Archive for the ‘Boston’ Category

On the eve of the NBA Draft, Trade rumors run rampant   Leave a comment

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As many of you know by now, the Celtics traded the #1 Draft Pick with the 76ers’ #3 Pick over the weekend for who knows what reason (LOL!). Assuming the 76ers take Markelle Fultz and the Lakers take Lavar Ball (the latest buzz is they’re undecided) with the #2 Pick, that leaves the Celtics with either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum. As of two hours ago, the Celtics just got access to Jackson’s medical records for the first time.

To say the Celtics have positioned themselves to get prettymuch ANYONE via trade, draft or free agency would be a massive understatement. LOL. Here’s the short list of players who have come up in just the last 24 hours that may be wearing Celtics green next season:

 

  • Gordon Hayward: The player who many considered to be priority #1 for the Celtics. That was before the Celtics traded Draft Picks with the 76ers.
  • Kristaps Porzingis: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith dropped a bombshell on this morning’s edition of First Take. According to sources close to The Latvian Unicorn, he’s trying to force Phil Jackson out of the Knicks organization. Porzingis hasn’t requested a trade but Phil Jackson said he is open to trading the team’s franchise player. For the right price, the Celtics would have the rim protector and secondary scorer they’ve been looking for to challenge LBJ and the Cavs in the ECF next year.
  • Carmello Anthony: You know the drill. LOL. According to the latest reports, ‘Mello might move this time with Cleveland or the Clippers being likely destinations should it happen.
  • Jimmy Butler: Here we go again. LOL. No more needs to be said. At last check, 4 teams other than the Celtics are interested in him including Cleveland, New York, the Lakers and Dallas.
  • Paul George: Same as Butler. The Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgof to the Nets for Brook Lopez to make room to sign Paul George. It’s believed to be the likely destination for PG-13, who the Cavs are also interested in. It’s certainly possible he might be willing to entertain the idea of heading to Boston, however.
  • Kevin Love: Any superstar Cleveland gets in this offseason obviously means one of their current ones will have to go. LeBron can do what he wants so he’s obviously not included in that (LOL!) so that leaves Love and Irving as the two odd men out. Many pundits believe Love’s run in Cleveland has run its course and he will likely be part of a trade to get Chris Paul, PG-13, Jimmy Butler or Carmello Anthony.
  • Kyrie Irving: Same as Love prettymuch though according to some reports, Irving himself may ask to be traded.
  • LeBron James: According to some reports, weather or not LBJ asks for a trade or not depends on how things pan out during this offseason. If he leaves Cleveland, The Lakers or Clippers are believed to be his likely destinations.

…This is aside from the usual Clippers trio of DeAdre Jordan, Blake Griffin and CP3 trade rumors you hear every year (LOL!). Just the other day, all star Center Dwight Howard was randomly traded to the Charlotte Hornets. Howard is basically Al Horford without range. Howard is also going to play for his third team in as many years (Houston, Atlanta and now Charlotte).

The Golden State Warriors might have the Western Conference locked down tight but the Eastern Conference is another matter. The Celtics are still the odds-on favorites to challenge LeBrom James and the Cavs in the ECF next year regardless of how the offseason goes. It’s just a question of how the team will look come the start of next season.

 

Anime Boston 2016 Full Recap   Leave a comment

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Up to now, I did each day in a separate post. AB2016 was more of a blur for me mostly because of how I decided to use my time at the convention and the fact that I was a panelist for the 5th year in a row. This was my first time doing the convention with no budget. The only reason I was able to get through the weekend is because I commuted from home. I can’t imagine I would have been able to get through the weekend if I was in a hotel room because of the added expenses that comes with that. I digress. My financial problems aside, overall I had a pleasant experience.

Anyone who was there and/or followed the goings-on via the Anime Boston Social Facebook Group–which by the way is run and maintained by congoers, NOT the convention itself–was quickly made aware of the lines to get into the Hynes, which were an unfortunate side effect from the increased security presence in the Hynes Convention Center. For those who didn’t know, there was an incident at the Hynes last summer involving a mass shooting plot. Due to this and the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, security was stepped up for Anime Boston 2016.

Before I continue, the rest of this recap will be broken up into several categories. Those who are familiar with my Video Game Blog know when I review things, I rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. The same will be done for each category I score below.

Line Flow – 4/10

Easily issue #1 at AB2016. It was atrocious. I heard two particular horror stories that struck a nerve from two folks who gave their experience at the Convention Feedback on Sunday after Closing Ceremonies. For those who don’t know, Convention Feedback is held after Closing Ceremonies in room 208 from 4:00PM to 5:00PM. The heads of all of Anime Boston’s departments, the chair and vice chair are there to listen to your feedback and answer any questions you may have. I’m giving this its own section so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Back to this though: Unlike years’ past, the line problems were exclusively around getting into the con. AB’s had a crapton of bad luck in recent years with the security subcontractors the Hynes hires. This year was possibly the worst yet. I followed the goings-on via Facebook on my cellphone. It was painfully clear most of the security detail didn’t want to be there. After the Prudential Center as usual made noise about the mall entrance to the Hynes being so backed up it became a fire hazard, AB Staff closed the entrance at intervals and moved everyone to the Boylston st. Entrance.

The root cause of the problem, of course was the security checkpoints. For many, it took them 30 minutes minimum to get into the Hynes. It goes without saying those who got in avoided leaving the Hynes unless they had to in order to avoid the line that oftentimes wrapped around the side of the building. I want to again stress the root cause of the lines is the security checkpoints which Anime Boston has no control over.

Unfortunately, they will remain until enough people decide they don’t want to live like that anymore. You will need to contact State Lawmakers and the Hynes and let them know how much the security checkpoints effected your ability to enjoy the convention. Increased security has become the norm since 9/11 but the problem is it’s never lowered once raised. If you don’t speak out, the powers that be see no reason to lower them. That’s the trick, actually.

Here’s some food for thought for those who don’t see this as a “problem”: I have attended the Boston Marathon in the 3 years since the bombing in 2013. Boston Police has security checkpoints all over Copley Square, which is the finish line. As you can probably guess, hundreds of thousands of spectators converge at the finish line–easily much more than Anime Boston’s 25,000 to 30,000 attendees each year–to watch the runners finish the race.

How long does it take to pass through security? 5 minutes max. No metal detectors. No one yelling at you. They check your bag, wand you and you’re on your way in 30 seconds tops. Same city. Same area. Different mindset. I posed the question on Anime Boston’s forums a short time ago to see if changing who does security would help.

Dining Options – 4/10

…For those who didn’t know, the Prudential Center’s food court was closed in the summer of 2015 and was replaced with an Eataly, which is a hybrid Supermarket and Restaurant. Still under construction at the time, this slashed the dinining options for congoers, the majority of whom were either on a budget or like me had no food budget (LOL). This is actually outside Anime Boston’s juristiction but I felt the need to mention it anyway as a Boston native myself.

 

Video Selections – 8/10

As in years past, AB2016 offered a mix of mainstream dubbed anime, mainstream subbed anime and new anime of both types being introduced at the con. All courtesy of the industry of course. One Punch Man was a huge draw of course. Most of the anime, I’d say most Congoers had at least heard of overall. It was nice to see Summer Wars, Angel Beats, Ouran High School Host Club, Spice & Wolf and The Last: Naruto the Movie among the featured anime. I say that because I own ALL of them ^_^

My Panels – 7/10

I decided to mark my 5th staight year as a panelist by doing two panels I’ve done before. One was of course my Clannad panel. The other was my Persona 4 Panel, which I also did at AB2014. Attendance at both was pretty good. Unike AB2015 there were no delays with the start times (WOOT!) and even better, no major technical problems (LOL!). Steam randomly decided to do an update when I did a demonstration of the Clannad VN on my laptop. One lucky Congoer got to play the first 15 minutes of the Clannad VN =O

…Fortunately, I had planned to do my Q&A at the same time so it was a minor delay. It was my 5th and likely final time doing my Clannad panel at Anime Boston. Now that the Clannad VN has (FINALLY!) been released in North America, I felt it was a good time to retire the panel. Even though most of the friends I made because of Clannad have since moved on to other fandoms, it will always be my favorite Anime of all time.

My Persona 4 panel is why I rated this secfion a 7/10: I ended up having to change a few things on the fly. I DID allow two Congoers to sample Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4: Dancing All Night during my Q&A session (As a reminder, I have two Vitas). I also gave away my Persona Arcana deck at the end of the panel. I consider myself lucky even though I had an hour I only used 45 minutes. I feel like with my Persona panel I did a bit too much improvising. In comparison, when I did my Clannad panel the next morning I was feeling extremely comfortable.

Dealer’s Room – N/A

As I mentioned at the top I was broke going into AB2016 so I basically avoided the dealer’s room like The Plague. The one time I remember setting foot in there was for a pre-arranged item swap with a friend of mine working one of the booths. I did chat with the owner of Comicopia for a few minutes on Sunday now that I’m thinking about it.

Convention Feedback – 10/10

Convention organizers did not shy away from the widely reported horror stories involving Line Flow and the Security Firm hired to handle security for the weekend. It goes without saying it took up almost all of the alotted time. AB was in full-on damage control, which when you think about it was pretty unfair since they have no control over the security checkpoints. I was impressed but unsurprised the feedback session had a large turnout. Most of those who provided feedback either shared their experience in what’s been dubbed LineCon 2.0.

Huge props to event organizers on a job well done. They knew going in what the main topic was going to be and they handled the criticism like professionals. On that note, it’s worth pointing out NONE of AB staff are paid including the department heads. It’s all a labor of love ^_^

 

Overall – 8/10

Despite the bottleneck at the security checkpoints things went pretty well. Despite being broke, I had a good time. Of course, being broke meant I had no reason to leave the Hynes until I was ready to go home. I didn’t mind not being able to go in the Dealer’s Room but I DID mind not having the money to buy food. Never again. LOL.
…And there you have it.

Ironically, I posted this 5 days before AB2017. I seriously forgot about it due to problems in my personal life before, during and since AB2016. As it happens, for a while I faced the reality I would not make it to AB2017. Then I got my tax return ^_^

This year I have a little bit of money so I’ll be able to eat, travel and do a little shopping in the Dealer’s Room. I actually entertained getting a hotel room for Saturday night but in the end I have decided not to. Instead, I’ll take a cab from Forest Hills Saturday night like I’ve done in the past. It also helps my birthday is the Thursday of pre-registration so…yeah. LOL.

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New England Patriots make history at Super Bowl IL; Alot of Super Bowl Babies gettin’ made!   Leave a comment

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…The Revenge Tour is complete: Almost 2 hours ago, NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell handed Tom Brady his fourth MVP Trophy. Unlke Brady and Belicheck, Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn’t hold back in his comments on how sweet this Super Bowl Victory is. Non-Patriots fans be damned, the New England Patriots are America’s Football Team.

Damn those who had the audacity to compare the Patriots’ comeback victory to last year’s Presidential Election. The Falcons winning probably would have been best for business but in the long run, the Patriots ended up being the better team. There’s also this:
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As you know from my last post, the Celtics played Sunday afternoon in Boston. During last summers’ Kevin Durant Sweepstakes IT4 and TB12 met before they met with Kevin Durant. IT said in an interview in recent weeks he and TB have texted back and fourth since they met last summer. Isaiah Thomas is known as the King of the Fourth this season. He earned that title because he takes over the game in the fourth quarter. Brady was seen texting on the sidelines last night. I doubt either would make it public but I would not be surprised if the Brady took some advice from the King of the Fourth watching the game from Boston. As we all know, the Patriots won the game in the Fourth Quarter. It’s hard for me imagine the two didn’t exchange words before or during the game at some point ^_^

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…That brings me to this interesting statistic the NFL apparently started tracking two years ago (LOL!): There is a surge in births 9 months after a Super Bowl, most notably in cities and towns that are fans of the teams involved in the big game. In other words, some babies are gettin’ made!

All the more reason the day after the Super Bowl should be made a national holiday. LOL.

Former NBA All-Star Ray Allen announces retirement   Leave a comment

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Then Free Agent Ray Allen’s surprise announcement caused a stir this past August when he announced he was returning after being away for two years. He last played in 2014 for the Cavs. Speculation ran rampant in terms of which team would be chomping at the bit to sign the two-time NBA Champion (won with the 2008 Celtics and the 2013 Heat).

…Turns out no one wanted the 41-year old despite his impressive resume. Upon hearing of his retirement, former Celtics teammate and Bulls Guard Rajon Rondo apparently said “I thought he already retired”. Allen, who owns several businesses in Miami never actually retired…until now. Clearly not the end he was looking for but it’s probably for the best.

Ray “The King of Threes” Allen is the ALL-Time Leader in 3-Pointers taken and made–2,973, Made out of 7,429 Attempts–a record Steph Curry would have to play AT LEAST another 10 years to threaten, let alone break (Curry’s record is currently 1,605). Allen was a member of the Celtics when he broke Reggie Miller’s record (2,560), which many thought would never be touched. As the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors proved last year, records are made to be broken. LOL.

Steph Curry is probably the only active NBA Player who as of right now could break Ray Allen’s record in about 10 years. Paul Pierce, who beat Ray Allen in the Three Point Contest when they were teammates (Celtics) is in third place.
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Speaking of The Truth. All three former members of the Celtics’ then New Big Three (Pierce, Allen and Garnett) will have retired come the end of the 2016-17 NBA Season. Pierce is retiring at the end of the Clippers’ Playoff run and will sign a 1-day contract with the Celtics so he can retire a Celtic. KG retired over the summer as well and seems to have already found work as a member of the NBA on TNT broadcast team. K.G. is a legend to both Celtics and T-Wolves fans for separate reasons (he is the best player the T-Wolves ever had and he won his only title with the Celitcs). Pierce will always be considered a Celtic despite ending his career with 3 other teams (The Nets, Wizzards and Clippers).

…It truly is the end of an era in Celtics history overall.

What I’m happy to say is unlike the 1980s with the disaster that was Len Bias (died from a drug overdose the night he was drafted), the Celtics have a bright future ahead of them. Like the experts have said, the Celtics could challenge the Cavs in the East. They are the 3rd-favorited team to reach the NBA Finals from the East behind Toronto and Cleveland.  Unlike the 90s where continuity was a problem after Bird, McHale and Parish retired (1993, 1994 and 1996) the Celtics are a piece or two away from dominating the East like they did from 2008 to 2012.

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It’s time for America to move on from 9/11/2001   Leave a comment

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It’s been 15 years.

For the most part, most Americans are in agreement the country’s knee-jerk reaction was a mistake that put the country in debt, set off illegal government surveilance, the deaths of thousands of servicemen in an illegal war and ultimately led to the formation of ISIS. Before folks go there, remember that Osama bin Laden was found 11 years after 9/11 in Pakistan. All the lives disrupted by the Warmongers in Washington and the butchers who line their pockets was done in the name of HATE. Not just in the Middle East but in the U.S. as well.

The GOP was so sure their was was right, they pulled out all the stops to ensure Bush 43 stayed in the White House for two terms. We as a country happily surrendered our civil liberties in the name of “national security”. Obama gave the order that led to the death of Osama bin Laden in the second half of his first term. Justice had been done though for those who lost loved ones on 9/11 and in the so-called “War on Terrorism”, they will never have true closure. This everyone knows.

With the man who orchestrated the attack dead and gone, as a country it’s time to move on. The only people this day should matter to are those who were directly effected by 9/11, the “War on Terrorism” and their families. We need to take back Patriot Day from the provocative marketing campaign it’s being used for by Warmongers. I keep using the quotes for War on Terrorism because the phrase itself was a veiled effort to promote Xenophobia against Muslims and Islam as a whole. That is a sin that should NEVER be repeated as a country.

I want to stress again: If you, your family or someone you personally know was not directly affected by 9/11 or the wars it sparked then it’s time to move on. ISIS was created because of the Warmongers in the U.S., Europe and Israel who pushed the country into an unwinnable war. Do you know how it feels to find out what you thought your country was fighting for was a just cause was nothing but a lie? Many vets who returned from the middle east readily joined the anti-war movement for this reason.

“Never Forget” indeed. We must never go down this road as a country ever again.

That said, I do believe the U.S. needs to commit military forces to the fight against ISIS. The longer ISIS is allowed free reign, the worse the mass migration crisis will become. The U.S. will be able to bring the conflict to a quick end. At the very least, we owe those displaced and those who’ve been slaughtered that much. That much should be assured regardless of who the next president is.

At the same time, I also believe whoever the next president is should advocate for Kurdistan to become an independent country and establish its own boarders between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. They more the deserve that much recognition for being the first to take the fight to ISIS.

Finally–and I feel this need to be said since Corporate Media lacks the spine to say it–I am VERY concerned with the overt anti-Islamic rhetoric Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not only used to stay in power but to shame the U.S. Government into supporting their Genocide of Palestine since 9/11. Even worse, his counterarguement to those who disagree with his viewpoint on Palestine is to accuse them of being antisemetic or anti-Israel. Worse still is the GOP has bought into the anti-Muslim rhetoric 15 years ago and have since promised Israel will always get free money to fortify what’s become the world’s largest open-air prison: Palestine.

Given Israeli newspapers WILL NOT publish pictures of WOMEN–which IRAN and SYRIA will–it will be more than a little problematic given Hillary Clinton is expected to become the 45th President of the United States. Yes, I know Israel does it because it’s Jewish tradition but that doesn’t mean it should be tolerated if it’s a practice widely disagreed with. Remember that iconic photo of Obama’s cabinet following the hunt for bin Laden in real time a few years back? In Israel, Hillary and another woman who was also present were both photoshopped out of the room. We should not condone this any longer given our so-called enemies have no problem publishing women in their own newspapers.

 

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My departure from BPS is now official   Leave a comment

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It was October 10, 2005. I didn’t know it at the time but I had begun my first day of the 10 years I would spend working as a Paraprofessional for the Boston Public Schools. As of September 8, 2016 I will officially no longer be employed by BPS. As much as I know some people might want me to talk about specific moments from my years in the trenches that really sucked and as much as I do want to do that, now is not the time. I am well aware tomorrow is also the first day of school in Boston. Out of respect for my friends and former colleagues who will begin their first day of the new school year, I will not do that.

…I WILL talk about my experiences in a book I announced I would be writing about education two years ago. Now that I am no longer working for BPS, I am free to cover a few topics I would have otherwise had to hold back on. Not just about BPS or my own experiences with the district but public education in general. Given the unique opportunity that I had, it’s only fitting I share my story. Not as a cautionary tale but of what’s possible. More info on that book will be shared on my Fiction Press blog along with my other literary works.

…That will be at a time a little further in the future, however.

I plan to spend the next year and a half focusing on a few pet projects of mine. Even though I wasn’t working at all in 2016, I didn’t update any of my blogs as much as I would have liked. There’s that and a few things related to some of my blogs stopped because I’ve been broke since March 7. Hard to write reviews for video games and anime you don’t have the money to buy and no, I don’t pirate my video games or anime. At least with Manga I could order volumes through the Boston Public Library ^_^

Honestly, I’m relieved. For the first time since my time in City Year, I feel like I’m in control of my own time. Learning a fixed schedule was great for me and helped me better organize my day. I am certainly feeling alot of emotions which I will not share on this blog. I originally planned to announce this as a video but now I’m glad I didn’t. It’s a big moment in my life but thinking about it, a video wouldn’t have felt right.

I hope you will continue to follow this blog as well as my other six. I’m probably going to collect unemployment for the rest of 2016 which means I’ll be able to set things up for 2017. I have a more permanent source of income coming lined up but I will wait a little longer before I go that route. At least with unemployment, I will be able to cover alot of expenses I was unable to for much of the year.

Black Lives Matter releases 10-Point Manifesto   Leave a comment

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I’m trying to find out when it was released but this list of reccommendations BLM wants implemented was released on social media sometime this morning. Go here to read the article that released this list. The actual list is below:
 
  1. End “broken windows” policing, which aggressively polices minor crimes in an attempt to stop larger ones.
  2. Use community oversight for misconduct rather than having the police department decide what consequences officers should face.
  3. Make standards for reporting police use of deadly force.
  4. Independently investigate and prosecute police misconduct.
  5. Have the racial makeup of police departments reflect the communities they serve.
  6. Require officers to wear body cameras.
  7. Provide more training for police officers.
  8. End for-profit policing practices.
  9. End the police use of military equipment.
  10. Implement police union contracts that hold officers accountable for misconduct.

 

…Most who’ve commented on BLM’s “demands” are those who don’t like the group. They have said they view the manifesto as fair points. Would it have helped to have released this three years ago? Yes though I can tell it was probably revised a few times. I will refer back to this blog post in future commentary on the subject. I hope the media picks it up but I will pass it on to FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) just in case.

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