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Team J.A.F.



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Anime

Posted by xccj , Sep 11 2007 · 28 views
News and Updates
I've been on an unmentionable web movie site, watching taped episodes of anime for the first time. They're very weird. Some are funny, some are a bit too mushy for my tastes, and really they're all just crazy. I don't know what those Japanese were thinking when they made them (most of the ones I've seen either have english subtitles or bad voiceovers). i guess this is what I get for not having cartoon network, because I'm brand new to this form of cartoons.

And the best anime work I've seen so far comes from edited clips that go along with music- essentually, anime music videos.

Wait, I'm in college now? I should be studying instead? I should not be enjoying this new high speed connection to watch cartoons online? Too bad. tongue.gif

But I still come to BZP to read Chaos in the Deep.

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The Bohrok Are Revolutionary!

Posted by xccj , Sep 09 2007 · 38 views
Thoughts
Well, maybe, so here are my thoughts…

I was just viewing this topic, asking what was your least favorite year. I answered 2005, and listed my reasons. Other people voted for other years too, because they have this oddity that I call “different opinions” that I just don’t quite understand but will have deal with anyway. tongue.gif Anyways, as I saw the results, I saw that 2001 didn’t get any votes (yeah, the first year of Bionicle bombed so badly that I stayed tune because I knew it could only get better) but 2002 also wasn’t rated the worst year either. That got me thinking. And realizing what a rare occurrence that is, I decided to write those thoughts down in a blog and post it for greater marketability.

Am I done with the lame jokes yet? Probably not.

So, what was 2002 all about anyway? Oh yeah, it was the Year of the Bohrok (they should add that to the Chinese calendar). So what made it so good that these buggy invaders could capture an audience after all the great Rahi-fighting Toa Originales? (just because there was an alternate poll discussing who uses ‘mata’ and ‘olda’, so I had to make up something ‘newa’) Uh, well, here are some of my thoughts.

Sets: The Bohrok were plagued with what we later called “clone-itus”. Besides for color and shield piece, they were identical. Why’d this work? Well, they were really the first clones to come around, because the Toa were not very clone-ish and the Rahi were far from it. (The Turaga and Matoran… well, for the sake of my argument, let’s not consider them to be pure clones yet. tongue.gif ) So, for the first “real” cloned sets, maybe people were more tolerant. When Lego wanted you to pick up six more of the same design with the Kal, then it got out of hand.

Then there was the fact that the sets were actually MONDO COOL! Think of it, have any other canister sets had all the playability of a Bohrok. They had arms, legs, and heads, so you could play with them in a humanoid-style fashion. They had about the best function ever with their head snapping gears (all the other gear sets either twirled arms or waists). If that function ability wasn’t enough, they could launch krana out of their foreheads as well. Then they could transform into their ball-like states to either be stored in status or used for bowling or other ball-related sports. (ever play Bohrok baseball? Then you’re glad all your Bohrok are clones) Really, mobility and overall image of sets have improved, but how many sports can you use a Piraka in? I can’t think of many (they could act as bowling pins in bohrok bowling, I suppose).

Then there was a storyline, which extended on the already super cool one that Bionicle had already established. The best thing they did was reuse the old heroes for the first part of the year, so we didn’t immediately get the Toa Bohroko, who descended from the skies to help fight off the Bohrok once the original Toa got crushed in round one. The comics were good, creating one of the most suspenseful and exciting sagas of the Bionicle comics that I can remember. (because later on the comics were always splicing up missing sections from the movies and books. In 02 they told the whole story). If you got bored of the toa’s adventures fighting the Bohrok, then you also had the cool flash animations on the web considering the home front (the animations weren’t the next MNOLG, but they sure beat MNOLG 2 for storyline material). It was a great year for a story, maybe even better than current years because it didn’t disregard anything of the past, because they considered most people would still remember 2001. Or maybe it also had something to do with me remembering the glory years of Bionicle, which were so much better than this current stuff, and which shaped my childhood forever! ( rolleyes.gif Note: maybe that’s too dramatic) Anyway, I thought it was good.

Yeah, there were other downsides. The Bohrok Va were not cut out to be replacements of the Turaga sets. With the Toa Nuva, we got the first signs of infection of clone-itus. The Bahrag, Exo Toa, and Boxer were excellent sets with amazing functions, but they were too expensive for some people. The on-line game of the time wasn’t any good (Battle for Mata-Nui… move Toa thingies around to whack all bohrok in le-Koro and Ta-koro, but get glitched out in Ga-Koro and die. Not to mention that this comes at the time when the Bohrok have already been defeated.) And, in case anyone remembers, the on-line updates were really slow… we got the last half of the online episodes in the last one month of the year. And, worst of all, the Bohrok saga just led to the Kal saga, which was a major flop set-wise.

But in the poll I linked to above, nobody had voted 2002 the worst year yet. So I’m going to credit the Bohrok for bringing a little bit of happiness to us in that year that made us like it better than, say, 2003 or 2005. They filled our hearts with joy as they unexplainably destroyed most of Mata-Nui and threatened to bring the end of Matoran society. (Hmm, I do believe that’s a good example of irony! Or satire… I dunno, did you memorize the meanings of all those English phrases? I was in the back doodling on my notes) ((And really, what the Bohrok did wasn’t all bad, the great spirits wanted them to do that stuff with leveling everything on Mata-Nui. They’re timing was a bit off because Makuta messed with their alarm clock. But, of course, we didn’t know that…))

Now did you get through that with a straight head? If so, then I obviously didn’t twist my words around enough. Make sure to count how many lame jokes you counted… so I can tell how well you read this. laugh.gif

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I Hate Keyboards

Posted by xccj , Sep 08 2007 · 29 views
News and Updates
Notice a deterioration of the grammatical quality of some of my latest posts?

Well, hopefully it hasn’t been that bad, but recently, I have been skipping keys and not capitalizing letters and silly mistakes like that. Where do I place this blame? Whose fault is it that I can’t type as well as before?

It’s the keyboard, obviously.

I have this new laptop, and thus a new laptop keyboard built into the thing. The keys are smaller than the traditional keyboard that I’m used to using. I like plenty of space to spread out my hands, and I want the individual keys to have some more thickness to them. Those styles of keyboards make it hectic for transporting, which is what laptops are great for. But my typing skills are going downhill.

Besides missing the right keys ever now and then, sometimes it goes all wacky on me while I’m typing and suddenly, instead of typing on the end of my sentence, it automatically teleports my curser and I’m typing in the middle of my paragraph! I have absolutely no idea why it does this, as I can’t connect what key I’m using at the time that makes it go wacky. I think it may have to do with the number pad, which is now embedded in the right side of the keys in the alphabet. (The numbers pad is the small keyboard with the numbers and a few select options that is so good for accountants. To prevent laptop keyboards from being too wide, they fuse that in with the letter keys too. Of course, there’s still the line of numbers above the alphabet that I’ve always used, but still…) Anyway, I’m not sure what causes the problem (or even if I’ve adequately described it here) but it’s bugging me.

I hope to get another keyboard to hook up to my laptop when it’s at my desk in my room. Until then, my grammar may be a bit off here and there… so consider this a warning. (And this blog doesn’t count… I wrote it in Word and spellchecked it and everything… so the obviously wrong things have been taken care of. Other silly mistakes are my own fault, but have probably always been apparent, so there…)

Anyway, I have nothing better to blog about. I haven’t updated my stories because (among annoying keyboards) I have somewhat of a writers block for everything and am just getting by playing games and watching movies and reading other people’s work.

Bye now.

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That Is So High School...

Posted by xccj , Sep 05 2007 · 34 views
News and Updates
I had a big paper to turn in for my course. by "turn in" I mean "e-mail", because our class is all about technology, and why use more paper when the teacher knows how to use e-mail? Anyway, since it was due "Wednesday" by class time (nine in the morning, pretty much), I spent all last night writing it up. It wasn't a great paper, but it was complete. I e-mail it, and come to class tired but glad I didn't have to write anymore on the subject. Turns out, the due date was extended, I just didn't check to see the update on the course website. I guess this mostly comes from people panicking and complaining to the professor. So he apparently gave us an extra day.

Now, I’ve had that happen to me numerous times in high School, but I thought teacher kindness ended there? Aren't they supposed to suck your blood in universities or something? Or maybe that's just English teachers... my professor is very cool. And lenient too, to an extent.

Now I'm catching up on missed sleep.

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Theme Music

Posted by xccj , Sep 03 2007 · 34 views
Thoughts
Just listening to my new Ipod and watching internet Indiana Jones trailers (turns out they're fanmade, but some are okay), and I'm thinking about how many songs I have that are themes to some sort of show or another. So, here's a quick list.
  • Back to the Future- Awesome music for time travelin'. Originally bought it to be used in a spanish parody of the movie I did for my (gosh) spanish class. Kept it 'cause it's cool.
  • Indiana Jones Theme Music: Kinda obvious, right? Although there are multiple varieties of Indy music, and only have one. I’ve been meaning to search for some others to download, whether they be free from Lucus Films or paid for through Zune (yes, I buy music on Zune but now I listen to an ipod.) Also note, I know how to enjoy orchestra music and hum it to myself, but I know nothing about composing it or otherwise making it. So if my ignorance mortifies any of you band geeks, well, I warned ya. sly.gif
  • Pirate of the Caribbean Theme Music: Not the best selection, and I can’t remember where I got it. I know it wasn’t something I got for myself… maybe somebody else gave me the song.
  • Top Gun theme music: I have it, but I don’t like it as much. I think this particular track was recorded off something else, because it’s rather broken.
  • Jurassic Park: I did another parody of that movie for my Spanish class, so I have its theme music too.
  • Star Trek Intro music: also for the Spanish project, and this fifty second long track I bought online for 99 cents. Rip off. But, of course, it is from the original star trek, so that’s a plus.
  • The Bridge of Khazad Dum- LotR: I love the traditional LotR theme music, and BoKD has the best section of it. Probably because that was the most spectacular section of the first movie, but I love listening to it over and over. It just brings all the excitement of LotR right down to it, plus a little soft section where Galdalf dies. I took this song off a CD from my friend, and I also took the track “Treason of Isengard”
  • Phantom of the Opera: One of the musicals I saw when I went to New York. There’s one, I dunno, track of it that I really like, which is like the intro music they use for the phantom himself that is just great rock. The rest of the music is more soft, but tis okay.
  • Curtains: Another musical I saw in NY, NY. This one’s not so much for the music as the lyrics, which are hilarious!
  • Les Miserables: a classical musical, or so I’ve been told. I bought a CD of the original broadway cast in New York, and some of the songs aren’t half bad.
  • Breakfast at Tiffanies: Never seen the movie, but the song rocks. Actually, I think the song came after the movie, didn’t it? Oh well.
  • Aladdin: For a while, I was craving Disney music, so I bought the Aladdin CD online.
  • Wild Again (Original Soundtrack from the movie Cocktails, by Starship, or Jefferson Starship. I dunno what their name was at that time): This is just a completely awesome song that I love to listen to. Never seen the movie, but I can’t find this song anywhere besides the movie’s original soundtrack, so I guess the two must be interchangeable.
And I think that’s most of it. Now you know some of what I’m listening to. tongue.gif

music.gif *Currently listen to Theme from Back to the Future* music.gif



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My Dorm...

Posted by xccj , Sep 02 2007 · 27 views
News and Updates
Entering week three of my college experience. Woo hoo, haven't died yet! (Although I'm sitll getting used to my laptop's keyboard) Since I have nothing better to put here, I'd thought I'd describe my dorm room.

First of all, I'm on the seventh floor. Tis high up, which doesn't bother me. What does bother me is that I'm on the wrong side of the building. On the other side, you can get an excelent view of the Seattle skyline, with bridges over Lake Washington and the Space Needle and everything. Instead, I'm stuck on the north side, facing the suburbs and a boring Safeco building. On the bright side, I have a tree right in front of the window, so i don't have to worry about sniper attacks.

I'm in a double room, so i get one side all to myself. I have a dresser (which fits all of my clothes. I brought more than I usually would for a Boy scout camping trip, but the thing still holds them nicly. It's like it was made for long term living!) I have a bed that's pretty high up, which allows me to store some drinks and a fridge underneith it. It's pretty good... the mattress could be better, but I didn't really expect a good one anyway. The problem is it is a little high to crawl into... I kinda have to make a jump to get in. Then i have a desk, complete with a lamp and laptop, which has an ethernet cord and everything. i also have a cable attached to my laptop that connects to the desk, so if somebody tried to steal my laptop, they'd have to steal my desk too! (Not fullproof, because the desk can fit through the door, but I think it might be noticable if somebody's seen carrying a desk down the hall). And I also have a fan, because heat rises and on the warmer days, the room can get pretty hot. (Not to mention it feels good after running up seven flights of stairs).

And now, the part you've all been waiting for! Which Lego's did I bring? Well, I have lewa Mata hanging of my curtain stand, I have my MOCtoran Jaller standing atop a bulleton board. (I also broad MOCtoran Matoro, Hewkii, and Nuparu, but I'm keeping them in storage right now until I have a good place to display them). On top of an outlet, kinda out of the way but still visable, is my favorite minifigure with his katana. And standing on the side of my desk, teeth glowing in the dark, is Thok. The rest of my collection is stored in canisters or boxes back in my old room. (Hopefully, they haven't been disturbed yet, but I don't know if my sister or parents will just throw them out to make space for... whatever they plan to put in my room. Geez.)

And the best part is... I have to change rooms in two weeks when my Early Fall Start session is over, so all this stuff has to get packed up and moved across campus! Woohoo!

All in all, it's pretty nice. better now that I can access BZP from my room. Now I have to start thinking about that ten page midterm for my EFS class. Bye.

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Mt. Rainier

Posted by xccj , Aug 28 2007 · 37 views
News and Updates
Man, this weekend I went on an awesome hike on Mt. Rainier. For those of you who may not know your geography of the western coast of North America, Mt. Rainier is the tallest mountain in Washington State, over 14 thousand feet tall. 'Course, Whitney in California and even Elbert in Colorado are taller, and McKinley stomps them all, but it's tall enough. And furthermore, it's a volcano.

I didn't make it to the top. But I went on an interesting hike along a nearby ridge that offered some great views (they'd probably be even better when the clouds lifted and we could actually see beyond the immediate countryside). It was an easy hike that I took along with some other new Freshmen. It was a great way to meet some new people who like to hike (and see which ones of them actually knew how to hike... alot did, but some tending to be near the back). Twice I went ahead on the trail with smaller groups and had to turn back around... once when we just made it to the bottom of the hill ("Now come on back up. We'll wait for you at the top. Hurry along"). It was great to get away from the city environment on campus, and offered some great exersise. It was a blast.

The coolest and saddest part of the trip was this monsterous glacier. It looked pretty big, but I could tell that it had shrunk compared to the valley around it, which at some point it must've carved. If global warming is real (and from my view point, it is) that glacier and others like it won't be around much longer. I hope to take a few more trips up to the mountain next summer to explore it more before things change too much.

Plus, the RAs (Resident Advisors) that drove us there and back were kinda scary on the road... tongue.gif

Anyhow, this is my blog entry. I hope whatever updates that happen around here fix BZP up, but if not, I'll drop by the library every now and then to check up on this and other blogs. Bye.

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Edit: Wha... WOOHOO! I can access the forums on my laptop now! Yay! Thanks, BZP Staff!


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Computer Down

Posted by xccj , Aug 22 2007 · 40 views
News and Updates
I do not know why, but my new laptop does not allow me to view the BZP forums. So although I've tried to sign on alot, I'm not having any luck.

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Last Blog Entry...

Posted by xccj , Aug 19 2007 · 24 views
News and Updates
I had a really cool blog idea to post, but then the BZP server was down for a couple of days, and now I have no time. Oh well, maybe later.

Anyhow, this is my last blog entry from home. I'm heading up to the University of Washington today. Hopefully the internet there will be working.

Be blogging later. Kinda want to read everybody else's new blog entries too, but I'm short on time.

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Carapar Vs Hewkii

Posted by xccj , Aug 15 2007 · 43 views
Reviews
Recent additions to my Bionicle collection include the mean Barakki, Carapar, and a new Toa Mahri, Toa Hewkii. Finally, I was able to get my hands on one of the Mahri. And despite the fact that I liked Hahli, I got Hewkii instead because he looked more interesting as a set. But how does he compare to Mr. Evil Carapar? Here’s a long, detailed review to give my thoughts on the subjects.

Canisters.

Geez, Lego, you messed up the canisters this year. Sure, Carapar’s looks cool enough, but it sits awkwardly and doesn’t hold the guy very well… when I restuffed him in, I had to remove all his limbs first. But Hewkii’s is a total mess. Cardboard and flimsy plastic? No way. If Lego’s trying to conserve on money, why are the Toa still $10?

Winner: Carapar, but it was only the lesser of the two evils.

Pieces

Carapar has the basic pieces with him… standard arms, legs, body, and so on. The leg and shoulder armor is the coolest new piece in him, but they make him too bulky. His claws offer to be interesting new weapons, but not in the set-up he’s given. Meanwhile, Hewkii has three different types of silvery armor/weaponry, cool colored pieces and chains. Plus, his Cordak blaster connection is unique. Not the best, but good for Lego for trying something new.

Winner: Hewkii

Color

Carapar is Keetongu orange and gray, with some of his armor being a cool yellow/brown mixture. Hewkii is Keetongu orange and black, with a lot of silvery instruments. The red is a little off on him, but black goes better with Keetongu orange than gray.

Winner: Hewkii

Head / Mask

Carapar’s head is pretty nifty… gives him the look of a slow but mean lookin’ guy. The jaws and teeth make him look pretty scary, and I think this head design is one of the best of the Mahri. Hewkii’s mask of gravity, besides having a cool power, makes for a good manta-ray head design. I really like the mask, which looks all the cooler because it doesn’t connect to the mouth. Unfortunately, Hewkii has that connector in his mouth for the air tube, which destroys the whole image. On the bright side, we’re seeing Metru Toa heads again, with eyes too!

Winner: Carapar

Projectile

Come on, Carapar has squids, which suck. The Cordak blaster, while it may violate a non-violence thing with Lego, work well enough. Sure, they need some force to shoot the things, otherwise those bullets will just stay where they are, but they shoot accurately and far. Already lost one, which makes it good that Hewkii comes with ten. I think I still prefer Zamors with magazines, but the Cordak blasters aren’t bad. Now I can see why Kongu wanted two.

Winner: Hewkii

Mobility

Carapar’s bulky, which make some of his limb movements awkward. This is where his cool colored armor causes problems. He lacks compared to some of the other Barakki, but he can swing his arms and legs around well enough to give him some good poses. His claws are no good, though, just as I guessed. The pieces have to be at the right angle (but its not exactly a right angle) to look good. If the angle is wrong, the claws look rather stupid. If you were expecting cool snapping action, think again. The curved claw also makes it awkward to be held as an individual blade, so I can’t this place one piece in each hand (because I threw away the squid launcher, what a waste of plastic there). Meanwhile, we have Hewkii. The legs are too short for my liking, although their hold him up and give him a hunched appearance. His left arm (Yeah, most of the Mahri are now left handed.) Works okay, with his wickedly cool long blade at the end. But his right arm… no good. The position of the Cordak blaster means he has no hand movement, and the blades on the upper arm further restrict movement of the arm. The chains kind of get in the way (so I attached them to his back) and really have no use. Hewkii Inika’s chain had a use… this time I think Hewkii got chains just for the effect of having chains. His head movement, little as it could be, is restricted greatly by the fins of the mask and air tube. Plus, the mask fins and right-arm blades keep getting in the way of each other.

Winner: They both have problems, but Carapar has less of them.

Well, they’re both mediocre sets. They both include aspects that are apparent in 2007… new, unique designs using older pieces to good effects. While they’re worth some of their money, they’re not revolutionary sets like the Rahkshi, Metru, and Piraka were (in my books, anyway). Carapar is not my favorite Barakki design… I like him better than Ehlek, but Mantax, Takadax, and Kalmah have better designs (in that order). As far as Hewkii is concerned… he’s different. Hahli and Jaller have more basic Toa designs, of which I don’t know how well they work. Hewkii does not live up to his great Inika form, but he makes an interesting enough Mahri.

I hope to get either Hahli or Nuparu next, of if I can find them at a “Buy two get one free sale”, I might pick up Jaller too. Matoro and Kongu can just stay on their store shelves for all I care. I like Hahli and Nuparu’s designs and weaponry better, but Jaller has an interesting body design, and I believe his situation with his Cordak blaster (on the crab) might be more convenient than all those Toa who hold the blasters in their hands.

That, and I’ve also added another chapter to Slizers on Mata-Nui. Unfortunately, the story topic has been plagued by the “whole page not loading” thing on BZP, so some people may not be able to view the chapters. If you can view it (I can), please post. If you can’t… well, it’s still an okay chapter. tongue.gif

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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
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I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

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~ Tove Styrke

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