vegettoex.com

Hi. I'm Mike. This isn't updated often.

Tag: life

Tara’s Crazy Howling

Time for another crazy cat story.

So our little cat, Tara, has this fuzzy red/white ball toy that she loves. She likes to fling it around through the air and go chasing after it. She has even become slightly dog-like and will play fetch to some degree, depending on how lazy she is about bringing it all the way back to your feet.

There’s one big problem, though. When she picks this toy up in her mouth and wanders around, if there is no-one to take it from her, she will emit this incredible howl to get attention… while it’s still in her mouth. She’s a very vocal cat, anyway, so that’s not entirely surprising. It’s just a horrendous noise, is all, and one you can hear from anywhere else in the house.

(MP3 sample from latest vgconvos recording; bit.ly re-direction)

tara

I mean, she’s super cute… but there’s a reason why we tend to hide the toy at night. Those 3 am howls don’t help the sleeping, much.

No Phone, No Cable… Living Just Fine

I just saw this report over on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website talking about the cancellation/removal of land-line phones in favor of cell-phone-only service. We are apparently at a point where one-in-five American homes have removed their plain ol’ telephone service in favor of exclusively using cell phones. The wife and I have been this way since 2004 when we moved into our first apartment, and continue to be this way in the new house. In addition to that, we also canceled our cable television service shortly before moving, and continue to operate with no traditional television service.

You know what? Things are just fine.

In terms of telephone service, it makes complete sense to abandon the land lines. While the quality of cell phone calls still leaves a lot to be desired, it suffices more than enough for my phone conversation purposes, which typically do not last longer than one minute unless I am calling my parents. If I am on the road or otherwise out and cannot be reached, my simply not answering the phone is exactly the same thing as someone calling me and not being home to pick up the phone. Combine that with text messages that completely replace voice mail in terms of disseminating tiny bits of information in quick, easily-digestible form… well, you’ve got a winner.

As for television, it is equally fine without it. We have enough things to keep us busy after the move that we have no time to just sit around and mindlessly watch television, anyway. Once things settle back down a little bit (which they are already beginning to do), we still have more than enough viewable-passive-media to keep us entertained until the ends of time without needing to obtain anything else. Throw video games into the mix, and I have a hard time understanding why I would ever actually need cable service on my television. In fact, the word “television” does not accurately describe that 50″ Kuro in my living room now, since everything from that to the “old TV” to the computer monitors are really nothing more than display surfaces of varying sizes and aged technology. Whether it’s a video game, a DVD, a Blu-ray, episodes downloaded online and burned to DVD+RW for viewing on the PS3 or 360… all of these display surfaces act in exactly the same way without needing to pay someone to be constantly broadcasting a live signal to them which I have no interest in tuning into, anyway.

I will admit there is a strange sort of “learning curve” to not being able to just sit down, hit a power button, and expect an in-progress video. Everything must be manually initiated. In the long run, I prefer this. Beyond the cost savings, I find that I gain precious minutes here and there that might otherwise be spent mindlessly flipping channels before realizing there is nothing to watch and starting up some other activity. Now-a-days, I just go right into whatever that “something else” would have been.

I’m constantly reminded of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer wants to cancel his mail. Can we do that, yet?

Thoughts On Donations?

This is a subject I am heavily conflicted on.

Ever since the dawn of Daizenshuu EX (and VegettoEX’s Home Page and Ultimate DBZ Links Page before them), I have done anything and everything in my power to keep things as “real” and “transparent” as I can with the site. I have never asked the community for anything, and do not expect anything in return for running the site. There have been plenty of generous “donations” over the years (for example, our buddy godofchaos has been hosting the podcast for us free of charge, and we’ll be porting over the forum to his server in the near future; many years ago our old buddy Scott, or SREDBZ, used to host our website for us). We’ve even had prize donations for website contests. These have always been unsolicited, mean the world to us, and make the community a better place.

I’ve had people ask about monetary donations in the past, but I’ve always struck them down. This is for fans, BY fans, gosh darn it! Things are a little different now. I’m not a 16-year-old punk kid starting a links page. The wife and I are lucky to be two educated adults with full-time, well-paying jobs, but there’s no denying what the current economic situation is.

Time to be a little realistic. Especially with our first home purchase entering the picture, one can’t help but wonder what a couple extra bucks would mean.

There are new guide books coming out. There are new CDs coming out. Shipping from Japan ain’t cheap. Equipment could use replacing and upgrading. Thinking about trying some new conventions.

Despite never having done so in the past, I’m seriously considering putting up a PayPal “Donate Now!” button over on Daizenshuu EX. Part of me feels… ya’ know, so what? Tons of other websites, blogs, and podcasts do this (including some of my favorites). I even paid for a premium version of a podcast for a while before it unfortunately passed on, and I didn’t think twice about supporting it. I tossed a couple bucks over to the CO-OP guys right after they got laid off from 1UP.

The other part of me freezes up and feels like a total sell-out. It goes against everything I’ve tried to do in the past. I feel like we are in such a (comparatively speaking) great, financially-secure place… what right do I have to ask anyone for anything, even indirectly like this? What reason do they even have to take me seriously?

So I guess that’s what my question is. What reason(s) do you have for even taking such a request seriously? If you saw that button pop up, how would you feel? How do you think the rest of the fanbase and community, the ones who don’t take the time to respond but are just as important, would feel? What would you like to see done with any donation you may or may not make, regardless of how little or grand it may or may not be?

I’m definitely waiting to hear your responses. It’s not as important or dire as I think I’ve made it out to be, but your thoughts and responses are genuinely welcome. I’m going to cross-post this on the Daizenshuu EX forum (there’s obviously a larger reader base there right now), but please feel free to leave blog comments. If you would rather privately send your thoughts, go ahead and just send them on over to VegettoEX@aol.com.

Thanks so much, everyone!

More Reflections On… Well… People (And Being Online)

A review of recent comments on the Daizenshuu EX YouTube channel and playing some Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on Xbox Live last night reminded me just how jaw-droppingly incomprehensible people can be online. I have come across a couple good bits o’ reading over the last couple days that somewhat tie in with this subject, and I just wanted to pass them along. A lot of these thoughts will come around again when I finally decided to do a WTF EX podcast episode about current internet culture and the (non)value of feedback/comments as a whole, but until then, I hope you enjoy some of these bits.

First and foremost, let me make it explicitly clear that I hold absolutely no (serious) delusions of grandeur and hardly see myself as any sort of true “celebrity”. With that being said, I also have been running prominent (for their community/audience) websites for well over a decade, moved on up in several hobbies, presented at conventions, etc. I’m out there. People know my name and plenty of other things about me. People have come up to me in public. I’ve been asked to sign things (OK, just once that I remember). OK? OK. Just sayin’.

While I occasionally read a little too much idealistic and unrealistic prose over on Techdirt, as a whole I really enjoy what is posted there, and tend to agree more than disagree with what Michael Masnick has to say. Above-mentioned review of my YouTube comments and a few e-mails to Daizenshuu EX perfectly mirrors the title of an article from the other day, “Reading Comprehension: A Terrible Thing To Waste“.

In 2007, some people who somehow signed up for the program without meaning to, started Google searching the program — and commenting on that post, often complaining that they were signed up against their will. In April of 2007, one person noted that the charge on his credit card was denoted as being for AMZ*Prime Club. Within days, if you did a search on that phrase, we were the top result. At first, our comments started to fill up with angry messages from people who claim they never agreed to sign up for the program. Then… people started emailing and calling us demanding a refund.

Particularly with our “Rumor Guide” and detailed explanations of things from the originial Japanese reference material, many people write in to “correct” us, but end up saying the exact same thing, simply in their own words (and typically with FUNimation-only verbiage). It is almost always followed and ended by some snarky comment, demanding praise for their valuable time wasted on us (that’s if it hadn’t already started with a horribly-written insult). Just like Techdirt ended up:

Five minutes later, she replies:

How the hell do I contact Amazon – it seems to me that you and Amazon are probably working in collusion to fleece people.

And… with that I give up. Apparently, it wouldn’t matter how clearly Amazon explains their program. There are still some people who will not be able to figure it out.

… I have had too many instances where responding back and forth with readers/listeners/fans ends up with me tossing my hands up in the air. While the following example is not one where I responded back and forth with the author (I didn’t bother replying at all), and is also not an example where they don’t realize they are actually agreeing with us, it still fits in with the whole mentality of these sorts of comments. This may be completely over-the-head of my non-DBZ-fan friends and readers… but chances are, if you’re here reading this, you have some familiarity with DBZ ^_~.

In your rumors guide, u said that Trunks can’t reach SSJ2.. and your reasoning was that because it was a big deal when Gohan ascended to SSJ2 and beat Cell..

However u didn’t consider that the “big deal” could have been over Gohan’s power and NOT over the SSJ2 transformation. We all know 2 Saiyans can have different strengths even if both are SSJ form. For example, Trunks and Goten in early SSJ form can’t beat Vegeta or Goku. Also, SSJ Goten was slightly weaker than SSJ Trunks.

What I’m tryin to say is, ppl weren’t surprised at the new “SSJ2” form that Gohan transformed into. The big surprise was over the fact that Gohan’s SSJ2 form was even more powerful than Goku’s and Vegeta’s SSJ2 form.

Now, back to Trunks. During the Cell saga when Future Trunks fought Cell, he clearly became an “Ascended Super-Saiyan”. Even the episode was titled “Trunks Ascended”.

Later on, during the Majin Buu Saga, episode “230 – Super Saiyan 3!”, Goku CLEARLY stated that an “ascended super-saiyan” is also known as “super saiyan 2”.

So there u have it.. Future Trunks WAS indeed able to become SSJ2.

There are so many things wrong with this e-mail. They are clearly writing in response to one particular entry in the “Rumor Guide“, and yet despite having a well-researched and correct explanation in front of them, there is some… I don’t even know what to call it…? I don’t think “sense of entitlement” is the right way to explain it, but it’s along the same lines. As I’ve noted time and time again, there seem to be a large contingent of FUNimation-only fans that yearn to “correct” information based off the original Japanese… and while that’s not to say there isn’t the opposite (I mean, hello!… I’m right here!)… oh, you can see where this is going (an “It’s FUNimation’s own fault there’s a fractured fanbase, not mine” editorial is too much effort for me, these days). Let’s just move on.

The other article I wanted to point you over to was “Some Things Need To Change” by Michael Arrington over on TechCruch. Arrington takes a lot of flack for things he does and says, but at the end of the day, I think he’s pretty accurate in saying:

I write about technology startups and news. In any sane world that shouldn’t make me someone who has to deal with death threats and being spat on. It shouldn’t require me to absorb more verbal abuse than a human being can realistically deal with.

Again, please refer to the beginning of this entry where I plainly state that I’m not placing myself among the larger crowd of genuine success stories in the tech world. I’m just some guy on the internet talking to other nerds. There are clear parallels and warning signs, though. Do I really want to take any of my projects “further”, whether it’s a legitimate business or just a highly-expanded-upon hobby-venture? If there are already fake YouTube accounts set up with the sole purpose of insulting one of my websites (whoops; just legitimized it by acknowledging its existence!), repeatedly have to delete anti-Japanese comments from my actual YouTube account… blah blah blah. I don’t mean to make it out to be a larger situation than it really is (let’s be honest… it’s not). At the same time, they’re all horrible reminders about what kinds of people are out there, and how easily they have access to provide “feedback” to you. Why should anyone have to put themselves in a position where that’s even a realistic situation? Perhaps I’m being the unrealistic and delusional one, expecting and hoping to just go about my business having fun with enjoying things without receiving negative comments in response.

The problem is that I love what I do when I’m not hiding from some crazy fucker who wants to kill me or being spat on by some unhappy European entrepreneur we didn’t write about.

CONCLUSION: My buddy David summed it up pretty well when he told me…

I think YouTube, Hulu, and similar large online forums just show how the world really is: loudmouthed, hateful, and ignorant.

Also, if your first name is “Michael”, you appear to be doomed on the internet. Even further additionally, does John Gabriel’s theory just make that much sense?

As I’ve stated before, I’m not looking for “sympathy” or even agreement with the topics discussed and relayed in these types of posts. People seem to like the “behind-the-scenes” look into how things are done at Casa de EX (like my podcasting setup), and I figured this all worked together nicely to provide yet another view. Especially if you disagree with what I’ve presented, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Pretty interesting how I’ve essentially degraded internet comments to a worthless pile of trash not suitable for a second glance, and then say I value them. Let me instead end it on a funny e-mail.

From: < name removed >
To: vegettoex@aol.com
Sent: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 7:04 pm
Subject: PLEASE RESPOND¡¡

You know Yoshio Anzai (shueshia) ?
Please give me information about yoshio anzai and contact information for yoshio… please
ATT: < name removed >
Bogota Colombia
Thanks

Hey, it’s snowing outside!

(Any uplifting things you’d like to hear about? :P)

Professional Podcasting

Yesterday I recorded (and today I edited) my first “professional” podcast… that is, the first episode of the new podcast we are doing at my job. It was incredibly exciting. I got to spend a little money on upgraded equipment from what I own at home (mixer, mics, etc.), get the troops rallied around the concept, develop show outlines and schedules, etc.

As you heard in the first podcast episode of WTF EX, some of the most important things Jeff and I thought were necessary for managing time were bringing in sanity and happiness to that mix. In this particular example, what makes me more happy than anything else is being able to take something I’ve learned and experimented with in my spare time over the last few years and apply it to work. I’m actually making money doing something I love, and on top of that, I’m spreading valuable information that will make the world a better place. I don’t forget for an instant that what I just said doesn’t happen to many people, and I’m incredibly thankful for it.

How about you all? Do you have any life stories / examples of something similar?

(BTW, if you’re reading this blog and haven’t responded saying who you are, you’re obligated to do so!)

© 2020 vegettoex.com

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑