In the throes of Fanboyism / Boxy but benevolent

typed for your pleasure on 25 April 2009, at 12.15 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Night night’ by Blank dogs

Flipping through the latest MetroTimes whilst at work, I’d spotted a full-page advert for the 2009 Motor City Comic con. Under normal circumstances, information about that event would evaporate quickly from my brain as I made my way towards the page containing Dan Savage’s column, but three of the special guests slated to appear caught my eye, and held it to such a degree, that I’m considering attending for the first time since the mid-Nineties.

You’ve got Priscilla Barnes, who portrayed Terri Alden for three years on one of my all-time favourite sitcoms, ‘Three’s Company’. Then there’s Joyce DeWitt, who for eight years played Janet Wood, my favourite roommate, on the same show; which is even more astounding, due to the fact that she’s pretty much kept out of the public eye since ‘Three’s Company’ ended. That’s ace enough in and of itself, but! The other guest? JULIE ‘AF-709 / CATWOMAN’ NEWMAR. YES. Only thing is, if I decided to bite the bullet and spend the $20 entrance fee (now you know why they call them ‘cons’), what would I have them sign? Priscilla and Joyce’s choice would be simple; I could have them autograph my copy of ‘Come and knock on our door‘, the rather-inclusive book about ‘Three’s Company’, but what of Julie? I don’t have any paraphernalia from Batman, and I’d really love for her to sign something related to ‘My living Doll‘, the short-lived Sixties sitcom starring Ms Newmar as a Gynoid, but theoretically, they’re still in the process of remastering the episodes. Hrrm.
I’m seriously thinking I should go, though. I mean, how often does the opportunity to meet Terri Alden, Janet Wood and AF-709 under the same roof come up in one’s life?

Speaking of robots (pronounced ‘ro-bits’), I ran across this on 4chan‘s /m/echa board: Tweenbots. They’re awfully cute!

‘Excuse me, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? And DON’T ANSWER PRACTISE’

Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate [New York City] with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.

Given their extreme vulnerability, the vastness of city space, the dangers posed by traffic, suspicion of terrorism, and the possibility that no one would be interested in helping a lost little robot, I initially conceived the Tweenbots as disposable creatures which were more likely to struggle and die in the city than to reach their destination. […] The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged.

As Kacie Kinzer is an art school student, the whole exercise is partially a sociological experiment as to how humans interact with non-human beings, so naturally the idea piqued my interest. Besides, the method with which she’s going about it is just plain adorable. Throw in a talking dog, a cat, and a ferret, send the four of them across the country, and you have a family-friendly film just waiting to happen!
So if you reside in NYC and you happen across a Tweenbot that needs assistance, do the right thing, eh? A robot might just help you one day

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‘From up here they look like ants… oh wait, those really are ants.’

typed for your pleasure on 8 April 2009, at 12.24 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Another rattle’ by Nothing people

Spotted this in an article on I Like recently: for the 1965 World’s Fair in New York, Robert Moses constructed a scale-model panorama of the city of New York, which stretches about 9,335 square feet, and contains 895,000 individual structures. Luckily, the Panorama was preserved, and it currently resides at the Queens Museum. In order to fund maintenance costs for the model, the museum is now allowing people to ‘buy’ buildings for a donation of $50. Larger amounts will enable donors to ‘purchase’ landmarks, or ‘name’ certain buildings, etc. Apparently you can buy the Brooklyn Bridge (pictured below, middle); a snip at just $10,000! A fab idea, to be certain.

The city’s too small to act out your Godzilla fantasies, but you can pretend you’re Galactus instead

Now, if I had the available funds, I’d totally grab a piece of micronised New York City real estate. Honestly, though, the only place I’d really want would be a building located at 231 East 47th street in midtown Manhattan, better known as the first location of Andy Warhol’s Silver Dream Factory. Failing that, I’ll have the Rockefeller Guest House, paleeeze…

As SafeT once told me, apropos of nothing, ‘Unique New York, New York unique, You know you need unique New York’

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typed for your pleasure on 3 March 2009, at 12.31 am

Sdtrk: ‘From an ancient star’ by Belbury Poly

As I’d noted years ago, sometimes purchasing an unfamiliar flavour of toothpaste is akin to playing russian roulette, as you run the risk of getting something that tastes like misery itself. On the other hand, last time I was buying groceries, I had to make An Informed Toothpaste Decision, as it appears that Sensodyne has stopped producing my preferred flavour, Fresh Impact; or, at the very least, the store was out of stock. So after choosing another flavour (Fresh Mint), surreptitiously screwing the cap off, squirting a pea of toothpaste onto my fingertip, and giving it a swift lick, I happily discovered that what I’d grabbed wasn’t merely okay, it was actually good. I mean, like, good on the level where I want to use it as a condiment. Under normal circumstances, that would be so wrong it’s right, but as it’s toothpaste and therefore beneficial for you, it’s so right it’s wrong it’s right. Right?

Lately, I’ve been hewing out a couple more posts, as I’ve been getting ideas here and there for some whilst at work, but then I’d get porlocked by clients on the phone, and the ideas would disappear before I could write them down. Fuckin’ clients, man. So enjoy some thought-provoking dialogue ripped from the pages of real life instead!

SCENA: Davecat (aka kuroneko_23; fringe, skinny tie) and MontiLee (aka pendamuse; fox ears, cleavage) attempt to bolt together some plans for their week-ends regarding dinner and photography, circa a couple of years ago.

[03.07.24 PM] pendamuse: okay, so what day – that’s what I’m foggy on
[03.07.41 PM] kuroneko_23: That’s this SATURDAY Saturday saturday
[03.07.47 PM] kuroneko_23: AT TEH SILVERDOME
[03.08.02 PM] pendamuse: We’re doing night shots?
[03.08.10 PM] kuroneko_23: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
[03.08.11 PM] kuroneko_23: o
[03.08.19 PM] kuroneko_23: That’s NEXT Saturday.
[03.08.31 PM] kuroneko_23: *checks calendar*
[03.08.51 PM] pendamuse: We’re haveing dinenr this Saturday?
[03.08.54 PM] kuroneko_23: Yes: this Sat, dinnair, next Sat, photeauxs.
[03.08.57 PM] kuroneko_23: YESSU
[03.09.04 PM] pendamuse: Really?
[03.09.09 PM] kuroneko_23: DON’T MAKE ME COME OVER THERE
[03.09.15 PM] pendamuse: But …
[03.09.19 PM] pendamuse: *confused*
[03.09.55 PM] kuroneko_23: Am I gonna have to Email our chat log history to you?
[03.10.07 PM] pendamuse:
[03.10.09 PM] pendamuse: yes
[03.10.11 PM] pendamuse: No, I have it
[03.10.15 PM] pendamuse: I just don’t remember
[03.10.19 PM] pendamuse: much
[03.10.21 PM] pendamuse: since the
[03.10.23 PM] pendamuse: thing
[03.10.51 PM] kuroneko_23: The word you’re looking for is ‘lobotomy’. It’s okay, I was there with the camera and the crazy straws.
[03.11.02 PM] pendamuse: *snicker*
[03.11.26 PM] kuroneko_23: You’re still okay with dinner this Sat, right? You’ve not made other, sexier plans?
[03.11.37 PM] pendamuse: *looks around*
[03.11.41 PM] pendamuse: who are you talking to?
[03.11.51 PM] kuroneko_23: Pfft, don’t give me that.
[03.11.53 PM] kuroneko_23: Pfft.
[03.12.02 PM] pendamuse: Saturday is fine
[03.12.07 PM] kuroneko_23: YAY

Attrition and desperation — it’s How We Get Things Done

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typed for your pleasure on 12 February 2009, at 12.53 am

Sdtrk: ‘Unfavorable meanings’ by Teenage Panzerkorps

This Tuesday past was an interesting day at work: in SE Michigan, we were experiencing a sneak preview of Spring, as temperatures reached a high in the mid-fifties. The contrast between the mild climate and the piles of filthy snow everywhere was producing a huge amount of gorgeously thick fog. During my day shift, where I was going back and forth between being either sleepy or angry, my supervisor excitedly stopped by my cubicle, gesturing at the open windows in front of where I sat. As I was not only ‘listening’ to a client on the phone at the time, being in Drowsy mode, I couldn’t really make out what he was saying, but when I finally managed to get off the phone, I noticed that the sky had a polar cast of brightness through the fog. ‘You can actually look at the sun,’ my supervisor mentioned. ‘Check it out — it looks like the moon.’ I have to admit, it did look pretty ace.

This was round 10.15am EST, by the way

People in adjacent cubicles of course wanted to know what was going on, and a few took pics with their cameraphones as well. Apparently the volume of fog was so… voluminous… that it obscured the sun to the point that we could view it without microwaving our retinas, which is always a plus. Did anyone else manage to witness this?

In retrospect, one thing did cross my mind as a passel of us were looking indirectly-yet-directly at the sun — wasn’t this how The Day of the Triffids started out?

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typed for your pleasure on 5 January 2009, at 12.27 am

Sdtrk: ‘Fade to grey’ by Visage

*claps hands together* Okay, so I’m back from my holidays, and between you and me, they were swingin’. A heady flight to Shinjuku, several gallons of sake, tours to various Doll manufacturer showrooms… it was unbelievable! Completely unbelievable! Meaning ‘it has no grounding whatsoever in reality’. Nah, I didn’t go anywhere.
My actual holiday time was quite alright, though. Got a bit of stuff done round Deafening silence Plus, spent plenty of quality time with the Missus — we watched Act 03 of ‘Time of Eve‘; what were you perverts thinking?? New year’s Eve night found me playing heady sessions of Shadows over Camelot with Zip Gun, Mrs Zip Gun, Derek and Steph. Friday eve, Mari stopped round and we caught up on four more episodes of Xam’d: Lost memories, as well as the 2008 Doctor Who Xmas special (very enjoyable), and Derek and I started Saturday by viewing four eps of the second season of Gundam 00, after which we grabbed sushi, and met up with SafeT and Mari at Zip Gun’s digs for Rock Band and, well, Rock Band. Let me go on record right now as publically stating that I want to punch Rush, collectively, or on an individual basis, for that travesty of a song known as ‘The trees’.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.

Prog-hippy bullshit. Any minutes spent listening to Rush are several minutes wasted. And we had to ‘play’ that garbage! GRAAHH SO ANGRY

Thanks to the contribution of a kind colleague/benefactor, namely Jaems (thanks again, mate), I now have a webcam, where I can really make people regret that they added me to their Skype lists. It’s more fun than I thought it would be, but sometimes there are instances when I look like I was dragged through a hedge backwards, then stuffed into a burlap sack and tossed into a cement mixer, and I don’t want to subject people to that. I’m reminded of an episode of ‘The Jetsons’, where a housewife friend of Jane Jetson’s is calling her via their videocameraphonething. Jane looks a wreck, as she’d just rolled out of bed, so she puts on a rubber mask of her own perfectly-made-up face, and answers the phone. The humour occurs when Jane’s friend’s facemask falls off, as she had just gotten up for the day. Ahh, future comedy. Instead of going to that extreme, I thought about printing up SEELE’s legendary ‘SOUND ONLY‘ graphic to point my webcam at that whilst I go through the trouble of putting some clothes on and whatnot. We’ll see.

Since I haven’t made resolutions for nigh-on a decade now — I believe that once you call it a ‘resolution’, that guarantees that it won’t get done — pretty much my goals for this year are to
+ try not to let work get to me as much, as it’s ultimately not worth it. I speak to a lot of lying slack-jawed fuckwits at my job, and short of using a claw hammer, there’s no way I’ll be able to change their behaviour
+ Having said that, I really need to look for something new. Preferably a job where I’m not speaking to a lot of lying slack-jawed fuckwits
+ to get ‘Kitten with a Whip!‘ back online for reals, yo. Can you believe it’s been almost five years since my silicone significant other has had a noteworthy web presence? That’s gotta be rectified ASAP. Frankly, I’m surprised Shi-chan’s not tried to throttle me or similar. But at least she has an amusing Twitter feed

There you have it; first post of the year. So were your New year’s festivities relatively carnage-free, then?

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Meow Mix coated in 10w-40: supplemental

typed for your pleasure on 2 December 2008, at 12.59 am

Sdtrk: ‘Blister’ by Venetian snares

So going from the results of our recent poll, it appears our little toy robot cat finally has a name — you can call him Shironeko.

See how ecstatic he looks? That’s the picture of glee right there

It was a landslide; as of 12.40am Monday morning, that particular name choice garnered twenty votes, versus the ten that Mecha-Moggy 5000 received. I suspect that Shi-chan might have called in some favours from other Dolls…

Our friend Neo did have a point, though, when he remarked ‘I really think the lady of the house gets first dibs as she has to house-sit the cat!’ Yeah yeah, buddy, you and your ‘logic’. *waves hand dismissively*

Thanks very much for your participation! We’re all winners?

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Why yes, I am in a bit of a writing slump!

typed for your pleasure on 24 November 2008, at 5.59 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Disclaimer’ by the Dears

Hurrr. Believe me when I say that I’ve had really nothing of any import to write about since… well, the 16th. Well, our friend Tim moved back to Michigan, and he and his girlfriend joined goshou, SafeT, Steph and I for sushi and Rock Band 2 this past week-end. O, and I finished Warriors Orochi 2 — not 100% completion, but still. And a cluster of us iDollators got together for another meeting in London (Ontario), which was as fantastic as one would expect. But that’s about it, really!

For one, it got bastard cold rather quickly, which always throws me off. To that end, I purchased a brand-new electronic blanket on Saturday, and it does the business. You could slow-roast food on that fucker, that’s how well it works. Shi-chan’s making use of it now, and if she could see me from where she is, I’m sure she’d give me an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

So yeah! I’ve already commenced work on December’s ‘Any Doll/Synthetik news?’ article, as there’s a sizeable amount of material to cover, but apart from that, it’s an unintentional go-slow round Deafening silence Plus. My Muse is oftentimes found asleep, passed out on a couch somewhere whilst ‘Seinfeld’ reruns blare in the background, and this would be one of those times. We’ve all been there, I’m sure

As an aside, regarding Rock Band 2: Has anyone else noticed that the new Guns n’ roses song, ‘Shackler’s revenge’, sounds like it was frozen in a glacier sometime round 1993, and recently thawed out? That song sounds so much like Nine inch nails it’s not even true.
15 year wait, huh? I’d hate to be a Guns n’ roses fan right about now

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