“The writing of my thesis was virtually complete in 1974, but the submission was deferred due to various pressures.”

— Brian May, Under Pressure, 2007

A change in the whether…


Yesterday
“Beautiful day to open all the windows and get some fresh air in here!”
neighbor’s house is getting power-washed
Today
“Even nicer than yesterday! Time to open all the windows!”
neighbor’s house is getting painted

I timed my grocery/pharmacy run for 1pm, since it’s been a good time to avoid entry lines recently. It’s 72°F outside, and most people were putting on their mandatory masks just before entering the store, because they’re friggin’ hot and they steam up your glasses.

They will not wear them next week Friday when it’s predicted to be 80°F, especially not the homemade or jury-rigged ones. Fortunately, it’s unlikely to escalate into a Michigan Mask Murder scene. And, yes, the attempts to pin that one on Trump are particularly ludicrous. Not a lot of hardcore wacky gun-toting right-wingers yell at security guards for “disrespecting” their women and name their murdering sons “Ramonyea Travon”.

Picture Is Very Unrelated. Fortunately.

What movie are you in?


Shutdown contest: which movie best describes your government?

For California, I’m thinking we’re approaching the third act of a Zorro movie, but I can’t decide if it’s The Mask Of Zorro or Zorro: The Gay Blade. On the one hand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, which would be nice. On the other hand, Ron Leibman’s insane over-the-top dictator Esteban, which is more realistic.

Michigan has already passed peak Esteban, but we’re getting there. I’ve been hearing a lot of coordinated car-horn honking outside lately, but I have no idea where it could be; my best guess is that it’s on Main Street, over a mile away. There have been formal protests on South Main, but that’s a good five miles away.

Update

Definitely Zorro: The Gay Blade:

“You don’t really believe the people are happy!”

“All I know is the soldiers are quite happy shooting the peoples who say the peoples are not happy.”


(Esteban pointing to peasant on rack)
“That man was three pesos short in paying his taxes. I can assure you that he will never be short again.”


“Arrest that woman! Now!”

“No, wait! Isn’t this the village square, where according to law, everyone is allowed to speak his or her mind?”

“You’re right, Señorita.”
“The woman is allowed to speak! Arrest anyone who listens.”


“It looks like it’ll buy the peoples a lot of houses, maybe even some schools and roads.”

“Roads? What do the people need roads for? They never go anywhere.”


“This sword, with which to fight injustice. This mask, with which to deceive tyranny. And this hat, which needs… reblocking.”

Make Animals Cross Again!


There are a lot of people sharing their clothing and art designs for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but one thing I haven’t seen is this:

Existing editors for previous games in the franchise are compatible, but I just grabbed a sample of an old bitmap font (Verite 8x16) and used the limited in-game editor. They’re definitely doing something to smooth the rendering of the low-resolution imagery; those characters are 7x10 without any manual anti-aliasing.

I’ll be interested to find out if the subject matter triggers some community-standards moderator at Nintendo and gets pulled.

And don’t feel bad, Gulliver; everyone needs a wake-up call now and again…

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Pixiv: sailor-suits


I’m thinking that the protagonist of the book/movie/series/series/movie Sailor Suit and Machine Gun has a solution to harassment more effective than just singing Don’t tear off my sailor suit. For schoolgirls less puissant, making it through the day with both their uniform and dignity intact can be quite a challenge.

Unrelated, I made about a million bells on the stalk market, but it wasn’t worth the hassle or the risk. I’d rather just pick foreign fruit; per inventory slot, it’s equivalent to a 50-bell-per-turnip profit.

It appears the most reliable way to make the turnip trade worth the effort is to have a second player time-travel until they see a high price, then let you visit their island. If you can guarantee a 400-bell profit, then a full inventory is worth 1.6 million bells.

(apparently if you time-travel, forward or back, your turnips immediately spoil, but it doesn’t matter what the date is when you visit someone else’s island to buy or sell; think of it as plausible chrono-deniability)

(on the gripping hand, if your time-traveling friend’s island was covered in fruit trees, you could just pick it clean ten times a day; anyone playing this game is in no position to complain about a little grinding)

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Now that’s what I call ‘mansplaining’!


Seriously, dude, just admit that you’ve never known the touch of a woman.

Update

I hadn’t even noticed that he was (past tense) a New Hampshire state representative, and (likely past tense) a Biden delegate. Apparently he has (or likely had) a long history of failing to sound profound on Twitter…

Too soon, guys, too soon


Found in my mailbox last night. Given that they used my full legal name, this isn’t from any of the usual mailing lists purchased from anyone I’ve done business with. My guess is that they’re going off the property records, and figuring anyone in the same house for 20 years must have relatives to burn.

Every week that college campuses are closed, another gender identity goes extinct. Oh, the hyxmoniti!

Chika has finally persuaded me to play the stalk market:

King Arthur Flour is finally shipping the yeast I ordered on the 12th. It will arrive May 9th 12th 9th (FedEx’s tracking site has gone non-deterministic recently; wonder why…).

(and they claim that both Red and Gold are in stock again; also AP and bread flour, the first time I’ve seen those for a while…)

“Carousel is a lie! There is no renewal!”


The first three episodes of the second season of Good Eats: Reloaded have covered eggs, coffee, and steak. Nothing ground-breaking in any of them, but entertaining updates. I look forward to Alton’s new post-Corona-chan episodes where he comes up with uses for all the crap everyone’s been pointlessly hoarding. What can you do with a 50-pound sack of beans, ten gallons of canola oil, sixty packets of yeast, three cases of toilet paper, and 12 cake mixes?

I’m about to head out to Costco and Safeway to celebrate my last day without a maskface-covering. The county order actually says not to wear real masks, because those must be reserved for medical professionals. Except, we’ve been told to buy them for more than a month now, so should we be “donating” our non-sterile stock of N95 and Chinese-made surgical masks to anyone we see in a lab coat, and wearing dirty bandanas and hoodies instead?

The order also says that these additional restrictions are because Monterey County’s efforts to contain the zombies have been more effective than the rest of the state. It was not accompanied by an order to allow more businesses to open, or for existing businesses to loosen any other restrictions. Got a real deep thinker on our hands, here.

In other news, the walls are finally closing in… on the other guy.

Update

I was curious about a number that’s not being reported as aggressively as deaths and diagnoses: hospitalizations. The authoritative source for California says that Monterey County currently has 2 people hospitalized for Corona-chan out of 191 total (not currently-active) cases. The graphing software they’re using is actually quite nice, since it allows them to cleanly show the breakdowns by what percentage of the state population they are (cf. 77.3% of deaths statewide were 65 or older, which is 15.6% of the population). The raw data is elsewhere, and reveals that the largest number of CC-positive people hospitalized to date in Monterey County was 26, and the largest number in the ICU was 5.

Meanwhile, CA Governor Benito “Gavin” Newsom announced that it will be months before you can get a haircut. Or attend a religious service in person.

Hemp is now fully legal and has traditionally been used to make excellent rope suitable for suspending heavy weights. Like for bondage, I mean, not anything, y’know, sinister.

Unrelated Pro Tip

When a supposed food-safety site contains the phrase “lard, also known as schmaltz”, leave and never come back. Lard is rendered pork fat, schmaltz is rendered chicken fat.

Update To The Updated Update

This is a new order in New York City. Today. Not two weeks ago. Not a month ago. Today:

Cuomo orders NYC subway trains sanitized every night

Metaphor alert!


My new Chinese bookcase is a shoddy knockoff of my other Chinese bookcase. Seriously. Instead of solid bamboo plywood and countersunk screws, it’s a single-ply top with edging to make it look solid in pictures, and easily-stripped screws that stick out enough to snag something. I’d have made one myself, like I did for the kitchen storage, but I really like the look of the natural-finish bamboo plywood; maybe I’ll just buy a box of tongue-and-groove bamboo flooring and use that next time.

Unrelated, the bakery department at my local Safeway is now repackaging their bread flour and selling it in 5-pound bags. Still can’t buy yeast anywhere, and not only is King Arthur Flour out again, they still haven’t shipped the order I placed 15 days ago, despite yeast going in and out of stock on their site twice since then. Fortunately I still have plenty, and the grocery stores are all fully restocked with baked goods.

I don’t need to bake bread today, but I’m doing it anyway, because I’m adapting an old family recipe for the bread machine. My mother reported that the first conversion was better than the original on the first day, but didn’t keep as well. Since the original was for 2 ~1.5-pound loaves, I could have just cut it in half, but the machine we both have can make a 2-pound loaf, and scaling to that size left me with 1.2 eggs and 4.7 tablespoons of butter, so I rounded them both down.

Version 2 converts it to tangzhong to make it stay fresh longer, and adds back the missing fat by replacing some of the milk with half-and-half.

Oh, and Safeway even had toilet paper in stock, in two Brand X varieties they’ve never carried before. Still low on most cleaning supplies, but flour and yeast are the only things selling out as fast as they show up (assuming they do; I hadn’t left the house in four days).

Related, the canned fruit Amazon had as “arriving today” yesterday was revised to “delayed, not yet shipped”. The other canned fruit, which was supposed to ship later this week, has an actual tracking number that promises a Thursday delivery. The Gevalia Mocha Latte k-cups are still just “temporarily unavailable”, but I don’t actually need more until the end of May, since I found 12-packs at Walmart to supplement my remaining supply. (they also often carry that particular brand of Splenda-sweetened canned fruit, but I’m not out of that yet, either)

My house is getting disturbingly clean. If this goes on, I’ll be out in the garage opening boxes that have been taped shut for over twenty years. I wonder what’s inside.

Anyone have apple and cherry trees on their island? I’ve got peaches, oranges, and pears.

Update

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Monterey County will require masks starting Thursday. Because standing in line without them outside of the most-sanitized stores in modern history is sure to increase the body count, which currently stands at 4 in a population of 434 thousand, with none in the past eight days, and only 144 active cases left.

On the bright side, the obviously-unconstitutional law that made it virtually impossible to buy ammunition in California was struck down, and the state’s attempt to delay the injunction was also struck down. It’s headed for the 9th circuit, but by doing his job for the past several years, Trump has made that less of a problem than it used to be for civil rights cases.