“You can drive from coast to coast across the middle of the country and never pass through a single county that voted for John Kerry.”

— Mark Steyn takes on election-results bigotry

Slime, sweep, slime, slime

Slime Priestess #2.9

Shuna did indeed effortlessly kick ass. Also, more new characters were added to the sprawling cast, ending with a premonition of the next round of effortless ass-kicking.

New toy!

You know you’re a grown-up when you tear open the box as soon as you get it home, assemble the contents, and then… vacuum the house.

I’ve considered and rejected a number of more toylike toys, due to the lingering effects of Corona-chan on supply chains and travel. Even if many things weren’t overpriced and out of stock, I don’t need a new car When I’m Not Going Anywhere, I don’t need new camera gear WINGA, I don’t need a new laptop WINGA, etc, etc.

Rotten to the (iCloud) core

Did Apple lock my account again today? Yes, yes, they did. Did they provide any explanation or warning of unusual activity? No, no, they did not.

Losing the faith…

(with small apologies to Billy Joel)

🎶 🎶 🎶
I told you my reasons for the whole debacle.
Now I’m going outside to have an ice cream cone in the shade.
Oh, I’m gonna memorize the latest lies,
’bout the allies that we left behind,
then stare off into spaaaaaaace, yeah.
’Cause my memories faaaaaaade, yeah.
I’m losin’ my plaaaaaaace.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
eatin’ the paste.
🎶 🎶 🎶

Reborn in a dystopian fantasy world, I quickly realized it was just CNN

Banished from the Hero’s Party, I became Bounty, the Quicker Picker-Upper

At least, that’s what I get from the trailer for this upcoming anime series. Out of 93 seconds of video, I think 90 were focused on stacked haremettes. The other 3 featured a loli…

(Jahy-sama is unrelated)

Amherst College and the Madness of Clowns

Students must:

  • be vaccinated
  • wear two masks indoors
  • no social gatherings
  • eat in their dorm rooms
  • shelter in place

Note that there’s no cafeteria service, restaurants/bars are completely off limits, and their rooms are the only place they’re permitted to unmask indoors.

In other news, Amherst College has canceled all STEM programs, because no one working there is capable of “following the science”.

(sad Lefiya is sad, unrelated)

Dear Amazon,

On Prime Video, I, Robot is filed under “Black voices”, and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is filed under “Black cinema”. Your racism is not adorable.

(Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is also filed under “Black cinema”, which you might be able to weakly justify based on Dwayne Johnson’s ancestry, except he doesn’t (ever) play the “black” character, and the movie has absolutely nothing to do with anyone’s racial characteristics)

(Jahy-sama counts as a black voice under these rules, right?)

If this goes on…

…not even the photocopiers will admit they voted for Biden.

Pixy finds the silver lining

In their latest mixed messaging, Microsoft says they’ll let you do a clean install of Windows 11 on existing hardware, but you won’t get software updates. His response:

No updates. Wrap it up, I’ll take it.”

This reminded me of a classic quote from the original run of Nexus, where Our Hero is contemplating surgery as a way to escape the crippling headaches that accompany the killer lifestyle he was groomed from birth for:

"You would not be quite the same person. Calmer, let us say...

less affected by the world. There might be memory lapses…”


(oddly enough, I can’t complain about this categorization…)


Qwality Ass-surance

Apple locked my iCloud account again with no explanation, requiring me to enter the answers to my security questions and then type my password eleven times. Number of times Apple has notified me of any unusual activity that would justify locking my account remains zero. (I was actually astonished to discover that I havehad some data stored in iCloud, back from when I was using Yojimbo; good thing it was all encrypted!)

(emoji keyboard is unrelated, because Apple could never QA it)

…but just as annoying, Trello is completely reorganizing their service tiers, wording it in a way that doesn’t tell me if I’ll now get my existing functionality at the free tier, or if I’ll need to pay $10/month for the calendar and map addons.

That is, the free tier now includes “unlimited addons”, and I’ve been using Calendar and Map (and Planyway). But the $10/month tier is the only one that includes “Calendar and Map views”, so are they changing the status of the existing addons to force an upgrade, or adding new premium functionality? Reply hazy, try again later.

(cat/food is unrelated)

Everybody Wants To Slime The World #2.8

Somebody effortlessly kicks ass, somebody else effortlessly kicks ass, somebody else effortlessly kicks ass, then somebody else effortlessly kicks ass. In between, there was some effortless ass-kicking.

At no point are any good guys in danger of being killed, even when they’re the ones getting their asses effortlessly kicked.

Next episode: Shuna kicks ass. Effortlessly.

How A Realist Princess Shows Her Determination #9

In which lines are drawn, then talked about. A lot. If they don’t have a signed deal for a second cour, this is going to get wrapped up quite abruptly.

(Chupacabra’s most loyal retainer is related; she voices Juna in this show)

Harrying the lead…

This headline carefully amplifies negative claims about Larry Elder that were made by an angry ex specifically to keep him from becoming governor. The actual story is that prosecutors can’t just charge him with misdemeanors when someone makes unsupported allegations five years after the statute of limitations ran out.

“Wrong End In Focus”

I’m always annoyed when I see a glamour photographer fail to get the eyes in clear focus, but worse is when the entire head is an afterthought, either cut off between the chin and forehead, or, worst of all, completely out of focus. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the sight of female body parts, it’s that there’s nothing unique there; I’m not shopping for components to build my own, I want them fully assembled.

Kana Momonogi has a sleek collection of first-rate goodies, but what makes them stand out is the girl they’re part of. Which this photographer (NSFW! Javascript off!) did not get.

And, yes, this is one of the worst positions to put a Japanese woman into for an ass-shot, so he’s not even showing the parts off well.

Dear, sweet, precious little Amazon,

WTF is this?

The purpose of every other clickable item on your site is to sell me a product, so what exactly are you selling here? Am I supposed to send a gift card to this unknown person to celebrate the occasion?

Related, when I recently said, “Alexa, three minute timer”, she spent one of those minutes on a lengthy uninterruptable “by the way” explanation of how to manage timers. As if setting timers and alarms isn’t something I use the product for every day, only slightly less often than I use it to control the lights. AI would know this.

AI would also recognize that angry profanity means “don’t ever do that again”.

Early and Often

How A Realistic Isekai Story Would Play Out

“Reborn in a fantasy world, I barely scraped out a living as a peasant farmer, lost my wife in childbirth, sold my daughter to a brothel to pay crippling taxes, watched my one surviving son get conscripted and used as cannon fodder, and then died of pneumonia at the age of thirty-seven.”

Faster, please

Restaurant To Another World 2 trailer. And if they need another waitress, hire Jahy-sama away from her show; the ambient magic should be enough to keep her in adult form.

Nothing to see here…

Hundreds of CA recall ballots found in car with armed, drugged-out felon. Also thousands of other pieces of mail, drivers licenses and credit cards in multiple names, etc.

Key quote: “This is an isolated incident.”

…because we really, really don’t want to look for more.

I plan to vote in person again (which requires that I turn in the entire packet that was mailed to me, including the outer envelope), just to make sure that someone hasn’t already cast a vote in my name…

I hate it when I’m right

For many years, I’ve said that I only vote for Republicans because Democrats destroy the country faster. The Bidenhandler regime has provided more evidence for this than I ever imagined possible, and “I don’t think he’s gonna stop.” (classical reference)

91% false-positive rate

No, not Covid tests (they won’t admit to real numbers on that one), Chicago ShotSpotter alerts. Not only are they wasting police resources, they’re priming street cops to treat suspects (even) more harshly, and providing a way to alter evidence to fit the narrative.

(Officer Friendly is unrelated)

Ah, the good old days…

Pizzeria struggling to recover says, “we will hire literally anyone”. A long, long time ago, when Bush senior was in the White House, I stopped off at a Shell station for gas, and saw a hand-lettered sign in the window:

“Help Wanted, must be able to read and count.”

The future’s looking bright… if you run on batteries.

Tokyo construction worker

The Gnurrs Come From The Voodvork Out

(classical reference)

Latest scam email

(links removed, obviously)

Subject: Letztes Update, bevor Ihre E-Mail blockiert wird

Liebe Webmail-Nutzer

Einige unserer inaktiven Webmail-Konten wurden aufgrund von Inaktivität deaktiviert, wie vom Webmail-Administrator festgestellt. Bestätigen Sie, dass Ihr Web-E-Mail-Konto aktiv ist, indem Sie Ihr Konto überprüfen


Hinweis: Nach 48 Stunden werden alle inaktiven Webmail-Konten deaktiviert. Wir entschuldigen uns für diese Unannehmlichkeiten und danken für Ihr Verständnis.

Webmail Corporation
Abteilung für Informationen und Updates
Ihre Unterschrift

Apple QA: “​…but first, a little bobo”

Apple’s latest iOS update fixes a serious active exploit, but completely breaks phone service for many users. Nice one.

How A Realistic Hero Reacts To A Mangled Corpse

The theme of this week’s episode is disaster relief and talking, but mostly talking. Highlights include Our Hero tossing his cookies when he finds one of the villagers they weren’t in time to save, which is more realistic than another extended discussion of forest management.

(Jahy-sama is unrelated)

Porch kitten status: cuddled!

He did not approve. His desire for meaty sticks overwhelmed his skittishness long enough for me to scoop him up and provide a brief moment of socialization, before he insisted on being put down (no claws or teeth were involved, simply determination). Since then, he’s been wary-but-slightly-pettable, and I’ve caught him snoozing on top of one of the chair cushions.

I want to try to get him to a vet, to at least ensure that if he hasn’t been chipped by an official owner, that he at least gets shots and neutering, and maybe a shot at adoption while he’s still small and adorable.

(Jahy-sama is still unrelated)

Benito Newsom’s thugs in action

Mere days after being libeled as “the black face of white supremacy”, Larry Elder is coincidentally being investigated for maybe possibly I-heard-a-rumor failing to disclose all of his sources of income before becoming the candidate most likely to dethrone Nancy Pelosi’s nephew. This is being promoted on Twitter, who wouldn’t be caught dead promoting something positive about him.

(un-undead idol klutz is unrelated)

Dear, Dear Amazon,

The package that shipped from California to California on August 5th, that was promised for the 6th, that was declared lost on the 10th and successfully refunded a few days later, finally arrived on the 20th. I don’t need it any more; I had plenty of time to search for something better elsewhere, for a better price, which arrived the same day.

The punchline? There was a hand-written note attached to the box documenting that it arrived at a post office in Carmel on the 18th, where someone dug into the mystery and sent it back out with my address circled and the words “Try this one!!”. Underneath that was a tracking slip documenting its delivery to someone else in Salinas on the 8th.

Why? Because somehow when it left the Amazon fulfillment center in North Las Vegas, it had two USPS shipping labels on it on opposite sides. These probably get caught fairly often when a box gets palletized based on one scan and then flagged as misrouted when it’s scanned again later, but in this case, both labels sent it to the Salinas post office, so “both boxes” were successfully tracked right up until it was loaded onto an actual delivery truck based on one of them, at which point the other stopped moving.

Its brief trip back to the San Jose post office in the middle was probably based on getting flagged by automation (one claimed 49 pounds, the other 6, for instance) but never inspected by a human; both labels said Salinas, so back to Salinas it went.

No idea what I’ll do with it now. Take it to Goodwill, maybe?

(skateboarding maid is unrelated)

Smart dorm?

Related, I see the home page has a “Smart dorm deals” section, trying to push Echo+accessory bundles, featuring a smart light bulb, a smart desk fan, a Blink camera, and another brand of smart bulb. The best-case scenario for putting Alexa in a dorm room is drunken drive-by shoutings, and the smart bulbs will most likely be forgotten at the end of the year. The camera is just for blackmail.

And, really, what good is a smart desk fan, in or out of a dorm?

WeMo wobbles, falls down

Also related, the WeMo warning I mentioned a few months back has come to pass, and it is no longer Alexa-compatible unless you create an account with them; it just stopped being reachable from the Echo one day, although it still works just fine from their app and continues to accept programming and updates. Plonk goes the WeMo into the IoT trashbin; I’ve got an Amazon-branded smartplug around here somewhere that still works without Yet Another Account.

(cat/food is unrelated)

Twitter randomly throws a switch

Twitter is once again allowing non-users to click on tweets to view pictures and read threads.

(Bathing Best-girl Beelzebub is tangentially related, since fully half of my Twitter browsing is Waifu Supply and Waifu Aesthetic)

Um, how about “no”?

We’ve been doing our vacation planning in Trello, and it works great for categorizing things to see/do/buy and getting them onto a day-by-day calendar. What it doesn’t do well is handle arranging items within a single day, but the free Planyway addon does that really, really well.

Or used to, until Apple nailed down cross-domain embeds in Safari. Now instead of seeing their content within Trello, you get the following bad advice:

Unable to load Planyway. Please go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy and disable “Prevent cross-site tracking”.

That’s a mighty big switch you’re asking me to throw for you. How about I just load my calendars in a separate browser tab?

Dragon’s Blahgma

The Switch version of Dragon’s Dogma gets good reviews as an open-world RPG, but while I knew it was a remaster of a 2012 console game, and I was expecting Skyrim-era graphics, it doesn’t quite deliver. Maybe it improves once you’re out of the opening village, but so far something about the color palette and rendering make everything flat and hard to distinguish. Sadly, the fact that they felt the need to make interactable objects pulse and glow when you’re near suggests that it’s not going to get better.

Also, the way they’ve chosen to present the story doesn’t grab me. Despite the promise of a custom avatar, the game starts with you in control of a named character who’s in the middle of his final battle with The Dragon. It goes through N minutes of typical tutorial topics without really giving you the freedom to try them out, with a few battles they ensure you can’t lose, and then… no dragon. Instead, time skips forward, and now you get to create your avatar, struggling to make something human-looking out of a collection of distorted body parts, and when you’ve finished, you’re treated to a lengthy cutscene of How I Escaped My Slow Life In A Fishing Village By Doing Something Really Stupid And Becoming The Chosen One.

Then it dumps you back in the village with no goals. When you manage to stumble on the first Fetch 10 Items quest or just try to leave the village, the game airdrops in your first mandatory companion, who follows you everywhere with useful buffs and repetitive advice (hey, did you know that goblins and wolves don’t like fire?), nudging you to run down the road to the only available destination, where another scripted fight you kind-of contribute to confirms you as The Hero, and leads an entire army of recruitable companions (one of which you get to struggle to design in the character-creator) to swear to serve you, a few at a time, if the price is right.

Or something like that; I stopped there for the night, and I don’t know when I’ll pick it back up. Maybe I’ll look for a detailed review that tells me when the “open world” part starts. Also how long the day/night cycle is, because it’s really dark at night, and wearing a lantern on your belt doesn’t do anything but make you a target for all the goblins and wolves that constantly spawn once the sun goes down.

One of the touted features, by the way, is that your companion pool optionally includes those created by other players (with their names sanitized for your protection), and other people can optionally use yours. Both of these turn-offs can be turned off.

(most-requested-feature-in-BOTW2 is a bit related)

Oh, and according to the wikis, how you design your character’s looks affects the gameplay, including movement speed, endurance, and inventory space.

The camera moves!

Finally got the Best Buy/Whirlpool “smart appliance” ad on Reddit again, and this time I played the 20-second video. The change in angle makes the layout of the room clearer, although I still think the pillar is absurd.

Also, answering the question of “why would you want this?”, dad is shown using the app to program the smart oven to start cooking a frozen pizza. The oven that’s in the same room, maybe 10 feet away, and that he still has to, y’know, walk over and put the pizza into. Then he remotely programs the washer so that it starts up a load on the colors cycle at a specific time, instead of, y’know, setting it when he loads clothes into the touchscreen-equipped appliance. It’s not like it has a camera so he can look inside and tell what kind of load someone else put in; he’s simply loading it up, walking away, and then pushing the same buttons later, from farther away.

To paraphrase a classic, “that is a very specific level of convenience”. (be sure to check the comments for some familiar names…)

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