Thursday, November 26, 2009

Indubitably Festive

Anime Festival Asia 2009 was last weekend. Attended two days straight, just the evening on Saturday and the whole day on Sunday.

Saturday: I was supposed to be there only for the I <3 Anisong concert, but somehow it got delayed, so I got to survey the ground a bit, but no story is interesting enough from it, especially compared to Sunday's whole-day expedition.

So, the concert start at 7, supposed to be 6, but whatever. First up was Shoko Nakagawa---shokotan---did a cover of Zankoku na Tenshi Teeze, then Gurren Lagann's Sorairo Days, then it became weird. The school got older and older until she came back to the near past and sang another three Gurren Lagann songs. Made me realise how new my school is.

She seemed not to speak much English, but screams a lot of these: "I love anime" and "We are Otaku". Heh, painfully true?

Next up Hatsune Miku. Considering she is digital and a figment of our collective imagination, it was not surprising that the performance was really a screening of some pre-rendered video. At least it ended before waving light sticks at a non-existent songstress became too awkward.

In the end came Ichirou Mizuki---I really should have said launched---Hassha! He is the singer for tokusatsu, sentai, and giant robot anime. A little trivia: his career has been 40 years long with about 1200 songs in his book, has big hair, wears frilly shirt, tight pants, and flashy, reflective trench coat, also, we're supposed to call him aniki---gladly. His school is very, very, old, and of the awesome kind.

Guess what, for encore, Aniki revealed that Shokotan is a big sentai fan ...and offered her a duet for some of his songs; she obliged, and the result was awesome. They see that it was good and proceeded to sing some more songs, before the day must finally end.

I picked a large otaku* along the way home and waited for the next day.

Sunday: We, me and mister otaku, arrived early, made a little round around the festival ground and remembered: we gotta go to the maid cafe first! So there we went, maid cafe. We were given menu with nasty prices at the gate, and greeted with "Okaerinasaimase goshujin-sama" on our way to the table.

One maid per table, ours was named Hitomi, supposedly a meganekko but her glasses are always on her apron, except when taking photos, tsk. Waited a bit took a photo, got served our meal, with an ...enhancement mantra---"Hitomi no rabu-rabu"---yeah. Had our meal and got out, kinda underwhelming, but here's the photo:

Smug-looking goshujin-sama, the maid, and the pet cat. Guess who's at home when goshujin-sama's away.

Sooo, the rest of the day was a total dork-out. Taking photos of figurines, drooling over Gundam models, looking at people trying out the karaoke machine, having a go at dubbing; I voiced Edward Elric for a minute! My timing sucks big time, so let's not talk about it.

Something I never tried before: gashapon. We had a deal: it was an Evangelion set, we would try the same machine twice; if any of us got Ayanami, it'd go to mister otaku, but if it was Makinami, I'd get to keep it. The mister got Kensuke and I got Makinami. He tried again later in the day and got Shinji, I refrained, didn't want to spend all my luck at one shot. Here's my loot, by the way:

Pretty well-made for a capsule toy.

Now, 2nd day concert started on time. Today's menu: Yoshiki Fukuyama and May'n. We knew May'n, she sang some (many) songs for Macross Frontier, but Fukuyama seems a bit unfamiliar. When I heard him sang, however, I felt compelled to hand over my nerd badge for failing to recognise the man; he was the one behind Overman King Gainer's theme, and Busou Renkin's Makka na Chikai, follow through the links to see what those are all about. He also sang for Macross Seven, but I didn't watch that.

Now, he actually got a guitar and sang with it on stage. It made me realise something: the performances so far, from shokotan and aniki, were like a glorified karaoke exhibition, but this is different, this is ...more raw.

Then came May'n. And her dancers. Just after Yoshiki Fukuyama, her performance seemed ...manufactured. I was actually more looking forward to the encore where Fukuyama would, hopefully, come back on stage---at least before she started singing Lion.

The expected happened on encore. Fukuyama back on stage, and dueting with May'n; might be more interesting if they were dueling, but whatever.

End of dorking-out. Would do again. Signing off.

*Don't try this unless you know what you are doing. Seriously.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's kinda like that

To grow old is inevitable; to grow up is variable. Besides, old-fashioned grown-upness is a deprecated measure of a man; the measure of man is the hardness of his core and the oldness of his school.


Monday, October 5, 2009

If sleep debt can be traded

Who're going to get rich, those who sleep a lot and sell tons of sleep credit or those who buy them up so they don't have to sleep and can work some more?

Penguin, I'm making this kind of thing up instead of _not_ putting off all sleep debt to weekend.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Four Wheel Drive? (out of six)

I find that some double deckers here have 3 pairs of tyres, one in front, two at the back. When such bus turns, the front wheels turn, and the first pair at the back turn too. I never knew.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Was having an adventure in the Indonesian capital the past week.

Gaming nine-to-five, in the evening; the kind of vacation I go for.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Organ Harvesting

Been a while. No, I'm not dead yet.

I had a USB gamepad lying around. It mostly worked, but if I remember correctly one of the shoulder buttons went bonkers sometime ago. It hadn't been used for months that I guess it's about time it'd have some kind of existential angst.

Being a good person I am, I dusted it and opened it up, perhaps there'd be things of interest inside. My response to quite a lot of things I saw inside: "Hey, I can use this!". So I heated up the soldering iron, wetted the sponge, and began working. Sometime later, my small haul:

This might've saved me a couple shopping trips. That's pretty nice, considering the grocery store next door doesn't carry ferrite beads. Notable things:

Small electronic components, resistors, ceramic and electrolytic capacitors, ferrite beads, and transistors.

DC motors! They have each a half-circle metal stuck to the shaft, the vibration from them spinning is the rumble pak. The transistors were used to drive these motors, maybe I should put them to similar use.

They don't have model number printed anywhere, but I tested them on 5V/650mA power supply and they work. They'd serve as good toys.

Potentiometers! I got two of those, from each analog stick. Actually four in total, as one of those has a pair of potentiometer -for left-right and up-down.

Remember that you usually can press the analog stick in most gamepad? (They're usually called L3/R3 in PS gamepads). There's a push button attached to the case of the potentiometer. That's the button you push when you press the analog stick. I pried one off and here it is:

It fits on a breadboard and would make ideal general-purpose button when I'm testing a program for a microcontroller.

Now, harvesting organs from a working gadget is an entirely different thing from doing the same from a healthy person. I like to think that way because that's easier for my conscience. least before the robot overlords began writing the law.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Katamari Life Lessons

A warning: this is going to be long and (_perhaps_) educational.

A little intro for penguins not familiar with Katamari Damacy, or refresher for penguins who are familiar:

One crazy evening, The King of All Cosmos was drunk. In his majestic drunken frenzy, he destroyed all stars in the sky, plus the moon. Citizens of earth got confused. Being a good king, The King of All Cosmos mandated his son, the prince (of all cosmos) to descent to earth and roll things up to be made into stars. It involved intense struggle and unrelenting willpower, but the prince finally returned the starry night sky (and the moon) to rejoicing citizens of earth.

Yes, that picture on the upper left is The King and The Prince (small). Don't you wish to have a king as fabulous as that?

Wise as he is, The King didn't let his son roll around quietly; he provided soundtrack for his entertainment, and to impart some life lessons for passing by earthlings to ponder upon.

First lesson: sanity is overrated. Listen to this:

Katamari On The Rocks

In the beginning, it was just about someone learning to roll things up. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na, roll this, roll that, sing all the while! Then the rolling went out of control and he began to question "Why must we roll things up? Can't we just leave them be, maybe it's better to just let them be". Of course, normal rational people would think that way.

But then he got ideas: maybe it's fun rolling things up. Few minutes later he's singing proudly that he can roll like a pro! That's a message from The King, roll your sleeves and begin rolling, no point questioning, no mind can escape the temptation.


Second lesson: Keep your heart in the Starlight Jamboree. But what is Starlight Jamboree? This:

Starlight Jamboree

In Starlight Jamboree, evaluation equals much rejoicing, examination equals festival. When things are going tough, play the drums in your heart 'pam-pam-pam-pam', then start the jamboree inside 'Staaaarlight - Staaaaaaarlight -Staaaaaaaaaaarlight - STAAAAAAR-LIGHT!' Nothing to be feared, the jamboree's raging inside!

Repel all exhaustion and worry with the jamboree. It's easy, it's just 'Staaaarlight - Staaaaaaarlight -Staaaaaaaaaaarlight - STAAAAAAR-LIGHT!'Don't panic if it gets stuck in your head, it's not because it's a catchy tune, it's because the jamboree has just began in your mind.


Third lesson: Look forward to the future. Don't be chained by yesterday. Keep on trying new things, be a challenger. Challenger to the death, challenger forever. The King wouldn't agree to make a star from a katamari made by someone who doesn't have it in him to challenge himself, because such star wouldn't shine!

Tsuyogari Katamari

Bluffing Katamari

I was defeated by the magic of alcohol
it was such a sweet spell, and I couldn't resist
but that's all in the past now
I don't need it anymore
no more, ain't needing it anymore

I'm gonna change from now
refresh  re-fresh
I'm not gonna turn back, I'll press on forward
I wanna do new things,
things I never see, things I never hear
I'm always a challenger
my rival is myself

I used to long for strength,
the power to reduce everything to zero, such strength
but that's exactly what weakness is
and I don't need it anymore
no more, ain't needing it anymore

I'm gonna change from now
refresh  re-fresh
I'm no gonna lose anything, I'm making things
I wanna do new things,
things I never see, things I never hear
I'm always a challenger
I can go anywhere

But when I look around,
nobody's there, I'm alone
anxiety spins 'round in me
let's sing with words I've never heard before
la-la-la-la-ma, la-la-la-ma-ma
I'm not gonna worry
anxiety's kinda fun
my heart's pounding, flutttering
I'm always a challenger
boredom is my enemy

I'm gonna change from now
refresh  re-fresh
I'm not gonna stand still, I can keep on walking
I wanna do new things,
things I never see, things I never hear
I wanna keep being a challenger (I wanna keep being a challenger)
when I die, I'll die a challenger (when I die, I'll die a challenger)
I'm a challenger forever (I'm a challenger forever)


Fourth lesson: and final lesson for today. I can't possibly catch all lessons The King of All Cosmos was trying to say, and it'd be unwise to just unroll them all in one go; it'd make me run out of material. The lesson is:

  • love nature,
  • eat properly,
  • get enough sleep,
  • go outside in the sun sometimes,
  • seriously, be nice to people

Then shine bright as a constellation. Surprisingly sane, considering it's from The King of All Cosmos? Maybe, look at the video:

Katamari Love