“Offending readers isn’t the issue; it’s offending them without sufficient justification.”

— Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton

Pixiv: Catgirl Maids


Been a while since I’ve done one of these, but all that house-hunting has me thinking about stealing Porch Cat Prime to go with me (in the spring; it would be downright cruel to move an outdoor cat from California to Ohio in the winter). And about setting up maid service at the new place (if and when…). Cats and maids go together quite nicely, but to my surprise, the NSFW section ended up a bit light, with most of the candidates keeping their uniforms on, so I just padded it out with other naughty catgirls.

(I’m hoping to get a thumbs-up on the move idea this week from my manager’s manager’s manager who apparently just became my manager’s manager; then I can send my house-elves out with a realtor to inspect the places on my list)

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Shaved waitresses...


Er, that’s “waitresses eating shaved ice”. 😁

Restaurant To Another World, 2.7

Keeping out most of the regulars improved the character art again, allowing for some particularly adorable closeups of Aletta and Kuro, beating out the food for quality. First, two regulars that Aletta (and by extension, the audience) has never seen before show up to argue about everything and then eat okonomiyaki together, and then a naive and sheltered high elf gets his first exposure to the world outside his floating island, featuring green-tea shaved ice.

This season’s catgirl showed up in the background, but only as a still; they’re making up for that by having her return next episode with her friends. Also, the vampire lovers will encounter more of their kind, while still somehow managing to overlook the presence of their (inadvertent) creator.

The novels give more detail, but the short version in Kuro’s intro episode is that the great dragons who are each now worshipped as the Lord of {insert color here} killed off the Lord of Chaos (aka Aletta’s god) who was responsible for an endless cycle of creating and destroying the universe, and then divided the world up between them.

Kuro banished herself to the moon when she saw that her aura killed mortals wholesale, and never found out that some of them survived to become vampires. So where most of the Lords have organized religions full of devoted followers that they bless with a small portion of their power, there’s an entire race/society that worships the Lord of Black that she simply doesn’t know about. Her “blessing” to them happened just that one time, and is sustained by breeding and biting.

I don’t think the author has revealed if it’s safe for her to walk among mortals as Kuro, or if it’s the otherworldly nature of the restaurant that keeps her from killing everyone within a hundred miles.

(it’s a bit frustrating that two of the shows I like this season get so little fan-art, and most of it inept porn)

Dear HP,

Would it kill you to update the text occasionally in your driver installers?

🎶 Her name is Rio…

…she don’t seem to understand. 🎶

From the look on her face, Rio Yoshida (吉田莉桜) wasn’t expecting the photographer to drop his pants and follow her into the bath.

(via Everia.Club; NSFW! disable Javascript!)

Land Tax

Between anticipating the need to report my Magic card sales to the IRS (you can’t really argue against the 28% tax on collectible sales when you have multiple payments from a major collectibles dealer) and trying to speed up the process of selling off the dregs of my collection, I’ve started pulling everything into a spreadsheet. Their CSV uploader only works with Firefox and Chrome-based browsers, but logging in on a second browser is a small price to pay for saving twenty minutes of manually scrolling through the lists and clicking on quantities.

I initially scraped the list of card names from the Apple default webarchive save format, but couldn’t extract the prices; plain HTML works better, since you can just grab input fields with field names “name” and “price”, and then strip up to the first colon from the name to get rid of the set title.

(picture is unrelated, but about as thematically consistent as a typical MtG expansion)

Charge, card!


Bashful Pharmacist And Bikini Princess, episode 6

With my Internet connection restored, I can catch up on Banished From The Long Title…. TL/DR: drugs are bad, bikinis are good, and blessings suck. The plot advances more than Our Couple’s relationship, with a bonus L’il Ruti flashback, but their lips actually touch. Finally.

(tanuki child-bride is mostly unrelated, but this episode does have some head-in-lap action)

4-Komi Komi 4: Taming The Yandere

Red & Rit aren’t the only ones dealing with axe-crazy weirdos this week, as someone decides to move in on the coveted Friend Number One slot.

Baby steps, Komi. You may give your voice actress a workout yet.

We have reservations…

…but we’re going anyway.

We’re now engaged in an email back-and-forth about the duplicate hotel charges after modifying our Japan reservations to a date when we can hopefully actually enter the country. The hotel manager in Kyoto understood exactly what I was saying, but when he worked his way up the chain, it came back down as “confirm that they have paid reservations”. Sigh. Round two, away!

Fun with Comcast

The best part about Monday’s VMware outage was that just as we were starting to bring things back up, everyone lost their Internet connections, because we were all on Comcast. Even after basic connectivity was restored, I couldn’t reach any google-hosted services for several more hours. This included the Philips Hue remote access for controlling my lights, both from the app and from Amazon Echo devices. Fortunately I have a small Perl script that speaks directly to the Hue hub.

For more fun, Thursday morning, as I was hosting our daily ticket triage meeting, Comcast dropped off again (locally, not for all of San Jose), and it took a good eight hours for service to be restored. I actually got a half-decent connection through my phone, good enough for Zoom-without-video or vpn-and-ssh, but not both at the same time.

For a few dollars more…

While I was connected through my phone, I put in another sell order at Card Kingdom. This involved 11 cards from the Legends set, all commons, worth between $0.70 and $10 each. Being commons, I had a lot, and for most of the cards, they were willing to take them all. The star performer was 43 copies of Chain Lightning at $8.50 each. Next up was Darkness, which they only wanted 12 of, but at $10 a pop.

Their inventory changes quite rapidly, so I might be able to sell off the rest of these in a few weeks, along with some of the others they didn’t want out of my last two batches. Then there’s a bunch of Legends uncommons that were listed around $1/card; worth it because I have maybe 300 of them.

Shipping update

Dropped off the box of cards at UPS, and found the clerk working through a big stack of boxes from yesterday, because he had Comcast, too.

Housefail


I do not want to buy this house.

You might think I dislike the architectural statement being made (and you’d be correct), but that didn’t stop me from looking further, because it’s a brisk walk from my parents’ place. It’s kind of crammed into the front of the lot, so it’s closer to the neighbors than I’d like, but the landscaping compensates pretty well to provide privacy. The front windows got a raised eyebrow, but the first hint that this one was going to be special came from the water feature in the foyer.

That one got a big eye-roll, but the first thing to really make me cringe was the wall-to-wall carpet in the kitchen. That was so distractingly awful that it took me a while to notice the black microwave oven/range hood in the middle of the all-white appliances.

Then came the wallpaper, followed by the wood-paneled walls, the painted-on walls, and more wallpaper, but I was still recovering from the kitchen, so they didn’t have much impact. Until I reached the basement.

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Checking and chase cards


Maskhoooooole!

As I walked up to the grocery-store entrance today, I was greeted with fresh “masks required!” signs. Benito Newsom reappears after his mysterious two-week absence and suddenly the masks are back on; coincidence?

Banished to the Boonies with Boobies, episode 6

TODO

(haven't had time to watch it yet, after my plans for the week were disrupted by a VMware outage. apparently a transient disruption of one of your backing datastores confuses the entire hypervisor, leaving you with a bunch of half-up virtuals, even if they weren't using that particular datastore; fun-fun-fun!)

Still not a lot of fan-art for this one, but at least one person liked last week’s bath-elf enough to sketch her, in and out of her adventuring costume:

Exclusive offer. Excuse me, “offer”.

Dear Bank of America, it’s great that you’re offering me $500 if I open a checking account with you. However, the strings attached to the offer make me… “less than enthusiastic”: either set up direct-deposits totalling $10,000 over 90 days (must be salary, pension, or Social Security to qualify), or deposit at least $50,000 within a month and maintain that balance for 90+ days. 60 days after meeting one of those conditions, I’d get the $500.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that if I didn’t continue to maintain one of those conditions after receiving the $500, I’d be hit with enough fees to wipe out the modest “reward”.

No thanks, I’d rather keep digging through boxes of old Magic cards, which have already sold for about 50 times as much money, even after subtracting the 28% the IRS will be taking. (yes, the long-term capital gains tax for collectibles is pretty rude)

Also, Chase (who actually has branches in the city I might move to) just sent me a similar offer for $225, and all they require is a $500 monthly direct deposit, and then they’ll pay out within 15 days. So, y’know, up your game, BoA.

(pourover-pony is unrelated)

Left hand, meet right

A month ago, Citibank sent me an offer to convert my Diamond Preferred Mastercard into a Rewards+ Mastercard, which I did. Today, I opened my mailbox and found a pre-selected offer for… another Diamond Preferred Mastercard, with a slightly higher interest rate.

Not a re-conversion, an additional credit line. Which I most emphatically do not need, because I already have more empty credit cards than I have any realistic use for. Seriously, I could buy several brand-new cars if I wanted to, and if there were any not held hostage on container ships by Democrat ineptitude.

Unrelated,

My mail also included a “print-your-own-postage-stamps” offer from stamps.com. I last purchased a sheet of 20 stamps in 2018, and haven’t used them all up yet. I don’t think I need this.

iCloud For Windows, version 13

…for anyone whose kink is getting fucked by a cloud.

(seriously, Apple has enough trouble making their applications work on their own platform; they don’t do Windows)

Supply-chain and Demand


Fun with HP Care Packs

Remember when I ordered my new laptop and expressed some frustration when selecting from the warranty options that didn’t have useful descriptions or linked detail pages?

I’ve had it for a month now, and the warranty option I chose (3-year with accidental-damage protection and lojack) wasn’t showing up on the support site. The lojack setup and licensing was there, but not the actual warranty. Twenty minutes on the phone with HP support this morning produced the discovery that the option I selected as part of the purchase wasn’t actually compatible with the product.

Their initial response was to offer a refund so I could purchase the correct warranty, but I pointed out that it was tied to the lojack that had already been activated, and they’d have to connect the new purchase with that, and after a few minutes on hold, she got approval to just put the correct warranty on it.

So, yes, the reason that the most comprehensive option offered with the original purchase was the cheapest was that it wasn’t supposed to be on the list at all. I wouldn’t have objected to paying the difference, but the support department isn’t set up to handle that.

(the Queen of Chupacabra knows all about double-checking contracts; now, anyway)

Speaking of paying the difference

When we moved our pre-paid hotel reservations for the Japan trip, they charged us the full cost of the rooms again. When I called the main number for the chain (on Monday, because it goes to voicemail on weekends, and nobody bothers calling back), they apologized and said that I’d have to talk directly to each hotel, and connected me to the first one. At 3am in Japan.

I have to call back tonight, when their reservations desks are actually open. Sigh.

I read this wrong…

Ad on Reddit: “Explore the epic end of the universe in the new season of Doctor Who”.

I saw: “Explore the end of Doctor Who”.

Bonus: really terrible picture of Doctor Sue in a hands-up-don’t-shoot pose.

(yeah, I’m not buying it)

Converting trolls to whores

In the latest pointless (alleged) adoption of crypto, Reddit (supposedly) will convert karma points into crypto. Many of these reports have turned out to be fabricated to inflate the price of whatever funny-money is involved. In this case, they advertise it as Ethereum, before the fine print reveals that it would be a separate blockchain instance.

To drive home the message that this is complete bullshit, one of the pull quotes is:

“When we all pull this off, we would onboard 500M web2 users into web3 and then there is no going back. Let me say that again - 500 million new crypto users.”

I count four bald-faced lies in that quote. Did I miss any?

Buying a pig in a poke…

Alec Baldwin, cop-hater, now demands an off-duty cop on every set. Way to change the subject there, killer.

Warning: Graphic violence

Well, graphics-card larceny, at least. One more reason you won’t be getting a new gaming PC for Christmas…

(The witch-detective of the highlands is on the case! And the Demon Queen Pecora is on the witch!)

You don’t need Alder Lake to break Denuvo DRM

…just wait until they let a domain registration lapse.

(Raphtalia says, “never interrupt the enemy when they’re making a mistake”)

Transpartisan Pizza Burger


Restaurant To Another World, episode 2.6

Elf girls just want to have fun… and vegan burgers. Boys just want to have pizza… and a touch of gay subtext. The art quality is definitely inversely proportional to the number of characters on-screen, but they kept it fairly well-controlled this time, and, as usual, the food looked great.

Both stories feature returning characters, with the traveling elf chef picking up a stray kitten, and the merchant heir dragging along a chef friend to try to figure out the recipes. So far they’ve done a pretty good job of mixing the mostly-independent stories from the novels; I haven’t bothered working out the adaptation order, because there are really only a few significant plot threads, and the rest can be rearranged pretty freely.

The only downer this week is that the Crunchyroll app is basically useless on the FireTV box. On a good day, it randomly drops from HD to SD a few times an episode, but on a Friday night, it’s clear they’re bandwidth-constrained, and the app doesn’t buffer nearly enough to keep streaming at all. I ended up sitting in front of my 55-inch TV watching it on an iPad Mini.

(I could have brought over my Win11 laptop with its full-sized HDMI port, but I didn’t want to get up; it was a long day. Crunchyroll does allow downloading shows, but not with the standard paid account; you need to pay extra for it)

Stranger than satire…

For many years, there existed a sharp, funny publication with the title Journal of Irreproducible Results, now available only via The Internet Archive.

It is no longer necessary, because in recent years it has become clear that all journals are filled with irreproducible results.

Don’t mispartisan them!

People are busy arguing if the massive “infrastructure” bill is truly “bipartisan”, which just exposes their bigotry and badthink. Get with the times, sheeple! It’s transpartisan, identifying as revenue-neutral infrastructure-building inflation-reversing job-creation, and its pronoun is “suck it taxpayer!”.

(two-drink minimum is unrelated)

Pig in a poke…

After looking at a lot of houses on Zillow, I’ve reached the point that my nose twitches at certain listings, and I immediately start looking for the catch. Like the words “sold as-is to settle an estate”, or the careful framing of the pictures to hide the fact that the neighbor’s basketball court is ten feet from the master bedroom windows, or even just the eight feet of kitchen counter space that doesn’t have a single power outlet on it.

But this one is special. Only a four-minute drive from my mom’s house, with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2,800 square feet, central heat and air, fireplace, natural gas furnace/water heater/range, 2-car attached garage, finished basement, large deck, etc, all on just over half a wooded acre. There are no interior pictures, and the description does say “needs some TLC”, so you might think that’s why it’s only $325,000: a classic fixer-upper.

No.

Not even close.

Google Maps shows that it’s next door to a church parking lot.

A seven-acre parking lot (that’s 28,000+ square meters, for y’all furriners), for a mega-church with a large concert hall.

I Speak Klingon To My Python


Bathing Princess and Knight-Pharmacist, episode 5

Exposition goes down a lot better when it’s delivered by a naked elf hottie to a naked human hottie. Just sayin’.

I don’t know how I feel about the hair-based censorship, though; if they’d used steam, you could at least expect them to remove it on the Blurays, but using long hair suggests they don’t plan to upgrade to nudity.

Related, don’t hit on the emotionally-fragile Hero. Sage advice, yo.

(was I the only one who missed the assistoroid-based censorship in the AsoIku sauna scenes? It was adorable and in character, with just a hint of fourth-wall-break)

Komi Can’t Even, episode 3

Very cute. More, please.

Unicode TL/DR

So I’ve done a lot of reading about the Unicode security vulnerability I mentioned earlier. As part of explaining it to my team, I came up with what I think is a helpful visual:

That is, you embed the direction-switching markers in string literals or comments, follow them with enough characters to effectively “backspace” over the malicious code, and then cover them up with innocuous-looking code. Most common layout engines only test for the common case of rendering sensible right-to-left strings like Hebrew or Arabic names in the middle of a paragraph, and don’t try to solve the general problem of text that can go back and forth multiple times.

Fun fact: while Unicode is not (yet) Turing-complete, the BIDI codes are not just on/off switches; they’re stack-based push/pop operators that get auto-popped at the end of each paragraph. For whatever definition of “paragraph” your software implements.

Spin the cylinder, not the facts

Lawyers for the armorer involved in Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins are claiming sabotage!

Every single claim quoted in this article is bullshit. The only thing that’s relevant, but not a valid excuse, is claiming that the armorer was being forced to also work as assistant props manager, “which took her away from her duties as armorer”. That provides support for other claims that the shoot was poorly-funded, short on manpower, and mismanaged, but doesn’t get her off the hook. This is a case where the phrase you had one job applies, and that job was “maintaining control over lethal weapons”.

They’re admitting it simply in the hopes of shifting the blame up the chain to people with deeper pockets, all the way back to… executive producer Alec Baldwin.