Episodes 11

Winter Watch?

So far, I’m mildly interested in the second season of Bofuri (the lather-rinse-repeat powering-up of Maple gets old after a while, and I think the first season stopped at a good point), and will at least give the first episode of Nier:Automata a shot because y’know, her. Most of the rest are second-to-Nth seasons of things I didn’t watch before, or the usual beaten-to-death isekai themes, or just lame. I mean, what can you say about a season where the big fan-service comedy is about being turned into a puppy and adopted by a busty high-school girl, guaranteeing plenty of low-angle camera work?

A-Cup Alchemist 11

According to Sarasa Feed’s Art Of War, preparation is the key to defeating a powerful foe. Therefore, the first half of this episode is devoted to gathering materials and making weapons and protective gear suitable for taking on a Salamander that’s triggering earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. After preparation comes execution, and by now it should come as no surprise that Our Alchemical Wonder Girl is an ace at executing things, even if she does need a little boost to Give Her All.

Amusing cameo by Our Mysterious Masked Mistress. Clearly, great alchemical minds think alike, at least when it comes to pointless domino masks.

I’m expecting a sappy happy-ending finale next episode, with just a hint of yuri.

(Sarasa’s not the first heroine who needs to be carried home after casting a big spell…)

Flatcat & Sword 11

So She’s Fighting A Spider, So What?, in which Our Depowered Kitten refuses to give in to despair, poison, and pulverized internal organs, holding out long enough for Sword-Dad to come to the rescue. Woof. Special bonus elf-cleavage as Our Mothering A-Ranker breaks out the big guns. Woof.

However they wrap it up in episode 12, there will be… Flatcat Season 2! (date unknown)

Hoe Harem 11

Happiness is a warm hoe, with two haremettes bent over… to pick vegetables! Then a series of random events leads to meeting Our Latest Loli, who lures Our Heroic Hoe-er away from some Really Important Weeding for an Overseas Solo Adventure that starts to get grim, until A Sudden Twist explains why they wasted an entire episode killing off Our Childhood Girlfriend.

Unexplained is how You’re-Not-My-Real-Mom knew to use Reaks’ name to explain her presence. Also the whole dead-and-buried thing, but I’m sure that’s going to feature prominently in the next episode’s exposition. Now, as for Our Mystery Angel who’s been hanging out in the opening credits waiting for someone to bonk Al over the head, will there really be enough time in the final episode to explain her as well as everything else that’s going on? I vote “no”.

(because there’s still basically no fan-art for this show, we’ve secretly replaced the key characters from this episode with Folger’s Crystals GGO battle lolis)

Beast Tamer 11

In which Team Harem rescues the hostages and wipes the floor with the bad guys, while Our Taming Hero uses last week’s new power to free Our Fox Loli from captivity by… taming her! Then the evil plot backfires because of course he’s now immune to instant-death and all other negative status effects; that’s just what Ultimate Girl Power does for a guy.

But wait, there’s more! The backlash from Asshat #2’s failed ass(hat)ass(hat)ination attempt summons a giant cliffhanger! Team Harem, Fight-o!

This one goes to 13, by the way, so if I manage to catch up before Saturday, I can watch the big finish Christmas Eve. Because I have no intention of driving anywhere when it’s 1°F after days of mixed rain and snow, and it’s a major drinking holiday.


Higashi Honganji, the temple pretty much everyone sees in Kyoto because it’s just up the street from the station, had a special night-time event while we were there where they turned the Shosei-en garden into a moonlit book store. My sister looked up the English version of their site to see what it was about, and was immediately turned off when she saw that they’d be serving hot cow piss.

The folks at Calpis really need to contact all the online translation sites and get them on the same page.

(speaking of vending-machine drinks, I found the Georgia Emerald Mountain “special blend” canned coffee (blue can) to be quite drinkable, hot or cold; this is of course because the “blend” refers to milk and sugar, while most of them are quite bitter black coffee)


Homebrew doesn’t seem to notice or care that I upgraded my Mac to Monterey, other than that it’s stopped complaining about Catalina being old and stable. None of the installed packages were altered in any way.

MacPorts, on the other hand, simply refuses to run until you go through a convoluted upgrade reinstall process. This clearly could be scripted, but the closest they get is having a TCL (!) script for the package reinstallation step.


I can haz front steps! After the cement and mortar finishes curing for 48 hours, anyway. They spent today scrambling to get plants into the ground before the upcoming storm and freeze. For their own benefit as well as mine: they need their trucks and equipment back to prep for the fallout. Snow removal is a big part of their business this season.

Episodes 10

A-Cup Alchemist 10

In which everything happens all at once: Our Klutzy Gather Girl turns out to be the daughter of an impoverished noble house served by the family of Our Busty Gather Elf, and they’re so deep in debt their best offer is an arranged wedding, but the prospective groom is the son of the SoB that Team Alchemy just bankrupted so clearly there’s some kind of scam involved, and then Our A-Team sets out to solve The Mystery Of Giant Flaming Rage Bear Mountain while quickly making a bundle to help with the family debt(s), which leads to a nearly-fatal encounter with Tougher Monsters, and when Our Overpowered Alchemigal chops them into stew meat, there’s a sudden volcanic eruption that releases An Even Tougher Monster.

It’s like they took a look at the episode count and suddenly rushed to cram it all in before the end of the series.

Flatcat & Sword 10

In which excessive exposition and physical comedy lead Our Dysfunctional Dungeon Delvers to drop their guard, only to be caught in a trap. Suddenly deprived of The Power Of Sword-Dad, Our Curry-Mad Catgirl is forced to fight… The Cliffhanger!

(unrelated, I’d be happy to see a naughty spinoff series about the girl who appears in the how-to-learn-water-magic portion of the exposition…)

Hoe Harem 10

In which it’s like the previous episode never happened and we’re back to the wacky harem hijinks, with Our Happy Hoemonger picking up a new girl in the woods and carrying her off to his bed, leading Best Girl Ruri to assume the worst (but still come to the rescue anyway). The actual wacky plot is the worst yet, resolved with the power of… asparagus.

On the bright side, Our New Girl cleans up nicely, but her promise to steal Al away from his harem as soon as she’s old enough is doomed to failure, since she has no idea just who she’s up against. I mean, she works in a pendant shop, and the opposition includes a magical princess, a half-dragon adventurer, and a hero-with-a-capital-H. Her only chance is if it’s a naked mud-wrestling match, in which case the winners will be everyone watching.

(unrelated Tsundere Elf is here to remind Netflix that they haven’t resumed running Uncle yet after its production woes)

Beast Tamer 10

In which Asshat #1 (Teh Hero) meets Asshat #2 (Loli Collector And FoxLoli Kicker), and joins forces to kill Our Taming Hero. Next episode. Also, we finally find out what special power he gets from Our Twin Fairy Loli Waifus, after they wondered why there didn’t seem to be one last week.

The Last Good Knight finally shows up and hires Team Harem to clean up the corrupt knights who enable Asshat #2 to get away with his crimes. Given the relative power levels, this takes about two minutes, and mostly happens offscreen. Our Good Lady Knight gets to take down her boss in a classic samurai-movie face-off, which ought to count for something.

IMHO, A#2’s villainy was a bit gratuitous. Seriously, he demands that Our Twin Fairy Loli Waifus be handed over to him as sex toys, orders his guards to kill Rein to get his way, orders his surviving guards to murder the innocent townsfolk if Rein doesn’t surrender them, and then pays the knights off to cover up their failure, and the rescued townies then reveal that he does this all the time, openly kidnapping women to abuse in his mansion. But that wasn’t enough for the writers, who then show him keeping an N-tailed loli foxgirl in chains and battering her with his boots to make himself feel better. Twice.

Seriously, just give him a mustache and have him twirl it. We get it, he’s a villain. And so is Teh Hero, who does his own clean-shaven mustache-twirling.

The mistake shared with Hoe Harem is someone thinking that light-hearted harem hijinks isn’t enough, and there has to be A Serious Subplot somewhere, which is like a rap break in a bouncy bubblegum k-pop tune.


My sister and I both ordered yen from our banks before the trip, taking advantage of the excellent exchange rate, which the Japanese government has managed to reduce a bit since then.

Unexpectedly, both of our banks split the money into equal numbers of ¥10000, ¥5000, ¥2000, and ¥1000 bills. ¥2000 bills are a recent innovation that are actually quite rare in Japan, and sometimes difficult to use. Most machines accept them, but human clerks are usually surprised, and often briefly confused. They were, however, a huge hit at flea and craft markets, where vendors were excited to see them, and treated them as collectibles.

I’d still have preferred to have most of the money in ¥10000 bills, just to reduce bulk, so next time I may ask for maybe 20 ¥2000 bills with the rest in ¥10000, and just break a few right away. (we both had credit cards with no foreign-transaction fees, but it’s still not unusual to run into cash-only stores, even for fairly expensive items; and of course the flea markets and craft markets run on cash)

Speaking of which, the best place I found to get change was the capsule-toy change machine in Akihabara Station, which would take a ¥10000 bill and give you 8 ¥1000 bills and 20 ¥100 coins. Other large banks of capsule-toy machines probably have similar machines, but the ones in Nakano Broadway looked kind of dubious, so I didn’t try them.

(bubble wrap wasn’t the only padding available at Don Quijote…)

In home-improvement news,

I’m kind of wondering about the progress of all the outdoor work, with the weather promising to drop by 30°F this weekend. They’re here with two crews every weekday, simultaneously doing the stonework and putting in the new plants, but none of it looks like they’re actually finishing. Particularly the steps leading to the front and back doors, although they made enough progress at it today that I at least know what they’ll look like. I’d kind of like to have a place for delivery drivers to drop off packages without keeping the garage door open.

Side note:

I found Musk’s “should I stop running Twitter” poll to be a hilarious bit of trolling. Obviously he has new executive candidates in mind, and the poll didn’t have a date on it, so he wins no matter how many bots stuff the ballot box. And also gets a nice list of active bots.

Episodes 9

A-Cup Alchemist 9

In which Our Intrepid Adventurers make a run on honey in order to get flush, and discover that Our Alchemical Genius is kind of shitty at providing important safety tips, but everything comes out in the end, and they paper over the cracks in their relationship.

Then their parents show up!

Flatcat & Sword 9

In which Our Combatative Kitten whips a whiner and gets whipped by a whipper, undercutting the rumors that her promotion was less about the sword and more about the tail.

No curries were harmed in the creation of this episode.

Hoe Harem 9

The Tale Of The Feral Loli, in which First Girl doesn’t live long enough to become Best Girl, and the reason Our Hoe Lord sticks to farming is revealed to be heartbreak (figuratively and literally). Real downer after all the slapstick comedy and harem antics.

(unrelated kitties to lighten the mood…)

Beast Tamer 9

I know you’re thinking, “what this show really needs is more time spent with The Asshat Hero And His Terrible Party, and maybe another Completely Unrelated Asshat to harass the girls and try to break up Our Taming Hero’s party”. No, wait, no one was thinking that.

As expected, the tamer-on-tamer fight was brief and resolved with a completely new power that’s never been mentioned before. A slight twist is that the thieves weren’t entirely in the wrong, and the person who hired Our Harem Heroes wasn’t entirely in the right, giving off a faint whiff of Very Special Episode, complete with Moral Lessons Learned.

In the end, though, the things that really matter (at least to Our Twin Fairy Loli Waifus) are headpats and hotdogs.

(unrelated headpat-receiving ponygirl is unrelated)


I finally bit the bullet and ‘upgraded’ my Macbook Air from Catalina to Monterey (after testing it extensively on my work-supplied Mac for months). The #1 annoyance is the reduced contrast everywhere, with small gray fonts and minimal separation between window content and decoration. So I turned on the ‘accessibility’ option to increase contrast, which broke the menus in Edge’s InPrivate mode by significantly reducing their contrast (now black text on a dark gray background). Sadly, Edge doesn’t let you customize the theme for InPrivate mode; there are a number of unresolved support discussions about how the way the current visual separation between normal/private works is really stupid, going back to before Covid was just a line item in Fauci’s research funding.

It looks like I’ll have to upgrade my phone and ipad to 16.2 this week as well, since the latest zero-day security patch to 15.x is only available if your device can’t run 16. Fuck you with a toaster, Apple. Actually, these days, perhaps an air fryer would get the point across better…

My motive for the upgrade? Too busy to finish migrating off the Mac before New Years, and Microsoft has stopped upgrading the version of Office that runs on Catalina. Adobe is still providing updates for the working version of CC, but the latest version of their core apps doesn’t run, so that was a consideration as well.

(Apple of course would prefer that I upgrade to Ventura, which is still in early Beta)

Episodes 8

Catching up a week at a time…

A-Cup Alchemist 8

In which cute girls plot cute revenge, discovering and destroying a threat without even resorting to a two-parter. Also, our Darling Flat Protagonist demonstrates precisely why I’ve been calling this show ACA by “jokingly” threatening her more-endowed friends with Magically Induced Mastectomies.

(she did not, however, threaten her busty young assistant’s assets)

Flatcat & Sword 8

So, when a mustache-twirling villain is a catman, is that whisker-twirling? I ask purely for information, because as soon as Our Traumatized Kitten overcame her fear, his parts were no longer part of Our Story, and everything shifted back to slapstick and cuteness.

Hoe Harem 8

In which Prince Humperdink is marrying Buttercup in a little less than half an hour… oh, wait, wrong story. Let’s just say that the soundtrack for the successful rescue of Our Princess Bride was Yakety Sax, with Our Chicken Farmer running away from a confrontation between haremettes, and then throwing cold water on their wifely ambitions with a cliffhanger revelation that No, There Is Another. (and he’s not talking about Halfdragon Helen)

(no, it’s not Yor, either, although SxF is so popular right now that I wouldn’t be surprised if the characters start crossing over into other shows)

Beast Tamer 8

The special no-swimsuit beach episode, in which Our Taming Hero finally gets an eyeful of sweet, sweet waifu-flesh, while the audience just gets a full course of Buy-The-Bluray flare and steam.

For next week, they’ve set up a fight with another tamer, which if it goes like every other fight in this series, will be over before it starts.


The landscapers are simultaneously building a new back patio, rebuilding the front porch, regrading the side yard, setting up proper drainage, and planting on all sides of the house. As a result, the only way in or out right now is the garage door, and the driveway is blocked by their equipment during the day. So it’s a good thing I work from home.

Monday, the interior contractor sent a guy to touch up all the wood stain, rip out the over-the-range microwave and prep for the new ducted range hood, and rip out the old second half-size burner so that space can be turned into something useful. I expected them to be back on Tuesday to continue, but they didn’t show until late in the afternoon, and then only to remove trash. Turns out the new range hood that was ordered six weeks ago still hasn’t arrived.

I can get by with a torn-up kitchen for a while (although I obviously won’t be hosting a family Christmas…), but gosh, wouldn’t it have been nice if they’d done that work while I was out of the country for three weeks, as originally planned?

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)

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.

“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.

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”

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