn’t expect much from a newly-formed high school band. The sad part was that the studio used CG animation for the band performance, and the characters were noticeably off. CG is getting better (compared to, say, the stage performance of AKB0048), but it’s still not impressive.

Sangatsu no Lion (a.k.a. March Comes in Like a Lion): Episode 21
The Shimada story in his hometown was heartwarming. I like Shimada. The second story was ultra simple and not too interesting – but time with the Kawamoto sisters is always much appreciated. Overall a very good but not outstanding episode.

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (a.k.a. Interviews with Monster Girls): Episode 10
Overall, this was a fairly dull episode. I didn’t think much of the new character, Souma – and the scientific spiel went on way too long. I don’t have a good feeling about the vice principal either. Even in a good series, a clunker episode appears once in a while – and this was it.

Kawamoto Residence
Kawamoto Residence
Sangatsu no Lion, Episode 21

Saturday Errands in Portland

Mar. 11th, 2017 03:02 pm
lovelyangel: (Kuroyukihime Smile)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
An afternoon of sun yesterday (Friday) came and went – I wasn’t able to take advantage… and today the rain was steady. Still, regardless of weather, I needed to go into Portland for an errand. I found street parking two blocks from Powell’s and the other store I needed to visit. Two blocks is quite good – but I was still pretty wet by the time I’d walked to Powell’s.

In the Orange Room at Powell’s City of Books
In the Orange Room at Powell’s City of Books
Portland, Oregon
iPhone 6 Photo

Inside of Powell’s I can take one of two paths – fast mission shopping… or fun browse-and-shop, which can take an hour or two. I opted for the former and headed straight for the manga shelves in the Gold Room.

Reading Manga in the Gold Room
Reading Manga in the Gold Room
Powell’s City of Books • Portland, Oregon
iPhone 6 Photo

It didn’t take long for me to get the two volumes I came for: Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun volume 6 and Citrus volume 5. A glance at the display of featured new volumes led me to an impulse buy: Bloom Into You volume 1. I did some mental addition in my head and headed for checkout. All three volumes were covered by a gift card sent to me by my sister for Christmas. After purchase, there was $0.02 remaining on the card. Perfect!

New Manga Volumes from Powell’s Books
New Manga Volumes from Powell’s Books

My second mission took a little longer… birthday gift shopping at a store across the street. Ultimately I made a decision and a purchase – so the trip into Portland was a complete success.

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