We here at CoffeeBear.net wish you and yours a happy & safe holiday season.

Also our good friends1 over at Aperature Science wish you a Happy <Holiday Name Here>.

The video currently playing over at Aperature Science is a nice holiday gesture and heavily loaded with easter eggs. The ones I noticed were:

  • The presents under the Christmas tree are all orange boxes.
  • The gnome on the fireplace is from Half-Life2.
  • There’s a crowbar leaning up against the fireplace.
  • There’s a turret from Portal lurking in the shadows.
  • The “boxes” on the right are all ammo boxes from Half-Life.
  • The stockings hanging from the fireplace all have logos from various games by Valve.
  • The ornaments on the tree are characters from Team Fortress 2.
  • The sign above the fireplace is a parody of the signs in Portal.

And that’s all I noticed, leave a comment if you find more. 🙂

1 No, I don’t personally know anybody who works for Valve Software. I just really enjoyed playing Portal.

Apologies to all my faithful readers, I’ve been busy working on some new features for the ICON 30 website (with some massive help from Aizuchi. For extra pain, we’re into our next beta cycle at work; so I’m considerably busier there. And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve had a bit of a cold that just isn’t going away. Ye olde Advil Cold & Sinus beats it down for a while, but it seems to keep coming back. If it doesn’t go away by this time next week, I’ll probably be making an appointment with the doctor to get checked out. *sigh*

I did get one break since my last real post and that was last weekend’s AnimeIowa. I was rather disappointed with this year’s con. The programming track was only sparsely filled and I didn’t see anything in it that interested me1. So I mostly hung out with people I knew at the con and tried to help out the con photographer2. Mostly, I just helped tear-down/setup his gear in different rooms. *shrug* It was no big deal and I got to see pretty much all of the costumes. As usual, some were fabulous and some were…. not. Of course some of the best were in the Masquerade, and the Masquerade was the main reason we went this year. A friend of ours was in charge of it and overall it appeared to go fairly well. However there were a few problems; most of which I did not hear about until after the con was over. The main thing that I noticed was the costumers wouldn’t shut up. It may seem a bit harsh, but they all know they’re supposed to keep quiet while in the green room and we had to constantly go around asking them to be quiet throughout the whole Masquerade. *sigh* If you know the rules in advance, have them re-explained to you when you show up shortly before the Masquerade then why do you have to continually break them? *grrr*

As for the rest of the con, the dealer’s room was smaller this year and unless you wanted Naruto or Full Metal Alchemist merchandise; you were pretty much out of luck. Since they didn’t have as many dealers; the con-com put the Artists’ Alley inside the dealer’s room. This was a bright idea and I ended up buying some magnets from the guy who does the FAUB webcomic. I was not familiar with the webcomic prior to this year’s AnimeIowa but I really liked the artwork in the magnets and have since read through their entire archive of webcomics and added it to my Portal page.

I didn’t have much desire to go into any of the video rooms, but I did find one playing Bubblegum Crisis which was kind of nice. Though I didn’t get to stay around long as that was just before I had to help Wookie move his gear from the hall cosplay judging room to the green room for the Masquerade.

All in all, it was a disappointing weekend. *shrug* Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

In more current news, I’ve finally gotten caught up in listing to all the podcasts I’ve downloaded. It’s nice to listen to them and actually hear other people’s thoughts on current events while the events are still current. Along those lines, the jazz mashup from the episode# 240 of the Daily Source Code was extremely cool. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got time to write for now.

1 I should say nothing on Saturday or Sunday as I wasn’t there Friday.
2 Wookie comes to the con and takes pictures of all the Hall Cosplay entries & after the con puts them on a site where people can order prints if they want them. Also, Wookie’s a fun guy to hang around the con with.

While still waiting for my work PC to finish install, I did some web surfing online research and ran across a couple of Iowa bloggers that I didn’t know about. These bloggers had links to other Iowa bloggers that I was unaware of. So if you visit the Iowa Blogs section of my Portal page; you’ll find a quite a few new blogs. It’s nice to find some other local color online. 🙂

Savage Chickens :: An Apple A Day

Savage Chickens is a webcomic that I ran across recently and it’s rather brilliant in its simplicity. One guy, one stack of Post-It notes, one pen and a whole lot of bringing the funny. This one is now permanently added to my Portal page so I won’t forget to hit it during my daily webcomic trawl.