“The corn ethanol industry has to figure out another way to process corn into ethanol that is not so corn-intensive.”

— A Kernel of Truth from the California EPA

Culling the herd, midweek edition


Let’s get the important things out of the way first: chibi maid robot girls with guns (iOS/Android). Pixiv artist Chowbie announced the release of the game Maid Master on Tuesday. Always-connected, with microtransactions, but hopefully you can get something out of it without a major investment.

The English translation was not edited by a native speaker:

Amusing side note:

After my recent link to Bond Arms’ absurd new derringer, I happened to be browsing guns.com’s Certified Used list, and there are four of their current products on it, all certified in Excellent condition at nearly-new prices. This is gun-dealer code for “fired it once, traded it in”. 😁

Off the list!

  • MasterBlading Schoolgirls
  • Princesses Gone Wild
  • NieR: AutoCovid (until it resumes production)
  • GoldFlinger

Zero-Trust Full-Trust Dungeoneering episode 4

Wow, that was quick. I guess we’re all done with the title premise and can get on with the world-saving, right? At least now we know who the pompous narrator is, as well as the fifth party member.

Verdict: needs more dragon-service; I’m not much interested in the rest.

Isekai Sausage Party episode 3

In which we no longer have Our Genki Adventurer Gal, but haven’t yet acquired any of the promised goddesses, leaving us with a lesson in the value of orc testicles and a reminder that Earth food is full of buffs. Also, Our Cooking Papa is going to absolutely destroy the world economy by taking all their gold and either hiding it in his item box or spending it on Amazon Fresh.

Verdict: sadly, I suspect we’ll get slime-focused episodes before goddess-focused ones, so I’m running out of patience (the slime even has its own spinoff manga).

Bofuri 2 episode 3

Halfway through, Crunchyroll’s attempt to translate all the on-screen text completely broke the subtitling. I had to pause it right after that scene, exit the player, and restart the stream. This is not nearly as fun as Maple’s accidental bug-exploits, on full display this week. Oddly, Sally’s moment of triumph happened offscreen; did they just run out of budget due to the other fight scenes?

Verdict: Girls Just Wanna Clear Dungeons. Devs Just Wanna Clear Maple.

Not snowed in this time!


Pro Tip!

When you buy a really nice rolling snow shovel after the first big snowstorm, take some time to assemble it before the next snowstorm. If I had followed my own advice, I might have been able to locate the 9/16 and 1/2-inch wrenches required rather than hunting through boxes looking for adequate substitutes.

In theory I’m on the snow removal plan now, but they didn’t come by in the morning while it was still snowing, so I removed the first six inches of global warming myself. From the steep, 75-foot-long driveway.

The cleats were also a good idea…

I didn’t really need to go anywhere, but I had packages being delivered, and the contractors were scheduled to be here first thing Monday morning to install my range hood. And I wasn’t going to give them any excuse for rescheduling. Overnight another inch or so fell, but didn’t make my driveway too slick for them.

They can’t get up on the roof and make the vent hole for the new range hood yet (they cleared the snow from that area to dry it out and prep it), but they can at least get the interior part done.

Update: They were able to get up on the roof, so my new battlestation range hood is fully operational.

I can put up with a lot, but…

I like Charles de Lint’s writing, and am willing to accept his vast overrepresentation of victimization and other liberal bugaboos in the Newford stories, but I stopped dead on this line in his short story “The Forest is Crying”:

“Positive thinking brought down the Berlin Wall,” she said.

No, sweetie, that was Reagan.

Reminder: “cis” just means normal

I was willing to play along for a while out of politeness, but once they started demanding special treatment at gunpoint, they lost me, and from now on I’m not even going to let them redefine an adult-film marketing category as “the t-slur”.

Trans activist group attacks Aretha Franklin over Natural Woman

The rest of this week's anime


It occurs to me that the real danger of “AI-generated” art is that inevitably the output is going to end up being used as future input, scraped from picture sites and fed back through to train the models, amplifying their errors. This Will Not End Well.

It’s much like the devolution of superhero comic-book art, where the first generation were trained commercial artists, the next generation were kids who imitated them (How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way!), and so on, until you have “artists” who don’t even know that they can’t draw human anatomy, and can’t recognize perspective distortion when they’re tracing porn.

Bi(polar) Princess And Her Perfect Girlfriend episode 3

Moving Day for Our Rejected Fiancée builds character, but drags the momentum of the story to a halt, only briefly interrupted when Our Wacky Princess crashes in for flight training and a present.

Verdict: I’m not really here for a serious story about breaking the magical dream girl out of her shell while uncovering the mystery of why Our Prickly Prince chose the shy tit queen over his political engagement (and in any case, I know the answer; there be spoilers in them there interwebs!). Also, the character art is frequently wonky (even in the OP; that hand!). I’ll try one more, and there better be some wacky hijinks. Episode 1 promised us wacky hijinks and animal corpses worn on heads.

Bofuri 2 episode 2

In which the guild catches a break because Maple caught a cold, so they get to actually participate in a boss fight. Then Maple fights the wrong boss and… wait for it… acquires a wacky new overpowered skill which she immediately shows off in front of another guild. Then Level 5 goes past so fast you hardly see it, to jump the story ahead and reveal Sally’s fear of things that go bump get handsy in the night.

Verdict: yup, that’s what this show is about. Unsteaming Sally’s bath scene is, however, not what this show is about, although they like to tease.

Spy Harder, Girls! episode 3

In which the tables are turned, flipped over, lit on fire, and ashes scattered to the wind, as our extremely convoluted and nonsensical spy-versus-spy mission is resolved. Without a single bath or shower scene.

Verdict: bullshit. They won not because the girls deceived the enemy, but because the writers deceived the viewers. If the next episode doesn’t deliver plenty of female fan-service right away, I see no reason to subject myself to this writing. The voice actors are doing their part, and the girls are definitely cute, but…

(note that the staff even spoiled one of the twists in an announcement that aired the same day as the episode)

Magic Waifu-Farming Tool episode 3

(which is only nominally a “simulcast”, since apparently HiDive has difficulty getting media files onto their servers; I couldn’t get either of the Friday shows to stream until 8 hours later)

In which Our Busty Angel Bounty Hunter comes looking for Our Busty Bloodsucker-With-Benefits, but quickly abandons the mission when invited to become a villager. Mostly because the girls re-evaluate their relationship based on having gotten their asses kicked by the dogs. Then when her desire for a fresh crop of strawberries outstrips the capacity of a three-person farm, she flies off and returns with seven Elf Cheerleaders With Big Talents (in architecture, construction, mining, and metalworking; and boobs, of course). As a bonus, the cheer-elves make it clear that their goals are to find a new home and repopulate their race.

Still about four times as much internal narration as necessary, however; now that Our Power-Tool Hero has company, some of this exposition could be handled out loud while the camera is panning over exposed cleavage. Which it does a lot of.

I enjoy the girls treating him as a lovable goofball who has no idea how anything works, like living without salt for months despite having dug his root cellar right through a vein of salt-rich soil (which, absent magic tools, would really suck for agriculture). Or thinking that elves live in hippy-dippy harmony with nature. Not to mention that despite three separate sets of freakouts and two major beatdowns, he still hasn’t figured out that his “dogs” are hardcore monsters. As is the friendly spider-tailor.

Verdict: plenty of eye candy to compensate for the exposition, and no obvious plans to break away from the slow-life theme.

By the way, I took a look at the previews of the translated manga, and the show is better-drawn than the source material. And in case you think this is going to be one of those harems where the guy can’t make up his mind and never gets any, This Hero Plants Seeds!

No idea how many wives he ends up plowing with his divine tool (offscreen), but the yeast that the elf cheerleaders brought isn’t the only thing that puts buns in the oven. At least he puts a ring on it first.

🎶 I Like Giant Ars Beasts, I Cannot Lie,… episode 3

In which Our Lively Loli does not accidentally kill anyone, Our Cat-Wearing Oompa-Loompa negotiates rent with a Dog-Wearing Oompa-Loompa, and Our Animal-Boy Apprentice from the OP joins the gang (I lose track of the ear varieties after a while; I have no idea what these villagers are supposed to be). Meanwhile Our Not-So-Hard-Hearted Paladin gives in and saves the day again; I think he’s getting to like having a loli inside of him.

Verdict: next week, Busty Bunny Girl plays Hide-The-Spear, so I’m in.

(picture is unrelated because of the five pieces of fan-art on Pixiv, three are nudes of the loli, and the other two only vaguely resemble her)

NieR episode 3

Good news: the naked men are not anatomically correct.

Bad news: only men get naked.

Meanwhile the story is all over the place, trying to merge game logic (from multiple games!) and anime logic.

Verdict: nice to look at, anyway. Moot point, though, because production has been delayed indefinitely due to Covid. I guess they weren’t kidding when they called all these anime studios sweatshops.

Slow Life With Twin Peaks episode 3

Our Slow-Living Hero really needs to learn to keep his not-magic defense shield charged up at all times, to protect himself from Our Overly-Attached Deka-Melon Waifu. There has of course been no explanation for her ridiculous strength and total lack of control thereof, but if she’s nearly killing him just with hugs, she’ll eventually snap him in half with her thighs.

Anyway, this week he undermines the Demon Army while wearing the wrong underwear, fixing the human economy as a side-effect of rescuing a tribe of ewoks.

Verdict: mind candy, with boobs.

Isekai Gold Digger episode 3

Yeah, I think I’m done here. I stopped after her “cunning plan” actually worked.

Isekai Jack-Of-All-Trades episode 3

(honestly, after pulling a chef certificate out of his ass last episode, “handyman” doesn’t come close to covering his skillset)

This week, Our Handy Hero nearly gets some, in a bad way, and then is prevented from getting some in a good way. Then we get the rest of his origin story, in which he really sticks the landing, only to nearly get stuck. There’s some more random bits, as usual, but it seems odd for a series that doesn’t have a terribly linear flow to close the episode with a scene that would have made a good season-ender. At least there’s finally a reason for all the random weirdos to come into the main story.

On that note, Our Shy Maiden Warrior looks good in Saitou’s jumpsuit, but she really ought to try on her succubus rival’s outfit sometime and work her own kind of magic.

Verdict: Truck-kun delivered him to the place he belonged.

(poké-milf is unrelated; there’s no fan-art for this show)

Not Safe For Alec Baldwin


…as opposed to the more common not safe from Alec Baldwin.

Bond has announced a .45-70 derringer, with the “bonus” of being able to swap barrels and shoot .44 Magnum, .454 Casull, or .50 AE. I have no desire to shoot any of these calibers from a large heavy revolver, much less a pocket-rocket derringer. Years ago I shot a derringer in .45 ACP, and I remember three things from the experience:

  1. the recoil twisted the tiny little grip in my hand so that it was pointing about 45° to the side after the first shot.

  2. the recoil also undid the latch so that the second shot would have wrecked my hand if I hadn’t checked it.

  3. the fireball of still-burning powder was more dangerous than the bullet out to at least six feet.

(the owner insisted it was nearly impossible to hit the paper at 21 feet, and got quiet when I managed to put both shots into the black about four inches apart; you run into a lot of people at public ranges who blame the gun for their poor shooting)

Amusing gun review

I was idly browsing through guns.com and ended up looking at the Taurus 9mm 1911 (one of the few that has an ambi safety), and the first review reads, in its entirety:

The pistol was much larger than expected. I need to return it.

This is a full-sized steel 1911-pattern pistol with a five-inch barrel. What did this person think they were buying?

Twitterific!

Old Twitter: reverts to non-chronological order on every new browser session.

New Twitter: reverts to non-chronological order on every page refresh, which it does whenever it decides you’ve been away for a while.

Unrelated,

I have no idea how an update to the Mac version of Microsoft Edge force-enabled the execrable “dark mode”, something that can only be disabled by toggling a button through a magic URL: edge://flags/#enable-force-dark

Mid-week roundup


In-security

I brought my Arlo security cameras with me from the old house, but haven’t gotten around to permanently mounting them outside, due to all the work being done (I just had a temporary setup for while I was in Japan). Now they’re being end-of-lifed, so it’s kind of moot. I think I’ll check out the competition before buying new ones.

With luck, this will improve the price of the ammo…

Smith & Wesson just announced a pistol in 5.7x28mm, a gas-operated 22-rounder in the M&P brand, with an optics mount, picatinny rail, and threaded barrel for mounting a suppressor. Price is approximately half that of FN’s pistol, which should attract some customers. Ergonomically it resembles the M&P line, but lacks the adjustable comfortable grip due to the length of the 5.7 cartridge. Also, it looks like it uses the three-handed hammer-and-punch field-stripping method of the CSX, which is a giant leap backwards.

Little Girls MasterBlading episode 2

Our Sorting Hat Box doesn’t have a voice of its own, which they make up for with exposition from both his and her voices. This is immediately followed by a 6-year timeskip to get Our Battle Maiden up to a full-figured short-skirted twelve-year-old, so the plot can briefly quicken as the young scumbag from the first episode returns as an adult scumbag, complete with scenery chewing and mustache twirling.

They need another six-year timeskip ASAP if she’s going to keep showing that much premium cleavage; the only thing that says “twelve” about her is her height relative to adult males, which just improves their view.

There’s a brief moment of self-awareness as Our Early Bloomer recoils under the lustful gaze of adult men, and she wonders if all the young women he admired in her previous life felt the same. But that’s about it for his feminist awakening, and she doesn’t bring it up again.

Verdict: this is all still prologue; at this pace they won’t reach Ninja High School until the season’s more than half over, which limits the screen time for the other cute girls (and the story, such as it is). Sorry, not willing to stick around that long.

(unrelated busty battle maiden is unrelated)

Zero-Trust Dungeoneering episode 3

Our Dragongirl Gourmand’s a real cutie when she’s happy, and her betrayal backstory was actually well-done. This has earned the show another episode on my watchlist, even though I still want to know about the receptionist’s eye (and there are two girls like this, on opposite sides). Also, Our Undercover Idol seems to be taking a direct interest in her #1 fan, and she’s cute, too.

Verdict: one more, at least

Isekai Amazon Fresh episode 2

Sadly, Our Shopping Hero bids farewell to his escort party, which suggests that Our Genki Scouter Gal will not be a regular part of the show. Which significantly reduces my interest in future episodes, although I did like his interaction with the merchant guild. The receptionist (who we’ll likely never see again…) was easy on the eyes, and smart enough to immediately recognize the quality of his spices.

Verdict: one more, just in case, although the goddesses don’t look as interesting as the adventurer gal.

(genki adventurer gal is unrelated, and no longer on Pixiv for some reason, so I can’t link to the picture)

Unrelated, Modern Problems:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.”

“Don’t give him free fish the next day, and he’ll burn down your house, loot the neighborhood shops, and murder anyone who disses him.”

WinterSlush 2: Electric Boogaloo


I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there will never be a US Bluray set of Miss Kuroitsu From The Monster Development Department, but I was kind of surprised it isn’t really available on Amazon Japan, either. There were limited-edition box sets exclusive to Amazon and Animate (bundled with a Kuroitsu lingerie pic and a Kuroitsu/Wolf bikini pic, respectively), but the only copy still on Amazon JP is shipped from Germany.

Animate still lists it as available, but I haven’t bought through them before so I don’t know their international shipping policies; would have been a lot easier if I’d thought of it while I was in Japan.

Interestingly, I can stream or download the soundtrack album on Amazon US (which includes both ED songs), but not the OP song.

Reborn To MasterBlade

Okay, I said in the comments I wasn’t going to watch this one (because I’ve read some of the source material, and the cast keeps growing without any real progress in the core story), but IT hosed my VPN connection, so I had some “free” time.

Anyway, after a brief intro in which Our Once And Future King is visited on his deathbed by a delicious goddess we’ll never see again, we jump to the future where he’s been reborn with an innie instead of an outie, and the OP promises that she’ll grow up very healthy and obsessed with fighting alongside and against other hot chicks.

Although when she examines her 5-year-old self in a mirror and thinks about what a hottie she’s going to be, and how she wishes he’d had a granddaughter like that in her previous life, I had a certain creepy flashback.

Most annoying feature: while they switched to a female voice for Our Future Boob Warrior’s internal monologue, they kept the male voice around for the (excessive) narration without clarifying the new role. Pity they won’t keep her as either SuperBaby or The Mightiest Five-Year-Old for a while, but at least they’ve got a cute chibi form in the ED animation.

Verdict: maybe one more

Zero-Trust Dungeoneering episode 2

The OP promises a large cast of goofballs. The ED promises another party member. The episode is a heavily-narrated dungeoneering tutorial, mixed with frequent “we can’t trust anyone but we want to trust each other”. But the only thing I actually want explained is WTF is up with the guild receptionist’s eye?

Verdict: not dropped yet

Isekai Amazon Fresh

(aka “Campfire cooking in another world with my absurd skill”)

The setup is painfully trite: summoned to another world by a sketchy kingdom, Our Shopping Hero seems thoroughly unsuited to a life of adventure, so he cashes out and tries to go live a slow life, preferably far far away from his heroic fellow summonees. His “useless” skills turn out to be incredibly useful, so he quickly makes powerful friends. The only refreshing thing is that he remains completely helpless in a fight, and shows no signs of gaining combat power by making a contract with GodWolf.

No goddess harem yet, just a dog that will eat him out of house and home. I’d drop it now, but if they promise to keep the genki tanned adventurer girl on-screen frequently, I could watch some more.

Verdict: maybe one more

Bipolar Princess And Her Perfect Girlfriend episode 2

The OP advertises a yuri romance, or at least a really-close-friends partnership. Then, while getting chastised by the king for kidnapping Our Genius Sorceress (who is the prime minister’s daughter), Our Wacky Princess is forcefully reminded that she once insisted that she had no intention of marrying a man and would prefer to fall in love with a woman.

King Daddy completely loses control of himself and the situation, but Prime Minister Daddy is open to the idea of his daughter becoming Queen by marrying the Princess instead of the Prince. I’m really starting to wonder if she was a boy before getting isekai’d. That would fit with current trends.

It veers back and forth between manic episodes and cuddly moments, with exposition being delivered by the overdressed underexpressive hot maid. No idea where it’s going to end up.

Verdict: yes for now

Bofuri 2

I honestly wasn’t sure if I was watching the first episode of the second season or an unreleased Christmas OVA. It uses the first-season OP and a new ED with a “2” in it (presumably next week’s OP), and just drops you into the world as if it hadn’t been nearly three years since season one, basically following Team Maple around as they each do their own thing.

Verdict: yes for now

(in fact, it pre-aired in Japan the week before Christmas, so it’s a dessert topping and a floor wax)

Spydol Class episode 2

In which Team Loser becomes Team Winner without even a training montage, and the rest of the episode is spent in flashbacks, voiceovers, and a completely painless Mission Impossible infiltration of the country where The Suicide Mission takes place.

Also two separate shower scenes of the guy, while the girls stay fully dressed at all times. Boo.

Verdict: maybe one more

(this is the kind of spycraft I want to see more of)

Minecraft, Hoe! episode 2

Slow Farming Life becomes a lot less tedious when a friendly giant spider moves in and offers to make fabric and tailored clothing in exchange for raw potatoes, and especially when a part-time-loli vampire waifu shows up. Still an awful lot of farming-sim internal monologing, though.

Hopefully the next girl to arrive will explain how to find salt; if Our Magic-Tool Hero weren’t blessed by the gods, he’d have already died of malnutrition and flavorless boiled food. He should hook up with online-shopping dude and swap fresh produce for salt and spices.

Verdict: sure, why not; more haremettes are on the way, and the shy little-big bloodsucker’s a cutie

(in this universe, it’s Clara’s tomatoes that are the perfect size…)

Ars Beastia episode 2

I could do without the excessive exposition and the crystal-eating, mustache-twirling villain who seems to be from another kind of show, but Our Lethal Loli is adorable, and the OP promises they’ll be adding a scantily-clad busty bunnygirl soon.

Best moment: Our World-Weary Paladin informs Our Impressionable SuperLoli that they’re going to need to do the WonderTwins thing again to save the day, and she leans in for the kissing part, only to be disappointed when he tells her that was a one-time contractual obligation.

Verdict: “show me the bunny!”

(unrelated shrine bunny is unrelated)

NieR episode 2

In which WALL-E has a posse, humanity still breeds hot chicks, humanity also builds hot clumsy twin redhead support androids, and Our Panty Fighter arrives in time to save the day. Unless you’re WALL-E.

Verdict: hoping for a hot-springs episode

(most of the fanart of 2B that’s not explicitly marked explicit is still explicit)

Bonus android assembly error!

Slow Life With Twin Peaks episode 2

Our Non-Demonic Hero gets his first basic quest, and Our Deka-Melon Waifu insists on coming along to show him the ropes. And her panties, deliberately climbing up a cliff wearing a skirt while he’s standing at the bottom waiting his turn. It says something about his maturity that he’s just quietly watching, but it says something about his maturity that he watches the entire time without saying something. Just in case it wasn’t already obvious that she’s claimed him as Mr. Right, she drops hints the size of her boobs throughout the episode, and her father clearly approves.

Then again, what we’ve seen of this sleepy village suggests that any guy with good teeth and two brain cells would be a real catch, no matter his age and origin. The only other adventurer has a chip on his shoulder the size of her boobs until he gets rescued from a giant poisonous snake by Our Super Adventure Time Hero. He’s still a jerk, but now a Hero-worshipping jerk.

Meanwhile, back at the Demon Lord’s army…

Say, remember how in McPharmacist & Waifu the hero party kicked him out only to discover that he handled all their scouting and logistics? And how in Beast Tamer the hero party kicked him out only to discover that he handled all their scouting and logistics? You’ll never believe this, but the Demon Generals are having serious troubles in their battle against the forces of Good because… they kicked out the guy who handled all their scouting and logistics.

I know, I was shocked, too.

Verdict: booooobs

(Clara’s apples would never work for this disguise…)

Isekai Gold Digger episode 2

It’s not until the ED that you get some evidence that Our Gold-Hungry Heroine is not, in fact, a little girl. Contrast with the scene where she’s sitting on the floor of a carriage with her knees up while wearing a micro-miniskirt and thigh-highs, and her modesty is preserved only by precise camera framing. This is a Hide Your Delicious Cake And Eat It Too scenario.

Anyway, GoldHunter realizes that the power she swiped from not-god doesn’t just let her move back and forth between the two worlds, but go anywhere she can clearly visualize. So she uses Google Street View to hop to South America, then uses her Comprehend Languages power to hire a mercenary company to sell her guns and teach her to use them. They also agree to launder gold coins from the other world and funnel them to her retirement account in Japan.

I give them full marks for the clear explanation of the four rules of gun safety, but a zero for neglecting the all-important “front sight focus” advice in pistol training. Seriously, she never even hit the paper in her first session.

Also a plus: she argues with her dead brother’s memory this time, not taking his word on economics or pacifism.

Verdict: worth a shot

(unrelated money-hungry elf is unrelated)

The Handyman Can! episode 2

Good news: the core cast is growing outside their tropes. Also, Our Handy Hero has a trap failure that I’d like to see more of, stripping the armor from Our Shy Warrior Maiden who I’d like to see more of. Also, the origin flashback for his skillset was blessedly brief.

Mixed news: the OP promises a quite large cast, most of them apparently one-shots that get dropped in between the short adventuring vignettes.

Verdict: a better slow-life isekai story than most of the ones that officially claim the title

(picture is completely unrelated but very cute)

Meanwhile...


Reminder: a server config that works when you test with a single client is not guaranteed to work when someone fires up 1,000 clients at once. Just sayin’. Also, nginx internals can be weird and hard to debug, especially when Production is on fire. Also also, Never Cut And Paste From Stack Overflow. 😁

Meanwhile, Down Under

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord To Australia. Too sexy to import on DVD/Bluray, but streaming the broadcast version is fine!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that boobs are involved. The kind with nipples.

Meanwhile, in FNlandia

FN has injected steroids into their popular 509 series, producing the FN 545 Tactical 18-shot .45 ACP with an optics mount, picatinny rail, and threaded barrel. I think that pretty soon handgun makers are going to have to start adding M-Lok rails at various angles so customers have a new way to tart up their guns so they can look more tacticool than the next guy while poking poorly-grouped holes in paper targets at a suburban pistol range.

On the bright side, I didn’t like their old FNX-45 model at all. I do wonder how long it will be before the new one (and its 22-shot 10mm sibling) is out on shelves, though. I still haven’t seen the new High Power anywhere, and the Five-seveN Mk3 is pretty scarce, too.

Jan. 16 update

To my surprise, guns.com has both the 545 and 510 in stock already, in both Basic Black and Coyote Ugly.

Meanwhile, e.map is still not a function

(sorry, Pete)

Unrelated, every time I see shit like this…

…I realize that the world is doomed.

Dear Apple,


Bricking my iPad Mini during a software update does not inspire confidence. I eventually got it to reset to factory settings and restore from a backup (by rebooting my Mac and swapping cables and changing ports and force-rebooting the iPad several times), but that only worked because I’m absolutely paranoid about running a manual backup before any of your QAless updates, and it still took most of a day and lost data and login credentials from a lot of apps (iOS backups ignore a whole lot of app data).

What really annoys me is that the same port/cable/Mac combination was successfully able to back up and sync two iPhones and an iPad right before the upgrade failed.

Naturally, reloading from the backup somehow reset all my iCloud and sharing options to Maximum Nonsense and set up Apple Pay on one of my credit cards.

Old Apple: “how can we make this feature usable by people who don’t know anything about computers?”

New Apple: “how can we monetize this pixel?”

Home update!

Good news: my new range hood has arrived at the contractor.

Bad news: they'll install it two weeks from now.

Meanwhile, the landscapers are coming by every non-rainy day and making progress.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”