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About Odainsaker

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    Landed Gentry

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    Pale Blue Dot, Texas
  • Interests
    SimCity, Civilization, History, Geography, Art, Architecture, Urban Design...and Anime and J-dorama!

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  1. Truly amazing, especially the first mosaic. Somewhere I have an old National Geographic fold-out map of Angkor, and what is astounding is the scale of the complex even beyond Angkor Wat. Just to the north is the sprawling complex of Angkor Thom, and flanking both are the vast baray reservoirs. As I was ogling the maps, I starting incorporating the baray-like reservoirs in my SimCity 2000 cities. Being highly orthogonal, Angkor readily lends itself to awesome SimCity layouts, and it would be mesmerizing to see the entire ancient city recreated. I also have hoarded away somewhere a calendar themed for architectural "Sacred Spaces," and one of its breathtakingly mystical photographs is a skyline panorama of Pagan and its hundreds of temple stupas. I think I may have cut up that calendar to frame its architectural photographs, and I'm tempted to print out your mosaics and do the same!
  2. The Sundt Department Store, a 1930s landmark of modernist functional architecture. Just last night I was actually using Google Earth Pro to "fly" over Bergen to inspect the Sundt store and the square it sits on in alignment with the Johanneskirken. Hannover, Germany
  3. I can't take credit for those...that was @Takingyouthere who launched the anime opening song extravaganza. It got me thinking about this one again: Kaida Shōgo (海田庄吾) - "Eigō no Shirabe"「永劫の調べ」 ("Eternal Investigation") It's a major theme track for the anime adaptation of the manga "Uragiri wa boku no Namae o Shitteiru" ("Betrayal Knows My Name"). Arching over the show's blood soaked roses, bishie vampire fanservice, fascist leather fetishism, whips 'n' chains, and weepy yaoi bondage angst is actually a strikingly beautiful and melodramatic soundtrack. Okay, they may only tease with Boys' Love meets "The Exorcism," but at least we get some memorably moody and haunting music.
  4. An Anime Song Fest! With "Legend of the Galactic Heroes" too! This is an age give away, but the song I'm playing now is "Himitsu Kudasai," the climactic track for "Megazone 23." Miyasato Kumi (宮里久美) - "Himitsu Kudasai"「秘密ください」 ("Please Tell Me the Secret") Unbeknownst to most of its bustling inhabitants, 1980s Tokyo is actually a massive Omega Seed arcology in space, and a caretaker AI system is secretly counting down the days till the environmentally devastated Earth has recovered enough for the evacuated population on the ancient and cavernous colony ship to return and repopulate the planet. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry as a desperately militarist government, discontented criminal gangs, and outside alien threats force the fanservice AI to implement extreme measures, which lead to spacefaring city-ship Tokyo getting destroyed. "Himitsu Kudasai" wistfully plays as Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Tokyo Bay are all blown out into cold space during the colony drop onto Earth. When I set disasters down upon my SimCity, this is the tune I often have in my head. Colony drops and space cities aside, the real Miyasato Kumi singing this song screams 1980s Tokyo.
  5. Well, the Trump transition team did include as an infrastructure priority a current Texas Central proposal for a bullet train between Houston and Dallas using JR Central N700 Series "Nozomi" Shinkansen trainsets. I oppose Trump in aghast disgust on almost every issue, but, as I've have playfully called for a "Texas Tokaido," I'll go with this one! For the slower regional commuter line serving San Antonio-Austin, maybe we can push the JR Kyushu 787 Series, whose cool engines look like armored helicopter gunships merged with Darth Vader's faceplate--c'mon, what better image to instill fear along South Texas's southern border! Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure that the dreamed international bullet train between San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico, to be built with a big, beautiful door at Laredo, is dead on arrival. Actually, like the Trump Tower wiretapping claims, the false story of millions of illegals voters, the failed tax returns releases, the denials of suspicious ties to Russian agents, the fake Birther investigation, and the Freudian obsession with inauguration crowd size, there is now fuzzy backpedalling about whether The Mad Hatter seriously meant to make a deal for actual Shinkansen trains for Texas during Prime Minister Abe's visit or whether the Trump transition team had any clue as to what it was doing. Oh well, back to cutting off after-school child care, slashing meals-on-wheels programs for the elderly and disabled, and taking away health care from another 24 million Americans.
  6. Incidentally, the name of the .zip had somewhere changed, from "PEG Water Mod Brigantine.zip" to the current "PEG_WaterMod_Brigantine_205_SU.zip" My "PEG Water Mod Brigantine.zip" contains a .dat and readme, and no .exe. I don't recall which exchange it originally came from. These comparisons might be helpful, now that I can actually inspect the more recent .zip without Norton flashing red and immediately squirreling the unzipped contents away every time I extract them. I just downloaded the .zip this evening just for this topic, and I haven't whitelisted anything in Norton. I wonder why the matured release dating is different, and I wonder if they cast different nets in different regions or for different Norton versions (Internet Security on this machine). While Insight above didn't like it, outright scanning the executable yields...
  7. Another workaround is remove any "downloaded" red flags from the .zip file, which Norton takes into account when assessing new and unfamiliar files. Move the downloaded .zip file onto a USB flash drive or portable hard drive, remove the drive from the USB port, replace the drive back into the USB port, and move the .zip file from the drive back onto the desktop. When the .exe is then extracted from the .zip, Norton will no longer red flag it as a mysterious download coming from the hot and wild web, and will allow the .exe file to be placed onto and even run from the desktop. Directly scanning the file with Norton and Malwarebytes actually then finds the file safe. I guess having a low use reputation, an often abused file type, and being freshly downloaded off the wild web were just too many initial red flags for Norton.
  8. I have for some long time been getting the same anti-virus smackdown with the 2015 updated Simtropolis package. Norton flags the .exe installer as a medium "WS.Reputation.1" threat, meaning it has been used by too few users within Norton's reporting community to gain a trustworthy reputation, and leading Norton to swiftly remove the .exe upon extraction from the .zip download. This is not a positive detection of any actual threat, only the suspicion of a potential one from a file with a commonly abused file type and which Norton has not cleared as safe by reputation through widespread use. There is an option in Norton's details settings as it is taking quarantine action to override the removal and restore the file. As few people like overriding their own anti-virus software, I wouldn't be surprised if many or most Norton users are simply spooked into avoiding this newer upload altogether, which might then always keep the reputation low. Buried away in the hoard I still have an older 2005 upload either from a previous Simtropolis release or straight from Peg's, and it does not have this issue as the downloaded .zip contained a manually installed .dat rather than an .exe installer. I wouldn't be surprised if many or most of us here still were using this older package such that even though we may now have a more assertive Norton, we never encounter this issue with the newer package. This might be something the custodians of Peg's works or the crew looking to tidy up the STEX can look into.
  9. It's EleKashi Night again with my Hibiya concert DVD, so... The Elephant Kashimashi (エレファントカシマシ) - "Kimi no Omokage Dake"「きみの面影だけ」 ("Only Your Traces") Gee, now that I feel like we got left out in the rain by our One True Love, we need something upbeat for the post-breakup rebound... The Elephant Kashimashi (エレファントカシマシ) - "Itsumo no Tōri"「いつものとおり」 ("The Usual Way")
  10. I'll sneak in another oldie but goodie. This one may have been briefly identified long ago, but any past such mention has evaporated from the net. Behind the pink and blue towers inspired by Hong Kong's former Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Tokyo's NEC Supertower is an awkward building that I thought even back when playing SimCity 3000 Unlimited had really awful proportions. It resembles something historical out of Shanghai, Chungking, or Hong Kong, a decrepit old carryover from the pre-Revolutionary era just waiting to be demolished for some shiny new tower, but I never could pin it down. I no longer even remember its name in the Asian tileset nor can I even find picture of it showing its front, but I now realize what was the inspiration that Maxis vertically "enhanced" into a hulking tower block. Tokyo's Shisei Kaikan (市政会館), the "Municipal Research Building" in Hibiya Park. This is a surprising choice to me, because unlike most of the other buildings of the Asian tileset screaming to be pencil towers and Asian Tigers, this building is deeply entwined with the war for most U.S. audiences, who likely will not even realize they have been seeing it as a backdrop in period newsreels of riots, political conventions, coup attempts, and Japanese wartime military rallies. Wikipedia tells us the building originally was completed in 1929 as a civic affairs center and home bureau for the newly founded Dōmei Tsūshinsha, the Federated News Agency, whose wire service partnership owners hoped to rival Reuters and compete in the international newsphere. The Gothic Art Deco landmark in Tokyo's first Western-style urban park also housed Hibiya Public Hall, a cavernous auditorium for concerts and radio shows, and the stolidly muscular red brick building would become a symbol of the reconstruction of Tokyo after the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake. I guess it was good that I could only find backside views of the Maxis version online, because it was the backside and peaked roof of the auditorium contrasting against the ziggurat clock tower that gave it away. I certainly wouldn't have guessed from the color or height. "Spring at Hibiya Park," from "One Hundred Views of New Tokyo" by artist Kawase Hasui. Kawase's prewar woodblock prints incorporating Western perspective drawing and lighting with nostalgically traditional themes are all hauntingly atmospheric, depicting a bygone era slipping away for a bygone era that would soon be firebombed away. The calendar hanging on my bedroom wall is still dated for 2004...I cannot bring myself to take it down because this particular calendar's pictures are reprints on heavy paper of gorgeously colorful woodblock scenes by Kawase Hasui! Unfortunately, the briefly flowering "Taishō Democracy" had ended just as the Shisei Kaikan was completed, and as political parties and the free press were being curtailed by rising nationalist militarism, the Dōmei News Agency became fully nationalized into the official State News Agency and propaganda arm of the Empire of Japan. Dōmei's heavily censored radio broadcasts were scrutinized by the Allies for wartime intelligence, and it was through Dōmei that the Allies received unofficial word of Japan's acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration and surrender. Both Dōmei and NHK would broadcast Hirohito's infamous speech ending the war, and it was Dōmei's reporters who first photographed and distributed the sobering images of the wasteland ruins of Hiroshima. After Japan's defeat, Dōmei was broken up, with the best internationally known chunk spun off as today's Kyōdō News. The Shisei Kaikan returned to being a municipal public administration building for news services and public performances, and the former symbol of the old "New Tokyo" is now overshadowed by the shinier towers of postwar, modern Tokyo. Neighboring the Shisei Kaikan's indoor hall is the Hibiya Open Air Amphitheater, a popular venue for rock concerts. Coincidentally, as I typed this, I was handed my mail-received DVD of The Elepant Kashimashi playing the Hibiya amphitheater.
  11. Hiroshima, Japan. The restored composite photo at the top from the Dōmei News Agency shows Hiroshima's ruins just days after the atomic bombing as seen from the tallest surviving building of the city's urban center. The modern-day panorama from Kyōdō News was taken from above the same spot as the Dōmei shot. Ground Zero is behind the camera and viewer, while Hiroshima Castle is just beyond the left edge of the panorama. The Japan Times offers a much larger 3917x2345 pixel zoom of this image, which went on display last year in the Tokyo International Forum.
  12. I was given the photo book San Francisco: Then and Now, and was inspired to go "flying" over San Francisco with Google Earth Pro. Near Coit Tower, I flew over this: That looks terribly familiar: SimCity 2000's 3x3 Office Park is the Levi Strauss Plaza at 1255 Battery Street! Ooooooh, Aaaaaah... Wikipedia tells us Levi's Plaza was completed in 1981 as the corporate campus headquarters of clothing-maker Levi Strauss & Co. I have the aerial photography book Above San Francisco from back in the era before Google Earth, but I never noticed this place because my book is the 1972 edition reprinting photos from 1969. In 1969, this site was empty lots and light industrial surrounded by dense residential.
  13. bugs

    I have noticed a forum thread loading problem yesterday. I cannot say for certain if this issue started specifically yesterday, or if it may have been ongoing for some time longer. Within threads with multiple pages, attempting to navigate to other pages by left-clicking the in-thread page navigation buttons results in perpetually stalled loading of the new page. The buttons for "First page," "Last page", "prev," "next," and direct page number all fail. Attempting to use the browser navigation tools to return from the broken loading page back to the original page becomes tricky, as the broken page tries to reload itself and then fails again, requiring several rapid clicks to properly back out of it. Being logged into a Simtropolis user account or just visiting as a guest does not matter. Right-clicking the in-thread page navigation buttons to open the desired page into either a new tab or a new window still works as normal. Forum navigation buttons are not affected. This now happens for me on Internet Explorer (11.0.9600.18524), Google Chrome (56.0.2924.87), and mobile Android (4.0.4) on several separate devices. Using the Quote of the Day thread, page 41, as an example, here is what happens when attempting to left-click to page 40 using the navigation buttons with Internet Explorer: This is doing the same with Google Chrome: And on Android: Android additionally often alerts "Connection problem - A network error occurred" for pages of Simtropolis. Naturally, this is a generic message which could be anything and everything from something suspicious trying to load, an obsolete version of Android encountering new and unfamiliar code, or merely technology gremlins.
  14. 5824 As Minister of State Security Secretary of the Department of Justice, I promise to eliminate all internal and external threats, both real and imagined, because we know that they're ALL plotting against us!
  15. Ack, I just watched "Love Storm" do a breathtakingly radical plot twist halfway through the drama. This show was a romance comedy, and arguably a slow and plodding one at that, but how in the world does an undercover killer for the Taiwanese mafia now figure in a romance comedy? Noooooo!!! Vic, why couldn't you have confessed to something else? Why not a terminal television illness, or a secret love-child, or, geez, even yaoi? Did it really have to be The Mafia!?!? Meanwhile, I've also been streaming simulcasts of the currently airing bicycling anime "Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation." Freakish race rival Midousuji finally made his reappearance in the latest episode, and it didn't disappoint. I thought the bicycle speed racing "power-ups" were wacky in the previous seasons, but Midousuji's nightmarish "metamorphosis" to "evolve" into his latest racing "form" came right out of H. R. Giger! Even the blatant gore fests of "Parasyte" weren't as disturbing. The latest season of "Gintama" is also currently airing and being simulcast online, and though I am watching it, I can't seem to really get into the episodes. I guess I miss the goofiness of the Shinsengumi, and perhaps I again am bored by the story arcs that dwell on underworld Asian mafia politics. Still, any of these are welcome to distract me from CNN, which the president has now declared to be an "enemy of the American People." It's like watching democracy die live on television.