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.

9 and a half rounds

Bitcoin in its natural habitat…

I guess there wasn’t room next to Barely Legal (which probably sold more copies).

Limited appeal…


My current twitter feed: ad, titty, kitty, snark, ad. Dear Elon, I could do with a bit more content between the ads.


A few days ago, I helped a friend solve a problem with his new .45 ACP Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0. It comes with 10-round magazines, but it’s almost impossible to actually squeeze the 10th round in, especially if you use a magazine loader like an UpLula. The two most common recommendations are to leave the magazine fully loaded for a few weeks/months until the spring breaks in, or to snip a coil off the bottom of the spring, reducing the tension.

Neither of these actually works well, because the real problem is California. In order to sell any handguns in CA (and other states allergic to civil rights), magazines cannot hold more than 10 rounds. A good magazine will still have a bit of slack in the spring when the last round is loaded, so that it can be inserted into the gun without force when the slide is down, and that slack could allow a Sufficiently Motivated State Agent to squeeze an 11th round in, converting all owners to felons and banning sales of that model in that state.

So S&W deliberately made the magazine followers too tall. If it barely holds 10, then the manufacturer is safe, and only a consumer who deliberately modifies their magazines is at risk of prosecution.

Anyway, we took a quarter-inch off the bottom of his followers with 100-grit sandpaper, and they now comfortably hold 10 rounds. Then he went out and bought some 14-round extended magazines, which are much easier to load to full capacity, despite using the exact same followers.

(there are a number of videos out there documenting this process for the 10-round 9mm mags, but you don’t need a video to learn how to rub plastic against sandpaper)

(and if you screw up the process, Midwest Gun Works sells replacement S&W followers)

Unrelated proper setup

Ambi safety, long trigger, arched mainspring housing (grooved), tritium/fiber-optic sights, no frontstrap checkering, Wilson mags.

Ocean 1, Pool Toy 0

Inflatable Revenge!

Three men swept out to sea on giant inflatable duck

The only picture shows the rescuers, not the victims of this fowl attack, so I’ll just post a picture of Rena Moriya instead:

Related, my sister was recently in Amsterdam, and sent me a picture without realizing that it would make me a little sad:

How Reddit moderators prevent spoilers

…by shutting down.

Popcorn will be popped

I’m just going to leave this here for later reference:

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