Monday, June 30, 2014


Backstory here.

The Jayhawks - High Water Blues

Old is new.

"Alt" something sound FTW.

So just how good is the secure "Blackphone"?

Exclusive review:
Both Silent Phone and Silent Text work over broadband cellular or Wi-Fi. Combined, they’re like the privacy advocate’s version of Skype: they provide voice and video calls, conferencing, and text chat, but all via peer-to-peer key exchange without an intervening server. There’s also the added benefit of encrypted file transfer.

Silent Phone is essentially an encrypted SIP phone network. The Silent Circle cloud service provides a directory service that connects users’ account names and IP addresses and then brokers a connection between them based on a public key exchange. It also provides a bridge to Plain Old Telephone Service systems, allowing users to call landlines or cell phone users who are outside of the service, encrypting and anonymizing the source of the call. Silent Phone also can create peer-to-peer conference calls, with one phone acting as the hub for a conversation.

When you place a voice or video call to another Silent Circle user, there’s an exchange of public keys between the apps and then the call begins. As an additional verification measure, the system automatically generates a two-word verbal challenge that you can use to verify you’ve actually got a secure connection. Tap the words to confirm, and Silent Phone displays three green circles to show you’re secure.


So, we’ve verified it: Blackphone is pretty damn secure.
But not cheap.  Almost $900 for a 2 year subscription (although that comes with 2 family licenses that lets the same software run on plan jane Android smart phones).

I can think of a half dozen ways that the NSA could try to go after this, but the cool thing is that none of the attacks are trivial.  It would take effort on their part, and effort runs against their "automagically sweep up everything" strategy.  Essentially, it's a financial Denial Of Service attack against Ft. Meade's domestic surveillance effort.  And the NSA brought this on themselves by their over reach.

I'd point out that if you want one, you'll have to wait - their entire initial production run is already sold out and it's not even shipping yet.

Men are like cats, women are like dogs

Actually, this is pretty close (and very funny).

Hollywood respect for the troops

Sometimes it's in unexpected places:
Check it out: Golden-Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated actress Amy Adams, made the news Friday by quietly and classily giving up her first-class seat to a soldier on a flight.  This stunned me because most actors in Hollywood work their butts off and visit many a casting couch to get a first-class seat tucked away from the cattle in coach.  Truth be told, so do a lot of conservative pundits that I’ve had the misfortune to meet in my foray into this field.


Miss Adams was not only classy in giving up her first class seat to one of our warriors, but she also didn’t pimp out her good deed on Instagram with a selfie as some Kardashian stunt to solicit high praise for a staged act.  Matter of fact, we wouldn’t even know about what she had done had not ESPN’s Jemele Hill recognized her, watched the seat exchange go down and then tweeted about it.
I'm not sure when it started, but I'd managed to take somewhat of a dislike to Miss Adams somewhere along the line.  This has made me reconsider.  Well done.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Shamelessly stolen from GFA.  He has more.

Something very interesting - and unprecedented - is going on with the climate databases

A few of you have emailed me about last week's reports that climate data has been "faked".  I've posted many times on how there are fishy things in the climate databases, so this didn't seem particularly new.  Also, there seemed to be a lot of skepticism in the skeptic part of the climate blogosphere.  Judy Curry has a post that sums the situation up nicely:
Last week, the mainstream media was abuzz with claims by skeptical blogger Steve Goddard that NOAA and NASA have dramatically altered the US temperature record.  For examples of MSM coverage, see:
Further, this story was carried as the lead story on Drudge for a day.

First off the block to challenge Goddard came Ronald Bailey at in an article Did NASA/NOAA Dramatically Alter U.S. Temperatures After 2000?  that cites communication with Anthony Watts, who is critical of Goddard’s analysis, as well as being critical of NASA/NOAA.

Politifact chimed in with an article that assessed Goddard’s claims, based on Watt’s statements and also an analysis by Zeke Hausfather. Politifact summarized with this statement:  We rate the claim Pants on Fire.

I didn’t pay much attention to this, until Politifact asked me for my opinion.  I said that I hadn’t looked at it myself, but referred them to Zeke and Watts.  I did tweet their Pants on Fire conclusion.

Skepticism in the technical climate blogosphere

Over at the Blackboard, Zeke Hausfather has a three-part series about Goddard’s analysis –  How not to calculate temperatures (Part I, Part II, Part III).  Without getting into the technical details here, the critiques relate to the topics of data dropout, data infilling/gridding, time of day adjustments, and the use of physical temperatures versus anomalies.  The comments thread on Part II is very good, well worth reading.

Anthony Watts has a two-part series On denying hockey sticks, USHCN data and all that (Part 1, Part 2).  The posts document Watts’ communications with Goddard, and make mostly the same technical points as Zeke.  There are some good technical comments in Part 2, and Watts makes a proposal regarding the use of US reference stations.

Nick Stokes has two technical posts that relate to Goddard’s analysis: USHCN adjustments, averages, getting it right  and TOBS nailed.

While I haven’t dug into all this myself, the above analyses seem robust, and it seems that Goddard has made some analysis errors.
Clearly, Goddard has made some substantial analytical errors.  The mainstream science community and most of the MSM have ignore this story.  But the plot thickens:
OK, acknowledging that Goddard made some analysis errors, I am still left with some uneasiness about the actual data, and why it keeps changing.  For example, Jennifer Marohasy has been writing about Corrupting Australian’s temperature record.

In the midst of preparing this blog post, I received an email from Anthony Watts, suggesting that I hold off on my post since there is some breaking news.  Watts pointed me to a post  by Paul Homewood entitled Massive Temperature Adjustments At Luling, Texas.  Excerpt:

So, I thought it might be worth looking in more detail at a few stations, to see what is going on. In Steve’s post, mentioned above, he links to the USHCN Final dataset for monthly temperatures, making the point that approx 40% of these monthly readings are “estimated”, as there is no raw data.

From this dataset, I picked the one at the top of the list, (which appears to be totally random), Station number 415429, which is Luling, Texas.

Yet, according to the USHCN dataset, all ten months from March to December are “Estimated”. Why, when there is full data available?

But it gets worse. The table below compares the actual station data with what USHCN describe as “the bias-adjusted temperature”. The results are shocking.

In other words, the adjustments have added an astonishing 1.35C to the annual temperature for 2013. Note also that I have included the same figures for 1934, which show that the adjustment has reduced temperatures that year by 0.91C. So, the net effect of the adjustments between 1934 and 2013 has been to add 2.26C of warming.
This idea has been bandied about the 'net for five years or so - that the climate databases are filled with unjustifiable adjustments to the data that may make up much - or possibly all - of the reported warming during the 20th Century.  One of my first posts on (in 2009) this is titled How To Create A Scientific Consensus On Global Warming*:
All the Climatologists in the world will look at this data. How much do the adjustments change the results?

We don't know, but people are starting to look. They're starting to find that adjustments change the data a lot. They change the data so much that they show that the earth is warming when the raw data may show that it's cooling.

Let me say that again: Thermometers may be showing that the Earth is cooling, but adjustments to this data show a rapid temperature rise.
Remember "hide the decline"? 

So what is unprecedented about this?  Well, it seems that NOAA is now starting to take this seriously.  Curry again:
I’ve been in email communications with Watts through much of Friday, and he’s been pursuing the issue along with Zeke and help from Neilsen-Gammon to NCDC directly, who is reportedly taking it seriously. Not only does Watts plan to issue a statement on how he missed Goddard’s original issue, he says that additional problems have been discovered and that NOAA/NCDC will be issuing some sort of statement, possibly also a correction, next week. (Watts has approved me making this statement).
This is big, big stuff.  We will need to see how this plays out, but this is a seismic shift.  Curry does an excellent job of introducing a complicated subject, the players, and the dynamic.  I strongly encourage you to click through and RTWT.

Oh, and read my 2009 post, too.  Happy to be four and a half years ahead of NOAA.  No need to thank me, it's all part of being a full service climate blog.

* I have quite a few of my climate posts gathered here.  Probably need to update that, since the post is four years old or something.

This shows a little more skin than usual around here

What the heck.

The speedos were a thoughtful addition.

Georg Frideric Handel - Israel In Egypt (oldest recorded music?)

Queen Victoria opens the Crystal
Palace in 1851.  Image via La Wik
On this day in 1888, Col. George Gouraud used Thomas Edison's parafin cylinder to record Handel's oratorio.  It captured the sound of several thousand singers performing at the Crystal Palace Handel Festival, and is perhaps the oldest recorded music that we can still listen to.  Col. Gouraud (recipient of the Medal of Honor in the American War for Southern Independence) is dead these hundred years or more; the Crystal Palace burned to the ground in 1936.  But the recording gives us the ghosts of 125 years ago, performing to as much enjoyment in their day as we have in ours.

The original recording is identifiable in the digitized version of the original parafin cylinder.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Travel isn't what it's cracked up to be

I have a younger colleague at work who found that he was needed in Passadena.  Being one of the younger pups, he was excited to be going to a place where he'd be surrounded by Southern California Belles.  I tried to warn him not to get his expectations too high ...

What to do if the police try to search your phone

Via the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU, some good advice:
The absolute best way to protect your phone from police inspection is to keep it locked with a passcode, which will keep an officer from rummaging through your Facebook photos as you stand beside him in handcuffs.

“The most simple precaution you can take is to make sure your phone is locked and/or encrypted,” says Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “The police may take your phone, may try to look at it unconstitutionally, but they won't be able to.”
This is good security practice anyway.  But the "interesting" bit comes after Officer Friendly decides he's going to look anyway.  Lots of good info about how to handle this at the link.


After three and a half years I finally set up my pool table.  Crash the Wondercat approves.

The flash makes his eyes look like they're powered by a nuclear reactor, which is pretty funny.  But the felt is collecting white hair pretty fast which isn't as funny.

Why yes. I found Jesus at the Shooting Range.

Goober is situationally aware.

And when some nogoodnick asks you if you've found Jesus you answer, well, look at the post title ...

Icelandic Country Music

It's said that Country Music is about something that's happened to you, or to someone you know.  This song has happened to most of us, and some awesome neo-Vikings have created it in Iceland.

Route 66° North.  Yeah, baby.

This isn't American music, this is everyone's music.  Because it's happened to everyone, or to someone they know.  Or they'd like it to happen.  Freedom smells like a V-twin.

Friday, June 27, 2014

29 years without Route 66

It was Unrouted on this day in 1985.  If there's a better example that the Federal Government agencies are staffed with nincompoops, I don't know what it is.  Don't believe me?  Watch.

The road was so iconic that it inspired iconic music (recorded by everyone).  And so the Federales say nah - let's get rid of that.Think you could eliminate the entire office that did that and nobody in the Republic would notice.

Security Smorgasbord, vol 6 no 1

Paypal's 2-factor authentication is entirely broken:
Researchers at DUO Security claim to have found a way of bypassing a two factor authentication feature that secures logins to, eBay’s online payment service.

The vulnerability could allow an attacker who has stolen a Paypal customer’s user name and password to gain access to the account, even though the customer had enabled the more secure two-factor authentication option.
Two factor authentication is a big step up from the normal username/password.  Often it's implemented by sending you a random string of text and/or numbers via SMS to your phone.  This way, you need not only to steal the username and password, but the person's cell phone as well.  Unless the way the two factor authentication is implemented is broken.  Oops.  Paypal users, FYI.  Paypal said they're "working on it", whatever that means.

Why do you rob banks?  Because that's where the money is:
The experts at Kaspersky Lab have discovered evidence of a targeted attack against the clients of a large European bank. According to the logs found in the server used by the attackers, apparently in the space of just one week cybercriminals stole more than half a million euros from accounts in the bank.

The first signs of this campaign were discovered on 20 January this year when a C&C [Command & Control - Borepatch] server was detected on the net. The server’s control panel indicated evidence of a Trojan program used to steal money from clients’ bank accounts.

The experts also detected transaction logs on the server, containing information about which sums of money were taken from which accounts. All in all, more than 190 victims could be identified, most of them located in Italy and Turkey. The sums stolen from each bank account, according to the logs, ranged between 1,700 to 39,000 euros.

The campaign was at least one week old when the C&C was discovered, having started no later than Jan. 13 2014. In that time the cybercriminals successfully stole more than 500,000 Euros. Two days after GReAT discovered the C&C server, the criminals removed every shred of evidence that might be used to trace them. However, experts think this was probably linked to changes in the technical infrastructure used in the malicious campaign rather spelling the end of the Luuuk campaign.
If you bank online, you should check your account every day.

History repeats itself because nobody listens the first time:
The security industry is adding layers of defensive technologies to protect systems rather than addressing the most substantial, underlying problems that sustain a sprawling cybercrime syndicate, according to an industry luminary who painted a bleak picture of the future of information security at a conference of hundreds of incident responders in Boston Tuesday.

Eugene Spafford, a noted computer security expert and professor of computer science at Purdue University, said software makers continue to churn out products riddled with vulnerabilities, creating an incessant patching cycle for IT administrators that siphons resources from more critical areas. The problem has grown so bad that today businesses are rushing to invest in many of the latest security technologies designed to detect infections without any ability to efficiently address them, Spafford said.

“Instead of building secure systems, we are getting further and further away from solid construction by putting layer upon layer on top of these systems,” Spafford said. “The idea is for vendors to push things out rather than get things right the first time.”
Spaf is one of the luminaries of the industry, and is absolutely correct here.  It's getting much worse with poorly coded apps for smart phones.  Just wait for the "Internet Of Things" to computerize your house ...

Is it OK for me to hate on Google Glass users?  Please?
Google Glass wearers can snoop on passcodes and other sensitive information with only a passing glance, according to a proof-of-concept demo by security researchers.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell were able to use video streams from wearables like Google Glass and the Samsung smartwatch to capture four-digit PIN codes typed onto an iPad from around three metres away.
ASM826 has been posting about situational awareness.  Be aware of who's near you when you're at the ATM.

The Republican Party in the "Awkward Stage"

The GOP Senate runoff election in Mississippi is instructive at how useless that party is in the cause of restoring the Republic.  Consider:
A Republican Party campaigning on making the Senate “conservative,” used liberal Democrats to preserve an incumbent Republican and defeat a conservative. The actual conservatives are the outsiders with the GOP establishment doing all it could to preserve its power at the expense of its principles.

The problem for those who call themselves Republicans is that it is harder and harder to say exactly what a Republican is these days. The great lesson from Mississippi is that Republican means, more or less, that if elected the party will reward its major donors, who are just different than the Democrats’ major donors. Policy differences are about different donors, not an actual agenda to shift the country in a different direction.
“[They] orchestrated flyers that called me a racist,” [McDaniels] said. “They said I would end food stamps for everyone. They went into the same communities with speaker trucks and said that I was trying to suppress votes in those communities. They did every dirty trick in the book, behaving just like liberal Democrats do.”
National advocacy groups such as the National Rifle Association and the American Action Network have gone to bat, with the NRA rushing to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s aid
As if we needed another reason to despise the NRA ...

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question,
now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked
from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already
it was impossible to say which was which.
America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.

On the road to tyranny, we've gone so far that polite political action is as useless as a miniskirt in a convent. But most people are still standing around numb and confused, knowing something's wrong with the country, but hoping it isn't quite as bad as they're beginning to suspect it is.

Something's eventually going to happen. Government will bloat until it chokes us to death, or one more tyrannical power grab will turn out to be one too many.
Or you can relax in the belief that the Party of Caesar will be checked by the Party of Antony.  And the circuses are entertaining and the bread is free.


That's what ASM826 has done to the number of comments left here by y'all over the last couple days.  I'm pretty thrilled having him post here, and I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one.

I have been not too bad about getting posts up (and *ahem* wordy posts at that), but ASM826 is doing yeoman work getting this to be a place that you like to hang out.  That's pretty awesome.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bill Wyman & Rhythm Kings ~ Chicken Shack Boogie

Some Boogie Woogie as a little change from the usual Thursday Blues.

How to get away with murder

Be a cop:
As Saenz was dragged back outside for transport to the hospital to be treated, he struggled with officers but never left the ground, his hands clamped behind his back in handcuffs. Officers couldn’t control Saenz, but he didn’t appear to be much of a credible threat to either of them, with his hands in cuffs behind his back and his pants falling down. He was certainly a nuisance and refusing to cooperate, but wasn’t much of a threat.

After struggling with Saenz for several minutes and apparently getting frustrated  with their inability to get Saenz sufficiently subdued, one of the officers, El Paso Police Officer Jose Flores, pulls his pistol and shoots a downed and restrained Saenz from behind, twice, killing him.

Note the muzzle flash.  This execution was captured live on video.  The result of a policeman shooting in the back a possibly mentally ill, handcuffed man lying on the ground?
Prosecutors have refused to charge Flores for what appears to be an execution born of nothing more than an officer’s frustration to get a restrained suspect to comply.
So what's the difference between the picture above and this one?

The answer, of course, is that there's no difference at all to the men lying on the ground.  Yeah, Godwin's Law and all that.

Does the USA advance in the World Cup?

It's currently a draw at halftime.  We advance if we beat Germany, otherwise the outcome is complex and dependent on the score against Germany as well as the outcome of the Portugual-Ghana game.  Nat Silver's 538 has a nice breakdown of whether we advance or not:

More complicated than the Infield Fly Rule ...


Obama wanted to fundamentally transform the Republic.  If you take that to mean "end the Pax Americana" then he has largely succeeded.  The results from Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the East China Sea, and other places shows pretty clearly that this is likely a very bad thing indeed for the world's population.

While I'm completely sympathetic to the notion that the USA should not be the World's Policeman (particularly when most people hate us for that), I wonder if the Nobel Peace Prize committee is having second thoughts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The meaning of Life

It's more than 42:
My advice?  Take it easy on yourself.  Life is far from perfect.  You are far from perfect.  You’ll make mistakes.  You’ll do stupid stuff and cost yourself money or standing.  It will be inevitable.  The search for the storybook perfect life is one of futility.  No one has ever had it.  Seeking it is folly.  Do your best, and take pride in the fact that you are doing your best, and be content with that.
That's one wicket smart fellow, right there.  RTWT.  It says this:

Make peace with God and make peace with yourself
In the end there's nobody else ...

Geek tip: how to extract specific pages from a multi-page PDF file

This is uber geeky, and so if that's not your bag, Baby, then you might want to skip this.

I recently had to break down a multi-page PDF file into different PDFs - basically, rearranging the file into logical sections each as its own file.  This is neatThis, too.

As you'd expect, there are ways to combine multiple PDF files into a single PDF as well.

We now return you to a less geeky normal blogging schedule.

Six years of blogging

When I was One, I had just begun.
When I was Two, I was nearly new.
When I was Three I was hardly me.
When I was Four, I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

- A. A. Milne, Now We Are Six
I put my first post up here six years ago.  It wasn't particularly good.  Looking back on it I find myself surprised to find the fledgling blogger refer to "Bore Patch".  In a sense, I hadn't become my blogging self.

I didn't know what this would turn out to be, even.  Certainly not six years and going on 9,000 posts (!) and almost 32,000 comments (!!).

What it's been is an often times saving grace during some difficult times.  It is an old saying of historians that happy is the land that has no history, and there's been rather more history these last six years than I'd like.

But through it all, it's been a great comfort that you keep coming back here.  I never imagined that this would be the greatest lesson of blogging, those six years back, and I'm profoundly grateful for that.

I've also met a bunch of you in real life, and made some deep friendships which I never would have known had I not set sail for that terra incognita aboard the good ship Blogger.  One of those bloggers now blogs here, adding some shooting and martial arts posts that had been sadly lacking.  There's a parable in that - we're none of us as strong as all of us, and I don't say that in the creepy fascist* way but rather in a very grateful personal way.  Thank you all for coming here, for being part of something that is far bigger than any one of us.
The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.
- Goethe

* The fasces was an axe surrounded by a bunch of sticks, used as a symbol of office by the ancient Romans.  Each stick by itself was easy to break, but all of the sticks together made up a formidable strength.  Mussolini was quite taken by this metaphor, in a creepy way.  I'm also taken with the metaphor, but in quite a different - and personal - way.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oscar Isaac - Fare Thee Well

The U.S. Government's justification for why they can kill you without a trial

Now online, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act filing by the New York Times and the ACLU.

The Security State as a bumbling giant

The Government security apparatus doesn't realize that the key to getting the People's cooperation is to be widely seen as being not just reasonable, but on the People's side.  Because who knows what the People could do if they thought otherwise:
Local police confiscate a suspected drug dealer's phone—only to find that he has called his mother and no one else. Meanwhile a journalist's phone is examined by airport security. But when officials look to see what is on it, they find that she has spent all her time at the beach. The drug dealer and the journalist are free to go. Minutes later the names, numbers and GPS data that the police were looking for reappear.

A new programming technique could bring these scenarios to life. Computer scientist Karl-Johan Karlsson has reprogrammed a phone to lie. By modifying the operating system of an Android-based smartphone, he was able to put decoy data on it—innocent numbers, for example—so that the real data escape forensics. He presented the hack in January at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
Governments are filled with not very smart people in positions of power.  Often time their time horizon is short, and no thought whatsoever is spent on foreseeing the unforeseen consequences of their actions.  The security world in particular excels at routing around this sort of drooling idiocy.

The Security State is run amok, and has absolutely no idea what it is creating.
Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?
- Sun Tzu

India cracks down on Greenpeace

Expect to see more of this sort of thing:
Indian Home Ministry places curbs on each foreign donation
Following an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report that alleged foreign-funded NGOs were creating obstacles to India’s economic growth, the Home Ministry has clamped down on Greenpeace, an international campaign group present in 40 countries.


In a letter dated 13th June, the Ministry has directed the Reserve Bank of India that all foreign contributions originating from Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation — two principal international contributors to Greenpeace India Society — must be kept on hold until individual clearances are obtained from the Ministry for each transaction.
Quite frankly, India has correctly identified the problem, which is rich Progressives in the west trying to keep the Emerging World's populations poor and hungry.  Good for them taking action against Greenpeace.  Now Europe needs to do the same thing:
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), and former premier of Denmark, told the Chatham House thinktank in London on Thursday that Vladimir Putin’s government was behind attempts to discredit fracking, according to reports.

Rasmussen said: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations - environmental organisations working against shale gas - to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas.”
What - a bunch of Euro dirty hippies in cahoots with Socialist military intelligence?  That's crazy talk.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Park Se Young (박세영) - Shall We Dance

I found this entirely charming.  I assume that Miss Park is a Korean pop singer.  It's still entirely charming, even if it is pop.  Makes me want to foxtrot, actually.

Does the NSA own bitcoin?

Eventually, selfishness will lead one group to rig, cheat, control, etc. the system so they can get better returns.  That's exactly what happened.  Here's the flaw they exploited.

When a single entity ("a single miner" or "a mining pool") controls over 50% of the transaction processing it can control the entire system.   This means they can "see" every transaction, spend the same coins more than once, and deny transactions they don't approve of. 

That's finally happened.  According to analysis from Cornell researchers, a mining pool called GHash has now reached 51% for large stretches of time (effective "ownership" is likely much less).
I don't know enough about bitcoin mathematics, but there seems to be a fair amount of buzz about this.

Quote of the Day: Higher Education edition

Read it and weep, Progressives:
If ego were marketable, all Ph.D. graduates would get tenure.
RTWT.  Srlsy.  And how is it that I don't have a tag for Hippy Tears?  I really am slacking off.

Soccer musings

It was quite an enjoyable game yesterday, even if I'm American enough to think that a tie is like kissing your sister.  My soccer aficionado friends tell me that there's a decent shot that we'll move on to the next round (just don't lose to Germany).

The local pub was packed - literally standing room only  It was mostly a young crowd, which bodes well for the future of the game in this Republic.  Most of the players seem genuinely American, which is nice - we mostly don't import our World Cup team.

Letting Portugal score in the last 30 seconds of the game is, as they say in New England, a pissah.  Not a Wicked Pissah (which is good), but a plain jane Pissah (which is bad).  I don't make the rules on New England lingo, I just report.

I've actually learned enough about the offsides rule to realize that Portugal had five players offsides at one point during the last two minutes.  Five.  That's like half the team or something.  I guess that Futbol doesn't have a technical foul rule.

I'm actually looking forwards to Thursday and the game against die Deutsche Volk.  Given that Team USA's coach is German, this could be interesting.

My impression so far is that it's more like baseball in the tension you get, but more like basketball in the action (everyone is always running).  The tension wins, which makes it a better spectator sport than basketball.

The idea that the referees can add time to the clock is gay.  And I only say "gay" to redeem my man card after doing a post about soccer ...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I've been unplugged for a bit

I have plenty of blog material*, but it's actually been quite nice not to be on the 'net for a bit.  I've gotten quite a lot done around the house, and read hundreds of pages in this:

Will probably finish it today.  Two volumes down, ten to go.  There's blog material in there, too, but the Muse** does not call.  So instead I'm going to putter around the place, and maybe watch some of the World Cup with #1 Son.  I dare say I'll be back soon, just don't know when.

* I have something like 18 open tabs on blogable topics.  The problem is not coming up with the subjects.

** Blogable trivia: "Museum" is from the ancient Greek.  It was the first temple to the Muses, in the Alexandrian library.  The story's actually more interesting than I just told, which is kind of my whole point.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Whither Iraq?

I certainly don't know.  But there's a sordid history on the Left.  Christopher Hitchens was a passionate man of the Left, and was excommunicated from the Left, for precisely this sort of attack on Leftist hypocrisy.

Would he say this today?  Who knows.  But his loss was a huge loss, because he was true to his self.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My brain is brained out

At least for a bit.  Back in a bit.

There's hope for me yet ...

This was their finest hour

74 years after the "Miracle of Dunkirk", Sir Winston's words still inspire.

What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.

Hard pounding this, gentlemen; let's see who will pound longest

One hundred and ninety nine years ago, the Old Guard refused to surrender, and died.

It was a near thing, as Napoleon came within a hair's breadth of defeating the allies in detail.
Give me night or give me Blücher  ...
- Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington at 5:45 PM

While Wellington has a reputation for being a cold fish, he deeply regretted the loss of blood that day.
My heart is broken by the terrible loss I have sustained in my old friends and companions and my poor soldiers. Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.
L'Empereur no doubt regretted the loss of the Empire, and being hustled away to a remote island in the South Atlantic.  It is not known whether he regretted more the loss of the Old Guard's charge, or of the men. But Europe (mostly) was at peace for a century after the blood splattered day at Waterloo.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Frank Zappa plays the bicycle on The Steve Allen Show

From 1964.

Quote of the Day

From Comrade Misfit:
If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye or a lump to your throat, then I don't even want to know you.
Yeah, me neither.  Click through for the best thing you'll read this month.

Time to buy a lottery ticket

Motorcyclist hits moose, walks away:
A motorcyclist has suffered minor injuries after her bike clipped the back end of a moose on a Vermont road.

Vermont State Police say 44-year-old Christina Hansen of Dallas, Ga., outside Atlanta, was traveling east on U.S. Route 2 in Lunenburg on Monday night when she struck the moose.

Hansen, who was wearing a helmet, was treated for minor injuries at a hospital. The motorcycle had minor damage to its side.
Woah.  People die all the time when their truck hits a moose.  Ms. Hansen is a very lucky biker.

You think the World hates America now ...

... just imagine what things will be like if we win "their" World Cup:
This World Cup isn't letting us down, is it? Iran and Nigeria tried to wreck it but it fought back with vengeance with that superb USA victory. At times it wasn’t pretty by Klinsmann’s side, and Ghana wasted so, so many promising positions, but it was the kind of gutsy display that will give the US hope that they can topple Portugal on Sunday night to book their place in the last-16
And we don't even give a damn about soccer anyway.

Monday, June 16, 2014

JP visited Camp Borepatch ...

... and all he got was a bunch of pictures.

Environmentalists: still trying to kill children

Greenpeace and the other Big Green orgs are still trying to keep golden rice from being distributed:
Agenda 21 not withstanding, everyone is living longer. In the U.S., where about 70 percent of the food in our supermarkets contains ingredients from genetically engineered crops, life expectancy has increased from 76 years in 1996 (when large-scale cultivation of GE crops took off) to nearly 80 years today, and global life expectancy has increased from 66.4 to 71.0 years in the same time period.

As one wag wrote, “If we're less healthy, we sure are coping with it more effectively.” And compared with Europe, which has virtually banned GE crops, there is no discernible difference in cancer rates or lifespans.

Meanwhile, there is a need for what Golden Rice can deliver: vitamin A. According to the World Health Organization an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight. “These are real deaths, real disability, real suffering, not the phantom fears… none of which have held up to objective scientific scrutiny,” risk-perception expert David Ropiek writes.

Allowing Golden Rice to be eaten by populations prone to vitamin A Deficiency means that blindness could be prevented (it cannot be cured once it has happened). Less than a cup of cooked Golden Rice provides children 6 to 8-years-old with some 60% of their daily vitamin A needs, not 7 pounds as claimed in the letter to the editor.
Emphasis mine.  We've proved that this is safe, over the course of the last couple decades.

Chalk up more millions of deaths to the Progressive agenda.  But remember, they're nicer than you and I.  They keep telling us that.

Is Sitemeter working for anyone else?

It seems like it's entirely wedged for me.  Not collecting data, and I see weird authentication popups from it.

I'd hate to pull the plug, but broken is broken.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Everything that is wrong with the way this society treats men ...

... is on display today at Postsecret.  Don't click through unless you have a strong stomach. All I can say is that there's no way they'd do something like this on Mother's Day.

You can find something to take the taste out of your mouth at Judgy Bitch.

UPDATE 15 June 2014 17:15:  This really has me steamed. Sure, some people have crummy fathers.  Some fathers have crummy, spoiled, self-indulgent kids.  Some great fathers have great kids.  And yet Postsecret ran 100% bad dad on Father's Day.  That's as clear a reflection on the degraded state of society as you can make.

In the meantime, here's a great father, with #2 Son Back In The Day.

I sure miss you, Dad.

Seen in the downtown

Even in Red State Georgia, you still find pockets of resistance ...

Here's a bigger view of the, err, decorations:

Yeah, OK then.

R. I. P. Shaggy

Casey Kasem - the voice of Shaggy - dead at 82.  Thanks for all the laughs, Casey.

Johan Strauss Jr - Vienna Blood Waltz

Who was the greatest father in classical music history?  An interesting intellectual challenge for Father's Day.  You could pick J. S. Bach, with four children who carried on his musical tradition.  You could pick Leopold Mozart, composer, musician, and father of the greatest composer who ever drew breath.

Unfortunately, I've already posted about them, and so they're out.

But Johan Strauss Sr. was the patriarch of a musical clan that nearly approached Bach's.  Strauss Sr was a great popularizer of the Waltz, setting the stage for Strauss Jr and his two other composer sons (and grandson).  Sadly, Johan Sr was not a model father: he had a mistress with whom he fathered a number of children (leading to his divorce by his long suffering wife); he was a bit of a tyrant to his sons, trying to suppress their emergent musical talent; and he was explicitly competitive with Johan Jr once that son began to establish his reputation as a musician.  A sad lesson for this Father's Day indeed.  And so we must conclude that Johan Strauss Sr wasn't the best father in classical music history, not even close.

But his son went on to be known as the Waltz King, and to far surpass his father in reputation and admiration.  This piece was written at the request of the Austrian Imperial family for the celebration of the marriage of Archduchess Louise Maria in 1873.  However, the waltz form, while no longer considered scandalous, was still not something that the Emperor would allow in his court opera house, and so the celebration had to be moved to accommodate the (wildly popular) festivities.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


You can't get a more stark example of how the Patriarchy crushes the hopes of aspiring young women professionals.  Reporter called "tacky" because of her outfit:
ATLANTA – A driver crashed a car through the lobby of the CNN Center early Friday morning.

Police responded to the Marietta Street side of the building at about 4:15 a.m. A Mercedes convertible with a Florida tag had crashed through the glass entrance. It ended up all the way inside the lobby.

It is unclear if it was done on purpose or if it was just an accident.
Except the person being interviewed is a woman, too.  The reporter is taking it with a fair amount of grace:
“Clearly if this woman says I look tacky, it has to be true,” she tweeted.

Hack this, biatches!

P. F. Chang's restaurants have announced that their Point-Of-Sale system was hacked.  Any of you who have used a credit or debit card there in the last 2-3 months should monitor your accounts (and change the PIN on your debit card).

Naturally, there's turmoil at P. F. Chang's, since identifying all the malware is a tedious and time consuming process.  A restaurant can't survive going weeks without accepting credit cards, so what do you do?  This:

They're using manual card imprinting at all their restaurants:
After saying earlier this week that it was investigating reports of a data breach related to payment cards used at its locations, P.F. Chang's China Bistro confirmed on Thursday that credit and debit card data has been stolen from some of its restaurants.
Interestingly, the company also said that it has switched over to manual credit card imprinting systems for all P.F. Chang's China Bistro branded restaurants located in the continental United States. 


In an FAQ posted to its website, the company explained that it has temporarily ditched its electronic Point-of-Sale System in favor of old-school “imprinting devices” to process payments while the company gets the situation under control and understands the scope of the attack.
“All P.F. Chang's China Bistro branded restaurants in the continental U.S. are using manual credit card imprinting devices to handle our credit and debit card transactions,” the company said. “This allows you to use your credit and debit cards safely.”
From a security perspective, this is exactly the right thing to do.  Unplug from the matrix.

Sam Bush - Howlin' At The Moon

This weekend is the full moon, and since it's now summer, local authorities everywhere are getting ready for silliness of all stripes.  Sam Bush coined the term "Newgrass" for his bluegrass style (which has won him three Grammys), but mostly it just sounds like fun.  This weekend if you want to howl, you can do a lot worse than this.

Howlin' At The Moon 
Take a little time for sunshine,
take a whole lotta time for love.
Take time to praise and thank
heaven up above.

Take your life as it may come,
cause boy it'll be gone soon.
Take a little time for Howlin' at the Moon

Somebody said keep your eyes open
gotta keep your feet on solid ground.
Ya gotta take time to take a real good look
at everything you found.

Gotta make music....
gotta make music...
Raise your voice with Joy every day.
Got a lot to live for,
you got a life time to stay.

So I'm trying to keep my eyes open
Gotta live my life from day to day
But seems that life's unhappiness
can't but lead me astray.

Take a little time for sunshine,
take a whole lotta time for love.
Take time to praise and thank
heaven up above.
Take your life as it may come,
cause boy it'll be gone soon.
Take a little time for Howlin' at the Moon

Friday, June 13, 2014

Russian Express. Don't leave home.

The People's Cube delivers.

Restored Whaling ship raises sail once again

The Charles W. Morgan puts to sea under sail for the first time in nearly a century:
“The ship exceeded all expectations and performed wonderfully. She is faster than we thought she would be, she turns easier, and she handles really well. We could not be more pleased,” said Capt. Kip Files, the 22nd master of the Morgan. “There is no one alive today who has sailed one of these whaleships who can tell us how they perform, so we really learned a lot today. We have a great voyage ahead of us.”

The National Historic Landmark vessel has been a static exhibit at Mystic Seaport since 1941 and has not sailed since the early 1920s.
We visited her in Mystic seaport back in 2009, and the restoration work had been under way for quite some time even back then.  This has been a labor of love, but the result is magnificent:

Not much beats a full rigged sailing ship for nostalgia.

Hat tip: Comrade Misfit

Bits and pieces

Who in the Atlanta area would be up for a blogride?  Where we all gather on our motorcycles and go to some place interesting?  Tons of places around, and the 150th anniversary of Beast Sherman gives a bunch of opportunities.

It's been a little over a week since my Brother-from-another-Mother ASM826 started posting some righteous shooty goodness here.  I'm tickled as can be about this, not just because he's someone who I never would have met without this whole blogosphere thing, but because it seems that all y'all like his stuff.  So far there are 42 (!) comments on his posts, in only a week.  And he hasn't even posted pictures of the totally cool reloading stuff that he has secreted away in his undisclosed bunker location.  If you like what he's doing, I encourage you to leave a comment.  Those are like crack to a blogger.

Damnitall, I need to start reloading.  This is inspiring me (at least a bit) to get off my butt.  And I have hundreds of .303 Brit bullets, courtesy of ASM826's network if clandestine operatives.  Maybe Differ can break away sometime and we can do some reloading, and then retire to a fine English bitter or two ...

Reading Brigid's book is a reminder on just how rare her talent with words is.  She has probably had the biggest impact on improving my own writing (yes I know, damning with faint praise).  Every once in a while, though, this influence rises to near her level.  I could not have written this without her influence, and having seen Dad's reaction to that post, I'm profoundly grateful for that gift from her.

A bunch of folks have emailed in the last month or two, and I've been so caught up in a family life that is talking in its Outdoors Voice that I've not replied.  Things are (hopefully) quieting down some now, and so I shall get right to this.  I shall endeavor in future to suck less.

And shamelessly stolen from Claire Wolf, here's an insanely clever cat food commercial with the guy who did the Sad Dog Diary and Sad Cat Diary on Youtube.  Very, very well done.

A Koan on Obama's foreign policy


No doubt the defenders of the Left (*cough* Ezra Klein *cough*) will say that it's impossible to understand this reference because it was 200 years old.  Or a hundred.  Or ten. Or two.  YOU HATER!!!!!

Observe the collapse of the Progressive Sense of Self, and the collapse of their (self derived) sense that They Should Rule Us  Because IVYLEAGUECOMPETENCE!!!!!

Their tears are sweet.  Don't forget to rub this in to your Progressive acquaintances.  And ask them to explain that whole "Smart Diplomacy" thing.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
- Sun Tsu

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Joe Bonamassa & Beth Hart - Sinner's Prayer

Greenpeace celebrates shutting down zero emission, renewable power

The mask slips:
Greenpeace activists are celebrating today, after their protests led to the halting of plans to build a massive renewable powerplant which would have supplied clean, green, low-carbon electricity in huge quantities.

"Today, we celebrate," Greenpeace chief Matías Asún told reporters, following a decision to withdraw government permission for the Hidroaysén project. The project would have generated as much as 18,430 gigawatt-hours annually - roughly six times as much as the huge offshore London Array windfarm planned for the Thames Estuary.


“The big winners here are the environmentalists but the big losers are the consumers,” Chilean Senator Iván Moreira told press including the Santiago Times following the government’s decision on Tuesday. “Currently there are few energy projects in the country so electricity costs will rise and these will affect ordinary people most.”
It seems like that's the point, or something.  You know, I'll start taking this whole CO2 climate change thing more seriously when they do ...

Look on my works, ye mighty

Time waits for no man:
In the dark recesses of the world, under the cover of jungle, underwater, are cities, cultures and beings that vanished for no known reason. The dinosaurs, creatures so large that it seems only plausible that they would only have died out by something as major as an asteroid, gone, only to be brushed from the earth by those that study the bones.

There are Mayan cities that emptied overnight, the way a chrysalis of a butterfly is left behind, empty, stark in it's primitive beauty. So much still there, the monuments, and granaries, terraces and temples, structures of empiric power and small dwellings formed by families united by generations. Emptied with no anthropological clue as to riot, invasion or deadly disease carried in on silent winds.
It's the blink of the eye from Senatus Populusque Romanus to Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.  Our miserable political class fiddles while the Res Publica burns.

The Mirror of Barkley

I was going to do some deep thinking last night, but got side tracked.  My sister-from-another-mister Brigid emailed me a copy of her book, The Book Of Barkley.  As you can imagine, I got distracted.  It's about Barkley, but much more it's about the mirror that we hold up that's called "memory", and what that mirror shows to us.  With her permission, he's a taste:
I spent much of my early adulthood as a jet pilot, learning very quickly that, not only can't you always save the world, sometimes you cannot even save yourself.  But the effort is often worth it. If you're lucky, your brushes with life will only leave a few small physical scars. If I raise up my bangs, right at the hairline, there’s a tiny, faint scar from a tumble off my bike down a hill as a kid. There's a small ding in my forehead where the bungee cord of the J60-P-3 turbojet engine cover whacked me on the ramp at warp speed when I lost the wrestling contest with it.  But for most people, like me, the bigger scars are internal, and you only touch them softly, with trepidation, not remorse, in the late night hours of "what if’s."

Pilots get that.  Adventurers get that.  So, usually, does anyone who has challenged their fears. There are times when it seems as if the world is going to pieces around you, a sense of this enormous elemental power beyond your reason or control.  You think "what am I doing; this is nuts!"  As you squeak past the reaper one more time, you say “well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought” already planning on when you will chase the experience again.  For you are called to the altar of the infinite, the bread of life on the tongue, tasting faintly of salt, the sweetness, just underneath.  It's reaching your hand out to receive glory even as your world cranks up to red line with the knowledge that if mistakes are made, there will be no saving grace; you may be lost.  But if are not, then the world will, for that instant, have one moment of equilibrium, of order, of peace.
Actually, this captures motorcycling precisely, and may explain the overlap between the pilot population and the biker crowd.  That moment of equilibrium - to me at least - often comes when you roll that power on.

Pilots get that.  Adventurers get that.  So, usually, does anyone who has challenged their fears.

But challenging your fears doesn't mean forgetting your memories, or putting down that mirror that shows us who we are - scars and worry lines and all:
A quiet morning walk doesn't just carry you across the local landscape, it takes you across the landscape of memory, to places long past which we can only visit in our dreams.  Jack has been gone these twenty years now, but I still hear his deep throated bark, outraged at the swimming otter's insolence.  #1 Son hasn't been eight years old for ever and ever, but I still hear his child's voice rising with outrage that the bird is back at the pond.  I hear the frustration in the voice of young #2 Son, asking where the beaver is, knowing he is about to be delighted when he finally catches a glimpse of it.

Ivan the Terrier loves these walks.  The chance to sniff around, to catch new smells and sights from a place that's not his yard keeps him mentally sharp.  The walk through old but cherished memories is good for me, too.  Even if the path is crowded with Jack and some small children.
This mirror of Barkley isn't about him, at least if we read it for what it says to us.  About us.  Brigid sure has a rare talent to write a book about me and Jack, and a young #1 Son, and a younger #2 Son, and Ivan the Terrier.

And you.  Yes, and Barkley too.

Her's is an astonishing gift, and those of you who have yet to read this are lucky indeed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

House Majority Leader learns the meaning of the word "accountability"

Eric Cantor Goes Down in Flames; Will He Take Amnesty With Him? 

Short answer: yes.  There's quite a lot of the country that is sick of having things rammed down its throat by an unaccountable elite in Washington, D.C., "for your own good".  Astonishingly, this group of citizens turns out to be voters, and can (unexpectedly!) coalesce into a voting bloc.

Nobody ever said that education was inexpensive, Eric.  Enjoy your time with your family "pursuing other interests".  And Amnesty is dead as a doornail because the rest of the House Republicans (and Democrats) are reading this same dictionary tonight ...
ACCOUNTABILITY, n. The mother of caution.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Happy Birthday, Howlin' Wolf

Born this day in 1910.  This song won a Grammy.

indiana Cop: "The United States of America has become a war zone"

Says Pulaski County (Indiana) Sheriff Michael Gayer:
"The United States of America has become a war zone," he said. "There's violence in the workplace, there's violence in schools and there's violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do."
Pulaski County has a population of 13,402. Here's where you find this domestic Fallujah:

Sheriff Gayer perhaps needs to get into a safer line of work, if he's not feeling up to policing without the ninja gear.

Google's doodle on June 6

Seems some Japanese Go Master was born on June 6.  Good thing nothing else of note happened that day.

Computer Scientists discover that the Turing Test is pretty useless

A computer can pass it if you lower your standards enough:
Eugene Goostman, a computer programme made by a team based in Russia, succeeded in a test conducted at the Royal Society in London. It convinced 33 per cent of the judges that it was human, said academics at the University of Reading, which organised the test.

It is thought to be the first computer to pass the iconic test. Though other programmes have claimed successes, those included set topics or questions in advance.

A version of the computer programme, which was created in 2001, is hosted online for anyone talk to. (“I feel about beating the turing test in quite convenient way. Nothing original,” said Goostman, when asked how he felt after his success.)

The computer programme claims to be a 13-year-old boy from Odessa in Ukraine.
Nothing in the story as to whether the program claimed to be a Nigerian Minister of the Treasury.

Monday, June 9, 2014

XKCD blows the call on climate change

First, the cartoon:

The relevant text is: Without prompt aggressive limits on CO2 emissions, the Earth will likely warm by an average of 4°-5° by the century's end.

The source is given in the popup that appears when you hover the mouse over the cartoon, and is given as the latest IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).  That's where XKCD goes wrong.

What is the IPCC projection based on?  Computer models.  So how are the models tracking climate?  Very poorly:
I’ve updated our comparison of 90 climate models versus observations for global average surface temperatures through 2013, and we still see that >95% of the models have over-forecast the warming trend since 1979, whether we use their own surface temperature dataset (HadCRUT4), or our satellite dataset of lower tropospheric temperatures (UAH):
Whether humans are the cause of 100% of the observed warming or not, the conclusion is that global warming isn’t as bad as was predicted. That should have major policy implications…assuming policy is still informed by facts more than emotions and political aspirations.
The models are simply terrible - two out of 90 are close to the actual recorded temperatures over the last three decades, and they're getting worse over time, not better.  In fact, AR5 weakens the case for global warming:
Figure 1 shows that observations particularly since 2005 are on the low end of the envelope that contains 90% of the climate model simulations. Observations in 2011-2012 are below the 5-95% envelope of the CMIP5 simulations. The trend in the model simulations is substantially larger than the observed trend over the past 15 years.
  • 1125Figure 1. After expecting an increase of 0.2oC per decade in the early decades of the 21st century from the AR4 statements, the rate of warming over the past 15 years is only ~0.05C.
  •  The IPCC AR5 bases its projection for the period 2016-2036 of 0.10 to 0.23oC per decade on expert judgment, rather than on the climate model results
  • The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for the hiatus in warming.
Emphasis mine.  The observed temperatures are no longer within the error bands of the model projections.  The idea that this unexplained hiatus will suddenly end and temperatures for the rest of the century will increase even faster than the IPCC projected is certainly novel but is hard to justify.

And so XKCD disappoints.  Wherever we will be in 86 years, it's certainly not going to be where XKCD and the IPCC say we will.

UPDATE 10 June 2014 18:27: Goober opens up a righteous can of whoop-ass on the topic.  Recommended.

The gun in the attic

Tacitus' brother was closing up the old family homestead and found an old gun in the attic.  An old gun.

He has a lot more pictures, with a more detailed view.  He's looking for any ideas about what the rifle (shotgun?) might be and where it might have come from. Dad told me about our old family rifle, but Tacitus doesn't have this.  Cool mystery.

UPDATE 9 June 2014 13:06: Link added.  Oops.

Your Monday Morning Zen

Remember, there is no spoon ...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Crikey! Motorcycle camping stoves get damn hot!

This guy cracks me up, in that Ozzie sort of way.  But there's some good info here.

I sort of like the wood fired one.  Pretty much everywhere I'd go camp likely has a lit of deadfall wood available, though.

Take a moment to look at this

I don't know what's going on, but Jennifer knows more than I do.  It doesn't sound like there's any part of that which isn't filled to overflowing with teh suck.

Good cop, bad cops

There's a discussion forum that is quite illustrative of how many in the law enforcement community view us.  One cop posted about the no-knock raid where a flash bang grenade was tossed into a toddler's crib.  He is appalled, and in my book is the good cop.

He's maybe the only one.  The sense of entitlement that oozes all through the thread is quite stunning.  Here's an example reply to him:
Carbon how many years you been in LE?
How many Warrants you serve?
Do you know why LE uses no knock?

I'm glad with all of your years of experiance [sic] and training you have such a strong oponion. [sic]

Parents did that to their child not the officers.
As a point of fact, the baby was visiting with this parents from out of town.  No drugs were found in the house.

As I said in a previous post, it's important that some of the cops go to prison over this:
But I disagree that nobody should go to jail.  Prison is designed not only as a punishment, but to set an example that will deter other fascist scum.
If you have a strong stomach, read the Law Enforcement Forum thread to get a sense of just how many "Peace Officers" could use some deterrent.

UPDATE 8 June 2014 11:32: Here's another good cop.  More like him, please.

Hans Leo Hassler - Various Organ Works on the Huss-Schnitger Organ

This is very early music, played on a very old organ.  Hans Leo Hassler was active in the 1500s - around the time of the Spanish Armada and Shakespeare - writing and performing church music ask the Nuremberg Kapellmeister.  Trained in the Italy of the Renaissance, the music he brought back across the Alps was some of the earliest Baroque ever written.

The Huss-Schnitger Organ is nearly as old, dating to 1675.  This is likely very close to what the music would have sounded to Herr Hassler.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Edmundo Rivero - Los cosos de al lao

I have a soft spot in my heart for tango.  Partly it's the over-the-top flamboyance of the dance, partly it's just plain fun to dance to, but mostly it's the music which can only be described as "lush".  The late, great Argentine singer/composer Edmundo Rivero is perhaps the best that ever was.

I put 200 miles on the motorcycle today

Hot day, but fun for a ride.  But I've only put 700 miles on it since buying it in February, so I need to up my game.

But man, I'm a little wrung out from the ride.  Need to up my game.

Visiting a friend

Muscle and brainwave activity during shooting

Isegoria finds this look at how Olympic shooters train.

Little Texas - What Might Have Been

Sometimes what would be over the top can fit a particular moment.  I would usually write about what the moment meant, but I just did.  The number of moments that might have been, but which were sacrificed, those bear thinking on.

What Might Have Been (Songwriters: Dwayne O'Brien, Porter Howell, Brady Seals)
Sure I think about you now and then
But it's been a long long time
I've got a good life now I've moved on
So when you cross my mind

I try not to think about
What might have been
'Cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can't go back again
There's no use giving in
And there's no way to know
What might have been

We could sit and talk about this all night long
And wonder why we didn't last
Yes they might be the best days
We will ever know
But we'll have to leave them in the past

So try not to think about
What might have been
'Cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can't go back again
There's no use giving in
And there's no way to know
What might have been

That same old look in your eyes
It's a beautiful night
I'm so tempted to stay
But too much time has gone by
We should just say goodbye
And turn and walk away

And try not to think about
What might have been
'Cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can't go back again
There's no use giving in
And there's no way to know
What might have been

No we'll never know
What might have been
Hitting the beach on D-Day meant that you hadn't drowned, your kit and weapons dragging you down under the rolling sea.  Surviving that meant that you had to only deal with German machine guns and mortars and artillery.  That day saw the death of not just thousands of lives, but thousands of dreams.  It's a sad statement on the degraded state of this Republic that it needs a schlocky Country music song to make us think on that.

Four years apart.  Think on that, what that meant to young lovers.   It doesn't sound so sentimental when you think on that.  If you're any damn good at all.

Try not to think about what might have been, if the dead had come home.  Or if they never would have had to go at all.