SNOW: There were claims before the war by Secretary of State Colin Powell that Iraq had weaponized and ready-to-use chemical weapons. He was very confident about the existence of chemical weapons. You have not yet found actual chemical weapons, correct?

KAY: Tony, it’s important to stress the word “yet.” We have not only Secretary Powell, we have Iraqi generals telling us that they had them. Unfortunately, they’re not able to tell us where they are now. And that’s why we’re looking so hard.

— Tony Snow interviewing David Kay

Do you even Internet?

There was a time when I used to feel like I was cheating, somehow, getting paid to do things that were easy and obvious. But I kept running into people who Just Didn’t Think Right. I never developed the common “people who aren’t like me must be stupid” problem, thanks in part to dealing with a lot of secretaries who could do all sorts of things that I couldn’t, but even today, I sometimes get the urge to reach through the Internet, grab someone by the collar, and shout “but it’s right there!​”.

For instance, Scandalous Gaijin collects some quite pleasant cosplay photos, but mixed in with the cheesecake recently was a shot of a nicely old-fashioned street in Japan, with kimono-clad women in the foreground and a pagoda in the background, with the comment “Anyone knows the name of this street in kyoto? I need to check it out”. Now, if you don’t read kanji, you might not guess that the second half of the caption “もう一度 八坂の塔” is the name of the place, but when you look at the picture you can clearly read the names of two stores, “Happy Pie” and “Happy Bicycle”, and typing “happy bicycle kyoto” into Google Maps takes you to the exact spot the picture was taken from. (and if you didn’t know it was Kyoto, cut-and-pasting 八坂の塔 into Google will tell you that)

Google Image Search gets overlooked a lot, too; it would be nice if they’d sort the results chronologically, so you don’t have to search through the largest images by hand until you find something close to the original source, but generally it will at least give you some information, and often the full context it was originally posted in. The answer to “who is this goddess and where can I find more pictures of her” is generally pretty easy to find.

Even just plain Google searches seem to elude otherwise intelligent people. Just today, I’ve had two extremely intelligent, skilled co-workers email me detailed error messages and ask how to fix the problem. I paste the error into google, and *poof*, the answer emerges. At least with these two I know they can figure it out, and they’re just outsourcing their problem-solving to me so they can get back to fixing other broken things, but a lot of times it’s from people who are honestly stumped by something that could be resolved with ten seconds of cut-and-paste.

Now, the people who email me screenshots of detailed error messages, they’re beyond help…

To Infinity And Beyond

In a new photo shoot, popular bikini model Rin Tachibana breaks the lightspeed barrier with Hyper-Oppai. I guess now we know what the H in H-cup stands for.

More evidence here, and in the previous 17 collections linked to it…

Cheesecake: beer

Who else could I lead off with on this one?


Current anime

Note: it is common in Japan to come up with a 4-mora abbreviation for just about any lengthy name, so the ridiculous mouthful Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatte-iru darou ka quickly became DanMachi. But what do you do now that there are two spinoffs? Familia Chronicle could be trimmed to FamiCon, but that one was taken a long, long time ago, and doesn’t reference the main series. Worse, there’s just no good way to abbreviate Sword Oratoria. A bit of web-trolling suggests there’s no consensus forming, so I propose DanFami and DanSora.

DanSora episode 3

As previously discussed, this DanMachi spinoff uses Dream Girl Aiz as the wooden totem pole that more interesting characters dance around. Genki DFC Amazon Tiona and Tsundere Kyonyū Amazon Tione provide most of the fan-service, while Delusional Yuri Elf-mage Lefiya is the protagonist whose inexplicable crush on Aiz drives the action. Not the action she wants, but they’ve basically decided to replay the “I want to get stronger so I can nail the cardboard princess” theme from the original series, this time with a girl.

This episode covers the Mosterphilia event, but since everyone involved is higher-level than Bell, quickly resolves the original problem to focus on a retconned fight against a much more dangerous monster, as more buildup for the new menace (no longer just Something’s Up In The Dungeon, now it’s in town!). Lefiya powers through her pain and fear with dreams of Aiz, and is rewarded with an indirect kiss (squeeee!). Loki is less annoying than in the previous two episodes, as she does more than drunkenly fondle the girls.

Streaming only on Amazon’s new “Anime Strike” channel, which is a mixed bag. Good that I can watch it on a big screen, bad that they don’t bother to tell you when new episodes will be available. You just have to guess the schedule.

Eromanga-sensei episodes 1-4

Best thing going this season. Not without flaws, but while the episodes feel a little rushed, they’re still satisfying. And all the girls are interesting and appealing.

Streaming on Crunchyroll and Anime Strike.

Alice and Zōroku

I’ve just started on this one, and I like it quite a bit. More after I catch up.

So far: Doctor Who, season 10

The Return of Doctor Mysterio

Not a lot of rewatch value, but a fun Christmas special, and nice to see Nardole again.

1. The Pilot

Not a bad intro for the new companion, but the snippets-of-mystery season arc has an uncomfortable whiff of how they handled Missy in season 8, where the revelation wasn’t worth all the time spent setting it up. I spent a lot of time wondering who Bill’s step-mom was (last seen having kittens in season 3), which was distracting enough that I almost didn’t get the point behind the box of pictures.

I had to turn on closed captions to catch all of the dialogue. Also, I’d like to see the actress who played Heather in something that shows a little more emotional range. Or a little more skin. Either way, I’m good.

2. Smile

I can’t decide whether this should have been shorter or longer. Shorter, for the material as they used it; longer, if they’d actually put some real thought into it, and maybe given some personality to one of the walk-on parts. Not impressed.

3. Thin Ice

Dear Writer, if you’re going to put Profound Words into the Doctor’s mouth, could you try to make them a bit less trite? And avoid trendy buzzwords like “privilege”? Kthxbye. As for the plot, I’d rather not.

Pictures and spoilers and smartypants

When the world was young, and this “blogging” thing was new, I maintained my site by hand, typing new content into index.html as I thought of it. Then I spent a great deal of time customizing MovableType to suit my needs, and used it for the next 14 years.

One of the common plugins was SmartyPants, which turned scruffy old typewriter quotes into pretty curved ones. As a long-time type nerd, of course I had to use it. The MT implementation was pretty good, and only rarely guessed wrong about open quotes. The one used by Hugo is, unfortunately, always wrong in a specific case that I use quite often: quotations that start with an ellipsis. For those, I’ve had to go through the archives and manually insert the Unicode zero-width space character ​ after the opening quote.

I never used MT’s web form for posting content, because, like so many other people have discovered, it’s too easy to lose an hour of work with a single mis-click or fumble-finger. Ecto was a great tool until it just stopped working one day (long after it stopped being supported), with only one quirk: at random intervals it would lose track of the UTF-8 encoding, and post garbage instead of kanji. A refresh would always fix the problem, so it was just a minor annoyance.

When it stopped working, I switched to MarsEdit, which is an excellent tool, and if I could easily connect it to Hugo, I would. As it is, I’ve gone back to running Emacs in a terminal window, with Perl/Bash scripts and Makefiles wrapped around an assortment of command-line tools.

For images, I insist on supplying proper height and width attributes so that the browser can layout the page properly while waiting for the download. Hugo can automatically insert those for pictures stored locally, but I upload them all to an S3 bucket with s3cmd, so I run them all through ImageMagick’s convert for cleanup and resizing, then Guetzli for JPEG conversion, and embed them with this shortcode:

{{ $link := (.Get "link" | default (.Get "href"))}}
{{ $me := . }}
<div align="center" style="padding:12pt">
  {{if $link}}
    <a href="{{$link}}">
    {{ range (split "src width height class title alt" " ") }}
      {{ if $me.Get . }}
        {{. | safeHTMLAttr}}="{{$me.Get .}}"
  {{if $link}}

None of the arguments are mandatory (even src, without which there’s not much point), but it will add any of the listed ones if you’ve supplied them, and allow you to add a link with either “link” or “href”. This can be embedded in the new spoiler shortcode I wrote yesterday (which relies on Bootstrap’s collapse.js):

{{ $id := substr (md5 .Inner) 0 16 }}
{{ $label := (.Get 0 | default "view/hide") }}
{{ $class := (index .Params 1 | default "") }}
<div class="collapse {{$class}}" id="collapse{{$id}}">{{ .Inner }}</div>
<p><a role="button" class="btn btn-default btn-sm"
  data-toggle="collapse" href="#collapse{{$id}}"
  aria-expanded="false" aria-controls="collapse">{{$label}}</a>

The results look like this, and yes, the picture behind the NSFW tag is NSFW:

{{< spoiler NSFW >}}
{{< blogpic 
  width="560" height="420"
  class="img-rounded img-responsive"
{{< /spoiler >}}
...well, Not Safe For Waterfowl, anyway...

It took about 30 seconds to convert my Gelbooru mass-posting script to generate shortcodes instead of HTML, so my most-recent cheesecake post was done this way. Now that I have the NSFW shortcode, I’ll likely include some racier images in the next one…

At some point I’ll pull out all my scripts and customizations into a demo blog on Github, so that I have something to point to when someone asks how to do something that is either not directly supported in Hugo (like monthly archive pages), or is just poorly documented (“damn near everything”).

Fun with Hugo shortcodes…

“You have my sword”

“​…and my axe”

(via pixiv)

I needed a proper spoiler/NSFW tag for Hugo, and then of course I needed something to hide with it…

Yamato (Nadesico) Transport


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