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Monday, October 3rd, 2011
1:04 am - Livejournal
It seems as though people have moved away from posting in Livejournal and, honestly, this saddens me. I've always enjoyed posting and reading others' posts here. I've also come to the realization that I've had this journal for nearly a decade now, for nearly the entire time that I've spent in the furry fandom.

Speaking of the furry fandom, I've now officially been active in it for a decade. I've attended nearly a decade of cons and meets. I'm still meeting new people all of the time, and my circle of friends has certainly shifted over the years.

Having returned from Ireland and Northern Ireland, I can safely say that much international travel is in my future.

I have no idea where the next school year will take me. I just need to take things as they come without worrying too much about the distant future. The bigger picture will materialize as the smaller pieces fall into place.

current mood: introspective

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Saturday, May 7th, 2011
2:06 am - Movie Comparison: War In Space (1977) vs. Atragon (1963)
For those of you who don't know, I'm currently stuck in Davis, sick. I watched all of the old Toho films that I have around. I had never watched War In Space before.
War In Space was released in 1977 and intended to be a direct sequel to Battle In Outer Space (1959). Unfortunately for its creators, I found it to be more similar to Atragon (1963) than Battle In Outer Space. Unfortunately, I was not that pleased.
Let's start with the plot because plot is perhaps the most important thing about a movie (in my opinion, at least). The story is dry and leads to an uninteresting script that gives the actors little to work with. Everything is black and white; the intentions of the characters are spelled out in the first few minutes of the movie. Unfortunately, nothing is really left to the imagination. I'll cite the love subplot as an example. Guy A and Guy B both want Girl; Girl wants Guy A. Guy A and Guy B are good friends, so Guy A leaves Japan so that Guy B can get Girl. When Guy A returns, Guy B and Girl are engaged. When Guy B dies at the hands of the enemy, Girl barely sheds a tear; I'm not sure if this is due to bad acting or a bad screenplay (or maybe some of both), but I don't get the idea that Girl was ever really interested in Guy B. She has no problem rushing into the open arms of Guy A once Guy B is killed. At least she cries a bit more when her father dies. The film itself is fairly emotionless. Beyond a feeling of "we need to kill the bad guys," no character depth is ever established. I was sick of the characters very quickly. In Atragon, former Japanese Navy officer, Jinguji, goes through several emotional dilemmas, as does his estranged daughter; although the love story between the daughter and a reporter is always only implied rather than stated, it almost works better this way by not distracting from the importance of the tenuous father-daughter relationship.
Next, let's talk about the music. War In Space's music is some of the most uninspired movie music I've heard since Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973). The composer takes the concept of Akira Ifukube's war march (a couple of which feature prominently in Atragon) and stomps all over it, creating something that I dare to call a mockery of the genre. The inclusion of the wahwah guitar in the march make the scenes in which it figures almost hilarious (unintentionally, I'm sure); I would expect to find these sorts of things in Gamera films, aimed at children. Atragon's music is expertly crafted to bring out a breadth of emotion: Jinguji's theme is constantly torn between stately and sorrowful, and the modal scale of the Mu theme provides an air of exoticism.
The picture quality looks the same in both Atragon and War In Space. Given that Atragon is 14 years older than War In Space, I would have expected some improvements to have been made, but there seem to be none. Perhaps this is really a testament to the Atragon team (Tanaka/Honda/Tsuburaya/Ifukube) that is so often credited for the successes of Toho's 1950s and early 1960s tokusatsu films. The redeeming quality of War In Space is that its earth-destruction scenes look fairly good; Teruyoshi Nakano seems to have vastly improved since the days of Godzilla vs. Gigan.
Since I've said nothing bad about Atragon so far (biased, much?), I'll say one thing that has always puzzled me about the film. If the Mu Empire were so powerful and advanced, why didn't they "reclaim" the surface of the earth before the humans became more advanced. It's much more easy to destroy huts made from clay with your laser beam in the shape of your underwater dragon deity than it is to destroy concrete buildings. Morever, I think the humans of several centuries past would have easily surrendered and would have viewed the people of Mu as gods. But, oh well. There'd be no plot if this were the case.
In short, I feel that War In Space reflects a general decline in the quality of Toho's kaiju/tokusatsu films in the 1970s. I am unaware of the forces which contributed to this downfall, but I can say with much certainty that War In Space fits in with some of its 1970s counterparts (especially that wahwah surf guitar).

current mood: sick

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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
7:10 pm - FC 2011!
I'm going to FC! I'll be arriving tomorrow morning and leaving on Monday in the evening. I look forward to seeing you all there!

current mood: excited

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Monday, August 23rd, 2010
5:27 am - Favorite Wineries
What are your favorite wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties? I'm going to be visiting some and am looking for suggestions.

current mood: excited

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Sunday, July 18th, 2010
11:39 pm - Upcoming Concert in Westminster (Tuesday, July 20)
This upcoming Tuesday (July 20), fellow furry and my friend, Rod O'Riley, is playing a concert at the Sam Ash in Westminster at 7:30 PM. He will be joined by Bucker Fuskyote (me) and Michael Payne. We'll be playing six of his original songs.

If you're at all free and want to hear a free concert, show up. It'll be a lot of fun!

Sam Ash
14200 Beach Boulevard
Westminster, CA‎

current mood: excited

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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
12:41 am - AC 2010 Added Three

visited 31 states (62%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

current mood: tired

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Sunday, May 16th, 2010
10:27 pm - <3
I am so in love with my wolf. He's sweet, amazing, wonderful, handsome, clever... I'm so lucky to be his.

I realized today that you can't take anything in life for granted.

NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Nerd God.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk to others on the nerd forum!

current mood: cheerful

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
7:45 am - To buy, or not to buy...
Okay, so I was shopping at Nordstrom with darkone238 and I found a shirt that I really like. It's Burberry, so you're paying the fashion tax, of course. Click here to check it out! However, it's $125 and I don't think that I can justify the cost of it. It's not like I haven't purchased clothing at this price before, but something's stopping me this time. I even came back a second time to look at it and try it on and I almost got it, but I didn't. I keep on wanting to snag it, though.

I'm also looking at Bluetooth headsets. I'm tired of yelling into a speakerphone while I'm driving. I'm looking at the following models:
Plantronics Discovery 975
Plantronics Voyager PRO
Vertu Aerius
Jawbone ICON
Jabra Pura
There are also headsets being released by Vertu and Tag Heuer in the near future, but again, I'd be paying the "luxury tax," as it were.

So, since most of these Bluetooth devices lie in the $100-$200 range, perhaps that's why I'm hesitant to spend money on the shirt. Perhaps I recognize that the Bluetooth headset is a bit more useful to me right now.

Also on the radar is an electric bouzouki. I'm going to get mine custom built and I'm looking spend $800-$1500 on it. I already have the money, but I'm going to wait on ordering it until I make my grad school decision. I have a couple of different designs that I'd like to try out, one of which is a hollowbody design, and I'll see what the maker thinks is best. My goal is to start a celtic rock band (think Wolfstone, Off Kilter, Peatbog Fairies) shortly after I move to the location of my PhD program, so I'll want to either have the instrument by then or have it almost complete so I can jump right in.

So, I guess I've written this entry to ask everyone's opinions. Do I get the shirt, do I get the Bluetooth device, do I get both, do I get neither? Which Bluetooth device should I get? Does anyone have much experience with any of these manufacturers? Is anyone a diehard Burberry wearer? Please post your responses! Thanks!

current mood: thoughtful

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Friday, January 1st, 2010
12:07 am - Happy New Year!
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Five kokoros, four benkyoushitais, three nihongosamas, two soudesukas, and a je suis in a petit fromage.

Happy New Year, everyone!

current mood: excited

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009
2:14 pm - Whale Wail
Sorry for not posting in what seems like forever. I've been very busy as the semester comes to a close.

Mexico City proved to be a very nice vacation. It managed to much better than the multiple warnings I received regarding my health and safety. It was actually quite nice. Granted, I was smart about everything I did, but I wasn't uptight like I thought I would be.

I ended up taking away a lot from the SEM conference. There were a lot of good papers and I got an idea of how the academic conference works. It's a lot different than the cons that I'm used to, although there are many similarities. I'm looking forward to the next conference that I go to.

Other than that, life has been fairly routine. I managed to buy a new watch and a new ukulele. This Ohana ukulele has a pickup in it and I look forward to being able to play it amplified. I actually think it sounds a bit better than the Martin that I've been playing on since I started a few months ago and I'm glad that I've got this one that I don't really have to worry about in terms of sentimental and monetary value. I'll get a video of myself playing it sometime tonight or tomorrow.

Grad school apps are coming along well and I'm glad that I'm applying. I'm still trying to shrink the list down by a few schools and we'll just see how that goes.

This weekend is going to be packed with things, but I'll be looking forward to it. I've got a lot of work to get done, but I'm fairly confident in my ability to successfully manage my time and complete the tasks at hand.

current mood: calm

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Thursday, October 29th, 2009
11:51 pm - The Two Brothers
For those of you who don't know, I got a new guitar recently. It's a Martin and it sounds and plays wonderfully! I couldn't be happier! I recorded the following video of me playing and singing and I hope you enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhnvChL113E

current mood: excited

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Friday, October 16th, 2009
9:28 am - Concert and Concert
Last night, I went to my friend's ensemble's concert. My friend, Pan, is the bass clarinetist of the CSULB Symphonic Band. They really put on a great show. I got to listen to some very modern pieces (and I'm not talking about modern in a stylistic sense, necessarily) and I'm glad that I was able to expand my knowledge. I really enjoy works for symphonic band and I'd like to get to know the repertoire more thoroughly.

In other news, I'll be playing on UCSB radio, KCSB, tonight thanks to my buddy, krigulv. The live playing will be shoved in between some recordings, so it'll be a nice mix of both. The show runs between midnight and 2 AM, so it's actually technically on Saturday. Listen in, if you want to!

current mood: happy

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
4:14 pm - Back in Town
Well, I've been back in town for a couple of days now. I had a blast up in Grass Valley at the Celtic Music festival. Saw some awesome concerts including a really nice set by Brian Finnegan and William Coulter, Dervish, and Enter the Haggis. The sessions ran hot and cold, but I found I enjoyed the one on Sunday (between 12:30 and 2:00) the best. I had a blast bodhraning up it, but I need to remember to actually bring my mandolin or bouzouki next time.

Other than that, I've got this weekend to look forward to. I don't have a lot of time off in October, but November is full of holidays, so I'm really looking to the time I'll have to relax then. I'll be working on my grad school apps at that point.

Have a nice night, everyone!

current mood: calm

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Friday, October 2nd, 2009
7:29 am - Weekend!
Well, October is upon us and I'm actually really excited. A lot is happening for me this month and I'm kicking it off by driving up to Grass Valley for the Celtic Festival that happens up there. I've never been to this one before, so it'll be exciting for me to see what it's like. It's supposedly pretty big.

After that, almost every weekend is filled up with various activities. It's going to be nuts, but I'm really going to have fun by the time it's all finished.

If anyone else is going to the festival this weekend (doubtful, but you never know), please let me know. Have a nice weekend!

current mood: excited

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Thursday, August 13th, 2009
11:21 am - "Time flies!" and other topics
Time certainly does have a way of flying by when you're busy with other things. I can't believe that it's already the middle of August. Where did the summer go?

When I woke up yesterday, my tonsils were huge and I could barely swallow. The problem continued to get worse throughout the day and I finally decided that it was time to see a doctor. After a swab test, I was diagnosed with strep and sent to the pharmacy to grab some penicillin. So, great, I have strep throat. Thankfully, the swelling is wearing off and I can swallow without much difficulty. I would like to resume my life, however. I've got lots of stuff planned for this weekend including a fun dinner and helping my friend move into his new place, so I'd like to be better for those events.

I have recently been vexed by the lack of good instructional books in both Phoenician and Sumerian. Beyond an expensive grammar, not much seems to exist for the Phoenician language, or even Punic. Same goes for Sumerian (I could buy this book or a new Martin acoustic guitar... hrm, such a hard decision</sarcasm>). The Etruscan book I have has been serving me well, but due to the limitations based on our knowledge of the language itself, I'm not able to say much at this point unless I want to sound like a medieval priest (and even then, I'm pretty limited). Ah well, though.

I recently got another computer and installed Ubuntu Studio on it. It's a really slick OS which I'm really enjoying using. I haven't really had a linux system in a while, so it's nice to be able to make a return to linux. I'm hoping to use this box in conjunction with my Mac Pro to really set up a nice studo environment.

That's about it for now. I'll try to update more frequently from now on and not let the summer slip away.

current mood: calm

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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
9:31 am - Comic-Con and Califur Diego
So, who's going to Comic-Con? I'll be there Thursday-Sunday. Also, just to pass on the info, there will be Califurdiego this year. It will be held at a new location, the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. For your convenience (and because I want more people to show up), I've posted info about it.

Make sure you reply here if you want to hang out. I'll have some internet access, but it'll be spotty. I'll be suiting up a bit at the con itself, so look for my suit if you know what it looks like.

Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 564-3333
Link: Google Maps

The original post that Rod made on the socalfurs board...Collapse )

Hope to see you all there!

current mood: excited

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Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
9:44 am - Sorting Hat Meme
Many other people were doing this, so I figured I would. I haven't seen the new movie yet and probably won't anytime soon, but oh well. Have fun!

the SORTING HAT meme

current mood: cheerful

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Sunday, June 21st, 2009
9:25 am - Obligatory Califur Post
Alright. Califur was a HUGE improvement over last year. I had a blast with all of my friends and especially my roommates, devidarkwolf and wildglitterwolf, who had to put up with my shenanigans. I performed twice, both in the variety show and the cabaret. Both of those were a lot of fun for me.

Suiting, of course, was the highlight of the con for me. I found that playing the piano in suit actually gained me an audience and I was quite happy that the hotel didn't have a problem with people playing their baby grand. I spent a lot of time at that piano and actually managed to make tips when someone put out a cup and a dollar for me. I ended up making around $21 and change plus free art, so that was quite exciting.

My friends and I also got together to make a couple of suiting videos. My friend, Dae, ended up shooting them. We put my car into neutral and tried to "ghost ride the whip" around it, but the car ended up getting away. I ended up hopping in so that it didn't go too quickly and we reshot the video. For fun, I posted both on youtube.

Videos behind cut...Collapse )

Anyway, that's my Califur post. I hope everyone else had a good time as well!

current mood: calm

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Monday, June 15th, 2009
12:39 am - Placeholder
I need to do a Califur update, but I'm too lazy right now. It will come, I promise. In short, it was a huge improvement over last year. I had a blast and can safely say that the positives massively outweigh the negatives. Kudos to the staff and the hotel for a great job!

I've been quite busy lately. I've started working again on a regular basis and have been doing a lot in the evenings, too. My weekend was totally full, much to my delight. I'm just happy all around!

That's about all the energy I have right now. Goodnight!

current mood: calm

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
10:25 am - Weekends have it!
Well, I'm going to be super busy on these upcoming weekends, just as I was last weekend, but it's all for good things.

I'll write a more detailed Fanime/Baycon weekend writeup when I get more time, but let me tell you that I had a great time. It was a lot of fun and I'm very glad that I went. Hung out with some old friends and made some new ones.

This upcoming weekend, I'm heading off to North Carolina to see someone. If you can't tell, I'm really excited about this. I'll come back with lots of stories and pictures, I'm sure. I leave tomorrow morning and I'm jittery! I just have to go out and run some more errands before I go, though.

The following weekend is Califur and I'm looking forward to that as well. It'll be my first Califur in suit, so hopefully it'll be rewarding. It'll also be the first Califur that I'll be rooming at (with devidarkwolf and wildglitterwolf, two awesome people), so I'm quite excited about that! Oh yeah, and Irvine rocks!

Honestly, that's about it right now. I'm going to spend today cleaning up and getting ready, and I'll see everyone after these packed weekends are up!

current mood: excited

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