…but were afraid to ask.

OK, interview time. Ask me any five questions, and I’ll answer them truthfully. The only requisite is that I will ask you five questions of my own, which you will have to answer in return!

New anime…

So we decided to check out the first episode of two new anime series that are being fansubbed right now.

First up was Divergence EVE. It’s a science fiction series, and we see various people running around some sort of space station that seems to have been built around a typical Star Trek-like space anomaly. We didn’t like this one: there’ s lots of CG (“Oooh, look! We can render the spaceships really photo-realistically!” “But the movement is really crappy, and it doesn’t really match up with the drawn parts!” “Oh shut up! Will you just look at all the pretty light effects we made!?”) and the character designs are… I don’t know. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with breasts on women, but this is overdoing it. As someone on IRC said: “The girl enters the room a week after her breasts did.”. (They all suffer from the Macho Women With Guns disadvantage “Top Heavy”…)
I don’t think I’ll be downloading this any more.

Next was NARUTARU. I had to look at the series name twice, because at first I read it as ‘Naruto’, which it isn’t. It’s about a girl who, while staying at her grandparents on some semi-tropical island, meets a sea-star like creature (which she names ‘Hosimaru’ (“round star”)) when she nearly drowns while swimming out of the bay. The creature saves her, and when she goes back home she take him with her.
It’s pretty wacky: Hosimaru can turn in some sort of flying surf board, and he simply doesn’t speak (which is a plus, of course: we don’t want another cute monster shouting “Pika! Pika!” all the time). There’s a slight hint of things to come as we see a sea dragon emerge from the sea, with a girl standing on top of him.
I think we’ll watch this one: it’s pretty formulaic but fun, with nice character designs.

Earlier on, we checked out two episodes of Wandaba Style. This is about a group of second-rate idols who are hired out by their sleazy manager to some kid genius. This kid wants to send mankind to the stars, without using polluting things like rocket fuel. While he comes across as smart, he still insists on using ancient Japanese measures and doing all of his calculations with a slide rule. (If this is not an advert for everybody (this means you, Imperial measurements-using Americans and British!) to switch to metrics, I don’t know what is).
As you can expect, much wackiness ensues, with one faulty contraption launched after another, the dynamics between the four idols and their manager who tries to have them take their clothes off.
I think we’ll watch this one in the future too.

Grime…

Maybe I should clean my keyboard. If you look at it, you’d think I never wash my hands…

(Or perhaps my cat does all sorts of yucky stuff with it at night, when I’m not there to see what’s going on…)

My saturday

Not much happened. We cleaned up the house a bit, then went to see the cufflinks Ingeborg is going to give me for our wedding. They’re beautiful, but we wanted them engraved as well. I’m really curious to see what they make of that. I look foward to wearing them in August!
I also got myself a new mobile phone: the previous one broke permanently. I got myself a Sony Ericsson T100. It was “only” 130 euros, so with a life expectancy of one year I’m discarding about 10 euro’s a month, which is marginally acceptable. I need to get rid of my subscription though: I don’t call that much, so I probably should use prepaids. But I need my subscription to be able to call from Japan, so I bought a SIM-lock free phone (more expensive, but if I switch to prepaid I can just pop in the SIM-card and be done with it).

In the evening, Jan came over and we finished watching Serial Experiments Lain. This is certainly a series that gets better with each viewing, because of all the nuances and fore-shadowing. We also watched Laputa: Castle in the Sky. A good time was had by all.
Ingeborg and Jan then went to “smoke-free dancing”. I wanted to join them, but I was completely floored, and couldn’t keep my eyes open. Next one is in September, so I’ll make sure to go then.

The bread’s been finished for over an hour now, but Ingeborg’s still asleep. I think I’ll just let her, we don’t have anything important planned today. Sundays are for sleeping in and doing nothing in particular.

(Oh, and I want to build an RSS-feature into our product at work! Would be really cool to be able to syndicate stuff over sites. I’ll talk to my boss about it tomorrow — we get lots of requests like that.)

Ghita

We got a card from Ghita. The only message was that she congratulated us on our wedding. There was also a calling card: seems she gives workshops bellydancing these days.

I’m going to send her an invitation and write a short note saying that we should catch up before the 22nd. I’m really curious to see what she’s like these days.

Smeedwerk: Cinema Mobilé

We went to see Smeedwerk’s new piece Cinema Mobil&eacute. Smeedwerk is a theatre company for “location theatre”, which means that their shows are always in the open air, on locations that are specifically selected for the type of piece they’re doing that year.

Last year, we went to “Val van Paard”, about King William III (who was king of both the Netherlands and the UK), in Kasteel Rozendaal. I’m not a theatre buff (so perhaps I’m easy to please), but the way the location was used in the piece was very good, and the characters and story were very entertaining.
I hadn’t been to a theatre since, but when Catelijne mailed to ask us if we wanted to see Smeedwerk again, we didn’t have to think long. And again, it was very good.

Cinema Mobilé is about a mobile cinema (duh!), ran by three brothers and one woman. Business is going bad, so the eldest makes a deal with a reality TV show. The producer enters their lives and starts stirring up conflicts that had remained under the surface, to get better ratings. (In between scenes, they showed parts of the TV show on monitors, which was a really nice touch.)

The location was excellent again. We went to see it in park Sonsbeek in Arnhem. They had recreated a mobile cinema there (though the public was sitting towards the “projection cabin”, with their back to the screen [though there were old westerns projected on that screen, so you had to look over your shoulder to see what was going on there]). Part of the set was an old Citroën camper, which the actors used to climb on or in. Everybody stayed in character the whole time: things were going on on every part of the “stage”. While the focus of the story was somewhere else, the other actors were still doing their thing. If you want to see it all, you’d probably have to go see it twice or maybe even three times.
The acting is also very dynamic. People walk off the stage to go see the deer in the park, or they climb on their motor and drive off, which gives the impression of really being there. I don’t think you could do that in a building.

Luckily, the weather held up, and a good evening was had by all. We know we’re going next year too.

RahXephon

OK, so we’ve finished watching RahXephon.

Spoilers within for both RahXephon and NGE

All in all, a solid 8.5 in my book.

OK, so I understand that we’re all adults, and that we can’t play RPG’s all night every night. I’m an adult now too (*cough*), and I have basically the same problems.
So here’s what I do: I write a prospectus, detailing the various campaigns that I consider running. People give points to these campaigns, and I take the top-scoring ones and invite the people who bid the most on those campaigns. I even start running two campaigns: MagicCaptors and the Continuum game.
We schedule an initial meeting (not too far in the future), and everything runs smoothly. At the end of each session, we schedule the next session, some three weeks in the future.

It all works like a charm, until someone can’t make the appointed date. Then we get into scheduling limbo: I ask people to mail a set of dates that are convenient for them, some of them don’t do that, the appointed time window passes, and nothing happens.
I mean, I understand that you are all busy people, but come on! I’m busy too — too busy to have to call everybody about a new date. I thought you people wanted to play this campaign — now it’s just like you’re doing me a favor by turning up or something. But it’s not: I’m doing you a favor by running these games — they take enough time as it is without having to babysit everyone.

My Amber campaign bled dry because of this. All what was needed was one lousy session, but we never got around to actually doing that. It burned me out for some time, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to deal with that again. I think I’ll give ’em all one more chance, and then I’ll just chuck the campaigns I guess. I don’t want to, but I want to deal with stuff like that even less.

Check!

I’m really glad that cthani agreed to be one of my best men at the wedding. I was a bit worried: in an entry he wrote about having mixed feelings attending a wedding of a colleague, and I can fully understand why. That’s why I was very careful not to make him feel forced to agree: if he wasn’t up to it, I would have asked my sister.
But he didn’t even have to think about it: he agreed immediately.

Thanks man.

So here it is!

Behind a cut to protect the Prolog illiterate

It works in Strawberry Prolog, and prints out the first solution. If you want all solutions, just add process_permutation(T, Target). after write("for a total of "), write(Target), nl.

OK, what can I say? I’m a geek, and I love stuff like this.