Seems we’re going to Toronto in August =)


The Helpful Fox Senko-san

If your job is taking over your life and it seems that there’s no escape and the situation will never change for the better — there’s still a hope. A hope that one day a cute 800-years old kitsune-demigod will show up in your apartment and begin pampering you, doing everything (almost everything) your heart desires.

A cozy and fluffy anime about a guy whose miserable life is slowly becoming not so miserable, thanks to the presence of Senko-san in it. Maybe the idea of the anime is that you need to find a way to enjoy every day even when it seems that it’s impossible? Get some sleep on your only weekend, have a good meal and maybe even a drink in the evening and go outside at least once in a while. Yeah, that’s much easier to say than do, when you don’t have a Senko-san around and have to cook yourself and stroll around the neighborhood alone — but everything starts with a first step, right, hehe? (yeah, we all know that the real idea is that all hopes are a huge lie and they will be mercilessly shattered but I wanted to sweeten the pill).

Not only had we never been up north in Muskoka area but we also had never traveled by Greyhound buses, so it was going to be something new and exciting =)

First off, a word about Greyhound (and about Ontario Northland). It’s not bad and we got to Gravenhurst without any problems. But! On the way back the bus broke and we stuck on 401 for 2.5 hours. Of course, everything can happen and buses are not magical devices that work for years without accidents but, frankly, it could’ve been much faster if the replacement had been sent from Toronto or Mississauga and not from London as they arranged it.

Anyway. Gravenhurst turned out to be a cute tiny town on two lakes, Gull lake and Muskoka lake. Our motel was on Gull lake and the view from the balcony was not bad =)

In the evening the lake looks pretty cool too

Because there’s a lot of water — these assholes are all around too. They are absolutely shameless and if you want to pretentiously have a lunch in a park — 6 or 7 of them will be dominating and demanding their fair share until someone (a hint — it’s going to be you) gets tired and gives up.

This lake was also super nice for swimming. And again, the view plays a big role (I honestly don’t remember if I’d ever swum in a lake before).

Muskoka lake is on the other side of the town and we went there once but it was super hot, so we just sat there for a bit looking at how people were riding their boats.

It’s also possible to go on a tour on one of these beauties (?), but we were too late and chose to go to the local brewery instead.

Here in Ontario I found two beers which I consider my favorites, and one of them is “The Lone Pine”. And when we decided that we’d visit Gravenhurst I had no idea that it’s brewed there! And there’s a pub where you can drink this amazing refreshing IPA but from a keg! Maybe it wasn’t the best part of our chibi-vacation but it was definitely a nice touch.

On google maps this spot is marked as “The Big Yellow Chair”. Can’t argue with this description.

Midnight Occult Civil Servants

This show is one of those I usually have nothing to say about. It’s not terrible, it looks okay, it’s just… boring. I can’t remember a single new or relatively new idea Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin offered, can’t recall any moment when I’d say “oh, that was pretty good!”… really, it’s an ideal 5/10 show — because they didn’t do anything wrong either.

We have yokai (here they are called Anothers), have a reincarnation of Abe no Seimei, the only person in the world who can understand them and we have a city department responsible for interactions with Anothers. While everyone is saying that Anothers are incomprehensible and should not be treated as your fellow human, 21st century Seimei steps in in order to build at least some more or less friendly relationships between the Japanese and various gods, demigods, monsters — you name it. All stories are independent, so give up immediately if you have a hope that eventually there will be something even remotely resembling a plot.

A good question, actually, is why we watched it. And I don’t have an answer =) Maybe because it was on Crunchyroll? Or because I hadn’t tried anything like that for a while and was curious? Anyway, we’re done with it and it’s time to move on and finish tons of others spring season anime.

Tennocon 2019 is finished and this year I was nervous for a reason — we’re showing off a new Warframe renderer =) Luckily, everything went rather smoothly.

The full demo is here and, so… what’s new from the technical perspective?

This is a clustered/tiled deferred renderer, we added cached shadowmaps, cascaded shadows from the sun, a new reflections system with parallax-corrected cubemaps, new capsule shadows (ala The Last Of Us) for indirect shadowing. Performance-wise it’s not optimal but we’ll be working on it =)

Everything can be found here but just a couple more videos =)

And now it’s time to get some rest and we’re going to Gravenhurst for a couple of days, to enjoy the beauty of Muskoka lake and the freshness of Sawdust City Brewery’s beers =)

The Jets lost 3 of their defensemen this off-season. Whereas Trouba’s departure was inevitable it’s kind of sad that Myers and Chiarot also chose other teams. I guess Winnipeg isn’t the best place to live after all =) (although, I hope that I’ll visit it one day). The silver lining is that now they have enough money to sign Laine and Connor and, oh boy, I do hope that Laine won’t get a crazy long contract. He’s a good player but no one can predict what’s going to happen.