Thursday, December 31, 2015

The view from Castle Borepatch

I arrived with Wolfgang at 0200 this morning for the closing, armed with a cashier's check and a Power Of Attorney for the Queen Of The World. Time pressure made me leave a partially loaded truck behind with her, but 'tis done: Castle Borepatch is ours.

And when the Harley gets up here, we are bang in the middle of prime riding country.

But uff da, what a month It's been.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Camp Borepatch signing off

The movers are here. The first picture from here was very like this one.

Lots of water under the bridge since then. Wolfgang and I will head up north later today. He will stay with friends until the Queen Of The World and I get there at the end of the week.

Needless to say, blogging will be spotty.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Smell of Christmas

There are any number of things that can trigger a memory of childhood Christmas. It might be the pine smell of the Christmas tree that you remember as a child. The way the closets smelled at your grandparents house. The sweet smell of pipe smoke from a blend your dad used.

For me, it's sugar cookies baking. That smell takes me back, I can see the house and the decorations, remember being six years old and just about split in half with anticipation. We made some this week and in the midst of all that is happening in 2015, they still worked their magic.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Georg Frederick Handel - Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus

Not my favorite bit from that piece, but appropriate for the day.   It's been quite some time since I've been to a Handel Sing-a-long and likely can no longer sing the baritone part from memory.  But that's OK - in packing up Camp Borepatch I found my score.  The next time I have I have an opportunity, I shall be prepared.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas to all

Life is chaos, with the Queen Of The World and I both scrambling to get everything packed my Monday when the movers show up.  But there is something about this day that gives one pause, to ponder something bigger than oneself.

Even in the Trenches, 101 years ago on the Western Front.

Yeah, chaos could be much worse.  May the spirit of the season be with you and yours.

Christmas At Tam's

Click over to View From The Porch and watch the video of Tam's Fun Show Song. When there are offerings like that I really miss being able to leave a comment. So Tam, here's my thanks for another year of snark and good gun blogging. I stop by every day.

Dan Zimmerman. Intellectual property thief. Dead Hooker Magazine.

Putting stuff on your blog that someone else made is no problem if you give credit and link.  Not so much if you don't.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Jagged Edge of the Glass

Not my words, but the quote below echos my thoughts on the jagged edge of Christmas 2015. My son died November 4th. My mother found she had cancer three weeks later. Last week she found out it is inoperable. My world is very different than it was at Christmastime last year.

The author I am quoting lost a child to cancer.
 I have stumbled upon four truths about Christmas this year that I would like to share with others who are hurting, grieving, or lonely.
  1. Christmas will be hard.
  2. You aren’t alone in your hurting.
  3. Sitting in a fetal position crying doesn’t change truth number 1, it just gets uncomfortable.
  4. December 26th will come.

So let us raise our glasses to the smooth side, drink in every bit of Christmas joy we can scrape together, knowing that the decorations will soon come down and maybe, just maybe, next Christmas will hold a bit more merriment.


Mid-afternoon at National Airport is PACKED. Traffic jam on the roads, traffic jam at the elevators in the parking deck, even at the bars by the gates.

I can't even imagine what it will be like this evening, or tomorrow. Glad I'm not going anywhere until after Christmas.

If you're planning on flying, give yourself an extra hour.

Nice gift wrap!

I wonder what the present is?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Airport security line whining

I got the closest parking place to the terminal that I think I've ever had. Then a massive delay at security theater. And Southwest Business Select didn't get me TSA Pre. Bah.

I liked it when I wasn't flying so much.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What the hell, Nabisco?

It seems like White Fudge Oreos are in stores for about a nanosecond, starting at some undefined moment after Thanksgiving.  The situation is so bad that scalpers are peddling boxes for $10 on Amazon and eBay.

$10 for cookies.

[blink] [blink]

I actually wouldn't care except these are the favorite cookies of the Queen Of The World.  You're putting your marketing tag line "By appointment to HM Queen Of The World" at risk.  And more importantly, I'm getting tired of driving from Kroger to Public to Target to see if maybe another shipment had arrived.

In future if you would endeavor to be less of an arrogant ass, I should be ever so much appreciative.

Law school professor: NFL's DeflateGate investigation "undermines the integrity and public confidence in the game"

Filed in an amicus curiae in the appeal of Tom Brady's suspension.  Also:
“If adverse inferences should be drawn from a party’s failure to produce relevant evidence,” Blecker writes, “the League’s failure to produce either gauge overshadows Brady’s failure to produce his cell-phone — especially when all phone records confirm that the NFL has all relevant texts.”
Even if you don't like the Patriots, the NFL's willful ignoring of the science and investigative process is pretty unsavory.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song

Perhaps the greatest Christmas song ever recorded.  They picked the right title ...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Go now - coolest Google doodle EVER

Google often puts up "doodles" to commemorate events of the day.  Go NOW to to see the doodle they made in honor of Beethoven's 245th birthday.

Go now - it won't be there tomorrow, and it's as astonishingly magnificent as old Ludwig deserved.  I love the puzzles where you put together pages of sheet music for his songs - and must brag that I did the Ode To Joy on the first try.

For those of you who might miss this doodle, here's the Ode To Joy, done as only the Japanese can (yes, it's true, with a chorus of 10,000!).  Thanks, Ludwig.  And thanks, Google.  For a little while, you weren't evil.

World War II sabatoge manual looks like Dilbert

The OSS was the WWII precursor to the CIA. One of the things they did wad create a manual for prople in occupied Europe on how to sabatoge the war effort.

Direct sabatoge was dangerous, so the manual was long on passive-aggressive suggestions. Basically, it described a Dilbert future.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bing Crosby - Mele Kalikimaka

I sure wish there was Dean Martin's version on Youtube ...

Merry Christmas From The Family


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

George Thorogood - Rock 'n Roll Christmas

That's John Lee Hooker dressed as Santa.

Out of Chaos ...

... comes order.

I close on Camp Borepatch tomorrow.  It's been chaos.  I expect that to continue for a couple weeks.  I hope at the end that Chaos will catch a Greyhound Bus to the Coast ...
Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.
- Henry Adams

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Well, that was fun

The Harley wouldn't start, because the batteries in BOTH fobs were dead. Off to Home Depot - they were out of that type of battery. OK, off to Publix. Success!

Home. Swap batteries. Security system is happy..

Battery doesn't have enough juice to turn the motor over. Need to take the seat off to get to it; need to take the trunk off to get to the seat. Where did I put the tool to unlock the mounting lugs ....

Aw, screw it. I need some relaxing time after all this "relaxing time".

Rumors of my death are greatly exagerated

Just too busy even to have time to spit. Yesterday was a bit of a breaking point - went to bed at 9:00 and slept 14 hours. Now instead of packing up Camp Borepatch, it's dog park time.

Tomorrow's a new day and the grind will begin again. But this afternoon will be on the Harley. Screw it- let's ride.

Friday, December 11, 2015


Next weekend the family gathers for a weekend to celebrate Christmas. My three sons will be here, along with my daughter-in-law and possibly one or two other people. We picked the weekend before Christmas months ago so that everyone could be where they needed to be on the actual holiday.

The gathering will be one place setting smaller. But now that I know everyone who can be here will be here, I feel the need to celebrate. I will be baking next week, all the traditional cookie recipes, perhaps a ham, and homemade bread.

She and I went out this afternoon and bought a Christmas tree. Made a fresh cut, got it in the stand, got out all the old decorations and played Christmas carols while we trimmed the tree. It felt like an act of defiance against the darkness. It felt like life.

Game Theory and the rise of Donald Trump

Game Theory is a field of mathematics originally developed to try to mathematically derive optimum solutions for card games in the 18th century.  It has developed into a major field of analysis used in computer science and even the design of crypto systems.  Any of you who saw the film "A Beautiful Mind" have at least a passing familiarity with the subject.

You probably even know the most famous example of Game Theory: The Prisoner's Dilemma.  Two prisoners are (separately) offered a deal - rat out the other guy or keep silent.  If they rat and the other guy doesn't, they go free and he gets a long sentence.  If neither of them rat, they both get short sentences.  If they both rat, they both get long sentences.  And most importantly to the prisoner, if he doesn't rat but the other guy does, he gets a long sentence while the other guy walks.

It's a one-time deal, which makes the math simpler.  Real world situations are not so simple, and a variant of the Prisoner's Dilemma has incorporated this.  Tit For Tat is a sequential set of prisoner's dilemma events where the strategy is to play what your opponent played in the previous round.  If your opponent was cooperative, you will be cooperative; if he screwed you, you will screw him back.

What's interesting about Tit For Tat is that mathematical proofs have shown that it leads to the outcome with maximum combined utility.  If your opponent always screws you, you're no worse off playing Tit For Tat, but if your opponent is always cooperative or also plays Tit For Tat then both of you derive the maximum benefit.

The political establishment (we're talking both parties here) has essentially been captured by big business and the wealthy, with the coastal educated being coopted by University research grant funding and public sector Senior Executive Service or Think Tank employment.  The elite has been repeatedly screwing the middle class (who have no such access to University to government jobs).  This has been going on for a couple of decades now.

The middle class has been playing nice, listening to red, white, and blue songs of "we're all in this together".  The recent GOP presidential field has been a stunning display of this: Mittens Romney, Sad Sack McCain, GWB, Bob Dole, Bush 41.  Each tools of (Dole, McCain) or members of (Romney, Bush pere et fils) the establishment.

And for two decades, the middle class has been squeezed for the benefit of the elite.  EPA regulations have gutted American manufacturing, free trade has accelerated the movement of high paying jobs overseas, open borders have displaced millions of Americans from traditional good paying jobs (say, construction).

It's got to the point that the Middle Class has shrunk from 61% of the population to 51%.  Neither party is doing anything about it.  Neither party is even talking about it.

Enter Game Theory.  "Play Nice" as a strategy simply isn't working.  Trust in government has been declining for the same 40 years that the Middle Class has been shrinking, but the elites have gamed the system to ensure that no real change will get in the way of them fattening their portfolios at the Middle Class' expense.  The urge to play Tit For Tat has been building, but has had no outlet.  The field has been prepared, over the course of decades, for a candidate beyond the control of the elites.

Hello, Donald Trump.  He was already a "name brand" to TV, and so the Media couldn't ignore him.  He's a billionaire, and so the donors couldn't control him.  He's a smart deal maker with a long history of persuading people to do things.

Right candidate, right time.  Four decades of rapine has led to this point.  The outcome was, you might say, inevitable.

And so the shrieking madness that we see from the elite and their hangers on in the Media, government, and Universities.  The man was supposed to implode because of his many "gaffes" and yet keeps strengthening in the polls.  And the dirty secret that nobody is talking about is that Trump attracts a lot of support from Democratic middle class voters - especially men who think that Hillary is a crook (the Clinton Foundation has scored a billion dollars of donations in political pay-to-play deals) and a liar.

Of course, the Media won't talk about that because the narrative is that Trump must be defeated in the GOP primary or Hillary walks to victory.

Odd that you haven't seen any polls to back that up.  I wonder why.

Tit For Tat is essentially a reputational game - get a bad reputation by screwing your opponent and you pay the price.  The mathematics is unmistakeable on that.

The Middle Class finally has an option to play against their opponent.  An opponent who has a deservedly poor reputation.

No wonder Trump's support seems rock solid.  The mathematics is unshakeable.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


I'm back from the land of no wireless access, which was chosen for that very reason. You see, we've been busy.

The Queen Of The World and I tied the knot over the weekend.  I wasn't meaning to leave her behind when I move to Maryland at the end of the month, and there was a solution to that problem.  Happily, she said "yes".

And she's good in a fix - say, a motorcycle accident; hopefully one that's not about to happen to the happy couple here.

Sadly, a weekend full of happiness and relaxation is now the meat grinder of getting quotes from movers and getting things packed up.  Oh, well - it could be way, way worse.

I could be doing it without her.

And so all y'all will see more of the adventures of the Queen Of The World here.  Heck, maybe that even makes me King Of The World.  Which, I'm told, is almost as high a rank as hers ...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Another Loss

One of my son's friends, Taylor Hunt, died in a kayaking mishap in Ecuador last week. He was one of a group of guys that called themselves the Dawn Patrol. Taylor left a touching tribute to Mike last month and now he is gone as well.

Here they are, all together, on a better day.

Green 5.5" from Brian Burton, with Taylor and Mike on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Back in a while

I'm off for an extended trip, one where Internet access is either not available or not desirable. I plan on being back next Tuesday, so feel free to put your feet up on the coffee table and scratch where it itches.

There will be a big announcement when I get back.  It's good news, so watch this space.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Joining Obamacare Marketplace

The UnitedHealthCare CEO says associating with the Affordable Care Act marketplace will cost them half a billion dollars in losses over two years.

The, err, alure of the motorcycle

Not known for making the most exciting motorcycles, BMW has triumphed over a lawsuit claiming one of their bikes left a man with a 2 day long erection. This via the Marin Independent Journal:
Wolf claimed he suffered an acute case of priapism -- a painfully prolonged erection -- after riding his 1993 BMW motorcycle for two hours. He claimed the vibrations in the "ridge-like" motorcycle seat caused the condition that lasted several days, so he sued BMW North America and the seat manufacturer, Corbin-Pacific Inc.
The jokes sort of write themselves.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Michael Buble - Feliz Navidad

Set phasers to 'Troll'

Carl Stalling - Rabbit of Seville

You've heard Carl Stalling's music; he was the composer for Looney Tunes, writing one new score a week for 22 years.  The music is surprisingly complex for "children's entertainment".  This is perhaps his most famous adaptation.

While this is clearly an adaptation, his other scores were entirely original.  Giants strode the Earth in those days.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The War on Terror is not aimed at terror

It's aimed at Democracy:
At least 24 climate activists have been put under house arrest by French police, accused of flouting a ban on organising protests during next week’s Paris climate summit, the Guardian has learned.

One legal adviser to the activists said many officers raided his Paris apartment and occupied three floors and a staircase in his block.

French authorities did not respond to requests for comment but lawyers said that the warrants were issued under state of emergency laws, imposed after the terror attacks that killed 130 people earlier this month.
Ah, those convenient emergency laws.  For "safety", of course.  Relax, citizen: if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear, right?
The author and climate change campaigner, Naomi Klein, accused French authorities of “a gross abuse of power that risks turning the summit into a farce”.

“Climate summits are not photo opportunities to boost the popularity of politicians,” she told the Guardian. “Given the stakes of the climate crisis, they are by their nature highly contested. That is democracy, messy as it may be. The French government, under cover of anti-terrorism laws, seems to be trying to avoid this, shamefully banning peaceful demonstrations and using emergency powers to pre-emptively detain key activists.”
The Elites are utterly uninterested in democracy, and in fact (as shown by the immigration policies on both sides of The Pond) are doing their very best to elect a new People - one that will be more democratically supportive of their policy preferences.

This is actually the entirety of what you need to know to fully understand the Trumpening.  Europe is (as always) more ideologically committed than we re, and so is more fully screwed than we are.  They'd be lucky to get a Donald Trump.  Instead, there will be multiple fascist governments there in two years.

The paniced Elites, of course, will try to quash the elections.  That bucket of liquid is handy to douse the flames, even if it may be petrol.

Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma - The Wexford Carol

It's after Black Thursday, which means that it's now officially Christmastide.  To kick the season off here are two of the greatest musical talents of our day.

Wow, Black Fridy shopping realy is tough

Even Rocky had trouble getting a TV ...

Friday, November 27, 2015

The WKRP turkey incident was based on an actual event

In Atlanta, no less:
CLARKE BROWN: The turkey drop was actually a real incident.  It was at a shopping center in Atlanta; I think it was Broadview Plaza, which no longer exists.  It was a Thankgiving promotion.  We thought that we could throw these live turkeys out into the crowd for their Thanksgiving dinners.  All of us, naïve and uneducated, thought that turkeys could fly.  Of course, they went just f*****’ splat.

People were laughing at us, not with us.  But it became a legend.
The world is not just a strange place, it's stranger than we can possibly imagine.

Top shelf snark

Waterford Whispers News looks like it's Ireland's hoe-grown answer to The Onion.  It's sharp as Irish Whisky:
THE CONTROVERSIAL Oireachtas banking inquiry into the financial collapse of Ireland’s banks in 2008 has requested a €12bn bailout in order for it to continue and complete its work.

Members believe there is a strong chance the committee will fail to produce a final report if there is not some form of banking inquiry bailout put in place to secure its spiralling costs.


“If only we had an extra few billion to finally carry this out properly,” hinted one Oireachtas member. “If we don’t get the funds we need, this whole banking inquiry could collapse… and no one wants that”.
Heh.  That's some quality mockery of the EU financial system, right there.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

An ode to the ever shortening Thanksgiving holiday

By which I mean "the ever shortening time between the end of Thanksgiving dinner and the start of shopping".  At the pace it's going, Black Friday will soon fall on Halloween.

This, of course, was foreseen back in the 1960s.  It was funny back then, in a "ha ha, only kidding" sense.  Now it's "ha ha, only serious".

Giving Thanks

To remember what the celebration was about, you have to go back and see what the Pilgrims went through their first year:
"Of the original 102 Mayflower passengers, four died before reaching Plymouth. By the summer of 1621 there were another 46 deaths among the passengers, and about 25 deaths among the crew. After the General Sickness, only 12 of 26 men with families and 4 of the 12 single men and boys survived. "All but a few" of the women survived"
They had been headed for Virginia. They ended up in Massachusetts. Survival for any of them was in doubt and without the help of the native people, they would not have made it.

 "At summer's end, when harvest was in, Governor John Carver called for a special celebration. The colonists began to gather food for a traditional English "harvest home." This festival was held throughout England at harvest's end to give thanks for the bounty and celebrate the end of the most intense period of work for farmers. The Pilgrims' celebration had a special poignancy, of course, as a counterpoint to years of terrible hardships and a testament to the creation of the kind of religious environment they desired.

The Native Americans traditionally celebrated a harvest festival similar to the harvest home. The Pilgrims invited Massasoit, who came with 90 of his people and whose hunters contributed five deer to the celebration. The Pilgrims gathered corn, wild turkey, ducks and other fowl, fish, and venison. The first Thanksgiving lasted about a week, with three days' straight of feasting with the Wampanoag. The time was filled with prayers, dances, shooting matches, wrestling, and other games.

There is no specific indication of when the first Thanksgiving was held; it is unlikely that it was held as late as November. It was held after the harvest was gotten in and before the arrival of the Fortune in November. It also was not a day specifically set aside for religious worship. The Pilgrims lived so that prayer, the Bible, and the church were part of their everyday lives. The first Thanksgiving included a blessing on the harvest and thanks to God, but it was also a party rather than a serious religious meditation, with five or six days of recreation. The invitation of the Wampanoag was not just about being neighborly; it was also to recognize the special role which the Native Americans played in ensuring the Pilgrims' survival."

As God is my witness ...

The Feast

Pieter Breugel the Elder, The Peasant Wedding
The feast has always been more for the soul than for the body.  Today's holiday is the most uniquely American of all.  A day to relax with family and friends, but one that explicitly calls on us to ponder what we are grateful for.

Me, I'm thankful for quite a lot.  It's a quiet day with just the Queen of the World and me.  I'm thankful that I'm an empty nester - the boys seem to be doing pretty well, but it was time.  Probably best for both them and me.

I'm thankful for the dog park and the puppy play that wears Wolfgang out.  I'm thankful that the move back north looks like it will go fairly smoothly.  Roswell and Camp Borepatch have been good places, but a new adventure begins.  I'm thankful that the adventure looks like it's fixin' to be a good one.

And I'm thankful for you, gentle reader.  The community that we've forged is something special indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Have a happy and honest Thanksgiving

Well, maybe not as honest as this ...

I want to disconnect myself from all this emotion.  With alcohol.


Analysis of the Laquan McDonald shooting by the Chicago Police

Eric Raymond does an analysis of the video:
The fast version: I would have said this was what cops call a “good shoot” if it had stopped at the first two bullets. It didn’t. I don’t think this was murder one, but it was at least criminally negligent homicide and those who covered it up should be prosecuted along with Van Dyke.
This is a very thoughtful post on when deadly force is justified and when it - sometimes suddenly - turns into unjustified deadly force.  This is important reading for anyone who carries, so RTWT.

As a bonus, there's a link there to his analysis of the Michael Brown autopsy results and what it likely means about the shooting.  Short version: completely justified in that case.

The Science is settled!

97% of Americans aren't worried about Climate Change:
A new Fox News poll finds that in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the issue of terrorism has become the top concern of American voters. Only 3 percent of respondents said that global warming was the most important issue facing the country today.

When asked what is currently the most important issue facing the country, 24 percent of those surveyed said terrorism. That number stood at 11 percent the last time Fox News conducted the poll. Another 21 percent cited the economy as their top concern. The issue has been at top of the list for most of President Obama’s tenure in office.
From a scientific point of view, this is clearly the wrong answer, since it doesn't provide more grant funding for climate scientists.  Oh, the humanity!

Declssified NSA COMSEC lectures

From 1973.  One-time tapes, codes, TEMPEST.  Fin stuff if you're a crypto-nerd like me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Zero to Jackboots in five two years

It's happening faster than I had thought:
Germany security guards at the main government office for refugees in Berlin have reportedly been caught on camera using openly Nazi language.

Bild newspaper has released video footage in which it alleges the guards call for asylum-seekers to be put in concentration camps.

One recording purports to show a uniformed security guard speaking of getting “swastikas in my eyes”.

“In two years, there will be a revolution here and there will be no more of all this s***. We’ll clean it all out,” the guard, who has not been named, appears to say.

“We have plenty of summer camps, and I swear to you they can be used again. On the gate: work makes you free,” he says.
Boy, we sure need to be more like Europe, huh?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Earlier in the Month

I was out for a walk on Veteran's Day. There are some veterans I know that served in combat and I always think of them when this day rolls around. I was preoccupied that day, but I did get the flags flying in the local park after the ceremony had ended. Better late than never.

The department of Homeland Derp

This is me, rolling my eyes:
The US Department of Homeland Security is running dozens of unpatched databases, some of which are rated "secret" and even "top secret," according to an audit.

An inspection [PDF] of the department's IT infrastructure found huge security gaps, including the fact that 136 systems had expired "authorities to operate" – meaning that no one was in charge of keeping them updated. Of the 136, 17 were classified as "secret" or "top secret."
Top. Men.

I know that the problem of "what's on the network" is really hard (actually, it really is).  But if your department has the word "Security" in it, it seems reasonable to think that you'd be better at it than other people.  Especially if some of the stuff is Top Secret.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How to make money from Facebook

You're welcome.

Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi discloses your name and home address

It also helpfully offers a map to your house for potential Internet stalkers:
The Xfinity Wi-Fi service from Comcast is disclosing the full name and home address of residential customers, which is something the company says isn’t supposed to happen. 
The disclosure of such information increases an already exposed attack surface, by allowing anyone with malicious intent to selectively target their marks. 
The following composite image shows residential customers with Xfinity Wi-Fi enabled. They are all in the same town, in the same state, and according to a public records search – none of them have ever been registered as a business. Please note: This image has been redacted by Salted Hash to remove the customer's last name, address, and the map markers which might identify their location.
Click through to see how this all shows up when you search for Comcast Wi-Fi hot spots.

I recommend that anyone with Comcast Xfinity disagree their Wi-Fi IMMEDIATELY.  Instructions are here.  Run, don't walk to do this NOW.

You will need to buy your own wifi router (probably $39 at your local big box store like Wally World).  Run an ethernet cable from your router's "WAN" port into an ethernet port on the Comcast box.  Configure your own wifi, and you will be clean from Comcast stalkers.

The reason that I am so adamant that you need to do this is that the article has enough details to convince me that someone could use this to locate you, spoof your computer's network address, and then do something to incriminate you (say, launch an attack on homeland or download child pornography).  I am convinced that the spoofing would fool whatever logging that Comcast is doing, so their lousy logging would implicate you.

And the punch line is that they just don't care.  The researchers reported this to them and Comcast hasn't done bupkis to change this.

From The Walking Dead

The jo staff work they are doing isn't anything that looks familiar. But listen to the words and it is Aikido.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

This just in

House hunting can be fun - it's all fantasy and dreams.

House buying is a pain in the tail end - it's reality, and a reality that I quite frankly don't find particularly, err, dreamy.

Pat Green - Lucky

This coming week is Thanksgiving - at least here un the USA.  This is perhaps the most deeply American of holidays.  Each of us decides what we are thankful for.  Nothing is organized, nobody sends out a list, it's gloriously decentralized down to the individual level.

It's a great opportunity for a meditation on what to be thankful for.  This meditation is good for the soul, and I hope that in a quiet moment between family, football, and feast you have a short time for this pondering.  The feast is not just for the body, it also feeds the soul.

Lucky (Songwriter: Radney Foster?):
I hope you get to be on a TV game show
And win a million dollars 'cause that's lucky
And I hope a bartender appears with a shot and a beer
Every time you holler 'cause that's lucky

And I hope you get to live in a big old crib
And a fancy neighborhood 'cause that's lucky
And you never have to fight for an invite
To the coolest parties out in Hollywood, oh that's lucky

But if you were just a regular guy
Living beneath this red, white and big blue sky
With your job, your car, your family, your friends
The love of a girl that you know will never end

Then you've already got it made every single day
Yeah, you know what it's like to be lucky

Well, I hope you get the chance for a paparazzi romance
With a supermodel 'cause, yeah man that's lucky
And I hope you're getting chased first place full throttle
In a NASCAR race, oh that's lucky

But if you were just a regular guy
Living beneath this red, white and big blue sky
With your job, your car, your family, your friends
The love of a girl that you know will never end

Then you've already got it made every single day
Yeah, you know what it's like to be lucky, yeah
Well, don't you feel lucky?

But if you're just a regular guy
Living beneath this red, white and big blue sky
With your hopes, your dreams, your faith and your prayers
Every breath you take, every moment you share

Then you've already got it made every single day
Yeah, you know what it's like
Yeah, brother you know what it's like to be lucky, yeah
To be lucky yeah, to be lucky yeah

Come on, don't you feel it?
Yeah, you're lucky

Friday, November 20, 2015

A deal for .45 ACP

It's National Ammo Day, and has .45 ACP for 26 cents/round.


Die screaming in a fire

The TV was on in the hotel room and Squawk Box (CNBC?) came on.  Their introduction?
Greeting from the most powerful city in the world.
Channel, changed.  Could you bastards be any more of a self caricature?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Coasters - Poison Ivy

Guess what I got cutting timber with ASM826 last week?  No fair peeking at the post title.

Goose. It's what's for dinner

Just saying' it's a bad idea to forget your place on the food chain.

Cities cause Global Warming

Well, local warming at least:
Some parts of the Twin Cities can spike temperatures up to 9°F higher than surrounding communities thanks to the “urban heat island” effect, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota.
The study, which was funded by the Institute on the Environment and published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, used a network of 180 sensors deployed throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area in residential backyards and city parks to paint the most detailed picture anywhere in the world of how temperature varies with time and place across pavement-filled metropolitan areas and surrounding communities.
Recording surface air temperatures every 15 minutes from August 2011 through August 2014 across nearly 2,000 square miles and using U.S. Geological Survey data to fine-tune differences at the neighborhood level, the study uncovered several surprises. Among them:
Temperatures in the urban core of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington average 2 °F higher in summer than in surrounding areas
The differential spiked as much as 9 °F higher during a heat wave in July 2012
Urban heat island effect is stronger at night in summer and during the day in winter
In urban areas during the winter when snow cover is less pervasive, temperatures are higher than rural areas in the daytime by an average of 2 °F.
I've been posting on the subject of Urban Heat Island for years; this is a good overview.  There has been a dismissiveness from the scientific establishment about this subject, but this peer-reviewed paper seems to be getting it right.  And the conclusion is inescapable: UHI raises daily low temperature readings and the "homogenization" computer programs use this anomaly to adjust rural weather station temperatures upwards.

Do this for hundreds of cities world wide and you do indeed get Global Warming.

The data sets are a frightful mess.  That's about the only thing "settled" about Climate Science.

More old Borepatch posts on this topic here, here (this one is excellent), and here.

What Can I Do?

That's another thing people say to the grieving. "What can I do to help?" "If there's anything I can do..." and other variations.

Here's my advice. Don't ask. If the people you are talking to are anything like me, they don't know what day of the week it is, or if they left the refrigerator door open, or even if they have pants on. So don't ask, just do.

Walk out in their kitchen and clean it, do the dishes, wipe the stove.

Bring a meal. Not the first 3 or 4 days, but two weeks later and two weeks after that.

Rake the yard. Take their dog for a walk. Cut their lawn.

Be there. Show up. Let them talk about anything. They may talk about the loss, it's the 500 lb. ghost in the room. They may not.

If they are really your close friend, stay close. They are standing in a furnace, get as close to the door as you can stand while still considering your own needs.

If they are more casual friends, don't force something that isn't there, but do what you can to support them in practical ways.

Two people stand out.

Borepatch showed up last Friday night and Saturday to be with me. We sat by the woodstove, drank a little (we're older now) Glenfiddich, and for three hours he let me talk. A friendship like this is a gift.

Dan has been a rock. He's local and been there every day. There must have been times where it appeared I was insane. A friendship like this is a gift.

My Aikido community, my co-workers, friends from the gun club, our church community, all doing what there is to be done.

It cannot be fixed. It must be endured.

UK.Gov - not as stupid as you thought

Yeah, this surprised me, too:
Amber Rudd, Britain’s Energy Secretary, has officially stated energy security is Britain’s top energy policy priority, ahead of Climate Change.
Will the last person to leave Climate Change Central please turn out the lights?  We're trying to be green here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I may not give a damn ...

... but I sure am passionate.  Because Intarwebz!

What to do in a terrorist attack

Michael Yon has advice (via Isegoria):
We are at war. 
We must retrain our minds that we are not sheep to be slaughtered.
First option — unless you are law enforcement or a Soldier — is to escape. Second option is to hide. Final option, kill that son of a bitch. Bum-rush him. 
Take his rifle and shoot him in the head. 
He might be wearing a vest — when you are very close shoot his head twice and keep moving. If the rifle is out of ammo, kill him with the rifle butt or something else. Smash with all of your strength.
No time for hogtying him. There might be other terrorists and there is no time for pleasantries. Just kill him and keep your weapon pointed at potential enemies. Be very careful not to cause innocent casualties. Can be hard to do. 
Ugly advice for an ugly age.

How Did I Get Here?

I was chasing links without any real destination and found this. When you're looking at fish in a flooded basement in Bangkok, you're approaching the end of the internet.
New World shopping mall, a four story former shopping mall. Originally constructed as an eleven story building. It was found to be in breach of old town Bangkok’s four story limit on building heights. The top seven floors were demolished to adhere to building codes in 1997. In 1999 the mall burned due to suspected arson committed by a competitor in the area. The building has remained abandoned ever since. Not having a roof, the basement floor remains under several feet of water year round.

At some point in the early 2000′s an unknown person began introducing a small population of exotic Koi and Catfish species. The small population of fish began to thrive and the result is now a self-sustained, and amazingly populated urban aquarium.

More pictures at the link.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Natural Selection is a cruel mistress

And the little children all cried themselves to sleep that night.

It's Not Just Me

I don't know yet what anything means, but I have learned that the events in my life the last two weeks are far from unusual. Because I have been so open about what happened, almost everyone I speak with tells me of their own pain, their own loss, or their own fears for a loved one in some crisis.

All of us have these events. A brother 15 years into a losing battle with drug addiction, where every late night phone call may be the news. A sister that took her own life in college 25 years ago. A baby that died of SIDS who would now be a college freshman. On and on.

People get up every day and carry on. They are right here with us, walking past on the sidewalk, in our workplaces, our churches, our gun clubs, in our grocery store.

The symbol of the Catholic Church, of a crucified man raised into the sky, often leaves out a important part of that event. At the foot of that cross were three people, his mother, John the beloved, and a woman who loved him. They stood and grieved. They are the symbols of humanity.

More than half of Governors say they will not take Syrian refugees

Boy, Obama's press conference sure has some impact:
More than half the nation's governors -- 27 states -- say they oppose letting Syrian refugees into their states, although the final say on this contentious immigration issue will fall to the federal government. 
States protesting the admission of refugees range from Alabama and Georgia, to Texas and Arizona, to Michigan and Illinois, to Maine and New Hampshire. Among these 27 states, all but one have Republican governors.
They may have Republican governors but Michigan and Illinois have been Blue states for years.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pope: Put down the damned iPhone at the dinner table

Well, duh:
Pope Francis has slammed the use of smartphones and warned that they risk damaging family life. 
Speaking at the Vatican yesterday, the Pontiff noted that the dinner table is where families experience a sense of "togetherness," but that it can be ruined by over-attachment to modern technology. 
"A family that almost never eats together, or that never speaks at the table but looks at the television or the smartphone, is hardly a family," he told pilgrims in St Peter's Square. "When children at the table are attached to the computer or the phone and don’t listen to each other, this is not a family."
In other breaking news, water is wet and just fired brass is hot ...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

"He's In A Better Place"

I swear to Odin people say some stupid stuff to the grieving.

Nothin' but net

It's a little wet, but it does involve dunking.  And getting dunked in the drink if you lose your footing ...

I dunno - something seems fishy.

Err, I don't even know what to say here

Other than Jamaica could field a bitchin' snow sand boarding team ...


I don't have Borepatch's wide ranging appreciation of music, especially the classics. My musical tastes lean toward rock and roll, with a smattering of modern country. There are exceptions, of course, but they prove the rule.

 I would submit that the best of the music in my lifetime will one day be the classics of a later age.

 "Come in, she said, I'll give you shelter from the storm."

William Herschel - Symphony No.14 in D-major

Image from der Wik
To nerds, William Herschel is known for his astronomical discoveries, most important of which was the planet Uranus.  This was the first planet discovered since the ancient world, and Herschel was instantly famous.  King George III made him Court Astronomer and he followed up his planetary discovery by finding moons of Uranus and Saturn.  And infrared radiation.

And long term readers will remember seeing him here before.  He discovered a link between sunspot activity and the price of grain.  It seems (despite the "settled" climate science of today) that the Sun does in fact have an effect on the climate.

But he was a polymath in an age of polymaths.  He wrote two dozen symphonies (among many other works).  Sir William (knighted by his late Majesty) was a man of of many talents.

Happy birthday, Sir William.  Born this day in 1738.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - May the Circle Be Unbroken

Last night I went to a bluesgrass concert with ASM826 and Mrs. ASM826.  It was a local band who played for fun and tips, but it was great fun.  They ended with this, and it made me think of the visit with ASM826 and what he's been through in the last week.

He and Mrs. ASM826 have been surrounded by friends and family, and I'm glad I was able to be a part of that circle.  They're solid people, and while this is a tragedy, I'm quite inspired by their resilience.  I wonder if I would do as well in their place.  Probably not.

But the circle remains.  Times like this remind us that friends and family are everything.  May that circle be unbroken.


Paris, 11/13/2015

I used to think the world was going to wake up, but 9/11 wasn't enough. Now I wonder if all of Western Civilization isn't going to end in blood.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wood warms you twice

[This is Borepatch, co-blogging with ASM826 from the classified off-site secure location] The other advantage of cutting and splitting your own wood is that there's extra whining about achy muscles.  No extra charge.  But ASM826 sure knows his way around a chain saw.  Me, I'm OK with a splitting maul.

[ASM826] Borepatch stopped in to check on me and I put him to work. We started the day at an old local diner. Eggs grits, hash brown, sausage and bacon. We filled the truck with wood and gave it away to a friend. They will find a pile outside their back door. Now we are home and I am paying the price for the help with the aforementioned whining.

We are going to dinner with Mrs. ASM and then heading to a bluegrass concert in a nearby town.

Life continues.

ASM826 and I took a tree down

And by "ASM826 and I", I mean "ASM826". But Dad saw to it that I was pretty good with a splitting maul.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Traffic jam

I am headed up to visit with ASM826, and so the wheels will be rolling over pavement.  It will be good to see him, even though this is a terrible reason to see him.

But long distance driving.  We shall see what the traffic is like.  A condolence will be that traffic jams have been with us for 2,000 years.

I am now an empty nester

#2 Son moved out yesterday. It's odd not to have either of the boys there - they've been a daily fixture for over two decades.

It's an oddly liberating feeling ...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Global Warming is good for champagne

Good news for holiday tipplers:
Now Champagne makers have gone a step further, claiming that global warming has been good for them.

According to Reuters;
As France prepares to host world leaders for talks on how to slow global warming next month, producers of the northeastern French region’s famous sparkling wine have seen only benefits from rising temperatures so far.

The 1.2 degrees centigrade increase in temperatures in the region over the past 30 years has reduced frost damage. It has also added one degree in the level of alcohol and reduced acidity, making it easier to comply with strict production rules, according to champagne makers group CIVC.

“The Champagne region and Germany are among the northerly vineyards which have managed to develop thanks to warmer weather,” Jean-Marc Touzard, coordinator of a program on wine and climate change at French research institute INRA.

“Even if I feel very concerned by climate change, I have to say that for the moment it has had only positive effects for Champagne,” Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, president of the group that bears his family’s name, told Reuters at the company’s Reims headquarters.
Remember, the bubbles in champagne are carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas said to warm the Champagne region of France and produce better wine.  Coincidence?  I think not.


Vaya con Dios, Betamax

Sony is finally shutting it down 40 years after introducing it.  It seems that after losing the home video format war, it dominated the professional news recording business for decades.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Paris Climate Summit to reduce US GDP by 7%, increase US unemployment by 5 Million

Everyone's talking about how the carbon reduction from these proposals (reduce emissions by 80% by 2050) will only result in a tenth of a degree less heating.  What's being ignored is what the cost will be to the US economy:
When I queried [Bjorn] Lomborg specifically about the U.S. numbers, he provided this comment:
Also, note that a reduction by 80% in 2050 will cost the US about $1.2 trillion annually in lost GDP if politicians pick all the smart solutions (carbon tax etc).  This is according to the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum 24, which ran 12 scenarios on 6 models to estimate the cost.  This is 3.8% of GDP in 2050, and experience tells us that if politicians don’t do the smart thing, the cost will at least double (so about $2.4 trillion annually or 7.6% of GDP).  Seems somewhat unlikely.
By point of reference, 7.6% is more than half of the world wide drop in GDP during the Great Depression.  During the Depression, GDP dropped by about 30% and unemployment went up 20% or so.  Assuming unemployment/GDP is about the same now as then, that would translate into an increase in the unemployment rate of 5%, on top of the fudged figure we already have.  And this will be permanent, unless the emission caps are removed (unlikely).

So a cursory reading of the proposed Climate agreement is that an extra 5 Million Americans will be thrown out of work permanently.  But hey: eggs, omlets, amirate?

Can someone please explain to me how environmentalists think they're nicer than you and me?

So much for Paul Ryan and "fiscal conservatives"

Just what's in the Transportation Bill he rammed through?
One of the main obstacles to the bill has been fiscal conservatives (and some liberals) who objected to $80 billion of deficit spending over the next six years. Many of the conservatives wanted to cut spending to be no more than gas tax and other highway revenues; the liberals wanted to raise gas taxes to cover the deficits and provide revenues for even more spending on roads and transit. Instead, the House stayed the course of spending more than is available, using various accounting tricks to cover the deficits.

What really happened is that newly minted House Speaker Paul Ryan wanted to prove his worth, so he twisted enough arms to get the bill passed. The bill even includes reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which many conservatives hated.
Color me unimpressed.I expect come next November, I shall continue to be unimpressed with them.

Semper Fidelis

Since 1775.

I am still humbled that they let me wear the uniform. Happy Birthday, Marines!

What Climate Science can learn from Mythbusters

But “MythBusters” captures the underlying mind-set of science. At a time when “skepticism” too often means rejecting any ideas one finds politically unpalatable, “MythBusters” provides a compelling example of real scientific skepticism, the notion that nothing can be held true until it is confirmed by experimentation.
Of course, the New York Times won't recommend Climate Scientists lose the models and trust the (unadjusted) data.  Of course, testing falsifiable assumptions might lead to Unapproved conclusions.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Right Stuff doesn't think much of today's generation

"The Right Stuff" is an under statement:
I had dinner with Stefan Cavallo, a test pilot for NASA (“NACA” in those days) during World War II (interview). Cavallo intentionally flew a P-51 fighter into a thunderstorm to figure out why they were breaking up on the way back from bombing runs into Germany whereas the supposedly weaker B-17s were fine. It turned out that the stresses from turbulence caused the engine internals to come apart. Gaining this knowledge meant the loss of the airplane and Cavallo was forced to bail out of the test airplane.

At age 89, in 2010, Cavallo was off the Long Island coast when the engine on his Cessna 210 failed. He dead-sticked the plane onto the beach (the media account is interesting because the journalist adds an ejection seat to the P-51 (“I crawled out” said Cavallo when I showed him the piece) and conventional landing gear (with a tailwheel) to the Cessna 210).


What does this quiet widower hero, still flying light airplanes, think of the society that younger folks have created? “Somewhere along the way younger Americans squandered what we had built,” said Cavallo, though not with any bitterness. When he looks at us he sees timid paper shufflers, aggressive divorce lawsuit plaintiffs, and a general “can’t do” attitude: “By our mid-20s nearly all of us were in what would turn out to be lifelong marriages and we already had kids. The Empire State Building was built in a year.”
Giants strode the Earth in those days.  Or Pygmies stride it today.

Go home, Harley-Davidson

You're drunk.

Those aren't Ape Hangers.  They're Neanderthal Hangers.


Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
-- Deuteronomy 6:4

The Absolute Universe is One. We call this this "spiritual energy" or Ki. Our lives and our bodies are born of the Ki of the Universe.
--Koichi Tohei Sensei.
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 
--Mark 12:29

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings,
and all beings in his own Self.
--The Buddha
And so on...

Do it yourself kit

They forgot to include a bottle of Bactine ...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Military history, frozen in time

The Douglas A-1 Skyraider was first test flown during World War II, and remained on active duty until 1972 - a 27 year run.  What makes this run astonishing is that it was a propeller driven anachronism in a jet age.

Image via Wikipedia
Propeller?  Check.  Radial, piston engine?  Check.  Maximum speed a little over 300 MPH?  Check.  Straight wings?  Check.  The design was so outdated that it was called the "Spad", after the World War I fighter plane.

But it was superbly suited to a ground attack role.  It was long range (over 1,300 miles) which gave it a very long loiter time over target.  It had seven hard points on each wing and could carry up to 8,000 lbs of bombs, torpedoes, mines, or rockets (by way of reference, the B-17 Flying Fortress was rated at 8,000 lbs of bombs).  It sported extra armor which made it famous for its toughness and ability to shrug off enemy fire.

And so it kept flying sortie after sortie, because it took decades to come up with a better design to replace it.  It's comparable with the A-10, which the Air Force has wanted to kill for 20 years but which is so superbly adapted to its mission that any replacement would be a step backwards.

And it had enough air-to-air capability to shoot down several MiG-17s over Vietnam.

There is a beauty is a design that is extraordinarily well suited for the intended use, where extreme practicality assumes an esthetic all its own.  The A-1 had that in spades.  Or, well, in spads.

Sir John Blackwood McEwen - Scottish Rhapsody

Image from the Bonnie Wik
On this day in 1745 Charles Edward Stuart and 5,000 of his troops invaded England in a campaign to retake the British throne lost by his grandfather James.  The young would-be King was known as Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Scottish Highlanders who rallied to his cause.

The House of Stuart had been in exile since the Glorious Revolution of 1688 had expelled King James in favor of the Dutch William of Orange and his wife Mary, James' daughter.  The joint monarchs William and Mary lent their name to the Virginia University, and led to the dynasty of the Georges.

Britain had been at war with France for two years, and leading Tories sent a letter to King Louis XV asking for help restoring the Stuart dynasty.  Leaders of thisTory movement included Edward Gibbon, of Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire fame.  And so to the invasion.

It was doomed from the start.  The Tories had asked for 10,000 French troops and money for 10,000 unemployed English and Scottish ones, but Louis only provided half.  Bonnie Charlie's army marched deep into England but was forced to fall back in the face of three armies sent by George II, not to mention confusion and indecision among his staff.  It ended on Culloden Moor where the Highlander charge failed to break the red coat lines and the rebellion collapsed into the mists of legend.

John McEwen wrote music to remember this, from the safe vantage point of a century and a half in the future.  A professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he never forgot his Scottish roots.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Vince Gill - Go Rest High On That Mountain

A great song speaks straight to the listener's heart.  Vince Gill won a CMA Song of the Year and two Grammy awards for this, because it speaks to that part of the heart that never quite heals.

At least, if we're any damn good at all.

Sometimes words fail us, and all we can do is rely on art to give voice to grief.  This is about the best example of that I can think of.

Go Rest High On That Mountain (Songwriter: Vince Gill)
I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
‘Cause, Son, your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
And gathered round your grave to grieve
Wish I could see the angels’ faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

Go rest high on that mountain
‘Cause, Son, your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

Go rest high on that mountain
‘Cause, Son, your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

Go to Heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son
Rest in Peace, Michael.  Go to Heaven a shouting' love for the Father and the Son.