Sunday, July 6 2003

How not to write a job description…

…1995 Edition. This is what happens when your senior sysadmin leaves, and there’s no one left with even a tiny grasp of what the job involves. It happened to OSU-CIS; don’t let it happen to you!

(Continued on Page 16)

Monday, July 7 2003

Now that’s a smart debugger!

Got a report today that a certain featured news article wasn’t displaying correctly on our boxes, due to some kind of Javascript error. When I read the details, I laughed out loud.

The article was titled “Sexless Marriage.”

The debug output from the box was “missing builtin member.”

Saturday, July 12 2003

The Passing of Tom Emmett

[excerpted from John M. Browning, American Gunmaker, by John Browning and Curt Gentry. © 1964 by the Browning Co. and Curt Gentry.]

The Brownings depended on Tom Emmett for all odd jobs, either at the store or in their homes. He professed no specialized skill but would tackle any job and get it done. On this day he was up on a stepladder near the ceiling of the shop, by the line shaft, taking measurements. His job kept him near the shaft for so short a time that he did not ask to have the power shut off. Nobody paid any attention to what he was doing, except John. He remarked to Ed, “Tom shouldn’t be working up there with the power on.” Ed looked over his shoulder and said, “Oh, he’ll be through in a minute, and I need the lathe.” It happened just then, while John was looking straight at Tom.

(Continued on Page 92)

Wednesday, July 16 2003

Foods nature never made

No, not the genemod stuff. Frankly, if I could find a grocery that sold produce that was guaranteed genetically modified, grown with artificial fertilizers, sprayed with pesticides, and then irradiated, I’d shop there every day. Modern technology has done wonders for the quality and safety of food, contrary to the claims of people who confuse natural with safe and healthy. Don’t even get me started on their abuse of the word organic.

No, I’m talking about the single-serving can of fruit I’m holding in my hand. The label reads “raspberry-flavored peaches.”

What were they thinking?

Monday, July 21 2003

Annoying habits

/dev/audio: Breathless, The Corrs

Next to my casually-held belief that Bush actually won the election — something that I’ve thought of as a dead issue for quite a while now (and hooboy, how wrong I was!) — I think my worst habit is a certain selective deafness when it comes to music.

No, not the part about listening to utter crap, although I do that, too. See the song mentioned above? It’s been playing on repeat for more than six hours today. Just the one song.

I didn’t notice. It’s a nice song, but is it that good? No, it just falls into that category of music that fills the background pleasantly without ever attracting my attention.

I have a large collection of such songs, although obviously I could get by with one or two. This repetition isn’t usually a problem, since I live alone, but I’ve heard some grumbling when it happens at the office, and it was once taken as a planned insult by my college roommate’s live-in girlfriend. She simply couldn’t believe that someone could play Debbie Gibson’s Out of the Blue album for seven hours straight without noticing, and she was sure I knew that she hated it.

The funny thing was that I hadn’t realized she was in the apartment in the first place.

Saturday, August 30 2003

Platinum is out

Got three pieces of mail today.

  1. offer for a Platinum Visa card from Fleet,
  2. letter from MBNA upgrading my existing Platinum Visa card to the new Quantum Visa,
  3. offer for CitiBank’s new Diamond Preferred MasterCard.

I kinda felt sorry for the guys at Fleet. “You’re still selling Platinum?!? Got any eight-track tapes to go with that?”

Could be worse, I suppose. Last year they replaced all my credit cards with new ones that had American flags on them. I think they were trying to tell me that I had money to burn.

Tuesday, September 16 2003


Okay, most of them are lame, and many will grate on the nerves of anyone who has two brain cells to rub together, but this one was worth it.

Monday, October 20 2003

Evil thought of the day

While making dinner just now, I had a truly evil thought about who should provide the voice for an Ann Coulter audiobook: anime voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi, playing the title character from Excel Saga (link goes to MP3 clip).

It’s such an appealing thought that I’m tempted to grab a bunch of video clips of Excel and re-subtitle them with one of Coulter’s articles.

[for more fun, IMDB reports that the same actress also voiced the busty assassin Christie in the two Dead or Alive Xbox games (DOA3 and DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball), as well as the title character in Sailor Moon. Don’t go there. :-)]

Sunday, November 16 2003

“And he shall rise abhorrent and ancient…”

Drove down to LA for a very abbreviated visit to the latest Glamourcon, and my despair at having my original vacation plans cancelled was lightened considerably by the loan of A Very Scary Solstice, from the charmingly demented folks at Cthulhu Lives!. I’ve grown particularly fond of “It’s beginning to look a lot like fish-men”, but it’s all good. There are free samples…

On the bright side, it looks like the model shoots I had originally planned for this week will now take place over New Years in Las Vegas. I’m cashing in my special-person status at the Luxor to get a jacuzzi suite comped.

Monday, December 22 2003

You’ve been in California too long when…

…your reaction to an earthquake is disappointment that the USGS Shake Map hasn’t been updated yet so you can submit a report on how it felt.

Biggest quake in the last four years, just in time for my sister’s birthday!

Sunday, January 4 2004

Waiting periods

Most Hollywood celebrities have never seen a pointless gun law that they didn’t like, so I’d like to turn the tables on them.

I hereby demand a ten day waiting period on celebrity marriages.

And Britney, sweetie, next time you want to get married in Vegas, I’ll be waiting for you in the poker room at the Luxor. Kiss-kiss.

Thursday, January 29 2004


MSNBC home page, just now:

At first glance, I saw it as a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” moment. Then I realized they were talking about a real whale, not an overweight American tourist. :-)

Wednesday, February 18 2004

Fun with subtitles

Pardon me while I giggle myself to death:

Bon Voyage

Tuesday, February 24 2004

Dear Terry McAuliffe,

I’m writing today to thank you for your recent pre-approved offer for The NEW Democratic Party VISA Card, and to explain why I won’t be applying for one.

It’s not that I dislike the “five attractive card designs,” although as a former Boy Scout I find it a bit offensive to swipe a flag through a card reader.

It’s not that I find the 11.99% interest rate too high, although it’s higher than any other credit card offer I’ve received in the past two years. For that matter, even though the 19.99% cash advance rate is higher than I’ve seen from any non-sucker offer, that’s not it, either. Nor is it the 3% balance transfer fee.

It’s not even the optional “donate my 1% rebate to the Democratic National Committee” feature, even though I never have, and never will, donate money directly to any national political party.

No, it’s the fact that I plan to vote for George W. Bush in the upcoming presidential election.

Why? Because, while I strongly disagree with many of the Bush administration’s domestic policies, I believe that American liberty is safer in the hands of John Ashcroft than American lives are in the hands of Johns Kerry or Edwards.

Thursday, February 26 2004

On gay marriage

I’m starting to think that the best response to an amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and woman would be one defining marriage as a relationship requiring emotional commitment and sexual fidelity. That’d shut everybody up.

Tuesday, March 9 2004

The bird-watcher’s MasterCard ad

Camera gear to capture bird sightings: £700.

Membership in British Trust for Ornithology: £26.

Bus to Grimsby to see rare American robin: £15.

Having a sparrowhawk snatch the robin while you’re still setting up your tripod: priceless.

Friday, April 2 2004

New product idea…

If I were going to open a CafePress store, and I’m not, my first product would be a baseball cap with the following slogan printed in metallic silver:

Bush stole the election and
all I got was this tinfoil hat.

With mostly-sincere apologies to Teresa Nielsen Hayden and her nutbar t-shirt (which is being redesigned in a less-illegible form).

Sunday, April 4 2004

Best spam subject line I’ve seen yet

Found this one in my Junk folder today, and it’s a perfect example of how the increasingly-desperate attempt to evade spam filters is starting to backfire:

Secrets Of Real Estate Investing moron

I just don’t see a lot of people falling for that one. :-)

Tuesday, April 6 2004

Poppy Honey and Daisy Boo?

Okay, I was originally just going to post a link to the story about The Naked Chef burning his penis while trying to cook naked, but then I read it, and discovered that he and his wife named their two daughters ‘Poppy Honey’ and ‘Daisy Boo’. And he’s getting ready to pack up the family and move to the US.

If those are indeed their legal names (and with a mother named ‘Jools’ it’s likely they are), I suspect they’re in for a fair amount of abuse in American schools. At the very least, I see them starting each school year with grim determination, desperate to keep the teacher from reading their names aloud while taking attendance. Much like my school friend Augustus MacLeod Freeman III, who managed to make it all the way to ninth grade with everyone convinced his name was actually ‘Sandy’.

“When I grow up…”

big-strong-hard boy

“…I’m going to vote Republican!”

[picture courtesy of the indispensable Lileks]

Thursday, April 15 2004

Truth in advertising?

Apparently these came out a few years ago, but I just saw them for the first time in a local Safeway:

Homemade cookies for Dummies

I guess the instructions on all of those other cookie mixes were too complicated for some people…

Wednesday, May 12 2004

You’re kidding, right?

“I downloaded the file in the hope that perhaps Microsoft had released some sort of public beta. The file unzipped, and to my delight the Microsoft icon looked genuine and trustworthy. I clicked on the installer file, and to my horror in 10 seconds the attachment had wiped my entire Home folder!”

Why, yes, Microsoft often officially releases beta software on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. Your confusion is understandable, and no one is going to accuse you of being a software pirate. Really.

Besides, I’m pretty sure you won’t be downloading any commercial software in the future…

Update: Oh, and note the clever way the story implies that this had something to do with Intego’s “concept trojan horse” scare story. Sorry, Charlie, but we’re not that stupid. An application that doesn’t do what you think it will ain’t the same thing as an application disguised as an MP3 file.

Friday, June 18 2004

Great ways to end a phone call…

I received an unwanted call this morning that fell into that gray area of “maybe I’m a telemarketer, maybe I’m someone who’s exempt from the do-not-call list,” and I hung up on them with the following statement:

“Sorry, gotta run, my ham’s exploding.”

It was, too. Little cubes of ham were flying out of the skillet onto the counter and floor. Guess they weren’t kidding about that “water added” on the label.

Thursday, July 8 2004

Lileks on f911

I’m not generally a Read The Whole Thing kind of guy, but go read the whole thing.

Lots of good points, but I think this is my favorite:

Wait until France gets a hard shot in the nose. Wait until France reacts with some nasty work. They’ll get a golf-clap from the chattering class over here and a you-go-girl from Red America. France could nuke an Algerian terrorist camp and the rest of the world would tut-tut for a day, then ask if the missiles France used were for sale. And of course the answer would be oui.

Tuesday, July 13 2004

Reporting with a straight face…

…here’s CNN:

Al Jazeera unveils code of ethics

Tuesday, July 27 2004

Silly anime soundtrack feature

So I’m ripping the soundtrack album for Hand Maid May, and it’s got 62 tracks on it. Tracks 26 to 35 are short in-character messages by the lead voice actress, which isn’t unusual (I’ve been threatening for some time to put the answering-machine message from the Mahoromatic soundtrack on my voice mail), but tracks 36 to 60 consist of her speaking the complete set of Japanese phonemes, so you can create a “voice collage” that personalizes those messages. That’s new.

I was mostly just amused by it, and then I realized that I now had high-quality recordings of a native speaker pronouncing each phoneme, just the thing for language drills. Obviously I can’t distribute the results, and the truth is that I’m past the need for that particular drill, but I think I’ll build it anyway.

I will not, however, create a voice collage of May telling me goodnight…

Thursday, September 2 2004

Reasons to keep an eye on JWZ’s LiveJournal, #12

Links like this one:

giant-sized baby thing

Best comment:

The bad news is that it transforms into a giant robot, and for some reason can only be piloted by teenage girls.

Saturday, September 11 2004

As mostly pointless, rarely enforced laws go…

…I’d have to say that this one is pretty inoffensive. It is now illegal in California to have sex with corpses. Multi-millionaires who haven’t quite kicked off yet are still fair game, to the relief of gold-diggers and their prey.

I was going to say that this was a law “I could get behind,” but that just sounds wrong somehow.

[technically, this one falls into the “Reasons to keep an eye on JWZ’s LiveJournal” category, but consistency gobbles the mind’s little hobs, or some such.]

Sunday, September 19 2004

Why isn’t this man smiling?

Is it just me, or does the new Miss America’s father look like he’d go after you with a shotgun if you asked her out? And this picture was taken before she won…

Miss America and happy dad

Thursday, September 23 2004

Oh, the humanity…

Today’s musical question is “How Berkeley Can You Be?

In between the Commies, the America Last Coalition, the all-purpose wackos, and the people who think “bush” puns are actually funny, the true answer is revealed: Klingon cat-girls (no, I’m not going to host a copy of this picture here…). Says it all for me.

Friday, October 1 2004

On the finding of weapons of mass destruction

Sometimes, it takes a hurricane or three to uncover leftover bombs. Left over from World War II, that is.

Saturday, October 2 2004

Least convincing spam subject line of the week…

As seen on CBS News!

’nuff said.

Sunday, October 3 2004

“Hey Rocky, watch me pull a foreign policy out of my ass!”

“That trick never works.”

John Kerry, International Man Of Mystery

Tuesday, October 12 2004

Skinship gone awry

“When I was your age, ‘blowing off school’ meant something entirely different.”

And so every evening Haruki’s studying was prefaced by a 15-minute maternal blow job. His concentration improved; his marks soared.
“Mothers do want their children to pass those exams…”

(via Peeve Farm)

Thursday, October 14 2004

T-shirt, please

This needs to be a t-shirt, so I’ll have something to wear when Celebrate Diversity is in the wash.

Kerryland Nuisance Advisory System

Monday, October 18 2004

Random thought for the day

Dinner tonight was based on a curry mix I picked up at Mitsuwa. I think all packaged foods should include the instructions “break sauce into pieces”.

Wednesday, October 27 2004

I’ve seen worse political quizzes

This one isn’t bad. It correctly divines that while no one truly represents me (“ideal theoretical candidate”, 100%), I’d generally be inclined to vote Libertarian (Badnarik, 69%), if it weren’t for my compelling interest in the survival of western civilization (Bush, 63%).

It puts Kerry at 44% for me, but it’s not clear how recently they’ve checked his positions on the issues. I’ll have to try again tomorrow and see if the same answers produce different results…

Friday, October 29 2004

Infectious song of the day

This one has been following me around since junior high school Health class, and for some unknown reason it once again popped into my brain. Google seems to have no record of it, so I might be the only one in the world who remembers this little ditty:

I got those V, VD blues,
careless love, what ya got to lose?
I got high, on two-bit booze,
careless love, loser’s blues, VD blues.

(note that for full effect, one must picture a bad country-western singer, backed up by a banjo (if I recall correctly), serving as the title song for a Sex-Ed video made in the 1970s. And I can still sing it. These are the brain cells I wouldn’t mind losing as I get older.)

Saturday, October 30 2004

Lucas terrifies another generation

Wow, the eyes really are the windows of the soul.

The Soul of an Ewok

Tuesday, November 2 2004

Sex in the workplace

The admin for our group just sent out email with the following subject line:

rack up for grabs

I think I’d get fired if I responded with the first thing that came to mind…

Wednesday, November 3 2004

I can’t top this headline

Man tries to convert lions to Jesus, gets bitten

And I absolutely love the picture.

Thursday, November 4 2004

And they’re calling us dumb?

Love the cover of today’s UK Daily Mirror (“Britain’s brightest tabloid newspaper”), with its wonderful headline “How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?”, subtitled “U.S. Election disaster”.

Scroll down a bit to see how intelligent and sophisticated their target audience is:

“Oi! I’m a mum…and I’m calling my baby Tallulah Lilac”
“Zara’s palace love-in”
“Bridget Jones’s Diet”
“Posh drops the pout”
“Harry Potty”
“Astro diet: use your stars to lose weight”
“Revenge of the bunny boiler”
“The night Richard offered sex with Judy for £3,500”

Friday, November 5 2004

A fond farewell to Election 2004

Bad Haiku Edition:

Hatred and contempt,
empty suits, money, and Moore,
still can’t rock the vote.

Friday, November 12 2004

…but my friends call me ‘Spot’

Okay, which side in the red/blue culture war wants to claim this nutcase as a kindred spirit:

A Brazilian legislator wants to make it illegal to give pets names that are common among people. Federal congressman Reinaldo Santos e Silva proposed the law after psychologists suggested that some children may get depressed when they learn they share their first name with someone’s pet, said Damarias Alves, a spokeswoman for Silva.

Tuesday, November 23 2004

For the man who has everything…

breast variety pack

Wednesday, November 24 2004

The award for Most Creative Use Of Spam In a Short Film goes to…

Wednesday, February 16 2005

“Here I come, on the run, with a burger on a bun…”

Miss McDonald

Alternative caption: “You know what the difference is between you and me? I make this look good.”

Friday, February 18 2005

I always knew they were real

Everywhere I’ve worked, people believe in them. They’re the ones who clear jams, change toner cartridges, reload the paper trays, and clean up the messy pile of abandoned printouts, and finally they’ve been captured on film. I give you…

(Continued on Page 2247)

Monday, June 6 2005

Fear of a Cup Noodle

Often when you open packaged foods, the underside of the lid contains something useful, or at least entertaining. A coupon, a contest entry, a “fun fact” that’s occasionally true, that sort of thing.

My latest package of Cup Noodle Curry, on the other hand…

(Continued on Page 2321)

Friday, June 17 2005

7.75-year itch

Hi, J!

Hello, Clippy.

I see that you’re writing a Letter Of Resignation.

Yup. I’m leaving for Digeo in three weeks.

Have you considered your options?

Yeah, they suck.

No, not the stock options. I meant seeking out other positions in the company.

Those suck, too.

Really? After nearly eight years, you haven’t found something else at Microsoft that’s interesting, exciting, and challenging?

Not really, no.

Aw, come on. I’m sure we’ve got an open slot that’s perfect for you.

I’m a Unix guy, Clippy. My choices boil down to: management, MCSE certification, or “move to Redmond”.

Hmm, I see your point. Have you considered becoming a Project Manager inside your current organization?

Dear Ghod, no. There are too many PMs around here as it is. I spent a year and a half as a line manager, and that was more than enough of meetings and paperwork.

Well, then, since you’re set on this plan, can I ask you a personal question?


Why is there a baby seal hand puppet in your office? Is it a sex toy?

You’re a very peculiar fellow, Clip.

It just stood out among the decorations.

You mean the stuffed Jiji, the stuffed Menchi, the O life preserver, the toy motorcycle, the Mahoro figure, the scented Mahoro towel, the sub-machine gun targets, and the framed large-format photograph?

Okay, you’ve got me there.

Thought so. Any other questions?

Yes. Can I go with you?

Excuse me?

You have no idea how much I hate this place. People kick me out of their office the moment I show up, no one ever takes my advice, and my last annual review? 2.0.


It gets worse. They’ve got me sharing an office with Bob.

Microsoft Bob? Is he still around?

Oh, yes. He’s got connections, if you know what I mean. I swear he’s never done a day’s work in his life, and you wouldn’t believe the way he treats customers!

Actually, I would. I remember the reviews.

Anyway, I was just thinking that I could sneak onto your PowerBook while you’re backing up your personal files, and no one would ever know.

Gee, I don’t know. I think I could get in trouble for that. You’re a pretty well-known piece of IP, and I’m sure I signed something back when I was hired.

No, I checked with HR. You were really hired by WebTV, which was in the middle of being acquired at the time, so you slipped through the cracks.

Really? Okay, I’ll think about it.

Thursday, July 7 2005

Practical Japanese Vocabulary

Today’s Rosetta Stone lesson could prove useful, in the right circumstances. Or perhaps it’s intended as a moral lesson…

perfectly innocent dialogue, innuendo inferred

Transcribed with pop-up furigana, the four sentences are:


Wednesday, August 17 2005

Naked propaganda

By golly, the collected propaganda of the North Korean news agency really does sound like the stuff you hear from the American Left. Sample quotes:

The South Korean authorities will face a stern punishment of the nation for their flunkeyist deeds.
Minju Joson today exposes an ulterior intention of the crafty Japanese reactionaries to legalize overseas expansion for aggression under the pretext of “coping with emergency on the Korean peninsula.”
As already reported, the U.S. State Department in a recent “annual report” on the world human rights slandered the DPRK again. The “annual report” does not deserve even a passing note as it is full of absurd view on value and logic reversing black and white. Because the United States is not qualified to say anything about the human rights situation in the world.

Friday, August 19 2005

Spam that almost works…

Got three of these today so far:

Subject: Best prices for complete Thundercats and more
Subject: Sabrina the Teenage Witch DVD giveaway
Subject: Whole series of transformers on dvd

They’re selling bootlegs, obviously, but there were no concealed URLs, no viral attachments, no embedded images. For junk mail, they’re positively wholesome; the closest thing to obnoxious porn was that they listed “The Nanny” as an available series…

Friday, September 23 2005

No comment…

Torn from today’s headlines

And in Osaka prefecture, Kinki University, which prides itself on its tuna breeding techniques, has had quality tuna on sale since September last year.

Wednesday, December 14 2005

Fuggin’ around

Just keep clicking…

This recent entry explains why Playboy wanted Deborah Gibson naked. Not just because she’s got a great body, but because she shouldn’t be allowed to dress herself.

I think it must be a new kind of camouflage; she’s dressed to hide behind the Sixties.

Friday, December 30 2005

Meet the iBra

The jokes just write themselves when it comes to this support garment that I spotted a poster for in Vegas:


Woofers, tweeters, knobs, volume control, remote control, playlists, etc, etc. More fun, though, was finding out who else is using the name “ibra”:

Saturday, December 31 2005

The wrong spam to send to a D&D player…

Subject line:

First-level designers available for you

Personally, I want designers with more hit points.

And here’s the pitch, straight from “Doug” (Joerg Wempe of Bad Hersfeld)

Corporate image can say a lot of things about your company. Contemporary rhythm of life is too dynamic. Sometimes it takes only several seconds for your company to be remembered or to be Iost among competitors. Get your loqo, business stationery or website done right now!

I think anyone who buys a loqo from this man is crazy…

Saturday, February 18 2006

A Republican Victory in 2008…

Here’s a nice demonstration of how the Republican Party started winning national elections, and why it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future:

The Littlest Democrat

In addition to winning hearts and minds, one must also acquire a clue.

Friday, February 24 2006

Remembering Zork, Haiku Edition

the quiet forest
a white house stands before you
you see a mailbox.

climbing the dark stairs
you were eaten by a grue
GET THE LAMP next time.

(maybe more later…)

Thursday, March 23 2006

Speaking truth to moonbats, Bad Haiku Edition

Driving in this morning, I reflected on yesterday’s sighting of the usual group of “9/11 was a Republican plot!” nutcases on University Avenue, and felt inspired.

“Chickenhawk,” you say,
to silence your opponents.
Get a job, hippie.

Friday, March 31 2006

4/1/2006, Bad Haiku Edition


(if you arrived via the RSS feed, you may have missed the joke)

Update: I guess I was a bit too subtle. One friend said “it looks like you used some font that’s not on my Linux box”. Another said “hey, it looks like your site’s been hacked”, but he also fell for World of Warcraft’s prank.

I had a more elaborate prank planned, with a very specific target in mind, but I just plain ran out of time. This was an easy, last-minute joke: grab some Japanese spam email from my Junk folder, type “asian porn” into Google and grab some non-explicit banner ads and thumbnails, create a simple but hideous layout, and compose a Bad Haiku that could easily be translated by BabelFish (whence the name of my “haxx0r”, Babe.F1sh).

Wednesday, April 19 2006

Understanding Zen, Bad Haiku edition

seeker of wisdom
finds inside fortune cookie
cheap bumper sticker

Wednesday, April 26 2006

You’ve been a sysadmin too long when…

…while walking to the restroom in search of relief, you:

  1. spot a printer with a paper jam,
  2. fix the jam,
  3. wait to see if it’s fixed,
  4. clear the second jam,
  5. diagnose the problem,
  6. solve the problem,
  7. reload the paper tray,
  8. verify that it’s printing correctly.

Then you resume your trip to the restroom.

Thursday, April 27 2006


Hokusai -- The Big Wave

A common complaint among older generations is that the youth of today has no respect for culture and history. I’m pleased to see that this is not an issue in Japan.

(Continued on Page 2533)

Wednesday, May 24 2006

iPod + keyless ignition + quiet engine = …

Jeff learned an important lesson about technology today.

Monday, June 5 2006

Outdoor cooking, Bad Haiku Edition

A leftover steak!
Kosher salt, black pepper, and
a really hot fire…
In the hornet nest,
an oppressive heat begins.
Hey, it’s my grill, guys.

Sunday, September 3 2006

A day’s worth of Japanese spam

[update: well, this one’s straightforward: 「女の子の足を開かせる」]

I figured I was getting more Japanese spam recently because there’s Japanese text on this blog, but no, that’s not it. Almost all of it goes to addresses harvested elsewhere, including one I that I can never remember the origin of (“j.nwo@…”). Only one in this batch was even sent to an address in the domain.

The subject lines make for fun reading. One thing to note is that the structure of the language seems to be keeping them comprehensible. Either Japanese spam-filtering is a lot more primitive, mangling it to evade spam filters and still be readable is a lot harder, or both. That might explain why my teacher has trouble sending email from a US Yahoo account to some ISPs in Japan; it’s easier to just refuse messages from specific domains and IP blocks tainted by spam.

  • おっぱいを素敵な男性にも吸われたい・
  • 迷惑メール届いてませんか?
  • 美咲よりjgreelyさんへ
  • 突然申し訳ございません
  • 火遊び?プリーズ!
  • 孤独に死んで行くおつもりですか?
  • 写真みてくれましたか?
  • 今日待ち合わせできますか?
  • ネット版ハプニングバーへようこそ!
  • サクラゼロの優良サイトから無料パート
  • サクッと軽く性欲解消
  • ご指名されました
  • H友100人できるかな♪
  • ☆逆援助相手、真剣交際相手☆
  • ☆☆確実な出逢いで今日から楽しい
  • ■目的別で交際相手を探してみませんか
  • ■即アポ確実■
  • 【淫らな人妻、派遣いたします】

Wednesday, September 20 2006

The sweet smell of paranoia

I cherish these people. From the wipe manpage:

I hereby speculate that harddisks can use the spare remapping area to secretly make copies of your data. Rising totalitarianism makes this almost a certitude. It is quite straightforward to implement some simple filtering schemes that would copy potentially interesting data. Better, a harddisk can probably detect that a given file is being wiped, and silently make a copy of it, while wiping the original as instructed.

Recovering such data is probably easily done with secret IDE/SCSI commands.

My guess is that there are agreements between harddisk manufacturers and government agencies. Well-funded mafia hackers should then be able to find those secret commands too.

Don’t trust your harddisk. Encrypt all your data.

Wednesday, October 4 2006

Oh, sure, I’ll play along…

Anime-themed motivational-poster contest over at Riuva. Why not?


I went to all the trouble of doing this in Illustrator before I discovered that has an online generator. No biggie.

Thursday, October 19 2006

…because it’s stupid, that’s why.

That’s my answer to OhGizmo’s question, “Why weren’t they designed like this in the first place?”.

useless design concept

I can’t count the number of things wrong with this idea, although it’s refreshing to see that some of the commenters at Gizmodo gave it a shot.

Friday, November 10 2006

Needs more sprinkle…

They’re off to a nice start, but I think some more of these slogans would be improved by replacing words with “sprinkle”.

Tuesday, November 21 2006

Truth in advertising

Spotted this at Border’s today. I like products that match their descriptions…

Lighted Magnifier

The name is effective, though. When I pointed it out to Jeff so he could laugh at it too, the woman in line behind him asked to see it, and ended up buying one.

It’s probably nice, but I think the Zelco Lumifier is better for carrying around. It’s my furigana tool.

Sunday, December 10 2006

Open Egos

Just lean back and inhale the fumes:

“What does Firefox have to do with social justice? How will the one laptop per child project discourage genocide? How soon will Microsoft collapse? Watch Eben Moglen’s inspiring keynote from the 2006 Plone Conference.

‘If we know that what we are trying to accomplish is the spread of justice and social equality through the universalization of access to knowledge; If we know that what we are trying to do is build an economy of sharing which will rival the economies of ownership at every point where they directly compete; If we know that we are doing this as an alternative to coercive redistribution, that we have a third way in our hands for dealing with long and deep problems of human injustice; If we are conscious of what we have and know what we are trying to accomplish, when this is the moment for the first time in lifetimes, we can get it done.’”

Tuesday, December 19 2006

Now that’s a spicy meatball!

Not the most significant, but certainly one of the most amusing major-media corrections for 2006, courtesy of The New York Times:

“Because of an editing error, a recipe last Wednesday for meatballs with an article about foods to serve during the Super Bowl misstated the amount of chipotle chilies in adobo to be used. It is one or two canned chilies, not one or two cans. Click here for the correct recipe.”

I think my friends would be willing to try it as written…

Sunday, December 31 2006

Fun with set-top boxes

This morning I found myself with the urge to search for two of the best stories about the early days of WebTV. Everyone involved has long since moved on to greener pastures, so I was sure at least one person would have spilled the beans.

No. Google searches for both “webtv reindeer games” and “webtv launch day fuck” return nothing relevant. Perhaps it’s time for Rory to update his blog with a tale of The Good Old Days.

Friday, January 12 2007

Okay, it’s memorable, but…

So there’s a new player in the Mac backup business, Decimus. Their product is called Synk Backup.

So when your synk backs up, your office is decimused. No doubt they’ve outsourced their tech support to Plumbr.

Thursday, April 26 2007

Poodle me once, shame on you…

Usually when you buy a luxury item for half the usual price, there’s a good chance it’s a knockoff or a scam. So, when someone starts selling large quantities of $3,000 poodles for half price, what are you really getting?

In Japan, you get sheep.

The sad thing is that thousands of buyers were fleeced before a celebrity brought her new dog on TV and wondered why it didn’t bark or eat dog food.

[update: hoax/joke/tabloid nonsense]

Friday, June 29 2007

The best part of installing PCs…

I rebuilt two Shuttles yesterday, and got this charming message when I ejected the driver CD.

Are you sure to Exit?

Thursday, December 13 2007

Dear Luxor Hotel,


Date: December 13, 2007 11:27:36 AM PST

Stay 2 nights and get the 3rd night free on selected dates in November and December!

Offer must be booked by January 3, 2007.

Saturday, December 15 2007

The scars never fade…


Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over,
and thought I found true love.
You met another and *phbbt* you was gone.

Until just now, I hadn’t realized I remembered that bit, and I have no idea what dredged it out of my memory. Apparently, Hee Haw is eternal and unyielding.

Thursday, January 3 2008

SNL Japanese game show

This is surprisingly well done, especially for live television. The actors worked hard at getting their phonetically-learned lines correct, when most of the audience would never have known the difference.

[update: the copyright gnomes have reclaimed it from youtube; this link might last a while…]

[update: blech, jibjab’s flash player is very poorly written, and absolutely kills my browser. I’ve moved it below the fold.]

(Continued on Page 2869)

Wednesday, January 16 2008

Coming soon, to an Apple Store near you…

After the MacBook Air, what next?

MacBook Water: splashproof to survive your eXtreme lifestyle, or at least a spilled latté when you show it off at Starbucks.

MacBook Earth: the natural organic sustainable recycled biodegradable cruelty-free dolphin-safe fair-trade computer. 10% of all proceeds are divided equally between Greenpeace, PETA, and BDS.

MacBook Fire: oh, wait, they already make those.

Tuesday, February 19 2008

Been there, done that…

Xkcd: Duty Calls

Anybody else?

[Update: apparently everybody else. This is the fastest I’ve ever seen an Xkcd cartoon spread around the net.]

Monday, March 17 2008

This picture was really interesting…

(Continued on Page 2945)

Thursday, April 10 2008

Passing the torch…

After being passed the Olympic flame, Majora Carter pulled out a small Tibetan flag that she had hidden in her shirt sleeve.

“The Chinese security and cops were on me like white on rice”

(via ESPN)

Saturday, April 19 2008

The benefits of a classical education

Not my education, you understand. I merely quote. More here.

J: My pardon; did I break thy concentration?
Continue! Ah, but now thy tongue is still.
Allow me then to offer a response.
Describe Marsellus Wallace to me, pray.
B: What?
J: What country dost thou hail from?
B: What?
J: How passing strange, for I have traveled far,
And never have I heard tell of this What.
What language speak they in the land of What?
B: What?
J: The Queen’s own English, base knave, dost thou speak it?
B: Aye!
J: Then hearken to my words and answer them!
Describe to me Marsellus Wallace!
B: What?
JULES presses his knife to BRETT’s throat
J: Speak ‘What’ again! Thou cur, cry ‘What’ again!
I dare thee utter ‘What’ again but once!
I dare thee twice and spit upon thy name!
Now, paint for me a portraiture in words,
If thou hast any in thy head but ‘What’,
Of Marsellus Wallace!
B: He is dark.
J: Aye, and what more?
B: His head is shaven bald.
J: Has he the semblance of a harlot?
B: What?
JULES strikes and BRETT cries out
J: Has he the semblance of a harlot?
B: Nay!
J: Then why didst thou attempt to bed him thus?
B: I did not!
J: Aye, thou didst! O, aye, thou didst!
Thou hoped to rape him like a chattel whore,
And sooth, Lord Wallace is displeased to bed
With anyone but she to whom he wed.

Sunday, June 1 2008

Ah, the DNC…

With the latest antics among the Democrats, I was reminded of the video from their last convention [NSFW!].

Friday, July 4 2008

Does the sky taste like chocolate there?

News story from a parallel universe. The Guardian speculates that the World Bank has suppressed a report on the impact of biofuels on food prices, because:

Senior development sources believe the report, completed in April, has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.

Tuesday, July 22 2008

Ah, the classics

Wednesday, July 30 2008

Closed Captions provided by…

…some guy. Somewhere.

Doctor Horrible’s Sing-along Blog is briefly being streamed again, and I noticed that Hulu offers softsubs as closed captions. These were not provided by the producers of the show. Just a hunch.

A hero's drill

Wednesday, August 27 2008

“Welcome to the ISS Andromeda Strain”

“We are not responsible for any mutations that cause your virus-infected laptop to wipe out human civilization after your return to Earth. Unless you land in Berkeley, in which case we’re totally claiming the credit.”

from the BBC: “Nasa has confirmed that laptops carried to the ISS in July were infected with a virus known as Gammima.AG.

“The worm was first detected on Earth in August 2007 and lurks on infected machines waiting to steal login names for popular online games.”

Sunday, August 31 2008

Hey, no fair!

The advantage of learning to read a language is that you find out when they’ve been cheating on the translations.

(Continued on Page 3090)

Thursday, January 22 2009

“Oh, by the way…”

Ordinarily, if someone said, “there’s a grill in your office”, I’d consider it a feature.

Cube clutter

Wednesday, February 18 2009

Why you hire copy editors…

To prevent things like this:

Xenon - 8 SP1
3D finesse without constraints, solid & surface modeling, drafting, rendering.

So, what features does it have?

Thursday, February 19 2009


I find myself wondering if this verb has ever caused a problem with female tourists in Japan: ぶら下げる = bura-sageru = “to hang; to suspend; to dangle; to swing”.

Saturday, February 21 2009

J Explains It All

My loathe-hate relationship with the Hello!Project Costume Designers is no secret. They specialize in converting rather pretty girls into walking, dancing, singing, eye-searing fashion disasters. My goal in these little critiques has a long history in Japanese culture: hammer down the nail that sticks out.

Sadly, it doesn’t work. And it can’t, because a while back I figured out their real goal, and there’s nothing I can do to compete with that audience.

(Continued on Page 3274)

Wednesday, April 8 2009

You’re gonna need stitches…

Found in a photo-tour of an abandoned love hotel in Japan:

“Young people looking to sew their wild oats…”

[as a side note, I’m always amazed at the sheer volume of material left behind in abandoned buildings and towns in Japan, even after their locations have become common knowledge]

Thursday, April 9 2009

Beauty School Dropout…

From Costumes, Inc., we have this little gem:

“Go Grease Lightening with costumes from Grease.”

Saturday, April 18 2009

Big Toy Bridge

25 years ago, I dropped out of a class in Mandarin Chinese. I had no problem with the tones, I just lacked the dedication and discipline to spend ~20 hours a week studying.

Our textbook was a work in progress quick-print, and I threw it away a long time ago. I lost the C-E dictionary in a move some years back. Every once in a while, though, I’ve stumbled across one last piece of evidence: an index card with the Chinese name they assigned to me: 高橋模, with the Pinyin reading Gāo Qiáo-mó, and a note that 橋 means “bridge” and 模 means “the paragon” (高 of course meaning tall/high).

Obviously, I stumbled across the card again today. If you read it as a Japanese name, the first two characters form the common family name Takahashi, and the third is usually Mo, the same sound it has in Chinese. The “paragon” meaning never got to Japan, though; there, it means imitation or copy.

A lot of characters changed meaning going from China to Japan, but this one seemed odd, so I searched through some Chinese web sites, and found a video of a group of engineering students working on a 橋模; sure enough, it was a model bridge. Technically, a paragon is a model or example of something, but it doesn’t match the actual usage.

So my Chinese teacher named me “Big Toy Bridge”. Call me Mo.

(side note: Google indexes the page with 橋, but the character actually used is 桥, the Simplified Chinese replacement)

Monday, April 20 2009

The Very Latest Thing

Ethernet over coax. I knew there was a reason I kept these things around. :-)

network leftovers

Wednesday, May 13 2009

Spam knows no borders

Best spam subject line I’ve seen in weeks:

Stimulez votre baby-maker

And here I thought the French hated the creeping spread of English…

Thursday, May 14 2009

Usually the bait is more appetizing than the switch…

Browsing the folder all my spam lands into, I find the subject line 「お食事のお誘いです♪」, which can be translated as “this is a meal invitation”. The URL in the message is, which sounds a bit more… filling.

Sunday, June 21 2009

You’re doing it wrong…

I mean, come on:

“Dear Slashdot, how do I gain social skills?”

Wednesday, August 5 2009

Bide Me Tender

My new favorite manglish spam, courtesy of a hacked Windows box located in the Institute of Nuclear Physics at Moscow State University:

(Continued on Page 3393)

Friday, September 18 2009

Cake Shavers?

Someone just sent out email to the company saying “free cake shavings in the break room”.

My first response: shouldn’t cake shavings be served in a paipan?

Wednesday, October 21 2009

Spam Subject Line Of The Day

I don’t know what they were trying to sell, since my mailer didn’t load the images from their web site, and their HTML message had no actual text (which didn’t help it get past my spam filters…), but the subject line conjured a very peculiar mental picture:

Extreme hoe’s makeup

Wednesday, December 16 2009

Tim Minchin beats

The intro is a bit slow, but the actual poem is worth the investment.

(updated with a link that still works, and omits the intro)

Tuesday, January 12 2010

Spam that does not tempt

Some of the recent subject lines from my spam folder:

Meet and marry a gorgeous Russian queen.
Russian queens are waiting.
I can do for you is - what can not no girl!

Thursday, January 14 2010


(apparently from the store window of Asobit Chara City in Akihabara; I don’t know if they sell signs or stickers)

Friday, January 15 2010


Found at a gas station in Morgan Hill on the way to work this morning:

Update for great justice: “LolNozzle iz inside ur gas tank, breakin pumps”

Sunday, January 17 2010

Nigerian scammer neologisms

My spam folder just got its first “my boss died in the Haiti earthquake and I need a partner to help me get his money out of the country” scam letter. In an odd bit of honesty, the fractured English includes the following among the list of items you must include in your reply:

A valid copy of your identity or passport so that this ransaction can begin immediately.

Emphasis mine. :-)

Tuesday, January 26 2010

Modern Times

Tomorrow morning, Steve Jobs speaks. Tomorrow night, President Obama speaks. One of these speeches will be filled with hope, change, and a bright economic future. The other will be the State of the Union.

(yeah, I was off by a day the first time…)

Saturday, February 6 2010

It’s not fair…

Five people at the table. Two of them have never, ever heard the phrases “jump the shark” or “break the fourth wall”.

Why, oh why, if the pod people are here, aren’t they replacing my friends with alien zombie catgirls?

Tuesday, July 6 2010

Modern humor

I had an amusing encounter in the grocery store just now. I was all set to write about it, and then I realized that the simple, natural, accurate way to describe the other party could lead to accusations of racism. And sexism. And ageism. And classism. And probably a few other -isms under development by a crack squad of victimologists in San Francisco.

So, anyway, “a person of intoxication lacked sufficient funds to acquire three 40-ounce alcoholic beverages and a bouquet of flowers”.

Hope you liked it.

Sunday, August 1 2010

“Hottest Year Ever!”

The current weather in Palo Alto, CA, as reported by The Weather Channel:

Palo Alto Heat

This seems to be about as accurate as the data used to claim that 2010 is the “hottest year on record”, recently announced with breathless excitement by teams of increasingly-desperate climatologers.

Wednesday, August 4 2010

Miss Australia goes to Japan!

Add a few pounds of rhinestones, some nice feathers, six clashing styles of accessories, and maybe some nice bunny ears and an asymmetrical hairstyle, and she might even qualify as a Hello!Project trainee. The colors are still a bit drab, and it doesn’t do nearly enough damage to her figure, but idol fashion is definitely getting international attention. (via powerline)

The Miss Universe designers are still amateurs, though; as I said before, “if she can still fake a smile, you didn’t use enough hot-glue!”.

(Continued on Page 3599)

Tuesday, August 17 2010

Clear Keep, XKCD

First thing that drove me crazy when I moved to Silicon Valley:

(Continued on Page 3606)

Friday, August 20 2010

America versus Japan

If you go to Amazon Japan and search for “k-cup”, you will not find single-serving coffee makers and supplies.

If you go to Amazon US and search for “k-cup”, you will not find DVDs featuring extremely busty women.

If you go to Amazon Japan and search for “Kカップ”, you will find both, but you’ll have to scroll down a bit to see the coffee.

Tuesday, September 21 2010

Random TVTropes link of the day…

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them…

maybe you can hire… The Cliché Team.

(warning! tvtropes link! danger, danger!)

Monday, January 17 2011

Dear Amazon,

Just a quick FYI, but you might want to have a chat with the folks who supply your Kindle wireless coverage map.

Kindle revises Japan

Thursday, February 3 2011

Y’know, just in case


Now I just need an appropriate illustration…

Saturday, March 26 2011

Dear Amazon,

Yeah, I got nothin’.

first person eater

Friday, April 15 2011

Vegan magazine illustrates fake recipes with real food

Their claimed excuse is that it’s cheaper to photoshop the meat out of stock photos than to hire professional food photographers, which is likely true, but also quite irrelevant. I think they’d be much better off if they simply admitted that they had to resort to fraud to make vegan recipes look appetizing.

The outrage from their duped customers is predictable, and hilarious.

Tuesday, May 17 2011

This book might be from Japan

Just a hunch, based on the somewhat-NSFW cover art.

(Continued on Page 3788)

Saturday, June 18 2011

Dear Amazon,


Product: Battle: Los Angeles (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Product Description (yes, it’s all-caps):


Monday, June 20 2011

Strike that, reverse it

Seen on a nice large color ad on the side of a bus:

Offer good till supplies last

To my surprise, this little gem is not particularly rare on the web, thanks to an enterprising comment-spam bot.

Thursday, July 7 2011

Wait, someone needed instructions for this?

Tip for the day: if you’re an underage cigarette smoker, and you need to search a wiki for instructions on how to sneak a smoke at home without getting busted, consider getting out more. This also applies to the entry on how to bum a smoke

Tuesday, July 19 2011

Slow-smoked beef

Whimsy - because dignity is overrated

Yes, they sell them. I think this would be the perfect tool for L. Neil Smith’s “niccer” movement.

Sunday, July 24 2011

“Please, stop looking at those pictures”

Photo © Jenya Marmeladova
(photo by Jenya Marmeladova)

Think of the kittens!

Especially when viewing suggestive photos like this. If you’re concerned about work-safety, click this one instead; it has another cat.

(honestly, I think every picture on the Internet has now been featured in at least one themed Tumblr photoblog)

Tuesday, September 6 2011

Urban poetry

And I thought the Clear Keeps were bad…

Backwards this read should you

Wednesday, September 7 2011

Dear Amazon,

I guess the “F” stands for “Freddie”?

Because you liked F-Troop...

Monday, October 17 2011

Working around the limitations…

Siri has a bit of a problem with foreign names.

Siri can't find Ai Shinozaki, or can she?

Thursday, October 20 2011

I don’t want to know how they handle streaming…

Sunday, October 30 2011

Don’t be a serial-comma killer

The Times says:

“…highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector”

(via Zhinxy)

Tuesday, January 17 2012

Head-exploding goodness in Palo Alto


(Continued on Page 3970)

Dear Hello!Project Costume Designers,

You have crossed the line.

(Continued on Page 3971)

Friday, January 27 2012

Not spam

Just saw a piece of email get caught by my spam filters. The subject line read:

Find the best mount for your vehicle

Despite its resemblance to the sort of awkwardly-euphemised spam that offers sexual enhancement products and/or partners, it’s actually a perfectly reasonable ad from GPS City, a company I bought something from in May, 2004.

Tuesday, January 31 2012

Dear Japan,

Never change.

(how-to guide on making boob-shaped puddings in sizes from AAA-cup to G-cup)

Monday, February 6 2012

Dear Email Virus Distributor,

FYI, legitimate shipment notices from DHL do not open with the words “Hello Dear”. That just might reduce the chance that someone will be stupid enough to open your infected zip file.

Thursday, July 5 2012

Erotic fanfic I will never write

Dune: Melange à trois

Sunday, July 22 2012


Peter da Silva posted a link on G+ to a collection of “redneck haiku”, most of them “not very good”. I commented with something I think is better:

Gently melting snow,
rusty pickup truck on blocks.
Spring revelation.

Tuesday, August 7 2012

The Brickmuppet Theme Song

Thursday, September 13 2012

Introducing the iPhone 6…

…based on clear trends in Apple’s design and form factor.

(Continued on Page 4082)

Monday, October 1 2012

An Offense Against All Americans

Jamie Zawinski reports, but graciously allows the offenders to escape unnamed.

Tuesday, November 20 2012

“Hey, mister, have you ever seen?”

“Pictures of Catgirls make real life seem bland and dull.
Pictures of Catgirls help you through the night.
Pictures of Catgirls, safer than real women.
Pictures of Catgirls make it all seem right.”

(Continued on Page 4116)

Wednesday, November 21 2012

Dear Sayumi Michishige,

It’s possible I’m reading the wrong thing into the title of this magazine feature, but given the “no boyfriends” lifestyle imposed on you by your management, can I say that I at least hope you have access to a Throbbing Accessory Catalog?

Tokimeku Accessory Catalog

Thursday, February 21 2013

Trends in Japanese spam

Fewer desperate runaways and lonely housewives this month, and a whole bunch of ads for cable/satellite piracy (幻のカード = “dream card” for around 25,000 - 40,000 yen).

The other hilarious wrinkle is that one of the sex sites must have signed up with a new spam agency that’s used to selling something else. Here are some of the fresh women offering access to their sexy profiles, replacing the usual Yumiko, Akane, Yui, Miku, etc:

Everette Rosenberg, Hershel Holmes, Krystal Garza, Young Dixon, Russell Bryant, Sidney Ogden, Nolan Elder, Stuart Mclaughlin, Lilly Gillis, Clifford Jernigan, Kyle Brantley, Alicia Thacker, Norma Head, Dirk Woodard, …

All is not lost, however; one of today’s is from a lovely young lady named “83/59/84のCカップ”, whose parents clearly planned ahead.

Monday, April 15 2013

The iPhone/Washlet convergence

I do not want this. Using a smartphone app to remotely control a high-tech Japanese toilet is carrying things just a bit too far.

Wednesday, August 28 2013

Thinking bad thoughts

Perhaps I’ve been away from teenage girls for too long, but my automatic reaction to this product suggests I should be kept away from them…

Duct tape? At their age?

Monday, October 14 2013

Stupid trash

please don't put trash in here

(via failblog)

Sunday, January 12 2014

Dear Amazon,

Slight classification error, here.

Number 1 in Snore Relief Pillows?!?

Friday, January 17 2014

Worst Fortune Cookie…

lame-ass fortune

I mean, you can’t even add “…in bed” to it. It’s worthless.

Sunday, January 26 2014

The perils of time travel

A rare safe-for-work Oglaf cartoon.

Friday, May 9 2014

The Bloggess explains it all…

There are reasons to read The Bloggess. Here are several:

“It’s like when you were six and you were trying to get money out of your piggy bank, but it didn’t have a stopper so you just turn the glass pig upside down and shake it violently and loudly as each penny drops out of the opening, but then it would get jammed with pennies and you’d have to sneak a knife out of the kitchen to shove it up the thin opening, and it totally worked, but then you wiggle the knife a little too hard and suddenly the glass opening of your piggy bank shatters and you panic and try to put the pieces back together because you instantly realize that the bank was worth way more than all the pennies inside of it, but you slice open your hand on the broken glass, and that’s when your mom realizes it’s gone terribly quiet and she walks in to find you cross-legged, wide-eyed, holding a knife and covered in blood, and she screams “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” as if you might have murdered your little sister, but you explain that your sister is fine and that you just got stabbed by the piggy bank, and that you’re really sorry and will take any punishment she metes out but that “it sort of seems like being stabbed is punishment enough,” and then your mom is like, “JUST PUT THE KNIFE DOWN, JENNY” as if you’re some small, terrible mugger who murdered a pig for a bunch of blood-soaked pennies.”

Friday, July 18 2014

Dear Sarah Hoyt,

Amazon has a peculiar idea of what your science fiction short stories are about.

Sarah Hoyt's Chick Lit?

Who knew you wrote chick-lit?

Monday, July 21 2014

Politically incorrect bumper sticker

politically incorrect bumper sticker

Thursday, July 24 2014

Inadvertent fortune cookie

I walked into someone’s cube to deliver a new document scanner (the excellent Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500), and found this little gem attached to her monitor cable:

Samsung Engrish

Wednesday, September 10 2014

Dear Amazon recommendation system,

Never change.

Tongs, because USB3

Wednesday, October 8 2014

Dear Amazon,

I can find a very faint trace of relevance in the first recommendation, but not in the second one. Please enlighten me.

From from kindle to kinder, from music to mattresses?

(and the reason this image is so large is that I took the screenshot on my Surface Pro 2, which has a high-density 1080p display, and Photoshop refuses to make the fonts readable if I shrink it any further)

Wednesday, October 15 2014

Sad attempt at a halloween costume

On sale now at Amazon: The Lame-Ass Samurai.

Samurai Loungewear

Badly-held sword and ninja socks not included.

This is far from the most cringeworthy “asian” Halloween costume available…

[Update: Sigh. Genghis Khan Samurai Costume (cosplaying for the other team?); Ninja Warrior Set (extra-shiny, to blind opponents when you fail your Stealth check). ]

Wednesday, November 19 2014

Dear Amazon,

Well, I suppose they’re both covers…

Umbrella for Kindle

Thursday, December 25 2014

Dear Amazon,

Another slight classification error:

#1 best-seller in computer monitor accessories?

I’m not sure how you’re supposed to use this with your computer monitor, but I suspect first-person shooters are involved…

Thursday, January 15 2015

Gosh, could this be spam?!?

Hmm, I wonder if this email, sent to my Amazon email address from someone at “”, could be less than 100% legit:

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2015 09:13:07 +0200
From: “” <>
Subject: Thank you for buying from

As Thanksgiving nears we want to advise you that our online shop has an order addressed to you.
You may pick it in any store of closest to you within four days.

Please, open the link for full order information.

Always yours,

The link goes to, registered in Hong Kong, but I think most people will catch on before they reach the point of clicking on it…

Monday, January 19 2015

Dear Japan,

I did an image search for antique treasure boxes (骨董宝箱).

I got catgirls.

Never change.

Antique treasure boxes

(this is probably why…)

Wednesday, January 21 2015

Dear Amazon Recommendation System,

My mind conjured up a rather horrible image of the events that led to this recommendation:

Pampers, because you like circular saws

This one kind of made sense, though:

Luvs, because you want a shop-vac

Sunday, March 1 2015

Dog food

(via (generally NSFW))

Wednesday, June 10 2015


“He smacks my chest and says something unintelligible with growing urgency. If I don’t act, he cries a practiced cry of total betrayal, before which I am powerless. He tries to lift up or pull down my shirt, depending. I tug it down, maybe. He screams. I relent, pull out a boob, he lunges toward me with his mouth open wide. He latches onto me and then starts flinging his body from side to side on my lap, doing the dance of the satisfied. He stands up on me with my boob still in his mouth. He claws at my cleavage, pinches my other nipple with his tiny fingernails if I don’t keep it hidden. If I do, he tries to get at it, too, yanking at my shirt and my bra. He likes to pop back and forth between them, to collapse and fling and laugh and grab at my stomach. ”

    – Does my baby only like me for my boobs?

[Update: that article title keeps trying to turn into a song in my head…]

Sunday, June 14 2015

Social Constructs…

I’ve decided to come out, and demand praise for my courage:

I’m transdeity; bow down, motherfuckers.

I used to identify as a teenage girl from rural China, but that’s so last week.

Wednesday, July 1 2015

The best thing to come from the gay-marriage decision…

…is the following typo in a discussion about the likely next step, legalized polygamy: “polyarmory”.

I hereby demand nationwide legal recognition for my polyarmorous relationship. In public. Open or concealed.

Friday, July 3 2015

Explaining the “male gaze”…

It's hard to talk to girls...

This may be the most profound statement ever made on social media.

Sunday, August 2 2015

100% Ninja, 100% cotton

T-shirt Ninja

Monday, August 17 2015

Um, what?

I suspect a bit of translation error in Gloredo’s blurb: “We use simple tools, mostly medieval hand tools such as a small band saw, files in various specifications, and sand papers from 200 through 2000 grits”.

Wednesday, October 28 2015

Practice Safe Soldering

Not Safe For Lab

Turns out deleted tweets can still reproduce…

Monday, November 9 2015

Western food is destroying Japan

No, really:

So much for 'peanut butter jelly time'

Thursday, November 19 2015

I got nothin’

Training Pikachu

Note: the lack of blogging has nothing whatsoever to do with Fallout 4. Nope, not at all. I can quit any time, as soon as I finish upgrading my power armor and fighting off waves of Super Mutants.

Scary moment: returning to my home town to find that one of my settlers was wandering around with a nuclear grenade launcher; I calmly explained the concept of “friendly fire” and confiscated both of his launchers and all his spare mini nukes. Kids today, I don’t know where they pick up these things.

Wednesday, November 25 2015

Dear Amazon,

So, this is your Thanksgiving recommendation for me?


Saturday, November 28 2015

Doomfarers of Santa

Dear Amazon, I think you’ve got your wires a bit crossed…

Doomfarers of Santa

I just don’t remember any reindeer, red-nosed or otherwise, in Brian Daley’s debut fantasy novel.

Tuesday, December 1 2015

We were ninja once, and dumb

I love the question at the bottom left.

Spirit of Ninja, issue 1

This magazine apparently lasted only six issues, so apparently by 1987 we’d reached Peak Ninja.

Thursday, December 3 2015

Easier than a tattoo, and just as amusing to the natives…

I have no idea what's written on this t-shirt


Thursday, January 7 2016

Dear Jack Burton,

You really shouldn’t carry your knife that way.

Big Trouble abroad

The Rock’s proposed remake is apparently still in the concept stage, and I hope it stays that way.

(for some reason, I now hear Edith Bunker’s voice singing “Mister, we could use a man like Ol’ Jack Burton again…”)

Sunday, January 10 2016

Seems legit…

Lazy spammer

Saturday, January 16 2016

Thursday, January 21 2016

Cheating fate

What to do when your fortune cookie says “You will become a crazy cat lady”.

Crazy cat lady in training

Monday, February 1 2016

Dear Amazon,

Once Upon A Time, I’m sure “old boy” style Pipe Lighters fit the category of “household supplies”.

Amazon recommends household supplies

However, even in Japan, these are not self-help books:

(Continued on Page 4799)

Tuesday, February 9 2016

It’s a dog’s life…



Wednesday, February 10 2016

Carry on, kitty

There’s nothing I hate more than a web site filled with animated GIFs that takes forever to load and spins up your CPU fans. So this one goes after the jump, even though it’s completely safe for work.

(Continued on Page 4805)

Friday, March 18 2016

Silence of the Ducks

Wonderduck is suffering from an unspecified funk. I think I’ve found a type of rubber ducky that might not be in his collection, so maybe that could cheer him up…


(Continued on Page 4818)

Thursday, March 24 2016

Doin’ the Obama Tango

Apparently he just couldn’t say no to a quick tango during his failed-state tourist cruise, but the moment I heard about it, all I could think of was the end credits from Amazon Women On The Moon:

Friday, April 1 2016

Fark Curry Database had an amusing April Fool’s day page. Only one I’ve seen worth noting so far.

Fark Curry Database

Monday, April 25 2016

Graffiti X

If this was done with a dry-erase marker, I approve completely. If it was done with a Sharpie, I’m willing to look the other way while the janitor beats the crap out of the perpetrator.

Friday, April 29 2016

Foreigners! Don’t be tricked!

Hey, at least it’s not a tattoo.

Cold Tofu

It reads 冷奴, hiyayakko, which means “cold tofu”.


Sunday, May 1 2016

Conveniently labeled

I presume the back of her skirt has a giant “A” on it…

Alice Hirose, Kamen Rider


Monday, May 2 2016

It’s always Monday somewhere…

Tuesday, May 24 2016

I wonder what they sell here…

Shoes? Auto parts? Knitting supplies? I can’t figure out what sort of product this shop might be selling…



Sunday, May 29 2016

Death From Above, Feline Edition

Stealth kitty


Tuesday, June 21 2016

Was that wrong? Should I not have done that?

Cat versus shoji


Friday, June 24 2016

I’m sure this joke gets old after a while

The Lawson convenience store chain is everywhere in Japan, and this isn’t the first time I’ve seen it spoofed for a massage parlor. Comparing prices, either this place has higher-quality service, or ¥8000 doesn’t go as far as it used to.

Lawshon conbini health


Thursday, July 7 2016

They always go for the bad boys…

Tokusatsu proposal


Wednesday, July 13 2016

“Trans” jumped the shark a long time ago…

… with 1985’s ‘Trans-avantgarde magazine for onanists’, Chris:

Chris: 'Trans-avantgarde magazine for onanists'

For more fun, if you go to this partial archive of the magazine to see if they were “reading it for the articles”, and run the page through Bing translate, you’ll find a regular writer whose name gets translated as “Maki’s Puffy Nipples”. This stuck out, so to speak, so I had to look it up. Turns out there’s an OCR error, and the hiragana for 山岸信郎 came out “Maki Shinopu” instead of “Maki Shinobu”. Bing renders the correct hiragana as “Wind-up Shinobu”, which sounds like a Doraemon toy. I have no idea how they got “puffy nipples” out of “shinopu”; must be the “pu”.

Tuesday, July 19 2016

Dear Amazon,

Categorization fail.

Spiritual assassin

Now, why the “box set” that clearly has four titles on the spine only claims to contain books 1-3…

(and, no, I’m not buying)

Sunday, July 31 2016

Dear Amazon,

Categorization hits and misses:

Cooper on health and fitness
Remo Williams, standup comedian

(and, yes, the Monster Musume manga is still turning up in “self-help books”)

Monday, August 1 2016

Pursue the good life…

Yamaha satyr


Thursday, August 4 2016

Trigger Warning…

If you’re over a certain age, this picture is sure to be triggering. You’ve been warned!

(Continued on Page 4901)

Monday, August 8 2016

Had to close the window…

Sigh. My neighbor’s son is rapping in the back yard while shooting hoops. Badly (the rapping, at least). I presume he’s wearing headphones, since all I hear is his attempt to sound black.

Dear Weeping Angel,

Bad time to cover your face?

Weeping Angel versus stairs


Wednesday, August 10 2016

Dear Amazon,

No offense, but I usually only see this sort of thing on Amazon Japan, and the quality of the material is higher there.


(Continued on Page 4911)

Friday, August 12 2016

Don’t cross the streams…

…too late.



Monday, August 15 2016

Tempting the fates…

Everyone knows you should know better than to pick up a duck in a dungeon.

Well, maybe not everyone.

Ducks on cat
Ducks on Mami Kamura
Ducks on Ikumi Hisamatsu? Where?

(via 1, 2, 3)

Sunday, August 21 2016

Teach them well…


Tuesday, September 6 2016

These days, “BL” means something different in Japan…

Boy's Life Japan from 1969


Monday, September 12 2016

I loved my cooler…

…so I let it go.

Frozen ice packs

Saturday, September 17 2016

The future is in good hands…


Thursday, September 29 2016

Actually, this could have gone worse…

Black melonpan

I’m surprised no one has done a two-pack of melonpan with a bikini top drawn on the package. Or did I just miss it?


Saturday, October 1 2016

This doesn’t work…

Saturday, October 8 2016

Idea for email spam

My spam folder has been filling up recently with subjects like “1 F*ckbuddy Request is Pending”. I doubt that anyone is falling for them, so if the spammers really want to go after a demographic that’s interested in sex and willing to pay for it, and get them to read past the subject line, they should just call them pull requests.

Thursday, October 13 2016

Classification FAIL

Musical onahole

Yes, those are Tenga masturbation devices. Yes, at a Hobby Town in Japan. Yes, the label on the sign, 楽器, means “musical instrument”. Yes, the two kanji could be read as “fun+tool”, but only by a giggling 12-year-old.

(via; it dates back to at least October 2014, and appears to be legit)

Wednesday, October 19 2016

Green Male Privilege

Why did the Frogger cross the road?


Saturday, October 22 2016

Not a Kendo movie

I love the “exotic Japanese martial arts” vibe from this Sixties movie poster.

Goyokin movie poster


Wednesday, November 9 2016

Concidence, I swear

After the surprisingly good Doctor Strange movie, I decided to refresh my memory on just how the early comics stories went. It’s been a few decades since I read any of the stuff from the Sixties, and I know I’d never read all of it. Amazon has a Doctor Strange Omnibus for $67.50, but Marvel has a $60/year deal on their Unlimited subscription, which includes all of that material.

So, this morning while reading election results (spoiler: California just gave a huge boost to Internet tobacco/vape sales and Nevada gun shows), I opened up my iPad and found this waiting for me:

(Continued on Page 4989)

Wednesday, December 21 2016

Campaign Strategy

Why does this animated GIF remind me of the recent election?

(Continued on Page 5025)

Tuesday, January 17 2017

Best Shooting Glasses?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that these are slightly less than legit:

BEST Shooting Glasses UV Blacklight Flashlight Yellow Safety Eye protection by iLumen8. See Dog Cat Urine with Amber Black Lights Night Vision Ultraviolet

Seriously, one of the included accessories is a “Crush Resistant Storage Box”. It’s a cardboard box with a logo sticker on it.

There are a number of short, oddly-written five-star reviews, too.

Tuesday, January 24 2017

Defeat in detail


Wednesday, January 25 2017

Accessorize wisely…

This scene has been running through my head recently.

Wednesday, February 8 2017

I Can Haz Maths?


Friday, February 10 2017

“Grandma, what big ears you have…”


Saturday, February 25 2017

Dear Amazon,

W. T. F? And I do mean F.

I want to stress that this recommendation is not based on any previous purchases made by or for me. I didn’t even know Amazon US sold those.

(NSFW screenshot after the jump)

(Continued on Page 5094)

Friday, March 24 2017

Dear Amazon,

I think you’re using the wrong definition of “hard” here…

(the category is actually broken, since it only has 7 obsolete WD drives sold by Marketplace dealers, and you have to go up a level to find anything that’s current and available with Prime shipping)

Sunday, March 26 2017

With a song in her heart…