News from the future


And so it begins. After much persuasion from my friends and family, I type this update from my brand new Samsung Galaxy Nexus. That’s right. I got a smartphone. I can’t really say that I feel smart though.


I picked it up during my lunch break on Monday. I walked in with the intention of just asking a few questions about data plans, but in the end it just made sense to pull the trigger then and there. This post is being written from the WordPress app on my phone. What a grand experiment. I feel like I’m living in the future.

The Addams Family Musical

A few weeks back, I was able to attend the Saturday evening showing of The Addams Family Musical at the Shubert Theater in the theater district. It was truly the last minute decision. Christy had let me know about the show and that she and some other friends would be in attendance, but I had not actually bought the ticket until a couple days prior to the show. Despite that, I still managed to get a pretty decent seat in the first row of the balcony.

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WordCamp Boston 2011

As one might surmise by the badge above, I attended WordCamp Boston this year. It was held right down the street at Boston University. I had only found out that a WordCamp was being held in Boston about a week and a half beforehand. When I saw where it would be, I leaped at the opportunity. Registration was only US$40, which is incredibly reasonable for a technical conference.

Read on to hear more about some of the panels I attended.
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Botcon 2010

I have finally gotten around to posting the gallery for Botcon 2010 on Orlando, Florida. Maybe sometime I’ll get to doing the gallery for 2009. Above you can see the obligatory group photo. Unfortunately, it was done very impromptu as Ernie and Rubin were trying to leave, so we couldn’t find Sam nor Robert in time to be in the photo.

There was lots to see this year. I took plenty of pictures of the display cases for upcoming product, the Transformers Hall of Fame and some random rare items found at various dealer booths. The image above is me holding one of the rarest items that was released at retail exclusively in Japan. That one, in particular, was on sale for US$1,000. Most of you don’t care about that though, so here is a picture of Sam ironing his shirt.

Next year will be back in Pasadena. Hopefully it won’t be quite so humid out.

Halloween 2009

Yesterday marks one of my favorite times of year. Halloween.

Its one of those instances where I really like to go all out. Normally I keep my costume a big a secret and work on it for months ahead of time. Now that Brenna is here, I figured we should do a group/couples costume and I already had an idea that I had been percolating for the past couple months. Figuring that we were both pretty obstinate people and that we would be stepping on each others’ shoes if we worked on the same parts of the costume, I divided the task up. Brenna took the costumes and I took the ‘accessories’. The costumes themselves are fairly simplistic, though, I admit, I underestimated how much attention to detail she was going to pay. The accessories were incredibly ambitious and I wanted the challenge of learning a new skill. As far as I’m concerned, unlearned skills are obstacles waiting to be overcome.

In case you haven’t guessed by the post banner image at the top, we decided to go as two of the Voltron pilots. I went as Keith, pilot of the black lion and Brenna went as Lance, pilot of the red lion. The accessories that I was to work on were plushie versions of our respective lions. The project turned out to be so ambitious that I only completed the black lion. I say completed, but it didn’t have any hind legs. I just ran out of time, so I referred to him as a sea lion the entire night.

More on the lion another day.

New Checks

Just before the AnimeBoston/Botcon combo hit me, I ran out of checks to pay bills.

This might be the first time in roughly five years or more that I’ve run out of checks. I think the second time ever. Last time, there was a little slip at the back of the last checkbook to order a new set of checks. No such luck this time around. I went online to check my account and as I suspected there was an option there to order more checks. I went through the motions and soon I was at the part where I selected the background of the check. They didn’t have the same amazingly bland and boring background I had before, so I looked through each design set. There were maybe 50 different sets. Naturally as soon as I saw the design below, I knew which set to choose. The landlady is going to love these.

Recently, I had two different friends (Joe and Christy) send me invites to I found it curious how two people who are from completely different circles from my life sent me invites to the same site within a week or so of each other. Curious enough that I joined. The timing was impeccable since I was ensconced reading Dune and completely in the book mentality. I’ve come to really like this site and its interface. Everything is very simple and straightforward. It allows you to organize your books using tags, which are also cleverly called shelves. It doesn’t force any sort of order on your shelves and allows you complete freedom to use or not use shelves.

If any one likes to read, they should definitely check out this book-focused social networking site. I’ve already sent invites to my mom and sister.

Wolf ODonnell Unlocked

Since I moved into this apartment and set up my Wii, I’ve only had one game in the console.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

I have been working tirelessly trying to complete all the challenges and unlock all of the characters. For the past couple weeks I had finished unlocking everyone but Wolf O’Donnell. To unlock him, I needed to do one of a few things.
1. Play 450 brawls total.
2. Complete the Subspace Emmisary. Then complete Boss Battles with Fox or Falco.
3. Complete the Subspace Emmisary. Then go back into the SSE and go to a hidden door or something or other.

I wasn’t going back into the Subspace Emmisary. I was done with that and I had no desire to go back in. 450 Brawls is a tall order and I had no idea how many Brawls had been played since I got the game since there is no meter. So I played Boss Battles. and played and played and played. I continued to die at the final boss for about a week because I just wasn’t as successful with Fox or Falco. Well I beat it yesterday with Fox. Then I got the alert a new adversary was approaching. Finally. You are supposed to then defeat the challenger to unlock the character, but I died. So what did I do? I said screw it and played Brawl after Brawl after Brawl until I hit the magic 450 number. In case anyone was curious, I had to play 121 Brawls before I got to unlock Wolf, but I did it. And here’s my proof:

IDW loves the homage

IDW has done many variant covers for quite a few of their published (comic) books. One in particular has gained quite a bit of fanfare over its creativity

Seen above on the left is a variant cover for All Hail Megatron #1. It was drawn by Casey Coller and is an exclusive to a UK comic book store called Apocalypse Comics. Apparently the brilliant idea for this homage to the classic ‘The Killing Joke’ cover (above, right) came straight from Apocalypse Comics themselves. Casey got the opportunity for this after winning a TF fan-artist contest on IDW’s message board. He has since done work on both covers and interior pages for some Transformers books. Casey was apparently going through some stuff when he was commissioned for this piece. You can read more about that here, if you so desire. It should be noted for non-Transformers fans, that the camera is actually a Decepticon named Reflector. He is comprised of three different robots; Viewfinder, Spyglass, and Spectro.

All that aside, it appears that IDW is taking another stab at a classic cover homage with one of their Star Trek books. I believe this book is an alternate reality (a sort of ‘What if?’ style of book). This one seems a lot less creative and on the money, as it were, as The Killing Joke cover, but judge for yourself. Click to enlarge.


The original cover (on the right) is, of course, the classic Uncanny X-Men 141. This issue marked the Days of Future Past storyline. Here is a blurb on the book:

In November, we’re kicking off an all-new STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION series. This one is set in the Myriad Universe, Pocket Books’ new line of “what-if?” tales. The comic is called STAR TREK TNG: THE LAST GENERATION. Details will be forthcoming, but for now, here’s J.K. Woodward’s variant cover for the issue, and his inspiration for the image. Full art and colors by JK.