April Movie Nights: Wickedly Spontaneous
Starting in April. Every Wednesday for 5 weeks we'll watch a movie hand picked by me. Carrying over from movies we watched in March, these movies have meaning to me for some reason or another. As we get closer to each viewing, I'll tell a story leading up to why these movies, in my eyes, are some of the best movies to hit the screens in the last 25 years.
Until then, I'm interested in your thoughts. Have you seen these movies? What did you think? Maybe take a guess at why I chose these movies.
Knock Off (1998) - Staring international action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme as Marcus Ray, who works in Hong Kong as a sales representative for V SIX Jeans. As the city prepares for the transition from British to Chinese rule, Ray gets wind of the Russian Mafia's plans to bring a deadly secret technology-microbombs-to the worldwide terrorist black market. Aware of the wave of global terrorism this will incite, Marcus acts quickly. With the aid of trusted associates Tommy Hendricks (Rob Schneider) and Karen Leigh (Lela Rochon)-both of whom are undercover CIA agents-Ray must outsmart both an organized mob of criminals as well as a corrupt CIA section chief (Paul Sorvino) to avert a worldwide catastrophe.
Emperor (2013) - A gripping tale of love and honor forged between fierce enemies of war, inspired by true events and starring Matthew Fox and Academy Award®-winner Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur. Immediately after Emperor Hirohito's World War II surrender, General MacArthur (Jones) suddenly finds himself the de facto ruler of a foreign nation. He challenges his expert on Japanese culture - General Fellers (Fox) - to provide evidence in 10 short days to decide if the Japanese Emperor, worshipped as a god by his people but accused of war crimes, should be punished or saved. The fate of a nation awaits...
Arthur & Merlin (2015) - From an age-old tale, in Dark Ages Britain, a powerful druid is bent on destroying the Celts. Arthur, a banished warrior, and Merlin, a hermit wizard, embark on a heroic quest to stop the druid and save their people.
New In Town (2009) - Lucy Hill (Renée Zellweger) is an ambitious, up and coming executive living in Miami. She loves her shoes, she loves her cars and she loves climbing the corporate ladder. When she is offered a temporary assignment - in the middle of nowhere - to restructure a manufacturing plant, she accepts the opportunity, knowing a big promotion is close at hand. What begins as a straight forward job assignment becomes a life changing experience as Lucy discovers greater meaning in her life and more unexpectedly, the man of her dreams (Harry Connick, Jr.).
Unlocked (2017) - Noomi Rapace leads the all-star cast of this intense, London-set spy thriller. She plays undercover CIA agent Alice Racine, charged with preventing an upcoming biological terror attack. But when violence erupts, Alice realizes her CIA colleagues (Michael Douglas, John Malkovich, and Toni Collette) may be trying to eliminate her to cover their tracks. On the run, she must rely on the help of a tough catburglar (Orlando Bloom) to survive—and to save the city from catastrophic devastation.
Movies will start at 5:30p / 6:30m / 7:30c / 8:30e each Wednesday in April (and then May 5th)!! See you there!
Re: Importing a car from Japan
You know you've been in isolation and doing too much documentation for work WHEN...
My first reaction??? You need to make this a Knowledgebase Article. I knew about flipping houses, but I hadn't thought about flipping cars. Great write up @BuddyJ!
Importing a car from Japan
Last year I finally took the plunge to import a 25 year old vehicle from Japan. It's not hard if you're willing to be patient, and doing it yourself will be cheaper than buying from a stateside JDM import dealership. There are several paths to getting a legal car in the US, but here's the path I recommend based on convenience and buying from a Japanese auction.
ASSEMBLE YOUR TEAM
You want to find n vehicle exporter in Japan to handle the purchase overseas. Japan has a complicated title/ownership system and all vehicles must go through a de-registration process before they can leave the country. Your exporter will handle all that along with booking the ocean freight to ship your car, various Japanese inspections, and making sure the car gets to port. There are several companies that do this and their fees vary as either a flat rate per car you buy, or a percentage of the purchase price, or some combination of the two. I used JapanCarDirect.com and have been very pleased with their service.
In my case, I paid a $500 deposit to JCD which gave me access to their web platform so I could look at cars at all the Japanese auctions, view historical sales data on the cars, etc. The deposit can be used toward the purchase price of my car should I decide to bid, or it can be kept on retainer if I want to keep using them as a vendor. It is fully refundable and therefore not included in any of the cost estimates in this document.
Once you send over a deposit, you're good to start playing the game of finding a good car to import.
You also want to find a freight forwarder to handle the import of the car one it hits the US port. This will add cost but also makes life super easy because they'll handle filing all the paperwork with the port, US Customs, the EPA, the DOT, etc. Be aware that finding a company willing to import a car for your personal use can be a challenge. Many companies only focus on commercial accounts and don't want to get burned by people trying to import illegal cars. Shop around because fees vary wildly.
As soon as you get into the auction system, it's tempting to see the sales price of cars and think OMG SO CHEAP. The price you pay is only part of the larger picture. Here's pricing for my small kei van. Bigger cars mean higher prices for inland transportation, ocean freight, and delivery to your door. Your Japanese counterparts can help estimate freight costs based on the vehicle prior to bidding so be sure to ask what the Landed Cost estimate is for your vehicle type.
Cost Group 1 - $3,700 Paid once you win a car within a couple days via wire transfer.
- Purchase Price of the Vehicle - My van was $1,680.
- Fee to the Exporter - Figure $1k for most cars for their services. This is how they make their $$.
- Inland Transportation to the Port and Inspections - $300
- Ocean Freight & Marine Insurance - $1,000
- Wire Transfer fee from your bank - $40
Cost Group 2 - $1,700 Paid when your car delivers to port 4-6 weeks after your make your initial purchase. OMG So Many Fees!!! These are the prices I paid through a company down in TX.
- ISF Filing - $52
- Unloading- $172 goes to the port operator who got your car off the ship
- Duty - $334 (Figure 25% of the vehicle price for trucks and cargo vans, 3% for cars)
- US Customs Clearance- $145
- Single entry bond - $95
- Express Courier - $30
- Documentation - $85
- DOT - $53
- EPA - $65
- Transit - $650 to deliver the car to my driveway. This varies wildly based on your distance from the port and the size of your vehicle. In COVID times, budget $1,000 or more to deliver to a location 8 hrs away from the port.
- Wire transfer fee to the freight forwarder - $40
So my $1,600 van cost $5,500 by the time I got it plated and insured in my home state. Budget accordingly. I'll break down and explain some of these fees later
Oh boy has this year been a wild ride. The team has come back alive in a big way. @mas0n decided to crack on hard by keeping his office warm while he is away. @primesuspect started things back up after one hardware refresh and then another. @sgstair as usual is back online for a bit. @pigflipper upgraded as well and is back folding while the weather is cool enough.
On top of all that we have moved up a few places and lost a few places all within the past week. mas0n already nailed 1 billion and is heading towards 2, currently it is a race to the finish between us.
I found Lar systems PPD database which uses a chrome plugin to automatically pull in your ppd so they have a truly living ppd db which is a breath of fresh air as the old google sheet db is dead on its feet. https://folding.lar.systems/gpu_ppd/overall_ranks
We keep having bigger and bigger months. On to the new year f@h friends!
Icing on the cake all slots at the house finally hit 1,000 WUs completed again.
Get HYPED!!!!!!! We passed another team yesterday. We are also projected to pass a second team within 5 days from now. Slowly Team 93 is getting pushed out of the top 100 teams but they are having to slowly drag us out. Great work team!!!
Bobby's Poker Night: Season 1
I'm going to start running Poker Nights weekly for the foreseeable future. I'm going to call now through the end of June "Season 1" with the first event being Saturday January 2, 2021.
Each player will start out a 50,000 chip (c) stack at the beginning of the season. Your chips will be tracked in a Google spreadsheet which will track all additions and subtractions from your totals. Participation chips will be given out for each event. Details for each event will be listed here and spammed to discord.
Standard Events will be Texas Hold 'Em, minimum 2 hours with 25c small blind / 50c big blinds. You do not have to bring your entire stack into the game but there will be a minimum amount to bring in along with a minimum amount of play time to earn the participation chips. Participation bonuses will be added to player stacks at the end of each event.
If a player runs out of chips at a table, this will count as them getting up from the table. If they wish to rejoin, they will be put at the end of the wait list and anyone at the beginning of the wait list will be prioritized for the seat. If a player runs out of chips during the season (or their season stack is lower than 10,000c), they can borrow up to 10,000c at the beginning of each event and this will count as a negative in their stack if they do not play it back.
The player with the biggest stack at the end of the season will be given a prize (to be determined)
Games will be held at https://www.pokernow.club/
This is a free website, just click and go. When you join the table (link for event tables will be posted at the beginning of each event) you enter in your name and starting stack. You must use a name that is generally recognizable to others (such as your forum or Discord name). The starting stack that you enter will be verified by me before you are allowed to sit down.
Event #1: Saturday January 2nd, 5:30p / 6:30m / 7:30c / 8:30e
Minimum stack: 10,000
Minimum Playtime: 1 hour
Participation award: 10,000
Notes: This is designed as an introductory event. If you bring 10k and play for an hour, you guarantee to at least break even with the Participation bonus at the end of the night.
Event 1 Table (Archived)
There is a limit of 10 spots at a table. Reservations will be taken from the time of the announcement until the end of the event. Any players over 10 will be considered a wait list and invited to sit in once a spot opens.
- You can sit down at any time the table is open (and there is a spot open)
- You do not have to put all your money on the table. There is a minimum to qualify for the event bonus but you can bring in as little or as much as you want whenever you sit down. There are strategies for both small stacks (mitigate loss) and large stacks (scare players with your stonks).
- You do not have to participate in all events. There are participation bonuses for each event but there is no penalty for skipping any.
- You can leave at any time. Lost or Made enough for the night? Step away and prepare for the next event. Again while there is a minimum play time to gain the event bonus, there is no penalty for leaving at any time.
- Say what you want, or nothing at all. We'll be hanging out in Discord but you don't have to say anything. Once you are comfortable with the flow, you don't even have to if you don't want to. At a casino table it is not uncommon to see straight faced players with sunglasses on. This is so they are the same no matter what their hand is. Tells are huge in in-person poker. There is the option to stream yourself at the poker table, this is not necessary for most events (Including event #1) but there will likely be at least one video mandatory event.
I'll add more info here as it comes up. Feel free to reply here or hit me up on Discord with any questions.
Re: CB's Patreon and entertainment for you!
What's going on over on Manawaker's Patreon these days? I'm glad you asked.
Recycled Comics has ended, but I'm putting that time into working on a new multi-path, sci-fi novel Escape from Spincity XX and patrons are getting a sneak peek at the entire creative process behind it, including outlines and drafts and conceptual updates. It's a long-term project and Patrons are getting a close-up view of the whole process.
The Podcast: Manawaker Studio's Flash Fiction Podcast is still going strong (though it's currently between seasons) (and it's not on YouTube anymore. That turned out to be useless.) and Patrons get every episode a couple days early. If you haven't heard of it: I buy great stories from authors around the world, and read one each week. The stories range widely in flavor, but tend toward sci-fi, and are often chosen for being particularly good read-aloud stories. Season Six begins in February.
Also: Manawaker has a public Discord server now, since I find it easier to post updates there instead of on the Patreon page all the time (which I reserve mostly for actual content, rather than news or updates), and there is a special section there which is only open to Patrons, though anyone can join for general discussion: https://discord.gg/c5Ee4kXSpB
Finally, and perhaps most exciting presently: I'm going to be giving my patrons a Xmas present this year: a new flash fiction story every day for twelve days starting on Xmas. They won't all be holiday themed, but they will all be fresh and new flash stories.
If you'd like to read those stories, or take advantage of the other benefits of membership, or if you just would like to support my creative endeavors, please check out the Patreon page here.
It's still only a dollar a month to subscribe to Manawaker on Patreon, and after losing a lot of support during pandemic time, I would really appreciate if you would at least consider becoming one of my patrons. If not, that's okay, it would also really help if you mentioned it to others, or recommended the podcast to people. It can be found anywhere you find podcasts, including over on Spotify.
If you still feel generous after that, you could leave me some reviews! It's free and it's very helpful, as none of the recommendation algorithms will recommend my stuff unless it's being reviewed by other users. Spotify doesn't have a review system, but you can review the podcast on Apple Podcasts or in your podcast app. You could also submit a review for one of my books that you've read over on Amazon. That would be sweet.
Thanks, Icrontic, for all the support over the years. The more encouragement I get from friends and fans, the more I want to create, and the more money I get for my art, the better I can make it.
mas0n rolled his first billion
@mas0n blew the seat of his pants out in the middle of the night a he passed 1 billion points. https://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_summary.php?s=&u=207797
IC Holiday Card Exchange
Holiday cards have also been on hiatus, and people have expressed desire to revive this exchange. So here are the deets!
- Fill out the information document below NO LATER THAN November 15th.
- Plan to mail PHYSICAL cards, the more creative the better, please no e-cards.
- This is open to ALL OF ICRONTIC, please make sure to look up and include extra postage for our out of country participants.
- Commitment to sending out your cards by Monday December 7th, 2020, don't be a scrooge and sign up without sending or the ghost of Christmas past will haunt your ass.
- I will send out access to a google spreadsheet with all the document information on November 16th so you can start sending.
Google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfyYGD9jyYhcRbBQhdiOxQJuGzyv8EUXV3Uqf8DJpLqtGragg/viewform?usp=sf_link
IC Secret Santa
Secret Santa has been on hiatus since 2014 and I think the shittest year of 2020 deserves some fun, so let's share some fucking cheer and exchange holiday care packages:
To participate please fill out google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeSWqfb0suyOjRyLmTDyuVUieIywFydxpY2ifqdsI3TmSQmXw/viewform?usp=sf_link
To participate please commit to these things:
1. We are using Elfster, so it will generate a random list to involve everyone including myself. This means, YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE AN ELFSTER ACCOUNT to participate once the emails go out.
2. Commitment to mailing gift to arrive sometime in December, signing up means you will send a gift, please don't leave your poor receiver without a gift.
3. $50 limit of gifts, let's get creative, but please don't go ridiculously outside of set budget. Also know that shipping will most likely tack on $12-15 to this amount.
DEADLINE FOR ENTERIES WILL BE NOVEMBER 15th
Questions, feel free to PM or message me on discord! Let's get gifting