July 04, 2015

War zone

Fireworks that explode aren't legal here, but there's always a lot of it around anyway. It's easy to get; all you have to do is drive over to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and you can get anything you're willing to pay for. US 26 goes straight from Portland to the reservation and it's a pretty easy drive. (Considering you have to drive through Government Camp on the slope of Mount Hood.) It's about 80 miles each way, which is a breeze.

Usually the combat starts a couple of days before the 4th but that didn't happen this year; it's been surprisingly peaceful, probably because of this damned heat wave; it's been in the 90's every day this week and it's still above 90 today at 8 PM. Anyway I imagine it's going to get a lot louder before this evening is over, probably starting in a couple of hours after the sun goes down and it starts cooling off.

I'm always most afraid of sky rockets because I'm afraid some loonytoon is going to start a fire and burn the whole neighborhood down. It hasn't ever happened, but they only need to get lucky once. I have to be lucky every year.

UPDATE: Well, sounds like they've run their arsenal. Loud noises began a bit before 10, and now at 11:30 there's nothing. Pretty unimpressive; in years past it's gone on for several hours.

The good news is that the neighborhood didn't burn down, again this year. So all's well that ends well.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 07:16 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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July 03, 2015

GATE -- ep 1


That's our eventual harem, I suspect.

This was a lot better than I thought it would be. One reason is that the animation is very well done. Another reason is that the action scenes were well handled. Spoilers below the fold.


Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 02:09 PM | Comments (13) | Add Comment
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July 02, 2015

Surprise! Visitors!

There have been some guys doing some sort of remodeling over on the next building this week, and I was curious what it was about.

This afternoon the apartment manager called me and asked if I wouldn't mind if they came to my apartment tomorrow. They're supposed to give 24 hours notice, and this was less, but I have no reason to cause a fuss so I told her it was OK.

What they are doing is to replace all the deck doors. I have no idea why. Mine is fine; it's never been a problem. But tomorrow I'll get a new one, and I'll ask what the idea is.

They're showing up at 8, and she said they'd finish it in one day. I sure hope so.

It's going to be miserable for them, and already has been, because of the heat. It hit 97 today, and it's predicted to be 95 tomorrow, and even hotter over the weekend. l don't want anyone keeling over from heat prostration, so it's a good thing my frig is loaded up with cans of soda.

But I'm in the habit of taking a lot of naps, and tomorrow I won't be able to. My bed is right next to the deck door, for reasons too complicated to go into. (The keyword in the explanation is "bedbugs".)

It should be amusing.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 06:06 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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John Kovalic is evil

Man, talk about bait and switch.

And it's all the worse because he got really busy with work and it took five months for him to do about 8 strips before his reveal.

Start here. The girl with the black hair is Gilly, the "perky goth", who once upon a time was Matt's girl friend. Then she moved to London and for several years now she's only appeared once in a while. But as of this arc, she's apparently back again.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 01:15 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 01, 2015

uTorrent -- retreat

For a long time I was in the habit of leaving about 250 torrents running 24/7. That all ended when my WHS bought the farm and took most of my anime collection into the bit bucket, and I had to start over rebuilding my collection using my other NAS to hold the booty. Right now I have 58 torrents running but about 20 of those will go away in a couple of days. (For instance, 13 of them are individual episodes of Senran Kagura because I couldn't find a batch torrent for the series.)

When I first started doing torrents several years ago I didn't impose any limits on bandwidth usage, and I noticed that when I got really busy on uplink, suddenly it would cap at about 240Kbytes per second. Which if you do the calculation and allow for some overhead, is about 2 megabits. It was Comcast doing that, and just so that I didn't keep running up against their cap (and maybe get them mad at me), I set uTorrent to limit to 200K per second.

And a lot of the time I would saturate that, but a lot of the time I wouldn't. Last weekend I noticed something strange: every once in a while my uplink was suddenly plunge and spend a couple of hours pegged right at 50K. Then it would loosen up again. It made me worry that Comcast had decided to drastically lower the cap. But it also reminded me, back when I upgraded from uTorrent 2 to uTorrent 3, my uplink got a lot more finicky and was used a lot less efficiently.

So a couple of days ago I reinstalled uTorrent 2.2.1, the earliest install file I had retained, to be used instead of uTorrent 3.2.3. What I wanted to see was whether the older version would use my uplink more aggressively (i.e. more generously).

And it does. It's spent most of the last day pegged right at 200K, which is what I want. 3.2.3 almost never did that. The user interface is different, too, and I find I prefer the older one.

Which proves once again something that shouldn't really need to be proved: sometimes an upgrade is really a downgrade. (I'm looking at you, Microsoft Vista, and your younger sister Windows 8.) BakaBT doesn't permit any version of uTorrent beyond 3.3.1, and 2.2.1 is their recommended best version. And I think this is the reason why: the guys behind uTorrent made the newer versions try to game the tracker.

So I'm happy to retreat to 2.2.1 and I'll be sticking with it. For my purposes it's better than any other version, before or since.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 09:47 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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Metanorn Summer 2015 picks

The folks at Metanorn have each chosen 3-5 shows in the upcoming season that they're looking forward to.

No one mentioned Bikini Warriors and it got left out of the poll at the end of the article. Man, shows about boobs don't get any respect.

UPDATE: By the way, Bikini Warriors is running on AT-X!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 05:55 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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June 30, 2015



Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Cheesecake at 07:36 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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June 29, 2015


I'm finding that Wikia.com is a pretty valuable resource. When I want to know things about a show or franchise, usually I can find it there.

But there are some odd pages on that site. Just now I stumbled onto the "Anime Bath Scene" wiki, for instance. Which is exactly what it says: 3898 articles (and counting) about anime characters (mostly girls, of course) bathing.

Sheesh. Talk about otaku.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 06:23 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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June 28, 2015

Chooser version 62

Added 82 more images from Nanoha Vivid for a total of 234.
Added 185 images from To Love-ru.

Total number of images is now 5485.

I'm not going to plunder Motto To Love-ru or To Love-ru Darkness. The art style drifted a lot and they don't look as good.

UPDATE: It's a different director and a different studio for the second and third series. No wonder they don't look the same.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Site Stuff at 08:01 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Magical Girl Kyouko


Her motto is "I'll solve anything by burning it".

This is from ep 20 of To Love-ru, which I just began plundering. I already have 150 candidates from this series, and obviously more to go. And this is just from the first series; I have two others I've downloaded. I'm not sure I'm going to want to have 600 or 700 images from this franchise.

On the other hand, I've got 437 from the three Dog Days series, so maybe it's OK.

Anyway, by this point they've given up entirely on trying to tell any kind of overall story, and are just doing gag episodes. Which is fine with me. Definitely some weird stuff going on, like a pregnant space assassin...

UPDATE: Good Lord. They did an entire episode about her.


Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:37 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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