This is kind of hilarious. Conservation groups asked California to protect 4 species of bumblebees…

This is kind of hilarious

Conservation groups asked California to protect 4 species of bumblebees. The agriculture industry objected on the grounds that the state’s endangered species law doesn’t cover insects. But the state fish & game code, in trying to cover all its marine life bases, defines a fish as “wild fish, mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, or amphibian.”

So technically, bumblebees as invertebrates are eligible for protection as fish.

#law #weird #nature


The state supreme court ruled in favor, because that’s technically what the law says, and pointed out that the legislature “is in a position to make whatever statutory amendments it may regard as necessary or useful” to resolve ambiguities


Expanded slightly on my blog, along with a link to another interesting bee-related article I saw this week.

Wait, Bees are…Fish?


There is another Manga edition of #LesMiserables????!!!! (Pippin voice): I’m getting one!

There is another Manga edition of #LesMiserables????!!!!

(Pippin voice): I’m getting one!

LES MISERABLES (Omnibus) Vol. 1-2 by Takahiro Arai, Victor Hugo

On Twitter

Oh wait, I *have* heard of this one. It came out a few years ago in Japan, and now it’s been translated into English


On Twitter

*sigh* apparently there’s still no official English-language version of Shoujo Cosette

On Twitter

Included in The Brick and the Cinder Block

Ugh .. i wish things wouldn’t auto update while I was already straining my CPU temperature….

Ugh .. i wish things wouldn’t auto update while I was already straining my CPU temperature.

Fortunately I’d saved my game 10 seconds before the system shut itself down.


And of course the installer that ran wasn’t done, so it’s in a state where the service won’t run, won’t uninstall, and won’t reinstall. Even after deleting files manually.

I’m going to have to run regedit, aren’t i?

Heck with it. I don’t use this that often. I can pick it up another time and get back to my game for now


It. Crashed. During. Save.

Fortunately, No Man’s Sky seamlessly picked up my previous save.


Hot take: Installers that detect whether the program is already installed SHOULD OFFER TO REINSTALL ANYWAY.


System Restore failed and left the system in a state where only manually-installed programs have icons in the taskbar, and anything installed from the Microsoft Store shows a blank button. This is freaking ridiculous


Finally tried one weird trick:

Take another Windows box that has Google Drive on it, copy the files from Program Files\Google to the one with the broken setup, and run the uninstaller from Program Files\Google\Drivewhatever. Reboot.

Drive is now uninstalled properly AND my taskbar icons work again.

Created a new restore point. Going to try reinstalling now, and then going to bed whether it works or not.


This is not how I wanted to spend Saturday evening.


Yay, it reinstalled. FINALLY. Mounted to a different location, but who cares, I can fix that whenever.

Expanded on Tech Tips: Drive Reinstall and Taskbar Icons.
Expanded on K2R

COVID, weird

It turns out the person I caught it from also tested negative for Covid during their illness…and then came down with actual Covid after they recovered. Fortunately they seem to be on the mend from that now too.

That means (a) whatever I caught from them wasn’t Covid and (b) we haven’t been around them in long enough that we don’t have to worry about it having been a Covid exposure too.


COVID, confused

All three of our tests came back negative. So I don’t know what I have, but apparently it’s not COVID.

(One false negative, sure, but 3? Not likely.)

And now the kid’s mad that he has to go back to school on Monday because we haven’t tripped the COVID isolation protocol after all.

I’m kind of disappointed, weirdly enough. I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop for almost 2 years and thought it finally had, and dropped in a way that would do minimal damage to the 3 of us.

On the plus side, if it really isn’t COVID, I probably won’t need to isolate for the full 10 days, just until my symptoms clear up.

I probably should isolate as if it was covid, just to be sure.

1. It’s not COVID, it’s something else. Even though the symptoms match and it’s massively surging in this area
2. I’m the only one who caught it and mine was a false negative.
3. They both caught it and have already cleared it out to the point of testing negative, and mine was a false negative.
4. All 3 tests are false negatives.

I’m really not sure which is most likely.

Thread start on

Covid, food: Tonight’s dinner taste test

Tonight’s dinner taste test

Garlic: yes. Roasted potatoes: barely. Roasted radishes: delayed taste. Kale: yes. Carrots: no. Bell peppers & onions: kind of. Soy sauce: yes


And dessert test.

Maple cream cookie: Similar to the chocolate chip cookie yesterday, where it initially didn’t taste sweet at all until after a few seconds of chewing. And fortunately I can still taste maple!

A 60% cocoa Ghirardelli square tastes like a 72%.

A mint-filled square tastes more intensely minty.

A sea salt caramel square tastes like salty chocolate.

covid, spice cabinet

So this is interesting. I can smell most of the dried herbs fine – oregano, thyme, dill, cloves. Rosemary is kind of faint, but I can pick it up.

Garlic is intense.

I can smell cinnamon but not nutmeg, which is odd.

And here’s the really weird one: paprika, ancho, black pepper, cayenne and ginger all smell subtly off from normal. Like when you get a chile that’s normally spicy but isn’t, and you can still taste the flavor but it doesn’t have the bite you expect.


I also tried tasting a few sauces.

Ketchup and mustard tasted more sour than usual. Plain yellow mustard was too intensely sour.

Teriyaki tasted a little more like sweet & sour sauce.

Gochujang & caramel were both a little bit off, but I couldn’t quite place how.

Chocolate syrup was interesting, because I could pick up the chocolate taste before the sweetness, so it started out tasting like darker chocolate.

Covid, food: Weirdest thing is the taste/smell impact…

Got what is so far a mild case of what’s almost certainly covid, mostly fatigue & runny nose (yay boosters!).

Weirdest thing is the taste/smell impact. It hasn’t gone out completely, it’s more like taking an audio equalizer and readjusting the sliders so that some frequencies are barely audible while others are still normal. Umami’s solid, sour’s a bit blunted, sweetness is even fainter. At least food still tastes like food so far.


And some of the fainter tastes do kick in after a while. I tried a chocolate chip cookie, and at first it was like eating a cracker or plain biscotti, but after a few seconds of chewing I could taste the chocolate.

And yes, I have considered experimenting with the spice cabinet…


We set up a pair of take-one boxes on a table on the building’s front lawn, one with candy and the other with party favors. Then we took turns taking the kid around the neighborhood. Last ride of the giant Minecraft spider jockey costume before he outgrows it.

I was amazed at how many families were out. More than most years. We ran out of both candy and toys.

I guess it’s a reaction to everyone staying home last year.


I picked up Outer Wilds again now that the expansion dropped and finally finished the endgame. …

I picked up #OuterWilds again now that the expansion dropped and finally finished the endgame. (No spoilers since the game is all about discovery. I’ll just say that it involved revisiting one of my least favorite mechanics in order to get to it, which is why I set it aside for so long).

The ending is a perfect, bittersweet coda to the story you uncover over the course of the game.


(longer thread on incorporated into blog post)

Expanded on K2R
Link on Twitter

Musical instrument acoustics

Interesting: I went to look up exactly what a sound post does, and it’s not so much transmitting vibrations between the top and bottom plates as it is providing a fulcrum so that the bridge can transmit the sideways vibrations of the strings (constrained by the bow pressing on them) to vertical vibrations in the body. Plucked instruments like guitars don’t need that because the strings can vibrate in all directions

Music StackExchange: What’s the purpose of a sound post?

Diagram of the bridge, sound post and body of a violin, showing how the side-to-side motion at the top of the bridge (where the strings pass over it) are transmitted to vertical movements on the body of the violin via rotating around the point where the sound post and one of the bridge supports meet on opposite sides of the top plate of the violin body.    Image via the stack exchange answer linked here.

Expanded on K2R

Parenting music lesson snafu

Kid’s gotten interested in playing music & has been trying out various instruments over the last few months. (Yay for rentals!)

The latest is cello. When we got it home he noticed the bridge was off-center. He can replace a string, but we all agreed to wait until his first lesson & let the teacher adjust it.

He had his first lesson yesterday, with the same teacher he took violin from a few months ago. First order of business was to adjust the bridge…

So the teacher started carefully loosening the strings while holding the bridge (which is held in place entirely by the tension of the strings) until she could shift it into place. And as soon as it moved, we all heard a loud *THUNK* from *inside* the cello.

The sound post, which both provides structural support and transfers vibrations between the front and back of the instrument, had fallen out.

And was rattling around inside the cello.

(He wants me to point out that when it happened, he reacted immediately saying “Oh no! SOUND POST!”)

So she immediately had to retool the lesson since he couldn’t, you know, play an instrument that was his size (he’s tall for his age, but it’s all in his legs) and just kind of introduce him to bass clef and the basics of how violin and cello differ.

Amazingly, we were able to make it to the music shop before closing (10 minutes to spare!) and swap it for another one.

So in theory, he can actually practice before the next lesson.

Thread start on
Expanded on K2R

Looks like it’s the CPU cooling.

Looks like it’s the CPU cooling. Started monitoring the temperature and found that under heavy load it was climbing up to 70 C. Max operating range is 61.

So tomorrow I get to open up the case, clear out the dust, make sure all the fans are working, etc. I’m hoping either that’ll be enough or just putting new thermal paste on the heat sink does it.


A voice in the back of my head wants to use this as an excuse to upgrade & I keep telling it “no, only if it’s actually necessary.”

Expanded on K2R

Meanwhile the laptop has been experiencing major lag on Minecraft over the past week. More or less since Apple released the latest security update…which didn’t actually install.

Hoping it’s just a case of the stuck update slowing things down. I’ve had that happen on my work computer too.

Expanded on K2R

I really don’t want to spend the 3-day weekend fixing computers 😟


Ugh…my home computer clearly needs some hardware help.

Ugh…my home computer clearly needs some hardware help. No Man’s Sky isn’t the only game causing it to shut down under load.

I guess it’s time to figure out whether the power supply needs to be replaced or I just need to blast a couple year’s worth of dust bunnies off of the CPU fan.


Actually it can’t be that long, I replaced the graphics card last summer just before the chip shortage started driving prices sky-high (damn that was lucky timing), and I’m sure I would have cleaned it out at the time.

Expanded on K2R

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last macOS security update. There’s no …

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last macOS security update. There’s no possible way there are 2.3 GB worth of changes between that one and this one.

Did Apple just give up on delta patches a while back and start shipping the entire OS every time there’s a bug fix?

Expanded on K2R