“This will be dynamically handled, possibly correctly, in 4.1.”

— Dan Davison on streams configuration in SunOS 4.0

For the man who has everything…


breast variety pack

It’s lasagna season!


I haven’t made my favorite lasagna for a while, so it’s going to be this weekend’s gaming dinner. Soon enough, the advance of the rainy season will lead us to make pot roast and lazy chile colorado as well. We already had the meat loaf last weekend.

Sometime soon I should really revisit my online cookbook project. I actually rewrote all the library routines about a year ago, but never got around to rebuilding the search engine to use them.

Dear Katy Rose,


What in Audubon’s name is a “humming dove”?

Anime update: schoolgirls, assassins, schoolgirl assassins, nuns, witches, and more


I finally started watching Noir, and just finished disc 5. Great stuff that carves out a new niche in the “pretty girls with guns” genre, so much so that it’s not really part of it. Sadly, in the weeks between now and the release of Kaleido Star disc 6, the last two volumes of Noir won’t be enough, so here’s what I’m ordering today from Robert’s Anime Corner Store:

  • Seven of Seven, disc 3 --- I just can't escape this sweet, silly little series. The less-clean-cut manga version has now ended its English run, with an ending that I hope is different from the anime. Not that it's a bad ending, just not the one I was looking for. The person who wrote both created two very different stories, so there's room for this one to end differently. But not yet; it looks like they've split it across six DVDs. I can think of no reason not to buy them all.
  • Chrono Crusade, disc 2 --- 1920s New York City, sexy teenage nun who fights demons. What's not to like?
  • R.O.D The TV, disc 3 --- The first two discs have confirmed my impression that this is a worthy spinoff from the OVA. More, please.
  • Gokusen, disc 1 --- Blackboard Jungle with a female yakuza boss as the teacher. Sort of.
  • Burn-Up Scramble, disc 1 --- Hey, I liked the screenshots...
  • Please Twins, disc 1 --- I liked Please Teacher, but I've read enough about this series to be a bit wary, particularly of how it handles characters from the first series. Still, it's worth a shot.
  • Kiki's Delivery Service --- I have a Region 2 DVD of this wonderful film, but I gave my Region 1 copy to my mother, and decided to pick up another. Naturally I'll have to watch it when it arrives. :-)

Going into December, it’ll be Galaxy Angel Z, Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea, and of course more Kaleido Star and R.O.D The TV.

Comment spam


Someone finally got around to automating a comment-spamming tool that evaded my trivial protections (rename MT CGI scripts, force preview before post). Naturally, they decided to send six different comments to three or four different articles, about a dozen times each.

Sadly for them, they put their web site into the commenter’s URL field, which I don’t display, so their efforts were in vain. Even worse, from their point of view, they sent them all from the same IP address, which meant it took about thirty seconds to clean things up. And another five to ban their entire netblock at the firewall. I didn’t even need to rebuild, since the comment pages aren’t cached (another trivial change from the defaults).

I think for the next pass, I’ll change the comment URL from /mt/hasturhasturhastur to /murfle/gleep. The best defense against automation is diversity.

Still waiting for Java


Gamer friend Scott just discovered that the reason he was having so much trouble with PCGen under Linux was that the JVM was defaulting to a rather small heap size, effectively thrashing the app into oblivion when he tried to print.

Now, while it’s true that PCGen is as piggy as a perl script when it comes to building complex data structures in memory, it’s still fundamentally a straightforward application, and yet it exceeds the default maximum heap settings. He had plenty of free RAM, gigs of free VM, and here was Sun’s Java, refusing to use any of it unless he relaunched the application with a command-line override. Doing so not only fixed printing, it made the entire application run substantially faster. Feh.

I’d noticed a slowdown with recent versions of PCGen on my Mac as well, but Apple was good enough to compile their JVM with defaults sufficient to at least make it run completely. Sure enough, though, increasing the default heap settings makes it run faster, by eliminating a whole bunch of garbage collection.

In other words, with Java, Sun has managed to replicate the Classic MacOS annoyance of adjusting memory allocation on a per-application basis, and made it cross-platform!

PCGen is still the only major Java app I have any use for on a regular basis, although there’s another one that has recently entered my arsenal of special-purpose tools, Multivalent. I have no use for 99% of its functionality, but it includes robust tools for splitting, merging, imposing, validating, compressing, and uncompressing PDF files, as well as stripping the copy/print/etc limitations from any PDF you can open and read.

There’s another Java application out there that might join the list sometime soon, Dundjinni, but first the manufacturers have to finish porting it from Windows to the Mac…

My Evil Twin


I didn’t know I had one, but then he ordered some Mac stuff from a Yahoo store and accidentally entered my .Mac email address instead of his very similar one. Since the shipping and billing addresses were in Boca Raton, Florida, and I’m in California, this looked an awful lot like identity theft, which makes for a lovely way to spend a Friday evening. After calling all of my credit-card vendors to check for suspicious charges, changing several passwords, and other financial fire-drilling, I thought to look up the phone numbers from the invoice with anywho. Sure enough, there’s a Jay Greely in Boca Raton, and he lives at that address.

Who knew?

Update: Just talked to Jay’s wife, and it turns out that they bought their first Mac yesterday, and he apparently misremembered their shiny new .Mac email address.

…but my friends call me ‘Spot’


Okay, which side in the red/blue culture war wants to claim this nutcase as a kindred spirit:

A Brazilian legislator wants to make it illegal to give pets names that are common among people. Federal congressman Reinaldo Santos e Silva proposed the law after psychologists suggested that some children may get depressed when they learn they share their first name with someone's pet, said Damarias Alves, a spokeswoman for Silva.