A story headlined ‘Syria seeks our help to woo US’ in Saturday’s Weekend Australian misquoted National Party senator Sandy Macdonald. The quote stated: “Syria is a country that has been a bastard state for nearly 40 years” but should have read “Syria is a country that has been a Baathist state for nearly 40 years.” The Australian regrets any embarrassment caused by the error.

— Correction in The Australian

DNS considered harmful...

(…by Google and Apple, at least)

I had a little problem where a bunch of web sites started displaying poorly at home (odd layout glitches, pulldown menus that rendered as lists, dynamic image-loading that didn’t load, etc). It happened on my Mac with Safari and Edge but not Chrome, but didn’t happen on my iPad or on a Windows box.

Coincidentally (not entirely…), I had recently upgraded from Catalina to Monterey on that Mac. After too much poking around, I isolated the problem to the browsers refusing to accept the SSL cert for cdn.jsdelivr.net. Except that curl and wget accepted it just fine, as did Chrome. The catch was that the ones that worked were getting geolocated to Cloudfront, and the ones that failed were getting geolocated to Fastly. On the same machine.

TL/DR, I switched my home network’s DNS from Google back to Quad9. That instantly fixed Edge, but Safari needed the extra step of disabling the “Google Safe Browsing” feature that had silently been turned on by the OS upgrade. Apparently whatever cert-based blacklisting they were doing to that specific Fastly node applied to that service as well.

(and, yes, geolocation for my static IP block is all over the place, with some sources thinking I’m in Texas, some in Virginia, and the rest scattered across Ohio but nowhere near Dayton)

Cheesecake Vault, 2018 part 2

The good news yesterday was that the last pieces of my new bedroom set from Handcrafted Amish Furniture Of Dayton arrived. The bad news was that there was a crack in the trim on one of the bookcases that wasn’t caught until they were unloading the truck, so it had to be taken back and fixed. It won’t take long to remove the trim piece, stain a new one, and attach it, but they don’t drive up the gravel back roads to Amish country every day, so getting it there and back again will account for the bulk of the time. And then I’ll finally be able to unpack some of my books. Probably the ones filled with cheesecake…

Speaking of, I split January through July 2018 into three sets, but after that, even at the current size I’ll have to edit pretty ruthlessly to keep it down to one per month.

What’s that rule about clutter? “Does this spark joy?” 😁


Found while browsing anime trailers...

Disillusioned Adventurers Accidentally Upgraded WordPress

Always test your site upgrades in Production!

Your server is running PHP version 5.3.3 but WordPress 6.0.2 requires at least 5.6.20.

This is another “kicked out of the party” fantasy series, where Our Hero bands together with other misfits to make a new, better party. It’s also airing one week early on one network, so raws and possibly even some fansubs may be out of sync with all the ‘simulcast’ streaming sites.

Since I know absolutely nothing about this show, and there’s no web site to tell me, I’ll just post a picture of a busty elf santa’s helper wearing red under-rim glasses.

(I think PHP 5.3.3 is probably older than much of the audience for this show…)

Pixiv: bunnies!

Apparently we’re heading into the Year Of The Bunnygirl, so I’ll do my part. Note that even a tame bunny suit is borderline NSFW when worn as directed, so I’ll lead off with shrine bunnies, cake-shop bunnies, and kimono bunnies before breaking out the big guns.


Cheesecake Vault, 2018 part 1

Happy New Years! I’m off to tidy up the house before family shows up tomorrow for some late Christmas/birthday celebrations. Then I have to tear it all apart again in the hopes that the contractor will be back to finish the interior work sometime next week. The exterior work is being held hostage by rain now that the snow has melted.

And yes, apparently every photographer in Japan had their calendars marked for the day Yuno Ohara turned 18, and she was booked solid for years. Prior to that, she was basically a backup dancer in an idol group, and given the usual career dynamics in Japan, it’s actually surprising that they didn’t get their hands on her (so to speak) years earlier.


Things I've been reading

(with varying degrees of success)

Of the various light novel and manga series I’ve been reading, most of the good ones are either released very slowly or just dead. So I look at Amazon and try out something new occasionally, and it’s increasingly full of fail and faux-Japanese “LitRPG” (a self-applied label that made my oh-hell-no list over five years ago).

  • Mushoku Tensei (as Pixy put it, “reincarnation of a slime”): volume 1 is a tough slog, because the author went out of his way to make the protagonist repellent, and even his attempts to “do better” in his new life are hampered by his basic sociopathy. I’m told he gets better around book 3, which is approximately 1.5 books too late.

  • In The Land Of Leadale: the books are more coherent than the anime, but still suffer from a fundamental lack of things for Our OP Heroine to actually do. It all comes crashing down when she’s reunited with her frenemy from the game era, who reveals what’s really going on, including the fact that the game was originally written specifically for her. And she kind of is the game now, even though the world is also real. Not going to lie here: that explanation did not make sense…

  • Private Tutor To The Duke’s Daughter: I’m not sure who the audience is for a conflict-free story where the modest, handsome, insanely OP protagonist obliviously narrates his acquisition of an underaged currently-platonic harem of heiresses, all the while believing himself to be underpowered and not fit to marry any of them. It reminds me a lot of Littlewitch Romanesque without the sex scenes.

  • Reborn To Master The Blade: Our OP Legendary King gets reborn as a girl (OP from infancy!) and quickly grows up into a lush-bodied teen hottie with twin appetites for food and combat, and a complete lack of a sex drive. Meanwhile, the world has gone to shit since now-her time, and plot coupons are doled out very slowly as she rampages across the land as a squire desperately trying to avoid responsibility so she can just beat up people and monsters. The cast quickly spirals out of control as very little progress is made towards uncovering What Went Wrong.

  • Disciple Of The Lich: Our Hero is a gullible reincarnation from Japan who mouthed off to the gods and got dumped into the lowest level of a lethal dungeon, where he was rescued by an undead tsundere necromancer who power-levels him as an excuse to keep him with her longer, which he’s too dumb to figure out, even when he finally goes to the surface world and facerolls every enemy he meets. He’s so convinced that the world is super-dangerous that he inflicts the same training on the first girl he makes friends with, so they can faceroll together while his jealous teacher stalks them.

  • The World’s Strongest Rearguard: this one is actually fun, with the harem antics kept under control by the fact that they have two clearly-defined missions they’ve been working on since book 1, and while they’re progressing through the dungeons at a blistering pace, they’re not completely OP, and must get better to deal with the challenges they face each book. Not high art, but consistently entertaining, although I wonder how long Our Back-Door Hero can remain oblivious to the fact that his always-on powers make the haremettes finger themselves to sleep every night (off-camera). Yes, I skip over the stat blocks.

  • Solo Leveling: the translated comic is way overpriced for how much material you get in a volume (remember all those looooong vertical panels? they get broken up across multiple pages and end up as the primary constraint on how much story gets told); the novels have progressed well past what most people read online, and remain interesting.

  • Gun Gale Online: I am so sick of Squad Jam.

  • Banished From The Hero’s Party… (McPharmacist & Waifu, which I have to specify because there are a bunch of these now): this was a lot more coherent than the anime, but I’m losing interest as Our Slow-Living Couple keep getting dragged into big conflicts, and Our Recovering Sister Hero’s brocon trends more and more towards the sexual. But she’s willing to share with women she respects, which he’ll be horrified to eventually learn.

  • Now I’m A Demon Lord!: there can be no conflict when Our Dungeon Lord is backed up by the power of the most insanely OP dragon in the world, who’s also his loli waifu.

  • Reincarnated As A Sword: the manga oversexualizes Fran, and the “another wish” spinoff manga is at best adequate, but the novels are good stuff.

  • Survival In Another World With My Mistress: Our Hero is not only OP, he is a certified miracle from the gods, and if it weren’t for the massive stamina boosts he gets from leveling up his skills, he would be dead after a single night spent satisfying his ever-growing harem. Seriously, he’s fathering an empire with girls of over half a dozen species, and I don’t think the author even keeps an accurate count of how many bedmates there are after a while. And they keep facerolling all opposition, to the point that he’ll probably end up ruling the world, or at least servicing all the women in it.

  • The Executioner And Her Way Of Life: I abandoned the anime, and this too after a while. TL/DR: everything you’re told about the world at the beginning was a lie, and the reveal is way too long and tedious.

  • The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, or as I think of it, The Dungeon Harem Only I Can Enter But Never Seem To Get Around To: the anime had some squicky bits about him basically training his already-obsessed little sister into being a Dom, but after N books, nothing has really changed in the harem dynamics. All the girls want him, none of them have put out yet, and little sister is the girl most likely to be the first to make a serious play for his dick.

  • A Late-Start Tamer’s Laid-Back Life: I can’t remember anything that happened in this, except that everyone in the game squees over how cute his pets are.


I just had a refrigerator moment and realized there is a significant plot hole in the final episode of Hoe Harem. No, seriously; stop laughing. Yes, in a story that was already falling apart every time they stopped to explain things, the ending has a real whopper.

In the middle of the fight against his formerly-dead childhood girlfriend, time stops, and the mysterious angelic chick explains that she’s the good god, and the evil god’s power that Deadloli is trying to activate in him is the reason he suddenly became so OP in episode 1. So she quickly exorcises him and gives him some of her own power instead, which he uses to magically grow combat weeds.

When he gets home and finally fights back against an orc that’s eager to rape him, his Super KO Punch no longer KO’s, and Helen gets him to whip out his stat card (which we haven’t seen since episode 1), and, sure enough, he’s no longer insanely OP, just “better than most adventurers”. And he’s surprised by this, because he hadn’t noticed a change.

But he got to the other continent to fight Deadloli by using his powers to run super-fast across the surface of the ocean. How did he get back without noticing?

(also unrelated, in recognition of the end of Ash’s decades of on-screen Pokemon battles, we celebrate the Original Best Girl of the series)

Cheesecake Vault, 2016-2017

Another double batch of 3D cheesecake, this time picking through everything downloaded in 2016 and 2017. 2018 will either require severe editing or multiple posts (5000+ pics).

Certain young ladies were working very hard those years, so they turn up more than once a lot.


Beast Tamer 13

In which Our Divine Fox Loli’s application for Waifuhood is formally accepted, but we don’t find out if her powers made Our Taming Hero even more OP, because what’s important is being recognized by the guild and the town as The Real Heroes, leading Our Top-Heavy Guild Receptionist to offer them a great deal on a house with room for the full harem and any future expansion packs.

With one catch: it’s haunted. Good news, though, because not only is the cranky poltergeist a gorgeous maid with a bustline second only to Our Dragon Waifu, her battle to expel the intruders is quickly ended by a brand-new power that’s never been mentioned before. Because of course Rein just happened to spend an afternoon learning ghost taming when he was a little boy in The Village Of Infinite Taming.

Our Luscious Ghost Maid doesn’t get the full waifu treatment, but he can force her to obey, which in a better world would result in some naughty fan-art.

Wrapping up, Team DickHero is run out of town without even a sandwich, further cementing their leader’s desire to destroy Our Taming Hero and the girls he rode in on.

And so we bid a not-terribly-fond farewell to the fall season, and stare into the bleak abyss that is the winter season. For anime, I mean; it’s supposed to be back up to 55°F by Thursday, although it’s going to rain every day for a week. Gives me time to seal the front door, buy a shovel, and sign up for snow removal service. 😁

Bonus Christmas Cheer!

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