“Among artists without talent Marxism will always be popular, since it enables them to blame society for the fact that nobody wants to hear what they have to say.”

— Clive James

Nasally-inserted fire...

You Will Be Upgraded

For some reason, Amazon recommended a cheesy anti-snoring aid to me, sort of a bargain-basement CPAP that puts Chinese-made rechargeable batteries up your nose. The most interesting thing about it was the before/after picture:

(the reviews look as authentic as the photos; unrelated, the broken item that was rejected by the shipper was automatically refunded today (really 3-5 days from now), and the re-order will supposedly arrive in two days, shipped from a local warehouse)

Whoops, You Upgraded!

MacOS Safari 17 removed the Developer menu option to disable Javascript. This is the only way to safely browse many sites, especially the ones with pictures of pretty young women who shouldn’t go out dressed like that.

It’s still possible to disable it globally in the browser preferences, but you can’t assign a keyboard shortcut to that. It might still be possible to do it through a browser extension, but no one has updated their app-store pages to confirm compatibility.

Good thing there are other browsers that don’t know what’s best for you!

Doctor Who Disney

The new Doctor Who specials, featuring cast/crew from another, better time, will stream on Disney+, demolishing whatever interest I might have had. I can’t blame Disney, which secured the rights by the old-fashioned method of investing in the production, but every time I look at Disney+, it has the least to offer of any streaming platform.

(now, if they made a new generation of Cybermen that looked like this…)

Space to breathe

Frieren not only kicks off with a two-hour episode, it will run for two cours. In a row, even.

(wrong elf getting tickled, but I’ve wanted to use this one for a while now)

Local Pie

I finally had a chance to stop by Mehaffies, and didn’t recognize my grandmother in any of the pictures they had from the Thirties. As for the pie and cheesecake, the peach pie had excellent filling and decent crust, while the New York cheesecake was light on both crust and flavor. It would have made a good base for the cherry, strawberry, or blueberry toppings they sell, but it didn’t stand alone.

Pack it up!

Amazon Fragile™

Looks like I’ve got another two-day Prime delivery that’s going to take more than a week, as the bamboo garden stand I ordered was rejected by the carrier for damage and sent back. Switching from reliable delivery to dirt-cheap delivery is not a great long-term strategy, but it must be giving someone a quarterly bonus.

To add insult to injury, the notice that “Unfortunately, a problem occurred during shipping” is accompanied by a “Buy again” button. They should replace that with a “Buy somewhere else” button.

Another day, another data breach

I’ve never done business with Progress Software or used their MOVEit Transfer software, and neither did the credit union holding my HSA account, but their banking-services vendor Sovos did, and therefore I’m one of the 60 million people whose personal and financial information were compromised.

I think this is the third of fourth time I’ve been given free credit monitoring and identity theft protection due to some asshole’s sloppy coding practices.

This week or next…

Crunchyroll hasn’t announced the start date for S-Rank Daddy’s Girl, but it turns out that the previews claiming it’s this week are for one specific “premium” network, and everyone else in Japan gets it next week. Which means that Crunchy probably gets it next week. Sigh.

If that’s the case, it looks like Frieren will be the season opener for me.

(note: this is the most popular fan-art of the title character that does not involve cock; seriously, Pixiv?)

Interviews With Monster Girls manga ends

In translation, that is; it ended in December in Japan. The anime was terrific, but I’ve always had trouble writing about it because I can’t help wishing Steven had lived to see it; I think it would have pushed all of his buttons, not just the one about the gorgeous virgin succubus wearing red under-rim glasses.

I don’t think the post-anime source material would have held together for a second season, but it did at least bring an appropriate conclusion to the growing feelings between Our Iron-Willed Hero and Our Age-Appropriate Heroine.

Dungeon-Drop Gals, final episode

Y’know, it really undermines the seriousness of the cliffhanger boss fight to title the episode “let’s all have a party”. Anyway, Our Well-Strapped Hero quickly figures out its weakness and we move on to the wrap-up, bouncing from one dangling thread to another with whiplash-inducing speeds, with a large side order of warm-and-fuzzy exposition.

But what’s really important is that Our Big-Heart-And-Bust Receptionist finds a way to keep an eye on her love rivals, and Our High-Level Princess blushingly delivers a memorable confession. Which Ryota naturally assumes is just about the dungeon drops…

Verdict: an absurd premise that treats the overpowered cheat isekai tropes just as seriously as they deserve, without a hint of the dark side of the genre. I could watch more, but they’re pretty much out of source material for now.

Random roundup

Drain the swamp!

My landscapers have been wondering why part of my back yard is so soggy, since they’ve overhauled the drainage and put in a lot of thirsty plants.

I’m halfway up a hill, and it hasn’t rained much in weeks, but a large section of the yard near the back fence is downright soggy. They probed in a few places to find the source, and dug down to uncover an old clay-tile drainage pipe running under the fence. It apparently used to run further down toward the street (most likely part of an old irrigation network from the original farmhouse), but it recently broke off right at the property line.

Either there’s a major water reservoir at the top of the hill, or the neighbor has a busted water line and hasn’t noticed the bill. He’ll be very motivated to fix it after my landscapers cap it off on my side. The water is going to have to come out somewhere…


Um, Pete?

“Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.”

(Update: the link should go directly to his comment, but it ends up showing the entire thread from the top; the bit I'm responding to reads "My harem of slave catgirls is extremely efficient at satisfying my needs, in fact it's superior to any alternatives.")

And you thought light novel titles were bad…

New RPG released for PC, PS5, and Switch:

Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King.

It looks like a crude dungeon-crawler.


In response to Pippa’s computer woes, someone wrote:

“Even my computer I built myself half hazardously has less problems somehow.”

At least, I’m assuming it’s an eggcorn for haphazardly; otherwise someone’s re-implemented the Halt And Catch Fire opcode. 😁

You’re grounded!

Amazon just offered me a conductive sleeping pad that implements the “proven medical benefits” of sleeping on the ground with a grounding wire. I mean, a doctor said it works, amirite?

Name that tune!

Once upon a time, there was a Jim Croce album featuring not only his best-known songs, but stories linking them together. I had it on vinyl, but I can’t find it on CD or streaming. It’s been frustrating me for decades.

I can hear his voice telling the stories, and remember bits of it, like talking about someone trying to have sex with a really fat woman (“that’s a winter-time woman”) and thinking, “‘am I there? am I there?’ you don’t know!”, and then linking that story to Roller Derby Queen’s line about “built like a ‘fridgerator with a head”. Another was a short explanation of why he didn’t use a guitar strap, because he spent a lot of time playing in cheap bars where he needed to protect his guitar when a fight broke out.

But I can’t even find anyone who mentions an album containing this stuff. Grrr.

A Fond Farewell To Lammis, For Now

A Girl And Her Boxxo, first season final episode

Another day, another Big Bad to fight. Our Gang pulls together for the win, only to find themselves facing a Much Bigger Bad in a fight they can’t win. Even managing to injure him takes all the heart they’ve got, and if it weren’t for the Boxxo transformation they telegraphed last episode, two of those hearts would have been stopped permanently.

It’s a bit sad that the closest they got to real fan-service involved applying an AED to a dying woman, but what’s important is Our Hero’s Reward.

Now for our reward: there will be more. No idea what they’re going to do, since they ran through all three light novels already, but I’m looking forward to it.

Verdict: this was genuinely appealing fluff, start to finish. The only thing missing is more source material. And maybe some Buy-the-Bluray scenes, even though I’ll buy it anyway.


The first watchable of the season will be S-Rank Daddy’s Girl on Thursday the 28th. Then Friday is Frieren, and Sunday is Jailbait Witch & Loli-Mom.

Distilling the isekai genre…

Thanks to Mauser’s suggestion, I’ve read the available translated material (both light novel and manga) of Isekai OP Space Mercenary, in which Our Hero’s video-game skills and paid DLC grant him a Better Life With Hot Chicks.

He doesn’t try to build a harem, but as the Designated Protagonist, it just happens. This also applies to his life outside of bed, to the point that his loving companions become genre-savvy about the inevitability of improbable things happening just after someone says they’re incredibly unlikely.

He’s actually rejected two volunteers for the harem, which is refreshing, but his Very Good Reasons for keeping them out get severely undermined by the events of the latest light novel, so Our Lush Noble Officer Lush and Our Loli Noble That Could are back in the running. Our Repeatedly-Rescued Medical Babe hasn’t been seen recently, but in fairness, he’s probably still a bit traumatized by the anal probe.

Which leads me to think you could achieve success in this world by stripping the isekai genre down to the essentials:

Transported To Another World With An Unlimited Supply Of Mind-Control Collars, I Finally Get To Touch Women!

(Hulemy is more the school-swimsuit type)

Pie and Boxes

A Question Of Pie

Update on Frank’s recent question in the comments about (literal) cheesecake/pie joints in my area. I googled around and found a local baker named Mehaffies that’s been in business since 1930, and it looked promising.

I’ve been too busy to get over there and try them out, but while I was hanging out with my parents Saturday, I asked my mom (a very experienced baker herself), and she said, “their crusts aren’t as good as they could be”. That doesn’t mean they’re bad, but I’ll have to set my expectations appropriately. She went on to add that her mother (born in 1915) actually worked there in her youth, cutting up fresh fruit to earn some pocket money.

Speaking of pie…

Amazon US has a preorder up for a Bluray of a live-action adaptation of Recently My Sister Is Unusual.

(whoops, wrong unusual little sister!)

Speaking of Amazon…

I ordered a product with free two-day Prime delivery on the 13th (it’s now listed with free next-day Prime delivery). It… wasn’t on time, and they said that if I don’t see it by the 21st, I can request a refund on the 22nd, which will be processed in 3-5 business days. I kinda wanted it in two days.

Tracking reports that it went from Florida to Ohio on the 14th, left an Amazon warehouse on the 15th and was twice delayed in transit, and then arrived at another Amazon warehouse in Indiana on the 17th. The alleged tracking number wasn’t even valid at UPS, so this is all internal fumbling.

Checking this morning, they claim it finally got handed off to UPS in Indiana just after midnight on the 19th (with a new tracking number) and promptly made it back to Ohio six hours later, to the facility that’s about a mile from my house. UPS now claims it will arrive today, which it oughta.

By the way, if you’ve been wondering how those new green-and-cheaper shipping initiatives were working out…

Two of my recent packages not only didn’t have outer packaging, they weren’t even taped shut. If the little cardboard tabs had failed, things could easily have fallen out in the truck.

Technical Jargon: omochikaeri

The word お持ち帰り (carry + return home) most commonly refers to takeout food. In popular slang, it also refers to a one-night stand or pickup. On Pixiv, however, it most often refers to very non-consensual pickups that are stuffed but not fed.

(the set this pic is from was #1 for the tag)

“I used to be an adventurer like you...”

“…until I took an artifact to the head.”

Dungeon (No) Drops, episode 11

In which Festivals Are Fun (but show off a ridiculous variety of items from the drop-based economy), Our Lovestruck Fire Mage is dropping hints the size of boulders, and a rampaging Increase Goblin is not nearly the threat it was in the source material; seriously, it just stood quietly on the street waiting for the conversations to end. Fireworks are also fun, but strain credibility as this “rare drop” comes complete with a colorful bag printed in Japanese.

Also, Our Formerly-Suggestive Bunnygirl swallows the meat in a completely literal way, Our Dungeonborn Loli sets up the big two-part finale, Our Guild Sugar Daddy begs for help when the drops stop, and Our Two-Fisted Hero discovers that he can’t do it alone.

Verdict: it kinda says something when you’re watching an already low-budget show and you notice that there’s even less animation than usual. The panned stills are well-drawn, but the money is clearly running out. One more to go!

Dear Bethesda,

So I got Starfield for free through Game Pass, and it actually works pretty well on my multiply-rebuilt gaming machine (bought in 2015 with a Core i7-6700, 16GB RAM, spinning disks, and a GeForce GTX 980; now with 32GB, SSDs, and an RTX 2060, which was the best I could get at the time that fit within the power/cooling budget). Gameplay is pretty familiar for anyone who played hundreds of hours of Skyrim and Fallout 4. Actually, apart from the space travel, it’s basically F4 without the forced whimsy. So, y’know, shootin’ and lootin’ and craftin’.

But there’s something I noticed. Once I finished the tutorial and got off the rails, I explored the first planet a bit, and found an Abandoned Farm full of corpses, monsters, and loot, which was nice. But when I was searching the living quarters of the research scientists, every single one of them had a bottle of hand lotion and a box of tissues next to their bed.

So, it really is lonely out in space…

The one downside of getting a non-Steam version of the game is that the popular script-extender mod will never work, which means mods that depend on it will never work; fortunately it’s not required for the major inventory overhaul mod, StarUI.

And you really want to fix the inventory UI, because Bethesda always designs for console, and loves to make you jump through hoops to see information that would easily fit on a PC screen.


Wow, CPR training has changed a lot since 1980. Also, AEDs are cool, but still expensive if you don’t have professional connections. Anyway, in addition to my NRA range safety officer certification, I can now add First Aid, CPR, AED, and Bleeding Control.

That last one was highly recommended for range officers, and the doctor who taught it said that if he ever sees us at a range, he’s going to check our bags to make sure we’ve got a tourniquet and chest seals. Because bullets.

Conflict Of Interest

AES Ohio (formerly known in this area as Dayton Power & Light) is my local power company. I’ve gotten multiple opt-out-fast attempts to switch me to “green” electricity (almost as many as when I lived in California!), but this is a new one:

Introducing the all-electric Nissan ARIYA, now available for subscription or purchase with AES Ohio.

Get ready to elevate your driving experience with the ARIYA’s impressive features:

Powerful performance: The Nissan ARIYA offers powerful acceleration, delivering a smooth and exhilarating ride. Its 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds ensures a thrilling driving experience.
Luxurious interior: Step inside the Nissan ARIYA and indulge in its luxurious interior. Experience the perfect blend of comfort and sophistication, providing a welcoming environment for both driver and passengers.
Spacious cargo volume: The ARIYA offers an impressive 59.7 cu.ft. cargo volume, ensuring you have ample space for all your adventures and daily needs.

Interested in trying the Nissan ARIYA?
AES Ohio has a range of subscription and purchasing options so you can try electric in the way that suits your needs. View our EV options, here.

This is like Shell renting Corvettes.

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