Archive for the 'Random' Category

23
May
09

Fragments

I would say that it’s been a while since my last update but that would a) be the biggest understatement and b) an insult to you, the reader. I would say that it was out of pure laziness that I haven’t been active on here, nor MSN then I would be lying. Coursework, exams and family matters have taken up the last month leaving me with little time for watching, playing anything let alone writing. However, that is about to change, most of the stuff vital to the success of my MSc is done… aside from my dissertation.

 So, here come the updates:

Otascotia:

Dave and I are beginning to find our feet with the show and it’s beginning to take shape as to what part we’ll actually play in the weekly scope of things. We’re hoping that, as a show, we interact with the community as well as doing more of the ‘Eurovision Commentary’ style things that we had last week.

Unfortunately, that’s going to require a whole lot of investment – not only in time but also financially. We recently came to the realisation that the current setup we have is inadequate for the type of show that we want to do so we’re going to invest in a mixing desk and several microphones, cables etc. So stay tuned as we’ll be making several improvements over the coming weeks.

Cali-Otaku: SS:

Regular readers, listeners will know that the podcast is kind of in limbo at the moment, but with future plans about to be embarked upon there needs to be a shake up of the “podcast”. As a result the last ever SS will be coming to you shortly. Seeing as it’s the last one we’d love for listeners to contact us with questions and comments (cali-otakuss@live.co.uk), as we will answer them on air.

While this is the last ever SS podcast, there are plans in place for a podcast for our future project with a new cast and maybe a new format, we’re still sketching out the details. But I personally want to thank everyone who’s helped out as a guest as well as everyone who has taken the time to listen to the show. We’ve loved doing it so there’s no doubt that there will be something appearing to take its place very, very soon.

The Project:

From the planning meetings and discussions, this could potentially the biggest thing that Dave and I have ever embarked upon, funding and the sheer amount of work required to garner interest from those in and outwith the community is going to be pretty high. This is why we’re reluctant to make an official announcements until we have more of the pieces of the puzzle in place before we give anything away. We’re working away behind the scenes to have more teasers appearing across the Internet soon.

Mark

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27
Feb
09

Best Laid Plans

Bar the occasional Podcast posting I’ve not really been using this place as intened.  This is about to change.  I’m currently working on a feature for Street Fighter IV, consider it a look at the franchise through the eyes of a novice, while it seems like an interesting concept in my head it may not turn out like that on paper… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

If you haven’t heard already; Dave and I are part of the Otascotia Radio Network, we have our own show on Saturday nights from around 8pm (this is a tentative time, we may begin early depending on alcohol/energy drink intake).  Check us out at www.otascotia.co.uk as well as being part of the forum (click here).  Infact, the case for fridays is that we normally get together and try and plan what we’re going to talk about but once again my co-host doesn’t seem to be awake yet, so looks like I could be planning this one on my own.

Outside the internet I recently recieved what I’m guessing was meant to be an ‘olive branch’ by someone who, for whatever reasons, no longer wishes to acknowlege my existence and while I’m sure it was meant with best intentions it came off as rather insulting.  But hey, I don’t judge, I just get on with it.

Other than that I am working my way through the ranks of Tai Kwon Do… well by ‘working my way through’ I mean that Grand Master Loh has stopped reffering to me as “beginner” and now reffers to me as “white-belt”.  Sure people may not think that is an achievement but I should point out that I dont even have a uniform yet.  It seems to be doing wonders for my self-esteem too, while it is painfull (putting it mildly) I keep pushing myself and every week I want to learn more and improve, even if it’s just being able to kick that little bit higher.

Kamsamida

Mark

(P.S Keep an eye out for my feature I should have it up fairly soon)

12
Jan
09

Pensive

Seeing as I’m in a pensive mood, I may as well do some updating.

Personal updates have been fairly few and far between recently mainly due to the fact that I’m still in the same confused position I was before. Yet, there’s an odd determination in me to try and sort things out, although that can only really be done face to face. I’m not giving up though, never. In the meantime I’ve been trying to take my mind off things, which is easy enough (figuratively speaking) as I’ve been busy as hell.

My web design coursework hell has now been submitted (here’s the link incase you wanna have a look: Clicky), so now I just need to sit back and wait on the marks to come back. Well, I say “sit back”, study like a madman might be more accurate seeing as I’ve got 2 exams coming up soon. ARGH!

Other than that I’ve got a bunch of stuff to update on too.

On the tv/anime/random stuff front; I’ve finished watching Avatar (I should have a review of the last 2 books written up after the 23rd, probably along with some discussion on the podcast). I’ve re-watched the entirety of season 4 of Lost on Blu-ray just in time for the new season kicking off in a couple of weeks.

The new season of Cali-Otaku: SS will kick off on the 23rd, I’m currently hammering out the podcast shedule as we speak, expect the first one to be as random as ever seeing as my brain will be shot to hell. We’re doing it straight after an exam.

My 360 is dead, so I’ll be out of the gaming scene for the next couple of weeks.  Convenient

Other than that, my 2009 resolution is to get fit, so (crazily) I’ve decided to start Tai Kwon Do.  So, the first few months of the year look like they’re gonna be the most painful.  hey, I’m sure they’ll allow podcast recording from the (*shudder*) hospital.

Mark

10
Jan
09

RIP 1up and EGM

I’m a little late with this one due to deadlines and whatnot but tardiness should not be percieved as not caring.

Earlier this week prominant game site 1up.com (formally owned by Ziff Davis) announced that they were to be taken over by UGO.  While I have never heard of them, think it’s an american thing, they seem to be pretty big.  This was to be great news, especially seeing that Ziff Davis had filed for a chapter 11 last year (the equivalent to administration in the UK), and would hopefully “save” 1up.com.  This was not to be.

While the official press statements have said that UGO wanted to salvage as much of the site/podcasts and EGM Magazine (1ups only print publication after the closing of GFW Magazine) as they could, most of it had to go due to “what was profitable”.

As a result over 30 seriously talented people have lost their jobs over at 1up.  And while this may not concern many of you, this kinda hits home alot for me personally.  Without 1up I doubt I would ever have gotten the motivation to do a podcast, ever.  These guys had the talent and personalities not just for me to listen to one but hundreds over the years that I visited the site. 1upyours, The 1upshow, GFW Radio, Retronauts, Legendary Thread, EGM Live, 1upFM, LAN Party. These were all awesome!

Long live GFW

Long live GFW!

 

I was genuinely upset at the news and was following the updates on twitter and GAF until 3am the day it broke; the fact that so many people were given one days warning that they had no job to go back to this early into the new year is heartbreaking especially as these people were willing to open up their lives for us on the Internet.  Something that takes some serious balls to do.

So what can I say other than I hope everyone who worked at Ziff Davis speedily finds a new job, god knows they have enough creative abilty to make even me want to hire them!

But also I hope those that are left assert themselves and try to get 1up back to where it was.   While the site and content will never be the same again, with the backing of UGO it now has the power to become something different and hopefully they will keep the integrity that 1up and EGM were infamous for.

No doubt I’ll be bringing this up on the podcast soon but I wanted to write something down.  Keep on trucking guys, I’ll be following you on twitter!

Mark

25
Dec
08

Happy Holidays

Seeing as this is officially a day off, I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Merry Christmas, Chanouka and any other holidays that I may be ignorant of.  I’ve got an extra special holiday gift for you all, that I’ll post soon.  Dave (not the Cali-Otaku one) and I recorded a 2008 review podcast last night; while it was supposed to be a short bridge for the Special New Year Edition of Cali-Otaku: SS… we kinda went on for about an hour an a half.  But there’s some awesome stuff in there, so I’ll get that edied and posted up here ASAP.

Have an awesome day folks ^^

Mark

19
Dec
08

A Metaphor

Wait… is it really classed as a metaphor if it’s this obvious…?

Plus, what does it actually mean anyway… I’m a child?  Or have the brain of one?

 This isn’t working out at all!!

*Runs*

Mark

13
Dec
08

Still Standing

Previous readers to my blog will have noticed that I made the ingenious decision to turn up late to a mock exam.  Real smart mark, reeaaal smart.  Luckily enough various meetings with the module leader have resulted in little more than a rap on the knuckles, bar the obvious looks of disappointment, so I’m still going to have to do my damn website design coursework. Argh!

It’s not that I dont like doing it, hell this is like bungee jumping compared to the 4 years of accounting that I’ve done previously, it’s just that I take my creative work (well it is, kinda) pretty damn seriously.  And pretty damn seriously means some pretty damn serious time being spent on it.

serious business

Bearing in mind I have little enough time as it is, that’s a tall order.  I’ve only recently just fixed my time machine so I can eat and sleep again, I dont wanna end up creating some paradoxes causing the very fabric of reality to be destroyed… or maybe I do want that… it’s been a hard week.

More opinionative stuff has been happening though.  In the spare time of waiting for my Delorian to heat up, you can only use a flux-capacitor so many times before it starts to be unreliable, I’ve been watching the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender.  While it does have a rediculous name, it is rather good.  Although I’ve been avoiding it for a while, my fellow peddler of smut recommended I take some time out to watch it… and I did.

Avatar, no matter how you look at it, is aimed at a younger audience.  This means that themes such as; genocide; war; death and fear, while all mentioned, are quickly glossed over to reveal the moral heavy overtones in most episodes.  Subtlety is also another element that is quickly disposed of throughout the first half of the ‘Book of Water’ (season 1 to you and me) and if you’ve had a hearty diet of science fiction/anime/anything you can predict backgrounds to characters, future events and probable twists that will probably occur during the next 2 books.  Although I’ll have to get back you on that.

Yet, even the premise of the show seems to lack any solid impact.  The elemental use, or ‘bending’ as its referred to throughout seems horribly basic.  When introduced to ‘so called’ masters most (apart from the last 5 episodes) will consist of lifting something into the air and throwing it.  Call me crazy but thats kind of a sham.  It’s like when you go and see a magician only to have the rabbits eat through his coat pockets before he can get them in the hats!  At least in shows like Naruto masters means summoning dead bodies, monsters destroying souls etc.

I know I seem relatively harsh on this but the season does redeem itself in the last quarter.  Abilities become more interesting, characters (Especially Zuko the banished prince from the fire country) become more developed and less of a dull 2d walking cliché and all the elements of the previous 15 episodes are slowly wound up  into something alot more gratifying.

If the show were limited to these 20 episodes then I doubt it would be worth the hype that it’s garnered throughout the animation community.  However, considering there is another 40 episodes to come and that things are seriously beginning to pick up pace, the prospect of watching a second season becomes that little bit more exciting.

Mark




Welcome

I'm Mark Gibson & this is another one of my blogs where you're likely to find musings of daily life, gaming & just plain rambling.

Currently Playing:
Modern Warefare 2
Borderlands
Forza 3


Currently Watching:
South Park


Currently Listening to:
Cage - Depart From Me
Flobots - Fight With Tools


Currently Reading:
The Wheel of Time (again)


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