March 2017

Moderation in all things, porn edition

Lots of people are linking to the latest “wacky Japan” story, about a man who died smothered under his six-ton hoard of dirty magazines. The Daily Mail version doesn’t give any source, but an image search made it possible to trace it back to the Japanese tabloid Nikkan Spa.

So, take this cautionary tale with a grain of salt, or at least a box of tissues.

Cheesecake Champloo 3: Teh Sexy

To celebrate the arrival of a complete archive of Steven’s self-hosted Chizumatic web site, courtesy of his brother, I’m loosening the rules a bit and posting some images that were a bit over the top for my usual “mostly-cheerful cheesecake” posts. NSFW after the jump. [he forgot to include the top-level USS Clueless site directories, but he just went on what sounds like a badly-needed vacation, so I’ll wait a week or two before pursuing that]

[Update: I’ve got a test copy of the Chizumatic site running under Nginx, and it looks fully functional, with none of the dead links the version has; the top rotation doesn’t rotate, of course, but that was a cron job before he came up with his Flash app. I think all we need to do is merge the USS Clueless copy from with this and get some embedded links cleaned up, and it can be fully restored and hosted somewhere.]

[Update: I think I’ve successfully merged the two together with everything intact except links to the Ultimate Bulletin Board install he stopped using in 7/2002. managed to save static copies of some discussion threads that Steven linked directly from the blog, but not the bulk of it. UBB apparently didn’t have a backing database, so if Steven’s brother finds it and sends another care package, it should be fairly easy to recreate. That might take a while, because he wants to be sure that nothing personal or private is released.

When will it be public? Above my pay grade. I think Pixy will give it a permanent home in The Munuvian Empire when he gets a chance. He has access to the data I’ve been using, and I just uploaded a compressed tarball of the merged sites.]

[Monday morning update: why, yes, I am a bit OCD. With a little bit of Perl regexp abuse, I got the existing UBB links to display correctly.]


Demi-chan Fever

I will be quite impressed if a cosplayer manages to pull off a decent Kyoko:

Demi-chan Kyoko Machi


Also, want:

Cheesecake: book

You know what goes well with books? Damn near anything! I could have narrowed down this category with any of a dozen tags, and still had plenty of images to choose from. Instead, I started hitting every Nth page and used the extras to restock my leftover folder for future chanpurū.

Of course, no book collection would be complete without Yomiko Readman:


Demi-chans want less filler

Also, while the service was pleasing to the eye, I’d have preferred that it involve the adult female.

Nate Silver on global warming consensus...

"That's because a position that seems to have deep backing from the evidence may really just be a reflection from the echo chamber. You should be looking toward how much evidence there is for a particular position as opposed to how many people hold that position: Having 20 independent pieces of evidence that mostly point in the same direction might indeed reflect a powerful consensus, while having 20 like-minded people citing the same warmed-over evidence is much less powerful."

Oh, wait, my mistake, he was talking about liberal media bias. :-)

A good head off her shoulders

Kyoko Machi

(via, and yes the game is available in the US)

R.I.P Bill Arvola

Well, shit, lost another one. Haven’t seen Bill in probably fifteen years, but he was a good guy.

Konosuba 2 ends

First season was fun fluff. Special episode was crap. Second season was mostly the latter with brief moments of the former. Zero rewatch value; I’ve already forgotten almost everything that happened. From what I know of the light novels, the problem was definitely not running out of content.

In unrelated news, I saw Logan over the weekend. Good use of the material, and some excellent performances, but I wonder how many people would want to see it more than once. Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen must have had on-set therapists to keep their vocal cords from scarring; half their lines in the script must be [snarl], [growl], [howl], [grunt], [scream], [inarticulate rage].

Cheesecake: dancing


Confluence is a pig

Someone got a wild hair to move everything to Confluence (and Jira) at work. Much like the move to Git, this seems to be largely because they’re hiring people who don’t know how to work with anything else and refuse to learn.

It’s a Java app, and the minimum heap size they require is 1 GB. This turns out to be barely enough to handle maybe three users and a tiny handful of pages, because the app has now locked up completely twice due to garbage collection. I doubt we have more than 20 MB of data in the damn thing so far, so this is just really badly written.

Demi-chans want another cour

This week’s episode followed up on the conflict with the vice-principal, ending with a scene that felt very much like a season-ender. Fortunately, it wasn’t; I can’t recall the last time I felt honest relief that an anime series was not over.

Demi chan maid service

[Update: confirmed 12 episodes; I checked two different networks, and that’s the last listing they have. Since book 5 of the manga doesn’t come out for another month, they probably need to wait a season or two for more material. Two anthology comics just came out, with one of them marked “official”, but probably not useful for continuing the story.

In unrelated news, while browsing network schedules I discovered that the adventure-girls spinoff of DanMachi has a series starting in April. Apart from some brief cameos by Bell, this is focused entirely on the women of Loki Familia, dealing with events that overlap with the main series. And I completely missed the OVA that came out in December.]

Cheesecake: sailor hat

I thought that focusing on sailor hats might produce a fairly diverse collection, with relatively few schoolgirls in sailor suits. Well, the second part mostly worked, but as far as diversity goes, 90% of the pictures were of one chick with an anchor, and most of the rest were loli ship-girls. Fortunately, not all ships lack buoyancy, and there were some other franchises represented.

In other news, Gelbooru has stepped up their advertising, now detecting if you have either an ad-blocker running or have disabled Javascript, and occasionally loading the wrong image or an embedded video. Given that they take malware-laden ads, I’m definitely not turning on Javascript or letting them run any plugins, so I may have to switch cheesecake providers if this source dries up.


Land of Remakes

New Kino’s Journey series coming, with the voice of Madoka as Kino. They also just launched a manga adaptation, so apparently the franchise is still pretty healthy.

In other anime news, DanMachi is getting a deluxe Bluray US release in a few weeks, complete with dub and ribbon. Cute, but I’m thinking $80 is a bit steep. (standard BD release half that price available next week)

This will not end well...


Speaking of healthy franchises...

Not only does the DanMachi Sword Oratoria spinoff anime start in a few weeks, but there’s another spinoff series starting, Familia Chronicle, in both light novel and manga formats.

The first volume focuses on the enigmatic Ryū, and to make sure everyone takes notice, her bustline is considerably more impressive than in the anime. Apparently the Protagonist package includes upgrades.

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)

No barnacles here!

Ahiru-taichou performs a thorough inspection to ensure that the Yuudachi is sea-worthy… (NSFW)


Demi-chans can come back and visit any time

As expected, they dodged the usual solution. It is a pool episode with the girls in swimsuits, but it’s not a fan-service filler afterthought.

With a song in her heart...

Bounty Hunting in Endless Sky

The pirates you’re hunting can be three systems away from the planet where you got the mission, not two. And it appears their location is pre-generated and they don’t move, so if you never enter the correct system, you’ll never find them. This also means that if you load up on bounty missions, the odds that you’ll run into multiple pirate fleets simultaneously goes way up. When that happens in a system that already has a high chance of random pirates, like Shaula, even a fleet of Shield Beetles can be overwhelmed unless you draw them far, far away from the planet and the incoming hyperspace routes. (pro tip: the “hold position” key can be applied to single ships by selecting them, not just your entire fleet)

[Mac version 0.9.6, based on a small Perl script that does a crude scan of the save file; haven’t figured out how they mark missions as completed yet, though]

The game is free, fun, and desperately in need of a nicely-designed PDF with all the obscure keyboard shortcuts (scattered documentation here, here, and here). You can also get it on Steam for convenience (no DRM applied, because GPLv3).

It’s moddable, replayable, and regularly updated, and doesn’t chew up a lot of resources when paused, so you can easily hop in for a few quick turns while waiting for other tasks to complete. It auto-saves every time you land, and it’s quite stable.

Speaking of free games on Steam, the ancient MMO Anarchy Online showed up there recently. They’ve been trying to get me to come back for about 15 years, and this time I decided to give it a shot. I managed a successful password reset on my old account and created a new character (the old ones were still there but marked “inactive”), and got the dubious pleasure of remembering what it was like before MMOs settled on some basic user interface conventions. I could adjust to the low-res models and textures, but the controls are another story.

Samsung T3 500GB USB3 SSD

My work MacBook Pro (mid-2014 edition) only has 512GB of storage. I had tried to order it fully loaded, but somebody upstream fainted from shock, despite the fact that my previous machine was nearly 8 years old.

I’ve got to do a lot of tinkering with VMware and Docker images for working out the IT infrastructure in our new building, and there’s just not enough space for it all on the internal drive. And since Apple solders everything to the motherboard these days, there’s no way to upgrade without replacing the machine. Browsing for small external SSDs, the Samsung T3 seems to be well-rated.

The only problem I can report so far is that it draws more power than the left USB3 port on my Mac can reliably supply. Moving it to the right port got rid of the eject/remount every 2-3 minutes. I’m not using their encryption, because I don’t need it; also, there are some reports of the supplied Mac software being flaky, and I had a few bad experiences with the way the equivalent WD driver works.

By the way, if you use Docker on a Mac, it will graduallyrapidly fill your disk unless you periodically rebuild the Docker.qcow2 file (works best if you supply the names of the images you don’t want deleted). A fix is reported to be in the works.

Taking away their 'W'

A common tactic of activists opposed to US military engagement (often falsely mislabeled as ‘anti-war’) is to libellabel their opponents ‘chickenhawks’, insisting that if they’re not personally going over to fight, they lack the courage of their convictions.

So, a ‘social justice’ activist who wants the government to forcibly silence their opponents surely can’t be called a ‘warrior’. ‘Chickenhawk’ has a nice cognitive dissonance to it, don’t you think? I mean, if you’re not going to personally put a gun to my head to keep me from disagreeing with you (a proposition sure to end in prison or morgue time), how dare you demand that someone else do it for you?

Mental substitution of other C-words is acceptable, of course.


Where everybody knows your namedrink

Once upon a time when I shared a house with Doug and Rory, we were all in the habit of drinking one specific flavor of Arizona Iced Tea. Naturally, whenever we went to the grocery, we cleaned them out. Over time, the store we frequented starting stocking more of that flavor, and since there were three of us, we still cleaned them out.

Finally, after several months of this, I happened to be there late at night when only the restocking crew was working, and as I filled the conveyor belt with the distinctive oversized cans, the cashier looked at me and said, “You! You’re the one!”.

Fast-forward 20+ years, and these days my bulk buy is Splenda-sweetened Grapefruit-flavor Refreshe Ice. There are half a dozen different private labels for this bubbly-fruit-water, and I don’t know who actually makes it, but the Safeway and CVS brands seem to taste better than the others.

Naturally, I clean them out. For a while, they responded by upping the stock, but I can’t take credit for the peak period when they had dozens of bottles at the end of multiple rows and stocked it in single-flavor cases (with the Morgan Hill store sometimes having half a dozen cases just inside the front door, which I typically bought two of).

These days, the stock has died down to a more sustainable level, but the stores I frequent generally have twice as much of the Grapefruit as the other flavors.

So it should come as no surprise when on a recent midnight visit to the nearest Safeway (technically, 11:45PM, and a no-prize to someone who correctly guesses why I deliberately arrive at that time), the kid restocking the soft-drink section said, “Oh, hey, I just put some out for you.”

He then offered to see if he could get them by the case again…

How not to sell a book to me

I’ve been a big fan of Patricia McKillip’s stories since the ’70s, and I’ve been generally pleased to see her stuff come back into print.

But I’m not going to pay premium prices for reprints, and even more for a DRM’d ebook, so “fuck you, Random Penguin”.

Fuck you, Random Penguin

Neko Atsume Live

Ever since I first got the back yard landscaped with lots of plants and ground cover, it’s been a popular daytime hangout for the neighborhood cats. After I had the front porch extended and put some chairs out there, I discovered a group of young cats who liked that even better than the back yard.

Some of them still come by occasionally, and I’ve gotten used to the sound of disappearing cats when I open the front door.

Recently I decided to install some cameras outside the house, mostly to watch for package deliveries and solicitors, but also to keep track of porch cats. I went with the Arlo Pro kit based on a friend’s recommendation (actually, he has the older Arlo; I went with the Pro because it adds local USB storage). Good hardware, easy set up, usually-quick notification of events (~5 seconds), iOS app is a little flaky and sometimes falsely claims that my system is offline. I like it enough that I’m probably going to add some more of the first-gen cameras for the garage and rear entrances after I’ve had it for a month or two.

To reliably detect cats, I had to set the porch cam to the highest sensitivity, which unfortunately generates occasional false positives due to wind hitting my bamboo, but I’ve caught two of them so far, one of whom I hadn’t seen before.

Orange cat has been a regular daytime visitor since he was half-grown, and always sits in the left chair, which gets plenty of sun. He used to sit in the bamboo pots, but gave that up after I added them to the drip system:

New cat comes mostly at night, always sits on the right chair, and vanishes instantly when I open the door. I’ve got some low-res night-vision shots of him, but the best picture I’ve managed so far was a quick out-of-focus snap through two panes of glass as he was making his escape through the back yard.

Clearly I need to hide a camera in the bamboo, so I can get close-up shots with better focus.

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