“Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.”

— Raymond Chandler

Rewatch: Restaurant To Another World


Relaxing food-porn for the win!

I’ve been reading the light novels for this one as well, and Aletta’s increased confidence has had results. She’s been handling deliveries from the restaurant’s Earth-side suppliers, and one of the delivery boys has become quite smitten. In a triumph of otaku acculturation, he thinks her horns are just cosplay ornaments. No big deal for a modern Tokyo youth.

An interesting note is that the occasional mild fan-service that was added for the anime was not further enhanced for the Bluray release.

Related, Amazon may still be determined to kill Brickmuppet under a pile of packages, but they’re no longer delaying Prime shipments for weeks at a time. Every in-stock item I’ve ordered recently has shipped out promptly. The categories that seem to be most sold out now are things like home exercise gear, for people who live in Bluetopian states under lockdown. The fact that most of that stuff was being made in China doesn’t help.

Also related, when I went in to my local drug store to pick up prescriptions yesterday, they had a huge display by the checkouts selling individually-packaged disposable surgical masks for $1.29 each. Also candy bars.

Dear Bionic Body,


Nothing says “safe and comfortable” like exposed screw heads on exercise equipment, perfectly positioned to dig into your skin.

The person who designed this mutant offspring of a medicine ball and a kettlebell was clearly unfamiliar with “rack position”.

Sad thing is, this was sold out on Amazon along with pretty much all other exercise gear, which means a whole lot of people are going to be taping padding over those screws soon to protect their wrists.

How bored am I right now?

“Buying 40-year-old Japanese art books on Amazon” bored:

(they’re excellent books, by the way, with lots of quality photos and well-translated text)

Movie night

Reminded of it by the state of the state of California, I dug through my shelves to find my ancient DVD copy of Zorro: The Gay Blade. My Bluray player (a region-free Sony) needed a serious power-cycling before it would display anything via HDMI, but after a bit of coaxing I was able to watch this charming and quite quotable little film again for the first time in many years.

For some reason, it’s not available on any streaming service, or on Bluray, and of course the DVD has been out of print for many years. You’d think a story about a campy gay man freeing Californians from a tyrannical oppressor would resonate with the pipples.

Too soon, Ming, too soon…


Two dams have failed in Michigan, forcing the evacuation of 10,000 people; and, hey, look, there’s a major chemical plant right along the river in question, so what could possibly go wrong?

Now that Gretchen Whitmer has an actual emergency on her hands, will she free the rest of her subjects to cope, or double down on the stupid? Rhetorical question, I know.

“You’d call off the attack?”

“I could.”

“Everyone would be saved?”

“Yes… and no. After the earthquakes and tidal waves, they won’t be quite the human beings you remember. They’ll be more… tractable. Easier for you to rule, in the name of Ming.”

“You mean slaves.”

“Let’s say… they’ll be satisfied with less.”

California temperature forecasts for Memorial Day

Salinas: 81
Los Angeles: 89
San Jose: 90
Fresno: 97
Sacramento: 97
Bakersfield: 99

Monterey: 70
Half Moon Bay: 70
Ventura: 74
Santa Cruz: 75

Masks, social distancing, and “stay-at-home” hardest hit.

3D cheesecake 30


The porch cat has started stalking me around the house. He’s figured out that if he finds an open window near me (generally, sitting at the kitchen table or reading/gaming on the couch), jumps up onto the screen and hangs there by his claws, he can look me in the eye and meow for attention. Reminds me a bit of my first college girlfriend.

This week’s episode of Good Eats: Reloaded involved buttercream frosting. I too wish to frost delicious cake.

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Dear Amazon,


It’s one thing to do recommendations based on user-supplied keywords, but when someone drills down into categories, like “Sports & Outdoors › Sports & Fitness › Exercise & Fitness › Strength Training Equipment › Pull-Up Bars”, it’s safe to say they’re not really looking for something else entirely. There’s a significant difference between “suspension training” and “resistance training”…

Your algorithms could even spot-check the categorization of the items it’s often bought with, just to make sure the vendor isn’t trying to pull a fast one:

Vaguely related, my Amazon recommendations recently included the new Nancy Pelosi biography. Oh, wait, my mistake: it’s a Hunger Games prequel about Young President Snow.

Update

Walked out of a Safeway today. I refused to “change my attitude” after the clerk got upset that I put my items onto the (empty) conveyor belt before she’d given me permission (this is apparently a policy that’s been in place for weeks, despite not being enforced for the person before me, or for anyone else I’ve seen in that store in ever). I stopped putting things onto the belt when she ordered me, but then she called over two Senior Karens to administer a lecture.

I refrained from telling them precisely where to insert their policy and with how much force, said “fuck this bullshit” with just a touch of heat, and let them know I wouldn’t be returning.

Funny thing, they had two Senior Karens ready to deploy against policy violations, but nobody able to, say, open another lane and decrease the length of the very slow line that had frayed my patience and caused me to unpack my cart fifteen seconds before I had official approval.

This was the second-closest Safeway, so it doesn’t actually inconvenience me significantly to never return. Also, when I got to the one that was closer, there was no line because they had gasp more registers open.

Oregon Liberated From Corona-Chan Tyranny!

Judge told the governor to pound sand.

Oregon will now return to its normal Antifa tyranny. Unless the state Supreme Court chooses “swinging from lamp posts” as a lifestyle.

Tuesday update

The Oregon Supreme Court has tentatively chosen rope.

Random notes, 9th-week edition


I have several items set up for Amazon’s “subscribe-and-save” service. They didn’t arrive on time last month, due to stocking and shipping oddities, in one case overlapping with the next month’s shipment date. Amazon did not plan for this problem, and I had to manually cancel to prevent getting 60 days of supplies at once.

As I was walking out of the grocery yesterday, the local paper had a headline about a man being killed in a shark attack, and all I could think was how his death certificate is going to blame it on Corona-chan.

This is right up there with the restaurant named “Translate Server Error”:

I once thought about starting a Tumblr called “Terrible Pictures of Beautiful Women”, and then remembered that 10,000 people already beat me to it.

Claims that the “CARES” act allows people impacted by Corona-chan to withdraw money from their 401k without penalty turn out to be true only if the employer who sponsors their plan files paperwork agreeing to permit it. Fortunately for me, I was just checking because it was mentioned in Transamerica’s latest email, not because I was one of the millions of out-of-work Americans who need it.

That is, I’m out of work, I just don’t need that money unless the zombie apocalypse is still playing in theaters after (“Lord willin’ an’ the creek don’t rise”) Trump’s second term begins.

The subreddit for Pokemon Sword and Shield consists of equal parts shinies, trades, and ads for temporary tattoos and cloud-based project management. The poorly-implemented “flairs” feature on reddit sometimes allows you to restrict the display to specific categories, but Discussion is “about my shiny trades”, Help is “how do I trade shinies”, News is “I’m trading shinies”, Image is “look at the shinies I’m trading”, etc. Oh, and every post asking “is this (shiny) pokemon hacked” is actually an ad for the hacking sites, with the URL prominently featured.

Actual questions about the game are automatically deleted every few hours by a moderation bot. In fairness, 99% of them would be better answered by learning to use Google to search Serebii.

Personally, I haven’t lit one up in weeks; I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on both of my Switches, for pretty much the same reason I was two-boxing Pokemon raids: my idea of social gaming is a controller in each hand.

I restarted on the second Switch until I got an island with the fruit I couldn’t get without another player. Then I turned it into a plantation enslaved to my main island, with the populace forced to work 48 hours per day creating goods to be consumed by my main island. So basically I’m playing as a Democrat.

Speaking of games, I have fond memories of the 3D-before-it-was-cool game Interstate 76. It is quite affordable on GoG, but not cheap, because it’s a pain in the ass to get it running on anything newer than Windows XP. It predates hardware 3D acceleration, depends on library calls that have passed beyond deprecation, and requires some pretty sketchy workarounds to get it kinda-sorta-running on 64-bit Windows 10.

Instead of going to all that effort, I just fired up the soundtrack CD, which includes enough of the game’s dialogue to revisist the story without putting up with the dated and glitchy don’t-mention-Car-Wars gameplay.

In my less cynical moments, I find myself wondering if Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Gretchen Whitmer aren’t secretly on Trump’s payroll, paid to destroy their party by acting like insane ruthless greedy petty dictators. My more cynical moments have been overtaken by reality.

I’m getting a bit tired of housework…

Supplies! (bread, that is)


Costco, today

And yes, that’s $4.59 for 2 pounds, the equivalent of 129 standard yeast packets (7 grams) at 3.6 cents each.

Still looking, Mauser? I could mail you this one (packed in April, good for two years) and go back for another…

Safeway, today

Dear Amazon…

Actually, I prefer Mary Ann…

Unrelated

How do you sell a $329 toaster without revealing how big the interior dimensions are? The Japanese spec page has it; was that too hard to translate? Or would revealing that the largest item you can fit inside (the optional baking dish) is 7.6x9.5 inches make people realize just how overpriced it is?

By the way, the US price is $100 higher than the Japanese price…

Why we can’t have nice things…


The only reason even more people aren’t playing Animal Crossing and other Nintendo Switch games while in lockdown is that all new online inventory is being snapped up by bots and resold on eBay at a substantial markup. And with walk-in stores still closed in most places, online inventory is the only kind there is.

Switch scalpers make the busty cheesecake cry: