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.

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.

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

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve in Sarajevo

Freedom means that you can do this even if your neighbors don't like it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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.