Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend - A Brigid Retrospect

It's not a day off from work.
It's looking at history, and what has withstood time and conflict.
It's not meeting friends for a meal and fun.
It's not ice cream and a barbecue.
It's not sitting in  your lounge chair.
It's raising your flag, remembering what is important as you look hard at everything.

It's saying "thank you" to those who have served.
It's remembering brave sacrifices.
It's putting your pride in your country out  for all to see, not on this weekend, but every day of the year.
It's  remembering duty and courage and the willingness to defend. 
It's honoring the memory of all of those brave men and women who gave their life in the service of this country, so you could live, here today, in the safe place they made for us. 

Rolling Thunder - Seen on the parade

Remember them

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rolling Thunder - Party in the parking lot

I don't know if it's because we're at the Pentagon, but the "Get there ON TIME and then wait" seems very military. But no problem because a party has busted out.

There are awesome vehicles.

This looks like an English kit car:

And Sumd00d rode this:

He's a Marine veteran of Afghanistan and like Honey Badger, he don't care what you think.

And it's not a bike rally without pretty girls. But the wings are a little silly if you can ride, amirite?

Also seen (but not photographed): a bunch of guys in kilts. Yes, they're riding in the parade.

Rolling Thunder - The ride to the Pentagon

I thought I was being lazy, not getting to the initial rendezvous until 0645. But that put me in the first dozen or so bikes, so I had a rink side seat for our police escort.

It it was a little past 0800 when 400 of us rode out. We had multiple cruisers and a motorcycle cop leading the way with lights and sirens. The police closed down not just surface streets, but I-270 south as well.

People led were lining the roadsides, pulled over on the Interstate honking their horns, and lining the overpasses to wave. It really felt like we are a part of something big. I guess we are.

The Pentagon is the final tally point, and there are TONS of bikes here. Maybe a couple thousand (including mine) just in this one parking lot.

More later.

Rolling Thunder

Today is the annual Rolling Thunder event where hundreds of thousands of motorcycles ride to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D C. An hour before kickstand up there are already hundreds of bikes assembling here in Frederick, MD.

This was a while ago. I got here at 0645 and so am pretty near the front, but there is a steady flow of newcomers.

There re are also a bunch of folks that are not riding to the final assembly point at the Pentagon, but rather will go to the wall by themselves. Almost as many.

Me, I want to be part of the experience. More updates later as the day progresses.

Jay Ungar - "Ashokan Farewell" Waltz in D Major

Decoration Day dates from the years immediately after the War of Southern Independence.  ASM826 posted a quote from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes looking back from twenty or thirty years at that conflagration.  This was perhaps the defining event in the Republic's history, and marked a generation, as the Great War and the Second World War would do to their grandchildren and great grandchildren.  This quote stands out in particular:
But as surely as this day comes round we are in the presence of the dead. For one hour, twice a year at least--at the regimental dinner, where the ghosts sit at table more numerous than the living, and on this day when we decorate their graves--the dead come back and live with us.
I see them now, more than I can number, as once I saw them on this earth. They are the same bright figures, or their counterparts, that come also before your eyes; and when I speak of those who were my brothers, the same words describe yours.
A million died, in a nation numbering 30 million.  It was a catastrophe to those who lived it: every family had a casualty, and decorating the graves was a very personal affair.

Today's music is not from those days.  It was written in the 1980s, but is not only in a style that would be recognizable to the veterans of that war, but is inextricably tied to that era because Ken Burns used it as the theme to his TV series "The Civil War" - PBS' most-watched program ever.  That series - and this music - is a fitting meditation on this weekend's Memorial Day holiday.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Also seen while out on the Harley

Monocacy battlefield, with flags for Union and Confederate dead. The Union got whipped pretty badly but slowed General Early's advance on An undefended Washington D. C. until reinforcements could arrive.

Seen while out on the Harley

George Jones - 50,000 Names

This weekend isn't for barbecues and opening the neighborhood pool.

Memorial Day isn't about barbecues for Christian Golczynski.  He was eight years old when LTC Ric Thompson handed him the flag that had draped his father's coffin.  That was ten years ago.

This weekend will be the tenth Memorial Day where he won't be thinking about barbecues.  Next month will be the tenth Father's Day with an empty chair at the dinner table.

That  is what Memorial Day is about.

There are many Christian Golcynskis in this land.  Kids whose fathers (or mothers) didn't come home.  Memorial Day isn't about barbecues or opening the neighborhood pool for them, either.

This weekend as you go about your normal business of life, remember SSgt Marcus Golczynski.  And Christian.  And what that sacrifice means.  May this Republic be worthy of them.

50,000 Names (Songwriter: Jamie O'Hara)
There are teddy bears & high school rings
& old photographs that mamas bring
Of daddies with their young boy, playing ball.
There's combat boots that he used to wear,
When he was sent over there.
There's 50,000 names carved in the wall

There's cigarettes, & cans of beer
& notes that say I miss you dear
& children who don't say anything at all.
There's purple hearts and packs of gum
& fatherless daughters & fatherless sons
There's 50,000 names carved in the wall

They come from all across this land
In pickup trucks and mini vans
Searching for a boy from long ago
They scan the wall and find his name
Teardrops fall like pouring rain
Silently they leave a gift and go

There's   stars of David & rosary beads
& crucifixion figurines
Flowers of all kinds large and small
There's a Boy Scout badge and a merit pin
Little American flags waving in the wind
& there's 50,000 names carved in the wall
If you are interested in Christian Golczynski's story, here is an outstanding article about him.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Last Thing - A Brigid Memorial Day Musing

The last thing I saw was a disk of golden sun through a haze of smoke. In the few months I've been here, the sun and duty's risk are the only constants.

The last thing I heard was the report of fire.  Just one last wild spurring of colors made sound, shaping the hot blind earth into darkness.

The last thing I felt was an intake of breath, air drawing in deep. It lays warm in me, then stills. I thought nothing could reach me.

I never felt what hit me. 
I think that was close, surrounded by the savage heat that no longer burns, the fecund odor of sand and earth that reaches not my nostrils, the incredible silence. Oh God, why is it so quiet?

I look down on my form from above, whole but without body, thinking I must have a concussion, as this vision could not be real.

I close my eyes and recite the steps to field strip my AR.  Bolt fully forward, remove the bolt carrier and the charging handle, and will unblinking eyes to clear my sight.

 But the vision didn't change.
They knock on my front door, with words that my wife's ears and heart will have to accept without proof, but for their sound.

They watch her search their words for anything that can hold sanity together, with language that is within her understanding.  But with the words she hears, she crumbles like fragile paper.

They gather up my things for her, a comb, a ring, a broken blade, a wallet photo of my Mom and Dad, their hair singed with ashen gray, where none before existed.

They send me home in a box, draped with a flag, in clothing I had never worn.
My body is buried in the late summer, the corn in fervent zeal, bowing before behemoth combines that will pull it into an oblivious end.

My name is spoken reverently, a soft force that drowns out the protesters.  It takes everything my Father has in him, not to confront. They know not what courage and duty really mean, their nothings as irremediable as my everything.

My wife says my name silently over and over until it takes shape and form, then falls into a sob as taps are played.  The sounds drift up to echo in heaven.

But sometimes an echo is heard
My gravestone sits as if listening and waiting, the cemetery vacant. The trees have long since turned gold.

My wife sits with my last letter, worn from the many times she's read it, the sun slanting through trees, quiet light upon the dying leaves. She reads of the restless moments of every last memory, taking what comfort she can from my words.

My words to her, of my love, of my fears, of the child she carries. The more she reads, the less she sees, as the writing becomes fainter, words wet with tears, until the paper itself crumbles away.

The paper is as fragile as she has become strong.
The cemetery is old now, my grave now surrounded by others, so many others. My eyes live on in a child I never met. My name lives on, on a stone in a place forever solemn, in a picture, in a flag.

I am everywhere, in memorial. I am here, in a tombstone, in the flag I hope you salute more than once a year.  I am part of the earth beneath you, of the wild, strong blood that formed this land, of all that lived, and should live, in freedom.

I am dust in the wind, the hard roots of the past, the sound of earth as it falls on a pine box, the broken body of the past, the invisible footprints of patriots.

I am your father, your son, your daughter, your mother.
I gave my life in service to my country. I am a memory that begins and ends with what is left, stakes in the hard ground on which to peg our history.

When the last thing you see is that disk of golden sun in the sky, remember me. Remember my sacrifice.

For I am everywhere, in the trees, in the wind, under your feet in a land that's still free.

 You never knew me but remember me always.

"Brigid"  (LB Johnson - author )

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I went to the woods

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

We went to the woods, the Queen of the World and I.  There we met co-blogger and brother-from-another-mother ASM826 and Mrs. ASM826.

There is a peacefulness in the woods that is hard to capture anywhere else.  Cooking over the open fire, sleeping under canvas (well, what passes for it in these space age days), watching bald eagles fishing, not looking at your email or even posting for a whole weekend.  Living, in Mr. Thoreau's words, deliberately.

It was awesome.

And driving back home not via I-95 and the never ending bottleneck from Fredericksburg to Springfield, that was pretty awesome too.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How to back up your data at home, Part II - A brief digression on backups

ASM826 emails:
Rule 1: Every mechanical device fails. 
Rule 2: Every hard drive is a mechanical device. 
Rule 3: It's the data you care about.

Redundancy. Don't back up once because two is one and one is none.
A fairly new technology getting more widely deployed is Solid State Disks, storage that is made from memory chips rather than rotating disks.  This helps a bit with Rule #2, but only a bit.  Sure, there's no drive, platter, and spindle anymore, but if your house burns down you have lost the SSD just like you would have lost your traditional hard disk.

Two is one and one is none.

So think about your data, and how many copies you have:

1. You have a copy on your computer.  This is one copy, but remember: one is none.

2. You have one on your backup device, once you've backed it up.  That's two copies, but two is one and one is none, amirite?

3. You need something here.  Long time reader, friend, and biker dude Burt emails about this:
Be very careful with single-disk backup solutions.  If the single drive dies, you're screwed. 
If you're gonna use a locally-connected backup system, at least use a RAID-1 (mirrored) system.  That way, if one of the drives fails, you can recover your data and transfer it to another media before the other drive fails.  (I use 2 NAS systems: one is a 2-drive RAID-1 system, the other is a 4-drive "striped RAID-5" system - and some data resides on both systems.)
RAID stands for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks, and has been around for years and years.  You won't get one of these for $115 at the Big Blue Box store, but you can get twin disk RAID devices for maybe $300.  Each drive mirrors the other automatically (RAID-1).  The downside is that you only get half the storage space; the upside is that you get item #3 above, which gives you your third backup location.

If you get a twin disk RAID-1 backup drive, you will have three copies: on your computer, on the first disk of the backup drive, and on the second disk of the backup drive.  At this point, a lot of stuff has to go bad for you to lose your data.  That can happen, but now you're talking about catastrophe, like your house burning down.  I'll deal with that tomorrow in Part III (off-site and cloud backup).

Two is one, and one is none.  You want to aim for three.  You also want software that will do this automatically for you.  That will be Part IV.


Long-time reader and fellow blogger Southeast Texas Pistolero and his wife Sabra have suffered a house fire, and are in a jam.  Any help you can offer (including clothes, bedding, toys, etc) would make a big difference.

Glad I Wore the Browncoat - A Brigid Post

I thought with everything going in the world the last day or two we could use a smile

A dear friend of mine had a post up a while back about how she met her husband on Twitter and how he proposed. I actually met my husband on the Internet.  It wasn't a dating website or anything like that.  I was writing for various magazines and had a very popular blog dealing with tools and firearms and cars and other popular "guy stuff" (since closed due to post election trolls) and he was a fan and his Dad was Secret Squirrel, someone I knew well.  My name came up and an introduction was arranged. Due to our age difference (25 years) we were just "best buds" online, and talking on the phone for several years. Then we met in person and well, that, my friends, was that.  We were married two years later. The journey was chronicled in The Book of Barkley but for my bestie gal friend Sam, tonight is the chapter of the proposal.

CHAPTER 38 - Simple Evening

It was supposed to be a simple evening. It was an early day at work, but I was home in time to get a quick shower and get dressed up for a dinner date. EJ had been overseas for a couple of weeks on business and was flying in to see me for a quiet evening.  We enjoyed the evenings like this, making dinner together, both of us loving to cook.  Then we’d play an old fashioned board game or take Barkley for a long walk. EJ would play with him, talking to him as if he were human, while I got a bubble bath. Then we’d curl up on the couch, Barkley usually shoving his way between us, to lounge against us until everyone was sleepy.  Weekends we’d play with the tools in either his garage or mine, building on things stronger than wood.

Somewhere over the course of a friendship of many years and a bonding over bad knees and bad dogs, EJ became a big part of my life.  I’d missed him a lot while he was gone, our talks of the future becoming more serious.  Tonight, I was wondering, would he pop the question?

But first, I had to feed Barkley and take him outside to potty.
My neighborhood is a quiet one, with both young and retired couples.  I have a police officer on one side of me, a young couple on the other.  All of them are great neighbors. The young couple has a rescue dog, a smaller yellow lab/terrier mix. Barkley likes to bark at him out the front window but is mostly ignored, despite his attempts at engaging the hound by leaving his calling card on the front bushes.

The block was quiet, so in a hurry to get ready, I let Barkley out to do his business.  After that, he sniffed everything, then trotted in through the garage and went into the house, off leash, just as he'd done several hundred times. He'd patiently wait in the kitchen for his treat, while I cleaned up the deposit and a few others made earlier in my yard in the dark. One thing about a ninety-pound dog, if the barking does not scare burglars away, the land mines in the yard might. As based on volume, they might think you have a grizzly bear on premises. So I kept one of those big long-handled scoopers that is open on one end and has a secondary shovel-like thing to help gather everything up.

But as I finished that up, lo and behold, the neighbor arrived home with baby and dog in tow, the dog jumping out of the car off leash to go into his house.
I wasn’t sure I could get all of his landmines in the scooper in one trip, but with careful balance, I did. It really was the perfect plan. Until Barkley heard the dog from deep within the house and rushed out the back door, out the open garage door, racing over to the neighbor's drive to finally meet their dog.

I rushed over to collect him, wielding a pooper scooper that had more crap in it than most political campaign commercials.  Barkley was over in the dog's face with the typical Labrador retriever “hi there, hi there, hi there, play with me play with me play with me” like some demented door to door magazine salesman.

The neighbor dog did not like Barkley in his space, trying to make friends on his turf, and immediately launched into “bark bark bark bark” complete with crazed eyes and snapping teeth inches from Barkley's face.

It was all show; the teeth were not making contact though they could have, but Barkley was freaking out, never having been set upon by a weird stranger (if he'd on-line dated as the rest of us have, it might not have been so traumatic). So I lunged for his collar as my neighbor pulled his dog away, one arm stretched out, the other swinging up, not realizing what I had in my other hand (yes, you can see this one coming).

Pooper Scoopers make a dandy catapult with the right angle and force.

The load of dog poop went up, and then, as gravity is likely to make it do, it came down.

Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat!

It was raining down on their driveway like a bad day in Beirut (so glad my coat is brown).

The dogs are now suddenly friends, sniffing and wagging tails, the neighbor apologizing profusely as he takes his dog and the baby from the car seat and goes inside to get the family situated.

Barkley back inside with the door firmly closed, I got paper towels, a plastic bag, a broom and water to clean their driveway, which I was doing, hair disheveled, looking like I was a very sore loser in a game of Poop Paintball.

Just then EJ rolled up, all dressed up, more than for typical travel, with a bottle of expensive wine.

I think about all he could have said if he weren't laughing so hard, but what he said was, "Would you like red or white wine with that?” - Brigid

(By the way - I said yes)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How to back up your data at home, Part I - How to pick a storage device

Comrade Misfit asks what I recommend for backing up data.  With the rise of Ransomware, your risk is going up, not down.

That's actually the place to start: your risk.

Everybody has a different risk profile, and you should do some thinking about yours.  Think about the types of data that you have on your computers, phones, and various devices:

  1. Each of these has an operating system, which actually takes up quite a lot of disk space.  However, as long as you can re-install (say, from a recovery partition), you probably don't have much risk here.  Quick way to check: if your device has a "factory reset" or equivalent sort of feature, you're probably good to go.  Personally, I wouldn't back this up because resetting will cause the system to download all the updates since it was installed.  Importance level: LOW.
  2. You will have some sort of documents - letters, budget spreadsheets, taxes, that sort of thing.  Recreating this will be a royal pain in the tail end, so you will want to save this.  It's also probably not much data - you won't need a lot of space for this.  IMPORTANT NOTE: if this data is for a business that you run than this is MUCH more important.  Importance level: HIGH.
  3. Photographs are often times irreplaceable.  They also take up a lot more room than other documents.  Importance level: VERY HIGH.
  4. Music (and video) files are the biggest consumer of disk space - the rule of thumb is that MP3 music requires 1 Mbyte of disk space for every minute of music.  That's 1 GB of disk for 20 albums.  If you are like me and buy music on CDs (I LOVE used CD stores) than you already have a backup for this.  If you like to buy music from iTunes, then if you burn it to CD you will also have this backup.  Otherwise, your backup needs will get much bigger.  Importance level: NONE (music on CD) or HIGH (iTunes).
So for the Borepatch household, our backup needs are modest - a fairly small size for documents and a larger one for photographs.  None at all for OS or music.  As an example, the laptop I'm writing this port on only has a couple Gigabytes of music (I haven't loaded much) but almost 8 GB of photos.

Note that your mileage absolutely can vary, perhaps by a lot.

Also, and this is important - you need to calculate this for every computer and phone you have.  You will have some homework to do before you can start even thinking about what device to get to back the data up.  I mean, how frustrating would it be to buy a shiny new storage thingy and find out that it's too small?

Remember, too, that the number of devices that you have will grow over time.  You will need more room on your backup device in the future than you need today, just because you have more devices.  You will also need more room because you will accumulate more data over time.  Since I don't want to replace my backup device very often, I like to have maybe ten times as much data as I think I need.

For Castle Borepatch, all the devices add up to probably 200 GB - almost all of this is music and photos.  This means that I need 2 Terabytes of backup space.  It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't.  Here's one that you can get for a little over $150:

It's a Western Digital WD MyCloud Personal which comes in 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB versions.  It will plug into your home router so all your computers will be able to connect to it over WiFi.  There are other choices as well, lots of them good.

So you've calculated how much backup space you need that will give you sufficient future growth room.  You've found a decent device for not too much money.  This will give you one backup location.  If your house burns down, you will lose not only the computers with their data but the backup device as well.  Part II of this series will discuss off-site backup to address this.

Part III will discuss what software you can get to make backing up your data automatic.  If you have to remember to back up, you will forget, and that's when you lose data.

UPDATE 9 January 2018 10:51: I can no longer recommend Western Digital.  However, there are a number of vendors selling similar products.


That's what Trump called the suicide bombers.

It's about time.  So far we've just seen candle-lit vigils.  Or glorification of the bombers:

It's high time to remove any glamor from what these animals do.  Trump is on to something here.  Hopefully everyone will pick up his term for this.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Some Bunny Loves You - A Short Brigid Post

The form of love.

When I was about three I got this incredibly fluffy white bunny for Easter.  I LOVED that bunny and carried it around everywhere and slept with it each night. I even told my parents that when I grew up and got married Bunny was going to sleep with my husband and I.  Every so often Mom would wash it and hang it up by the ears on the clothesline to dry. It went missing somewhere in my early teen years, my discovering science and cars and coffee and other semi-adult things.

But recently, Dad found it where my Mom had carefully wrapped it up and put it in a sealed container deep in the recesses of my childhood closet before she died while I was still in school.  Dad mailed it to me.  It has almost no hair, no eyes, no whiskers.  I didn't even notice.  I just removed the wrapping paper, holding it close and breathing in the scent of my Mom's Chanel No. 5 and I cried.

It's still my favorite bunny and I never stopped loving it as much as I did that first day I got it.  I'm lucky to have a spouse that feels about me the same way.  Although I don't have the thick hair of my youth, and my stuffing has shifted with age, he still holds me that close.

The bunny sits up high on a shelf where Abby the Lab can't get to him, but every time I look at it I just smile.

Texas basketball

The other 49 (lesser) States can play the game any way they want.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam - A Brigid Guest Post

Internet Spam Haiku - by Brigid

You too can make two
hundred dollars an hour
writing poetry

SPAM - like leading a horse to water.  Or not.

I've seen it all, even without accepting anonymous comments. There's the one guy who leaves comments on all the popular blogs - completely generic comments that indicated he never read your post.  We may not all write Shakespeare in a comment but putting "loved your post! or great idea! - link exchange?" on a post about a death in someone's family or a soldier being killed while serving is beyond tactless.  When it goes back to a blog that's pretty much nothing but ads, other people's writing he copied and other people's videos, it's just wrong.

But there is always the obvious SPAM that IS funny. There are the ones that seem to be written by someone whose first language is NOT English. (Hot,  like a cow on fire!)

And the SPAM that comes via "thank you gmail!" Letting me know there's a source for everything I could ever want to know on the "craps workbench (verb or noun?), ascent tampon, gopher debilitator, or products from the Spiderman Pharmacy.  Then of course there are the letters from folks with long legal titles in mangled English that begin with a narrative informing me of the giant foreign lottery I won that I don't remember entering, or the arrangement to cash a big check for someone overseas in exchange for a fee so big I could buy my own island  -

"I humbly request your ass. . ."

I usually don't reply, but there was one, so short and unimaginative, I had to.

Spammer:  Help transfer 2.5 million, I'll give you 30%.

Me:  Great and in exchange, I'll loan you my talking elephant (fluent in English, Farsi, and Mandarine Chinese).  You can rent him out to parties and keep 30%

Then there are the ones that just make you tilt your head like the RCA dog. Huh?

"Observe up the monumental hunk of process, I show handful points on this internet site also I deem that your net scene is rattling stimulating furthermore has places of splendid news.”

"Monumental hunk of process?" Apparently he was a Six Sigma guy on crack selling the "Western Wedding Dress"  (Annie Oakley gets her man?)

Of course,  there are the more mundane ones, simply a sensible sounding comment that makes sense but is so generic that it might not have any bearing on the actual post, but then again, it could.  "I wonder who sent it ? There's no link, just a blogger name, this must be someone I know" (click on the blogger name) -  "Act Now, get The Ronco Weasel Encabulator!"
The Brigid Crown Roast of SPAM

Always filling up my SPAM folder are those creepy ads for Viagra or Cialis that would make a South St. Louis crack dealer blush. I will not repeat here as my daughter reads my posts.

Then there are the ones that are pure gibberish.  Written by a computer or simply someone reading the thesaurus after smoking the Happy Poppy.

Most people believe that a satellite falls in love with a loyal tape recorder, but they need to remember how ostensibly a load bearing burglar wakes up.  

If you want to have real fun, reply to one of those SPAM's from foreign women named Natasha or Anna the hot chick who saw you at the grocery who want to throw their bodies at you if you'd just send them air fare-- with your own auto generated reply.

Dear Darling Natasha.   

ANY sandwich can accurately sanitize an imaginary deficit, but it takes a real fruit cake to avoid contact with the steam engine.  The cab drive for an industrial complex ostensibly is a big fan of a grain of sand.  Now and then an asteroid near a paper napkin pees on the boiled warranty.

Remember darling, when you see the ski lodge it means the tattered customer went to sleep.

But this latest one, from a country where the currency exchange is likely based on the current value of a camel, did make me laugh after a VERY long and stressful week.  Maybe because he called me "dude" before trying to sell me dental equipment likely leftover from the last Soviet invasion, (the last three words being a direct link which I did NOT click on.)

"thanx dude i am really ur post tooth extracting forceps"

And finally - my favorite of those one liners.

THIS MASSAGE IS FROM HOMELAND SECURITY.  (Secret Service-- I might have bought it.)

So, what were YOUR worst SPAM comments?

Over, the Crypto Wars are

Or so says Security guru Bruce Schneier.

U.S. Law Enforcement has been fighting a war against strong encryption for decades.  The recent FBI brouhaha over trying to get Apple to unlock a phone is only one of many, many skirmishes.  The Federales have been trying to keep strong crypto out of the general public's hands, and have shown no signs of giving up.  That is the "Crypto War" reference.

But now the U.S. Senate has approved the use of Signal by their staffers.  Signal is a secure, open source messaging app with no backdoors:
Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank J. Larkin and his team have recently finished encrypting all Senators' websites, and it turns out he has also approved Signal for official use by Senate staff members. Sen. Ron Wyden, a privacy and encryption advocate, has revealed that Larkin's office has given one of the most secure messaging apps out there its seal of approval in a letter thanking the Sergeant at Arms for his efforts. While the letter was sent on May 9th, ZDNet says staff members were first allowed to use the app for official business back in March.
This is quite interesting.  The Senate is independent from the Executive Branch, and so is not beholden to the law enforcement community.  If the war continues, it will have to change in major ways - almost certainly to our benefit.

Schneier admits that he may be overly optimistic.  But at the very least, strange changes to the open source app will be a canary in the coal mine that the wars are heating up.

In the mean time, you can still find some of these old T-shirts online:

Hey all you Harley mechanics

The bike has been running rough, and stalling now and again when I come to a stop.  The diagnostics show a P0152 code, which Google says is a bad Oxygen sensor.  Makes sense, with rough idling and occasional stalling.

Has anyone out there ever changed the O2 sensors?  It looks like they're pretty easy to get to, and doing it myself would save the cost of the mechanic.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Media and Donald Trump

Just think of them like Middle School girls, and you'll understand everything they do and say about him.  The Czar of Muscovy explains.


Breach at DocuSign leading to email Phishing attacks

DocuSign is one of the largest electronic document signing companies.  I've used it in the past, and it's very convenient - you view the document PDF and then use their web site to electronically sign the document.

And they've been hacked, and their customer database has been compromised.  And people are getting emails purporting to be from DocuSign asking for financial information ("Phishing" attacks).

If you've used their service and get one of these emails, go directly to their web site - and call their 800 number - before you do anything.  Actually, you probably are best off just deleting any email you get from them asking for personal information.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Invicta ad victa

The only safety for the conquered is to expect no safety.
- Virgil
The left is losing their minds.  This is not the "reality-based community", it's a community gone barking mad and howling at the moon.  It's a community that competes with itself to see how much crazier it can seem to the rest of the country.

It's a community that thought it had taken control over the Res Publica, only to have the cup of victory dashed from its lips.  In a sense, liberalism was a religion.  Liberals have seen that religion overthrown.

'Puter over at The Gormogons sums up the fall of the modern liberal religion:
Liberals are shocked not because Hillary lost. Liberals are shocked because their belief system died before their eyes. Liberals watched in disbelief on Tuesday night November 8, 2016 as Trump and American voters proved their god a false god, their world make-believe, their most deeply held beliefs falsehoods.
Liberals had a choice to make election night and liberals chose poorly. Liberals continue to deny reality, continue to believe their discredited beliefs, and continue to worship their ersatz god politic.
Like wounded animals, liberals have spent the last five months furiously lashing out at anyone and anything they believe harmed them. And like badly wounded animals, liberals will either bleed out or be put down.
A new expression heard often here at Castle Borepatch - rolled out when the next dimwitted leftie jumps lemming-like off the cliff of Madness - is "The Re-elect Trump '20 campaign thanks him for his support".  I keep waiting for the grownups to start to reassert some sanity among the left.  I keep waiting.

Maybe like a drunk they need to hit bottom.  It's kind of astonishing to contemplate that they haven't hit yet.