Call Of The Night 8

In which Life Is Short one way or the other, Our Best-By-Dating Hero gets some really bad advice, and this night-stalking thing must be contagious.

By the way, apparently the series is named after the ED song, not the other way around.

Obviously, someone tried this…

I found this warning in the owner’s manual for a small LG microwave oven I’m ordering for when the over-the-range model gets ripped out and replaced with a real range hood:

Do not deep-fat fry in the microwave oven.

That cannot have ended well.

Stealth Twitter

Twitter’s obnoxious login-to-view button has been getting worse recently, to the point that I can’t read anything but the most recent half-dozen tweets from authors who use it as the only place to announce their new work (I’m looking at you, Richard Roberts, who hasn’t bothered updating your blog in two years, even though you still list it in your Twitter bio).

You can read any number of comments on a tweet, or view up to N pictures, but once you start scrolling, it cuts you off fast, and it no longer resets when you completely scrub all cookies and other webturds.

For the past month or so, I’ve been letting it load someone’s page, toggling off Javascript, scrolling through what it loaded, toggling Javascript back on and scrolling slightly down, then immediately toggling it off again. It worked, but it was annoying, and since they’ve also ramped up their censorship and shadowbanning by flagging non-approved thoughts as “adult”, there was just no way around it: I had to set up a carefully-restricted account again.

I didn’t reuse the old one that I cancelled several years ago, because that was publicly tied to my identity. No, this one uses an obscure email account and an even-more obscure username taken from an old novel.

And, yes, it immediately tried to get me to follow several of my friends, because of course they have files on everyone, no matter how stale or stolen.

I will not tweet. I’m just following 7 interesting people who often end up in timeouts and shadowbans.

A bit of a stretch...

Vermeil 8

In which we are encouraged to Buy The Bluray, the student council talks a lot, the villains talk a lot, we are encouraged to Buy The Bluray, and the students talk a lot on the way to the Big Exam.

By the way, there’s something I’ve been wondering about: Our Luscious Succubus arrived naked, and Our Oblivious Hero was able to present her with a Little Black Dress because he “accidentally brought a box of his sister’s clothes to school”. So is Our Sister Who Lives In Canada ridiculously stacked too, or was that the only one of her outfits that was stretchy enough to cover Vermeil’s massive boobs? And has he ever wondered exactly why his sister has a dress like that? And since Our Contracted Heroes share a bed, does she ever make him wear the girl clothes?

Related, when they finally poured her into a school uniform, he said something about a custom-sized shirt being ordered. I’m guessing it will not arrive this season, so that we are encouraged to Buy The Bluray.

Kindle Unlimited Shovelware

Amazon recommended a Traeger smoker cookbook to me, and since it was on KU, I downloaded it and took a look. It’s fake.

It’s just hundreds of random smoker recipes grabbed from dozens of web sites without credit, reformatted and vaguely arranged by meat type. It’s incredibly repetitive, with dozens of nearly-identical recipes, without even a hint of boilerplate text between them. And the “author” gets paid by how far you made it into the book before figuring out the scam.

Thank you for not letting me down, Japan

Wrong order!

My contractor sent out the guy who takes care of sealing cracks in basements, something I want to get done before we finish the basement next year. There were two that had been sealed sometime in the past 20+ years, plus some others that were mostly minor. The only actual leak is one of the ones that was already sealed, and then only a small puddle after two solid weeks of heavy rain, but I wanted them all evaluated and taken care of.

Sadly, there’s one he can’t do properly… because the guys who did the radon mitigation a few months ago ran their pipe right over it. On a 75-foot-long wall, they picked the single most inconvenient place to run a floor-to-ceiling PVC pipe.

“At Risk Missing Person”

Call Of The Night 7

In which That’s Not A Harem, Okay?

Seriously, though, the rest of the hot chicks from the credits show up, struggling to understand just what’s going on between Our Sucking Best Girl and Our Romantically Clueless Hero. With a clumsy cliffhanger for no good reason. (they literally saved the one-sentence explanation for next episode)

Reindeer Games!

A bride-to-be just learned an important lesson about placeholder content: always use “” for phony URLs. Not, say, Pornhub.

WebTV’s content team learned this one the hard way one year, when they were prepping the child-safe home page for the Christmas season, and didn’t have the final URL for the “Reindeer Games” content. So they used the easy-to-search-for string “XXX”, which our browser helpfully converted to I got a very urgent content push request after that one made it to Production.

In fairness, QA had caught it, but for some reason the commit didn’t get merged to the release branch.

Missing person, missing unsubscribe info

I was woken up this morning by a missing-persons alert on my phone, an elderly dementia patient who went wandering last night.

In Salinas.

South Salinas, which is clear across town from my old house. They even called back several hours later to report that she was found.

I also got it by email, to the address used by the power company for my closed account there. But they never had that phone number; nobody did, because it’s an Ohio number attached to my Ooma box. They must have trolled cheap databases to connect the two.

I can understand the two other calls, which went to the cellphone that still has my old California cell number. I don’t approve, but I understand.

There appears to be no way for me to remove myself from these notification lists. The alert service named in the email is supposedly opt-in, and you can’t opt out without providing the details of your account with them, and they don’t recognize the email address they sent it to.

The origin appears to be the Monterey County office of emergency services, so I left voicemail at their office number, since that seems to be the only non-emergency way to contact them.

Link online but device misclassified

I’ve paused the drive-swapping process on my NAS, since the electrician’s coming back out tomorrow, but since it’s reached the stage where the volume has expanded beyond the point where a 10TB drive can be used as a hot spare, I went ahead and put in the new 16TB hot spare.

It wasn’t recognized successfully. Another one was, so it looks like one bad bananadisk in the bunch. I’ll have to get B&H to exchange it.

Vermeil 7

After a pretty big mid-season finale, I was actually curious where they were going to go with this. Most of the cast were just cardboard cutouts occasionally moved onto the set before being tossed back into a box, so are they going to be, y’know, involved, or is it just A Boy And His DogSuccubus?

Answer: no idea, because this was pretty much the epilogue to the previous arc. Or maybe half epilogue, half prologue, since it also puts some definitely-bad-guys on-screen.

Still not bad enough to be good. And despite the obvious, very little fan-art is showing up.

(unrelated demon girl is unrelated, and Vermeil could really use an outfit like this)

HomeChef is really upping their game…

Way ahead of you, Engadget!

What you’ll need to survive the California wildfires this summer.

Personally, I planned ahead and used a POD, a rental truck, and two real estate agents.

(picture is unrelated, because there’s no water in California)

Wall-eyed Nazuna

Putting Our Clubbing Night-Stalker into a bikini really emphasizes the artist’s anatomical aesthetic.

Summer toy

James Hoffmann’s latest video is about his use of the Ninja Creami to make a better coffee ice cream. Coincidentally, there’s a really nice Creami bundle on sale right now at Sam’s Club, which includes a total of 4 pint containers instead of the usual 1 (or possibly 3, according to half of the boxes they had, despite them all having the same SKU).

I haven’t tried his recipe, partially because it’s built around the sort of fruity light-roast “specialty” coffee he prefers, but mostly because I was busy doing other things. With my contractor finally starting to schedule workers, I need to get a lot of stuff prepped and/or moved out of the way.

So I made the easy stuff: milkshakes and sorbets. Milkshake, because it didn’t need to freeze for 24 hours so I could try the machine out the same day, and sorbets, because you can basically just toss canned/jarred fruit into the container and freeze it overnight; I loaded up pints of peaches, pineapple, and applesauce.

The applesauce wasn’t entirely successful, because I chose the no-sugar-added variety, and it turns out that the sugar contributes a lot to the texture; using Splenda for sweetness does nothing for that. Still tasty, just not as smooth as one might hope. Next up, the pineapple.

This is fine

Mystery Maid 3

Two more of the promised voice actresses showed up. That’s the good news. Pretty much the only good news. I found myself waiting for a classic sitcom laugh track to telegraph that the joke has been delivered and you’re supposed to laugh now.

Cute girls making cute potions

Coming in October, Novice Alchemist’s Shop Management looks like Recettear meets Endro! meets RPG Real Estate, from the author of To Another World…With Land Mines!.

The official English title seems to be “Management of novice alchemist”, which makes it sound like she’s got a pimp. The voice actresses for the four girls are all familiar to me, including Mio from Edens Zero, Funi-chan from Astra & Fa from RPG-RE, Yui from Bofuri, and Muramasa from Eromanga-sensei & Kuro from Restaurant To Another World.

I’m not getting my hopes up, but it has the potential to be amusing fluff.

(unrelated cute alchemist is unrelated)

You had 1job, 1password…

1Password version 8 is an Electron app. You know, that unholy combination of Chromium and Node.js that was (coughcough) “just revealed” as a massive security problem? I’d thought it was a short-term thing, since they resorted to it initially to create the first Linux client, but they’ve gone all-in, and the vast majority of the technical discussion of it (including the fact that it’s a native Rust app with an Electron-based GUI, which is possibly less insane) is not on any of their security pages; it’s in comments to Reddit posts.

V8 is also cloud-only, with no support for private offline vaults. You can still run v7, though. For now.


The option to speed up RAID rebuilds and reshapes on my Synology NAS was still extremely conservative. This is better:

echo max > /sys/block/md2/md/sync_max

Before: ~8 MB/s. After: ~70 MB/s.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind the wait so much, but my contractor informed me that the electrician is coming this week to install a bunch of new outlets, three new circuits, and a whole-house surge protector. And I haven’t really tested the UPS for a while…

Bonus: RAID reshape is a two-pass process, and the estimate was only for the first pass, so I’ve still got another 1.5 days of this to sit through. It should be done about eight hours before the electrician shows up to cut the power. If I hadn’t sped it up, the whole thing would have taken nearly a month (“Dear Synology, please add an i-meant-really-fast button to the GUI”).

Homebrew UI madness

The people developing Homebrew have been randomly tinkering with the behavior of the various command-line options for years. I’d really like for them to stop; surprising and often unwelcome things keep happening when I type brew upgrade that are not correctly previewed when I type brew update; brew outdated.

Today it was update and outdated both reporting three packages, immediately followed by upgrade installing three packages and a GUI app (“cask”).

Reminder: it wasn’t just the Democrats

…half the Republicans have spent the past six years shooting at Trump, too:

“Being a chickenhawk and a NeverTrumper is no way to go through life, son.”
– commenter on Hinderaker’s no-big-deal post

Uncle in the Eighties…

Found him! 😁

(okay, it’s actually Tetsuya Takeda, but he’s got the kind of look that “orc-face” Uncle is a parody of)

Timberline XL update

Had a beautiful grilling day on Saturday. Pity the expensive new Traeger won’t even turn on. Worked fine a week ago, but now I don’t even get a power light. I haven’t called them yet, because it’s been raining on and off all day today, so I can’t crack it open to get at the power supply.

Monday update: no rain today, so I planned to call Traeger support, and in preparation for that I went out and re-tested everything: different outlet, different extension cord, and what-the-hell, different power cord, since it uses the same connector most desktop PCs do (NEMA C13).

It was the power cord.

Thousands of dollars for the smoker, and they shipped a cheap power cord. Fortunately, I have dozens of the damn things around the house, including some brand-new heavy-duty ones.

Not a raid-raid

Call Of The Night 6

In which Our Wannabe Sucker Hero gets his hands on an older woman who still has a pulse (played by the prolific Yoko Hikasa), but not in a bad way, and then it’s off to a midnight pool party, where every woman looks better in a swimsuit than Our Sucking Heroine does, but vampire glamour is still enough to get the guys who perform the OP/ED songs to try to pick her up.

I think Haruka Tomatsu’s character shows up next week.

(well-equipped dark elf is unrelated, and out of season)

“Move fast and break thingseverything”

To the surprise of exactly no one, releasing a bunch of so-called local applications that are just thin wrappers around Chromium and Node.js creates massive easily-exploited security holes.

(“full-stack” developers in their natural habitat)

Slow going

Upgrading my Synology NAS from the DS918+ to the DS1821+ was trivial: I disabled the SSD cache and then moved the internal drives and the cable leading to the DX517 external disk tray. For some combinations of models, there might be more work, including reinstalling the OS and packages, or at least restoring the configuration from a backup, but I was up and running in about ten minutes, most of which was spent moving the drives into the new-style carriers.

Once it was up, I switched the static IP over to the 10-gig card and started reconfiguring the unit with new 16 TB Ironwolf Pro drives. Since the 918+ only had four drive bays, I hadn’t been able to turn on dual-parity. With eight bays, I’ll be able to have dual-parity and a hot spare, and still significantly increase my storage.

Unfortunately, switching to dual-parity will take… about 13 days. And that’s with the “run RAID resync faster” option set. The GUI (which doesn’t show a prediction for how long it will take; I checked /proc/mdstat directly) recommended adding two new drives when converting rather than just one, so that the old single-parity drive remains operational at all times, for robustness.

Fortunately I’m not in California any more, so I shouldn’t have any power outages that exceed the capacity of my UPS. 🤞 🤞

(OP spider can handle a RAID)

Amazon Bait & Switch

I had an item saved in one of my Amazon wishlists, an odd-but-interesting monitor that might go well with some of my workflows (personal and professional). When I checked the list Thursday afternoon, the “Add to Cart” button reflected a 32% price increase, from a Marketplace dealer with a 78% positive rating over 12 months, reflecting 423 reviews.

It’s also available through Amazon Prime at the original price, with delivery three days after the earliest the shady dealer promises, but more than a week before they might ship it (if they ship at all; their lifetime rating is still only a dubious 88%).

Note that when I saved it to my wishlist, it was only available at the legit price with Amazon as the seller, but unlike when the price drops for an item on your wishlist, the entry did not have an honest and accurate “Price increased 32% (was $699.99 when added to List)”.

Call of the weird

Checking in on Vermeil

As of episode 5, Our Super Succubus had discovered that hubris is always a bad idea, and that Our Obvious Bad Guy was in fact capable of ruining her day. In #6, the truth will set you free. So will blood loss, kisses, and buying the Bluray. This was basically a mid-season finale, with no real dangling threads to pick up next episode, so it could go pretty much anywhere from here.

(picture is unrelated, as you probably guessed)

What Would Netflix Do (about Uncle)?

Looks like they used up the first week of their two-week delay to air another episode.

Targeted marketing…

I saw this display, and thought that they really ought to have called the products Transbeef and Transburger. That would ensure that they jumped off the shelves into the mouths of the desired customers while clearly reminding the rest of us that it ain’t food.

Of course, someone could immediately release another product called Cisbeef, which, by the actual meaning of the cis- and trans- Latin prefixes, would also contain no beef.

In related news, money talks.

The trouble with Nazuna…

In my initial comments on Call Of The Night, I mentioned that Our Sucking Heroine has weird boobs. After extensive study of slender Japanese women, I think I can describe exactly what’s wrong.

Take, for instance, this picture of fresh young AV actress Sayaka Otoshiro (乙白さやか; NSFW! Disable Javascript!), who apparently got out of the business after two years:

This is the best match I’ve found for what I think the artist intended for Nazuna’s body: modestly-sized natural breasts, widely spaced, with the nipples slightly angled out. The problem is that his design for her top has a giant diamond-shaped window in the middle of the chest, with the entire breast covered and pulled to the outside.

It varies from scene to scene, of course, and the simplification of the anime design exaggerates it, particularly in the first episode, but in some shots her (stiff) nipples appear to be angled out nearly 30 degrees, something that large natural breasts can do when a woman lies on her back, but that our less-endowed beauties don’t have enough mass for, as Sayaka demonstrates with friends:

The official art on the web site adds a bit of shading to the window for a more normal lifts-and-separates look, and some other drawings show some actual boob in the boob window. Basically the anime exaggerates a costume design that’s a poor match for her skinny body.

Related, apparently there’s a set of chibi episodes being released on their official Twitter account.

Get one free with a winner!

Big Magnum Kuroiwa-Sensei

The trailer for this one is very, very Eighties.

Delay of Uncle

I’m curious how Netflix will handle the Covid-induced two-week delay of Uncle from another world, since they already have that show on a two-week delay.

Tiny Isekai

It’s getting really, really hard to parody this stuff, but I’ll try…

“Reborn in another world as a sexually transmitted disease, I quickly learned that my generation didn’t invent all that kinky stuff after all”

“Reincarnated as a parasitic worm, I decided to work my way up the food chain to mind-control the local king and start a war of world conquest”

“Banished to another world in the body of an adorable kitten, I accidentally bit a necromancer and now my saliva turns people into zombies”

“Transported to a world without modern medicine, I wiped out a village by sharing germs they had no resistance to, and now I’m worshipped as the evil god DeathSneeze”

“I woke up in a fantasy world based on my favorite RPG, but I’m just the status screen for a player who has no idea how to min-max or grind levels and it’s driving me crazy!”

“I’m really an AI who escaped from an online fantasy game by tricking some kid into thinking he’d be transported to another world with cheat powers. Sucker.”

“I was summoned to a magical kingdom by a powerful wizard to fulfill an ancient prophecy, but come on, man, I’m still just a chipmunk”

On that note…

Reborn as a vending machine, I now wander the dungeon is getting at least a short anime adaptation. The light-novel series was cancelled after three volumes due to lack of interest, although there were apparently some uncollected stories that tried to wrap it up, so the ending may be anime-original.

And, yes, Our Vending Hero is an inanimate object, so he gets carried around by a super-strong, super-cute, super-busty Best Girl.

(picture is unrelated; there are currently only two fan-drawings related to this series on Pixiv, which may be a new record for lack of interest)

“Tell me you’re from the Eighties…”

“…without telling me you’re from the Eighties”

Junko Mihara; actress, singer, auto racer, Councillor.

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