Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indoor pool bad ideas

Winterize the construction or turn off the water ...

Medical upgate

Dick emails:
Sorry about the IV stuff.

How’s the ‘bone?  Started therapy yet?
He's not the only one who's asked, so here's the latest.

The bone seems to be doing pretty well.  I've been off the pain meds for over a week, and the X-Rays looked good yesterday.  Doctor says another 4 weeks is likely, but thinks that the bone graft is taking.

I got a therapy to do, although it's baby steps.  It does get me out of the sling and feels pretty good - my muscles were feeling like they were atrophying, and actually the only pain I've had has been muscle twinges.  I'm working on restraining my enthusiasm, but feeling frustrated is a sign that I'm bettter.

The PICC in my chest is a pain in the tail end.  I tried to talk the doc into removing it early but she wasn't having a any of that.  The cultures have eliminated the really nasty stuff like Mersa, but it's still daily doctor visits.  Getting a lot of reading done thought!

UPDATE 28 February 2015 10:22: There's quite a bit of fatigue still, which is making my mental processes dull.  You can tell this from the blog post output.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rest In Peace, Col. Paul Green

In all the news about the passing of Leonard Nemoy, take a moment to remember a real hero.  Stephen emails to point out the passing of another World War II hero - one who flew P-51 Mustangs over enemy airspace:
Green got his chance after he was drafted into the Army and sent to [redacted - Borepatch], for pilot training. Green flew 25 combat missions with the 99th Fighter Squadron in Italy, escorting bombers.
I've posted frequently on the Greatest Generation who left home and hearth to fight the Nazi and Imperial Japanese menace.  But this one is different.  This one left a  society that despised Black Americans, to fight that same fight.  The story starts out with this:
Col. Paul L. Green, one of the Tuskegee Airmen — the legendary black pilots who escorted U.S. aircraft during World War II — has died in a Southern California senior care home. He was 91.
Col. Green flew 25 sorties against the Nazi ubermensch.  Then he came home to 1945 America, as a Black War Veteran.  And he continued his career in the Air Force, for 30 more years, serving in Vietnam.  He saw the change in Europe, and elsewhere in the world.  But most especially here.

God speed, Colonel.  You saw this Republic with its warts and you stepped up anyway.  That's something worth of respect in itself

Nova Scotia Gothic

You think they're mad?  Wait a month ...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You can tell it's been a long winter

Seems like it's warming up, though.

The Atlanta commute

33 degrees and snowing pretty good.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Look! The first flowers of the season!

Glad he cleared the path ...

Proof that the NSA despises the courts

NSA steals billions of mobile phone SIM encryption keys:
The Intercept has an extraordinary story: the NSA and/or GCHQ hacked into the Dutch SIM card manufacturer Gemalto, stealing the encryption keys for billions of cell phones. People are still trying to figure out exactly what this means, but it seems to mean that the intelligence agencies have access to both voice and data from all phones using those cards.

Me in The Register: "We always knew that they would occasionally steal SIM keys. But all of them? The odds that they just attacked this one firm are extraordinarily low and we know the NSA does like to steal keys where it can."
Now why would they do that?  After all, it's trivially easy for them to get a warrant from the lap dog FISA court.  But even that is too much interference, and so they hack the GSM companies.

Me thinks it's time to put some of those people out to pasture.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Forgot my damn book

It will be 3 1/2 hours of boredom getting the antibiotics. Not happy.

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Richard Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra

The problem with cliches is that they distil the most easily memorable and discard 90% that remains.  In the case of Strauss' Also spracht Zarathustra, the cliche is here:

So what does the cliche leave behind?  Lots.

To start with, Strauss composed this as a tone poem, inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's novel of the same name.  The score included the text of "Zarathustra's Prologue" from Nietzsche, which is worth a read to get the feel of the German mysticism of the day (1896).

The music above is only the beginning of the piece, more properly called Einleitung, oder Sonnenaufgang (Introduction, or Sunrise); actually, Stanley Kubrick caught this mood very well indeed.  But it's only the opening 90 seconds of a 30 minute piece, which is a delight.

The cliche of Strauss himself was that he was a Nazi, and in fact Hitler's favorite opretaist.  This isn't true.  In fact, Josef Goebels (Propaganda and Culture Minister) considered him decadent and partly jewish.  Strauss survived the war, and conducted one of the first HiFi versions of this, available on the Vanguard label.

Bootnote: Kubrick also included a Strauss Waltz in 2001: A Space Opera.  It was by Josef Strauss, not Richard Strauss.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Global Warming didn't get the memo

Record cold is supposed to be somewhere remote and exotic, not New York City.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Could be worse, I guess

This could be my driveway.

From Rick, via email.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oh boy

Potential bone infection. Looks like I'll have daily I/V antibiotics for six weeks.

Get a motorcycle, they said.

It will be fun, they said.


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Monday, February 16, 2015

The best (and worst) Presidents

This is from three years ago, but since people are taught red, white, and blue cardboard for history, this is a public service.

It's not a real President's birthday (Lincoln was the 12th, Washington is the 22nd), but everyone wants a day off, so sorry Abe and George, but we're taking it today.  But in the spirit intended for the holiday, let me offer up Borepatch's bestest and worstest lists for Presidents.

Top Five:

#5: Calvin Coolidge

Nothing To Report is a fine epitaph for a President, in this day of unbridled expansion of Leviathan.

#4. Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson is perhaps the last (and first) President who exercised extra-Constitutional power in a manner that was unambiguously beneficial for the Republic (the Louisiana Purchase).  He repealed Adam's noxious Alien and Sedition Acts and pardoned those convicted under them.

#3. Grover Cleveland. 

He didn't like the pomp and circumstance of the office, and he hated the payoffs so common then and now.  He continually vetoed pork spending (including for veterans of the War Between the States), so much so that he was defeated for re-election, but unusually won a second term later.  This quote is priceless (would that Latter Day Presidents rise so high), on vetoing a farm relief bill: "Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character."

#2. Ronald Reagan

He at least tried to slow down the growth of Leviathan, the first President to do so in over half a century (see entry #5, above).  He would have reduced it further, except that his opposition to the Soviet fascist state and determination to end it cost boatloads of cash.  It also caused outrage among the home grown fascists in the Media and Universities, but was wildly popular among the general population which was (and hopefully still remains) sane.

#1. George Washington

Could have been King.  Wasn't.  Q.E.D.

Bottom Five:

#5. John Adams.

There's no way to read the Alien and Sedition Acts as anything other than a blatant violation of the First Amendment.  It's a sad statement that the first violation of a Presidential Oath of Office was with President #2.

#4. Woodrow Wilson.

Not only did he revive the spirit of Adams' Sedition Acts, he caused a Presidential opponent to be imprisoned under the terms of his grotesque Sedition Act of 1918.  He was Progressivism incarnate: he lied us into war, he jailed the anti-war opposition, he instituted a draft, and he was entirely soft-headed when it came to foreign policy.  The fact that Progressives love him (and hate George W. Bush) says all you need to know about them.

#3 Lyndon Johnson.

An able legislator who was able to get bills passed without having any real idea what they would do once enacted, he is responsible for more Americans living in poverty and despair than any occupant of the White House, and that says a lot.

#2. Franklin Roosevelt.

America's Mussolini - ruling extra-Constitutionally fixing wages and prices, packing the Supreme Court, and transforming the country into a bunch of takers who would sell their votes for a trifle.  At least Mussolini met an honorable end.

#1. Abraham Lincoln.

There's no doubt that the Constitution never would have been ratified if the States hadn't thought they could leave if they needed to.  Lincoln saw to it that 10% of the military-age male population was killed or wounded preventing that in an extra-Constitutional debacle unequaled in the Republic's history.  Along the way, he suspended Habeas Corpus, instituted the first ever draft on these shores, and jailed political opponents as he saw fit.  Needless to say, Progressives adore him.

So happy President's Day.  Thankfully, the recent occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue haven't gotten this bad.  Yet.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Via Theo


This is for all y'all in New England, shoveling out again.  It could be worse.

Hat tip: A Large Regular who might be shoveling out today.

Feeling better

Actually got out of bed.  Mat even post stuff later.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I think I'm going to set off the metal detector at the airport.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Four hour surgery. Groggy.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Light posting

My shoulder has really been wearing me down, with essentially continuous pain.  The broken collar bone ends are moving around, cutting tissue and causing bleeding and bruising.  I'm actually glad that surgery is tomorrow because this needs to get fixed.

I mean, it's interfering with my blogging, for crying out loud.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Home security systems not so secure

This is my shocked face:
In a recent study, every connected home security system tested by HP contained significant vulnerabilities, including but not limited to password security, encryption, and authentication issues.

HP's Fortify on Demand security service assessed the top 10 home security devices – such as video cameras and motion detectors – along with their cloud and mobile application components. It uncovered vulnerabilities in all of them. None of the systems required the use of a strong password, for example, and 100 per cent of the systems failed to offer two-factor authentication.
There's no excuse for not using, say, a SMS message to a cell phone as a 2 factor authentication.  I'm a big fan of that.*
Manufacturers are under pressure to release security systems that deliver remote monitoring capabilities. Ironically, however, the network connectivity and access that are necessary for remote monitoring mean the security risks associated with such systems are significantly greater than those associated with older, disconnected systems.
I guess it's too much to ask that manufacturers are under pressure to make their security system actually, you know, secure.

*If you use online banking, I strongly recommend you turn that feature on.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vote for Brigid!

Or we can't be friends anymore:'s 2015  International Prizewriter Competition is open for voting and The Book of Barkley is in the running for not only a monetary prize - which I will donate for the care and training of the disaster response dogs of  Search Dog Foundation - but a televised mention on National Book Day as a Finalist in the biography/memoir genre.
Vote here.

Obama Administration revokes Silver Star in retaliation for criticism?

I have no words.  If this is true, then the Army is pretty much worthless - its leadership are empty suits uniforms.

Monday, February 9, 2015

cue the world's smallest violin

Eric Holder is a Sad Panda:
The inability to enact new gun safety laws after the Sandy Hook school shooting ranks as "the single failure" of his tenure, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a televised interview.

Read more here:
Don't let it hit you in the butt on the way out, Eric.

So how did the climate data get changed?

I've been blogging about the changes made to the climate databases for five years now - this scandal has been around for quite some time.
OK, we don't want a jump in the historical record if you move a station or replace a thermometer with a better one.

But. 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.
After all this time, it's good to see this in the Mainstream News:
Homewood has now turned his attention to the weather stations across much of the Arctic, between Canada (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded. This has surprised no one more than Traust Jonsson, who was long in charge of climate research for the Iceland met office (and with whom Homewood has been in touch). Jonsson was amazed to see how the new version completely “disappears” Iceland’s “sea ice years” around 1970, when a period of extreme cooling almost devastated his country’s economy.
The scope of the data adjustment issue is really astounding:
An interesting question is how much of the 20th Century's warming came from adjustments, rather than from raw data? A picture is worth a thousand words:
What you're looking at is the annual adjustment made to the raw temperature, for each year in the 20th Century. You'll notice that almost no adjustments are made to years up to 1960, and then a very interesting shape appears in the graph.

A hockey Stick.
And what Science®-denying Tea-Bagging place did I get that?  From the Fed.Gov's weathermen, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

So the data are fiddled to the point that over 80% of the reported warming cannot be found in the data as recorded.  Its in the adjustments to the data after the fact.  And it's not just North America:
A week ago [November 2009 - Borepatch], a group called the Climate Science Coalition of New Zealand made a bombshell announcement: all of New Zealand's reported 1°C warming between 1850 and 2000 was due to adjustments. Here's the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) reported warming graph:

The Climate Science Coalition folks went back and looked at the raw data by itself. It looks different:

Well, well, well. OK, so it looks like the Kiwis and the Yanks have crummy government scientists. Sweden, too. Who else is in the club? How about the CRU? Actually, we can't tell what their adjustments look like, because they've lost all the raw data. Sorry about that.
Any the implication from five years ago is as fresh today:
Like I said recently, almost every climate scientist uses data from one of a very small number of data sets. If the people who control the data sets can inject a warming signal, then you will indeed reach a consensus that the climate has been warming. All scientists using those data sets will find the warming signal. The science will, in a sense, be "settled".

It will be wrong, but it will be settled.

And what's worse, scientists knew that something was very, very wrong. One widely-quoted CRU email fairly shrieks bewilderment:
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong.
The data are surely wrong, because the science is settled. I mean, everyone sees a warming signal!
And now to the title of this post.  Clearly the data have been changed in a persistent manner, reducing older temperatures and increasing newer temperatures to the point that nearly all reported warming come from this manipulation (no, I do not think that the word is too strong).  So who did it, and when?

Some of this is done via computer program:
In 1972, there was a Weather station at the Ripogenus Dam. It collected temperature readings every day. Those readings were included in NASA's GISS temperature reading data set. Its readings were included in GISS until 2006, along with data from thousands of other weather stations. There's really only one little problem.

The Ripogenus Dam weather station was decommissioned in 1995.

So for ten years, GISS reported temperature readings from a station that didn't exist. How? Filnet.
This quite frankly is one reason I like the satellite data records (UAH and RSS) better - it measures temperature globally without the need for surface stations, "infilling" and adjustment.  Odd how the satellite record shows no warming for nearly twenty years.

But if the adjustments were made by computer, who checked that work for sanity?  Who audited the code, and the output?  If the answer is "nobody", doesn't that tell us how much faith to put in this "settled science"?  A computer program is precisely the place to put these changes, for plausible deniability.

And who wrote the code?  How much money did they make from doing this?  Who issued the grant? There are quite frankly a lot of whos involved here.  I would like to see names named, along with a list of grant funds received.

I am now at the point where I don't have the slightest idea what the climate is doing, at least since about 1860 when we came out of the Little Ice Age.  It seems likely that the 1930s and 1940s were hotter than today,, at least based on raw data collected at the time.  It's a fact that the hottest day ever recorded in the USA was in 1912.  Odd how a century of accelerating warming can't beat that.

You can't adjust a record. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Deep fried salad

With ribs. They fry the spinach for 10 seconds. Yum.

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Been busy

Sunny and 70 degrees led to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for the orchids and now to Genki noodles for Yakisoba. Blog later.

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Location:Virginia Highlands

Friday, February 6, 2015

Scientific failure is inevitable

By definition:
The problem is that every natural process is subject to random variation.  Even without changing the conditions of an experiment, there is going to be random variation in measurements.  For example, one population of white mice might have 6 cancers, but the next might have 12 and the next might have zero, all from natural variation.  So the challenge of most experiments is to determine whether the thing one is testing (e.g. exposure to a particular substance) is actually changing the measurements in a population, or whether that change is simply the result of random variation.  That is what the 95% confidence interval (that Naomi Oreskes wants to get rid of) really means.  It means there is only a 5% chance that the results measured were due to natural variation.

This is a useful test, but I hope you can see how it can fail.  Something like 5% of the time that one is measuring two things that actually are uncorrelated, the test is going to give you a false positive.  Let's say in a year that the world does 1000 studies to test links that don't actually exist.  Just from natural variation, 5% of these studies will still seem to show a link at the 95% confidence level.  We will have 50 studies that year broadcasting false links.  The media will proceed to scare the crap out of you over these 50 things.
Peer review cannot possibly hope to address this - the experiment was performed correctly within its parameters.  The parameters simply assumed a 5% false positive rate and the experiment "hit the jackpot".

The problem with science as practised today is that journals do not like to publish experiments designed to replicate earlier results.  It isn't "news", and so it doesn't get published.  Since scientists have to publish ("publish or perish") to make their careers, we are stuck with a minimum of 5% of "scientific fact" that is bollocks.  And the more significant the "fact" the bigger the bollocks.

Laws of the Universe

Via email:

1. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

3. Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

5. Variation Law - If you change traffic lanes, the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now. This is also true when you change checkout lines at Walmart, K-Mart and the
Grocery store.

6. Law of the Bath    - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring.

7. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know INCREASES dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

8. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, IT WILL!!!

9. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

10. Law of the Theatre & Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

11. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

12. Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

13. Law of Physical Surfaces -
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

17. Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it OR the store will stop selling it!

18. Doctors' Law - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there, you'll feel better. But don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Funny corporate song

Most company songs are commissioned by corporate Marketing departments, and so are terrible.  Home Depot seems to have an annual competition between the stores for employee written and performed songs.  This one is very funny, and the performances are quite good.

From the notes in the Youtube video:
DJ CHEWY, JORDAN SOVIS, and MICAYLA MARKS, team up to produce another music video for the 2015 Home Depot Search for a Star!! 


The Home Depot Search for a Star is a music and video talent search put on by HOME DEPOT. The winners of this contest receive an all expenses paid trip to las vegas to perform live at the annual store manager meeting. 


This video was produced straight out of the orange pumping heart of Michigan at the Owosso store #2772 by Sovis Productions, & DNA Design! 

Well played, Owosso store #2772!

Err, don't give these out on Valentine's Day

 For the Tolkien lover:

For the pessimist:

For the, err, disturbed:

From Rejected Candy Hearts.  I like this one:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Huh. I actually tweeted something

I guess that's why people go to Twitter, to crack jokes.  Stupid me, tweeting about security ...

Quote of the Day

Brits are (justifiably) mocking American public school idiocy:
In surprising news from the colonies, the one ring has been found by a halfling 9-year old man-child in Kermit, Texas. It’s discovery was announced when the man-child in question attempted to use the power of the one ring to make another man-child invisible.
The finding of Isildur’s Bane in such circumstances bears remarkable similarities to its last return from hiding in the shadows upon the banks of the Anduin back in the middle of the Third Age, so to find it causing strife among the school districts of the Texas / New Mexico border is perhaps not so surprising.

BMW patches boneheaded security bug

Luxury car manufacturer BMW has rolled out a patch for a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to open the doors of some 2.2 million vehicles.

The issue affects BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce models that come equipped with ConnectedDrive – a technology that allows car owners to access internet, navigation and other services via a SIM card installed directly into vehicles.
Seems that someone could wirelessly unlock the doors.  Rather than fussing around with coat hangers attracting attention to themselves, they could do it from the nearest Starbucks.

And BMW's "Yay, us for patching this so quickly" doesn't impress:
It appears the vulnerability revolved around the insecure transmission of data, as the patch rolled out by BMW appears to have enabled HTTPS. Something you would probably have hoped that BMW’s engineers would have thought about in the first place.

Yes, it’s good that BMW has fixed the problem. But frankly I think they’re being a little disingenuous talking about “rapid response” if this issue was first brought to their attention in the middle of last year.
The update happens automatically via ConnectedDrive, which is a good thing.  But still, this is pretty bone headed.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Today starts at 0800 and runs until 2200.  I'm "exercising influence" at work - "follow the sun" exercising, starting in Europe, then North America, and ending in Asia.

Blogging will be haphazard.

In the meantime, here's a picture of a cute kitten, because Internet, or something.

Of course it's not bigger inside.  2010 kitteh sez: "OMG, it's full of kittehs!"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ode to Groundhog Day

The obligatory serenade ...

Secret location is secret

Without gun control, it will be the wild west!

Oh, wait:
A Massachusetts man faces multiple charges after allegedly shooting cars left in parking spots that had been shoveled of snow, days after two feet of snow blanketed the town.
Jose Osorio was arrested Friday after witnesses reported he fired multiple shots at two parked cars that were parked in shoveled spaces on a street in Fall River, Massachusetts.
With 2-3 feet of snow to be shovelled, I can see why the gentleman might have been upset at his lazy neighbors.  But this seems a bit extreme.

And what sort of guy breaks out his gat in a situation like this?
Osorio faces multiple charges, including carrying a firearm without a license, carrying a firearm after being convicted of a violent crime and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
Ah, I thought so.  Good thing there's all that Massachusetts gun control!

Via A Large Regular, which you really should be reading every day.

That was the dumbest play call in Superbowl history

I can't imagine for the life of me why Seattle ran a pass at the New England goal line.  There was 30 seconds left on the clock and they would have been up by 3.

Stalin would have had the coach who called that play shot.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Nissan just dropped big bucks on a Superbowl ad that not only didn't show the usual stupid Dad, but actually celebrated traditional fatherhood and a traditional male role model.


Feminists bitching about PATRIARCHY in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

I see lots of possibilities in this Greek Euro crisis ...

Hat tip: Counting Cats in Zanzibar, which has great stuff.


Claude Debussy - Nocturne

James McNeill Whistler - Nocturne in blue and silver
Chopin popularized the Nocturne which became so popular that more or less everyone dabbled in it.  Debussy was no exception, writing a collection of three at the very end of the nineteenth century.

Unsurprisingly, Debussy was inspired to write these pieces by an exhibition of impressionist paintings, most notable being the nocturnes by James McNeill Whistler, one of which is shown here.

The music was not received with excitement by the Parisian public, but these have had staying power, gaining popularity over time.  Maurice Ravel scored the pieces for two pianos, and now no collection of nocturnes is complete without these.