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ErikH2000
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icon Whirling Motor Inside Your Head (+1)  
I have this image I can't seem to shake. When I've spent a couple of shifts writing code and thoroughly overcaffienated myself, I feel like there is a little motor whizzing inside my skull. It's got a high-pitched whine like a fan motor. If I put a propellor hat on my head, probably a tiny little axle would rise up, connect to the hat, and start twirling the blades. When that motor is on, my brain tends to gravitate towards solving problems, analyzing information, and driving my wife nuts with a relentlessly nerdy sense of humor. All it takes to make Brittany brace for the worst is me to say "What if..." and then pause with an amused smirk on my face. She knows I'm about to say something dorky like, "there was a restaurant that was only for robots?"

Fortunately, I can turn that damn motor off before it ends up hurting somebody. It just takes a little willpower to get to a calmer state. Perhaps you could call it "using the right side of the brain"--I don't know. But once I get there, the world is suddenly flipped around so that I see it differently. I'll meander and explore instead of staying focused on immediate goals. I'll empathize with people and have better conversations. When I walk into a room, I'll take a good look around to see who and what is there. I won't feel angry, fearful, or anxious. It's definitely a nice state to be in.

I went to a festival in the Nevada desert called Burning Man. I camped there for a week and didn't turn the motor on once. The closest I got was walking by a campsite that was devoted to playing board games. I could have sat down under a shady awning and played a pleasant game of chess, but I was having too good of a time letting that part of my brain rest. So I kept walking down the dusty road doing nothing much more complex than admiring the sights--cars decorated to look like dinosaurs, mid-afternoon raves, a fully functioning Thunderdome recreation, and all manner of unexpected delights.

Then I returned to Seattle and started a new job writing telematics applications, which meant I needed to turn the motor back on. Bleh. Stupid, noisy, hunk of junk. Well, I guess I shouldn't take it for granted.

I'm Not Even Going to Apologize

I should apologize for being late on about seven or twenty different things, but no--I'm just discarding that guilt. I'm not going to spare another moment for those nasty little pangs of fear and heartbreak. I'm working now as fast as I can to catch up. The same results will happen whether I feel bad about being late or not, so why not just skip that crippling sense of despair?

Yeah! Best idea I had today.

Burning Man Must Continue

In a flurry of self-indulgence, I have declared the Burning Man festival shall carry on despite the total evacuation of Black Rock Mesa in Nevada. Again, I am unrepentant for my seeming irresponsibility in bringing this contest to you so late in the month. Turn your motor off, and come to the Virtual Burning Man, which is constructed electronically and mentally. You can create your own campsite at Virtual Burning Man by announcing a list of items to bring before the weekend is over. You're also welcome to visit the growing collection of virtual campsites that are popping up.

contest details

By the way, this isn't really a contest. I am calling it our "Official Experience" for September. If it were a contest, then you would need to worry about how to win, and that would mean turning your motor on.

Mike Rimer is Upset at Me

Or at least he should be, as well as everyone else working on DROD: The City Beneath. The project is bottlenecked on art and story. Who is handling art and story? That would be me. Thankfully, people like Gerry Jo Jellestad, William Frank, Eytan Zweig, and Neil Frederick are taking matters into their own hands and getting work done without me.

This would be a perfect place for me to feel guilty. It really would. But I have already committed to not doing that. Without a shred of defensiveness or self-loathing, I will repeat what I've said in the past: I'll be joining the effort as soon as I'm able. Also, I'm proud of the team and how they keep plugging along. I know that I'm not the greatest contributor to the project, and even if I disappeared, TCB would still get done by sheer bloody force of will from the Caravellians.

Larry Murk, Jacob Grinfeld, and CaravelNet Subscribers, Too

I guiltlessly acknowledge that Larry Murk, Jacob Grinfeld, and hundreds more people are fully justified in being upset with me for not giving them the Summer 2006 Smitemaster's Selection by now. I didn't even wince when I typed "Summer", even though I'm completely aware it is well into Fall now. If my impervious attitude of good-natured defiance seems distasteful, let me remind you that I am spending as much time as I can to get this issue out and it will happen. Also, it's gonna be good! There will be a song in it that gives valuable smitemasterly advice.

You know how hard it is to keep myself from curling into a fetal ball and just wallowing in guilt? I have to congratulate myself on this heroic self-control of mine.

We Love silver

Some trivia about silver:
* His name should never, ever be capitalized. Please just don't do it.
* You may take his name in vain, if you like, i.e. "Hi Ho silver, Away!" That won't bother him.
* He will try very hard to pay for your dinner if you go out to eat with him. Maybe even if you don't go out to eat with him, he'll try to pay for your dinner.
* To say that he enjoys Avernum or DROD is an understatement of the severest magnitude.
* It is a sad thing to see that his website is down.
* As a forum participant he is quite knowledgable and helpful. He has sponged himself full of the vast trivia of DROD and its community, and he really knows quite a lot about it all. It is rare to find these encyclopedic personalities like silver, eytanz, and agaricus5.

So silver gets a "Don't Ask" award. I'm just going to dump a bunch of mod points on silver. Like 712 mod points. No, 711 mod points--gotta show some restraint. Also, he can choose one song from Journey to Rooted Hold other than the theme chant ("Within These Halls...") to be released under a Creative Commons license. So instead of reserving all rights to that song, we will relicense it so that people can use it in other projects, remix it, play it from their website, or other things.

I briefly considered asking Schik to write something into the forum that would always lower-case silver's name when people accidentally typed the offending "S". But then I remembered the lesson of Clockwork Orange: without free will, there is no morality.

I think I promised that two "Don't Ask" awards would be handed out to make up for an earlier month when we went lacking.

Agaricus5 Come Back!

I am really starting to miss this particular mushroom-loving prodigy. Wesley, when are you coming back? I figured you're busy with school or something. Can I bribe you to come back with a "Don't Ask" award? No, no, that probably won't do it, but I know what will: the TCB release, of course. Yeah, that will bring the lost son home.

But all persuasive techniques aside, Wesley really does deserve a "Don't Ask" award. Lacking Agaricus5's encyclopedic brain, I'm not the best-suited to recount his DRODly accomplishments, but they are legion. Here are some highlights:

* Maintaining the Cultured Eighth topic, a meticulous compilation of supporting information for the fictional world upon which DROD is based.
* Beta-testing numerous holds and always going out of his way to give thorough and objective feedback. He has taken this role so seriously, I can only think of three or four other people who have tried as hard as him to help hold authors.
* Beta-testing DROD: Architects' Edition and DROD: Journey to Rooted Hold.
* Participating in (let me count) ...seventeen contests!
* Constructing Bavato's Dungeon, which was one of the early full-length, unofficial holds, and often-cited example of extreme difficulty.
* Writing his personal reasons for disliking anime, which I always think of as one of the classic forum posts.

I have enjoyed having Wesley on the forum, and I hope he'll be able to return in the future. For his "Don't Ask" prize, I offer to buy him a meal next time I'm in the UK.

Topic Picks for September

I'm going to tell you about the best topics on the forum that I know about. There probably are even better ones than these that I missed, but don't be greedy--these are still really good!

A Real TCB Leak
Ah, but there's no URL below. Am I just teasing you? No, no, come back later and there will be a link.

Smite, Smite Revolution
How to get your groove on and kill those beasties in style.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12095

And also, if you can believe it...
...a DROD dancing contest!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12110

Help a DRODder Out
Hikari's friend wants to know what hold to play next.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12014

How Long Has He Been Under?
Beethro's been beneath a long time. But how long, exactly?
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=11672

Snakes! Post-game party
63 players, 18,000 views, and hundreds of hours lost staring at a maze of twisty, snaking passages. You can see the final messy result now.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=11482

The Deadlies III!
The people choose which holds they like best. It's an annual tradition!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=11846

Slayer Killing Hold, DROD Learning Zone, Prince of Puzzles, A Small Diversion, Channel One Suite, Mucho Bukin and the Underground Secret, Missione italiana, Castle of mirrors 1, Beethro's Mission: Spiders, Tar Ballroom, The Underground Civilisation, Spider Well
These are all the new holds (level collections) that have been released since the last newsletter. Lots of variety here in terms of size, difficulty, theme, and epistemology.

Grey World Mod
Would you like the walls and floor of DROD to be completely grey? UrAvgAzn is gonna hook you up!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12049

Or Perhaps Green, Pink, and Purple
Chaco only makes mods for AE. This is one of them!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12027

Scoreanoia
When someone has beaten one of your high scores, you want to retaliate quickly. So use Dolan42's tracking utility!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=11910

Sick of Wii Hype Yet?
I am actually glad that people talk about Wii on the Caravel Forum, where we can do it safely and intelligently.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=11973

Strawberry Clock Shoots Your Avatar
...and misses. If you want to get aggressive with that little representative box under your name, this would be the place to do it.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12107

Bad Idea Parade
Society conditions us to celebrate and award good ideas. Rebel!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12034

Carry on in good style!

-Erik

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youtube (archive of live streams, and some animated videos I made. Again, contains mature content.)

[Last edited by mrimer at 05-18-2008 05:41 AM]
09-24-2006 at 01:12 AM
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Ezlo
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Okay, I should really stop trying to add capital letters to the front of people's names. I know it bugs people like Sil- I mean silver, but it also bugs me that they don't have them. But it's their name so I don't have a say. Oh well. Good job silver! You deserve it! And, if you need help choosing a song to legalize, I would suggest Devious, which is the end of level tune for Deep Spaces.

BTW Erik, take all the time you want with Illuminations, Contests, TCB, and SmS's. It only makes them better!
09-24-2006 at 01:20 AM
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Briareos
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
* Writing his personal reasons for disliking anime, which I always think of as one of the classic forum posts.

After reading it - where's a "(Score: -1, Flamebait)" when you need it? :lol

Wait - is this thing on?

np: DJ Shadow - Mutual Slump (Alternate Take Without Overdubs) (Endtroducing Deluxe Edition (Disc 2))

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09-24-2006 at 01:33 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
Strawberry Clock Shoots Your Avatar, and misses
:D .

Also, this place seems a fitting place to request that everyone please refer to me as NiroZ, not Niro.

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09-24-2006 at 01:36 AM
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silver
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Wow. That was unexpected, especially after I shamelessly slept through your birthday party (*). But, then, I guess that's why it's a "don't ask" and not a "kiss aft" award :)

The website's main difficulty in coming back is that the cd drive on this computer broke, and the other computers are in boxes on account of I haven't unpacked enough in the study to set up the desk (and can't find the power cord for my monitor). Not that it was much. Some bad poetry, out of date book recommendations, expansions for a couple board games only geeks play, an unfinished story, and the avernum site (which is actually in place, just not linked from the top level).

Wow, again. Thanks. --s


(*) I had a nasty nasal infection and slept some 40 of the 48 hours that weekend

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[Last edited by silver at 09-24-2006 03:26 AM]
09-24-2006 at 03:21 AM
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Chaco
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Wow, I was mentioned. I feel so happy. :)

Actually, that's not quite true - I'm currently working on a JtRH mod. The trouble is that there are *SO* *MANY* wall junctions. -_-

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09-24-2006 at 03:36 AM
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coppro
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quote:
Chaco wrote:
Wow, I was mentioned. I feel so happy. :)

Actually, that's not quite true - I'm currently working on a JtRH mod. The trouble is that there are *SO* *MANY* wall junctions. -_-


I don't think that anyone can actually bother figuring out what it should all look like - I just kind of slapped some stuff together. It kind of looks all the same (but the secret walls are so awesome. Sometimes even I have trouble finding them.)
09-24-2006 at 03:38 AM
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Chaco
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Uh, AlefBet did. This automagically makes me obligated to do that.

And yeah, the arches don't look quite as rock-awesome as the Foundation arches do, so not even doing the junctions right would further degrade the mod quality.

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09-24-2006 at 03:40 AM
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RoboBob3000
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quote:
Ezlo wrote:
Okay, I should really stop trying to add capital letters to the front of people's names.


My personal peeve is when people overlook the second capital letter in my screenname. It's RoboBob. Robo-Bob. Not Robobob. Not Rob-ob-ob.

Just putting that out there.

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09-24-2006 at 03:44 AM
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silver
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Just so you know, though, he was talking about my actual legal name, not my forum handle. I have the paper work, with the signature of a Travis Country court judge and the official seal of Travis County. And it wasn't oversight, His Honor actually noticed how I capitalized it and asked me about before signing.



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09-24-2006 at 03:49 AM
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Ezlo
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Ah! That I did not know. It makes much more sense now.
09-24-2006 at 03:51 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
silver wrote:
Just so you know, though, he was talking about my actual legal name, not my forum handle. I have the paper work, with the signature of a Travis Country court judge and the official seal of Travis County. And it wasn't oversight, His Honor actually noticed how I capitalized it and asked me about before signing.




Out of sheer curiousity, why is it s and not S?

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09-24-2006 at 03:53 AM
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Ezlo
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Please tell me that the link for the TCB leak won't come until tomorrow morning, I need to go to sleep.
09-24-2006 at 04:18 AM
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Hikari
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It feels surprisingly good to know Erik thought my thread was one of the better ones this month. :)

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09-24-2006 at 06:10 AM
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silver
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quote:
NiroZ wrote:
Out of sheer curiousity, why is it s and not S?


the appearance flows better in my opinion, and because originally silver was an adjective I used for me rather than a noun, but then I began to associate more with the adjective.

---

As for music, It's between Uncovered, Brood, and Devious, though I'm leaning towards the first one. But all the music's so good, it's hard to pick!


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09-24-2006 at 06:10 AM
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bandit1200
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Ack! GMX flagged The Illumination as spam again. I'll change my subscription to the news mailing list, that'll teach it a lesson.
09-24-2006 at 10:01 AM
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MartianInvader
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Is this TCB leak something new or does it refer to a particular recent post over on those "Other Boards"?

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09-24-2006 at 07:44 PM
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
And also, if you can believe it...
...a DROD dancing contest!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12110


Yay! I was mentioned. Well, kinda. My contest was mentioned! ;)

[Last edited by tokyokid at 09-24-2006 11:12 PM]
09-24-2006 at 11:12 PM
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ErikH2000 wrote:
Grey World Mod
Would you like the walls and floor of DROD to be completely grey? UrAvgAzn is gonna hook you up!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=12049


I didn't actually think I was going to be mentioned for that one. It was really just a springboard for another mod.

Keep posting,

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09-25-2006 at 01:56 AM
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silver
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After some thought and review, I've selected Uncovered. Like Devious, it is nice and long with a good variety for remixing. But I really like the somber tones - they fit my mood well.

What a great birthday present! Thanks, Erik!


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09-25-2006 at 07:45 PM
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Maurog
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So silver, since it's an official name, verified by the judge and all, are you going to pass it to your firstborn?

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09-25-2006 at 08:33 PM
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silver
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my name is "silver Harloe". If some massive change were to happen to cause me to reconsider breeding (I'm 36 and unmarried and not pursuing women much younger than I am), I'd certainly pass on the Harloe part, but probably have better things to do than "my name + junior" for the overall name (plus I'd have another important person's opinion to consider (i.e. the hypothetical mother), and the strong possibility of bearing a female child, which wouldn't eliminate "silver" as an option, but makes "silver Harloe, Jr." look weird. assuming my last name remains Harloe after this hypothetical wedding).


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[Last edited by silver at 09-25-2006 08:46 PM]
09-25-2006 at 08:42 PM
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
Agaricus5 Come Back!

I am really starting to miss this particular mushroom-loving prodigy. Wesley, when are you coming back?

I'm back. :)

quote:
I figured you're busy with school or something. Can I bribe you to come back with a "Don't Ask" award?

No bribes were necessary; I actually wouldn't have seen them since I didn't actually do anything DROD-related. Of course, now I'm here, that is a whole different matter.

quote:
No, no, that probably won't do it, but I know what will: the TCB release, of course. Yeah, that will bring the lost son home.

That's really cruel:

Fear #2!

quote:
But all persuasive techniques aside, Wesley really does deserve a "Don't Ask" award. Lacking Agaricus5's encyclopedic brain, I'm not the best-suited to recount his DRODly accomplishments, but they are legion.

Encyclopedia? I'm quite flattered, although I guess I do kind of act as an information repository sometimes.

quote:
* Maintaining the Cultured Eighth topic, a meticulous compilation of supporting information for the fictional world upon which DROD is based.

Whoa! I think it was scheduled for deconstruction at some point, but the task's size is more enormous than I remember. I will get back on it immediately!
quote:
* Beta-testing numerous holds and always going out of his way to give thorough and objective feedback. He has taken this role so seriously, I can only think of three or four other people who have tried as hard as him to help hold authors.

"The helpdesk is now open."

Only kidding. I'm not the greatest hold builder around, but I'd be happy to help any architect with ideas when I have the time.

quote:
Writing his personal reasons for disliking anime, which I always think of as one of the classic forum posts.

I am not even going to look in there :). That's Era I of the forum, with a little dust added for good measure, and while my general opinion is quite the same, I do realise now that it is a sliding scale, and that there is good anime out there (although I am still not too impressed with the artwork, though).
quote:
I have enjoyed having Wesley on the forum, and I hope he'll be able to return in the future. For his "Don't Ask" prize, I offer to buy him a meal next time I'm in the UK.

Ooh. I shall reserve a place down in the Hotel la Dungeon then. They serve an excellent Roach and Goblin pt, and I hear their sparkling Evil Eye jelly drink is delicious, although quite tangy and a bit corrosive.

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[Last edited by agaricus5 at 09-27-2006 12:20 AM : Where did those typos come from?]
09-27-2006 at 12:19 AM
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Pinnacle
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Yay! You're back!

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09-27-2006 at 12:58 AM
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mrimer
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Welcome back, Wesley!
quote:
agaricus5 wrote:
I am not even going to look in there :). That's Era I of the forum, with a little dust added for good measure, and while my general opinion is quite the same, I do realise now that it is a sliding scale, and that there is good anime out there (although I am still not too impressed with the artwork, though).
Ooh, I'm watching some anime recently which I really like too, but I'm always looking for more (including stuff that's appropriate for my little kids to watch). What good stuff have you seen? (We can take this to another thread if anyone's worried about going off-topic.)

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[Last edited by mrimer at 09-27-2006 03:42 AM]
09-27-2006 at 03:40 AM
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agaricus5
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mrimer wrote:
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I am not even going to look in there :). That's Era I of the forum, with a little dust added for good measure, and while my general opinion is quite the same, I do realise now that it is a sliding scale, and that there is good anime out there (although I am still not too impressed with the artwork, though).
Ooh, I'm watching some anime recently which I really like too, but I'm always looking for more (including stuff that's appropriate for my little kids to watch). What good stuff have you seen? (We can take this to another thread if anyone's worried about going off-topic.)

I have been introduced to Studio Ghibli quite recently (the fact that FilmFour, a satellite channel, is now free and showed Ghibli films for a period also helped with that), and have seen quite a number of the collection now. While on holiday, I also watched quite a bit randomly on TV (Malaysia is in S. E. Asia, so Japanese shows are reasonably frequent on some channels) although it was all in Japanese, so I was guessing storylines most of the time. Nonetheless, the shows were interesting as far as I was able to understand them. Although not quite in the same category, I've also been introduced to some random Japanese games and other things involving the anime style, which have also been entertaining (although again entirely in Japanese).

Overall, I guess I look at it more generally as an art-form; it is a style of drawing, and although I may not like its execution, it is not unlike any other type of drawing style in that it can be used for all kinds of purposes. It also means that the Anime style doesn't necessarily reflect the quality of other aspects of a piece of media; the drawing may be poor, but that doesn't automatically mean the story is as well, for example.

I suppose I probably wasn't too clear in what I just said, but hopefully you can still understand what I'm trying to say.

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09-27-2006 at 07:57 PM
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Oneiromancer
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Since I'm now doing Netflix, I thought I would give anime another shot. So I got Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, since I had actually read some of the print comics that a friend lent me in grad school a while back and somewhat enjoyed them. But the movie utterly bored me. I ejected the disc after about 40 minutes and sent it back. I guess my tastes haven't changed yet.

Game on,

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09-28-2006 at 05:31 PM
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Briareos
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Oneiromancer wrote:
Since I'm now doing Netflix, I thought I would give anime another shot. So I got Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, since I had actually read some of the print comics that a friend lent me in grad school a while back and somewhat enjoyed them. But the movie utterly bored me. I ejected the disc after about 40 minutes and sent it back. I guess my tastes haven't changed yet.

Maybe you should try renting a series instead of a movie...

I can't say there's many anime movies I really like (Roujin Z and Armitage III: Dual-Matrix would be the only ones right off the top of my head), but I've really enjoyed a lot of series.

Which leaves the question - what genres are you looking for?

np: Radiohead - Bodysnatchers (Live at Bayside Embarcadero, San Diego CA (27.06.2006))

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09-28-2006 at 06:21 PM
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Briareos
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mrimer wrote:
]Ooh, I'm watching some anime recently which I really like too, but I'm always looking for more (including stuff that's appropriate for my little kids to watch). What good stuff have you seen? (We can take this to another thread if anyone's worried about going off-topic.)

Well, I'm not Wesley, and I'm probably not exactly the right one for recommending stuff for your kids, but I've seen a bit of anime and I can't recommend both Haibane-Renmei (probably ask Hikari for further details... O:-) and Planetes enough, but Haibane-Renmei is probably a bit too philosophical for kids. NieA_7 would also be a fun, slice-of-life show that I like a lot - coincidentally with character designs from Yoshitoshi ABe, who is responsible for the whole of Haibane-Renmei...

Don't quote me on the kid-compatibility of those shows, though, as I have very bad judgement when it comes to that... :lol

And if it doesn't need to be strictly kid-friendly - another of my favourite shows would be Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex (gee, who'd have guessed that?), which I once heard described as a "sci-fi cop show" (think CSI), which is about right (with some politics added on top). Samurai Champloo is another fun series that is basically making fun of everything samurai-related and then some (but with a story to boot).

Of course, with series like the above you might want to try before you buy, but at least for Haibane-Renmei and NieA_7 there's boxsets for about 50 USD, and the Planetes collection that's coming out at the end of November is about 28 USD at DVD Pacific - and to think that I bought all six discs at retail prices... :~(

Oh well... :rolleyes

Anyway, since I'm pretty bad at actually describing stuff to someone you should probably have a look at the reviews at AnimeOnDVD.com that I linked to or Google around a bit.

Just my .02 EYPO... :)

np: Radiohead - Where I End And You Begin (Live at Bayside Embarcadero, San Diego CA (27.06.2006))

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09-28-2006 at 06:49 PM
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Hikari
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/seconds all of Briareos's recommendations eagerly, though the only one that might be good for kids is NieA_7.

In terms of good stuff, I'll add Kino's Journey to that mix. It's, again, a little philosophical for kids, but the art style is very much different from 'mainstream' anime, and almost every episode gives food for thought.

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09-28-2006 at 07:08 PM
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