Sunday, March 24, 2019

Tuesday evening Dallas meet-up

I fly out today for Dallas for a week.  Any readers in Dallas are invited to a meet-up on Tuesday  evening at the Addison Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, 14999 Montfort Drive.  I'll get there around 7:30 and get a table for the "Borepatch party".

Reader William says they have more beers than you can shake a stick at, which sounds fun.

Johann Sebastian Bach - the Brandenburg concerti

298 years ago today, J.S. Bach dedicated these six concerti to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt.  And there begins a rather amazing tale.

The Margrave was a Prince of the house of Hohenzollern, half-brother of King Frederick of Prussia.  But Margrave was a title that came with no land, and so in 1721 Christian Ludwig was basically a hanger-onat the court of his nephew King Frederick William I.  The new King was a military martinet, creating the army that Frederick der Große would use to fight off most of Europe, and had fired all the court musicians to fund the army.  Bach was looking for a patron.

But the search was futile, at least with the Margrave.  There weren't enough musicians in Berlin to perform the new works, and so the scores were filed away in the Margrave's desk.  There they stayed - unperformed - until his death more than a decade later.  His heirs sold the score (containing Bach's handwritten dedication) for 25 silver Groschen  (groats: about $22 in today's money).  Then they descended into historical shadow - we simply don't know where they were for the next century or more, only being discovered in the Brandenburg archives in 1849.

This is astonishing because these concerti are quite simply the apex of baroque music.  Other compositions may approach them, but none surpass them.  And they were unperformed for the first 129 years after they were written.

But unperformed no more.  Here's 90 minutes of the greatest of the baroque, thanks to Youtube, Bach, and a simply amazing sequence of lucky breaks that kept these from being lost forever.

Concerto No. 1 BWV 1046 In F Major0:00:00 1-01 (No Tempo Indication)0:04:04 1-02 Adagio0:07:48 1-03 Allegro0:12:01 1-04 Menuetto - Trio 1 - Polacca - Trio 2 Concerto No. 2 BWV 1047 In F Major0:19:35 1-05 (No Tempo Indication)0:24:40 1-06 Andante0:28:23 1-07 Allegro Assai Concerto No. 3 BWV 1048 In G Major0:31:04 1-08 (No Tempo Indication)0:36:40 1-09 Adagio - Allegro Concerto No. 4 BWV 1049 In G Major0:41:33 2-01 Allegro0:48:52 2-02 Andante0:52:34 2-03 Presto Concerto No. 5 BWV 1050 In D Major0:57:02 2-04 Allegro1:06:21 2-05 Affettuoso1:12:30 2-06 Allegro Concerto No. 6 BWV 1051 In B Flat Major1:17:33 2-07 (No Tempo Indication)1:22:55 2-08 Adagio Ma Non Tanto1:27:28 2-09 Allegro
Bootnote: Bach is often described as "mathematical" in his composition style, and the workings of the music have since his day been compared to clockwork.  Today turns out to also be the birthday of John Harrison, the discoverer of the Longitude and the most important clockmaker who ever lived - born this day in 1693.  In a stroke of coincidence no less astonishing than the circuitous route that Bach's concerti took on their way to the concert hall, and perhaps appropriate for a man who ordered and measured time as none before, Harrison also died on this day in 1776.

(Originally posted March 24, 2013)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Offered without comment

Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans - Hurtin' Albertan

Al_in_Ottawa emails to point out this gem from the north, which he said probably hasn't aired south of the border.  Corb Lund is a Canadian country singer/songwriter, one who is a breath of fresh air in today's desert of over-produced Country Pop.  They have a bunch of albums, several of which have gone gold - a testament to its appeal given they seem mostly to sell in the Canadian market.

This song is a throwback to a simpler time in country music, but with a dash of rockabilly.  I like it a lot.  Thanks to Al for cluing me in.

Hurtin' Albertan (Songwriters: Corb Lund, Tim Hus)
A dually diesel pullin' hard with a horse trailer in tow
Montana side of sweet grass and I'm headed home
Trophy buckles and whiskey bottles and a worn out saddle horn
Bareback riders and team ropers, huskin' Taber corn
The roads get better every time I cross north of forty nine
Well I tip my hat and it's good to be back across the medicine line 
Hurtin' albertan with nothing more to lose
Too much oil money, not enough booze
East of the rockies and west of the rest
Do my best to do my damnedest and that's just about all I guess 
Them windy BC mountain passes finally flatten out
Hairpin turns and pst got my heart up in my throat
It's hairy haulin' horses up across the great divide
And them wild Chilcotin buckaroos, they sure know how to ride
The roads get better every time I cross that british columbia line
I tip my hat and it's good to back across the kickin horse line 
Well Saskabush is pretty, yup she's pretty flat
And lord knows I'm a prairie boy so I'm pretty used to that
But farmers facin off with gophers, man it ain't the same
As bein' home at the saddledome for the oilers at the flames
The roads get better every time I cross that saskatchewan line
I tip my hat and it's good to be back on mountain standard time

Friday, March 22, 2019

Bernie Sanders Calls For War*

Sanders: ‘We Must Follow New Zealand’s Lead’ on Assault-Rifle Ban

*Alternative title: Bernie Sanders curbstomps the last chance he had to win a national election.

Lissa is back blogging

Long time readers here will remember a number of links to Lissa, a fellow member of the Northeast Gunbloggers.  She posted a lot about how she came to be a shooter.  She's back blogging now after a hiatus.  You might want to go check her place out.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Anyone want to meet up next week in Dallas?

I'll be in Dallas/Richardson next Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday (including evenings).  Anyone want to meet up for beer and conversation?  Ping me by email (borepatch at gmail) or leave a comment.

Missouri Senate tells Feds to bug off about gun control

This is interesting:
Like it’s predecessor, SB613, Bill SB367 and it’s companion, House Bill HB786, would prevent all state agencies and their employees from enforcing any federal law that infringes the Second Amendment in any way, including gun registrations, fees, fines, licenses and bans. Originally authored in 2014, a former version of the bill was also passed, but vetoed by then Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
The bill prohibits Missouri agencies from cooperating in the enforcement of those laws.  It's exactly what states like California are doing regarding immigration enforcement, which is a little shadenfreudalistic.   It goes further, though, into territory that seems perhaps a legal bridge too far:
All federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States I and Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.”
Now I am not a lawyer, so don't know how this would play out regarding, say, NFA tax stamps for automatic weapons built and sold within the state.  Interesting times, as the provinces increasingly are rejecting the authority of the Capital.

Win gunnie stuff

Jamie emails to say that Bulk Munitions is giving away a new .50 cal steel ammo can with stuff.  The contest is open to people in the lower 48 states only (Sorry, Rev Paul and Glen).

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring has sprung

And if you ask me, not a moment too soon.  To celebrate, here's the canonical Spring Has Sprung song:

I hope the owner of Peter's $1.5M pigeon has hidden it for the day ...

Something BREXIT this way comes

It is looking like the UK will leave the EU at the end of this month, despite a frantic effort by the elites to stop it.  I find this event fascinating and here are three views of what's happening.

First up, E.M. Smith:
I find it funny how frantic folks are being over the notion of a “no deal” joining the rest of the world. One reporter is saying that there are a bunch of drugs now on the “hard to get” list “due to Brexit” (that hasn’t happened yet…) Do they think drugs and food are not available in the rest of the world? That ONLY the EU has medicines, markets for products, cars to sell, food? The absolute LACK of any mention at all of New Zealand lamb, Australian Wheat, Canadian beef, and both Indian and US medicine producers is just stunning. 
I really wonder if folks are that disconnected from reality.
If you are really lucky, Hungary or Italy or Poland or … will refuse to extend Article 50 and the Speaker will refuse to alow a re-vote (the 3rd time now?) on T. May’s “deal” and in 10 days the UK will rejoin the rest of the world as a free nation in charge of their own fate.
The similarities to ZOMGTHERMAGEDDON!!! are striking.  And it's also striking that the EU's constitution has the exact same flaw as the United States' Articles of Confederation had: a single State can gum up the works, resulting in paralysis.  After how they've been treated by the EU, it's entirely plausible that Italy would vote not to extend and everything is basically done.  I wonder if Angela Merkel regrets throwing her weight around against EU member states?

Next up, Natalie Solent on Prime Minister Theresa May's prospects and options:
Whatever she does will make many people angry. The question is which set of people’s anger would it be the best strategy for her to avoid? 
If she revokes Article 50 the fact of doing it will delight Remainers. But the sort of people for whom that matters most now are also the sort of people who are committed anti-Tories. They won’t be delighted with her – nor with her party. They will judiciously register their opinion that at least the sorry cow did the right thing in the end and then vote Labour or Lib Dem or for the Independent Group if it stands. 
The same goes in diluted form if she goes for more extensions and delaying tactics. They may frustrate Brexit in the end, or result in Brexit in name only, but the sort of people who will be happy about that won’t thank Theresa May or switch to voting Tory. But the sort of people who will be utterly infuriated by either the revocation of Article 50 or the death of Brexit by a thousand cuts very much will blame Theresa May and very much will switch from voting Tory. A substantial majority of Conservative voters are pro-Leave. Members of local Conservative Parties are overwhelmingly pro-Leave. Potential Labour-to-Conservative swing voters are also very much pro-Leave and are swing voters because of that very issue. 
I do not know if May has any last scraps of ambition to continue as an MP. I would guess that all that matters to her now is her legacy. But whether she sticks around for the voters of Maidenhead or not, if she fails to deliver Brexit her legacy will be the destruction of the Conservative party. Its most committed supporters are exactly the group who care about Brexit most. If she does deliver it these people will still not think much of her but they will judiciously register their opinion that at least the sorry cow did the right thing in the end and then continue to vote Conservative.
And we wrap up with Perry DeHavilland and a graphic that explains the mess the "Elites" find themselves in:

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Run your own Enigma machine

The Enigma was Nazi German's super secret cipher machine in World War II.  The Brits cracked it (with a little help from the Royal Navy who seized one from a sinking U-Boat) at Bletchley Park.  This was so secret that very few - Churchill and just a handful of others - got briefed on this "ULTRA" intelligence.

Now there is an online Enigma emulator, and another one for the Bombe device that cracked it.  There's just one little hitch: the emulator is from GCHQ - the British NSA:
UK signals intelligence agency GCHQ, celebrating its centenary, has released emulators for famed World War II-era cipher machines that can be run within its web-based educational encryption app CyberChef. 
"We've brought technology from our past into the present by creating emulators for Enigma, Typex and the Bombe in #CyberChef," GCHQ said Thursday via Twitter. "We even tested them against the real thing! Try them out for yourself!"
Is it all above board?  Who knows?  It seems like using this to try to surveil budding cipherpunks is risky.   But if you want to walk on the crypto wild side, here's your chance.

Modern Stress

There is a new study of Millennials that explores their stress levels and it's causes.

3 out of 5 claim that their lives are the most stressful ever. In the study the causes of those stresses were cataloged. Here's the top 10:

1. Losing wallet/credit card
2. Arguing with partner
3. Commute/traffic delays
4. Losing phone
5. Arriving late to work
6. Slow WiFi
7. Phone battery dying
8. Forgetting passwords
9. Credit card fraud
10. Forgetting phone charger

Tell it to the Marines.

Monday, March 18, 2019


RIP, Dick Dale.  I don't know that this is the most famous guitar intro to a song, but I don't know that it isn't.

He also did a one-of-a-kind cover of Ghost Riders In The Sky.

Thanks for all the great music, Dick.  Hope you're jamming once again with Stevie Ray, in the sky.

The most 31337 candidate in history

It seems that Beto O'Rourke was a computer hacker.  Not just a hacker, but a member of the Cult Of The Dead Cow hacking group.  They are supposedly the ones who popularized the term "31337" (meaning "elite") way back in the '90s.

 _   _
[ x x ]
 \   /
 (` ')


As a politician he may be a good call goof ball, but it seems he has considerable H4X0r cred.

UPDATE: Fixed a very annoying autocorrect barf in the last sentence.