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I am back perhaps :)

Mike's Super Late Review of Babylon 5!
Has anyone else heard of Babylon 5? It was the *other* space station sci-fi drama that aired at nearly the same time as Star Trek: Deep Space 9. I just finished watching it and feel the need to rant a bit. I watched it because my business partners and I got into this huge discussion over dinner a month or so ago about what the best sci-fi tv show was. The opinions were generally split between some star trek and the new battlestar. Mark Lebay mentioned though that he'd always heard that Bab5 gets totally sweet a season or two into it, and so I finally got back to watching it. Note, I saw eps 1-5 like.. 15 years ago or so.

So, the show. Overall? Not bad, but HOLY HELL. There's a fucking lot wrong with this. First off, characters/casting. We have captain Sinclair (aka, The One Who Was). He runs stuff and deals with everything that goes wrong. Explosions, people dying, drama and death. And during this, HE NEVER STOPS SMILING. It's mildly psychopathic, and somewhat distraction. Situations go something like:

Radio: Captain, 10 people just died!
Sinclair: ah, too bad :)
Radio: And half the station just exploded
Sinclair: that's quite interesting :)
Radio: Also, there's a war and we're about to get boarded
Sinclair: Bust out the guns and everyone prepare to die :)

It's almost like bitching to someone on aim and you realize that they're not actually listening to you because they end up with some TOTALLY inappropriate reply and end it with a ^_^. Apparently 'The One Who Was' is hearing 'The Joke That Always Is' or something. RAGE. Fortunately he gets demoted to cameo status fairly early on in the stupidity.

Next up, Ivanova The Russian. Who has no Russian accent, despite being Russian. Also, she's Russian. Did I mention she's Russian? That's pretty much the sum total of her character. It's like the worst parts of Full Metal Alchemist (Haha, Al is teh short. ... hehe, Al is short. Ah yes, the short joke. ...... I GET IT FUCK YOU).

And the head of security, Garibaldi(ng). It's like we invented space ships and alien-human hybrids, but Rogaine still doesn't work. 'Nuff said.

Londo Mollari, where to start. You know, Star Trek: TOS didn't have a huge budget for costumes and such. But Bab5 *could* have done better. When the ONLY definable difference between an alien species and humans is a really fucking bad hair day, then you know the character design team has failed hard core. To really emphasize the stupidity of this point, the bad hair is later revealed by the insane emperor to simply be a fashion statement rather than some aspect of their alien dna. Also, I love the reused costumes from some Napoleonic historical drama. BUDGET FAIL!!!

Dalenn, oh god. You know, I saw Ah My Goddess. I enjoyed it. The universe does not need another Belldandy. Stop it, you're too nice. Except that deep down, you're also a total user. Yes, you know Leneer likes you. That's why it's cool to give him totally awesome suicide missions knowing that he'll never say no to you. BIIIIIITCH.

Leneer: The complete tool that Dalenn uses. See above.

Lochley: Less eye shadow. You look like a drugged out hooker half the time. Your time on the show was fortunately brief. Whole eps went by without seeing you, even though you were in charge of the damn place. Maybe you were too busy applying afore-mentioned eye shadow?

G'kar and Kash: ..... I actually have not a single complaint about you two. You both looked... alien. You acted ok. G'kar, you were kind of whiny, but who the fuck in this show wasn't? Congrats!

Sheridan: It is high time that you got over yourself. Seriously dude. And your logic about going to Z'ha dum? That doesn't really work buddy.

Anyway, it was kind of lame. I did like the fact that it had a real plot over the entire series. Apparently that was the big innovation behind bab5. Unlike nearly every other sci-fi show ever, almost all the eps were written by one guy who had this huge plot all in his head including all sorts of twists he could take if some actor died/didn't renew their contract. If you can get past the Sinclair season, it's half worth watching. Just do it for free, not that I'd expect anything else for all of you :)

PS: Should I review more shows in any angry, angry way?


  • Reg line sucks. I waited 5 hours. Some waited 10+ hours. Ridiculous and wrong.

  • Peelander-z, Mari Ijima AND HalCali. I saw HalCali 2x for double the awesome. They didn't do My fav song (youtube), but it was still amazing.

  • network247 came to the con, which was great! It's been far too long since he/I con'ed together.

  • Peelander.... Green? well, He's cool anyway.

  • Work is going to SUCK this week ;____;

That is all.

Random updates
I'm slowly coming out of my shell. Finals are almost over, my work month of hell (which always seems to coincide with finals) is mostly over, and summer is here! :D

  • Anime punch was fun. I cooked and cooked and cooked. People ate my cooking and generally liked it. Mikhael said "I've put a lot of things in my mouth in my lifetime, but this man's curry is the best thing yet". That might be the best compliment I've ever had.

  • This is my new wallpaper. I think it's epic.

  • Grace/I's 6 month. In the context of Mike relationships, that is a fucking long time.

  • My brother is living in Ukraine now with the peace corps, which is awesome. This does mean however that I'm the last of the kids in my family living near my parents, so I'm over there a lot hanging out with them. My sister is living in Philadelphia now, which is over 1000km away.

  • I saw the Dalai Lama. He stopped by my city and I went to a lecture/prayer session of his. Pretty interesting, and a really great opportunity.

  • I'm finally starting to download japanese shows again. I'm currently getting Last Friends, Rookies, Gokusen 3, and Ryokiteki na Kanojo on the live action side, and Macross Frontier on the anime side. On that note,

  • HOLY FUCK MACROSS FRONTIER IS AMAZING. I mean, it's exactly like the original, down to the frame sometimes. But holy crap.

  • Also, the Proposal Daisakusen special came out. On that note,

  • It is the BEST SHOW EVAR. The end of the tv series left everyone kind of hanging, but the special wrapped it up. It's unquestionably my fav. Pride and Kisarazu have finally been dethroned! (though just barely)

Uh. that's about it. I'll try to be around more/comment more. Sorry guys!

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Kyle: I love you mike
Mike: hm?
Kyle: I love you
Mike: um.
Mike: I'm sorry, I only date people with 2 or more working nipples.
Kyle: more?
Mike: I try to be openminded.
Kyle: like that six boobed chick from starwars?
Mike: She would indeed qualify *nods*

(no subject)
ok, community poll.

I'm trying to find a style that I really like for my laptop. There are two aspects to styling in linux (well, more than 2. Just think of it as 2 for this though): Your window borders, and the widgets (basically everything inside the borders of the window). Here's a set of 3 screenshots. I can choose any of the 4 window border styles, and any of the 4 widget styles.

Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 3

Choice 4

What do you guys think? Which window border style and which widget style? Important things to notice are the differences in how titlebars are handled, the tab style, etc.

(no subject)
Random Updates:

  • Since switching to linux I've started programming small stuff again. This morning I got sick of not being able to rate tracks through global hotkeys like winamp can, so I wrote a command line program using php and dbus and then hotkeyed the program in my compiz config. That felt awesome. Source code here (requires php5-cli)

  • Since that little experiment went good, I decided to look at a bleeding edge programming language called Vala and the newest webkit rendering engine. After a LOT of poking through c header files I was able to hack together a basic web browser in just under 100 lines of code. Screenshot here and source code here (requires valac (compiled using 0.17, probably won't work with anything less) and webkit (compiled using.. uh.... revision 29000 or something. If anyone is seriously interested in compiling my crap let me know and I'll track down the exact revision I used, but might work with an earlier version)). I should note that I've never programmed a Gtk application, nor a vala application before. Figuring out how to do all of this took HOURS, even though it's very very little code. I might actually try to flesh this out a touch more. Realistically I only need it to handle bookmarking and I could use it as my primary browser.

  • Ragnarok Online, Excalibur. I have a spear knight, a hunter, and a gunslinger. I think Grace and I played for 16 straight hours on Saturday. It felt amazing.

  • Finished rewatching Coffee Prince with Grace, and it's just as good the 3rd time through

  • I'm looking to start travelling around again soon, so look out for me on the road :D

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Random Updates:

  • My laptop's hard drive died, and died completely. I lost some work (but most was uploaded to the various websites, so not really lost), a bit of music (but I've been syncing that pretty regularly), about 6 months in chat logs and actually a LOT of email (but not all). I'm not happy, but I'm living.

  • These kinds of things happen at just the right time. I had a meeting scheduled for 1 hour after my hard drive died. I jumped in my car, drove to the local computer store, bought a new drive and a copy of ubuntu 7.10 (a kind of linux), installed the drive at the store and installed the OS while driving to the meeting with one hand on the wheel and the other hand on the mouse. Don't ask how I shifted. The meeting went great :DDD

  • Valentines Day was delayed due to massive school/work on Thursday for both of us. We ended up scarfing down some taco bell while madly typing. Friday we went out for a proper dinner though with MASSIVE amounts of sushi.

  • School is going ok so far. All As on tests and I haven't missed a day *phew*.

  • I *still* haven't managed to start any of this season's dramas.... What's worth watching guys?

  • I am now slightly less poor. Slightly.

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  • I finally watched Macross: Frontier ep 1. WOW. I'm hooked and looking for moar.

  • Monday -> Thursday, School. Did I mention that I was once again taking classes? Micro Economics, History of US Foreign Relations and Business Law. I'm finally taking all 200 level classes! ......which is definitely not something I should be bragging about ^^;

  • Friday... uh...erm. I did... something? I don't quite remember xD Probably we just sat around and watched some j-dramas. We're about halfway done with Stand Up.

  • Saturday we went comic shopping, arcading and bubble tea'ing with 0bscurity

  • Sunday Grace/I/Janie/Ashley/Zach (from Columbus, Ohio) went to the Plymouth ice carving exhibition. Photos here!. Some of them were HUGE. The dragon one? That was about 8ft tall and 20ft long. Zach got the full Michigan experience with freezing temperatures, hot apple cider, roasted almonds and reindeer. Afterward was Thai food, video gaming and finally finishing up Akihabara@Deep.

And that's about it. I'm thinking about starting some of this season's dramas maybe this week, maybe next. I'm too poor to go anywhere for a bit, but hopefully I'll be back on my feet by mid Feb.


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