Category Archives: Off-topic


Thank you!

Now just need to know if it’s worth the $12 or whatever/yr for the redirect.

Administrivia, April 2012

Totally off topic and I almost never do these kinds of posts, but I should just put it out there so people can find this site when the time comes. By that, I mean, I am definitely moving off “Definitely” because I made a breakthrough in the migration process and so it will most likely cut over soon, with or without all the lost posts.

I understand the login/gravitar nonsense and I don’t like it either, even if it doesn’t really bother me. The main issue as I see it is combating spam. Anyway, it’s not like I get enough comments on my blog for that to be a serious issue. Or is a problem–they’ve been fairly good to me. For those really good at stalking, you know I have been setting up trying to move for a long time now, basically since like, Feb 2011. I’m trying to use the anibrog tourney as a motivation and get the move done before that happens, but there’s no guarantees that it will happen before whenever the May date it is that I’m suppose to compete against Spark Blog or A Product of Wasted Time. Well, I guess we will see how much I drag my feet in terms of deciding how to do it.

This means the best way to follow and keep track of this blog is by using the domain name “” as per usual. Because, like, man, modern technology, why don’t I use it kkthx domain name service.

For those who doesn’t know about the several hundred blog post I lost since, it is a tough lesson but one I am more than ever prepared to practice. And so should you, everyone of you should take backup and data storage/recovery seriously. I mean, it’s a part of you, your identity, your mark on the world, your life, at stake. Joke aside, I’ll probably set up something once everything’s situated, and let you guys know what I find.

For the TL;DR crowd I’ll prep some short message when the time gets closer to moving date. And also as a result you might not see many posts in the coming couple weeks…

Design-Driven Results

This is kind of off-topic for this blog, maybe, but it’s probably worth noting a few things. So it goes. These things are about how the choices you make, perhaps seemingly minor, can have a big, big impact in the long run.

There’s this anime blog tournament going on. I think it’s a worthwhile exercise because in order to have a working blog scene, you need to have some required things going on, elements. One of these elements is enough of a reader base that will sufficiently bleed out information beyond purely linking and relying on analytics and trackbacks in order to create the “social networking” effect. For example, if person A writes an interesting blog post about Amazon’s monopsony, and person B has never heard of person A or his blog before, but is interested in the content of A’s blog post, how can B discover A’s blog post? If person B’s daily reading of internet stuff overlaps part of the network in which A’s blog post traverses, such as if B reads a blog post that links to A’s blog, then maybe. Or if B reads person C’s twitter in which C comments on A’s blog post, for another example. You get what I’m saying. But in both of these cases it means some person C has to read person A’s blog, or maybe C is just like B and is not regularly reading a part of A’s blog post’s network, and some person D has to fill in that role. In other words, someone has to act as an intermediary.

This is why in order for a blog to actually achieve some degree of the network effect, it has to:

  • get a lot of readers, and/or
  • get some readers who are heavy-duty cross-posting or networking “nodes”

Invariably a lot of bloggers themselves are heavy-duty readers of other people’s blogs, in order to cull and come up with new things to put in their blogs. They also link out to other people’s writing, as blogs themselves present one way for the network to exist. But I can tell you first hand this is not easy work, and quite frankly I can’t do it because uh…what is commonly described as anime blogging is not something I have a high tolerance for. So when something like AnimeNano or the Aniblog tournament exists, it becomes a way for blogs that very few people read to get read. Someone does the curating for you, as much (in the Aniblog tourney case) or as little (in the anano case) as the case may be. Or in my case, very rarely do I link out to an anime blog! Kind of weird isn’t it.

I think it’s fair criticism to say the Aniblog tournament is an exercise in circle-jerking, as a result of this simple mechanics in play. Fact remains that most people already read blogs they want to read, and blogs with the stronger networks invariably will do better simply because they are better recognized and have more readers. Blogs that have more readers will move on further, since it’s a popularity contest. Meanwhile blogs with few readers are often blogs where the blogger is the most active networker as part of that blog, and s/he will end up being most invested in the Aniblog tourney, adding to the circle-jerkiness. But let’s face it, when you have a blog that makes a big PR move and links to a bunch of other blogs, all it’s doing it simply networking.

In order to min-max this effect I think the Aniblog tourney people should move away from a single elimination format and just have every blog pit against the two or four most-read blogs. I mean, let’s drop the facade. I think psgels would rather want to get it over with using minimal effort by winning against every anime blog out there via a few big polls, where all his readers will get a chance to read the competition and not just on the days where he’s actually pitted against some blog that was tortured long enough to get that far. And in some ways, I think it may benefit everyone the most this way–more readers will find more blogs they might want to read, after all, and it avoids the situation when you involve the blogs with the biggest readership only in matches where the competition are already well-read. The gain is minimal in that latter scenario.

Moving it away from single-elimination will also reduce the appearance of circle-jerkiness. I mean by playing it up like a sai-moe-whatever-thing type game, you are sure to attract the most heavy networkers who are also already bloggers and not a whole lot of people who stand to gain the most from the networking exercise, but just like a sai-moe-whatever-thing type game, it will not interest the wider public unless it engages the most popular sites. Having everyone engaged all the time is for sure a great way to reduce that circle-jerk appearance. Sure, having this sort of fancy elimination format adds the entertainment value of the tournament but really, I guess that is the true cancer that is killing anime blogging. I mean, really, I’d rather read some blog who puts in effort and write something amusing about anime than some meta exercise about popularity of blogs. I think the way the tourney is set up this time is a major step backwards for that reason, by “seeding” better-read blogs and giving them byes.


I do want to talk about Amazon’s monopsony for a minute; please do read this article. I think Japanese publishing is also, like American publishing, ripe for disruption. But who will do it?  Amazon is no doubt in talk with Japan with the entire controversy regarding the DOJ suit over here as the backdrop, with all that nonsense about agency and wholesale and profit sharing, etc. But will they make the same mistake American publishers did with DRM? I cannot imagine a world where Japanese publishers cast away their DRM. It just seems like psychologically impossible. Does this mean the same thing will happen to Japanese publishing? I know Apple had issues making leeway because of their stance on censorship and what not, so it will be a war between walled gardens to see who wins the Japanese market. It is about exciting as seeing a bunch of old men punching each other in the face, except they’re doing it in Scrooge McDuck’s money bin.

As an aside, I think Amazon’s devices may do well in Japan. It’s definitely got a winning formula in the US and Europe. And the price! How can one of the most frugal first-world country in the world say no to that?

Yeah, I like that article because it posits the double-edge of DRM. Loved the irony.


Small plug for Nippon Columbia’s paid-for streaming music service, FaRao. This is almost god-send-y. Only if I can actually use it! Or I should say, only if their app works on my phone without crashing every time I try to create an account. Supposedly a flash-based web UI will be available at some point soon.

Grade Schema

I want to get more opinions and arguments for and against for a blog to grade shows using some kind of quantified grading system.

Basically, if someone were to review an episode of a series, by writing a review and ending it with a letter grade (or a 1-10 or 1-5 or 1-4 or whatever), how would you do it? Would you even do it at all?

The question is pretty hard to answer because I think the better one to ask is why are we using a grading system at all? Confession: the only grade I read is from Psgels’s, mainly for the sake of checking out his general impression on an episode without reading the actual review, to avoid being spoiled. And to me that’s the real strength in a grade system like Metacritic or RottenTomatoes–you get an idea of value without looking into it too much. Of course, it is not really a precise measurement on a personal level nor is it a particularly accurate one. Or I should say, it comes with a margin for error and often times reading one reviewer you trust thoroughly can often give a higher quality impression than seeing a score based on hundreds of thumbs up or down.

Actually, I’m more curious as to why you would give a grade? On the one hand, some people enjoy grades for reasons I mentioned above, and more. Some people only care about grades, actually. And sometimes it is another mean to express what you’ve failed to express in a TL;DR post. I mean I’ve read my fair share of episodic blogs and far majority of them don’t have anything to say that you can’t pick up from the screen caps they’ve also posted, so having a grade system actually adds to what these blogs offer.

On the other hand, for every show you note down this way you run the risk of making some kind of over- or underestimate. This is particularly the case in terms of how people judge shows by cover while ignoring that margin of error we all work with when doing so. This is particularly true when anime tend to be serial and each episode is merely building up some kind of bigger picture where the picture is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s kind of a meaningless thing to do. To that extent Psgels uses his impression-based measurement which makes a lot more sense to me, so maybe that objection can be avoided by using a smarter metric.

Some people take this seriously. I’m not sure I do, but I can see why you would want to. I don’t know, any good ideas? I am not really going to implement a grade system, but someone else might, and I want to get some ideas as to why it is a good idea, what is a good way about it, and how do you manage people’s expectations with them.

Today Is a Beautiful Day

Bottled nostalgia sells like true tears.

Accumulated memories, photoshopped bits:

Are they what I remembered, or via wit

of man and wishful fears

of the days we’ve forgotten, mind cleared

of bygone worries alongside? “It fits

with what I thought happened,” and it

bothered no one, even if the mirror

said otherwise. Or did it looked so good

because today is beautiful, as sunshine raced

with Spring’s Herald outside the window saying

strange words, moon runes, almost, lifting the mood?

Among my strange references and stranger cases:

Was it simply longing, or the reminder of a witch sighting?

Learn 2 Backup

This is totally an off-topic note; it’s a service announcement for the 5 people who cares about the persistence of content on this site. Too bad I’m one of them. I apologize.

As you may notice, my old hosting died and as a result I lost some data. I’m still not 100% sure how much data I lost. The funny thing is I used to run a daily cron job that cloned the blog database schema, downloaded to my home server. Somehow after some time in 2008, that cron job ceased to run correctly and I wasn’t smart enough to set up some kind of trap for that particular error. Since I only kept a week of backup I basically lost all that, up to a hard saved point in ’08. It’s actually more complicated than that, because I did catch the problem at some point in 2009 and I didn’t come up with a fix immediately, and after a hardware migration at home I kind of just forgot to set it up again.

The rest of the site is probably not as important, but I have a saved point at around the time I switched to a major WordPress code base upgrade in May. But that stuff is not as important.

The life lesson here, guys: learn to back up your crap, and do it. It’s most likely worth every minute of your time because at the end you will thank yourself for having enough foresight or have developed this good practice that will ultimately save you a lot of time and headache. More than what you put into for learning the stuff in the first place.

The positive note here is that Google, being the evil archival monster that it is, has at least the text every post I’ve written since the hard save point. I can actually copy it all over, manually or otherwise. It’s just a much more painful process than importing a mySQL DB. The comments are another story; I think I have a good amount of them available but it would be probably too troublesome to do it. Plus, it’s weird to manually restore comments since I wouldn’t have the email information.

In the meanwhile, business will carry on as usual on this site off My hats off to this pretty neat free blogging service for being a shelter during a rough time. I’ll slowly rebuild the site on a different location and then finally migrate the content here across to where it belongs, when everything is done. Hopefully I can make it seamless, but one thing that bothers me is the permalinks may change if I do all this manually, if I cannot be bothered to keep it the same. It’s one of my top priorities during the rebuild but I can’t guarantee it.

Sometimes I feel like blogging is like Black Rock Shooter. In reality you’re just a kid, but you are actually fighting a battle that alters real relationships when you’re blogging. Even if it’s just junk you’ve made up to sell figures. But it feels like such effort!

Look and Feel

I originally had planned to revamp the blog this year with new layout and a look. It probably will still feel kind of the same, much like what the site looks like when grated through Readability, with some holes and edges thrown in. Holes and edges is what makes one human being different than another human being, right? Same with blogs.

The big change is making my site’s layout, at least on the books, 100% copyright kosher. Doesn’t mean it will still contain images that are taken without permission, but that’s content, and not layout. I would be giving away a copy of Choux’s artwork to the public under CC ShareAlike (like everything else that actually is mine on my blog). You can get a preview here on the header (yeah the old header lasted less than a day, maybe just a day). I mean, after all, it’s only fair…get it hur hur. As an aside, nothing on the version of this blog is licensed under Creative Commons terms… heh. Not that it matters much.  Anyways, I rather like Choux’s simple design and it is moe enough for me! I just need to get her to draw it more, or recreated it or something. I have money and I am not afraid of spending it on generic looking (and I mean it in the best way possible) characters named after myself. (Now that is a business idea.)