“When you run a picture of a clean-cut, all-American girl like this, get her tits above the fold.”

— Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, quoted in The Making of McPaper

Living in the world you made…

It’s a pity that when you beat the Big Bad in Breath of the Wild, you don’t get to live in the world you’ve made (unless you count the sequel that’s coming next year…). Like all soldiers returning from war, Link has picked up some behaviors that don’t translate well to peacetime, and mastered many skills that there would no longer be much use for. I figure Zelda will quickly become so exasperated with him that she’ll welcome the next catastrophe:

Habit Is A Cable

“Link, no! I just bought that vase!”

“It might have rupees in it.”

“Link, stop! Those crates are filled with supplies!”

“I certainly hope so.”

“Link, that belongs to someone! And you already have four of them.”

“I need five.”

“Link, those apples are offerings to the guardian deities!”

“​…and darn tasty.”


Dear Steve Jackson Games,

Whoever approved licensing Munchkin to the company that produced Munchkin Quacked Quest should be fired. Out of a cannon. Repeatedly.

It came out for the Switch this week, and based on the franchise, I was willing to overlook the fact that the gameplay trailer was light on details and voiced by someone who on a scale of RandomYoutuber to VoiceActor was around a 2.

Launching the game, the first warning sign was the prominent “Version 0.70”. This ain’t a Steam early-access game, kids; don’t just shove it out the door as soon as it stops crashing.

The second warning sign was that the spinning “loading” cursor was choppy as hell. Not just on the initial load, but loading the actual (tiny) dungeons, too.

The third seal was broken by the “DM” voice, which constantly repeated a small handful of lines that weren’t funny, with all the talent and wit of a third-string politician misreading a teleprompter.

Turning that off, however, simply highlighted the fact that the game isn’t any fun. And is to Munchkin the card game as the film Starship Troopers is to the novel it swiped a few paragraphs and character names from.

Dear Amazon,

“🎶 One of these books is not like the others, one of these books really does belong. Can you tell which book is not like the others, before I finish my song. 🎶”

Clicking on the tile reveals several “Catholic Action Horror” novels, Simak’s Project Pope, Stasheff’s Wizard novels, Neil Boyd’s Bless Me Father novels, pretty much every novel by Andrew M. Greeley (no relation), and books on embroidery, aikido, ninjutsu, play therapy, and a Martha Stewart how-to manual. Oh, and some books on religion, evenly divided between Catholic and non-Christian.

3D Cheesecake 24

Caught up in work and Breath of the Wild (status: I suck at Trial of the Sword), so here’s a typical assortment of cheesecake. I really need to catch up on filling in names sometime…

Cheeseless commentary

I briefly investigated “Master Mode”, the harder mode for BotW, and it’s pretty pointless for anyone who hasn’t mastered controller combo moves, even with a heaping helping of cloned amiibo to drop piles of loot from the sky and overcome the enhanced weapon-frailty system (even in the tutorial zone, you need two or more weapons to finish a fight, unless you can trigger a flurry-of-blows combo reliably).

There appear to be some actually interesting changes that I’ll likely never really get to, like the floating platforms with monsters and lootable chests. I pretty much gave up on it after reaching Hateno and upgrading all of my runes. I probably wouldn’t have gotten there so easily without the amiibo horse drop (Epona, for those who know the series).

The widely-available cloned amiibo NFC cards are quite useful, and the art on them is cute enough that I’d like to find out who drew it and see what else they’ve done; the current set has 24 cards, and the two sets I’ve used had different serial numbers, so you could scan them all every day for double the loot. I also acquired an old Nexus 5 for a few bucks, loaded the TagMo app, randomized serial numbers with the pyamiibo library, and picked up a pack of 50 NFC stickers for a decent price. You can get the tags even cheaper from Ali Express, but Amazon’s a lot quicker. Besides, I’m still kind of miffed at Alibaba for buying up our building.

(the mini cards, by the way, are the same height/width as a Switch cartridge, making them easy to slip into a case for travel)

“Oh, hi there PG&E!”

Unrelated, while typing the above, my power blipped. This is apparently the new normal in Californistan.


Dear Apple,

Congratulations on breaking the Calendar and Reminders iCloud sync for anyone still running Mojave and iOS 12.x!


It looks like rebooting my phone, disabling sync on both my Mac and my phone, killing the associated apps on both, and then restarting them forced a sync. Hopefully it will continue to sync for a while before it breaks again, but since I know that they switched to a completely different system for Reminders in Catalina and iOS 13, I’m not hopeful; Apple and legacy are two words that simply don’t go together.


…and I had to do it all on my iPad, too.

Dear Amazon,

I love that you’re promising next-day delivery on a lot of items, but in your relentless pursuit of shipping optimization, you have failed to take into account the fact that USPS simply lies about when they “delivered” a package.

For instance, Wednesday at 5:53 PM, I placed an order (“free next-day shipping, for sure!“). Tracking shows that you handed it off to my local post office at 4:44 AM Thursday. USPS claims it went out for delivery at 8:44 AM, and was placed in my mailbox at 6:51 PM. My mailbox (of the shared, locking variety at the curb) was completely empty when I got home at 9:15 PM.

This is not the first time this has happened. Sometimes it shows up on my porch very early the next morning, other times as part of the next day’s regular delivery, occasionally delayed even further by a weekend or holiday, and at least once it never turned up at all, despite being marked “delivered”.

Friday night update

By golly, the “delivered Thursday” package somehow found its way into my locked mailbox today! It’s almost like it never made it onto the truck and they checked it off to pad their numbers!

Oh, wait, it’s exactly like that!

Right on schedule…

Ascendance of a Bookworm episode 6 raises the stakes.

Given the ongoing speculation, I will not discuss any details, except to say that it continues to track the satisfying story told in the novels.

Dear Youtube,

Twice in the past few days, I’ve had a video interrupted in the middle by an unskippable video ad for an unrelated and uninteresting product.

So I downloaded them and watched offline with no ads at all.

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