“But we should not forget that he was in fact wrong about most things, not just about the totally impractical nature of his communist alternative.”

— Tyler Cowen on Marx

Watchable upcoming anime?


Nothing jumps out at me at all for the summer season; I like the character design for the female lead in Mysterious Maid, but nothing about the concept, and I liked Weird ScienceMagic better when it was called Macademi Wasshoi!.

As for fall, so far all that looks promising is Flatcat & Sword. Shield Hero season 3 is supposed to be coming in October as well, but they did such a terrible job on 2 that I’m not interested. And I dropped Spy×Family pretty early, so its second cour isn’t on my list.

Maybe I’ll just have to spend the next few months cheesecake-blogging…

(Macademi Wasshoi! is still streaming on Crunchyroll, fortunately, since if it ever got a US DVD release, I can’t find it anywhere used; there are still a few seeded torrents, though…)

Unrelated,

Just noticed that Steven’s brother let the denbeste.nu registration lapse, so it now points to an ad-infested page with boilerplate anime contents in a language I don’t speak.

“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.

Restauranting

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.

Season: weak


Shield Hero 2.12

It ended as it began: a jumbled mess. Except that there’s apparently a post-epilogue episode next week, in which they’ll do what, exactly?

Bonus Melty (who has a brief, silent cameo at the end):

RPG Real Estate 12

…and it’s done. They put you through more bullshit melodrama, despite telegraphing the happy ending in the episode title.

Bonus Beach Real Estate:

Unrelated, I rewatched the final episode of Endro! last night, which was better than this show in every way. I still liked RPG-RE, I just wish they could have skipped the plot and just kept the cute-girls-selling-weird-houses bits.

Today I Learned…

…that the Japanese title for the Karate Kid movies was ベスト•キッド = “Best Kid”.

Dear Joe,

Will you help retail employees find new jobs after Apple closes that store, or will you leave it up to the Machinists union?

Mixed messages…

This morning, the realtor asked for an extension to Wednesday the 29th while the buyer gets her wire transfer sorted out.

This evening, the title company scheduled a mobile notary for closing on Thursday the 23rd.

Kind of hoping they’re the ones who’ve got the date right.

(tumblr seems to have decided to restrict access to logged-in users after a very small amount of scrolling, but direct links still work. For now. What’s that sucking noise I hear?)

Better or verse?


Shield Hero 2.11

The return of Our Scenery-Chewing Asshat, an awful lot of talking, and a sudden cliffhanger. Blah-blah-blah. Only good part was the introduction of a luscious redhead with a ponytail, who’ll probably never show up again now that she’s served her single role in the plot.

RPG Real Estate 11

Too. Much. Plot. And I’m not a big fan of spontaneous melodrama.

Next week, posthumous exposition!

Skeleton Knight 11

I could do with less scenery-chewing over-the-top cackling villains this season. Pretty sure this one will be dead soon, fortunately.

In other news, if you had any doubt that Our Lung-Hung Elf Gal wants the B, in this episode she gets prickly after catching Our Bony Hero in the arms of another woman.

(related fan-art is finally showing up that does not involve the early-season gang-rape scenes)

Demon Girl Next Door 2.10

In which Our Demon Girl trains hard, both really and virtually.

Bonus: “You got your tanuki child bride in my demon girl!”

Komi 2.8

Field trip! Pillow fight good, homoerotic muscle-boys bad.

Dear Adobe,

Did you hire away Apple’s QA VP? I ask because the latest Photoshop update failed twice and then pretended it had succeeded, leaving me with a thoroughly broken app. Fortunately the uninstall still worked, and preserved my preferences for the reinstall.

Count Dr. Olaf Horrible vs Who?

Neil Patrick Harris has been announced as the antagonist for new Dr Who Ncuti Gatwa when Russell T. Davies takes the show back over.

They’re really trying to signal that they’re going to make a decent show this time, bringing back David Tennant, Catherine Tate, and possibly even Bernard Cribbins for the 60th anniversary.

Recently overheard…

Someone on an executive search team: “I’m sorry we weren’t able to hire a diverse candidate”.

I’d have been strongly tempted to reply, “so you hired di-better one instead?”

Shamus Young, R.I.P


Well, shit, we’ve lost another good one. More later.

Toasted idols


A fool and his bread…

$400 toaster that even includes “algorithms tailored to the chemistry of non-gluten ingredients”, yet still burns the bread if you try to toast more slices before it cools completely, according to the reviews. And can’t handle anything wider than a typical sandwich loaf. Glad I still have my 25-year-old Krups; the toaster market seems to only offer cheap crap and expensive crap right now.

Believe it or not, this thing isn’t even in the running for overpriced home toasters. That’s not counting the commercial units or the wide array of random-Chinese-brand basic toasters (1, 2, etc) that pollute Amazon listings with prices over $500.

Advantage: new house

Had my parents over Saturday to make gyros, using my pressure-cooker gyro meat recipe. I used to half-ass the tzatziki with Safeway’s tzatziki salad dressing and whole-milk greek yogurt, but I’m in Ohio now, with no Safeway. Kroger had two varieties of packaged tzatziki in the deli, but I’ve had poor luck with those, since they tend to have a distinct cardboard taste, and are too chunky for gyros.

Fortunately I found a printout from several years ago of the King Arthur Flour tzatziki recipe. Fortunately, because it’s not on their web site at all any more, and you can’t click any of the links on the Wayback Machine without being redirected to their current site. I had to guess the (sensible) URL structure to get the above direct link to the recipe. I diced the cucumber smaller than the recipe called for, added a bit of dried dill and some sour cream, let the flavors mingle overnight, and had plenty of tasty sauce for the meat.

That left the pita bread, and I’m delighted to say that the Middle Eastern grocery and deli down the street is also a bakery, serving up fresh pita every day, plain and flavored.

(foxgirl is at best tangentially related, since she’s the cook at a diner)

Tell me you live alone…

without telling me you live alone:

Erased!

With the upcoming release of season 3 of Umbrella Academy, I thought I’d rewatch some of the better episodes in the first two seasons.

Turns out that actress Ellen Page, who played Vanya, no longer exists even as a historical curiosity. It looks like Netflix rewrote the credits for the first two seasons to show that actor Elliot Page played that female role before taking on the role of Viktor for the upcoming episodes.

Idol group: “We are not idols”

The most striking thing about Girls Revue Company Mimosane (site NSFW, pictures SFW) is that at least two of the members are visibly only half-Japanese (Sabera and Mwendwa). Other than that, despite the pull quote above, they look like a typical idol factory. Several of them are quite pretty, and a few of the older ones look good in bikinis, but damn they’re young (oldest was born in 2003, youngest in late 2010).

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.

Each.

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”.

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