I took a leftover chicken breast from last night's dinner, sliced it into 3/8" strips, reheated it in the microwave, added shredded cheese, and topped it with mild Tostitos salsa. Woke the flavor right up.
Chicken done with Oven Fry is pretty good when it's fresh, but after it's sat in the fridge for a few hours the Oven Fry begins to turn rather disguting--primarily in texture, as the breading turns mushy.
My impromptu solution was a good one, and it's one I will use in the future.
* * *
Speed cameras are a "tax". Yeah, but it's a speeding tax: you only pay it if you're caught breaking the speed limit. Solution: don't speed.
* * *
When was the last time we had a bank run in the US? IndyMac is in receivership, which means that people who had over $100,000 in the bank there have had their savings reduced to $100,000--FDIC only covers $100,000--and a whole lotta folks went there to get their money while they could.
Apparently banks fail all the time, yet we never seem to hear about them. Election year plus Republican incumbent plus bank failure equals big news, I guess.
Anyway, the buzz I have heard about this story tends to favor the notion that IndyMac bought a bunch of bad mortgages, making it a victim of the subprime mortage mess.
Meanwhile, the proposed solution to the subprime mess? Pump more money into the housing market. Yeah, that's wonderful; just throw a patch on that bubble, inflate it farther, and let the next Congress deal with it.
* * *
Well, Starship Troopers is over, and I'm not sad to see it end. It was not much of an adaptation. (Though it was better than the Verhoeven version, by default. After all, the anime version had combat suits in it.)
The character designs sucked. The writing took the plot of the book, put it in a blender, set it on "puree", and then put plot elements approximately at random into the script.
It was not a bad story but it wasn't Heinlein's story. If they had given the characters different names but left everything else the exact same, they could have gotten away with calling it something else and not referring to Heinlein at all.
I'm also not sad to see Lamune end. When I first learned of its existence I looked at the character art, read a synopsis, and thought, "Eh," and ignored it. Later I changed my mind and downloaded it.
...and learned that my initial impression was correct: it was not all that good.
The especially stupid part was the last episode, of which Ken spent the most time in a coma. He had a wreck on his motorcycle right after the typhoon in ep 11, and was in a coma for a year--yet when he wakes up, right away he's eating solid food and walking? Um, no?
Having worked in long-term care I can say with authority that someone who's comatose for that length of time isn't going to be doing much walking for months after waking up, and he's going to have a really long and painful course of physical therapy before he can even sit up by himself.
Maybe Japan has some super-secret, high-tech way of preventing muscle atrophy and contracture; I don't know. Regular range-of-motion exercises by the nursing staff would help prevent contractures but the muscle loss would be another story. Let's face it: Ken-kun was looking at spending another year in the hospital, like as not, after waking up. Six months, anyway, followed by another six of outpatient PT.
In the last scene he opens a bottle of Lamune, and Nanami is trying to open hers, and can't, so he opens it for her. "WTF," I said. "She'd be stronger than him at that point." But I'd given up caring, anyway.
Oh, and "spoilers". Sorry.
Meanwhile, Mokke continues to be great. Hayate no Gotoku, too. El Cazador is okay.
I've got to pick the next series to add to the playlist. I've got True Tears and Rosario+Vampire in their entirety, so I'll probably flip a coin and pick one.
* * *
I actually got a page of Chicory started!
I found the starting point I'd been looking for, and drew a whole freaking layout page. Whee! The fun never stops!
...you know, until it does. Then it kind of sucks.
Anyway, it satisfies 4 basic functions of a manga-style beginning:
1) Starts in medias res, so as to capture the reader's interest
2) Introduces the main character and at least one supporting character on the first page
3) Shows that Subaru has a responsibility (one that'll be explained in detail later on)
4) gives me an excuse to draw cute girls
It begins with Subaru already at her new school, in Hokkaido, which is what I wanted to do, but couldn't figure out how without copying the beginnings of other manga series I've worked on in the past.
It starts on a Saturday, around noonish, right after school lets out for the day; and Subaru is leaving without her friend Hotaru because she's got to go home and help out at the inn.
I had given thoughts to showing Subaru's father learning of his unemployment, but it started the story in the wrong spot. I had thought of showing Subaru's arrival in Hokkaido, but that was too much like the beginning of Megumi's Diary, which shows her arrival at school on her first day. Similarly, I considered showing her first arrival at her grandparents' home, which is attached to the ryokan they run, but didn't like that, much, either--too much distance between that and the actual start of the story for my taste.
I had about 50 good ideas for the beginning but all of them had problems...until I hit on the idea of showing her leaving school for home--and it gives me all the hooks I need to hang basic exposition on without having to use text boxes to do it. Since Megumi's Diary and American Dawn rely heavily on it--particularly the former--Chicory has a pretty strict "no first-person narration" rule.
The Japanese love to start manga and anime in medias res, and since that's the style I use, I figure I might as well emulate it. Besides, it does pique one's interest. And the story, told thus, actually begins not too far ahead of ab initio--a few weeks at most--so there won't be much to tell in flashback.
* * *
...copper bullion is a SCAM. Okay? Read the article, and whatever you do, don't buy "copper bullion" on Ebay.
* * *
60° morning, forecast is for a 90° day.
I thought the temperature differential, in summer, was twenty degrees, not thirty.
As summers go we've managed to avoid a lot of the heat, so far, but there's still 16 days left in July, and an entire August to get through. It could still get, and stay, hot here--and probably will.
* * *
No sign yet of the Code E sequal on the torrent servers, dang it. I've started grabbing every series on my list except that one. *sigh*
I've noticed, incidentally, that Chinami from Code E is highly similar to Chitose from Chocotto Sister, except for hair, bust, and EM ability. Chitose's hair is shorter and her breasts are much larger than Chinami's. Otherwise, they're a lot alike both in looks and personality.
Considering how closely the Chocotto Sister anime appears to follow the manga, I'm guessing that even if I were able to see all the CS manga right now it would not have anything really new in it.
* * *
The "Crete" weather station still reports ludicrously high temperatures after 6 AM. It's like maybe 70° outside; it says it's 85°. Not as bad as the Oak Brook Terrace station last night, but bad nonetheless.
* * *
The other day I finally identified an unfair thing about Diablo II.
For the most part--in almost every case, in fact--all the rules apply equally both to your character and to the monsters. For example, your character's mercenary can shoot "through" you to hit monsters without damaging you; a monster can shoot through people on his side to hurt you without hurting them.
When you cast a spell, it won't damage people on your side, but it'll damage everyone on the other side; when any of them casts a spell, it won't hurt anyone on their side but will hurt everyone on your side. (Trap effects are considered hostile spells on the monsters' side: the effects of traps won't hurt them. But "fire" shrines hurt everyone equally.)
But I have detected an asymmetry; and while it is a little one, it's nonetheless real and annoying.
When you have a monster which is immune to certain effects (cold, fire, lightning, etc) and a retributive strike (hitting the monster makes it emit a damage effect such as a "Charged Bolt" spell) the monster doesn't take damage from the effect but does emit the damage effect.
Say, for example, you're trying to hit a monster that's immune to cold. You cast "Ice Blast" at it several times. Each bolt of "Ice Blast" will cause it to emit a "Charged Bolt" even though it's not taking any damage.
So far so good--the monster isn't taking damage but it's being hit, right?
But when your character has a "retributive strike" effect--due to magic items or character skills--it never triggers unless you take damage.
If your armor stops the hit, the damage effect doesn't trigger. Your character must always lose hit points to trigger the retributive strike. But certian monsters can emit damage effects all day long without losing so much as a single hit point.
What a rip.
* * *
New Yorker sez this is how right-wingers view Barak Hussein Obama. This caricature is about as accurate as Carl Reiner's caricature of right-wing views dispensed via Archie Bunker.
If the New Yorker is so worried about attacks against politicians, why hasn't it done a similar cover decrying the attacks on George Bush? "Satire is part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd," said the magazine. Heard what lefties say about George Bush recently? Where's the magazine cover satirizing the "Chimpy McBushHitler" asshats?
Look at the images in this American Thinker blog post and tell me I'm wrong.
* * *
Kids have impromptu demolition derby with city trucks.
Why on earth were the trucks parked with the keys in the ignition? Or did these 4-6 kids all hotwire the trucks? The insurance company (sez the comments) wanted the keys left in the trucks; I have a feeling that the insurance company will now ask that the keys not be left in the trucks. (Best part: city was doing what insurance company wanted; they'd better pay up....)
I'm surprised that the damages are only about $50,000, too, to be honest, but maybe they didn't have that much time to do all that much damage before the cops showed up.