July 2021

Soft AI

Delay Of Spider

Episode 24 of The Adventures of Kumoko in the Land of the B Ark was delayed a week and a day. Perhaps they noticed that shifting the focus away from the only engaging character kinda sucked.

In retrospect, “from the director of Cop Craft” should have been a pretty big clue that it would fall apart halfway through…

(spider-girl is unrelated)

Delay of Raccoon

Season 2 of The Grooming of the Tanuki Child Bride has been delayed until April.

(tanuki-girl is unrelated)

Delay of vacation?

Tokyo has announced another season of Covid Emergency, this one running until August 22nd. Honestly, you think they’d at least delay it for a few cours to get the animation quality back up.

I really, really hate the thought of rescheduling our trip again, but if they don’t open the country back up for tourists this fall, we’ll have to.

Shamiko returns!

In the Spring.

Interspecies Reviewers, uncut

RightStuf is releasing it on Bluray on December 7th, under their adult label. Now if only they’d sort out the ebook releases of the manga…

The Storm of the Ai

BBJ (NSFW! Disable Javascript!) has been putting a lot of older content back online, and this week’s bounty covers pretty much every stage of Ai Shinozaki’s career. Just in case you missed anything.

Apart from the really obnoxious ads and sneaky overlays used to get you to click them, this really is one of the last sources for quality 3D cheesecake, along with “Overflowing Museum of Cheesecake” (which has added more ads, as well as two porn shoots per day) and Everia Club (ads just as sketchy as BBJ, but a wider variety of national origins for the models, and more nudity).

They all function with Javascript disabled, which is nice, although BBJ sometimes tinkers with hosting some of their pictures on external sites that might not.

Browsing the archives of these sites has confirmed my long-standing impression that Chinese glamour models tend to have so much plastic surgery that they’re only capable of a limited range of facial expressions, and that Korean models are only trained for catalog/ad work, so that no matter how gorgeous the woman, she’s trained to show off the outfit/product and avoid drawing attention to herself.

Related, long ago Toren Smith had a comment on Steven’s blog about a long-standing preference among Japanese men for real large breasts, with the market simply rejecting boob jobs. Those days are long, long gone, and apart from glorious freaks of nature like Ai-chan (as amply documented since she turned 14), it looks like the majority of even modest-busted models have purchased at least one cup size.

Although, “milk does a body good” (NSFW! Javascript off!), to steal a phrase.

Cali Can’t Covid

The California Department of Health reached out to me a few days after I followed the “Digital Vaccine Record didn’t work at all” instructions. They asked me to retry and give further feedback on the updated results. Sadly, “you still ain’t got shit” was not one of the available answers. A week later I got another “try again” notice, with the same results.

Another year or so of web development and data management, and perhaps they’ll have funded enough consultant hours to abandon the project and declare victory.

A wild best girl appears!

I Killed Slimes For 300 Years And Summoned A Platonic Harem has ended, with Our Heroine coaxing everyone into maid outfits. As usual, Beelzebub was the clear winner.

I wouldn’t mind if they did another season. Maybe mixing the remaining source material with the Beelzebub side stories.

Yeah, no

Engadget’s preview of the next MacOS release is titled “All about FaceTime and Safari”, two things that are way, way down my list when it comes to upgrading an operating system.

Of course, with the Windows 11 preview fiasco, there may not be any reliable, supported OS to run on a laptop by the end of the year.

…and don’t say “Linux”, because even if it had applications and real support, systemd took it out behind the barn and put a bullet in its head. And then another bullet. And a few spare mags, just to be sure. Then it fucked the corpse and posted a selfie.

Retail’s Key

Some may refer to this as The Joining Of The Unfixed Info And The Locked Secret.


Also, apparently IOS finally opened up the API for writing NFC tags, so I don’t need to use an old Android phone to burn these any more. Annoying to see nagware in Apple’s app store, but I suppose he can’t legitimately ask for in-app purchases for this, and it is fully functional for free.

(why, yes, I recently played through Breath of the Wild again, using cloned amiibo to compensate for the annoying early-game limits on inventory space and weapon durability; I’m even trying “master mode” again, using the amiibo loot to quickly upgrade my armor, weapons, and runes to deal with the health-regenerating monsters)

Isekai Sekai

“Reincarnated as a fantasy world, I inverted all the tropes”

(sad Tanya is unrelated)

Putting the 'curs' in 'recursion'

Recursion Considered Harmful

For the benefit of anyone who uses the ScriptRunner add-on for Jira, use of the linkedIssuesOfRecursive(arg) function in a board filter may be an accidental time bomb.

As we learned when the time to update any Jira issue suddenly went from an average of 0.3 seconds to 6+, at 5:45 PM in the evening one day.

The search in question had been returning about 35 issues, until someone updated one of those issues, somewhere in the recursion chain, in a way that inflated the result of the query to 2,500+.

Every time any data in a Jira issue is updated, it is reindexed, and apparently the active board filters are run to ensure they’re up to date. And this filter was suddenly taking 6 seconds to run.

Changing the board filter to use linkedIssuesOfRecursiveLimited(arg, 10) immediately solved the problem. Which means the change that triggered the whole mess was deep in the recursion. Sigh.

Can Cali Covid?

I made another attempt at getting my Official California Covid QR Code, and this time the supply-missing-data site was actually functional. I won’t know if it worked for a week or two, but at least they didn’t try to get me to sign up for the state Obamacare system just to prove that I’d been vaccinated. (this was their previous workaround for the inability to upload supporting documentation through the broken form)

Why bother? Because I want the Japan trip to be hassle-free, and there have been reports of people getting hassled over the informal-looking hand-written CDC cards when traveling abroad.

Punisher of the Wild

With the help of a bunch of cloned amiibo cards, I made it far enough in Breath of the Wild’s “master mode” to overcome the combination of cardboard weaponry, increased monster hit points, and fast monster health regeneration to reach the Big Boss. The four preliminary bosses were no big deal, but during the second phase of the boss fight, he goes invulnerable, and a single mistake is enough to ensure that his health regenerates fully.

It’s a “do it again stupid” fight where you are actively punished until you do it the way they want it done. Which is through precisely timed controller combo moves. Even the powers that take out his invulnerability long enough for you to get some hits in require careful positioning to use, since you need to be close enough to reach him with a melee weapon once the shield is down, but not close enough that your weapon accidentally touches his invulnerable body during the activation animation and aborts.

When I originally played through the game, I finally got good enough at the combo counter moves to reliably farm the harder-than-the-final-boss lynels, but I found it too tedious to play through on master mode and apply those skills to taking down Ganon, and now it’s been nearly two years, and I don’t have any motivation to re-learn the moves. (and the combos are sure to be different when BotW2 comes out next year)

Ah, well, it was an amusing time-killer between the end of The Legend of Beelzebub and the beginning of the new season of… anime I’m not going to watch much of. Sigh.

How Realistic Is A Hero’s Harem In A Fantasy Kingdom

I was bored enough to watch the first two episodes of Realist Hero, and spent all my time wondering how long it would be before the princess takes off her uniform and reveals how she stacks up against her quite-young-looking mom. JC Staff has assembled a pretty experienced crew, so if there’s any there there, they should find it, but it feels pretty thin at the moment; honestly, I’d be more optimistic if they were adapting the vending machine isekai, and that idea ran dry after only three books.

In fairness, skimming the fan sites reveals that Our Hero doesn’t just collect a harem that he doesn’t know what to do with, but eventually manages to wed and bed them all, openly and honestly. Also, neither the loli fox-girl nor the lush-bodied slave girl are haremettes, which is nice. But it seems like a great deal of the light novels are spent ruminating on how Our Hero is either following the advice of Machiavelli or emulating famous generals and kings from Chinese and Japanese history, which I expect to either be skipped or else grind the story to a halt whenever it comes up.

(chick-magnet is unrelated)

Router Promiscuity

My home router (an old Shuttle running OpenBSD 6.3) went down due to bad blocks on /var. I had recent backups, but my cold spare still had a 5.x install on it, so after manually fscking the old machine enough to get it back online for the day, I downloaded a fresh copy of OpenBSD 6.9, installed it, copied over all the config files, and swapped it into place.

It didn’t work. More precisely, everything worked except sending traffic out the public interface to the Internet. I couldn’t reach the gateway. I could ssh into the router from my laptop over the private interface just fine, though.

Thinking perhaps that I’d outsmarted myself by trying to preserve the MAC address of the old server to deal with the common cable-modem issue of fixating on a specific MAC, I removed that clause from the config and rebooted both router and modem.

That didn’t help, so I fired up tcpdump on the public interface to see if there was anything showing up at all, and everything started working fine.

Kill tcpdump, packets stop. Start it back up, packets flow. In other words, everything works perfectly as long as the public interface is in promiscuous mode. This isn’t one I’ve run into before in my 15-ish years of managing OpenBSD routers, or even the 6 years I’ve owned this Shuttle DS61.

I’m going to have to swap a new SSD into the other router (identical hardware), install the same configs, and do some testing. Which is a lot easier if I’m online, so for now, /etc/rc.local contains:

nohup tcpdump -n -i re0 -w /dev/null icmp &

Arbitrators Hardest hit

Filing As A Service

I just got email from Amazon changing their terms of service from resolving disputes via “arbitration process” to “by the courts”, as a result of enterprising lawyers digitally flooding them with tens of thousands of individual arbitration requests. As an individual, arbitration is such a hassle that big companies hold all the cards, but at scale, it’s cheaper to file the complaints than to process them.

The interesting thing is that this change took effect two months ago. I recall reading about it at the time, but apparently it’s taken Amazon this long to formally notify everyone.

Expanding The Hero’s Harem Through Realistic Forest Management

Why, yes, episode 3 does bog down when Our Hero wins the heart, soul, and boobs-of-steel of the sexy dark elf warrior by handwaving an explanation of things that even Californians don’t know. In fairness, the elves’ reluctance to cut down trees was based on religious beliefs. Oh, wait.

Most of the animation budget went to about thirty seconds of the blue-haired haremette’s gainaxing powers, with many reactions shots (to things other than her jugs) that weren’t even panned stills, just the same 3-4 small-crowd shots repeated several times.

Also, “episode 3” was the answer to my previous question, “how long until the princess gets her uniform off?” Sadly for Our Hero, he’s not in her bedroom at the time.

(office lady is unrelated, but cute)

Classic SF isekai bleg…

Our Hero was summoned to Asgard by Loki in order to tip the balance at Ragnarok and ensure the good guys win. One of the first things he does is reinvigorate the gods by pruning the tree that grows the golden apples, to the immediate horror of pretty much everyone. Fortunately, his plan… bears fruit. Just in time. You can see why the latest Realist Hero episode brought it to mind.

Along the way, he also makes use of modern alloys to produce lighter, stronger swords, etc, etc, and gets the girl (Idun herself, if I recall correctly).

But I have no idea what the title or author of this story was. It was almost certainly in one of the many random SF books I pulled off the shelves at the local public library in the early Seventies, but lacking any real specifics to search for (like the time I was able to find Manly Banister’s Conquest of Earth via the phrase “The Scarlet Order of Men”), I’ve had no luck tracking it down so far.

(cat-girl train-santa is definitely unrelated, but cute)

Bacon Against Climate Change!

A study with numbers at least as solid as those produced by The Doomsayers Of Climatography asserts that wild pigs release more CO2 than cars. And they taste better, too.

This means that anti-meat activism is literally destroying the planet. No surprise there.

(yakiniku girls are mostly unrelated, but cute)

Non-optional Options

Because MacOS is actually a certified version of Unix, it’s picked up some oddities like having df default to reporting the number of inodes used/available for each file system, despite the fact that modern file systems have no real concept of a fixed pool of “inodes” (which is a good thing; having to modify a file system because it started to be used for lots of little files instead of a smaller number of large ones was a pain in the ass). You have to add the -P option (before any other options!) to restore sensible output.

But that’s old news. While debugging my OpenBSD router problems, I started getting sufficiently annoyed by my inability to get reasonable output from one of my standard debugging tools to sort out the correct incantation to suppress some other useless garbage. Fixed now:

netstat () {
    /usr/*bin/netstat -Ffinet "$@"

Now I have less garbage to wade through in -rn and -an output…

(Python-programming girl is unrelated, but cute)

Porch Kitten

Currently, I have three pretty regular visitors coming by for handouts at least once a day, often more: Mooch (the gray-dipped-in-white-paint one who seems determined to become an indoor cat), Evil Twin (nearly identical except for being a cool gray rather than a warm one), and Bones (extremely skinny young gray tom who spent much of the Spring so thin and patchy that I was worried he’d come down with something).

This week, I’ve been hearing the rustling of something small and shy in the bushes, and yesterday an adorable little black kitten was finally bold enough to edge his way onto the porch and try for some food. Unlike the others, he was wary of me, but unlike the large black cat I’d been seeing a month or so back, the others didn’t chase him off.

When I put wet food out today, he very gingerly crept up to within three feet of me to eat out of Bones’ bowl, who looked up at me as if to ask, “hey boss, do you have a third dish you could fill up for me? this one’s taken”. No pictures of him yet, but if he’s back tomorrow, I’ll try to get a few.

(Princess:Catgirl is vaguely related, and cute)

Power to the people?

The California Work-from-home Tax

I just got a letter from PG&E informing me that unless I take action by a certain date, my billing will automatically change to a new plan that charges extra for home electricity use between the hours of 4 PM and 9 PM, including on weekends. The letter “helpfully” informs me that based on the past 12 months of usage, the new plan is my “lowest cost rate”, with an estimated 12-month savings of precisely $0.

Coincidentally, this is one of the coolest summers of the past twenty years in Salinas, and I rarely had a reason to use the air conditioner last year, either. And since there’s no plan to build any new power plants in California, peak rates are sure to keep rising. So they’re offering a pig in a poke.

Also coincidentally, I lost power for several hours in the middle of the day on Monday due to a blown transformer. The text message informing me of the outage arrived about an hour later.

Letting the kitten out of the bag

Caught the new Porch Kitten dropping by for dinner yesterday; the light wasn’t great, and he’s still very shy, so I had to switch to multi-exposure mode and zoom way in to catch him in focus.

Denial of systemd

Sloppy code added to systemd six years ago finally got noticed, resulting in any unprivileged user being able to crash your system.

Fun with seiyuu…

Seras Victoria == Lotte Yanson

Social-Distance Kitten

New porch kitten, now in bold!

He’s getting less skittish, allowing me to break out the big camera and grab a few pictures without scaring him off the porch. He’ll get within 3 feet of me to reach a food dish another cat is using, but back off the moment I move.

I’ll be back…with an eraser

Schwarzenegger movies are different in Japan…

Related, while the recent “Olympic anti-sex beds” story was typical too-good-to-bother-checking “wacky Japan news”, it’s important to remember that things are different there.

Nespresso discounts…

Sometimes Nespresso has special offers that are actually enticing. Then there’s the current one: “Purchase 12 or more Original sleeves to receive one (1) free set of three (3) Caran d’Ache limited-edition pencils.”

Having driven up to Mountain View for a work BBQ that allowed me to actually meet several of my co-workers (my manager, his manager, his manager’s manager, and one peer; most of the folks in attendance were from the large organization we got reorg-ed under in the Spring), I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Nespresso boutique at the Stanford mall, and got to see these pencils. They were, well, pencils, the kind you shove into a pencil sharpener when they get dull, nibble on in class, and throw away when they’re ground down to a stub. This is the reward for buying $7+ x 12 = $84+ of espresso pods. I was… not impressed.

However, if you spent $200 on pods, they’d give you $20 off, a mechanical pencil made out of recycled pods with a lead made partially from recycled coffee grounds, and a silicone ice tray sized for use in coffee drinks (which I already bought the 3-pack of when they were very briefly in stock).

(normal pod price is $7/sleeve, but seasonal pods are $7.20 to $8, and the current limited editions range from $9 for Cafezinho do Brasil to $20 for Galapagos; Vertuo pods cost more, but I find I’m not liking them enough to buy any more before I finish off the current batch)

Molding young minds, with real mold!

Safety tips for kids

There are two kinds of people who say, “don’t tell your parents what we did today”: child molesters and woke teachers.

Okay, maybe that’s just one kind of person.

(sad chibi zombie idol is vaguely related)

Apple’s Unpaid Beta Testers

iOS 14.7 was released a week ago. iOS 14.7.1 was released Monday, to, among other things, fix Apple Watch integration problems. It’s understandable when a vendor has issues QAing vast matrices of third-party hardware compatibility, but this is their own stuff.

14.7.1 also fixes an actively-exploited security hole, which also affects Macs running Big Sur, thanks to the iOS compatibility features. Um, thanks?

Kitten status: touched

I didn’t see the new porch kitten at all Saturday, and not until dinner time on Sunday. He was either hungry or comfortable enough to repeatedly let me within a foot or so as I filled up food bowls, but took off like a shot when I attempted skritches, and was equally wary Monday and this morning. Baby steps.

Exposition Is Hell(sing)

Recently rewatched Hellsing for the first time in about ten years, and then watched Hellsing: Ultimate for the first time. The original holds up pretty well except for the soundtrack, despite running out of source material and continuing on sheer force of style. The OVA remake was unbelievably talky, and it’s not just villains monologing; everyone goes on and on, and the sudden shifts to badly-drawn slapstick (more often than in the original) are the worst. FFS, who thought an N-minute Bruce Willis dream scene was a good idea?

I ended up watching it on my iPad Mini, because the Funimation app on my Amazon FireTV kept locking up in the first episode. I think it was upset that I refused to watch the English dub it offered as the default.

(bunny-girl is completely unrelated)

Realistic Harem Management

I peeked. The fiancée harem is fully assembled in book 6, and he finally marries them all in book 10, which takes place some time after the princess gives birth to their heir. If the anime is really only 13 episodes, they’re not even going to get all the haremettes introduced, especially with all the exposition.

Hmmm, wonder what I should watch instead…

(dragon maid is possibly related)


Restaurant To Another World 2 teaser

On the youtubes. Even if the first season hadn’t been really good, I’d be looking forward to this simply because it doesn’t abuse all the tropes that other isekai stories do. Our Heroine’s powers are hard work and the determination to improve her life. Our Hero’s powers are being a well-trained, experienced chef who’s good to his employees and sympathetic to people who are down on their luck. Together, they run a nice little restaurant that brings different races together in peace, subtly improving their world.

Different animation studio and character designer, but same director and actors, so it should work out.

Speaking of isekai…

The brief-but-mildly-amusing vending-machine-in-another-world novel series is getting a new manga adaptation. I don’t see an anime series in its future.

(KFC waitress/maid is at best loosely related)

“Top Men”

Usually when you get burned by a contracting agency, it’s because they sent you incompetents or prima donnas. It’s generally not the case that they suddenly fire someone who’s been working for you for quite a while, who you’re happy with and rely on, without notice or cause.

Fortunately we were already connected on LinkedIn, so I could at least reach him privately after all his work accounts were disabled.

Also fortunately, I didn’t have to lie and pretend not to know why his VPN access didn’t work any more when they failed to notify him on schedule.

If I were the manager, something I’m happy to not be, I would be seriously looking at reducing our dependency on this particular vendor.

(arguably related, due to Tanya’s career history…)

Two weeks!

That’s how long it took Apple to discover that the 7.6 firmware release for their watches included a shiny new exploit. To paraphrase the old tone-deaf IBM PS/1 ad, “the less you know about QA, the more you’ll like Apple products”.


A number of restaurants and stores are jumping under the “no vaccination, no service” bandwagon. If they don’t just take your word for it, and demand some sort of proof, I think there’s only one sensible response:

“You charge what for a blowjob?!?”

(Ai-chan cheating at the “leg-hold pose” is how I feel about masking up to walk into a store, so it’s definitely related)

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