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16 April 2016 @ 11:50 pm
Today was pretty eventful for me. First off was a little league opening event, being held at the preschool near the local train station (it has baseball fields, as it was formerly a middle school.) And guess who made an appearance there?

Yup, it was the first time I've assumed the role of K-O the Kangaroo this year! I had a lot of fun, high-fiving and hugging kids, posing for pictures, dancing to some fun songs, and just being part of the fun. There was one tail-puller though, but at least I still know how to properly deal with them.

A friend of mine (the same one accompanying me to Anime Boston) came to see me perform as well.

Then after we wrapped up, my friend and I headed over to the nearby train station and got on an inbound commuter train for Boston, as today was National Record Store Day 2016! We visited the Nuggets and In Your Ear record stores, and I bought quite a bit of vinyl!

Plus, I'm glad spring is finally here. Things are going pretty well now...
09 April 2016 @ 11:49 pm
Well, it took two months, lots of foam and black fur, a lot of hot glue sticks, and quite a few bandages for my fingers, but I did it! I finally built a new head for my Disney Big Bad Wolf fursuit! Here's a demo video of it...

Yup, it has a moving jaw too! It has a snug fit, but I don't mind; as long as it's comfortable, and that's what's important to me.

Here's me wearing it with the rest of the suit...

It's not entirely finished yet, though. I'm still waiting for the tongue to arrive, and I'm going to find some black whiskers I can put into the muzzle as well. Today, the lower fangs arrived, and I installed them into the mouth.

Today I also shot my first vlog with the new head. I like how my voice comes out loud and clear, compared to the old rubber head that muffled my voice quite a bit. I decided to do a review of the original 1948 printing of that Disney "Three Little Pigs" Little Golden Book adaptation, which has some more illustrations and is a bit longer than the current printings...

Of course, I also played a record in the video; that bizarre re-recording of the cartoon's soundtrack with the more evil and menacing wolf voice (I used my read-along record of the "Three Little Pigs" to play it.)

At the end of the month, I'm going to a cartoon convention in Boston: DrawnCon, held at the Northeastern University campus! I'll definitely want to attend as the Big Bad Wolf there, and show off my new head.
26 March 2016 @ 10:58 pm
For my second (and final) day at Anime Boston, I decided to go as Scooby-Doo! A friend of mine accompanied me as Velma. It was the first time I was at an event in the newer Scooby-Doo mask I bought back in October. It got hot and sweaty pretty fast, but I am often used to it. Quite a few people liked my getup, once again.

Here's me as Scooby, reading a book at the Prudential Center Barnes & Noble bookstore, about my character of course!
The reason Scooby has the red gym shorts on is so I can have pockets.

Then I attended the Anthro New England furmeet, outside the P.F. Changs at the Prudential Center...

Got to meet a few new furs, and it was pretty neat!

Me with my friend as Velma. I got quite a few people asking me where Shaggy was, and some joking that they've found me (based off the lyrics of the "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You" theme.)

Just me posing with a Scooby-Doo beany plushie at the New England Comics stand in the dealers' room. I enjoy doing stuff like that.

Me with a fun Yoshi cosplayer!

Me with Mac the Husky, whom I first met at last year's Anime Boston.

Velma and Scooby-Doo have caught another masked villain (the horse), and are about to reveal his true identity. Yeah, those rubber horse masks are pretty popular, so much there's a Wikipedia page about them!

After that, my friend and I left the con and rode the Green Line subway to Park Street, still in costume, and we stopped for dinner at the Five Guy's burger restaurant near Downtown Crossing. Then of course I changed out of my costume at South Station, and we got on the train for home. It was an OLD train, with all single-level cars that weren't refurbished in the 90s or 2000s like the others were, all pulled by a noisy GP40MC diesel locomotive from the 70s! A sharp contrast with the train we rode in on, with one of their newest locomotives and more modern rolling stock. In fact, once I got off the train at my stop, my mom (picking me up there) noticed it suddenly smelled pretty bad, and of course, that old MBTA locomotive was to blame. Maybe that's why I don't see them very often on the rail line passing through Brockton these days?

Overall, I'm glad Anime Boston went pretty well, even without me being the Big Bad Wolf as usual. But now I'm going to make sure I finish that new wolf head before Boston Comic Con in August!
25 March 2016 @ 11:14 pm
I've been looking forward to this all month... Anime Boston! Since my Big Bad Wolf head is still a work-in-progress, for today I thought I'd go as Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius!
I rode an early (8:30-ish) commuter train into Boston, had breakfast there, changed into my costume in the bathroom, and headed over to the Hynes Convention Center via subway!
Getting in the convention took quite a while, practically an hour. Once I arrived, I had to get in a line for pre-registered con attendees, and that took a while, and after I got my badge, I had to wait in another long line that snaked outside from the Sheraton Hotel (where the registration is) to the convention center, in the cold rain. I'm glad my costume wasn't damaged by it! Wile E. had to keep shaking his head dry :P Anime Boston is much more secure than other conventions I've been to, with bag checks and metal detectors and the like, but getting through all that wasn't any problem. Then once I was actually in the convention center, the fun began!

I figured this would be a good opportunity to wear my Tune Squad jersey, since the con was having a "Field Day" theme, almost like how Anthro New England had "Sportsball" this year. Lots of people liked my costume and wanted pics of me! Quite a few of them asked if I had caught that Road Runner yet, too :P Sometimes when I go to a con like this, I like to try and stand out, cosplay-wise. Quite a few others did too...

...like these cosplayers of Bebop and Rocksteady from the Ninja Turtles! I kept coming across them quite a bit at the con. Who knew those two worked for Team Rocket? :P

Of course at Anime Boston, there were a lot of Pokemon cosplayers. One group of people with someone cosplaying as the rock/steel Pokemon Aggron just had to get a picture of me fighting him!

Just a casual shot of Wile E. Coyote at Anime Boston, reading his ACME Catalog. I didn't have the jersey on the entire time.

Of course, like the other cosplayers, I spent a bit of time at the Prudential Center Mall, which is connected to the Hynes Convention Center where Anime Boston is. Browsed around and bought a couple books at Barnes & Noble, and nobody really seemed to care that a 'toon coyote was around!

Me with some other fursuiters. Kazee here recognized me from Anthro New England, after having mostly seen me as the Big Bad Wolf!

Just a photo of me as Wile E. Coyote heading back from my first day of Anime Boston on the MBTA Green Line subway/trolley. I finally took off the costume once I arrived at South Station, before I boarded the train for home. Since it was a little later than usual when I come home from Boston from a non-furry convention, I got my dinner at South Station (a couple pizza slices, potato chips, and a Dunkin' Donuts strawberry Coolata to cool me down) and ate it on the train.

In the end, I had fun being Wile E. Coyote at a con for the first time. Tomorrow, I'm going to be Scooby-Doo!
13 March 2016 @ 11:28 pm
Today I went with my brother and some friends to see "Zootopia" at the "Googolplex" cinema a few towns over. At said cinema, the theaters now have more fancy seats that are like easy chairs, and you can even recline on them, complete with feet rests! We saw the 3D version too, and that made the viewing experience rather interesting. Even the Walt Disney Pictures (now just "Disney") logo looked pretty neat in 3D. (Now if they continued the "Walt Disney Classics" video line, we'd probably have a 3D version of that logo too!)

"Zootopia" was such a cool movie. NOTHING like their last attempt at an all-anthro movie, "Chicken Little," which was basically a Pixar/DreamWorks wanna-be that sucked. This was not your usual talking animal movie (like the trailers for such we saw before the film began.) It was also different from "Robin Hood" in some ways, like the animals being accurate to their real-life counterpart sizes. Rodents are very small, and have their own tiny community in Zootopia. Judy Hopps was quite small compared to the other animals, including the other cops she was working with. And they do often acknowledge their species. "Robin Hood" did do that a few times as well ("Snakes don't walk, they slither," Sir Hiss tells Prince John.) With the "Robin Hood" resemblence, Nick Wilde did remind me quite a bit of an American Robin Hood. Quite a dashing fox, I must add. (I'm gonna have to buy a plushie of him the next time I go to a Disney Store!) And the mayor of Zootopia being a lion reminded me of King Richard in "Robin Hood," too...

I also thought the sloths were hilarious. along with my brother and friends (a friend of mine told me, regarding the DMV scene, "That's just like real life!") And I also liked the guard wolves and their howling (of course), and Nick Wilde's comment "Who listens to CDs anymore anyway?" (You think that's something Nick? I listen to records!) They did use a lot of Smartphones and such in the film, but then again, us furries often do that nowadays too, even at Anthro New England (it helped that a couple months ago I finally got my first Smartphone.) That running gag with the Gazelle app was pretty funny too!
When Judy Hopps was leaving her parents and boarding the train for Zootopia, that reminded me of when I was leaving for my first furry convention, the Maltese Fur Con in August 2014. (Hey, with all those anthro animals, it's bound to remind me of my furry experiences!) Pretty sleek, modern train Judy rode on as well.
At one point in the film, during an exciting scene on an old, run-down runaway subway car, they nearly collide with an oncoming speeding freight train, but manage to hit a switch and get out of its' way at the last second. The freight train sure looked neat, with a modern-looking diesel engine with a rhino horn-like thing on its' front!
Too bad the cinema didn't have this display in their lobby!

Still one of the best films by Walt Disney Feature Animation I have seen in years.
Oh yeah, and...Collapse )
09 March 2016 @ 11:57 pm
This year marks the tenth anniversary of a milestone for Apple Inc. It was when they began a big switch on their Macintosh computers, moving away from the beloved but now dated PowerPC processors (having initially used them in 1994) to newer Intel processors. For many, this was a shocking change, as Intel processors were what were normally used in Windows PCs, not Macs! But eventually, the switch didn't turn out to be so bad after all. There was a noticeable increase in performance over the older PowerPC models.
But the switch didn't completely happen overnight. When the first Intel Macs came out in January 2006, they only had the iMac and the MacBook Pro (replacing the PowerBook) in Intel models...

They simply took the existing iMac G5 and PowerBook G4 cases and made some modifications to them, especially with the MacBook Pro (like the iSight webcam and the new "MagSafe" power adapter. Then at the end of February that year, an Intel Mac Mini came on the market...

Visually, it appeared identical to the old PowerPC G4 Mac Minis introduced the previous year. The base line at the time, at $599, was not that ideal of a machine for a media user, with a 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor (the only Intel Mac with a single-core processor ever made), a 60 GB hard drive and the crummy Intel GMA950 graphics chip that shared system memory.
With the switch to Intel, there came a sacrifice in graphics on the lower-end models of the time. The PowerPC Macs used to always use discrete graphics cards with their own dedicated video RAM, thus making them more ideal for photo and video work, and even playing certain games on them. Not so with these models. But fortunately over time, with different revisions, they got much better.
In mid-2006, the polycarbonate MacBook made its' debut, to replace the iBook. My MacBook from 2009 physically resembles how they originally looked in 2006, but is a better machine than the mid-2006 models; it has a faster Core 2 Duo processor, more RAM (I upgraded it to 6 GB!), a much bigger hard drive, AND an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chip, while still an integrated one, is much more ideal than those old Intel graphics chips! They also no longer came with internal modems, as dial-up was becoming rare across the country. Then finally in fall 2006, the Mac Pro came out, effectively replacing the Power Mac G5 it was based on in terms of design (we have a 2006 Mac Pro at the local community college.)

One big added plus with the Intel Macs was now you could even run Windows on them if need be!

This is still a feat Apple likes to tote, even to this day. Sure, you could do a Windows virtual machine on PowerPC Macs, but you had to use Virtual PC for Mac, and it was SLOW. With the Intel Macs, you could use the new virtualization software like Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion, and have a more speedy and responsive virtual machine, and drag and drop files between the native OS X and the Windows system. OR, you could use the Boot Camp utility and create a Windows partition on your Mac hard drive, making your Mac a dual-boot system. I was impressed by it in 2009, when they got 24" iMacs at my college's video editing lab in the Fine Arts building (replacing old Power Mac G4 and Dell Optiflex desktops), setting them up with OS X and Windows XP Boot Camp partitions, from when Windows XP was very common on the campus (in the summer of 2010, they upgraded most of the college PCs to Windows 7.) So I've done the same thing on my MacBook as well, and it has a pretty nice Windows 10 Boot Camp partition currently. I'm also thinking of trying it with my Mac Mini...

In 2009, PowerPC support for Macs began to dwindle, when OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard would only work on Intel Macs. It was a couple years after that when I got my first Intel Mac, a 2009 MacBook, which can still run the latest version of OS X (those initial 2006 Intel Macs can't do that!)
And also back in 2006, those new intel Macs had optical disc-drives. The lower-end Mac Mini and MacBook had a simple "Combo Drive," which could read DVDs but only burn CDs. The others had their "SuperDrive," which is their DVD burner. By early 2009, the Combo Drive was eliminated with the latest revision of the Mac Mini (a SuperDrive came on all versions.) Today, the only Mac on the market with an optical drive is the "regular" 13" MacBook Pro, which may soon be my next laptop, provided it stays available long enough. Apple has been acting as if CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays are obsolete for quite some time now. They all had Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired Internet connection, and they all had FireWire ports (again, the only Mac left on the market today with a FireWire port is that 13" MacBook Pro, as Thunderbolt has efficiently replaced FireWire), which was handy for anyone shooting video on a MiniDV (including HDV) camcorder like I have been for some time, as Macs have made great video-editing computers for a long time now. (I now shoot most of my video on my Canon ELPH-115IS digital camera, and my iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone, but I plan to soon buy a new digital AVCHD camcorder as well.) AND they all had upgradeable RAM, something only a few Macs have today.

It seems more and more people are switching to Mac, but today's models often don't seem to excite me as much as they did in the past decade. But I'm still proud I'm an Apple person... er, furry!
Well, today was the premiere of Disney's new animated furry film, "Zootopia!" And so, I am posting about it, though I haven't seen it yet (I plan to go with some friends and my brother next weekend). Of course, like with their other newest movies, they came out with a read-along book-and-audio edition of it as well...

32-page read-along book and CD. The artwork does look nice, but it doesn't seem as appealing as the older Disney read-along titles were, from when I was little. So here's a throwback to that...

Yup, complete with the "SEE, HEAR, READ" legend on the bottom, 24-page book, and a 7" 33-1/3 "Little Long Playing" record with the "rainbow"-style Disneyland Records label of the 70s and 80s (with clip art of Nick Wilde on the record, too!) Better dig out that old Fisher-Price record player!
It's amazing what I can do with Photoshop CC...

A YouTube/Facebook friend of mine also made a fake retro late 80s/early 90s-style VHS cover for the film, too...

(Except I would've put Nick Wilde in the diamond profile on the spine of the case, hehe.)

I'm hoping this film is a big hit for Disney, and so far, it looks like it'll be that way!
I would've posted about this sooner, but I was kind of lazy. The Academy Awards have come and gone, and by now, many people just see them as another awards ceremony, and generally, the ceremony is a real snooze-fest. But this year, when they got to animation, look who came on!

Woody and Buzz Lightyear of "Toy Story!" Complete with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprising their roles. This was clearly done due to celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Toy Story," when Woody and Buzz appeared there 20 years ago to present the Best Animated Short award. But this year, they just presented Best Animated Feature (which went to "Inside Out," to the surprise of no one.) But the Best Animated Short presenting was done by the three Minions. But who cares about the Minions? Woody and Buzz are much more fun! (Woody was always my favorite character. It was fun to see him redo his "Buzz, look, an alien!" bit from the first film.)
29 February 2016 @ 11:11 pm
Last Tuesday, when I was in Boston, I bought myself a new computer for my room; a 2012 Mac Mini desktop!

It's the late 2012 model, the version with a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor! (The current Mac Minis don't even HAVE quad-core processors anymore; only dual-core.) It came with the RAM maxed out to 16 GB, and a 1-terabyte hard drive. I did have to get an HDMI-to-DVI adapter, to use it with my Apple Cinema Display, and I already had a keyboard and mouse to use with it (I'm currently using my wireless Apple mouse with it, rather than the Microsoft one pictured.) It's got USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt port as well. The size is another factor, as it leaves a smaller footprint on my desk than when I'd use my MacBook in "desktop" mode.
It also performs faster than my mid-2009 MacBook, as expected. When doing web browsing, online chatting, etc. I don't see that much of a difference, but when I rendered a video on Final Cut Pro X recently, it worked faster than it would on my MacBook, so there you go.

After spending $500 on it, while I am enjoying it quite a bit, I'm still wondering if I did the right thing buying it?
27 February 2016 @ 11:30 pm
On this day back in 1996, Nintendo released two new Game Boy games that would eventually become a worldwide phenomenon: Pokémon Red and Green. Then another variation, Blue, came out as well. In fall 1998, the games were translated and released in North America as Pokémon Red and Blue. (The North American Blue was the same as the Japanese Green version; the Japanese version of Blue was never translated.) But the sprites for the actual Pokémon were not pretty... take a look!

Some of them are barely recognizable. But my first Pokémon game (seeing as I grew up in the 90s) was Pokémon Yellow, where you start with a Pikachu, similar to the anime!

This game also had better-looking sprites and some improved enhancements over Red and Blue, many of which found their way into later Pokémon games.

I'm currently playing Pokémon Omega Ruby on my 2DS, and it's like a trip down memory lane from when I played the Emerald version (as it's a remake of the Hoenn-region games.) A while back I had finished Pokémon X, and also replayed Yellow for nostalgic reasons. Sure, it's very primitive compared to the newest games (8-bit graphics, NES-style soundtrack, etc.) but it's lots of fun, and that's what's important.

If you forgot the names of the original 151 Pokémon, I've complied them together for you. Compare this to the 721 Pokémon we have now, and more should be coming soon!

I'm thinking of someday trying to make or obtain a Charizard costume that I could wear to certain conventions (like Anime Boston or something.) After all, one of my fursuiter friends made one!

(But first I still have to finish that new Big Bad Wolf head!)