January 18th, 2012

#3166: Well, there's no choir tonight

It's been canceled for a variety of reasons.

I am not exactly disappointed. Various chores are piling up thanks to my spending Monday and Tuesday on Katawa Shoujo, and this means I'll have more time to get at them today.

* * *

I finally broke down and turned the thermostat up to 70. I've been really good about keeping it at 68--except for one or two times when I was chilly at the same time I needed to shower--but yesterday afternoon, sitting in my rocking chair in sweats and a hoodie, I was freezing. My nose was cold, my legs were cold, and I had to put a blanket over myself and put the hoodie's hood up to get myself warm again.

Then, about the time the sun went down yesterday, I got the gas bill. It's lower than it has been for four months. So when I got up this morning and was chilly, I thought, Intercourse it! and turned up the thermostat.

It won't last, of course; I'll be turning it down again--but WTF, it only costs a little more to go first class.

* * *

Democrat wants to lower the voting age to 16. I will agree with this idea on one, and only one, extremely simple condition:

The voting age must be the new age of majority.

In other words, if you can vote, you can:
Buy and consume alcohol
Own property
Serve in the armed forces and/or BE DRAFTED UNDER THE SELECTIVE SERVICE ACT
Pay taxes
Leave school
Be tried as an adult for whatever crimes you commit
That last includes being considered "adult" for purposes of sex-related offenses and/or statutory limits on the ability to consent to sex.

"But!" You say. "That would mean we'd have 16-year-olds drinking and smoking and going to war! And what about their education?? You can't allow 16-year-olds to leave the compulsory educational system!"

Look: if they're old enough to vote--if we think they are developed enough to make such serious decisions--then they for damned sure are capable of being responsible enough with the other things. Aren't they?

And if they are not reponsible and mature enough to handle those other things they've got no business voting, either.

* * *

Weer'd comments on a federal DEA agent who accidentally shot himself and was fired after the video went viral.

The guy was talking to high schoolers about gun safety and said, "I’m the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock 40." Then he quite literally shot himself in the foot.

That's got to be divine punishment, right there.

Weer'd reiterates the four rules for handling firearms, so I don't need to; instead I'm going to comment on negligent discharges (NDs).

A modern firearm--which I'm sure the Glock 40 counts as--is not going to go off unless you pull the trigger. (Some guns, yes, will go off if dropped. In general, those who know guns won't carry that sort of weapon. I don't believe the Glock 40 is such a gun. In any case, this guy didn't drop his weapon.) In order to pull the trigger, your finger must be on the trigger.

The only time you put your finger on the trigger is when you wish to fire the weapon. Being in a classroom with 40 kids is not a place to fire the weapon.

Now: it appears to me that when he's showing the gun to the kids he has it out of battery, with the slide locked back; going by the sound--the video is too grainy to see clearly--during his discussion he appears to release the slide, thus putting the gun into battery.

I suppose he probably pulled the trigger intending to "dry fire" it, releasing tension on the hammer spring...only there was a bullet in the chamber. He didn't check the chamber before pulling the trigger.

With a semiauto pistol like the Glock 40, if it's already cocked, it doesn't do anything if you rack the slide to triple-check the chamber. When the guy had locked the gun out of battery, that cocked the hammer; releasing the slide let it feed and chamber a round. (Why he was parading the gun around with a loaded magazine in it is anyone's guess.)

Rule one is "assume every gun is always loaded". If you're not in the process of shooting a target you must ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure that gun is NOT LOADED before you pull the trigger, especially if you're intending to clear the weapon. If that means racking the slide three or four times and looking in the chamber each time, you do it. He didn't do that. So much for "professional".

So the guy got himself an ND and ended up in the ER with a gunshot wound. If the average non-police person did that, he'd lose his guns. A civilian ND ends up with all kinds of legal bullshit and the cops end up confiscating your papers, your firearms--all of them--and your ammo. What did Mr. Professional lose, before he lost his job?

The article that Weer'd links to says "accidental discharge" but there's no such damned thing. That guy could have killed someone; he doesn't have any business lecturing anyone on gun safety.

Sorry, pal. Be more careful next time.

* * *

John Stossel mentions a Florida law that requires owners of vending machines to place the following notice on their machines:

In other words:


Only a government could do something this asinine.

* * *

Yep, it's union labor costs that's sinking Hostess.

* * *


* * *

Eps 76 and 77 of Yawara! have hit the torrents, so I'm firing up El-Hazard long enough to grab 'em.

In order to make the wireless mouse work better, so I could play/watch Katawa Shoujo on the blab slab from the comfort of my rocking chair, I moved El-Hazard's keyboard behind the stereo amp. The wireless mouse/keyboard have been a bit flaky since I moved Cephiro to the other side of the desk.

The BakaBT tracker is down for the day (for the SOPA/PIPA protest blackout thingy) so I won't be doing a lot of uploading. There's no way in hell I could possibly use up 40 GB of bandwidth in a 24 hour period anyway, not with my upload speed at 768 kbps. (96 kBps.)

I have, in fact, been thinking of how (or if) I could move my Katawa Shoujo game to El-Hazard. The graphics are not exactly demanding and it would mean that Cephiro could be in sleep mode during the interminably long play times this game requires.

It would mean losing the comfy and convenient wireless mouse, but playing in auto mode means I don't need to have the mouse in hand all the time anyway. I'd just have to lean forward when I wanted to pause the game or review the text history or save or WTF-ever.

Well, once the two Yawara! eps finish downloading I think I'll fiddle with that...before playing WoW or doing something other than playing KS. Today's my day off from that game.

* * *

...and while we're on the subject, how the hell did it get to be Wednesday, anyway? Shit.

#3167: Well, that's convenient

First: I finally wrote a thank-you note to my cousin for the B&N gift card, which means I could use it; I ordered vols 8 & 9 of Kimi ni Todoke, the 4th Spice and Wolf light novel, and vol 10 of Yotsuba&!.

$15 out of pocket plus $25 gift card equals manga on its way to me! (And free shipping to boot.)

Second: Once I knew where to look for the savegame data folder, it turned out to be pretty easy to move my Katawa Shoujo game to El-Hazard. I pulled out one of my myriad of 1/8" phono jack-to-RCA-plug cables and hooked El-Hazard up to the stereo, too.

The savegame data folder is called "RenPy" and it's in the user's "AppData/Roaming" folder. It did not take much looking through the KS forums to find this out, but it would have been nice if they'd included it in the FAQ or the game manual. Oh well.

All of this means I can play the game on the blab slab without much trouble. It even turns out there's a "zoom" mode so the monitor will display 4:3 content correctly, which helps as KS was not designed to adapt to 16:9 screens when in fullscreen mode.


Now all I need to do is figure out what lunch is going to be. And dinner, come to think of it, since there's no choir practice tonight to give me an excuse to get takeout.

#3168: AoSHQ has got a ton of stuff

A story about someone suing the EPA for being a draconian bunch of goose-steppers.

The Hot Air link that inspired the post.

EPA actions like that should be subject to the "takings" clause. If the EPA wants to declare someone's property to be wetlands, or the habitat of a protected species, let them buy it at fair market prices.

Iran threatens to bomb us with ballistic missiles if we bomb their nuke sites. As Ace points out, I guess we know what to target first, then, don't we? (Hint: not the corner Starbucks.)

Simple fact: we can take out Iran's critical infrastructure any time we want to, and they lack the ability to hit us as easily as we can hit them.

They could set up some "baka bomb" container ships by installing some missile launchers in them, with nuclear-tipped missiles, get them close to the US coast, and then set 'em off. EMP the whole east coast. We would then, of course, turn Iran into something approximating a parking lot. They have to know this...don't they?

If I thought Newt was even mostly serious about returning us to the gold standard, I would be eager to vote for him. Unfortunately, I don't have anything like that kind of optimism.

However: if he were to become President and actually do it, then I would become the most fervent Newt Gingrich supporter you ever saw.

"To be clear," says Drew M, the poster of this piece, "I support Newt. Yes, I'm fully aware of his many, many, many faults. In an ideal world the thought of him being the nominee would be laughable but it's not an ideal world. It's a world in which the other choice is Mitt Romney."

Yeah. That's definitely Hob's Choice, there.

* * *

Anyway, I watched the playlist since Yawara! eps 76 and 77 finished downloading in a flash. The anime was good and entertaining.

One ep left of Usagi Drop and that sucks.

* * *

I played a little WoW today. Emerald got two levels, though to be fair she was pretty close to lvl 36 when I started playing. Now she's over 37, and I'll probably play more once I get home from doing the grocery shopping that I've put off for far too long.


#3169: Katawa Shoujo, the Shizune path

I notice that I didn't really say anything about the Shizune path other than its amazing length.

I liked it.

It was not nearly as full of angst as the Emi or Rin paths. (The Rin path has enough angst for an entire season of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Or Clannad.) (Now cry.)

...in fact, other than the issue with Misha getting depressed, there wasn't any angst at all, really. It was nice.

Only problem is, not enough sex. C'mon: the path covers the time from Hisao's arrival at school in June through graduation in late March; if you've got a girlfriend and live in dorms which are apparently largely unsupervised, you have all kinds of opportunities to have sex. These are 18-year-olds we're talking about. And since there's only one period (a short one) in the path where Shizune is avoiding Hisao (because she's a bit embarassed over their first tryst) they for damn sure ought to be having more sex than that.

At least there should be some mention of it, if only in passing. Hell, in the Emi path they have sex a lot and that one's considerably shorter; it barely makes it to the end of summer before it ends.

It's a spoiler for me to explain how I know they don't bump uglies more often than that. But I'm pretty confident I'm right.

My only other complaint is that the ending is too wishy-washy. It's a freakin' romance game; you win when you get one of the girls to fall in love with you. That being the case one can excuse the sex being optimal (near-simultaneous orgasms, for example) but it also means that at the end it's "...and we'll be together forever!", no ifs, ands, or buts. The ending of the Shizune arc was a bit on the weak side, in that regard.

Still, it's okay, and I really enjoyed it.

Next up: either Lilly or Hanako. I might need the Duck to send me that walkthrough, but I won't ask for it until I'm sure I can't get one of them by myself. (Basically if I find myself making a flowchart, at that point, I'll ask.)

* * *

Man, there's a heck of a south wind blowing. Where's the warm air that a south wind is supposed to bring with it? I nearly froze my ass off going to the store.

On the plus side: I got three jars of Red Gold salsa for $0.79 each. I had to buy six cans of diced tomatos and a bottle of ketchup to get that price, but I was out of diced tomatos anyway and that's a critical component of goulash, which I haven't had since September. Why not this week, then?

As you may recall I bought two jars of that salsa before New Year's, when it was on sale for $1 per jar; and it was really good--just enough of a bite to it that it's plenty flavorful. A dash or two of Tobasco will warm it up for those who like hot salsa, but IMHO it doesn't need it (and I like spicy food).

I almost bought a couple of jars last week when it was $1.29 per jar; I'm glad I didn't.

I got out of the store for $66.67. *heebie jeebies* I had a pretty long list, though, and I kept seeing things in the store which should have been on the list but weren't.

Like? Well, Pop Tarts; I've got one pack left in the old box and they were on sale for a good price.

Also Wondra, which is the best thing to use for making gravy. It doesn't make it impossible to make lumpy gravy but Wondra makes it a lot harder to. I've just about used up the box that's in the fridge, since I've made sausage gravy a few times in the past couple months.

Wart remover: I've had a wart on my left bicep for a couple of years and kept intending to go see a dermatologist about it--but wart remover costs a lot less than a visit to the doctor's office.

The last time I used wart remover, it was pretty powerful stuff. I had a spot of ringworm on my hand and dabbed Compound W on it; it burned like nobody's business (and I toughed it out for at least 30 seconds before rinsing) but the ringworm was gone after that. That was in 1984, though.

The stuff I bought tonight is just a 17% solution of salicylic acid. I got some of this stuff on the skin around the wart and braced for the pain...and nothing.

Kind of how hemhorroid cream no longer has any anasthetic in it, the wart remover is no longer caustic. Man, I'm really starting to hate this bubble-wrapped society we're living in.