With Riju, all things are possible

No Nearer To NieR

The much-delayed episodes 9+ of NieR remain in Covid limbo. Fortunately I have the new Zelda game.

(don’t read any forums if you plan to ever play Tears of the Kingdom; most people who got it early and played on emulators at least pretended to mark spoilers, but since the release date, every detail is constantly being spoiled)

Snap Caps that don’t Snap

The common blass&plastic snap-caps (Tipton, etc) have always worked well for me, until I tried to use the .45 ACP variety with moon clips (required to load them into a S&W 25-2 revolver). They don’t fit in the clips, which means they’re simply not dimensionally accurate. The A-zoom metal ones work fine.

(Purah is all grown up again, and people are wondering if she went to band camp…)


I see now why Amazon can’t be more specific about my latest order than “June 7-9”…

Wednesday, June 7  
   3:17 AM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.
   2:22 AM  Package left the carrier facility.  
   2:00 AM  Package left the carrier facility.  
  12:33 AM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
  12:24 AM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
  12:00 AM  Package left the carrier facility.  
Tuesday, June 6  
  11:45 PM  Package left the carrier facility.  
  11:43 PM  Package left the carrier facility.  
   8:07 PM  Package left the carrier facility.  
  12:02 PM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
  10:42 AM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
  10:13 AM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
   7:40 AM  Package left the carrier facility.  
   6:30 AM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
   5:45 AM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
   2:29 AM  Package left the carrier facility.  
   2:08 AM  Package left the carrier facility.  
  12:39 AM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
Monday, June 5  
  11:24 PM  Package arrived at a carrier facility.  
   2:56 PM  Carrier received the package.  
Sunday, June 4  
  Carrier picked up the package.  

(Riju has graduated from Queen Jailbait to Queen Barely Legal, and is the most useful of your companions, but whoever thought it was a good idea to have to chase your AoE attacker into melee to activate her power was… almost as dumb as the person who made the “activate companion power” button the same as the “pick up object” button)

(you’ll know what I mean the first time Tulin runs through while you’re picking up loot. Pro tip: once you get the fifth companion, use it for mining and looting, because then the A button won’t activate the other companions)

Slow week...

My house came with a flagpole mount by the front door, and filling it seemed like an obvious thing to do for Memorial Day. Except that the kit sold at Sam’s Club had a 1.25-inch pole and I had a 1-inch mount, so I had to take the old one off and install theirs.

Then I went to Home Depot, and discovered that every flag they sell comes with a 1-inch pole, so if this one ever wears out (and despite being “Made in the USA”, it’s built like Chinese junk), I may have to switch back.

(specifically, the plastic hooks that attach the flag to the pole don’t stay shut, and required a quick application of gaffer tape to keep my flag from ending up several blocks away; I’ll likely end up replacing them with wire)

Long pepper, extra organic

A cookbook I bought my mom recently touted the virtues of long pepper, so I bought some on Amazon, five-star rating, Prime shipping.

When I shook some out into my hand, a live insect was included in the mix. Despite shipping directly from Amazon, this product could not be returned, replaced, or refunded. And Amazon deleted my one-star review for including the “no return/replacement/refund” line.

(…then I ordered from The Spice House, which has never included live bugs in any order…)

Things that make me twitch…

I was at a public indoor pistol range the day before Memorial Day, and there was a grizzled old Marine vet precisely and accurately putting holes in paper with a pistol-caliber carbine. He was in (unofficial) camo covered with USMC and related patches, and he was in the lane to my left. Every once in a while he’d switch guns and fill the center of the target with a single ragged hole with his .22. The range officer was standing a few yards behind him, and the two were discussing their service records as he shot.

That’s the setup. The twitch came when I went to throw away an empty ammo box, and saw his carbine swinging freely from the sling, alternately pointing at his own thigh and the RO’s foot. The RO who was too busy chatting up a fellow vet to do his fucking job.

Usually I’d have made a loud-but-polite request to inform the fool and get the attention of the RO, who’s often at the other end of the range when this sort of thing happens, but given the specific holiday and the fact that the RO was right there, I just casually pointed out the two-for-one deal he had on offer. The carbine was quickly unslung and set down, muzzle downrange.

A spam comment? Here?

Someone spammed the previous post with a sentence that read like it was generated with one of the recent AI chatbots, in order to appear related. But it couldn’t disguise the “career coaching” web site it wanted to send people to…

The return of the cool

Heat wave!

“The reason your 10-month-old air conditioner stopped working is that the condenser fan crapped out, and it’s too late in the day for me to call the warehouse, so we probably won’t be able to install a new one until Monday Tuesday.”

So I spent a few days hiding in the cool, dry basement, with the 4 screened windows open at night to cool the place down. I have more than 4 windows, but to install the rest of the screens that have been sitting in boxes in the basement for 23 years, the blinds have to be taken down, and I was planning to replace them, until the Bidenhandler regime doubled down on destroying the country.

The repair was free under warranty, at least.

(speaking of warranties, I hope this “SF-like gun” comes with one…)

Best Airpods Pro earpads (so far)

I have a set of first-generation Airpods Pro. The Apple-supplied earpads were (like many Apple products, including the Airpod cases) slippery and prone to falling out, so I bought third-party replacements, which lasted for quite a while before breaking off with half of it left in my ear.

I grabbed another set at Target, and they didn’t stay on the pods, didn’t fit my ears well, and of course didn’t have very good sound. So I threw these into my latest order, and the M size fits firmly and gives terrific sound and noise isolation.

Perhaps by no coincidence, they’re not made in China like most of the competition; they’re made in South Korea for the Japanese market.

Don’t buy ammo from…

…no matter how attractive the price. Why? Because this is bait-and-switch. The SKU is 53880 (cleanfire), and the description matches that product, but what they actually send out is SKU 53652 (indoor target). It took over a month to get them to resolve the problem with a refund, after weeks of back-and-forth in which they alternately claimed that they’d sent the correct stuff and promised to find it in their warehouse.

Ten days ago, they sent me an RMA label to return the wrong stuff (pro tip: do not take ammo to “The UPS Store”; they’re not UPS). On Monday, they swore the warehouse had found the 53880 and would ship it out that day. On Wednesday they finally gave up and refunded my money, but the incorrect listing is still up and “in-stock”. At no point in this process did they ever reach out to contact me; I always had to call and spend 15 minutes listening to really terrible hold music.

(now I have to figure out which credit card it got refunded to, because neither their site nor their emails include even a partial number…)

(update: ah, the only place your credit-card info appears is on the "billing information" page, and only for the most recent transaction, so if you bought something else after the refund was processed, it would disappear)


All dried up?

The glass-block window that had sprung multiple leaks during heavy rain has now been replaced, which when combined with the drainage work the landscapers did should keep my basement nice and dry and ready for finishing.

Except that the company stock dropped from 31 to 22 while I was waiting, so I really don’t want to start any big new house projects right now. Once they finish the landscaping and send the final bill, that’s going to be it for a while.

(we never got to see the hero’s reward in BotW, but one of the few minor spoilers I’ve read about Tears of the Kingdom is that five years later, the house that Link renovated is now referred to as “Zelda’s house”…)

Slow Fire TV, Fast Replacement

Just under five years ago, I purchased the Amazon Fire TV Cube, with 4K streaming support. About two years ago, it started getting sluggish. Saturday at 5:45 PM, it collapsed under the weight of their UI updates, so I gave up and ordered a replacement, trading in my first-generation Fire TV to get 20% off. (seriously, it still streams 4K HDR video without a hitch, but it can’t keep up with the crufted-up user interface, and force-restarts every app when you switch between them)

They promised delivery between 4 AM and 8 AM Sunday.

It arrived at 7:20 PM Saturday. The faster CPU and increased RAM allows it to run the UI and stream video.

(unrelated angel-waifu Tia delivers)

Please Don’t Tell My Fans I Released A New Book

Or, “how not to use social media to promote your work”. Richard Roberts, author of the fun “Please Don’t Tell My Parents”/Pennyverse novels, abandoned his Twitter account when Elon Musk bought the place, and he’d already abandoned his blog, so you have to follow the link to his non-book-related Tumblr and then follow the link to his book-related Tumblr.

Which you can’t read without a Tumblr account, because they very aggressively pester you for a login now after showing minimal content.

You know, like Twitter did before Elon Musk bought it…

Anyway, Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m A Giant Monster came out a month ago.

(yes, NieR is still in limbo, kind of like Roberts’ internet presence)

Last order!

USPS update

The two-day package sent last Wednesday was finally delivered this Wednesday, after traveling from Texas to Cincinnati to Iowa to Illinois to Cincinnati to Dayton to Miamisburg.

It wasn’t what I ordered.

We’ll see how long it takes them to make a new one and ship it out, preferably not by USPS…

(I’ll let Megumin tell you how I feel…)

Café Hooters episode 5

The early Buy-the-Bluray fan-service was a fake-out, and they really want to tell stories about how each girl comes to fall for Our Barista Hero. I stopped watching when Our Rocking Waifu finally had a concert.

Verdict: I should look up what else the character designer has done, to see if there’s a better show with girls that look like this.

(elf cheerleaders make much better waifus)

Z-Day - 7

I’m out of anime now, but at least next Friday the new Zelda game comes out, so I’ve got something to look forward to. Based on the carefully-sanitized spoilers I’ve scrutinized, it’s worth the wait.

(Leafa-chan is unrelated but blonde and elf-y)

Weekend update


That’s the sound of my two-car garage door coming down with excessive force when the 23-year-old spring snapped.

Good news: it’s a good door that was originally installed well, so it survived the trip.

Bad news: $700 to replace the spring (with two new ones) and refurbish all the associated hardware.

Good news: some months back I got a recommendation for Wayne Overhead Door Sales, and I’d been planning to call them this summer anyway to replace the 23-year-old openers. They sent someone out first thing the next morning, and I had him install a new top-of-the-line belt-drive opener for another $1,000.

Bad news: the new opener has wi-fi and a camera and an app.

Good news: you don’t have to set that shit up. I like the motion sensor for the light, though.

(Princess Stompyboots Best Girl Mela is unrelated, but likes to build things)

Dear Apple QA,

Since updating to macOS 12.6.{4,5}, many files fail to open when double-clicked; the app opens, but the file does not, with no error message. This appears to be related to hidden permissions, and making any change (copy, single-character name-change, etc) fixes it. It doesn’t just affect newly-downloaded files; stuff that’s been on my drive for years was affected, and including one of them in a list of arguments to open canceled the whole list.

This is different from the behavior when the quarantine flag is set or the app doesn’t have permission to access the directory.

(not a representative of Apple’s QA team…)

Café Hooters episode 4

We’ve replaced this coffee shop’s bountiful cheesecake with cheesy plot tropes; let’s see if anyone notices. Our Oh-Suddenly-He’s-Chuu-Ni Hero opens a booth at the cherry-blossom festival to boost business, giving Our Tsundere Waifu a chance to shine with design. And also to get hit on by a trio of assholes backed up by the power of last week’s Snidely Whiplash, who trash the booth when their advances are rejected. And then a few more tropes happen, until Our Bonkers Fighting Waifu saves the day with kicks that reveal they ran out of fancy-panties budget.

Verdict: the OP animation delivered the best cheesecake this week. Not a good sign. (not the only cheesecake, but Our Alcohol-Fueled Nympho Waifu's nearly-nude scene was brief and trope-driven)

(unrelated crossover show I’d watch the hell out of…)

Landscaper 1, Contractor 0

Cry Uncle!

If you were waiting for Netflix to finally release the much-delayed episodes of Uncle From Another World, that happened Thursday.

(I’m not going to bother hunting down fan-art for a show I didn’t watch, so here’s Lasty bringing home the bacon)

Skynet snickers

Synopsys has announced AI-powered chip-design tools. What could possibly go wrong?

(this is the best-case scenario…)


I’d love to say that my contractor aggressively followed through on getting the basement leak fixed, getting the people who were already paid to seal any cracks to come out and deal with it before it got any worse, but that would be a lie.

A bit over a week ago, we had a lot of rain. Not news. The water pooled up on that side of the house and started coming in through the cracks. Also not news.

Then I walked by the door to the basement and heard splashing, and found water shooting a foot out from the wall. Definitely news. I put a full-sized garbage can under the stream, and by the time it was all over, I’d collected roughly 20 gallons of mildly-muddy water.

I sent the pictures to the contractor. A week later, I hear that they’re still waiting on a date for the appointment. And a separate appointment with someone who specializes in glass-block windows, since the crack-sealers are pointing fingers and saying their warranty will only cover half of the work.

At the same time, I’d texted my landscapers, who’ve been showing up again to work on the yard project now that it’s warmer and drier. Since the scope of their work included improving my drainage, I asked them if they could move that part up. As soon as the ground was dry enough, they had a crew out to completely rebuild the basement window wells, starting with the one that had the poorly-sealed cracks.

It looks like a little fort now, and the huge thunderstorm we had last night didn’t manage to get a single drop into the house. Gosh, who will I be recommending to other people in the future? Could it be Essential Landscaping & Irrigation?

Repeat all after 'incinerate'

“I used to be a writer like you…”

“…then I took an AI chatbot in the knee.”

(classical reference)

(picture is unrelated, but at least has an arrow in it; honestly, trying to find a decent Skyrim picture on Pixiv is an exercise in frustration. And lizard porn)

curl considered harmful

I’m a wget guy, personally, but for whatever reason, developers seem to prefer curl, especially for doing incredibly insecure things like directly executing a downloaded shell script as root (a common method of installing open-source software).

Right now, I have two upgrade-driven reasons to dislike this developer preference:

  1. It doesn’t follow 30x redirects; they have to go through their code (in every branch) and add the -L option everywhere.
  2. It has approximately 200 command-line options, which are documented in alphabetic order with no grouping by purpose.


We were instructed to always believe women who make accusations of rape, because who would lie about something like that? In the real world, the answer has always been “lots of people, for all sorts of reasons”.

Anyway, a woman who made up wild accusations against multiple men, sending them to prison on the basis of injuries she deliberately inflicted on herself with a hammer, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Spring anime tryout?

I’m not enthusiastic about the new anime that start airing next week. So far, this is all I’ve got on my list, and I’m not optimistic aout either one:

  • Goddess Cafe - harem comedy promising well-drawn, distinctive girls in and out of their clothes. Downside: Our Owner is a jerk.

  • Konosuba Explosion! - Konosuba prequel about Megumin and Yunyun. Our Best Girl and Our Bust Girl having school adventures before the character development that happens in the main series, so I’m not expecting much. The trailers have a “shouting is comedy” vibe to them, which if true will put a fast end to my interest.

It looks like anime won’t be providing much couch-potato time for a while…

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