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REC

I have just watched a great anime called REC. It is about a male 26 year advertising guy letting a 20 year old girl into his appartment. She aims to become a voice actress for anime, advertising and foreign film voice-overs. They meet accidentaly at the beginning and at the same night her house burns down, so he lets her sleep at his place. But they are not lovers (except for the first night).
The series is quite romantic and soft with bits of humour and just a bit of sexual aspects creeping in just like in the real life. The only problem is that it is short - only 9 episodes. But the ending is good - fitting.
All in all, a good recommendation for a easy viewing but very real romantic anime

A couple shots from Tokyo girls concert ...

Lead singer Dark wisper

A couple shots from Tokyo girls concert from the closing ceremony of the Animefest3. This ends my photostream from the event, now I'll have to shoot something new to show you. BTW: there are also some photos that I did upload to Flickr, but didn't link to the blog - you can go to my photostream to see all of them.

Last week a idea came to my mind - promoting open source is most rewarding if we do it to developers who then come to open source and help us move forward, the biggest identifiable bunch of developers in Latvia are the web developers (LAMPers, ASPers, J2EEers, ...) and these developers are quite interesed in that new "Web 2.0" buzzword. So I thought - why cann't Latvian Open Source Association organise a event dedicated to Web 2.0: what it is all about, what open source solutions empower you to develop Web 2.0 sites, how and why should you use them and also why and how do you contribute back to the community that created these tools. Nobody else stepped up for the task, so if I want this to happen - I will have to organise that. I have defined the master theme and format of the conference and now I am going around the potential sponsors asking for few hundred $ to fund the coffee breaks and a lunch. If I get that, then we can start thinking about specific topics, speakers, participant registration forms and all the rest of the stuff. If I don't get that 'till Christmas, then I will not be able to get the event going at the planed time in the last week of February. Well - a bunch of job to do.

BTW: this reminds me - what's up with USA and Christmas??? As you probably know, mine only source of information about world events is The Daily Show (along with the Colbert Report, and _sometimes_ BBC news) and now it seams that USA have gone to the extremes of ridiculousness (I guess, president sets the mark). Banning use of word Christmas? How about cancelling New Year? You do know that in some religions the year changes at a different day, don't you? And don't get me started about "Plan for success" two years after the "Mission Accomplished" by the man personally!

Here is my friend lastguru - the second ...

Caught in the act!
Here is my friend lastguru - the second most active photographer on the AnimeFest3. He is trying to get a shot of the audience, but while he is doing that, I got a shot of him :)

Yesterday I discovered a great surge in popularity of SBackup - just on SourceForge around 700 people downloaded it in a period of three days (compared to ~250 total downloads before that) and some new bugs were filled.Only then I remembered about the interview I gave over the email, looks that it was published on Monday. Fun. Now the plans for a good rewrite are even more prominent on my ToDo list and I am also thinking about trying to get all developers of similar tools to unite in the context of this rewrite. This will bring all their good features in (encryption, per-user subconfiguration, removable media support, config on server option) and ensure continued development of the project even if I get a bit lazy on it ;) A confederation for simple yet feature complete Linux backup solution?

Also today we have a very good milestone - translation of Debian Installer to Latvian language has just reached 100%. I thank greatly our new contributor - Orvils from Latvian University who did bulk of the work. I still had to spend around 6 hours reviewing and correcting his translations and then updating the translations that changed or were added during the time that Orvils was translating, but it was much faster then it would have been it the translation was only up to me :)

First batch of 6 photos from Animefest.

First batch of 6 photos from Animefest.
Me Well, I gen get it up with my hands... Metasexy photo What, me? Alternative ninja Scrappy cosplay

Just a note - yes, my cosplay costume is crappy and the hair are curly and not straight, but at least my hair were white and not yellow (like the other guy that cosplayed Jiraiya had) and I was true to Jiraiya's pervert spirit :D

(P.S. No laws were broken during my perversionist activities, I simply provided an alternative, very perverted look on common place events, persons, statues, actions and expressions. You just need to get people thinking and the autoperversion effects sets in :))

Photography is dangerousAfter a bit of s...


Photography is dangerous
After a bit of sleep, a bit of rest and several hours of working trough all the 293 photographs taken during the 3 days of AnimeFest, I must finally write something about the last day.
The last day of the fest (Sunday) was easily the best. The morning was a bit disapointing as the planned special showing of Steamboy did not happen and the Korean Hammerboy was quite boring for anyone over the age of 7. Many had a good nap.
Everything went wild when the second part of Hellsing series was supposed to start. Previous day the showing stopped on 6th episode, so when after the intro we saw that the 10th episodes starts, all started shouting so loud that even mechanics understood that something was wrong. For about 5 minutes they seemed to wander aimlessly around the menu of the DVD. The mechanics were in a sealed room, so they couldn't hear us and we couldn't quite go to them either. I had a fun moment running up to the screen and showing with my hand which button should the mechanic press on the screen. I mimicked both pushing the button like it was a touchscreen and a also ran around trying to "drag" the cursor across the screen. It looked very fun to the audience. In the end it turned out that the DVD was doublesided and had to be turned around, but it took almost ten times of starting the 10th episode and around a half an hour of time. Thankfully the rest of days schedule could be pressed a bit to compensate.
Hellsing itself was just wonderfull, I hope they will decide to make a sequel soon and that they'll make it well.
Next up was Millennium Actress. I did not expect much realism from the creators of Prefect Blue, but I was so wrong. The movie is simply great - it is fun, has great story and ingenious way to tell that story. Simply a marvel.
The final ceremony of the festival started with a concert of a local group of two Latvian girls singing Japanese pop songs - "Tokio Dolls". Nice voices, very good choreography and reasonable lights - all in all a good show. In the conclusion there was Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. This is my second time trying to get it. I loved the first film. I liked the first season of series. But this film and the second season of series is just ... too smart? The first movie was a good combination of action, elegance, politics and wisdom. In the second part only distilled wisdom remains - typical scene is three people standing in a room for 20 minutes speaking loosely related citations of philosophers to each other. After a sleepless night of debugging gphoto, I slept well there.

All in all this festival was a wonderful event - lots of good friends came, lots of cosplays were seen, lots of anime was watched, a bit of go was played, a bit of buffed weapon fighting was done, a lot of good photos taken. I look forward to next animefest sometime next year. In the meanwhile I will try to sort out the few best pictures and post them to my flickr album during the week.

Mad cosplay


Mad cosplay

More coverage from Latvia's 3rd Animefest coming up.
Todays features were:
* Hellsing - a phenomenally great vampire story. This is actually not a movie, but an anime series of 13 episodes - first 6 were shown today and 7 more will be shown tomorrow. It is not too scary - the good guys are quite good at what they do, but the taste of fun is unmistakeable. Highly recommended! :)
* Armitage III: Double Matrix - if you like the original Armitage III, then you should also see this - very nice action, kawai daughter, just a bit of interplanetary politics.
* Future Police - policemen in future Tokio doing their work in Mecha suits. A very interesting piece of film. It looks like the creators wanted to shine a bit in the glory of "Ghost in the Shell" and the "Law and Order" with a bit of "Numb3rs" thrown in :) Nice music and atmosphere, a simple plot that get stopped at times by politics and red tape, nice fighting and a bit of humor to spice thing up a bit. A little to drawn out in the middle though - the classic sequence of two cops "walking the streets and talking to people" could be a little shorter.
Bunch of new cosplays and cosplayers around. In the evening there was another event in the same cinema and the people that came to that event (in suits and ties) were quite amazed at us waling around there :D
My updated costume got some praise that it damn well deserved! Pics will come up later - after I get a decent sleep :)

President and people


President and people
No time to process new pictures, so one of the oldies is here - our president again, this time from a more interesting angle.
Today there was a bit IT conference here - it looks like Latvia finally has a strategy for country wide growth capitalising on knowledge. The plans look sound and as specific as such thing can be. Very promising and apolitical.
Also the first day of Animefest was here, I only managed to see the last movie "Grave of the fireflies" - a very sad movie about war and loss and children. Very recommended if you can stand a bit of war shock and death.
Spent couple of hours improving my costume - they mocked the beta, but tomorrow I will be back with release! :D

Cosplay warm-up


Cosplay warm-up
The opening of AnimeFest went great - there were few cosplayers and a huge lot of general public. Anime is on the high.
The fest was opened by two cute girls - one of them was speaking in Latvian and the other in Russian. At first they were translating each others lines both then they diverged and even started a small dispute. You had to know both languages to "get" the joke, but I think most of the people in Latvia do know Russian enough for that.
The opening program consisted of "Howl's Moving Castle" - a truly wonderful anime movie from the same director as the "Spirited Away". A great fairy tail as expected from Studio Ghibly.
Also:


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Otaku girls


Otaku girls
Today I am preparing for tomorrows big event - opening of Latvia's third Anime Festival. A bunch of otaku girls is begging me to cosplay Jiraiya - the super pervert ninja from the very popular Naruto series. I already have most needed components - white hair (false) and a pervert mind (true). It is gonna be fun :)

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