Thursday, February 25, 2021

Kodachrome Nostalgia IV

 Moving along, I couldn't take the bicycle to the Philippines, but I did the cameras, lenses, and flash. By this point, I was carrying one camera body with B+W film, taking pictures for the Squadron cruise book. The other body was carrying the Kodachrome.

Olongapo, in the P.I., 1983. Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies. 

Here's a few. Nothing special, except that I had the camera there and ready, managed to get the exposure close and the picture in focus.








Why are we still in NATO?

NATO Secretary General wants solar powered tanks. [rolls eyes]

The comment there sums it up:

The stupid, it burns … an M1 tank gets 0.6 mpg. A gallon of diesel contains ~ 40 kWh of energy. A solar panel puts out ~ 1 kWh per day. A solar panel is about 17 sq. ft. You MIGHT fit four of them on an M1 tank without impairing the weapons and sensors. Then you’d need four Tesla Powerwall batteries, weight half a ton.With that setup, every ten days you could move your tank 0.6 miles …

Here's your sign.

IMPORTANT Southwest Florida Blogshoot update

Last night The Queen Of The World fell and broke her wrist.  The break is bad enough that she'll have to have surgery next week.  So far the Blogshoot is still on but I'm pushing the start time to 12:00 noon.  This will cut the day a little short but I'll have to set up by myself and so it will take longer than planned.

Please check this space on Friday evening for any changes - I don't think we'll change anything but life sometimes speaks in its Outdoors Voice.

 


On the plus side, the local Doc-In-A-Box was actually a 24 hour ER, with X-Ray and all that sort of thing.  They got her right in and splinted up.  The splint is very cool - it is a big gauze pad that they put on her arm and bandaged over.  in 15 minutes it was hard as concrete.  The doc said that the moisture in the air is what causes the chemical reaction to stiffen it up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Southwest Florida Blogshoot - Now with Moar Col. Jeff Cooper!

Our very own Miguel has graciously offered to run the El Presidente drill at Saturday's blogshoot.  For those of you not familiar with El Presidente, Pew Pew Tactical has a good overview:

“El Presidente” is a shooting drill originally developed by Jeff Cooper (remember the 4 firearm safety rules) when he was training security for a South American president.  The name came about when it was incorporated into USPSA/IPSC as a standardized stage.

Click through for more detail, but this looks like it will be a lot of fun.  Miguel says to bring your sidearm (and holster if you have one) and at least two magazines (as if any of all y'all would bring only two ...)

Here's the venue info - if you haven't RSVP'ed , please leave a comment.

The Venue:

When: Saturday, February 27 at 12:00 noon until 4:00 PM.

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club1805 Logue Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251

Facilities:  Some of our readers are bringing their betters halves (as am I) and the fairer sex will be relieved to know that there are proper, civilized facilities in the club house.   

Cost: $20 per person to cover range rental and sundries.

11 years of blogging

The Silicon Graybeard has been dishing up awesome free content for 11 years now.   He's a daily read for me (heck, maybe he'll come to a blogshoot sometime, too, hint hint).  Go give him some commenty love.

Dad Joke XXXVII

How did the kleptomaniac treat his condition?

He took something for it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Kodachrome Nostalgia III

 Hiroshima was about 30 km north of the base I was stationed at. I took the train a couple of times, but riding up the coast on a bicycle gave you mobility once you got there. I had saddlebags and a rack so the camera gear went with me.

Rocky and I would explore the city, wander the ginza (the shopping district), and sometimes stay late in the bar district before cycling home. Peace Park was one of our regular stops and I kept trying to take the definitive photo. 

I finally took this one night.


I remember a lot about it. It was late at night and quite dark, although there is always some ambient light in a city. I was up near the museum, shooting through the cenotaph. The eternal flame is visible and then behind that is the Genbaku Dome. This is not an unusual spot to take a photo and you will find similar compositions in a Google search. What made it special was the effort put into making a night shot work.

I was on a tripod, with a 200mm lens stopped down to F16, and the one you see here was shutter open for 2 minutes and 30 seconds using Kodachrome 64. I tried several time exposures as it was all guesswork and this was the best outcome. The light and color of the sky is a result of the long exposure. There is no light inside the cenograph, so after I opened the shutter, I trotted down, and while continuously moving so I didn't leave a shadow, I fired a hand held flash unit set for the correct distance repeatedly around the arch and on the stone in the center behind the flowers.

When the roll of film was complete, I had to send it off and wait for the results.

I have never taken another image with a set-up that complex. It was a one off project born out of my frustration at my inability to get a unique picture in the park.

Dad Joke XXXVI

If I could be any superhero I would be Aluminum Man so I could foil crime. 

The Great Sorting

Peter posts about how Blue States are getting increasingly uncomfortable for folks of conservative mindset and recommends getting the heck out of Dodge:

As I've said before, if you find yourself trapped in such a "blue state", or in a blue enclave within a "red state", it's long gone time you started looking for a way out of there. You may lose money by moving, but you'll at least retain at least some degree of the freedom for which our founding fathers fought . . . not to mention your self-respect. Freedom begins locally, with citizens and their local government controlling their own affairs. From there, we can move upward and outward to take back levels of government that have been infiltrated by the progressive enemies of freedom - but it all starts locally.

 The Queen Of The World and I did exactly that last year.  Even though we lived in what I used to call "The United States of America portion of Maryland" it was still Maryland.  We planned our exit for about a year and yes, we had to pay for the move ourselves.  For us, it's been worth it - there's no State income tax, so in 4 or 5 more months we'll get to break-even on the moving costs, and you get a lot more house for your money down here.

And the air smells of freedom here.  And Peter is exactly right - freedom begins locally and people here (mostly) mind their own business.  Nobody cares if you have a Trump sign (heck, or a Biden one) in your yard - which absolutely would not have been the case up in Maryland.

We also had family reasons to move here - we're 15 minutes from grandkids which is nice.  I could see this as a big reason NOT to move if your family was all in a Blue State.  It worked out for us but won't for everybody.

Long term, there will be a LOT of this kind of sorting.  I think it's the prelude to the great national divorce that this Republic is headed for.  The Red areas will get redder and the Blue areas bluer until there's really not much common ground between them.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Kodachrome Nostalgia II

 To answer Libertyman: 

I scanned them myself. I bought an Epson V600 scanner that did flat bed images and slides. I chose the Epson because of the software package and the quality of the scanned images. I did not keep the paper images or slides when I finished. That was a hard choice, but having made it all digital, I knew after I pass, no one will care about the paper and the slides were starting to degrade anyway.

The first part was just sorting through everything and deciding what to keep. With early family photos, I kept most of them. I borrowed all my mother's albums and pictures. Some I had to scan through the glass in the frame, it would have destroyed them to try to get out.

 For my own pictures, I set some guidelines. The picture had to stand on it's own, no too dark, too light, blurry, or boring pictures made the cut. That took care of 80% of them, roughly.

Then there was weeks of time scanning. I would set up for slides, for example, preset all the settings including the folder the scans were dumped into, and then I could do something else on the other screen, just every time it finished four of them, I would push them out, put in four more, and hit the button. Call it semi-auto scanning.

Opening each one, editing it, and deciding what folder in the finished drive they belonged in was the next step. Most of the folder structure is family structured. For example, my parent's folder has them and inside that is a folder called children. My sisters and I get our own top level folder when we married/moved out, our children are in that. My folder is more complex, but it is built from my viewpoint. It has sub-folders for events, topics like camping or the Marines, etc.

There are some text documents in some folders explaining things for any future viewers. That part of the task is unfinished. I am still adding images occasionally as I either take or receive some that fit in.

 The resolution I used is about the resolution of the film. If I had gone any higher it would have slowed the scanning process, created bigger files, and not provided any better image quality.

The current folder is 6,600 images, 20 gigabytes.

I started this in 2015. When my son died, I shoved it all on a shelf for a couple of years. I picked back up in 2017. It wasn't as much fun, but I knew I wanted to complete it. 

One of the joys of it was looking at every single picture one more time. Evaluation was part of it, but seeing them and remembering some surprising details of the days I had mostly forgotten. No one will ever look at all of them in such detail again. 

I did not do it for posterity or for the family or because I thought anyone cared very much about them. I did it like a hobby, because it was meaningful to me, because I wanted to.

The surprising thing has been the slide shows I can pull together. I made one for my Dad's funeral last month. Because they were all scanned and catalogued, it went together quickly and it was very well received. 

There are copies in several family members possession. It would be hard for all of them to be lost. 

Here's one of the earliest. It was taken in England before this family came to the United States. All nine of the children lived to adulthood. The father lived into his 80s, and on his 80th birthday in 1907, someone wrote a history of  the family. I have that scanned as well. The young woman in the back center with the bow in her hair is my great-great-grandmother.




Dad Joke XXXV

What do you call a rock climbing band of pirates?

The Pirates of the Carabiners. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Kodachrome Nostalgia I

 Here's a few of my photos from Japan. We'll start there. All of these were taken in 1981 or 1983. I was learning, but trying hard not to be just taking snapshots. They capture moments in time, I remember where they were taken, although the f-stops and shutter speed are gone from memory.










Saturday, February 20, 2021

Southwest Florida Blogshoot - Saturday 27 February

We are a go for the February Southwest Florida Blogshoot a week from today.  The weather looks like it will continue "National Hate Florida Week" for another 7 days:

We have the range that we tried for last time - the one with a  25 yard pistol range and a 200 yard rifle range.  Miguel is going to sight in some rifles, so we can probably do a sighting in clinic.  I just sighted one in a couple months back and so have some reasonably fresh experience.

Florida's own Divemedic has graciously offered to give a "First Aid for the Shooting Range" overview.  And there's a surprise that Miguel is working on that's still under wraps, but should be really fun.  And The Queen Of The World is catering (again).  'Nuff said.

Many thanks to the three RSOs who have said that they'll help out.

Please leave a comment to confirm that you are planning to come on the 27th so we will have a final headcount.  Also, check back tomorrow for the form you will need to download and fill out (ah, where would we be without paperwork?).

The Venue:

When: Saturday, February 27 at 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM.

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club1805 Logue Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251

Facilities:  Some of our readers are bringing their betters halves (as am I) and the fairer sex will be relieved to know that there are proper, civilized facilities in the club house.   

Cost: $20 per person to cover range rental and sundries.

Dad Joke XXXIV

When a cougar gets so old that she needs a hearing aid, she becomes a Def Leopard.

(Hat tip to The Queen Of The World who suggested this one.  Maybe that makes it a Mom Joke ...) 

Friday, February 19, 2021

You don't tug on Superman's cape

You don't spit into the wind.  You don't pull the mask of that old Lone Ranger and you don't f*** around with Miguel

Srlsy, you don't do that.

Dad Joke XXXIII

If I were to wander around Italy, would I be Roman?

(I think this is the most Borepatch dad joke ever.  I have proof.) 

More Nostalgia

 I went to Japan in 1980 for the first time, returning in 1981 and again in 1983. There are lots of great stories that go with those deployments. Some are still classified. Not by the government, but by me. Most of them can now be told.

The second tour, in 1981, I was good friends with a guy nicknamed Rocky. Rocky was an amateur photographer. He was serious about it. Had an Olympus OM-1, several lenses, tripods, and a bag full of accessories.

I was a cyclist. Knowing a lot more going over the second time I managed to get my own bicycle to Japan. 

I bought an OM-1, mostly so I could use Rocky's lenses until I could afford my own and he started to teach me what he knew. I helped him pick out a touring bike and get him outfitted. 

I used that camera and a second OM-1 I bought used, accumulated lenses over time, and photography became a serious hobby. We sharpened our skills with what money we had for film, bicycled as far from the base as we could, took thousands of pictures. I learned how shoot Kodachrome 64. It became my favorite film.

Got to where I didn't need a light meter much. An OM-1 is completely manual, no electronics to operate, you learn by making mistakes. Light, aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, film speed, focus, you are on your own. All of that must be dealt with successfully before you pick a subject.

I brought that camera home and continued. Thousands more pictures of the kids, the family, events, vacations, whatever caught my eye. It was an extra effort to have the camera there, ready, to capture a moment. The ease of use and automation of modern cameras and cell phones wasn't even a dream yet.

The modern cameras arrived. I stuck with the Olympus and film for years. The crossover arrived when the prices dropped for digital and the features and results all surpassed what I was getting with film. The film camera and lenses became an artifact. I gave them away. Kodak quit making Kodachrome. The era ended.

I bought a quality slide scanner and saved the best of them. This picture was taken during that project. It's not lost on me that I took this with a Sony digital camera.


 

 


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Remember nostalgia?

Tam posts about the old, great manual film cameras and acknowledges that their day is long past:

These days when I look at "film cameras for beginners" lists, I see recommendations like the Nikon FM2, Olympus OM-1, or Pentax K1000.

These cameras are all-manual. Unless someone has a grasp of the exposure triangle...shutter speed, aperture, ISO (light sensitivity of the film/sensor)...they are going to be burning film trying to learn it.

Le sigh.  Whenever anyone brings up the Pentax K1000 I go from zero to sixty on the nostalgia dial in 4.2 seconds.  I loved my K1000.  I took good pictures with it, like this from Ostia Antica, the old port city of Rome.  There was a temple of Mithra there, and it looks exactly like this:

OK, confession time: I did a little enhancement on the scanned photo using The Gimp, a Photoshop equivalent (click through for the photo before modification).  But in a sense this proves Tam's point that you will burn a lot of film to learn the camera (and you'd still need a better light meter than the built in one) and you'd need to know how to triangulate light readings from different parts of where you're going to shoot.  I didn't in 1990 when I took that picture.

But man, I loved that camera.  And I did take a great pic of Florence at night from the hill across the river.  I used Kodachrome slide film because you could blow it up without getting grainy.  That photo hung in my living room for a long time.  After all, it ain't bragging if you can do it.

But it's weird to find me in the same boat as today's hipsters - I really liked the dials, and after a few years of shooting (and developing) lots of rolls of film I got better.  Once I added a Takumar zoom lens I could get lots of pictures framed properly and then set exposure and depth of field separately.  I even got pretty good "snapshots" like this one of a 4 year old #1 Son in a little village on the Moselle river in Germany, somewhere in 1997.  I had to set up the shot while he was looking away and then I called his name:


But by then we were already in the era of digital cameras - my next trip to Rome didn't see me dragging along the Pentax; rather it was a Fujifilm digital.  Now my iPhone takes basically all my snapshots and there's no film or developing cost.

But something is gained, and something is lost.  Like I said, le sigh.  I sure loved that Pentax, in a way I've never loved a camera since.

Dad Joke XXXII

I just finished a book on Stockholm Syndrome.  It was awful at first but by the end I really loved it.

(Analogies to the GOP's relationship with the Media sort of write themselves, don't they?) 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Music of My Youth VIII -- Gimme Shelter

 The Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter. I used the video that includes the lyrics because they explain why this was one of the anthems of the Vietnam War. This songs rocks. It also brings back memories of the those years.

 

Update: From the comments. Kurt suggests that Grand Funk Railroad did a better version. Here it is. 

Dad Joke XXXI

What do you call an owl that does magic tricks?

Hoodini. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Laissez les bons temps rouler*

Happy Fat Tuesday to all our readers.

* Offer void in Democratic controlled locations, like New Orleans.

Dad Joke XXX

(Note, the three Xs in the title are Roman numerals.  Also note that this joke is funny in a Ha Ha Only Serious way ...)

Lately people have been making apocalypse jokes like there's no tomorrow.

Music of My Youth VII

Instantly recognizable. Perfect when pouring out of speakers mounted in in the back deck of a late 1960s offering from Detroit.

Damn

We got another 24" of sunshine yesterday.


Remember, this is National "Hate Florida" Week ...

UPDATE 16 February 2021 10:18: Just a reminder that I've done my time, too.  This was five years ago:



Monday, February 15, 2021

Dad Joke XXIX

Dad: "What is a pirate's favorite letter?"

Daughter: "Arrrrrr!"

Dad: "No.  It's the Sea." 

President's Day - Best and Worst Presidents

I've posted this each President's Day for ten years but have found no reason to adjust the rankings.

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

Top Five:

#5: Calvin Coolidge

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

#4. Thomas Jefferson.

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

#3. Grover Cleveland. 

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

#2. Ronald Reagan

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

#1. George Washington

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

Bottom Five:

#5. John Adams.

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

#4. Woodrow Wilson.

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

#3 Lyndon Johnson.

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

#2. Franklin Roosevelt.

America's Mussolini - ruling extra-Constitutionally fixing wages and prices, packing the Supreme Court, and transforming the country into a bunch of takers who would sell their votes for a trifle.  He also rounded up a bunch of Americans and sent them to Concentration Camps.  But they were nice Concentration Camps - at least we're told that by his admirers.  At least Mussolini met an honorable end.


#1. Abraham Lincoln.

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

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

Sunday, February 14, 2021

It's National "Hate Florida" Week


 Damn, it's cold everywhere but here.  That red colored little bit?  Yeah, that's where Borepatch Lenai is.

Dad Joke XXVIII

"Dad, I have a date for Valentine's Day!"

"Yeah, I know - it's February 14."

Tchaikovsky - Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet

This is arguably the most famous romantic music ever written and since this is the Feast of St. Valentine here's something to share with your sweetheart.  Relax, even if she's not a classical music aficionado , she knows this.  You do too.  I mean, it's been in literally everything, from Sesame Street to Wayne's World.

What's surprising is that Tchaikowsky's masterpiece was initially poorly received and he had to re-write it.  But the effort was worth it - this really made his reputation and as I said, this is the most famous piece of romantic classical music ever written.

If you want to cheat, skip ahead to around 8:50.  You should find yourself humming right along.


And now for a confession: I had searched for this for literally years, but to my shame didn't know who the composer was and didn't think about Tchaikovsky.  I mentioned this to The Queen Of The World and she found it in literally 5 minutes.  She's not just a pretty face, she's wicked smart.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Endorsed

Peter finds an ammunition manufacturer who won't sell to people who voted for Joe Biden.  Awesome.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Music of My Youth VI

Long Cool Woman in a Black Black Dress. This is what I think of when someone mentions The Hollies. Always one that makes me reach for the volume knob.

Dad Joke XXVII

What do Winnie the Pooh, Alexander the Great, and Ivan the Terrible have in common?

They all have the same middle name. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

On Governmental legitimacy

Here is a nifty summation of the subject from the late and very lamented Counting Cats in Zanzibar.  This is from 5 years ago but is newly fresh once again:

In this sense, the old Marxist Tony Benn had it about right when he raised the matter of the democratic deficit in the [European Union] during the European Parliamentary Elections Bill of the 5 questions that should be asked of anyone who sought to wield power.
  • What power do you have?
  • Where did you get it?
  • In whose interests do you exercise it?
  • To whom are you accountable?
  • How can we get rid of you?
Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.
The fact of the matter is that despite the appearance of democracy in the form of the European Parliament, power within the EU does not reside with anyone who was directly elected by the people and consequently the people cannot “Throw the bums out”

 With a plurality (and very close to a majority) of Americans thinking that the last election was (ahem) fishy, we can replace the term "EU" with "Congress".  And that ignores the 95% reelection rate that the House of Representatives has enjoyed for decades.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

A comment on the (second) impeachment

Offered without comment because none is needed.

 


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Ees Internet. Ees not safe

ASM826 pointed out that a town's water purification system was connected to the Internet, to make it easier to manage.  Hilarity ensued.

It is very easy to do that in this day and age, and so we can expect that for most things remote access will not be set up by IT professionals but rather by people who spell "security" with a k.  People seem to think that it's a big Internet, and what are the chances that someone will find their little device on it?  Well, the chances are pretty damn good:

Use Shodan to discover which of your devices are connected to the Internet, where they are located and who is using them.

Websites are just one part of the Internet. There are power plants, Smart TVs, refrigerators and much more that can be found with Shodan!

I've posted before about Shodan.  If something is connected to the 'net, Shodan finds it and you can browse their database. This is child's play - you can sign up for a free Shodan account and see for yourself.  The problem is that most people can't set things up to protect themselves.  As I wrote:

So what do you do?  One thing is simply not to get any of this sort of thing.  No Internet-connected webcams, security systems, light bulbs, refrigerators, TVs, etc.  Some of these products are frivolous, like Philips' Internet controllable light bulbs that change color via command from your iPhone app.

But others are not.  The Queen Of The World likes her Netflix and Amazon Fire TV, and we have a new TV that will give her than.  What's the risk?  I guess I need to figure that out.  What I'm thinking is to block outbound traffic at the Internet router.  Probably to do this I will need to build a box to put in front of that, with appropriate tools and logging.

That takes a pretty high skill set, and a lot of time.

It's a pain in the butt but I could set up a home firewall and put all the stupid Internet Of Things nonsense (like Netflix TVs and the like) on a separate WiFi that is essentially a DMZ.  At least that will keep Bad Guys from getting into the rest of the house network.  And I can have the firewall block any device I haven't explicitly enabled.

But what a pain in the tail end.  And not a lot of folks have a skill set like this.  While I am not a lawyer, it sure seems like IoT security is creating an "attractive nuisance".

Monday, February 8, 2021

Connected to the Internet

 A lot of things are connected to the internet. It makes remote troubleshooting and maintenance possible. It also represents a security hole that can be patched and monitored, but never completely closed.

An unknown hacker entered the computer system that controls the water treatment plant in Oldsmar, Florida and raised the sodium hydroxide (lye) level from 100 ppm to 11,100 ppm. An operator on duty noticed the change and restored the correct setting. The FBI and the Secret Service are investigating. The system no longer has remote accessibility.

There are three priorities in computer systems and servers. They can conflict. 

1. Accessibility: The people that need access to the information and programs to perform their jobs need to be able to connect, access, and run programs with a minimum of difficulty. This is usually where admins are focused because when the analyst or the doctor can't get to what they want RIGHTNOWDAMMIT, the I.T. tech's boss get a call from his boss and things always roll downhill.

2. Redundancy: How is the data backed up? Where is the data backed up? How frequently is the data backed up? In the event of a failure, how do you restore the data? Have you real world tested it by doing a restore? Is there a second copy stored off site in real time?

3. Security: How hard is it to get into the system? How are users managed? How is access managed? What sort of firewalls are in place? What sort of intrusion detection? What sort of change tracking system? Is it automated? How often is there a full security review? (There's more questions, but if you can answer these, you're doing pretty good.)

It would not surprise me to find out that the person who did this either works for the city or is close to someone who is. The weak link in system security is the users.





Dad Joke XXVI

What did the mountain climber name his son?

Cliff.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Three comments on the Superbowl

1. There is no question whether Tom Brady is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT).  The biggest loser tonight is not Kansas City, it's the New England Patriots organization.  They worked hard to get rid of the GOAT.  Heads need to roll. 

2. How is Tom Brady like Donald Trump?  The are both going to sleep with supermodels tonight. 

3. I don't need another National Anthem.  I don't think I will ever watch another NFL game.  I've posted about the commercials in the past; all y'all are on your own now.

Here's what I don't understand about the Superbowl

What I don't understand #1:

Black National Anthem at the Superbowl.  I don't get it: did the Tuskegee Airmen who flew escort duty against Hitler's Super Race not have a national anthem?

What I don't understand #2:

Who took a knee for the Black National Anthem at the Superbowl?  It doesn't look like anyone kneeled down.  It's like those Tuskegee Airmen who flew escort duty against Hitler's Super Race did not have a national anthem.

Gosh, it's almost like someone wants to divide America or something.

UPDATE 7 February 2021 20:38: What I don't understand #3:

So when the Black National Anthem gets played, do we need to stand up, take our hats off, and put our hand over our hearts?  What about the Native American National Anthem?  Asking for a friend.


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Music of My Youth V

Aesop said in the comments that my last song selection reminded him of "watching a scorching hot chick rock out to it, with the volume at 11, in her car sitting next to mine in the parking lot before morning classes at State U. And, hand to God, she was sitting in a totally cherry '70 Plymouth Barracuda."

Music should do that. It should take to you a time and place. This one transports me.

Update: Here's the lyrics.

"(Don't Fear) The Reaper"

All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain... we can be like they are
Come on baby... don't fear the reaper
Baby take my hand... don't fear the reaper
We'll be able to fly... don't fear the reaper
Baby I'm your man...

La la la la la
La la la la la

Valentine is done
Here but now they're gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity... Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday... Like Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday... Redefine happiness
Another 40,000 coming everyday... We can be like they are
Come on baby... don't fear the reaper
Baby take my hand... don't fear the reaper
We'll be able to fly... don't fear the reaper
Baby I'm your man...

La la la la la
La la la la la

Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew and then disappeared
The curtains flew and then he appeared... saying don't be afraid
Come on baby... and she had no fear
And she ran to him... then they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodbye... she had become like they are
She had taken his hand... she had become like they are
Come on baby... don't fear the reaper

Movies XV - The Bourne Ultimatum

I missed the Dad Joke for today so this joke is a twofer:

The CIA has three candidates, two men and a woman, for one assassin position.  On the final day of testing, the CIA proctor leads the first male candidate to a large steel door and hands him a gun.
"We must know that you will follow our instructions, regardless of the circumstances," he explains. "Inside this room, you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill her."
The man is horrified, "You can't be serious! I could never shoot my wife!" "Well," says the proctor, "you're definitely not the right man for this job then."
The CIA proctor leads the second male candidate to another large steel door and hands him a gun. "We must know that you will follow instructions, no matter what the circumstances," the proctor explains. "Inside this room, you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill her." The second man steadies himself, takes the gun and enters the room.
After three quiet minutes, the man exits the room with tears in his eyes. "I wanted to do it I just couldn't pull the trigger and shoot my wife. I guess I'm not the right man for the job."
Finally, the CIA proctor leads the female candidate to yet another large steel door and hands her a gun. "We must be sure that you will follow instructions, no matter what the circumstances. Inside this room, you will find your husband sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill him." The woman takes the gun, enters the room, and before the door even closes completely behind her, she's fired off six shots. Then all hell breaks loose behind the door cursing, screaming, crashing.
Suddenly, all goes quiet.
The door opens slowly, the woman exits, and wiping the sweat from her brow, she says, "Did you guys know the gun was loaded with blanks? I had to beat the son of a bitch to death with the chair!"

Take this joke and wrap it with the current political situation in this country, and then spice with a generous portion of American suspicion of government, and you have the 2007 film highlighted here.  Ignore the CIA-Superkiller-Agent thing; this film is packed with government secret agency gone bad vibe.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Dad joke XXV

What did the drummer name his three daughters?

Anna 1, Anna 2, Anna 1 2 3 4 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Biden's Space Policy Grounds Elon Musk

 Not only is the U.S. not launching manned rockets, they don't want any private companies to, either.

 Ayn Rand would have understood.

Dad Joke XXIV

What do you call a lazy baby kangaroo?

A pouch potato. 

Southwest Florida blogshoot update

Some of the attendees at the last blogshoot are or were medic/EMTs.  Is anyone interested in giving a short (15 - 30 minute) talk on gun range first aid?  The RSOs will keep this range safe but having an overview of what to do if something goes wrong somewhere else might be pretty useful knowledge.  

Shoot me an email if you have the background and are interested.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Fighting back against the H.R.127 Gun Control bill

The bill is a nightmare.  So this is an opportunity for us.  We all know a bunch of people who aren't really hard core left or right, people who live in the vast squishy middle.  The Democrats presented Joe Biden to these people as "a return to normalcy".  OK, let's hold them to this.

I posted this two years ago, but am rolling it out for our discussion with these folks in the squishy middle.  Here are some suggested tag lines to hit them with:

Is it fair to tax someone $2000 on a $1000 rifle he bought years ago?  Why?

What will this tax do to poor people?  What will it do to poor minorities in bad neighborhoods who have watched the murder rate go up by 30% last year?

What problem do you think Congress is trying to solve with this bill, because it looks like it will disarm (especially) poor minorities?  Is it worth it?

Basically, force them to grapple with the question is it dumb or is it evil? 

Remember, we all interact with lots of people, especially on social media.  This is a perfect opportunity to make these people look at the ugliness of what the Democrats are proposing.  Make them own it.

(originally posted March 2, 2018)

A Gun Rights Mind Virus

You meet different sorts of people who advocate for gun control.  Some of them are hard core control freaks who just want to crush flyover country, but if you're like me you don't run across them very often.  Mostly you run across people who aren't shooters or gun owners, who haven't thought about the issue very much, but who are disturbed about the constant media drumbeat about shootings and who just want to "do something".

We need these people on our side, or at least standing on the sidelines.  How do we separate them from the gun control pack.

My last post was how I approach this: I'm not opposed to gun control, I'm opposed to stupid and useless gun control.  This is a mind virus that I'm trying to infect them with.  I want to sow seeds of doubt in their minds to get them out of the gun controller's camp and onto the sidelines.  Hopefully (if the virus really takes) it will begin the process where they actually start to think about things and they may even end up on our side.

It's a battle for the (very large) middle ground.  In the long run, we're not viable without it.

My experience has been pretty good with this.  Most of these folks are decent people.  They want to be fair, and they know that they don't know much about this topic.  My mind virus is a challenge to them - is what you're proposing dumb?  Will it work?  Is it fair?  Nobody wants to be dumb, or unfair.

This is especially true with the sentence that has had more impact than any other I've used with folks like this.  When they say (and they will say it) "But we have to do something", I reply:
Do you want to do something stupid and useless?  That doesn't sound right.
Quite frankly, our choice is to build bunkers or to convince the middle.  Building bunkers makes us look like the dumb (and dangerous) ones.

Yes, the people at the heart of the gun control battle are, well, evil.  No getting past that.  But we don't win without the vast middle.  We don't win by starting from "Gun controllers are evil" (they are wishy-washy gun controllers after all).  We don't win from "Molon late, bitches!" (this seems to make people nervous.

We win from a mind virus that starts to get them to ask themselves the right questions.  Truth is on our side; we can lead others to truth if we want.

UPDATE 3 February 2021 21:45: Every single comment to date has been basically "Muh Second Amendment!!11!!!eleventy!!"  These entirely miss the point of my post.

The point of this post is not to try to establish a framework for our rights (note: rights that I not only agree with but which I have supported for the entire life of this blog).  If you don't realize this, then read the literally hundreds of posts at that link.

If you do realize this, then please don't post any comments that boil down to "Muh Second Amendment!!11!!!eleventy!!"

The point of this post is this from the text of the damn post: 

Basically, force them to grapple with the question is it dumb or is it evil? 

"Them" is your neighbors, acquaintances, and family.  Challenge them - your neighbors, acquaintances, and family - with this exact question.  If you won't do this and want to post about "Muh Second Amendment!!11!!!eleventy!!" then (as Aesop likes to say) you're not tall enough for this ride.

Dang it, this has made me cross.  I normally only delete comments that are spam, but if you don't read for content here and post some more "But muh Second Amendment!!11!!!eleventy!!" I will delete your comment without mercy.  Cathreda mea, regulae meae.  And if you need help on that translation, you really aren't tall enough for this ride.

UPDATE 3 February 2021 22:27: The Queen Of The World points out to me that I should have been more explicit that this was an assignment to all y'all.  This is what you should challenge your friends, neighbors, and family with to force them to confront the evil at the heart of the Democratic proposals.

She points out (correctly) that all of us here are basically of the same belief.  She also points out (correctly) that this point is suggesting how to effectively communicate with those people who are not of this same belief but who are undecided and who believe in fairness.  This may open their eyes.

Dad Joke XXIII

 What do you call a bear with no teeth?



A gummy bear.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

SkyNet

 This just seems disturbing.


Monday, February 1, 2021

Words of wisdom from a wiser past

Pretty much every word here is a rebuke to social media hatemongering and what passes as "States craft" in this degraded age.


 

Dad Joke XXII

What is the sleepiest fruit?

Napricot. 

Tech You Can Use To Rat Yourself Out

 Last time we visited this topic, it was exploring tech that will report on you. This post should seem more obvious. You can use tech to report yourself. Our example, unsurprisingly, comes from YouTube.

Rushdan Abdallah lives in southern California and was into fast cars. He was also into YouTube, posting videos of cars, car mods, driving fast, and street racing. He was good at it and has 220,000 subscribers with most of his videos garnering around 50,000 views.

In this video, a first test drive of a supercharged Mustang, you can see him casually hit 100 mph. The link takes you right to it, and the camera shows you the speedometer. In this one he's street racing on an interstate with a random stranger.

There's lots more. He was friends with a couple of other YouTubers and they met to race on interstates and record content for their channels. Since street racing is a criminal activity, that planning constitutes conspiracy and brings a felony charge on top of the traffic violations. Did I mention they were recording this and posting it on YouTube? 

Making the job of the District Attorney extremely easy. Sit at a desk, drink coffee, and watch YouTube. Here's parts of the newspaper report.

"Police had recently arrived at his Lake Forest residence with a search warrant.

"They just showed up one morning, knocked on the door and towed both cars away," Abdallah said. Two fellow YouTubers also had their homes raided by police, he said.

"I'm in tears. I haven't had my cars for over 100 days, and that's insane to think about," he said, adding, "I love my channel, I love my cars, and I love sharing the videos with you."

The criminal investigation into Abdallah became clearer last week when the Irvine Police Department arrested the 26-year-old and four others and charged them with conspiracy to participate in illegal street races across Orange County.

Prosecutors say the men have held races through Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest and Foothill Ranch, predominantly on the 241 and 261 tollways — racing at speeds up to 160 miles per hour.

The district attorney's office said Abdallah's alleged participation in the illegal street racing occurred while he was already out on bail on charges that he evaded police during a November 2019 pursuit.

If convicted of the six felonies and 12 misdemeanor counts against him, he faces more than eight years in prison.

Waseeq, Lachin and Rodriguez were each charged with two felony conspiracy charges in connection with the street races as well as additional misdemeanors alleging reckless driving and abetting a street race. If convicted, each faces up to three years and eight months in prison.

Stuart, who was charged with one felony count of conspiracy to engage in a speeding contest and two misdemeanor counts, faces up to three years in prison."

And here's his video talking about why he's not posting new racing and car videos.