neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)


I ended Driving update for December 2013: My car by postponing making good on a promise.
Also, I made a promise at the end of the last report.
Yes, I bought this car in October 2003. I have a story about that, but I'll save it for the next report, along with why I named my car Yuki. Stay tuned.
I'm going to take a rain check on this promise. These look like the kind of stories I would write to post while I'm traveling, which I might do over the next two weeks.
Instead, I explained the name of my wife's car.
It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not up to it. Besides, this report is about my wife's car, which I call Ruby (my wife doesn't give her cars names). I gave her that name because of the car's color and because my wife and I are fans of "Once Upon a Time," which had a character named Ruby, who is really Red Riding Hood, for the first two seasons.
Well, my car turned over 220,000 miles today, so it's time to tell her story.

My previous car, a Nissan I called Molly, died in October 2003 after she turned over 210,000 miles during a drive back from an anime convention in South Bend, Indiana, although I didn't realize it at the time. I heard the engine knocking, which it did when the oil was low. I put in two quarts of oil (!) and continued driving home. Within a week, I had to put in more oil, and the engine began to sound just horrible. I took it in for service, and found out that all the seals had blown and the engine was getting ready to throw a rod. That was the end of my driving Molly. I had to get a new car.

About this time, one of the local Kia dealerships was advertising its deal. "Got a job? Got $100? Get a new Kia!" I qualified, so I rented a car and drove over to the nearest Kia dealer and got Yuki. It wasn't even the right dealership, but that didn't matter. I picked out a car from the previous model year that had a rebate to entice people to get it off the lot. I was able to roll that rebate into the down payment and was able to drive Yuki home without paying a cent. Ah, the long-gone days of easy credit!

As for Molly, the dealership accepted her as a trade-in worth $50 and had her towed away. At least I was able to get scrap value and free towing. Best of all, Yuki's interior looked exactly like Molly's. From the inside, it was as if I had just gotten a newer version of the same car with an automatic transmission. As I wrote back in 2011 and again in 2012, it was a concession to comfort and age.
When I needed to buy a car, I got a Kia instead. It got 32 miles to the gallon, but it was an automatic. I was willing to sacrifice a few miles to the gallon so that my left foot and right hand could rest. Yeah, I'm a sucker for convenience, too.
At least it wasn't the Aztek my son wanted me to buy. That would have been an environmental and economic disaster.

As for the name, my younger daughter suggested Yuki after Yuki Saiko, a character in the manga and anime "Silent Mobius." The character's image is the one I used at the head of this entry. It's the same one my younger daughter downloaded as a wallpaper on the computer I owned at the time. Why Yuki? In addition to "Silent Mobius" being a mutual favorite of ours, my daughter picked her out as the kind of woman she'd want for me; she was sweet, pretty and owned a coffee shop.* Yes, I love my coffee. Besides, the artist who drew the manga was named Kia Asamiya. My daughter wanted to name a creation of one Kia after the creation of another Kia. It stuck and that's how a Korean car got a Japanese name.

...
Now to celebrate my finally following through on something I've been teasing since March 11, 2010, when I was still posting these updates on my LiveJournal, I present the opening to Silent Mobius. Yuki Saiko appears at 0:45.



*Yuki wasn't my favorite character from the anime. That was Lebia Maverick. Even so, people who know the series would understand why a real person like her would have been a bad match.

**That was the day the renewal of my car registration was due. It was also my ex-wife's 65th birthday. That's as much as I'd like to think about her, thank you very much.

Adapted from Driving update for April 2014: Yuki, a longer entry at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)

For tonight's season finale of "The Walking Dead," I present the above macro and the following links about the show and zombies.

Norman Reedus AKA Daryl Dixon of 'The Walking Dead' on the Tonight Show and Late Night
The Archdruid and his readers on zombies
More from the Archdruid and his readers on zombies, part 1
Drink and drive with "The Walking Dead"
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Texas A&M: Science Fiction Collection adds Filk as Deeper than Swords Exhibit Closes
January 08, 2014
Fans of Game of Thrones have until February 7, 2014, to visit the George R. R. Martin Deeper than Swords exhibit at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives before it closes. The exhibit showcases objects, editions and manuscripts from the best-selling author’s prolific writing career. The collection forms the capstone of Texas A&M University Libraries’ internationally recognized Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection.

As the exhibit closes, the Libraries will broaden its dimensions by adding “filk” related materials to its science fiction collection. Filk is best described as a musical culture, genre and community among science fiction and fantasy fans, which is a manifestation of fan labor to create a wide-range of musical styles and topics.

Science fiction conventions, as well as designated filk conventions, have various filk programming that includes concerts and late night filk circles, where music is performed and shared, as well as panels about music and fandom. Most filk conventions put out songbooks with songs submitted by members of the community to share with attending members.

The Cushing Library filk collection will showcase examples of these songbooks, as well as audio, video, digital recordings and fanzines and fanvids—which demonstrate the interest and affection for particular aspects of both literary and broadcast science fiction and fantasy media. The collection seeks to preserve the popular legacy of science fiction and fantasy by documenting and acquiring various fanworks.
Originally posted at fandom_lounge on JournalFen.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I have another D&D memory to follow up on the previous one.  Again, it was inspired by a prompt over at One Piece: Grand Line 3 Point 5: Share a story about a player character who wanted to take over an entire town or city.

In an earlier campaign than the one with the evil cleric, One of my friend's low-level paladins became the prophesied True King for a city-state that hadn't had a legitimate ruler in a long time. Instead, it was governed by a warlord with his higher level henchmen as a junta.

When the paladin reached 9th level, I had the word spread in the city that the rightful king had returned. The citizens revolted and chased the junta out of the city. The paladin then had to defend himself against the old head of the thieves guild, an evil patriarch, and an evil sorcerer, before he could face the warlord. He killed them all in single combat in their jungle lair. Good thing he had more hit points than all but the warlord, was resistant to magic because he had a holy sword, and had a better AC.

Once that was done, he was able to rule his city-state in relative peace.

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Over at One Piece: Grand Line 3 Point 5, the campaign webcomic about One Piece, there is the most comprehensive page of links to other campaign webcomics I've ever seen.  If any of you are or were tabletop gamers, there is something for almost every taste, from Star Wars to Harry Potter to Pirates of the Caribbean in movies to anime and American Animation.  Go ahead and waste your time, if you dare.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I've been reading two more campaign comics in addition to Darths and Droids over winter break,  One Piece: Grand Line 3.5 and Friendship is Dragons.  The writer of the One Piece comic leaves prompts in the comments for some of his strips, which got me to write some incidents from the campaign I described in Dungeons and Dragons memories almost five years ago.

The first came on page 246, where the artist requested that the readers "share a story about a flaw that... turned into an advantage of sorts."  Here's my response.

I have a story from the days before there were official flaws in D&D,* back when some people were still playing out of the original three softbound booklets plus Greyhawk and Blackmoor.

I was the DM for low-level group who was exploring a stronghold full of martial arts monks. The defenders were too much for the group, which was about to suffer a whole party wipe when one of the clerics prayed for divine intervention. I rolled the dice and the deity intervened. Unfortunately, the cleric was evil and so was his deity.

After killing the mob, the diety turned to the cleric, sent him on a quest to capture a high-level good cleric, then cursed him with a permanent stinking cloud, not to be lifted until the cleric was captured. The good news was that anything within 15 feet that could smell had to save against poison or collapse from disgust. The bad news was that this included the player characters. This eventually turned into an advantage when the party eventually all saved, which meant that only the monsters would suffer from the ill effects.

The party eventually was strong enough to go to Hell, defeat a couple of pit fiends, and capture the good cleric, who had been taken there by an arch-devil. It seems the cleric's deity wanted him for itself.


*Chaosium's games had them at the time, but not TSR's.

His second prompt was "Tell a story about how your GM or DM implemented a seemingly weird or out of place idea that a player introduced just for the hell of it" on page 256.  My response:

In the same campaign where the evil cleric called on his deity and was cursed and sent on a quest for his trouble, the other cleric in the party decided that he didn't like the leader. It was good role-playing, as the clerics served different divinities and were of different alignments, but he decided to do something about it.

He convinced me to let him contact the local thieves guild and recruit some guides for the party. He did, but he also paid them extra to backstab the leader when it the time was right. The rebel cleric also recruited a bunch of horse barbarians to ambush the party on the trail. The idea was that the guides would assassinate the leader during the ambush. He forgot one thing; he never actually role-played telling the guides about the ambush.

So when it happened, they hung back, until the horse barbarians were starting to lose, then launched their attack. I justified it by saying that they didn't want to share credit with anyone else. They didn't kill the leader, but they escaped to harass the party all the way to the end of the campaign, even following the party into Hell. That was something I would never have thought of myself.


Ah, memories.

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Happy Star Wars Day! Entries on Wikipedia and Wookieepedia.

crossposted to [community profile] star_wars .

ETA
: More at May the Fourth be with you! on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I present to you the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps playing a brief chorale arrangement of "Duel of the Fates" as a warm up.



That reminded me of a Star Wars/drum corps crossover "music bunny" that had been hopping around in my head the past month. A brief piece called "Mask of Revan" or "Darth Revan's Mask" from "Star Wars: The Old Republic" would also make for a good warmup. Here it is. Listen to it and hear how it might work in the same way that "Duel of the Fates" would. Just imagine the string parts played by trumpets and the harp played by bells.




On the one hand, I'll never be in a position to make this happen. On the other hand, that's a good thing for me. Drum corps is not good for my mental health.  On the other hand, playing this video game with my wife is.  Play together, stay together!
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
"Sh┼Źnen has Neon Genesis Evangelion, shojo has Revolutionary Girl Utena, and seinen has Lain."

From TVTropes. Where else?


neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, I give the gift of crossover fan art.

What if Dr. Seuss had written and drawn Star Wars?

Originally posted at fandom_lounge on JournalFen.


neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Second of two posts originally at fandom_lounge on JournalFen.

Michigan State University even made a video and a press release about it.



Justin Grosjean, media arts and technology major, and twin brother John produced the video Skyrim: 2012 that went viral receiving almost 2 million views since its release.
Michigan State University: Student video goes viral
Published: Feb. 15, 2012

The lives of twins Justin and John Grosjean changed when they released a video - "Skyrim: 2012" to their channel on YouTube.

Justin, a media arts and technology senior at Michigan State University, and his brother John, a student at Oakland University, have always loved the games produced by the company Bethesda Softworks. They began making videos about six months ago and it was only natural that they wanted to make a video out of one of the games they love - Skyrim.

But they didn't expect it to be such a big hit. )
Here's the video itself.



Condensed version without video embeds here.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
First of two posts originally posted at fandom_lounge on JournalFen.

From Reuters: "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling writing adult novel
By Christine Kearney
NEW YORK | Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:59pm EST
(Reuters) - J.K. Rowling, whose "Harry Potter" fantasy book series became a global publishing phenomenon, is writing her first novel for adults but the title and plot are still a closely-guarded secret.

The British writer, 46, whose teenage boy wizard tales became international best-sellers and inspired a series of hit films, said on Thursday that her new novel would be "very different" to the "Harry Potter" books that made her a household name and turned her into a billionaire.

"Although I've enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series," Rowling said in a statement.
More at the link in the headline.

Original here. Excerpted from a comment on Overnight News Digest on Daily Kos.


neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Here's another piece of background music for Alderaan in addition to the one I posted yesterday, This one has the benefit of showing the lovely scenery in addition to playing the music.  And to think this is the planet Moff Tarkin destroyed as a demonstration of the Death Star's power.  Well, he certainly got what was coming to him!




neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
As I mentioned in the first installment of this series.
My wife...is a more avid gamer than I am, but I'm the Star Wars fan. I don't think she's seen more than half the films and none of them all the way through, so it's really interesting watching her reaction to the planets we've visited. She really likes Alderaan, but she was shocked to find out that it gets blown up in the far future. It only happens in first hour of the first movie filmed. To fix that, we'll be watching all the films in the order of the events. In fact, we might be seeing the 3D versions of the films as they come out.
We just finished playing together on Alderaan, at least for now, and it really is a beautiful (virtual, fictional) world, especially in contrast to Tatooine, which is a real pit. My wife reiterated how pissed it makes her that it gets destroyed. I have to agree. In fact, I'm beginning to think that people who have never known any Star Wars other than the full Episodes I-VI and who have played either Knights of the Old Republic or Star Wars: The Old Republic will find the destruction of Alderaan even more traumatic than the people who saw it happen for the first time between 1977 and 1998. Back then, there was no world to know. Now, there are parts of two movies and two games set there. When I saw the Death Star blow up the planet back in 1977, I thought, "Grand Moff Tarkin is such an evil asshole," but I didn't grieve along with Leia. Now, when I see that happen in three years in the 3D edition of A New Hope, I might just cry.  Imagine the reaction of someone who is seeing it for the first time and has watched all the prequels.

And now, a video of Alderaan's scenery.



neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
My wife and I have a blast playing it together. She is a more avid gamer than I am, but I'm the Star Wars fan. I don't think she's seen more than half the films and none of them all the way through, so it's really interesting watching her reaction to the planets we've visited. She really likes Alderaan, but she was shocked to find out that it gets blown up in the far future. It only happens in first hour of the first movie filmed. To fix that, we'll be watching all the films in the order of the events. In fact, we might be seeing the 3D versions of the films as they come out.

As for the money involved, every penny shows up in the dialog, voice acting, music, and plot, to say nothing of the programming and world building. It makes this expensive game worth it.

Watch for more thoughts on the game in future entries.  I'll be putting spoilers behind a cut.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)



There's a new reality dating show on TLC called Geek Love, which started at New York Comic Con with "sci-fi" speed dating and continues after that, showing the geeks in their daily lives, and following them in their quest for love!

If Li Anne had been there, she would have joined that speed dating session. To find out why, watch as Li Anne gives you her top 8 Reasons Why You Should Date a Geek!
I wonder if anyone has told Li Anne that she should be careful what she wishes for.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Since I've been blogging a lot about Star Wars: The Old Republic, it's time I give another video game's music some love.


An acoustic and electric violin cover of two of my favorite themes from Skyrim. Arranged and performed by Jason Yang. Original soundtrack by Jeremy Soule.
In case the violinist looks familiar, it's because I've featured him before.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)

I've been playing a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic this week and posting about it to my LiveJournal and Dreamwidth, I've been looking for an excuse to post a Star Wars entry that is still on-topic for this blog.* Yesterday evening, I stumbled across not one, but two items that fit the bill.

First, from The Bad, the Ugly, and the Irrelevant: The 2012 GOP pretenders on Facebook comes this macro.



Next, Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of The Atlantic's star political bloggers, is playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Yes, really.


Return of the Jedi

So how are we feeling about Star Wars: The Old Republic? I just finished installing and patching this morning. I played around with some character creation, but haven't a chance to do much else. But even in doing that little bit, I realized how dated WoW's graphics really are. I suppose that's a good thing in some ways--WoW can run on almost game PC, at this point.

Either way, I'd love to have a new game on my list. I'm a little pissed about WoW actually adding the panderan. It just feels like more comic relief.
If I hadn't already been a fan of Coates, I would be now. Also, read the comments. They're actually very informative.

* Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News. The second part was also posted to fandom_lounge on JournalFen.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)



This week on Versus, Steve and Larson debate which role playing time vampire will suck up more time during their holiday vacation: Skyrim or The Old Republic."
I'm playing SW:TOR. If want swords and sorcery fantasy, I'll play Rift.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)




I'm having a great time watching my wife play this. Now that I'm on vacation for the next week, I'll join her. Downloading tonight!

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