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< Piro >

that other site...

"soul looks like..."

Friday - May 10, 2002

[Piro] - 12:07:00 - [link here]

new! l33t m3 swag! express your inner lame... er, l33t!

First off, i'd like to thank dom for stepping in last night. I was really stressin over things, and even though Shirt Guy Dom stick figure days are a symbol of all that is wrong with the world (and california), it made me feel a little better and a little less down. Thanks dom.

One of the problems with all the stuff thats been goin on lately (lately being, what, about a year?) is that the nature of the rants changed over time. At first, they were supposed to be a small, three times per week commentary about whatever was on our minds at the time - a braindump, of sorts. Unfortunately, I got into the habit of writing rants sporatically, and as a result they started to get overly long and overly serious. I've spent far too much time whining about things. When's the last time i talked about what anime or manga i was into? Yeah, i know...

I think i take MT way too seriously sometimes. It's like this odd paradox of dissatisfaction and joy with the damn thing that has my poor inept little brain feeling like a little bunny rabbit struck stiff with fear and terror while dodging Semis and Buicks during rush hour.

Chill time is important, and i think my biggest problem lately is, well... i havent had any. It's my fault, really - i commit to too many things, and sacrifice in the only area that i have availible to sacrifice - chill time and sleep. I don't mind not having chill time. Its when you get overtired AND don't have any chill time... thats what leads to crashes like last night. I need to start takin better care of myself. :(

Anyways, i know for a fact that a lot of you are sick of listening to me whine (too bad - my rant space, my whine space ... it's all part of the package :P) On to other things.

Today i was looking for a copy of DJ Shadow's disk 'endtroducing', which unfortunately borders didn't have, but i picked up 'preemtive strike' instead. Gotta tell you, if you are interested in some really thoughtful, casual, chill down music, get one of these disks. It's classic stuff, and i should have picked it up ages ago. If you listen to DJ's Afternoon nap at all, you'll definately like em.

Music and moods are funny things. They tend to support each other. I really dont know why sometimes i am in the mood for downtempo tunes, and sometimes for House, other times Industrial EBM, and yet others jpop, various metal stuffs... i dunno. I was listening to DJ Shadow earlier, and now i'm listening to Stabbing Westward. I suppose i like the contrast. (btw, Stabbing Westward is one of my fave bands, right up there with VNV Nation).

On the anime front, i'm way behind on the shows i'm watching. If you can believe it, i STILL havent finished watching the Kanon anime - mainly beause the last batch of shows is such an emotional rollercoaster that i haven't felt i've had the time to put the emotional commitment to them yet. I've been entertaining myself with Pitaten (new anime based on the manga Pitaten by Koge Donbo, the intrepid artist behind DigiCharat - Pitaten is where the little bunny-rabbit ears piro is wearing and Erika's current outfit comes from.) In fact, to help cheer myself up this morning i watched a bit of episode four. Heh. I really wonder if its a requirement that EVERY anime have a japanese bath (onsen) scene in it at least once. :P

I've also picked up on watching Chobits. Now, i already got an email wondering if i got the idea for Ping-chan from Chobits - obviously no, because ping-chan was introduced before Chobits came out. :P Also, there are some major differences between a Personcom and an Emotional Doll System unit like ping, as you will see as the comic progresses. I have a drawing of 'pirobits' that i need to scan and post too... Piroko as a personcom... ya, i know, way too weird.

Then there is Tokyo Mew Mew. Don't ask. I'm gonna draw dom in a Mew Mew outfit. I feel this need to do this...

I've also spent a little money in bookstores recently. Since most of the little bits of time that i have are away from home and the office, i've been getting selections of translated manga to read. What's been suprising me, honestly, is how reasonably decent the TokyoPop manga translations are. I remember the horror that is thier Miracle Girls translations (i'm still mad at them for that), so my initial reaction to thier acquisition of some of my FAVORITE shoujo titles - Kaitou Saint Tail and Marmalade Boy specifically - was abject horror.

In regards to the Saint Tail DVDs, it's nice to say that my fears were unjustified. A purist could, of course, nitpick and dismiss many things in the translations, but honestly, i think they are more than fine - in fact, there is a noted improvement in the 2nd DVD that shows that someone actually gives a hoot about the production of the series :). I feel relieved that Tokyo Pop is treating the series with some of the respect it deserves.

Unfortunately the Saint Tail manga translation was started before Tokyo Pop changed its approach to printing translated collections. The translation is not bad at all, and i've been enjoying it, but i would have loved to see it treated the way all of thier new stuff is printed - unmirrored and right to left...

As most of you know, japanese is read from right to left, and all japanese books and manga start at what we consider the back of the book and read towards the left. Usually, translation requires that all the art be mirrored as part of the transformation into english. TokyoPop took the bold step of leaving the comics in thier original form, and tranlating the bubbles in thier original order... I picked up a copy of "Chobits" (great manga, definately pick it up) and one of my old nemises and favorites, "Marmalade Boy" which are in this format. I have to say, i like this format, and the translations are not bad at all.

Ah... Marmalade Boy... this series has ruined many lives. It was fun reading it again, this time in english without the help of translations. I remember Craig Nishida's translation efforts that i couldnt keep up with and the MBoy Translation Mailing List... I remember all the hard work Karen and Bruce Duffy put into fansubbing the series... and waiting desperately for new tapes... even designing tape spines for Karen to use for her distro... ah, yep. I love Marmalade Boy. i had to get away from it because it was like crack. I remember having homicidal feeelings toward certain teachers who needed to be run over by a bus several times... and a major crush on a silly character who liked to play tennis... i forgot how much MBoy influenced me. Theres more of it in Megatokyo than i realzied. God help me, i feel like pulling the fansubs out and watching them again. I'm starting to hear that Marmalade Boy song again...

ack... ok, that was close... (pulls out some :wumpscut: and Velvet Acid Christ CDs. It's the only stuff that can drive the REALLY evil stuff away. ^^;;

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< Largo >

you're already here.

"My l33t Wedding"

Tuesday - May 7, 2002

[Largo] - 12:20:00 - [link here]

First up, Some Bioware News!

This Media Alert has been brought to you by the letter 'L' and the number '3', oh, and also by those talented Canadians that make my favorate unreleased game, Neverwinter Nights.

"Neverwinter Nights fans get an early look at the tools that make the game.

Fans of Neverwinter Nights will soon be able to get their hands on the BETA version of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset - the same tools that BioWare developers are using to build the game’s expansive Official Neverwinter Nights Campaign story. This BETA version of the Neverwinter Nights Toolset is being made available to enable the Neverwinter Nights community to become familiar with the easy-to-use Toolset, and with the process of building Neverwinter Nights modules. The BETA version is an ‘in development snapshot’ of the toolset that we’ve chosen to release to the fans early. It is not finished, but it is quite cool, and we thought the Neverwinter Nights community would appreciate getting their hands on it. The full, complete toolset will be included with the Final Neverwinter Nights game (coming soon to a software shop near you).

So, where can you get the BETA version of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset? Participating retailers (Electronics Boutique, Best Buy, and GameStop) are making the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset available as a Pre-Order bonus disc. As well, some of the participating retailers are also including in the pre-order package, a special ‘custom created’ module - to be made available after Neverwinter Nights is released.

About the BETA version of the Neverwinter Toolset:

This is a BETA release of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset. As with the previously released Neverwinter Nights Model Viewer, the Toolset may not work on certain systems. As a BETA version, it will include a limited selection of the final content in the game. There will be no updates, patches, or fixes to this BETA version of the Toolset. You will not be able to play, or test modules created with this version of the Toolset - you need the server software to do this, and that will be shipped with the final version of Neverwinter Nights.

Modules created with the BETA toolset will probably not work in the final game. Neverwinter Nights is still under development, and we may change the way things work. We will attempt to build a utility to convert modules made with the BETA toolset to be compatible with the final retail game, however we make no guarantee this will be possible.

Additionally, fans with a fast Internet connection can download the Aurora Toolset from various gaming websites (to be announced). Be warned, the toolset download is quite large! -Brad Grier, Bioware Communications Manager"

Well.. there you have it, within the next few weeks, everyone will be able to start working with the NWN Tools Set... I can't wait to craft myself my own little magic sword with that thing...

It's always an odd time when a game that you've been following for years while in development begins to approach that final moment of release, for us - the fans and press, we wait patiently, telling ourselves "Just One More Day." -- meanwhile the developers themselves are working "standard 60 hour crunch weeks", which is code for "I live in my cube, shoot me... please!"

Initializing Wedding Rant

As many of you know, I'm getting married in just a few short weeks on June 3rd. A Wedding is a wonderful thing, I always pictured it like a big fancy party with some ceremony and lots of beer at the end.

... man, was I wrong.

The truth is, a wedding is a massive undertaking, and ironically, the middle-sized weddings are the hardest to plan, apparently a large wedding is easy to deal with as you're forking out so much cash to hold it, that you just hire everyone else to do the work.

Having spent the last few months tied up in planning, decision making, and other assorted wed'd goodness, I've come to conclusion that couples who end up just eloping may be on to something.

Still, there is a certain irreplacable charm to a traditional wedding and reception, and so - my bride to be and I are looking forward to it. It should be great, I only wish I could invite all the fans of MT out there to it, but I don't think that could be managed with our current budget.

However, I have gotten a lot of emails about where to send gifts / where we are registered, etc. So for those of you interested, we are registered as Rodney Caston & Ruby Boiko at the following websites. Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and The Knot.

Recently I've taken a keen interest in playing Go, as a gamer I've always been fasinated with gaming systems from the d20 rules on down to far older games such as Chess and Go.

Lately I thought I'd try to see if I can actually get good at playing Go. Initally I started some games up on yahoo and the zone but finally came to find a server called Kiseido, a site for playing Go online that allows you to use their software so others can view your games and vice versa - and so you can determine your ranking and progress. Along with this, you compete with others for purposes of learning, or in my case - losing, lots of losing...

I had always been a good chess player, but it gets stale after awhile, like most strategy games, it eventually comes down to a war of depleing resources, as the board yields fewer and fewer pieces.

In Chess - you begin play with a board with a complete set of pieces, and as the game progress's the pieces are slowly removed, one by one. You always end play with less pieces on the board then when you began.

With Go, it's the opposite, you begin play with an empty board for you to fill with your stones like it was a canvas.

With Go, it's not that the stones that get depleted, it is the territory left on the board.

Another difference between the two, is scale - where Chess is about unit control, Go is about entire armies. You get a different vision about conquest from Go then you do from Chess. Chess has a singular objective - "CheckMate" - the striving to capture one piece on the board, where as Go focus's on aquiring territory on the board, not capture - instead, capturing stones in Go is a side effect, not the goal.

I suppose I could go on for a few more pages about Go, but I doubt I could really give my description of the game any justice.

If you want to learn more about the game, or to find local Go clubs and tournaments - try this link.

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