“If your love life requires close air support, something has gone very wrong.”

— Bubbles, out of her comfort zone

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”.

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.

The best forger...


But first, some miscellany!

The Kids in the Hall

I tried watching the first episode of their new series. It wasn’t even a little bit funny.

Dear Amazon,

One of these things is not like the others:

Dear Microsoft,

Why has AutoUpdate started launching every day on my Mac and leaving itself running? I understand checking in the background, but the GUI app only used to show up if there were, y’know, updates to install. Now it’s just sittin’ on the Dock every day.

You too, Youtube?

I had a problem with all videos suddenly playing at at least 100x speeds on my Macbook Air. Turns out this is not a new problem, just one that hasn’t bitten me before, and you have to kill -9 coreaudiod to fix it.

Spy x Family

This seems to be focused too much on Anya-at-school for my tastes. At least it’s generating a lot of sexy fan-art of Yor.

more...

Home, home with a range...


Shield Hero 2.8

I’m losing interest fast, here. What this really feels like is a highlight reel rather than an attempt to tell a coherent story.

RPG Real Estate 8

Y’know, Our Boobie Newbie’s sleepwear looks a lot like what Alizee wore in the classic night-elf J’en Ai Marre video. Fits about the same, too. Just sayin’.

More of the usual, with Our Agents getting a bit of sticker shock while shopping, then quickly and accidentally resolving a new client’s housing problem. There’s even room for a tiny bit of plot advancement, although I honestly don’t think this is really going anywhere. I kind of hope not, in fact.

Next week: hot springs!

Skeleton Knight 8

The Tale Of The Ninja Flatcat, leading Our Bony Hero to go all otaku, to the bafflement of Our Rescue Kitten and Our Bountiful Elf. We really need to move the plot along to a hot springs episode. Yes, that means that we’ll probably flesh out the main character, but as long as the girls get some bath time, it will be worth it.

(I wasn’t kidding about giving up on trying to find related pictures…)

Demon Girl Next Door 2.7

Summer festival, summer homework. Our Demon Girl will be fine as long as she’s got one leaf on.

(classical reference)

Komi 2.5

Winter is comingall over this episode. I could have done without the blow-by-blow games of Hanafuda, though.

Yeah, I got nothin’…

…in the way of anime to watch next season.

(overclocked girlfriend is unrelated)

Extreme demand

At the grocery store a few nights ago, every variety of two-liter soda was marked “limit 6 due to extreme demand”. You could still stock up on cans or smaller bottles, which suggests that it’s the supply that’s the problem, and they don’t want to run out going into the holiday weekend.

Smokin’!

I haven’t bought a grill yet at the new house, because I’m waiting for the sale of the old place before ordering a deck with a built-in natural-gas grill. So I tried the simplest of indoor steak methods: a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop.

The over-the-range microwave/fan combo unit was as spectacularly useless as I expected it to be. Fortunately we had put screens in a few windows, so I was able to vent the smoke outdoors before all the alarms went off.

Unrelated, I briefly met another neighbor, the city councilman across the street. Seems nice.

Offered and accepted

On the one hand, the offer is $24K below our asking price. On the other hand, it’s the first offer in the 9 days the house has been on the market, and many of the other houses in the area just dropped their prices that much or more, out of fear of inflation-driven fiscal incontinence. On the gripping hand, it would still net more than enough to pay off the new house. And upgrade it.

Deals can fall through, of course, but we’ve got a pre-approval from a decent lender (that is, Not Cooper), so it’s worth getting started.

Coincidentally, I got a call yesterday from Mr. Cooper, apparently trying to get me to refinance my new house through them. I really wish I had a classic Bell landline phone, so I could have hung up with an appropriate level of force.

AppleTV, Go, Go, Go!

No, really, just go; don’t inflict a JJ Abrams live-action Speed Racer series on the world.

(picture is unrelated but froggy)

Dear Twitter,


I see that you’ve changed your tweet-hiding methodology, so that anything you want to censor is now labeled “Age-restricted adult content”, and can’t be viewed by anyone who isn’t logged in and trackable. Older tweets still have a view/hide toggle, and of course actual “adult content” is still clearly visible, so this is obviously about words you don’t want people to read.

So, yeah, fuck that nonsense. I see you’ve also ramped up the frequency of the pop-up login prompt, but at least it’s still dismissable the first few times in a browser session.

True wisdom…

…from a Girl Genius:

“This doesn’t look good!”

  “This looks really bad!”

    “Let’s look at it from farther away!”

In other news…

I opened a brand-new jar of peanut butter this morning and made myself a PBJ. Liked it so much I made another for lunch. Why is that news?

Huge JIF peanut butter recall over 12-state salmonella outbreak

Yes, my jar is on the list. Fingers crossed.

Naughty Vampire God


(classical reference)

Shield Hero 2.7

Theme song: Whole New World

In which the slate is wiped clean, and we are spared the presence of the bozo villain from last episode. And we get one small bonus: the return of L’il Raf.

RPG Real Estate 7

Theme song: Burning Down The House

After succeeding by failing, Our Boobie Newbie takes Our Dragon Loli home to meet her parents. And her little sisters, who were happy to show off their character growth.

(picture is unrelated)

Skeleton Knight 7

Theme song: I.L.B.T.’s

In which the side view is most impressive, and…, um…, oh yeah, Our Bony Hero raises the dead and gets to meet the ninja catgirl again. Sorry, gotta keep my priorities straight there.

(I’m not even looking for related pictures for this one any more)

Demon Girl Next Door 2.7

Theme song: National Brotherhood Week

Delayed. I guess that’s fair, since they really pulled out the stops last week to wrap up a big story.

Komi 2.4

Theme song: Deck The Halls

In which Christmas is Merry.

Next-Gen Forger

This is a very nice adult version of Anya.

Unrelated,

I had a big batch of incomplete-Edge-downloads due to the way it flags supposedly-insecure images it’s already displayed to you, and I wasn’t looking forward to clicking through the download-anyway-dammit dialog box 100+ times, so I went to see what they were actually storing in the .crdownload files.

Answer: the completed download it thought was too scary to download. A quick rename and the problem went away.

Speaking of scary and unrelated:

Quick, drop her into a volcano!

Electrical Happy Dance

Scary warnings about rolling blackouts are not just for California and Texas. But I’m in Ohio now, and we’re apparently fine. Which is good, because it gets pretty darn hot and muggy in the summer, and I’m not used to that any more.

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