Wednesday, April 27, 2022


Tam says that New Jovian Thunderbolt has died

Supersonic Rocket Ship

One of the nice things about being in Florida is that we can go watch a rocket launch.  There are a bunch of them - you can see the lineup at Space Launch Schedule.  SpaceX is launching another few dozen Starlink satellites on Friday so The Queen Of The World, Wolfgang, and I are off to Titusville to watch.

Maybe I'll play this while the Falcon 9 goes up:

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


Do they allow loud laughing in Hawaii, or is it just a-low-ha?

Monday, April 25, 2022


My High School english teacher said I would never be any good at poetry because I'm dyslexic.

What did she know?  I've already made four plates, three vases, and a jug!

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Man, a lot of people sure hate Ron DeSantis

He's making the right enemies.  He has cleverly aligned himself with 80% of the voters in his battles against Covid lockdowns, pedophile teachers, and now Disney.  He had and has massive support in all of these.

It helps that he comes across as trying to protect children in each of these areas.  It also helps that his opponents are just so creepy and weird.  Both of those things will help him with the Minivan Mom voter demographic.

The Democratic Party has been intellectually out of gas for a long time now.  They've basically defined themselves by what they are not - not George W. Bush, not Donald Trump - rather than what they are.  They've had a lot of success doing this over the last 20 years.

But DeSantis is now shining the spotlight on what they are, like being the party that wants to teach weird sex fetishes to kindergartners.  This is exposing just how, well, weird the party is.  So weird that people don't want to be associated with it.

I guess we'll see how this plays out, but until the Democrats stop coming up with more creepy nonsense aimed at kittle kids, I expect that DeSantis will keep doing what he's been doing.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Castles in the sand

We went to Clearwater Beach yesterday for the Sugar Sand Sculptures.  Florida's west coast has beaches of "Sugar Sand" - very fine, white sand that has the consistency of sugar.  Clearwater has a festival for sand sculptures each year.  Of course there were sand castles:

It's Florida so there are gators:

I liked this one.  The baby frog is climbing all over his long suffering mom.

The weather is perfect now.  It will be hot and miserable soon enough, but not today.  So now, it's off to the shooting range.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022


What do you call a laughing motorcycle?

A Yamahahaha.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Computer trouble

My computer is not well, so posting is being sporadic.

And yes, I have a backup - and a backup for the backup.  I haven't lost any data, just a computer. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

What's your prepping strategy?

Big Country has an excellent post about inflation and how it is making food much more expensive.  He makes a really important point:

If you haven't started building a baseline food supply, you a dumb motherfucker.

Peter adds some important thoughts and tips, and concludes:

The more I read about food shortages and rising prices, the more serious I get about our backup food supplies. I hope you're doing the same. They're like a fire extinguisher, or a parachute, or a gun. You may never need one; but if you ever do, at that point it'll probably be far too late to go out and buy one.

The only thing I would add is that you need to know your goals.  Do you want to ride out a hurricane or tornado?  Do you want to ride out a 3 week series of blackout/brownout?  Do you want to ride out a solar flare that takes the power grid down for 6 months?  Do you want to ride out the collapse of Western Civilization?

Each of these has a very different time horizon.

The Queen Of The World and I have our own goals (not saying what; OPSEC is a virtue), but we've picked ONE of the choices above.  I think we're pretty well prepared for that, although water storage/purification is something that I think most people - and maybe us - skimp on.

But this is probably something you should think on.  Being prepared is a Very Good Thing Indeed but you really, really need to know the answer to the question: Prepared for what?

But you should really go real both Big Country's and Peter's posts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is

That old advice from your parents is good advice in a world of spam.  Here's an example that came in via text message:

Here are a couple of obvious tells here: there's a giveaway for some sort of valuable thing (a TV in this case), and there's also strange use of language ("pending the outstanding tax has been paid").  Weird language is a sign that something is not right, or that the sender is a non-native English speaker.  Both of these together is almost always a sign that someone is trying to attack you.  The link takes you to a web page that tries to load malware on your phone or computer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Seen oot and aboot

The Costco parking lot got a pretty sweet visitor.

It looks like a Willys MD, otherwise known as the M38A1 Truck, although repainted in Florida beachy colors.  If I'm right on the model it would be from the mid 1950s.

Justified use of force

Brother Dwight emails to point out this example of how there's one set of rules for us, and a different one for those in Police uniform:

Two Buffalo police officers who shoved a 75-year-old man to the ground during a protest in 2020 have been cleared by an arbitrator, who said the use of force was “absolutely legitimate” because the man, who was hospitalized with a head injury, was “not an innocent bystander.”

Non-paywalled article here.

So it's an example of a justified use of force, at least for the police.  My reply to him was overly snarky, that if it had been at a Black Lives Matter protest the city would have burned to the ground.  I should have read the article first.  It was at a BLM protest, and the city didn't burn.

Now a few points:

1. This was a Police Department administrative hearing.  The cops got off in the same way that cops who shoot homeowner's dogs, or do no-knock raids on the wrong house, or throw flash-bang grenades into baby cribs get off.  The Blue Wall of Silence, and all that.

2. The man is going to sue the police department, and the city will almost certainly settle out of court.  The taxpayers will lose but the cops will be fine.

3. If you or I roughed up a 75 year old man, we'd be looking at multiple felony charges.  Know your place, peasant.

4. I'd be a lot more supportive of the police if they cleaned up the bad cops.  Everyone knows who those are, but the Blue Wall of Silence tars the good cops with the bad.  This is probably the biggest tragedy of the whole situation.

5. The Queen Of The World disagrees with me on this, and thinks that the cops are being railroaded by a biased media.  She thinks the guy was screaming into their faces and they pushed him back rather than cuffing him, and he tripped when he fell back.  I'm less certain here, and would be more sympathetic to them if there were not a different set of rules for us (#3 above) and covering for bad cops (#4 above).

Oh, and you do read Dwight every day, don't you?  He's your go-to guy for obituaries and which coach just got fired.  

UPDATE 12 April 2022 19:37:  Dwight is going to post Gilbert Gottfried's obit tomorrow.

Monday, April 11, 2022

About "Ghost Guns"

I'm struggling to understand what the Administration is trying to accomplish (other than a Press Conference).  If they ban 80% lowers, people will just 3D print them.  Heck, I've been posting about this for almost a decade, and the technology is way more advanced now.  What are they going to do, criminalize 3D printers?

It seems that it's all a tale told by and for idiots, full of sound and fury but ultimately signifying nothing. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Miklós Rózsa - "Parade Of The Charioteers" from Ben Hur

People's taste in films changes over time.  Look at Ben Hur: eleven Academy Awards, an initial release Box Office of almost $150M (in 1959 dollars; that's over $1.4B in today's money), first TV airing was watched by 85 Million.  It used to be shown on TV every year around the Easter season.

Today, you have to search to find it.

Since today is Palm Sunday, I'm doing the work for you.  Here is Miklós Rózsa's Oscar-winning music which is actually very appropriate for the celebration of Palm Sunday.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Epitaph for a dog

Murphy's Law has lost his German Shepherd, Memphis Belle.  He has a touching send off over at this place.

Blogger seems wedged, and so isn't letting me leave a comment over there so I'll put it up here.  Lord Byron's epitaph for his beloved Newfoundland, Bos'un, is justly famous and sums up our four footed friends better than any I've seen.  It seems Miss Belle's due.

Near this spot rest the remains of one who possessed
Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity
and all Man's virtues with none of his vices

He's had her nearly as long as I've had Wolfgang.  Alas, neither Time nor Tide wait for any man (or dog), and Wolfgang is showing signs of age as he approaches his tenth birthday next month.  Hail and farewell, Miss Belle.  If you don't mind I'd like to keep you waiting for Wolfgang a little while longer.

UPDATE 8 APRIL 2022 17:35:  Murphy, maybe she's collecting Mardi Gras beads with Oliver.  It seems that even Sandra Bullock gave him (Oliver, not Murphy) beads, which is insanely cool.  Anyone who never read that story, get you on over there toute suite.


What do you call a pig with three eyes? 

A piiig.

Florida leads the way again

I ranted about the Covid lockdowns, back in October of 2020:

So what does it take to make sure a death is not reported as from COVID?

When the death is caused not by the virus, but by the government's reaction to the virus.  COVID didn’t kill Rita at age 95, despair and loneliness did:

Rita Thomas was a victim of COVID-19, but she never had the disease.

The vivacious and outgoing 95-year-old, who lived independently until last year and celebrated her most recent birthday in February with friends at a Pasco County diner, willed herself to die two weeks ago because she could no longer handle the pandemic-imposed isolation.

“She said to me: ‘Linda. I’ve had a good life. I am ready to die. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I stopped eating,’ ’’ her daughter Linda Gardner said, recalling the conversation she had with her mother in August. Weeks later, her mother was hospitalized for complications from malnutrition.

 Remember, Florida had some of the least restrictive lockdown policies in the nation.  But this steamed me at the time, and it seems that I wasn't the only one as the Florida Legislature has passed a law prohibiting this in the future:

A Florida bill that would require the right to in-person visits at hospitals was sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis from the state legislature on April 5. He signed the bill, the “No Patient Left Alone Act,” on April 6.

Called the “No Patient Left Alone Act,” the bill would require hospitals, nursing facilities, hospices, assisted living facilities and care centers for the developmentally disabled to allow in-person visits.

I'm not sure if the lockdown restrictions were imposed by Florida (probably not), by the CDC (likely), or by someone else.  But it's good to see the Florida Powers That Be recognize just what a Charlie Foxtrot this all was. Better late than never, I guess.

The Queen Of The World and I have not regretted our move here for a microsecond.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

How the Ukraine war propaganda sausage is made


Note that this is published in Germany's Deutsche Welle.  Glad to see some analysis of some of the stories.


Hey Zeusie, I'm home ...

 This kicked over my giggle box.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022


Roman numerals actually can be easier than ours.  For example, algebra is simple when using roman numerals.  I mean, X is always equal to ten. 

The restoration of the Republic

In my sixth and seventh consulships, when I had extinguished the flames of civil war, after receiving by universal consent the absolute control of affairs, I transferred the republic from my own control to the will of the senate and the Roman people. 
- Caesar Augustus, Res Gestae 34

The Res Gestae Divi Augustus was Imperial Roman propaganda, commissioned personally by Augustus to put out his side of the story of his reign.  In it, he declares that he restored the Roman Republic, torn after a century of bloody civil war.  Well, that's how it has been translated by historians.

Except the ancient Romans did not have the idea of a "Republic" as we know it.  Plato famously wrote a book called The Republic, although since he wrote in Greek it was actually called Politeia. Translated into Latin as De Republica, Plato's politeia bears no resemblance to any modern concept of a Republic so we should not be surprised that the Romans didn't really understand notions of bicameral legislatures and all that.

Translations are funny things.  A better translation of politeia might be "the body politick" - this expression was popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  It ran a wide range of options, from individual democracy (as in ancient Athens) to tyranny (rule by a Tyrant, or dictator).  Check your concept of "Republic" at the door.

Likewise with Caesar Augustus, who unsurprisingly did not speak English nor have an Ivy League education.  He used the term res publica, not Republic.  Res publica is notoriously hard to translate because the translations come out clumsy but more accurate, or graceful but less accurate.  It combines government, the economy, public morality, and the happiness of the people.  You see why it is so hard to translate.

So when Augustus restored the res publica, he did not mean at all that he "restored the Roman Republic".  But his propaganda was very much that he restored things to the way they were supposed to be, before all that nasty civil war stuff.

This may be our future.  Our Res Publica is in pretty bad shape, and getting worse.  It very well may take things getting very bad indeed until someone with the right marketing and messaging "restores the American Republic".  What it will look like is anyone's guess, but Augustus' model was an entirely new one that was very carefully draped in the cloak of the Old Ways.

I wrote about this a long time ago: The Fifth American Republic:

If we were going to vote ourselves out of this, we would have done it 60 years ago.  But even then, it wasn't really America.  Moldbug yet again:

By my count, Anglophone North America ex Canada is on its fifth legal regime. The First Republic was the Congressional regime, which illegally abolished the British colonial governments. The Second Republic was the Constitutional regime, which illegally abolished the Articles of Confederation. The Third Republic was the Unionist regime, which illegally abolished the principle of federalism. The Fourth Republic is the New Deal regime, which illegally abolished the principle of limited government.

Of course, all these coups are confirmed by the principle of adverse possession. Otherwise we would find ourselves looking for the rightful heirs of Metacom, or Edward the Confessor, or whoever. Nor is there any automatic reason to treat any of these five regimes as better or worse than any of the others. If, like me, you're tired of the Fourth Republic and would like to see it abolished, all we know about its successor is that it will be the Fifth Republic. It has no need to resemble the Third, the Second or the First. 

We snicker at the French, always rewriting their Constitution.  We gloss over that our Constitution has been a "living document" at least since the time of James Polk.  At least the French had the decency to write their changes down in public.

Archaeologists unearth layers of detritus, reconstructing ancient living patterns from the cast off, scattered rubble.  Similarly, we can observe the layers of parasitic attachment to the Res Publica.  RTWT, all of the links.

And so Obama is a commie, as it Mitt Romney, George Bush major, and Eisenhower.  Non-commies (Sarah Palin [and Donald Trump - Borepatch]) are fiercely excluded from the political Great Game.  What's different is that information flow now is possible outside of the political and intellectual elite.  The perceived legitimacy of this class is now at a historic low.  How will it end?

Who can tell?  But one thing is clear - it cannot continue as it is, with the Elite papering over the cracks with increasingly low caliber drivel.  The Republic waits, expectantly.  Maybe it will just be a higher caliber drivel.

Or maybe it will be Peace.


Monday, April 4, 2022

No go away, or I shall mock you a second time

Alinsky's Rule 5: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.

I mean, I can't even ...



How did the Romans pick a new dictator?  They played a game of rock, paper, Caesars.

(Stolen from The John Wilder

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Stephen Sondheim - A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Musicals used to be popular with the4 general public, and even with film critics.  They used to regularly win the Best Picture Oscar.  This one didn't, although it did win best musical score.


This was Buster Keaton's last film appearance.  He even did his own stunts despite having terminal cancer. 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Johnny and Donnie Van Zant - Sweet Florida

The Van Zant brothers hail from Jacksonville and they like Ron DeSantis a lot.  They wrote this song for him.

Pretty good song, and pretty funny.

Friday, April 1, 2022

April Fools tech humor

Back in the early 90s I was a nerd [pauses to let shocked gasps die down].  There was a couple year period where I read every single one of the Internet specs that were released.  These documents are rather strangely named "Request For Comment" or RFCs.  Since it was my job to know nerdy Internet stuff then, I read 'em all, probably a couple a week back then.

Well every April Fools Day there would be a joke RFC.  There's a pretty good Wikipedia page that lists them.  Here's a recent example: RFC 8565, Hypertext Jeopardy Protocol.  The Abstract reads:

The Hypertext Jeopardy Protocol (HTJP) inverts the request/response semantics of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Using conventional HTTP, one connects to a server, asks a question, and expects a correct answer. Using HTJP, one connects to a server, sends an answer, and expects a correct question. This document specifies the semantics of HTJP.

Pretty funny right there, in a very nerdy way.  But one that I remember from way back in the day was RFC 1149, Standard for the transmission of IP datagrams on Avian Carriers.  Basically it was sending Internet messages by carrier pigeon.  We yuked this up around the coffee mess.

Well, it turns out some nerds actually implemented this - they built a working system that used pigeons:

Finally, rfc 1149 is implemented! On saturday 28th of april 2001, the worlds very first rfc 1149 network was tested. The weather was quite nice, despite being in one of the most rainy places in Norway.

The ping was started approximately at 12:15. We decided to do a 7 1/2 minute interval between the ping packets, that would leave a couple of packets unanswered, given ideal situations. Things didn't happen quite that way, though. It happened that the neighbour had a flock of pigeons flying. Our pigeons didn't want to go home at once, they wanted to fly with the other pigeons instead. And who can blame them, when the sun was finally shining after a couple of days?

But the instincts won at last, and after about an hour of fun, we could see a couple of pigeons breaking out of the flock and heading in the right direction. There was much cheering. Apparantly, it WAS our pigeons, because not long after, we got a report from the other site that the first pigeon was sitting on the roof.

Read the whole glorious thing here.  Linux nerds FTW!

Ammo Deal alert: 1000 9mm for $330

Ratus emails to point out a good deal on 9mm - 33 cents a round.



Reactivating the HMS Belfast

 The British government has announced that the HMS Belfast, a museum ship of WWII, will be reactivated for patrol work.