August 3rd, 2019

#6785: Saturday, and not a moment too soon.

So, last night I finished up Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san. If you've never heard of it: Nishikata-kun is a 7th grade boy, and to his misfortune he is sitting next to Takagi-san, who is a very cute girl that enjoys teasing him.

The big problem with that series is it's largely a one-trick pony. She teases him. He gets upset. He plots revenge, and fails because she is always one step ahead of him. And then she teases him. Over and over and over again. And he never, never, ever wins. There are vanishingly brief moments where it departs from this formula, and they are wonderful moments, but I am not sure they're worth the long slog.

Takagi never shows any remorse for tormenting the poor kid, nor does she ever suffer any consequences for it. She always wins, always knows what Nishikata will say or do, always anticipates it; whenever he wins at anything it's because she let him, and she makes sure he knows it.

At the core of the story is the fact that Takagi-san likes Nishikata, and they're both 12-year-olds. At that age kids show affection that way, by attempting to make each other miserable, because they don't know any better. I get that. But what I don't get is how Nishikata can continue to put up with it; at some point I'd think he'd realize that he's getting the short end of the stick and put some distance between them.

Of course, I am some forty years older than Nishikata is. I have some control over my hormones, enough to see that Takagi is tormenting him and playing mind games with him--and that's not likely to stop, ever. She's showing him what kind of girl she is: one who doesn't mind kicking a guy in the nuts for a cheap laugh, metaphorically speaking. However cute she may be, it's just not worth it.

And yet--twelve.

They are both twelve and she genuinely likes him. That slowly becomes obvious through the 12 eps of the TV series. As they get to know each other better the teasing tapers off; and during their summer vacation, even though they see each other for a couple of hours every day, she hardly teases him at all. There is a scene in a swimsuit shop where she is teasing him, but that entails a much nicer form of teasing than her normal nonsense. But once school resumes after summer break, she's right back at her former level.

Ep 11 is where Nishikata finally scores a point, though he never knows it. It's a charming moment but it's not satisfying, not the way it should have been.

The thing is, at age 12 a boy who constantly loses to a girl like that is not going to want to hang around with her, no matter how pretty she is. Especially a boy who is as concerned with appearances as Nishikata is; constantly being shown up by a girl is a major turn-off for any man but in the early teens it's pure poison--in reality, she'd drive him away from her very quickly.

I suppose Nishikata is supposed to be "typical male Japanese doormat" character. In the early eps he's mainly driven by revenge; he wants to show her up just once. Later he comes to like her (not sure why) and wants to hang around with her. I get that (hormones) but still don't get why her constant manipulation and trickery don't dissuade him from being friends with her.

Overall, I don't regret watching it, but I don't think I'd watch it again. It's too frustrating.

* * *

Pixy Misa got a laugh out of me today:
The real tragedy of UCS-2 is that anyone ever considered Unicode and variable-length encoding a good idea.

If your language can't be represented in sixteen bits it's time for you to fix your goddamn language.
I laughed out loud at that, mainly because "sixteen bits" comes to sixty-five thousand characters and yeah, your language is too fucking complicated if you need more than that. I would actually submit that your language is too complex if you need one percent of that figure. English can be expressed with 52 letters and 10 numeric digits; the whole thing including punctuation fits comfortably in less than 127 characters.

(For the hopelessly anal-retentive, let me point out that we have 26 upper-case and 26 lower-case characters, which makes 52. There are 26 letters in the alphabet but most of them have alternate forms for lower case.)

Also, there's this bit that precedes the bit about language:
Enough with the myth that big tech is censoring conservatives says Mike Masnick. (TechDirt)

I got my Twitter account locked in five seconds, can anyone beat that? say conservatives. (Gab)
Incidentally, in the same post, Pixy discusses a modern-era XT clone. The motherboard is $340 but if you want an actual IBM XT clone computer, for old games or whatev, this is probably the way to go.

* * *

I already spoke to this point. But it bears repeating.

The question:
You would think that politicians would try not to favor ideas vast majorities reject. What are these candidates thinking? What's going on here? Surely the high-end professionals running these campaigns know that they can't win in the general election this way.
Ah, but they are not trying to win the general election just yet. In the primaries--which are the elections these goobers seek to win--you must play to your base. Their base is the lunatic-leftist fringe, the people who absolutely want to see America with fully socialized medicine, no military, free shit for all, and "Moscow on the Potomac". That is the vote they need to secure; and that's why they're running on these things.

Now, in the general election, they may or may not moderate, because Democrats usually follow that pattern to a T. Bill Clinton, for example, did not run, in the general election, on being "America's first feminist President" and "America's first black President" (which are both things the autofellating press said about him) but on things like welfare reform. Bill Clinton looked like a viable alternative to George H.W. Bush, who after all had signed the biggest tax increase in history a scant couple of years after telling us we could read his lips, "no new taxes". A promise he technically kept, since the deal he signed merely raised existing taxes and did not emplace new ones, but it was still the biggest tax increase in American history...until Bill Clinton signed one a couple years after he won re-election. (Said tax increase essentially giving control of the House to Republicans for the first time in forty years.)

The point being, the Democrat candidates run hard left now, and trust their allies in the mainstream media just to forget everything they're saying right now when it comes time to run for the general election. And the media will, because their support for Democrats is unequivocal. You're not going to see someone stick a microphone in Elizabeth Warren's face and ask, "Senator Warren, in the primaries you said you wanted to ban private health insurance, but now you're saying that of course people will be allowed to keep their private health insurance if they want to. How do you justify this change of heart?"

No one will ever ask her that question. The mainstream press never asks Democrats that kind of question. Never, never, ever. A Democrat presidential candidate could tell us, in the primaries, that he wants to fund research to clone Lenin and Stalin and then make them permanent dictators of the USA, only to come out as anti-communist in the general...and not one of the mainstream media outlets would so much as emit a peep over it.

So--having this kind of cover, Democrats naturally tell us what they actually want to do during the primaries, and then lie about it for the general election. The press won't ask any inconvenient questions about the issue, and further will decry any questions from the GOP nominee about it as "negative campaigning".

The only difference between this election cycle and the past ones is that this time, the Democrat nominees aren't holding anything back. They know that only the hard left-wing of their party will elect them, so they need to speak to that constituency. I'm expecting they're relying on the hard-left and a crapton of illegal votes to put them over the top. I also figure that there will be an unprecedented level of election fraud come November of next year.

It's what they do.

* * *

If you are wondering how you get rich on a politician's salary, this explains how.
In April, [Rep. Horseteeth's Chief-of-Staff Saikat Chakrabarti] came under fire for reportedly funneling over $1 million in political donations from two political action committees he founded into two of his own private companies. The allegation earned a campaign finance violation complaint with the Federal Election Commission, according to the Washington Examiner.

Chakrabarti founded a PAC called Brand New Congress in 2016, and another in 2017 called Justice Democrats which has the stated goal of helping to elect progressives to Congress.

Between 2016 and 2017 his PACs raised approximately $33 million--mostly from small donations, while the committees transferred over $1 million to two shell companies Chakrabarti controlled during the same time period. The shells were formed with similar names to the PACs; "Brand New Campaign LLC and Brand New Congress LLC" according to the Examiner report.
90% of the stuff these people do with PACs and LLCs is totally legal. If you know the ins and outs of the law--or if you have a lawyer and an accountant who do--you can make yourself incredibly, lavishly rich solely because you sit in an office in the Capitol. And that office door does not necessarily need to say "Senator" or "Representative" on it.

Did you know that when a congresscritter or a Senator retires, he can convert his campaign fund into personal wealth? And while he's on the job, that campaign fund can be used to pay for a hell of a lot of rich living, as long as it's got the right paperwork attached?

People who say they want to get the money out of politics focus on campaign finance, but they are missing a huge part of the bigger picture--which is why the legislature goes along with it. Usually they've figured out a new angle and no longer need to do it the old way.

* * *

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Shitholistan) says most deaths in US are caused by white men. Sure--why not? We just need to extend the definition of "cause" to mean that the 53.1% of homicides committed by black men in America wouldn't have happened if white men hadn't imported black slaves from Africa. So, as you can see, the fact that 13% of the population commits over half the murders in the USA is the fault of white men for having African slaves.

...and not to put too fine a point on it, but in fact the murderous fraction is smaller than that. Most black men are law-abiding citizens. There is a much smaller subset of black men who are incontinently, savagely violent, and they skew the statistics for the entire "black male" demographic. That 53.1% of all murders is committed by something like 5% (or less!) of the population. And--by and large--committed against that same 5% of the population. The only reason that little fraction hasn't driven itself to extinction stems from the fact that it breeds extremely quickly.

* * *

So, rats in Chicago, too. Perhaps not at the level of Baltimore, but they are there.

* * *

An aviation two-fer:

The canyon was routinely used for aircraft training but apparently this guy forgot where he was. The airplane apparently went *splat* right into a canyon wall--which is fine, I guess, but he injured seven tourists, which is not. "Still under investigation" so we don't know why a veteran fighter pilot abruptly augered in. "Shit happens", though.

Light aircraft pilot dead-sticks it onto a busy street but everyone had the good sense to stay out of his way, with the result that no one was hurt. When I saw this video I thought he didn't have his landing gear down, but he did. I'm led to understand that the airplane was parked at a nearby JiffyLube until it could be recovered and taken back to the airfield.

* * *

On the disappearance of ritual. "Ritual" does not necessarily mean religious rites, either, but simply "this is a preprogrammed sequence of events which our culture has established as what you do in this situation."

Genuinely smart people, people who are much smarter than average, they typically disdain "monkey customs". There were enough of these extra-intelligent folks doing things in the 1960s that they convinced our entire culture to jettison its rituals. The result is about what you'd expect, as that post makes plain.

* * *

On the mutability of language. It started long before "gay" and "grass". It's only accelerated in recent years as the pace of innovation has increased.

* * *

Get woke, go broke, part #4,987.23. Proctor and Gamble wrote off $8 billion on its Gilette brand.
...[I]n the 2010s technology altered the way consumers purchased razors, and relaxed social norms prompted men to shave less often, according to a Euromonitor report. In the past 5 years, the U.S. men's market for shaving products has shrunk by over 11%, the data firm said.
...and right in the middle of a shrinking market, Gilette decides they haven't lost enough business yet, and comes out with that stupid anti-man horseshit ad. Brilliant fuckin' marketing, guys--nothing like making a bad situation even worse, I always say. I know it convinced me to stop using Gilette products, and in fact to avoid using Proctor and Gamble products wherever I possibly could.
P&G has been cutting prices and investing in new products at its grooming business, hoping to claw back market share from upstart shaving brands bought by rivals, such as Unilever's (ULVR.L) Dollar Shave Club and Edgewell Personal Care's (EPC.N) recent acquisition of Harry's.
Nope. I use Harry's razors now. Tossed my Gilette Fusion handle right into the trash and started using Harry's, and I get the same quality shave for about a third of the price.

* * *

Speaking of "woke", This is a good point. "People who refer to 'white folks' as a group are racist."

* * *

Playboy's future is...doubtful. Let's face it: the magazine is obsolete in a world where all you need to do is open a browser on a telephone and type in "boob" and immediately see literal hundreds of images of breasts. If you are feeling particularly literate you can type "nude girl" and see thousands of naked women with links to thousands more, plus videos and webcams and-and-and.

...and for nothing, just as a part of what you pay for your Internet service.

The truth is, no one ever read Playboy for the articles. And in a world with instant-on porn, girlie magazines are obsolete.

* * *

Charging station for electic cars consists of a diesel generator and a charger. Apparently there is no electric service where that charger is.

And so--to charge your car at that point, you need to burn fossil fuels. To make matters worse, the fuel used to run that generator must be trucked in from somewhere, requiring the burning of more fossil fuels.

This is the calculus of electric cars.

* * *

With the end of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san I'm thinking I'll want to add something else to the lineup. I was watching that show from an online site that streams anime (which is why it wasn't on the official playlist--well, that and the name) so I might replace it with something else from that site.

Still wanting to get a wireless keyboard for Achernar. Not in the cards today, though. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see.

In any case, I've got a couple of hours before we I need to start getting ready to go see Cats.

#6786: Warm but not humid

Across the street I see that the PT Cruiser which had been sitting in flood water up to its headlights has finally moved. No idea if it moved under its own power or was pushed.

Regardless, though, immersion does unkind things to automobiles, even if water does not get into the engine. I don't think the water went high enough in this case, but I also don't think the car was ever opened, and allowed to air out, after the flood. In other words, "Come and get your black mold!"

Yeesh.

Meanwhile, I haven't accomplished anything today except to get out of bed and write a blog post. Argh etc.

* * *

One of the YouTube channels I follow is "3DMachines". The guy recently took a John Deere 5-wheel "Gator" and put the engine from a Yamaha snowmobile into it. This is after he's tried putting two other engines in the thing, including a 750 cc Suzuki motorcycle engine that turned out to be no bloody good at all.

Anyway, the thing that gets me about it is how high he has to rev the thing to get it to move. The snowmobile engine has a centrifugal clutch with a torque convertor on it, so it probably engages at the right speed, but for all the noise being emitted by the engine it certainly doesn't seem to be moving very fast.

Granted I don't know what the power/torque characteristics of the engine are, but the snowmobile engine is something like 550 ccs so it ought to be producing reasonable torque at a lower engine speed than that. It's a fuel-injected 2-cycle engine, but again, it sounds like it's running awful fast for what they're doing.

Well, he seems to be enjoying it, anyway, and it's not really my problem.