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Commerce fails

So I was looking on the "bargain" table of the supermarket. There was a clock/alarm with (line) audio input and two USB sockets for dual charging (looks like power only, not data to play MP3s). I consider it pricey at its bargain price...
Maybe people are being put off by the special "Dual USB charing" function? I'm not sure I want to set fire to my phones!


The following fail was right on the rack as you walked in the door. Now, I'm not really interested in that movie, but if I was, which one should I buy? Questions, questions...


Pi upgrades

Thanks to Amazon, I was able to pick up some things for my Pi (and Beagle...):

The first is a translucent orange case. I thought "it'll never fit in there!". It did. And, happily, the CJE module fit as well.
I did need to mod the case slightly - there is a plastic leg that supports the board. Unfortunately it presses against the underside of P5, so if you have headers fitted to P5 (the second GPIO port) it will foul up. A deft bit of wrist action to shave away most of the leg with a screwdriver (!) and it was sorted. The Pi clipped it, the casing clipped shut.

Or course, the problem was the indicators and reset switch. They had some 20-odd centimetres of wire attached. So I warmed up my soldering iron, removed the plugs, cut the wire to a better size, and resoldered the wires into the plugs. The only one that didn't work was the reset (plug too high) so I just bent the push-pins and connected them without the plug body around. Easy as Pi! <runs away screaming>

The big blue thing is a pretty cool contraption. It makes a bridge between an Ethernet port and a WiFi network. You have to set it up on a PC first. This, basically, involves finding the desired WiFi network and entering the password. I did not need to authorise anything on the Livebox, for the MAC address was already known to the box - the Vonets bridge was using the MAC from the eeePC's ethernet port. This means I may have to auth the gadget if I start it "from cold" on the Pi (as I guess it will claim the Pi's MAC address); however this is no big deal. Just something to remember.

Reception in my room was rather iffy. But then reception in my room is rather iffy. The iPad struggles at times. The eeePC only seems to struggle as I'm reaching the last few hundred kilobytes of a long transfer from a slow server. Funny that.
When it worked, with a little bit of tweaking to the network configuration, I was able to ping the Livebox, then my site, and then... the world!


Winter season animé

Funny how every season I'm like "meh, rubbish, nothing interesting" and suddenly... there are things worth looking at.

Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

It stands to reason that this would be on my watch-list. Nibutani has matured into a grown up girl, and due to various circumstances, Rikka shacks up with Yuta. The first half of the episode is them setting the scene and trying to keep it a secret. Is it possible to keep anything a secret with Dekomori involved? So this leads on to a displeased elder sister freaking out, an epic battle (that I'm-not-chūni-Nibutani seems to be enjoying way too much), and... well... so it goes; leading to an utterly sweet second episode where Rikka just doesn't understand this whole "love" thing even though it's quite clear that her apart from Yuta would probably ruin her life. I guess it sucks to be Yuta 'cos she's not gonna change anytime soon.


Sakura Trick

I picked this up randomly. Not sure yet if I will continue. It's sort of like Yuruyuri with older girls. And, as you can see from the composite picture, there's a whole load of kissing involved.....between girls. Surprisingly, the characters are not two dimensional clichés and the supporting characters also have a role to play. I'm partly interested to see if there is actually a story lurking in here somewhere.
By the way. The two girls pictured wanted to do something "special" so it would be a memory they wouldn't forget when they were older. So they snog. Must be a girl thing...


Wake Up, Girls!

An interesting one, this. It is "yet another bunch of girls want to be idols" but unlike Love-Live there is no romantic "we can sing and everything will be okay" and unlike AKB0048 there is no.... actually, WTF was AKB0048 about anyway?
Beginning with a long OVA, a small-time manager of a talent agency based in Sendai (you should know that name) loses her last client. So she settles on the idea of forming an idol group. She actually manages to assemble some girls and cut a debut CD before legging it with all the cash (the CD and debut venue unpaid). Is this it for the group "Wake Up, Girls!"? This series looks like it is going to be a more realistic look at being an idol than the treatments I've seen so far; maybe this is a good thing if it can present that harsher reality that only a select few make it to "Hello! Project" style groups, the rest will just get broken somewhere along the way...
In case you were wondering, the manager named her group after a Love Hotel; something the girls discover to their horror when it is too late to change their name.


Mikakunin de Shinkoukei

Kobeni is sixteen. Her elder sister Benio dotes on her (in a borderline pervy way, she likes cute things a little too much) as well as being like the brainest and most-loved girl in school. But that's not the problem. The problem is the young man, Hakuya. It seems Grandpa (who is always obeyed) arranged many years ago for Hayuka and Kobeni to marry. So... yeah... happy birthday dear, that's your husband.
Hayuka comes with a little sister, who is a very little sister (like primary school age), who manages to get a place in high school (don't ask), and is probably the most grown up of the lot (except when it comes to aliens). She is called Mashiro and she is a total loli. You can imagine how Benio takes to that.
For the weird plot, this is quite funny and isn't beyond lampshading some of the absurdities.
Gotta say - the ending credits sequence is probably this season's best ED.


Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta

This could go either way. It is a bit steampunky, with some things that require serious suspension of belief (a floating island with propellers to drive it, and buildings on top). A boy called Kal-el Albus (gee, why not pick a name Japanese people could say?) and a painfully shy girl called Claire. She is nobility. He isn't. Maybe. I can see half a dozen interwoven plots right away. Be interesting to see where this one goes, just so long as it doesn't go all Guilty Crown on us.



There's just something really interesting about the concepts of Shinto, the indigenous spirituality of Japan. While it got a fluffy treatment in Kamichu!, it turns up a lot in animé in various ways. Sometimes subtle, but if you can spot it, it is almost as prevalent as the seifuku. Which, really, shouldn't be a surprise...
So here we have a girl who dives in front of a bus to save a bloke about to be run over. He is fine, she ends up critical in hospital. In order to thank her, the bloke - a minor and moderately useless and highly delusional "god" who has just lost his "regalia" (a spirit that can transform into a sword) - heals her. Sort of. She is now a being stuck between this place where people live, and that place where spirits live. As a consequence, she is prone to fainting at which point her spirit falls out of her body and can go do cool things like dancing on telephone wires. Her spirit connection (the connection back to her real body) is a thing that looks like a big furry magenta tail. This is possibly a nod to the catgirl conventions (only, if her tail is cut, a fate worse than death awaits) as well as making it easier for the viewer to know which of her bodies (real or spritual) she is using.
I'd give this a thumb's up.


Which leads us on to:

Sekai Seifuku - Bouryaku no Zvezda

Precotious eight year old believes she "owns the ground upon which she walks".
A ballsy thing to say when you have a dozen tanks pointing at you.
Just... Don't ask. Really. A sweet but visciously hyperactive little girl wants to conquer the world. And with an assortment of oddball characters, looks like she is trying to do so with the aid of bouncy jelly bean things that can combine to form giant monsters. There's a robot called Roboko (literally - robot girl - exactly what it says on the tin!) that talks like a 56k modem. There's...
Actually, this whole thing makes next to no sense whatsoever, it sends up everything that fits into the plot (plot?), it is madness, and it is at times hysterically funny. I have never been stoned in my life, but I sort of imagine it would be like this.
By the way - those tanks? She totally pwns them. With light-goo pulled from a stuffed toy. Yeah, rock on...



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Snakebyte, 21st January 2014, 00:31
Phirrips clock radio at €29.92! That definately not cheap even if it could play USB em-peggs. Its an AJ6000. I fail to see why they command so many beer tokens. They range from 30 to 60 groats. Why? It also begs the question, if it chars your house down, have you been warned it would? Re DVDs : Well one may be more prefect than the other perfect one? Re Annie-May. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz ;-)
Rick, 22nd January 2014, 20:04
That's what I thought. Thanks to you knowing the model number (how the hell do you know stuff like that!?!), I can tell you the list price on Amazon is €42! My mind is boggling so damn hard its going to explode. 
But wait, it gets better. There's an AJ6000/12 that costs between sixty and a hundred depending on who you ask, and it looks like it is the same thing, more or less. I bet your mind is boggling now, too! 
Animé = Zzzz? Could say the same for football. :-P 

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