Saving points for Ancient Weapons skills

(classical reference)

Banished from my slow life by a fiercely-thickening plot, we skipped the as-you-know-bob and cut to saving the Hero, episode 11

They had to chainsaw their way through a lot of story to stay on target to finish book 4 this season, but I think it still makes sense. The catch is that I’ve read book 4, so it’s possible I’m just filling in the gaps. Aaanyhoo, thanks to Our Assassin and Our Big Guy, Our Couple finally knows the real score, and the gang’s all here, including Our Villain and Our Scenery-Chewing Nutball, exploring a very suspicious-looking elven ruin, with everyone convinced they’re saving Our Chosen Hero. For various definitions of “saving”.

Tisse is adorable and admirable as she embraces her chosen role as Hero’s Best Friend, Ruti’s experiments with chemically-induced humanity are paying off in Cuteness, and they took the time to make all the girls look good without focusing on the fan-service.

(she’s capable of smiling now)

Komi, episode 9

Back to school and back to lighter vignettes, with Everyone’s Childhood Friend pushing Our Komi out of her comfort zone with mixed results, including a cute one with another painfully shy girl managing to overcome her own troubles by completely misinterpreting Komi’s behavior.

Househunting: one last maybe

Unless someone’s pending sale falls through, there’s only one interesting possibility in the area right now, plus one that’s currently off the market for a month for cleaning and staging, which has relatively minor negatives (needs the services of a clever kitchen designer and an electrician who can reinstall every ceiling fan properly).

The possible is based on advance knowledge of a house that’s about to come onto the market, and that my realtor thinks he can show me this week. I drove by, and from the street it’s quite nice, and the satellite views on the various map services say good things about the layout and privacy of the yard. It’s a ranch built in 19941999, and the full unfinished basement would make it easy to run additional power and a structured wiring bundle with Cat 6A. And I promised myself that if I ever did that again, I’d put two bundles into each room, on opposite walls. So, fingers crossed that I like the inside and get first crack at it.

The subdivision is extremely nice and well-maintained, as is the entry road. The general area is definitely blue-collar: you could walk to the local mexican restaurant, the pizza joint, or the uniform store, but you’d have to stretch your legs to make it as far as the country line dancing bar, and you’d need a car to get to the strip club or the tattoo parlor. (where one hopes the ladies at the former aren’t customers at the latter)

You might have to drive all the way to the Dayton Mall to find yourself a soy latte. Good.

No Sale

A listing just showed up this morning (Dec 16) that says something about the market:

Collecting offers until 6:00 PM on Sunday 12/19 - responding to offers by monday 12/20 at noon. Sellers reserve the right to accept an offer at any time.

The price is well within my range, I’ve driven through that area just a few days ago, and on paper it’s got a lot of what I’m looking for, but I won’t be joining the bidding war they believe (possibly correctly) they’ll get:

  • the houses are no more than twenty feet apart on both sides.

  • rear view is a nice thick grove of trees that won’t be turned into more houses, but the property line doesn’t go all the way to the trees, so the open space in between is prime kids-and-dogs play space.

  • front view is the old-but-nice-looking farm house whose land the subdivision was carved out of, but past that is a large health-care complex, which is convenient, but not terribly scenic.

  • a little bit farther from highway 73 than the last house I looked at down there, but only the fourth house up from a major intersection in a rapidly-growing town. You’d hear traffic every time you opened your windows, and it will only get worse over time.

  • HOA, so you couldn’t put up an eight-foot privacy fence; it looks like the usual mandatory-open-views rule for yards.

  • whoever came up with the idea of replacing several feet of counter space in the kitchen with a “planning desk” that’s a different height, could you just fucking stop? At least the massive island has power at both ends that’s not under the breakfast bar.

(scenic urban view is unrelated)

(bathroom is related, and spells out “please kill me” in both Morse Code and Braille)

Warmth and Laughter

Komi, episode 8: yukata yokatta

A little bit of wackiness and a lot of heart this time, using the rest of the standard summer tropes to show some slow-but-steady progress for Our Komi. Including her discovery that she likes Tadano a lot more than she’d realized.

Restaurant To Another World, 2.11

If you were wondering what they were saving up the art budget for, this was it. All the best elements of the show come together, with excellent character art, in a funny, warmhearted story that brings in a lot of the regular diners and ties up a thread that runs through both seasons.

And there’s at least one more episode to go.

House-hunting update: no sale

The house that was at the top of my list, that my parents walked through without seeing any real showstoppers, has some real showstoppers. In fairness to them, it was raining that day, so they couldn’t hear the noise from the nearby highway, or inspect the underside of the decks, the condition of the siding, etc. And my realtor and I had more time to explore it thoroughly and compare observations.

Pro tip: when you’re running ethernet from room to room, take advantage of the full unfinished basement to do it properly; don’t just drill holes through the walls at random locations and poke cables through.


Hero Time Machine

I’ve Got A Girlfriend That’s Better Than That, episode 10

In which Our Couple meet up with Our Chosen Hero and Our Assassin and Our Spider, with a great deal of warmth, fun, and a dollop of exposition about the two-edged sword of divine blessings. I laughed out loud multiple times, and also enjoyed the developing relationships on all sides. Shame about the barbie-doll nudity, but despite Rit’s massive breasts, it’s really not that kind of show.

Fun fact: the author was apparently quite surprised when, during the development of the anime, Rit’s character design had a significant growth spurt.

(“Starved For Fan-Art Of This Show, I Settled For Somebody Tracing A Screen Capture From A Recent Episode”)

QA, how does it work?

MacRumors reports an uptick in users unable to get Time Machine to work at all on new Macs running the current OS release. They must be holding their backup drives wrong.

Wireless Hydrogen Clouds

[today seems to be a “picture is unrelated” kind of day…]

Dear Amazon,

I guess I won’t be doing any holiday shopping with you. Until you fix your authentication systems, at least.

I tried to re-register an old Fire TV box to test it out at my parents’ house (because they’ve been using the app on their “smart” tv, and it has buffering issues), and it wants me to authenticate it by logging into my Amazon account on a browser. Which asks for my password despite already being logged in, then refuses to accept it. And won’t take the correct password on a fresh browser, either. And took fifteen minutes to send the one-time-code email for a password reset, by which time it was useless.

Have you tried unplugging it and then plugging it in again?

Oh, I see.

Dear Apple,

Q: Why is my Mac indexing and backing up hundreds of megabytes of data every few hours this time?

A: Because it’s dumping verbose crash reports into /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/CoreCapture/WiFi several times a day, all with directories whose names contain the string “BCMWLAN Net Roam Failure”, which sounds odd when I’m eight feet from the only wifi access point in range.

Why is this being indexed? Why is it being backed up? And why is wifi crashing in the first place?

“Designers hope…”

“…hydrogen-powered plane will fly halfway around the world without refueling”.

Meanwhile, engineers hope they can get it off the ground.

And investors hope they can make a big pile and get out before it crashes.

The company or the plane.

His Indian name is “Dances With Fascists”

JWZ has gone all-in on digital vaccine passport mandates. I guess I know what flavor of koolaid they have on tap at DNA Lounge.

Tactical Laser-Guided Witches

Another victim of Corona-chan

The Studio Ghibli Museum has a crowdfunding campaign seeking funds to help keep the doors open until normal tourism resumes.


Not Kiki:

Definitely not Kiki:

Thinking about Aletta’s future…

At the start of Restaurant To Another World, Aletta is only a few rungs up from the bottom of the social ladder. She’s homeless, hungry, actively discriminated against, and has to scramble to get crappy one-day temp jobs. In another kind of story, she’d be just a few weeks away from selling her body for a sandwich. Instead, she stumbles across a door to Nekoya (which are remarkably good at appearing where needed, by the way; just how does that work?).

In its welcoming environment, she quickly develops the confidence to stop hiding her horns, and as we see in the second season’s opening credits, becoming comfortable with who she is changes how people treat her in her own world. She’s not a “dirty little demon girl” any more, she’s a confident (and quite attractive) young woman with two good jobs and plenty of people who like and respect her just as she is.

By being (so to speak) “out and proud”, she’s changing the perception of demons in her city. But that’s just the beginning of the doors that Nekoya opened for her. She got her housekeeping job because Sarah Gold knew she was trustworthy, reliable, hard-working, and friendly. But who else would instantly spot her in a crowd and treat her favorably in her own world?

  • Altorius, the great sage
  • Tatsugorou, famous swordsman
  • Alphonse, famous admiral
  • Lionel, famous gladiator
  • the head and the future head of the Alfade merchant family
  • numerous high-ranking priests
  • Silvario, Fairy queen
  • Shareef and Renner, ruling prince and princess of the Land of Sand
  • Heinrich, Duchy noble who’s a bit sweet on her boss Sarah
  • Victoria, Duchy princess
  • Adelheid, Imperial princess
  • Lastina, Demon queen
  • The Red Dragon (who has blessed her with protection)
  • The Black Dragon (aka fellow waitress Kuro)

Aletta has better connections than most kings.


Somehow my MacBook Air (running Catalina, because I’m not paid to beta-test Apple software) ran itself out of memory and started killing off processes. I couldn’t find the culprit, because I couldn’t get new windows to open. I also couldn’t cleanly reboot, because Modern MacOS will hang forever trying to cleanly shut down, so I had to power it off, which triggered a lengthy repair on the Time Machine backup volume. Sometime soon I’ll have to move more of my personal environment over to the new Win11/WSL2 laptop, and stop the madness.

Not enough room to have three laptops side-by-side on my kitchen table, though, so I suppose I could run the Mac headless for a while.

“Do not look into laser with remaining eye”

Since I’ll be looking at houses in person Real Soon Now, I thought I’d pick up a laser measure to get accurate room sizes, and since I want a detailed floorplan of both the old and new houses, I decided it should be a Bluetooth model supported by Magicplan. Lowes had a Bosch model that was on their compatability list, so I picked it up when I went to drop off the not-quite-last batch of Magic cards I’m selling to Card Kingdom.

I returned it an hour later, because not a single device in my house could detect its so-called Bluetooth. Amazon offered one-day shipping on the well-regarded Leica DISTO E7100i, which doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the Bosch, but does have working Bluetooth.

I actually have the original builder-supplied floorplan of my current house, but it doesn’t have the measurements, and the model I built 20 years ago was in some ancient Windows software that doesn’t work any more. It still came in handy the last time I had it appraised, saving the guy a good 20 minutes of sketching. An updated floorplan won’t be necessary for selling the old one if the market out here is still hot in the spring, but it will be good practice for the new house, where I’m sure to want some work done before I move in.

“Among those fired…”

“…were the diversity, equity and inclusion recruiting team.”

(why, yes, I do have some pictures of “tits on a boar”)

Professional Actor Rehearses

Alec Baldwin gave a tear-stained interview blaming everyone but himself for fatally shooting Halyna Hutchins. Speaking out in this way about a crime is generally considered a mistake, but as a sociopathic egotist, he did it anyway, creating evidence sure to be admitted in both criminal and civil trials.

He claims that he pulled back the hammer and then ever-so-gently lowered it (at Hutchins’ instruction, no less), but definitely never pulled the trigger. That is an incredibly stupid thing to have said, because the key element required to fire a single-action revolver (absent dropping it several feet onto a hard surface, muzzle-first) is “somebody cocked the hammer”.

There is now video evidence that Alec Baldwin is that somebody. Adam (unrelated) Baldwin rips into him for it.

Horn size doesn't matter

Restaurant To Another World, 2.10

First up, Our Wandering Samurai teaches the burger boys a lesson every D&D player knows: pick up a magic weapon before going after undead. In return for his timely aid, they introduce him to a well-rendered teriyaki burger. Next, the insecure but smoking hot ruler of the demon kingdom discovers a new door in her bedroom that leads to a pep talk and a mocha chocolate parfait, courtesy of Our Recuperating Princess. Generally good character art all around, including some nice little moments with Aletta and Kuro.

Make 100 Friends…

Somewhat belatedly, I noticed:

  • Komi of Komi: I want to make 100 friends.
  • Shiki of Edens Zero: I want to make 100 friends… in space!

It seems odd to have this be the big thing for two completely different shows this season.

(one good one should do…)

Bleak Seasons

No, not the Glen Cook novel; I took a look at what’s currently listed for the Winter 2022 anime season. So far, only Realist Hero 2 stands out as a decent time-killer. Remember: when you’re king in a civilization that practices polygamy, every girl can be Best Girl!

Except the loli wolfgirl you adopted into the family. She can find her own future boyfriend, although she will have to share.

(praying for more shows to watch…)

Dear Amazon,

I see you’ve changed the recommendations page again, abandoning the randomly-categorized tiles. This time, the “buy again” links are not at the top (good), but the random grab-bag of “top picks” mostly consists of things I already own (bad, making it just another “buy again” section), and none of them are actually links. I can’t right-click to open an item in a new tab, I have to leave the recommendations page and then hit the back button after each one (bad, bad, bad).

Then, after the lengthy “buy again” section, I get “new releases” that consist primarily of book 5+ of series I’ve never read a single volume of, many of which aren’t even out yet.

Then I get a “kindle ebooks” section, which consists of the exact same books that were in “new releases”, plus book 5+ of yet more series I haven’t read any of.

At the very bottom, after multiple scrolling adjustments as it dynamically reloads the page, I get “explore more items” and “more items to explore”, which (finally!) are actual links to the product pages, but contain nothing even slightly interesting.

(bad recommendations make the dragon-girl sad)

Yappy dogs and power tools

Every day, I get another reminder of why I should move. Today, I’m actually eager for the backyard workshops to fire up, because that’s less annoying than the constant high-pitched barking of a dog that has spent the last hour demanding to be let back indoors. Not really conducive to working from home.

Self-Banished Hero’s Drug Party, episode 9

In which Our Couple creates warmth, and Our Chosen Hero takes a vacation. This is heavily stripped from the novel version, but still coherent; they needed to keep things moving if they’re going to make it to the end of book 4. Praise for not skimping on Tisse, and for ending with a great shot of Ruti.

(demonic noodle-topper Miku is completely unrelated, but there’s still almost no (competent) fan-art on Pixiv for this show)

2, 3, 4, Tell The Folks What Komi Wore, episode 7

(classical reference)

In which Our Heroine is gently bullied into something more flattering than her school swimsuit, to the delight of everyone in a ten-mile radius. Relatively tame wackiness ensues, followed by some quiet scenes of Komi testing her boundaries, including a warm cold-food-porn moment with her dad.

Sadly, unlike the recent shaved-ice scene in Restaurant to another world, we do not get to see Komi sticking out her syrup-dyed tongue.

Dear Amazon,

I see you’ve rearranged the interface for the FireTV again, maximizing the advertising space at the expense of burying my watchlist so deep that it took me ten minutes to find it. Are you trying to drive away long-time customers, or just desperately trying to stop bleeding money on an unprofitable product line?

(picture is unrelated; they’re definitely not playing chess…)

Dear MacRumors,

While not all of these are trivial, badly implemented, and/or things no one asked for, I’d like to point out that at least one of your macOS Monterey Tips, Tricks, and Features is really, really in the wrong place, and is perhaps the most iPad-y feature ever to be lazily ported to the Mac:

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”