April 27, 2013

Great TV Shows

Posted in General at 8:06 pm by Transmuter

Over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of watching several excellent television shows (though mostly on Netflix, etc.). I’d like to talk about some of my favorites here, in no particular order.

Avatar: the Last Airbender

This animated series has a great story, good voice acting, excellent martial arts choreography, and does a great job mixing humor, action, adventure, and drama. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested in any of those aspects. I haven’t yet seen the sequel, “The Legend of Korra”, but I am excited to.

Futurama

Back when this show first came out I was a big Simpsons fan. However, I wasn’t as taken with Futurama, despite it having a similar art style and humor, as well as a sci-fi theme, so I never bothered watching it much. Fast forward to about a year ago, and I started watching the show again on Netflix. It was great! I guess the show just resonates better with my current phase of life than it did for me as a teen. My brother mentioned he felt the same. I don’t really have anything specific to mention about the show, just that I enjoy the unexpected jokes, non-sequitors, and slapstick humor the program delivers.

Doctor Who

This show took me a few episodes (of the new series) to really get fully invested, but once I did I was in for a fantastic ride. All three modern incarnations of the Doctor have been great, in different ways. The shows have been interesting, funny, and occasionally scary. The quality of each episode can vary, but I still consider myself a fan of the series. I have to go on record that the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, is my personal favorite incarnation of the Doctor, though Matt Smith as the Eleventh and Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth are also both very good.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

No, I don’t consider myself a “brony”. I had heard good things about the show, and since it was on Netflix my little girls started watching it. Curious, I watched it with them and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was significantly better than the My Little Pony cartoon my sister used to watch as a kid. The show has definite slapstick elements inspired by the old Looney Toons cartoon, it has great songs (certainly not the cheesy junk found on other shows my girls watch like Strawberry Shortcake), and most episodes illustrate some positive value while somehow avoiding delivering it in a heavy-handed way. I enjoy the mythological flavor of the various creatures that inhabit the world – chimeras, dragons, pegasi, hydras, and so on; they were things I thought were cool as a kid when I read about Greek mythology and played D&D. Overall, I recommend the show to anyone with younger kids (my 3-year-old son likes the show as much as his older sisters). You definitely won’t go crazy having them watch this kids’ show (until they listen to one of the songs on repeat 20 times in a row).

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April 3, 2013

The Hiatus is Over!

Posted in General at 7:13 am by Transmuter

Hello to anyone who still has this blog on one of their blog aggregators (I’m sure nobody actually visits it manually anymore)! After a hiatus of 3-4 years I’m finally back! With luck, and a little willpower, I’ll be posting regularly to this blog again.

In my next post I plan to detail some of the major changes that have taken place in my life since my last post, so stay tuned!

August 17, 2008

General Updates

Posted in Family, Games, General, Hobby, Role-Playing Games, Video/Computer Games at 7:01 pm by Transmuter

Hello, it’s been a while since I last updated, so I’ll not post about a specific topic today. Instead, I will make an update about everything (that I can think of, anyway) that has been going on in my world recently.

Read the rest of this entry »

January 22, 2008

My Birthday 2008

Posted in General, Video/Computer Games at 10:14 am by Transmuter

Well, I’m 26 now, but that’s not why I feel old. I feel old because I have 2 kids, one of whom is kind enough to give me sleep deprivation.

My birthday party was fun. The day before, Friday, Chiemi and I went to a hotel while my brother and sister-in-law took care of the kids. It was heavenly to sleep for 10 uninterrupted hours! Now if only I could get that kind of sleep for a week straight I might be able to recover from this chronic sleep loss. Anyway, on Saturday we held a party at my parents’ house. Chiemi made all sorts of Mario Bros. themed decorations, and you can see them on her blog. I played Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii while we waited for the pizza to arrive, and afterward we played Apples to Apples. If you’re looking for a fun party game, give Apples to Apples a try. All in all it was a very enjoyable day.

Oh, I forgot to mention my presents! I mostly got money, with which I plan to purchase a new computer chair, but I also got Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Latin. I asked for it so I could have a goal to work toward in my Latin studies. Unfortunately I’ve been way too sleep deprived in the last few months to retain anything I study. Good thing I’m not in school anymore!

I also got a couple of PC games: Heroes of Might and Magic V and Battle for Middle Earth 2. I like the HoMM series, and I’d played the demo of 5, so I knew it would be a good game. I’m on the 4th level of the first campaign, and so far the game doesn’t disappoint. The game is a couple years old, so the graphics aren’t the best, but it’s not bad enough to actually detract. The music, as in previous games, is beautiful and epic. I find myself getting annoyed by the music changing when I enter battle or a town because I’ve gotten into listening to a particular piece. If the collector’s edition of this game had been available I would have bought it long ago. Things I like about HoMM5 include the following:

  • Hero development – I like leveling up and picking skills to get.
  • Power progression – It’s satisfying to get access and funds for the more powerful units in the game.
  • Replayablility – Because you can choose different heroes and skills, the same level could be played in two different ways.
  • Low learning curve – HoMM is a pretty simple game to learn, but fun to play.
  • Music – The music in the HoMM games is always amazing and a joy to listen to.

I haven’t played Battle for Middle Earth 2 yet, but my brother has his own copy, so I’m sure I’ll play it eventually.

January 6, 2008

I need a new chair.

Posted in General at 9:45 pm by Transmuter

This is not a new development; my current chair, which is a hand-me-down, no longer has any arms and will not raise itself. The recline lock randomly goes out, giving whoever is in it a mini heart attack as the chair suddenly and unexpectedly tilts backward.

There are several things I’m looking for in my new chair:

  • Price: $300-500. I’ll mostly be financing this chair through money gifts received from Christmas and my birthday, giving me about $400 to work with.
  • Mesh fabric. During the summer, my current chair has the tendency to reflect heat, which is not comfortable. A mesh chair allows airflow, preventing heat buildup.
  • Comfortable for extended use. I spend a lot of time sitting at my computer, so I want a chair that is ergonomically designed to be comfortable to sit in for hours at a time. I would prefer if it was comfortable in both the upright and reclining positions.
  • Durable. If I’m going to be spending hundreds of dollars on a chair, it’d better last for many years! The base should be a strong material – no cheap plastic allowed. A lifetime warranty from a company that has good customer service is preferred.

So far I’ve checked out the chairs at my local Office Depot and found one chair that I really love – the Ergohuman E8ERGLO Mesh Chair. It was so amazingly comfortable when I sat in it that I started falling asleep almost immediately! (That’s also due to NBSD – New Baby Sleep Deprivation) It was priced at around $500. Unfortunately I just read a couple of reviews that bring into doubt the chair’s durability and the manufacturer’s customer service, so I’m not going to rush out and buy it until I’ve done some more shopping and research.

August 20, 2007

It’s been HOW long?

Posted in General at 7:54 am by Transmuter

Woah, I just looked at my blog site here and realized it’s almost been a year since my last post! Sorry about that. In my defense, I had written a post several months ago, but never got around to posting it. Later, I discovered that the draft of the post had vanished! Apparently WordPress doesn’t save draft posts indefinitely, so that’s a little bit of history that will never be recovered. Oh well, there’s plenty of other stuff I haven’t blogged about at all that will never be known either.

June 22, 2006

Welcome to the Tower!

Posted in General at 6:33 pm by Transmuter

Welcome to my tower. I'm Transmuter, and I'll be your host for the remainder of your stay in this weblog. As my tagline says, I'll be writing mainly about the things that interest me: language, games, technology, my family, and so forth. This blog is primarily as an online journal, since I'm terrible at writing in paper ones. I have a 7-month old daughter, and I'll try to document her language development as she progresses in proficiency. I will also write about things in my life I found interesting or important. If you like what you read, let me know! If not, there are thousands of other blogs you can read instead.