The Department of Environmental Protection, which is mulling new regulations for boiler permits, said in a rule proposal unveiled in December that electric boilers would cost between 4.2% and 4.9% more to operate than their gas counterparts. But a correction issued by the agency Tuesday said running electric boilers would cost between 4.2 and 4.9 times more than their fossil fuel equivalents.

— Magnitude of Orders, New Jersey edition

Mr. Clean

Boxxo’s Rival Can’t Communicate Either, episode 9

Unlike Our Vending Hero’s limited vocabulary, Our Special Guest Good-looking Cool Hero’s problem is the classic Komi. Note that his story is tamed down from the source material, where his magic sword was of the cursed and bloody type. It was a nice touch to show Lammis’ absolute confidence that no matter how powerful he was, he couldn’t possibly break Boxxo’s shield.

While they’re on the road together, Boxxo shows off new forms convenient for that time of the month, thanks to helpful exposition provided by the female tasmanian devil. Once the word spreads about 21st century feminine hygiene products, he’ll be more popular in town than ever.

There’s also an amusing post-credits vignette where the earlier chain-restaurant villains take advantage of Boxxo’s absence and the villagers’ gullibility.

Verdict: good clean fun, with both a washing machine and a car wash.

Gate manga, volumes 4-6

English translations released (4, 5, 6), one month after 1-3, which I kind of expected. The publisher hasn’t used Amazon’s metadata system to link them into a series, so you have to search by author.

The Demon King in the Back Row: Down In Flames

I always felt the anime (which covered the first five novels) was so rushed that it was basically a highlight reel, but I liked the characters. So, since the 13 light novels are on Kindle, I just read them.

TL/DR: the anime stopped at the correct point. There’s some Wacky Hijinks™️ in books 6-10, but not much in the way of interesting story arcs, and in the last three books the author ended up killing everyone off and destroying the entire universe, effectively making it all “just a dream”. He did allow Akuto to finally boink three of his haremettes (Junko, Fujiko, and one who wasn’t in the anime), but only in the afterlife, and then he wiped that out, too. (and, yes, the sex scenes were awkwardly-written tab-a-in-slot-b)

(unicorn chaser supplied by Rory Mercury)

The less you’re injured, the more it helps

When I was looking at first aid kits on Amazon, I found this nonsense:

More bullets, more bullets!

Dungeon Drops, episode 8

Just because Our Fiery Beauty makes a living incinerating garbage doesn’t mean she enjoys being treated as garbage, leaving her wide open to Our Pistol-Packing Hero’s S-rank acts of kindness. A few warm fuzzies were all she needed to give her all in the dungeon, helping to save the day.

Meanwhile, Our Perfect Wife has outdone herself at god-tier cooking, managing to bake a celebratory layer cake over a campfire and somehow conjure up ice cream to go with it.

Verdict: looking forward to the first meeting between Miss Infatuated Inferno and Miss Innuendo Bunny.

(I’m not even looking for relevant fan-art any more…)

Re: Goblin Slayer

I didn’t watch this when it was new, and by the time I thought about checking it out, Funimation only had the dub. Surprisingly, post-consolidation, Crunchyroll has the sub and dub. Not really my cup of tea, and I don’t think I’ll watch the whole first season and the movie, which means I won’t be watching the upcoming second season.

Honestly, halfway through the second episode I stopped to check the wiki, to make sure that Cow Girl didn’t suffer the usual fate of females in this show (which is featured prominently in most fan-art).

(white-haired dark-skinned robo-swordsgal is unrelated)

So, this is a thing that exists…

Rise of the Outlaw Tamer and his Wild S-Rank Cat Girl manga. Remember the Beast Tamer anime, in which Our Taming Hero met a super-powerful catgirl who invited him to tame her, and then went around collecting a platonic harem of other super-girls with his vast array of OP taming powers? This ain’t that.

Instead, Our Taming Loser meets a half-naked super-catgirl in the woods who thinks his power is something special, so she wines, dines, and sixty-nines him until he agrees to tame her, and then they spend the night fucking. His taming prowess delivers on its promise to make her even more powerful, so she takes him out to tame a dragon and a spirit wolf, teaches him to borrow the wolf’s power so he can be an OP fighter like her, fucks him some more, then promises to help him tame the next haremette, an angelic healer with even bigger boobs.

(not even going to look for fan-art of this one, but to change things up a bit, I’m going with Princess Piña Co Lada instead of Rory Mercury!)

Pittsburgh: 75, Renter: 1

So, cops in Pittsburgh went to serve an eviction notice, as one does. The disgruntled evictee shot at them, as one does? Then a total of 75 cops surrounded the place and spent the next 6.5 hours in a shootout with him, as one does (seriously?).

Money quote from the county sheriff:

“all of us were strapped, you know, with ammunition, and we were calling for additional ammunition”

The evictee was killed, and all the cops (none of whom were shot) have been placed on administrative leave. There are plenty of questions about this event, but mine is simple:

where did all the bullets go that didn’t hit the evictee?

(I’m thinking the landlord kind of wishes he’d handled things differently, now that his property looks like swiss cheese)

Update: I linked another story in the comments, but it turns out that the initial description was wrong. He wasn't being evicted, because he wasn't renting; he was basically squatting in his dead brother's house, which had been sold off as part of his estate. Worse, it was a duplex, so there was a shared wall with the neighbor, making the spray-and-pray spree even more irresponsible on the part of the cops.

Carbon Capture, Dungeon Style

Boxxo Can’t Communicate, episode 8

In which Our Vending Hero combines several previously-seen forms to help the team beat a powerful foe, without killing them himself due to his communication difficulties. Bonus points for coming up with a way to send Our Mighty Heroine over the edge so she’d send him over the edge.

Verdict: missed opportunity to use Hulemy’s intelligence to explain his plan and why jumping down into the pit was a really bad idea.

Another possible for next season: Tearmoon Empire

The premise is simple: Princess Let-Them-Eat-Cake loses her head in a revolution, only to wake up in her past with a chance to fix things. Not for the sake of the people or the empire, but just because she really didn’t enjoy getting her head chopped off. No isekai transfer, overpowered magic, or monsters, just a bunch of human kingdoms in conflict, with a spoiled little rich girl at the center whose future knowledge might be enough to save her.

Reasons it might not suck? First, 10+ light novels worth of source material. Second, character designer and chief animation director of Demon Girl Next Door. Third, the lead voice actress played Aletta in Restaurant To Another World (same chief animation director for that one as well). Fourth, series composition by the gal who did Komi (and who also wrote more than half of the scripts).

(file under peculiar the fact that there are no blurays for Komi; even in Japan, the first season was a limited-edition crowd-funded release)


I’ve been using Anime Schedule to keep track of what’s on and what’s coming up, but it seems they have a few blind spots, since they haven’t noticed yet that Uma Musume 3 is on the fall schedule. I didn’t watch the first two seasons, but I’ve enjoyed the pony-girl fan-art.

The Return of Rory Mercury…

The English translation of the Gate manga is suddenly being released for Kindle, years after it stalled out. The first three volumes were released on July 28 (1, 2, 3). No sign of the light novels (licensed by the same publisher), and the manga character designs aren’t nearly as fetching for the girls, but the story apparently goes well past the anime series.

(there’s always been some peculiar rejection of this series among reviewers, who seem to think it’s jingoistic, much like many of them thought the 2005 WWII film Yamato was hard-right imperialist propaganda; clearly they never actually sat down and watched)

Speaking of sudden releases…

More on Knight’s [sic] & Magic: apparently this mispunctuated series was actually a single-cour anime in 2017 that I never heard a single word about. The apostrophe comes from the official romanization of the light novels (or is it “light novel’s”? 😁), which were released from 2013-2017. No idea why it’s suddenly being released in 2023.


Dungeon Drops, episode 7

Y’know, usually when you knock out a beautiful woman and drag her back to your tent, it’s a bad thing. But not when you’re Our S-Drop Hero and you’re sympathizing with another workaholic who’s about to pass out on her feet. And you’ve got Our Perfect Wife standing right there, who pretty much lives to take care of the work-to-death type.

With that introduction out of the way and a steady supply of homing bullets secured, Ryota’s off to help his new hometown secure the rights to a new dungeon, and teach some losers a lesson. Gently, because he sympathizes with them, too.

Our Tired-But-Fiery Beauty is getting sucked into the warmth of Emily’s S-rank homemaking powers, which is no surprise, given that the OP&ED show her moving in with the gang. Probably next episode, after they finish off the new dungeon.

(the limited supply of fan-art is currently running 19% Perfect Wife Emily porn, 19% Bunnygirl Eve porn, and 55% Gold Star For Attendance, so, yeah, more Rory Mercury)

Post-Apostrolyptic Storytelling

Amazon keeps promoting an upcoming isekai light novel series to me, and even if I were interested in the premise (boy meets magic mecha), I wouldn’t buy it because I once attended an English class.

Not a typo: Knight’s & Magic


Most 3D-printed bookends are designed by people who have a lot of shelf space and not much in the way of books. I just started loading my cookbooks onto a shiny new Ikea JÄTTESTA bookcase (because it was the only thing I could get right away that fit the space well and wasn’t oppressively dark), and I’m in the middle of designing thin-but-sturdy bookends that snap onto the uprights. I don’t need a wide, decorative bookend to hold up a partially-filled shelf; I need something that takes up minimal space at each end so I can pack the damn thing with books.

(I donated about 15 full-height bookcases to Goodwill when I left California, because they would have taken up way too much truck space)

“The Cloud is Mother, The Cloud is Father”

“Consider me an orphan.”

Bambu Lab’s blog has a post-mortem on the reprint fiasco, along with the fixes they plan to implement. The simplest and least useful is a “hey, remember to clean your plate before starting a new print” dialog box on all apps, which would not have helped in this situation. For LIDAR-equipped models like mine, they’re also going to implement a scan of the print bed before starting a print, which is good hygiene.

Most usefully, they’ve started checking timestamps server-side and discarding old print requests instead of blindly sending them. This will be supplemented by firmware checks on the printers, which will take longer to release.

And they’re committed to further improving the cloud-free experience. 😁

(things you can find when you scan the bed…)

Dear Sig Sauer,

It’s great that you’re planning a big women-and-guns event (for women, that is) in the Midwest, but as a firearms manufacturer, you really ought to reconsider starting your pitch with the words:

Did you know Chicago is rated one of the top 5 cities in the world to visit?

Seriously, before you invite a bunch of women to spend three days on the Magnificent Mile, you really ought to google some recent crime news. Don’t forget that anyone who travels from out of state to this event must be completely unarmed at all times except while on a state-approved range.

Also, $3,000 for a three-day event? Pretty fuckin’ posh.

(booth bunnies: the more usual style of women-and-guns event)

“Am I living in a box?”

A Girl And Her Boxxo, episode 7

In which Our Vending Hero falls for a bunch of CareBears and makes Our Overly Attached Heroine cry. Sort of.

Verdict: moving right along.

S-Rank Daddy’s Girl, light novels

I checked out the previews of the light novels for this one, and what I found intrigued me enough that I ended up reading the 9 that are currently translated (out of a total of 11).

TL/DR: if they don’t screw it up, they have two cours worth of really good story to work with.

(no decent fan-art for this series, so I guess I’ll have to go with more Rory Mercury 😁)

Unreliable Queueing in The Cloud

A while back I mentioned some obvious issues with Bambu Lab originally designing their 3D printers around a constant cloud connection. Here’s a non-obvious one that’s annoying and potentially quite destructive: cloud service outage triggers reprints.

Several times, they’ve restarted their cloud services in one or more regions, and each time, the result has been that jobs that weren’t marked as successfully sent to printers got sent again. This is never a good idea, as demonstrated by this guy’s printer that still had the output of that (successful!) job on it, so the print head plowed through the hardened plastic and tore itself to pieces.

This should never have happened in the first place, but the fact that it’s still happening is an excellent reason to switch your printer to local mode if you haven’t already. The company blog post on the issue is reasonable, but doesn’t acknowledge that this isn’t the first time, just the biggest so far.

(my old Dremel 3D45, designed for school use, had a door sensor, and not only would it stop printing if you opened the door, it wouldn’t let you send another print job unless the door had been opened at least once after it finished the first job)

“I’m delighted you don’t know this one…”

I had dinner with my parents Sunday, and as we often do, we played games after. We ended up playing Monikers, where a lot of the cards are so up-to-date that none of us have heard of them (youtube celebs/memes, music by people a third my age, etc).

The structure of the game is for one player to give clues to the person/thing/concept on a card for the others to guess (usually in teams), going through the cards three times. First round, you can use any number of verbal/physical clues; second, one word only; and third, charades.

We’d played it once before and gotten some real oddballs, but this time, one of the questions I drew to read had the answer “Goatse”. Fortunately, we’d agreed in advance to skip the charades round…

(unrelated, when Mom sent us upstairs to find a game, I stumbled across a near-mint copy of the first edition of Roborally, which I didn’t know they had)

One girl's trash...

Next season’s anime?

Frieren? Potion Loli? Jailbait Witch and Loli-mom? S-rank Daddy’s Girl? Shy Supergirl? Shut-in Vampire General and Her Lesbian Maid?

Decisions, decisions…

ST:SNW, episode 10

Triple whiplash! With a season-ending cliffhanger on top! Guest starring…

Verdict: I like the OG fan-service.

(Purah’s an engineer; close enough)

Across The Spider-Verse, part 1

The spider has landed on Amazon. It lacks the magic of the first one, in part because it leaves the main story unfinished until sometime next year when the Hollywood strike is over and they have actors again. There are about half a dozen story arcs running in parallel, and only one of them has a real payoff in this movie (Gwen’s).

So maybe by next Christmas there will be a trilogy worth marathoning. Hopefully with a lot more Peni in the third part. Or Miles’ hot mom in a bikini, I’m easy.

(what do you mean, “that’s not the spider-woman I was thinking of”?; in related news, finally there’s some fan-art coming out for this show…)

Dungeon Drops, episode 6

I was doubly traumatized right away, first as Crunchyroll decided to play the dub, second as the animators loaded a revolver wrong. I don’t even want to talk about muzzle control, which Our Pistol-Packing S-Drop Hero has no concept of. Speaking of trauma, Our Perfect Loli Wife has started talking to herself as the true scope of Ryota’s logic-defying powers starts to sink in, with him developing new magic bullets and two-gun combos that cement his OP status.

Meanwhile, Our Carrot-Crazed Bunnygirl has been demoted from fan-service to comic relief, as we introduce Our Fiery Beauty, just in time for… another cliffhanger. Did I miss a memo about this week?

Verdict: in case you were wondering if there would ever be any significant fan-service, the fact that Our Busty Gourmet responded to the taste of Ryota’s watermelons by imagining herself at the beach fully dressed should give you your answer. On a final trauma note, as soon as the episode finished, Crunchyroll started playing it again in English. Sigh.

(…but not for this one, so here’s some Rory Mercury)

Good Omens fallback plan

Neil Gaiman, possibly reading the Amazon-original-budget-cut writing on the wall, has announced that he’ll finish the story in print if Amazon doesn’t buy the other half of season 2. Not sure that would help.

Another subreddit returns

r/functionalprint is back under new management, after someone petitioned the admins due to it being abandoned by the previous mods. It was immediately flooded with decent content.

(TIL that chicken shredders are A Thing, and all I could think of when I saw it was a thousand stoners upgrading their “herb grinders”. duuuude)

Apple iRony

Gruber at Daring Fireball linked to this article about designers living in a bubble.

Weak grip

Altamont Company is the officially recommended third-party grip maker for Smith & Wesson revolvers. I ordered a set of custom-made grips for my 25-2. Four weeks later, they arrived and didn’t fit the frame. They mounted correctly, but didn’t follow the curve of the exposed backstrap.

I sent them a picture, and they sent out a replacement set, along with a shipping label to return the old ones. Four weeks later, those arrived, and were exactly the same wrong shape. I sent back both sets, and got a full refund Friday.

Apparently they’ve never made grips for a vintage 25-2 before, and the frame is not quite the same shape as current production N-frame revolvers. Sigh; guess I’m stuck with the rubber Pachmayr grips it has now, until I find someone who can do the job properly.

Shopping cart of love

A Girl And Her Boxxo, episode 6

Romance! Adventure! Field toilets! Ice! Dry ice! Fried chicken! Laundry soap! Propane! Ignition! Reward! Cliffhanger!

Verdict: Our Vending Hero used up a lot of vending-machine variants this week, stringing them together to achieve short-term goals. I think it was scenes like this that led the author to run out of story ideas for the novels, but in the context of a single-cour series, it won’t hurt.

(yes, it’s actual fan-art for this show!)

WTF is an “apothecarist”?

Amazon recommended a new manga series that I will not buy for a number of reasons, but the most important is that the title is “An E-Rank Apothecarist”. Apparently the English version is being published directly by a Japanese company, with in-house translation. The word used in the original title is an archaic term for doctor, 薬師, so apothecary would make sense, but instead they made up a new word.

(if Ryza went into the medicine business, she would of course be an apothighcary)

Opening Princess's Box

Dungeon Drops, episode 5

In which everything happens all at once, with Our Heroic Hero starting on another stat boost, gaining an easier bullet-farming method from the idol princess and her manager, impressing the most powerful adventuring team in the city, and rescuing a damsel in distress with the help of Our Definitely-A-Little-Girl Perfect Wife and Our Enlightened-Self-Interest Service Bunny. In the middle of all that, they found time for a flashback to fill in Emily’s backstory.

Verdict: they’re streamlining things a bit to keep the story moving, in a good way; for instance, I don’t think anyone will really miss Ryota’s homosexual panic when he initially thinks The Hot Guy is hitting on him.

(as usual, bunnygirl is unrelated to a show with no decent fan-art)

ST:SNW, season 2 episode 9

Remember last week when I said please don’t do the double whiplash and put the musical episode right after the Klingon War PTSD? Yeah, they did that. There are occasional flashes of humor buried under contrivance, mixed with three different troubled romances, but what really struck me was that most of the actors just stopped doing anything when it was their turn to sing.

Verdict: On a scale of 1 to Once More With Feeling, I give it about a 3. It doesn’t have the staging, the choreography, the songwriting talent, or quite frankly the credibility to pull this off.

(unrelated, but Beelzebub wins in this costume exchange)

Good Omens 2

I’m having trouble getting motivated to watch more of this. I get through a few minutes and then go do something else.

Witcher 3, episodes 6-8


The Big Messy Battle That Brings Almost Everyone To One Location And Kills Off About Half Of Them (but not the hot chicks).


Remember when Geralt got poisoned in the first season and most of an episode was spent with him delirious and talking to people who might or might not be there? Yeah, it’s Ciri’s turn.


Oh, look! A whole bunch of new characters and plotlines to try to get everyone to come back next season and give the new lead actor a chance!

The Little Prints

A friend of mine recently bought a Mossberg 590S shotgun and a Nightstick flashlight/laser-sight replacement forend. Very nice, and my shoulder is sore today from trying it out with Federal Shorty slugs (which are relatively gentle compared to standard slugs).

There’s one problem: the Nightstick is wobblier than the factory forearm; apparently the 590S has a narrower barrel contour than other compatible models. Fortunately, mounting it required inserting the supplied cylindrical spacer, so I quickly knocked together a new one with ears that extend to the barrel, eliminating the wobble. And my X1C bundle included a roll of PAHT-CF, so I finally had an easy print to try out in a sturdy high-temperature material.

Update: I sent email to Nightstick when we ran into this over the weekend, and they called me first thing in the morning Monday to assure me that the forend-wobble will not cause any problems. Nice folks, so I didn't tell him that I fixed it. 😁

(PLA prototype, because we installed the good one before I got a picture…)

The other little problem-solver I printed this week was a set of spacers for some kitchen drawer inserts. The nice adjustable bamboo inserts I brought from the old house were about 2.6 inches shorter than the drawers at the new house. Initially, I just stuffed some stiff foam blocks in the back, but over time the foam started to compress, and eventually the inserts were loose again.

I looked at the drawers, then at the 3D printer, and half an hour later the drawers were firmly held in place.

(good use for the tail-end of a roll of 3-year-old PLA)

(problem-solving maid is unrelated)

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