“Octopuses are very intelligent, but they’re also unsociable, short-lived, and prone to cannibalizing their peers. That makes them unique in the animal kingdom, according to scientists who have evidently never met any grad students.”— Robinson Meyer
Bait and switch is bad for customer retention.
This is from my wish list:
“Hey, wow, that out-of-stock item that I wanted is back, and at a much better price than when I last bought one!”
“Oh, fuck no. Just mark it as out of stock, don’t actively participate in ripping me off.”
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.
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.
“…without telling me you’re in California.”
I could have gotten a lot more of these; it wasn’t an outlier.
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.
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.
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!)
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. 😁
Finally, the turtle story is over. Sadly, the scenery-chewing villain (more annoying than the OP song) ran away to fight another day, and Our Heroes came tumbling after. And is it just me, or did Our Noob Girl’s sudden competence come completely out of left field?
In which Our Overworked Agents scramble to house a bunch of refugees. Then it’s Our Warrior Gal’s turn to pull the perfect property out of her back pocket, while Our Boobie Newbie frets about the trouble with half-dragons. In the end, the two halves are tied together quite tidily with a ribbon labeled foreshadowing.
In which Our Bony Hero gets his pelvis handed to him by someone who actually knows how to use a sword, but in a good way. Once again, His Dark Secret is accepted without any difficulty, leading to that most precious of moments, Our Busty Elf Maiden walking in naked while he’s bathing (buythebluraybuythebluraybuythebluray).
(picture is unrelated; you know the drill)
In which Our Demon Girl scores a significant victory and moves forward toward a new goal, with her best girl by her side.
Nothing demonstrates more clearly the difference between koi and ai than trying to read Our Komi’s mind. Our Pyscho Lesbian and Our Chuu-ni both fail to learn the lessons being taught by Our Hero, because their passion for Komi is self-centered, while his relationship with her has always been about understanding her feelings.
Sadly, this is followed by another round of Our Misunderstood Giant failing to communicate in awkward and embarrassing ways, which I just can’t get into.
So, on Sunday, instead of catching up on last week’s anime that I
wanted to watch, instead I watched the available episodes of Virgin
Road. It’s a real mixed bag. As much as I approve of the concept, the
premise has massive holes in it, (apparently eventually explained in
the novels, in a likely retcon), Our Psycho Lesbian is shallow and
annoying, Our ExeCutie’s
lack ofsubdued personality is handwaved
away by her backstory, and Our Bubble-Headed Tit Queen is More Than
She Seems. It looks like there’s a very slow reveal of what’s really
going on, slow enough that this season is unlikely to catch up to
anything that’s teased in the OP.
Now, let’s write up last week’s anime, two hours before this week’s episodes start showing up!
Are we there yet?
No, seriously, how long is this turtle story?
Let’s play house… in bikinis! Our Boobie Newbie excels at this game, despite assigning the Mama role to someone less top-heavy. Then Our Agents are bullied into finding a free house for a spoiler, and Our Dragon-Service Loli (or Loli-Service Dragon) hints at hidden depths. Or something like that. Fluff and cheesecake.
In which Our Bony Hero and Our Busty Elf free more slaves from mustache-twirling rapists, bond over their shared desire to cuddle the fluffy mascot, and head off to adventures in elf-ville. Oh, and apparently she likes her men stiff, since the revelation of his dire secret bothers her less than missing a meal.
The tone shifts continue to be jarring, with Miss Nearly-Nude Canada bouncing between crushing testicles and snuggling the fluffball. She’s kind of like the love child of Emma Peal and Benny Hill, constructed of equal parts Action Girl and Comic Relief.
(and, yes, she really is from the village of Maple in the forests of Canada; this world has been isekai’d many, many times)
(picture is completely unrelated, for the usual reason)
I like it when Shamiko spends time in Crisis Management form.
This one was a pretty random collection of unconnected short chapters, with Our Komi being scared of a storm, several boys imagining date scenarios with their classmates, Our Psycho Lesbian obsessing over Komi’s panties, and a visit to a cat café.
At first, I thought my dishwasher was broken. Then I found that it’s controlled by the wall switch right next to the one for the garbage disposal. I’ve never seen that before. It works, but is loud enough that I’ll be ordering a Bosch Real Soon Now.
The fridge is not just old and loud, but contagious. When the compressor kicks on, it generates vibrations strong enough to cause the toaster six feet away to start vibrating in sympathy, adding even more noise. It’s also set up for a man in a wheelchair, so I have to reach down even for the top shelf. Fortunately it’s currently only holding Diet Pepsi, lunch meat, and leftovers, but it’s now at the top of my list for replacement.
The washer and dryer are functional, and blessedly IoT-free, but they’re energy hogs. Hopefully they’ll hold out long enough for me to get new gas lines run, because I’d rather have a gas dryer.
I’m not a fan of the electric oven/range combo unit, but replacing it also requires running gas lines, so I can install a dual-fuel unit and have a gas range and electric oven. Since I’m still just starting to settle in, I’ve only used the range to boil water for the good ramen I brought from California, and it at least did that well, but I had to unpack some Le Creuset for it, since the only other pot I’ve unpacked doesn’t have a flat bottom that’s stable on the ceramic smoothtop.
And I really hate the “over the range” microwave oven/fan combo unit. In fact, I hate it more than I expected, even though it’s the only recent appliance in the kitchen. They’re astonishingly popular in new and renovated homes, but they’re just not very good. They’re too high up to use regularly as a microwave, and they’re simply poor range hoods. I’d rather buy one of the high-end countertop microwave/convection ovens; I’ve got plenty of counter space now.
While they’re installing gas, I’ll also have a line run to the back porch, so that when I get around to having a deck built, I can have a built-in gas grill that’s free of the tyranny of propane tanks. That’s a late-summer, post-old-house-sale thing, though, like replacing all the flooring and window shades.
Speaking of which, the old house goes up for sale on the 15th. It got thoroughly cleaned last week, staged, and power-washed, and I had the landscaper do some touchups to the yard as well. I haven’t seen the pictures yet; it probably looks like normal people lived there. 😁
Now to hire an adorably-precocious orphan and a lethally-gorgeous spinster to be my fake family…
I’ll be traveling from Dayton to Salinas and back soon, so I went to book flight, hotel, and car rental. If I say “I’m going to Salinas”, then the only airport available is San Jose (San Francisco almost always has better flights). If I say “I’m going to San Francisco airport”, then the only available hotels are in and near San Francisco. In order to fly into SFO but stay near Salinas, I had to make two separate orders, one for air/car, one for hotel. I could find no way to put it all into one.
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.
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)
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.
…and now for last week’s anime, which I did not watch at 70 MPH on a truck.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
bend over lean towards… something else.
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).
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.
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…
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?”.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
The Home2 in Terre Haute has Conway’s Life for bathroom wallpaper:
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
I’m on easy mode this week, as my life is consumed by packing, so here’s a batch of pretty girls randomly selected from my ever-growing collection of modern and vintage cheesecake.