Pull yourself together!

typed for your pleasure on 30 January 2009, at 11.11 am

Sdtrk: ‘Sandpiper’ by Reg Tilsley

Another one for the ‘Organik woman made Synthetik through the use of Clever Art Magicks’ file — in fact, I’ve created a new category for it, called ‘Organik to Synthetik’ — witness Tamar Levine’s ‘Broken Robot Girl‘, apparently the first in a series. So far, so good!

We’ve all got problems, babe

And they say the Photoshopping of people in images is a bad thing? I cannot agree.
Some legitimate Doll news is coming soon! I have to sit down and forge a post detailing it. Soon, I say!

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, robots, Tamar Levine, Photoshop

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(Soon to be) Gracing the glossies, Part I

typed for your pleasure on 28 January 2009, at 1.51 am

Sdtrk: ‘Closet romantic’ by Damon Albarn

Fellow SE Michigan-area iDollator Mahtek (you remember him) informed me a number of weeks ago that he was going to be interviewed by Anne Vial, a French journalist, concerning being a Doll husband and the subsequent joys thereof, and that Anne was looking for other iDollators that might want to be involved. Naturally, my name came up, although I can’t imagine why! So we arranged to meet at his on a Saturday at the end of January, along with colleagues CJD and Euchre, for shop talk and a photo session. Anne also wanted to meet with us separately for individual interviews and picture-taking, and that’s precisely how Sidore-chan and I spent our Tuesday afternoon and evening. Nice!
I’d gotten home from work at 5pm, which left me just enough time to scrub off the blood coating the walls of Deafening silence Plus, and slide the Missus into a cheong-sam. Mme. Vial and her photographer, whose name currently escapes me, stopped round about a quarter to eight, after a gruelling day of driving from South Dakota for an unrelated story they were working on. After introductions were passed round, Anne got down to the question salvo. She stated that the idea of doing a piece about Dolls and their owners was inspired after viewing ‘Lars and the Real Girl‘; specifically, how Dolls can be so much more than just ‘sex toys’, and can actually make a marked difference in one’s life. Sixty minutes of my idle ramblings later, the photographer bloke (yes, I will learn his name) started snapping pics of us. I’m not giving any of it away, but I know there’s at least one photo of Shi-chan and I in our kitchen, where I’m feeding her some dodgy AFC sushi that’ll look fantastic if it sees print…

As Anne and… friend… were growing knackered, they made their leave round 11pm, but not before profusely thanking us, and confirming plans for this coming Saturday. All in all, a very enjoyable experience! It was almost like having Elisabeth Alexandre and Elena Dorfman round simultaneously! It’ll be ace working with them again; rest assured, there’ll be a more detailed post about the possible article release dates, so keep your eyes peeled (sounds painful)!

And speaking of interviews, you’re all aware that Slade, the now-retired RealDoll Doctor, has a six-page article in the Jan/Feb issue of Details magazine, right? Well, you know now! I suppose you could simply read the article online, but it’s just not the same

UPDATE (28 Jan): The photographer’s name was Stephan Gladieu. Mea culpa!

Technorati tags: Abyss Creations, RealDolls, iDollators, Lars and the Real Girl, Elisabeth Alexandre, Elena Dorfman, Details Magazine

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Brake for disappointment

typed for your pleasure on 24 January 2009, at 1.21 am

Sdtrk: ‘Skullcrush’ by SALEM

Had things gone as planned, you would be reading an extremely detailed review of the 2009 North American International Auto Show (long known to Michiganders as the Detroit Auto Show, despite fervent efforts to the contrary on the part of the Auto Show organisers), from when Zip Gun, goshou and I attended this past Tuesday, but between then and now, I managed to lose the paper I’d written it out on during work hours. This is why I loathe paper — it’s always getting lost, or wet, or being set ablaze, or eaten. DAMNIT PAPER, WHAT AM I PAYING YOU FOR
In lieu of a legitimate post, however, here are the highlights that I recall scribblin’ down:

+ We got to Cobo Hall about 7.30pm; about twenty feet from the entrance, a derelict/scalper asked us if we were going to the Auto Show. ‘Nope!’ was Derek’s enthusiastic reponse, as we walked briskly past him to go to the Auto Show.

+ Jack Lessenberry, a writer for our local free alternative paper, the Metro Times, mentioned in one of his recent columns:

I also don’t understand why they hold the North American International Auto Show in January, a month when no sensible human being in Detroit wants to go outside if they can help it. To attend what mere mortals still call the “Detroit Auto Show,” one has to try to navigate the potholes, the ice, the potholes filled with ice, and then try to find an affordable parking lot downtown. After that, all you have to do is walk however far on salt-studded and pitted streets, before getting into Cobo Center.

People who live in this climate should hold auto shows in late May, or September or early October perhaps, and have much of it outdoors. But no, we would rather make our already gritty experience a little more so.

In the interest of full disclosure, we happened to locate a car park for us roughly two blocks away. Good eye, goshou!

+ Considering that Ford, General Motors and Chrysler had recently gone round to the government with begging bowl in hand, it was a rather subdued affair this year. In fact, maybe it was the fact that I’d not been to an Auto Show since probably about 2005, but it looked somehow smaller. There weren’t a lot of attendees, either, but then, we were there on a Tuesday eve, as opposed to a week-end, which worked out fine, as I despise crowds…

+ One of the Maybach models had curtains inside! It had curtains inside. It looked a bit like a hearse! It was AWESOME.

+ Honda had a few large-scale banners that had pictures of ASIMO on them, so of course, in my mania, I was thinking ‘hey, ASIMO’s gonna be here!’
Of course he wasn’t!

+ ZG and I sat in a smart car. I was impressed with it; he was less so impressed. More smart cars for me, then.
ZIP GUN: ‘Where would I put my kids?’
ME: ‘Glove compartment, durr hey!’

+ Tesla Motors, you are so fab of a concept and company that you will probably be crushed by the other automotive giants, much like previous auto innovators Edsel and Tucker. We miss you already!
Also, why no brochures? I understand the whole drive behind ‘thinking green’, but give us something to take home and drool over, eh?

+ We encountered a crowd in the Mercedes-Benz area, and saw that they were gathered round this sexy beast: the Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss. The fact that the car was 90 per cent hood reminded me of the Sixties-era Jaguar E-types. Lovely lovely.

+ I sat in a MINI, and didn’t want to leave.

+ We saw the Brilliance motors area, which was oddly bereft of people. Partly because, I dunno, who the hell is Brilliance motors? O, it’s these also-rans. They’re Chinese-made vehicles that are being promoted in Europe, and now they’re making a go for the States. I guess? There were no brochures, and we couldn’t get in their cars, as they were all locked, so we kept moving.

+ Before taking off, we saw the concept Chevy Beat, which was ace. Not only was it in the kind of lurid neon green that only I could love, but they eschewed wing mirrors altogether, and replaced them with cameras. That’s future thinking. But again, no brochures?? If you’re not giving out brochures, you’d better be giving out cars.

Yes, that’s the lot. Of course, there were other interesting spectacles like the all-white Audi display area, or the Volkswagen area, or how we filled out contest forms to win a Hyundai and will now probably get put onto all manner of mailing lists for rubbish, but that’s the highlights from our two-hour tour. The crowning point of the eve, though? Zip Gun and I getting our photo taken with Bibendum.

I had no idea where his shoulder was

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New year, new interview

typed for your pleasure on 18 January 2009, at 7.41 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Arthur Cravan’ by Mount Vernon Arts Lab

Just a heads-up: my Texas-based friend Jaems, of int23.com, engaged me in a lengthy phone interview this past Friday, concerning being an iDollator (meeting new and interesting people with an interest in silicone partners), and life with the Missus in general (sometimes there is wrestling involved). Now the results of the interview are presented here, for your edification. For one, I particularly like the title!

How did your roommate react to you bringing Sidore home?

Steve, my other roommate at the time, was really laid-back and open-minded. Initially, when I started raising funds for Shi-chan in earnest, I’d half-jokingly asked if he wanted to contribute. He gave me a single dollar for the ‘I Hope You Don’t Buy A RealDoll Fund’. (laughs)

Give it a look! It’ll be something pleasant to round out the end of your week-end

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National Winter Hibernation NOW! / Overdue culling

typed for your pleasure on 18 January 2009, at 3.23 am

Sdtrk: ‘Cherish’ by Ike Yard

Absolute zero, meaning the weather is neither hot or cold;
it is in a perfect null-state

I’m starting to believe that this ridiculously frigid weather is actually having an influence on my lifestyle and mindset. Since the beginning of Winter — not the official beginning of Winter, as it’s been freezing off and on in SE Michigan several weeks before that — I’ve noticed an increased willingness to hibernate, a drop in my writing output, which extends to my creativity at large, as I’ve had no inclination to either do legitimate research on potential posts, or work on other creative things, such as ‘Kitten with a Whip!’, for example, and worst, a dip in my libido; which, for any Scorpio worth their salt, is almost inconceivable. I undoubtedly sound like a broken record, but it is just too cold to do anything but stay in bed, where the heat is. At the moment, I’m at a creative standstill, which is really unsettling.
And the thing is, I’ve noticed similar behaviour in a couple of friends of mine. I don’t know if you can chalk it up to the whole Seasonal Affective Disorder thing, but I wouldn’t rule it out entirely. Don’t get me wrong; I love me some overcast days, but egad, you gotta break that shit up now and again. Couple that with polar temperatures and crappy driving conditions, and Winter’s approval rating just continues to sink. Really, the only thing that makes Winter better than hateful Summer is that it doesn’t make you sweat, but that’s a small comfort, all told.

Therefore, I propose that we follow the example of our friends, the bears and squirrels, and hibernate during the Winter season. Of course, I don’t mean that we should literally stuff ourselves with acorns and honey, crawl into a cave or hollow tree, and sleep for three straight months out of the year. Although you’d be free to do that if you liked, but that’d be weird. No, what I’m saying is that society should go for a general go-slow when Winter sets in. Not like a complete shutdown of industrialised society or anything, but more of a simple understanding on the part of companies if an employee calls in to say, ‘sorry, I won’t be coming in today; it’s like 3°F outside.’ All this, naturally, would be done without cutting into any time-off time, or sick time, or vacation time, et al. It’d be officially sanctioned, but regulated so that business wouldn’t be short-staffed. It’d be a lot like Golden Week in Japan, only it’d be more like Golden Twelve Weeks…
The hoped-for result is that people would be more well-rested and less stressed-out overall, and ready to tackle the remaining nine months. Honestly, what better time to stay indoors and recharge your batteries than when Mother Nature’s being a disagreeable tart?

In other news, due to considering how Tomas and Jaems are attempting to simplify things with their lives, I’ve deleted my Livejournal account, as well as sixsixsixties.blogspot.com, which is where ‘Shouting etc etc’ got its start, and my Facebook account. My Livejournal consisted of a single post that essentially said ‘Nothing here, go to my actual blog’, so there’s no loss there, and what remained on Blogger/Blogspot said the same. As far as Facebook, I’ve already expressed my displeasure with it, but between Thursday night and my drive to work Friday afternoon, I thought to myself, why do I still have a page on Facebook? Initially I started it due to that twat in Australia co-opting my identity on Myspace, so I started a profile of my own, in order to stop Hitler at Munich, as it were. The thing with Facebook, however, is that when a person registers, they’re required to enter both a first name and a surname. Obviously I wasn’t putting in my actual surname, so I used a ‘fictional’ one. In addition to me realising that in effect, no-one can make a Facebook page for Davecat, not even myself, and since I had very little interaction with the site anyway, I decided that deleting the account would be the best thing for all involved. Twelve out of the fourteen people I’ve made friends with all there already know other ways to get hold of me, and as for the other two, well, you’d be well advised to bookmark ‘Shouting etc etc’. Now, if only I could get rid of my Myspace profile that easily, and ensure that no-one else re-starts it…

via text, Saturday:
SafeTinspector (2.28 pm): Re: facebook.
I pretty much ignore mine and consider it a biographical aggregator. It auto-pulls in my twitters, flickrs and blog posts.
Davecat (2.38 pm): Yeah; the sole content of my Facebook is my Twitter feed, but then, why not just check my Twitter feed?
Davecat (2.39 pm): My Facebook is like a (Organik) appendix. If you can get rid of it, do so, cos you really don’t need it.
SafeTinspector (2.48 pm): You could also have it parrot your flickr, youtube and WordPress posts. It requires 0 maintenance, so mine shall remain, as my MySpace page, as a simple signpos
SafeTinspector (2.48 pm): t.
Davecat (2.49 pm): Bah. BAH! *dismissive hand gesture*
Davecat (2.49 pm): That was the idea with my Myspace, but people just stop there instead of going to my blog! I’m funnelling.
SafeTinspector (2.49 pm): I’m glad you specified “Organic” appendix, as I am a pig proponent of appendices.
Davecat (2.50 pm): Proponent of pig appendices?

Twitter’s always a laugh, though! That’s not going anywhere

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Six of Khan

typed for your pleasure on 15 January 2009, at 1.30 am

Sdtrk: ‘Sur ta moto’ by Karo

Well, this is bollocks. I come home from work to find that not only has Ricardo Montalban passed away, but Patrick McGoohan, too??

Prisoner star McGoohan dies at 80
BBC News | Published Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Emmy-winning actor Patrick McGoohan, best known for starring in cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner, has died at the age of 80.

He died in Los Angeles after a short illness, his film producer son-in-law Cleve Landsberg told Associated Press.

McGoohan played the character Six in the surreal 1960s show, filmed in the north Wales village of Portmeirion.

He won two Emmy awards for his work on TV detective series Columbo, playing different characters.

The first came for an episode of the series in 1974, with another 16 years later.
the rest of the article is here

As I’ve often stated, being within broadcast distance of Windsor, Canada, I grew up watching a large amount of English television, and The Prisoner was one of my favourites even then. Sometimes the reception wasn’t exactly crystal-clear, but I do recall the very first episode I watched was ‘Free for all’, where Number Six believes he can instigate a revolt in the normally placid citizens of the Village by running for the office of Number Two, with predictable results. I’m fairly certain my reaction was pretty much the same as those who watched it when it first aired back in 1968 — one of delighted astonishment, that a television show could be revolutionary, surreal, and engaging all at once. In the hands of someone else, the series probably wouldn’t stand the test of time, but Patrick McGoohan made it happen.
Also: Rover still freaks me out to this day.

Fantasy Island’s Montalban dies
BBC News | Published Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Actor Ricardo Montalban, who starred in the popular US TV show Fantasy Island in the 1970s-80s, has died aged 88, a Los Angeles city official says.

The Mexican-born actor died at his home, the official said.

Fantasy Island ran for six years and centred on a magical island where guests could live out their dreams.

Montalban – who had a long career in entertainment – was also well-known for playing the villain in Star Trek, both on television and in a feature film.

Montalban’s death was announced by Eric Garcetti, who represents the LA district where the actor lived.

David Brokaw, the actor’s friend, described him as a “very courtly, modest, dignified individual,” the Associated Press news agency reports.

Montalban had been a film star in Mexico before moving to Hollywood in 1946.

Despite the fact that I find Star Trek to be a bland series overall, I will fully admit to enjoying ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’, as it goes without saying that Ricardo Montalban’s role pretty much makes the film. Once, I’d seen him on an episode of David Letterman; Letterman had asked him what exactly was the deal with the whole ‘reech Coreenthian layther’ that Montalban used to promote in old Chrysler adverts from the Seventies and Eighties, and Ricardo jokingly confessed that there wasn’t such a thing. Awesome.

RIP Patrick McGoohan, RIP Ricardo Montalban. Both of you will be sorely missed

Technorati tags: Patrick McGoohan, The Prisoner, The Village, Ricardo Montalban, Fantasy Island, Corinthian leather, KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNN

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‘In the future there will be robots’

typed for your pleasure on 8 January 2009, at 2.22 am

Sdtrk: ‘(Keep feeling) Fascination’ by the Human League

Barely relevant: I recently dreamt that I was back at my old highschool for some reason or other, and I was trying to find the auditorium where the arts & theatre classes were usually held. Unfortunately, since the last time I wandered down those corridors, they’d shuffled a couple of rooms around the campus. So I found myself running down the halls, pinwheeling my arms, frantically searching for the arts department.
Let that be a lesson to you.

While I was doing that, alert reader Kat spotted this in the news:

If there’s a male in a dress, it must be Kids in the Hall

Actor robots take Japanese stage
BBC News | Published: 2008/11/26 11:26:22 GMT

First there were dancing robots, then house-sitting robots and now a new breed of acting robots is making its big debut on the Japanese stage.

The play, which had its premiere at Osaka University, is one of Japan’s first robot-human theatre productions.

The machines were specially programmed to speak lines with human actors and move around the stage with them.

Playwright Oriza Hirata says the work raises questions about the relationship between humanity and technology.
the rest of the article is here

There’s actually video excerpts from the play on Robot Watch (under some pictures, you’ll see characters that read ‘動画’; you’ll want to click on the characters).
It should go without saying that I’m looking forward to a day when Androids and Gynoids will be utilised as actors. In fact, I think there’d be a lovely irony in having a bunch of Synthetiks play in a stage production of Karel Čapek’s ‘Rossum’s Universal Robots‘ — only have them play all the non-robot roles, and have the Organik cast members portray the robots…

O, and twenty Cool Points will be immediately shipped, in a refrigerated container, to the person who can tell me where this post’s title comes from. If you need another hint, you’ll just have to listen carefully to the radio in the next vehicle you carjack

Technorati tags: robots, Wakamaru, Robot Watch, Karel Čapek, Rossum’s Universal Robots

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