October 2019

Ecchi-na no wa ikenai to omoimasu!


“If I were going to write an isekai series…”

“Transported Into A Fantasy H-Game As The Comic-Relief Sidekick, I Keep Getting Kidnapped By Villains And Molested By Their Kinky Minions, Only To Be Rescued By The Hero Just As They Get To The Good Part”

I thought about designing another book cover to go with this title, but most of the potentially-appropriate art on Pixiv is a little too explicit, and it would end up behind an NSFW tag anyway…

So, has anyone written an “accidentally transported from one isekai to another one in a different genre” series yet? Y’know, like the clumsy, busty elven priestess who gets adopted as the mascot of a squad of space marines.

I’ve got wood for your sheep…


After School Dice Club, in which cute girls do cute things with board games.

I think they’ve got me with this one

They had me at hel-lo!


The producers of “High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World” (crunchyroll) certainly know how to set the mood with the opening scene:

Interestingly, the official web site has a full English translation.

Unicode Is A Hate Crime!


Now that hysterical idiots have declared the “OK” hand gesture a symbol of hatred and white supremacy (seriously, what do these imbeciles smoke?), the only rational response is to take away their computers, tablets, and smartphones, because they can be used to inflict imaginary pain and anguish on other idiots.

After all, if you ban 👌, only outlaws will have 👌.

The depth of my concern for this nonsense is best expressed as:

🎻 🎶ain’t that a shame🎶

(and if you can’t read this, clearly the fascists have already won!)

3D cheesecake 23


Cheesecake is healthcare. Cheesecake is a right. (classical reference)

more...

There’s gotta be a pony in there somewhere!


New anime series I’m going to give a shot:

  • After School Dice Club (funimation): three high school girls play European board and card games. Ep 1: Marrakech. Highlight: class rep girl sports red half-rims.

  • Ascendance Of A Bookworm (crunchyroll): reborn as an adorable moppet in a world without books, Our Heroine starts making them herself. Ep 1: creepy wizard uses drugs and magic to discover the secret origin of the adorable moppet.

  • Azur Lane (funimation): a bountiful harvest of bountiful shipgirls. Ep 1: 95 seconds of blah-blah before they even show a girl, then all of them at once in the OP. Really feels like it’s only for people who already know a lot more about the game than the 95-second explanation they just gave, and have a large checklist of girls who must appear. I’ll give it at least until Belfast shows up. Quote: “war, war never changes”, sigh.

  • BlackFox (crunchyroll): masked ninja girl battles the forces of evil in a future world, with a series logo that looks suspiciously like a Grendel mask. Ep 0: origin story, in which Our Hero is briefly introduced as an adorable ninja moppet, only to grow up offscreen and come home just in time to experience a tragic loss that leads her to swear revenge on two creepy guys.
       No, wait, this isn’t a series at all, and the “preview episode” I watched earlier this week is no longer available. It’s been replaced by a 90-minute movie.

  • Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life? (crunchyroll, but not up yet): during her reincarnation into another world, Our Heroine wishes to be average, but didn’t specify average what. Most promising element: series composition by the same guy who handled Endro!.

  • High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World (crunchyroll): seven seriously-overspecced teenagers who more-or-less run modern Japan crashland in a fantasy world and proceed to take over. Ep 1: four minutes of blah-blah about how awesome each one is, followed by what’s sure to be only the first of many opportunities to show off their mad skillz. They opened with two pairs of giant boobs, though, so it can’t be all bad…

Saturday Update

Gave Cautious Hero: The Hero is Overpowered But Overly Cautious (funimation) a shot. The OP song was so bad I skipped over the credits, which is never a good sign. The in-your-face trope-awareness and self-conscious wackiness was… discouraging, to put it kindly. It would have been less awkward to have signs popping up that read “laugh now”.

Looks like Average starts Monday.

Configuring a static IP in %pre


When building out a new kickstart server for CentOS 7.x/8, I vigorously ignored the cruft that had built up in the old one and started over. One useful improvement is handling the basic network configuration properly:

%pre --log=/tmp/pre.log --interpreter=/usr/bin/bash
DNS=10.201.0.2,10.201.0.3
IFACE=$(ip -4 -o a | awk '/scope global/{print $2}')
IPADDR=$(ip -4 -o a | awk '/scope global/{print $4}')
declare $(ipcalc $IPADDR -h -m -n)
cat << EOF > /tmp/network.cfg
network --onboot yes --device $IFACE --bootproto static --noipv6 --onboot=on --activate --nameserver=$DNS --hostname=$HOSTNAME --ip=${IPADDR%%/*} --netmask=$NETMASK --gateway=${NETWORK%%.0}.1
EOF
%end

%include /tmp/network.cfg

We use TXT records in DNS to automagically set static DHCP leases and PXE config files, so that all we need for an unattended install of a new server is the MAC address of the first NIC. This little snippet tells Anaconda to hardcode that IP config so the server doesn’t depend on DHCP after the install is done. This has saved our bacon many times after power outages, because if your DHCP server doesn’t come back quickly (or at all), dhclient eventually gives up, and then you have to touch everything by hand to get them back online.

To get the base install down to something simple, quick, and easy to secure (~380 RPMs, minimal network services), I dusted off the Perl script I wrote back in 2009 that does dependency analysis based on the repodata files comps.xml and primary.sqlite. Still works pretty well, actually.

I deeply regret that we had to bite the bullet and start using a systemd-based release. CentOS 6.x was just getting too long in the tooth for functionality, and then one day we suddenly needed to ship a new DNS/DHCP/NTP/mail server to a new office, and the only available hardware was a NUC too new to run 6.10. My feelings about systemd can be summed up with this Ace Ventura clip.

Dear Amazon,


The two packages I expected today arrived as scheduled. The third, unexpected, quite heavy package contained items I didn’t order, wouldn’t order, and according to your web site, are not associated with my account at all, despite having an Amazon-generated shipping label with my name on it.

All three came from the same fulfillment center in North Las Vegas. Is this an off-by-one error, where you’re printing an extra label that then gets slapped onto the next package in line?

In any case, somebody out there is probably wondering where their Fancy Feast cat food and Body Armor sports drinks are…

Meme endgame


Well, I suppose there are worse ways for this story to end…

The Ghostess With The Mostest


I missed Yuuna And The Haunted Hot Springs when it aired. An assortment of screenshots and short video clips convinced me to give it a shot, and I found it a perfectly delightful harem comedy. Sadly, there’s no US Bluray release, and Crunchyroll has the steam-and-lightbar-censored broadcast version, and they don’t have the 3 uncensored OVA episodes, so off to the torrents we go!

(NSFW after the jump)

more...

Pixiv: serious, formidable, bouyant


And by that I mean Serious Sirius and Formidable from Azur Lane, equipped with rather remarkable flotation devices. Like most warships, they often find themselves exposed, even with allies to wash, er, watch their backs.

Formidable’s standard outfit made it a bit challenging to find pics that didn’t need to go behind the NSFW tag, even after relaxing my usual rules a bit. Not that Sirius was easy.

more...

Unicode Is A Hate Crime 2!


This is so trivial and stupid that I’d usually call it a nano-aggression or pico-aggression, but given the subject is combining characters in typography, I’m going to have to label it a pica-aggression.

Worst part is the replies take this bullshit seriously.

I can’t wait to see the Unicode folks cave to this nonsense and create a combinatorial explosion of directly-mapped emoji including all possible jendyr/raes/idenchy, to be immediately followed by complaints that the hex code for transbrown questioning dragonkin herm is proof of bigotry because it’s numerically higher than cishetyelloman.

Teach them to click ‘Ok’…


Gosh, what’s the downside to constantly popping up “do you really want to do this?” boxes?

Tyler Hall explains:

​…and that’s why I switched to The Spice House


Right after the 2016 election, the owner of Penzey’s went Full Batshit in his newsletter, going so far as to say he didn’t want the business of anyone who didn’t demand that Trump be removed from office. So I stopped being his customer and switched to a company that sells spices rather than hate, The Spice House.

Three years later, the deranged dipshit’s still at it, buying ads demanding impeachment.

As the Bee put it:

Survey Finds More People Would Support Impeachment If They Knew What Crime Trump Was Supposed To Have Committed

Traditional Japanese Flavors


What saké should be paired with Miku-flavored Pringles?

Discount braiding machine


According to the reviews, it’s cheap-as-in-shoddy, but I thought it was amusing to see a hand-cranked braiding machine designed to make 8 or 12-strand Kongō-gumi, marketed to tween girls for friendship bracelets. Based on how dusty the kits are that I see in stores, there’s not a big market for (literally) cranking them out by the dozen.

Switch-ing


Been a bit distracted from my usual pursuits by the acquisition of a Nintendo Switch (2nd-gen model with increased battery life, not the Lite). Right now I’m mostly alternating between Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Cat Quest, with occasional excursions into a few other purchased and downloaded games.

My token JRPG is Tales of Vesperia, which was on sale on the Nintendo store; typical slooooooow start, sadly has save points so you can’t just save and exit to go do something else. Katamari Damacy REROLL was also on sale, which should be an amusing time-killer, and make use of the motion controls. Actual cartridge-based games besides BotW are Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, and Senran Kagura Peach Ball (busty ninja catgirl pinball-service).

I’ve played through all the Cat Quest content before, but it’s been a while, and the sequel comes out in a few weeks, so it was worth trying again on a new platform. I’m already up to the last battle in the main quest, and since it doesn’t look like they have achievements on the Switch, I should have all the interesting stuff wrapped up in time for the new one.

Having skipped all previous generations of Nintendo gaming (I used the DS Lite primarily as a Japanese study tool, and the Wii held my attention for about a week), I had no prior exposure to the Zelda franchise, so Breath Of The Wild has been an entirely new experience, marred by their decision to make all the weapons out of balsa and tinfoil. Combining a tiny inventory with weapons that shatter after maybe two encounters is jarring, and apparently new to the series. You can eventually expand your melee/bow/shield inventories to a reasonable size, and eventually find weapons that break slightly less often, but for the first N hours, it’s just annoying.

Seriously:

  1. woo-hoo, found a bow/sword that does more damage.

  2. no, wait, it broke in the middle of a fight and I have to use a crappy one again.

  3. …which just broke, leaving me scrambling to pick up whatever the last mob I killed dropped.

  4. that broke too? Time to run away while looking over my shoulder and dropping bombs. Which are free and unlimited and do good damage and are also better for mining, tree-cutting, apple-picking, crate-smashing, etc.

Adding insult to injury, some non-weapons take up slots in your melee inventory, forcing you to abandon really good weapons that you know you’ll need 15 minutes from now when the current ones break, just so you can light a fire, steer a boat, or apply kinetic energy to deserving boulders.

Probably will buy

  • Rabi-Ribi; cheesecake bunny-girl side-scrolling platformer. “Retro” resolution for gameplay, full-res for cutscenes and dialogue. (technically I already bought this one, but can’t play it until Thursday)

  • Cat Quest 2; really enjoyed the first one. (ditto, but can’t play until next Thursday)

  • Munchkin Quacked Quest; 1-4 player roguelike set in the well-known SJG franchise. Release date unknown.

Might buy

  • Gun Gun Pixies; tiny alien girls invade a women’s dorm to “study” them. And shoot them. For their own good.

Won’t buy

  • Skyrim; I’ve sunk hundreds of hours into this one on the PC, and doing it all again without mods doesn’t sound like any kind of fun.

  • Diablo III; loved the first one, thought the second was kind of meh, never touched the third one due to the cash-grab bullshit. Sounds like they’ve cleaned up their act a bit over the years and made it more game, less real-money auction house, but never matched the core gameplay that made the original so awesome (even with quirks like deleting your save file when DST started or when you changed your hostname).

  • Witcher 3; own it for PC based on claims of an open world, never really got far enough into it to get off the rails.

  • Civilization VI; III was best, IV was decent, I’m not sure I even own V, and VI was boring on the PC.

  • Pillars Of Eternity II; never finished the first one.

  • anything in the Mario franchise; they just don’t grab me.

  • any sports, Disney, racing, “exercise”, media-tie-in, Pokemon, dance, etc.

  • Jumanji; special will-not-buy for this movie tie-in game, because they made Ruby Roundhouse ugly in the trailer.

For want of a hyphen…


The person responsible is probably also a serial comma killer…

In other news, sugar daddies the world over were seen converging on Pratt, Kansas.

3D Cheesecake: girls gone goofy


The best part about photographing pretty girls in and out of their clothing is when they relax enough to get playful in front of the camera. In the later years, Playboy had a habit of cutting out any signs of personality that didn’t fit the image they wanted to project of a model, but back when they still had photographers and editors who knew what they were doing, a lot shone through.

One of the reasons I like Japanese glamour photography is that they like to show personality. The idol industry is pretty much driven by creating “characters” for them to play when working, usually based on exaggerating aspects of their real personalities.

That said, when it comes to goofing around in photos, it’s not enough to be dressed up by the Hello!Project costume designers…

more...

Zelda: Break of the Weapon


In order to make Breath of the Wild less painful, after finishing the first two zones I followed a detailed FAQ to locate all of the currency (“korok seeds”) needed to upgrade the number of weapons/shields I can carry in my inventory, then followed another set of instructions to reach the place(s) where you turn them in. I can now carry 15 melee weapons, 10 bows, and 8 shields, which reduces the chance that I’ll have to fall back to torches, tree branches, and skeleton arms when everything else breaks. I immediately fast-traveled back to the place where I found a bunch of brand-new Traveler’s Claymores stuck in the ground and hoovered them all up.

I’m low on bows at the moment, though, from having to shoot parasitic eyes off of a dragon in flight at the top of a mountain in the freezing cold. As one does. Sadly, there are no weapon shops, so to restock, I need to go out and find things to kill that shoot at me, then loot their corpses. Also, the shops won’t restock arrows because I have “enough”, so it’s a good thing you can usually scrounge a half-dozen or so after you kill something that shoots at you.

I should also learn some decent recipes for healing and buffs, and take pictures of a variety of loot for my new scanner.

Eventually I’ll make it back to the upgrade place and get a few more slots (4/5 melee, 3 bow, 12(!) shield). By then I should also have at least 4x the health and stamina, making it easier to hunt for korok seeds. (I’ll need 4x health in order to survive acquiring the best weapon in the game; best meaning “unbreakable and gets its own inventory slot”)

tcc tee-hee


How to convince Mac users to switch to Windows, courtesy of Jeff Johnson:

A good practical joke to play on someone running Catalina:

$ tccutil reset All

Just in case they didn’t suffer enough the first time

Dice, Bookworm, Azur, Average, Prodigy


[catching up after finishing off the main story in Cat Quest and surviving the run to Zora’s Domain in BotW…]

(cover of the next Average book)

After School Dice Club: Ep 2, Enter The Crush, with game Cockroach Poker. Really didn’t need a boy in my gamer-girls-doing-gaming-things show. Ep 3: Incan Gold subtracts the boy, adds two older girls, and actually has a plot twist.

Ascendance Of A Bookworm 2 & 3: after the first one, I ended up reading the first two light novels, and it’s tracking pretty closely. This seems to be a rare case where they realize they have good source material and are actively trying to use it well. No complaints.

Azur Lane: dropped; due in large part to the giant (tee-hee) cast, the story is incomprehensible, and the fan-service is being done better by fans on Pixiv.

Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life? Ep 1: “Ain’t no ‘Adele’ here!” I presume Mile’s first 2.x years in her new world will be told in convenient flashbacks. This is another case where I took a look at the light novels, and the anime team has jumped over several chapters and made some significant changes to what they’re using. It looks like the manga started in the same place as the novels, so this one has a whiff of trainwreck about it. Also, the novels quickly turn into girl-power-power-fantasy, with Mile not only being able to do anything while pretending to be “normal”, but also power-level her friends with a few quick tips. It gets old fast, even with her finally starting to figure out that she was sold a bill of goods by her reincarnation advisor.

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World : Ep 2, Enter The Loli Catgirl. Our Business-Hero proves his worth to the village skeptic, and acquires his future waifu. Side note: Business Hero’s voice sounded familiar, and while his DanMachi character Takemikazuchi doesn’t get a lot of lines in the anime, I hear him a lot in the DanMemo game.

Dear Amazon,


Your cat’s an asshole:

Speaking of cats, I haven’t had any hanging out on my porch for quite a while, but walking up to the house Friday night, I heard a series of loud, distressed-sounding meows coming from near my porch. I looked over and found a large, rather attractive kitty walking along the fence. To my surprise, he responded to my kissy noises by coming over to say hello, and I rewarded this behavior with a package of the leftover wet food from when I had regular visitors.

He was healthy, well-groomed, and wore a collar, so it wasn’t too surprising that he let me pet him. He hasn’t come back for skritches or handouts, so I’m guessing he’s a mostly-indoor cat who got away from his wranglers for a little while.

Was it just me…


…or did anyone else see the links for “Final Star Wars Trailer” and think, “oh thank goodness it’s over”.

Trimming the season


Dropped!

Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?. Episodes 2 and 3 confirm that this is a steaming pile. The problem isn’t that it’s a poor adaptation (although it is); the problem is that they think it’s a comedy, and they don’t know how to write one of those.

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World. Let me be clear that the giant breasts were the only thing this show had going for it; episode 3 was so bad that their barely-delivered promise is no longer enough.

I’m willing to pretend that Business Hero’s takedown of Snidely Whiplash wasn’t suspiciously-contrived nonsense. I’m willing to play along with the genre clichés that are samurai girl, ninja reporter, and loli mad scientist. I’ll even give you Politics Hero With A Pistol, despite him being the most boring one in the group. But super-surgeon gal snapped my willing suspension of disbelief like a dry twig, and the wrap-up of the loli catgirl story combined with The Confrontation exposed what little story they have as an exercise in pointless plot twists. Seriously, I felt like watching an episode of Dokuro-chan to regain IQ points.

‘Fun’ with HSTS


There is nothing wrong with using good old-fashioned HTTP without encryption. There are situations where it is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and the protocol shouldn’t be blindly tagged with dire warnings about people kidnapping your dog, stealing your credit cards, and secretly replacing your spouse with Folger’s Crystals.

Browser vendors disagree, for reasons not-entirely-wholesome, so it’s been an ongoing struggle at the office to deal with people who file helpdesk tickets about broken SSL on sites that never had SSL to begin with, and don’t understand that their browser is silently rewriting URLs and hiding the evidence.

With recent browser releases, it got to the point where we had to put SSL reverse proxies in front of a bunch of internal web sites just to shut up the whining. This was non-trivial, and left a number of sites only partially functional for most of a day (because of course this was so important that it couldn’t be tested, QA’d, or released on a weekend). Because once a site gets “upgraded” to HTTPS, the browser responds to any HTTP links like CNN covering a Trump rally.

That was Tuesday. Wednesday night, I was wandering through the desert on a sand-seal with no name, and out of the corner of my eye I saw my phone sync up about a dozen emails, all complaining about this new HSTS thingie (aka “SSL Bondage”).

Someone urgently needed access to a site that was rejecting SSL connections, so he CC’d a half-dozen people along with the helpdesk email address. Several of them responded to all, creating additional tickets. Several people responded to the responses.

When I’d finished merging the 10 duplicate tickets, my one-line response was “correct. we haven’t added HTTPS to that site yet”.

News filters


What kind of news stories do you automatically ignore? Here’s a few random filters of mine:

  • anything violating the 72-hour rule on a breaking story by jumping to conclusions about what happened based on reporter bias and/or third-hand rumors (such as the almost-never-true “second shooter”).

  • obviously-staged “hate crimes”. To a first approximation, all hate crimes are faked.

  • breathless reports of new “scientific” discoveries.

  • any headline that includes an obvious stop word, such as: trigger, intersectional, cis, trans, appropriation, diversity, woke, patriarchy, fascist, anti-fascist, vegan, problematic, ally, undocumented, structural, inclusive, identity, nazi, dogwhistle, toxic, microaggression, ableist, diversity, *-phobia, etc; unless it’s the Bee, of course…

  • any headline mentioning Edward Snowden that doesn’t prefix his name with the words “Russian spy”.

“This time for sure!”


I’m starting to feel a little sorry for Hillary Clinton, as she goes Tom Cruise Crazy in front of the cameras, revealing that America —and the world— dodged a huge bullet in 2016. Seriously, she damn near killed herself during the campaign, despite never visiting the states she needed to win, and her current public mental breakdown is right up there with being chucked into a van like a sack of potatoes.

I’m not wasting any pity on the In Peaches Mentos clowns, though, who have long since gone full Bullwinkle.

Never go full Bullwinkle.

Power and Light!


Ah, California, where wind power and electric cars are the future, and wind-induced power outages are the present.

(classical reference)

New porch cat: Yan-nyan


The porch cat who showed up last week has been visiting more regularly, ambushing me when I get home or meowing at my door when I wake up, responding affectionately to petting and food. I was starting to call him Mooch, until this afternoon.

He was sunning himself in the yard when I went out to pick up the mail, ran up and rubbed against me and begged to be petted, then tried to follow me indoors. So I fed him and petted him.

A bit later, I went out to get something from the car, and he started up the chorus again, clearly looking for affection since he hadn’t finished all the food yet. In the time it took me to open up a cushion so I’d have a clean place to sit, he’d rubbed up against my legs and hands, and jumped up on the little side table to rub against my arms.

I sat down, and he eagerly crawled into my lap and leaned into the skritching and petting. Then he nipped at my hand. He continued purring and rubbing against me as I moved my hand away from his head and resumed doing the things he clearly appreciated (this would sound less dirty with a catgirl…). Then he nipped at my hand again. And again.

I wasn’t holding him in my lap, and he gave no signs of wanting to leave. After each nip, he’d let go and resume cuddling. He clearly wanted me to continue supplying affection, and he clearly wanted to bite my hand.

The next time he did it, his teeth broke the skin on the back of my hand, just enough to draw blood. For that he got the back of my other hand (lightly!), but still sat there wanting cuddles, like nothing was wrong. So I smacked him again to get him out of my lap, took the food dish away, and went inside.

He tried to follow me in, meowing for more attention.

Psycho kitty, I dub thee Yan-nyan.

(dramatization featuring Asuka Kishi)

Pixiv Champloo 9


We’ve secretly replaced our shipgirls with Folgers Crystals. Let’s see if the recommendation engine notices.

more...

Isekai Iteration


I should do this one for NaNoWriMo:

“Reincarnated In Another World As The Goddess Of Reincarnation, I Reincarnate People In Other Worlds As Reincarnation Gods”

On a personal note, I was surprised to wake up and still have electricity, as PG&E’s Five Year Plan of rolling blackouts merrily continues.

California Priorities


Parked in front of the building today, and saw this bit of virtue signaling on the construction site across the street. Because smoking is the real hazard.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake


Yuu has been posting on Pixiv for 9 years now, and has improved dramatically from those early sketches.

Here’s a little something to warm your cockles. If you have cockles, anyway; they can warm something else if you like, I don’t judge.

more...

Well, that was unexpected…


At least it would be unexpected anywhere outside of California, anyway. My power just blipped at home, like they quickly cut over from A to B somewhere along the line, the electrical equivalent of a California Rolling Stop. The side effect of this is that all the Philips Hue bulbs in the house came on at full brightness, and I couldn’t turn them back off until the hub booted up and reconnected to everything.

The Internet came back right away, at least, since I have my cable modem, router, and NAS all on UPS. And I’ve never lost anything else in the house to an outage, which I always attribute to the whole-house surge protector (which could well be a placebo, but I certainly used to lose things in outages, and I’ve got a lot more stuff plugged in these days…).

In other news, I really, really hope that the neighborhood kids show up in force for trick-or-treat tonight. Last year’s turnout was very disappointing, especially compared to the 130+ kids I had the year before.

Final Total

107 munchkins of assorted sizes. I went through about 65 pounds of candy, since it started off slow and I gave out extra-large handfuls (especially to the pretty girls; I am weak). Two more kids and I’d have had to break into the reserves (four boxes of full-sized bars and a big bag of Hi-Chew). So I’ve got maybe 10 pounds left over, which is much, much better than last year’s debacle.

Final Final Total

2 more teens showed up at 8:55 pm, so I gave them each a handful of the full-size bars.