Fallout: Upgrade

(er, wait, that’s “upgrade fallout”, in which we’ve been scrambling to fix all the swept-under-the-rug tech debt that’s been exposed by our weekend upgrade work)

Why we can’t have nice things, part 58008

New Ghibli Park plagued by naughty selfies.

Immoral Guild licensed by HiDive

This is the heavily-censored buy-the-bluray edition, but honestly, as ridiculous as most of the boobs are, seeing them in greater detail wouldn’t really add anything to the experience. It’s more harem comedy than hentai, despite the frequent non-consensual nuzzling and nipple-sucking, and, surprisingly, it passes Steven’s rule of the guy in the center getting a grip.

Our Would-Be-Horndog Hero just wants to get out of the adventuring business and go to college to bang coeds, but he’s ultimately a decent guy who cares about His Hapless Harem. He’s pretty much given up on preventing the monsters from molesting them, but he does intervene when they prove unable to solve the problem themselves (after the fan-service closeups, of course).

The world-building is crap, the production is cheap, and the ending adds a new character to deliver a crapton of exposition that’s a mix of overdue and unnecessary, but it’s more watchable than all the shows I dropped this season. Despite, not because of the giant jello-boobs.

Only amusing because nobody got killed…

Police trainer shoots recruit during training

Anyone who’s ever watched police shoot at public ranges knows that the average cop is a terrible shot, with at best a vague grasp of safety rules. For some, it’s because the gun is just one of many things on their belt that they have to regularly re-qualify with, and they practice just enough to pass. For some, ego gets in the way of learning. And for many, it’s learned carelessness: their instructors didn’t follow safety rules and taught by example.

That’s the most likely explanation here, because actual gun accidents are extremely rare, and caused by mechanical failure; almost always, someone negligently puts their finger on the trigger and pulls it while it’s pointed at a human being. See also Baldwin, Alec.

(and, yes, it isn’t an “accident” even when the trigger-puller is a small child, because the (criminal) negligence is on the part of the person who didn’t secure it)

Hitler On Ice

History Of The World, Part II: The shameless cash grab

Hulu just started airing an original series based on Mel Brooks’ History Of The World, Part I. I couldn’t get through five minutes of the poorly written, unfunny first episode. Clearly Brooks is contributing only his name and voice to this turkey.

(classical reference)

Two months later…

Before this season of anime premiered, I noticed that the official site for Disillusioned Adventurers was completely broken, in an upgraded-to-incompatibility way.

It still is.

Bit of a downer, that…

The smiling bikini-clad young woman who led off my most recent cheesecake post was 17-year-old singer/actress Yukiko Okada. When I went to see what else she’d done, I learned that she’d commited suicide the year after that picture was taken. Management pro tip: when someone has just tried to kill herself two different ways, do not leave her alone in a tall building while you discuss how to manage the scandal.

(it’s hard to find an appropriate picture for something like this, so I’ll take a chance on a bodega cat)

Unicorn chaser

Reborn As a Vending Machine trailer. Airing in July. The light novels were more fun than they had any right to be, but there were only three of them before the author ran out of ideas, so they’ll have to use it all and contrive an ending. Or make it a complete train wreck. A lot is riding on Our Vending Hero’s internal monologue, so the role needs an experienced voice actor.


Two weeks before I left for Japan, we had a crapton of rain, and I found a huge puddle in the basement. I took a bunch of pictures, sent them to the contractor, and asked him to contact the folks who’d done the crack-sealing a few months earlier.

Three months later, I discover that the reason they never came out to take a look was that they needed to see the wall wet, and the contractor was waiting for me to call them the next time it was actively leaking (a message that never reached me…). Meanwhile the landscapers had completely redone the drainage outside, so even if I’d been told about this requirement, it wasn’t going to be easy to reproduce.

So this morning the contractor brought over a hose and set it to soak the ground in the right area. Pretty soon we had a slow leak and a fast one, to the point that you could hear the water splashing on the floor from twenty feet away. Now they’re going to come out and do something about it.

Spring anime?

Not too promising so far. The first season of Edens Zero was fun, but I know from the source material that it basically turns into an endless series of escalating fight scenes. And I’m not convinced that Megumin and Yunyun can carry a Konosuba prequel. Other than that, lots of Nth seasons of shows I didn’t watch, convoluted plots that require giant expository dumps to setup, the usual variations on isekai cheats, and things that announce that they’re funny by SHOUTING EVERY LINE.

The goofiest 9mm ammo

It’s amazing what you can find in boxes that haven’t been opened in 30 years.

Before I moved to California in the early Nineties, I bought some reloads from a little hole-in-the-wall gun shop in Columbus, Ohio. They were fun to shoot, but only if you had a gun that they worked in. In fact, he wouldn’t even sell them to you unless you told him you owned one of the few guns that could feed them reliably.

My Ruger P-85 (sold off long ago, pity) was on the short list; that gun was a garbagemouth that would feed anything, including empty cases, so it was a natural for these ribbed semi-wadcutters:

I doubt he’s still in business, and I’m quite certain I don’t remember where his shop was.

Carnival Row

I had meant to watch this Amazon series a while back, but just never got into the mood. Then I noticed that they’re in the middle of releasing season two, so I sat down and gave it a shot.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about it is that it’s not based on existing IP, and yet got a fairly large budget, decent casting, and dubbing into quite a few languages; it’s clear that Amazon really wanted it to succeed.

The first season mostly does, although the two major story arcs are almost completely separate, and the secondary one is about as subtle as a brick to the back of the head. Unfortunately, so far, the second season is a kitchen sink to the back of the head, full of political intrigue, secret meetings, a triple helping of fantasy racism allegory, another mystery monster, a ridiculous guillotine, and workers of the world uniting.

There's no cryingcopyrighting in baseball

How Clarkesworld should respond…

Pixy linked to an SF magazine that’s had to stop accepting submissions due to the flood of “AI”-generated slush.

I think the thing to do is pick one that’s short and not completely horrible, and just announce their intention to publish it without any attribution or payment. There’s no author, so there’s no copyright holder.

Stick to coffee, dude

James Hoffmann is entertaining and informative on the subject of coffee, in print and video. Sadly, his latest video leads off with several minutes of Why We Must Stop Using Natural Gas And Electrify Everything To Save The World.

I have no idea how the rest of the video went.

Next on “America’s Dumbest Criminals”…

When your profile on a dating site includes the string “MAP4-10” (that’s “minor-attracted-person” for those not up on the latest euphemisms), and includes the phrase “when I say I want kids, I mean it”, and your gmail account is “pedozack82”, you just might be supplying probable cause for a search of your home.

TL/DR: pled guilty to 313 counts of possession, 8 counts of distributing, 2 counts of promoting, and 1 count of procuring child pornography; the only real surprise is that he wasn’t an elected official, who most likely would have gotten less than 70 years.

Many of the commenters aren’t happy with this being considered probable cause, with some of them hung up on the judge relying on a detective using his “training and experience” to identify the meaning of “MAP4-10”. Some also insisted that it was incredibly unlikely that a pedo would advertise on social media for kids to molest. Never mind that the whole thing was started by a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has some experience in this area.

Read The Fine Print

Nespresso is big on being green, with their fully-recyclable pods (and free shipping to their recycling centers), but a lot of it is marketing bullshit. Such as their recent deal that offered an upcycled throw blanket if you ordered N sleeves of pods, calling it out as made with materials from the pod-recycling program. Specifically, the coffee grounds; using aluminum from the pods themselves would make for a rather stiff blanket.

The fine print (contrast significantly enhanced by my phone; I could barely make out the text on the actual box):

So, 4 pods worth of coffee grounds is about 18-20 grams, and only 19% of the mostly-polyester blend is recycled plastic. This is about as significant as Kiss adding their blood to the printing ink of their first Marvel graphic novel. (yes, I have a copy somewhere…)

Half a week without anime...

Back to the yard!

With the weather improving, I was wondering when the landscapers would pick up where they left off, so I was about to call them on Monday morning, when I heard their trucks pull up outside. First up: grading the side yard to eliminate the impromptu pond created by melting snow.


The last time I tried to update my iPad Mini, it got bricked, apparently by a bad (Apple-made) cable. The cable was good enough for backups and data sync, but somehow not for installing an update. Guess what happened when I went to install the update today that fixes a known active exploit?

If you guessed “bricked by a cable”, you’re almost correct. This time the Mac running the update hadn’t timed out yet, and I was able to swap in a different cable before it was completely hosed, so that the update proceeded. This time the bad one was an Anker cable, and I swapped in another Anker cable and USB-A to USB-C adapter.

Oh, and the release was so solidly tested that it broke the Google Photos app for many users.

Speaking of Apple,

The iOS music experience is all about displaying cover art, to the point that if you don’t have it for almost all of your songs, it’s significantly harder to navigate. So it’s rather annoying that they’ve had an unfixed bug for years where music downloaded from your computer is assigned the wrong album art when you upgrade/replace your phone/tablet.

The fix: shut off sync, delete all music from your phone, and then sync it again. There are other methods that sometime work for some people on some platforms, but it’s all voodoo; the only sure fix is to start over, which is annoying when you have 60+ gig of songs to sync.

NieR Antivirus!

2B is supposed to be back in the saddle this Saturday, after a run-in with Deus Ex Covid.

Tears Of The Kingdom Wallet

Lots of Zelda fans are upset that the sequel to Breath Of The Wild will cost $10 more when it (finally) releases in May. Given how many hours I’ve played the first game, and I’m likely well below the average, I can’t see a reason to complain. It would have to be riddled with bugs and save-deleting crashes to not be worth it.

Speaking of sequels…

I just watched the trailer for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. It was remarkably tedious, and included nothing that would make me want to watch the movie. Ugly costumes, forced melodrama, jokes that didn’t land, and a muddled story. The second one wasn’t terribly good, but it wasn’t actively terrible like this.

How the sausage is made...

So I’m down to two shows on Friday, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday, and two of those are on their last chance. If you’re keeping track, yes, that means this one just got dropped:

Isekai Sausage Party episode 5

Divine blessings do not include fan-service. Also, Our Sweets-Greedy Goddess has an annoying voice and doesn’t actually show up in the world, because goddess. Worse, next week is Baby’s First Dungeon Crawl.

Verdict: yeah, I’m about done here.

(“Dear NieR staff, get well soon”)

QA Priorities…

The first listed feature on the iOS 16.3 update notice is:

introduces a new Unity wallpaper to honor Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month

The second feature listed is:

Security Keys for Apple ID

I’m guessing the first one received more testing.

Best Practices

Starting in April, all new Amazon S3 buckets will block public access by default. You’ll have to deliberately share tons of personal and financial data with the entire world.

The package was coming from inside the (ware)house!

Amazon Hokey-Pokey

I ordered something on Wednesday with delivery promised on Friday. Here’s what the tracking status looks like on Saturday, allegedly from UPS:


Carrier picked up the package.


11:16 AM Package arrived at a carrier facility.
1:10 PM Package left the carrier facility.


6:58 AM Package arrived at a carrier facility.
4:14 PM Package left the carrier facility.
6:36 PM Package arrived at a carrier facility.


1:11 AM Package left the carrier facility.
1:53 AM Package arrived at a carrier facility.
2:24 AM Package left the carrier facility.
3:09 AM Package arrived at a carrier facility.
4:24 AM Package arrived at a carrier facility.

Note the lack of city/state names, which usually show up in UPS tracking, so this is all inside Amazon. UPS’ own tracking site has a very different view of the progress:

Wed 6:26 PM label created (United States).
Sat 7:24 AM on the way (West Carrollton, OH).
Estimated delivery: Sunday.

Simulated package handoff in Amazon facilities:

Time to break out the .25 ACP!

I had a crown fall out over New Years, found an open dentist 45 miles away that could squeeze me in, and went in to have it re-cemented. In the lobby, I saw something that’s actually pretty rare here, and accidentally amusing:

I guess the good news is that the person who made the sign was able to spell ordnance correctly. 😁

Time to break out the 12 Gauge!

Apple broke DVD compatibility in the latest MacOS Ventura update. I’m guessing nobody in QA even has a USB DVD drive to test against.

Not snowed in this time!

Pro Tip!

When you buy a really nice rolling snow shovel after the first big snowstorm, take some time to assemble it before the next snowstorm. If I had followed my own advice, I might have been able to locate the 9/16 and 1/2-inch wrenches required rather than hunting through boxes looking for adequate substitutes.

In theory I’m on the snow removal plan now, but they didn’t come by in the morning while it was still snowing, so I removed the first six inches of global warming myself. From the steep, 75-foot-long driveway.

The cleats were also a good idea…

I didn’t really need to go anywhere, but I had packages being delivered, and the contractors were scheduled to be here first thing Monday morning to install my range hood. And I wasn’t going to give them any excuse for rescheduling. Overnight another inch or so fell, but didn’t make my driveway too slick for them.

They can’t get up on the roof and make the vent hole for the new range hood yet (they cleared the snow from that area to dry it out and prep it), but they can at least get the interior part done.

Update: They were able to get up on the roof, so my new battlestation range hood is fully operational.

I can put up with a lot, but…

I like Charles de Lint’s writing, and am willing to accept his vast overrepresentation of victimization and other liberal bugaboos in the Newford stories, but I stopped dead on this line in his short story “The Forest is Crying”:

“Positive thinking brought down the Berlin Wall,” she said.

No, sweetie, that was Reagan.

Reminder: “cis” just means normal

I was willing to play along for a while out of politeness, but once they started demanding special treatment at gunpoint, they lost me, and from now on I’m not even going to let them redefine an adult-film marketing category as “the t-slur”.

Trans activist group attacks Aretha Franklin over Natural Woman

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