“It was very difficult to get the Irish girls to expose their breasts.”

— Insightful commentary from John Boorman, director of Zardoz

Dear Amazon,

Every time I see this picture, I think about how much she must hate him, to wreck his back this way.

Japanese lifestyle, from China

Saw this sign a while back in my local mall (which is trying really hard to go upscale, to the point that it’s pushed out so many of the old stores that it’s almost more “coming soon” than “open for business”). I figured that it was either an attempt by Daiso to go upscale, or a direct competitor riffing on the name. The fact that the katakana of their logo says “meisou” was a little odd, though.

Turns out that Miniso is a 100% Chinese company that just puts Japanese text on their house-brand products, and stocks things like Pocky to help prop up the facade. Their only connection to Japan is in their typesetting.

I happened to be in the mall again the day of their grand opening (twice in the same year!), and they’d attracted a curious crowd, but they didn’t really stock any interesting stuff. I can’t imagine any reason to go back, much less buy something there.

Unrelated, both times I was in the mall, I was the only white person there. Surprising, since even the local Walmart is usually more diverse. Salinas used to be 51% hispanic, but I think the next census is going to show a higher number. Also, it provides some perspective on the growth of the hispanic middle class that the mall has spent a crapton of money expanding and going upscale.

CNN says…

3 eggs per week will kill you. Based on their track record of accuracy on any subject, I’m heading to Costco to buy several dozen, so I can eat three a day and live forever.

Dear Apple,

Okay, so in the process of replacing the battery in my phone, you broke it. Not entirely surprising given the low repairability of your hardware designs, but that’s what backups are for, and you did replace it with a new one and gave it a 90-day warranty.

Okay, so it took over eight hours to restore all my data to the new one, and I had to spend another half-hour resetting and restoring my watch.

Okay, so the new phone won’t stay connected to a wireless base station that’s more than about ten feet away. Or to the watch at similar distances. In fact, it only sometimes sees two of the dozen wireless networks that my iPad can see, and frequently fails to connect with random error messages (“incorrect password” that is suddenly correct two minutes later).

Wait, that’s not okay. In fact, that kinda sucks, because now I have to drive 40 minutes back to your store, twiddle my thumbs waiting for my appointment, and then most likely spend another eight hours restoring to a new new phone.

Can you forgive me for wondering if this isn’t a subtle plan to sell me an upgrade?

Day of Rage Update

The genius quickly agreed that the new phone was a complete lemon, and went to replace it. And came back with a 16GB iPhone 6 loaner, because they didn’t have another replacement in stock, and this triggered their system to demand that it be sent off for repair, which will take 3-5 days (and almost certainly result in returning Yet Another New Phone).

The replacement is useful only as a phone, which means it’s basically useless. A co-worker has offered the loan of his old iPhone 7, which at least has enough space for my stuff. I’ll probably spend tomorrow restoring all my data to it, but won’t bother restoring in-app purchases, etc, since I’ll have to do it all again next week.


I’ll have to see if I can find one of these…

It’s kinda like a medical alert bracelet for a breaded pork cutlet deficiency.


New iPad Mini!

“Up to 3x faster than the old one.” If I weren’t planning to spend all my money in Japan next month, I’d even consider buying one.

Meanwhile, I’m off to the Apple Store today to get a new battery in my iPhone 6 Plus, because $49 < $700++.


…and thanks to a fumble-fingered Apple tech, I get to spend the rest of the day watching data restore onto a brand-new iPhone 6 Plus, an unnecessarily complicated way of changing the battery. Once it finishes upgrading iOS to a version compatible with my backup, that is.

As a bonus, I had to wipe and re-pair the watch. Fortunately the only local data lost was how much I walked around the mall while waiting for them to break my phone.


…and that’s eight hours of my life I don’t get back. Thanks, unnamed Apple technician.

For the record, the only app on my phone that lost data was MyNoise, which doesn’t save your favorites in a way that gets backed up. Special bonus, the sharing button crashes the current version of the app, so I couldn’t even send them back from my iPad. Other apps lost local caches and forgot about previous in-app purchases, but that just contributed to the 8+ hours spent restoring data and seeing what didn’t work any more.

Zen and the art of catnapping


Manaria Friends

Inexplicably retitled Mysteria Friends by Crunchyroll, sacrificing any name recognition it may have had, the first episode of this series felt like a cutscene from a video game. Which it more-or-less is. There’s some familiar voice talent involved, including Inoue Kikuko, Nana Mizuki, and Yōko Hikasa, and the character designs have that clean adapted-from-a-game look.

Why did I watch it? Busty half-dragon high school girl.

Will I watch more? Maybe while I’m on the elliptical next week, but today’s workout will be sponsored by episode 10 of Endro!, because cuteness.


Since it’s the first really nice Springlike Saturday, I went out to relax on my front porch with a nice drink and listen to the bamboo rustling in the wind, … and every neighbor is having a party filled with music and/or joyfully shrieking children.

In short, I grabbed my iPad and headphones and watched four more episodes (not hard, did I mention they’re only 15 minutes long?). It’s all zero-threat “magic is friendship” with a touch of cheesecake and yuri. So, worth it. I’m thinking the King might have to intervene if he wants a next generation, because the princess and the dragon girl clearly have some couple-ing in their future…

On an Endro! note, Mei’s fantasy waifustyle knocks her down a notch, while raising Seira’s stock. Also worth it.

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