The packets were coming from inside the house!

No-crunch streaming

Both of the shows I plan to try watching this season (Flatcat & Sword and A-cup Alchemist, er, “Management of Novice Alchemist”) are streaming on HiDive. Crunchyroll has some good shows on their (partial) announcement, but just not ones I plan to watch.

Three Bodies, One Cour

I had lost track of Amazon’s film adaptation of The Three-Body Problem, and just discovered that the deal fell through and it’s now being done by Netflix, to be released in 2023. They’re throwing a lot of money and talent at a frankly terrible thriller with a thin veneer of technobabble. Seriously, it’s like Battlefield Earth without the SF content. I mean, really bad.

(Expo 2025 mascot is probably unrelated, and better designed)

I broke the scammer!

I just got a scam call offering “supplemental Medicare assistance”. In response to the first question, I said “I am not eligibile for Medicare”. The computer (complete with phony call-center background noise) proceeded to congratulate me for thinking about my health insurance options, then asked if I had thought about supplemental Medicare insurance. I repeated my answer. It then asked how old I was, and I answered “twelve”.

Silence. Two minutes of silence, then it finally hung up.

Saw this one in passing: “Roevember is coming”. My immediate response was, “…followed by Dobbsember”. 😁

Achievement unlocked: new house networked!

  • 5U vertical rack in basement with PDU & 48-port patch panel
    • 1 coax cable routed from exterior Spectrum Cable box
    • 1 24-port managed gigabit switch
    • 1 vendor-managed cable modem
    • 1 vendor-managed wifi router with wifi disabled (because the cable modem wasn’t bright enough to bridge my static IP block)
    • 1 OpenBSD firewall router (Shuttle DS61)
  • 12 drops spread across 8 rooms (each 2x Cat6a, 1x coax)
  • 1 8+2-port managed 2.5/10-gig switch (office)
  • 3 8-port managed gigabit switches (office, family room, living room)
  • Orbi Quad-band Wifi 6E and 2 satellites, claiming “up to 10.8 Gbps”, but has 2.5-gig ports on the back, so they’ll all be moving to the 2.5/10 switch soon (office, family room, living room)

I seem to have lost the rack-mounting ears for the 24-port switch, and the only people selling replacements for that brand are in Australia, so I need to find a simple wire shelf that sits inside the rack, so I can organize the contents and still close the door/lid.

I hadn’t realized until they’d left for the day on Saturday that they ran the cable bundles directly adjacent to the main gas line that runs the length of the house. Not how I’d have done it.

They also ran speaker wire from one side of the living room to the other as requested, but I had to convince the guy that no, I did not want 6 feet of speaker wire just sticking straight out of the wall on both sides of the room. I wanted wallplates with screw/banana terminals, like every other AV install I’ve ever seen or heard of. Baffling.

Related, if I’d known that the rack was a top-opener with the patch panel at the top, I’d have asked for it to be mounted lower on the basement wall, so I didn’t have to use a stepladder to plug in ethernet cables.

(cat-sitting is different in the city)

Game on!

Japan reopens for tourists on October 11. Our last rescheduling is still in place for November, so we are, as they say, good to go. Some of the events we had on our trip calendar are missing, including a harvest festival about halfway between Kyoto and Osaka, so we’ll probably have to do some improvising, but we like that sort of thing.

And, yes, it’s “three shots or a test right before the flight”; I suppose I’ll finally have to get a booster, to avoid any possible delays caused by testing. No word yet if they’re still going to require tracking apps on your phones.

They’re really, really eager to get tourists back, offering a number of incentives, including some sort of cash-back deal for your first night.

Call Of The Night 12

In which BOOBS! Also, Vampire Hunter D-Cup flirts and teases, in a manner suspiciously similar to how Our Not-Really-The-Hugging-Type Vamp does. In the end, though, It’s A Trap!

Slave Harem Dungeon 12 (fin!)

(you can pretty freely rearrange the title words for this show…)

In the final episode, Our Pimp Daddy just bought and boned all of the other girls during the end credits, without bothering with any of the actual backstories. Like the reason the blonde is being sold to him by her own family, or how she was broken to service by the senior girls. They’d have needed another two seasons to get through the actual story content involved in collecting the whole set, given how much time they spend on acquiring skill stones to upgrade their gear (the official reason for buying Sherry), so they just montaged the hell out of it and ended with a (gang) bang.

(the only reason this picture is unrelated is that it isn’t covered in censorship dialog boxes)

The Talking Cure

Vermeil 12 (fin!)

After repeating the last few minutes of the previous episode, and five minutes of talking, Our Scenery-Chewing Villain insists that it’s time for the climactic battle!

Which lasts about a minute, before the ref calls it on account of time and they just walk away. The rest is padding, because damn did they run out of material. About the only nice thing I can say is that the student council girls beat up Our Loving Hero in the guise of “training” before Our Loving Succubus gets nekkid and delivers the last Buy The Bluray ad.

(unrelated busty demon gal is unrelated, and also, I’m suddenly feeling hot for teacher)

Checking in on Dungeon Slave Harem

In the next-to-last episode, Our Slavering Hero finally made the call to buy another loli fuckslaveparty member. Her first service will have to wait for the final episode this week, since she spent half the runtime marveling over his worldbreaking awesomeness.

(Roxanne will continue to put on the red light out for Master alongside her new kouhai)

Winter and Spring…

Bofuri 2 for January, Edens Zero 2 for Spring. That’s it, so far.

(picture is unrelated, as per Pixy’s lament)

Dear Amazon,

I love the fact that I frequently get next-day and same-day free delivery now, but could you work on the problem where items are being labeled as in-stock and Prime that ship from, but when you get to the checkout they won’t arrive for two weeks?

Dear Atlassian technical support,

Yes, we read knowledgebase articles, too. Usually before opening the ticket, so it’s really not useful to just keep sending new ones to us that aren’t useful or relevant to solving the massive heap spikes that we started seeing after installing your latest security patch, which are giving the garbage collector a real workout.

Definitely not in California, part 4473

Once you have a training certificate in hand (8-hour class, with two hours on the range, including malfunction drills), it takes about a week to get a concealed-carry license in Ohio. In my county, at least, it’s a web form: fill it in, upload photos of the certificate and your ID, pay the fee, pick a day to go in for fingerprints and a photo, and then walk out with your CHL. Good for five years.

You don’t need a license for concealed-carry in Ohio any more, but having one is likely to improve any relevant interactions with police, permitless carry doesn’t work in the 19 states that accept Ohio’s license, and you don’t have to go through the instant-check when purchasing a new gun (which, by the way, means that the reports about how many gun sales Democrats have caused are likely significantly low).

I’m not in the market for another gun at the moment, though. More precisely, the guns I’m in the market for are simply not available, because pretty much anything vaguely concealable in 9mm or .380 is flying off the shelves as fast as it can be made, so manufacturers are reacting appropriately (although they seem a tad optimistic about the market for Coyote Ugly tan-colored handguns).

The training class was interesting. We had five people in it: a school bus driver, a construction worker, two competitive handgun shooters, and me. Everyone was shooting Glocks, their own or rentals; I had toyed with the idea of bringing my 1966 Browning Hi-Power, but I didn’t know how they ran the practical test, and it has terrible sights. Classic, but terrible.

Turned out the range test was trivial for any experienced shooter, although they required you to handle and shoot your gun in a way I’m not used to. I’ve never shot in a “proper” Isosceles stance from a close-body low ready position, nor used their very specific method of clearing malfunctions, so I actually had something to practice while making a large ragged hole in the paper.

(“and now a few words about the secure alarmed cabinet in the securely-locked basement of my alarm-and-security-camera-equipped house…”)

I was amused to see a particular brand of .45 ACP 230-grain ball ammo being marketed as subsonic. This is like saying “our bleach whitens”.

Obscene fire, and obscene rain

“Obscene sunny days that I thought would never end…” 😁

Vermeil 11

In Which If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right.

Seriously, that’s the entire episode, right there, literally coming out of the mouth of Our Observing Hero. Giant battle against unbeatable foe that was interrupted by exposition and a flashback? No sign of it. Maybe next week, since that’s the final episode.

Call Of The Night 11

In Which Buffy Wears Glasses And Kicks Vampire Asses. The plot, as they say, thickens, starting with an accidental pick-up line and leading directly to a healthy dose of teen bonding in the traditional late-night school-mystery hunt, which never ends well.

I’m really hoping this gets another cour soon; there are still two more episodes coming (which isn’t enough to do more than dip their toes into this new plot twist), but I haven’t seen any news about a continuation any time soon.

Dear Amazon, Please Stop

Blade Runner 2099, The Series.

Ridley Scott is attaching his name to it, but it’s being written by someone named Silka Luisa whom I’ve never heard of, and whose genre credits include three episodes of a show I’ve never heard of, and an episode of Halo.

Fall Season?

Planning to watch:

  • Flatcat And Sword (“reincarnated as a sword”)

    • after Truck-kun sends some random guy into a fantasy world, he ends up with mysterious powers that make monster-fighting a cinch, hooks up with a cute loli slave girl, and begins a life of adventure with her. Where it breaks from the usual formula is that he’s a magic sword and there isn’t even a hint of a harem; it’s just a 12-year-old former slave and her stepdad-sword. September 28th on HiDive.
  • Novice Alchemist’s Shop Management (“management of novice alchemist”)

    • after graduating from alchemist school, Our Heroine gets sent off to the boonies to open her own shop, make lots of friends, and beat the living hell out of giant monsters. October 3rd, streaming site not announced yet.

…and that’s it so far.

(picture is unrelated and out of season)

Fun Facts, 1Password Edition

A member of my team has been in India for a while, and went to file a ticket with a vendor. The password she had in 1password (v7) for that account didn’t work, so she reset it and went on with her day. Then the new guy in Prague and I went to open another ticket with that vendor, and the password (again, v7) didn’t work. So we checked with her, and eventually figured out that firewall rules prevented her from connecting to the 1Password servers, and the application never told her that sync had been failing for weeks. No indication whatsoever in the Mac client.

Devil By The Deed

Vermeil 10

Y’know what this series needed? A massive battle against an unbeatable foe that’s interrupted by several minutes of lengthy exposition, including a brand-new character who shows up to kick off a flashback explaining The Secret History Of Our Gainaxing Succubus (which we’ve been expecting for some time, thanks to the credits). Also Our Determined Hero somehow ends up bleeding in that “Grendel mask” let’s-get-serious way.

Not shown: Vermeil’s panties, in what’s practically a Don’t-Buy-The-Bluray moment during the calm before the storm. Related, random spear-carrying military mages were so focused and intense that they didn’t even notice her barely-contained curves when they walked by to deliver their bit of inept foreshadowing. I disbelieve; I’ve met young soldiers.

By the way, remember that gang of friends who show up occasionally to remind the viewer that they exist but have nothing to do? They show up briefly to remind the viewer that they exist but have nothing to do.

Call Of The Night 10

In this episode of Sukebe Deka, Our Friends With Sucking Benefits go undercover at a maid café to solve The Mystery Of The Missing Upskirts. And it would have worked if it weren’t for that meddling kid.


The guys sealing the basement cracks managed to work around the inconveniently-placed pipe, so I’m all set there. And with the electrical work done, I now have Toto Washlets in all three bathrooms. Next week the only thing going on is picking up a comfy chair I ordered for the living room, but the week after that, the structured wiring is going in, complete with a 5U rack mounted to the basement wall to store all the network gear. Once I have the modem(s), router, and 2.5 Gb/s switch in there, I’ll be a lot happier.

I’ve mostly gotten used to relying on wireless in the house with the new Orbi Wifi 6E setup, but the two satellites are currently backhauling to the base AP via wireless, so they’re not delivering full bandwidth. They’ll perform better with a 2.5 Gb/s wired connection, and adding a switch in the living room will make all my streaming video wired as well.

The biggest win will be running a 10 Gb/s connection between the NAS in the basement and the computers in my office, allowing me to manage my photo and video archives better. After the basement is finished, of course; right now I’d need to buy another closed rack for it, to keep the spiders out.

Torching the Doctor

I just finished watching seasons three and four of Torchwood (which I’d only seen bits of before), which taken together make a good reason to worry about Russell T Davies’ return as the showrunner for Doctor Who.

Many of the flaws in season four can be blamed on the co-production by Starz, which put most of the action in the US with a really weird mix of good actors, bad actors, and otherwise-good actors in bad roles (Bill Pullman is almost unwatchable for the first two-thirds of this turkey), but the primary culprit is Davies, because he created the overall story arc, which is frankly terrible message fic (as was the arc for season three).

It seemed odd that they narrowed Captain Jack’s original omnisexuality to make him almost exclusively gay, to the point that they made homosexuality essential to the plot. Literally: the root cause of the crisis in season four was Jack being stabbed by a deeply religious closeted gay man that he picked up on Ellis Island in the early Twentieth Century.

(picture is unrelated)

Guess the book…

Amazon says that “products related to this item” are (in order):

  • The Storm Glass (The Glass Sky Series Book 1)
  • The Better World Shopping Guide: 7th Edition
  • Cocktails, Mocktails, And Garnishes From The Garden
  • Coin: Have You Ever Wished You Could Uninvent Something? (RightMind Book 1)
  • Made Of Steel
  • Constable In The Shrubbery
  • The Dartmoor Girl
  • The Evil Than Men Do
  • Made Of Steel: The Complete Series
  • Real World Gunfight Training
  • Resistance Training
  • The Perfect Athlete
  • How To Fence
  • Temptation (The Hunted Series Book 1)
  • Constable Around The Park
  • City Of Men
  • The Case Of The Missing Morris Dancer

(picture is about as related as most of Amazon’s recommendations…)

CAPD is the new MAGA

That’s “clear and present danger”, a heavily loaded term that suggests that the president’s speechwriters watch too many movies. I suppose we’ll all need to buy new hats now.

Cry, Uncle

The series has been suspended indefinitely because sweatshop anime production spreads Covid.

You know it’s bad when…

…your CFO jumps out of a skyscraper to his death.

“To dodging bullets”

Fun fact: while most electric ranges require 220 power, most dual-fuel ones come with a 110 cable. I learned this when the installer pulled out my old range and asked me if we were going to plug the new one in on top of the counter for now (!).

Fortunately, when his suffering partner finished pulling it uphill, we discovered that the Kitchenaid dual-fuel doesn’t ship with a power cord, and removing the back panel revealed that they could hook up a 220 cord, which they had in the back of the truck.

I’ll need to get a trim kit for it; there are small gaps on both sides, and a big one in back. The official one is out of stock, but hopefully they can hook me up with something that’ll work.

Speaking of bullets…

On my last trip to the range, I ended up next to a man who was teaching his kids to shoot. I thought the gold-star-for-attendance constant encouragement was annoying and a bit silly, but since they were actually shooting recognizable groups, I let it pass.

However, when I walked to the trash can to throw away an empty ammo box and saw him casually pointing a gun into the room as he explained its operation to his son, I politely-but-firmly intervened.

J: “Downrange, please!”

X: mrrr?

J: “Please point your weapon downrange!”

X: mrrr?

J: (louder, pointing firmly) “Sir, please keep your gun pointed that way!”

I deliberately raised my voice to attract the attention of the range officer… who was amiably chatting with someone at the other end of the room. Sigh.

Recycling Princess Bride lines…

In his thousand-year-trike speech, Brandon once again used one of his well-worn trust-me phrases, with precisely the effect you might have expected:

“I could give you my word as a Biden!”

    “No good, I’ve known too many Bidens”.

Reminder: when you hate half the people in the country, you’re the bigot.

Tripped planning

Call Of The Night 9

In which The Upskirt Cam Fails To Deliver, and not in a Buy The Bluray kind of way. Our Actually-Not-An-Undead-Haremette-#2 and Her Overly Attached Food Source get some couples therapy from an unlikely source. Still the best thing running this season.

“Oops, wrong breaker”

Sure enough, while they were finishing up labeling every circuit in the house, they tripped the one breaker that I’d gone out of my way to point out shouldn’t be tripped: the one in my office controlling the cable modem, router, and NAS.

…and that’s why I shut the NAS off before they got here. Pity I was just about to head into a post-mortem meeting, but fortunately I wasn’t the only one a few minutes late joining the call.

While they were tracing all the circuits and switches, we learned something important that will result in another visit: all of the outdoor outlets are on the same GFI circuit, which includes the one used by the big new freezer in the garage. The freezer needs to be on its own circuit, and definitely shouldn’t share one with the big Traeger smoker.

Related, turns out the plumbers were just there for the gas lines to the range and the back patio; the guy doing the water line to the fridge comes next week. Better than the other way around, since the dual-fuel range is being installed Friday, and I have a new small natural-gas grill arriving as well. I went with the Weber Q 3200, which is big enough to grill for people (Mom) who can’t handle the smoke. I just have to assemble the appropriate parts to reduce the 1/2-inch pipe to 3/8.

Juxtaposition fail

Dear Amazon, even if I were in the market for the product on the left, the picture looks like you just found a stalker in your shower, and when combined with the product on the right…

Personal fetish alert

Yoko Minamino masters the invisible-handcuff pose, a skill that’s important for an idol.

Blowing your own horn

Yumiko Itaya masters an even more important skill…

Dream a little dream

Vermeil 9

In which That’s The Power Of Love. Also, Our All-Powerful Student Council would like to remind you to Buy The Bluray, and Our Gleefully Psychopathic Villain would like to remind you to turn your brain off and just go with it, okay?

Sandman: Dream Of A Thousand Cats/Calliope

I hadn’t realized the Netflix Sandman series was still going, but they released a new episode with these two between-arc stories. Calliope was… “altered”, with pretty much the same mix of good and bad choices as the main series; DoaTC was animated quite faithfully, but the voice actors they used (apart from Dream himself) were not the A team, to put it gently. Honestly, it felt like one of those anime dubs where they cast from a small pool of voice actors who didn’t really get the parts. (okay, that’s “almost all anime dubs”…)

Ramping up the home-work

This week, the electricians are tracing circuits, installing new circuits, installing a sub-panel and whole-house surge protector, and installing outlets. This does not involve cutting power to my house at any point, but I’ve heard that waaaay too many times during data center maintenance, so I carefully backed up my servers and shut down my NAS. 😁

Wednesday, the plumber is installing gas lines and running a new water line to the fridge. I can’t say I’ve really missed the ice maker; I didn’t use it much at the old place, either, but ice does sometimes come in handy for rapidly cooling things down for food safety reasons.

Also Wednesday, I’ll be getting in a big order from Omaha Steaks to stock my big freezer.

Friday, the appliance folks will be installing my new dual-fuel range. I’m really, really looking forward to this. Not only will I finally have gas burners again (including an oval one with a cast-iron griddle), but the oven has convection, steam, and a separate baking drawer at the bottom.

Also Friday, I’ll be getting the new microwave oven to replace the over-the-range model that’s being torn out. And some hi-cap mags for my Browning Hi-Power, because I’m no longer in California. It came with two, since it was made in 1966, but magazine technology has improved since then.

I don’t know yet when they’re going to install the new ducted range hood, the under-counter slide-out trash/recycling bin, the structured wiring, etc, but the last two weeks of October are scheduled for flooring installation, so probably before then. Not sure if the new Amish-made bedroom set will arrive before or after.

I also haven’t gotten the landscaping proposal back yet, but the designer did mention the minor issue of going in for cancer treatment, so I’m willing to cut him some slack.

And I haven’t heard back from the arborist about when he’ll be taking down the ash in the back yard. As fast as he came out to evaluate it, I’m surprised he hasn’t contacted me yet. Maybe it’s tree-removal season.

Meanwhile, I’m quite sore today, because I ended up moving a bunch of book boxes from the garage to the basement last night to clear space for the electricians to get up on a ladder and replace the fluorescents with LEDs.

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