November 2021

Trick. Just... trick.

Little-monster report

45 kids. So, maybe a bit less than half of a typical year, but at least they were out and about without face condoms, and had no fear of socializing. I went to the trouble of reassuring media-frightened parents by pre-packing half-pound assortments into zip-lock bags, and got some thank-yous for that. Half the kids actually squeezed right past the socially-distanced candy bin and headed toward my front door like seasoned troops, though. Warmed my evil maskless heart, that did.

I might have gotten more if the neighbors at the end of the court had had lights on. The downside of being in the middle is that if a group has to pass by several unlit houses to find out if there’s any candy, they’ll often just keep going.

Next year? Well, perhaps I’ll be somewhere else.

503, Microsoft?

The US site for was hard down this morning. Coincidentally, I hope, Pixy commented on a large-scale brute-force login attack on their cloud accounts.

(I do not have a picture of a cloud-based minefield, so please, just think about protecting your vulnerable accounts catgirls)

“I speak QA to my Apple”

…because nobody at Apple speaks it any more, leading to bricked Macs after Monterey upgrade. There’s also a series of crippling memory leaks being reported, but that just puts the cherry on top.

(trash-fire is related)

Crisis On Infinite Housing

I chatted with my parents Sunday afternoon, and sent them my current short-list of houses in the area. My mom emailed back that she’d actually been in #6 for their estate sale, and it was quite nice. Baffling decision on the range, though; the space is clearly designed for a standard range hood, but they went with a drawdown fan and left the hood space empty with a bit of decorative framing on the opening. Also, the custom-built kitchen island has no power whatsoever.

Am I accelerating the move? Maaaybe. Not so much the moving-in part, but quite possibly the buying-and-renovating part. I’ve acquired considerable affection for my top 3 houses, and while they’ve all been listed for more than 30 days in a market where most are being snapped up in 3-4, I’d honestly hate to miss them all. Especially the top one, which just really appeals to me.

I have sufficient cash on hand to put 20% down right now and still cover closing fees, and I could double that a month from now when our stock lockout period ends, making it possible to pay on both for at least six months with no worries, with the final move in March/April. Meanwhile, my mortgage company’s current estimate of my equity exceeds the total cost of the new house, so I’d have plenty when it was all over to rebuild my reserves, and no mortgage payment at all.

(I’d be able to afford regular maid service at the new house, but regular maid-service will continue to be a blog-only feature)

Japan in the Spring?

Gosh, I hope so. We’re rebooking the not-gonna-happen-in-two-weeks trip to the matching dates in March. Which more-or-less coincides with when I’d hand over the keys to the realtors and officially move to Ohio. We’ll still be flying out of SFO, but when we get back, I’d just spend the night at an airport hotel and then fly away to my new home.

Alexa The Too-Friendly Puppy

My biggest gripe about the “classic” Mac OS was that it treated everyone as an eternal beginner. It was always right up there in your face, refusing to get out of your way and let you do the things you had become expert at. They’ve been trending back this way since the limited functionality of the i-devices began to influence their desktop environment, and Microsoft is flirting with it as well in some aspects of the Win11 UI. Both are also motivated by making you dependent on their Clown Services, of course.

The most in-your-face slobbering puppy on the block, though, is Alexa, which started out as the “AI” sage who set your alarms, turned on your lights, and answered your questions, and gradually shifted to yapping at you after every interaction and shitting on the carpet if you try to make her stop. And it’s the same canned advice every fucking time, no matter how you respond.

“by the way, did you know that you can…”
“while you’re waiting, how about…”
“to hear the rest of the album, say…”
“would you like me to…”
etc, etc.

Apparently there’s an executive at Amazon who thinks that everyone adores the experience of dealing with an attention-starved and slightly incontinent pet.

(this dog is welcome to get in my face and slobber, as long as he brings his handler…)

Twiki gets freaky!

All is proceeding as foreseen…

Microsoft Metaverse will include Excel, Powerpoint.

(where do you want to go today?)


The latest widespread security alert is the Unicode bi-directional text marker. The tech community has finally noticed that almost nobody is capable of correctly implementing the giant mess of committee-driven features shoehorned into the Unicode standard, with completely predictable results.

Emacs falls for the examples, but less, cat, and vi don’t. Apple’s falls for it, too, but nobody would mistake that for a code editor.

Whatever they’re selling…

In fairness, it’s magical thinking all the way down…


I Speak Klingon To My Python

Bathing Princess and Knight-Pharmacist, episode 5

Exposition goes down a lot better when it’s delivered by a naked elf hottie to a naked human hottie. Just sayin’.

I don’t know how I feel about the hair-based censorship, though; if they’d used steam, you could at least expect them to remove it on the Blurays, but using long hair suggests they don’t plan to upgrade to nudity.

Related, don’t hit on the emotionally-fragile Hero. Sage advice, yo.

(was I the only one who missed the assistoroid-based censorship in the AsoIku sauna scenes? It was adorable and in character, with just a hint of fourth-wall-break)

Komi Can’t Even, episode 3

Very cute. More, please.

Unicode TL/DR

So I’ve done a lot of reading about the Unicode security vulnerability I mentioned earlier. As part of explaining it to my team, I came up with what I think is a helpful visual:

That is, you embed the direction-switching markers in string literals or comments, follow them with enough characters to effectively “backspace” over the malicious code, and then cover them up with innocuous-looking code. Most common layout engines only test for the common case of rendering sensible right-to-left strings like Hebrew or Arabic names in the middle of a paragraph, and don’t try to solve the general problem of text that can go back and forth multiple times.

Fun fact: while Unicode is not (yet) Turing-complete, the BIDI codes are not just on/off switches; they’re stack-based push/pop operators that get auto-popped at the end of each paragraph. For whatever definition of “paragraph” your software implements.

Spin the cylinder, not the facts

Lawyers for the armorer involved in Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins are claiming sabotage!

Every single claim quoted in this article is bullshit. The only thing that’s relevant, but not a valid excuse, is claiming that the armorer was being forced to also work as assistant props manager, “which took her away from her duties as armorer”. That provides support for other claims that the shoot was poorly-funded, short on manpower, and mismanaged, but doesn’t get her off the hook. This is a case where the phrase you had one job applies, and that job was “maintaining control over lethal weapons”.

They’re admitting it simply in the hopes of shifting the blame up the chain to people with deeper pockets, all the way back to… executive producer Alec Baldwin.

Transpartisan Pizza Burger

Restaurant To Another World, episode 2.6

Elf girls just want to have fun… and vegan burgers. Boys just want to have pizza… and a touch of gay subtext. The art quality is definitely inversely proportional to the number of characters on-screen, but they kept it fairly well-controlled this time, and, as usual, the food looked great.

Both stories feature returning characters, with the traveling elf chef picking up a stray kitten, and the merchant heir dragging along a chef friend to try to figure out the recipes. So far they’ve done a pretty good job of mixing the mostly-independent stories from the novels; I haven’t bothered working out the adaptation order, because there are really only a few significant plot threads, and the rest can be rearranged pretty freely.

The only downer this week is that the Crunchyroll app is basically useless on the FireTV box. On a good day, it randomly drops from HD to SD a few times an episode, but on a Friday night, it’s clear they’re bandwidth-constrained, and the app doesn’t buffer nearly enough to keep streaming at all. I ended up sitting in front of my 55-inch TV watching it on an iPad Mini.

(I could have brought over my Win11 laptop with its full-sized HDMI port, but I didn’t want to get up; it was a long day. Crunchyroll does allow downloading shows, but not with the standard paid account; you need to pay extra for it)

Stranger than satire…

For many years, there existed a sharp, funny publication with the title Journal of Irreproducible Results, now available only via The Internet Archive.

It is no longer necessary, because in recent years it has become clear that all journals are filled with irreproducible results.

Don’t mispartisan them!

People are busy arguing if the massive “infrastructure” bill is truly “bipartisan”, which just exposes their bigotry and badthink. Get with the times, sheeple! It’s transpartisan, identifying as revenue-neutral infrastructure-building inflation-reversing job-creation, and its pronoun is “suck it taxpayer!”.

(two-drink minimum is unrelated)

Pig in a poke…

After looking at a lot of houses on Zillow, I’ve reached the point that my nose twitches at certain listings, and I immediately start looking for the catch. Like the words “sold as-is to settle an estate”, or the careful framing of the pictures to hide the fact that the neighbor’s basketball court is ten feet from the master bedroom windows, or even just the eight feet of kitchen counter space that doesn’t have a single power outlet on it.

But this one is special. Only a four-minute drive from my mom’s house, with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2,800 square feet, central heat and air, fireplace, natural gas furnace/water heater/range, 2-car attached garage, finished basement, large deck, etc, all on just over half a wooded acre. There are no interior pictures, and the description does say “needs some TLC”, so you might think that’s why it’s only $325,000: a classic fixer-upper.


Not even close.

Google Maps shows that it’s next door to a church parking lot.

A seven-acre parking lot (that’s 28,000+ square meters, for y’all furriners), for a mega-church with a large concert hall.

Supply-chain and Demand

Fun with HP Care Packs

Remember when I ordered my new laptop and expressed some frustration when selecting from the warranty options that didn’t have useful descriptions or linked detail pages?

I’ve had it for a month now, and the warranty option I chose (3-year with accidental-damage protection and lojack) wasn’t showing up on the support site. The lojack setup and licensing was there, but not the actual warranty. Twenty minutes on the phone with HP support this morning produced the discovery that the option I selected as part of the purchase wasn’t actually compatible with the product.

Their initial response was to offer a refund so I could purchase the correct warranty, but I pointed out that it was tied to the lojack that had already been activated, and they’d have to connect the new purchase with that, and after a few minutes on hold, she got approval to just put the correct warranty on it.

So, yes, the reason that the most comprehensive option offered with the original purchase was the cheapest was that it wasn’t supposed to be on the list at all. I wouldn’t have objected to paying the difference, but the support department isn’t set up to handle that.

(the Queen of Chupacabra knows all about double-checking contracts; now, anyway)

Speaking of paying the difference

When we moved our pre-paid hotel reservations for the Japan trip, they charged us the full cost of the rooms again. When I called the main number for the chain (on Monday, because it goes to voicemail on weekends, and nobody bothers calling back), they apologized and said that I’d have to talk directly to each hotel, and connected me to the first one. At 3am in Japan.

I have to call back tonight, when their reservations desks are actually open. Sigh.

I read this wrong…

Ad on Reddit: “Explore the epic end of the universe in the new season of Doctor Who”.

I saw: “Explore the end of Doctor Who”.

Bonus: really terrible picture of Doctor Sue in a hands-up-don’t-shoot pose.

(yeah, I’m not buying it)

Converting trolls to whores

In the latest pointless (alleged) adoption of crypto, Reddit (supposedly) will convert karma points into crypto. Many of these reports have turned out to be fabricated to inflate the price of whatever funny-money is involved. In this case, they advertise it as Ethereum, before the fine print reveals that it would be a separate blockchain instance.

To drive home the message that this is complete bullshit, one of the pull quotes is:

“When we all pull this off, we would onboard 500M web2 users into web3 and then there is no going back. Let me say that again - 500 million new crypto users.”

I count four bald-faced lies in that quote. Did I miss any?

Buying a pig in a poke…

Alec Baldwin, cop-hater, now demands an off-duty cop on every set. Way to change the subject there, killer.

Warning: Graphic violence

Well, graphics-card larceny, at least. One more reason you won’t be getting a new gaming PC for Christmas…

(The witch-detective of the highlands is on the case! And the Demon Queen Pecora is on the witch!)

You don’t need Alder Lake to break Denuvo DRM

…just wait until they let a domain registration lapse.

(Raphtalia says, “never interrupt the enemy when they’re making a mistake”)

Checking and chase cards


As I walked up to the grocery-store entrance today, I was greeted with fresh “masks required!” signs. Benito Newsom reappears after his mysterious two-week absence and suddenly the masks are back on; coincidence?

Banished to the Boonies with Boobies, episode 6


(haven't had time to watch it yet, after my plans for the week were disrupted by a VMware outage. apparently a transient disruption of one of your backing datastores confuses the entire hypervisor, leaving you with a bunch of half-up virtuals, even if they weren't using that particular datastore; fun-fun-fun!)

Still not a lot of fan-art for this one, but at least one person liked last week’s bath-elf enough to sketch her, in and out of her adventuring costume:

Exclusive offer. Excuse me, “offer”.

Dear Bank of America, it’s great that you’re offering me $500 if I open a checking account with you. However, the strings attached to the offer make me… “less than enthusiastic”: either set up direct-deposits totalling $10,000 over 90 days (must be salary, pension, or Social Security to qualify), or deposit at least $50,000 within a month and maintain that balance for 90+ days. 60 days after meeting one of those conditions, I’d get the $500.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that if I didn’t continue to maintain one of those conditions after receiving the $500, I’d be hit with enough fees to wipe out the modest “reward”.

No thanks, I’d rather keep digging through boxes of old Magic cards, which have already sold for about 50 times as much money, even after subtracting the 28% the IRS will be taking. (yes, the long-term capital gains tax for collectibles is pretty rude)

Also, Chase (who actually has branches in the city I might move to) just sent me a similar offer for $225, and all they require is a $500 monthly direct deposit, and then they’ll pay out within 15 days. So, y’know, up your game, BoA.

(pourover-pony is unrelated)

Left hand, meet right

A month ago, Citibank sent me an offer to convert my Diamond Preferred Mastercard into a Rewards+ Mastercard, which I did. Today, I opened my mailbox and found a pre-selected offer for… another Diamond Preferred Mastercard, with a slightly higher interest rate.

Not a re-conversion, an additional credit line. Which I most emphatically do not need, because I already have more empty credit cards than I have any realistic use for. Seriously, I could buy several brand-new cars if I wanted to, and if there were any not held hostage on container ships by Democrat ineptitude.


My mail also included a “print-your-own-postage-stamps” offer from I last purchased a sheet of 20 stamps in 2018, and haven’t used them all up yet. I don’t think I need this.

iCloud For Windows, version 13

…for anyone whose kink is getting fucked by a cloud.

(seriously, Apple has enough trouble making their applications work on their own platform; they don’t do Windows)


I do not want to buy this house.

You might think I dislike the architectural statement being made (and you’d be correct), but that didn’t stop me from looking further, because it’s a brisk walk from my parents’ place. It’s kind of crammed into the front of the lot, so it’s closer to the neighbors than I’d like, but the landscaping compensates pretty well to provide privacy. The front windows got a raised eyebrow, but the first hint that this one was going to be special came from the water feature in the foyer.

That one got a big eye-roll, but the first thing to really make me cringe was the wall-to-wall carpet in the kitchen. That was so distractingly awful that it took me a while to notice the black microwave oven/range hood in the middle of the all-white appliances.

Then came the wallpaper, followed by the wood-paneled walls, the painted-on walls, and more wallpaper, but I was still recovering from the kitchen, so they didn’t have much impact. Until I reached the basement.


Charge, card!

Bashful Pharmacist And Bikini Princess, episode 6

With my Internet connection restored, I can catch up on Banished From The Long Title…. TL/DR: drugs are bad, bikinis are good, and blessings suck. The plot advances more than Our Couple’s relationship, with a bonus L’il Ruti flashback, but their lips actually touch. Finally.

(tanuki child-bride is mostly unrelated, but this episode does have some head-in-lap action)

4-Komi Komi 4: Taming The Yandere

Red & Rit aren’t the only ones dealing with axe-crazy weirdos this week, as someone decides to move in on the coveted Friend Number One slot.

Baby steps, Komi. You may give your voice actress a workout yet.

We have reservations…

…but we’re going anyway.

We’re now engaged in an email back-and-forth about the duplicate hotel charges after modifying our Japan reservations to a date when we can hopefully actually enter the country. The hotel manager in Kyoto understood exactly what I was saying, but when he worked his way up the chain, it came back down as “confirm that they have paid reservations”. Sigh. Round two, away!

Fun with Comcast

The best part about Monday’s VMware outage was that just as we were starting to bring things back up, everyone lost their Internet connections, because we were all on Comcast. Even after basic connectivity was restored, I couldn’t reach any google-hosted services for several more hours. This included the Philips Hue remote access for controlling my lights, both from the app and from Amazon Echo devices. Fortunately I have a small Perl script that speaks directly to the Hue hub.

For more fun, Thursday morning, as I was hosting our daily ticket triage meeting, Comcast dropped off again (locally, not for all of San Jose), and it took a good eight hours for service to be restored. I actually got a half-decent connection through my phone, good enough for Zoom-without-video or vpn-and-ssh, but not both at the same time.

For a few dollars more…

While I was connected through my phone, I put in another sell order at Card Kingdom. This involved 11 cards from the Legends set, all commons, worth between $0.70 and $10 each. Being commons, I had a lot, and for most of the cards, they were willing to take them all. The star performer was 43 copies of Chain Lightning at $8.50 each. Next up was Darkness, which they only wanted 12 of, but at $10 a pop.

Their inventory changes quite rapidly, so I might be able to sell off the rest of these in a few weeks, along with some of the others they didn’t want out of my last two batches. Then there’s a bunch of Legends uncommons that were listed around $1/card; worth it because I have maybe 300 of them.

Shipping update

Dropped off the box of cards at UPS, and found the clerk working through a big stack of boxes from yesterday, because he had Comcast, too.

Shaved waitresses...

Er, that’s “waitresses eating shaved ice”. 😁

Restaurant To Another World, 2.7

Keeping out most of the regulars improved the character art again, allowing for some particularly adorable closeups of Aletta and Kuro, beating out the food for quality. First, two regulars that Aletta (and by extension, the audience) has never seen before show up to argue about everything and then eat okonomiyaki together, and then a naive and sheltered high elf gets his first exposure to the world outside his floating island, featuring green-tea shaved ice.

This season’s catgirl showed up in the background, but only as a still; they’re making up for that by having her return next episode with her friends. Also, the vampire lovers will encounter more of their kind, while still somehow managing to overlook the presence of their (inadvertent) creator.

The novels give more detail, but the short version in Kuro’s intro episode is that the great dragons who are each now worshipped as the Lord of {insert color here} killed off the Lord of Chaos (aka Aletta’s god) who was responsible for an endless cycle of creating and destroying the universe, and then divided the world up between them.

Kuro banished herself to the moon when she saw that her aura killed mortals wholesale, and never found out that some of them survived to become vampires. So where most of the Lords have organized religions full of devoted followers that they bless with a small portion of their power, there’s an entire race/society that worships the Lord of Black that she simply doesn’t know about. Her “blessing” to them happened just that one time, and is sustained by breeding and biting.

I don’t think the author has revealed if it’s safe for her to walk among mortals as Kuro, or if it’s the otherworldly nature of the restaurant that keeps her from killing everyone within a hundred miles.

(it’s a bit frustrating that two of the shows I like this season get so little fan-art, and most of it inept porn)

Dear HP,

Would it kill you to update the text occasionally in your driver installers?

🎶 Her name is Rio…

…she don’t seem to understand. 🎶

From the look on her face, Rio Yoshida (吉田莉桜) wasn’t expecting the photographer to drop his pants and follow her into the bath.

(via Everia.Club; NSFW! disable Javascript!)

Land Tax

Between anticipating the need to report my Magic card sales to the IRS (you can’t really argue against the 28% tax on collectible sales when you have multiple payments from a major collectibles dealer) and trying to speed up the process of selling off the dregs of my collection, I’ve started pulling everything into a spreadsheet. Their CSV uploader only works with Firefox and Chrome-based browsers, but logging in on a second browser is a small price to pay for saving twenty minutes of manually scrolling through the lists and clicking on quantities.

I initially scraped the list of card names from the Apple default webarchive save format, but couldn’t extract the prices; plain HTML works better, since you can just grab input fields with field names “name” and “price”, and then strip up to the first colon from the name to get rid of the set title.

(picture is unrelated, but about as thematically consistent as a typical MtG expansion)

Pixiv: Catgirl Maids

Been a while since I’ve done one of these, but all that house-hunting has me thinking about stealing Porch Cat Prime to go with me (in the spring; it would be downright cruel to move an outdoor cat from California to Ohio in the winter). And about setting up maid service at the new place (if and when…). Cats and maids go together quite nicely, but to my surprise, the NSFW section ended up a bit light, with most of the candidates keeping their uniforms on, so I just padded it out with other naughty catgirls.

(I’m hoping to get a thumbs-up on the move idea this week from my manager’s manager’s manager who apparently just became my manager’s manager; then I can send my house-elves out with a realtor to inspect the places on my list)


Diversions, Included and Equipped

I’m in love with a working girl, episode 7

(sometime I should look up how Japanese fans are shortening the ridiculous title for “banished from the hero’s party…”)

Drugs are bad, but putting in a hard day’s work tracking down the dealers is a great reason to jump into your roommate’s lap for a relationship-advancing cuddle. Detective Rit is on the case, and also on Red like white on rice. The plots continue to thicken, with Ruti’s story being advanced by killer loli Tisse (have I mentioned Tisse yet? she’s the adorable little assassin brought into Ruti’s party for support), and the axe-crazy druggies inciting a possible coup that would interfere with Our Couple’s Slow Life.

They’re on target to get through the first four novels, which form a pretty complete arc while leaving the future open for more stories. (there are currently 8 light novels)

(classical reference)

Dear Apple,

Okay, I finally drank the koolaid and switched on your not-really-two-factor authentication, to stop you from constantly disabling my AppleID and forcing me to log back in 10+ times across all my devices. So how am I rewarded? With iTunes (excuse me, “Music”) demanding that I log back in after an update, and then rejecting my correct password twice (pasted directly from my password manager) before finally letting me in so I can use the application.

Not, I shit you

This is the full text for this month’s second-breakfast-patch-tuesday Adobe update for InDesign, an application dedicated to presenting prose professionally:

This Max we bring you adjustable UI size to suit your resolution the best and the power of Adobe Capture through a new Capture panel extension within InDesign. We have replaced non-inclusive terminology to support core Adobe values of diversity and inclusion and also updated to include bug fixes and performance enhancements.

Thanks, Adobe, for letting us know that copy-editing is white supremacy, and must be destroyed for the sake of equity.

(graphic designer is unrelated, and blissfully unaware that her profession is inherently racist)


Okay, on October 29, Monterey County passed their new mask-up regulation, scheduled to go in effect 7 days after certain conditions were met. Communication of this has been typically inept, and it apparently went live on November 5 but not everyone knows it (I will not “out” the unmasked clerk who served my unmasked self over the weekend and then again today), and while signs went up at some stores, they came back down a few days later. There are instructions on how to report offenders, but there seems to be no critical mass of volunteer Stasi eager to do their dirty work.

The regulation does not, to no great surprise, contain a matching set of conditions under which the mask mandate will be relaxed or expire. The county website doesn’t even have a little banner to tell you what the current status is. Just comply, you filthy peasant.


I’d like to file a complaint with the editors of Weekly Playboy for following zettai with muteki rather than ryouiki. Stockings would look better on Minami Yasui than that katana does. Although, if she’s got a Red Sonja thing going on, I’d be happy to defeat her and claim valuable prizes.

(via Everia.Club; NSFW! Javascript off!)

Retarding the spark

Komi, interrupted, episode 5

The sinister specter of chuunibyou appears, in past and present. Our Heroine is baffled, but takes one small step for Komi-kind. Then Agari gets a chance to show off a non-doggy skill, as Komi takes yet another step forward. Also, casting You-Know-Who as Komi’s mom allowed them to slip in a “forever 17” reference. Still liking this.

Restaurant To Another World, 2.8

This one was very delayed on all the Crunchyroll apps. It was only showing up on the desktop version of the web site all day long, and even in the evening I had to start rewatching episode 7 and manually select “next episode” to get it to show up.

Some nice subtle shots of Kuro figuring out the truth about vampires, and a cute scene of her handling the brawling cheesecake cheesecake brawlers. The latter segment did include a bigger crowd, but managed to keep up the quality pretty well.

(supply-chain constraints have interfered with my ability to provide Aletta/Kuro fan-art; let go, Brandon!)

School Live! (live) live on HiDive

The’re now streaming the movie, in addition to the prequel mini-series they’ve had up for a while. I think I’ll try to watch it Saturday night.

GTA dead, dead, dead on PC

The definitive, mod-free, only-version-you-can-buy-now release of the Grand Theft Auto series has turned out to be a definitive dumpster-fire that is not only worse than all previous versions, but includes music tracks they no longer have licenses for and parts of the infamous “hot coffee” unreleased feature that got them into very hot water back in the day. All this wrapped in layers of DRM and crapware that even made it a challenge to pull the release while they scraped off the worst of the spittle.

Had they done a proper cleanup release that supported mods, I might have picked it up on Steam, but it sounds like they’ve lost all credibility. I guess Apple isn’t the only company that doesn’t know what “QA” means.

How To Spot A Shitshow

The Ars Technica preview of Amazon’s Wheel of Time series includes the following praise:

“I really appreciate a lot of what the show is doing to add nuance to the books’ dated and rigid gender roles.”

Why say that? Because Moiraine grabs all of Our Future Heroes just in case Nynaeve or Egwene might be The Dragon Reborn in a gender-swapped reincarnation.

Thanks for letting me know I can skip this one.

“Alexa, shut your whore mouth.”

When Amazon asks me why I won’t be installing any voice-activated devices in my new house (yada-yada-still-not-confirmed), my answer will be “by the way, did you know that you can alienate customers by responding to their simple commands with lengthy uninterruptible promotions for features that they’ve heard about a dozen times already and firmly rejected multiple times?”

(army of sharks is hopefully related…)

Okay, now I really want to move...

I heard a tuba.

At 12:30 AM this morning.

I thought I could just yell out the window at whatever neighbor’s kid was doing something really stupid and annoying, but no.

It was several blocks away.

After a few minutes, the rest of the live band joined in, for an extremely loud hour of mexican polka music.

I eventually got to sleep, then came downstairs this morning, and as I started to make coffee, was greeted by the continuous sound of power tools being used in someone’s back yard.

At 8:30 AM on a Saturday.

At least a block away.

I may have to triple my previous “no part of the house within 20 feet of the property line” rule. Fortunately, three of my top five still-not-sold-yet houses easily clear that bar, and the other two are well-buffered with trees and hedges. A lot of the problem here is that all the two-story houses placed with minimum set-backs from the property line create a canyon that channels sound; the neighborhoods I’m looking at around Dayton aren’t as packed, and most are broken up occasionally by densely-packed trees.

I did add a new house to the #3 slot this week, but it’s already gotten an offer, so I’m down to:

  • 4 great choices,

  • 1 “would be great if I could change the street name”,

  • 1 “kind of far and needs a lot of privacy landscaping”,

  • 1 “great location, gas range but cramped kitchen with useless island, old-house layout issues, need for privacy landscaping, and several rooms that need repainting, but also $100K cheaper than the others”.

Hopefully my new manager’s manager will be sufficiently recovered from reorg hell in the upcoming short week to give me a thumb’s-up on the move idea. I said “4 great choices”, but #1 has been far out in front since I started looking, and I’m simultaneously cheered and concerned that it’s still on the market after 50+ days while others are being snapped up within 3. The price has dropped slightly twice since I found it, but I’d have paid the original price and considered it a great deal.

Something is scaring people off. Maybe it smells like cat piss or cigarette smoke, or there’s something about the neighborhood, or some maintenance issue that would cost a bundle, but there’s only one thing I can see in the pictures that might turn people off, and I hope that it’s the reason, because it’s something I want.

It’s also possible the Zillow listing is simply wrong about some things; I’ve seen significant discrepancies before, and not just in the claimed square-footage. After all, I remember when my neighbor’s place went on the market at the peak of a previous boom and was advertised as having “off-street RV parking”, with a picture that carefully disguised the fact that it would have required tearing down his fence and paving my front yard.


...and Saturday night begins with a really loud party in the house behind me. Which, thanks to minimum set-backs, is about twenty feet away from my kitchen table.

Although I'd be able to hear the music from five times that distance.

“Ah-ha!” moment

I think I've figured out why the house I like so much hasn't sold yet, and if true, might stay on the market long enough for me to get my full-time remote approval and buy it: two of the bedrooms have sucky windows.

Until today, there were no pictures that showed all five bedrooms. The three that were shown are large and well laid out, and they just kind of skipped over the two that are smaller, located directly above the garage, and look like this:

But I don't need five good bedrooms, while I do need a nice private office and a crafting room. And a private dojo with enough room to swing a sword, which this place also has room for.

Isekai Executioner

Sure, it will likely suck, but…

In Virgin Road, the people of a fantasy world are so sick of overpowered Japanese expats showing up with ridiculous powers and zero self-control that they have a full-time exterminator for them, Our Hero.

I approve of this message. Also the yuri elements.

(…and leave the witch of the highlands alone!)

Live School Live!

I kind of stopped watching the live version of School Live a bit over halfway through. It does a decent job of streamlining the core story, but loses a lot of the charm of the original by making Our Survivors into pretty ordinary-looking schoolgirls.

Question in Slack

Co-worker: Why is the Netflix virtual fireplace video only an hour long?

J: They had to rotate the logs.

The obviously-coordinated gangs of looters hitting high-end California stores recently are clearly organized crime, so if they scheduled their events on social media, does that open Facebook up to RICO charges? Asking for a friend.

Moron Update: Professor Firestarter

The asshat who was found suspiciously close to the start of one of the arson-caused wildfires in California this summer has now been charged with starting four of them. They suspect he’s responsible for more fires, but can’t prove it. And he wasn’t the only (Leftist) arsonist working the wildfire season. Apparently, just like hate crimes, the demand for climate-change consequences exceeds the supply.

Sour cheesecake

Pixiv has recently recommended some pictures to me that I won’t be adding to my collection or sharing here, tagged with 催眠 (“hypnosis”) and 洗脳 (“brainwashing”). Not every picture with those tags is “vigorously non-consensual sex with anatomically distorted girls who are canonically way underage”, but most of them are. Pokégirls hardest hit.

(practice safe cheesecake!)

Double-checking, I did post one picture (#121) that was tagged “hypnosis”, but it was one of the rare exceptions: the girl in the manga reflects on the results of hypnotizing her girlfriends at school. And that isn’t even in the panel I selected; she’s just cute and naked.

Things I never thought I'd see...

A bathroom painted to look like the inside of a septic tank:

On the bright side, the toilet wasn’t painted to match.

No link to the house listing; I’m trying to get it out of my mind.

…by putting it in yours. 😁

Slow Princess Holiday

Cockblocked By A Budding Hero, I Still Advanced My Relationship With The Busty Princess, episode 8

The official web site for 真の仲間じゃないと勇者のパーティーを 追い出されたので、辺境でスローライフすることにしました (in case you’re wondering why I’ve never typed the full title of this one before) is, so they’ve pretty much just given up on finding a “standard” four-mora abbreviation.

On that note, the spinoff PC game Slow Living with Princess, with translated version in early access on Steam, has adopted the abbreviated name SuroPuri, or “slow princess”, which sounds like it belongs in a completely different genre. 😁

This week, Our Couple nearly couple, before remembering that there’s a tween sleeping over while they work to resolve the convoluted drug/demon plot. Motivated by their new double bed and oversized bathtub, they wrap it all up quickly, leaving time for exposition and foreshadowing of how Ruti’s arc finally crosses theirs.

(extremely patient princess is unrelated)

A Day For Giving Thanks…

Santa Cruz county has mandated mask-wearing indoors at home, if you let any outsiders in:

Indoor mask mandate in effect in Santa Cruz Co.
An indoor mask mandate is now in effect in Santa Cruz County and it covers private settings like a home. If you are getting together with others who don’t live in the same household the county says you should mask up regardless of vaccination status. Businesses are also required to follow the guidelines. You can take off your mask when eating or drinking.

Speaking of Thanksgiving…

I’m thinking of making a huge batch of spaghetti sauce tonight, baking bread in the morning, and then making pasta for lunch, dinner, and the next two days. More fun than eating leftover turkey, and not as pathetic as having pizza delivered. 😁

Getting serious

I am officially working with a realtor to find a house to buy in Ohio. My director’s only condition was that I continue to do the job well enough to get a solid annual review in February, which seems fair. I was planning to do that anyway. 😁

Now I just have to hope that the Brandon regime doesn’t destroy the entire world economy before I can sell my current place in April/May.

No smiley-face on that one, I’m serious.

Hey, you can get the Hello!Project out of the girl!

36-year-old Maki Goto would like to remind the world that she is still plenty hot (NSFW! Disable Javascript!)

(pity she only seems to be awake in two of the pictures, but hopefully this means there will be more efforts to remind people that she’s working again; it’s a long shot, but she might even hook up with management, stylists, and editors who have talent)

Food, Fight

Roast Komi With Stuffing And Gravy, episode 6

I think this show has reached the “comfortable as an old shoe” stage for me, where everything delivered what I’ve come to expect (including baby steps of progress for Our Heroine), but nothing really stood out. Or maybe it was just that they ambushed me with the promise of a swimsuit episode next week.

Restaurant To Another World, 2.9

This week’s episode picks up two threads showing Nekoya’s growing influence on the other world. First, the daughter of the baker who bought a recipe from the travelling halflings in a previous episode demonstrates her trusting nature by following her boyfriend out into the woods for a meal. Then it’s elf-chef Fardania and her ward discovering a bustling seaport filled with products created by Nekoya regulars, and hooking up with a local who’s trying to unravel The Mystery of Jello. Some cute scenes of Aletta and Kuro, which are always welcome.

Next week, more cute girls eating cute things. And boys getting picked up by an older man, but in a good way.


I idly found myself rewatching a few episodes of The Witcher (season two in three weeks), which is really well done yet leaves me with no desire to ever read the books. It’s not just that I’ve developed an allergy to epic fantasy over the years, it’s that the derivative work is less derivative than the original work.

(Jahy-sama is unrelated)


The entire Moderation Team for the Rust programming language has resigned. This came as a surprise to everyone who didn’t know that Rust had a moderation team, or what it was contributing to the development of the language.

The answer is, of course, Toxic CoC Syndrome:

Remarks that moderators find inappropriate, whether listed in the code of conduct or not, are also not allowed.

In other words, “we’re the Tone Police, and whatever we say goes”.


And if someone takes issue with something you said or did, resist the urge to be defensive. Just stop doing what it was they complained about and apologize. Even if you feel you were misinterpreted or unfairly accused, chances are good there was something you could’ve communicated better — remember that it’s your responsibility to make your fellow Rustaceans comfortable.

So if someone says “your pull request is worthless garbage that breaks the build”, they are required to apologize and stop harassing you over your earnest desire to decolonize the language by renaming all problematic functions.

For more fun, this CoC incorporates by reference the “Citizen Code of Conduct”, which includes this hilarious little gem:

No weapons will be allowed at [COMMUNITY_NAME] events, community spaces, or in other spaces covered by the scope of this Code of Conduct. Weapons include but are not limited to guns, explosives (including fireworks), and large knives such as those used for hunting or display, as well as any other item used for the purpose of causing injury or harm to others.

Since the “covered spaces” of the Rust-y CoC primarily consist of Discord channels, online forums, and git checkins, I’m assuming they’re referring to weaponized emoji here:

🥢 👞 🧀 🗡 🏓 🔞 🚔 🧸 🥋 🌂 🔩 🧫 🤺 🛁 🎛 ⛏ 🥩 🇺🇸 🥓 🪓 ©️ 🧨 🔪 🛑 🖋 🧷 🏏 💤 🏒 ⚠️ 🔧 🥊 💣 ⚓️ 🗑 🧼 🧻 🔨 🛂 🔫 🦨 🙈 🙉 🙊

Catgirls in space!

The F is for fleece

Pre-buy a ticket to see the new Spiderman flick at AMC, and get an exclusive NFT. One of only 86,000! Worth almost as much as if each ticket came with a variant foil cover that restarted the numbering at 1! Best of all, they’re eco-friendly.

(applying real-world physics to anime might kill catgirls, but applying cryptofuckery to comic-book movies is likely to trigger an apocalypse)

Edens Zero Marathon

I got caught up on everything else I wanted to watch, so since I had Netflix open, on a whim I started watching (and ended up finishing) Edens Zero, where the creator of Fairy Tale recycled his previous heroine’s character design (among others) in a SciFi universe, with results that feel weirdly like Kanata No Astra, including the music.

Weirdly, because there’s very little overlap in the staff and cast, none in the music, and Edens Zero has a lot of fighting. Perhaps the biggest difference, though, is that EZ has a complete story arc to tell that doesn’t end abruptly in a steaming pile of infodump. Very saturated in shonen tropes, of course, including generous scoops of mouthwatering flesh fan-service, but good-hearted. 25 episodes covering the first 8 of 18 manga volumes, so they have enough material to do a full second season, which is pretty much guaranteed.

Hard Cookies

A shopping site I occasionally order things from, which I will not name (but which isn’t Amazon), has the usual “remember me” checkbox on their login page, but it never works. Close the browser, and despite the presence of multiple cookies, the next time I go there it will not remember me.

Except it kinda does. While checking out their Cyber Weak Week deals, I happened to log in with the wrong password. I thought I’d clicked the button in my password manager, but in fact the clipboard still had the string “エデンズゼロ” in it, because I’d been searching for a cat-eared picture of the heroine of Edens Zero. It let me in anyway, apparently because of the existing cookies, but fortunately required the correct password to check previous orders or place a new one.

And now you know the reason I’m not naming the site, until I can test it to see if there’s things it will let you do with the wrong password. Which I will then attempt to responsibly disclose to the folks who run the site.

(Thursday update: the login button doesn't require any password at all, but so far, all of the options that would disclose information about me require the correct one)

Addresses An Issue

Windows 11 patch notes are a real guessing game:

  • Addresses an issue that causes devices that have certain processors to stop responding when waking from hibernation.
  • Addresses an issue that affects the System Memory Management Unit’s (SMMU) fault handling after hibernation.
  • Addresses an issue that causes get-winevent to fail, and the error is an InvalidOperationException.
  • Addresses an issue that occurs when a dialog opens within Internet Explorer.
  • Addresses an issue that causes certain apps to stop responding to input. This issue occurs on devices that have a touchpad.
  • Addresses an issue that might improperly redirect OS functionality when you invoke microsoft-edge: links.
  • Addresses an issue that automatically removes the Serbian (Latin) Windows display language from a device.
  • Addresses an issue that causes File Explorer to stop working after you close a File Explorer window.
  • Addresses an issue that prevents your device from starting up, and it becomes unresponsive because of licensing API calls.

Hey, wait, go back to that last one!

Loli power

Pixiv chooses the representative image for tags by popularity, so it’s perhaps revealing that for a while now, the most popular image tagged 女の子 (girl) is an ass-shot of Sagiri Izumi, aka Eromanga-sensei. Note that even with the “all ages” filter, most pictures of Sagiri are highly suggestive.

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