Smoking Anime

Partial Ordering

My plans for the yard include a fair amount of hardscaping, most conspicuously in the form of doubling the size of the patio, adding some rain cover to it, and building in a Traeger electric pellet smoker and perhaps a natural-gas grill as well. I’ll be talking to the landscaper about the preliminary design on Wednesday, but I just ordered the Traeger, which will arrive well before they build out the patio, so I can use it for a while.

The good news is that this model doesn’t need any complicated assembly; you basically tip it over, add the wheels, and stand it back up.

The bad news is that that means I have to drag the 300-pound box a good 50 feet across the grass to the back patio, and then open it up. After convincing whoever delivers it that they have to back their truck up my steep 70-foot driveway, because there’s no way in hell I’m dragging it uphill. 😁

(Kiki does not accept delivery orders of items larger than she is)

Belated Christmas present report

Many years ago, I found myself in Ohio for Christmas, and discovered that the gift exchange would include my step-sister’s three young daughters, whom I’d basically never met (I’d seen the oldest a few times when she was a toddler). On very short notice, I had to come up with something that they might like. I went with the DVD box set of Kaleido Star, about the only age-appropriate anime series I could find in a quick trip to the mall in the snow. (three girls, three discs, perfect!)

I had to cross my fingers on “appropriate” because I knew they’d watch the dub, and I’d heard that Fool’s dialogue had been cleaned up at least a little. I figured that anything left would go over their heads, and nothing in the visuals would upset their parents.

On Sunday, I went over for dinner with my parents, and one of the three, now age 20, was there learning recipes from my mom. After dinner, she asked if I was the one who’d bought that for them Way Back When, and I found out that they adored it, and still watched it together at least once a year. When one of them moved out of state, they fought over who got to keep it.

So that worked out.

(picture is unrelated, but does include a star…)

Dark patterns…

A vendor I recently did business with sent me an email asking me to verify my email address. This is not an unusual practice, but usually happens before you can use the account you created with them.

Sure enough, if you click on the “verify email” button, what you’re really doing is verifying that you want to receive more than a dozen types of marketing emails.

Nailed it!

In which Michiko Hada absolutely nailed my invisible-handcuff fetish. 😁

Cloud tax!

(the UPS package that was supposedly held up while the address was “corrected” arrived without any difficulty, on time)

Komi 2.12

White Day, in which Our Hero solicits advice from his sister for a return gift for Komi, while pretending that it’s for Katai (the only other person who gave him chocolate), which doesn’t fool her a bit.

A bit too angsty for my tastes, and I found myself wishing that he’d just break down and confess. And yes, Our Psycho Lesbian Stalker’s return gift to Komi was as disturbing as expected.

And finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for, as the new school year begins, and… they’re still working on it. Good luck, kids, it looks like you’re going to need to be locked in a love hotel by Najimi before you admit that you’ve fallen for each other. Hopefully that happens in season 3, which is not yet confirmed, but highly likely.

Just store it in the cloud!

As part of moving back to Ohio, I built up an extensive collection of saved locations (restaurants, shopping, services, etc) in the Maps app on my new Windows laptop. Yes, using my Microsoft Account to sync them to all devices.

They were there yesterday. All but one of them are gone today, disappearing while I slept, and swiftly synced across all devices so I can’t get them back.

Good thing it wasn’t anything important, eh?

No double votes for me!

I received the official notice that California has processed my request for my voter registration to be cancelled. I of course had no intention of voting twice; I just wanted to make sure that Benito Newsom didn’t illegally mail out a ballot to my old address (again).

Also, it’s additional evidence that I’m no longer a CA resident for tax purposes, which is important when extracting yourself from California.

Go home, Amazon, you’re drunk…

…on cheap wine!

Quad9 outage!

I have my Pi-hole set to use as the primary DNS. When one of the servers answering at that address goes away, the failure mode is peculiar. Lots of partial failures as things time out and fail over to another, and some total failures depending on how name resolution is cached on things like iOS devices.

It was annoying to figure out, because it looked like some pieces of the Internet were completely unreachable (including many DNS servers) and other pieces were half-functional. For instance, Amazon’s web server worked from a browser, but not from the iOS app, and Prime Video played normally from my FireTV Stick but not from my iPad. Meanwhile, the customer-service site for my ISP reported that their customer service itself was down. It all depended on which DNS lookups they were making, and when the results had been cached.

The most interesting bit was that right-clicking to save a picture from Microsoft Edge was timing out, despite the fact that the picture had already been downloaded and cached by the browser.

Ayako Fuji, age 61

I don’t enjoy enka singing, but I’ll respect the singer in the morning.

(via, site NSFW!)

Rival is pudding

SSD lifetime…

The Crucial mSATA SSD that I put in my OpenBSD firewall in 2014 finally started to die. It’s actually failing gracefully, enough that I could boot it and have it stay up long enough for me to grab any data off of it that I needed.

Which I didn’t, because I ran full backups of it two days ago and stored them on my Synology NAS. I just needed enough of a manual network config so that I could mount the NAS, copy the tarball of /etc over to the spare OpenBSD box (that I had fortunately unpacked recently), and swap them.

I had originally intended to make them a failover pair with carp and pfsync, but I just never got around to it. Maybe once they run the structured wiring and some dedicated circuits in the new house, I can take the time to do it right.

The two Shuttles are starting to show their age in other ways, so maybe it’s time to replace them. I should see if pfSense or OPNsense has enough flexibility to replace my custom PF config.

Elliptical Amusement

I went to the local fitness store and bought a new elliptical. I was explaining to the sales rep that I wanted something more compact than the 20-year-old one I left behind in California that was 7 feet long with all the weight in the back end, and then I looked around, and saw that exact model in the store, used (LifeFitness 5500HR).

They’d recently reconditioned one and sold it for a good price. Not surprising that it was still in good shape; I deliberately bought a gym-grade model that was designed to survive heavy use.

By the way, I went with the True ES700 T9 Touchscreen; I paid considerably less at Tiger Joe’s than the price they sell it for on their web site. I’ll probably go back over there soon, because they have a large selection of premium rubber puzzle mats on sale because an order got canceled, and they look like they’d interlock with the ones I already have, so I could expand the workout area in my massive basement.

Definitely not in California any more…

It took me nearly an hour to buy a new handgun… because the guy in line in front of me was buying a suppressor. 😁

Fleming’s Steakhouse

Took my folks to Fleming’s to celebrate being completely out of California. The food was fantastic, our waiter Tyrece was terrific, and everything about the restaurant itself was excellent… except the music, which would have been more at home in a supermarket or convenience store.

(NSFW after the jump)


Home, Single Home

Komi 2.11

Lots of short segments in this one, which went well, even though one of them involved Our Deranged Lesbian Stalker. Mostly because she managed to pull herself together and think about Our Komi’s feelings for once.

Lycoris Recall episode 1

Yeah, no. Let’s just say that the voice actresses for the two leads do a good job of bringing life to characters I want no part of.

(shivering Shamiko accurately captures my feelings about the blonde)


It took multiple contract extensions and a lot of patience, but the house in California is officially sold. All that’s left is cancelling all the utilities so the new owners can start paying them. And taxes. Definitely going to be some taxing going on here.

Time to renovate!

ST:SNW season finale

I didn’t really buy the casting for a young James T Kirk, but everything else worked well.

(Pike cooked again…)

Those who walk away from Anime

Haven’t watched any of the new-season first episodes yet. Still a few episodes of Komi left to go, I think.

“Yer a wizard, Harry”

A new Dresden Files novella came out this week…

(“yer a witch, Kiki”)

What’s worse than systemd?

Microsoft systemd. Lennart Poettering’s career move has made me fear for the future of WSL.

Special thanks to Pixy…

…for the LG monitor straightening tip.

Omelas and Aliens

I was a bit surprised that the producers of ST:SNW didn’t give even a little credit to Ursula K. Le Guin for inspiring the plot of episode 6. It was about as subtle as a chest-burster (episode 9).

The less said about episode 8, the better. Still, at least the moon didn’t hatch into a giant spider and immediately lay an egg the size of the moon. Which used to be the low-water mark for the modern Dr. Who series, until they decided that Ensign Sue Must Die didn’t go far enough.

One more to go for this season, releasing Thursday.

(picture is definitely unrelated, unless Pike cooks again)

The 23rd of Moa

Google doesn’t seem to celebrate Moa Metal’s birthday properly: the logo colors are all wrong. 😁


In my dishwasher! Glad I ordered a new one back in May! Now it just needs to be delivered and hooked up!

Fortunately it had just finished the wash cycle before the sparks flew and the blue smoke escaped, so it wasn’t full of water. Also, remember that wall switch controlling the power to the dishwasher, something I’d never seen in a house before? Kind of glad it’s there now, so I didn’t have to run down to the basement and figure out which breaker to flip.

Why, yes, I did get a home warranty when I bought the place; since I already ordered the replacement, they’ll give me a credit toward the price.

Actual fireworks!

If I could get up onto my roof, I’d have the best view in town for fireworks, based on Saturday night’s show. As it is, it was still pretty impressive.

I presume the larger official shows were Saturday because the 4th is on a Monday this year.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Surprisingly, this doesn’t suck so far. Except maybe for the hair, which seems more Millenial than Regulation.

Having skipped Discovery, I was not aware that Anson Mount (who I had only previously seen in Mr. Right) had appeared as Captain Pike in that show. Reading a few episode summaries suggests that I will continue to skip Discovery, and not feel like I’ve missed anything worthwhile.

Unrelated: “Wide base to prevent loss”


Shield Hero 2.13

Story time! After last week’s big, messy finish, they even skipped the opening credits this week so they could spend time having multiple characters reminisce, suggesting that they really couldn’t figure out how to get more than 12 episodes out of the roughly 3.5 books they covered (Ost shows up about 2/3 of the way through book 6, and book 9 finishes off the other-other-world story). So that’s 5.5 books in 25 episodes versus 3.5 in 12, which explains part of the problem.

Looking at the descriptions and chapter titles of the upcoming books, for October’s season 3 they pretty much have to either do books 10-12 or 10-14, and while the latter would be far more fan-friendly (13-14 are heavy on the Raphtalia content), they’d have to butcher their way through it even more aggressively than they did for season 2.

Turns out…

…what liberals really want is to abort fetuses right up until the end of the 360th trimester, especially if they’re on the Supreme Court.

New children’s book!

Soon to be required reading in school districts across America: Hunter Hired A Ho

“It's not about YOU”

Skeleton Knight 12

Oh! Look! The loser backstory of a cackling villain is revealed just before he gets his ass handed to him! It’s been so long since I’ve seen somethng like that!

Oh, wait, no, that happened Wednesday, too.

I was highly disappointed by the frequent close-up shots in this one that revealed that they couldn’t afford gainaxing, just CGI hip turrets. You think they’d throw us a bone in the final episode…

They listed off all the uncashed plot coupons, but it doesn’t look like they have a second season coming any time soon.

Demon Girl Next Door 2.11

Back to school, setting up a big event for next episode.

Komi 2.9

Most unrealistic episode ever. I mean, three high school girls fed the deer in Nara, and not one of them got mobbed or mugged by the greedy beasts.

Oh, and Komi made two new friends, The Chessmaster and Sukeban Deka.

Next Friday seems to be the day for the summer shows to start showing up. Nothing that looks good to me yet.

Umbrella Academy, season 3

Apart from the gender roleplay affirmations that take up a fair amount of screen time in the first few episodes, this was pretty good. I think I nodded off for a bit in the middle while watching the entire thing in one sitting, and there’s plenty of filler I’d skip in a rewatch, but on the whole, not bad.

Yes, the show explicitly writes in El Page’s decision to LARP manhood, which is enthusiastically embraced by the other characters. Yes, in a season about erasing people, they erased straight Vanya from season one and lesbian Vanya from season two, so she could become the he she always was but just couldn’t see until it was trending. No treatments of any kind, just the haircut and announcement(s) were sufficient.

If you can get past that, though, season 3 also delivers characters that are fucked up in entertaining ways. As usual, Klaus and Five are the standouts, with Dad close behind. The rest are a mixed bag, although Gravity Barbie was an amusing and highly decorative addition. Diego was less interesting than in previous seasons, thanks to his daddy issues being replaced by daddy issues. Only a few of the Sparrows were fleshed out, making the rest obvious redshirts, and they left Grace’s unusual behavior a complete mystery.

The ending pretty much closes off the possibility of another season, which is probably for the best.

Also left unexplored was the contradictory evidence about Dad. He was most definitely an alien in a skinsuit, but he killed himself in season one and left behind a body that looked like natural causes in an autopsy. And both he and his wife wore their skinsuits even while she was on her deathbed on their homeworld. But in season two, the mask peeled off like Tom Cruise’s patented Mission: Impossible head-fake, and in season three…

You might argue that he grew a body in a vat and faked the whole thing, but then he actually shows up in the afterlife (looking human) to hand Klaus a bunch of plot coupons, so he really did die. Which only makes sense if his plot was so convoluted that he knew Klaus would get clean, finally learn to use his powers, and reach him there.


A few days ago we went to the Chiapas in Moraine because my parents like the Chiapas in Centerville. That was a mistake.

Last night, on the other hand, we ordered takeout from the CJ Chan’s that’s a few doors down from them, and that was excellent.

Everywhere a sign

Well, perhaps both dates were correct, since I completed my half of the closing Thursday with the mobile notary, but haven’t heard from the title company yet about the buyer’s signatures. Or money. Fingers crossed; also toes, eyes, arms, legs, and zombie assassins.

Oh, wait, that’s a crossover.

“When it’s over, YOU get ice cream!”

Joe Biden held up his meeting cheat sheet so that it faced the cameras, and someone got a clear picture. I’m less concerned about this particular stay-on-target reminder than I am that they have templates like this for structuring all of his interactions.

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