“There is no such thing as ‘safe’ Socialism. If it’s safe, it’s not Socialism. And if it’s Socialism, it’s not safe. The signposts of Socialism point downhill to less freedom, less prosperity, downhill to more muddle, more failure. If we follow them to their destination, they will lead this nation into bankruptcy.”

— Margaret Thatcher, 1976

Dear Pokemon Company,


Remember when you decided that the multi-player interactivity in Sword and Shield would be restricted to seeing player names and pokemon nicknames, participating in raids without even hand signals, and burning curry together?

The following screenshot from the shiny new trade tool Pokemon Home tells me that your system needs a little work:

Seriously, how do you not block the all-caps N-word in an online service where you validate the data before allowing someone to start a trade?

Also, this was on Pokemon Day, when it was announced that Greninja was the most popular pokemon in the world, and sure to be searched for by lots of players.

In other news, I think I’m ready to face the first gym challenge in my new German Shield playthrough…

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His Master’s Voice…


Hillary Clinton is launching her own podcast. I figure the opening theme will involve fingernails on a chalkboard.

Or they could use this little ditty, to the tune of Camptown Races:

🎶🎶🎶🎶
Epstein didn’t kill himself,
    doo-dah, doo-dah.
His death wasn’t suicide,
    it was a Clinton hit.
🎶🎶🎶🎶

Japan closing for March…


The government has ordered all schools to close until April. Graduation ceremonies and many public festivals have been canceled. The Studio Ghibli Museum has shut down until March 17th, hoping it will be safe to re-open by then. The US State Department has a level 2 advisory on travel to Japan, instructing travellers to “exercise increased caution”.

I keep checking to make sure our flights haven’t been canceled. And I really need to get rid of the last of the usual sinus infection that followed the cold I had at the beginning of February; I don’t think even the slightest cough or sniffle will amuse the Immigration counter at Haneda.

The good news is that we’re unlikely to get stuck in a huge sweaty crowd at Immigration this time. If they’re still letting people in at all by then…

As for what to do once we’re there, crowds are out. I suspect the monthly craft and flea markets will all be canceled. Popular shopping areas like Teramachi and Nishiki will either be ghost towns or very off our list. This may end up being a temple/museum/restaurant trip with carefully-selected shopping.

Random pic dump


Bored and busy, but wanted something more amusing at the top of the page.

SFW but not SFD.

Unrelated thoughts:

  • It sucks to spend three days explaining a simple and obvious regression in an open source project that was created by an unannounced breaking change, only to have the author not just blow you off, but suggest that you file a bug on a completely different broken feature that he thinks you should be using instead. Seriously, this is a Jobsian “you’re holding your phone wrong” level of fucked up.

  • Corona-chan is harshing Japan’s mellow, leaving me wondering what things will be like when my sister and I get there. There’s also a Rubella-chan tour in the Kanto region.

  • I caught them all. For amusement, I then played all the way through the game in Japanese. Then, annoyed by the flood of inane shiny/trade posts in the subreddit (and all the docs about how to exclude particular flairs on Reddit are wrong), I decided to see just how hard it would be to play through far enough to catch your own goddamn foreign Dittos. So I’ve now caught a 4IV free-range organic Korean Ditto, and I don’t speak a word of the language. Honestly, the hardest part was typing in a name for my character (I picked 수영, because I could figure out how to type it in the IME).

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Dear ‘CAEZIK SF & Fantasy’…


I invite you to speculate on precisely where I think you should shove your ebook pricing model for the upcoming posthumous Heinlein novel:

I was planning to buy it, but now I dislike you and want your company to fail.

Meanwhile, in Central Californistan…


Some poor soul, apparently a young polisci major, decided to use Nextdoor’s poll feature to ask about the upcoming election:

I suspect that if Trump weren’t winning, there wouldn’t be so many complaints in the comments about it “violating Nextdoor policies”…

Sunday update

Now 44% Trump, 35% Sanders, 4% each Warren/Biden/Buttigieg/Bloomberg, and 1% Klobuchar. Totally unscientific with a small, unrepresentative sample, so it’s at least as accurate as a professional phone poll…

Build-A-Bare episode 6


Episode 6 of Interspecies Reviewers contains three very important pieces of advice:

  1. Always include a crafter in your party.
  2. Never confess your sins.
  3. Carry sunglasses.

And if Our Heroes stop to think about it, they really, really need to go back there and pay whatever it costs to have the evidence dismantled.

Unrelated, I’m back from Sedona. I might post a few pictures, but I still haven’t done anything with the ones I took last year in Japan, and the next trip’s coming up fast. It sounds like tourist traffic is way down right now, so as long as I don’t cough while going through Immigration, we should have a great time.

Celebrating Democratcy…


Here’s an advanced 3D rendering of the current state of the Democrat nomination process:

Apply memes as desired.

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