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Sep. 10th, 2004

lurkerdrome can probably tell you how great the Sgt. Frog anime is, so I won't waste my text on it. But the manga is another wonder to behold. Chapter after chapter, it delivers the most humor I've ever seen in a manga series, including the comedy hits like Excel Saga and GTO. True, it's got more to work with, being a recent series with so much parody material to work with, but it does the job SO WELL. Hard to believe there was a time when I didn't think it would be worth the bother. Don't let it pass you by... there may well be more entertainment in each $10 book than in any movie you could see for almost the same price. Well, maybe not. But you won't regret it.

Fortunately, Paul wasn't around today to make a big scene of it... Mike failed to follow suit in our first hand, but we'd already made the contract with an overtrick, so everyone decided to just let it go. Nobody felt like rulemongering today. That made us vulnerable, and led to a pair of hands that I screwed up royally. The first was a 4H hand that seemed like a great bet, with Kelly the only opposing bidder and the A-J of hearts and clubs poised over her for finesses with the queens in my hand. Then she showed out of hearts, placing Dan with all 5 missing ones while we had 4 each. Fortunately, I got the club finesse by default at the end, but I missed the chance to discard a loser somewhere along the way and ended up off three. Undoubled, fortunately, since had Dan doubled, we had nowhere to run. Then we had an interesting auction where I held S J H Q-J-9-8-x D A-K-Q-x-x C x-x and was last to bid. Kelly opened 1C, Dan bid 1S, I bid 2H (I had to, really), Kelly bid 2S, probably, and I bid 3D. That's where the auction ended, which surprised me as I was just trying to tell Mike the shape of my hand. The opening lead was a low spade, and Mike had S K-9-x-x-x H x-x D J-x-x C Q-x, which wasn't bad, but left us with five losers. Dan got his queen of spades and led the ten of hearts to my queen and Kelly's king. She led a heart back to Dan's ace, setting up my top three hearts, and he led her back a club. Then, instead of taking the winning club, she led the ace of spades, which I ruffed. I should have had the contract there, as I can sluff my club on the king of spades, but I didn't cash it while I had the chance. Off one. Then they bid a 3S contract where we had a play for 4H, given the 7 in Mike's hand and my A-J-x, but I had opened light and didn't really understand his full power, and we were sub-game anyway. There were some interesting leads going around, but they made it. We set one contract by a trick somewhere, and then it was our turn to bid 3NT again and make it without great difficulty. Dan doubled, of course, so we won by 150 more points than we would have undoubled. As he says it's said, "You can only be buried so deep."

Got a few more audience participation responses. Fun stuff, and I enjoy it, but I don't know if I can come up with one every day, or even every few days. I'll let you know if I come up with any... I would make an Audience Participation asking for suggestions for things that might encourage you to respond, but that seems a little too easy. Do feel free to suggest things if you prefer, though. I don't mind.

Watched episode 3 of Miami Guns... it gets funnier and funnier. And racier... lots of panties and bras and stuff, as if I really cared. Also played some Dark Cloud... built up the Brave Ark, and it's actually pretty close to the next evolution already. But it's still too brittle... and Ungaga's De Sanga isn't much better. I need to get him a good Synthsphere with some attack. I went a couple levels deeper into Dark Heaven Castle, but then I noticed that the Demon Shaft is open... most likely since I've already beaten the final boss in a different file on this memory card. It's a tough area, but it has some neat enemies that I remember from Dark Cloud 2 (Gemron! And it's a bit tougher in this game... yay Xiao) and I've already gotten a backfloor key. Xaio's one upgrade away from the Angel Shooter, and I don't think Osmond has to do much building up to evolve his Skunk. Ruby... she's working on it. That Destruction Ring is brand new. I badmouth Ungaga and his mighty De Sanga, but that's close to evolving as well... just requires a lot of Ice and Wind. And the last guy... Goro's Battle Ax is coming along well, because I keep a Synthsphere on it at all times but evolve it with gems, so I think he just needs a shload of Undead Buster... time to purchase many Pearls. I have a few pieces of bait for fishing, so I just need to get a few more FP... and buy Osmond a Jackal so he can start building it up. I'll miss the flamethrower when it becomes a plain old magic gun... but the POWER! THE POWER! I can actually kill things, which is a new experience for me in this area. Man, I was an idiot with weapon-building the first time through. That, and I didn't know the secrets of fishing. Here, little Garayan...

I seem to be in debt concerning this car payment thing. They send me notices telling me how much I owe them, and I send them checks to entice them to lower that amount. They seem surprisingly receptive to this idea. And so I have resolved that this is one problem that I can throw money at until it goes away.

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Yes, I'm THAT Nidoking. Sometimes I write fanfiction... often I waste all my time playing video games and watching anime. But it's not a waste if I enjoy it, right? I can quote from a movie, video game, anime series, or British comedy apropos of just about any situation, and one of my main goals in life is to entertain people. (The other big one is amassing as much anime and manga as I can... see below for a progress report.) That's me in a nutshell. ("Help! I'm trapped in a nutshell! What a bloody great nutshell this is!")

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