Thursday, June 22, 2017

The stupid "War on Drugs"

This is what losing looks like:
Coroner Kent Harshbarger estimates that ... the state [of Ohio] will see 10,000 overdoses by the end of 2017 — more than were recorded in the entire United States in 1990.
Peter has an excellent and in-depth post of the utter idiocy of the "War on Drugs"and you should RTWT.

This would normally trigger an epic Borepatchian uberpost.  Instead, I will merely summarize the costs of this idiotic program:

40 year cost of War on Drugs is $1 Trillion
Half of all Federal prison inmates are serving time for drug offenses (same link as above)
$100 B black market in drugs shows no sign of going away

Remember, after all of this treasure we are looking at an epidemic of overdose deaths.

Now add in the corruption of Law Enforcement:
The proliferation of SWAT teams
The proliferation of "No Knock" raids
The unaccountability of police (warning: autoplay video)
Billions of dollars taken via "Civil Asset Forfeiture" without charges, trial, or conviction

Now add in the corruption of the Intelligence Agencies:
DEA covers up program to collect information on all Americans

Now add in the corruption of the medical community:
A "Civil War" over pain medication is tearing the medical community apart
Patients can't get pain medication and so turn to heroin
How the War On Drugs fuels the Opioid epidemic

I could go on, but let me sum up: The war on drugs has made us less free, has fueled the growth of the Police/Surveillance State that targets us, has corrupted Law Enforcement and driven a wedge between them and the citizenry.  It has done this while drugs have become both more prevalent and more deadly, and while legitimate patients are forced to turn to illegal drugs because their doctors can't prescribe them the pharmaceuticals that would ease their chronic pain.

And let's return to what started this rant.  Consider the death toll: Ohio expects 10,000 overdose deaths this year, from a population of 11.6 M.  Normalizing this to a US population of 320M gives us an expected overdose death total of almost 300,000 a year nationwide.  That's more than the war dead we suffered in World War II.  And that entirely ignores the fact that most murders in this country are over drug turf battles.

Think about that: all the treasure, all the lost freedom, and we are suffering a World War II each year, every year, with no end in sight.

The War on Drugs is futile, stupid, and evil.  It should end immediately.  This is a stupid game, we're losing, and we shouldn't play.

So is it really "so hot that planes can't fly"?

Well, not really.  The Silicon Graybeard explains.

You won't get this sort of analysis from the (worthless) MSM.

Email Security

OldNFO catches someone trying to phish him.  This is a great case study in how to catch a scam in progress.  His techniques will work for you, too.

Barbecued Memories - A Brigid Guest Post

The daffodils have been up for a while so it was long past time to grill the first steaks of the season.  We don't just use our barbecue during power blackouts, it's out every week during the warmer weather.  The barbecue isn't fancy, but one has always been part of my home. My parents always had one, though I can't remember where or when the very first one showed up in our backyard. I do remember one huge one that Big Bro won in a contest at the local Credit Union when he was in grade school.  I've posted a picture of it here before, but it is one of those moments in my life, even as young as I was, that defies the shortness of memory and the expanse of time.

The picture was in the local newspaper.  They came to take a picture of him in his little chef hat, transferring a "baked potato" wrapped in foil with his official barbecue tongs to a little paper plate I was holding onto for dear life. In actuality, he wasn't old enough to grill by himself and it was spitting rain, the potato was raw, stone cold from the pantry. But the photo turned out great and I managed to look as happy and surprised as I think my brother truly was. What I remember most was his seriousness in holding those tongs, just like Dad, in his pride of wearing that hat. It radiated off of him, despite the cold, the wet, and the really lousy potato.
That old blue barbecue grill soon made its place at home and many a summer evening was spent around it. There was just something about cooking out. Whether it was perfect, burnt or dried out, it was just good, because it was made on the grill. It was made by Dad and we got to eat it outside if we wanted. I guess it was that "willing suspension of disbelief" that you have as a child, that no matter what happens, your Dad will somehow ensure the end result is just fine, that dinner will be saved from the flame, and all would be well in your world.

How well you remember those days, when the air is burning hot, the whiff of lighter fluid in the air, the dark nuggets of briquettes, overhead a badminton bird flying over, the only sign of motion in the still summer air. Laughter as your brothers and cousins play. Shadows on the grass as you ran and played under branches from which smoke drifted like a soft touch. Shadows that got to those trees before you did, then faltered, so you could stomp them into the grass under your bare feet. Summer has just one date when you're a kid and that's the first day after school lets out, when the barbecue is officially fired up by the man of the house.
But there was more than smoke in the air that first night of summer, something I was too young to understand, but I could sense. There was a war, and one of the boys in our extended family was going. A country I had never heard of. I didn't understand the details. I only sensed those urgent conversations in the kitchen among the adults as they prepared the food for the fire.

I knew my Dad had been to war and that he came home safe. Yet why were the women so worried? But I had watched enough reruns of Combat and old John Wayne movies to know more than I should. What I didn't know, I asked, though I did not get the answers I sought. Sometimes you have to work out your own answers, taking a small piece of puzzle and turning it and turning it, til you see where it fits.

Although it was 20 years before I learned the true scientific methods of investigation, I read, I gathered up every little newspaper clipping I saw, I watched the news surreptitiously out of my eye while playing with my toys. When a war movie was on TV, I'd watch the adults' faces out of the corner of my eye to see if something showed through, fear, worry, skepticism, waiting for a "that's not the way it was, it wasn't that dangerous, see, I came home!" But no one said anything. All that was in the room was the sound of gunfire and rockets on the TV, and a clock ticking in a long undiminished parade of time we pretended not to hear.
Photobucket
All we could do was continue on with our family traditions, our faith. The barbecue was there in rain, and cold and wind, on nights when we quietly gathered in the house around the table for meatloaf or pot roast. Nights when I'd politely ask to be excused as soon as I was done, so I could go back outside, to where I wanted to be, despite the rain, a mist that had dampened that nights attempt to cook out.

As the rain let up, I'd walk on down the back alleyway, to a neighbor's little pond.  There I'd stop to stare down into the water, it's surface as placid as a priests face,  hearing all my fears and sins, its surface still and nonjudgmental, a watery veil laid over the mystery of my distress. I looked down where I could see almost to the bottom, the last rays of sunlight playing like orange fire on the surface. There on the surface, a leaf. After a long time in water, the tissues of the leaf decay, leaving only the fiber, swirling in the surface like soft bones, light from the last of the days sunlight playing on them like flame.
Another summer passed, the badminton set forgotten for lawn darts, one less place at one family table. And with my growing, came understanding. I think we spent so many nights out at the picnic table thinking that if we were out back and someone in uniform we didn't know came to the front door, we would not have to answer it. For my Dad and my Uncles had all served in the Great War, and they knew too well that age and time do little to remedy the pain of knowing.

For that night we had the barbecue, a communion of family shared with bread and lighter fluid. I would sit in quiet, as we all would, in prayer, for the bacon wrapped salmon, for unintentionally extra crispy beef, for extra pickles, for another day of safety for those we loved. As we said Grace, I turned towards the coals, looking deep and hard so they wouldn't see a tear, watching the blackness turning to red and light and fire.
Then my Dad would look at me, put his hand under my chin and say "it's going to be OK, we have hamburgers that I didn't burn." I would nod, knowing what he was trying to say, as he watched his children realize that life wasn't all sunlight and playtime, that it also had another side, one of approaching darkness on which faint ashes of light would only appear at the perimeter. But his words made me feel better. My brother was my friend and playmate, but my Dad was my protector, and I found comfort in that.

There in that simple meal, in those rituals we could maintain, there was solace. We couldn't change the outcome of what was happening worlds away but we could hold on to each other, in prayer, in squabbles over the last cheese slice. We couldn't change fate, but we could fight with it, in the form of a cantankerous piece of controlled fire, with tools, and tongs and curses and sweat. We could at least conquer the grill and put dinner on the table. Dinner together as family.
My cousin came home from overseas safe and sound and summers went back to simple evenings of fireflies and lighter fluid.  But times they were a changing, as they say. Big Bro, growing like a weed, taking more responsibility for helping around the house, especially as Mom was fighting cancer again. The war was over, the one where hundreds of young men, with their hopes and dreams and aspirations, were released by that invisible hand of honor to come home to their loved ones.  But at our home, the war was still on, raging there behind the lines around my mother's eyes.

I wondered what happened to that old blue barbecue. I can't recall. But I do so well remember the night so many years ago that Dad handed my brother the lighter fluid, the big tongs and the meat patties, ready for grilling, all by himself. I can picture him there, as if it was today, under that dark sky with such bright stars, whose distant glitter lured one's gaze into the expanse of immense darkness. And yet the light from our table illuminated his boyish face, his countenance claiming the alliance with those things that I had only trusted my Father to possess, the child in him fading away, to reveal the growing man. Big Bro simply nodded and took his place, his smile just visible in the fading swirl of spinning fire, the glow that for a moment, drives the darkness away.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Mid Summer's Day

Enjoy the daylight!

Unless, of course, you live in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case it's happy Mid Winter's Day.

Back It All Up: Part V

We've discussed a lot of aspects on how to make your data safe by backing it up.  Here's a quick recap:

How to pick out a storage device
What should you know about backup hardware
What software should you run

If you read these, you'll see a reference to "Part III" which is actually Part IV (software).  I can only plead Mr. Emerson's defense about consistency ...



But there's one more thing to talk about.  Fortunately, co-blogger ASM826 posted about this three years ago.  I'm posting it here as the final (and likely the most important) part of this series.

Where's Your Backup?

When it comes to firearms, there's an old saying, "Two is one and one is none."

If you're reading this, you have a computer. If you have a computer, you need to be doing regular backups. Doesn't matter how much of a pain it is, it's part of owning a computer, same as having the oil changed is part of owning a car. Because there two kinds of hard drives, the ones that have failed already and the ones that are going to fail.

My day job is computer and server support. I see it regularly. I preach it. I preach it to my users well enough that the last couple of major failures the users understood that they had failed to be responsible for their data and that it was gone. Let's consider the possibilities.

1. The hard drive just fails.
2. The laptop gets dropped and the hard drive fails.
3. The laptop has a cup of coffee/tea/water/vodka spilled on it and the hard drive fails.
4. The laptop or computer gets stolen.
5. The computer gets a ransomware virus and every data file gets encrypted.

That last one happened to a user this week and she lost everything.

So, here is some advice. Backup. Here's some detailed advice. Buy a external hard drive large enough to hold three times as much information as all your files. Don't worry about Windows or whatever operating system you are using or the programs. That's easily replaced. It's your files, pictures, and documents you want to save.

The drive you buy may come with backup software, if so and you like it, it may be fine. If not, there is a freeware program called Cobian. I use it. You can set it up to do backups on a schedule, pick what folders and files you want to backup, and pick a location to store them, in this case, your new external drive.

If you want the expanded detailed advice, here it is. Backup once a week, at least once a month, and accept that every day that goes by increases the amount of data you will lose.

If you really care about the data (think photos and video) buy two external drives. Rotate the backups to another location so that if the house burns down you aren't thinking about running in to grab the computer. So that if one of the external drives fails, you still have one backup.

If all of this seems like nonsensical gibberish, it's time to learn more about the technology we all use or pay someone to help you set it up. Because all hard drives fail.

There's an existential question I ask people when I am harping on this topic providing training on backups, "Where does data go when the only copy in the universe is destroyed?"

UPDATE [Borepatch] 31 October 2014 14:31: This is a really, really important post by ASM826. Computers are cheap and easily replaced; data is precious and literally irreplaceable.  He and I were talking on the phone when he brought this up, and I asked him to post about it.  If you do not have a backup plan in place (or heck, even if you do*) run, do not walk to get Cobian or something.  I've never met anyone whose data didn't have any value.  ASM826 does this for a living; I trust him on this.

* The comparison to firearms is apt: two is one, and one is none.  If you only have one backup method, you actually don't have any.

Explaining the Georgia election

Good analysis by Erick Erickson who lives there:
In 2016, Rodney Stooksbury got 38.3% of the vote in Georgia’s sixth congressional district after spending only around $1000.00. Less than a year later, Democrats spent $30million to get only ten percent more of the vote and still lose.
He has ten take-aways about the election that seem pretty sensible.  Since that was my old district before I moved to Castle Borepatch, I never thought that Ossoff had a chance.  This election tested the proposition that with enough thrust you can even make an aircraft carrier fly.  In politics, it seems that this may not be true.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The supermarket for lonely people


Back It All Up: Part IV

After remembering being reminded by Borepatch that I didn't follow up on the hardware section of our series on backing up I wanted to offer my thoughts on backup software.

There's one criteria. Do you trust it? Does it do what it says it's doing? Or is it running for 3 hours creating a ghost of a backup?

Here's what I want my backup software to do.

1. Run automatically.
2. Do not encrypt or use any proprietary file formatting.
3. Be highly configurable.**
4. Restore the files when I need them.

**I want to be able to pick a schedule, select incremental backups, delete old backups, pick the folders and files I want backed up, and have it run at two in the morning and leave a report when it finishes. I want the backups on one of the external devices we already discussed, a local external drive, and perhaps a network location off-site.

There's lots of choices. Here's CNet's review of free backup software.

I can't speak about most of them, they may all be fine, but the one I use is on that list. Cobain. It does it all as far I am concerned. Here's the review from Download.com:

For all the bells and whistles you get with this backup program, we were shocked to find that it's free. Cobian Backup not only looks good, but it proved to be a very reliable and easy to use backup tool.
The user interface is straightforward, and the colorful command buttons are extremely intuitive. Creating a new backup task was easy, despite all of the configuration options. Basically, all we had to do was create a name, decide what files and folders to include, and create a schedule for the backup. We opted to save important files to our USB, which worked perfectly. We were impressed by the file compression and encryption options that aren't found in many paid programs. The Options menu comes with tons of settings for more advanced file compression, password-protecting the user interface, and even changing the interface's appearance. We were able perform random backups with the click of a button, and likewise, we were able to run multiple backup tasks all at once without any problems whatsoever.
Cobian Backup offers multiple help venues, including an index, a tutorial, and support forums. However, even the most novice users will be able to jump in with very little, if no, guidance. We highly recommend this program for all users.
That's it. One recommendation. Free. Been using it personally for years. It's the same software I would recommend to you if we sitting around a campfire sipping bourbon.

How did Snowden get away with all of that data?

It seems that NSA had pretty bad internal security:
Second-rate opsec remained pervasive at the United States' National Security Agency, according to an August 2016 review now released under Freedom of Information laws. 
It's almost surprising that the agency was able to cuff Reality Winner, let alone prevent a wholesale Snowden-style leak. The Department of Defense Inspector General report, first obtained by the New York Times, finds everything from unsecured servers to a lack of two-factor authentication.
The National Computer Security Center is part of NSA.  They certainly know how to secure a system.  Snowden seems to be a case of the shoemaker's children having no shoes.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Congratulations to the Feral Irishman

Getting 12 Million page views.

Hey Alexa - Who's wiretapping me?

Besides you, that is.


Travel warning: Orlando airport gas prices

The following came around the inbox:
Orlando airport,  rental car return.  The two closest gas stations that I have used in the past have raised their gas prices to $5.99 per gallon regular.  They are the closest to the rental car and used a lot.   They have not posted a sign on the street. It is only listed on the actual pump in small print.  
... 

Both stations closest to Orlando Airport  ( Disney etc)  have these crazy prices. I drove 2 miles away and gas was  $1.99 per gallon.   
...
Just for reference rental car return gas price was $2.70. I filled up at $1.99.  
Seems pretty sneaky.  FYI.

Franz Kafka predicted the Surveillance State

Franz Kafka wrote a book (The Trial) in which the State refused to tell the accused man what crime he was accused of.  It seems that the book is uncomfortably close to home for our own day:
Back in 2014, the tech firm challenged an order issued under Section 702 of the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act, a law that allows the US government to request telecommunications data on non-US citizens. The wide-ranging powers in that act, due for renewal at the end of this year, have been highly controversial ever since the Edward Snowden archives brought them to public attention. 
The heavily redacted documents [PDF] were published this week, and come from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees Uncle Sam's spying efforts. They detail a request by the unnamed company for copies of previous decisions the judges had made on Section 702 hearings, so that it could prepare its case. 
Instead of allowing the firm to gather the evidence it needed, Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that the government was perfectly within its rights to deny the company the information it requested.
So there is no right to see court rulings that effect your case.  And this part is the truly Kafkaesque bit:
Instead, the judge told the company to rely on the Department of Justice's accounts of previous Section 702 hearings, rather than seeing the legal cases for themselves.
Well, OK then.  When I grew up, we thought it was the Soviet Union that had secret courts.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Giacomo Puccini - O Mio Babbino Caro

Dad loved this song.  The title translates as "Oh my beloved Father", so this seems appropriate for Father's Day.

This is the first Father's Day that both my and the Queen Of The World's fathers aren't here.  That gives a bittersweet flavor to the day.



Happy Father's Day to all.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Like a fox

The Queen Of The World snapped this shot. She's a fox, too.


Perhaps this one stopped and posed for her as a professional courtesy?

The Cold Civil War heats up

This is a very bad sign for the Democrats.

Consider: a truly robust and confident Left would not feel the need for violence. The fact that they are engaging in an orgy of violence porn says all you need to know about the strength of their party.

And now we're seeing riots in the streets, ganga of campus thugs weilding baseball bats, and snipers. Who will win the hearts and minds on the great mass of undecided America?

to ask the question is to answer it.

This will not end well for the Left. It appears that they are too stupid to realize it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Into the Night With Me - A Brigid Guest Post

When going into battle soldiers know who has their back. In Law Enforcement, it is much the same. But in the day to day life, we often find out who is around us that would take that literal bullet for us.

Growing up my big brother was my protector. If you've read my first two books you know our story well. He was my best friend and guide despite the age difference.  I still thank him for when he sent the "live toad in a gift box" to the snooty girl down the block that made fun of me for wearing hand-me-downs and home sewed clothes because my Mom chose to be a full-time mom rather than return to the workforce as a Deputy Sheriff when they adopted the two of us late in life.

When Mom died, and Dad briefly checked out emotionally, my beloved brother off in Submarine Service, I left home young, starting college at age 14, fleeing not simply because I was fleeing, but that the absence was the only argument I had at 14 to employ against the losses in my life. I was alone until I was not, then a pregnancy in college and my daughter's subsequent adoption made me realize I needed family around me again, even if not related by blood. So there were friends, and there were toasts and tears and healing as I got past the sound that goodbyes made.
When I graduated and was accepted into flight training to become a pilot I had much the same support system. Our Crew Chief, who often looked at us like something on the bottom of his shoe, honestly was our biggest fan, but using Crew Chief etiquette wasn't allowed to show it. Crew Chiefs were like that, finding the occupation of keeping their emotion steeled against the worst so captivating, that they had no other emotion available. He wasn't scared, but thinking everyone under his charge was such an idiot that we would never see another sunrise, he remained firm in his resolve that what was to be was predestined.  The ground crew was won over by homemade chocolate chip cookies even if they weren't quite sure what to make of the first female Commander in the unit.  My copilots became family, even the one that used to spray the whole cockpit down with Lysol because he was a germaphobe which followed with me puking into his flight bag due to a late night out and a fighter pilot breakfast (you'll have to google that, this is a family-friendly blog).

We'd launch, whether we were ready or not, listening to the sounds of the ground crew (clear on 2) with that listening attention that meant we were ready to go out and confront whatever those words meant. In the distance, a knot of men, moving with deliberate movement, offering a wave as we taxied out, their roles unclear as the wind amped up a slow vibration in the air, but their support unwavering,

But later in life, when my flying was behind me except for the occasional inverted romp in an 8KCAB, my support system was not so structured. There were friends I thought I could rely on that disappeared like smoke when there were clouds on the horizon. There were those that wanted to be friends simply to build their fan base. And there were those that were like the walls of my house - quiet, not always saying anything, but always there to keep me warm and safe.

My team at work has always been a constant. I've worked with gruff curmudgeons who held evidence in their giant paws of hands like the most tender of playthings even as they busied themselves with matters of life and death that brooked no delay. And I've worked with the young probies, so bursting with ambition and testosterone that they always upheld a state of lively satisfaction no matter the amount of deeply questioned bloodshed.

I've been covered in gore, and I've been shot at, ending my day wet, tired, and stiff in every joint, with that momentary hallucination of vision that comes to the insanely exhausted, where like a drowning man reviews his life, I realized that not only did I not find the smoking gun, I left the coffee pot on this morning.
But I always had my support system.

Today, I'm management- more likely to be felled by a paper cut than a bullet. My team still visits, but in doing so I'm "Ma'am" not "Brigid" as I'm the director. Times change, time slows. But I do know that there are those around me I can count on, both personally and professionally, in that enlightened compression that dwells upon the approach of a storm.

Yet, on those nights I'm stuck in a hotel room, the bed linen cold and soundless under my hand, clinging softly to that hand in the quiet air as breathing vaporizes in the faint light as I wait for the phone to ring, I'm aware of something.
I still have those that watch my back, even if they are only friends and family, strong in my life, even if their numbers are as a shadow is larger than the object that casts it. They are there in those mornings where the red dawn crests in the sharp light as if beyond the horizon lay hell not heaven. They are there in those soft nights, where ice cubes tinkle and the air carries on it only the scent of mint and soft lemon verbena perfume as small children chase fireflies in the yard.

As I return from my travels, the taxi taking me from the airport, the old bungalows of Chicago pass by the window in grays and browns, lighter than dust and laid lightly upon the earth, as if one good hard rain would wash them away, I smile. I am simply another suit and a laptop, trying to make a little difference in an insane world, where those that work for me, risk their lives for what is right and good. This is not the life I planned, and it is not the life I imagined, but it is the only life I want, here with those who would walk into the night with me. - Brigid

Aikido

Aikido was founded by a man named Morihei Ueshiba in Japan in the early decades of the 20th Century. It is primarily derived from an older samurai art called Daito-Ryu or Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujitsu. The art consists of strikes, joint locks, and throws, designed to use the energy of the attacker to control and end an attacker's aggression.

There were a number of splits in organizations after the death of Morihei Ueshiba. The main organization, the Aikikai, is still managed by the Ueshiba family. The style I study was established by Roy Suenaka after he broke away from Koichi Tohei in the mid-1970's. It is commonly known as Wadokai Aikido. Here's the school's official website.

Aikido has a philosophical/religious underpinning, based in Shinto and Buddhism. There are Aikido styles that are so derivative as to seem much like **EDIT modern dance in terms of usefulness in self defense. I assure you that is not us. Whatever we are doing, it is designed to be street effective.

I do not pretend that this art is some magical defense that would prevent me from getting myself hurt or killed in every situation. I see it as an active part of my training, an art that I have managed to continue to study as I get older. I train with people that have studied many different arts, boxing, judo, karate, jujitsu, arnis(or eskrima), and others. It is an effort to improve my fitness and my skills and maybe have what I need if the situation ever arises and I'm in a place where carrying was not an option.

I started this training late in life, I was 49 when I discovered Wadoki Aikido. I will never be the guy that wows the crowds. I'm just a journeyman, practicing 3 nights a week, attending camps and seminars when I can, and loving the experience.

The next post will explain the summer camp I attended. Here's a picture of me, throwing my partner during a test a few years ago. The testing board is on the elevated stage. My instructor and several of my friends are seated on the far wall. It's not a great picture, it was late, the lighting in the 80 year old building is poor, flash is not allowed during testing, but here's what I looked like when I tested for Nidan.

**Edited to remove incorrect reference per the comments.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Down time



Posting will be catch and catch can. Mainly, if I can catch the gumption to post ...


I Have Been Away


This is the view I woke up to every morning last week. It was cool nights and days filled with Aikido. 

Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountain 
 and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life. --O'Sensei


Splody - A Barkley Memory and Brigid Guest Post

The quiet, serene, pre-Barkley office.

We all come home to different environments.  For some, it's the sound of little kids squealing with delight that Mommy or Daddy are home.  It's the the clatter of footsteps like the thunder of small ponies down a trail, that is no trail, but is simply a hallway rug, worn by that repeated motion of sheer joy.

For some it's a simple "Hello Sweetie" a hug and a kiss.

And sometimes it's the blissful sound of silence after a really long day, when all you want to do is eat a hot meal and have a mug of hot tea while you lay out the thoughts of the day in your favorite spot to write or perhaps watch one of your favorite old adventure movies.

The night in question was the later kind but it was going to be one of those very nights where the tea was a glass of Malbec.
Mom, come quick!  Someone pooped on the rug!

Barkley usually greeted me at the back door to the garage, alerted by the door going up, with that terrifying bark that to outsiders sounds ferocious. He sounded scary, but he would let me take a bone right out of his mouth with my bare fingers.  I was his protector and his protected and if I wanted it, it's mine.  But he would defend to the death, that bone, from any creature of a lower, parallel plane, those that were neither protected or protector that would take what he loves.  So even with that quiet temperament that was his nature, I know he'd defend to the death, as well, my safety.

But he knew the sound of my truck and the bark would take on a different tone. I normally heard him before the door was even up, the sound, wild and faint, and incomprehensible but for it's meaning. Bark!  Bark!  "Mom's Home!"

It was later than normal and  that night long agowhen I came in - silence.  He was comfy on the couch, Brinks Barkley, sleeping on the job.
I patted him, fed him, let him out to go potty, which he always does after he eats. I was glad his tummy was feeling OK, as the previous evening he had snarfed up a bit of greasy food wrapper that had hit the floor when emptying the trash, and I figured that might upset his tummy. But he seemed fine, just not as lively as usual.

So I poured the wine, put on some barley soup on to heat for supper, and sat down to call Partner from the couch.

We  had just said hello when:

 "Oh, Crap! Barkley threw up in the corner earlier!  I have to go".
Barkley had an ultra sensitive stomach as far as rawhides and some people foods, even when he was youngster, unlike my last black lab who could eat an entire tank and then just gently burp.  So several times a year, Barkley would snag some fatty food that's dropped (bacon!)  or a piece of sandwich left unattended or a paper napkin or such that was soaked with meat juice.  He then usually threw it up. He always upchucked in the same spot, if he couldn't alert me in time that he needed to go out, a corner of the front room between a sofa and chair. Since there's a nice rug there, I laid out a large clean towel in the spot, just in case.

Unfortunately, it wasn't barf. Other end. Poor thing,

I'm sure he tried to hold it, but couldn't.  He'd never done that in the house since his first couple of weeks home as a puppy. Of course, this time, he carefully MOVED THE TOWEL OUT OF THE WAY FIRST before he tagged my floor with the latest of black lab gang signs (in poop!) But I could see the doggy thought process - "Mom gets upset if I grab her clean towels off the counter so I will protect her clean towel even in my indisposition - I'm a good dog!"
Mom, I was just FOLDING these clean towels I found on the counter.

He just looked at me from a distance, as if he expected a scolding, as I cleaned it up (pointing out the large area of tile in the entraceway  he could have selected instead of the carpeting, though he didn't appear to be taking notes). There is nothing quite like the look of a dog that's expecting harsh words, no different than a human that somehow knows you are angry, even if they aren't quite sure what exactly they did wrong; a sort of shocked and unbelieving sorrow.

You look at them, your heart beating strongly with the heat of the moment.  They look at you, their heart beating a hollow echo as though already retreating, as they wait for your reaction. You look at them again, weighing a hundred expedients, knowing what you need to do, and not necessarily what fatigue and emotion might prod you to do.
I went over and gently scratched his ear saying  "It's OK, you couldn't help it, you're a good dog", patted him one last time, and gave Partner a call back

"(sigh) It wasn't barf".

"Oh, so the "Oh Crap" was literal then?"  We laughed and proceeded to chat while Barkley laid down next to me for an ear scratch, feeling fine physically, but needing the reassurance that all was well.

When people get married they take a vow of "in sickness and in health". In a way, we also do that with our pets.  Owning a pet is not cheap, even for youthful preventive care.  Then, there are always the things you don't expect, especially as they age, things that result in someone wearing the cone of shame or the expenditure of hundreds of dollars.
But you help them get better, you adjust your schedule, make doctor appointments and you offer only warmth and support.  You don't  lay your hand upon them with forceful curse and belittlement. They look at you to be the strong one, the tender one. They trust you to act from your heart and not from the infinite, internal voices of human fear and angst.

Then, on those nights when you come home really, really late from work, your soul weary, the house dark, they will quietly come up to you, leaning into you, drawn from their slumber to your side like steel and magnet. At that moment, there as both your hearts beat in the silence, you realize that every measure of sickness and health was worth it.

 - Brigid

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Happy 97th Birthday Dad - A Brigid Guest Post

Do you ever wake up alone and not know where you are? You sense a room, slightly cold and roll over in bed to drape your arms across one whose form would feel like gold in your hand, to nuzzle the soft hair there at the base of the skull. But there is only cold air, and it dawns on you that side of the bed is empty and still. That realization rushes you into wakefulness with the sense that you are somewhat lost, a feeling that hovers constant in the corners of the dark. Half awake, you aren't quite sure where you are, how you got to be here. It's not much different than when you were a little kid and you wake from a nightmare of monsters and homework, calling out to a parent who rushes to your side to let you know you are safe.

What woke me was a bad dream, metallic form tumbling end over end, driven by provoking gusts, tumbling away from me even as I chase after it. I close the distance, sparks bursting out like fireworks, flames spraying towards me as I walk towards it unharmed, attempting to reach its precious cargo before it's immolated. But in my dream, there is nothing left but ash, and I stand there in a halo of fire that smells of burning flesh, slapping at the small and blooming holes of fire that are erupting on my shirt like crimson flowers sprung from my heart. There's no going back to sleep after that. Days like this you need the extra big bowl of Corn Pops. But it's just a dream, and now I have to go, as I have my own things to protect
I look out the window, the landscape is flat, the shadowed forms of the city in the distance rising out of the dawn. There are no mountains, and no more of the thick cloud cover that has been the sky for the last couple of weeks, clouds hanging like sodden towels on the peaks of buildings, making distance and form deceptive. I'm either in Chicago or Oz, one of the two.

I won't be out West again for a couple more months, airfares not being cheap, but I try and visit for all the important occasions.  But I talk to him every day, calling before his breakfast and at 7 pm each and every day no matter what is going on in my life as those are the times he wants to hear my voice. I didn't tell him I had to quit my dream job of 15 years to make those calls happen on schedule, but it doesn't matter as I still have a job, and I get to hear his voice every day.

It doesn't matter how old I get, I'm his little girl and he worries about me out in the world. He worries about me even more lately, wanting to make sure before he leaves, that I'm happy and safe. Dad is still going as hard as he can, despite cancer, and a small stroke.  Hard to believe he turned 97 just a couple of days ago.
Dad and Barkley at a family barbecue for his 89th birthday.

I give my Dad a lot of credit. He's not a big man but he's an imposing figure. He's still incredibly strong, still working out with weights six days a week. A golden glove boxer, a veteran of WWII, retired as a Lt. Colonel. He and my Mom lost their first child, a little girl, born too early, only surviving days. After that, with complications from the birth, they remained childless for over 15 years, watching their friends have kids, then grandkids. Mom said "foster parenting? adoption?"

I imagine his first words were "but I'm retired?!" But he soon took up the monumental task of filling out all the paperwork, with hope and joy and  fostered or adopted more than one child that came into their healing home, including Big Bro and I, who came with our own baggage, even at such a tender age. 
It can't have been easy but they did it, without complaint, without help, not caring that we weren't their offspring by DNA.  Being a parent, a family isn't about blood lines or age or paternity, it's simply a love beyond feeling that resonates in the heart as you look on your child. It's making tough sacrificial decisions, decisions that say without words what is important to you. It's remembering the lessons your father passed on to you, for a father with a sense of honor wants to be even more than he is and to pass something good and hopeful into the hands of his child.

I remember coming home crying when I was about 10, wrapped in angst because some boy I liked had said something very cruel to me, crueler in that I thought he was my friend. So I went to my Dad, for he was that approachable, golden authority on everything from dugouts to Daisy rifles in whom I held total faith and trust. I told him what the boy said and asked "is that true? " He looked e in the eye and said, "I once caught a steelhead as big as a cow." HUH? I thought". He repeated, "maybe it was as big as a Buick" and I started to giggle knowing that wasn't true. Then my Dad said "Just because someone says something, doesn't make it true.and then he added under his breath "remember that when you're old enough to vote" and chuckled. And in that simple moment, spoken with humor, Dad showed me the importance of honesty. I went back to school, whacked the snot out of the kid that said it and felt immensely better.
When I was a teen, I was a volunteer at a nursing home. The elderly people thoroughly enjoyed the visits and often would keep me in their room for what seemed like hours to someone my age, as I brought juice and some blessed company. But for a teenager, it was not a fun way to spend the afternoon and one time when Dad was dropping me off, I said: "You know, I don't really want to do this". The silence echoed in the car like a question. Then Dad quietly said, "Did you tell them you would do it?" I said, "Yes." That was that. I knew exactly what he meant. They were counting on me. I missed an afternoon at the mall with friends and felt right for doing so.

Dad showed me dependability.

Later I had a chance to work and go to college far from my hometown. The first leap into independence is hard for anyone, the time when you know who you are but not what you may be. Hesitant to take the step, to move so far from home, I did what I still do, I called my Dad."What if I don't make it" I asked. Dad told me about leaving Montana behind as a young man and going to England on the Queen Mary to be an Army Air Corp area police officer during WWII. How hard that trip was to make.

After listening to him I realized a simple trip across a state border was nothing and packed my things. I harnessed my dream because Dad showed me the important thing is to be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. Dad showed me courage even as things change. Dad probably doesn't remember these conversations, but I do. The things that leave the biggest impression on a child may not be obvious to them until they are grown. They are not money given, or cars bought or video games provided. It's being a pillar of strength and support, patience and compassion. What will make you memorable to your children will be the things you don't think they see, and perhaps they don't now, but when they get older and step back from you, leaving for their own life—then they will measure the greatness of your example and fully appreciate it.

Did I always follow his example? In a word. NO. Over the years I've been headstrong and stubborn and foolish and more than once selfish and thoughtless. But he has always stood by me, even if in the vagrancy of foolish dreams and adrenaline, I have disappointed him. Still, I tried to learn from his examples. I still do.
My Dad has always been active in the community and the church, especially working with the Lion's Club, where for a time he was Club Secretary, raising money for eyesight programs, the Red Cross and Service Dog programs, as well as and local scholarships for area children.

One thing he was particularly proud of was their newspaper recycling fund-raising program, which provided income for these programs but not without a lot of hard, volunteer work. The shining marker of that program was a Newspaper Recycling Building built to further expand on that community project. The members constructed it themselves, husbands and fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, laboring in cold and rain, hot and sun, often at the expense of their own sleep. In November 2000, newly constructed, vandals burned it to the ground,

There was nothing left, but a few support timbers lined up in stark order like gravestones at a military service. The men, my father, simply stood there stunned, as water dripped from the remains, strips of clouds like bayonets against the sky. A lot of work went into it, all volunteer and many of them in their 60's and 70's. You would have expected my Dad to storm and rage against a senseless act of destruction. But he didn't, though I was not so naive that I didn't miss the simmering outrage within which lives a betrayal too intense and inert to ever be articulated.
I read somewhere that heartache is to a noble what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it. So true and words my Dad lived by. From him I have learned that whatever terrible things may happen to us, there is only one thing that allows them to permanently damage our core self, and that is continued belief in them. Dad's lived these beliefs.

He's survived cancer and a small stroke, buried two beloved wives, married to them over 60 years. He's buried two children.  He held my hand during 34 hours in natural childbirth, when my child's father abandoned me, and swept me away to home after I handed her over to her adoptive parents, listening to me cry myself to sleep for months. having lost both a Mom and a baby in a span of a year. I was a teen, barely out of high school and he never judged, never said he was disappointed in me, never said I told you so, for a choice in first loves that he had warned was going to be a bad one.

He taught me forgiveness and compassion

I've watched him sit a vigil at his second wife's bedside that lasted days, sleeping only in naps in a chair, never letting go of her hand. He was simply there, a constant presence next to her slender, silent form, from which weariness and exertion had yet to depart, holding her, never doubting the actuality of his faith, guarding with sharp and unremitting alertness those minutes that he knows are fleeting.

I watched him as my stepmom left us. He touched the streak of white in her hair as lightning cleaved clear air and a gentle rain fell from cloudless skies, as if their moments together, as brief as they may have been, lingered there in a flash of light and tears, though breath itself had ceased.
For a man such as this, that vandalism of the recycling building was merely a setback. He and his friends simply set out to rebuild what was lost. They did so with the help of kids from the local Elementary school, who amassed more than 600 pounds of pennies to help pay for the new building, with the adults, amazed at the kid's efforts, donating the rest. The kids had a little contest between boys and girls and had their own little assembly line, putting the pennies into bags to take to the bank, learning the value of hard work and what it can bring. Those little kids raised well over $1000 from just pennies they rounded up at home and school, in thanks for what the Lions had done for them, a covered play area and an improved playground accessible to all the children

That new recycling building still stands proudly today, a testament to the faith of children and the loving example of fathers.

In the morning it will be time to give my Dad another call. For he too will be waking up in a lonely bed, in these days past a  birthday celebration, perhaps wondering where he is. I can picture him sitting in his recliner in the family room, Bible and coffee mug close at hand, his small frame illuminated by the early morning light, framed by ancient glass that bore light and witness to many a happy memory.

We will pour ourselves a bowl of Corn Pops and have our morning chat, while I tell him how very proud I am, that he chose to be my father, through it all.  - Brigid

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bryan Lewis - I Think My Dog's a Democrat

Oh, Lord, this is funny.  And I say that as someone who grew up a Democrat and even held elective office in the county Democratic Party in the 1970s.  But that was a long, long time ago when the Party was very different from what it is now.



I Think My Dog's a Democrat (Songwriter: Bryan Lewis)
Well, I think my dog's a democrat
And it breaks my heart
To have to say
An ugly thing like that
But there's a big old pile of evidence
That all points toward the facts
My dog might be a democrat

I pay for all his health care
And I buy everything he eats
I provide him with a place to live
Just to keep him off the streets
But he just acts like he's entitled
Even tried to unionize the cat
Yeah, I think my dog's a democrat

He chewed up the Constitution
That I keep on display
And every time Benghazi's on TV
He looks the other way
("What difference, at this point, does it make")
I know he's a liberal
Even if he won't admit it
He pooped on my living room rug
And tried to tell me George Bush did it

He ain't got no papers
And what really gets my goat
Is if he could find to write it down
Well, I know they'd let him vote
Sure we've had some good times
He's been fun to have around
But if he ever barks
About my right to bear arms
I'm gonna have to have him put down

(Who's a good boy?)
(Who's a good boy?)

I pay for all his health care
And I buy everything he eats
I provide him with a place to live
Just to keep him off the streets
You'd have to be a Socialist
To ever act like that
So my dog must be a democrat

His behavior has been hidden
His mom might be Mrs. Clinton
Yeah, I thing my dog's a
Spread-the-wealth
Government-health
Flea-bitten democrat

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rush - Red Barchetta

Recent posts about self driving cars has made me grumpy, and longing for the open road.  Our Governmental Overlords will want to squash this attitude, since individuals driving their own cars will make it more difficult to field autonomous driving vehicles - and that will make their paymasters in Silicon Valley poorer and unhappy.  And so we can expect increasing restrictions on personal control of our own automobiles.

Yes, I think this is a possibility (albeit a remote one).  But I'm not the only one.  Let me take you back to 1981 for some dystopic Rock Opera on the subject.



You can have my 4 barrel when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers, bitches.


Now that's just mean


Let's all be safe out there.

Pity the poor little server

Nobody had heard of the UK Democratic Union Party, a marginal party with a handful of seats in Parliament.  Then UK Prime Minister Theresa May's cunning plan backfired, and her party lost in the snap election that she called - the Tories don't have enough seats to form a government.

Enter the DUP - their 10 seats added to the Tory's 316 would give May just enough.  And so people (reasonably) wanted to find out just who these fellows were.  Consulting the oracle of the Google, they were led to the DUP's web site.  In their thousands.

And the poor little server couldn't handle the load:
The Democratic Union Party's website has crashed as people woke this morning to google the group that may play kingmaker after the Tories fell short of a majority in the UK general election. 
... 
The DUP is the largest unionist political party in Northern Ireland and was founded by Ian Paisley. It has previosuly opposed same-sex marriage and abortion. 
Sadly, no more information can be derived about the party from its own site, which reads: "The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later."
Maybe part of the deal to form a coalition government could be a bigger server and some more bandwidth.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Security and the Internet of (Automotive) Things

Ross Anderson is a security bigwig, and has a very good post up about the shift in thinking that must occur as Internet connectivity goes into things like cars:
Up till now, we’ve known how to make two kinds of fairly secure system. There’s the software in your phone or laptop which is complex and exposed to online attack, so has to be patched regularly as vulnerabilities are discovered. It’s typically abandoned after a few years as patching too many versions of software costs too much. The other kind is the software in safety-critical machinery which has tended to be stable, simple and thoroughly tested, and not exposed to the big bad Internet. As these two worlds collide, there will be some rather large waves.
Regulators who only thought in terms of safety will have to start thinking of security too. Safety engineers will have to learn adversarial thinking. Security engineers will have to think much more about ease of safe use. Educators will have to start teaching these subjects together. (I just expanded my introductory course on software engineering into one on software and security engineering.) And the policy debate will change too; people might vote for the FBI to have a golden master key to unlock your iPhone and read your private messages, but they might be less likely to vote them a master key to take over your car or your pacemaker.
Researchers and software developers will have to think seriously about how we can keep on patching the software in durable goods such as vehicles for thirty or forty years. It’s not acceptable to recycle cars after seven years ...
One thing that seems needed here is how after-market additions can be added securely.  There are still a bunch of 40 year old cars on the road, like this sweetie:

Listed for sale at a little over $40 grand.  At that price, you really don't care about the cost of gas.  But Pontiac isn't supporting this ride with upgrades - indeed, Pontiac doesn't even exist anymore.  You can get parts from after-market suppliers, but these are hardware.  So who will write update code for your 40 year old 2017 sports car?  How do you get that installed securely?  What does this mean when it's a self driving classic car?

Right now, you have to hack the damn thing, and if you can, someone else can, too.

Great article about IoT security and the implication for durable goods.

Your daily morning LOL


I used to read Reason

Back before it was shilling for Big Business.  Nick Gillespie pens a transparent apologia for illegal immigration:

New MassTLC study richly documents how newcomers grow the economy, cause less crime than natives, and do high-tech jobs that Americans won't do.

"High-tech jobs that Americans won't do"?  Interestingly (but unsurprisingly) the word "Disney" is not to be found in the article.  What is found there is uncritical parroting of a Trade Group's cherry-picked data and report, a (likely intentional) conflating of legal and illegal immigration, and a stubborn refusal to accept that correlation does not imply causation.

What is really interesting is that essentially all of the comments take Gillespie to the woodshed, basically making the same complaints that I make.

If Reason can't even convince its own libertarian audience on this, then it is stuck in a deep pit of fail.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How sophisticated was the Russian "hack the election" attack?

Based on a reading of the NSA disclosures, not at all:
IMHO, this “attack on the election infrastructure” is nothing more than a “Russian Prince” [similar to a "Nigerian Prince" - Borepatch] story. Most likely some Russian or Chinese based (trying to blame Russia) group working for personal gain via Identity Theft. Potentially a government TLA [Three Letter (Intelligence) Agency - Borepatch] on the side who lets them operate free of prosecution in exchange for any interesting intel they turn up. It didn’t break any voting machines. It didn’t even target voting machines, nor counting operations. The mode of attack and the method of compromise do not lend themselves to compromise of the vote. (It would take several more steps directed in a different way to start to approach that).
So THIS is what they have as a smoking gun? THIS is what is classified? THIS is what 20-something Ms. Winner will go to prison for leaking? A Russian Prince spearphish campaign of the sort run every day against every company on the planet?
It seems pretty clear that Ms. Winner is an idiot, not just for leaking classified documents in such a clumsy manner but for leaking lame classified documents.  This seems rather a pittance for the likely decade she will spend behind bars, but stupid is supposed to hurt.


Why security fails

Seriously, this is exactly why security fails.


A most unlikely batting champion

Last night, Cincinnati Reds' player Scooter Gennett had a remarkable night.  5 hits, 4 home runs (including a grand slam), 10 runs batted in, 17 total bases.  Those are records for the Reds (except for the RBIs, where he tied the club record).

Only 14 players in the history of the game have hit 4 home runs in a single game.  Gennett is now in a very exclusive club, including the likes of Lou Gehrig and Willie Mays.  The Baseball Hall of Fame asked him for the uniform he wore.

The punch line?  The Reds picked him up in the off-season when Milwaukee put him on waivers.  He only broke an 0-19 batting slump on Monday.

This is one of the reasons that I love baseball.

The spirit of Vichy lives



So some jihadi dude attacks a cop at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.  The police response?

1. Shoot the jihadi.  Well done, mes amis.

2. Hold the French citizens and tourists at gunpoint in the cathedral.

Well, well, well.

It seems that the urge to collaborate with the enemy is not a distant instinct, at least in the Fifth Republic.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A maze of twisty passages, all alike

The very first computer game I ever played (in the 1970s, on line printer terminals) was Adventure, or ADVENT as it was called.  It is legendary in computer circles.

Surprisingly, ADVENT was never open sourced.  Until now, and Open Adventure.  If you pride yourself on your long-time nerd cred, then go and get you some of that.


How the NSA caught the Intercept leaker

Interesting analysis of printer microdots.

Not sure that I agree that this is a 3rd Amendment violation, though.  Remember, it's really hard to hide your data transmissions from the NSA.  If you're using their hardware, I'd imagine that it's as close as you're likely to get to functionally impossible.

UPDATE 6 June 2017 14:15: It appears that the leaker was exceptionally dim, not only printing the document from her NSA computer but emailing the Intercept using her personal Gmail account from the same computer.


But it's early, and the story is evolving.  This make be "fake news".

The Day Of Days


Monday, June 5, 2017

73 years ago, they were airborne

And on their way to Normandy.



It was the Day Of Days:
If you are lucky, very lucky, on that day, you will walk all the way to Germany and the war will be over and you will go home to a town somewhere on the great land sea of the Midwest and you won’t talk much about this day, or any that came after it, ever. They’ll ask you, throughout long decades after, “What did you do in the war?” You’ll think of this day and you will never think of a good answer. That’s because you know just how lucky you were. 
If you were not lucky on that day you lie under a white cross on a large lawn 73 long gone years later.
My best friend Rick's dad was one of the men who walked from Normandy to Germany.  He never spoke of those days to us, not until the 1990s when he was old.  I asked him why - since he knew that we would have loved those stories - he hadn't said anything.  He said that he was busy getting on with his life.  It wasn't much of an answer, but maybe there wasn't a good answer.

Then I asked him why he was telling us now.  He said so that people would know about his buddies when he was gone.  His buddies who weren't lucky like he had been.  The ones under those white crosses.

He was a kind, funny, gentle soul.  And a warrior once.  Rest in peace, Jake.  I hope you have a final muster with your buddies.

The oldest political curse on record

It's addressed to a Senator:
At a time when black magic was relatively common, two curses involving snakes were cast, one targeting a senator and the other an animal doctor, says a Spanish researcher who has just deciphered the 1,600-year-old curses.
Both curses feature a depiction of a deity, possibly the Greek goddess Hekate, with serpents coming out of her hair, possibly meant to strike at the victims. Both curses contain Greek invocations similar to examples known to call upon Hekate.
The two curses, mainly written in Latin and inscribed on thin lead tablets, would have been created by two different people late in the life of the Roman Empire.
I believe that it was Will Rodgers who said that one day a year should be open season on Senators.  It doesn't seem that much has changed that way in 1,600 years.
One of the curses targets a Roman senator named Fistus and appears to be the only known example of a cursed senator.
I can't find any information on the good Senator - by his time the Senate was purely a ceremonial body, and had been for over a century.  Basically, he was in an exclusive Drone's Club.

I'll take more whisky and cigars, please

It's what America's oldest veteran says works for him:
Richard Overton is right where he wants to be.

He’s sitting in a lawn chair on the front porch of the Austin home he built nearly 70 years ago, working on his fifth Tampa Sweet cigar on a 91-degree sunny day. The smooth tunes of the Isley Brothers flow from a portable speaker. Birds are chirping in the late afternoon breeze.

“I’m feeling pretty good today,” Overton says, emphasizing the word pretty, because any day spent on this porch smoking cigars is a pretty good day for the 111-year-old.

This is where you’ll find the nation’s oldest veteran for 10 hours every day when the weather is nice.
Great article.

Hat tip: Rick, via email.