"I need some fucking friends." -- Peter Klaven (I Love You, Man)
 
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Bookstore Haul: Volume X Marks the Spot!

There is an itch that needs scratching: travel to Japan. To begin scratching, I am learning Japanese. I should've done this many years ago when I was full on into anime and manga. I've picked up a few books over the years, but my learning has only begun in earnest this year, because of the beautiful members of Nogizaka46 or in kanji, 乃木坂46. Their videos are being pulled from lots of the video aggregation sites that housed hundreds of episodes of their variety programs. The subbed versions of said programs are disappearing quicker. Now you only find their videos on YouTube untranslated and in miniature. I am trying to learn as quickly as possible so as to understand the members. The 3rd gen is there I need to meet them.

Anyhow, I went and got a couple things this time: a map of Japan and a book on the history of the Philippines. Aye, the Philippines my motherland which seems to have taken a back seat to Japan.

Maybe once I get done with the current book I am reading I will get to these. I haven't read a page of the current book I am reading in 12 days...

Travel map of Japan from International Travel Map & Books.
A History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos by Luis H. Francia

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Link of the Day [9.24.16]

When you go distributed and base your work in the cloud, always remember, "There are no files on my hard drive." Your local machine does not own the files on the local file system. The cloud does. O, you may think the files are there, but that is just for the moment. The files are in the cloud. Accept that and prepare for it no matter what. Accept that they could disappear at a moment's notice. Prepare for them to disappear at a momennt's notice.

Excuse me while I back up my drive...

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/maybe-be-careful-with-osx-sierra

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Sunday, September 18, 2016
Baseball, Brooks, and Broderic

norman rockwell - brooks robinson

Here's where baseball, Orioles, and I start.

Thirty-nine years ago on a blazing, bright Sunday, my family and I caught the 'Brooks Robinson Thanks Brooks Day' at Memorial Stadium. I woke up that Sunday and instead of going to church, we jumped up the station wagon and headed to 33rd Street for a baseball game. It was packed. We ended up in the right field bleachers. I could not understand a thing happening during the ceremony. I thought it was a special day because it was my birthday but it was special because of Brooks Robinson. Thinking back, I'm sure this is why he turned out to be my favorite Oriole.

It is the first time I can associate things with baseball. I'm sure we went to a few games before that day, but this one I clearly remember as baseball. The others were just a game.

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Friday, September 16, 2016
I haven't posted too much in the last few years. Since it's NewsRadio Quote Month, I think that I should post more. There are only so many more of these coming. Why not get as many NewsRadio quotes in?

I was thinking about my soap situation. I was running out of soap for the shower. I was down to using a bar I had swiped from a hotel. This means I had to go to the store and get some.

Well, actually, I went in looking for an air mattress so that I could sleep on the floor under the only ceiling fan in my condo, but I also went in for soap.

With the mattress in hand and some sundry snacks as well, I stopped by the toiletries for a package of soap.

Grabbed the usual.

Then saw that they are really starting to target men, because there was a smart looking package of three bars of soap. It was a clear plastic wrap, and the bars were beefy, rectangle slabs of soap. You know that ubiquitous 'hand made' soap store you see at the mall. It was like they were from there. But for men, because I can't imagine for the life of my some guy buying a bar of soap from that 'hand made' soap store in the mall. Although, I almost did once, but that is another story.

Anyhow, I grabbed this package as well just to have an option.

I opened it up the other day and found out it was almost too big for the soap ledge.

It is a beefy, manly bar of soap...

Not sure why I wrote this. Maybe I need an editor.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016
Kubo and the Two Strings

I am taking too much time to shovel out my reviews of movies. I saw Kubo and the Two Strings ahile ago. This review is way late. It should've come out immediately after the film to make you want to go and see it. It is out of theaters now, and you missed it.

Kubo and the Two Strings comes from the stop motion animation studio, Laika. They have become my favorite studio because stop motion is so analog and they make it look digital. Even in this film, the animation is amazing. It is hard to believe that most of it is puppets.

The story is a tale of Kubo who is fatherless and with a mother who is catatonic during the day. At night she wakes up and regales him with stories of his father using origami as visuals. Kubo also has the origami touch. Along with his shimasen he animates origami tales for the villagers.

It turns out his mother and him are on the run from his grandfather, the King of the Moon, who wants to turn Kubo into another cold, heartless follower and heir to the moon throne. Chased by his scary aunts, Kubo must find the pieces to put his father's armor together to defeat his family.

The story is said to be the weakest part of the film. I would watch it for the visuals -- the origami art, the gigantic skeleton battle, the scary aunts, the water. You would wonder how this is stop motion. The story also appropriates Japanese symbolisms. I wonder if they meant it too. The company did show gratitude to the Japanese organizations and people who they worked with. I didn't hear too much about the 'yellow-washing' in this film.

It is a shame that it wasn't as big of a hit as possible. I guess because it isn't CG no one wants to watch.

4 of 5 stars.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016
Bookstore Haul: Volume 9 -- It's not about the Nogis.

Japanese Demystified 3rd Edition -- I need to accelerate my Japanese learning. I need to at least be slightly conversational. How am I going to talk to my idol oshis? Not too sure. This is the third book I bought. I have flash cards. I have translation programs. I have apps. But I don't put the time in. I really need to put the time in. That is all. Just do it.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Link of the Day [9.07.16]

Let's continue with the time travel back to 1996.

Last month AV Club went and looked at the pop of 1996. Today's link sums up all they did.

I turned 25 that year. I always thought it was my favorite time ever. Maybe.

http://www.avclub.com/special/1996-week

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Link of the Day [9.06.16]

There are now 47 Nogis to love.

Nogizaka46 just announced their newest members this past weekend. They found another 12 girls to be the third generation of Nogizaka46.

I'm happy for them. They get to be one of the next faces of Nogizaka46, my favorite idol group. I will support them from here on out.

I'm sad for them. Idoling is a brutal business. They are starting at the bottom as novices. They must go through training in dance, singing, and idol maneuvers before they can be said to be ready. Then they face their fans who will bring their attitudes and prejudices against them.

It took the second generation almost two full years for them to all achieve full membership. Will third generation make it to full fledge membership in a shorter time? I'm not sure I have 2 years to find out...

Anyhow, I'll support them as long as they are Nogizaka46 members. Also, even after.

Support them Japanese people. All of them!

http://www.nogizaka46.com/news/2016/09/46-3-3.php

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Monday, September 05, 2016
After Win Tonal

I haven't talked about the Baltimore Orioles in a while.

I went to last Friday's game against the hated Yankees. We won. But it felt like too little too late.

I have no confidence in the team making it into the post season. I didn't reserve post season tickets. They were available to season ticket holders a week ago and will still be there until mid-week. I'm not wanting to buy because it will mean believing in the team. I haven't believed since the all star break. I would love to but...

So they kept winning through this weekend and won again today. They are making a play for the division as the season wanes. I'm still questioning my decision.

Let's go Orioles!

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I love the nostalgia of looking back twenty years ago to 1996. That was the year I broke. My favorite and I turned 25 during the proto-NewsRadio Quote Month.

Today's link takes us to a list of music from that era. I remember, love, and cherish some of these songs. It reminds me of sitting on the couch and watching M2.

Sadly, that was then this is now. It doesn't come back. At least we have "Peaches" from the Presidents of the United States.

http://www.spin.com/2016/08/96-best-alternative-rock-songs-1996/

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