From the Author:2022/About to go places

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Originally published on: 2022-11-04, 13:29
Updated: 2022-11-21, 00:09
Shortcut: FTA:20221104 that a prolonged, 15-month mission to retrieve my morpheme-table data from the original Relformaide Dictionary on Referata is now in the past (since the evening of October 20). Sadly, thanks to interference between MediaWiki:Edittools and the Form-namespace infrastructure as of late (T9882—reported to both Yaron Koren and Phabricator; further investigation/diagnosis pending), this edition of FTA must make do with the traditional MW editbox. Maybe by next time, this may be resolved?

Keep in mind what follows below is a living post until November 6, which I'll update as soon as error correction and new finds allow. (Composed since ~2:45 a.m. on November 4th—the date on which Dominica holds its annual Community Day of Service. Yesterday was the Nature Island's 44th anniversary of Independence; more on you-know-where later.)

On the bright side, this is my day off from babysitting. Come tomorrow afternoon, another unsubbed Shimajiro weekly to keep me occupied—along with an English episode later in the game.

At press time, we are exactly three weeks away from Black Friday—and exactly three away from a brand-new laptop...that can actually support Windows 10 (or rather the official key I'll get straight from Microsoft themselves). Staying off Windows 11 until Microsoft gets its act together; remember ME or Vista? For proof of the pudding, look no further than the horror stories shared by members of the official Windows forum, one of the first things you'll see while Googling "downgrading to Windows 10". (On a related note, my younger sister insisted a MacBook would do me better, but I've decided to stick to my guns—and for a reason: The Wilbur terrain-manipulation program, which I used to shape my geofictional realms on the old, space-challenged HP laptop, has no iOS build scheduled for the foreseeable future.)

After Black Friday and a thoroughly followed switchover, time to put Novissima/Vigesima, St. Isabel, Veritas, the realm of Tovasala (plus nearby Cicaldia)...and our umpteenth redesign of Rogatia to rights thanks to Wilbur. Or better yet, a newly improved uplift process...

  • starting off with higher-quality bathymetric data from GEBCO;[1]
  • continuing with a Wilbur-crafted platform[2] with a maximum height of ~3000 m below sea level, and placed over the GEBCO using the "Max" function;
  • then another raise via "Divide" with an uplift mask[2] with height values between 1 and 10+,[3] making the high point measure around -280 – -200 m;
  • and finally popping out with a Multiplied shore mask[2] whose values range from -1 to 1—thus giving us the rough draft of the coastline (indicated in the mask by 0)...

...with refinement after refinement down the road, followed by sketching of the first-level subdivision boundaries and road networks. All to be tracked down in a series of steps and phases—once drafted on paper for years, but soon to be handled in what should double as a follow-along tutorial, the likes of which you hardly ever see on Miraheze wikis to begin with. Not only that—I'll also upload ZIPs of every layer/component/DEM the sooner they're actually good to go. (And once again, how many Miraheze wikis do you ever see doing that? "Unprecedented" doesn't even begin to describe it.)

As for Rogatia, I ushered in a competent redesign in April 2020 as part of my lockdown commitments. Not too bad...except that its continental shelf, I now feel, is more suited for a post-volcanic realm near the Pacific Ring of Fire than an in-universe, eons-old remnant of the Guiana Shield, which should be sloping gently downward rather than steeply sliding. There's a reason why I had to lay out the entire redo process bulleted above—in the hopes that that turns out to be the last stage of a rather protracted, 14-year R&D cycle.

En route to our cartographic future, a few motivators must be mentioned:

Jerry still maintains a Blogspot and tweet feed to this day; for a taste of what to expect, look no further than this recent highlight.[4][5]
  • Also at r/mapmaking, "kickypie" suggested this system of place-name generators—the very prompt that made me hunt down something similar I once used for Tovasala (back during its Referata/Relformaide phase). After several Google search strings whose leads went nowhere, it was up to my past RFM notes to give me the hint. Lo and behold...Wordseses! Which I may as well need more for inspiration when it comes to new roots and Tovasala toponyms. (Announced by its unnamed developer on r/conlangs back in February 2018.)
    • Close enough, though: Another look through my early RFM archives (on late Saturday afternoon, November 19) brought back memories of what I was actually looking for all along: Sean Puckett's Nexi Random Word Generator. Oldie but goodie (since ca. 2005); I'll also use that soon to finish listing off the 29 Belcourt-Lavinier siblings from the mid-19th century; this is a good place as any to resume the job.
  • From Special:GlobalNewFiles, an SVG map of a province called mh:tep:Puvastel, mh:tep:Ayaupia, by "Coliop"; part of the TEP project. (CC-BY-NC-SA, unfortunately, but I can use its design as inspiration for Tovasala's own road maps someday.) Speaking of another SVG...
  • Looking up "Directorate of Overseas Surveys"[6] as part of our preparation—spurred by a previous search for references to "Ordnance Survey" across Cartographers' Guild—brought me to this unexpected find: A 1967, 1:50,000 map of the main island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—the same one whose extract featuring capital Kingstown graced the map samplers of a high-school Social Studies textbook that once laid deep in the junk bags under my grandmother's bed back in Stockfarm, Roseau. (The sampler section—ragged, torn, aged and all—remains with me as part of my cartographic clippings from my SMA days.) Crown Copyright has already expired on this hill-shaded edition—and Wikimedia Commons could sure use this any day after press time. (Their work on Jamaica aside, the DOS is criminally underrepresented on there—leave it to me to finally fill in these gaps.)

    Given where we are now, this section is pretty much all the cold comfort we'll get used to prospect-wise until the turkey gets carved. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I unveil a brand-new Bulwark—but in the meantime, the latest from the Shires.

    • In partnership with Dominica Festivals and America's MRC, Rogatia's national broadcaster Stride simulcast the 2022 edition of the World Creole Music Festival on their main channel (ZHSR-DT 21.1; elsewhere on Caribbean cable), their secondary station ZHST/Astride (more on them next paragraph), and their foreign-language outlets (French Soleil, Spanish and Portuguese Si, German Sendung, and Icelandic Saga), for the first time—live from Windsor Park, Roseau. (Also carried on DRM-free online streaming outlet Troadal.) Its TV-14-D-L-S rating in spite,[7] the three nights of coverage (October 28–30) broke viewership records in Rogatia, with an estimated 6.7 million (out of 10 million residents) tuning in; regionwide figures came to 11.5 million. (This is a really big deal for the Caribbean market—on par with the Super Bowl stateside and Eurovision across the pond; also helps that Rogatia has an increasingly aging population brought forth by decades of high immigration and low birth rates.) Each night went into overtime to the point where Rogatia's leaders, labour bureau, and Ministry of Education declared October 31 a day off (coinciding with Halloween). For the most part—12% of adult workers opted for a 2–4-hour night shift on that date.
      • ZHST is changing its calls to ZHFV on November 14 in anticipation of new owners and format: Amazon/MGM and LCI are bringing the Freevee brand over to Rogatia,[8] the same day (next January 15) ad-free counterpart Epix becomes MGM+ and the local feed receives a makeover as a Prime tie-in. (Recall arts-focused Strident and family-oriented Stridejr.'s move to Pluto back in September, and the sale of the former HCP's flagship outlet [ZHCP] to Axios in late 2020.)
    • Also on Stride: Shimajiro WOW!, weekday afternoons at 3:30; check listings in other islands for time/local station. WOW!'s first collection of 72 episodes—eight stories a week (Monday to Thursday), two per day—premiered on September 26 after Hesoka brought the hand-drawn TV run to a close in late May; WildBrain released the 2D "Sports Day" special + Song of the Whale Adventure as a drive-in attraction during July/August; and viewers were treated to a sneak-peek sampler of pre-2017 highlights in mid-August.[9]
    • As for tourism: Still no tourism. Rogatia may have been long cleared of its lone three COVID-19 cases, but with monkeypox now in the picture elsewhere, they're still in precaution mode. Any and all travel—by sea, air, or otherwise—remains restricted to cargo lines, emergency landings/dockings, select (vaccinated) refugees from abroad, and essential personnel. Longstanding plans for four civilian flights a day have been effectively ruled out until April 2024 or sometime after.
    • Finally, in tech news: In the wake of Elon Musk's US$44 billion takeover of Twitter, Troadal is welcoming disgruntled departees (along with those who left FB and Tumblr ages ago) with open the form of, a wiki-farm offshoot operating on the same procedures as our current host (Miraheze) and with better content-moderation ideals/bigger staff.[10] (Bringing it back to its roots as the social service it was destined to become...until the pandemic made the original team disband and new management made it a pawn in the streaming wars. Early in development, Troadal's full name—the Trouvaille Anti-Defamation League—served as a thinly-veiled "Take That!" against Yahoo/Verizon, FOSTA/SESTA, and puritans willing to reshape the Web in their own image. Also helps that Rogatia itself has been apolitical, anti-censorship, anti-discrimination, and pro-open-source for years now.)
      • Which reminds me: As it reminds travellers on local billboards, Rogatia has shown "the rest of the world where to stick it since 2010". Case in point: They'd rather hang along with Taiwan diplomatically rather than mainland China—for tons of reasons that would fill another rundown on another forum elsewhere.[11]

    Until next time, keep an eye out for the new and improved Bulwark. And now...

    "What time is it?"

    "Agenda Time!"

    (And to believe this contributor and his entire household slept on that Cartoon Network favourite for over a decade...until my nephew approached it on Hulu late last month.)

    • First thing's first: Usher in an outline system for Unspooled—the sooner, the better. Googling "outlining a novel" gave me this pointer from the Reedsy blog, whose suggestions I'll take to mind over the next few days. (Not to mention I'll unveil the titles of all six tentative volumes in the Dixwell Saga on the 29th.) For now, we're focusing on the 2009 stories—Alfred and Maurice in Carriacou (I), and Sam in Marie-Galante (II).
    • Also, deal with the Jukebox Docket—long time coming, and my scrobbles could sure benefit. 15 months of radio silence later...say hello to the first movement of Volume I in an all-new round of Reflections volumes from Kino Lorber.[12]
    • Almost forgot:
      • Create log templates for what we'll soon brand as "Nightertimes"—as well as our upcoming 2023 Gamut (whose attractions we'll plan ahead of time);
      • refresh our outdated bios across Wikimedia/Meta, FA, and IB;
      • rescue the character profiles from Referata-based WikiSevton, a Sevton side project;
      • create the long-belated parent pages of our current FTAs by year;
      • and refresh the work listings, four of which haven't been touched since the inaugural imports from ByetHost back in late June 2020.
    • RFM-wise, shape up what's left in the {{Definition/Sandbox}} code and port it over to its parent—not to mention move on (at long last) to our next two snippets, and get an Entry form going for the English–Tovasala side.
    • When it comes to Rogatia, I'll experiment with DPL3-powered box-office stats; tracking begins the week before Christmas if all goes well.
    • NS-wise, turn on capitalised-title support for a few that I haven't gotten around to yet.
    • Last but not least, create new "founder" (that's me) and "MH staff" (John, DarkMatterMan4500, Universal Omega, RhinosF1, Reception123, et al.) user groups—after I've thoroughly read up on how to set them up.

    If I don't accomplish half of this before next summer, it'll be too soon.

    While we're gearing up for the outline stage, time to say hi to Sam's snow-leopard girlfriend, Marion. Next time around, an otter named Seán the way I visualised him last time at r/DrawForMe[13]—as the eight-year-old Sam meets in Marigot.

    By "matejm999", 16/9; CC0 By "Depomera", 22/9; CC0
    In her ancestors' natural habitat; by "matejm999" The definitive portrait; by "Depomera"
    By "Legendarypopapo", 23/10; CC0 By "Depomera", 26/10; CC0
    Headshots by "Legendarypopapo"... and "TrustTheMachines". Either she's possessed, or is feeling rather satisfied after making love to Sam the only way she knows how.

    As we wind down, two adorable waifu from the world of Shimajiro: Amelia the wheelchair lion (introduced in last northern fall's episodes), and Uluru of Heroland.[14] (The latter Adventure is dubbed for English audiences—non-Iyuno—on the franchise's Indonesian YouTube.)[15]

    And for an extended outro bonus...

    • Off-context guess: "Shimajiro-kun, can you give me a hand?"
    • Subtitle translation (with help from Google Image Translate): "Because you might get the flu, I'm wiping down this knob as a precaution."[16]

    While we're on the matter at hand: "Ah, he's been lured in by the light." (Referring to a beetle that crawled into the Shimanos' home; screencap #3.)

    Because we can't find any better position to place them, have another hand-drawn Nikki (plus Dr. Roarson on the right): well as a tribute to the classic gang:

    ...along with the title card of "Here Comes Cousin Tommy!"[17] (December 1994; screencap at lower right):

    In the West, Arthur on PBS is one of Furry Confusion's biggest culprits; in the Pacific, the current WOW! era (along with many a Kodomo Challenge segment especially) can come pretty close sometimes.[18] In this scene, Flappy the parrot's sentient sisters[19][20] encounter a non-talking penguin at the aquarium. Both species are birds. Let that sink in for a while.

    At least Shimajiro and Nikki are biologically compatible (lower left)—because both are felines; a couple of "kids ever after" portraits with their grown-up forms float around on Pixiv.

    For almost 30 years, the fanbase and furs alike have heavily shipped him with Mimi-Lynne, a white girl rabbit...

    ...but yours truly will always side with "Mimi-saburo" no matter what. (Thanks to "Dr. Mimi-Lynne to the Rescue!"—and snow-leopard boy cub Tamasaburo's memorable turn.)

    Wish we humans all had fairy-tale endings, too...

    And that wraps it up right here, folks; be there soon as I take care of the agenda and the maps, see about my side of an art trade, and try to get my PayPal credentials going—if only to cut as many ties with them as I can per my superior's insistence. Until next we meet, take care, stay safe/connected, keep exploring, tapal,[21] see you in the bestsellers, we'll meet you back home...and watch your tails.

    Meanwhile, a reliable source for WP's article for The Harder They Come—and saving an endangered comics wiki—lie in my sights.

    "Come on, Ace. We've got work to do!"

    P.S. I'm finally getting my shots soon—a year late. See you after my mandatory rest.

    Remembering Elizabeth II; in solidarity with those affected by Ian.

    To our next ten years...

    Routhwick (talk)


    Characters (c) Benesse Corporation/Shimajiro; English version licensed by WildBrain.


    1. ^ In earlier attempts, we relied on NOAA's one-minute (1'/60") data; GEBCO, as preparatory research proved during the middle of last month, has four times the resolution (15 seconds; 15").
    2. ^ a b c Sculpted from QGIS-generated output.
    3. ^ Max level, between 10 and 15, to be determined via
    4. ^ Posted on my birthday, no less; fetched at random from Twilog.
    5. ^ Given what happened to the feed in blue last week, I simply made the right call holding out from Twitter for so long. Still, good luck to those who survive the new regime; you might as well need it. Cf. Tumblr after December 2018's NSFW ban, and Facebook in the wake of Cambridge Analytica.
    6. ^ Later known as Overseas Surveys Directorate (OSD) and Ordnance Survey International.
    7. ^ Since the 2013 closure and subsequent sale of its ROMERA board, Rogatia has followed the U.S. media rating systems de facto.
    8. ^ Formerly IMDb TV, the last time its parent brand had any staying power.
    9. ^ Despite airing two years into the Japanese run (on April 7, 2014), "A Day in My Life" (Japanese: "ぼくの いちにち" ["Boku no ichi nichi"]; episode #104) plays so much like a pilot that the local WildBrain declared it the official series premiere in their market. "A Day" was joined in airing order by "All Aboard the Hannah Bus!", "The Hidden Lake", "Dr. Mimi-Lynne to the Rescue", "Would You Like a Donut?", "My Robot Friend", and "I Won't Cry" among others—all in their Iyuno English dubs. The series proper began on 26/9 with "Island Adventures/Who Is That Girl?", with that first week in line with the original TX order in Japan.
    10. ^ URL hierarchy:$1.
    11. ^ Dominica maintained a two-decade-old relationship with Taiwan up till 2004, when their alliance switched to China.
    12. ^ #10 overall; keeping track of the other nine will already be too much by now. Maybe I can just throw in the plain and simple track listings and call it a day?
    13. ^ By the way, I've been de facto banned from that subreddit since mid-September; the mods interpret CC0 offers as "commercial", a position they deem contrary to their guidelines. At some point, I owe them a resignation note + request for alternate outlets. Better if I test out my own request offer at their competition, r/ICanDrawThat.
    14. ^ Uluru is named after the Australian landmark formerly known as Ayers Rock. By the way, she's a Tasmanian devilthe same species as the better-known Looney Tunes mascot—not a wombat as I once assumed. Her post-Heroland appearances numbered just one—an encore in "Uluru Returns" some time later (this is my fan-supplied episode title). Not if TJE and several ad clients of theirs can help it regionally...
    15. ^ At press time, WildBrain is yearning to pair it up next spring with Perlimps, an upcoming feature from the director of Boy and the World—assuming it doesn't fall into the hands of corporate cousin A24 (the Caribbean representative for BATW distributor GKIDS). Either that, or they'll need a good deal of luck on the (virtual) festival circuit.
    16. ^ Via extended related Google image results for Uluru.
    17. ^ Fan-supplied episode title from this contributor.
    18. ^ For details, see KirbyShimajiro (23/5/2015). Again, good luck wrangling it with GTranslate.
    19. ^ You'll come across "sentient" a lot in Tovasala's documentation as one of its four genders.
    20. ^ The letters on their shirts spell out the name of Iberian broadcaster RTP. No word on whether a Portuguese dub will surface anytime soon.
    21. ^ Formerly joaŕparl and benparl, but the latter attempt became a victim of semantic shift weeks ago.
    22. ^ This edition marks the début of this feed's official day counter, {{FTA days}}. Previously, I had to switch back and forth between my contemporary platform and just to see how far into our run we'd been. Now that an MW-based approach is taking care of that...
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