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31  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 12, 2016, 02:47:47 PM
Mesh, your food adventures are getting more... avant garde?

I got a cheap mug to make anise milk in because I don't want to accidently ruin my 'good' mugs in the microwave, but it's a little too big and I spill a little milk everytime I try to get the last few sips. I feel like a little kid who isn't quite ready to graduate from a sippy cup :(

32  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (aka 'PerformaEmblem') on: July 11, 2016, 12:20:51 PM
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I think I was trying to say that, but somehow didn't =-P I can't believe you have beaten it already! Going way faster than me...

It was job related, but this is one of those cases were I didn't mind playing 40+ hours a week. (Game took me 50 hours to finish.)

On a more serious note: I gathered that many players don't like TMS#FE for being to pop-idol-y, but I think that's a bit unfair. Yes, the game isn't deconstructive like Persona 4/Dancing All Night is, but it does make fun of the industry. it's more about shitty content than shitty practices. The Japanese entertainment industry according to TMS#FE is a build on success gained through luck and bullshitting, dumb premises and vapid content. Take Mamori, for instance, a little girl who's known for some cooking show that's just her being cute while microwaving prepackaged food. Or that detective show that's Tsubasa is in, the one that involves a teenage detective that turns into a tomboy when she sneezes. The characters are super serious about it and this stuff is treated like the best thing ever, but the game itself is right there laughing along with you.

(My favourite bit is really small: Itsuki giving foodporn worthy reviews of every random can of soda/fastfood item he consumes.)

33  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (aka 'PerformaEmblem') on: July 11, 2016, 05:31:38 AM
I love this game! I love how colourful and fun it is. I love that it's so cheesy you could put it on a sandwich. I was literally squeeing when they sang the Fire Emblem theme right before the final boss battle. It was so silly it was amazing and I love it to bits! The game is basically a big saturday morning cartoon and indulges in it whenever it can. It's absolutely glorious.

34  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2016 on: July 10, 2016, 06:42:50 AM
1. Trails in the Sky SC
2. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold
3. Legend of Legacy
4. Stella Glow
5. Nights of Azure.
6. We Know the Devil
7. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
8. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest
9. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
10. Stranger of Sword City

11. Atelier Sophie
My yearly portion of crack. I have no complaints.

12. Zelda Picross
It was free. It was Picross. It had Zelda pictures. Not much else to say about it, really...

13. 10000000
I think that's all the zeroes...? Fun little match-3 game and I really needed to play something other than massive RPG's for a bit, so... yeah.

14. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
OMG! That was amazing! It's so colourful and cheesy and fun! Sure, I still want to play a Fire Emblem-style MetaTen SRPG, but I'm so glad someone was crazy enough to make this!
35  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 06, 2016, 07:12:25 AM
Now I'm glad all you see here are accidental awkward racial stereotypes (as opposed to deliberately offensive) ...
36  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 05, 2016, 03:44:37 PM
A good friend came over. We hang out once a month (he lives kind of far away), and we've developed a routine.
- Discuss work and/or life related stuff
- Discuss games/books we borrowed from eachother
- Play a game (right now it's Final Fantasy XIII, we might beat this before the end of 2016!)
- Go for a walk and visit the 'blacksmith' to look at Lego sets (some of their stock is years old, making the store a treasure trove for collectors)
- Watch a movie I've already seen so I can cook dinner and not miss anything (Ikigami this time)

It's nice. It's one of the few occasions where I can complain about work in detail (he's my senior and I'm his superior, so we both know what we're talking about). For some reasons the work complaints sort of overlapped with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and the whole FE characters as personas thing, which of course led to me assigning characters to people I know. People I complain about. Like, those people who've been with the magazine for over a decade but never made any real progress and are still stuck at amateur level? Jeigan, Marcus and Gunter. I'm sure they were really useful back when the magazine was just getting started, but it would be so great if I were allowed to bench them... There's a new writer who might be an Est (I hope she is, we need new talent). I also wish our Gotoh had more opportunies to write, as writers with an academic background are rare. What else... Oh yeah, an Robin whose name is actually Robin. My friend is obviously a Nabarl-type character, as he was recruited while writing for another magazine (and actually knows some kendo).

I was kind of grumpy about a lot of work-related things the past week, but looking at these people that way takes the edge off.


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On a diet, since my body slowly started giving subtle signs of giving up on me. While not obese by any means, I was starting to get a little too chubby for my own good, and my joints and other body parts made sure to let me know (not to mention getting a phone call from a doctor after doing some routine tests, asking if I'm being treated for diabetes and that I should really look into it, set of some major alarm bells).
Sucks to have to say goodbye to eating most of the stuff I like, but on the flip side I've been at it for a few weeks now and feel pretty good in comparison to when I started.

Cutting the worst stuff from your diet is usually the easiest, as the cravings eventually stop, but if you have enough self control, you could still eat that stuff on rare occasions.

For instance, I eat french fries sometimes, but only when I'm at a convention or other event, and even then I'm only allowed one portion during the weekend. Those salty fries are awesome after a long day of running around, so it's nice when I do eat them.

(Some of the bigger events I go to have been really good about food options, even for vegetarians. Last Animecon I still ate my yearly fries, but they had a huge amount of food stall on the convention grounds, and it turns out Japanese curry is even more awesome than fries. And there's this one food stall that's always really generous with the dried seaweed on their riceballs!)
37  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 01, 2016, 07:16:58 AM
So, I was browsing an anime convention's website to see if I could find a list of sponsors (for political reasons), and then I saw they're latest bit of news: AiRI is coming.

I remember AiRI from AnimagiC 2015. Maybe I'm understanding J-pop wrong, but her constant screaming seemed like it was meant to torture visitors, or atleast convince them to go inside so the field would be less crowded. Okay, maybe the horrid sounds could be blamed on the sound equipment, but none of the other artists were having trouble...

I'm so glad interviewing artists is not my responsibility.
38  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: June 30, 2016, 04:36:33 PM
However...



Robot dog that can shoot lasers and make toast? Best dog.
39  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The tri-Ace General Discussion (& Star Ocean 5) Thread on: June 30, 2016, 01:41:22 PM
I have. It's....accurate to the original experience! Much like the PSP version of Tales of Eternia, no extras or tweaks, just a straight up port. Load times are slightly reduced.

No the PSP port of BOF3 has unlockable artwork which is nice and the ability to play the fishing mini-game from the main menu.  It's also has some audio fixed.

More importantly, the boxart isn't a crime against eyes. Compare:



I... think they're trying to burn a CGI Barbie cosplaying as Nina at the stake, but they couldn't find a pre-made woodtexture, so they put in a porthole instead because that totally makes sense.

Then there's this piece of awesome:



40  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 29, 2016, 03:17:55 AM
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The statistics were per 100,000 so they were relative, but anyway I just wanted to bring it up because I've never been to Netherlands and Tomara is always to eager to share haha! =-) So I was wondering just how it might be different...

Speaking of which! I checked out the website if I'm reading this right it seems like accidents were super high some years ago but have declined very precipitously in recent times.

Also can't help but wonder what "Scootmobiels" are... =-P

In the 50s and 60s cars became more and more popular (people even held viewing parties where they'd stand next to the highway and watch cars), but the number of fatal accidents increased as well. Many of the victims were children, and in the 70s there was a lot of campaigning to make the roads safer for them. This coincided with the oil crisis of 1973, which made driving expensive and less convenient. The goverment even rationed gas and put national car-free sundays in place. Bicycles, which were already an important mode of transportation before WWII, regained their popularity. Infrastructure and rules were changed to suit the cyclists needs and safety.

Scootmobiels are mobility scooters. The Dutch sometimes do this Japanese thing were we give something a shorter, cuter name. Mobility scooters are subsidised by the government, so a lot of people with limited mobility have one nowadays. The stereotype here is tiny grannies on overpowered vehicles rather than morbidly obese people cruising through Walmart, though.

Here are some pictures of 1973/1974 car-free sundays, by the way:





41  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 28, 2016, 04:28:53 PM

Why can't an American car be just as good, if not better than, a Japanese car?  And the stereotypical answer of "Americans are lazy" is not a suitable answer for me.  

Wild guess: a common tactic among various types of manufacturers is to make their products less durable so customers will buy new ones sooner. Vacuum cleaners, cell phones and more are usually not meant to last - their meant to be replaced by newer models. I wouldn't be too surprised if some car manufactuers had a similar philosophy.
42  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 28, 2016, 02:10:06 PM
I'd like one day, just ONE DAY where everything goes according to plan. Or at the very least, everything goes smoothly even if there is no plan.

The trick I use is to just have expectations that are so low, it'll be a surprise if anything/anyone manages to disappoint me. Not a bad surprise either, more like the kind of thing that makes your day less boring. Like, holy cow, this is a new record in a long history of disappointments!

That's how I feel about my piece of shit coworkers that take 2+ weeks to answer a simple question, and it's liberating.
43  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 28, 2016, 12:20:04 PM
I think most statistics talk about x number of deaths per 1,000 or 100,000 citizens.

But, yeah, even then it can be difficult to compare because of cultural differences. For instance, the Dutch government spends a lot of money on infrastructure and a good chunk of it goes to bicycle lanes. We have so many bicycle lanes. And we need them, because we have an absurd amount of cyclists (we have more bicycles than people to ride them!). However, this also means that we see relatively many cyclists involved in accidents.

Some more info (it's in Dutch, but most graphs should be fairly easy to understand anyway).
44  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 27, 2016, 04:54:52 AM
@Tomara - I greatly appreciate the information. I'll be sure to look more into it, since I'm still confused, admittedly more with the whole borders thing, that just sounds so horribly planned that I cajn only assume whoever thought of it figured everyone would just drop all pretenses and form a united western Europe, like some kind of bloodless revolution. Because otherwise it and the the trade agreement don't sound like they'd bemefit European countries that much? That's kind of where I need to look for more details. Your summary definitely puts most of the current events in perspective, which is...a ton more difficult than reading up on stuff after the fact...

Partly because I'm terrible at reading through the lines and sorting through the bullcrap to find the grain of truth in every tale...

The countries in the EU are kind of like the states in the US: too different to really work together. That's the main reason a unified western Europe will never happen. Another is the economical differences. The current EU functions in such a way that the strong countries help lift the weak up, but sometimes the economical differences are just too big.

As for the borders, it basically comes down to that money, goods, services and people are free to move within the EEA. There's no systematic border control or anything like that (except for at airports). For businesses it's great, because it removes a lot of the hassle when exporting/importing to/from other countries in the EEA. For regular consumers, it's amazing:
-it's relatively easy to go on vacation in another EEA country or even tour that part of Europe
-bought something from an Amazon in another EEA country? No worries about your package getting stuck at customs and/or having to pay a bunch of taxes
-you're a student and want to spend a semester abroad? No need to worry about visa as long as you stay within EEA borders

My sister and I sometimes hop over the border to do groceries in Germany. It's a thing we can easily do and it's awesome. Once you're over the border it's still very obvious you're in a different country. There are differences in architecture and infrastructure, for instance. The Netherlands spend a lot of money on their roads, and as soon as you cross the border, the quality goes down. Germany used to have big taxes on windows, so the country begin to prefer buildings with smaller windows. The Dutch like their windows big. Brands in stores are different. There's like... so much chocolate! Heck, even common brands are slightly different, such as Nutella (the German version is slightly darker and sweeter than the Nutella sold in Dutch stores). Of course, the language is different as well and we try to speak German when we're there (though you sometimes stumble upon employees who took Dutch in school). Personally, I think the people who are afraid of losing their cultural identity don't spend enough time abroad to actually notice the differences.

Erh, anyway, the open borders make countries lose out on some (sales) taxes, but that's one of the reasons members pay a fee. The idea is that the wealth gained from the open borders is distributed in a way that benefits all members. The UK recieves a bunch subsidies meant for argiculture. However, redistribution is a complex business, and due to the huge amount of rules and regulations, many recipients don't get what they're supposed to get. It's one of those things people rightfully get upset about.

(On the other hand, I can't imagine British farmers having a good time after the brexit, because those farms being unable to compete with more efficient farms across the EU is the reason they recieve subsidies. The UK would need to find other ways to protect their farmers, such as placing high taxes on imported food. If that's what's going to happen, I sincerily hope British consumers don't care much for tomatoes...)
45  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 26, 2016, 04:15:06 PM
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It's funny, like 4 months ago or something I was reading about a lot of European history and you could tell England just kind of hated Europe a lot of the time... and I was like "Wait.... is the UK even part of the EU? How? Really?"

Then I checked and it was like, yeah they are but I remember at the time thinking how strange that was, even though they are all developed countries the UK is pretty different culturally from mainland Europe at least historically with this forum lots of people from there can say better than me but just in terms of history... well oftentimes they just outright hated each other.

100 Years war, etc... lots of things that don't go lightly.

So when this happened I basically was just like "Of course" and moved onto other things...

Also I did learn about the distinctions about EEC and stuff, I don't think a lot of people are aware of those nuances and stuff.

England isn't exactly an exception. European history is basically one big clusterfuck of wars.

I mean, one of the reasons the Netherlands is the Netherlands is because our region came into possession of the Hapsburg family (a bunch of royals that controlled a big chunk of Europe thanks to the political marraiges and well, incest, of course), which put Philip II of Spain in charge. The Dutch weren't too happy with that, because King Philip was not a fan of the Calvinist teachings that were quickly spreading through the country. Now, these Calvinists weren't exactly sweethearts (especially when it came to religious artwork), but the Council of Blood created to stop them (as in: murder roughly 12,000 people) was a bit much. What followed was a rebellion led by prince William the Silent and a band of pirates (yes, really, because real history is much more interesting than anything Intelligent Systems can come up with). William the Silent was eventually assassinated, but the English came to the rescue and eventually the Dutch were able to sort of win. The Netherlands declared their indepence in 1579, though it took some time for the Spanish to actually recognise it. They don't call it the Eighty Years' War for nothing.

So, screw Spain?

Don't think the English were best buddies with the Dutch, though. Both countries were working hard on being assholes on a worldwide scale, and you bet there was a bloody rivalry.

So, screw England?

And then there is France. They invaded the Netherlands in 1795, put a French king on the throne and when that didn't work all that well, the country was absorbed into the French empire. You know how the whole Napoleon thing ended, so I'll just skip to the Dutch part: King William I took the throne and the country became independent again. Yay! Maybe...

So, screw France?

Independence wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, because there was an obvious rift between the Netherlands and what would eventually become Belgium. The country was split in two after the Belgian rebellion.

So, screw Belgium?

Actually, the Dutch did screw Belgium during the Great War. Belgium got caught up in the fighting while the Netherlands remained neutral and gave a big 'fuck you!' to Belgian refugees.

Anyway, what else happened during the 20th century should be well known, so I'll keep it short:

So, screw Germany?

And that's just the Netherlands. Fact is, most European countries aren't too fond of their neighbours. We try to get along because that's the only way to remain relevant on a global scale. Strength in numbers and all that. However, while many leaders stand behind the EU, there are many ordinary citizens who do not. They fear their cultural identity will be lost if they give the EU too much power. Which may kind of be true, if you're one of those weirdoes who eats stuff like cheese infested with maggots, but otherwise... Well, I've always though it was a bit of a bullshit argument.



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