“Care to expound, or are you just going to leave us all with the impression that you’re merely an inarticulate asshole?”
“Lest I leave the wrong impression, I’m not inarticulate.”
—Jay Maynard vs. Walker Magnum

Thursday, November 20 2014

Suddenly I feel better about that quake…

Upstate New York:

Global Warming strikes again!

8.5 miles from my house:

minor earthquake in San Juan Bautista

I only felt two of the little quakes they had in San Juan Bautista over the past day, and both of them were short, sharp shocks. Generally, anything on the other side of the hills goes unfelt in my area, so it was more surprising than anything else, especially since it felt more like the pressure wave from an explosion than the usual ground effects.

Wednesday, November 19 2014

Dear Amazon,

Well, I suppose they’re both covers…

Umbrella for Kindle

Saturday, November 15 2014

Missing: glasses and cat ears

Found on Amazon Japan. I can’t imagine why they recommend these things to me…

Twintail and Machine Gun

Tuesday, November 11 2014

Free Kindles!

Well, free 30-day trial, anyway, of the Paperwhite, the HD 7”, or the HDX 7”.

I haven’t used them myself (I kind of lost interest in Android/iOS tablets after I bought the Surface Pro 2), but I like the fact that you can download a lot of the Prime video collection for offline viewing. That would be handy.

Wednesday, November 5 2014

Peter’s Progress

(Capaldi, that is)

Early in this season of Doctor Who, those of us who found the reality not living up to the hype were scolded for leaping to conclusions without adequate evidence. Also reminding us that Smith had some real stinkers his first season.

Well, we’ve now got 11 episodes, and for the third week in a row, it’s Wednesday and I still haven’t gotten around to watching the latest one yet. In fact, it wasn’t until just now that I checked my Amazon account and realized that I was behind; I still thought the tree thing was current.

I’m still watching Doctor Who. In fact, I’ve watched five episodes in the past week: Aliens of London, World War Three, Dalek, The Empty Child, and The Doctor Dances. I’m just not the least bit impressed with this season. Capaldi has had a few moments where he really felt like the Doctor, but most of the time, it’s not working for me.

[Update: finally watched 11. Missy was just as annoying as her teaser appearances promised, and the Big Reveal elicited only a small groan of pain]

[Update: watched 12 last night. Reaction: meh. Seriously, that’s what they spent the entire season building up to, with Clara’s love life and the Doctor’s assholiness and Missy? Lame as fuck, and they don’t get a pass for referencing the Brigadier, especially after Osgood.]

Monday, November 3 2014

Dear developers,

Regardless of the flaws and limitations of the specific tool, saying “it will slow us down” is not a valid argument against code reviews.

Saturday, November 1 2014

A thoroughly random image collection

From here:


Friday, October 31 2014

Dear Amazon,

This is not a hand mixer.

yarn winder, not hand mixer

We desperately need the rain, but…

…couldn’t it have waited until after trick-or-treating? I may have a few tens of pounds of candy left over if the kids don’t brave the storm.

[Update: about 35 kids. Unfortunately, based on last year, I planned for at least 130, which means I’ve got over 50 pounds of candy left.]

Tuesday, October 28 2014

This never works…

Steve lowered his voice. “Now listen to me. This thing is big. The two you ran up against yesterday were not good samples. We’re dealing with some tough professionals. I don’t know who they are, but from what I’ve seen I can tell you they’re dangerous. So you two are to stay out of this case. That is an order. Stay on Clipper Cay and have fun.”

(from The Wailing Octopus, a Rick Brant science-adventure story)

So the next HelloVenus single is about candy…

[Update: more teasers, or teasing; bit of both]


…or perhaps eye candy…

(Continued on Page 4480)

Tuesday, October 21 2014

How sausage is made…

From TheWorstMuse:

If your alien culture isn’t a thinly veiled allegory for contemporary politics, what’s the point?

Monday, October 20 2014

Not included: a text editor

From today’s Emacs 24.4 announcement:

Highlights of this release include:
  - A built-in web browser (M-x eww)
  - Improved multi-monitor and fullscreen support
  - "Electric" indentation is enabled by default
  - Support for saving and restoring the state of frames and windows
  - Emacs Lisp packages can now be digitally signed
  - A new "advice" mechanism for Emacs Lisp
  - File notification support
  - Pixel-based resizing for frames and windows
  - Support for menus in text terminals
  - A new rectangular mark mode (C-x SPC)

Looks like I’ll need to add a few more disabling commands to my .emacs file…

Sunday, October 19 2014

Not your usual title string…

Amusing QA error on a maid-cafe web site; the title and keywords section of the page header are error messages of the form: “Warning: mysql_fetch_array() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /var/www/html/www_maid/S/wp-content/themes/maid2013/functions.php”.

This is the sort of thing that announces to the world, “Hi, we’re clueless PHP users; please try to crack our site”.

Also, I have to say that while I understand what they were trying for with the maidreamin.com domain, my initial parse of the URL was a bit… anal.

Wednesday, October 15 2014

Sad attempt at a halloween costume

On sale now at Amazon: The Lame-Ass Samurai.

Samurai Loungewear

Badly-held sword and ninja socks not included.

This is far from the most cringeworthy “asian” Halloween costume available…

[Update: Sigh. Genghis Khan Samurai Costume (cosplaying for the other team?); Ninja Warrior Set (extra-shiny, to blind opponents when you fail your Stealth check). ]

Friday, October 10 2014

Ranking the modern Doctors

  1. Eccleston
  2. Tennant
  3. Hurt
  4. Smith
  5. Morrissey
  6. Capaldi

Wednesday, October 8 2014

Dear Amazon,

I can find a very faint trace of relevance in the first recommendation, but not in the second one. Please enlighten me.

From from kindle to kinder, from music to mattresses?

(and the reason this image is so large is that I took the screenshot on my Surface Pro 2, which has a high-density 1080p display, and Photoshop refuses to make the fonts readable if I shrink it any further)

Dear Former President Obama,

When Jimmy Carter calls you a sissy, you have failed utterly at foreign policy.

Monday, October 6 2014

Hawk, by Steven Brust

The new Vlad Taltos novel arrived. Drat that horrible evil Amazon! It’s not bad enough that they work hard to sell me the things I want at prices I like, but they had to go and deliver it a day early. The fiends!

I haven’t even read the blurb on this one yet, since I’ll pretty much buy anything Brust writes, the moment it’s available. He may be an unrepentant communist, but the man can write.

Friday, October 3 2014

There’s a perfectly good reason for this…

9-element Shigeuchi layout

…and here it is:

(Continued on Page 4468)
“Need a clue, take a clue; got a clue, leave a clue.”