Archive for January, 2010

Hey someone’s noticed my blog!

SPAMMERS!

Cosplay Done Right is attracting roughly 20 spam comments a day. The bots are going hard. I had been managing it by manually removing each comment, but that was a serious pain in the arse. So have called in the help of a few plugin’s.  But you know, its kinda nice to know that the blog has been noticed. Even if it was by an automated search program which then unleashed wave upon wave of bot comment attacks. Maybe at some point in the future they will be replaced by real readers.

Other than defending the site from the tidal wave of bots, I have been doing a lot of research on big screen TV’s. I had promised myself a while back that once i had paid off the car that i would get myself a proper 21st century TV. I have been waiting a while, to join this new age of moving image’s being displayed on screens that weigh less than 90Kg’s. Sadly I forgot a little something. That being the car needs to be inspected to pass for registration, then get re-registered and re-insured. All up it looks like it will cost me about a grand.

So i wont be joining the 21st century quiet yet. But its close…. ish. 

Anthony

Never do thing’s by halves.

I am planning on spending Christmas and New Years over seas for 2010/2011. This is a direct result of the utter pain in the arse these holidays have become for me with my family. I simply can not stand another year where I hold my tongue on the numerous selfish, stupid, and calculated acts my Aunt perpetrates through out the year which are born due to her laziness, and sense that everyone should do everything for her.

As a result of her behaviour her children are in some ways worse, and better than she is. Which makes me not inclined to spend time with them unless I have to for “family harmony.” I don’t hate Christmas, please don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of Christmas, and all that it entails. It’s just the ideal of Christmas has never been something my family has achieved and has now become something more akin to a sick joke.

All of which has led to the decision that this year will be different. This year, I’ll be spending Christmas in Japan! While New Years will be in Hong Kong! After which I will also be heading over to South Korea. I have booked my holidays with work, so for three and a half weeks straddling Christmas I will be out of the country and untroubled by any of the Bull Shit i normally have to deal with at that time. Plus its going to be cold! There will be snow! It will truly be a white Christmas. I am seriously looking forward to it. To achieve this will mean a lot of money saved through out the year. A lot of things gone without. But it will be worth it.

Now I have never been to Japan, Honk Kong, or South Korea so am reliant on those who have, and what I can find in various travel, gadget, and food related websites to guide me on what to see and do when I visit. When I have told other people of my plans, the first thing they ask me is ” Do you speak Japanese?” or its variant for Korean. The answer to this is no. Not a word. Usually they respond with, ” Oh that should be ok, pretty much everywhere has people who speak English.” Which for the most part is true to a small degree. But there are two problems with this statement and what they are inferring.

Firstly that the person you ask directions of is one of those people who in their own country which does not natively speak English, actually does speak English. The second problem is while they might speak English it may not be fluently, and in some asian cultures if you are not perfect at something then you do not admit to being able to do it. So that person might refuse to reply as they do not want to lose face by replying and making a mistake. While we all have the example of those “charming” americans who navigate their way around the world for a million dollars in the Amazing Race. For people to travel anywhere with only English as their language and still find the places they need, and see the things they want. Its not something I want to try and recreate.

So i have started leaning Japanese and Korean. At the same time.

I am using a product called The Rosetta Stone, which is used by the US military and many large corporations to teach non native speakers other languages as if they were their own. I’ll be doing the full courses which take around a year to complete. I’ll also be trying to track down some of those learning tapes/mp3’s that you play at night while you sleep to get the language into your subconscious.

As a young child I had an ear for languages and accents don’t normally hold too much of a problem for me if I hear it often enough. Coming home from holidays overseas as a kid i would always be accused of being a tosser for talking with an accent I hadn’t realised I had picked up. I also went to a french school for about a year when i was still little where they would hit you with a ruler if you said ANYTHING in English while on the school grounds. So I pretty quickly picked up the things i needed to know to speak to my teacher and the other children.

I am about half an hour in with both the Korean and Japanese courses and as I had expected the content is pretty much the same. Its only the languages which are different. So its looking deceptively doable to pick both languages up, and be fairly conversant by the end of the year. I intend to spend an hour or two each night working through them. I am sure that i wont be successful in doing it every night. But its a goal.

So far I can identify the difference between the words for boy and girl, man and woman, eating, reading or running in both languages when someone says it. I can mimic them to some degree but only once I have heard them a few time. Which realistically after half an hour isn’t too bad at all. Plus a few words in both languages HAVE actually stuck. Mainly the words for water and juice. In Japanese water is Mizu (pronounced Me-Zoo), and juice is Juusu   (pronounced Jew-sue). In Korean water is Mool/ Mul ( pronounced Buh-ll ) and juice is Ju-su (pronounced Chew-siew).

So I wont go thirsty in my travels. I am sure Tommy and Mike will correct me on my pronunciation for the Korean words and in all honesty I hope they do. Because I can use all the help I can get. I said to a mate of mine on NYE that 2010 was going to be an “Interesting” year. This weekend I have made a start on the interesting part.

Anthony

I have made my Avatar 3D pilgrimage.

Initially the 3D aspect put me off as I would actively try and focus on the thing which was in 3D. Usually some frond or floating bug. But the majority of the time that object was purposely out of focus which was both annoying and a great way to get eye strain. To be perfectly honest there were great swaths of the movie presented in 3D which I felt didn’t really need to be. It felt like they said ” Hey this movie is in 3D, we need some 3D content in this section, you know so people realise this movie is in 3D. That rock TOTALLY needs to be in 3D otherwise they wont get the proper 3D experience!”   

There were a few places where I thought it was fantastic, and they nearly made up for all the filler. Story wise I felt like I got what I paid for in Avatar. A Sci Fi flick where humanity shows its ugly colours. I have to agree with Cameron’s detractors in some part. Surely between the time he came up with the concept and then scripting, and then finally shooting. A better name for the mineral could have been worked out. Unobtanium is just laziness on his part. Especially when there is a whole monologue dedicated to explaining how rare the thing is.

 
Highlight between the spoiler tags to see some comments about other more specific plot points. 
 
SPOILER!!!!  
 
Plus using running sequences to jump us through the three months of Jakes “training” was a bit clichéd. Yeah you got a sense of how big the tree was, and that he was learning skills. But for a movie over two and a half hours long, these three months took up next to no time at all. I did miss about 5 or so minutes of the movie due to my getting older and Movie Drink Cup sizes getting larger ( a medium coke should not be in excess of 800ml no matter where you are, if couples are too stingy to buy two cokes that’s their own business) this part I missed appeared to be in an important bit as well, between Jake being basically imprisoned by his “co-workers” and then somehow magically re-appearing to lead the indig’s in battle against the evil humans. But overall I enjoyed myself and would happily see it again.
 
The alien sex scene in 3D was… Interesting. I am of two minds, had this been a “human only film” then it would have been De rigueur for the two main characters to fall into this cliché consummation of forming a bond after spending a 3 months together in close contact where they learn almost everything there is to know about each other. But when the characters are not human, and unlike animals display passion and tenderness during their love making. It felt entirely too voyeuristic. I’m sure id have felt like that in the 2D version. Making it 3D added a sense of realism that very effectively made me understand why the porn industry are so “turned on” to 3D.

SPOILER!!!! 

All in all though, it was a good movie and i don’t feel entirely put out spending 19 bucks on the ticket. I figure this is the price point movies have been heading towards for a while at the cinema. Its just now you actually get something that comes close to giving you your moneys worth.

Anthony

There’s good news, and there’s bad news.

The Good News first!

After 5 year’s I am $224.84 away from owning my car. Outright. The only thing holding me back from paying that last little bit off is some cash needs to clear between banks. I am fucking chuffed that I have done this, because I did it all on my own. Mommy and Daddy didn’t buy me a car when i turned 16, or 18, or 21. All of you who did have such gracious parents. I honestly think you missed out on an experience that can teach you so much about responsibility and a certain things worth when you don’t buy your own car.

“Pfft” you say, “I got my car for free and spent all my money on other things!” Yes you did, and i bet you that you didn’t value them beyond how they made you appear.

So i now have a great credit history that can go and get me into an even large debt to buy a house!  

I used to joke (bitterly) that I was just a bitch to my car loan, that if it wasn’t for it I’d be happy living on a beach doing fuck all and getting the dole. I’ll be celebrating my emancipation by taking myself off to see Avatar this weekend. I’m going to be pretty skint for the next fortnight, but i need this little reward after all these years of denial!  Plus I’ll be power saving over the next few pays and buying myself a new TV. Putting my money to work for ME for a change!

Lessons learned from this.

1. ALWAYS save up a deposit, never take a 100% loan. You end up paying double maybe triple what you borrowed.

2. RE-FINANCE! Dont just stick with the deal you have got. Because you can almost always find a better deal somewhere else which will allow you to pay things off quicker.

3. Only suckers don’t have full Insurance. Yeah that monthly payment sucks. But if you have an accident its the difference between having to go out get a new loan just so you can buy a car to replace the one you lost. Or just having the Insurance company write you a check to go buy a new one.

Moving on! The bad news? I have posted the obligatory Horrible Cosplay Thursday update. You might never touch yourself again, after seeing it. Unless you’re into that kind of thing…

Oh I haven’t forgotten about the Story that I have been promising if any of you are concerned ( or just like pointing out I haven’t delivered something I promised) Its just turned into something a lot less simple plot wise so is taking longer to write than i anticipated. But I think its not too bad, and will be worth the wait.

Anthony

Make it the future now damnit!

So CES has kicked off. There are some very interesting toys coming off the production lines this year. I am quite interested in the plethora of Slates/ Tablets which are being released in particular. I have been a big supporter for Tablet PC’s for quite a while. I loved my Compaq TC1100 to death, literally. It gave me four years of dedicated service, but died eventually due to faulty design which lead to a cracked motherboard (right through the on-board video card) twas a very sad day when it failed to boot for the last time.

I have been eagerly waiting for the Asus T101H to drop as it appeared to be the perfect solution for my needs (To have a device which i could watch video on, surf the web, and do some word processing on, and use as an e-reader) for my daily train trips to and from work.  Since it got pushed back 12 months I am hoping that they will have done a fair bit of revision and given it a bit more grunt.

Will have to see what if anything they say about it I guess. The Microsoft tablet and the Apple iSlate will not grab my interest too much I predict because of limitations in design and their application and DRM ecosystem’s.

As it is Thursday there has been a Horrible Cosplay Thursday update. Please enjoy, or cry. But remember to take any shards of your broken minds with you on the way out.

Hopefully I’ll actually write something in the next few days to release to you guys. I have an idea for a short story which is always a great start i find. Its just a matter of fleshing it out a bit.

Highlight between the spoiler tags to see the secret message.

SPOILER!!!!

It will be Sci Fi and have direct links the the game EvE-Online.

SPOILER!!!!

Anyway, that’s enough from me now. I’m off to bed. Off to work nice and early in the morning.

FUCK I need to win lotto, I don’t think i can hack being a working stiff for the next 30-40 years!

Anthony

It rubs the lotion on.

Something happened at work today which I think was interesting and amusing so I thought I would share with you all.

Everyone these days has a ringtone for their phone which is invariably a song by some band or pop group which can be easily recognised. Now in my opinion these things act as a pretty good indication of the type of person who owns the phone and set the ring tone. This isn’t a 100% accurate rule as every now and then you will have a kindly looking grandmother whose purse starts blaring out Kanye West’s “Gold digger” or Rage Against The Machines ” Killing in the name of” because their grandchildren thought it would be funny. Personally I agree with the kids.

Anyway, for myself I have set Greens Keepers – Lotion as its a nice catchy little tune about something seriously fucked up. Which appeals to my personal sense of humor. As most people do I set the ring tone for my own enjoyment but unlike most I did keep in mind that  other people will have to hear this from time to time so kept the nice long intro. Most days when it rings i can pick it up before it gets to any lyrics. So you just have a catchy guitar riff and that’s pretty much it.

Well today I was caught out on a call already on the work phone when my mobile (cellphone for all you US readers) went off.  I had just been about to leave  so had already put my mobile into my pocket and taken it off silent, when my direct line on the work phone went off. It was from a number I knew and I needed to speak to this person about a problem one of our customers was having. I started writing down some details, and that’s when my mobile started ringing. I had no choice but to let it ring out.

One of my colleagues immediatly challenged me as I got off the phone.

Them: ” Hey! Whats that their singing on your ring tone?!”

Me: ” Errr sorry? Oh erm, their singing about lotion.” 

I was caught off guard so didn’t know really how to answer them.

Them: ” No they were singing about membranes and hoses and shit!”

Me: “Well you know that movie Silence of the Lambs?” They nodded. “ Well its a song about that, specifically when the guy had the girl down the hole and was telling her to rub the lotion on.”

Them: ” That’s sick.. I thought it had a funky tune, but that’s fucked up Anthony. You should take that off. People will think you like that stuff.”

Now I’m not one to like being told how I should live my life. As I see it as long as I harm no one in my personal pursuit of happiness then its no ones business.

Me: ” Well yeah I suppose you could think that, but I don’t. I think its pretty funny, such a nice sounding song about something seriously fucked up. You know, it messes with your head a bit. I don’t see any reason why I should change it, its like the Bacon flavored jelly beans. A joke for me alone.”

At this point their phone rang, like it does every half hour or so. Christina Aguilera singing about how Dirty she is.

I hardly think my co-worker is in any position to lecture me.

Twenty Ten. A New Beggining. Again.

It has been a few days now since NYE. I have recovered sufficiently to do something more than lie in my bed and silently scream WHY, OH DEAR GOD WHY, DID I HAVE THOSE LAST THREE VODKA SHOTS?!?!

Yes I slightly overdid it on NYE. As a result I missed a New Years Day BBQ being held by one of my co-workers. A shame because it sounded like it was going to be fun. But my overindulgence gave me time to think about the coming year, and solidify some plans. Firstly I need to start writing again. So expect the Nerdvana section to get an update in the next week or so. Secondly I need a new TV, to obtain a new TV I need more liquid capital. So I have set myself a goal to pay off my car loan before the end of the month. To do this, things will get rather lean around the old homestead. But it will be worth it.

Finally I need to upgrade my tech infrastructure at home. I can no longer continue to run things in the slipshod way, they are currently. My main PC desperately needs an upgrade, it no longer does even a passing job at playing EvE. With the new TV I will need a HTPC to make full use of it, and it is beyond time for me to set up a proper NAS. I am living on borrowed time with my current storage system (if you could even call it that) and have no where to physically put another hard drive in my main PC to manage the ever expanding storage requirements I have.

I’m feeling energised and excited about these new challenges I have set for myself along side the others I have. I also need to wipe off the credit card debt I have been ignoring for the last year and a half, along with the requirement to save up for a trip overseas at the end of the year. So i wont have to spend Christmas with my family.

So 2010 will be The Year of Money for me. Everything will revolve around it. But at the end of it. I should be pretty damn well setup. I just need to find a TV with 5 HDMI ports.