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Hideki no Okazu

(classical reference)

大盛りあがり グラビア館 has gone offline. Hopefully it’s just moving (again) or suffering from a brief billing issue.

Tactical Cat Harness

I’m not sure what bothers me more, that this exists, or that Amazon recommended it to me…

Fools and their money…

A DAO bought a book at auction for about 100x its expected value, apparently under the mistaken assumption that they were buying the rights to the content.

What’s a DAO, you might ask? “decentralized autonomous organization”, aka “Bureaucracy As Code”, where a bunch of cryptoweenies try to manage some group activity with rules enforced by hopefully-debugged code that sits on a blockchain. The trope-namer lasted about two months before bugs in their code cost them a third of the money invested in it, which was recovered by calling backsies on the concept of blockchains. If all of this sounds like a terrible idea, that’s because it’s a terrible idea.

Dear Amazon,

TL/DR: out of 210 recommended products, I bought 0.

Your current recommendation system is complete garbage. As compared to the previous version that was only mostly garbage. The first 40-tile section is labeled “Top picks”; 15 of them are things I already buy regularly (so why highlight them?), 2 are books I’ve already read through Kindle Unlimited, 1 is the unreleased next book in a series I’ve read, and 2 are the first book of a series I haven’t read and likely won’t. The other 20 are book N in series that I haven’t read book one of. That means only 3 of 40 are things that I might want, which is the exact opposite of what both of us want to see when I go to spend money on your site.

The second set of 40 tiles is “Buy it again”, which seems redundant when more than a third of the first group was also things you want me to buy again. By a generous definition, 37 of these are consumables that I would likely buy again, but in most cases not weekly or monthly (such as 100-packs of trash bags, 24-packs of kitchen scrubbers, 24-packs of zip-top pill holders, 12-packs of microfiber towels, 4-packs of airtags, 2 quarts of tallow, etc).

The third set of 40 tiles is “New releases”, and since the first two sets are dynamically loaded, it can be a challenge to scroll down and see these. 39 of these are Kindle books; most of them will not be available for weeks, and in some cases, not until the end of summer. 1 is a Bluray that was theoretically released a week ago, but has in fact been delayed indefinitely (supply-chain woes?). Of the 39 books, 4 are from series where I’m likely to buy the next volume when it comes out; none of the others are book one in their series.

The fourth set of 40 tiles is “Kindle ebooks”, which seems pretty redundant given that 64 of the previous three sets were also Kindle books. Still, I have to give them credit for including a full 7 that are book one of a series I haven’t read (for a total of 9 potential sales out of 160 tiles).

At the very bottom of the (dynamically loaded) page are two scrolling sections, titled “Explore more from across the store” and “Explore more from across the store”, respectively. The first consists of 25 anime Bluray discs, while the second is 25 more Kindle books, 7 of which are book one in their series.

(Zelda is not amused)

Delay of Kuroitsu

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department, episode 2


Crunchyroll finally has the second episode up, and has shifted their release schedule to Sundays. The good news is that it continues to hit the right notes. It’s starting to remind me a bit of G-On Riders, which had a similar affection for its genre roots.

This week, Our Anti-Hero-Heroine takes a business trip with her boss. Then Our Wolfgirl gets to see how project specs change due to conflicting requirements, something that rings true enough to make this a lighthearted horror story. In the process, Kuroitsu notices that Wolfie lacks some essential accessories, which will hopefully lead to a Very Special Episode…

(yeah, fan-art is limited)

🎶 “Lookin’ for some hot stuff, baby, this evening…” 🎶

Apparently, a celebrity called Drake got the idea to ensure that his casual flings didn’t result in unexpected child-support claims by putting hot sauce in his discarded condoms. An instagram “model” found this out the hard way. She’s suing, of course, but since she was clearly engaged in felony extortion at the time…


Mandatory indoor masking for all of California has been extended through February 15th, because y’all fucked up and let Benito Newsom keep his job.

(technically she's outdoors, so she doesn't need to wear a mask; this is the future of California, except that we're out of canned cat food most of the time now)

Plates R Us

Realist Hero, episode 15

Pretty much the entire episode is spent talking at a conference table, which basically forced the music to carry the drama. Take notes, there will be a quiz later…

My comment last week about the wife harem was incorrect. I hadn’t noticed the reins in the OP, so the fifth haremette does not show up this season. This suggests that they’re hoping to get approval to do a third cour, since they can’t have a big wedding without all of the brides attending.

(fan-art remains in short supply for this show, so here’s a nice beaver shot)

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department, episode 2

Crunchyroll seems to be having trouble getting this show up for streaming, so I just watched the first episode again. While we wait, have some duckies.

Spring anime…

Komi 2, Shield (Raccoon) Loli 2, and Demon Girl Next Door 2. Also Book Loli 3, Kaguya-sama 3, and something called Hairpin Double, which sounded like it should be a racing show, but I have to confess that when I clicked through, I half-expected it to be a Pretty Cure ripoff or a random mech-combat show. To my surprise, it’s at least racing themed, given that it’s sponsored by Okayama International Circuit.

The only information available right now is a picture of the cast of five color-coded girls (voiced by M.A.O, Hisako Kanemoto, Miharu Hanai, Shiori Izawa, and Reina Kondō).

(unrelated Shiori is unrelated)

Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m Queen of the Dead

Richard Roberts hasn’t updated his blog in a long time, but he has released a new Pennyverse novel. In this one, a budding necromancer moves to LA and meets up with a few members of the supporting cast of the main series. Hijinks ensue.

Unlike the previous book, PDTMP I Work for a Supervillain, he didn’t feel the need to bring in any of the big names. Lots of Sue, a bit of Barbara, and a cameo by Mech (who really doesn’t fit the mostly-magical story).

I thought the Southern Ambiguous eye-dialect was overdone, and I found it a surprising choice given the way modern kids are being trained to take offense at everything, but it didn’t hurt the story. It just gave me bad flashbacks to The Beverly Hillbillies.

Speaking of which, my new house has neither a ce-ment pond nor a fancy eatin’ table. There’s room for both, but I don’t intend to add them. Honestly, I wish I could get away with putting a 20-yard pistol range in the basement.

She Professed Herself Pupil of the Wise Man, episode 1

A day may come when translators stop accepting the publisher’s inept title translations as canonical, but it is not this day. “The sage who claims to be the sage’s apprentice” couldn’t be called catchy, but it would at least be accurate. And English. But I think they should have gone with WTF? I turned into an OP Loli Wizard!

The first half of this episode is an ad for an online game that doesn’t exist, and if it did, would go out of business within a year because 99% of the players would be unable to have any fun.

The second half is a stalker-cam day-in-the-life video of a loli exploring the game/world. It has one line of dialogue, which comes at the very end, and which is also the episode title shown at the beginning.

Why did I watch this? Because Amazon’s new worse-than-ever recommendation system keeps throwing book N of light novel series at me, most of which aren’t actually out yet. This series looked like the least terrible, so I considered the anime a free preview. It might still be the least terrible, but at least now I know I don’t want to read the books. Or watch more of the show.

There’s very little fan-art for this one, and most of it is loli-porn, so here’s a skateboarding maid:

Dear Ghostbusters Afterlife,

I had really hoped that Paul Rudd’s interesting line from the trailer about “a town that isn’t anywhere near a tectonic plate” would be fixed for the actual movie. It was not.

Sure, it’s a throwaway line, but he’s supposed to be a seismologist, and he’s talking to a Girl Genius.

I haven’t finished watching it yet. Mostly because I’m getting way too old to have much patience for awkward teenage mating rituals.

Retweeting the quiet part out loud…

The Supreme Court has officially ruled that White House chief of staff Ron Klain is dumber than a box of rocks.

My local CVS drug store was completely out of cough drops. They were low on all sorts of other things, too, but cough drops were the most conspicuous item. They had all sorts of other cold, flu, coughing, and sneezing remedies, so it was most likely another example of The New Normal, where every retailer has to play guess-what’s-on-the-truck-today.

Voice-activated Quantum Insurrection

Komi, season 1 final episode

Part two of the cultural festival went… okay, I guess. Some of the jokes went on a bit too long, and not all of them landed well, but at least some of Najimi’s antics helped advance the Komi. Overall, this show was worth my time, and I’ll be looking for the next season.

In The Land of Leadale, episode 1

  • Premise: D
  • Story: D
  • Character art: D
  • Animation: D
  • CGI integration: D
  • Infodumps: D

Honestly, it felt like there were three different animation teams, and the only one that was any good was the one that just panned over stills of the cast.

(artist is unrelated)

“By the way, did you know that space is big and empty? Would you like to hear more facts about astronomy?”

Astronaut: “Alexa, I said ‘tell NASA we’ve been hit by space junk and need help now!”

Alexa: “Here’s ‘Space Oddity’, by David Bowie, on Amazon Music.”

Astronaut: “Alexa, stop. Call NASA in Houston now and tell them we’re spiraling out of orbit!”

Alexa: “Calling Bass Pro in Austin. By the way, I can automatically turn off lights at night if you usually turn them off and I have a hunch you forgot. Would you like me to do this?”

Astronaut: “No, no, for god’s sake, don’t turn anything off!”

Alexa: “Okay, I’ll turn everything off now.”

Astronaut: (silence)

(random picture is unrelated)

In other news…

Trying to wade through the mountain of CES press releases, so far I’ve spotted two completely different product categories promising something “quantum” (1a, 1b, 2). I guess that means they can’t be broken down any further when they reach the landfill.

(random picture is unrelated)

Faky McFakeHate

So it turns out that during one of the actual insurrections of 2020, the police-radio chatter about “right-wing violent hate group” Proud Boys was faked by the Seattle police.

The repeated attempts in 2020 to take over or burn down government buildings, usually with employees trapped inside, were not fake, and the left-wing violent hate groups responsible were not only not punished, they were actively supported by Democrats holding offices at the city, county, state, federal, media, and celebrity levels.

(random picture is unrelated)


I guess I’ll have to go to another grocery store in a day or two, since the one I was just at was “less than fully stocked” in multiple departments. Almost as if there were something wrong with the way things are being run…

Nothing that another month of mask-wearing won’t fix.

This time for sure!

The Door Into Summer

A year ago, I spotted the trailer for a Japanese live-action adaptation of the Heinlein novel The Door Into Summer. Today, I discovered that it’s on Netflix, so I just watched it.

It hasn’t been that long since I read the book, so I think I can fairly say that they did a surprisingly good job of keeping the bones of the story intact. Perhaps the most interesting change was that they removed the whiff of “grooming a 12-year-old girl into becoming your future wife” that was in the original, and made Our Heroine Riko a 17-year-old who inherited a full set of brains from her inventor father, Our Hero’s mentor. Honestly, I figured they’d have kept that bit, because Japan.

Heavily streamlined, of course, and updated with self-aware humanoid robots. They couldn’t have Dan Soichiro spend months figuring out what had happened and how to fix it, and modern technology has long since passed the point where the novel’s inventions would look impressive on screen. In a nice touch, however, Our Hero does use a very nice drafting board to put the final touches on the patent drawings for his inventions.

Spoiler: while there are robo-girls, they do not look like this, at least not while they’re working:

Unrelated, Dear Dominos,

I think you intended this to be reassuring, but it has the opposite effect on me:

Two layers of pepperoni sandwiched between provolone, Parmesan-Asiago and cheese made with 100% real mozzarella then sprinkled with oregano.

This is one of those ambiguous phrases that leaves you wondering precisely what legal landmines they’re navigating around.

Komi Pony House

In Komi we trust

Naturally, Komi’s class chooses to run a maid cafe for the school festival. Naturally, new weirdos come out of the woodwork. Naturally, Tadano ends up in drag as one of the maids. Fortunately, there are some small moments of progress in communication, with just a hint of relationship-advancement.

This will apparently be a two-parter.

When I say that this has been the second-best show of the season, it counts even though I only watched three. The best, of course, was Restaurant To Another World 2.

Girls und Ponies


Pony Girls:

Why you pay for house inspections…

  1. Half a dozen corroded water-pipe joints in basement.
  2. Dishwasher leaks.
  3. Jacuzzi tub drain leaks.
  4. Utility sink drain leaks.
  5. Repair & recharge needed for HVAC system.
  6. Visible evidence of termites in basement.
  7. Radon mitigation required.
  8. Secondary cooktop not fully-functional.

Since the sellers are motivated, we don’t anticipate any problem getting them to pay for items 1-7. We didn’t bother including #8 on the defect notice, since the cost of fixing an ancient 12-inch Jenn-air electric cooktop likely approaches the cost of replacing it, and honestly, I’m not sure why there’s a secondary cooktop at the far end of the kitchen anyway.

Since my plan is to upgrade the current range to something like this, I don’t really see a need to have a second small cooktop. I’d rather use that space for a coffee bar and under-counter pullout trash/recycling bins.

Related, for the rental-truck portion of the move, I’m thinking that I can easily arrange things so the back of the truck has heavy and bulky low-value items that block access to more valuable stuff, lock it with an Abus padlock, and lock a heavy-duty chain around the gas pedal and steering column. And carefully pick our hotels based on well-lit parking in front of the lobby, of course.

Cross-country Witch Thighs

Banished to a single cour, we botched the pacing and totally handwaved the ending and it really shows, final episode

They skipped the OP so they could quickly and implausibly end the big fight, then spent several minutes talking their way through the philosophical and ethical issues of the divinely-chosen-hero business while ignoring the high-tech elephant in the room. The rest of the episode was a crash course in slow living, which sounds like a contradiction and pretty much is; honestly, it feels like the director really wishes he could have completely handwaved the conflict away and just cut to the good (slow) parts.

This includes completely leaving out the hooks for future conflict with Shisandan’s faction of demons.

(final roundup of the best attempts at fan-art for this show)


Wing Stop’s “spicy korean bbq sauce” is horrific, and lingers in a way that made it impossible to enjoy the other flavor in my order. Related, how did they manage to completely dry out chicken thighs?

(tasty food is unrelated)

The Witcher, 2.5-2.8

Good stuff, with decent rewatch value. This apparently covers material from the first novel, where the previous season was mostly background material written later as short stories. That was a good choice, because they’d have had a much harder time drawing in a large audience with this material. The first season gives you reasons to give a damn what happens to these people.

I don’t know what fans of the books or games think of the changes made for this adaptation, and I know better than to go looking. I also still have no interest in reading the books. It really does sound like it mixes all the tropes of epic fantasy with every fairy tale ever.

(Jahy-sama is unrelated. probably)

Good Eats, season 17

I didn’t notice that this had come out a while back, but then again, it doesn’t seem to be streaming on any of the common subscription services, so I had to buy the full season on Amazon. As usual, lots of fun to watch, with only a few things I’d ever make.

Free Guy

One of the many movies whose release dates caught a bad case of Covid, the end result only vaguely resembled the first trailer. I finally picked it up as part of my four-day-weekend holiday streaming binge. I wouldn’t have gone to see it in a theater anyway, since it didn’t strike me as the sort of film that would benefit from that, but it would have been nice to watch last year during the endless lockdowns.

The original trailer very strongly suggested “Grand Theft Auto NPC comes to life”, but didn’t really show that Our Guy had any sort of goal beyond that, even in his scenes with Our Hot Chick (where the “big joke” bit didn’t even make sense without context). It was only later that they showed the real-world interactions that provide the plot hooks. The end result is a shallower take on The Truman Show; well executed, but without as much replay value, so to speak.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Yeah, I picked this one up, too. Not as good as the first, and suffers from the recent tendency of Ryan Reynolds characters to start channeling Deadpool at random moments. And I don’t enjoy Salma Hayek’s character nearly as much as she does; it didn’t work well in the first movie, and more is not better.

The San Francisco Treat

I was listening to a bunch of random singles by Korean singer Younha, taken from soundtracks, TV shows, and collaborations with other singers, and was rather forcefully reminded of something I’ve thought for some time:

A rap break in a pop song is like a steaming turd in a supermarket.

…or in a high-rent shopping district in one of California’s major cities, if you know what I mean.

(picture is definitely unrelated)

Pack, pitch, and haul

As my realtor and lender work through the appraisals and inspections and underwriting, I get to start the process of boxing up most of my stuff, selling or giving away what other people want, and tossing out the rest. Since I have stuff that I can’t and won’t entrust to movers, I have to figure out how much truck to rent and what to fill it with, with the goal of leaving nothing but large furniture and low-value boxes for the moving service (which is apparently going to be a hidden cost freebie from my lender).

When I moved to California in December, 1993, I made a solo drive across the country in a 15-foot-truck pulling a car, but this time I think I can sell the car and get by with 10 or 12 feet, and I’m planning to fly my brother out so we can drive back together. Tentatively, I’m thinking: Salinas to Kingman, Arizona; Kingman to Santa Rosa, New Mexico; Santa Rosa to Tulsa, Oklahoma; Tulsa to Terre Haute, Indiana; and Terre Haute to Dayton, Ohio. With rest stops, gas, and food, that should be four 10-hour days plus a 4-hour day, so we wouldn’t be driving at night, and we’d arrive at my new house in reasonably good condition.

Then I’d have to fly back to California, deal with the movers and the cleaners, put the old house on the market, fly back to Ohio, and get a new car.

Fun fact: thanks to Covid, a lot of car dealers are offering a zero-contact experience where you can do everything online and have the car delivered to your home with the final paperwork. Hopefully they’ll still be doing that 4-5 months from now. Also, hopefully there will be cars available.

Excessive security in Hugo, part 2

In addition to adding an array of regular expressions that whitelists the applications Hugo can execute, they added a whitelist of environment variables to pass to them (documented, but not the part about affecting the --editor option). Which by default does not include LANG or LC_ALL, so your editor (and anything else) may launch with the wrong character set. Joy.


Running short of time to wrap up book 4, we skipped the OP and ED and bulldozed our way through the key plot points, episode 12

This all makes sense to me, but I read the books. What ended up on screen was a rather exposition-heavy fight scene, handwaving away all sorts of things while ensuring there were some very service-y shots of the girls. It kind of undercuts the drama to find yourself thinking about how being flattened by a summoned beast really emphasizes Rit’s boobs, how getting KO’d shows off Tisse’s cute little ass, or how nice the view is of Theodora after she’s MCSA’d. The key problem is that in all of these shots, the girls are being hurt, something that doesn’t go well with cheesecake.

Speaking of service, someone finally did a decent job of drawing one of the minor supporting characters:

One more to go to wrap it up. Save the cheerleader Chosen Hero, save the world?

Komis just want to have fun, episode 10

I could have done with less sports festival, but the rest was nice.

There will be Komi

Second season, that is.

Don’t drink and drive, BMW Edition

…because if any liquid spills from your cup-holders, it may set off the airbags.

Housebuying saga

My realtor was surprised that he has to explain to my lender that the property I’m buying, listed as “$address and vacant lot $streetname” is just one thing, on one deed, and doesn’t need to be appraised as two separate things with values to be added together. They’re selling a house with 1.37 acres, not a house with 0.67 acres and a lot with 0.7.

In fairness, this is also why Zillow is wrong about its location, lot size, and estimated value, although the records from the new sale have corrected many of their other errors.

(maid is unrelated, although there’s plenty of Christmas Rain here)

Hugo 0.91.x super-duper secure

I was not expecting the --editor option to suddenly stop working as part of a recently-added security feature whitelisting applications for execution from inside hugo. I consider this a bug. They do not. The only workaround is to copy-paste an array of regular expressions from the error message into the config file for each of your sites and then append every editor you might ever use.

Why yes, that is bullshit.

(picture is unrelated)

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