Archive for July, 2018

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 29, 2018

Garden Report for 180730

The weather was clear and hot, in the low 90’s. Watering restrictions in effect, but they don’t apply to gardens, and anyway, I’m using a drip hose.

The garden is just starting to produce. Hybrid Beefsteak (that’s all it says on the tag, I think it’s a bush variety) is producing the most, followed by the Champion. Our one Early Girl is almost ripe.

Our lone Zucchini is starting to pump out the veggies. Time for Zucchini casserole or something. The Delicata and Spaghetti squash are producing, but it will be some weeks before they are ready. I planted the Summer Squash way late, so it’s still in the growing phase.

The Japanese cucumbers are about six inches long. Not sure when to harvest them. No regular cucumbers yet.

I am trying something new with the cabbage. Planting it in a container. It’s outside right now, and the plants have only just sprouted. I’ll let them get to a reasonable size, then move them inside, where there’s less chance of bolting.

Vegetable Count Weight
Total Total
  tomato 8 900 112 8 0.9
zucchini 3 800 267 3 0.8
Grand Total 1.7

This time last year we had almost 3kg of produce, thanks to an earlier start on the Summer squash and the cucumbers.

TLDR — Anime I never finished, Summer 2018

July 28, 2018

As the season progresses, more shows display their true colors.


Asobi Asobase
The normal Japanese ending to jan-ken-pon

Mean girls being mean to each other. Comic book artstyle, and the sort of humor that Republicans would like.







Lord of Vermilion
Ruku, I am your father

Soon to be superheros find themselves trapped in Tokyo. Like Kekkai Sensen, but without the zany environment, well-rounded characters, or imaginative artwork.






Haunted Hot Springs
Nobody else can touch me, but I don’t mind if it’s you, Kogarashi san

Terribly generic bosom of the week. Cross between Kawaii Complex, Love Hina, and Invaders of the Rokujouma.






Chio’s School Road
Look mommy, blue and white stripes!

Each episode has two parts.

Part 1: all the strange adventures that happen on Chio’s way to school (the only adventure I ever had was when my trombone case fell of the basket of my bike).

Part 2: Mean girls being mean to each other. Like Asobi Asobase only with different artwork.

Oatmeal Au Jus

July 26, 2018

So, MJ and her friends, about once a month, will have a girls night out. A few weeks ago they went to see “Solo” (they liked it), and eat dinner at a local restaurant. MJ had the prime rib, and she brought the leftover rib and a container of the jus back for me. I’d already had dinner, but I’m always ready to go the extra meal. I didn’t use much of the jus, so the rest of it, the leftover leftovers if you will, became breakfast.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one third cup of jus, two thirds cup of beef  broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, no salt, because the jus is salty enough. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Very good. Very beefy. Very whatever it is they put in the beef juice to make jus. I’m willing to order prime rib again, just to have this for breakfast again. You can go heavier on the potato flakes, but what makes this so good is the beef graviness of it.

Rating: *****

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 24, 2018

Garden Report for 180724

Starting to get some results, but not enough to build a new yield table yet. First, we had a couple of zucchini. Good in salads. Two more coming along, which means we’re already running behind.

Next, three tomatoes! Yay!!

The crimson tide begins

From left to right, a giant Beefsteak (100g), a gianter Hybrid Beefsteak (150g), and a cute little Champion (250g). No, I don’t know the difference between the Hybrid and the regular Beefsteaks. We ate the Champion yesterday. Bit of a letdown. Mealy and watery. I had been watering every other day, which may explain it. I’ve gone to every three days, and we’ll see.


TLDR — Anime I never finished, Summer 2018

July 20, 2018

I currently have 23 anime on my tentative watchlist — new for the summer, and second coeur holdovers — plus three or four rewatches. Obviously, my moe-meter can’t stand this level of watchery, and I’m going to have to drop some of them. Not that I wouldn’t drop these, even on a light schedule. Three harem, one angst, and one comedic failure, all eminently droppable.

How not to summon a demon lord

So, slavery isn’t bad if it’s cute girls and you’re in a culture that approves of such things and the enthralled ladies say they like you. It’s not like you’re keeping them in a home-made dungeon in your basement with your wife complaining about you spending all your time in the storage room, and besides, it’s high summer and too hot for me to go outside.

A wannabe Overlord, with no demonic minions and no castle. I’ve read parts of the light novel, and it’s actually better than the anime adaptation.

Master of Ragnarok
He’s about to propose to her

It’s great to be in another world, with your smartphone, where you can lord it over the ignorant savages and have busty ladies rub themselves all over you. Wait. That’s been done. Why are we doing it again? So we can have the ladies call you “big brother”?

Another one where the light novel was better than the anime adaptation. But not so good that I’d want to keep reading it.


Yet another harem. Except it’s set in this world, not the next. All the girls look like they’re fifteen years old. Except for the one who looks like she’s eight. There’s amnesia, and strange diseases, and stranger prophecies.

Based on a galgame, which, thankfully, I haven’t had a chance or the inclination to play.

Planet With

Three-way plot, between amnesia-stricken boy raised by a maid and a monster cat, a group of seven superheros, and an invading force of aliens with a lose grip on the concept of spelling. The boy is mad at everybody. The superheros keep losing to the boy after beating the invaders. The invaders are never around long enough to say what they want. About the only thing going for it is the cool mecha designs. And we never learn what ‘with’ is. With fries?

Jashin-chan Dropkick

We end with one that wants to be Gabriel Dropout, only, you know, edgier, and with more cartoon violence. Sort of a Doga Kobo meets Looney Tunes. Bunch of demons in a six mat apartment, plus goth-loli human, and an angel who lost her halo and can’t go home without it.

Snake demon keeps trying to kill goth-lolli human, but keeps getting sliced and diced instead. Did you know snake tail goes good in hot pot? Did you care?

The limits of algorithms

July 19, 2018

Every now and then, my Twitter feed throws up a warning about the content of an incoming tweet. It looks something like this:

[This media may contain sensitive material. Your media settings are configured to warn you when media may be sensitive.]

The trouble is, these warnings are based on some sort of image processing algorithm, what you might call a primitive AI. Very primitive. Here’s a screenshot* of what triggered my latest warning:

Only sensitive if you are a vegetarian

The algorithm also lets through some pretty NSFW images, but I won’t show you those. Get your own tweet stream.

*Today is the “Day of the Ox” in Japan, and the poster is saying that they are going to eat beef today. Actually, you are supposed to eat eels.

Oatmeal au Vin

July 19, 2018

The other day, MJ made a chicken and wine sauce recipe — chicken broth, onions, tomatoes, and cream; plus not enough salt and rather too much wine. It wasn’t inedible, but the recipe will require a lot of work. We ended up with a cup or so of the sauce.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, quarter cup of rather winey red wine sauce, three-quarters cup of beef broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Reasonable. The beef broth diluted the wineyness and the whole thing made a reasonably tasty blend — surprising, because tomatoes usually don’t go well with oatmeal. I’d do it again, but I wouldn’t make that recipe just to do it.

Rating: ***

WordPress Math

July 19, 2018

A quick check on my stats, early this morning, shows:

That is, two views by one visitor. Both the views were of my home page, and the visitor came from … the US and the UK?  Is this a case of dual citizenship?

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 16, 2018

Garden Report for 180716

At last, we have tomatoes! Sort of.

I waited until MJ was out of the house and then ate them all

OK, so they’re cherry tomatoes. It’s a start.

Meanwhile, there’s a Champion tomato in Section 1 of the KHG that appears to be turning. I say appears to be, because it’s that pinky flesh-colored color that could mean it’s decided to rot on the vine. According to the planting guide, the Champions aren’t due for another ten days yet. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, I am trying something new. We haven’t had much luck with the cabbage family, on account of as how it gets too hot too early — I’ve had broccoli bolt by mid-June. So I’m planting some cabbage indoors in the sun room. Lots of sun, not too hot. Nothing has sprouted yet.


Refrigerator Velcroats

July 13, 2018

Refrigerator Velcro refers to recipes that can involve anything you have in the fridge, kindof like minestrone. We’d been collecting various meats for a week or so. There was the bag-o-bones left over from the Kentucky Fried Chicken we had one night, complete with remnants of the special coating. There were a couple of well-gnawed beef shortribs. And there was a slab of some sort of beef, about half the size of a paperback book (mystery novel, not blockbuster) that was moderately flavorsome but solid as a board.

I threw it all into the pressure cooker, along with a handful of baby cut carrots and half an onion, a couple quarts of water, and cooked it on high for 45minutes.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of velcrobroth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Moderately flavorsome. The added salt was a mistake. There was enough in the special coating to cover it, and it didn’t need any more. Basically, it made a good baseline broth. You’d really want to add additional additives to make it useful with oatmeal

Rating: ***

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 10, 2018

Garden Report for 180710

According to Cliff Mass, NW summer really arrives today.

Just by chance, this is also the day my first tomatoes are due. An Early Girl, transplanted on May 21st, and tomato-ready today, 50 days later — it says here in the planting guide.

Those planting guides may not be totally accurate.

So far, that’s the only tomato on this plant.


TLDR — Anime I never finished, Summer 2018

July 8, 2018

Summers are the weakest of the anime seasons, as if the creators were on an Okinawa beach, just phoning it in. This summer we start off with bloody psycho horror, bloody zombie horror, and pedophilia.

Angels of Death: Girl finds herself sitting on a chair in a strange building. Said building turns out to be a fun house of horror, with a different threat on each floor — bandaged guy with scythe, fake doctor who only wants her eyes, etc. You can look on it as something that is going on inside her head, or you can assume the building (complete with surveillance cameras and staff announcements tracking her location) is some sort of construct by some sort of rich psycho, or maybe a Japanese reality show gone wild. I suppose one could wait around to find out, but I had to go practice my –suru verbs.

Third floor: Lingerie, kitchenware, and eyeballs

Calamity of a Zombie Girl: Teenagers break into the library basement on a lark (because they’re teenagers, of course), find a couple of occupied caskets there (because that’s the kind of thing every school library keeps on hand), open them up and steal an amulet from one of them (because teens don’t watch old movies any more). The inevitable ensues.

with Toilet humor

To Be Heroine: Teased as kind of a sequel to To Be Hero. Sequel, as in, written by the same guy after the one he wrote first, but otherwise no relation. The production studio is Chinese, and the characters all speak Chinese (with Japanese subtitles) in the real world, and Japanese (no Chinese subtitles) in the isekai.*

To Be Hero was an eight-minute short, and was all toilet humor. Not poopy jokes, but real sucked-into-a-toilet-and-granted-superpowers stuff. To Be Heroine is a full length anime about a schoolgirl who is sucked into an alternate word, populated by 3-year olds wearing nothing but underwear, that tends to fall off. She’s the only one who wears clothing, and each bit of it summons a different servant to defeat the opponent’s servant. Said opponents being other 3-year olds wearing underwear plus one. If you are not afraid that the FBI will scan your hard drive some day, this is the show for you.

If the underwear falls off, I die!!

*Which is interesting, because all the Chinese films I’ve seen have been in Chinese, with Chinese subtitles.

Happy Tanabata

July 7, 2018

Clear here tonight, so the lovers can meet.


from 2017

Me and Myeloma

July 7, 2018

TLDR: The latest round of tests came back, and there’s no trace of multiple myeloma (yay!). We check again in October.

Details: All my normal blood tests are normal (red blood cell count 4.5 — a little low, but well up from the 3.5’s of earlier this year), and the myeloma-specific tests are the same (IgG is down from 3414 to 212 [which is actually low], M-spike is no longer detectable).

Meanwhile: Retirement next December still looks like a wise decision. Increasing age means the non-myeloma issues are beginning to pile up, and I’m spending more time and mental resources dealing with them. I’m taking six pills in the morning and six at night — heart, gout, antiviral, prostate, probiotics, and more heart. If I stick to my recommended exercise regime, I’ll be doing 20min of neck exercises and 20min of back exercises twice a day, plus 45min to an hour of walking. I may be back to jogging by the end of the summer, but my stamina is way down, and so is my heat resistance, which limits my walking and gardening times. Sleep patterns are irregular.

Overall I’m doing better, but I still feel like I’m ten years older.

BTW: Turns out I’m not the only one with this. Tom Brokaw had it way worse than me, but the same set of drugs has driven his into hiding as well. Here is a 4 minute interview with him on the topic. I note that while I only got a dozen or so blog posts out of it. Brokaw got a whole book.