“I don’t trust anyone whose job was created after 1990.”

— livejournal.com/users/malokai/

Bathtime Buddies…


No, not the kind with cheesecake. Last month, Wonderduck stumbled across an onsen-themed set of rubber-duck capsule toys (which reminds me, “no, Amazon won’t ship it internationally, but I have a reshipping agent that I use, and I have some other stuff that needs handled that way as well; I just need to update my account with them, because we’re moving our office”).

In the comments, I linked to one of the many bucket-o-duckies products on Amazon Japan. Here’s what it looks like when someone puts them to good use:

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Speedforce considered harmful…


…to my interest in the Flarrowverse.

When Arrow launched, I wasn’t really interested, and when I finally got around to trying to stream the first season, the only things that held my interest were the beautiful women and two excellent actors (John Barrowman and Paul Blackthorne).

Flash, at least, wasn’t dominated by an unsympathetic jackass with enough issues to staff a large psych ward, and not only has two of the most beautiful women on television (and many others…), but a fully-fleshed-out cast of interesting characters, including an awesome dad and a complex, well-portrayed villain (season one). Also some terrific tie-ins to the earlier Flash TV series.

The fly in the ointment has always been the portrayal of speedsters. Simply put, the writers have no idea how velocity and acceleration (and deceleration!) work, so they make up numbers that just don’t make sense, and write stories where Flash is simultaneously too fast and too slow.

A typical scenario might go like this: Barry is standing in Jitters with Joe/Iris/Cisco when something comes up, so he activates his speed and leaves, instantly vanishing from sight without being noticed. Seconds later, halfway across town, he’s facing a human being armed with a weapon that requires aiming (Captain Cold, Doctor Light, whatever), and spends a minute or two dodging blasts while the team comes up with a plan.

…instead of using super-speed to simply run up behind them and whack them on the head. Or pants them, tie their shoelaces together, wrap them in duct tape, and/or just write IDIOT on their foreheads with a Sharpie.

This is painful, but I’m willing to put up with a certain amount of it given the limitations of the format and the genre. Also, Wentworth Miller did an awesome snarky job as Captain Cold, so I’ll cut them some slack just for that. I genuinely like the cast, and the show embraces the essential absurdity of Flash’s comic-book history.

But I just finished streaming season 2 of Legends Of Tomorrow, and their handling of the Speedforce made the Flash writers look like super-geniuses. Specifically, in episode 14 (Moonshot):

Eobard Thawne, the season villain who’s desperately trying to outrun the fact that he was erased from existence in Flash, and who has repeatedly made expert use of his control over the Speedforce to spank the heroes like a bunch of spoiled children, is completely powerless when he’s not on Earth’s surface.

This is presented at first as if “he can’t do anything with his speed in zero-G”, allowing Ray to beat him in a fist-fight, but he’s still restricted to human speeds while they’re stranded on the moon, then again when he’s imprisoned on the Waverider (despite its artificial gravity). But he trivially vibrates out of his cell as soon as they’re back on Earth, something that never occurs to the idiots imprisoning him.

Public Service Announcement


Saya Kataoka (片岡沙耶) announces her new video in a most appealing way:

California weather


Today’s weather conditions…

Sadly, the smoke from the Napa/Sonoma fires does not smell like wine, at least not at this distance.

What’s J Watching?


The answer is “not much, really”. I bounced hard off of The Orville (which one of my friends actually thinks is great, proving that he’s taken one too many shots to the head (“Hi, Rory!”)), and there really doesn’t seem to be anything else on cable that sounds even vaguely interesting.

Restaurant To Another World
For the most part, nothing really happens in this well-drawn, slow-paced series about why a little hole-in-the-wall Tokyo restaurant really shuts down one day a week. Relationships between the owner/chef and his fantasy-world customers develop slowly, and it looks like there are even a few honest-to-gosh spoilers coming, but for the most part it just drifts along with diner-of-the-week stories and some rare mild fan-service. Next up: the restaurant gets a clothing-challenged second waitress.
Legends Of Tomorrow, season 2
Finally catching up on this show, and wondering why I bothered. I already knew most of what happens, the writers have a pretty shaky grasp of the historical eras the team visits, the main villain was more interesting when played by the other actor, Nate is dull even with powers, Vixen’s WWII-era attitudes appear only when convenient to the plot, etc, etc. I think I’m pretty much done with the Flarrowverse.
Magi?Poka
Mauser reminded me this existed and I never watched it. Short, fun, mostly stand-alone episodes, with cute character designs familiar to anyone who’s seen Hand Maid May et al. It’s a pleasant diversion.

Coming Soon

Kino’s Journey
The only new anime series that I have any interest in right now.
Alice & Zoroku
I really liked the first few episodes, but got sidetracked and haven’t gotten back to it yet. Definitely one worth finishing.
Preacher
Sometime I’ll get around to marathoning the first season, and quite possibly the second. What little I’ve seen of it has been a decent reimagining of the comic, but I just haven’t been in the mood for it yet.

Adapt…


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Good enough…


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A nice example of the common use of the 吾唯足知 expression. There used to be a shop in SF Japantown who sold these basins, but not in such a nice stone.

Dubious capsule toys


Honestly, I’m not sure I’d want to put 5 bucks into this machine. エロ過ぎる = ero-sugiru = “too sexy”.

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Now, if it dispensed pokemon balls containing horny monster girls… oh, wait, that’s an anime plot.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”