Previously, in Trip's Life...

28 February 2014 - Friday

Yay! I'm not on call any more! (Not that it was a huge deal, or even any kind of deal except on the weekend.)

Although normally Friday is a non-Avalon night for me, this week is all scrambled up because of the thing on Monday, so tonight I get the Avalon-smooches!

Opaque kitties tried to intercept the smooches, but it doesn't work that way.

I have finally finished the omnibus of Jack Vance's "Alastor" books, Trullion: Alastor 2262, Marune: Alastor 933, and Wyst: Alastor 1716. They are all in the same setting (same as the "Demon Princes" books, which I haven't read), named for the world of the Alastor Cluster on which they primarily take place, which each have their own strange Vancian customs. (As was the practice of the time (1973-78), these customs are horrendously sexist.) I liked Marune the best, since it had the least incompetence required for the plot. At first I thought Wyst was a heavy-handed anti-Communist manifesto, but the people of Wyst had enough of the traits normally assigned to capitalist running-dogs that I think it was a more general slam on humans. But especially socialists.

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27 February 2014 - Thursday

An unexceptional day. Not much Avalon, plenty of cats, some blblblblbl.

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26 February 2014 - Wednesday

Today, I did some things, and I did some nothing. Also, Avalon.

Marmalade, what did that poor kitchen towel ever do to you?!

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25 February 2014 - Tuesday

Avalon's work almost sent her to Huntington Beach, which is not near me, but is somewhere I can fly without a passport! But it fell through in the end. Bah!

No date, only Zuul. I mean, Innocent Venus eps 3-4, now with 173% extra pirates.

Ghirardelli, I admire your creativity, but the very front edge of the stove when the oven is on is not a safe source of warmth! This is a no-smoking household!

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24 February 2014 - Monday

I am still on call, but now at least the team as a whole should be getting called before it comes to me.

No Avalon tonight, because she had to go to a surprise thing, where an asshole executive was rude to her. :(

The cats and I watched the first two episodes of Innocent Venus, which seems to be a lot like Appleseed only not as good.

I finished reading the hardcopy of Golden Sky Stories, which of course has the same text as the PDF and even the same art, but is still heart-warming. I'm not sure I can imagine playing it with anyone I know, but perhaps I am giving them insufficient credit.

Well now by Avalon (Tue Feb 25 18:18:53 2014)

Now that I have calmed down, it was a lovely event. =)

Re: Well now by Trip (Tue Feb 25 19:34:44 2014)

Hurray! I am glad it was not completely spoiled for you!

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23 February 2014 - Sunday

Today I didn't get called for work at all. I would like to say that I am having a quiet on-call weekend because I am better than my colleagues, but really it's just luck. And my VAST PSYCHIC POWERS!

Also, the cats help.

Avalon and I had an hour or more of FaceTime, until we had to switch to text because her talking out loud would disturb other people in the house. Alas, my psychic powers were not vast enough that I could crawl through the iPad to smooch her and her cute accent!

While being useless holding myself ready to leap upon any P1s that might cross my path, I read some more.

Fantasy+ vol 5 (ed Vincent Zhao) does not actually contain many words. Mostly it is pictures, by various artists who currently art[*], with about a half-page interview with each one. The art styles in this volume all seemed very similar to me, or at least had some quality in common, but sadly it was not one that particularly appealed to me. Also, 80% or more of the artists were men, which seems disproportionate, but I don't know if it's disproportionally disproportionate.

[*] If science is a verb, it seems only fair.

I originally liked Blood Blockade Battlefront (Yasuhiro Nightow), but volumes four and five have lost something. Maybe there's too much fighting and not enough exploration now?

I also liked Toradora! (Yuyuko Takemiya, Zekkyo) when it started, but by volume six, meh.

The manga version of Strike Witches (Humikane Shimada, Projekt Kagonish, Yuuki Tanaka), on the other hand, is meh from the very beginning. Not that the anime version was actually good or anything.

Dead Mann Walking (Stephen Petrucha) is the first of the zombie-PI series you all knew was inevitable, but due to the nature of life as a zombie, it also qualifies for the PI-with-disabilities subgenre. The explanation for zombies in that universe doesn't really hang together, but we've already seen that it may not be entirely correct, and that's what will probably get followed up on in the second book, since the protagonist's personal trauma has been pretty thoroughly addressed in this one.

Accent? by Avalon (Tue Feb 25 18:19:28 2014)

I have an accent?

Re: Accent? by Trip (Tue Feb 25 19:19:17 2014)

Yes! Just a bit, and it's not always audible, but you definitely sound Canadian. Adorably Canadian.

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22 February 2014 - Saturday

I did get called for work, but it only took half an hour to resolve. The rest of the day I went blblblblblblbl. I did not even go to anime, because Marith and Ayse are at Potlatch so there is no anime. (Well, not with other people; I finished the disc of Shattered Angels while cats sat on me. It was enh. I will probably not get more.)

In addition to going blblblblblblbl, I read.

Wolfhound Century (Peter Higgins) feels a lot like Miéville, with extra early-20th-century Russian doom and dead shoggoths raining from the sky. The ending is not conclusive, but somehow it did not bother me much in this case.

The second and third omnibuses (omnibi?) of Kanokon are much like the first but get raunchier. Kouta may intend to not have sex with Chizuru, but...

The Dead Run (Adam Mansbach) is modern fantasy or horror (probably fantasy based on the outcome), set on the Mexico/Texas border and full of gangsters yet somehow not mentioning Santa Muerte. The protagonists seemed a lot more acted upon than acting, though, so it was not as interesting as it might have been.

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21 February 2014 - Friday

As of 9:00 this morning, I am the On Call Weasel until next Friday. It will build character, right?

No Avalon (or at least not much), but the cats came and sat on me while I watched more Shattered Angels. It also seems to have bits of Steel Angel Kurumi and El Hazard to go with the Utena, but maybe I am being unfair.

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20 February 2014 - Thursday

Today, meetings. I got chewed out on behalf of my team, for things my stupid cow orkers do. Fortunately I did not take it personally.

More Avalon! More cats! Hugs for all!

Kanokon (Katsumi Nishino, Rin Yamaki) is in the venerable "cheesecake+romance+fighting" shounen subgenre, although from the names both of the creators are women. Maybe that's why the main romance is driven by the female lead, and why she's the one who wants to have sex while the guy wants to take things slow. She likes him even though he doesn't put out, though, which is nice.

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19 February 2014 - Wednesday

Hurray, Avalon! At least, I think it was Avalon typing on the other side of that very opaque cat; I couldn't see the left side of the window so it could have been anyone, I suppose.

Volume 7 of Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei) introduces vast new shipping possibilities, but also doom. Vast doom.

The sequel to Blood Oranges, Red Delicious (Kathleen Tierney, Caitlin R Kiernan), is even more what it is. There is a maguffin. It is covered in black enamel, and everyone wants it, but it is... not a bird. A dame or two may be involved, if you're willing to stretch the definition.

mmmph by Avalon (Thu Feb 20 17:46:57 2014)

I don't know, if you could not tell it was me... =)

Re: mmmph by Trip (Fri Feb 21 08:32:21 2014)

Well, I certainly have my suspicions about who it was! (Insert secret pet name here. :)

aieee! by marith (Fri Feb 21 10:00:50 2014)

There is Mushy Stuff! On this blog! They're being cute again!

Re: aieee! by Trip (Fri Feb 21 12:19:53 2014)

Do you know how many years this blog went without any mushy stuff whatsoever? I have a lot to make up for!

Re: Re: aieee! by marith (Fri Feb 21 19:35:09 2014)

And an important part of the catching up experience is smugly watching as other people recoil from your combined Cute Rays! You're welcome. You can thank me with pizza later. :)

Thank you by Avalon (Fri Feb 21 20:04:57 2014)

Thank you Marith =)

Re: Thank you by marith (Sat Feb 22 23:51:02 2014)

You're welcome! Thank you for making Trip happier and even more entertaining to pick on :)

Re: Thank you by Trip (Sun Feb 23 11:48:59 2014)


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18 February 2014 - Tuesday

The customer seems provisionally satisfied, so at least I did not have to stay at work forever today.

Volume 3 is the end of the "Saika Arc" of Durarara!! (Ryohgo Narita, Suzuhito Yasuda, Akiyo Satorigi). It follows pretty much the same story as the anime, which makes me sad for Anri.

I had heard that Caitlí Kiernan's writing career was not going well, but she does have a new series out under the name Kathleen Tierney. Judging by the first one, Blood Oranges, it is a sendup of urban fantasy: monsters and magic-users not as secret world rulers or even Mafiosi, but as the most squalid sort of petty criminals. (Okay, vampires might make it as high as serial killers.) Some of the more powerful nasties are pretty terrifying in person, but they are still fundamentally slimy little weasels. The protagonist is also a slimy little weasel of antihero as well as an unreliable narrator (though to be fair she has been pretty thoroughly screwed over by life), but she is entertaining. Kiernan is a good writer even if her character isn't. :)

A Renaissance Globemaker's Toolbox (John W Hessler) is subtitled Johannes Schöner and the Revolution of Modern Science 1475-1550, which is indeed what it's about, but that's a big subject for a fairly short and popular book, so it felt pretty superficial to me. I would have appreciated more technical detail, but I'm sure other people would have appreciated more social or philosophical or even astrological detail. The pictures were very nice, though.

Shattered Angels seems to be a reaction to Utena, or something, since it has school and princes and glowing cleavage, but it also has giant robot arms, and it is floofy.

Yay cats!

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17 February 2014 - Monday

Ugh, the thing from the weekend came back. I spent all afternoon on it and it still sucked so I spent most of the evening on it too and did not get home in time for date night with Avalon or for anything except going to bed late. It didn't help that today is a holiday for everyone in the country except Teradata, so the train was arbitrarily less useful.

Volume 5 of Sankarea (Mitsuru Hattori) seems sort of transitional — we know something is up, but nothing new is really revealed. Also, getting smashed and hitting on someone the same age as your own child: super-awkward, even for villains antagonists.

Two short-story collections:

Space Magic (David D Levine) contains the award-winning "Tk'tk'tk", which I recently read in Twenty-First Century Science Fiction, which suggests that it has been on my reading list for fewer than fourteen years, although it seems like forever since I saw the author in a make-up-bogus-answers panel at a con and decided to pick up some of his work. (The other stories are also good, especially "Wind From a Dying Star".)

The title story of He Said, Sidhe Said (Tanya Huff) is a retelling of Tam Lin, with skateboards. The others are in a similar spirit.

Sorry, I have no time to snuggle you, cats! I must sleep so that I do not die tomorrow!

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16 February 2014 - Sunday

Just as I was thinking about finally getting up, I got called to help cover for my cow orker who had been working on a stupid problem for 22 hours straight. I only had to work on it for five hours, and I got offered a comp day in exchange, but it still pretty much sucked. At least we made the customer happy quickly enough for me to have some time with Avalon in the evening.

I have no idea if the people on speakerphone heard me talking nonsense to the cats. They were polite enough to not mention it, if so.

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15 February 2014 - Saturday

No brunch, Ja Baby had a play date! So I went over later and ate Moroccan-style fish and assorted yummy bits.

Then we watched anime, but we did not watch the ones Ayse likes because she had to go away from humans who needed things from her for the evening or she would go mad.

  • Toaru Majutsu no Index 21-22: This is a universe in which learning magic reduces SAN, I can tell.
  • Shakugan no Shana season 3 3-4: Apparently Yuji thinks it's a good villainous plan! But maybe that's because he got superpowers.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 36-38: I am impressed with Armstrong's forbearance!

Also I might have sent Avalon some mushy texts.

Fiddlehead (Cherie Priest) is probably the last of her "Clockwork Century" series, since although saying the world has been saved might be a bit much, the world at least becomes aware that it is in danger, and forewarned is half an octopus.

The Ninth World Bestiary is full of strange creatures and strange NPCs for Numenera. Several of them tie in to ones in the main rulebook or in adventures, which pleases me, although ignoring the connections would not really harm anything. There is an emphasis on weird creatures, but then it's a weird setting, and ordinary creatures are easy to come up with.

Dragonar Academy (Ran, Shiki Mizuchi) is surprisingly like Zero's Familiar: magical school, loli with vast but unrealized magical powers who treats the male lead like a servant, assorted buxom babes who are much nicer to him but not destined for him, international intrigue. More cheesecake, though, or maybe just cheesecake in an art style that I appreciate more.

Twelve fliffy paws, who have not been eaten by zombies in my absence!

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14 February 2014 - Friday

For the first time in literally ever, I am not single on Valentine's Day! But Avalon is busy with another part of her very complicated life.

The Devil's Spine is a Numenera adventure, or maybe a set of adventures that can be linked. There are inhuman creatures of great power and obnoxiousness (not all of them hereditary aristocrats), mysterious artifacts, strange locations, bizarre phenomena, adorable parasites, and other things one expects from Numenera.

The second episode of Game of Thrones has people being flamingly stupid because of pantsfeelings, so I guess it's thematic.

Twelve fliffy paws of love!

The restaurants are bad that day anyway! by Avalon (Tue Feb 18 03:55:21 2014)

=) Belated public posting of Happy Valentine's Day, just so I can ask on your blog: Will you be mine?

Re: The restaurants are bad that day anyway! by Trip (Tue Feb 18 08:30:20 2014)

I am already yours! XOXOXOXOX!

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13 February 2014 - Thursday

We had a meeting with our boss874 because he is in town today. He seems okay, but I suppose one doesn't reach those exalted levels without social skills. Anyway, now we know what the Strategic Plan for next year is. ("What do we do every quarter, Pinky?")

My strategic long-term plan is to continue hugging Avalon.

Today I got to the directory where I put new Numenera supplements.

Celestial Wisdom is a third-party supplement, which is probably why it is made of fail. Ancient AIs as gods might fit in another fallen-future setting, but they are too comprehensible in a pre-Singularity paradigm. We demand more weirdness!

In Strange Aeons is official, but also slight, because it really doesn't take that much work to see Lovecraftian cosmic horror in the ancient, inhuman, incomprehensible powers of the Ninth World. But if you needed Numenera stats for a shoggoth, here they are!

Volume 2 of A Centaur's Life (Kei Murayama) is much like the first volume, only with more mermaids. And we find out that hexapodia is, in fact, the key.

Twelve paws, which adds up to three cats!

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12 February 2014 - Wednesday


The bus tried to keep me from Avalon, but it FAILED!

The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi (Mark Hodder) is the fourth book in the tale of Richard Francis Burton and Algernon Swinburne, steampunk heroes of the Great Timeline Collision. The secret is not very secret, or at least not very surprising, but there is plenty of other psychotemporal doom.

So many fuzzy cats!

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11 February 2014 - Tuesday

If my brain were larger, I might be smarter at work.

I was able to supply hugs to Avalon.

I feel somewhat bad about looking at the bookstore for new books and then either checking them out from the library or getting them virtual, but storing physical books is such a pain!

Twelve fuzzy paws!

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10 February 2014 - Monday

And, inevitably, back around to Monday.

No Avalon tonight, so I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones. I only read the first book, that was still enough characters to field a small army[*], and it was many years ago, so I can't say a whole lot about fidelity, but I'm pretty sure Daenerys was supposed to be like thirteen, not twenty pretending to be thirteen. The not-Mongol guy she was sold to was probably supposed to be that creepy, though.

[*] "How do you get a small army of GRRM characters? Start with a large army and wait a couple of books."

That seemed like a lot of sex for TV (which I guess just goes to show that I had the wrong sort of depraved childhood). And all in the same position, too; maybe if you can see their faces it makes them real actors?

When I watch TV, my arms are so much more available for cat-supporting than when I am on the computer!

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9 February 2014 - Sunday

Adam is busy forever, and Dave is sick, so no gaming this week.

On the other hand, no gaming means I don't have to rush home to see Avalon before she has to go to bed.

The third disk of OtoBoku was much in the same vein as the first two, and nothing was resolved.

How do honeybees decide where to build their next hive? Thomas Seeley is glad you asked! Honeybee Democracy condenses his decades of research into a readable description of the process. Democracy is a pretty good description, as it turns out; it may technically be emergent behavior, but individual units do form opinions (or if you like, "opinions") on how good sites are, and the challenge is to filter those down to the best one, not create an opinion out of units too simple to have one individually.

Anyway, bees are cool.

I finished reading backwards all the way to the beginning of Captain Awkward, and just now I have finished with everything that has been posted since I started that, so I am about as caught up as it is possible to be.

So many fuzzy paws!

covered in BEES by marith (Thu Feb 13 09:37:10 2014)

It sounds cool, but if the book does not have a blurb quote from Eddie Izzard, an opportunity was missed.

I like my books like I like my entomologists! by Trip (Thu Feb 13 12:48:26 2014)

I concur. But then, what book would not be improved by a blurb quote from Eddie Izzard?

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8 February 2014 - Saturday

Ayse made chili after the fashion of her people. This is also the fashion of my people, so I was completely down with it. Also, cornbread without extra char flavoring!

  • Wandering Son 9: Nitori's idea would almost certainly be bad in the real world, but I am not sure what will come of it here.
  • Cross Game 47: All non-baseball-related plot points squared away for the Climactic Battle!
  • Toaru Majutsu no Index 19-20: I'm not sure trying to reform this character, even as far as "complete asshole" really flies.
  • Shakugan no Shana season 3 1-2: Picks up pretty much right where second season left off, with the villains falling back to plan B and Yuji's harem going grrrr.

The Glass God (Kate Griffin) is the sequel to Stray Souls, in which a support group of hapless magical misfits must once again defend London against supernatural creatures from a much darker genre, with surprising success and significant amounts of property damage.

Three tails!

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7 February 2014 - Friday

Today I went to have my eyestalks checked. They do not appear to have changed in the 2½ years since they were last inspected, which at my age is about the best one can hope to achieve.

When I cannot read because my pupils are dilated, my life is so empty and meaningless!

Yotsuba&! (Kiyohiko Azuma) is still just about the cutest thing ever.

You are also just about the cutest things ever, cats!

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6 February 2014 - Thursday

Customers. They are all broken and sad.

Avalon is not like customers! Cats are not like customers!

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5 February 2014 - Wednesday

Today the office was full of visitors again, but I can always hide in my cube and ignore them. It was also full of stupid idea from my stupid cow orkers, but I think the boss agrees with me rather than with them (which is good, because their idea is made of fail).

I brought a library book back LATE but the system hadn't gotten around to generating a fine for me, so I escaped unscathed. I'm sure this will only cause me to become even more of a scofflaw, eventually leading to my complete moral collapse.

Avalon is much more interesting than Sales! Even the cats think so!

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4 February 2014 - Tuesday

The work dinner thing was not half as fun as date night with Avalon would have been, although it would have helped if they had not gotten the Italian takeout that I find almost completely uninteresting. I did wind up sitting with a huge Sales bigwig, which is either good or bad depending on how terrible he thought I was. Also, I got to meet the cow orker who sent me vodka and barbecue sauce from Texas. She seems nice.

Volume 11 is apparently the penultimate volume of Omamori Himari (Milan Matra). I don't think the end is going to be "everybody dies", but it could be.

Hurray! The new "Rivers of London" book, Broken Homes (Ben Aaronovitch), is out! Amazon has beamed it to me over the aether! It is pretty swell! Peter both gets to use his background skill and learns more about magic, magical history, and life. Eventually he may even appreciate these lessons.

I didn't like The Universe Within (Neil Shubin) as much as Your Inner Fish, maybe because it's not as focused so it did not go as deep into anything, and I already know the shallow bits of most science (you know, the part that doesn't require any math or Latin). But I can't object to the basic message, which is that everything in the universe is part of the same universe, yes even you.

Twelve paws!

Bigwig by Avalon (Wed Feb 5 17:53:50 2014)

I think he was lucky to meet _you_. =)

Re: Bigwig by Trip (Wed Feb 5 20:49:48 2014)

Could be! Now that I know him, perhaps I will help extra with his customers. (Although I'm not sure he has any customers of his own; he may be too exalted for that.)

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3 February 2014 - Monday

And so, after being busy both weekend days, I am back at work. And there is a surprise work dinner tomorrow evening that will take up my entire evening including all the time I would have spent taking this book back to the library on time and then snuggling Avalon. Bah!

I get some Avalon time tonight, though! Now she can hear about House of Meat too!

No, cats, you cannot go to House of Meat for your birthdays. We don't even celebrate your birthdays until you learn to count!

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2 February 2014 - Sunday

Today was suddenly eaten by San Jose and stuff! (Mostly San Jose from one point of view, mostly Stuff from another.)

In the morning was dim sum, which is Mountain View so that was okay at the time. Not healthy in any way, but definitely tasty, and Ja Baby was not too impossible.

Then I permitted myself to be lured back to Monkeycat Towers to hang out, which mostly consisted of letting Ja Baby play on my iPad and hiding in a pit because the huge amount of meat and/or greasiness in dim sum didn't agree with me. There was also some Ta Baby, who is full of laughter and also bottle demands and more laughter.

In the evening, we finally went out for Marith's birthday dinner! (Her birthday is on October...) She picked Espetus, aka "House of Meat", in San Mateo. It looks like any fancy restaurant with a nice salad bar, but the waiters wander around with giant skewers of meat balanced on what look like cutting boards, or maybe giant pingpong paddles, and if you look interested they come over and cut off pieces for you to grab with the provided Meat Tongs. They had about eleventeen kinds of steak (filet mignon, sirloin, top sirloin, flat steak, garlic steak, parmesan steak, ...) as well as a couple different kinds of lamb, pork sausages they make themselves, and stacks of chicken hearts. Also (not on skewers), large desserts of doom. Marith seemed pretty pleased!

I am sorry for being away from you all day and not having done any shopping or been good for anything at all ever, cats!

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1 February 2014 - Saturday

Ken seemed flat, so I did not make him cook brunch. (Whether he then cooked brunch for people who were already there is his own problem!) But I did go over in the afternoon to say hi to Dave's Mom and admire the results of silk painting. Also posole, which I hear originated as a way to serve Aztec human sacrifices (but this posole was made from pigs, so as to comply with Ayse's strict rule of "no cannibalism in the household").

  • Wandering Son 7-8: Anna is pretty awesome. Maybe even surprisingly awesome for someone who hangs around with Maho.
  • Cross Game 45-46: Now is when the heroes display their superiority over the other contenders so that the climactic confrontation in the finals will be more exciting.
  • Legend of Korra 11-12: That plot line seems to be thoroughly over, although it would have been nice to not have the deus ex machina fix (but, it is a show for kids). The next season is available for preorder, but no release date is given!

Next week, third season of Shakugan no Shana!

Three tails!

Are we sure by Avalon (Wed Feb 5 17:55:10 2014)

it is strict?

Re: Are we sure by Trip (Wed Feb 5 20:49:01 2014)

It seems to be. Which is okay, people can have their own rules in their own household! Plus I'm pretty sure Ta Baby does not need any encouragement.

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