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News & Updates for October 2006

Jura Basil Elden (Vandread)
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wow, what a disappointing Halloween! For some odd, unknown reason that neither my wife nor I could figure out, there were very few trick-or-treaters this year. I'd estimate that the turnout was at best a quarter of what we had last year, which left us with a ton of extra candy. Usually we buy four boxes from Costco, two variety packs and then two of something else, and are then left with about a half box worth of candy at the end of the night. This year, we would have been fine had we bought nothing more than two variety packs. Really wish I would've known this before we bought all this candy! But the question still remains, why?! It was a nice night out. No rain at all, not even a sprinkle. Did the government raise the terrorist threat level and nobody told me? Anyway, my wife and I spent most of the time just sitting near the door talking. That in itself was pretty nice, since we don't do it often.

This year I decided to work out the costumes for my wife and I BEFORE Halloween. Usually we just end up throwing something together on October 31st, a few hours before it gets dark. So this year I set aside a day and spent several hours mixing and matching various clothes and accessories until I got a look that I was happy with for both our costumes. Mine consisted of black gloves, black slippers, one of Treese's skirts to cover my waist down, and my graduation robe to cover most everything else. I then used another one of Treese's skirts to cover my neck and to add texture to my chest area. I accomplished this by connecting the two loops meant for putting it on a hanger with a paper clip, then placing that loop on my head. I then added two neclaces, one a cool looking one my mom got me, and the other just a simple chain. And for the final touch, my black cloak, some black see-through material to cover my face, and a rubber skull mask. Treese's costume ended up being much simpler than mine. Starting with the Evil Mistress costume that she had from 2003, we added a chain for a belt, a cool looking witch hat that we bought this year, and a necklace with gothic-looking cross.

After getting it all together, I then asked Victor if he would take a few snapshots, since he's such an awesome photographer. So on Sunday he came over and we ended up doing a whole photo shoot thing. I'm still not sure whether or not having the mask on made me the lucky one. On one hand, I didn't have to do a whole bunch of facial expressions like Treeses did. On the other hand, I could barely see... or breath. So I guess it's a toss-up. As a prop to some of the shots, we added one of our cool clear glass Lord of the Rings mugs with some dry ice to create the cool smoke effect. Victor whipped up a small batch of fake blood to add to the mug. The shoot turned out really well, though I realized that I would have to ditch the rubber mask when Halloween came around. After all, it'd be pretty hard for me to hand out candy while being passed out on the ground from lack of air. Anyway, you can take a gander at some of the shots on the 2006 Halloween Costumes Gallery.

A couple days ago my wife and I got hooked on a new videogame, Earth Defense Force 2 for the PlayStation 2. This is an import title, so all the dialog and text is in Japanese, but none of that really matters too much (though it can make selecting weapons a bit more difficult). The game has a 2-player cooperative mode, and basically involves you and your partner "defending" cities from invading aliens that happen to attack not only with flying saucers and War-of-the-World tripod-like things, but also with giant insects like ants, wasps, spiders, millipedes, and what not. There are two playable characters, a male who can operate vehicles and a female who can fly via jetpack. Between levels, each player gets to select two weapons from their arsenal which they can then switch between during the battle. Personally, I like the gatling gun/missle launcher combo.

I don't know how fun the game would be on single player mode, but it's really a blast to play with a friend. It does have a few problems, though, such as slowdown when there is too much action taking place, and the very annoying way it shifts your camera angle when you destroy some giant objective, causing you to then become overrun by attackers since it's forcing you to look at the thing you just destroyed instead of letting you look at who's trying to kill you. But even with these issues, the game still rocks! There are like over 70 missions, and you can play each one on five different skill levels, receiving a metal each time you complete one. So to collect them all, you'll have to play every stage on every skill level. Talk about replayability! But sorry folks, you won't be seeing this gem brought over to the US. Victor says that Sony rejected it because of the slowdown. Thanks, Sony, for reinforcing my belief that you are completely retarded!

Oh, and I finally wrote about How I Got Hired at Working Designs.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Posted the character profile of Kon (from Bleach).

Friday, October 27, 2006

Posted my review of Speed Racer - Volume 5.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Posted the character profiles of Tak (from Invader ZIM), Gaz (from Invader ZIM), GIR (from Invader ZIM). Posted the anime profile of Kannazuki no Miko.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Posted my review of Transformers Armada: Season One, Part Two. Posted the anime profile of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. Posted the character profile of Kalluto Zaoldyeck (from Hunter X Hunter).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Posed my review of the book Pick Me Up. Posted the character profile of Exodia (from Yu-Gi-Oh!). Posted the anime profile of Masquerade. Fixed a small problem with the forum: when editing a message for the first time, it would fail to store the previous version of the message.

Today is my sister's birthday... Happy Birthday, Julia!

I realized recently that I haven't yet mentioned anything about "Weird Al" Yankovic's new album, Straight Outta Lynwood. Well... it's great! Yes, it's true that I have enjoyed all of his albums, but I also freely admit that some are better than others. For instance, I didn't think that his previous album, Poodle Hat, was among one of his best works. But this new one is just fantastic, there wasn't a single song on it that I didn't enjoy. And apparently I'm not alone, because it's his first album ever to debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. So there's no reason for you not to go out right now at this very instant and pick it up! Store closed? Try one two towns over!

Straight Outta Lynwood also happens to be a hybrid CD/DVD, meaning one side of the disc is a CD and the other side is a DVD. I had never heard of such a thing! What an age we live in.... The DVD side contains the entire album in 5.1 Surround Sound, a behind the scenes featurette of Al in the studio, and six 6 animated videos, one for each of his original songs (and each created by different artists). The animation for the Close But No Cigar video struck me instantly as being done by John Kricfalusi (that dude who did Ren & Stimpy), 'cause it just felt so much like his style. Afterword I checked online and sure enough, it was him. The only disappointment I had was that the video for White & Nerdy wasn't included, because that thing is hilarious.

Well, this past week has been pretty uneventful. My wife and I finished off Lego Star Wars II. And I mean completely finished it. We found everything there was to find and bought everything there was to buy. The only thing we couldn't buy was the ability to load saved data from the first Lego Star Wars game, because our previous game was on the PlayStation 2, not the GameCube. What does that even give you? More money or something? There are time trials that help with the replay value... except they're for an ENTIRE episode, not just one stage. That kind of ruins it, 'cause then you have to play for like an hour straight, only to find you missed the best time by 2 seconds. I believe a typical reaction to that would be "screw this!", rather than "damn, let's try again" which is what the developers should have been aiming for.

Oh, I called DirecTV today. Everybody recall how the UPN and WB networks merged into the CW network back around September 20th? Well, ever since that happened, our Channel 10, which is listed as (and is supposed to be the home of) CW, has been showing the Reelz network. I wrote an email to DirecTV to find out what was going on, and they told me to try restarting my DirecTV receiver (as if that's somehow going to stop DirecTV from beaming the Reelz network to me), and if that doesn't work (which it didn't) then call tech support. So I called (and had to go through the reset procedure again), and after being unsuccessful in tracking down the problem, the lady put me on hold to contact a supervisor. Upon her return, she notified me that it was a known problem in the Redding area and that they are working on getting it resolved. So at least for right now, no CW for us! Not that we really care all that much, 'cause after all, merging two piles of crap really only gives you one big pile of crap.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Posted the anime profile of W.I.T.C.H..

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Posted the character profiles of Miyu Kozuki (from UFO Baby), James Darren Emerson (from Eureka Seven), Eureka (from Eureka Seven), Ritsu Kasanoda (from Ouran High School Host Club). Posted the anime profile of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon.

Some individual keeps sending profiles dealing with an anime called "Ayumi". This individual, however, never provides a valid e-mail address so that I can contact them to find out more information. My need for more information stems from the fact that I can't seem to find anything about this anime online. Typically, this means that the anime was just made up, though the possibility does exist that it is just a rare, unknown anime. And so, if you are this individual, please provide me with a way to contact you or please stop sending these profiles. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Posted the character profiles of Setsuna Sakurazaki (from Negima), Mikan Yamamura (from UFO Baby).

Monday, October 9, 2006

Posted the character profiles of Baby Lu (from UFO Baby), Nanami Tenchi (from UFO Baby), Aya Konishi (from UFO Baby).

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Posted the anime profiles of Karen, Aura Battler Dunbine, Space Runaway Ideon. Posted the character profile of Goren of the Stone (from Zatch Bell).

It was such a nice day out that we decided to go outside and snap a few photographs of yours truly. Normally we don't think about it until after dark, which makes for not-so-great lighting. It was the standard "try this pose, try that pose" kind of thing, but I think we got a few descent shots out of it. Definitely better than trying to take them inside the house at night where the flash is always required. And afterwards, I got the camera and snapped a few of my wife real quick. Anyway, you can check out the photos on the Posing Outside The House gallery.

You might notice that one of the pictures features my wife with stunningly little hair. Well, that's because on the Sunday before last, Treeses decided to take the plunge and shave her head just like I did. After seeing me bald for a few weeks and how much I loved it and how nice and easy it was to take care of it, she just couldn't stand how happy I was and she wanted to be that happy too. So we did it and I shaved it all off. It took her a little while to get used to it, and to get over the initial embarrassment such that she would take off her head covering in public, but now she loves having no hair just as much as I do. I don't think she intends to keep it completely bald, though. I think she wants to grow it out a little bit, but I don't see her going back to long hair anytime soon.

Oh, I found this website called Game Trading Zone, where you can list videogames, movies, music, and books that you own and that you would like to own. Then it lets you look at matches of people that want your items and have items that you want. Kinda like the popular trading site Zunafish (which I also tried out before I found Game Trading Zone), but much MUCH better. For one, Game Trading Zone is free. You don't have to pay a dollar per trade like with Zunafish. Also, you can make customized trade offers and converse with the person, unlike Zunafish which doesn't give you any contact information until AFTER you do the trade, and only allows you to trade 1-for-1 of the same type (for instance, 1 DVD movie for 1 DVD TV box set... doesn't really sound fair to me). So yeah, Game Trading Zone rules!

Friday, October 6, 2006

Posted the character profiles of Sheeta's Grandmother (from Laputa: Castle in the Sky), Blair Flannigan (from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX), Don Wei (from Oban Star Racers).

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Posted the anime profiles of Disgaea, Mahoraba ~Heartful Days~, Deus Machina Demonbane, Club to Death Dokuro Chan, He Is My Master, Mirmo!, Avenger, Bastard!!, Project ARMS. Posted the character profiles of Tokagero (from Shaman King), Anemone (from Eureka Seven), Kaname Tousen (from Bleach), Ishida Uryuu (from Bleach), Mayuri Kurotsuchi (from Bleach), Yukari Hayasaka (from Paradise Kiss).

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Posted the character profile of Takashi Kawamura (from Prince of Tennis).


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