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Post # 599 Black Cat Judo Trick #5
I figured the wall of text I was using for these was a bit off-putting for most people, so I put together the following video. It's really rough, but I hadn't really planned it out before I started. Now I have a slightly better sense of what needs to be done I think I can make a smoother one next time.
I think I need a theme song.

Looking over the video I'm not 100% sure either of us was actually fast enough not to get shot, but that's why you practice these things before you get in the actual situation.
Here is the comic if you want to take a better look. Clicking on it will take you to imgur if you want to blow it up and really examine the artwork. (Black Cat's butt)

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Post # 598 Challenge The Fourth

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Post # 597 Challenge The Third

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Post # 596 Double whammy
Getting a bruise on your elbow is a pretty normal thing in a sport like Judo, but last night I somehow managed to get a matching set. Now leaning on either arm hurts. Fun Fun.

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Post # 595 D'wild Wild Weng
I think this was the single biggest disappointment in my whole movie watching career. Mainly because this was a movie that came after the two other Weng Weng movies that I loved. They did away with the silly James Bond rip off gadgets, any sustained Weng Weng fistfight and hardly any lady romancing.

I thought it was going to be a western, so he wouldnít be agent double 0. He was. He and his big friend roll into town because the outside world hasnít heard from the mayor(?) for a while. I donít really know. They are there to investigate some goings-on. The duo first encounter a very fumbly rape in progress and introduce the thug to some Weng Weng skills. Then the father of the poor victim says thank you and donít go to that crazy city youíre going to because itís just crazy.

The town is crazy. With an odd mix of guys in black who get referred to as both ninja and samurai, so lets just say Japanese Trained Filipino, as well as footsoldiers who wear sombreroís and sundry other guys who I think are supposed to be Indians. You know your evil cadre is not going well when you can't settle on a single theme.

The duo meet a girl for a few seconds and I think Weng Weng was supposed to have formed a deep emotional attachment to her, I donít know. He serenades her.

We also meet a guy who has had his tongue cut out and spends most of the film making very very annoying whine / grunt sounds. Since this character has the most lines in the movie it takes the whole experience down a notch. And he is in the movie a lot.

The bad guys are basically killing pretty much everyone in this spartan town. This is very common bad guy logic. What the writer wants to say is that they are ruling through fear, but what is actually happening is they are going to kill so many people that they wonít have anyone left to rule over.

There is a little pow wow of the bad guys who claim that taking over this city is going to make them rich and they start to divvy up the jobs available. Like Police Chief etc. Thing is, the city seems like shit and poor as all get out so I doubt anyone is getting super rich off a bunch of dead bodies.

Anyway, Weng weng does some shit detective work and kills some guys and then the bad guy threatens to kill him some kids and Weng Weng gives himself up and blah blah blah. Big climax battle.

Also, they randomly meet a pygmy tribe. I thought it was supposed to humorous, but they just sort of helped out and left.

Weng Weng, agent double 0, is not a deep enough character to carry a movie by himself. He needs the gadgets and the big action scenes for the movie to remain interesting. Final analysis: you probably couldnít get drunk enough to watch this movie and really enjoy it.
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Post # 594 Abduction fun time

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Post # 593 Gentlemans Olympics Challenge 2

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Post # 592 The games of this dying generation
As I look towards the future and the purchase of my next generation console as my primary gaming machine, I have started to give away old games to friends who did not have the opportunity to play them. This had me looking at a drawerful of games, looking at a few and wondering how they didnít gain more traction with the gaming public than they did.

The following are three examples from the last generation stand out beyond the rest as deserving a chance if you can still find them, especially considering if you can, they probably only cost about five dollars.

Vanquish is from Platinum games and maybe the first game I played 3 times in a row all the way through. I played on each difficulty (descending so I could goof around more each time) and could not conceive of how it got passed over so completely. The story is pretty poor and the voice acting is awful, but the game itself is frantic and the controls are tight. I couldnít handle it at first and that was frustrating, but once I got a sense of what I could do I was on every side of the playing field blasting naughty robots.

The hero in this game has the standard Japanese gruff hero voice. If you donít know what I am talking about this reason alone will make the purchase worthwhile. Then he meets another soldier who has an even gruffer voice. When a girl walked in I was just hoping she had a weird female gruff voice, but sadly they didnít take the joke that far. The story and the cutscenes are just things to laugh at as things progress. The game as it stands alone is very worth the bargain bin price youíd be getting it at now. It was so forgotten so quickly that I got it for half price a few months after release.

Dark Void suffers from a lot of the same problems as Vanquish. The story is a positive mediocre, but it offered a lot of potential. The voice acting is good, but there isnít a lot to say. The last boss fight is weirdly out of place, but the game, the flying around is so much fun. One of the singular highlights of the whole last generation of gaming was diving off a floating exploding tower and kicking on the engines at the last moment to fly away. It was cinematic, it was tense, it worked like it was supposed to. This is another game I played multiple times and enjoyed because it felt right. I lent my copy to someone and even writing about this I am wishing I could play it one more time before I box up my old console.

If you have friends, you have to play Lost Planet 2. For some reason even when it came out it wasnít taken seriously and I bought new copies for myself and my friends for only a few thousand yen. We played the campaign multiple times through. The character customization, the dances and gestures you could map to your character, the run and gun combat made this game fun. With friends you were all over the place with things going crazy and it was what video games were supposed to be. The story was fragmented (and the characters a tad racist at times) but as long as it meant you could go from environment to environment you had new things to do and was totally worthwhile.

Then you start getting in VSís (Vital Suits) and things are weird. Again, a gaming highlight from the last 5 years was docking two Vital Suits together, or rather, attempting to and failing leaving us with the only alternative, making poorly formed sex jokes as we tried again. This all happened while we were on a battlefield with a mission to save the planet.

Lost Planet 3 killed this franchise. It didnít even come close to embodying the spirit or the sense of fun that the previous iterations had. In fact, it got rid of giant mechs (ďItís called a Vital Suit!Ē) that shoot things for construction vehicles that force you into quicktime events. If ever I was going to cut out an aspect of a game it wouldnít be the ďgiant robots that shoot everythingĒ part.

As hard as it will be to find these games now, should you be browsing and see any of them, it would be well worth your while to pick them up.
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Post # 591 The Gentleman's Olympics Challenge 1

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Post # 590 Introduction to the Gentleman's Olympics

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Dr. J:Mr. T is lying about his name. That's not very gentlemanly.

Peter:When one is performing it is very common and accepted in the Gentlemanly class to use a pseudonym. Mr. T is simply following a well-heeled tradition among the greatest of actors suchalike Nic Cage, Rip Torn, Snoop Lion and, of course, Carlos Danger.

You probably did not know this as while one may be a Doctor, this does not guarantee one is a Gentleman.

Good day sir.

Dr J:Being a doctor certainly does not guarantee that one is a gentleman. But you seem to think it guarantees that one is a man. I'm saddened.

Peter:Nothing in my previous missive denotes any gender bias. Gentlemen treat all with equality. You are most likely saddened by the fact you cannot navigate the traditions that are heretofore alien to one who is not such as we. That is to say, Gentlemen.

Good day, sir.

Post # 589 Helping people find love
Last year someone signed me up for a dating website. As a woman. This didnít bother me so much, in fact, I thought it was funny. I get weekly emails with pictures of young men who ďwant to meet meĒ. Thatís always nice to hear.

Then I realized that even as a heterosexual male I was judging their pictures as if they were prospective mates. Let me just say, I have some surprisingly high standards. Then I thought, letís help people out with some examples of people getting their profile pictures wrong and ending up in my ďrejectedĒ pile.

Studly here is trying to demonstrate that he is virile. He is in the middle of lifting a very heavy weight, which is about as manly as a man can get. The problem is, itís also very aggressive, in a negative way. It says to me that he is shallow and is looking for a shallow partner. Sorry studly, keep those arms in good shape because youíll be dating your hands for a while.

I think Guitar Hero here came the closest to getting me to be their man. Although he seems to have accidentally replaced his profile picture with the cover of his album that never got released.This is really mysterious, and set-up. I realized after this picture and Studly that I donít like the self-indulgent pictures.

Ah, Doucheblob. I have seen a lot of guys like you in these emails. Are you really saying ďHi, Iím here to meet new and interesting people. If you are taking the time to look at this picture, fuck off.Ē? No Doucheblob, it doesnít make sense. If you come across as a dick in your profile picture, imagine just how awful you are going to be in real life. I bet you dash and dine, but without telling your date.

Itís truck, or maybe itís his friend, slightly larger truck. Iím not sure. The problem is this indicates that I would either be dating a truck or someone so into trucks they might not be into me. Also, does the guy own both trucks, because maybe I think I am dating a man with two trucks and then I find out he only has one and now Iím down one truck.

Intense Stare Guy, have you ever seen a mugshot of someone who has been arrested for domestic assault? No, well, thatís what your profile picture looks like and it isnít the kind of relationship a man pretending to be a girl on the internet is looking for.

Funhouse Picture Dude, you are one of the better choices from this list, but if you canít hold a camera can I be really sure that you would know how to hold the most valuable thing in the world...my heart?

Dude with fish sorta looks like fun. I might actually be okay with this. I donít know if I would have chosen this for my profile picture, but since these things are essentially comparative Dude with fish is easily the leader of the pack.

Guy who needs to vomit, I donít know why you chose this moment to take your profile picture, you should have really stopped and taken care of yourself first. Seriously, we all get carsick sometimes, and we know that you want to show yourself at a vulnerable moment to demonstrate your more emotional side, but there are better ways.

Guy with no shirt, you are always taking a chance, but your chest isnít enough to draw in the ladies. Especially since you thought your chest was so appealing that you decided to cut off half your face. Sorry Guy with no shirt, you have to have your face in there, and honestly, it is preferable to have a shirt as well.
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Post # 588 server issues
Something seems to have broke between my webpage and the server, which means bits of the wedbsite are not talking to other bits of the website. I'm trying to work it out now but probably won't be able to get my elbows dirty until Thursday. Till then, it looks like only the frontpage is working.
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Peter:Everything seems fixed. Let normally irregular updates re-commence.

Post # 587 7 Drinks
I drink 7 different drinks from Japan.

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Post # 586 Higashiyama Zoo
I had to go to the zoo for work. It's delightful fun to get paid to go to the zoo. Here are some shots of me enjoying the various animals and flora that are available.

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juan:love them pearly whites

Post # 585 Robo Geisha

Robo Geisha was one of the biggest disappointments of the whole bad movie series I have been watching. So much so I kind of stopped watching them for a while. The ads made it seem like this movie would be bigger than previous iterations. Bigger being a relative term as I assume the budgets of these movies is pretty constant.

Technically it was, with the last boss being a castle that gets up and walks around like a giant robot. The thing was, I didnít really laugh at all since the weird / wacky aspects were all lifted from other movies. I had seen almost every thing in this movie before in another movie produced by the same team.

It seems like they have run through their repertoire and are pretty much finished.
So you have boob related weapons, the all female warriors, some goofy assassinations, some near nudity, some tempura based death, and the physical gimmick for the main character.

I donít think any movie has really surpassed Machine Girl so once youíve seen that for the moment you've pretty much hit the limit of quality.

They could strive to be weirder, or funnier, but that would take a lot of effort when you could make essentially the same movie one more time. I am just hoping they donít hire more porn stars and try and make it sexier, because those movies fail, and the budget of the film seems to go down a lot. So robo-geisha is either a huge disappointment or a great introduction if youíve never seen one of these Japanese b-level horror movies before. It would prime you for some of the better ones.

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Post # 584 The mechanical conundrum
I have been using the same mechanical pencil for about 6 years. Recently it met itís demise and I tried using other implements, but I wasnít satisfied. Charging online I decided it was time to educate myself on the differences that make superior mechanical pencil.

First, the price ranges are pretty simple. The cheap -1,000 yen ones are static pieces of plastic that break or bend in some way after a few months of abuse.

The Ohto Super Pro Mecha I had before had an aluminum shaft that was pretty sturdy, so I was looking for something similar.

Then you get to a broad range of 2,000-5,000 yen, which is getting pretty expensive, pretty fast, but you expect more. This was the range I was going to be looking in. The Pro Mecha was 1,500 yen when I bought it, but probably is a bit more expensive now. After that the price jumps to +10,000 yen and for reasons I canít really understand. Maybe itís branding. I did find a Porsche branded pencil for 53,000 yen.

I wanted an aluminum shaft for sure. The pencil will spend a fair amount of time in transit in my bag which is where it is most likely to get bent or broken over time.

Literally the most important factor for me was a retractable or adjustable guide pipe. Thatís a term I learned while researching pencils. The tube your lead comes out is called a guide pipe. The reason being that if that bends your lead breaks as it is pushed through and your pencil is now useless as a delivery system for lead.

There are only 5 mechanical pencils at the moment that have retractable guide pipes. Since that was vital to me, my choices were limited, but at least they were all in the same price range. I went with the Rotring 800 because it seemed like the most solid structure of any of the ones available. That sturdiness came with a 4,000 yen price tag, but my expectation was that the product would be pretty high quality.

Overall I am not disappointed. The Super Pro Mecha has an adjustable guide pipe, where the Rotring is only retractable. The weight of the Rotring makes it seem much more solid and the mechanisms feel higher quality (smooth rotation and springs etc). The Super Pro Mecha lets the user adjust basically everything, which is appealing to me. I could set how much lead comes out with each click, so I could click the pencil once for the perfect amount. Not being able to adjust that means I have to click the Rotring 2 or 3 times for the right amount of lead and that is time I could spend doing something else, like eating eggs.

The advertising touted the ďgold highlightsĒ which are a bit flash for me, but as itís all black aluminum it does look nice. Time will tell which is actually better, but either seems like a solid purchase.
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Peter:Okay, so the pencil broke. Weirdly, it broke the same day I found my Super Pro Mecha under my co-workers desk. Therefore I still have a functioning excellent pencil.

The problem is this, I liken the situation to getting a new porsche. You let a friend sit in it because they say they can drive stick and want to have a go. You're excited too, so you let them have a go and they jam the clutch. Two ore three times after that everyone else you've let sit in the car jams the clutch and the clutch breaks.

Is it the cars fault? Because you're pissed your car is broken, but was it the car? You don't just click the back of the rotring to get the lead out, you twist the rear mechanism to extend the front. It was super smooth. The first thing every person who held it did was push the back, then do it again more aggressively, then look at the pencil like the inanimate object they couldn't make work was stupid, then start fucking with it by twisting bits they weren't supposed to twist. Essentially I had my pencil dismantled by monkeys who had encountered technology beyond their understanding.

I emailed the company and asked how to put it back together, I don't think the back is designed to come off at all, and they said send it in. The pencil comes with a 2 year warranty, so no real harm done, but if you ever wonder why people won't let you touch their good stuff, it's because YOU ARE A FUCKING MONKEY.

Peter:So my pencil came back. Seems the animals had twisted the back end so hard it pulled it away from the glue that is supposed to hold it in place. Or, at least, that's what I could suss from the invoice.
What I like is that these are obviously people who care about mechanical pencils as much as I do.
Check out this process to ensure safe delivery:

Seino is like a Japanese Fedex:

A metric tonne of bubblewrap:

The outer envelope with invoice of what had been done:

The plastic tube in lieu of box or case:

The final plastic bag for no reason that I can think of:

The repaired pencil (basically just re-assembled):

So while I am displeased with the breakage, the service was about as good as I could expect and cost me nothing.

Post # 583 Satisfying conversation
He was trying to put down my latest effort in a really passive aggressive way, but I don't let that shit get to me.

Him: I don't know, I guess I'm just not into that sort of thing.
Me: Well, you're not exactly my target demographic.
Him(Obviously offended): What's your target demographic?
Me: People who are into that sort of thing.

To be perfect I just needed a hype-man to go "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH", instead we just looked at each other for a while and he left.
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Post # 582 People say the Beer Garden is fun

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Post # 581 To make a better Thor
I said the latest Thor movie was boring, a friend disagreed. I think the fatal flaw of Thor (and Superman) is that they are inherently boring characters. They are both striving towards perfection, which means they are predictable. At the time I couldn't think of a good way to explain what I meant.

While talking to my son (6) about superhero's I had an idea. He likes all the avengers so I posited the following questions:
What do you like about The Hulk?
He's big and super strong, and a little scary.
What do you like about Thor?
He has a hammer that can fly. Only Thor can pick it up.
What do you like about Ironman?
He has a cool suit, and he's funny. Sometimes he crashes.
What do you like about Captain America?
He has a cool shield.

That pretty much explained what I wanted to say. Hulk and Ironman have personalities and faults, which make them inherently more interesting characters. Thor and Captain America are simply the tools they use and have no real defining characteristics.

I often think about how to improve the things I watch and in the case of Captain America, Thor and Superman the solution is to give them some character flaws.

I enjoyed the first Thor movie more than the second one, because in the first one he had some character development. He went from selfish oaf to self-sacrificing hero. To fix Thor now they would just have to keep some of those tendencies. Have him make some wrong choices based on self-interest and have them eat at him. Have him be at fault for some bad things that go down.

I think Captain America is the weakest character in the Avengers group that could easily be fixed by giving him a temper. He has been taken out of his time, he basically lives alone in a strange world, it'd be easy to imagine he'd get pissed off every now and then. Seeing Captain America lose his shit would make him super interesting, and now you have a character walking the line between archetype hero and the Punisher.
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Post # 580 Consumer Power
This morning I read this:http://bgr.com/2014/02/14/comcast-time-warner-cable-price-increases/ and for a long time I have had a solution for Americans (and by extension Canadians) that would, unfortunately, fail spectacularly because of selfishness.

There is no competition for cable or broadband in either country and people in both bitch and whine to no end while continuing to pay their bills.

You can probably guess the rest.

There is a simple question the citizens of communities should ask themselves. Could you go a month without internet. For most people the answer is an overwhelming ďyesĒ. Despite how uncomfortable it might be, and it would be, taking away something you have gotten used to is no joke, it would be a big pain in the ass. You might have to use landlines or some other ancient technology (if you house still has one, mine doesnít) . I am betting it wouldnít even take a whole month, but you have to prepare for a siege because the plan is to wait long enough for the company to start actually losing money.

There have been several stories of google fiber moving into a neighborhood and the internet companies immediately offering discounts on service. This should make it clear to people that they are operating on maximizing profit while they have an essential monopoly and can cut the price in a moments notice. Literally, the moment a threat moves in, they drop the price.

Now, everyone on the same day needs to cancel their internet service. If 50% of the nation quit the service how long do you think they would wait before changing policy or drop the price significantly? I figure a week at the longest, but be prepared to make it look like you arenít coming back and prepare for a month. If that number was 100% I bet the end of the same day drastic discounts and improved service would be rolled out.

The articles say there is no competition, but since very few people actually need the internet there always is. The competition between the consumer and the company. Record customer exodus, massive projected losses and sinking stock. Any company would take a cut to stay alive. It might also open the door for other companies to come in and create real competition.

The fatal flaw in this plan is a few people here and there isnít enough. It needs to be concentrated and large to it costs them money, and more importantly, starts a trend. As I stated in the outset, this will never happen, because people need the facebook.
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Post # 579 Po the Half a Viking
The astute may notice the addition of another section to the website under the search bar. The rest of you, this stuff you are reading now is to draw your attention to it. It's called Po the Viking and is an epic poem I am writing for no other reason than I found this thing I wrote when I was a kid and figured it should get completed.

Right now is only the first 5 pages, because I want to do some more formatting work, maybe throw in some illustrations, it's still in the planning phases, but you want to see the thing develop from the get go, here is your chance.

I am writing it and then posting it, so it's really a rough draft, but I am trying to maintain some motivation and momentum as I rotate through projects so content is added consistently.

Not much else to say, as you were.
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