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Steve Harrison
05 December 2016 @ 12:21 am
Not a rant about hug pillows or sexual fetish PVC statues or 'washable' posters for the bathroom.

Tiger Mask W is a clearly awesome and superior show and should be the Big Thing for this period. It seems it's being completely ignored by 'mainstream' fandom, I assume due to the lack of MOE and maybe too much manliness.

Regardless, there's are several staples of anime production, one being the clockwork churning out of CDs for the OP, ED and BGM for the show. Pioneered by Space Battleship Yamato* (as are all the good, positive aspects of anime). Current standards call for the OP and ED songs come out when the series premiers, then the BGM CD shows up in a few weeks later. This schedule is even more important if it's a 13 episode run, you can take a bit more time if they're doing 26 episodes.

Where the hell are the CDs for Tiger Mask W? There's some nonsense singles for the ED theme due in January (!!) but nothing else. NOTHING!

Which is HILARIOUS given that one of the recent themes in the series is the importance of merchandising!

So get on it, guys! I want that BGM CD!

*Yes, I know, there were OP and ED theme 45's for anime shows before Yamato, as well as some books. These were treated as children's product. Yamato made it legit, and serious and valid.
 
 
Current Music: Original Tiger Mask theme
 
 
Steve Harrison
26 November 2016 @ 09:11 pm
Meet Attila the Hungry, or as we called him, Tilly. German Shepard, a 'blue'. He only lived for about 2 1/2 years but his influence on my goes way beyond that short time.
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Look at that sweet boy. He was perfectly in synch with my mom and I, a goofball, a hammy actor, a little naughty but not a bad boy. Sweet and loving and very very protective.

He died from a brain tumor, one we believe was induced by getting hit in the head by a burglar.

He was best friends with our cat, a seal-point Siamese named, of course, Pyewacket.

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Don't let Pye's body language in that pic fool you, they were incredibly good friends. Tilly accepted that Pye was the Alpha but Pye had a realistic view of the size and power of Tilly.

I miss them both so much.

ETA: Advice on how to handle pictures better is sought. I r sooper inept
 
 
Steve Harrison
24 November 2016 @ 12:40 pm
Oh my God this is so hard. I can't believe how empty I feel how cold. I don't know how I'm going to even deal with Christmas.

Mom would have been 78 on the 19th.

No turkey this year, I am going for our default holiday meal- some Honeybaked (tm) ham, I'll use instant mashed potatoes because I don't want to deal with learning potato peeling right now, and some nice fresh baked crescent rolls. But I'm not hungry.

F**K I don't even want to move.

ETA: I don't mean to be a downer. I'm using this as some crude kind of therapy as well as communication. If nothing else this will live on if I were to suddenly die.

GEEZE I am become f*king Debby Downer. :/

Look,OK, learn from me. Take those close to you, family, friends, even pets and just love the fs'king hell out of them. Some of my last memories of my mom are the arguments we had, the things I had to deny her because of the money situation. Cigarettes, lottery scratchoffs, all the little things in my foolish attempt to get a handle on the money income/outflow situation... She said she understood but there was some heat, some resentment because our family, we are a stubborn people. I tried to do everything I could and it wasn't enough. I dropped the ball. I must have. I didn't do enough or I didn't do it right. Obviously my mind swirls with "what-if". Mind, from the sound of things... never mind. there I go again.

Love them. Love your parents, your spouses, your loved ones. Love them like they would be gone tomorrow. Even if you have problems, conflicts, disagreements. Even if they won't love you, you love them. Because when they're gone you will FOREVER cry over the things not said.

I'm making this one public.
 
 
Steve Harrison
30 October 2016 @ 09:24 pm
Still liking it. Still mystified about Daryl Surat not talking about it. Animation is a little rocky at times. Not Berserk 2016 rocky, but just that little bit 'off' that makes one think they needed some extra time in the animation process.

I hope the show is doing well. We need more anime like this, just good old fashioned manly melodrama filled with justice and guts and all that stuff.
 
 
Steve Harrison
11 October 2016 @ 08:15 pm
Looks like I may lose my internet for a week or so, depending on how fast ATT pulls the plug. There's a payment due and I can't make it in time.

So if you email me and don't hear back pretty quick, this is what is going on.

If the internet goes, so too will my landline.

Just letting everyone know that I'm not snubbing or avoiding anyone. Maybe the fates will work so I can get that money.

ETA 10/12/16: Problem solved. Sold some DVDs, actually managed to get OK money for them, enough to pay off ATT. Of course. not NEARLY what I spent on them when I bought them...

Anyway, just letting everyone know
 
 
 
Steve Harrison
06 October 2016 @ 05:02 pm

*sigh*

OK, either they're doing MASSIVE re-editing or something, because this show is all over the place. And it seems the producers (or is that showrunner nowadays?) have done very very little research on Continuity of Government as well as basic White House information. I get that CoG is way esoteric but when that's kinda sorta the CENTRAL HOOK OF THE SHOW I just...

OK. I'll just struggle through this.

The timeline makes no sense whatsoever. If there's 'break points' that indicate how much time is passed it must be WAY more subtle than I can grasp, because what I get is, Episode 3 takes place the morning after the explosion has destroyed the Capitol building and wiped out the leadership of the USA. I'm gonna get back to that.

So, after everybody has a good night's sleep they're all refreshed and ready to deal with newly sworn in President Kirkland. Oh really. OK. So he's got some messy stuff to deal with, there's a funeral for the dead President and...

waitwaitwait. Less than 24 hours have passed and they're having a funeral for the murdered President. And the estranged son of that President is pissy about Kirkman due to an interview he did earlier in the day, so he says "NO, I will not let you speak or perform an eulogy for my father!!"

waitwait WAIT WAIT!!  Huh?

(aside: One of the themes of the show is that The Media, as well as social media as a whole, have the knifes out for Kirkman.)

OK, the funeral. I haven't researched this (the point of what I write is not 'how internet smart and Google savvy I am' but what I know in my head, even if it's wrong) so I may well be super ignorant but I can't help but think that history has shown there's a certain protocol involving heads of state and funerals. There is a department for this, probably involving the State Department. Point(s) being I'm pretty sure you don't put the guy in the ground less than a day after he died (technically his body is evidence in the investigation as well as being a victim), and I'm REALLY sure nobody gets to tell the sitting President "I don't want you to talk".

And everybody is SUPER CASUAL about this. I've only been in D.C. once but that was during winter where a quarter inch of snow on the ground just about paralyzed the city. The Capitol Building blowing up, all the recovery work, carting off debris to be sorted and analyzed Army and Police walking around with loaded M4s and wearing body armor and full battle rattle...that town is shut down. But not locked down enough that people can't go home, put on some funeral clothes and just drift in to a church.

I won't even go into how the site lacked the necessary military honor guard, all the pomp and circumstance due a dead President.

OK, so that's a fail.

Oh, the kicker, the estranged son of the dead President asked the surviving Congressperson (evil Republican! Hissss!) to perform a hasty eulogy.

Now let us talk for a moment about the Congresswoman. Seems the Republicans (BOOOOOOO) in the Senate somehow didn't think it was 'fair' that the (un-named political party BUT WE KNOW WHO, AMIRITE?) got to name someone from the sitting administration as a designated survivor, so they went ahead and 'appointed' their OWN Senate Republican (growl! bark!) as 'the other' designated survivor.

My head is going to f'sking explode.

First up, there is NO LAW involving such a thing. There is no authority. It does not fall into the protocol of continuity of government. It's DUMB. I can't remember the chain of succession exactly but 'cabinet member' ranks above 'senator', so there's no actual challenge to Kirkman's ascension. If a Senator or Representative choose to skip the State of the Union address THAT'S OK. There would be political repercussions for that (in a normal situation) but it's not a law enforced by harsh penalties. I'm not even going to go into how CoG is the perview of the Executive Branch, and Legislative doesn't HAVE ready access to secure sites and so on. If it's not part of the written Continuity of Government plans, it ain't a'ginna happen.

So they must have just told her to stay home, right? Not very secure.

Sooo much WRONG going on. I'm not even touching on the HARD PUSH to name a specific Islamic Terror group leader as the mastermind of the operation. Such a hard push that it seems pretty obvious it can't be him.

Oh, Oh. Um. 'sombody' hacked the White House, causing lights to go out and computers to crash and stuff. There was the usual 'Hollywood computer' magic involving trying to figure out what's going on but in the end, the whole hack was a way for 'someone' to PLANT IN THE PRESIDENT'S LAPTOP a video file of said terrorist leader proclaiming he did it. Not on the desktop of course, it was BURIED in the CODE. (so how was Kirkman supposed to know it was there to open?)

A video file in PAL. Because overseas, right? I guess them damn terry-ists don't know .MKV or .MP4 or .AVI or whatever.

I wish Daryl Surat or Mike Toole had been with me watching this. I'm sure either of these gentlemen would have both thrown things at the TV and laughed their asses off.

It seems likely that 'the hack' was an inside job, likely from the 'core of the coup' in the Pentagon.

Sayyyy, there's been no word from the CIA in any of this so far. Where the hell are they?

I haven't even touched on the 'family drama' aspects. Precocious Daughter seems completely unfazed by everything. I'm still rooting for her to be the mastermind. She narks on her Emo Teen big brother by waving around his stash of pills, thus making Mom freak out a little, even more when she finds his FAT ROLL OF CASH in his dresser drawer. She takes them both. They have words. Emo teen says he was stupid and did it 'because' and he doesn't know why. Which I can almost believe because we've all seen people who operate that way. This will supposedly come back to bite President Kirkman later because internet.

Oh, see, total strangers went to their house and brought over various dressers and drawers so they could have 'their stuff' while living in the residence.

*sigh*

And we still don't see ANY of the White House staff. Not ONE PERSON. Kirkman made a promise to his wife (is she in on the plot?) that they were going to have a nice Family Dinner at 6:30 PM. (note, not even 24 hours after the blast. crazy busy day, huh?) Naturally, like every sitcom or family drama father EVER 'stuff comes up' and he doesn't get back to the residence until way late. He looks at the empty dining table with infinite sadness (Sutherland really sells that, I have to say. Nobody can say he's sleepwalking through his role) when little daughter comes out of a side room (kitchen? hall to the bedrooms?) with a box of cereal and then Wife shows up, and some talk about Emo Teen not being there because he's going to sleep overnight at a friend's house (!!!!!!!!!!!!) but no, THERE he is coming in from some other place and it's all loving and stuff.

Um. Where is the butler? Where is the staff? Where is the "I'm sorry we missed you for dinner Mr. President, can I get you something to eat?" that should happen? Because that's how it works. And you could STILL have the 'family waited for him love love' bit with the butler going into the pantry and then enter daughter.

Next episode ( day 2 after the bombing?) things go to s**t as the Republican (EEVVIILLL) governor of Michigan does stupid stuff making Kirkland issue the 'martial law' provision of Cog to nationalize the Michigan National Guard (this is a real thing) to suppress something or other.

OK, I talk about Continuity of Government. I'm omitting one aspect that may not be obvious to everyone, and it's THE SINGLE KEY FLAW in this series.

The entire basis for CoG plans is the total destruction of Washington D.C. and the wiping out of the whole of the leadership. This usually assumes a nuclear device vaporizing D.C. and environs, destroying government infrastructure.

None of that has happened. Yes, the leadership is dead but that doesn't affect all those GS8 employees sitting in their cubicles making reports and bidding on eBay when the boss isn't looking. The head of the EPA is dead but that doesn't mean suddenly all controls and rules and regulations have vanished. D.C. still stands and functions. Well, as well as it ever does. It doesn't make SENSE for the governor of a state to decide all bets were off and he could be Dictator of his own nation.

I think I may be done with this trainwreck.

I dunno, anyone reading this watching and not seeing this stuff? Don't care? Waiting for Sutherland to turn back into Jack Bauer and start kicking a**?

 
 
Steve Harrison
05 October 2016 @ 09:38 pm
Thought I'd better get this down before episode 3 airs. durrrrrr.  :)

OK, really on the bubble over this show, and that bubble it tilting towards giving up on it.

For one thing, eps. 2 looked odd. Looked disjointed in tone. Frankly, it looked like they had re-shot some scenes and maybe edited in something from a later episode. Pres. Kirkman was insecure and shaky one moment, then then next he's in the face of Likely Evil General about wanting to tear the terrorists who blew up the Capitol building into little pieces with his bare hands.

And maybe that's realistic, given what's going on in the show.

But that aside, there's ANOTHER bone-head mistake that really shouldn't have happened. I'm pretty sure everyone knows it.

See, the White House is practically a hotel. It has a staff. The staff stays no matter who is in charge. The staff doesn't 'have a night off' or are carted off to see the State of the Union address in person. They sweep the floors, make the beds, cook the food, clean the clothes.

And I'm pretty darn sure someone can be a babysitter. In addition to the Secret Service of course.

See, Kirkman wants to go to 'Ground Zero' and thank the people doing the recovery work. This is an obvious callback to 9/11/2001 and Pres. Bush. So, heroic. People point out it's a great photo op and he shuts that down, he's honest and humble and sincere in wanting to thank all the military, fire, rescue, police, FBI and so on for the heartbreaking work.

(quick aside: It starts out OK but quickly goes south. Seems the governer of Michigan (!!) has all but decided to secede from the union or something. yeesh, and on top of that, riots due to fear of muslims. crazy.)

OK, So Kirkman and his wife get ready to go. Their drug dealing emo teen son is told to watch the younger daughter, don't let her watch TV lest she catches a news report on the explosion. As they sit watching TV (oops) Emo Teen gets a call on his cell and he says to his sister (as if he was at a business meeting?!) "I have to take this call" and off he goes. Naturally, little pre-teen daughter grabs the remote and dials in CNN (or the fictional version thereof)...

STOP. HAMMER TIME.

First off, I don't think Emo Teen gets to keep his cell phone now. He might be issued a new one but for his own safety I'm sure that would be taken away. Second, the family Secret Service agent KNOWS he's dealing drugs, so this cannot end well. Unless the agent is in on it.

But even in the Residence, given what has JUST HAPPENED, there is NO FREAKING WAY the kids are left unattended. There is someone IN THAT ROOM with them. A babysitter from the staff and at least one Secret Service agent. That little girl doesn't get to watch ZNN or VOLE News.

Gotta tell you, one thing that stood out in this crapstorm of a scene, the look on the girl's face. She turns the news on and she looks... satisfied. Even mildly pleased. Almost as if SHE is the mastermind behind the whole thing. Which would be AWESOME if they actually went with that but I strongly doubt this will be the case.

"You mean a nine year old girl planned this coup?" "Yes, General. She did it all. Because she wanted her daddy to be President"

One thing that really bothers me. There is no mention of political parties except for 'Republicans', which is always spoken with a slight sneer. I mean, come on. they make a point of Kirkman being an 'independent' (and how does THAT work in a cabinet position? Positions that are appointments, often as political favors or 'friend of a friend' deals. Maybe we'll get more of Kirkman's history in episode 3.) but...well. whatever. Episode 3 is my tipping point. We'll see if we continue this journey.
 
 
Steve Harrison
01 October 2016 @ 11:15 pm
Two thumbs up. Manly anime returns!

I was sold from the first moment that the OP started up, because they kept the original Tiger Mask theme, sped up a little with some crap eurobeat (techno? I don't know, I'm old) backing it. It was servicable, but what I *HOPED* for was JAM Project doing the same thing with massive guitar shredding and Kageyama tearing his throat out screaming the lyrics. GUTS, man, GUTS.

I hope they get all the wrestling terms right. I'll look to expert Daryl Surat to call them out if they fail.

At least I have something worth watching now that Macross Delta and Mob Psycho 100 are over.
 
 
Steve Harrison
29 September 2016 @ 09:34 pm
I'm not on Twitter but Aniki is, so yikes!

https://twitter.com/aniki_z

Those that love anime songs follow that man!
 
 
Steve Harrison
I just can't. My brain in always running 'in the background' to use a computer phrase. Most times it pops up and says "Oh, come ON" and I can shush it and get on with watching the movie or TV show or whatever. I compensate by thinking of it as being an 'informed' viewer, a comfortable lie.

But it's a problem when something key, something central to the very core or concept of a show, shouts REAL LOUD to my brain saying "shut up, roll with it, it won't matter" and it spoils the entire viewing experience for me.

Case in point: ABC's new political conspiracy thriller 'Designated Survivor'. Kiefer Sutherland (looking less and less like his father every day) stars: Series synopsis from the ABC site: "A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession."

OK, good. I can roll with that. I'm watching, Sutherland is trying to not be Jack Bauer, he's meant to be a nerd, a wonk, a nothing that is supposed to grow into the job of President of the United States (so I assume). I'm watcing the opening and already I'm getting these odd 'in your face' hints that Things Are Not As They Seem and the moment hits, there is an explosion at the Captiol building and as above, everyone is wiped out.

Now an aside, and about my mind always being 'on'. I'm very big on the Cold War. Kinda almost obsessed about it, given I was alive during the really tense times. I've been collecting books about various aspects of the times, building a library, I love that stuff. If I could I'd make a trip out to Greenbrier in West Virginia and visit the congressional bunker. I want my own radiation counter. blah blah. :)

So all that reading, I've gotten pretty familiar with the concept of 'Continuity of Government'. It's more than the Post Office has postcards for you to fill out in case your city is nuked and need to have your mail forwarded (that's a real thing. Dunno if they have them still but that was considered very important back in the '60s), it's all about keeping the President (and/or other designated individuals) safe in times of extreme danger. I reccomend 'The Day After World War III' by Edward Zuckerman very highly as a decent primer on CoG and all that.

Now back to the show. The Capitol bulding has had an explosion. It's unknown if it was internal or external in cause but it was big enough to knock a big hole in the Capitol Dome. It SEEMS implied that it was an internal explosion, something akin to the ' Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot' in England 1606. But we don't know for sure in the course of the first episode.  Big boom.

The Secret Service moves in, grabs Sutherland and his wife from their secure location (which was within a couple of miles of the Captiol building. maybe closer. This is another problem but onward, alarms aren't ringing yet), and...

Drives him to the White House.

*DING DING DING DING BRAIN TO STEVE WTF MAN THAT IS NOT POLICY!!!*

See, here's the deal. The Captiol has exploded. It's unknown if there are other bombs planted, or if there is a drone launching missiles or if a nuclear strike is next, we don't know. If the Captiol was compromised, it's possible the White House is in danger.

You DO NOT take the presumptive President of the U.S. to the heart of danger. You spirit him away to Mount Weather or Camp David or Andrews AFB (this is covered in detail in Chapter 3 of the book mentioned above), and swear him in.

Nope. Off to the White House, sworn in, shown the special super duper command center situation room (the real one looks as low end as any cheap hotel banquet room) and right away, the other shoe drops as everyone IGNORES him and goes about the business of getting ready to attack...I guess 'dem danged mooslims' from all that's said, implied and inferrred.

Just no. It doesn't WORK that way. It really doesn't. but it has to show the 'crazy general' who may or may not be part of a coup attempt to take over the government.

And so it goes. I predict another stock standard Hollywood TV series, complete with "how does nobody notice the shifty crap that person is pulling" and the "OH NOEZ THAT FRIEND TURNED OUT TO BE IN ON IT!!" moment.

I was hoping for something intelligent and smart, something in the 'Seven Days in May' mode. Guess not. Ho Hum.


ETA: Noted on Twitter (which I will read sometimes but I will not join), a friend commented that sometimes various agencies will demand changes in things in order to not give away secrets and stuff. So we're NEVER going to see, for example, the real 'football' and how it works* and stuff like that. I assume my friend is telling me that the Secret Service put the kibosh on ferrying Sutherland off to Mount Weather and had his original 'secure location' be within eyesight of the Capitol building instead of outside of the so-called 'safe zone', a theoretical ring around Washington D.C. outside of the anticipated blast zone from a nuclear attack. But our hero may not have gone to Mount Weather or Camp David, he may have been driven to Andrews AFB and put on 'Kneecap', the National Emergency Command Post, a highly modified 747 (not the same as Air Force One, but of course once the President is on board that plane is called Air Force One). Then he would be flown to an undisclosed location, one of at least 80 across the USA, until it was known that D.C. was safe. Now, if Sutherland had insisted he be TAKEN to the White House to show confidence and reassure the public, THAT would have made sense but that's not the 'take charge' character he's playing in this.

All this stuff is known. It's old news. It's in books and stuff. I suspect instead the reason for not making a trip to Virginia was for budget, they didn't want to have to shoot exteriors and interiors that would have only one use, but the White House and it's sooper dooper Space Age (and unrealistic as all get out) command center would get lots of screen time.

*The 'football' is really nothing cool at all. Unless there's been major changes it's nothing but a briefcase containing a procedure manual for the Emergency Broadcast System, a card with identification codes (for nuclear strike options, among others), a list of secret 'Presidential Emergency Facilities' and the Black Book, a loose leaf notebook of Soviet (and now others) nuclear weapons, likely attack patterns and a menu, printed in red, of American retaliatory options. No flashy lights or fancy computer stuff.