April 2021

3D cheesecake champloo


This lack of theme brought to you by tripped breakers.

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Dear Adobe,


The experience of being suddenly forced to shutdown Lightroom in the middle of an editing session because you decided that I wasn’t logged into your Clown service any more is sub-optimal. Also a pretty good way to encourage customers to stop paying you a monthly fee and look elsewhere for software.

Just sayin’…

Urakata: 2.4


The mall was… actually kind of awesome. I’d forgotten that Fifties shopping centers could be bright, colorful destinations, not just dreary rows of nearly-identical shops. I think we were a little early for the sort that were fully enclosed, but it was a nice day, and the light breeze carried off the worst of the cigarette smoke. The place was pretty upscale, with covered walkways, landscaping and fountains, and plenty of kids off the leash inventing their own fun. All clean-cut and wholesome, but I suspected the teens had some quiet spots for stolen kisses and quick hand-jobs. If they didn’t, I’d be happy to point out a few.

Kit knew the place inside-out and pulled me along by the hand, which pulled Sally along by my hand. I found myself laughing with them, which was a new experience for me. We were quickly loaded down with brightly-colored shopping bags and excess calories; I feared Sally’s cooking had ruined my tastes forever.

Interdimensional sophisticate that I was, I hadn’t noticed that our happy laughing mall crowd was exclusively white until Kit practically ran over a well-turned-out black woman as she rounded a corner.

Or was it “colored”, still? Honestly, it wasn’t something I’d kept much track of; there were plenty of worlds where pale redheads were hated and feared, after all, which was not my fault, but I was spared further introspection by Kit’s sudden retreat behind me.

Apparently dealing with the unknown was my job. “I’m sorry, miss, we weren’t looking where we were going. Are you all right?”

“Oh, just fine, thank you, dear. I’m sure I was at least as much at fault.” She was young, with a strikingly pretty face, a warm smile, and well-polished manners that pretended Kit’s discomfort didn’t exist. She was also, it turned out, an acquaintance of Dear Aunt Sally’s.

Completely unrelated…

Gevalia has updated the branding of the core ingredient in my daily liquid pie. Hopefully this means Amazon and others will start stocking it at non-scalper prices again soon. Fortunately I have time to find out, after a recent stop at Target increased my stash to 102 days worth.

I’ve also been tinkering with using the Barista Recipe Maker froth-as-a-service device to replicate the Gevalia froth packets, and tentatively, 17 grams of dry whole milk plus 4 grams of dutch-process cocoa provides a decent approximation, and mixed with half the coffee can be whipped into a nice hot lather using the FAAS’ “latte macchiato” or “hot chocolate” settings.

Speaking of chocolate flavor, I have to say that this 0-calorie syrup is surprisingly good, and mixes well in the FAAS.

Pixiv Champloo 15


The week’s been a bit hectic, so it’s shuffle-play to the rescue!

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Urakata: 2.5


Sally introduced her to us as Jemima Bobo, Jem for short. I was pretty sure she wasn’t in the pancake business, and I was certainly in no position to make fun of anyone’s name, but I was surprised to find that Kit didn’t react, either.

We found an out-of-the-way table where the two grown-ups could chat without scaring the horses, and Sally sent us off to fetch drinks. My partner-in-waitressing was happy for the excuse to leave, which puzzled me. “What’s up with you, Kit? You’re acting like you’ve seen a dark-but-extremely-friendly ghost.”

“It’s just, I’ve never actually seen a… colored person up close before, much less spoken to one. How did you do it so naturally?”

“Wow, if you were any whiter, you’d be Canadian. Relax, they’re just people, no better or worse than any other sort. Get to know this one, and you’ll never think about it again.”

She looked at me like I was handing down the wisdom of the ages, which was definitely a new experience for me. This day was turning out to be full of them.

By the time we returned with drinks for four, Kit had her shit together enough to hand Jem her coffee with a smile and a minimum of awkwardness. Good girl; I decided to keep her.

I didn’t know what they’d been up to without us, but while Sally and Jem were chatting politely like casual acquaintances, their body language screamed Very Close Friends. Had I guessed wrong about the reason Sally wasn’t interested in all the men sniffing after her? Was her weird secret sex toy a bicycle built for two?

I considered the logistics of cookies-and-cream adult sleepovers, and how Sally might try to explain it away to her sweet innocent ward, and the ironic hilarity sent hot cocoa up my nose. Napkins and hankies were quickly deployed to clean me up, adding further to my new-experience collection. I’d never been fussed over before. Fought over, of course, usually arranged by me, but this was… different. I kind of liked it.

Still, note to self: do not mix chocolate and sex. No, wait, do mix them, just don’t do one while imagining someone doing the other. Pretty sure that one’s commutative.

Fun Fact…

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The importance of expressions


Dear Glamour Photographer/Editor,

You want to know what it looks like when you publish a picture like this one? Fear.

There’s plenty of shots that show that Riri Nakayama was willingly participating in this photo shoot (NSFW! disable javascript!), but this isn’t one of them. It’s worse than the typical failed attempt at sultry that just looks angry or slightly ill; this one ended up all the way at “please don’t make me do this”.

Worlds’ End


Isekai right back at ya

“Reborn in another world that was uninspired and derivative, I got tired of winning every battle and used my OP ability to destroy it, and now I’ve been reborn in my original world as my grandfather, so to prevent a paradox that will destroy every universe everywhere, I’ve got to sleep with my own grandma, ewwww!”

DS9 would have been more fun…

…if Odo had used his hammy Chef Louis voice from The Little Mermaid.

Nice try, Twitter…

Urakata: 2.6


Mission accomplished and new mysteries unlocked, we parted from the delightful company of Miss Jemima “Jem” Bobo, loaded up the trunk with our loot, and planned our next move.

Sally’s thoughts were completely compatible with mine. “Why don’t you come home with us for supper, Kit? You could even spend the night.”

“Oh, I’d love to, Miss Sanders, but I think I should go straight home now. She… my stepmother will be quite concerned if I’m out after dark.” Sally didn’t need to feel the sudden squeeze of Kit’s hand to notice her distress.

“Well, then, let’s take you home and introduce ourselves, to assure your mother that you’ve been in good hands, and see how she feels about that sleepover!” Clever Sally cheerfully swept us into the back seat and asked Kit where she lived.

“By Oak and Ash.”

Sally and I both twitched at that, although it must have been for different reasons. Maybe it wasn’t as nice a neighborhood as ours.

If someone had accused me of being self-centered and egotistical, I’d have congratulated them on their ability to recognize basic laws of the universe. Mockingly, of course. I’d naturally assumed that the Powers had assigned me a friend, and it had never crossed my mind that Kit had her own reasons to seek me out, or her own agency, for that matter.

The mix of reluctance and fear on her face made me oddly homesick. For there, I mean, which wasn’t a very nice place, although admittedly some of that was just me. In any case, I could tell that there was at least one Mean Girl waiting at home for Kit, and I was itching for a fight. Not out of any mortal concern for a friend, of course; I was pretty sure I hadn’t gone native yet. No, this clearly fell under “hands off my stuff” rules. 99% sure. 95%-ish.

I whispered my question, though I was sure Sally was listening in. “Why don’t you want to go home, Kit? What are you afraid of?”

Her hand trembled in mine, and she looked down and away. “My wicked stepmother.”

Much revision coming up…

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3D cheesecake: white


For busy times, simple themes. First up, girls wearing something white. Where “wearing” is loosely interpreted in the NSFW section…

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WaifuSpider


Miku who?

I’ve noticed that when I like a picture of Hatsune Miku, it tends to be one of the ones where I have to read the caption or tags to realize it’s her.

Avenue Q

Are the characters in Avenue Q horrible people because they’re New Yorkers, or because they’re Liberals?

Also, has the show been destroyed by cancel culture yet? It’s chock full of -isms that are officially verboten in Our Modern Era.

Combatants Will Be Loud And Boring

I did not expect anything from the KonoSuba author’s first attempt at an isekai story, and I did not get anything. Except a lot of shouting, which the creators seem to think makes terrible dialogue funnier. Kind of like Archer, in that way.

Coma For Slime

Episode 1 of the 4-koma-based spinoff of The Adventures of SuperSlime delivered the one thing I required of it: a better look at the upgraded goblin girls of RimuruVille. Other than that, the attempt to paper over the seams between the vignettes made it nearly incoherent.

(technically not a trap!)

Revenge!

Cute dead girls doing cute dead things to rebuild their cute dead career. Surprisingly sober way to start things off, given the previous wackiness.

Tomorrow: The Return of SpiderSpider and The B Ark

They took a week off between cours. I almost didn’t notice.

(spider is unrelated)

Spider Dragons from across the room


The Spidershot Channel and the B Ark That Couldn’t

Kumoko: “Let me show you its features!”

B Ark: Oh, look, a new character whose only personality trait is that she’s the victim of racial discrimination. Why was she added to an already-uninteresting plotline?

(elf maid is unrelated)

Dragon Maid filler

The second season doesn’t start until July, but Crunchyroll has started running some new short-shorts.

The death of remote control

Logitech’s Harmony series were pretty much the last remotes standing, but now they’re gone. They’re apparently promising to keep the servers running indefinitely (because while the products remain functional, you need the servers to change your configuration), and keep supporting new components, but yeah, they’re just going to stop working one day. Pity, really, since there doesn’t seem to be an adequate replacement; Amazon’s FireTV will try to control connected components, but I’ve found it so limited and unreliable that I turned it off completely. If the Harmony stops working, I’ll have to go back to having three or four remotes sitting out on the coffee table, like our primitive ancestors did.

(delivery girl is unrelated)

Dear Sony,


You really should proofread your Amazon listings:

Unrelated, if you like K-cups…

…Costco will have the Keurig K-Supreme Plus C on sale for $99 on Wednesday the 14th (online and probably in most warehouses). It looks like a solid upgrade from my Elite, with a better reservoir design and a possibly-better grounds-watering system, but I’ll likely pass, simply because I really only use it for my once-a-day liquid pie, and have mostly been drinking the output of the Nespresso in between cans of Diet Pepsi. The Elite should last me at least another five years at that rate.

On that note, a strong espresso pod plus 90 grams of crushed ice plus a healthy dose of sweetener (in my case, concentrated Splenda syrup), poured into the Barista Recipe Maker foam-as-a-service device and set to the “Iced Frappé” mode produces a 12-ounce glass entirely filled with delicious and quite stable coffee foam, with the remaining ice chunks at the bottom.

The FAAS has a setting for “Iced Nitro” that produces almost as much foam, but it’s not as stable, and quickly turns back into liquid. No other milk frothing device I’ve seen appears to be capable of handling ice at all, while this one will handle full cubes (which my fridge-door crusher sometimes lets through).

…Costco also has a Nespresso Vertuo Next bundle for $169 that has at least $100 worth of extra goodies in it. Downside: the Next has been widely panned online due to quality-control issues, but oddly enough, it’s the same thing that people complain about in pretty much every Keurig review I’ve seen, even my original Elite, namely water going everywhere except into the coffee cup.

So, take that with a crystal of Folgers.

Anime update


Best of the season!

Endro! Okay, it’s not from this season, but I did binge-watch it again over the weekend, and it remains charming and fresh.

Slime Diaries, episode 2

It delivered more cute monster girls. This is all I really needed it to do.

300 Slimy Years, episode 1

If it were any fluffier, it would float away. I’m okay with that for now.

Zombieland Saga: Revenge, episode 2

Don’t ask me why Crunchyroll rolled over to season 1 after I watched last week’s episode. This was briefly confusing, since I thought we’d already had the recap…

This episode continues the trend of being less wacky, more character-driven. Not at all what I was expecting based on the first season, but well-done.

If You Meet The Spider In The Forest Kill Her, episode 14

Yeah, Crunchyroll did the same rollover with this series, but I caught it before wasting any time rewatching the first episode. In German.

Given how much time was spent on the B Ark this time, though, that might have been preferable.

(arachne is unrelated)

The Socially-Awkward Demon Lord and His Ever-Growing Slave Harem, episodes 2.1 & 2.2

Episode 1: “Holy tentakoo wape!”

Episode 2: Good news: more sources of eye candy. Bad news: rapper in the OP and ED. At least with the ED, the dancing chibis take some of the sting out.

The story? Boobs.

I’m already looking forward to…

…next season. The end of it, anyway, because Fall is when we’re supposed to get another season of The Grooming Of The Raccoon Child Bride. Also a series about girls playing ice hockey, which would only be worthwhile if the games devolve into real hockey fights and they MCSA each other. Probably not going to happen, so that’s out.

Unrelated,

After I hit up the vaccine rodeo on Saturday, I should have time to finish cleaning up the current state of Virginia’s story and start working on more. This has become more urgent due to Jack drifting back into my brain and getting a first start at an opening scene.

And when I say “rodeo”, I mean that the only place I could get a vaccine appointment scheduled was the mass drive-in event at the Salinas Sports Complex, home of the California Rodeo.

Biodegradable, Dishwasher-safe

Why do I suspect that one of these claims is not true?

Perhaps the most interesting thing about it is that Amazon had it as a front-page lightning deal, and yet clicking through shows it as: “This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location.”

Today I learned…

…that if you use the on-disk queueing feature in rsyslog to robustly deliver logs to a central server after a network outage, and the contents of any of those queues is corrupted by a bad server crash, rsyslogd will segfault at startup without even a tiny hint about what’s wrong, even if you turn on debug output or run it under strace.

Also, your monitoring system really ought to check that rsyslogd is not segfaulting at startup.

Continuous Exfiltration

Codecov compromised. In January, and they didn’t find out until April 1st.

Votin’ versus Vaccin’…


  1. You have to show ID.
  2. You have to show up in person.
  3. You can only do it once.
  4. They don’t count boxes of vaccines that are stored under tables and pulled out after everyone is sent home for the night.

Just sayin’.

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