"The intel on this wasn't 100%."
 
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Walk In The Park

Just keep walking...

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Your Name 「君の名は」 was a big hit in Japan last year. It was close to dethroning Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, as the most successful anime in the land of anime. The writer/director, Makoto Shinkai, is well regarded as an anime director himself. He's done some very notable anime particularly 5 Centimeters Per Second, so the success of this film isn't surprising. If you watch it you'll know why you'll be surprised.

The film starts off as a body-switching tale. The male protagonist, Taki, wakes up in the body of Mitsuha. He's out of place not only in body but in setting. He's a city boy of Tokyo. She lives in the country. Little does he know that she wakes up in his body. Slowly they get to know that these things are happening and they begin to work around their limitations. She gets him a date with the hot senpai at work. He makes a mess of her hair. Eventually, affection develops between the two such that he wants to see her live.

Then there comes a twist, which I don't want to spoil, but needless to say the film changes direction. It goes into some action mode and some sadness that had me thinking that I don't want it to end that way.

I really dug this kind of movie. I did like 5 cm/s, but this is on a whole another level. It does rival Spirited Away with its themes and all. I like that Shinkai is romantic. I like that in my anime. I wish you should see this classic. It didn't get an Oscar nomination, because Funamation, the distributor, really botched this roll out. The film has been out there since last fall, but they didn't show it except for a small showing to qualify for the Oscars. It should've been a bigger movie in the US. I hope you get to see it sometime.

4 of 5 stars.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017
What the? Star reviews are junk? They make it hard on users to judge quality? Come on now. I use star reviews for my movie posts. I find it easy to give everything a 3, good or bad, because everything is mediocre. Nothing stands out. Nothing is the best. Nothing is the worst.

And because all is subjective. You may like to know that I want you to make up your own damn mind. Go see it. Go do it. Don't let me be the judge.

Switch to a binary rating system?

I give the link 3 of 5 stars.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolineodonovan/the-fault-in-five-stars?utm_term=.cm0x63g8dd

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Thursday, April 06, 2017
I was not in the mood for cooking. Plus, I don't know what I want. All I knew was that I had mades some chicken stock last night and had too many eggs in the fridge. On the drive home, I thought I should've gotten a burger, but then I figured I would make some egg drop soup. I used this recipe atGimme Some Oven as the basis.

First, I had to figure out how to thicken the soup. That's how I ended up at gimmesomeoven.com. I guess duck duck go put it there for me. It's thickened with corn starch before heating the stock. I didn't have giger, so I skipped it and used white pepper. Not too much.

After it boiled I took some scrambled eggs and drizzled it in. I went too fast and I didn't get any of the strands of eggs. Sad.

Finally, I added some corn and some chicken along with the sesame seed oil.

Soup is good.

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Friday, March 31, 2017
Sometimes you want to watch a movie as brainless as a big, giant, hairy ape. Kong: Skull Island is just the sort of movie, and it is literally a big, giant, hairy ape. Brainless, though? The film was, but Kong not so much.

Kong: Skull Island situates itself in the early 70s after the US withdraws from the debacle in Vietnam. Yet, not all are happy about it. Samuel L. Jackson's Lt. Col. Packard is disgusted with the ending of the only thing he knows to do -- fight an enemy. When he is given a chance of escorting a scientific mission with his air cavalry corps, he relishes the opportunity. He's not ready to go back to America where his sense of worth would be questioned and the duty and honor of being a military man is left in the rice paddies of Vietnam to die.

So, Monarch, a name familiar to latest US Godzilla fans, recruits Jackson and they fly off to a mist shrouded island in the middle of the pacific to conduct "scientific experiments" mapping the last unmappable place on the planet. They do so by dropping bombs which scare up all kinds of denizens of the island least of which is King Kong. Kong is not alone. There's a bunch of lizard-esque creatures. And like the latest Godzilla, Kong is force of nature meant to balance the evil of it all.

Yet, it is Jackson's crew that take a pounding. By scaring up Kong, he kicks their asses. And in losing, Jackson becomes Ahab and Kong Moby Dick. Jackson will suffer nothing to destroy the beast that destroyed his men even though said men just want to get home. "Dear Billy, we be battling' a tall ape!" Everyone wants home, but not Jackson.

In the end, it's man versus the beast versus the lizard-esque creatures versus nature. It is such a mess that you should go along for the ride. But realize, it's one hodgepodge of a film with many things going on. I didn't even get to Charles C. Reilly's cool stranded pilot or whatever it was Oscar winner, Brie Larson, was doing. Just behold Samuel L. Jackson chewing scenery.

3 of 5 stars.

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Friday, March 24, 2017
Sorry about the bad video below, but that's a fact of life when embedding YouTube videos in your blog. Most every Nogizaka46 video I've posted has been taken down. Sony makes it tough being a foreign fan of the best idol group in Japan. To make it up to you, please buy their latest single from the iTunes store. It's probably their best, most solid single to date. And that's coming from a big fan of the 13th Single which is strong from Type-A all the way to the Regular Edition.

"Influencer" was officially released in Japan on the 22nd. I'm waiting for the CDs! I can't wait to catch the member PVs. It's the only reason why I buy them. This time I paid the shipping tax to get these discs sooner. I'm thinking that they will be here before the member photo books I ordered at the start of the month come in.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/influencer-special-edition/id1212134770

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Friday, March 17, 2017
It's the latest Nogi single coming out next Wednesday. I'm about to purchase it, but will most likely pay the shipping penalty. It's double the price, but it will be worth it.



Boom-boom-boom, boom-boom-boom
Boom-boom-boom, boom-boom-boom
Influencer
(Hey! Hey! Hey!)

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Who would've thought that Jordan Peele of Key and Peele fame had a thriller like Get Out in him? Not me, but for a comedian, he sure wrote a disturbing movie.

The film is on the surface about a neighborhood that abducts black men whose bodies are used as vessels by older white men. The film's subtext is about the appropriation of black culture by whites.

4 of 5 stars.

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Why has it taken me two weeks to write a review about the final Wolverine movie, Logan? Am I keeping to my resolutions? Was it a good film?

First. I am lazy. Second. Somewhat. Third. Yes.

The film probably got its reason for being because of the 'Old Man Logan' comics which saw the immortal X-Man old in the future. It was a hit with the comic geeks. I've never read it as keeping up with X-Men comics is a suckers bet. Plus, I'm more a Cyclops or Colossus fan, but they get no love from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This was a hard R. Lots of blood and gore and claws through the head. It is everything you wanted to see in a Wolverine film. It's as if his oft repeated catch phrase was taken literally. "I'm the best at what I do, and what I do and so nice." Or something like that I think.

It was good. The more serious film made it feel more grave. That's where all the X-Men really end up. Dead and buried.

4 of 5 stars.

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Friday, March 10, 2017
Well here we are 10 weeks into 2017 and this is only the 3rd post for reflection on my New Year's resolutions. As you can see, we are slowing down on keeping you, my readers, informed, and making it difficult to hold me to my resolutions. I wonder if I had slowed down at all?

Health
Weight loss is slow. It's a very shallow slop on a graph. I am losing weight, but not fast enough for my taste. Except if the goal was the end of the year, I may make it.
  • Today, I am at 218 lbs.
  • Blood pressure was at 131/93. I don't like these meds I am taking as it doesn't seem to help.
  • My pants are definitely looser, and I can fit into some of those pants that I had abandoned.
  • Resting heart rate is down to the lower 80s (80-82)

Exercise
February I kicked butt. March I am not so much.
  • Using Gorilla Workout app. I've made it through level 1 on the leg lift challenge. Struggling mightily on the main gorilla workout.
  • 38/120 walks
  • Rowing - Jan: 7/5, Feb: 8/5, March (so far): 4/5
  • Bike rides are not coming. Still kind of scared.

Professional Life
I am most likely going to strike out on any resolutions here. I am too complacent in what I do at work to want to go out and create a newish me. Perhaps, I am not that gung-ho of a person to seek out newer better experiences. Unfortunately, the new site lead is all for expanding one's horizons and accepting new, interesting challenges. I'm not liking that as it will definitely affect my performance reviews at the end of the year. We'll see.
  • Learning a new language? Hardly. As I haven't peeked at that node.js book I've picked up and the ideas for an iOS app are stagnating in Xcode. I should try learning Xcode... again.
  • New job... I wish!

Personal
I am not sure if the growth I was seeking here is coming to fruition. Am I learning Japanese? Off and on. Am I angling for a trip to Japan. Yes and no. Am I wishy-washy? Just call me Charlie Brown!
  • Blogging has been silent these past few weeks. That is my fault as I should be writing interesting posts for you to read, but I am to lazy. Again it's the laziness that kills me. Act. Write. Post. I can do more. I should do more.
  • I am cooking more. But it seems I still eat out. Take for example yesterday. I had breakfast at a local spot, but I did cook dinner. I almost went for desert.
  • My dining spending is definitely less than last year, but I've spent more on meals because of birthday dinners!
  • I am starting to drink coffee every weekday morning which may make snack spending stay the same. I need to find something else then.
  • I am no where closer to understanding Japanese than I am to visiting Japan.

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