Demand to see Life's manager!

This update has been piling up for a while, and since I’m too distracted to annotate each entry with pictures…

How many ounces in a lemon?

I found this grapefruit-sized lemon on the tree in my backyard. It looked perfectly healthy, so I brought it in and decided to find out how much juice it had inside.

Gross weight: 13.8 ounces (390 grams). Net volume of lemon juice? 1 teaspoon (5 ml). It was mostly rind, with some dried-out pulp in the center.


Dear Apple “QA”

I dragged an alias of a Photos library onto my desktop, to remind me to re-process that batch of 2007 pictures in Lightroom sometime (despite the fact that there’s still no way to actually import the library in a sensible way, even with Avalanche (although they just released the Capture One conversion, so maybe they’ll finally get to it).

The result was two days of constant high CPU usage by Finder, with apparent side effects triggering Spotlight reindexing that created heavy WebKit activity that created heavy Cookie processing, etc. Fans were spinning up under the load.

Delete fancy symlink from desktop, problem goes away instantly. Note that this happened even though “show icon preview” is off for all folders, because it’s a crap feature that has little or no caching and has always been a huge performance problem for the desktop, and a non-trivial slowdown for other folders. It’s so bad that even the switch to SSDs didn’t make it tolerable, because so much other garbage got shoveled into MacOS at the same time.

Dear Amazon Echo product managers

As features are added, the slow degradation of core functionality increases. I now find myself deliberately setting alarms and timers with numbers that are unlikely to be confused with other numbers (“fourteen” instead of “fifteen”, because the device often hears that as “fifty”).

By the way, whoever came up with the “by the way” misfeature that spams me with suggestions for unrelated uses of the product at random intervals should be fired. Out of a cannon.

On the good side, it seems to have gained a longer memory of the last song I requested, so that three days later I can say “repeat the song” and correctly get Ballroom Blitz.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Only in theaters in June! Only if there are still theaters by June! Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and a much-expanded role for Salma Hayek. Still wondering what happened to Free Guy? It’s been pushed off again, this time to August. 2021, still, for now.

The perils of girl_name in the land of the vanity domain

(with apologies to the memory of the sadly-late Tawny Kitaen, star of the hilariously terrible film The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak; review: bored French boobs, and one honestly funny scene involving the three leads in a cage)

Digging through my spam-trap mailbox, I get a surprising amount of stuff directed to the address be@mydomain, but the winner for the week is one of the “send bitcoin to stop us from revealing that you masturbate in front of your computer” genre, literally addressed to girl_name@mydomain. Yeah, good luck with that one.

Someday, I’d love to find out how I got onto a bunch of Canadian political mailing lists as “Ollie Tabor”…

Token security

If you use Homebrew on a Mac, eventually you’ll hit the limits of their Github-based service and need to set up your own API token to reliably update the package repo. The documented solution for this is to simply sign up for a Github account, get a token, and hardcode it into your dotfiles so that every running process will be able to extract it from your environment and freely use your Github account.

Historically, at least. For some time now, it’s been possible to generate an API token that has no non-public permissions, and will only act to identify the user (Settings -> Developer Settings -> Personal access tokens -> Generate new token -> do not check any permissions boxes; also delete any old-style tokens on this screen).

This came up because I’ve been syncing my personal dotfiles over to my work Mac, and this was one of a dozen or so things that needed to be pulled out into a separate, non-synced file. When I looked at it, I decided it was stupid to do it that way even with a “safe” token, so I moved it into its own file:

brew () {
  if [ -f ~/.homebrew_api_token ]; then
    HOMEBREW_GITHUB_API_TOKEN=$token /usr/local/bin/brew "$@"
    /usr/local/bin/brew "$@"

I’d love to programmatically retrieve it from secure storage on use, but while Homebrew supports integration with the MacOS keychain, their documentation for this does not seem to exist outside of a snarky “do it this way instead” in a will-not-fix closure of a bug report (and, honestly, an unlocked MacOS keychain is at best only kinda secure anyway).

At one point I had things set up so that my Mac homedir was on its own small file system that lived in a TrueCrypt container with all the large directories linked from elsewhere, but Mac software had (and likely still has) so many problems with the concept of multiple file systems on a computer that it was more trouble than it could ever be worth. Full-disk encryption covers the same scenarios with less hassle.

Dear Amazon Shipping Optimization

When this is how the product is packaged for retail sale, shipping it in a non-padded brown paper bag is not adequate…

It used to be that you handled returns by boxing them back up and dropping them into a nearby Amazon pickup locker, but now they just give you a barcode to take into the nearest UPS/etc store with the unboxed product, and they scan it and box up a large batch of defective products all at once. So, they’re generating less shipping waste getting the product to you and getting back the products that got broken because they generate less shipping waste. Kind of a win?

They arrived Thursday, and after I immediately initiated the return, the replacements arrived Saturday. Also in a non-padded paper bag. But were somehow intact anyway. So, yeah, in the pursuit of Green-ery, Amazon has apparently chosen to replace common sense with blind luck.

File under baffling the fact that OXO designed a set of graduated cylinders for the kitchen which advertise milliliters without providing enough markings to actually be useful for that purpose:

  • 250ml: 25ml increment starting at 50ml
  • 175ml: 25ml increment
  • 125ml: 25ml increment
  • 60ml: 20ml increment
  • 30ml: 10ml increment
  • 15ml: 5ml increment
  • 5ml: 1ml increment

The US side with cups/ounces/tablespoons/teaspoons has plenty of (accurate) markings, but they could have significantly improved the 60ml and 30ml sizes with minimal effort.

Anime update

  • The Slimelord Wears Cosplay: still reliably delivering more cute monster girls than the main series. My interest in both this show and the fan-art is somewhat reduced by the fact that I am not attracted to Rimuru’s gender-ambiguous human form, and apparently most everyone else is.

  • ZSR: last week, Lily-focused and really good; this week, Tae-focused and I kind of lost interest somewhere in the middle and finished it later. It was “a day in the life of a mostly-unawakened zombie, followed around by the dangling plot thread from last season”. The most interesting bit was the small and completely unsubtle reveal in the graveyard, although The Truth Is Out There.

  • Demon Lord Slave Harem: haven’t watched this week’s yet, last one finally added the OurHero-worshiping robot maid to the harem. Plot is still largely “boobs”. Or at least “large boobs and a flatcat”.

  • Spider-ko and the B Ark: haven’t watched this week’s yet, but the timelines are getting close to connecting, so I expect the season to include the revelation that Our Heroine has a great pair of legs and isn’t as dead as teacher thinks, but not yet the part where Kumoko isn’t (spoiler-spoiler-spoiler).

  • The Witch, The Slime, and the Virtual Harem: honestly, it all blurs together after a while, but remains fun to watch. This week’s episode managed an actual cliffhanger. Beelzebub remains best girl.

The Numbers Game

Monterey County jail population, cumulative statistics since the zombies first arrived from China: 7.4% covid-positive, 0 fatalities. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, since the same status PDF has consistently reported that 85% of the covid-labeled deaths in the county were 55 or older, and they further mask the fatality data by lumping together everyone from age 1 to 34 as one group (50% of the population, 2.6% of the deaths).

Rainy Rodeo Vaccine

Having learned their lesson about hosting a drive-through vaccination event at a venue that has multiple entry points and plenty of parking, my second vaccination shot went a lot more quickly Saturday morning, as they had four parallel lanes from the moment you entered until you got the jab. They also had pre-printed labels with the date, vaccine lot, and location, rather than having to fill out the card by hand.

Things went so much better for them that they followed up the original “appointment times will be strictly enforced” with a “feel free to come early” email before noon.

The most interesting things about the event were two things I don’t remember being on the healthcare form I filled out for the first shot:

  1. boxes for both “legal gender” and “gender ID”, but not “biological sex”, which is the only one relevant for medical treatment.

  2. A box for ethnicity that contained options for declined, hispanic origin, non-hispanic origin, and unknown, followed by a box for race that contained options for native american or alaskan, african american or black, native hawaiian or pacific islander, asian, and declined. The only valid answer I could have given was declined/declined, since “white mutt” wasn’t available.


That was Saturday at 9am. 48+ hours later, contrary to the folk wisdom spreading about the second shot, I can detect no negative reaction. I feel pretty much the same way I do every day where I haven’t had human contact in over a year.

Closer to the target

Target has replaced their potentially-machine-damaging horrible clone Nespresso pod house brand with a different one that at least looks compatible. That is, they’ve replaced the “Archer Farms” brand of badly-made plastic/foil pods with the “Good & Gather” brand of correctly-shaped aluminum pods. No idea if the coffee inside is any good, between the fact that they burned me once and the fact that I’ve still got around 500 Nespresso-branded pods. 15% cheaper isn’t enough to justify the experiment.

Related to that link, apparently almost all of the bad Carnation Half&Half tubs in the bulk box I bought from Amazon were at the top. When I first opened the box, about 5% of the ones I grabbed were at least partially dried out, but I haven’t seen a single failure in weeks. I guess the shaking they went through in handling sorted the lemons to the top.

Fixed that for ya!

Trending on garbage-gargling Twitter: “Fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants continues to escalate Terrorists continue trying to murder jews who refuse to give up and die”.

Also, widely reported: Israel bombs building containing offices of international journalists, including Associated Press. Not so widely reported: building was controlled by Hamas, who ran an intelligence operation out of it. (which, honestly, you could have guessed just by knowing that it was full of journalists…)

A hole never filled…

I’ve been watching Shingu recently, and went looking for information about it. Almost every reference is a stock overview that quotes the series marketing info from the original English dub release. Except for the review and too many words by Steven.


On Systemd

Sometimes you can fill a vacuum and still suck. Other times you suck all the air out of a room, killing everyone inside.

…I Work For A Supervillain

Book 6 in the Pennyverse came out Monday night, and I stayed up reading it. Even though there’s very little overlap with the next book, reading them out of order was interesting. And fun. In many ways it holds up a funhouse mirror to Penny’s story arc, with Our Heroine provoking a completely different reaction from the Community and other powered kids.

It also reflects the slightly older high-school protagonists, with more adult content. And by that I mean Bad Things Happening To Good People, not sex (although there is an increase in the amount of kissing, in both books). Fleshes out some of the supporting characters a bit as well, particularly Marcia.

Penny herself is restricted to a brief cameo, which felt like it took some effort to accomplish, with so much of it taking place at her school. The main series needed some transition scenes to wean the audience off of Penny’s PoV, and perhaps I noticed them more because I’ve already read the next book that doesn’t have them, and doesn’t have a Penny-shaped hole in the story.

Diary of a Slime

(last week) Swimsuit episode. More Soka, please.

The Spider Diaries

Swimsuit episode. More Oka, please.

(spider is unrelated)

Demon Lord Dairy

Dance Dance Dungeon Idols. More oppai, please.

(swimsuits are unrelated)

Slime To The 300th Power

Ballroom Blitz, Dragon Wedding Edition. More Beelzebub, please.

Revenge Live!

The IndiansZombies win the pennant! Because they’re zombies. More Junko, please.

School Live! Live!

Licensed. More Megu-nee, please.

(zombie is unrelated)

Iosevka Termanal, Revisited

Their license was updated a while back to reserve the name “Iosevka”, as part of an issue that came up building the nerd font version (which doesn’t quite work anyway due to some metrics changes (whether you use their version or patch it yourself), and which in any case is only useful for Starship, which abuses color and icons to fill your terminal windows with gratuitous noise).

Anyway, I updated my custom build, finding out along the way that they’ve significantly simplified the process of building custom versions that don’t match their preferred widths and weights. In keeping with the license change, it’s now named IO Terminal.

To Hell With That!

As I feared, Hades is much too fun to play when you’re busy. I’m not playing it on the Switch. No, definitely not.

Also, I’m delighted to say that the soundtrack that seemed too intrusive in the trailers fades into the background while playing. If I were playing. Which I’m definitely not.

(Young Beelzebub is unrelated)

Tomorrow Never Comes

Amazon has a prominent ad for a movie titled The Tomorrow War, coming soon to Prime, with a teaser available now. Clicking the link took me to a page that has no trailer, just a little box saying “this video is currently unavailable to watch in your location”. Did they hire an ex-Apple QA team?

Might be for the best, because I found the trailer on Youtube, and it looked really terrible and derivative. But then, unlike the people who create SF TV and movies, I’m actually familiar with the genre.

Might want to rethink that one…

The latest trending hashtag for phony hate crimes is “#StopAsianHate”. Which sounds an awful lot like they’re complaining about racism by Asians…

All Y'all Zombies

One trigger only, please…

It’s been a full year since Land O Lakes dumped the Indian and kept the Land, but it turns out it was pure virtue signalling, because they didn’t do it for all their products, just the ones likely to be spotted by white-knighting woke-warriors. This picture was taken yesterday, and I’m pretty sure Costco isn’t still stocking dairy products from over a year ago.

And don’t overlook the indignity that Mia was stripped of her sweet cream butter while remaining whipped for commercial use!

ZSR, episode 3

The undead nature of Our Heroines is once again just part of their (after)lives, as the show continues to push the story and characters to the front. This week: confidence, conflict, and competition!

Note: last week’s guest star White Ryu was, as I expected, based on and voiced by a Saga-born celebrity, Hakuryu. I see no evidence that he’s ever had rockabilly hair, but both his and Franchouchou’s version of the song are up on iTunes Japan.

The Spider Who Loved Me, episode 15

The B Ark doesn’t appear until after the end credits. This significantly improved the episode.

(arachne-maid is unrelated)

300 Years Of Slime, episode 3

Our Heroine’s relaxing life is interrupted by the arrival of a lusty busty elf on the run and a well-cupped demon girl in hottie pursuit. Beelzebub is Best Girl, a sentence I never imagined writing.

Restaurant To Another World…

season 2 announced.

Dear Amazon,

Yesterday, my package showed a USPS tracking number and a status indicating that it had arrived at my local post office but not made it onto a truck in time for delivery.

Now it shows “shipped with USPS” with an invalid UPS tracking number, and an estimated delivery date of “sometime between now and Tuesday, contact us if you don’t get it by then”.

Things I believe...

Moxie Marlinspike…

…is the name of an Ubuntu release, not a human being.

Democrats use illegal immigration…

…to get back the slaves Republicans took away from them.

Speaking of Ubuntu…

…its early success was primarily driven by paid shills in online forums, not by actual satisfied users. It was like that shoddy Chinese knock-off on Amazon that has hundreds of awkwardly-written one-line five-star reviews: “Best Linux ever, very sturdy”, “Crushes ice well, bought three!”, “Matches my drapes!”

Its current success is largely due to unforced errors by its competitors.

Cops shouldn’t carry tasers…

…because they’re barely qualified to use guns, much less choose between multiple options under pressure. If you’ve ever watched them shoot at a public pistol range, you know you’re in more danger standing next to them than in front of the target.

Every human activity should have one person who takes it way too seriously…

…but only one, not an entire sub-reddit full of them.

Cops with military gear…

…should be subject to the UCMJ.

No one at Apple really uses a Mac any more…

…or knows what “QA” means. Also, you’re holding it wrong.

Just as debugging is harder than coding…

…revising is harder than writing new stuff. I don’t want to post more of Virginia’s story until I’ve fixed the bit I got wrong, and I just haven’t had a good block of focus time recently.

Dear Sony,

You really should proofread your Amazon listings:

Unrelated, if you like K-cups…

…Costco will have the Keurig K-Supreme Plus C on sale for $99 on Wednesday the 14th (online and probably in most warehouses). It looks like a solid upgrade from my Elite, with a better reservoir design and a possibly-better grounds-watering system, but I’ll likely pass, simply because I really only use it for my once-a-day liquid pie, and have mostly been drinking the output of the Nespresso in between cans of Diet Pepsi. The Elite should last me at least another five years at that rate.

On that note, a strong espresso pod plus 90 grams of crushed ice plus a healthy dose of sweetener (in my case, concentrated Splenda syrup), poured into the Barista Recipe Maker foam-as-a-service device and set to the “Iced Frappé” mode produces a 12-ounce glass entirely filled with delicious and quite stable coffee foam, with the remaining ice chunks at the bottom.

The FAAS has a setting for “Iced Nitro” that produces almost as much foam, but it’s not as stable, and quickly turns back into liquid. No other milk frothing device I’ve seen appears to be capable of handling ice at all, while this one will handle full cubes (which my fridge-door crusher sometimes lets through).

…Costco also has a Nespresso Vertuo Next bundle for $169 that has at least $100 worth of extra goodies in it. Downside: the Next has been widely panned online due to quality-control issues, but oddly enough, it’s the same thing that people complain about in pretty much every Keurig review I’ve seen, even my original Elite, namely water going everywhere except into the coffee cup.

So, take that with a crystal of Folgers.

Spider Dragons from across the room

The Spidershot Channel and the B Ark That Couldn’t

Kumoko: “Let me show you its features!”

B Ark: Oh, look, a new character whose only personality trait is that she’s the victim of racial discrimination. Why was she added to an already-uninteresting plotline?

(elf maid is unrelated)

Dragon Maid filler

The second season doesn’t start until July, but Crunchyroll has started running some new short-shorts.

The death of remote control

Logitech’s Harmony series were pretty much the last remotes standing, but now they’re gone. They’re apparently promising to keep the servers running indefinitely (because while the products remain functional, you need the servers to change your configuration), and keep supporting new components, but yeah, they’re just going to stop working one day. Pity, really, since there doesn’t seem to be an adequate replacement; Amazon’s FireTV will try to control connected components, but I’ve found it so limited and unreliable that I turned it off completely. If the Harmony stops working, I’ll have to go back to having three or four remotes sitting out on the coffee table, like our primitive ancestors did.

(delivery girl is unrelated)


Miku who?

I’ve noticed that when I like a picture of Hatsune Miku, it tends to be one of the ones where I have to read the caption or tags to realize it’s her.

Avenue Q

Are the characters in Avenue Q horrible people because they’re New Yorkers, or because they’re Liberals?

Also, has the show been destroyed by cancel culture yet? It’s chock full of -isms that are officially verboten in Our Modern Era.

Combatants Will Be Loud And Boring

I did not expect anything from the KonoSuba author’s first attempt at an isekai story, and I did not get anything. Except a lot of shouting, which the creators seem to think makes terrible dialogue funnier. Kind of like Archer, in that way.

Coma For Slime

Episode 1 of the 4-koma-based spinoff of The Adventures of SuperSlime delivered the one thing I required of it: a better look at the upgraded goblin girls of RimuruVille. Other than that, the attempt to paper over the seams between the vignettes made it nearly incoherent.

(technically not a trap!)


Cute dead girls doing cute dead things to rebuild their cute dead career. Surprisingly sober way to start things off, given the previous wackiness.

Tomorrow: The Return of SpiderSpider and The B Ark

They took a week off between cours. I almost didn’t notice.

(spider is unrelated)

Worlds' End

Isekai right back at ya

“Reborn in another world that was uninspired and derivative, I got tired of winning every battle and used my OP ability to destroy it, and now I’ve been reborn in my original world as my grandfather, so to prevent a paradox that will destroy every universe everywhere, I’ve got to sleep with my own grandma, ewwww!”

DS9 would have been more fun…

…if Odo had used his hammy Chef Louis voice from The Little Mermaid.

Nice try, Twitter…

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