When faster is slower...

Shield Hero 2.10

The katana on the mantelpiece went off, and Raphtalia is restored to her full glory, producing the first real fan-service of this season. Sadly, they made it pretty clear that this is not a buy-the-bluray tease; what you see is all you’ll get.

It’s awkward and padded and full of refrigerator moments, but Our Agents Of Shield have a good day for once.

RPG Real Estate 10

The one that cashes in all the plot coupons. And adds a nearly-naked legal-loli elfchick, just in case.

Bonus loli half-dragon pic:

Skeleton Knight 10

Y’know, you think those things’d hold more liquor, but two drinks and Our Top-Heavy Elf Maiden is under the table. Or at least on top of the skeleton.

(Princess Just-A-Flesh-Wound is related, and quite surprised to be alive)

Demon Girl Next Door 2.9

The Return Of Dark Peach. Also Ponytail Shamiko.

Bonus foxgirl for Mauser:

Komi 2.7

Mixed bag this week: half relationship baby steps, half monster of the week. The good parts include Our Hero being blessed with the longest speech yet by Our Komi.

(I was wondering how long it would take someone to do this…)

Umbrella Academy season 3

Trailer. Coming June 22nd.

Spoiler: rather than casting a new actress for Vanya, she’s Viktor now. I have no emotional investment in the character, so I honestly don’t care; it just serves as a reminder that “gender identity” is a giant game of let’s-pretend. I did have to roll my eyes at the trailer reviewer who smoked the kool-aid and consistently used the new name and pronouns to refer to events in seasons 1 & 2, though, when Vanya was unambiguously female.

Leave a light on for me…

A pilot light, to be precise. A day or two after the air conditioner was fixed, I went around the house with an infrared thermometer to see how well it recovered. There was a difference of approximately 6°F end-to-end, with the master bedroom being the coolest and the family room the warmest.

Both are on the south side, but the family room has more south-facing windows, so I could understand some difference, but it seemed too high. Then I pointed the thermometer at the gas fireplace and discovered that it was over 100°F, despite not being turned on. Unlike the one at my old house, which had an energy-saving electric starter, this one apparently has a pilot light that’s always on. Fortunately, it has a manual gas shutoff valve, and with that turned off, it’s no longer warm to the touch. Since I don’t expect to turn it on for around six months, why heat the wall?

Speaking of warm to the touch…

…if our Jira servers weren’t virtual, their fans would have been spinning at top speed this week.

Well, one of them anyway, since we segregate bot traffic onto a separate node in our cluster. It seems that about a week ago, a Python script that is commonly used by a few development groups got, well, “stuck”. That is, every instance of it that was run in the early afternoon on June 1st was still running, repeating the same REST calls over and over, over a dozen times per second.


I eventually found at least 30 copies on various servers.

Our Glowroot graphs showed slowly-increasing average response times, but they were still twice as fast as they’d been the week before, so superficially everything looked fine.

Because when you add about 30 million trivial requests per day, the average response time looks really, really good. It’s when you change the view to show slow queries that you see the 20,000/day that are now taking 250+ seconds to return or time out. Switching to the percentile view didn’t help, because it doesn’t show the 99.95th percentile. Switching to tailing the logs, on the other hand, made the problem really, really obvious.

Interactive users never noticed a problem, because our SSL proxy and our backend database handled the load without a problem, and browsers were pointed to different Jira nodes. Only the poor suckers pointing to the bot node were getting slowed down, and only after it had been going on for several days and began clobbering Jira’s DB connection pool.

With the offending scripts killed off, and a ticket sent to the you-touched-it-last engineer, the average response time is higher, but the total number of requests is so low that I can once again read the proxy log entries as they scroll by.

(bonus pic of L’il Raf is unrelated)

B is for Bullet...

…we brought enough for everybody.

Shield Hero 2.9

Y’know what this show really needed? More exposition about a completely different world, suggesting that the author changed his mind about what story to tell and is never really going to go back to the original plot. See also Bleach.

RPG Real Estate 9

Hot-springs service now comes with full-backal! After Our Agents survive bathing, moisturizing, snorting catnip, and receiving full-body furry massages, they’re off to a festival for food, fun, prayers, a lost child, and a surprising revelation.

Then a new character shows up to advance the plot. Oh, right, there’s some kind of plot.

I was amused by the excuses used to extend the fan-service in the hot springs scene. When they get out of the bath and find their clothing missing, they try to improvise impractical and revealing outfits that somehow do not include the perfectly good towels they’re already wearing. Then they find a set of skimpy bikinis (with bonus viewports!).

Skeleton Knight 9

Slaves, rescued! Slavers, slaughtered! Princess, breathing! Plot, thickening!

(purely by accident, I found a related picture that didn’t include a gang-rape!)

Demon Girl Next Door 2.8

In which five’s a crowd, but one of them is an adorable and only slightly demented foxgirl.

Komi 2.6

I had to skip over large chunks of this episode, because Katai’s scenes just rub me wrong. On the bright side, Our Hero gets some quality time with Our Komi, on and off the ice.

Air, conditioned

In December, Respected Local HVAC Company did the pre-sale inspection of the house and identified a number of issues with the air conditioning, quoting $1,500 for repairs. The seller agreed to write a check to them to cover the work, which we received at the closing, and my parents let them in to take care of it in March.

Wednesday morning, I had them send someone out to find out why my unit had frozen over completely. Turns out they’d missed a kink and a leak, which they fixed for free.

Time to celebrate!

(they also suggested completely replacing the air conditioner with something more powerful, efficient, and modern, but while I always like the idea of buying something 17 years younger, $7K is enough that I want to hold off until the old house sells, which is currently scheduled for the 24th)

Hey, kids! Comics!

I stumbled over some old bookmarks and went looking for The Gutters, now only available through the Wayback Machine. It’s interesting to look back to the days when Left-wing cartoonists openly used the word “tranny” to refer to those-who-must-not-be-nymed. Y’know, during the hate-fueled days of the Obama administration.

Hey, kids! Commies!

Marines can’t shoot straight…

Oh, wait, never mind, they can’t shoot straight bullets!

Also, to celebrate diversity, a group of Amazon employees just called on the company to ban ‘anti-trans’ books.

Dear Citibank customer support,

Go fuck yourselves with a rusty chainsaw. In every available orifice. Even the nostrils.

Seriously, after trying multiple times over six days, spending well over two hours on hold and being transferred around, finally the latest customer service rep says, “oh, the one-time verification code system is broken and we have a trouble ticket open for it; they changed something in an update, and we don’t know when they’ll get it fixed”.

Unicorn chaser

I never get tired of seeing that one Chinese artist whose work gets mixed in with porn because he uses #事前 to tag background-scenery pictures and everyone else uses it to mean “before sex”.

Colors, Locks, and Puddles

Iroduku on Bluray

Previously only available for streaming on Amazon and HiDive, Sentai is releasing a bluray collection of this charming little series on June 21. Recommended.

(fun fact: Pixiv has 532 “all-ages” pictures from this show, and only 16 R-18)

Go home, Hugo, you’re drunk

Y’know, when Hugo hit release 0.99, I figured the primary developer was finally getting ready to quit dinking around and call it stable.

Just released? 0.100.0.

Meteor or bust?

Pretty much a bust. The legit stories all stressed that there was simply a chance that it would be the most spectacular meteor shower since 1966, but not everyone who repeated the story got that right. There was way too much light pollution in my area to have seen anything less than the best-case scenario, but some people with really dark skies at least got to see something if they stayed out for an hour or so.

Music to make monsters by

The newly-released soundtrack album for Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department has 69 tracks, which does not include the OP song.

(pixiv-porn ratio for this series? 180 all-ages, 65 R-18)

Gosh, thanks, Lowe’s

The only thing I’m going to be using my basement for in the short term, besides storing boxes (both the empty&flattened variety, and the ton-of-books variety), is exercise, so I’ve cleared out a nice spot near the bottom of the stairs for the 8x12 feet of sturdy rubber mats, the TRX (now mounted overhead, thanks to sturdy I-beams), and the kettlebells. There’s currently only one power outlet down there, which is in the same area, so I’ll also be able to hook up a new elliptical if I can persuade some delivery drivers to carry it down there.

But I didn’t want to walk around on the bare concrete floor, so I went looking for carpet runners. Lowe’s had a big variety of in-stock items online that I could get free delivery on, so I spent about an hour carefully picking out something that looked nice, was machine-washable, and had a non-slip rubber backing.

Ordered at 3 PM Monday, for delivery next Monday.

Canceled by them at 11 AM Tuesday.

“not in stock”

So I spent half an hour on Amazon picking out some that are at least okay, that will arrive by Thursday. Lowe’s likes to send me surveys asking how they did; they probably won’t like my next round of answers.

Today I Learned…

Today I Learned that the back door at my new house has two locks (knob and deadbolt), and when going outside in the 92-degree weather to quickly drain the water off of the patio table cover, one should take one’s keys or phone along. It was not possible to lock myself out of my old house.

By the way, most of my neighbors are 9-5 sorts who aren’t at home during the day. Took me a few tries to find someone whose phone I could use to summon my stepfather.

By which point it was rush hour, so it took him a bit longer than usual to get here.

Anyhoo, tomorrow I’ll have a remote keypad to go with the Level Bolt, so that I’ll be able to unlock the front door even if I manage to leave both the keys and the phone inside. I’d been reluctant to get one, since from the pictures it only seemed to support four-digit codes, but it turns out you can do six as well.

For more fun…

When I got back inside, I realized that the air conditioner had failed. It’s now 78 degrees indoors, with a big puddle of water on the basement floor around the furnace.

Officially, Ohio

I made a quick trip back to California to close out the house, which is now on the market. Fingers crossed for a short, victorious bidding war.

Downside: when I left, I was almost over the sinus infection that I had acquired while packing up all the dusty stuff. When I arrived, I could feel it coming back, and by the time I got to the airport to fly home again, people were treating me like Typhoid MaryCovid Karen due to the rather impressive coughing fits.

Remo Williams, R.I.P

Fred Ward has died. I liked him in a lot of his roles, but I loved him as Remo.

Side note: Joel Gray was very sensitive about taking a role as an ancient Korean martial-arts master, and spent a lot of time making sure that it was handled respectfully, even buying his own props in Korean stores. Doesn’t matter now, though; modern “critics” can’t wrap their heads around the fact that the past was not illuminated by the enlightened values of the last ten minutes, nor that it made more sense to hire a dancer than a martial artist for the role.

“Tell me you’re in California…”

“…without telling me you’re in California.”

I could have gotten a lot more of these; it wasn’t an outlier.

Alarm, false

Things I didn’t want to hear: “hey, your alarm system went off after midnight Friday, on the window in the back by the trees”. I wasn’t there, my parents weren’t there, so I had them dispatch the police, who reported that everything seemed fine. And I got to spend the rest of the night wondering about it…

My stepdad went over the next morning, and couldn’t find any sign that anyone had tried to get in, but he also couldn’t clear the fault in the alarm system, suggesting that that particular sensor just… failed. Haven’t seen that before.

When I got home, I discovered that the alarm dispatcher’s map of zone numbers to windows did not match the system’s, so when I checked the correct window, it turned out to have settled slightly in the frame, enough that the contact is weak unless it’s very firmly closed. I also discovered that the former owner’s son wasn’t kidding when he said that his parents had never opened most of the windows; I’m going to need to have 23 years of accumulated grit scrubbed out of the frames to make them all operate smoothly, before having the brand-new 23-year-old screens down in the basement installed.

When the old house sells, I’ll also have all the window shades replaced.

Speaking of which, when I let the photographer in at the old house, we discovered that the maid service who’d scrubbed the place had managed to break the shade covering the sliding glass door. It was this sort of shade, where you have to open the vanes before you can move them; someone on the maid crew Just Tried Harder. The realtor sent over a handyman to fix it, who happened to be a few blocks away and got it working enough that they could finish up the pictures.

Uber Eats goes hungry

If the restaurant closes in less than, say, two hours, don’t bother ordering through Uber Eats. The flake-out rate for their drivers is high enough that by the time they actually get someone to go pick up your food, the restaurant will be closed when they get there.

House: updated

When I got there Thursday, the house had not in fact been staged yet. Also, the landscaping fixes were still in progress. As in, the easy stuff was done, but the trenching required to fix the sprinkler system hadn’t been started, and the new bark/mulch hadn’t been laid down in front or back.

The stager came Friday. So did the junk truck. So did the landscaper, who got as much done as he could and then made it look nice for the photographer who came Saturday, before finishing up the work later. We officially listed the place on Sunday.

After letting three trucks jockey for position Friday morning, I drove over to the local recycler to get rid of the paint, oil, etc that the junk truck couldn’t take. (well, they could take it, but they don’t, because the dump charges them for hazardous waste that they’ll accept for free from non-commercial sources)

Monday we had a full set of inspections done, which turned up nothing that would be a dealbreaker in a sale, but did find a handful of smallish things likely to come up when they do their own inspection. There was one head-scratcher where the inspector’s interpretation of the plumbing code disagreed with the plumber’s, which would be about $600 of work to fix. This is so far down in the noise that I can’t care about the money, and will just pay for it to be fixed.

(no plumbing problems here!)

Dear Expedia,

I’m not sure how you managed to bait-and-switch me on my flights back to Ohio. I explicitly selected United in my search parameters (because that’s where all my miles from Japan are), and didn’t notice that you chose “partner airline” Alaska for the flight from San Francisco to Chicago. As a result, not only could I not use my points to upgrade my seat, I couldn’t even pay to upgrade until 24 hours before the flight.

The split also affected how boarding passes are generated. Alaska’s site said “check with United for their flight”, and United’s site said “check in with Alaska for boarding passes”. I feared that I’d have to talk to a human being when I got to Chicago, like our primitive ancestors once did, but what they weren’t saying was that I just had to wait until 24 hours before the second flight for it to appear in United’s app.

It was a long day, and when I got home I wanted nothing more than a quick delivery from the local Cassano’s, but sadly, they had no delivery drivers last night, and were only offering pick-up. I really didn’t feel like getting back into a vehicle, so I ordered from the backup pizza joint, Marco’s, which is five minutes away on foot. I had it delivered anyway. 😁


Good news, bad news

Good: the Toto Washlet seat arrived two days early.

Bad: with a broken hinge, visible the moment I opened the box. No damage to the box, so it was packed that way without anyone noticing. Bad Toto, no Kansas for you!

Also good: Amazon returns are pretty painless now. I just taped the box shut again and took it to the local UPS store.

Now to order another one…


While the locksmith was here for the deadbolt on the front door, we installed a Level Bolt. I had originally planned to install the first one in the door leading to the basement, since that would let me evaluate it without any security issues, but since I have to use the front door until the empty POD is picked up, I put it there.

TL/DR: I like it, and will be buying more soon. Installation was painless, it’s bluetooth-only so it can’t be hacked via wifi, and it doesn’t present as a “smart lock” from either side.

POD, unpacked

When the driver from PODS called to say he was on his way, I warned him that the driveway started out a bit steep, but leveled off. I had previously discussed this with them on the phone, but the drone photos on Zillow don’t do it justice. Normally, they back the truck up to the edge of your driveway and use their “podzilla” to lift it off the bed and wheel it into place, but in my case, he had to back the truck uphill, then lift the pod off the bed, then drive the truck back out from under the podzilla. He had about four inches of clearance due to the curve of the driveway.

I was out shopping, so I don’t know if the same driver picked it up on Friday. In a thunderstorm.

How was the experience? Expensive but worth it; you gain a lot of control and predictability for your move, and the POD itself holds up to the elements nicely; it went through a pretty impressive thunderstorm yesterday without a drop of water getting inside. I’m still annoyed with the design of the locking mechanism that won’t take large secure padlocks; it looks and feels flimsy, especially when compared to the sturdy latch on my Penske truck.

The unpacking crew arrived on schedule three hours late and quickly got my furniture out, assembled, and placed. Nice guys, and not their fault they were late.

(picture is unrelated; honestly, if I keep hiring workmen, I’m going to be talking pure Southern Ohio Hillfolk within a month)

Delay of anime

Between the house stuff and the work stuff, I might be able to watch some of this week’s anime on Sunday. Maybe. Or else I’ll be out trying to buy some appliances. The fridge in the house is old and loud, and the fridge in the garage is older, louder, power-hungry, and leaked quite a bit of water in the vicinity of one of my piles of boxes. Surprising for a unit that doesn’t have a water line and has been empty for months (at least); it must have been saving up a whole bunch of condensation for me.

On the bright side, the Jira upgrade went pretty smoothly. We did run into the intermittent startup failure that they introduced in recent versions (apparently due to some friction between the specific versions of java and ehcache they bundled into recent releases, that escaped QA; still no fix from Atlassian, but I hear they’ve been busy recently…). I’ve got a bunch of test services to update now that Production is finished, but those aren’t Mothers Day Weekend tasks.

Strike The Comcast!

…and now for last week’s anime, which I did not watch at 70 MPH on a truck.

Shield Hero, episode 2.4

Oh, look, more characters from last season that I’m supposed to remember! This came after most of the episode was focused on Our Noob Girl, and most of the rest was about Our Doomed Royal Ho, while Our Shield Hero and Our Raccoon Child Bride didn’t have much to do, and Our Big Bird was just transportation. This… isn’t going very well.

RPG Real Estate, episode 4

Oh, no, another customer with a hard-to-satisfy-no-wait-that’s-perfect living requirement, this time mixed with a bit of inter-personnel conflict. And by conflict, I mean slapstick comedy, or at least slap-tail. Then Our Ambitious Priestess learns that her childhood home is being demolished and replaced with condos, and we get a trip down memory lane with a detour on the road to yuri. Fluff, perfect for recuperating from a four-day drive followed by an awful lot of box-shifting.

Next week: bikini beach-house, with Our Boobie Newbie attracting jealous and/or hungry eyes from her co-workers.

Skeleton Knight, episode 4

Yeah, so in this world even the mooks twirl their mustaches to show off how cartoonishly evil they are. And someone apparently told Our Curvy Hot Elf’s voice actress to go full dere-dere for Our Bony Hero right away. I think they spent more time on her boobs than on the story, which may be for the best; at least that might inspire some decent fan-art.

Not yet, though.

(picture is completely unrelated)

Demon Girl Next Door, episode 2.4

In which Our Demon Girl sets out to find more info on Momo’s Missing Mentor, but ends up becoming a waitress in a café. I fell asleep during this one. Not necessarily the episode’s fault, but it just didn’t hold my attention as much as usual.

Komi, episode 2.1

In which Our Komi recaps her friend list, and Our Latest Misunderstood (and Misunderstanding) Weirdo is quickly sorted out by Our Hero’s well-honed interpretation skills. Then it’s a battle to the… whatever as Our Psycho Lesbian crashes a study party in Our Chuuni’s bedroom. Finally, Our Hero and Our Komi silently show their awareness of each other’s difficulties. The days are just packed.

Home, SweetNeglected Home

The previous owner of my home was a widower in his nineties, in a wheelchair. I knew this, but had not thought through some of the implications. Home inspections focus on major defects, and do not necessarily test every little thing. Like the garbage disposal that had rusted in place after years of non-use, or the clothes dryer that worked but did not dry due to being clogged with at least a decade of lint.

I did know about the 12-inch-tall toilets, and had them on my list, so when I had a plumber come out to replace the disposal, I threw the other items at him as well, and got it all taken care of at once. By the end of the week, I’ll have a Toto Washlet seat to go with the new comfort-height toilets, and as soon as the electricians come out, I can add them to the other bathrooms as well.

While I wait for the POD to be delivered on Tuesday (hopefully to the top of the driveway…), I’ll be dealing with a flooring guy and a locksmith. I’m going to replace all of the wall-to-wall carpet as well as the tile and vinyl, and the locksmith is fixing one of the deadbolts that was mis-drilled so that its bolt has only been secured by the thin strike plate rather than the full-depth hole. Ironically, it’s the kind of deadbolt that has keys on both sides, so that someone couldn’t smash out the side windows and unlock it from inside. (I’m not fond of that, either; I’m thinking Level Bolt)

Meanwhile, Molly Maid will be doing a move-out cleaning service this week at the old place, so the realtor can bring in his staging people and get pretty pictures made for the listing.

Comcast Business: piss-poor customer service

Nowhere on their web site or call tree do they mention what hours customer service is open. In fact, the web site says 24x7, and the folks at the local Xfinity believed that as well. I had to call the corporate offices at 215-286-1700 to find out. I’m sure they blame Covid, but I’m smelling deliberate efforts to make it difficult to stop being a customer.

Also, nothing on the web site tells you that they require 30 days notice, so the rat bastards are going to bill me for another month, when I’m 2,400 miles away and the house is empty and up for sale.

I have nothing but nice things to say about the technical support I’ve received from Comcast Business. I have no nice things to say about their customer-reaming service. Fuck ’em with a rusty chainsaw.

Monday’s Lesson

I wanted to know what day they came by to pick up my trash and recyclables, so when I opened the door to go out and run some errands, I was happy to spot the truck about twenty yards from my driveway, and quickly took the first batch of move-in trash down to the street.


I really need to do something to shift the R-18 Discovery page on Pixiv. Despite it being Not My Bag, Baby, the page has started to suggest an awful lot of shota and otokonoko content. This is odd, because until recently it was heavily biased toward your most recent bookmarks, and while I’ve had a few traps sneak into the cheesecake roundups when it wasn’t obvious, I’ve definitely never made a habit of actively clicking the like button on that stuff.

My tastes bend over lean towards… something else.

Cross-country roundup

Season Of The Waifu

This season’s hotness for fan-art appears to be Yor Forger, whose marriage-of-convenience-for-now makes Our Killer Waifu an actual wife. Clearly, Anya’s mom has got it going on. (pixiv).

Fun fact

You can’t cancel Comcast Business outside of normal business hours. You can, however, return the equipment to any Xfinity store and get a receipt, so I won’t have to mail it back from Ohio to avoid an equipment charge.

Scared Straight

Dear Best Western of Salinas. It is not reassuring that the nearby attractions page on your site lists, in the Education category:

30.00 mile(s) from Soledad Prison

I decided to put my brother up somewhere else for the night…

Packing time

I figured it would take about eight hours to finish packing up what was left after loading the POD and get it all onto the truck.

My brother looked at my house when he arrived and figured 12 hours.

Two 12-hour days plus two hours later, with terrific help from my neighbors for about 6 hours, we were on the road. Toward the end, my definitions of “goes to Goodwill” and “goes onto junk truck” got considerably more aggressive, to the point that quite a bit of nice stuff “ended up in neighbor’s church donation pile”.

We didn’t so much run out of truck space as we did time and interest. Kind of a slash-and-burn version of Marie Kondo’s “does this spark joy?”.

Eighties Aerobics Instructor

Early in the trip, Waze switched from the usual voice to “Eighties Aerobics Instructor”, complete with commentary that was a cross between dumb-blonde jokes and dad jokes. I don’t know how it happened, and I did not like it.

Fuck Dirty Birdies

First day, we got a bit of a late start (the two hours), and arrived at the Elev8 Hotel in Flagstaff at 10:30 PM. The guy at the check-in said, “hey, no problem, there’s a sports bar across the parking lot that’s open until midnight; they also do our breakfasts.”

The sports bar was open. Their kitchen was not. It closes at 10 PM. This is not mentioned anywhere on their web site or, y’know, front door.

I ended up using Uber Eats to get dinner from Denny’s, and a country-fried steak with fries and onion rings arrived quickly. Pity I’d ordered something else entirely, but I ate it anyway, because tired-and-hungry.

Time-traveling mortgage payment

On the second day of driving, I got a call from an unfamiliar number while my brother was driving. I let it go to voicemail, since the truck was pretty loud.

When I played it that night at the hotel, it was from the mortgage company for my new house, saying my April payment was late. My loan contract clearly states “first payment due: May 1”.

What happened? They had specifically asked me to wire the down-payment to the escrow several days before the closing day (since it was all being done electronically), so the billing department was using that day as the start of the loan, not the actual contract date. The large packet of papers signed during the closing were inconsistent, with most saying May and one saying April, but since they were all signed, I actually did have to make the payment, but there wouldn’t be a late penalty because they fucked things up. They wanted to do it on the phone, while we were in the truck. Yeah, no; I stopped by a branch in person after I’d arrived.

[side note: there was no trace of an April statement in the mail at either the old house or the new house]

Sniffle hoarse

Sorting this out from the hotel and the truck over the course of the next day, with half a dozen different people involved, was complicated by the fact that my voice was completely shot due to a major sinus infection triggered by the amount of dust raised during the pack/pitch adventure.

Dinner at Niemerg’s

Because we crossed two timezones during the second day of driving, even an early start wasn’t enough to let us have a good dinner that night. Since I felt my brother deserved at least one, while he was driving on the third day I used my iPad to find something that had good food, good truck parking, and would be open long enough for us to relax and enjoy our meal.

Since we were facing one more timezone change getting to Terre Haute, I looked for something about an hour before there, and found Niemerg’s Steakhouse in Effingham, IL. They’re about a block and a half off I-70, with a nice big parking lot.

Except for the waitresses, we were the youngest people in the place. It was all local senior citizens who’d clearly been coming there for many years. This is a good thing. Service was fast, friendly, and competent, and the food was tasty. We’d both eat there again, although I think I’d skip the steaks and try other items on their menu; they weren’t bad, but definitely a “midwestern steakhouse from the Seventies” style rather than an Outback, etc.

Hotel Life

The Home2 in Terre Haute has Conway’s Life for bathroom wallpaper:

Left-handed car discount

After we backed the truck up the driveway to my new house (“Dear Penske, thank you for the back-up camera”), we relaxed for about half an hour, checked local dealerships to see who had something decent on the lot, and then I decided to go to the local Kia dealer to lease a Sorento.

They had two on the lot, and the salesman grabbed the keys for both and walked me out to test-drive the one I preferred (SX, dark blue). He handed me the key that was in his right hand, and my brother and I did a quick highway/neighborhood drive while he started the preliminary paperwork, just in case.

…based on the serial number attached to the key in his left hand. Which was for a car several thousand dollars cheaper.

TL/DR: I had to go back the next morning to re-sign the lease paperwork and get temporary tags that matched the VIN, but they had to honor the price, so even with the current shortages, I got about $4,000 off on a brand-new car.

“Gosh, that looks legit!”

Until I got internet installed Friday morning, I had to tether my laptop to my phone to go online, which meant no ad-blocking, and this little beauty showed up on American Thinker:

Full Spectrum

Speaking of internet, the installer arrived about the same time as the two guys we hired to help unload the truck (who were awesome, and each got a well-deserved $40 tip), and after about an hour, he reported that he was all done, and I could plug in a laptop and check it.

I asked him what my static IP block was, and his face went blank. He checked the paperwork, and said he’d need another half-hour. When he was done, I found three boxes plugged in: a cable modem that’s just for the VoIP service I had no use for but that made the bundle cheaper, a cable modem that delivered the 600/35 Mbps line, and a wireless access point that delivered the five static IP addresses.

I didn’t order their wireless service, and I certainly didn’t want an AP that was handing out public addresses, so when I reached the box that had my OpenBSD router and AP inside, I removed their wireless from the path and… nothing worked.

tcpdump showed me plenty of traffic on their network, but I couldn’t get out from my router. After fifteen minutes on the phone with a tech, I understood the problem: the only cable modem they had that was compatible with the 600/35 speeds couldn’t handle bridging the static IPs directly, and the only device they had on their trucks that would was the wireless AP. It uses DHCP to pick up a public address through the modem, learns the route for my statics, and passes them through to its built-in switch.

I asked about disabling the wireless functionality, and he had to do it for me, since all three of their devices are managed at their end. So I have to put up with the extra wall-wart and minor power consumption, but the rest of my setup is identical to the old house, so Everything Just Works.

(it was possible for them to configure things so that my OpenBSD box would pick up a routable IP via DHCP and learn the routing for the statics, but they’d have had to do unsupported work on their end, which means that I’d likely get a confused tech the first time I called in for a real support issue)


This morning I saw a bunny hopping across my patio. Looked out, and found she has friends. I’m good with that.

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Met the neighborhood busybody, and I mean that in a nice way; it’s just that she saw me in the driveway when I had things to do, came up to say hello, started up a rambling conversation about all my neighbors that aggravated my sinus-induced hoarse voice, and then headed off to her next appointment. I promptly forgot almost everything she told me, but I did learn that the house behind mine, which has a pool and a trampoline, was until recently the site of numerous teenage parties, until the just-eighteen daughter graduated and went to spend time with her mother until she moves into her college dorm in the fall.

So, the good news is “no loud parties”, and the bad news is “no eighteen-year-old girls bouncing on the trampoline”. But I have bunnies in the yard, so we’ll call that a wash.

Fluff and nonsense

Shield Hero, episode 3

In which Sacrifices Are Made For The Greater Good, and The Big Bad is… oh, wait, nope, gonna continue for another episode.

RPG Real Estate, episode 3

In which softballs are pitched and quickly hit, without the fan-service being turned as high as last week. Fluff.

Skeleton Knight, episode 3

Our Bony Hero meets Our Hot (and quite deadly) Elf, impresses her with the powers of friendship and fluff, and together they kill a lot of people, offscreen. They’re really dodging the blood&guts side of slashing and stabbing people with swords.

(picture is definitely unrelated)

Demon Girl Next Door, episode 3

I know I’m not writing much about this one, just enjoying it. Maybe next time.

Not following the narrative…

I chatted with one of my neighbors (who, like ~80% of Salinas, is hispanic) after the POD showed up, and he commented that when his wife found out I was leaving, she said, “I hope we don’t get more loud Mexicans moving in”. 😁

They’re thinking of moving to Texas, and kind of wishing they’d done it sooner…

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