Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sabre Rattling?

If you think i'll be ranting about Sabre's (Saber) epic cuteness in a meidofuku then i'm really sorry to say that i won't. Not today. Today, we talk about mystical katana forging out in the deserts of US of A.


Zoom in on the comment by USAF Luke Air Force Base commander BG Jerry Harris Jr.

"the [Sunny Island South of Truly Asia]AF, like the United States Air Force, is an expeditionary force..."

So they've come right out and printed something that is almost universally known but not discussed much publicly. Correct me if i'm wrong, but at least i don't remember having ever seen it in the national newspaper.


Contrast that with this:

"... to recapture an offshore island that had been occupied by an enemy force..."


Actually, "expeditionary" can just refer to operating far from home, and can refer to "friendly" and "helpful" activities like disaster relief. The juxtaposition of laser JDAMs and other things that go pew pew pew with the word "expeditionary", however, conjures up some other mental image.

Then again, the whole point of the rather extensive media coverage is to do some macho chest-thumping. Seen in that light, the use of the E-word by the media, whether deliberate or not, probably won't cause anyone in the ministry to lose sleep.

Unless, of course, someone makes a big fat deal out of it.

I did some digging on google, and the only response to the above quote was some forum post on a Hong Kong business newspaper's website, and even then the focus wasn't on the E-word. One comment on the page did go like this though:

“小國還是儘量避談"戰"字, 殺人三千自損八百已很厲害, 小國沒本錢消耗”


So, anyway, non-issue. Case closed.

(Though not apparent in this case, the military does not seem to exert as much influence over the government-friendly media as one would think. Always fun to dig around.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kalafina was in Sunny Island South of Truly Asia

And i still refuse to do work.

Ok, so the cartoon convention came and went. Didn't turn up, despite the fucking awesome band Kalafina making an appearance. Yay. Perhaps it's something to do with having to pay ten times of what i paid to watch may'n and aniki just 3 years back. Yes, i'm a cheapskate.

I realise at this point that i need another word for 'awesome'.

Never mind.

A trio of cute chicks who can sing is fecking awesome, no? Actually, pieces written by Kajiura tend to sound the same after a while, but THREE CUTE CHICKS AWESOMES!!

(Neglecting the literary aspects of my education in my earlier years was probably a bad idea. Kind of regret not having acquired the breadth of vocabulary necessary to describe how awesome a band is without resorting to the word 'awesome', which i actually picked up relatively recently. I probably said 'nice' or something back then. Funny how we assimilate speech patterns from people around us.)

Let's talk abt the band. Pic up there on the right shows the whole gang, from left, Hikaru, Keiko and Wakana. Some nuggets of trivia off the top of my head abt each of them:

1) Wakana likes sharks! She can go on and on abt them, apparently regardless of whether the audience is actually listening. Not very good at reading moods, according to Kajiura haha. In a cute way of course. She sings the high bits (vocab, vocab...lalala).

2) Keiko is damn hot! Ok doesn't really count but that was seriously the first thing i tot of. just google 'keiko kubota', man. Er, keiko plays tennis. She sings the low bits. And though she looks like she's got legs that go on forever, she's only 1.55m tall! tiny!

3) If Hikaru could do magic, she'd want a spell that could freeze time, i.e. the Level 9 arcane spell Timestop in D&D. So what would she do while everyone else was frozen? Catch up on sleep. She sings the high bits too.

One thing i noticed is that when japanese artistes visit sunny island they typically blog about the food and clean, green streets. Itou Shizuka mentioned Tiger Beer, but that's just her being her drunkard self. Probably the safest and most politically correct topics to talk about i guess. Anyway, keiko blogged about chicken rice. This was her discription of the dish:

"Chicken on rice cooked with chicken stock served with 3 sauces. Chilli, ginger, soy sauce. Yum yum." Reminds me of this food writer who wrote that " 'chicken rice' is not a dish; it's a list of ingredients". =p

Speaking of clean, green streets, i found, while jogging in the park last week, what looked like a giant porn mag centrefold depicting a blond fondling her intimate bits downstairs. She was clean shaven, so i guess that still counts as a clean street? It made me freeze mid-stride and do a really obvious backtake, so this had better not be some Candid Camera prank.

Oh well.

Back to work, work.

Oh before i forget, Carnival Phantasm is really awesome. I spent the whole of mon watching and re-watching the eps instead of doing any real work. It's this spoof OVA with crossovers from Fate Stay Night and Tsukihime. Hilarious. See ep4 i think to see a really cute Tohsaka figuring out how to use a blu-ray recorder! haha. And did i mention that it's distratcting me from work?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I still refuse to do work

Something's been bugging me about this conscription thing. The thing about not really fucking off for good after doing your time. Service obligations up till 40 didn't seem so bad in the immediate euphoria of getting the hell out of uniform but it sure is irritating now. mildly.

Point 1- The annual fitness test.

So the annual run and 8 nice body lifts didn't seem too bad while in uniform. Seemed like a good idea to keep myself trim and fit too. Totally didn't count on developing "os naviculares syndrome" or something like that during a friendly football game back in January. So i thought i'd rest the supposed sprain for a week and get back into my training routine. Turns out i couldn't walk properly months after. Dragged my own ass to the public clinic for a referral to the specialist around Apr/May. Specialist appointment secured in Aug, dingdong a few weeks and paid half a grand for MRI and followup, voila, doctor says rest your foot until it recovers. "How long?" i ask. "Dunno, maybe a year", he said. So i got the nice fella to write me a letter since defaulting on the annual test is actually an offence.

All well and good, till a check with the army turned up the unpleasant news that i'll still be charged with defaulting anyway since the doctor's letter does not cover at least 6 months of my test window. FYI, i sought medical attention in May and only got the diagnosis in Sep. Test window ends January, so i'm quite the defaulter as far as the rules go. Curse my unfamiliarity with the system, should have gotten the doctor to backdate it somehow. The only reason i can think of for the six month rule is to prevent malingering, but given the quirks of our nice healthcare system (took me five months to get a diagnosis), i think many genuine cases would run afoul of this particular regulation. Yes, i do think my case is genuine, thank you very much.

Of course, if i were willing to stump up the cash for a specialist in private practice, i could even get myself certified unfit for service forever, but that's a story for another time. One story i will tell, however, is of how my last CO was able to skip his test by producing a doctor's letter TWO WEEKS before his test deadline. No charge for defaulting. In fact he got around the rule which says promotions are denied to personnel who fail their fitness tests. Yup, he promptly got promoted to half colonel. Leadership by example it is.

Not all is doom and gloom though. There is a provision in the rule for people with more than 3 months MC coverage to be reviewed by a medical panel. I just need to arrange for it through my unit and hope i know some fuckers on the panel (joking). Once again, the onus is on powerless little me to prove my innocence. Fine. And don't get me started on how MCs issued later are magically less legitimate, or how inefficient it is for army doctors to have to review the opinions of their peers who actually HAVE WAY MORE CLINICAL EXPERIENCE. Ok, granted I did mention stumping up money for a private doctor's letter earlier but it still doesn't explain why MC's issued earlier in the test window are magically beyond reproach.


I can just hide my medical status, take the test, and fail it on purpose, GETTING PAID IN THE PROCESS. Actually i'll get paid by the hour when i go for compulsory remedial training after failing the test, which is actually hell of a hassle. I just find the idea of being paid for failure very amusing. Not that i'll go through with this, funny as the experience might be, since my ankle seriously can't take any of the high impact stuff. And did i mention it's a hassle?

Then again, if i remember correctly, there's a rule that says it's an offence to hide your medical status, so i'll be committing an offence whatever i do, short of getting cleared by the medical panel.

Yeehah! I'm an outlaw!!

Hell, writing this post is an offence, skipping the chain of command and all. Man, they think of everything when drafting those rules. Well, everything except poor old me.

That much said, i haven't actually found out what the penalty is for defaulting on the test, so maybe i'd just let myself get charged. Who knows, man. From the level of logic we've seen thus far, they might actually pay me for defaulting.


Actually i'll probably clear the medical review. The medical corp has largely been reasonable in my experience. Just wanted to point out some of these wacky regulations that i never knew existed.

Point 2 - Reservist Training at Inconvenient Timings

Keeping soldiers up to date with new technology is fine. Calling said soldiers up for training during the local varsity exam season is not so fine, especially when almost every single man will be sitting for university exams. (Somehow the educational profile of the unit is such.)

Ok, i know national security is above personal interests. Yes i know we're wimps for not being able to juggle studies and reservist training (you'd have to admit though, that being physically in two places at the same time is some feat). And of course, i know we're a nation of champion whiners.

So let me do what i do best and whine, k? This is my take on the situation:

Is the training time-critical? No.

Could it have taken place at some other time? Yes.

Is there any apparent reason why that particular time frame was chosen? No.

Is the unit aware that most of the reservists called up are in local universities? Yes.

Is it reasonable to say the training officer has some idea of when the exams will be? Yes.

It's anybody's guess then why the timing was chosen. I'm not blaming the training officer, really. It's very easy to overlook something like that when the problem is somebody else's. Honestly, i might have done the same. Checking the varsity calender for possible clashes is quite easy to do. It does not come naturally simply because it is somebody else's problem. Perhaps the officer would be more mindful of such considerations after receiving feedback this time.

It does give the impression that the unit doesn't care though. Heck, someone from the unit could have just checked with one of us before the order was issued and saved the gang a whole lot of anxiety.

And i thought we were family.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I refuse to do work

random pic too start the post as per (not much followed) Standard Operating Procedures.

One of the best fandubbed songs i've ever heard:

the singer, 西国の海妖, is the most awesome singer i've heard on youtube. She (at least i think it's a she) can actually sing! wow! The video has no audio for the second part, irritatingly.

Compare with original:

i actually like the fandub singer's voice better.

Check out her dubs of Shinkai no Kodoku and Hoshi no Tobira from Gundam Seed:

ZONE's Secret Base:

and Natsukage from AIR:

Good lyrics + Good voice = godly fandubs. The lyricist is super good too.

Bonus Material for the Perverted Oyajis haha:

Uncle ai kwee ji kee Tiger Mai!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

School kids can do better

at their studies.

Quibbling over an analogy...

ha. ha.

Check out the debates in the paper of record today for the lolz.

By the way, Last Exile 2 is pretty nice going by the first ep. Weird though that the first thing you see is some loli chick's pantsu. i'm also quite sure the Miyukichi princess was going commando in the lake scene. Too strike witchy?

Fate/Zero's ok. Tad slow. Watching nothing else at the moment.

Life's good.

(note to future self: sarcasm)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Me Fail

Recently, there's been some hooha over some fella's military service record on the net. Nothing more to add, besides nikuman having served in the same post as the fella in question. Congrats to you, nikuman, you are offically recognised as an exceptional individual, all according to proper guidelines, of course hahahaha.

Okie, i'm much poorer now compared to when i last blogged, and maybe about 10kgs heavier. Leaving the army probably had much to do with both; soft tissue damage from a football match way back in Jan is another convenient excuse for the latter change. Note to self: do not attempt to stop big towering strikers built like battering rams.

Thanks to the supposedly inflamed tendon i ended up with, i have the delightful opportunity to get an MRI scan next month. In the words of this very amused student of mine, i'm going to get microwaved. i think they actually use frequencies nearer the radio end, but i'd have to agree that it was a pretty amusing notion.

Less amusing is the bill i'll be receiving. MRIs are not cheap, this one will set me back by almost half a grand. I have a feeling the scan results will not change the diagnosis or management one bit, but when the expert tells me to spend the money, i go along, just in case. Makes one wonder how humans got by until the MRI machine came along though. Maybe the ancients just amputed their feet at the ankles after colliding with big towering strikers built like battering rams.

Oh well. At least the guy who saw me was pleasant and nice. In the examination room next door, there was this young girl, probably an MO, brusquely asking every single one of her patients "what's your name?" in the most irritatingly nasal tone i have ever heard. Oh come on, she wants them to report their ranks and ID numbers too? She had their files right in front of her, I'm sure there are more polite ways to confirm the patient's identity. And she should introduce herself first, for goodness sake!! I don't expect kowtowing and a 21-gun salute, but a "hello" is the bare minimum level of courtesy we should extend to a fellow person, no?

Imagine waiting 90minutes past the appointed time (we'll save this one for another time), and the first thing you hear when it's your turn is someone rudely asking for your name while talking through their nose. Not very pleasant. (Actually i've been told my voice sounds pretty nasal too. Maybe nasal voices grate on my nerves cos i subconsciously fear that they'll muscle in on my ecological niche haha. But let's not confuse the issue.)

Finally... YAY!! i've forgotten how much fun it is to rage and rant online!!

Shizukagozen fondles Rierie. Double YAY!!