Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Haloween Jack O'Lanterns

Not feeling well today, and didn't have the energy to do the Jack O'Lanterns the way I like to.  In fct, I bailed out and just did something boring (and quick; had to get the dogs to the dog park before dark).


But #1 Son made up for it with this tour de force:


The pumpkin carving Force is strong with that one.  And snark - he just told me that New York City dressed up as Venice for Halloween.

Ghosts of Haloween past

I like carving Jack O'Lanterns.  Here's a gallery of some of my best.

2004:


Reversed the curse.  The neighborhood dads liked it.

2008:


Yeah, I'm a Red Sox fan.

2009:






It turns out that I didn't carve any in 2010 because we were moving from Chez Borepatch.

2011:





That one is scary.  Today I plan to do a Calvin And Hobbes one.  We'll see how it comes out.

How do you stop "Green" Energy?

You use the rhetoric of protecting the environment to kill them:
Several senior Tories, including Owen Paterson, the new Environment Secretary, also believe the wind farm “blight” has not been properly considered before allowing development. Mr Paterson will formally respond to a government review on the community benefit of wind farms shortly and is expected to warn about their impact on rural areas.
Last night, [UK Energy Minister] Mr Hayes said: “We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can’t single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land.
The issue, of course, is the hideous cost of the subsidies needed to keep wind power as a viable concern.  The Energy Minister is simply balancing his portfolio in a more rational manner.  To get the political cover to take on the greens, he's using their own rhetoric.

I'm continuously surprised that the Left is simultaneously convinced that they're smarter than everyone and yet find themselves out thought by their opponents.  After the third or forth time this happened, you'd think they'd do some pondering.

The Internet is mocking the Democrats this election season


Win The Future?  FTW, dude?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What does President Romney do with Eric Holder?

Holder's fingerprints are all over Fast and Furious.  This is a problem for the soon-to-be-elected President Romney.

You see, the complete truth will out in the first half of 2013, truth irrefutable driven by the GOP controlled House and Senate investigations and with Romney's Administration no longer obstructing said investigations.  Documents will be released, so many documents.  Meeting minutes.  Sworn testimony before Congress.  Holder's responsibility for a program resulting in hundreds of deaths will be beyond question.

And so gun owners and others of a similar political philosophy - the Team Party and GOP, for sure - will demand a reckoning.  Democrats will cry "whitewash" along with "victor's justice" and no doubt "racist".  And so what's Romney to do, caught between these two?

Immodestly, I propose the solution: back channel negotiations with the Mexican government can result in a Mexican charge of conspiracy, along with an extradition request.  Romney can grant it, in the interest of foreign policy.  The President, after all, is given that as part of his Constitutional responsibilities.

I'm guessing that seeing the inside of a Mexican jail is more than even a lot of the gun community might wish on Holder.  But I might just be wrong on that.

Granted it's pretty, but is it art?

Barbie, as "imagined" by great artists.

Mona Barbie

What, no Artemis Barbie with a pink deer rifle?

Always trust content from Borepatch!

Rasmussen, October 29:
According to the latest Rasmussen state polls, Mitt Romney is in position to win the presidency; he should win at least 279 electoral votes. Romney leads in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and New Hampshire; Obama leads in Nevada. Wisconsin and Iowa are tied. Were Romney to win both Wisconsin and Iowa, he’d secure another 16 electoral votes, putting him at 295 electoral votes. By way of contrast, George W. Bush won 286 electoral votes in 2004.
Borepatch, May 15 Romney 296, Obama 242:
So there's the line up.  It could be worse: the states I have listed as "Weak Obama" have 85 Electoral votes: Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin

Quite frankly, some of those very well might break for Romney if the current weak economy and ineffectual thrashing by the Obama campaign continues.  The Romney camp has been impressively disciplined, and so it's far more likely that a damaging gaffe will come from the Democrats this season.  If all of those 85 votes break for Romney, you have to go back to Reagan's victory in 1984 to find a worse drubbing.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is no upside for Obama at this point, only minimizing the loss.  A 297 to 241 loss might preserve his chances to run again; a 382 to 156 loss will leave him washed up.  But there really isn't any path to victory for him - after all, Mussolini could beat him this year.
My gentle readers were, ahem, skeptical (*cough* DENIERS! *cough*).  Just sayin' that a good rule of thumb is to always trust content from Borepatch.  Of course, I've since updated my prediction from May, talking about the signs of a Romney sweep, maybe as many as 400 electoral votes:
It's plausible that this election will see a D+0 advantage (i.e. none at all).  Not guaranteed, but plausible.  If so, how does that translate?  Well, consider that even in the D+10 polls Obama didn't break 50% - in fact he hasn't broken 50% in around a year or so.  Now take away that D+10, making it D+0 and what do you get?  Low 40s - 42%, maybe 43% to Mitt's 52%.

When was the last election that say that sort of split?  It was 1988, when George H.W. Bush captured 426 Electoral Votes.
The punchline?  Gallup has voter affiliation as R+1.

You want to know why there's panic in the Democratic party?  The Stars may lie, but the numbers never do.



And so all y'all who are nervous about this election, grab a good whiskey and a nice cigar.  No Professor Doom gonna stand in my way, I feel lucky today.  Of course, Romney winning is a very, very bad thing.  But you can put it in the bank.

Always trust content from Borepatch ...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cool Linux system hardening tutorial

It's a computer lab assignment, locking down your Linux boxen.  It has some great suggestions and pointers to useful tools.  Security geeks will like this.

Me, I particularly like the SCAP stuff which IMHO is the most significant security advance in maybe 15 years.  And I simply hadn't ever run across limits.conf which looks like the shiznit.

We now return you to your regular blogging schedule.

Wow

Good luck to those in Hurricane Sandy's path.


National Review: still a clown car

Women's eggs can't get fertilized in fallopian tubes (without serious consequences) and fully automatic weapons are not illegal, despite the NRO's sneering how can Thomas Friedman be so ignorant column:
In the context of claiming that the real pro lifers are gun control proponents, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s current column denigrates the biological acumen of actual pro lifers because of Todd Akin’s appalling comment about “legitimate rape.”  But Friedman is in no position look down his nose about ignorance: From his column:
“Pro-life” can mean only one thing: “respect for the sanctity of life.” And there is no way that respect for the sanctity life can mean we are obligated to protect every fertilized egg in a woman’s ovary, no matter how that egg got fertilized, but we are not obligated to protect every living person from being shot with a concealed automatic weapon.
There has never been, and never will be, a fertilized egg in any woman’s ovary.  That’s high school biology. They don’t get fertilized there. That happens in the fallopian tube, after which the egg ceases and an embryo is formed. Perhaps he meant protect every embryo or fetus in a uterus. But that’s not what he wrote. Friedman should know better and so should his editors. Good grief, this is the New York Times!

Also, automatic weapons are already legally banned.  He probably meant a concealed semi automatic weapon. There’s a difference. But what’s a little inaccuracy among friends?
Hey, he may not have any idea about High School biology or the National Firearms Act but hey - "Smart" uber alles, right NRO?

Those whom the Gods would destroy ...

... first they drive mad.

I smell landslide, in no small part because it looks like neither Obama nor his supporters know how to react to change the race.  It's The World's Smartest People® thrashing and back biting, all the way down.  Negative campaigning may work, but I don't think it's ever worked for an incumbent*.

I'm waiting for the Democratic ads accusing Romney's mother of being a Prostitute.

* No, Barry Goldwater didn't lose because of the "Daisy" ad, and Michael Dukakis didn't lose because of Willie Horton.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pretzels FTW

I like to bake bread, and have for a long time.  #1 Son asked me to make pretzels instead of bread and so I did.  Holy cow, it's easy.

Step 1: Make your favorite easy bread dough.  Whichever recipe you like is fine.  You want brioche pretzels?  Sure.

Step 2: Divide the dough into 1/8 of a loaf pieces (obviously, before you bake it).

Step 3: Roll each piece of dough into a roughly two foot long roll.  It should be about as thick as your finger.  Form the dough string into a "U" shape, and then take the ends and cross them over into the traditional pretzel shape.

Step 4: Boil the pretzels one at a time for 30 seconds in a solution of 10 cups water and 2/3 cup of baking soda.  I like to flip the pretzels half way through, but have absolutely no idea whether this improves the final product or not.

Step 5: Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with pretzel salt (a coarser grind then even kosher salt; do not use other kinds of salt here!). Bake at 450° for 12 minutes until brown.

Stolen from Alton Brown, except I used my regular "Ted Bread" recipe, at the request of the kids.

Why should conservatives support higher education?

Sean Sorrentino points us to an interesting fact about how politicized the universities have become:
81 percent of faculty members, however, said they would vote Obama, compared to 15 percent who favor Romney. The margin of error is +/- 6.1 percent.
It's not just NC State, either:
Among full-time faculty members at four-year colleges and universities, the percentage identifying as "far left" or liberal has increased notably in the last three years, while the percentage identifying in three other political categories has declined. The data come from the University of California at Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute, which surveys faculty members nationwide every three years on a range of attitudes. Here are the data for the new survey and the prior survey:

So nearly two thirds of professors are self-described liberals.  12% are self-described conservatives.  This is a huge disconnect from the American public as a whole:
Political ideology in the U.S. held steady in 2011, with 40% of Americans continuing to describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This marks the third straight year that conservatives have outnumbered moderates, after more than a decade in which moderates mainly tied or outnumbered conservatives.


U.S. Political Ideology -- 1992-2011 Annual Averages
Again, remember that this is self-described political philosophy.  So riddle me this, ProgressiveAgenda Man: why should the 75% of the public that does not share the Profforiat's viewpoint have to pony up tax money to support what seems on its face to be politicized higher ed system?  Please make sure your answer addresses Gramsci's Long March through the Institutions, and make sure to discuss the impact of professors' ability to black ball tenure appointments secretly, for any reason.  Oh and while you're at it, please include an analysis of the social justice implications of student loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy so that social security checks will be garnished to pay the loans.

Extra credit if your analysis covers the power relationships between tenured and non-tenured faculty.

The hypocrisy is really astonishing, if you think about it.  That's the single biggest reason to de-fund the Universities.  If they pay their own way then it doesn't matter if they're a bunch of hypocrites. 

Epic smackdown is epic

It seems that sumd00d got all up on his "moral high ground" hobby horse somewhere on the Internet (this is admittedly shocking and unexpected).  It seems that if you favor lower taxes rather than Gay Marriage* you're just like people who voted for George Wallace.

Or something.

Midwest Chick takes him to the woodshed for the most satisfying thrashing I've seen in quite some time.

* ObDisclaimer: I actually support Gay Marriage, because I don't think that the business of government is telling folks what they can't do with their personal life, and that the 50%-plus-1 portion of the population has no business doing it either.  Get offa my lawn.

But that said, the Gay community needs to realize that when you package your stuff with a whole bunch of big-government, high-tax, industry killing regulatory policy (not to mention a whole bunch of government getting up in your private business stuff like "speech codes"), well, you lose a bunch of support.  I mean when you mix your yummy ice cream with a mess of dog turd, your yummy ice cream really isn't particularly appetizing.  Just sayin'.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique"

Image via Wikipedia
Tchaikovsky, along with Dostoyevsky are Russia's two undisputed artistic champions, by which I mean they have international renown.  It's almost certain that you will recognize this piece.  Three things about it stand out.

First, Tchaikovsky died nine days after the first performance, which he conducted himself in 1893.  The Czar himself had thrust Tchaikovsky into prominence in Russia, insisting that Tchaikovsky's new play Eugene Onegin to be staged at the Bolshoi, replacing Italian Opera with native Russian.  Tchaikovsky's reputation was enormous both inside and outside of Russia.

Second, Tchaikovsky was a year younger than I am now at his death - 53 is too short a performance for such a talent as his.  Rumors persist to this day about whether it was his "broad" sexual taste that caused him to run afoul of a noble family which would brook no deviance, but there is no doubt that Pyotr Ilyich went from the flush of health to stone cold dead in the space of a week and a half.

Third, today is the 119th anniversary of that premiere performance of that symphony.  Tchaikovsky wrote so many famous works - Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture, the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Marche Slav - and this is instantly recognizable as one of his greats.  You wonder what the world missed from his composition career struck down in its prime.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Maybe I need one of these

Man, that's an old picture.  But it would be less than a Garand.




Confession time

The lovely and perfect Mrs. Borepatch told me to pick out a gun for Christmas.  The odd thing is that I am starting to talk myself out of a Garand.

[pauses to let shocked gasps of horror die down]

The problem is that it seems I have a great selection of rifle ranges, but only if I drive an hour.  I have a great selection of pistol ranges, and they're all 15 minutes away.  I just know that I'll get to the range a lot less often if it's an extre 45 minutes each way.

Also, the most interesting range (the one with a thousand yard range, like I could ever hit something that far away) have a $600 initiation fee.  So add in $650 for a Garand, $50 for sling and accessories, and $300 for ammo and we're looking at going on a couple grand.

Or I could get a nice Smith backup carry piece for half that.

Bah.  Being a responsible grown up sometimes makes me sad.

About those AC-130s

I heard that we had an AC-130 gunship over Benghazi during the assault on our embassy, and that one of our folks was laser illuminating the mortar attacking them.  And the AC-130 was not allowed to fire.  I sure hope that story isn't true.

Here's why I suspect that it is.  Compare and contrast, the "need to investigate":



"People know what I mean".  I fear that I do.

Contrast with "I can hear you":



Ambassadors are an odd, feudal holdover in the American political system: they answer solely to, and serve solely at the pleasure of the President.  It is the single vestigial remnant of the old European monarchical system on these shores.  There's quite good reason for this: the Ambassador's person is inviolate, and wars have begun when an Ambassador was abused.

I normally post a country music song on Saturday, but even someone as cynical and jaded as I find myself nauseated by the idea that a commander in chief might have let Americans - including an Ambassador - be butchered while armed forces were standing by, able to rescue them. Today, my heart isn't in it.  There's music a-plenty, but not if those who need to won't listen.



Thus may poor fools believe false teachers: Though those that are betray'd Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor stands in worse case of woe. 
- William Shakespeare, Cymbeline Act III Scene IV

Friday, October 26, 2012

Milsurp shooters in Atlanta - anyone want to go shooting?

There's a match at Riverbend Gun Club next month:
River Bend Gun Club is hosting a slate of sanctioned CMP Games matches including: J.C. Garand; Springfield Rifle; Military Vintage Bolt Rifle Match; and Unlimited Garand  Matches. As well as our own non-sanctioned Vintage Military Sniper and Carbine Fun match on Saturday, November 17, 2012. Be there by 08:15am, firing will begin promptly at 9am. Match fee is $15. Awards will be CMP Achievement pins for participants who shoot a qualifying score in the CMP sanctioned Games matches.
You need a Garand or a Mil-Surp boltie in original configuration with 55 rounds of ammo.  I have my Enfield, and suspect that more than a couple of you have one as well (*cough* Differ *cough*).

It sounds like a fun day.  Let me know if you're interested.

Obama's biggest problem? Hillary Clinton

So it looks like Obama's campaign is collapsing, and looking to take down a brace of other Democrats in a wipeout election that's ten days out.  At least, there's a very good chance that this will be a wipeout election.  If it is, then Obama has no re-election prospects in 2016, any more than Jimmy Carter had any in 1984.

So who is the individual who has the most to gain from Obama being removed from the 2016 Democrat primary?



And who has the biggest axe to grind against Obama and his machine for the 2008 Democrat primary?


And who was thrown under the bus publicly in order to save Obama from the Benghazi disaster that is blowing up even as you read this?  Publicly, so very publicly - publicly enough that she has iron clad plausible deniability for any leaks that turn a Dead Ambassador into an anchor that pulls Obama down even more and guarantees a massive loss.  Guarantees an Obama loss so spectacular that Obama has no chance to run in 2016?


I actually think that this is a scientifically testable hypothesis.  If the Sunday political talk shows are full of discussion and revelation about the Benghazi affair, then you know that the Clinton camp is leaking to the Press, and that the Press is beginning to consider her as the standard bearer for 2016.  All entirely deniable, 'natch.

Me, I'm getting popcorn because this is fixin' to be one enjoyable show.

Indiana Jones - not so dreamy after all

Denied tenure:
Permit me to list just a few of the more troubling accounts I was privy to during the committee’s meeting. Far more times than I would care to mention, the name “Indiana Jones” (the adopted title Dr. Jones insists on being called) has appeared in governmental reports linking him to the Nazi Party, black-market antiquities dealers, underground cults, human sacrifice, Indian child slave labor, and the Chinese mafia. There are a plethora of international criminal charges against Dr. Jones, which include but are not limited to: bringing unregistered weapons into and out of the country; property damage; desecration of national and historical landmarks; impersonating officials; arson; grand theft (automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft, and watercraft in just a one week span last year); excavating without a permit; countless antiquities violations; public endangerment; voluntary and involuntary manslaughter; and, allegedly, murder.
This whole post is filled with Win.

HAHAHAHAHA

Sorry, girlie - I don't know anyone who would want to have Voting Relations with you.



Well, Bill Clinton comes to mind.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chicks and blues

Man, Bettie Soo sings it, Bonnie Raitt style.

Obamnesia #2

Barry O. in college.

 

I'm really frosty right now ...

Sunshine and Kitten futures

Still likely down, but it's hard to see anything that will change that.  And so to all you Obama h8trs out there, let the clothyard shafts fly.  Enjoy the moment, drink it in.
You are the bows from which your children ballots
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow ballot that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
- With apologies to Kalil Gibran
So let it be written, so let it be done.

The muddy fields of Artois

597 years ago today saw an epic conflict come to a head.  The English yeoman army of Henry V had been marching for weeks through the muddy fields and country lanes of France, wending their slow way towards the safety of Calais.  The campaigning season was late, and their assaults of the fortified Norman towns had slowed their progress.  Dysentery had slowed it further.  It had not started that way.

The French and English had been spoiling for a fight, caught as they were in the 100 Years' War.  Henry was new to the throne, and itching to prove his mettle.  No less than the Bard of Avon tells us that the French Dauphin - Crown Prince - felt no less.



As a famous American ex-President might have said, the Dauphin may have mis-underestimated the new English King.  And Shakespeare gave us one of the great scenes of a play filled with great scenes.



The battle was joined, on that muddy field of Agincourt.

The French were contemptuous of the English, outnumbering them five to one.  And fresh, not exhausted and sick.  And the flower of French Chivalry mounted in their splendid armor.  The English overthrow looked assured, recounted in the greatest scene ever written in the English language.



The English slaughtered the over-confident, contemptuous French.  for 112 English dead, the French lost 10,000 of their finest knights.  Henry became heir to the French throne, the Dauphin sent off to play tennis or something, far from any levers of power.

Our Crispin's Day speech was told quite some time ago, maybe as far back as the election of 2010.  The battle has been joined for a while, likely since the beginning of this month at the least.  The over-confident and contemptuous Obama campaign believed that their summer advertising blitz and their mass of mounted knights media boosters would sweep the rabble from the field. Instead, the first debate sounded the charge and the twang of yew bows launching their clothyard shafts filled the air.

The slaughter has been around us ever since. Romney chose his battlefield well, where the massed opponent would crowd upon each other and immobilize the entire force. He showed a candid world that he was not a monster, that he didn't kill sumd00d's wife, that he had a plan - any plan, it doesn't really matter.
You see, the Royal re-election campaign has no plan other than to send the third line charging through the muddy soup that swallowed up the first two lines. The voters have looked at this, and are breaking en masse against the Democrats.

It's hard to see that the turnout this year won't set records, and that this is very, very bad news for Obama and the down-ballot Democrats. The air is darkened with a myriad of arrowsballots, and many of their noble company will not survive the day.
Over confidence led to this disaster, over confidence born of a media bubble that ignored facts on the ground. A million distractions were mustered to the Royal Host, arrayed against a few simple arguments:

What's the plan for the next four years?

Never mind how we got here, what do we do now?

Romney sounds like he knows what he wants to do that will help.

It's a slaughter. Look around you, and you see the Royal host sinking into the mud. Their message changes daily, tracking polls and twitter trending memes. The Intelligence Community, not enjoying the view of the underside of the bus, is leaking Benghazi stories furiously. Fingers are pointing.

And Romney's campaign just keeps to plan, and the arrows fly.

There's a reason that the polls keep breaking more and more to Romney. A bunch of our fellow countrymen simply don't pay much attention to politics (I can't really blame them, actually). They tune in during the last few weeks, taking a quick look around to see what things look like. There's a pent-up unhappiness with the economy that they bring with them, but Obama would have had a chance to present his plan to them and win their votes.

He didn't have one. He still doesn't, despite a 20 page glossy brochure. These newly aware voters look around at a battlefield in shambles. Obama looks everything but a winner. He looks confused, disorganized, demoralized, small, mean, and petty. And his media army is packed together, unable to charge across the muddy fields. Indeed, some are breaking into rout.

If there were evidence against this, we'd see it in plenty. We don't. Instead we see examples like "Obama wins the final debate" and Romney goes from a single digit lead with independents to 17 points up.

Obama will continue to decline in the polls as the populace detects an increasing stench of death. The undecided will side with the guy who looks like a winner. That's not His Majesty. It's over, and it will be a historical defeat for the Democrats. There's no way they will keep control of the Senate, with record turnout and a large majority of independents showing up to vote for the guy with the (R) after his name.

Whether this will be good or bad is yet to be known. Henry swept all before him, achieving his life's ambition, and then exited the stage soon after, struck down by the dysentery that so hurt his army. England was in turmoil for decades, suffering through the War of the Roses until the Tudors restored order and brought in William Shakespeare, Esq. to write the history of their line.

Whether Romney will fare this, or better, or worse is a mystery. Yet the battle is actually ending around us. The moving finger, having writ Obama's history, moves on.

Sure, sure, get out and vote. But those of you who despise this Administration should savor its final death throes. Enjoy the next week and a half. Nock another arrow and sing for the glory of the slaughter.

This day is call’d the feast of Crispian. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.” Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”

- Shakespeare, Henry V

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Goodbye, Obama

Post coming tomorrow, but it's time to play the final Obama Campaign song.



I expect y'all will be happier at this than I am, but enjoy the moment anyway.

Obamnesia #2

Obama is campaigning against Romney, accusing his competitor of "Romnesia".  Okay, so how is his memory?  Not so good, actually:

Joe Biden's brother gets sweetheart government contract:
Joe Biden’s younger brother James stands to earn millions of dollars in post-war construction in Iraq, thanks to his long experience in the construction industry.  No, wait, James Biden doesn’t have much experience in construction.  All right, he stands to make millions due to his long experience in investing in South Korean construction firms and doing business in Iraq.  No, wait, he doesn’t have any experience in either of those fields, either.  How, then, did James Biden work his way into a partnership with a South Korean firm to build 100,000 homes in Iraq, a project that will be financed by the Iraqi government?

It really helps, as the president of the partnership managing the project involved told investors, to have “the brother of the Vice President as a partner”
Barack Obama's brother: living in a slum:
The man sitting opposite me looks and sounds nothing like his elder half-brother. He did not arrive with a security detail; no journalists politely raise their hands to ask him questions. This is George Obama.
It's not that I think that Obama's brother should get sweet, sweet crony-capitalist payola.  It's that Obama keeps talking about how important it is to help the poor, and he doesn't lift a finger to help his own brother.  Did he forget, or something?  I mean, he makes like a million dollars a year.  He'd never miss ten large, and it would change his brother's life.
Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.
- Francois de la Rouchefoucauld

Bright Clear Concept

Sucking up spam is sucking up:
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Fantastic beat to this blog.  I give it a six out of ten because it's not all that easy to dance to, but thanks for the creative English!

Easy bison teriyaki

If you find yourself with a horde of ravenous teen age boys to feed, this scales nicely.  Double (or triple) everything, and you'll have them eating out of your hands.  Err, and the cookpot.

In your largest pot, brown 1 lb of ground bison.  It's very lean meat, and so you'll want some oil.

Add 2 3/4 cups beef broth, 1 cup of orange juice, and 3/4 cups of soy sauce.  This will give sweet (juice) and salty (soy sauce).  Oriental cooking has a "Fabulous Four" of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy.  This gives us half of the four.  Bring to a simmer.

Add one Tbsp honey (two if you like your oriental food sweeter; I don't but it's a big world out there).  Add 3 cloves of crushed garlic.  Add dried chili flakes (or better, crushed Thai chili peppers in a tube that you can get in the super market).  This brings us to three of the fabulous four oriental flavors.

Add 2 cups of medium grain rice.  Long grain or basmati will work, but the medium grain will be a little stickier which in my opinion gives a more interesting outcome.  Short grain rice will be too sticky.  Add 1 bag of thawed frozen vegitables (mixed veg are nice, but green beans are maybe more authentically oriental).  Turn heat to low and cook 20-25 minutes until rice is chewy (but not gummy).

Now you need to bring the final of the fabulous four flavors.  2 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar (or better, Chinese black vinegar).  Me, I give it an extra shot because I like a little more sour.  Again, it's a big world out there, and you may like something different.

Immediately remove from the heat - prolonged cooking will really take the edge off of the vinegar, and that would be A Bad Thing indeed.  And now for the final ingredient that will make this unmistakeably oriental: 1 Tbsp sesame seed oil.  Serve.

There are some things that are really interesting about this recipe.  First, it's inexpensive and feeds a crowd.  Second, you can easily adjust flavors to taste - goose the heat with more chili or tone it down; add citrus zest more more sour or dial the vinegar back.  Vegetation is a blank canvas for you to pain with - you could replace the frozen mixed veg with some kale that you rip into bite-sized chunks and add during the last ten minutes.

But the kids love this, and any time that I can feed the family well for $10 is maybe not a home run, but it's for sure a stand up double.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The only Rock 'n' Roll song

I'm sorry, there's only been one.  The Axis of Awesome provides proof:



Frequent commenter Dave H turned me on to the Axis of Awesome.  They've had 24 Million page views without me - whether that's a statement on them or me is left to the insightful reader.

Even computers hate printers

Especially keyboards.  They hate those bastards.

Via #1 Son.

Cat snipers

Have a different opinion of red dots.


It's not often that I disagree with Bill Whittle

But I sure do here:



His argument goes like this:
Barack Obama is destroying this country.
OK, I can't really argue with that.
A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Barack Obama.
Well, hold up right there, Scooter.  Romney is looking to win Georgia by a high single-digit margin.  Out of the Million and a half or two Million votes cast here, my vote for Johnson (and the Missus', and #1 Son's) are going to swing Georgia's electoral votes to Obama?  I'm listening, but please show your work.
Four more years of Obama - unbridled by the need to get re-elected - will change this country to the point where nobody but the Democrats with their SEIU supporters will ever win an election again.
Screech!

 LOLwhut?  I'm listening, but please show your work.  I know that a lot of folks didn't like it when I said that it would be better for the Republic is Obama is re-elected, but I did lay out my arguments.  They may be wrong, but they're not stupid.  In return, I'd like something a little more well-reasoned than the Republican equivalent of ZOMG Thermageddon!!!eleventy!!!

I kind of was expecting better from Whittle.

Again, I'm not disputing the disaster that would be a second Obama administration.  I'm not disputing the damage that would occur from an administration that doesn't have to face re-election, and is therefore disposed to ideology over pragmatism.  My point (and Chief Justice John Robert's in his Obamacare decision) is that elections - and actions - have consequences.  I see more upside from the reaction to an unbridled Obama second term than from a Romney administration.  As I said, I might be wrong, but I do show my work.  I wish that Whittle had, too.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Great Balls of Fire Lightning

New scientific paper out on Ball Lightning.  Maybe they've figured it out.  No word as to whether Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the researchers.



Feels good.  Peer review is mine mine mine!


Upsets

Today is a day for historical upsets.

1633 saw the Ming dynasty crush the Dutch East indies fleet at the Battle of Liauouo Bay.  The Chinese Imperial fleet used iron cannon that they'd bought from England to whip the Dutch who were probably the greatest maritime power of the age.  Not that it helped the Middle Kingdom in the long term, although the Manchu dynasty restored Chinese power for another 200 years.

1710 saw the turn of Admiral Cloudesley Shovell, commander of a Royal Navy fleet returning from the Mediterranean to England.  A couple days prior a rating had come to his commanders saying that his Dead Reckoning  navigation showed the fleet to be seriously off course from where the Fleet navigators thought it was, and was in grave danger of running on unexpected rocks.  Shovell had him hanged for insubordination.  On October 22 the entire fleet ran aground on the Scilly Isles in the English Channel just as the Rating had warned, in one of the most unfortunate upsets in Royal Navy history.  Thousands of sailors were lost, as were many of His Majesty's Ships of the Line.  Admiral Shovell drowned with his fleet.  The episode caused Parliament to pass the Longitude Act, leading to the invention of the chronometer.

1790 saw the defeat of the U.S. Army by the Miami tribe warriors under chief Little Turtle at what would be Ft. Wayne.  The setback was temporary, as Miami University of Ohio leads us to believe.

1844 was supposed to see the end of the world on this day.  The next day went down in history as The Great Disappointment.

1895 saw a train unexpectedly beat a buffer stop at the Gare Montparnasse in Paris.  The train "won".

Image source
1964 saw the Nobel Prize committee award the Literature Prize to Jean-Paul Sartre.  1964 also saw Jean-Paul Sartre tell the Nobel Prize committee to stick it where the sun don't shine.  Sartre has always been over rated.


Obamnesia #1

It seems that Obama is going on about "Romnesia" (whatever that is) in his stump speeches.  Not that I'm a big fan of Slick Willard, but the hypocrisy is thick enough to cut with a knife.  And so I'm starting a new series, where every day I'll post an Obamnesia.  Feel free to do likewise.

Obama 2008:
After decades -- after decades of steady work across the aisle, I know he'll [Joe Biden] be able to help me turn the page on the ugly partisanship in Washington so we can bring Democrats and Republicans together to pass an agenda that works for the American people.
December 23,2009:
Passage in the Senate was temporarily blocked by a filibuster threat by Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, who sided with the Republican minority. Nelson's support for the bill was won after it was amended to offer a higher rate of Medicaid reimbursement for Nebraska.[144] The compromise was derisively referred to as the "Cornhusker Kickback"[179] (and was later repealed by the reconciliation bill). On December 23, the Senate voted 60–39 to end debate on the bill, eliminating the possibility of a filibuster by opponents. The bill then passed by a vote of 60–39 on December 24, 2009, with all Democrats and two Independents voting for, all but one Republican voting against and one senator (Jim Bunning, R-Ky.) not voting.[180]

March 21, 2010:
The House passed the bill with a vote of 219 to 212 on March 21, 2010, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against it.[188] The following day, Republicans introduced legislation to repeal the bill.[189]
Bipartisan record: 1-216-1.  Glad we're seeing the World's Greatest Orator get us past decades of ugly partisanship.  Anyone want to swipe this meme, get memeing.
HYPOCRITE, n. One who, professing virtues that he does not respect, secures the advantage of seeming to be what he despises.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Congratulations to gunblogstress Lissa

She just gave birth to #1 Baby.  Congratulations, best wishes to Mom and baby, and here's hoping she (Lissa) is back in heels soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Twee girlfriend

HAHAHAHAHA:
I want to be your twee girlfriend! For Valentine’s Day I’ll knit you a pair of fingerless mittens and send them to you with a bouquet of chocolate lollipops shaped like squirrels. We’ll put on matching aprons and make hot cocoa and drink it out of our sweetly ironic Care Bears mugs. Then we’ll get out our ukuleles and croon soupy love songs while my rabbit, Boopsie, snuggles at our feet.

Let’s be a twee couple! Let’s take photo-booth pictures wearing those whimsical fake moustaches I crocheted! Let’s adopt a hedgehog and name him Prickles and dress him in a teeny-tiny bow tie (or maybe an itsy-bitsy tiara)! Let’s bike through the park — me perched on the handlebars of your vintage Schwinn, the wind rippling through the ripples of my very ripple-ly mermaid-hair. We’ll picnic on cupcakes and blow dandelion wishes and search for clouds that remind us of woodland animals.
Sadly, it ends badly.  Somehow, it makes me think about this:



Or her:



Funny, that last one reminds me of Barack Obama ...

A Romney landslide?

Brian Cates has a very interesting post explaining how Romney might be ahead of Obama by 10 points, based on an analysis of the polling internals.  You may or may not agree with him, but he does a fine job of showing his work.  This bit is the core of his argument:
That 7 point turnout advantage in 2008 for Democrats was historic.  You mean to tell me many of these pollsters have been claiming they see numbers in their polls that leads them to conclude Democrats are going to TOP that turnout in 2012? 

Why, yes.  I am telling you that.  Because that's what they did.  

In September,  6 major pollsters claimed to see a D+7 advantage for Democrats.  3 of them  - Reuters, ABC/WaPo and Dem. Corps - claimed to see a Democrat advantage of 10 points or more.
It's plausible that this election will see a D+0 advantage (i.e. none at all).  Not guaranteed, but plausible.  If so, how does that translate?  Well, consider that even in the D+10 polls Obama didn't break 50% - in fact he hasn't broken 50% in around a year or so.  Now take away that D+10, making it D+0 and what do you get?  Low 40s - 42%, maybe 43% to Mitt's 52%.

When was the last election that say that sort of split?  It was 1988, when George H.W. Bush captured 426 Electoral Votes.  And Bush only won the popular vote 49-42.  The race this year will hinge on turnout, but I'm thinking that my prediction of Romney at 370 or so is understating the outcome.

Things I did not know about firearms, vol. CXI

I knew that the UK made something like 19 Million Lee-Enfield rifles, so they were found everywhere.  I also knew that there was a terrible shortage of automatic weapons in the British Army after Dunkerque.  What I did not know is that there were several designs that converted the SMLE rifle into full automatic.






The Rieder conversion kit could be installed with simple tools and converted the rifle into a full automatic weapon.  You could use either the standard 10 round .303 magazine or the 30 round magazine used with the Bren.

And the Kiwis did a full re-manufacturing, turning a couple thousand Enfields into Charlton Automatic Rifles.


Pretty ingenious, and a meditation on how effective gun control can ever be.

Gabriel Fauré - Berceuse, for violin & piano in D major

Image via Wikipedia
A well educated person was expected to master a wide range of subjects, back in the days when the Academy still had standards.  Indeed, the very term "Liberal Arts" gets its name the same Latin root as "liberty" and described the collection of subjects that Free Men were expected to know.

In our corner of the Internet, you find people such as that.  A friend plays this very piece.  I never did, but performed Fauré's Requiem.  We have these skills because, along with our technical training we learned the Liberal subjects that free men and women should know: history, mathematics, music, logic.

Gabriel Fauré was perhaps France's greatest modern composer.  His life began while Chopin was still composing, and ended in Louis Armstrong's Jazz Age.  He was a child prodigy, taught by no less than Camille Saint-Saens, and ended up as director of the Paris Conservatory.  He was profoundly lyrical, which no doubt contributed no small part in his popularity.  I find his music to be a delight.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Is this the best James Bond theme since the '70s?

Very Shirley Bassey-esque.



Live and Let Die was better, as were the great themes from the '60s.  But I can't think of one since that beats this one.

The world's oldest color film

110 years old.

Slim Jim recreates the skydive from outer space

But their budget was pretty low, so it wasn't from as high up ...


Aaron Watson - Hey Y'all

Oh.  My.  God.  This song is awesome.  You'll love it if you hate Country Music.  You'll double love it it you love Country Music but hate the over-packaged Country Pop that dominates the airwaves.  
How many clichés can you compress into a single song before it becomes dangerously explosive?  I guess we're fixin' to find out in today's hilarious Saturday Redneck song.

Sabra (you do read her every day, don't you"  Srlsy.) is wont to bring Teh Smart, which is why she's a daily read.  She also brings teh snark, like this:
What can be said of such brilliance?  Besides, "Poor Aaron Watson; I'm sure he's still trying to feel clean again"?
Brilliance, indeed.  The "New Nashville" of boring, over-produced pop clichés includes a school of "I'm more Country than you" (read Sabra's post for the definitive putdown of this execrable style) that Aaron Watson positively skewers in this song.  It's Country Music inside baseball, but such marvelous inside baseball.  Savingcountrymusic nails this:
When you’ve been writing real, heartfelt country music for the last dozen years, switching gears and going the other way and doing it with such wit and insight on how the other side of the music world works takes quite a measure of creativity and fortitude. Stupid bloggers like me can peck away at keyboards all day preaching to choirs, but the artists that fans look up to have the power to persuade, or in this case, point out the obvious that what is being sold to many country folks is a false bag of goods.


Aaron Watson is one of the good guys. Writing and performing a song like this takes guts.

Well played, sir.  So very, very, very well played.



Hey Y'all (Songwriter: Aaron Watson)
I say 'Hey y'all, look at me!'
I'm the name of the game and they call me Country.
'Cause I can rattle that buck, hook a big cat.
My girl is skinny but my rhymes are phat.
I'm a gun-totin' big mouth bass boatin'
and my granny likes a chew and chaw.
I've been saved from sin, can I get an 'amen'
and then can I get a 'Hey, y'all!'?

You know I got a jacked up pickup truck
with mud flaps and a 4-wheel drive.
I got it decked out like a Country pimp
I'll even let you twirl my fuzzy dice.
'Cause I'm a blue collar redneck
crazy white boy from the south
And if you see any folk got a problem with that
Sweet Potato Pie shut your mouth!

I say 'Hey y'all, look at me!'
I'm the name of the game and they call me Country.
'Cause I can rattle that buck, hook a big cat.
My girl is skinny but my rhymes are phat.
I'm a gun-totin' big mouth bass boatin'
and my granny likes a chew and chaw.
I've been saved from sin, can I get an 'amen'
and then can I get a 'Hey, y'all!'?

If you like Lynyrd Skynyrd on the radio
let me know and I'll sing you 'Free Bird'.
I like Johnny Cash Grand Master Flash
I'm name droppin' like you never heard.
I won't try it unless you fry it
put the Crisco in the pan.
I love fresh fried red hot hush puppies.
I got gravy running down my chin.

I say 'Hey y'all, look at me!'
I'm the name of the game and they call me Country.
'Cause I can rattle that buck, hook a big cat.
My girl is skinny but my rhymes are phat.
I'm a gun-totin' big mouth bass boatin'
and my granny likes a chew and chaw.
I've been saved from sin, can I get an 'amen'
and then can I get a 'Hey, y'all!'?

Now all these hot senoritas want to ride with me
I got 'em crawling up the side of my GMC.
Country Boys got my back,
Country Girls on my hook.
My 30-30 shined up and she lookin' good.
An' someone flyin' on my redneck roots,
knocking my gold belt buckle and my snake skin boots.
But I'm in it to win it so place your bets
and tell the whole world that I'm the Honky Tonk Kid.

I say 'Hey y'all, look at me!'
I'm the name of the game and they call me Country.
'Cause I can rattle that buck, hook a big cat.
My girl is skinny but my rhymes are phat.
I'm a gun-totin' big mouth bass boatin'
and my granny likes a chew and chaw.
I've been saved from sin, can I get an 'amen'
and then can I get a 'Hey, y'all!'?
My girl is skinny but my rhymes are phat.  LOL. And the name drop reference to Grand Master Flash will go over 80% of Country Pop's listener's heads.  LOL, again.  This is so filled with win that it's fixin' to collapse into a Black Hole of country mockery win.  Leave your comments on which songs you think are mocked here.  Be specific, and no fair mentioning Eric Church - all his songs are mocked here.  I am so buying this album.

I think that this is the most enjoyable Saturday Redneck post I've ever done, and it's all thanks to Sabra.  You are reading her every day, right?  Thought so.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Awwwww

I've been a bit of a Grumpy Gus lately, with a decided shortage of Sunshine 'n' Kittens.  So here's your Sunshine 'n' Kittens.






OK, there's no sunshine, and it's a full grown cat, but the dog has a pretty darn cute way of dealing with pesky problems.

What could possibly go wrong ...

... if you give the keys to a Ferrari to an 18 year old?
Alpharetta police spokesman George Gordon told the AJC that authorities initially got a call just before 4 a.m. about a possible brush fire on Webb Bridge Road near Alpharetta High School.

“Unfortunately, when our police officers arrived on the scene, they discovered the fire was actually caused by a single-vehicle crash,” Gordon said. “They found a red Ferrari that was on fire approximately 60 yards into a wood line.”

Gordon said that the two men inside the Ferrari had crawled out of the car, but had sustained “significant” burn injuries. They were airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition, he said.
Now my Jeep is designed to get 60 yard into the woods - kind of the selling point, in fact.  A Ferrari?  Not so much.  In fact, about the only way to accomplish the feat is to get up a head of steam.  The youngster and his friend are pretty lucky: after the sudden deceleration of those 60 yards, their ride was is less than pristine condition:


My Jeep looks pretty good, actually.  Seriously, who lets their 18 year old out in their Ferrari?

Obama sure can inspire the American people

He sure inspired this citizen in Roswell, GA:


He changes this sign every couple days.  Some are pretty funny, some are pretty angry.  He's been putting these up for a month or more, which is how long I've been driving by his house.

Inspired.  Yeah, that's the right word.

Online Sci Fi Novel

TJIC emails to point out that some of his work-in-progress science fiction novel is online.  He describes it as basically Larry Correia crossed with Vernor Vinge and Robert Heinlein (he actually describes it more modestly than I do).  It's quite good fun:
A few minutes later Max barked in excitement and Duncan and Blue raced to catch up. As Blue crested the ridge he saw what had excited Max. The PKs had found the mules…and Rex’s last-minute coding had done it’s job. It’d more than done it’s job.
One of the mules was badly damaged from gunfire, and was pitifully trying to pull itself forward on its two remaining legs. The other two mules had reached their objectives, though. At their feet were five PK corpses. The bodies each looked the same – pristine suits marred only by one circular hole punched directly through the visors.
One of the other mules – number two – had a leg stuck in the helmet of one of the PKs. Every few seconds a behavior routine fired and the mule tried to shake the corpse off its foot, but the slightly flared base of the foot was stuck on something, either some mangled machinery inside the helmet, or perhaps the shattered bones of the PK’s skull.
Blue’s ears pricked and his tail wagged a few times. “Duncan, how the heck did you and Rex program this behavior? You guys only had ten minutes.”
Even with the bulky suit on Blue could see Duncan puff up a bit. “It was Rex’s idea to program the mules to attack, but it was MY idea to dig through the code archives and find a whack-a-mole program in the ‘games’ directory!”.
Blue raised one expressive tan eyebrow. “You reprogrammed it to punch helmets, I guess? But how did you do THAT in just ten minutes?”
“Rex ripped out the targeting code and replaced it with a pattern matching subroutine, and I did an image search for spacesuit helmets. There were a couple of MILLION in our caches – it took the neural net training system MINUTES to process them all!”
I know guys who program like that.  What was funny was when I read the excerpt I heard the dialog in their voices.  That made it even funnier.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The number two Secret Squirrel

I LOLed and LOLed.



Crazy, babe.

Huh. I did not learn this in EE class

The only explanation is that I went to State U, where they don't cover electrical fundamentals like this:
Positive ground depends upon proper circuit functioning, the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke". Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work; we know this to be true because every time one lets the smoke out of the electrical system, it stops working. This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing. When, for example, the smoke escapes from an electrical component (i.e., say, a Lucas voltage regulator), it will be observed that the component stops working. The function of the wire harness is to carry the smoke from one device to another; when the wire harness "springs a leak", and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterwards. Starter motors were frowned upon in British Automobiles for some time, largely because they consume large quantities of smoke, requiring very large wires.
Weird.  Next thing, the President will tell us that gas prices are high because we're in the middle of a massive recovery or something.  On the plus side, I think I've discovered the connection between the Obama economic plan and 1960s British automotive electrical systems.

Word

ASM826 brings this season's political analysis.  His crystal ball is clear.  I actually don't have anything to say other than "RTWT", especially to folks who think that Obama is going to pack the Supreme Court with bun banners.

Of course, it doesn't really matter since Obama is flaming out like the 2004 Yankees.

As Michigan goes, so goes the nation

Since Mitt Romney is fixin' to cruise to a landslide victory, possibly even with coattails that win the Senate back, I've been meaning to do some thinking on what the next four years will look like in a Romney administration.  Well, this description of what's happening in Michigan is the Republic's future, painted on a smaller canvas:
What makes matters worse is the fact that the Republican governor elected in 2010 is a businessman all too typical of the businessmen who go into politics. If you have never heard his name, there is a reason. He brings to the political arena the amoral, apolitical mindset all too common among men of commerce, whose only concern is to buy cheap and sell dear; and his thinking is resolutely short-term. Michigan is now and has long been a mess, but he is not willing to address fundamentals; and, at a time, when the state is poised on the razor’s edge, he is unwilling to contemplate revisiting the arrangements made by those in the past who brought us to the disaster we now face.

Do not get me wrong. Rick Snyder is not a complete ignoramus. He was a successful businessman, and he has the wit to understand that the budget must be balanced. But he does not want to upset any of the powers that be. He sees governing solely as a matter of management.

...

Snyder’s fecklessness has left the Republicans divided and demoralized; and, sensing timidity and weakness on their part, the unions and their allies in the environmental movement and in the feminist left have gone on an offensive. The UAW may be on its way out. But, before it disappears, it will, if it can, pass the torch to the public sector unions and the left more generally. Here is how it proposes to do so.
And a more après nous le déluge description of Michigan's likely ruin is hard to imagine.  It's because the GOP establishment refused to implement the mandate that the voters - especially the Tea Party - gave them.

And so think on 2014, with a sad sack President Romney and GOP Congress that nibbles at the edges of the looming crises bearing down on this Res Publica.  What will the energy levels in the Tea Party look like?  And what will the energy levels look like in a Democrat Party stinging from the loss of power?  We say in 2006 and 2008 the voters turn their backs on a similar sad sack GOP.  Those same voters are now turning their backs on the Democrats, but nothing suggests that this vibration is dampening.

Bah.  I've seen Mitt in power, in the Massachusetts Governor's mansion.  The idea that he's some sort of Reagan is a joke.  January of 2017 terrifies me, and you only have to look at Michigan to see why.  Since it looks like Jesus Christ himself couldn't win this election for Obama, I guess we're going to get a chance to see it and feel it, good and hard.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

LOL

Pretty good snark, right there:
“Well it’s about time someone dealt with America’s biggest challenge, which is reinstating the Clinton-era assault weapons ban,” said Tom Feller, who spoke to us from behind his homemade cardboard WILL WORK ANY JOB/HAVE CHILDREN TO FEED/GOD BLESS sign. “The fact is that Americans just don’t need a weapon that has any two of a folding stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, or a flash suppressor, and it’s high time we moved to disarm ordinary Americans citizens who purchased such weapons in a completely lawful manner.”
The whole thing is even better.  Anyone remember when Obama "proved" his qualification to be President because he'd run a campaign?  How's that working out, Lefties?

And this is worth taking a look-see, regarding said pistol grip, folding stock, and flash suppressor.

Remote attack turns off pacemakers

This is pretty bad:
IOActive researcher Barnaby Jack has reverse-engineered a pacemaker transmitter to make it possible to deliver deadly electric shocks to pacemakers within 30 feet and rewrite their firmware.

The effect of the wireless attacks could not be overstated — in a speech at the BreakPoint security conference in Melbourne today, Jack said such attacks were tantamount to “anonymous assassination”, and in a realistic but worse-case scenario, “mass murder”.

In a video demonstration, which Jack declined to release publicly because it may reveal the name of the manufacturer, he issued a series of 830 volt shocks to the pacemaker using a laptop.
Of course, the wireless interfaces to the pacemaker were never designed to be secure.  Hey, what could possibly go wrong?


Security and gaming

Just how big is the video gaming industry?  Big enough that security researchers are looking into things like the security of the protocols used in Steam:
One proof-of-concept demonstrated in the paper is the use of the Steam reinstall feature, an undocumented feature for installing backups from a local directory. This has a splash image processor which, the paper says, has an integer overflow vulnerability that "may allow executing malicious code on the Steam process."

Other undocumented features in Steam include command-line parameters in the Source engine (used by games such as Half-Life and CounterStrike), callable from a URL and also vulnerable; and integer overflow vulnerabilities in the Unreal engine.
Rather a lot of the network traffic at Camp Borepatch is Steam or gaming, so this is of more than academic interest to us.  At Internet Security Startup there was a rule that the engineers weren't supposed to play Quake before 6:00* and we used to joke that we should write Intrusion Detection signatures for Game vulnerabilities.  Little did we know ...

And it reminds me of a friend (a crypto mathemetician) who was studying for her Master's degree (in Mathematics).  She had a bit of trouble at Three Letter Intelligence Agency when she tried to get reimbursed for the Game Theory class she had taken.  The faceless bureaucrat in Personnel thought that she was playing games, rather than trying to solve the Prisoner's Dilemma.

A gun-wookie confession

Not, this isn't about politics, it's about shooting.  I was watching the Extreme Marksmen show(on the Military History Channel) that I TiVO'ed for #2 Son.  I have to say that I enjoyed it - hey, what's not to like about Jerry Miculek shooting a 625 blindfolded?

But then they had the sniper segment, where they described the Remington M24 rifle as having a "five round internal magazine" while they showed the removable magazine being removed.  And they talked about how the rifle had a "Leopold" scope.

[blink] [blink]

Now when did I get all gun nerdy and posting about someone else's mistakes in pronunciation?  I am nerd, hear me roar ...

I have to say, though, that the show was pretty enjoyable, in a non-fattening sort of way.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Concerning the debate

Obama is clobbering Romney.  The tingle will be back in Chris Matthews' leg.

And I'm shocked that CNN's Candy Crowley isn't blatantly biased (she's subtly biased, but it's decently subtle).

Mitt is fighting back, but Obama is killing him.

UPDATE 16 October 2012 10:05: "Stormin' Mormon". Heh:


UPDATE 16 October 2012 22:18: Mitt just blew a layup question on Benghazi. And Mitt knows nothing about guns - automatic weapons are illegal?  This will come as a shock to 100,000 (legal) owners of automatic weapons.  And he's incoherent on "Fast and Furious" - another layup that he blew.  He's Blue State to the core.

UPDATE 16 October 2012 22:24: There you go, gunblogosphere, Mitt proudly talking about bringing gun banners and hunters together for an Assault Weapons Ban.  It's Mitttastic!  Please, tell me more about how Mitt will be better on SCOTUS nominees.

UPDATE 16 October 2012 22:37: Mrs. Borepatch likes Romney's summing up on the last question.  The real question is whether the women voting bloc agree with her.  It's possible that nobody will remember anything but the last summing up, in which case it's a draw.  I guess that we'll see.

P.S. It doesn't matter.  Mussolini would beat Obama this year.  Duce! Duce! Duce!