kaigou: so when do we destroy the world already? (3 destroy the world)
Two stories now that I really would've liked to like, but the more I read of each, the harder a time I had with them. Here's the relevant parts from each teaser. From The Lascar's Dagger:
Saker appears to be a simple priest, but in truth he's a spy for the head of his faith. Wounded in the line of duty by a Lascar sailor's blade, the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility it brings, Saker can only follow its lead.

And from The Alchemist of Souls:
When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods--and a skrayling ambassador--to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?

The problem is that in both cases, these seemingly magical beings are real people.

I've run across lascars a few times in my own research, but they're not a well-known culture in the west. Wikipedia has a halfway decent entry on them, which summarizes things well enough:
A lascar (Lashkar, Laskar) ... was a sailor or militiaman from the Indian Subcontinent or other countries east of the Cape of Good Hope, employed on European ships from the 16th century until the beginning of the 20th century. The word comes from the Persian Lashkar, meaning military camp or army, and al-askar, the Arabic word for a guard or soldier. The Portuguese adapted this term to lascarim, meaning an Asian militiaman or seaman, especially those from the Indian Subcontinent. Lascars served on British ships under 'lascar' agreements. ... The name lascar was also used to refer to Indian servants, typically engaged by British military officers.

Despite much digging on my part, there isn't a lot of Western/English study on the lascars. )


29 Mar 2014 08:26 am
kaigou: Edward, losing it. (1 Edward conniption)
Isn't there a responsive layout on dw? This non-responsive crap is almost impossible to read on my phone.
kaigou: Skeptical Mike is skeptical. (1 skeptical mike)
Okay, it's not quite questionable taste theater, and it's not [personal profile] glvalentine's usual cinematic stomping grounds, but some of these really need the snark liek woah. Since the esteemed madame isn't doing it, I might as well. I have screenshot power and I'm not afraid to use it.

First up: the decently good. Possibly even better than good, if you overlook the commentary prompted by the Yang clan's armor, which apparently looked too much like samurai armor for audience tastes. I'm not sure why, since the Yang family was Han/Song dynasty, so ranged from the late 900s to about 1040 CE. Which I'd take to mean that it's actually that samurai armor looks a lot like Chinese armor, not the other way around, but it's a tetchy subject all the same. Other than that, though, The Young Warriors is more historical with notes of wuxia, than full-blown wuxia. You can tell, too, because the costumes are fairly decent. Unfortunately, I didn't bother d/ling, so I've been watching on youtube, but hopefully it's enough to get the gist.

For starters, the older brothers are more subdued, with dad the most somber of all. The younger you go, the brighter the colors, unless you're a woman, in which case you also get bright colors. Plus, makes it easy to pick out the focal points onscreen: fifth brother's in brighter orange, and eighth brother is in purple/maroon. Mom's on the left, and Dad in deep brownish-red is to the left, behind her.

Costumes! Or attempted facsimiles, at least: 75% images, 25% text, 90% snark. )
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
This is entirely starscream/recession's fault. Probably in retaliation for the APPLESAUCE.

Is that guy in the middle Matt Damon? Same smirk.

Long tunnel is long. Be foreboded! And just in case, the music reminds you.

Don't these people realize burning brands right near a horse's ear would piss off the horse?

Oh, look, it's what Hadrian's Wall wanted to be when it grew up.

Where is this filmed. No, seriously, where is this filmed.

So far, love the dialogue! Very snappy. That is, none at all. Hard to improve on silence.

Obligatory faint echoes of wolf howl. It's like adding salt to bread. I wonder if Hollywood knows how to makea movie without obligatory faint echoes of wolf howl when it's a forest.

...and more. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 scare the devil)
I just got back from Sears. My little veedub, the longtime trooper, has been having sluggish starts on some mornings. I rephrase that: in the morning, it won't start at all. By noon, or midafternoon, it'll start... sluggishly. Last time I tried, I think I flooded the engine or something, and figured I'd let it sit, then have it towed over to get a new battery. But today, it started on its own (by around 3pm, after a half-day in the winter sun), and I said, oh, hell, I could use some chocolate, let's go to Sears.

Me: I need a new battery.
Sears Guy: *opens hood*
Sears Guy: *looks at car*
Sears Guy: .......
Me: *not paying attention* Y'know, I'm thinking, I can't remember ever getting a battery for this car.
Sears Guy: .........
Me: It's a '96, and I got it in '98...
Sears Guy: .........

This is where I look around and realize there are now six Sears Guys all flocked around my engine compartment. Which sounds really obscene, but carrying on.

Me: Hello?
Sears Guy #1: We don't sell this battery anymore.
Me: You don't? That sucks, because it's been a great battery. I was gonna ask for another just like it.
Sears Guy #1: I imagine it's been the best battery anyone's ever seen.
Me: Hunh? It's a regular Die Hard. Aren't you supposed to change them like, I don't know, once a decade?
Sears Guy #2: *does the math* Or about every fifteen years, in your case.

All the other Sears Guys look shocked. I think some of them even looked positively reverent.

Sears Guy #1: Ma'am, batteries are expected to last about three years.
Me: Really?
Sears Guy #1: Really really.
Me: ...
Sears Guy #1: ...

Everyone else joined in the moment of silence, and then:

Me: Maybe I did change it and forgot.
Sears Guy #1: No, we discontinued this type.
Me: What, like a year or two ago?
Sears Guy #1: Like ten years ago.
Me: Wow. So I really haven't ever changed it.
Sears Guy #1: You're either doing something really right with this car...
Sears Guy #2: ... or really, really wrong.
Me: Can I go with "right"? I like how that sounds.

When I left -- with new battery in place -- four of the guys were arguing over where best to display that positively ancient battery in a good location of honor. I'm not sure whether to be flattered, or worried.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 no srsly)
Let the nodding commence.

From the left: Petite Cosette, Darker than Black II, and unknown/made-up series starring Shizuo's little brother, Baccano!, Jigoku Shoujo, and Cencoroll.

The only connection I can find between Petite Cosette and this series (among its voice actors, the production company, the director or team leaders) is that one of the voice actors in Petite Cosette went on to play Ai Enma in Jigoku Shoujo. The first season of Jigoku Shoujo was directed by Durarara!!'s director, Takahiro Omori; the second season of Jigoku Shoujo was produced by Brains Base, the company producing Durarara!!. Any other connection escapes me at this point.

The connection to Darker than Black looks like it's via Kana Hanazawa, who voiced Suou Pavlichenko ...and that's only the beginning. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 candy mountain)
Watching Durarara!!. The post-modern attitude is seriously over the top. I don't mean in the Gundam-style of giving little nods to past tropes and storylines, I mean outright references. Honestly, this series is nodding so damn hard I'm surprised its head doesn't fall off. Well, what hasn't already fallen off, given it's about a cousin to the headless horseman.

Lots of pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Going to try to avoid spoilers, so I won't give a full context for all of these, and some of them have subtitles only where the dialogue is related to the nod for that segment. But first, I said jewel-tones, and I meant it. I don't know what technology they're using for the backgrounds, but man, they're gorgeous. A lot of them feel like a sort of impressionistic photography.

Start with the train station in what I think is Ikebukuro, in the opening minutes of the very first episode... )

...and continue this in the next post, again with too many images.
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
The protagonist has decided she's going to

...seduce the sexist men in the room...

and I'm thinking, my god, why would you bother?
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 point and laugh)
Alright, headcold proceeds apace, other things generally suck, I think we're getting rained out over here, but it's 1am and I'm awake and I figure might as well launch into the story, because some things simply cannot wait. So, get comfortable, pull up your popcorn and/or your socks, have a seat, this won't take too long.

Two weeks ago, I had reason (don't ask) to go knocking door-to-door among my neighbors (no, not selling anything!). We've lived here for, oh, four years now, I suppose, and I'd never really met much beyond the neighbors just on our tiny cul-de-sac. But now I was meeting people who live a block or two away, and some of them I got talking with. And we kept talking, and eventually my informant neighbor let me in on the story of U-Haul Guy, Sweet Momma, and the Iranian Rug Dealer. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (W] vortex of stupidity)
I'm not going to name names here, so if you know the title, keep it to yourself. I just need to get this out of my system, and perhaps we'll all learn from someone else's actions so we don't ever make the same stupid offense ourselves.

Recently I picked up a title that looked promising, or maybe I was just really bored, or perhaps it was that you just don't see too many stories where one of the characters is dealing with PTSD. I don't mind digging for gold even amongst the crack, but I couldn't make it past the first chapter or so.

First, author dearest, when you write any kind of bondage club and you have Joe Character walk in and order not just an alcoholic beverage but the entire bottle, right there I say WOAH. But that's just a minor detail compared to the one that really made me slam on the brakes. )

So, to sum... dear author: please stop helping. REALLY. Neither the military nor the BDSM world needs this travesty. In fact, your story reveals such complete disrespect and contempt for its characters and their situations that it leaves me speechless.

As for the rest of you: I catch you doing this, and I will be forced to tie you down and make you watch the entire final season of Fantasy Island. Five times.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
[FYI/note: all images are SFW, so no fears there.]

Sometimes I've seen (usually anonymous) comments from (traditionally) published authors about covers they've been, well, less-than-enthusiastic about. Which is going to happen; on the law of averages, not every cover can be the grand spectacular head-turner. I mean, you want it to be, natch, so does anyone with financial stake in the venture, but there are head-turners, and there are... head-turners.

And boy, are some ebooks head-turners, and I don't even mean the ones we could really snark about, like the ones created with Poser, which are just plain bad. There's just no way to make Poser look real. But, I don't mean head-turning because you can't believe something that bad got made into a cover. Perhaps an illustration will work a bit better. Ah, right, here's one, from a small private group who does the ventures on their own books (or so I gather; the business model isn't entirely clear from the site, but whatever).

Right-o. That's one row in the online catalog. Go ahead. Process. I'll wait for you to catch up -- because (of course) there's more. Plenty more. Pictures, that is. Cover pictures. )

Just say no to Cowboy-Guy!
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (A2] start drinking heavily)
So here's the deal behind the last post, with context. Have a seat. This might take a bit, but believe me, it's amusing enough. (Or is, if you're me.)

Awhile back I joined a number of comms on LJ while trying to track down some of the more obscure fan-translated manga out there. I'd search for what I wanted, maybe check each comm every few days to every other week or so, and the rest of the time none of them show up on my daily flist. (That flist is long enough already, without high-traffic comms making it worse.)

[Note: I am not even getting into the legalities of translations and copyrights in this post. I can, if you're wondering, since I did look them up, but that's beside the point for this rant.]

At some point, I opened one comm to see what was new, and what did I see but at the very top a post about -- and link to a mediafire download for -- an ebook. Not a fan-translated manga, not a raw/original-language manga, but an American e-publishing company's ebook, written by an American author, and one whose work I've enjoyed and support. (And you know who you are, my dear, so have a drink and relax, this story's got a happy ending.) Well, mystified as to what an English-language, clearly-copyrighted work was doing being traded in a manga forum, I went looking at the tags -- and lo and behold, there's not just one or two authors that have slipped into the middle of a manga-trading community.

No, more like seventy authors -- and for a lot of those authors, the comm's trading their entire body of work. Two titles. Three. Five. Entire series: seven titles, ten titles, more. If on average every author had around four titles, and let's say the average price might be around $5, that's fourteen hundred dollars worth of ebooks listed. For free download.

Perhaps I should also mention: this is all listed a comm with more than three thousand members.

Potential losses? Oh, in the area of about four million two hundred thousand dollars.

Flabbergasted doesn't really begin to cover it. )

Dear author: I adore your work, but please to stop enabling the cabbages in the audience, mmkay?

Dear LJ: you still suck. Even when you don't do anything at all. Sometimes, especially when you don't do anything at all.

Dear mod: this is a bucket of ice water, this is your head, this is your head in a bucket of ice water.


with slight footnote. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Not that I meant to. I just really wanted this one book, see, at least I was pretty sure I did. Mostly sure, all the way up to putting in my credit card info and then hitting submit, at which point suddenly the online ordering form told me that I had no items in my shopping cart.

Say what? I tried again, and same results. So I switched to Safari and... went through the exact same process. Three times. Well, at least I knew then it wasn't just me, if two completely separate browsers were having the same fit. Baffled (and more than annoyed at this point), I decided to wait a day, try again, and yep, go through the whole six-step dance, get to submit, and nothing in my shopping cart.

So I emailed customer support for the ebook distribution company, explaining what was going on, that it didn't work on Firefox or Safari, that this told me it was the site and not me, and I'm almost positive I mentioned I was on Mac OSX (although I may have figured that was kinda obvious considering if you've got Windoze, you are probably NOT using Safari).

Customer Support writes me back and very pleasantly explains that she forwarded the issue to the tech guys, and here was the reply, and I QUOTE:
I used the client's login to add the two items to the wish list and then add them to the cart to attempt to check out. I used a bogus credit card so of course, I cannot place an order under this user's id. Attached are the screenshots of the process. I could not replicate any problem. My browser is IE7 with the browser set to retrieve new versions of the page automatically.

I am wondering if there is an issue with the caching with the client's browser. It is conceivable that if the user's settings do not check for a new page, that they are seeing a cached or saved copy of that same page from an earlier session. If at all possible, could you determine from the client what browser and version (this is important as IE has upgraded to version 8 recently and this could be a source of problems) and if the client has page renewal turned off. To determine what the page settings are in IE7...
And herein begins the saga of how I unintentionally broke my-bookstore-and-more. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (A1] buddha ipod)
Earlier this week, I was out running a quick errand, and feeling mighty pissed-off about the current project's deadline wackiness. Fortunately I have a collection of songs on the iPod for just such pissed-off moments when driving -- several collections, in fact. One that's suitably cranky for pissed-off moods, and one that's songs I normally wouldn't listen to but can't not be in a good mood as soon as I hear them.

Most of these get the curled lip ' scorn from the Leo if I don't change the playlist when he gets in the car -- there's several from the Monkees, and a few Erasure songs, that kind of semi-inane but relatively cheerful and uncomplicated pop and dance tunes. That includes 'Game of Love', discovered after viewing a truly amazing AMV, and 'Carameldansen,' an inclusion I blame entirely on [livejournal.com profile] misshallelujah, who was the source of my first introduction to this bizarre phenomenon -- a series of animated gifs of the Gundam 00 characters doing that... dance... thing.

And it was thus that I discovered that if MissHallie ever gets her duff to the States, she should swing through this city so the two can meet. )

(This city's weird. I know that, but this level of weird is off the charts.)
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (A2] start drinking heavily)

[I went back and added to the other posts so it's clearer, but this is because I know Mikke'll probably miss those from being swamped, and this way she'll see what I meant. Or, uhm, something. IT MAKES SENSE TO ME, OKAY?]
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (A1] disgruntled)
Having now (finally) seen some of Avatar, I've come to the conclusion that anyone who thinks this series is 100% Anglos is probably someone who saw Mulan and thought its entire cast was Hispanic.

Freaking morons.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

91011 12131415


No cut tags


RSS Atom