Nasally-inserted fire...

You Will Be Upgraded

For some reason, Amazon recommended a cheesy anti-snoring aid to me, sort of a bargain-basement CPAP that puts Chinese-made rechargeable batteries up your nose. The most interesting thing about it was the before/after picture:

(the reviews look as authentic as the photos; unrelated, the broken item that was rejected by the shipper was automatically refunded today (really 3-5 days from now), and the re-order will supposedly arrive in two days, shipped from a local warehouse)

Whoops, You Upgraded!

MacOS Safari 17 removed the Developer menu option to disable Javascript. This is the only way to safely browse many sites, especially the ones with pictures of pretty young women who shouldn’t go out dressed like that.

It’s still possible to disable it globally in the browser preferences, but you can’t assign a keyboard shortcut to that. It might still be possible to do it through a browser extension, but no one has updated their app-store pages to confirm compatibility.

Good thing there are other browsers that don’t know what’s best for you!

Doctor Who Disney

The new Doctor Who specials, featuring cast/crew from another, better time, will stream on Disney+, demolishing whatever interest I might have had. I can’t blame Disney, which secured the rights by the old-fashioned method of investing in the production, but every time I look at Disney+, it has the least to offer of any streaming platform.

(now, if they made a new generation of Cybermen that looked like this…)

Space to breathe

Frieren not only kicks off with a two-hour episode, it will run for two cours. In a row, even.

(wrong elf getting tickled, but I’ve wanted to use this one for a while now)

Local Pie

I finally had a chance to stop by Mehaffies, and didn’t recognize my grandmother in any of the pictures they had from the Thirties. As for the pie and cheesecake, the peach pie had excellent filling and decent crust, while the New York cheesecake was light on both crust and flavor. It would have made a good base for the cherry, strawberry, or blueberry toppings they sell, but it didn’t stand alone.

Random roundup

Drain the swamp!

My landscapers have been wondering why part of my back yard is so soggy, since they’ve overhauled the drainage and put in a lot of thirsty plants.

I’m halfway up a hill, and it hasn’t rained much in weeks, but a large section of the yard near the back fence is downright soggy. They probed in a few places to find the source, and dug down to uncover an old clay-tile drainage pipe running under the fence. It apparently used to run further down toward the street (most likely part of an old irrigation network from the original farmhouse), but it recently broke off right at the property line.

Either there’s a major water reservoir at the top of the hill, or the neighbor has a busted water line and hasn’t noticed the bill. He’ll be very motivated to fix it after my landscapers cap it off on my side. The water is going to have to come out somewhere…


Um, Pete?

“Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.”

(Update: the link should go directly to his comment, but it ends up showing the entire thread from the top; the bit I'm responding to reads "My harem of slave catgirls is extremely efficient at satisfying my needs, in fact it's superior to any alternatives.")

And you thought light novel titles were bad…

New RPG released for PC, PS5, and Switch:

Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King.

It looks like a crude dungeon-crawler.


In response to Pippa’s computer woes, someone wrote:

“Even my computer I built myself half hazardously has less problems somehow.”

At least, I’m assuming it’s an eggcorn for haphazardly; otherwise someone’s re-implemented the Halt And Catch Fire opcode. 😁

You’re grounded!

Amazon just offered me a conductive sleeping pad that implements the “proven medical benefits” of sleeping on the ground with a grounding wire. I mean, a doctor said it works, amirite?

Name that tune!

Once upon a time, there was a Jim Croce album featuring not only his best-known songs, but stories linking them together. I had it on vinyl, but I can’t find it on CD or streaming. It’s been frustrating me for decades.

I can hear his voice telling the stories, and remember bits of it, like talking about someone trying to have sex with a really fat woman (“that’s a winter-time woman”) and thinking, “‘am I there? am I there?’ you don’t know!”, and then linking that story to Roller Derby Queen’s line about “built like a ‘fridgerator with a head”. Another was a short explanation of why he didn’t use a guitar strap, because he spent a lot of time playing in cheap bars where he needed to protect his guitar when a fight broke out.

But I can’t even find anyone who mentions an album containing this stuff. Grrr.

Pie and Boxes

A Question Of Pie

Update on Frank’s recent question in the comments about (literal) cheesecake/pie joints in my area. I googled around and found a local baker named Mehaffies that’s been in business since 1930, and it looked promising.

I’ve been too busy to get over there and try them out, but while I was hanging out with my parents Saturday, I asked my mom (a very experienced baker herself), and she said, “their crusts aren’t as good as they could be”. That doesn’t mean they’re bad, but I’ll have to set my expectations appropriately. She went on to add that her mother (born in 1915) actually worked there in her youth, cutting up fresh fruit to earn some pocket money.

Speaking of pie…

Amazon US has a preorder up for a Bluray of a live-action adaptation of Recently My Sister Is Unusual.

(whoops, wrong unusual little sister!)

Speaking of Amazon…

I ordered a product with free two-day Prime delivery on the 13th (it’s now listed with free next-day Prime delivery). It… wasn’t on time, and they said that if I don’t see it by the 21st, I can request a refund on the 22nd, which will be processed in 3-5 business days. I kinda wanted it in two days.

Tracking reports that it went from Florida to Ohio on the 14th, left an Amazon warehouse on the 15th and was twice delayed in transit, and then arrived at another Amazon warehouse in Indiana on the 17th. The alleged tracking number wasn’t even valid at UPS, so this is all internal fumbling.

Checking this morning, they claim it finally got handed off to UPS in Indiana just after midnight on the 19th (with a new tracking number) and promptly made it back to Ohio six hours later, to the facility that’s about a mile from my house. UPS now claims it will arrive today, which it oughta.

By the way, if you’ve been wondering how those new green-and-cheaper shipping initiatives were working out…

Two of my recent packages not only didn’t have outer packaging, they weren’t even taped shut. If the little cardboard tabs had failed, things could easily have fallen out in the truck.

Technical Jargon: omochikaeri

The word お持ち帰り (carry + return home) most commonly refers to takeout food. In popular slang, it also refers to a one-night stand or pickup. On Pixiv, however, it most often refers to very non-consensual pickups that are stuffed but not fed.

(the set this pic is from was #1 for the tag)

Outdoor rain good, indoor rain bad

“That’s funny…”

“…why is it I can hear the thunderstorm better from the window thirty feet away in another bedroom than I can from the window four feet away?”

“Oh, because that window is leaking, spattering water across the floor. Good thing that room is full of plastic storage bins and… boxes of towels. Guess I have another call to make tomorrow.”

(in fairness, we found old water damage on that window frame during the inspection, but there was no sign that it had ever leaked again, and it’s stayed dry through every other storm over the past year; unrelated, I’m having my gutters replaced today)

3D print failures update

I’ve had two more failures, both with cheap PETG on the textured PEI plate, both with models where the bottom was full of holes (decorative for one, functional-but-poorly-designed for the other). The slicer is printing the walls around the holes first, before creating any connecting bits, and the result is that some of the tiny little donuts get loose, resulting in a messy first layer. The same model works fine on the regular plate that requires glue.

The lidar first-layer scanning doesn’t work on the textured plate, but the onboard “AI” spaghetti-detector does, so both prints were halted before they made a mess.

Dear Slashdot

In this modern age, why would you add an intrusive pop-up “inviting” users to sign up for a “daily digest” email? Is there anyone left there that understands your audience?

3D Things

I made another thing

Parametric magazine inserts for UpLula loading tool

I labeled it as a remix of this, although I pretty much jacked up the license plates and changed the car. I think I kept his variable names.

…and I finally uploaded a thing I made two years ago

Keurig Supreme Plus mug lifter

This one indirectly got me in trouble with my sister. She had emailed me asking if I could design and 3d-print a custom cover plate for her new condo, which has a peculiar thermostat design, and I answered with a series of questions about exactly what problem she was trying to solve.

She took that perfectly-normal sysadmin behavior as a refusal and dropped the conversation, only to visit my parents’ house and discover a custom-made splash-reducing mug lifter on Mom’s Keurig. She actually told her version of this story to her work friends in Tokyo while we were there, and wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise to point out that I had not, in fact, designed Mom a custom 3d print.

I designed it for me, and when Mom revealed that she had the same coffee maker and the same problem, I sent her mine. I had mostly switched to the Nespresso by that time. I made this new one largely as a test print for the new printer.

Yes, I have a new 3D printer

Specifically, the Bambu Lab X1C, with the four-slot filament changer addon. It’s a major upgrade from my old 3D45 (which I haven’t decided what to do with yet): larger build area, better tech for reliability and speed, automated filament changes, vendor support, etc, etc. The only downside is that the original Kickstarter was built around a constantly-connected Cloud Experience, which makes absolutely no sense for a device that you have to physically retrieve every print from. There’s a whiff of “AI” in the feature set as well, but at least it’s local processing on a custom chip.

I had planned to buy the new Prusa with its filament-switcher, but between the lengthy shipping delays, the increasing complaints about build quality, and the network performance straight out of the Eighties (seriously, they promise that after they fix the firmware, you could get uploads as fast as 0.3 Mb/s wired), I started looking elsewhere, and I think I made the right decision.

So far, it has delivered on every promise. The out-of-the-box experience was terrific, and I’ve had only two failed prints out of dozens, both of them my fault (although it felt a bit tragic to see the six-inch-high narrow piece fall over about three layers before it was finished, the brim was inadequate to hold it up, and the 3-year-old cheap PETG was a bit too globby, even after drying).

I don’t like the Cloud Experience, but you can work without it, and they’ve realized what a bad idea it was (mostly due to their AWS bill scaling with their sales), and are in the middle of upgrading the firmware and slicer to make it easier to work completely offline.

Also, on Saturday they learned An Important Lesson about renewing your certs: their iOS/Android app went offline when it expired, then people couldn’t reach the web site to complain, and then new print jobs stopped working because it tried to upload them to the secure cloud and then download them again. Some folks also discovered that their convenient cloud-synced profiles were missing when the cloud went poof.

Now I just need a decently-documented MQTT client so I can query the damn thing from a shell. So far I’ve only gotten one GUI tool to connect to the printer successfully (MQTT Explorer), and the command-line ones have all thrown undocumented errors.

Spock's Brains!

Dungeon Drops, episode 2

In which A Wild Bunnygirl Appears. Repeatedly. Also a boss-monster and a giant gorilla. And a great big shining spoiler drops, which we don’t get to see until next episode. Meanwhile, I swear that most of the animation budget went into Emily’s cooking.

Verdict: this is an unpretentious, inoffensive isekai that doesn’t pretend to be anything more than escapist fantasy. In a good way.

(my dungeon drops cheesecake)

ST:SNW, season 2 episode 5

I… think I’ll finish watching this one later. Secondhand embarrassment is always difficult for me.

(vaguely related, since anything related to Spock getting emotional is… corn-y)

I read this wrong the first time…

As part of my move last year, I signed up for USPS Informed Delivery, which means that I get email listing what mail and packages will be arriving today. I’m not always entirely awake when I see the email, so the headline on this morning’s flyer from Kroger looked like something for zombies or cannibals:

Witcher 3, episode 5

Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a cliffhanger half-season ending! Let’s loop through the same scenes again and again, with slightly different dialogue and point of view, forcing the viewers to assemble the actual events!

Not appearing: Our Sleeping Beauty and Our Well-Fucked Bard.

Verdict: I was wondering when spoiler was going to turn out to be an evil manipulator. Everyone else is.

(Kiki is a Witcher’s kryptonite)

Another Dumb Gun Storage Idea

So, you’re driving around with your legally-carried concealed handgun, and you need to enter a location that prohibits carry (post office, UPS/Fedex depot, church, dentist, country club, sports bar, Ikea, etc), so you need to unholster and secure the weapon in your vehicle.

Never mind that doing this at your destination is about as sensible as a Silicon Valley engineer conspicuously putting an expensive laptop into the trunk of their car outside of a restaurant (I can’t count the number that were reported stolen to me…), let’s talk about where you’re going to put it:

  • in the glovebox? vaguely lockable, but everyone looks there.

  • in the trunk, assuming your car has one? ditto, and just as conspicuous as the laptop.

  • in a locking vault that’s at least secured to the car by a security cable? the usual solution, one that I’m not entirely comfortable with.

  • inside the driver’s headrest? oh, very subtle; unless all your windows are tinted black, you’ve just flashed your piece to everyone nearby while pointing it at your passengers.

(by the way, that list of prohibited locations is everything I’ve run into since moving back to Ohio)

Looking for tips?

The UN “Human Rights” Council is investigating a Japanese talent agency over its history of sexually assaulting young male idols. I’m sure that many Hollywood execs will read their report with one hand in their pants.

(now, as for the abuses at the female idol factories, I don’t think there’s been an agency-wide exposé yet)

Spoiler: she flies the ship

Witcher 3, episode 1

First impression: this is where the source material gets increasingly convoluted, making the show hard to binge. There was basically an entire episode of review material to remind you what happened in the previous two seasons, and it barely scratched the surface. Then the actual episode began and larded it up good.

Verdict: rough start, but some good character moments that made it worthwhile.

ST:SNW, season 2 episode 4

Nothing says Classic Trek like mashing up half a dozen classic trek tropes. Chief among them: “finessing the Prime Directive”.

Verdict: I’m okay with this. More than okay, really; I’m for it.

Today (okay, yesterday) I Learned…

…that you can’t buy rubbing alcohol at the self-checkout; a senior clerk needs to come over and check your ID to verify that you’re over 16.

I can’t find out if this is state law, local law, or Kroger policy, but like every interrupt on their self-checkout systems, it’s uninformative and silent. They seem to think that customers constantly look at the screen while they’re running their groceries across the scanner, instead of just getting it over with, beep-beep-beep.

Solution To Wrong Problem

If I had a QNAP NAS, their security history leads me to think I’d need something better than anti-vibration feet.

“…I’ll wait for my police to get here…”

Atlanta-area mayor arrested for breaking and entering. He was held at gunpoint by the irate homeowner until the cops took him away (the mayor, not the homeowner).

Loctite Harder!

I recently had a set of TruGlo TFX Pro sights installed on a 1911. I took it to the range yesterday, as one does, and the first three shots were three inches to the left at 10 yards. Still touching, but way off target. So I dropped the mag, emptied the chamber, inspected it, and found the rear sight loose. About to fall off, in fact.

The TFX Pro has a set screw on top, which the gunsmith had called out to me when I picked it up, letting me know that he’d secured it with loctite, and if I ever needed to adjust the sights, I’d need to redo that. I actually watched him loctite the screw into place, but it managed to work its way loose in less than 500 rounds.

Fortunately that wasn’t the only thing I packed for this range trip; I had the P322, the Buck Mark, and a K-Mart blue-light-special Winchester 190 .22 rifle from ~1974. It (the 190, that is) needs a good cleaning, since it had difficulty getting the first round into battery every time I loaded the tube, but once the first one made it up the pipe, it emptied the mag reliably and accurately.

(as with many old guns, a clean copy of the manual can be purchased online)

Become a rolling stone!

Sorry, Pete, but…

…I gave up trying to make sense of jpop lyrics years ago. Best guess, they’re advising girls to put out early and often, which is aligned with their fan’s desires. 😁

(I didn’t know the “rolling stone gathers no moss” idiom (転がる石には 苔は付かない) existed in Japan, but since it’s a literal translation, perhaps it was a Meiji-era import)

Today I Learned…

…that a Sig P322 .22LR fits perfectly in a holster for a Ruger American 9mm. Actually, it fit better than the Ruger did. First range impression: the magazines are fussy to load, and the gun is very finicky about ammo. Fun fact: if you try to load the magazines with a .22 double-stack UpLula, the spring doesn’t compress correctly and the magazine body swells slightly.

On the bright side, if you manage to correctly load ammo it likes, it’s a very fun pistol to shoot. And it comes in a decent little case with a second magazine and a basic loading tool. Pity they skimped a bit by not including a printed manual, just a QR code to download one.

(Miss Paizuri’s tight-fitting holster is unrelated)

Reddit won?

The only subreddit I follow that’s still locked down and claiming “we’ve moved to the fediverse” is r/functionalprint (~1,500 people out of ~400,000 have signed up for, which has no defined terms of service, so good luck out there). The rest have all gone back to normal.

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