shichahn: ([StH] Sunny day)
I was scanning through Season 9 for nefarious purposes good reasons, and it suddenly occurred to me.



lol. Hedgehogs.
shichahn: (Default)
So, apparently it doesn't snow here. Except it did. On Monday. Two inches. Which I know isn't a lot for you guys in places like the midwest or the northeast, but two inches of snow is a respectable amount where I come from, and it is here, as well.

Naturally, I had to go spend as much time in it as I could before it melted (it was mostly gone yesterday, although there are still patches around even now in shady areas). Naturally, I had to drag Pele along with me. I think this is a thing for me. Making my birds experience snow, haha. They never seem to care. Although this snow was falling heavily enough (and wet enough) where Pele started out ignoring it and then eventually came to dislike being cold and wet, so we had to go inside, but in the meantime we had gone on a nice walk around campus.

A couple photos, for the curious. )
shichahn: (Default)
So, apparently it doesn't snow here. Except it did. On Monday. Two inches. Which I know isn't a lot for you guys in places like the midwest or the northeast, but two inches of snow is a respectable amount where I come from, and it is here, as well.

Naturally, I had to go spend as much time in it as I could before it melted (it was mostly gone yesterday, although there are still patches around even now in shady areas). Naturally, I had to drag Pele along with me. I think this is a thing for me. Making my birds experience snow, haha. They never seem to care. Although this snow was falling heavily enough (and wet enough) where Pele started out ignoring it and then eventually came to dislike being cold and wet, so we had to go inside, but in the meantime we had gone on a nice walk around campus.

A couple photos, for the curious. )
shichahn: (Default)
So I talked to GLaDOS today. Just briefly. I didn't want to bother her too much as I am sure she is very busy, with everyone pestering her and demanding more puzzles to solve. We've pretty much hit a wall with what we have been given, but it sounds like something big will be coming soon.

I do hope GLaDOS will take me up on the offer of the cake, though. I can't say I know how to get one to her, but I totally would do it.
shichahn: (Default)
So I talked to GLaDOS today. Just briefly. I didn't want to bother her too much as I am sure she is very busy, with everyone pestering her and demanding more puzzles to solve. We've pretty much hit a wall with what we have been given, but it sounds like something big will be coming soon.

I do hope GLaDOS will take me up on the offer of the cake, though. I can't say I know how to get one to her, but I totally would do it.
shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
So PAX East is this weekend. Rooster Teeth, as usual, had their Saturday evening panel in which they discussed things and answered questions and debuted the trailer for the as yet unnamed RvB Season 9, which is set to air starting April 1st as expected. I was not able to attend, but thankfully some kind souls (who will now be murdered by Jack) recorded and posted the current rough cut of the trailer to youtube.

Spoilers for RvB Season 9 )
shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
So PAX East is this weekend. Rooster Teeth, as usual, had their Saturday evening panel in which they discussed things and answered questions and debuted the trailer for the as yet unnamed RvB Season 9, which is set to air starting April 1st as expected. I was not able to attend, but thankfully some kind souls (who will now be murdered by Jack) recorded and posted the current rough cut of the trailer to youtube.

Spoilers for RvB Season 9 )
shichahn: ([ITC] My milky lens!)
This is the one and only Minecraft fic I will ever write. Because honestly, what is the point.

Also yes, I know this is totally ridiculous. Because, dude. It is a fic about a world made of blocks. That has no characters or storyline. What do you expect.

Emissivity )
shichahn: ([ITC] My milky lens!)
This is the one and only Minecraft fic I will ever write. Because honestly, what is the point.

Also yes, I know this is totally ridiculous. Because, dude. It is a fic about a world made of blocks. That has no characters or storyline. What do you expect.

Emissivity )
shichahn: (Feets!)
Just put a couple recent (as in, from today) photos of Napoleon up over at my kestrel journal, should anyone not following it want to see them anyway.
shichahn: (Feets!)
Just put a couple recent (as in, from today) photos of Napoleon up over at my kestrel journal, should anyone not following it want to see them anyway.
shichahn: (Feets!)
David Orr's guest blog post in Scientific American is very cool, guys. If you've ever wondered how dinosaurs get some of their cryptic scientific names, or if you're like me and everything you know about Latin you learned from reading dinosaur books as a kid, there are some insightful explanations and fascinating tales in his post.

"One of my favorite mythologically themed dinosaur names of recent years is the brachiosaur Abydosaurus, whose skull was found with four cervical vertebrae near the Green River at Dinosaur National Monument. Its name refers to the town of Abydos in ancient Egypt, where the god Osiris' own head and neck were buried in the Nile. Instead of providing insight into the anatomy of the great beast it was given to, the name tells a story about its discovery millions of years after it walked."

Pretty cool, huh? I thought so. Go see more here: How to Name a Dinosaur.

Who knows, someday even you might stumble across a misplaced bone and have to come up with a name. Better have an idea of where to start!
shichahn: (Feets!)
David Orr's guest blog post in Scientific American is very cool, guys. If you've ever wondered how dinosaurs get some of their cryptic scientific names, or if you're like me and everything you know about Latin you learned from reading dinosaur books as a kid, there are some insightful explanations and fascinating tales in his post.

"One of my favorite mythologically themed dinosaur names of recent years is the brachiosaur Abydosaurus, whose skull was found with four cervical vertebrae near the Green River at Dinosaur National Monument. Its name refers to the town of Abydos in ancient Egypt, where the god Osiris' own head and neck were buried in the Nile. Instead of providing insight into the anatomy of the great beast it was given to, the name tells a story about its discovery millions of years after it walked."

Pretty cool, huh? I thought so. Go see more here: How to Name a Dinosaur.

Who knows, someday even you might stumble across a misplaced bone and have to come up with a name. Better have an idea of where to start!
shichahn: (Default)
Yeah, yeah, most of you aren't gamers. I wouldn't even say I'm that serious a gamer in that I don't play the majority of games because a) I don't have the time and b) I don't have the money. That said, I do play a few, which usually would be my favorite games in a year anyway. I probably would have enjoyed Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Halo: Reach, and Red Dead Redemption, but to my knowledge those are Xbox-only titles. Or at least, they don't have a version for PC. If I'm wrong, do correct me.

So basically that leaves two games that stood out to me this year. Fallout New Vegas, and Mass Effect 2.

I may as well re-title this post MASS EFFECT 2 WINS HANDS DOWN.

I mean, okay, New Vegas is fun, if you can ignore the constant game-breaking glitches and the overall sense of disappointment at how unfinished it is. Obsidian had such high hopes for New Vegas, and early promises of a truly vast landscape sure set my hopes high, as the part I most enjoy about the Fallout series is the ability to explore absolutely everywhere, whenever you like. But as it turns out, NV is smaller than Fallout 3, despite having more locations and quests, to the point where it just feels cluttered. It also looks a lot like an uglier version of Fallout 3. I'm sure you all remember my Wasteland Photography posts. I loved wandering that game and taking screenshots of scenery and NPCs because it was such a beautiful game. I had no such desire in New Vegas, even though the game provides you with a camera (which doesn't actually save your images, which is also a letdown). So... nice try, Obsidian. There were a lot of things I really did like about New Vegas or I wouldn't have spent so much time playing it, but everything I liked about it, I liked even better in Fallout 3. What a shame.

Mass Effect 2 on the other hand... Okay, there were a few things I liked better about its predecessor. But there were so many things that were streamlined and improved. The whole game feels very cinematic, both in terms of how beautiful it is and how well-written it is, and I love the camera work that manages to really bring simple conversations to life. And honestly, who didn't replay Mordin's Pirates of Penzance tribute over and over again? This game, like Mass Effect 1, draws heavily from classic science fiction sources such as Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein, to create an engaging space opera that truly lives up to the definition of an epic tale. It has an all-star cast - Seth Green and Tricia Helfer (Cylon Number Six) make an especially great team as Joker and the ship AI, EDI. Combat is fun and challenging, and exploration is once again enormous, enabling the player to visit a wide range of star systems across the entire galaxy.

Anyway, I'll stop now. I have a feeling fewer of you care about this than my music post. But I just had to say something, because, well... I wanted to. Take that, Black Ops.
shichahn: (Default)
Yeah, yeah, most of you aren't gamers. I wouldn't even say I'm that serious a gamer in that I don't play the majority of games because a) I don't have the time and b) I don't have the money. That said, I do play a few, which usually would be my favorite games in a year anyway. I probably would have enjoyed Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Halo: Reach, and Red Dead Redemption, but to my knowledge those are Xbox-only titles. Or at least, they don't have a version for PC. If I'm wrong, do correct me.

So basically that leaves two games that stood out to me this year. Fallout New Vegas, and Mass Effect 2.

I may as well re-title this post MASS EFFECT 2 WINS HANDS DOWN.

I mean, okay, New Vegas is fun, if you can ignore the constant game-breaking glitches and the overall sense of disappointment at how unfinished it is. Obsidian had such high hopes for New Vegas, and early promises of a truly vast landscape sure set my hopes high, as the part I most enjoy about the Fallout series is the ability to explore absolutely everywhere, whenever you like. But as it turns out, NV is smaller than Fallout 3, despite having more locations and quests, to the point where it just feels cluttered. It also looks a lot like an uglier version of Fallout 3. I'm sure you all remember my Wasteland Photography posts. I loved wandering that game and taking screenshots of scenery and NPCs because it was such a beautiful game. I had no such desire in New Vegas, even though the game provides you with a camera (which doesn't actually save your images, which is also a letdown). So... nice try, Obsidian. There were a lot of things I really did like about New Vegas or I wouldn't have spent so much time playing it, but everything I liked about it, I liked even better in Fallout 3. What a shame.

Mass Effect 2 on the other hand... Okay, there were a few things I liked better about its predecessor. But there were so many things that were streamlined and improved. The whole game feels very cinematic, both in terms of how beautiful it is and how well-written it is, and I love the camera work that manages to really bring simple conversations to life. And honestly, who didn't replay Mordin's Pirates of Penzance tribute over and over again? This game, like Mass Effect 1, draws heavily from classic science fiction sources such as Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein, to create an engaging space opera that truly lives up to the definition of an epic tale. It has an all-star cast - Seth Green and Tricia Helfer (Cylon Number Six) make an especially great team as Joker and the ship AI, EDI. Combat is fun and challenging, and exploration is once again enormous, enabling the player to visit a wide range of star systems across the entire galaxy.

Anyway, I'll stop now. I have a feeling fewer of you care about this than my music post. But I just had to say something, because, well... I wanted to. Take that, Black Ops.
shichahn: (Default)
Let me start this off by saying I suck at rating things. So I'm not going to rate these. And I'm certainly not going to post some sort of BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR, AGREE OR DIE list because, well, let's be honest. I didn't listen to all of the music that came out this year. I still haven't gotten my hands on the new Sufjan album (which is a terrible shame, I know) and, having listened to NPR's top picks and the listener's picks, I've realized there are quite a few albums I missed out on that I now need to hunt down.

(As an aside, if anyone wants to send me this year's albums by Lost in the Trees, Tallest Man on Earth, Jónsi, Local Natives, Buke and Gass, Jeremy Messersmith, Broken Social Scene, LCD Soundsystem, and the aforementioned album The Age of Adz, I would love you forever.)

BUT. There were quite a few very good albums that didn't show up on their lists, or didn't place well, that I thought deserved to be mentioned here. So, here are my favorite albums of the year.

The New Pornographers - Together
I came to this band late, I'll admit. This was the first album of theirs that I had heard more than a single track from. And oh my is this one catchy album. I love the bass in the opening track, I love the vocals and the lovely melodies, and I love how much fun it is. Seriously, if Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk doesn't make you want to bounce around the room and sing along, then I'm sorry but there's something wrong with you.

Sea of Bees - Songs for the Ravens
Usually, the cutesy little girly voices like this drive me crazy (and that, of course, is the main reason I can't listen to Joanna Newsom). But Julie's voice grew on me, which I'm really glad for, because her lyrics are lovely, and the music is so dark and rock-y and gorgeous. Give Gnomes a listen if you haven't heard this band yet. Or if you have and are as addicted to this album as I am.

Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry
Normally, melody is the most important factor in whether I will like a band/album/song. If it doesn't have a strong melody, I usually won't give it a second listen. All Creatures Will Make Merry is much more ambient than my usual tastes, but there's something wonderfully haunting about the stark, ambient melodies and vocals on this album. I've been talking about Sleet for a few months now (and sadly, can't find a youtube link to the album version, but it's close enough), so if you've somehow managed to avoid hearing it, give that a click.

Menomena - Mines
Finally, a new Menomena album! My god I love this band. This album is a bit mellower than their previous ones, and isn't my favorite of theirs (that honor goes to 2007's Friend and Foe), but it's very well-written all the same, and possibly a little more personal and grown up. Killemall gets me every time.

Girl Talk - All Day
I'll admit, I had never listened to Girl Talk before this album. And I don't expect to listen to it again, honestly, because what I loved the most was the joy of discovery that happens every minute when the mix of songs shifts to something new. I listened to this album one day while at work, and I had to keep from laughing out loud and confusing everyone around me, so I settled for a stupid grin instead. This album is really one single track, so I can't really link you to one single part of it, but it's all available for a free download at his site.

Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame
It would be impossible for this band to live up to the incredible debut that was 2008's Fate, in my opinion, but their second album is a fun one all the same. Shame, Shame is folky, bluesy, and yet full of rock at the same time. Later is one fine example of this combination.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Honestly, it took a long time for this album to grow on me. I miss the complex and compelling instrumentation of Funeral, and it's hard for me to accept that Arcade Fire may not ever make an album like that again. This album is a bit more dance pop than I expected it to be. But I love an album with a story, and this one tells one hell of a tale. Music as social commentary isn't something you see much of outside of reggae fairly trite political punk groups, which tend to beat you over the head with a message, but The Suburbs is a true work of art. Even if I don't like it as much as some of their earlier work, I can't help but recognize how impressive and ambitious it is. If you somehow have been living under a rock and didn't hear this album yet, try the title track.

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More
Oh. My. God. I hope this band continues to make music like this forever. And ever. I honestly don't know what else to say. This is one epic album, and the fact that it's a debut album makes that fact even more shocking. They're going to have a hell of a time following this one up. The only flaw this album has isn't the band's fault at all - this album is so goddamned catchy that I'm now extremely tired of hearing "The Cave" to the point of me not wanting to listen to it, because it's one of the most overplayed singles of the year. Besides, there are so many tracks on this album that are even better. Dust Bowl Dance, for example, gives me goosebumps. Wow.
shichahn: (Default)
Let me start this off by saying I suck at rating things. So I'm not going to rate these. And I'm certainly not going to post some sort of BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR, AGREE OR DIE list because, well, let's be honest. I didn't listen to all of the music that came out this year. I still haven't gotten my hands on the new Sufjan album (which is a terrible shame, I know) and, having listened to NPR's top picks and the listener's picks, I've realized there are quite a few albums I missed out on that I now need to hunt down.

(As an aside, if anyone wants to send me this year's albums by Lost in the Trees, Tallest Man on Earth, Jónsi, Local Natives, Buke and Gass, Jeremy Messersmith, Broken Social Scene, LCD Soundsystem, and the aforementioned album The Age of Adz, I would love you forever.)

BUT. There were quite a few very good albums that didn't show up on their lists, or didn't place well, that I thought deserved to be mentioned here. So, here are my favorite albums of the year.

The New Pornographers - Together
I came to this band late, I'll admit. This was the first album of theirs that I had heard more than a single track from. And oh my is this one catchy album. I love the bass in the opening track, I love the vocals and the lovely melodies, and I love how much fun it is. Seriously, if Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk doesn't make you want to bounce around the room and sing along, then I'm sorry but there's something wrong with you.

Sea of Bees - Songs for the Ravens
Usually, the cutesy little girly voices like this drive me crazy (and that, of course, is the main reason I can't listen to Joanna Newsom). But Julie's voice grew on me, which I'm really glad for, because her lyrics are lovely, and the music is so dark and rock-y and gorgeous. Give Gnomes a listen if you haven't heard this band yet. Or if you have and are as addicted to this album as I am.

Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry
Normally, melody is the most important factor in whether I will like a band/album/song. If it doesn't have a strong melody, I usually won't give it a second listen. All Creatures Will Make Merry is much more ambient than my usual tastes, but there's something wonderfully haunting about the stark, ambient melodies and vocals on this album. I've been talking about Sleet for a few months now (and sadly, can't find a youtube link to the album version, but it's close enough), so if you've somehow managed to avoid hearing it, give that a click.

Menomena - Mines
Finally, a new Menomena album! My god I love this band. This album is a bit mellower than their previous ones, and isn't my favorite of theirs (that honor goes to 2007's Friend and Foe), but it's very well-written all the same, and possibly a little more personal and grown up. Killemall gets me every time.

Girl Talk - All Day
I'll admit, I had never listened to Girl Talk before this album. And I don't expect to listen to it again, honestly, because what I loved the most was the joy of discovery that happens every minute when the mix of songs shifts to something new. I listened to this album one day while at work, and I had to keep from laughing out loud and confusing everyone around me, so I settled for a stupid grin instead. This album is really one single track, so I can't really link you to one single part of it, but it's all available for a free download at his site.

Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame
It would be impossible for this band to live up to the incredible debut that was 2008's Fate, in my opinion, but their second album is a fun one all the same. Shame, Shame is folky, bluesy, and yet full of rock at the same time. Later is one fine example of this combination.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Honestly, it took a long time for this album to grow on me. I miss the complex and compelling instrumentation of Funeral, and it's hard for me to accept that Arcade Fire may not ever make an album like that again. This album is a bit more dance pop than I expected it to be. But I love an album with a story, and this one tells one hell of a tale. Music as social commentary isn't something you see much of outside of reggae fairly trite political punk groups, which tend to beat you over the head with a message, but The Suburbs is a true work of art. Even if I don't like it as much as some of their earlier work, I can't help but recognize how impressive and ambitious it is. If you somehow have been living under a rock and didn't hear this album yet, try the title track.

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More
Oh. My. God. I hope this band continues to make music like this forever. And ever. I honestly don't know what else to say. This is one epic album, and the fact that it's a debut album makes that fact even more shocking. They're going to have a hell of a time following this one up. The only flaw this album has isn't the band's fault at all - this album is so goddamned catchy that I'm now extremely tired of hearing "The Cave" to the point of me not wanting to listen to it, because it's one of the most overplayed singles of the year. Besides, there are so many tracks on this album that are even better. Dust Bowl Dance, for example, gives me goosebumps. Wow.
shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] nomoreillusions for pointing this out, I can't believe I never noticed this before! We all know that the opening episode of Red vs Blue: BGC Season 2 includes the following shot:



And of course, we are told that that is Church and Tex in those graves, but what is left ambiguous is which is the Christian and which is the Jew. Typically, asking Burnie which is which is futile. I've always figured on Church as being Jewish, for a number of reasons (not the least of which is that, simply put, it would be far funnier and thus more typical of RT for the character named "Church" to be Jewish), but I never even noticed the colors of the grave markers. I know, I know, it seems so obvious now! I don't know how I never saw that!

I hope you will all consider this case officially closed, now. I sure do. If you enjoy RvB fics, Hanukkah, and especially if you enjoy both, go read this. It is super-cute.

Also on a tangentially related note, I made sufganiyot last night. DELICIOUS. They were filled with marionberry jam, mmmmm. Anyway, that's going to have to be a repeat dessert every year, like how I always make parkin on Bonfire Night. I do love cooking treats from various holidays, that is for sure.

Anyway, to everyone on my f-list, Jewish or not (because we all know I'm not but heck, since when has that mattered), Happy Hanukkah!

(Is there, like, a best official way to spell it? I don't even know. If you do, please tell me.)
shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] nomoreillusions for pointing this out, I can't believe I never noticed this before! We all know that the opening episode of Red vs Blue: BGC Season 2 includes the following shot:



And of course, we are told that that is Church and Tex in those graves, but what is left ambiguous is which is the Christian and which is the Jew. Typically, asking Burnie which is which is futile. I've always figured on Church as being Jewish, for a number of reasons (not the least of which is that, simply put, it would be far funnier and thus more typical of RT for the character named "Church" to be Jewish), but I never even noticed the colors of the grave markers. I know, I know, it seems so obvious now! I don't know how I never saw that!

I hope you will all consider this case officially closed, now. I sure do. If you enjoy RvB fics, Hanukkah, and especially if you enjoy both, go read this. It is super-cute.

Also on a tangentially related note, I made sufganiyot last night. DELICIOUS. They were filled with marionberry jam, mmmmm. Anyway, that's going to have to be a repeat dessert every year, like how I always make parkin on Bonfire Night. I do love cooking treats from various holidays, that is for sure.

Anyway, to everyone on my f-list, Jewish or not (because we all know I'm not but heck, since when has that mattered), Happy Hanukkah!

(Is there, like, a best official way to spell it? I don't even know. If you do, please tell me.)
shichahn: ([RvB] Sun was in my eyes)
Have some wildly divergent AU! I think pretty much the only person who will even care about this lame little sketch is Mandy. Because this is an OC of mine from a RvB AU RP (yes, we have several, yes, we were just supposed to be filling in backstory for Church and Tex in Aphelion, and yes, it spawned various other things). So, uh, anyway, lo and behold, Bamaramalama and his grumpyface Church-impersonating AI (and I know that you don't care if you don't already know this - but one of the many reasons this is AU is that Epsilon was transferred to another agent after his, er, incident with Washington, rather than shoved back into storage. Mmm delicious trama, let's have it unfold in another person now!)



Poor Alabama. Things would be so much easier for him in the end if he didn't get along with the crazy bastard.

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