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Dated 27 August 2018: This Hand Maid May blog entry is not about May or maids

May and Kazuya
At least the apartment she's cleaning is also small.

I think it's been more than 10 years since I last re-watched Hand Maid May. I probably have a disproportionately positive perspective on what is ultimately a 20th century fan-service-laden harem comedy. I can't guarantee I would still hold it in high regard if I were to watch it for the first time now, but I do still remember it fondly. (The impetus for bringing Hand Maid May up again comes from the latest episode of Hataraku Saibou.)

Kazuya and Kasumi
That ladder bridge looks less and less safe as the years go by.

If anything, re-watching Hand Maid May now might help me clarify one aspect that I've always been sort of uncertain about. Namely, how old is Kasumi? Her current English Wikipedia entry describes her as an 18-year-old college student (with no citation), and the current Japanese Wikipedia entry claims she is a student at Kazuya's university (also with no citation). I don't remember this ever being established within the anime itself.

Kasumi and Kazuya
Further proof that Kasumi is right-handed..

It is pretty likely that she is at least out of high school, because there is a flashback in episode eight to Kasumi's graduation, and we never see her in a school uniform outside of those flashbacks. But since (as I understand it), compulsory education in Japan ends with middle school (after completing 9th grade, by U.S. reckoning), it's not impossible (albeit unlikely) that she dropped out to run the apartment complex, coach baseball, and flirt with Kazuya full-time.

Dated 11 December 2017: IBM Thinkpad T42p now on its seventh life

Thinkpad 25
In unrelated news, I also bought one of these.

This actually happened in late 2015, but I never got around to updating this list until now. The CCFL died again, but at least replacing it was much easier this time around than the last time(s). This time I was able to acquire a replacement with new wires already soldered onto the bulb instead of having to get it just right (read: just a little off from just right) myself, so it was a much simpler swap. Plus, I've already torn apart and reassembled the screen so many times it's just easier to do now. So, if I've kept track correctly, this Thinkpad has gone through the following repairs:

  1. Fan died in 2006, but was replaced under warranty.
  2. CCFL broke in 2008 and I replaced it myself.
  3. New fan burned out too in 2009, and I replaced it myself.
  4. Screen went out again in 2009 because I did a lousy job replacing the CCFL in 2008.
  5. Hard drive failed in 2010, and I replaced it myself.
  6. CCFL failed again in 2015, and I replaced it myself.

So, this laptop has died six times and is now on its seventh life. That's probably going to be the last time (not counting inevitable battery failures), since I never use the computer for anything anymore. I guess there are still a few old video games I never finished, and I could theoretically fire it back up for old time's sake, but we'll see.

Dated 18 September 2016: Computers are hard

I still run into issues getting Linux to properly output 7.1 audio over HDMI sometimes. Note to self: Next time just start with pavucontrol, sheesh.

Dated 27 May 2016: Wake Me Up Asuna gets a new free outfit but no new punctuation

Asuna
Birth control glasses.

Just a few observations now that I've been using the Wake Me Up Asuna app for over a month. It really can fail for no apparent reason. It's only happened once, but that's pretty unreliable for an alarm clock. Hence the need for its prominent disclaimers and warnings, I guess. It also can go batshit crazy and drain your battery out of nowhere. That's only happened once too, and I haven't been able to reproduce the bug. The real news is—aside from the initial nag—Asuna hasn't pestered me to buy her any new clothes, and now there's even a new free outfit, shown above.

I get the feeling we're only a few years away from a wave of digital assistants, probably something like the Amazon Echo combined with a Cortana that's more like the Halo version than the Windows version. I'm hoping for a Yui voiced by a synthesized Ito Kanae—a Yui that will randomly crash the fuck out of my SMRT-HOEM with erratic bugs. The future's gonna be awesome.

Dated 22 April 2016: Wake Me Up Asuna needs better punctuation and probably more pestering about household chores

Asuna
There's no landscape mode.

Thanks to MVB's recommendation on the Twitter, I installed the Wake Me Up Asuna Android app even though it really should be called Wake Me Up, Asuna or even Wake Me Up, Asuna! There's not much to say about it. It does what its website describes, and it doesn't seem to have any weird bugs or battery-sucking behavior (at least not on any of the three devices I tested). The synthesized Haruka DeTomaso Pantera voice sounds fine, but I also didn't challenge it with a hard-to-pronounce name. There are no ads, and you can use it for free providing you don't care about English subtitles or feel like buying Asuna new clothes. Speaking of which, she will nag you within the first 24 hours to buy some different clothes, but I've gone a few days since blowing her off and she hasn't asked again yet.

Asuna
The housewife sweater is free.

"Asuna's sweet words will definitely make you feel as if she is your wife!" is a bit of a stretch. Mostly she just stands there. It's a little weird when she's pretending to sleep. Like, she'll keep standing there, swaying randomly. The lights will still be on, and every once in a while she'll crack her eyes open, I guess to see if the coast is clear. Thankfully, I don't believe the application has camera permissions, so Asuna probably won't really stare at you while you sleep. I also sort of feel Asuna is a weird choice to be the first of these daily assistant character jobbies, but I guess she needed to be a popular mainstream character with a Life Debt to Sony.

Dated 20 August 2015: Million Doll is a gripping idol civil war melodrama

Monona, Yurino, and Rina
Chaste local idols don't go around flashing naked armpits.

I ordinarily would have dropped Million Doll already, but instead I re-watched its first six episodes in preparation for the show's final stretch. This was only possible because each episode is four minutes long. Million Doll has entirely too much frightful 3D CGI for me to watch six full-length episodes, let alone re-watch that many. Even aside from the 3D CG, the show looks cheap as Hell. (Are we still allowed to claim a show looks "cheap" in a post-Shirobako world?)

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Dated 4 August 2015: New mouse pad

Asuka mousepad
I also cleaned my IBM Model M keyboard.

I bought this oppai mouse pad thanks to CliffyB's glowing review. (The review is sort of tsundere, so you have to read between the lines.) As for the boobie mouse pad itself, I'm just about certain that it's an unlicensed Chinese bootleg, but the quality is adequate for what it is. The underside is a solid flat non-slip surface. Once you peel off the protective plastic film, the mouse pad will stay firmly planted to your desk no matter how vigorously you mouse.

Dated 18 November 2013: I'm starting to think the Sony Vaio Z line is kinda delicate

The best part about having a $2400 laptop suffer a hardware failure while you're away from home is relying on dubious bittorrent clients on your phone to stay up to date with currently airing anime. Turns out Golden Time was worth it this week, though.