Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dispatches from Borepatch World Domination HQ

ASM826 put me up for the evening, but plans for World
domination were a continual topic (as you can imagine).

Walmart for ammo? Check. (Note: bringing ammo to A826's Secure Offsite Facility is like bringing coals to Newcastle. But ammo makes a great stocking stuffer).

Good bourbon? Check, and check again just to make sure.

More nutmeg than cinnamon in the French Toast? Check.

Plans for a Garand Match in the spring? Check, although I may need to shoot left handed because of my shoulder. It may be a Walk On The Wild Side. The sacrifices we make for World Domination. ...

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Borepatch Kitchen Domination

Thick sliced Italian bread as a basis for french toast. Fried ham on the side. Juice. Coffee. Real maple syrup. Whatever plans Borepatch might have for world domination, it was my kitchen he took over this morning.

A Visit With My Brother

Borepatch stopped in on his way to Christmas in Virginia. We had dinner, conversation, and a little bourbon. We stayed up talking, trying to use the hours we have together. Both of us have had close calls recently, neither of us is young, and there is a sense of how finite the time is.
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”
 ― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Saturday, December 20, 2014


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In which I overslept before a road trip

Ugh. Doesn't happen very often, but instead of rolling at 0700 it's already past ten.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

A milestone

It looks like sometime on Monday this blog had it's one millionth page view during 2014.  I'm very grateful for all of you who keep coming back despite my best efforts.

In celebration of what is the best year yet for traffic, and as a thank you to our readers, all blog content shall be entirely free of charge for the remainder of the day.

Happy Blogiversary to Blue Sun

His blog is five years old.  Long time in this business. Plus be has over 4000 posts over that time.  He's a one-man solution to the lack of original content on teh Interwebz!

Stop by and leave him some commenty love which is better than egg nog with spiced rum!

Merry Christmas From The Family

After offering you y'all the Billy Idol video, I got the following in e-mail from a lurking reader.

Well played

Hack the coffee pot!

Who knew that Keurig had DRM (Digital Rights Management) in their little cups?  Derek Ward shows us that their DRF-fu is weak.

Coffee wants to be free, dude! Or at least less expensive. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Remember, ammunition makes a great stocking stuffer

Animated 1911

Animigraffs tells us everything about a 1911, from the grip safety to case ejection, all in animation. Here's what they have for loading.

Here is the link to the whole thing.

Video of the Greenpeace damage to the Nazca site

Via Chris Muir, video of how they damaged the site.  Good grief.  I'd like to see the names of everyone who participated published.  Name and shame.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'll See Your Roy Orbison

And raise you a Billy Idol. Easily one of the most disturbing Christmas videos I've ever seen.

Roy Orbison - Pretty Paper

Who knew he had a Christmas Album?

Living In The Future

Whatever else you might do with a 3D printer, it won't be any cooler than this.

A "Cyberattack" is not a declaration of war

Assuming that we still did quaint things like actually declare war.  The Czar of Muscovy ponders the Sony hack, in response to a reader who says it was an act of war:
When armed Libyan citizens attacked the Benghazi compound, which was American soil, and murdered the ambassador, that was an overt act of war. The President did nothing.

Given the Sony hack was much less catastrophic in terms of lives lost, the President will again do nothing. Since he blamed the compound attack on a YouTube video, perhaps he will blame the Sony hack on the popularity of Korean barbecue places.
The Czar is precisely correct that nothing will happen.  I will go further and say that a US company getting hacked by someone overseas is a really really really bad reason to go to war.  It's far too easy for a clever attacker to implicate a third party, pulling us into regional conflicts that we have no business in.

And quite frankly, there's quite a moral hazard here: many people think that Sony had a terrible information security program, because they didn't want to spend the money.  Fine, that's their business decision.  However, the US Marines shouldn't be a backstop for them trimming IT costs.

Are there cyber attacks that could cross this boundary?  Sure - shutting down a major part of the power grid would qualify in my book.  But not Sony.

The inventor of the Write-Only-Memory finally speaks

Hidden in anonymity since 1972, he finally tells the tale of how he created his legendary spoof:
I worked at Signetics as an engineer from about 1967 to 1979. One of my tasks in the Signetics MOS marketing group was to create data sheets for new products.

I wrote the 25120 WOM data sheet, copyrighted in 1972, as a lark to see what a Signetics WOM specification might look like.
WOM = Write-Only-Memory, a joke datasheet for a chip where you could write data but not read it.  Note that from a security perspective, this is pretty much unhackable ...

For those of you who don't have a yellowing photocopy of this stashed away in a manila envelope, here it is:

Picture of the day

Or month.

Via Theo.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fantasia - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Great Christmas lights in the original 1940 film version.


I have been commuting to work for years. Today it caught up with me. I am home and pretty sore, doctor's appointment on Thursday. The bike is in the shop. It could have been much worse.

Brothers in Asphalt

This morning when ASM826 was riding his bike to work, a guy in a taxi t-boned him.  He's shaken up but whole.  Nothing broken, thank God. 

A warning to our readers: it seems that this is catching ...

What happens when 75% of your country's electricity generation goes away?

I don't know, but it looks like Germany's fixin' to find out.  Their conventional power producers are threatening to stop producing power:
With just a 48-hour notice delivered by a personal phone call to Ms. Merkel on a Saturday, the CEO of E.ON, the largest German and European power producer, let it be known that the company had decided to split itself in two, one part grouping fossil and nuclear power generation and a second part encompassing the “politically correct” activities in the field of “renewable” energies. Sort of a “Bad E.ON” / “Good E.ON” move. The intention is to get rid of the “bad” part as soon as possible by putting it up for sale. At the same time, this also means the “good” part will cease to be duty bound to ensure a stable power supply under all circumstances. Obviously, such a liability is not enforceable from an entity whose only power sources are unstable wind and solar power plants. In a nutshell, the message behind this move is that the silverback of the “big four” German energy producers who group the bulk of the country’s conventional and nuclear power production is about to close shop at short notice. The others will probably follow suit.
Germany has made a big deal out of getting most of its power from solar and wind, at the expense of nuclear and conventional (coal/gas) generation.  The restrictions on the conventional sector have increased to the point that the major players are threatening to exit the market.  The major players represent perhaps 80% of Germany's generation capacity.
Outlines currently emerging suggest that:

A) Nuclear power will remain banned. More than 30 years of demonization of the technology probably cannot be reversed,

B) Plans to rein in the soaring price of electric power prices will be abandoned. A key representative of the ruling CDU party has already warned that price hikes will continue.

C) The hope of the government that highly flexible combined cycle gas-fired power plants can be deployed in large numbers to offset the highly volatile production from wind and solar plants has gone up in smoke since these entities have much higher costs than coal-fired units. They thus were the first to succumb to the market distortions brought about by the heavily subsidized “renewable” technologies.

D) The government now implicitly recognizes that in the years to come, coal and lignite fired plants will play a substantially bigger role in securing the country’s power supply than projected. The obvious hope is that it may be possible to stabilize the vessel without having to explicitly admit the core pieces of the previous strategy have to be scrapped.
I would add the following: (E) German heavy industry that replies on power as a significant cost of production (chemicals, manufacturing) will continue to relocate to the USA.

I guess this is a case study that even the Germans couldn't make GOSPLAN work.  Err, and that whole DDR thing is another case study that they couldn't make it work ...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bela Fleck - The First Noel, Oh Come Let Us Adore Him, Joy to the World

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Shocked, or You Know, Maybe Not Shocked

Is anyone shocked by the events taking place in Australia? Anyone shocked by the person now identified as the terrorist?

Here's my selfie taken when I heard about it. 

Well, according to ABCNews, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the incident as "profoundly shocking".


Fever came on last night.  After 12 hours, the fever broke, but I feel sort of flattened.