Tag Archives: Elsewhere

Unitarian Jihad Name

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Honorable Cruise Missile of Undeclared Enlightenment. What’s yours?

For the record, I’m not a Unitarian and I’m not about to start any kind of Jihad but I saw this over on Jeneane‘s blog and thought it too amusing not to find out what mine was. 🙂

Don’t take away my fansubs!

I’m a bit of an anime fan. I’ve bought many a VHS tape, Laser Disc and DVD in my time and I plan to buy many more… unless the anime studios shutdown the fansubbers. For those of you who might not be familiar with the world of fansubs; here’s the definition of a fansub from Wikipedia:

Fansub – short for “fan subtitled”; a copy of a foreign movie or television show (most often anime) which has been subtitled by “fans” into their native language. This has been done to provide shows that would otherwise be unavailable in one’s native language, but with the growth in the popularity of anime, fansubs’ purpose has expanded to include programs that would be commercially unviable (I.e. older or niche appeal market titles.) in one’s country or simply to reduce the amount of time one would wait to see a particular program. Also, many American anime viewers feel there is too much censorship of anime broadcast on TV, especially in scenes related to nudity, which is common in Japan (even in children’s shows) but is typically considered inappropriate in the United States.

I mostly get my fansubs from online sources via BitTorrent1. This allows me to:

  • Judge if a series will be worth the money to buy once a U.S. distributer starts selling it here.
  • See some of those niche shows that no distributer will bring over.

Given that I quite often am not fond of the “mainstream” anime that is brought over and that my budget is limited; being able to view the series completely via fansubs is a vital part of my process for deciding what series I will buy. If the anime studios force the fansubbers to stop their work; then I’ll be forced to spend my money elsewhere. Harsh, but I’ve already bought my share of crappy anime and I’m not willing to shell out ~$20/disc in the hopes that a given series won’t suck.

Oh and in case you were curious, this article over on C|Net prompted my post.

1 If you’re interested in more info on this; leave a comment and I’ll see about writing something up.

Michael vs. Root

If you’ve been involved in the WP community at all for the past couple of months; you couldn’t have missed that Root and Michael Heilemann have been… bickering back and forth about Kubrick and designs and usability and whatnot. From what I saw in the various threads on the WP Support forums, on both’s blogs and elsewhere they both need a good smack to the head. I’m too tired of the whole deal to really care who started it or who’s currently at fault.

Why bring it up then? Michael’s got a thread up that’s continuing the spat. Normally that wouldn’t be enough for me to bother putting a note up here but one of the people commenting on Michael’s thread said:

Quoting Root:

IMHO that is going to make WP less accessible to the self design end user than it is now. Some of us are quite interested in these things.

That means they’ll have to pay a designer to do it for them, hopefully. To that I say, “Bravo!” (There are way too many people running around loose on the Internet with a bootleg copy of Front Page calling themselves web designers, IMHO.)

Another person commenting replied:

There are way too many people running around loose on the Internet with a bootleg copy of Front Page calling themselves web designers, IMHO.

Hear hear

And that just pisses me off. I’m not a designer and make no claims to be one. I do have a very rudimentary grasp of CSS and a slightly better one of HTML. I’ve borrowed a book from a friend of mine and am learning a bit about PHP/MySQL. I do all my coding either in Bluefish1 or Notepad2. I looked at the template WP shipped with in v1.02 and realized it was beyond my skills to really modify at the time. So I grabbed a couple of styles from the Alex King style competition but I saw that under some circumstances they’d break. I wasn’t happy about that and I didn’t like that my blog’s style wasn’t something I’d crafted. I kept looking around for something better to use and then Root came out with his Trident template. I was able to drop that in and make a few modifications so that I had a style that’s my own. It’s ugly as all get out but I could alter it as I need it without having to shell out more money to indulge in my blogging hobby. And the idea that just because I’m not a designer that I must be using a pirated copy of Frontpage3 in order to work on my site is insulting! I also think that if WP v1.3 does make it substantially more difficult to create new themes for my site then I will have to an alternative platform.

1 When working on my desktop and booted into Linux.
2 When working on my laptop, whose CD-ROM drive sucks so bad I can’t get windows off the machine.
3 Frontpage is a piece of crap! I’ve had to use it at work a few times and it writes the most horrific code! If you’re going to claim that people are pirating web design software; why not credit them with pirating something that’s actually useful.

Japan Day 11

Today we had to get up and check out of the hotel by 6:00 AM (or 5:45 AM if you had phone charges to pay for like I did). Then we ran to catch the early morning train and made some exchanges to get over to Takarazuka, where we visited the Osamu Tezuka Museum. The walk to the museum from the train station would not have been so bad; if we weren’t carrying our luggage for the next 3 days with us1. The museum wasn’t as big as say the Ghibli museum had been but it was packed with stuff about Tezuka and his work. Also in the basement level, they ran an hour long “animation course”2. The course ran off a set of computer built into little desks with built-in lightboxes. You were supposed to follow along with what they were saying via your computer, but we didn’t speak enough Japanese and none of us read any Japanese, so that part was hard. Fortunately, some of the museum employees spoke enough English that we were able to participate and make our own little 2 frame animation. Mine was of my CoffeeBear character waving and it received the Astro Boy Seal of Approval3 *grin* Oh and one of the other nice things about the museum was that they allowed you to take pictures inside. So, I’ll see about posting some of those later.
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