Fun

Don’t burn the witch!


This is aligned with my interests…

They really are this stupid

And they hope you are, too.

Be kind, rebind!

PSA - the command to detach a GNU screen (Control-A Control-D) is the same command in Outlook that selects all your email… and then deletes all of your email. Fun times. – Robert Hansen

I’ve never been able to use the default Control-A setup for Screen, because I run Emacs. I changed it to Control-R many years ago, because I do reverse searches a lot less often than “go to beginning of line”.

Don’t order the orange…

The Super Sonico Café secret menu:

I don’t have one of these yet

Qiqi is currently the only female cryo-user (loli catgirl Diona is apparently “coming soon”) in Genshin Impact, so until I manage to get her in a gacha pull, I’m stuck with a male character for that element.

Sadly, she’s a zombie loli, so she’ll never grow up…

Sugar, free


Vorish Art

The Spanish publisher for the Vorkosigan-verse novels commissioned a coordinated set of cover illustrations that’s, well, different:

I think Ethan of Athos could be a real conversation-starter.

AperTableLightPhotoRoom

Last night, I consolidated and de-duped (almost) all of my (digital) photo archives into Lightroom, using Avalanche. As soon as they support Apple’s Photos app, I’ll be able to merge in the last few old iPhoto libraries that were scattered across multiple Macs. The downside was that copying everything onto my MacBook Air first really screwed up my Time Machine backups and snapshots for a few days. Good thing I got the 2TB SSD.

Related, all the image processing still took so long that I got this close to pulling the trigger on a tricked-out Asus ZenBook Pro Duo. The Air is great for a lot of things, but a graphics powerhouse it is not.

Maybe now I’ll actually start processing pictures from last spring’s Japan trip. 😁

Related, we’ve just rebooked for a 16-day/night trip in Spring 2021. Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed that Japan will let us in. For this visit, I’ve penciled in side trips to Nagoya, Kamakura, and Nikko.

No Witnesses

I hadn’t thought about this benefit of lockdowns, mostly because when the JWs knock on my door, they usually leave immediately when they realize I don’t speak Spanish.

Half-rim Gacha

I had accumulated enough of the various non-cash-based currencies in Genshin Impact to manage another 10x gacha pull. I got eight unimpressive weapons, a new 4-star character (Sucrose, air-halfrims), and a new 5-star character (Klee, bomberloli).

I want to file a bug report that Sucrose’s half-rim glasses are not a proper red:

Maybe next weekend…

The new Pokemon Sword/Shield DLC is live (and they’ve helpfully released new DLC-included versions of the games, in case you just now decided to catch them all), and I haven’t even turned on my Switches yet to download it. I suppose I should, if only to claim the set of hat-wearing-Pikachu codes they’re distributing. Come to think of it, though, I’ve never used a Pikachu in this game. Or an Eevee.

Chronicles Of The End Times


Dear Pokemon Company,

Sorry, can’t catch them all in the new DLC this weekend. Too busy slaughtering hilichurls with Team Loli.

…assuming everything comes back after the big update. Seriously, you let Paimon in the data center? What were you thinking?

One for the little people

Disney+ is making a Willow series.

“‘I dwell in darkness without you,’ and it went away?!?” – Sorsha

No, not them

I have to stop every time I see references to Abode Camera, and remind myself that this physical product isn’t coming from the same people who make Adobe Camera Raw…

Tactical Grading

When I saw all the headlines about the San Diego schools changing their grading system to “Combat Racism”, I briefly thought that was the name of their new system. It certainly describes the modern Left’s core values of bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and violence, which the teacher unions are vocal promotors of.

Maid Impact

Noelle is a plate-armored battle maid with a terrific damage shield, a spinning AoE claymore attack, and pantyhose. Which come as quite a surprise the first time you take her gliding, since her costume is otherwise modest and, well, armored. Turns out she’s actually just wearing plate thigh-high stockings and gloves over black skintight nylon, making her just as much of a naughty girl as the others.

In any other year, I’d be looking forward to (some of) the cosplayers, but now I just have to hope the game is still getting attention in 2021…

Pigeons, Poisoned


Lyrics want to be free!

Tom Lehrer has (awkwardly) released the lyrics to all of his songs into the public domain or something like it. Music to follow in some fashion. Note that the website will self-destruct at the end of 2024, unless it lives forever at archive.org, which is currently snapshotting it.

And that’s why it should still be a Control key…

Flatpack koma

In my original idea for a cost-reduced takadai, I decided to completely replace the standard routed grooves in each arm with offset dowels, so that the koma (thread-carriers) could just be simple flat combs.

With the baby takadai that a bunch of us recently bought for the workshop, though, the grooves are already there, so I want to replace the supplied koma with improved ones. Without using a router table or a drill press.

Remembering my flat comb design, I suddenly realized that one simple change would make it work with the grooves: a mortise/tenon joint.

It’s a simple 2D CNC job: cut parts, insert comb through base, glue, lightly sand edges, use. For the babydai, total length is only 1.75 inches, so I can fit a bunch onto the Nomad’s 8x8-inch work area. And most of the “sanding” work can actually be done with a finish pass on the Nomad with a round bit; I’d just have to sand the edges on the other side of the fingers.

Idol Impact

In Genshin Impact, Barbara is not only the head priestess of the First Church of The First Region, but also a wannabe local idol, and the first water-element character I managed to unlock.

My default party is now “Traveler” (omnichick), Xiangling (fireloli), Barbara (waterloli), and Fischl (electrololi), all at level 40 with level 40 3-star weapons. As needed, I switch in Noelle (geomaid), Amber (hotpants), Lisa (electrobabe), and, sadly, Kaeya (cryoboy). Because I haven’t unlocked a frozen female yet.

I have three more characters I’ve only used for ore-digging jobs; one cryoelectro, one hydro, and one fire, all male. The only reason I’d swap them into the party is that I’m running into hidden chests where you need to activate multiple pillars with a specific element in N seconds, and my regulars can’t activate their elemental power fast enough.

I could unlock a few more if I were willing to spend cash, but there’s a really high chance of just getting a bunch of useless weapons in a gacha pull, so they haven’t given me a good reason to. I did give them a one-time $4.99 for N/day currency for a month. If it holds my interest for a full month, maybe I’ll do that again.

Oh, and my avatar name is “Shimatsuke”, which looks like Japanese meaning “island invoice”, but was actually the output of my random word generator fed with Japanese samples.

I accidentally got into auto-matched co-op once as part of an event, and since I didn’t explicitly turn it on, I didn’t know how to get back out. At the end of each round, it asked me if I wanted to join or not, but not if I wanted to exit the match entirely. Since I didn’t know that there was a co-op icon up in the corner of the screen, I didn’t click on it, and they ended up having to kick me out.

Bit of a UI issue there, especially since the reason I wanted to exit was that I’d run out of the currency required to open the loot at the end of the round, so it was pointless to stay.

Hey kids, comics!


Genius, Buck

Studio Foglio has a Bundle of Holding containing all the collected Girl Genius comics and novels, and the first two Buck Godot volumes. Sadly, the Gallimaufry series is not included, although it’s possible to find mostly-complete archives of the web version.

A Day Without Zoom…

The virtualized conference for the American Kumihimo Society is over, which restores my Saturdays to a Zoom-free experience. It was a great experience, even with the pain of watching a bunch of crafters cope with the quirks of trying to give presentations on a platform that barely works for tech folks. I was not the only male participating (“Hi, Randy!”), which is refreshing for a crafting event.

In many ways, the experience was superior to typical in-person conferences, since there was only one track spread out over three Saturdays and it was all (theoretically) recorded, so you didn’t have to scramble to get into a class with a popular instructor. Also that whole flying-with-bulky-braiding-equipment experience (one of many reasons I drove to last year’s retreat at Mount Hood).

One of the new things for this conference was a severely cost-reduced baby takadai. No, not mine, although some of the limitations of this one have me itching to steal some elements from my design to improve theirs. There are a lot of criticisms I could make, but for now, I’ll simply say that you can get it to work pretty well with practice, sandpaper, and painter’s tape. And a few spare parts you might find around the house:

The yarn-wrapped thread spools are there to create a proper “sword pad”, the blue tape is to hold it stable and cover the edges I haven’t smoothed with sandpaper yet. Not quite visible are the two short dowels keeping the koma (the peg-encrusted half-rounds) from moving too far forward in their tracks.

Cutting remarks

Speaking of Zoom, in a recent informal group meeting, someone threatened to not only implement something in Perl, but to do it the Perl 4 way. I cheered this idea, including remarks about my shameless past with Perl 2.

Leading someone to say, “don’t make me come down there and stab you”, which I countered with something along the lines of not bringing a knife to a swordfight.

Leading that person’s manager to message me asking what style I study, and which local sword instructors I’m acquainted with (she studies with one of the early Shinkendo instructors who forked off in the Nineties).

Butcher’s Bill


Harry Get Your Gun

I’ll need to re-read Battle Ground at leisure, just to catch everything that’s been stuffed into this novel like a turkey full of Christmas presents and explosives.

My mental picture of Butcher writing this book has him hunched over his keyboard at the end of a three-year bender, sounding like Captain Kirk: “Can’t… stop… dogpiling on Harry. Must make… everything… bigger. Too many… secrets!”

Seasonal Reminder

If you hate half the people in the country, you’re the bigot.

If you mobilize the full force of both traditional and social media to bury and discredit a story in a way that would shame a Soviet-era Pravda editor, you’re definitely the bad guys.

Fly The Upskirt Skies!

Judging from the Pixiv charts, the Genshin Impact producers have carefully studied certain successful shipgirl games and made sure their female characters are all waifu-worthy fanart-bait. I think I’ve unlocked some male characters, but I just send them out on jobs, and use the jailbait fetish princesses for questing. I think the artists have managed to give every girl distinctive underwear, which you get a good look at when they use the glider or climb walls. Which you do a lot of.

Amusingly, the built-in camera feature is disabled in flight mode.

“Now make her do the crawl action.”

“She doesn’t need to crawl.”

“Trust me.”

REST easy, Cloudflare

Apparently they’ve turned DDoS protection on for the Pixiv API server, since it’s currently rejecting all requests and demanding a CAPTCHA. Which my Python scripts do not appreciate.

The Apple User Experience

An alert box I’ve never seen before pops up while I’m doing something else, warning me about a connection attempt from a device that I need to confirm with the supplied passcode. By the time I’ve parsed the message that the device is my phone (which has been happily syncing to this Mac for two weeks now) and crossed the room to get it, the alert and its magic passcode have vanished.

There was nothing on the phone’s screen to indicate that it had requested some form of access or was waiting for a passcode. I guess I’ll just have to wait for it to happen again and hope that I have both devices within a foot of each other and am not actively using either for something that would be disrupted by random context switching.

Back To School: 2020

Party like it’s 2020


Flash! Aaa-aaaaah!

Y’know, I’ve almost missed the Adobe critical-security-update emails I used to send to the entire company every week or two. Here’s today’s reminder that Flash is bad; delete it.

Dear Amazon,

Rennet, starch, and twine? Your definition of party supplies is a bit different from mine.

Shhhhhh!

Nobody tell this foxgirl that it’s still 2020…

Now with heated keys!

Bought a supposedly-new-in-box gaming keyboard on Woot, with warranty. It’s the sort that has two USB connectors, to power the pretty backlighting and supply a data connection for the one-port hub that you attach your mouse to.

The hub works. The keyboard doesn’t. On three different machines. And it gets really, really hot. Guess I’ll be exercising that warranty…

🎶 Whistle while you… eat brains

Brought to you by the letter I


Ball joints

The trending Pixiv tag #I字バランス (“leg-hold pose”, literally “letter-I balance”) separates the artists who know anatomy from the ones who really don’t understand how legs are attached to the body.

The Seven Deadly Virtualizations

I’m finally off of my old 12-inch MacBook. The nearly-last step was stripping down the install and virtualizing it. The plan was to create a new Mojave virtual in VMware, add a second disk big enough to hold the old install, mount the old machine in target disk mode, clone from A to B, shut down the virtual, and swap the drives in its config file. I have done this before, and it worked.

This time, the perfectly good OS install image booted up but refused to install, insisting the installer (created with Apple’s official tools) was “damaged”. Never mind that that exact same ISO had been successfully used to install Mojave twice before…

However, while it refused to just install the OS, it was happy to format the disk and restore a Time Machine backup onto it. So I booted the old machine back up, fed it a freshly-formatted USB disk, waited, attached my shiny new TM backup to the virtual, and said “go for it”. It happily launched the OS installer it had claimed was damaged, installed Mojave, upgraded it to match the release the backup had been made with, and then restored all my data onto it. Except /usr/local, because why would I ever want that?

(because my shell was set to /usr/local/bin/bash, of course…)

I can’t run any of my 32-bit games on this virtual (because Apple has never exposed APIs in a way that VMware or any other virtualization software can use to provide decent graphics performance), but everything else works, and the only games that worked on the MacBook will run fine on any of my Windows boxes.

Or on the Mac Mini I’m leaving at Mojave. I’m keeping the virtualized MacBook on the Air for a while, so I can pull anything off of it that might have been missed in my manual migration, but eventually I’ll move it to the Mini as well.

Counting the stripped-down image I just made, I now have five separate backups of the MacBook, so it’s safe to scrub that machine completely, install Catalina, and use it as the lightweight sterile Japan-vacation laptop.

In the Spring. Because the borders are still pretty darn closed right now, with no end in sight. (TL/DR: camp out at the Consulate to get an appointment for a new visa, and if they issue one, show up at the airport with the right kind of negative Covid test result issued in the previous 72 hours)

On that note, I added the Planyway add-on to my vacation-planning Trello board, and it dramatically sped up the task of moving the trip from November to March. Even at the free tier, it’s basically the calendar that Trello should have already had built in; it not only allows you to drag items onto the calendar from your lists, but it has an honest-to-gosh Day view.

Another foreign agent endorses Biden

This time, Scoldilocks. It’s nice that she catalogs her mental issues to reinforce the context of her recommendation. Honestly, as susceptible as she is to outside influences, I’m surprised she hasn’t transitioned yet.

Dear Apple,

In Catalina’s Mail.app, if you toggle off “Organize by Conversation”, it is incapable of viewing the messages marked as part of a conversation. Click on one of them, you see the correct body; navigate to another with mouse or keyboard, and you continue to see the body of the first. You have to go to a message that’s not part of the current “conversation”, then go back to see the next message. This behavior is only possible if no one ever bothered to QA what happens when you turn this option off.

Apparently if you want to see a simple list of messages sorted by date, author, etc, you’re holding it wrong.

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