Sep. 24th, 2017 01:57 pm
lovelyangel: (Chibi Haruhi)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Edelweiss CD/DVD
Edelweiss CD/DVD

On Saturday I received an order from CDJapan – the Edelweiss CD/DVD performed by 17-year-old singer Asaka. “Edelweiss” is the ED song for Centaur no Nayami. I’ve already added the song to several playlists and have updated one of the music CDs in Ava. The B-song is “Unfulfilled Butterfly,” which isn’t a bad song, but I’m not interested in adding it to any playlists.

The case included a small booklet with photos and lyrics to the two songs on the CD. Because the CD included both the Japanese and English versions of “Edelweiss,” both sets of lyrics are included.

The DVD (region 2) had the “Edelweiss” music video and a 10-minute short on the making of the video. The video was rather low budget, low tech – and it had the quirkyness of those sorts of productions. Both videos were fun to watch, though.

Once in a while I get a surprise treat on these orders. I did not pre-order this CD, and when I ordered, CDJapan said the First Press bonus – one of five different photos – was no longer available. But my case included a first press photo. Cool!

The full song has been posted to YouTube: Centaur no Nayami Ending Full - “Edelweiss”

Anime Summer Week 12

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:53 pm
lovelyangel: (Kagamin Pleased)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Kana Iijima
Kana Iijima
Tsurezure Children, Episode 12 (Season Finale)

Here are the shows from this season that I watched last week…

Tenshi no 3P! (Angel’s 3Piece): Episode 11
Another awful episode… but I guess I’ll see this through to the finish line. At least there might be (cutesy) songs next week.

Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life): Episode 12
Another poorly paced episode. Lots of talking separated by crude action. The ending to the arc was just meh. Akine capturing all the demons without notifying Yūshi in advance was simply dumb and random. Miura’s second attack in the Art Room didn’t make any sense because Tashiro should have been the target, not Yūshi. This entire arc was a muddled mess, and I’ll be happy when this series is over.

Isekai Shokudō (Restaurant to Another World): Episode 12 (Season Finale)
This was a pleasant and interesting episode, with Artorius trying to prevent Alexander from meeting with his granddaughter, Adelheid, although they later crossed paths anyway. And it was nice seeing other characters we’ve known from previous stories. The surprise was finding out that Tenshu (“Master”) is the grandson of one of the four Legendary Warriors. This series has been so episodic that it’s no wonder there was anything special done to mark the end of a season.

New Game!!: Episode 11
Much better than last week! Drama involving Tsubame and Nene was a reasonable story with good resolution and signs of improved bonding. Umiko has become a more appealing character this season, also. I suspect the drama around Kou is overblown (more misunderstandings, I’m guessing).

Tsurezure Children: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
The soccer tournament at sports day was unexpected and funny. Then the last half of the episode focused on two couples – Kana x Chiaki and Chizuru x Takurō. Both couples went through scenes that made my heart ache… but I was so delighted when there were dramatic turnarounds at the end. Tears of joy! This was a superb ending note for the first season of an ongoing series. I really, really want a season 2!

Mahoujin Guru Guru: Episode 12
For some reason the story seemed more focused and interesting this week. Plus there was a grand reunion of characters. I liked this episode.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Episode 25
The new arc begins… field trip to Kirigakure. We all know that this is trouble – but what else can you do to make drama in “peacetime?” This episode was mostly setup for the upcoming conflict.

Yōkoso Jitsuryoku Shijō Shugi no Kyōshitsu e (Classroom of the Elite): Episode 11
I’m glad the story didn’t get bogged down in last week’s conflict and instead introduced additional problems. And at the end we were granted a piece of the puzzle, but I can’t tell who is behind that. Class A? Looks like it’s time for Kiyotaka to save the day.

Gamers!: Episode 11
Well… I thought our two couples might have a chance to get things back on track at the RPG amusement park… but then Konoha messed everything up by forcing Chiaki into the mix. What a mess. (My favorite comment at Crunchyroll: “freaking Konoha... I wish Orochimaru could have destroyed you when he had the chance…”) The animation went off-model a few times also. The problem with the series is that the ratio of wins to misunderstandings is low, and the forever cycle of misunderstandings is starting to get tiring. It appears that the season will end next week with stuff still up in the air – because the light novels are all about perpetuating misunderstandings. I’m losing enthusiasm.

Konbini Kareshi (Convenience Store Boy Friends): Episode 12
Another horribly paced and directed episode… dragging out the Mashima-Mishiki story… not helped much by Mishiki being unconscious though most of the episode. (And, hey, if someone is unconsicous in a hospital bed for days or weeks – and then wakes up – shouldn’t the first thing you do is get a doctor or nurse?) The only really surprising thing was the twist with the twin sister… but that just means there’s more to untangle once Mishiki is back on her feet. This series has ended up being terrible. One more week (month, storywise), and we can put this snail out of its misery.

Boku no Hero Academia: Episode 37
The final battle in the final exams… and given that it invoved three of the most powerful characters at the school, the spectacular explosiveness of the battle was not surprising. The trick to the battle was whether or not Katsuki and Izuku could work together. This battle was a captivating end to the final exams.

Centaur no Nayami (a.k.a. A Centaur’s Life): Episode 12 (Season Finale)
No creepy government oversight this week… just two normal (for this show, anyway) high school stories – an RPG story and an arm-wrestling contest. Both stories were amusing, playing on the character traits of the students. The writers didn’t even try to give this episode the feel of a season ending. That’s probably reasonable given that this is an ongoing slice-of-life series with no overall story.

Knight’s & Magic: Episode 13 (Season Finale)
Appropriately, the Big Battle took place in the season finale. Our team won, of course, and the action was as over-the-top as was expected. In the best of fanfic tradition, the Ikaruka was able to best the overpowered Vyver. I liked that Kid was able to be the one to save the Queen Eleonore – stationed only as a plot device, I think. Not surprisingly, the major villains all survived to fight another day, as the Light Novel series is still in progress. Looks like the foundation is set for Kid x Eleonore and Ernesti x Addy. I’m good with that. Overall… a ludicrous series that was fun.

Manami Mitama
Manami Mitama
Centaur no Nayami, Episode 12 (Season Finale)

Ended Previously
Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic

Sentai is Always Listless

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:43 pm
lovelyangel: (Miyako Asleep)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge, Episode 4

Finally! January 30, 2018. Sentai Filmworks is finally going to release Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge (Tanaka-kun is Always Listless) on home video. The price difference between the Standard Blu-ray release ($52.49) and the Premium Blu-ray release ($97.49) I think is excessive, given the listless extras that Sentai is providing. (Sentai is not very good at premium boxes.) Even though I love the series, I’ll probably just get the standard release.

By the time the series is available on home video, 19 months will have elapsed since the end of the season. Feels longer.

Star Words: Part XXVIII

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:25 pm
matril: (Default)
[personal profile] matril
There was a lot of foreshadowing about Anakin discussed in the last entry, but we also have a tremendous hint regarding the identity of Sidious, right before the film's final scene. It casts an ominous shadow over all of the gleeful celebration that follows.

Yoda and Mace discuss the fallen Darth Maul (did they learn his name from the Viceroy or not? No one mentions him by name again, so who knows?) and acknowledge that the Sith truly have returned. And they know there's another one out there, because "Always two there are. No more. No less. A master...and an apprentice." This is a great line on its own. It explains the Sith rule of two succinctly and simply. We understand that the two must be constantly at odds, each secretly planning on replacing the other while knowing the other plans to replace them. Vader's power play with the Emperor and Luke makes more sense than ever.

But Mace's reply...this line gives me goosebumps.

"But which was destroyed? The master...or the apprentice?"

And the camera pans not-so-subtly across the faces of the funeral attendees to finish on Palpatine's.

If you want to give a clear visual representation of dramatic irony, here it is. We know, as an audience, know something that the characters don't. And oh, how it stings.

I don't think we're meant to be in any doubt about the identity of the hooded Sidious. He's on Coruscant just like the Senator -- and if that weren't enough, the balcony where he talks with Maul is clearly visible outside the window of Palpatine's apartment. They both first show up as holograms. Sidious speaks casually of wielding control in the Senate. And for heaven's sake, they have the exact same chin. Star Wars is not all about shocking reveals, "I am your father" notwithstanding. In the prequels especially, there's more power in watching the unwitting characters fly blindly into the tragedy we know is coming.

This is very Shakespearean, by the way. No one worried about spoilers when they were about to watch Othello. The basic stories were familiar to most people, and in any case, if it was a tragedy, the audience knew the hero wasn't going to make it. The point is watching the journey, noting every step along the way that could have been taken differently. It's not the same kind of entertainment as watching a story with a happy ending, but it's definitely entertaining. Cathartic, even. But I've probably gone a bit too much into English teacher mode. Back to the movie.

When the title of the latest Disney Space movie came out, everyone was clambering to find out who the last Jedi could be. (Don't get me started on the notion that the Jedi would be all-but-extinct AGAIN only 30 years after THE JEDI RETURNED. Ahem.) Anyway, the story came out that when a reporter asked George Lucas who the Phantom Menace was, he immediately said, "Darth Sidious." Hah! I love it. Everyone expects that you have to be coy and withholding about everything, down to the meaning of the title, but that's not the point of it for Lucas. Sure, you wouldn't want to give everything away before someone has even seen the movie. But in our spoiler-obsessed culture, I think we can fail to appreciate the nuances of storytelling, and the value of seeing more upon repeat viewings than the initial shocking reveal.

Could the Jedi have done anything to recognize Palpatine's true nature before it was too late? I'm not sure. He was apparently clouding their minds pretty darn effectively. But maybe it was their arrogance that allowed him to get that strong in the first place without their notice. They were quite comfortably sure that the Sith were extinct at the start of the film. They weren't even thinking to keep their eyes open for any sign of them. So maybe if they were wary and watchful early on, the Sith wouldn't have grown so powerful without their notice. If only...if only...but it's not to be. Palpatine is right under their noses, and they're looking past him.

So that's all for Episode I! It's practically the last line of the film, with just a few yelps from Jar Jar and a jubilant (and rather ironic, considering future events) "PEACE!" from Boss Nass in the final scene. Next time I'll be moving on to Episode II, which will match up nicely with my other project I'm currently working on -- One-Woman Attack of the Clones. Oh yes, I'm still doing that. I do have fun with my hobbies....

Big Screen Lupin III

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:40 pm
lovelyangel: (Chibi Yuri)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Jigen and Lupin
Jigen and Lupin
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro

Last night I saw Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro at Century Theatres. I never tire of this masterpiece! Before the movie, a short and wonderful interview with Pixar’s John Lasseter was presented. He gushed about the art and craftsmanship of the movie – and the movie’s influence on his own career. After the movie another interview short was shown – this one featuring Monkey Punch (the original manga artist/writer) and two of the movie’s animators.

Inbetween was the movie itself – always fun, always amazing – and gorgeous on the big screen. I may never get to see this movie in a theater again. I’m so glad I have it on Blu-ray at home.

A fabulous two hours passed quickly, and I left the theater with a big smile on my face. (And tonight I’m treating myself to revisiting the soundtrack in my iTunes library.)

Anime Disappointment

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:35 pm
lovelyangel: (Haruhi NotImpressed)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Sora, Nozomi & Jun
Sora, Nozomi & Jun
Tenshi no 3P! Episode 10

I have to say that this anime season has not been a memorable one. When Monday rolls around there are three series waiting for me to watch (Tenshi no 3P!; Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō; Isekai Shokudō), and I’m not excited about any of them. Those three shows lead the list of this season’s disappointments. I’d drop those shows, but we’re so close to the end of the season that I might as well finish them out.

Here are the anime series I’m currently watching that are disappointing:

Note: I thought Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic was disappointing also. It wasn’t a bad show, but I thought it was going to be something intriguing or amazing. The lightweight fluff didn’t meet my high expectations.

Here are the anime series that are disappointing because they’re available only on Amazon’s Anime Strike, which I’ve declined to pay for. Consequently, I can’t sample or watch them.
  • Made in Abyss
  • Princess Principal
  • Rage of Bahamut
  • Vatican Miracle Examiner
  • Koi to Uso
  • Shōkoku no Altair

Anime Summer Week 11

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:21 pm
lovelyangel: Hina Satou from Tesagure! Bukatsumono 3 ED (Hina Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Pirari Academy Class 1-S
Pirari Academy Class 1-S
Hina Logi – From Luck and Logic, Episode 12 (Series Finale)

Here are the shows from this season that I watched last week…

Tenshi no 3P! (Angel’s 3Piece): Episode 10
Well… the show is getting worse… and it wasn’t that great to begin with. I didn’t expect Yuzuha and Koume (Kiriyume) to be added to what is degrading into harem competition. Much of the episode was effectively a “date” with Kyou and Yuzuha – which ticked everyone else off. So then a “date” with Sora… and… this is just terrible stuff.

Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life): Episode 11
Something of a slow episode. We didn’t learn a lot on top of what we already knew. Tashiro is kind of a pain – intentionally for plot, I guess. The episode dragged on until it reached another cliffhanger. The preview for next week seems a little more interesting, anyway.

Isekai Shokudō (Restaurant to Another World): Episode 11
I can’t say that the sirens’ story was very interesting or believable. Only the door’s connection with a previous story (Admiral Flugel) was valuable. I do like how the series has been working to do cross-connections between stories we’ve heard previously. The show did some spotlighting on Kuro, but Kuro isn’t an interesting or appealing character, so that time didn’t deliver much.

New Game!!: Episode 10
No real drama this week… not much happening with Aoba and her peers, either. The bulk of the episode was flat – no character development, no insights. Near the end, the writers threw a softball – everyone went home to cozy dinners with friends and family. The best part was the final vignette with Kou and Rin. Kou’s my favorite character in the series, and Kou x Rin is my favorite pairing – although there’s little sign that anything is actually going to happen between the two friends. I suppose their moment together made the episode worthwhile.

Tsurezure Children: Episode 11
Awww! I want to see Chizuru and Takurō together! The light is slowly turning on for Chizuru. Credit Ayaka for the assist! Then it seems like Kana and Chiaki are never going to get their act together. They are certainly ill-fated. Saki and Haruhiko need to get together, also – their vignette started sadly but then there’s a glimmer of hope. I loved Yuki’s contribution to the scene. I love Yuki! In the final story, Ryōko was trying really hard with exams. Masafumi sat on his hands, but the banter with Shinichi (the Dating Master) was fun. It’s the best Shinichi has looked all series.

Mahoujin Guru Guru: Episode 11
The usual antics. The episode was fine.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Episode 24
Seems like this episode could have been something instead of being a series of small vignettes that fell flat. The gathering of the five kages was overly flashy. Sakura unpacking was… whatever. The kages’ concern with the soft youth was kind of pointless. (Why don’t they have more competitions like the chunin exams?) Boruto remains a punk, and Sarada would do better to just ignore him. The battle between the two was… OK – but I expect better. Much of the what happens here is taken from Naruto manga chapter #700 – the series finale – but I wish they’d just done the chapter as it was.

Yōkoso Jitsuryoku Shijō Shugi no Kyōshitsu e (Classroom of the Elite): Episode 10
There’s been less conflict than I expected – and some finally appeared in the second half of the episode – manufactured by another class, I suspect. The current setup will surely lead to another misunderstand – and you know I hate misunderstandings. I dread what comes next, and my hope is that the mess will be short-lived. Who knows?

Gamers!: Episode 10
Back when this series started, I wouldn’t have guessed that most trouble would have been generated by Tasuku. But he’s the guy that leads everyone else to jump to conclusions. And there’s plenty of jumping going on. I’d love to have more of the (stupid) misunderstandings cleared up.

Konbini Kareshi (Convenience Store Boy Friends): Episode 11
Mishima has dragged his cold feet around so long that I don’t think he even deserves Mashiki – even if he finally confesses to her. After all, one episode is one month, and nothing has happened after 11 episodes. This entire series has been terrible. I’m rooting for Mashiki – and that’s about it.

Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic: Episode 12 (Series Finale)
Fluff until the end. A little bit of the expected conflict… and the goofy attempts to deflect the conflict… plus a bit of decent action in a battle challenge… and then the inevitable conclusion. Overall a reasonable ending to a lightweight show. Of the students and staff, there weren’t any that I didn’t like, so that’s a plus.

Boku no Hero Academia: Episode 36
The exam battles all were extremely entertaining. Highlights: Ochako blushing… Nezu-sensei laughing… Kōji speaking. I’m not sure what my reaction was to the student that I dislike – Mineta – actually winning. Ah, well… no matter. We’re finally ready to watch the final exam battle – Izuku & Katsuki vs All Might – starting next week.

Centaur no Nayami (a.k.a. A Centaur’s Life): Episode 11
Well, that was about as leisurely slice-of-life as you can get. The first story spent a lot of time with flower names. Shino is a quick learner and a patient teacher – very sharp and mature for a little kid. The second story was mostly about the Chi-chans – how they try to look after Sue… and their search for someone prettier than their oneesan. And, certainly, there’s no one prettier in this show than Manami (my fav!) Anyway, the episode was a whole bunch of small kids being cute. I’m good with that!

Knight’s & Magic: Episode 12
The fanfic continues. The big battle turns into a draw. I’d anticipated that the “running out of mana” scenario was going to be an out – and it happened twice. It’s all a setup for the finale (I hope).

Mitama Sisters
Mitama Sisters
Centaur no Nayami, Episode 11

Autumn is Here

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:43 pm
lovelyangel: (Kuroyukihime Poised)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Well… not officially… but autumn weather is here. The sky was blanketed with a solid weave of gray clouds – no sign of the sun – and sprinkles of rain. I love it.

Our special worship this morning was outdoors, and I broke out one of my favorite lightweight wool long-sleeve tops. Since the morning was below 60°F, I layered an additional Icebreaker wool vest. That was plenty to keep me warm as I performed photographer duties. Two cameras, two lenses, 450 photos. Lots of work ahead.

I didn’t stay for the potluck lunch. Instead, I headed north and stopped at Which Wich. I had a $3 credit that expired today – and plenty of dollars on the gift card that Jenni had given me.

Lunch at Which Wich
Lunch at Which Wich

After lunch, I drove home on surface streets. It was 64°F outside under the soft, colorless skies – perfect weather, actually. I rolled down the windows and enjoyed the fresh air all the way home. It felt good.

Related: Portland weather: Sunday's mild temps end 92-day warm streak, a new record

A Camera Thing

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:23 am
lovelyangel: (Haruhi Camera)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Test Photo
Test Photo

I was preparing my cameras, lenses, batteries, and memory cards for the event I’m photographing this morning. I remembered that D810/302 is getting close to the end of the number range for image filenames, and I wanted to see how many pictures remain before I need to reset the filename prefix. I absolutely must do this before Kumoricon, when things are so crazy I’m sure to blow right past the limit and forget to reset mid-convention.

I did test shots on each camera to see what the current filenames are. They are:

  • NFC_9500
  • NGA_2510

So there are nearly 500 photos remaining on D810/302. I’ve actually been using D810/306 as my walkabout camera, and if that remains the situation, it’s not likely I’ll shoot 500 images on 302 before KCon. I’ll probably have to swap cameras for a while.

This post mainly serves to remind me to keep an eye on the image counter on D810/302.

A Full Week

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:03 am
lovelyangel: (Homura Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Schedule craziness starts today. Besides a full workweek, my schedule for the next seven days includes:

Special worship service for Frog Pond Church at the River Shelter at Wilsonville Memorial Park. I’ll be photographing the event.

Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro evening showing at Cedar Hills Crossing. Woo Hoo! (I held out for the Subtitled Showing, of course!)

Evening farewell party for my co-worker friend “T”.

Farewell luncheon for another co-worker.
Monthly dinner with my longtime friend Debbie.

Afternoon appointment with my lawyer to review and sign papers.

Early morning appointment with Bonnie, my hairdresser… followed by a daytrip with Jenni to the Corvallis Fall Festival. We’ve had this on the schedule for quite a while, and I can’t wait!

UPDATE: Posted schedule changes.

AWA is coming

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:38 am
davemerrill: (Default)
[personal profile] davemerrill
Just like it's been doing for the past 22 years, AWA is approaching, Atlanta's premier Japanese animation event.

I see people using the term "Atlanta's premier (WHATEVER) event" a lot, and I just want to point out that I was the first person to use that in the context of a fan event. I labeled AWA "the Southeast's premier Japanese animation festival" when other anime conventions started popping up in our territory. When AWA started in 1995 there was nothing within 700 miles of Atlanta that could reasonably be called an anime con. Katsucon started the same year as AWA, but the DC area is more of a "mid-atlantic" than a "southeast". Animazement in Raleigh started in 1998. Now there are anime cons in every middling-sized city everywhere.

Anyways, I see conventions use "premier" as a modifier, and half the time it's used by people that don't know the difference between "premiere" and "premier," and the other half of the time it's used by people who don't know what it means anyway, but are just copying AWA. Which remains the Southeast's number one anime fan event, as far as I'm concerned.

So what am I up to this year at AWA?

The SuperhappyFunSell is AWA's yard sale garage sale used merch event and it's a lot of fun and I floor-manage it.

Anime Hell is the freeform clip show event that I evented and invented. This will be the 20th year of doing Anime Hell at AWA!!

Saturday at 2:30 I'll be talking about the Japanese anime films that made their way into American theaters in the years before Akira finally put anime on the art-house cinema map.

Saturday night the grownups get their own space to socialize and have a few drinks! I'm sort of hosting this, which means I make sure the room opens on time and then I wander around introducing strangers to each other.

Sunday Neil Nadelman and I are talking about what may be the worst Japanese cartoon ever made, a little thing called "Chargeman Ken". And then for me AWA is over and I can relax for a few weeks and then it all starts all over again. Wheeee!

If you want to track me down, your best bet is to find me at one of these events. I don't know if my cell phone is going to work at all - Verizon changed their plans and now they no longer offer pay-as-you-go, so I can't just let it sit idle and only put money on it when I need it, and from here I can't even call into their network to see if I have any time left or put more money into it. There really isn't a good option for me and phones in America that doesn't involve me unlocking this phone and buying a burner sim card every time I cross the border, and I'd do that if I had any free time in Atlanta before AWA, which I do not. Probably get it done at Xmastime.

State of the Angel

Sep. 16th, 2017 07:48 pm
lovelyangel: (Haruhi Thoughtful)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Sinju Sushi Restaurant • Bridgeport Village • Tigard, Oregon
September 10, 2017

I’m a little weary, and I wish I had more time off from work. Many of my friends, former co-workers, and relatives are retired – and I’m a bit envious of them as my own plans don’t call for retirement for another seven years. I like my work a lot – I just wish I didn’t have to spend so much time at the office.

Work is going quite well, and although my workdays are long, the week does seem to fly by quickly. I love my job, my bosses, and my co-workers. I couldn’t ask for a better environment. I’m certain this is the best situation I’ve enjoyed in my 40-year career. I know to savor these blessings now, as things can change radically without notice. That’s simply the way the business world is nowadays. But I’d love to end my career on this sweet note.


The weekend comes before I’m ready. Whether I’ve prepared or not, a long backlog of tasks carries over from the previous week.

This weekend is the fourth and final weekend in my less than heroic attempt to get the house in order before my fall schedule ramps up. The house had gotten to be quite a mess during the summer, and if I didn’t get things back in control, the fall was looking very bad.

The first two weekends were not very productive as the high temperatures hovered around 100°F, and the house did not cool down overnight. The house was stifling, and I sluggishly plodded through tasks. Last weekend the temperatures were around 80°F, and I did a little better. Every weekend was a small, incremental but important step in the right direction.

My big worry is the memory of the house falling apart horribly last fall when my schedule was overwhelming. This coming fall my schedule is similar. Basically my events and activities go non-stop starting mid-September and going through the end of January. While cleanup has been steadily progressing, I’m wondering if a state of tidyness is going to stick through the end of the year. I’ll try to keep on top of things this year – at least I’ll make an effort to be more mindful.


I’ve been busy – too busy to take photographs. I used to be able to go on photowalks at random places, but my schedule has been too squeezed to do that. Right now, though, I’m thinking I need to stop any extracurricular photography. My mind isn’t in artspace much at the moment anyway. I’ve been learning that my event photography exacts a heavy time penalty, and it takes a couple of weeks to get my personal schedule back on track after an event. I’ve figured out I need to factor those weeks into every event on the calendar.

Friday I learned that a co-worker is also the co-founder of one of the bicycle companies I photographed at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Once I made the connection I sent him links to my photos of his bicycles. He actually remembered me from the shows. It’s a very small world. I made the connection as we were sharing our photo galleries in the Photography channel in one of our corporate Slack workspaces.

One of the studios that displayed art at the Portland Winter Light Festival asked me if they could use one of my photos of their work to include in their submission to the 2017 Oregon ASLA Design Awards. Sure. Glad to help.


As usual, when my schedule gets stressed, I rely on anime to reset my brain each night after work. The current season’s broadcast schedule works out perfectly at roughly two episodes per evening. Monday still has the three worst shows of the season. The three shows on Tuesday are much better. Friday is down to no episodes except for the three minutes of Nobunaga no Shinobi. But I unwind in other ways on Fridays. (Monday’s shows are so meh that sometimes I’ll delay watching them, even as late as Friday.)

Anime music on my drive to and from work consistently puts me in a good mood. Ava’s CD player is acting balky at the moment. Usually it doesn’t do well in hot weather, but the CD player hasn’t gotten better with cooler, autumn temperatures. I don’t know if the player is having age problems, if the head needs another cleaning, or if the CDs are wearing out. I’ll be burning replacement CDs when I merge new songs into the commuting playlists later this month. I’ll learn more then.


I still have a stagnant collection of unread books. I’ve shelved most of them, and now I’m keeping a list of the reading backlog instead of staring at a stack of books sitting on the floor in my bedroom. I avoid going to Powell’s Books except for mission shopping as I know I’m too vulnerable to impulse buying. I still spend plenty of money at Powell’s to feed my manga addiction. I’ll be paying another visit later this month to get copies of Skip Beat! Vol. 39 and Bloom Into You, Vol 3.

And maybe now it’s too easy to grow the backlog. I’ve stalled on The Color of Magic in my iBooks library. A week ago I added another ebook: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It’s a book that I don’t think I’ll miss having a physical copy of. On top of this, two weeks ago I received a digital version of the volume 1 omnibus from the Kimagure Orange Road Manga Kickstarter. That’s 550 unread pages of manga in my iBooks library.

I was reading about changes in the library card system for Washington County Cooperative Library Services, and September is Library Card Sign-up Month. I was temporarily motivated to go in and see if I could still use my very old library card – or if I needed a replacement. Then I realized that I haven’t checked out a book (or movie or whatever) in decades – and I probably won’t need a library card until I retire and have more time to read. I used to go to the library to read certain magazines and newspapers, but I don’t even have time to do that anymore. I guess the Internet has taken the place of that. Still, we have a Really Cool Library. I should stop in once in a while.


Back to the original question. I’m doing fine. Super busy. A little bit tired. Sleeping barely enough (but sleeping in a couple hours extra on weekends). Somewhat overwhelmed by a daunting backlog of tasks, many past due. Treading water mostly – but making tiny bits of progress.

Next week my calendar is full – the start of fall/winter overload. I bring it on myself, though. And each activity is good – there’s just too much. When I don’t get enough personal downtime, I get grumpy, so I’ll have to watch out. In general, I take care of myself just enough. Sleep. Anime. Doing Nothing. Those all are things I need more of in times of stress. Stepping up time management is something I need to do, also.

With Luck, This Never Gets Made

Sep. 15th, 2017 06:27 pm
lovelyangel: (Mahoro Alarmed)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
I’m kinda thinking a Robotech Live Action Movie is a bad idea. Too many reasons to list.

And given the track record of most studios… what do you want to bet that the Japanese-Chinese Lynn Minmay is portrayed by a caucasian actress? (Ghost in the Shell, anyone?)

Star Words: Part XXVII

Sep. 14th, 2017 03:35 pm
matril: (Default)
[personal profile] matril
There are just oodles of foreshadowing lines after the final battle of Episode I, aren't there? And most of them are about Anakin. We have Palpatine's friendly "We shall watch your career with great interest" that's only horrifying if you know what he's really planning. And we have Yoda worrying of the "grave danger" he senses in Anakin's training, while Obi-Wan insists to Yoda that he will fulfill his promise to a dying Qui-Gon, "without the permission of the Council, if I must." This leads to Yoda's grumbling about "Qui-Gon's defiance" living on through Obi-Wan, his reluctant concession, "Your apprentice, Skywalker will be" and Obi-Wan's promise to Anakin at Qui-Gon's funeral -- "You will be a Jedi." Whenever a character says the words "I promise" in a Star Wars film (or any story, really) you can bet that it'll be important later. Lucas doesn't generally belabor plot points, so it must be very significant that we see the ominous, uncertain nature of Anakin's induction into the Jedi Order.

And it all begins with Qui-Gon's dying words.

"Promise me. Promise me you will train the boy. He is the Chosen One. He will bring balance."

First off, kind of a snub toward Obi-Wan, isn't it? Just imagine that your beloved mentor, the man who trained you for years and years, is about to die. And there's not a word about you and how much you meant to him. He reserves his last breath for that upstart little kid he's barely known three days.

Okay, but Obi-Wan is probably a bigger man than to get too resentful. After all, he and Qui-Gon had an excellent heart-to-heart right before the battle (see entry XXIII of this series), so he has his master's approbation and well wishes. And he has to know Qui-Gon's single-mindedness when it comes to following the will of the Force. So there must be something about training Anakin that's too important to leave alone. Does Obi-Wan believe at this point that he is the Chosen One? Maybe not. I think he wants to believe it, because otherwise Qui-Gon wasted his last words and last wishes. He's certainly going to honor that dying wish with all his might.

And here we have the establishment of an awfully shaky apprenticeship for Anakin. Obi-Wan, barely done being a Padawan himself, driven not by any particular connection to Anakin but out of devotion to his lost master; charged with the training of possibly the most important potential Jedi who ever lived. No big deal. No major issue if he fails, except perhaps the Force falling permanently out of balance. But Qui-Gon begged for his promise -- there's that word again! -- and Obi-Wan is determined to follow through.

Anakin isn't the protagonist of Episode I. The story belongs primarily to Qui-Gon, Amidala and Jar Jar. It's curious to start that way, but the more I think about that choice, the more I like it. Anakin was a slave from an obscure planet. No one expected him to be anything important, until a chance meeting with a maverick Jedi. And then everything shifts, reorienting around Anakin's journey through light and darkness. That shift, to me, is a fascinating way of illustrating how the universe has gone off-kilter, out of balance. Something is off. Something has gone wrong. And Palpatine's private victory is only the beginning.

More on that with next week's installment -- which will be the finale line I'll discuss from Episode I in this series! I look forward to moving on to Attack of the Clones after that...


Sep. 12th, 2017 07:02 pm
lovelyangel: (Mahoro Smile)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
RyuZU from Clockwork Planet
Kotobukiya 1/7 scale PVC figurine

I had expected on Monday to have to go to the post office to sign for this latest shipment from CDJapan, but it appears that Daniel was home and answered the door when the postal carrier attempted to deliver. So the parcel was waiting on the kitchen island when I got home from work yesterday. That saved me a trip and a day.

I ordered the figurine back in April, three weeks into the broadcast of the Clockwork Planet anime. The sculpture is based on the Cover Illustration for the first light novel in the series. Five months from order to delivery is unusually short for figurine orders. Figurines like these one has to order early, because they sell out. This RyuZU figurine is no longer available.

Kotobukiya as usual crafted a finely detailed figurine. RyuZU’s hair is less than impressive, but her outfit is stunning. I liked the anime series… I liked the character of RyuZU… and I’m pleased with this figurine. And remember that RyuZU was the Runner-up Name for My Next Laptop.


Sep. 12th, 2017 06:41 pm
lovelyangel: (Eve Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
BlackPods Unboxing
BlackPods Unboxing

We had thought that Apple might announce a New Version of its AirPods today. That didn’t happen, but there’s probably an update in the works that will be available soon. That’s fine. The current version still works perfectly well. I like mine a lot.

The only thing I don’t like is the color. The white AirPods look dorky to me, and I’m nothing if not vain. Several of the Apple News sites I follow were promoting BlackPods, and when The Loop ran a promo with $20 off, I jumped at the chance to get a set. I placed the order three weeks ago.

I like the smoothness of the AirPods case, so I ordered the gloss black BlackPods. My order was shipped first class mail and arrived Monday. They are very cool.


The BlackPods were soon fully charged, and I listened to one of my large anime playlists all Monday evening. I followed that by wearing them much of the day at work. I happened to be doing the kind of work that wouldn’t be slowed by music in my ears. The BlackPods were awesome.

No More White AirPods
No More White AirPods
iPhone 6 Photo

Dependent on the Cloud

Sep. 12th, 2017 05:37 am
lovelyangel: (Cooker WhatTha?)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Urk. Zenfolio has been down since about 6:30 pm last night (Monday). I have pictures to upload – and also blog posts being held up until the photo site is operational. I guess I’ll do catchup tonight after work.

Luke Fan Video

Sep. 11th, 2017 12:26 pm
matril: (Default)
[personal profile] matril
Made this a while ago, but it kind of got lost in the midst of my more elaborate projects. Oh, how I love Luke and his heroic face at the end of Return of the Jedi.

Photo Event Planning, Updated

Sep. 10th, 2017 04:25 pm
lovelyangel: (Mamimi Camera 2)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
(Original Post, May 2017)

My schedule is constantly tight, and I have to plan my vacation time and photography time very carefully. For both, I lay out in advance the schedule for the entire calendar year. One thing I’ve been trying to figure out is how to avoid the horrible schedule mess I got into last year starting in October and ending in early February. Because I don’t have control over when certain events take place, my schedule is easily boxed in by those externalities.

What killed my schedule last year was the move of Kumoricon from its traditional Labor Day weekend spot to the weekend before Halloween. (This was forced by the move to the Oregon Convention Center, which has rules about convention scheduling.) This was compounded to Newcon being moved from mid-January to the end of December. The two biggest (quantitywise) photo events of the year were only two months apart.

This year, Kumoricon is one day earlier and Newcon is six days later – so there’s one extra week between the two. Also, the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show moved from October to August this year. That will help a bit with my October crunch. Still, October/November and January are going to be tough.

Now that I have two camera bodies, photographing certain events will be easier. My photo event planning calendar now looks like:

• Newcon (3 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G VR

• Portland Winter Light Festival (1 of 2 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G

• Portland Pride Festival (2 of 2 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

• Oregon Country Fair (2 of 3 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E

• Beaverton Night Market #1 (1 day)
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

• Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show (3 of 3 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G
     • AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E

• Beaverton Night Market #2 (1 day)(skipped, conflict with OHBS)
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

• Solar Eclipse
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G

• Frog Pond Worship Service at Wilsonville Memorial Park (1 day)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G

• Corvallis Fall Festival (1 of 2 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

• OSU Women’s Volleyball
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E

• Kumoricon (3 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G
     • Sigma 20mm 1.4 DG HSM Art

• Frog Pond Music Festival (1 day)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G

Anime Summer Season Theme Songs

Sep. 10th, 2017 03:23 pm
lovelyangel: (Kagamin Miku 2)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Manami Mitama
Manami Mitama
Centaur no Nayami ED animation

It might be a lackluster anime season, but in spots there is good animation… and also there is good music.

A nice selection: 10 Rocking Anime Theme Songs from Summer 2017.

(Two of the 10 songs are already on their way here from CDJapan, on separate orders placed a week apart.)

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