The Door Into Spam

Slightly more faithful than ‘Starship Troopers’…

…a Japanese live-action adaptation of Heinlein’s novel, The Door Into Summer:


Can it be coincidence that the volume of email spam I receive is increasing in direct proportion to the confidence that BidenHarris will take power soon?

It’s the worst sort of obvious crap, and it’s all getting past Gmail’s spam filtering before being caught by mine. This is maybe half of what arrived yesterday afternoon:

Subject: For Mr Kadri Mehmet

Dear Sir/Madam,

I’m deeply sorry to berg into your privacy as we haven’t met before, as a matter of fact, I will be very brief since I’m in urgent need of a trust person to help move out a valuable funds deposit by later libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi into a foreign bank account which will later be used for any profitable joint investment between me and you,

Subject: Hello

Dear Friend,

Good day to you. Apparently this email will be coming to you as a surprise since we have not met before now. My name is Reem E. Al-Hashimi, the Emirates Minister of State for international cooperation and Managing Director of United Arab Emirates (Dubai) World Expo 2020 Committee.

Subject: Calvary greetings to you!!


I am Mrs. Dian, a widow to late Marcos Carlos I am 56 years old, i am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the lung, from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that i would only live for a short period, according to my doctors this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. My late husband was killed during the U.S. Raid against terrorism in Afghanistan, and during the period of our marriage we couldn’t produce any child.

Subject: Good Day

My Dear Friend

This letter is to acknowledge the substantial contributions of time and energy you have made in trying to assist to claim the fund through your account, despite that it failed us because of your inability to continue financing the transaction.

Subject: Good day

I am Jim Yang. I am the Operation Manager at China Citic Bank International, Hong Kong. I do not know if we can work together in transferring US$48.2 million from my bank to your bank account.

A Wild Gravity Ratchet Appears!

Back in April, I put a deposit down with BraidersHand for an ayatakedai (綾竹台) conversion kit for my takadai. Unexpectedly, it arrived on my birthday, which was a nice surprise. (note that their waiting list isn’t usually that long for this particular item; my order accidentally got dropped from the work queue, and I didn’t check up on it until November)

The takadai straddles the line between braiding and weaving, while the ayatakedai is firmly on the other side, kind of a warp-weighted tablet loom. Warp threads are manipulated in groups to open the shed, through which two weft threads are passed. The threads are wound on separate kumihimo bobbins, and then the warps are tightly twisted and moved up/down the “feathers” to open the shed, or across to change the color or pattern. The wefts just hang over the side arms, without any twist.

All of which is a lengthy side note, because what I was actually interested in was finding someone who had replaced the standard chopstick brake on the take-up reel with a gravity ratchet:

“Close your eyes and think of China”

Cozier Than Thou

Perhaps the real reason Democrats are so fond of China is that they wish they could still get away with forcing slaves to pick cotton.

Jam Jam Jam Jam Jam…

After the refreshing take on the SAO universe that was the Gun Gale Online anime, I took a look at the translated light novels, which are currently up to 7, and it’s the same thing over and over. Squad Jam, Squad Jam 2, Squad Jam 3, Squad Jam 4, Squad Jam Party, Squad Jam Sausage and Jam, etc. I think I’ll pass.


10,000 channels, still nothing on

I don’t miss DirecTV, especially since I hadn’t watched anything on it for several months before canceling. I also haven’t watched anything on Hulu, dLibrary Japan, BritBox, or STARZ. Also very little on HiDive, Crunchyroll, or Funimation.

Which leaves Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, where I spend more time scrolling through listings than actually watching anything. Most recently I’ve rewatched an Indiana Jones movie, some of my favorite SG-1 episodes, and the first half of several movies from the Seventies and Eighties.

Last night, after N minutes of deliberation, I watched the “dinner with Dad” scenes from episode 6 of the second season of Umbrella Academy.

Speaking of which, I understand they’re scheduled to start filming season three in February, but I haven’t seen anything about them hiring a new actress to play Vanya. Surely they won’t let a man steal that role from a woman.

Cognitive Dissidents

With the looming threat of a brief Biden presidency, and the only-slightly-less-imminent threat of a Harris presidency, there’s another problem with those N million citizens who were so inspired by Biden’s vision for the future that they put him over the top: the Democrats are an incredibly racist, sexist party.

After all, none of these people were willing to vote for Obama or Clinton. Only the promise of a rich old white man could get them to the polls for the very first time in their lives.

Or else they don’t exist, and will disappear as swiftly and silently as they appeared, a mystery never to be explored by the media.

Mister Doctor Strange

Let’s Play Doctor

Quite a few people are pointing and laughing at Jill Biden for insisting on being addressed as “Doctor”. Rest assured that this is not a personal quirk. Many years ago, I learned that everyone with an Education doctorate does this; it’s the quickest, most reliable way to confirm that you’re not dealing with someone who has a PhD.

Dear Apple,

Stop demanding I log back in on all of my devices every week or so. I’m getting really sick of re-entering my long, secure password at least twice (email, icloud, app store) on every Apple device I own, including the watch (which actually forces me to type it in on my phone, but without the usual keyboard UI or the ability to cut-and-paste from my secure password vault).

Social Distancing

I went to the dentist today, and they asked if I’d been in contact with anyone who’d been exposed to Corona-chan. I said they could have ended that question a few words earlier, since I haven’t been in contact with anyone for months.

It’s just me and Porch Cat Prime.

This, by the way, was shot on my Sony A-6500 with the old Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5 lens, using the EA4 mount adapter. This is the more expensive adapter that steals 1/3 stop of light to deliver autofocus with A-mount lenses made all the way back in the Eighties, so with the APS-C sensor, effectively it’s a 40-200mm f/4.5-5 lens.

In many ways, I’d prefer this as a travel lens over my shiny modern Sony 18-105mm f/4, even though the Sony has in-lens stabilization, faster and quieter focus, the ability to extend its range to 210mm with Sony’s “ClearImage” digital zoom, and is lighter and shorter. When I next go to Japan, though, I’ll take the Sony, and either try out ClearImage or switch to my little WX800 when I want to really zoom in (720mm equivalent, usable with the built-in stabilization and automatic multi-shot noise-reduction or anti-blur turned on). One less thing to juggle on an international trip.

Now all I need is the ability to travel…

“The DNC went down to Georgia…”

🎶 …they was lookin’ for some votes to steal.
They was in a bind, ’cause they was way behind,
runnin’ a houseplant with no appeal. 🎶

To pet or not to pet…

I’m not saying I have a cat, but Porch Cat Prime spent three hours sleeping on my chest yesterday, waking up several times to attempt to groom my beard.

Dear Amazon,

Recently when I’ve tried to look up something that I ordered a while ago, the link I get back is for a page in the Amazon Fresh section, with a warning that it’s not available in my area. None of these items were purchased through Amazon Fresh, and aren’t even appropriate for it (such as the plastic calipers I linked to earlier (which, by the way, are crap, but good enough for simple uses like checking for consistent widths)). I have to search for the product again to get a link I can actually buy or send to someone.

Georgia Suitcase Ballots

This is the name of my new Dixiepunk band. We’ll start rehearsing when and if the Democrats let us out of our homes again.

More fun than a suitcase full of Biden votes…

I do not choose you

Anal-Retentive Retention Retainers

After painlessly allowing me to cancel my DirecTV service, AT&T called me five times without leaving a message or supplying Caller ID. I finally picked up this morning’s call, at 10:20 AM on a holiday weekend, so that I could tell whoever it was to fuck off with great vigor. They at least had the courtesy to have a human on the call, but he did not identify himself or his employer until I asked.


The eight special hat-wearing Pikachu that were released for the second Pokemon Sword/Shield DLC expire tomorrow, so I finally updated the games on my Switches, logged in, and entered the codes. For each of my eight save files. Acquiring 64 Pikachu in six different languages takes a little while, so I still haven’t actually played the DLC.

I did not make a thing

Sure, when I’m browsing sites that feature pictures of attractive young women who are not overburdened with clothing, I sometimes find myself thinking, “Daddy’s got a place for you, and the door locks from the outside,” but even if I were in a position to exercise restraint(s), I’d at least be willing to spring for proper cuffs. Hell, it can take days to print a miniature dungeon.

(and, yes, using hard plastic cuffs for anything but cosplay ornaments is a bad idea)

I published a thing

I put the miter box cam pin up on Thingiverse. Yes, I have to be “J.” there instead of “J”, because assumptions. Once upon a time I had a Facebook account, and since they rejected “J.” as well, my name was “Jjusttheletter”. And that was before they started demanding you prove your identity to them.

Make Room, Make Room!

I’d like to thank Omaha Steaks for providing me with such a nice pair of dry-storage boxes for filament. Also for forcing me to clean my freezer, because I hadn’t realized how much space their boxes took up; I think they’ve added more packaging since the last time I got anything from them. Which, admittedly, has been several years.

The peppercorn steak skillet meal was quite tasty, but there were supposed to be two of those in the delivery, so I sent them email, and after 6pm on a holiday weekend, they not only answered but issued a credit for it.

Also, “Soylent Green Is Paimon!!!”


I canceled DirecTV. I pretty much haven’t watched anything on it since before Covid, and they’re raising their prices. They made a perfunctory attempt at customer retention, but I think the reps are insufficiently motivated to push it, given that AT&T’s trying to dump the company like a box of dead bats at a Chinese lab. I just have to drop their equipment off at the nearest UPS or Fedex location and they’ll box and ship it for free.

I already canceled Marvel Unlimited when it came up for renewal, because they’ve cut way back on scanning their archives (“the good stuff”), and nothing that they’ve added in the last six months has been of more than momentary interest (“the derivative woke shitty lame-ass crossover stuff”).

(Unhappy Shamiko is Unhappy)

Also unrelated

I successfully printed a Benchy using hairspray on the bed. Easy to remove, and the bottom surface was much cleaner than with the glue stick. The best part of the hairspray was that touching up the bed after a print takes only a few seconds.

It has a rough spot on the bow, which I’ve seen on some other overhangs, and it seems to only happen in specific orientations. When I printed the big ABLE connector, for instance, one of the three 45-degree angle overhangs came out perfect, and the other two had rough spots that started at about the same height.

A bit of searching suggests this is a cooling issue, and either improving the fan circulation or lowering the print bed temperature should help. You can also apparently lower the actual printing temperature a bit, but that can reduce part strength.

Good to know…

The decision to merge the characters for “dry” and “fuck” in Simplified Chinese is an endless source of comedy.

I made a thing

When it came time to start cutting dowels and building the prototype tinkertoy-takadai (he says, skipping over the step where he made the torii/makitoribō uprights and the gravity ratchet with matching pawl and knob, and it all just worked), I pulled out my $15 miter box and saw, and could only find one of the cam pins.

So I pulled out the micrometer, poked the measurements into OpenSCAD, and made another one. It would probably take less time to search the garage and find the old one, but I always thought it should have had more than two anyway.

Picture Is Unrelated

It just came up when I was shuffling my archive of Pixiv downloads.

…which reminds me that I really ought to log in and try out the new DLC this weekend. And claim half a dozen copies of the eight special Pikachus that expire in a few days.

That’s a big fat ‘no’, Amazon

Quoting from a recent email:

Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices work better. For example, if your device loses its wifi connection, Sidewalk can simplify reconnecting to your router and help set up new Echo devices. Sidewalk can also extend the coverage for Sidewalk-enabled devices, such as Ring smart lights and pet and object trackers, so they can stay connected and continue to work over longer distances.

When enabled, Sidewalk uses a small portion of your Internet bandwidth to provide these services to you and your neighbors. This setting will apply to all of your supported Echo and Ring devices that are linked to your Amazon account.

Learn more about Amazon Sidewalk: (url deleted)

Sidewalk is coming to your Echo device later this year, but you can disable this feature at any time from the Amazon Alexa app.

Call me crazy, but this sounds like it defaults to enabling this bandwidth-sharing “feature” on all supported Echo devices, unless you remember to shut it off after it goes live. It currently shows as off in the app, but also “not available yet”. Given that they turned on calling functionality without notice (leading it to call me on my cellphone when I said “porch light on”), I have no reason to trust them.

Note that there appears to be no way to determine what “small portion” means, or who you are currently providing “these services” to.

No Cura for you!

Tried to use Cura 4.8.0 with the settings I linked earlier. Had to abort the print in a real hurry because the leveling probe came down as it started to print the skirt. That does not work.

Despite its flaws, MatterControl looks like the best slicer for me right now. What flaws, you might ask? A completely non-standard UI, an actively user-hostile mouselook implementation, a habit of auto-loading a part that you last looked at two weeks ago, no retention of window location and size, no new Mac builds since April (Windows = 2.20.11, Mac = 2.20.4, Ubuntu = 2.19.10), and it pegs a CPU core when it’s idle. My fans spin up as soon as it launches, even if I never do anything.

The release notes promise a Mac version of 2.20.11, but “coming soon” was two weeks ago. I was able to successfully adapt the cursory build instructions they supply on Github, only to have it blow chunks on launch:

WARNING: The Carbon driver has not been ported to 64bits, and very few parts of Windows.Forms will work properly, or at all

        External Debugger Dump:
Abort trap: 6

I wonder how they got it to work back in April, but since the source/build directory is over 24 GB (not counting the Mono and Nuget installs), I’m not going to futz with it any further. I’d like it to work, since they’ve added some nice features, but the Windows version runs fine under VMware. And on the old Surface Pro 2. And the old Asus gaming laptop. And the not-quite-as-old Asus gaming desktop.

So I’m good.

We few, we happy few, we 15 million first-time Biden voters…

🎶 Where did they come from, where did they go,
millions of people, votin’ just Joe. 🎶

If you still have a Mac…

How to use the fingerprint sensor for sudo instead of your password:

sudo vi /etc/pam.d/sudo
# add as second line:
auth sufficient

(with fallback to password, of course…)

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