Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bonfatto's down on Zion Road is doing a free poker tournament series. I walked down there from work yesterday, since the weather was so nice & all. A dachshund was running around in the slushy snow in the meadow the next block east from the National Guard barracks, and I thought it had gotten away from someone walking it. Nobody was around, though, and after a minute or two it ran back to a bloody lump of fur over by the trees, which turned out to be a freshly dead rabbit almost as big as the weiner dog itself. Said dog proceeded to drag this enormous leaking hunk of meat off into the treeline, clearly concerned with protecting its kill from the big threatening predator-shaped animal walking towards said dinner. IE, me. One of the players at the tournament told me later on that dachshunds are particularly vicious hunters, and described some alarmingly alpha-male encounters with the little monsters. Who knew?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Well, I'm now the proud owner of a slightly foxed grey Camry station wagon. It'll need some work, but not too much out of pocket, once the insurance pays off on the totaled Lanos. Emergency averted. Yay?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

So I was about to write up a great big "yay, Captain Herlock: Endless Oddssey" rave about said thirteen-episode OAV series, and then the last minute or so of show dropped a big ol' pile of WTF in my lap. Somebody fell asleep during "Introduction to Foreshadowing 403" at screenwriting school. Not only did it come out of far left field, but it underlined just how useless and passive one of the core characters had actually been in the course of the series.

Don't get me wrong, Captain Herlock is 90% of a really cool series... argh! Can I digress for a second to express just how annoying that officially-endorsed misspelling is? It's stupid - the character is clearly being called Harlock, same as he's always been, and every other translation has *always* used "Harlock". Er, except for that one company that used "Warlock". Anyways, there have been more than a half-dozen different companies that have turned out Matsumoto anime and manga in English with the Harlock character, so the trademark issue is almost certainly not a valid factor. What the heck was Geneon thinking?

Ahem. Right, the semi-compromised coolness of "Captain H[e]rlock". The animation is top-notch, if a tad dark and murky at times. The usual gang of Harlock cronies are about, and it's a real nostalgia-trip for those who remember the old TV series with any sort of affection - and I did like what little I've seen of the old Fuji subs, which is to say, about a dozen or so episodes. The villains are nigh-Lovecraftian in their Elder Godness, full of menace and honest creepy-crawliness. It's an honestly dark show, bordering on outright horror. Rin Taro's talent for set-pieces and striking composition is here in full form, and there's a lot to keep attention riveted fully to the screen. On the other hand, I have to wonder who hired Nobuteru Yuuki for this project, as his "natural" character-design style is not at all similar to the classic Leiji Matsumoto look, and the clash is expressed in a certain plasticity and rubberiness around the eyes which takes a bit away from the presentation.

I guess I've seen much, much worse anime from the Leiji Matsumoto oeuvre. I just wish that ending had been handled better than it was. Maybe another episode? Better foreshadowing? Some more adjustment to the character dynamics to lay a better foundation? Something.

Friday, February 09, 2007

So we're supposed to call fujoshi "otome" now? I call bull. If you see a fan self-appellation and it isn't derived from something derogatory, it isn't legit, it's some sort of marketing gag traveling under false papers.

[BTW: fujoshi ~ "rotten women"; otome ~ "maidens". Roughly.]

Of course, I could be misreading the situation. After all, there are lunatics running around the States these days talking about "princess culture", although that seems to be a mainstream mundane sort of thing. If this otome business is actually legit, then... nosir, I don't like it. One of the things I've always found refreshing about fan culture is its collective tendency to not indulge in excesses of self-esteem. There's very little I love less than self-congratulation.

H/T Brigid.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mm. Car's been written off by the claims adjuster, I've got the license plate in my office now. I have a line on an under-blue-book '89 Camry wagon that a woman in State College is selling, but I haven't seen it yet & she doesn't want to go outside until next week - "it's so very cold outside!" We'll see, the mileage is low, but a lot of things can happen to a car over eighteen years, and the automatic transmission is worrisome in such an old car.

Monday, February 05, 2007

So I was discussing the likelihoods of my car getting repaired with Jason G. in front of the guy at Catherman's along with a random cop hanging out at the counter. Like a pair of comedy sidekicks, the Catherman's guy cracks "It's a Daewoo, of course it's totaled", and the cop commences to busting on my poor violated chariot o' kimchee. I'm feeling a tad oppressed, people.

Sadly, Jason G. agreed with our group consensus. It's a write-off. I walked around parts of Bellefonte looking for tell-tale damage. Less car damage out there than I'd expect. I suppose I've been mis-led by all those years living in a college town, expecting a quarter of all vehicles on the road to have visible damage.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Well, heck.

Last night I lost that long-running long-odds bet called "parking on the street". I was woken up by my neighbors hammering on my door to inform me that some drunk in a light sedan had slammed into my little Korean putt-putt and smashed it around the street, then driven off. The "driven off" part made me wonder how much the neighbors saw, because it's hard to picture a small sedan doing that much damage & driving off under its own power. You'd think that the gas cut-off would have shut down the vehicle at the least. The whole left rear-end was folded back into the trunk, right up to the wheelwell.

Called the cops & had Catherman's tow it away to their wrecked-cars storage lot. It's probably totaled, given that it's seven years old, Daewoos aren't really all that common, and as a modern subcompact, the frame is probably compromised.

Crap. I wanted another two or three years out of that car. Throws a right spanner into my down-payment project, too. At least I structured my savings in preparation for this sort of emergency. But damn, I didn't want to divert house savings towards a new car. Not when I can get by without a car for, like, two hundred sixty days out of the year.

[Edited to reflect the proper name of the towing service & the damage. Got them confused with a customer of ours here at work.]