November 2022

A-cup Alchemist 5

In which a teeny-tiny bit of plot leaks into the daily adventures of Our Unstoppable Alchemist, but is quickly smothered under bats, hats, and gloves.

(official art again, because there’s no fan-art to speak of)

After banishing coherent plotting and pacing, we’re going to make a second season of McPharmacist & Waifu anyway

Yeah, whatever. How they’ll put the pieces back together after throwing so much story away, I have no idea.

Fuck you, Homebrew devs

They just added this lengthy message to their software when you run brew upgrade:

Warning: You are using macOS 10.15.
We (and Apple) do not provide support for this old version.
It is expected behaviour that some formulae will fail to build in this old version.
It is expected behaviour that Homebrew will be buggy and slow.
Do not create any issues about this on Homebrew’s GitHub repositories.
Do not create any issues even if you think this message is unrelated.
Any opened issues will be immediately closed without response.
Do not ask for help from MacHomebrew on Twitter.
You may ask for help in Homebrew’s discussions but are unlikely to receive a response.
Try to figure out the problem yourself and submit a fix as a pull request.
We will review it but may or may not accept it.

On the bright side, I’m now saving $10/month on Patreon!

Flatcat & Sword 5

In which Our Killer Kitten pouts adorably when Our Sword-Dad accidentally steals her kill, and big bugs are no big deal, but a greater demon is a real… handful. Next week: the boss fight continues.

Futoku no Guild 1 & 2

Proof that there really isn’t much “fansubbing” going on any more (as opposed to just copying the work of paid streaming services), I finally found the first two episodes of this show over the weekend, each from a different group.

It’s terrible, by the way. Badly drawn, poorly written, and yet still more entertaining than some things that got licensed this season (I’m looking at you, Renai Flops).


Post-reopening, there are two apps used for getting into Japan. One to prove your Covid status (mandatory), and one to pre-clear immigration (optional).

No, wait, they changed it again on November 1st. Now there's an all-in-one site that generates the QR codes to get you through.

Unrelated, no kids came to my door for Halloween. Something to do with the combination of rain, a dead-end sidewalk, and a 75-foot walk uphill, no doubt.

Delicious Lap Pillow

Hoe Harem 6

In which Pure Farmer Power causes the Evil Plan to backfire, awakening Our One True Best Girl to her destinies, both professional and personal.

Very personal. Seriously, Ruri, “gochisōsama-deshita”?!? That little slip more than made up for the bad CGI on the giant worms. And the excessively talky fight scene.

Sadly, Our Worst Mom also gets some screen time, although she ends up acting her age in the end.

(unrelated heroine is unrelated)

Beast Tamer 6

Team Waifu demonstrates their loyalty and their susceptibility to light petting as they follow Our Taming Hero deep into the woods to run an errand for Our Dipshit Hero. After last week’s digression, we’re back on track for harem expansion, with Fairy Loli Twin #1 begging for help rescuing Fairy Loli Twin #2. Next week, that is, and I’m sure they’ll both officially be Waifu-broken by the end of it. Pretty safe bet, since they’re in the credits…

If they keep to the pattern, I expect another episode of dealing with the hero party and two that focus on Fox Loli Waifu, leaving three episodes to introduce Yet Another Girl (a human knight who doesn’t seem to be a tameable haremette) and have her recruit the party to clean up corruption in her order as some sort of series finale.

Covid/Customs QR Code

The Visit Japan Web site processes scanned passports in about five minutes (provided you actually rotate them, not just let an iphone flag them as landscape), but apparently the Covid certification is reviewed by hand, and takes a few days. Three, for me. But now I’m all set for the trip.

They want you to log into the site on your phone’s browser to display the QR code at the airport, warning you that showing up with a printed code might take longer. Oooooookay then.

What a guy!

Elon Musk just paid three months salary and benefits to thousands of struggling workers to give them the opportunity to Learn To Code.

A-cup Alchemist 6

This week, bikini clam hunting. The jokes just write themselves, and that’s before the slimy tentacles came out to play…

Amusingly, Our Darling Flat Alchemist picked out an age-appropriate swimsuit for Our Young Shopgirl that just happened to mask her large chest. Fortunately, Our Clam-Diving Gather Girls went for tiny little string bikinis that the camera was happy to zoom in on.

Credit Space

Today I Learned that some previous version of 1Password inserted literal spaces into credit card numbers to break the number into groups. It always displays them this way, but you have to edit the item to find out if they were stored with spaces or without.

This is important because some Javascript validators only allow you to paste 16 characters into a CC field, even counting non-numbers that they ignore, but then don’t run the trivial checksum against the results before you hit submit. Took me a moment…

Roam, if you want to

Apparently there’s no point in renting a pocket wifi device while I’m in Japan, because they’re out of stock at all the vendors I’ve tried. Spectrum’s international roaming isn’t bad compared to ¥860/day, but the pocket wifi would support 10 devices at once, allowing us to freely use our tablets as well while out and about. Maybe they’ll have them at their airport kiosks when we get there.

Flatcat & Sword 6

I wish to point out that in the brief montage where Fran thinks about the people she’s protecting in the town, they included the panty vendor. Combined with Fran’s post-battle reaction shots, this is sufficient for me to forgive Sword-Dad for geeking out over stats and skills.

Next week: Interview With The Jerkface.

(brief, but necessary for setting up something that happens later)

Voter ID

The first time I voted after moving to California in the Nineties, I naturally showed my ID at the polls, only to be told that I didn’t need to and they didn’t care. Now that I’m back in Ohio, I was pleasantly surprised that they still require ID.

So: paper ballot, at the Moose Lodge, with proper ID, and the poll workers were having a spirited discussion about preserving the chain of custody and getting the results delivered downtown as soon as the polls close.

Pity it’s not that way everywhere, especially today…

Speaking of Slime

Reincarnated as a Slime the movie streams early next year, and season three of the show has been announced.

Home Stone

Pallets of Pavers for Patio have arrived. Looking forward to the upcoming work. The hardscaping should start Friday, and the landscaping should start next week (delayed by the supervisor’s wife’s early delivery).

Hopefully they can get a lot of work done before it gets too cold; the current extended forecast has it dropping well below freezing at night starting Saturday and lasting at least a week.

Also, they finished up the floors today (with the exception of one little stretch of shoe molding that can’t be installed until the main contractor finishes making the new shim to connect the shower insert to the floor; which won’t happen until he’s back from vacation). Time to unpack!

“You keep using that word…”

I was looking at tech accessories on Amazon, and came across the following delightful description:

“Made of high-quality organic silicone”

Rainy-day Roundup

Temperatures are supposed to drop about 25°F tonight and stay that way for at least a week, so today’s rain will be followed by tomorrow’s snow. Welcome back to the midwest, eh?

1Password ssh-agent

I missed this announcement, but it does seem to work, as long as all of your keys are recent/strong enough. It imports your private keys into a vault (replacing the passphrase with their security) and acts as your ssh-agent, allowing you to transparently sync keys to your Linux, Mac, and Windows devices, and the browser extension correctly detects common cloud and source control platforms that you’d want to paste public keys into. It also handles any necessary format conversions on import, which is handy when you’ve got a mixed audience of Windows and Mac/Linux users.

Never explain!

I’ve been idly following the light novels for Realist Hero, and the latest one, book 17, finally fills in every detail of how things work and how they got that way. It’s been lurking in the background for a while now, with the author dribbling out nonsense about time travel, dungeons, “overtech”, and nanites, but it comes to a head here when Our Realist Harem King (who just added two more wives) resolves the Great War Against The Demons with the words “sudo make me a sandwich”.

This follows and is followed by a complete history of the world and its creatures. And it’s really dumb.

(okay, those weren’t his exact words…)

The Killin’ Slimes & Collectin’ Cuties light novels have pretty much run out of steam as well, with the latest volume consisting of a series of unrelated short stories that accomplish nothing. In fairness, the premise was always pretty limited in what they could do once the full cast was assembled and sufficient wacky hijinks ensued. Best Girl Beelzebub was pretty much the only thing holding my interest, and she doesn’t show up nearly often enough.

(see? no Beelzebub!)

False advertising

Last week, when discussing the upcoming election with my mother, I had to correct her on the nature of one of the items. Because she reads the local newspaper, she had picked up an erroneous impression about the constitutional amendment to prevent non-citizens from voting in local elections. She thought it would allow it, so she intended to vote no.

I hadn’t read any voting guides, and I haven’t subscribed to a newspaper in… well, ever, so I just read the sample ballot, which was perfectly clear. Since it passed 77% to 23%, relatively few people were fooled, despite the best efforts of the activists.

Dear Smith & Wesson

I would never buy a concealed-carry pistol that has giant letters shouting EQUALIZER on the slide. No matter how big your advertising budget is (and it’s apparently quite large, judging from the amount of email, ads, and puff pieces this week). I don’t even want to sign up for any of the giveaway packages at various retailers, because it just doesn’t appeal to me, even without the silly name and rollmarking.

I also wouldn’t buy a Tactical Rowdy Elite Combat Patriot Pit Bull Extreme, which would take up about as much space on the slide. I definitely wouldn’t carry anything with a “cool” name, because even a perfectly obvious self-defense situation will likely end up in civil court, where your Bloody Decker 45 with an engraved Punisher logo will look a bit peculiar to a jury carefully selected to know nothing about guns.

The CSX, on the other hand, is a very nice piece that would be a fine replacement for the long-discontinued Star M43 Firestar, except for the three-handed-hammer-and-punch field stripping and the smooth, floppy spacers on the 12-round magazines, which should be firmly attached and stippled.

(speaking of nice pieces, a while back I picked up the Jeff Quinn limited-edition Ruger GP-100 in .44 Special for an excellent price; good thing I bought lots of ammo during Obama’s first term, because 44SP is running $1/round most places, if you can find it at all)

Going on the list…

While I’m in Japan, I’ll have to see if I can find a P-90 keychain/charm to match the one Karen Kohiruimaki has. But I’m not going to spray-paint my PS-90 pink. 😁


“Best Girl, Hoe!”

Hoe Harem 7

In which obvious plot is obvious, as is the cliffhanger ending. On the bright side, there’s enough Ruri to keep it from bogging down. On the infodump side, The Secret History Of Our Clingy Mom is revealed, as well as The Mystery Of Mister Mailman.

Best moment not involving Ruri: Our Farming Hero is sitting at home at night polishing his hoe (not a euphemism) when Our Dutiful Princess shows up unannounced, dumps him, and rides off without explaining.

Beast Tamer 7

In which Fairy Loli Twin Waifu #2 is rescued, to the surprise of no one, Our Obnoxious Hero Party is snidely astonished at getting what they demanded, to the surprise of no one, and a lengthy infodump is dropped explaining the whole hero-vs-demon-king thing, to the surprise of no one.

Then FLTW2 points out that Our Taming Harem Lord fits the bill just as well as Our Nasty Chosen Hero, to the surprise of no one.

In other news, they won the fight against the Big Bad Demon Knight because of a special power that he had all along but had never mentioned before, which even Our Dragon Waifu calls shenanigans on.

(…to the surprise of no one…)

Tsundere Linux…

In my upcoming trip to Japan, I was going to see if this had a new edition, and then I realized that tsundere linux is just systemd.

3D Cheesecake: the wet look

The new FN High Power pistol is a modern update to the classic Browning/Saive-designed P35, with ambidextrous controls, higher magazine capacity (in free countries), improved sights, etc, etc. I still haven’t seen one in a gun store yet, so I haven’t been able to make a direct comparison against the original, but perhaps they’ll start being produced in quantity next year.

But there’s one way in which it’s still a throwback design: lubrication. Where recently-designed pistols taking full advantage of modern materials and coatings might tell you to put exactly one drop of oil in each of 6 precise locations, the manual for the new High Power has an oiling page that looks like a parts list, with a total of 30 places to lubricate.

But enough about that; here’s a much more interesting set of high/power lube points.

Note: I went into this sure that I had more pictures of well-oiled cheesecake, but they just didn’t turn up when I was scrubbing through my archives, so nearly all are watery instead of oily. Perhaps I need an AI tagging system.


Black Cat Curry

A-cup Alchemist 7

Last week’s crisis is this week’s double flashback, as Our Overpowered Underblessed Heroine struggles to live without her special pendant while remembering how she got it in the first place. I couldn’t help but think that scene would have ended very differently in many shows, as the young schoolgirl was lured into the shop and led downstairs to the dungeon…

(not an alchemist shop, but just as fluffy…)

Flatcat & Sword 7

In which The Jerkface (he’s certainly not one of Ours) gets a first helping of what’s coming to him, and Our Cute Cuddly Kitten gets the first of many helpings of Curry. Followed by the appearance of two new characters, one of whom won’t last very long.

(I wouldn’t object to some fan-art of hot-curry grownup Fran…)

GGO light novels 1-10

As some among you may have guessed, I’ve been revisiting the Gun Gale Online series, first the anime, then the translated light novels. It was an excellent show, and the books are pretty decent as well, although I don’t think the later ones would have made for a good second season.

Some of it is simply that it isn’t as fresh, with the author keeping to a fairly narrow formula for the in-game sections rather than exploring the possibilities of what would actually be a pretty cool game. He really only had one idea, Squad Jam, and beats it to death; when he tries to do something else, it doesn’t work in the context of the game.

Perhaps a bigger problem is the time spent on characters I don’t have any reason to care about. Basically, pretty much all the significant characters who appear in the anime become at least loosely allied, forcing him to build up new rivals, and they’re just not developed enough to be interesting. A good example is the girl who takes over the team of comic-relief machine-gunners and turns them into a formidable force: the hook for her is that she’s one of Fuka’s rivals in Alfheim Online, but after thirty seconds of banter, it never matters again.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve cleaned a 1911. I’d forgotten how involved the field-stripping process is when you’ve got a compensator and a full-length guide rod. I’d also forgotten how filthy all those nooks and crannies get; designers have learned a few things in the 100+ years since JMB invented most modern firearms.

(mine started life as a basic blued Springfield M1911A1 over 30 years ago, and I gradually added mostly-drop-in third-party parts that typically come standard now, although ambi thumb safeties are still as uncommon as left-handed holsters; I hadn’t shot it in about five years, between work and Wuflu)


Despite the scary warning, Homebrew continues to function perfectly on Catalina, providing compatible updates to packages. Catalina-specific binary packages continue to be built, so the end is not yet nigh.

Shibuya kittens

I doubt any of the residents of this Black Cat village are as cute as Fran, but they’re definitely old enough for a career in fan-service.

Beware Of Maid Dragon

I walked right past this on the way to the Uji Tea Dojo after getting katsu curry udon at Nakamura Udon in Uji; my sister didn’t understand why I had to go back and get a picture. There was another “slow children at play” sort of sign nearby, but I didn’t recognize the character.

Happy Lesson, Used

Another little item I had to explain to my sister.

Wandering through an anime shop, I was surprised to find a figurine from, of all things, Happy Lesson. They had the two sisters as well, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the snoopy, besotted, glasses-wearing classmate Fumitsuki. Pity they wiped her memory at the end of the season…

(actual figure is cuter than the picture; the plastic box and the lighting don’t flatter it)

Kyoto-tan desu!

There were plenty of kimono-clad cuties at Kiyomizu-dera, most marred by masks that didn’t match their style, but I saw only one in 2D, working the lobby of Bic Camera at Kyoto Station.

Later, we were eating lunch somewhere, and Yofukashi No Uta started playing, so I looked around the room for suspiciously-hot vampire chicks. I didn’t find any, even though Falling came on about three songs later.

Related, Spy×Family is clearly the hot show right now, based on the book and merchandise displays. I did find an endcap with A-cup Alchemist and Flatcat & Sword manga volumes, but no sign of Beast Tamer or Hoe Harem. Definitely nothing for Futoku No Guild. 😁


Osaka’s Koreatown is clearly the real thing, even though Remo and Chiun must have had the day off.

As a tourist destination, though, it does not live up to the hype. Admittedly it was pouring down rain, but even so, there was basically nothing to buy unless you were into kimchi and knockoff k-pop pretty-boy merch, and nothing to see except a typical mostly-food shopping street.

Ditto the “retro” shopping district around Tsutenkaku Tower, whose JNTO page was actually deleted recently, so I can’t quote it without using the Wayback machine. TL/DR: mostly closed, and what was open was less interesting than kimchi and knockoff k-pop pretty-boy merch. There was a crew working on the sign, so maybe they’re revitalizing it. Or tearing it down completely.

Fortunately, we were mostly just killing time on a rainy day waiting to get into Tenpei Gyoza near Umeda Station, which is a religious experience. They do one thing, and they do it very, very well. Combined with the over-the-top food floors in the Hankyu building, we have vowed never to stay in any of the hotels around Osaka/Umeda stations, unless we plan to die of a calorie overdose.

Annoying note: Google Maps has weird UI issues on iPhones. Several times it got stuck in navigation and refused to show the search box until we force-restarted the app, on other occasions it wouldn’t enter the turn-by-turn navigation for walking, and then sometimes when it did the instructions would be in Japanese, but most annoying, it was not at all clear when it was using a mix of indoor and outdoor routes.

We ended up taking twice as long to reach Tenpei as necessary, in the rain, because it didn’t make it clear at the start of the walk that it was taking us via a nice dry underground passage. The surface streets that it always displayed almost lined up, most of the time, but because it thought we were following along the undisplayed indoor path, it assumed the GPS location was approximate, and never gave us any information that would have corrected the accumulated errors.

Coming back, we caught the brief flash of a “hey, this route goes indoors” popup, and stayed dry all the way back to the station.

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