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Many things were left unsaid - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Many things were left unsaid
Okay, long overdue for a catch-up on livejournal responses. Nothing private! Sorry for the huge post.

grimjim and anyone else interested in anime: While in Paris, I went to see the new anime movie Steamboy in Japanese with French subtitles. Very very good film! The visuals are really excellent; it's an Otomo film (Akira, etc.). The storyline itself is filled with typical themes; nothing especially original there, but the direction is good. Except for the one annoying female character, but again this is also a typical theme. The integration of CG into anime is really coming along, looking less and less obvious. Visually it looks like it was manually coloured; only the sheer scope of some of the things moving on the screen make you think it must have had CG behind it. Definitely worth seeing! Three and a half out of four stars!

pyat: Thanks for posting those Dungeons and Dragons essay links, those are really interesting. I remember my nephew's growing conceptualization of the telephone. At first he didn't understand the conversational aspect. But by mimicry he understood that it was important to answer it, as he did himself one morning - not to talk on it, but because it was necessary to pick up the receiver and then wake his parents by saying, "Mama, papa, phooone!" His next stage was more difficult; he thought that by calling someone, they would always answer, and when they didn't he would get very cross. And answering machines confused him. After that, he was happy to chat on the phone in real time, but didn't really understand the concept of conversation - there could easily be long silences with neither party speaking. Ahh, kids.

boinggoat: What a bunch of annoying phone people. I laugh at the guy pretending he was big in the music industry. Buy yourself Katamari Damacy and cheer yourself up by pretending you're crushing your customers into being part of the gravity well of a new star. Sorry if I haven't talked much; I'll have some pics of things from Europe to show you once I get them sorted out. You coming home for the holidays?

pobig: Let me know how being carnivorous is turning out. I just finished reading Perdido Street Station, and while being a very good read, I can't help but notice that it and other recent science-fiction books seem to have a trend with ending things quickly, with the main characters just... walking abruptly away at the end, making me feel as though things are unfinished, yet with no sequel work intended. Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age is another one like it. One of my co-workers is lending me books by Gene Wolfe (Shadow and Claw, at the moment). They're entertaining, although his style throws a lot of mysterious description at you for atmospheric purposes - sometimes entire chapters - and I find it hard to pick out what details are actually important for plot and character development later on. As a consequence, when things happen, I can't shake the feeling that I've missed earlier allusions to them for the purposes of context.

plonq: I suspect that it's Shareaza that doesn't get along with my XP/router setup; the ethernet pings fine, but the problems mainly seem to take place when Shareaza is running.

ringo_raccoon: I saw Jackass: the movie recently, and the sequence with the MTV daredevils in panda suits attempting to cause havoc in downtown Tokyo made me think of you. :)

dakhun: Get better soon! Not the greatest weather over here either. If you have trouble with unwanted stuff lurking on your machine, download Ad-Aware. It's free, and has rid me of more than one annoying source of adware and malware.

entropicana: Hey, if you ever want to attempt an adventure/puzzle game co-project, let me know! It would be completely new creative territory for me, but I'm interested.

funos: I can relate to the age thing. When I went to some anime meets here I was seriously feeling a generational difference.

l337_0n1: Congrats on your blue belt!! Sorry if there's too many wolves in your life. :) I have never been able to quite understand cat nature.

thewerewolf: I watched Dark City last night.

orleans 'n supersocks: Is it public transit that you don't like, or the indignity of having to be stuck in a vehicle with annoying people? I don't subscribe to or read many magazines these days. Fall must be beautiful over there; it was over far too quickly here! I wanted to get pictures of the fall colours from my window, but most of the leaves fell during the two weeks I was away.

oshawa and pierrekrahn: Happy birthday!

momentrabbit: Egads, what house chores! I hope I get to see you over the holidays! I'd love to see computers distributed to people in companies only after they've taken exams. If you get high marks, you get a nice, fancy expensive computer. If you do badly, you get a computer with an OS GUI full of clowns and flowers that talks to you as if you were a five-year-old.

niall_: I was overwhelmed in the BD store that I went to in Paris. I couldn't decide what to get, as I suspected - bought some Tardi comics and was disappointed. No one knows when the next Blacksad is due out. I tried asking about realistic-style "animalier" stories, but unfortunately everything I was pointed to was in the cartoony style. I picked up the second book of a two-part story called "Reglement de contes", but I haven't figured it out yet. If it's not to my taste I may give it to you as a gift. :) The latest Lucky Luke book takes place in "La belle province".

What was really nice about the store was seeing that comics are a popular product. Seeing hardcover books of it with much better artwork than a lot of North American comics, with a lot more genres... and the fact that the clientele in the store ranged from age 10 to 50, that was really great to see. And the book bags! Big, strong, durable! I think I'll pick up the English translation of the Nikopol trilogy, which people seem to recommend. I was tempted to get it in the original French, but that would make it a lot harder to share with friends.

The DVD version of L'Immortel should be coming out this Fall. It's gotten a lukewarm response, but I'd still like to get a copy. I'll ask my aunt to buy me one and hopefully I'll be able to show it to friends a few weeks after Christmas at the latest. Oh! And I've got a children's choir I'd like you to hear sometime.

Everyone: I really wanted to bring back a whole lot of tins of a brand of German dark chocolate laced with caffeine. Unfortunately I only found one tin of it, and while visiting my aunt, I passed the tin to her to pass to TheWerewolf at the other end of the room, and she mistook it as a gift for her. Oops.
8 comments or Leave a comment
orleans From: orleans Date: October 24th, 2004 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it was Sue that had more of the complaints about public transit. For me, I don't mind using it if it's convenient, but so often it isn't. It's good if a person lives and works downtown (like you do), but I work way out in the suburbs. Also, we like hiking and nature, and it's tough to get to place like that without a car.

And, yes, the leaves were great. Thanks! I like how S. Ontario has four distinct seasons. Winnipeg really just has winter and summer. :D
From: supersocks Date: October 24th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love public transit, I think it's wonderful. It's the stinky drunks thereupon I'm not crazy about. :-D
Glad you had a good trip!
l337_0n1 From: l337_0n1 Date: October 24th, 2004 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
*chuckles* oh, its not a problem of too many wolves. There's just not enough cats. Personally, I really, really like wolves, but that's my little secret. ;)
plonq From: plonq Date: October 24th, 2004 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
The problem might not be with Shareaza, but with the tcp stack limit in XP, or with a connection limit in your router itself.

Something I did on my machine that helped was run a patch to expand the number of TCP connections that Windows can open at once.

Do a google search for "XP SP2 TCP stack limit patch" or something similar and you should find a few helpful pages on the subject.
From: pobig Date: October 24th, 2004 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I concur regarding Perdido Street Station and The Diamond Age, and I figure it's just lazy plotting. Gene Wolfe's New Sun books don't explain a lot of things, but I like that about them. Exposition is usually sneaky and indirect, so you have pay close attention.
entropicana From: entropicana Date: October 24th, 2004 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sort of dreading Steamboy. The director's last full feature was Akira, which changed anime forever, and therein lies the problem. One, he's been away so long, does he even know what he's doing? And how can this possibly live up to expectations?

I keep thinking about how excited people were when Lucas said he was making new Star Wars movies. Ack.

As far as game projects go... we'll see how my first few projects go. Then... we'll see. I'm happy to accept any ideas you have, you have a devious puzzler's mind that I respect. Plus you can add insanity. :)
dronon From: dronon Date: October 24th, 2004 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, he knows what he's doing! And he hasn't been totally away from anime all this time - remember Memories? I think he produced that, although I don't think he directed each short.

Steamboy is not deep, but it's a hell of a fun ride. It's about a family of mechanical/hydraulic geniuses. The child of the family is caught up in a deep-rooted conflict between his father and grandfather, who have opposing ideologies about the function of technology for the betterment of mankind and the nature of technological progress. It's very Jules Verne-ish with lots of giant steam-driven things. Then throw in a major arms manufacturer and a huge battle at the London World's Fair, the English civil engineer Robert Stephenson, and a really annoying whiney spoiled idiotic rich girl named Scarlett O'hara. She's the only really bad thing, but we've survived similar characters in other anime.

It's not at all a disappointment like the new Star Wars movies, and Scarlett is no Jar-Jar. Does this film break new grounds? Story-wise, no; animation-wise... you'd have to ask someone who knows more about animation. Go see it when you get the chance, I don't think you'll be disappointed. It has style.
niall_ From: niall_ Date: October 25th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh... now you saw what I grew up with in comics. Is it any surprise how much I like the north american small press stuff now? It's the only place that has the creative breadth seen elsewhere as standard.

I've seen the Règlement de contes books, briefly. The title alone is a great wordplay and gives something of the mood - western-style stories about fairy tale characters settling old scores. The Nikopol trilogy is really not for everyone, but I really like Bilal's stuff, if only for its sheer immersive quality. I thumbed through the latest Lucky Luke, and it seems marginally better than other stuff happening in Québec, if only because many of the stereotypes were much closer to being true back then. :)

Children's choir.. okay, consider me duly warned and steeled. :)
8 comments or Leave a comment