Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Has WWIII already started?

Very in-depth and thoughtful post at E.M. Smith's place.  The comments are thoughtful, too.

For the life of me, I can't see what compelling interest the USA has in war with Russia.  I can see what the US Military Industrial Complex has with a war like that.  And as they say, "War is the health of the State". 

But I don't see what's in it for us.

UPDATE 31 January 2023 11:18: Chuck Pergiel has a related and very interesting post about who the chief clowns running US foreign policy are.

Update 31 January 2023 15:35 : Link corrected

Monday, January 30, 2023

Memento Mori

An ancient roman toddler walked over a clay tile before the clay had dried.

Bet he got chewed out over that.


Monday Memes

 What, too soon on that last one?

Sunday, January 29, 2023

A note to the NFL

You may think that we've forgotten how you let everyone take a knee during the National Anthem.

 We haven't.  Not watching your dumb sportsball, you un-American jerks.

Frederick Delius - Florida Suite

Today is the birthday of English composer Frederick Delius, who lived in the American South when he was young and picked up a sense of "American Themes: during that time.  If you like Greig or Wagner, you'll like this.

His Florida Suite hearkens back to his days managing an orange plantation in, well, Florida. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Rest in Peace, Gerhard van der Leun

He was a thoughtful and thought provoking man.  Something he wrote triggered a post here once, and he was quite gracious in the comment he left.  Rest in peace and rise in Glory.

Ave atque vale.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Hope for the younger generation

John Wilder has a very thought provoking post.  It's long bit highly, highly recommended.  He ends what would be a depressing post with, well, hope.  Stuff like this:

Amen, John.  Amen.  I have some of that here.

Please, no Black Pill comments.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Thank you, everyone

Thank you everyone who left a comment, or sent an email about Wolfgang.  And a special shout-out to Big Country who called to cheer me up.  As you can imagine I've been fairly wrung out, but thanks, bro.

The Queen Of The World and I are determined not to let him suffer.  He's not at that point yet (thank goodness) and so we're focusing on pain management and quality of life.

But many thanks, everybody. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Wolfgang Chronicles - III

"If you think this is the time, I'll support that decision."

His vet said that today.  Crap.

I took this picture seven years ago today, when we got three feet of snow in Maryland.  He made a trail through the snow for The Queen Of The World, and loved every minute.

Today when the vet said those words, TQOTW cried.  She's not ready for this.  I'm not ready for this.  How could you be?

Wolfgang's back legs get tangled up when he walks.  Sometimes he falls.  It's hard for him to stand up a lot of the time.  But his mind is clear, and he wants to play with his doggie friends.  The other day at the local dog park when one of his friends was chasing a ball, I didn't let him play chase.  He has always loved that.  But I knew it would make him hurt for days.  So I held his collar and didn't let him run.

He cried.  That about killed me.

Today at the vet I realized that it's not that we won't have him for years (heck, y'all might not have me for that).  But we might not have him for months, or maybe weeks.

I'm not ready for this.  I know what's coming, and what's approaching.  We won't let him suffer.  But this is too soon, too soon, too damn soon.

"If you think this is the time, I'll support that decision."

Font Follow-up


Go for a stroll underneath a battleship

Dwight visits the dry-docked USS Texas.  He also buys a souvenir bit of USS Texas steel.  Somewhere, #2 Son has some souvenir deck teak from the USS North Carolina.

Rest In Peace, CWO John Torr

I hadn't known that he came back from Vietnam with a Bronze Star.  

The service reminded me of Dad's, and made me think of the Honor Guard in Santa Fe.  Unlike at my Father-in-Law's burial in Arlington, the Honor Guard yesterday didn't need to be asked to police up the brass to give to the family.  They were very thoughtful, performing a hard duty.  I wrote this after Dad's service, and thought about it a lot yesterday.

Honor Guard

The Veteran's Cemetery in Santa Fe is beautiful, with well-kept grounds and a spectacular view of the mountains.  The Veterans' Affairs staff there is helpful beyond belief.  But most impressive of all was the Honor Guard.

This must be a tough duty, spending all day, every day welcoming home fallen veterans.  It must take a special sort of personality to be continually surrounded by grieving families, and to take that grief as an inspiration to perfect the ceremony.  The respect they showed - especially to Mom - was very moving.

It's strange, but after months leading up to Dad's death, and three weeks now to process the emotions, that I wasn't ready for the emotions that washed over me when the guard slow-saluted Mom, and then knelt down to present her the flag.
This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service.

The Honor Guard has a hard duty, and one that may seem unimportant.  After all, it's just one more old man leaving his grieving family behind.  The kindness and respect they devoted speaks volumes of them, and the Republic.
This is the final test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.
- William Lyon Phelps

Monday, January 23, 2023

A thought for today

I'm off to the funeral.  This is a meditation for those of us left behind.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

All The Problems Must Be Solved

The U.S. State Department has taken the time to ban the use of the Times New Roman font in all official communication.

Henceforth all communication will be in Calibri. All units have until February 6th, 2023 to be in compliance.

 Here at Borepatch we will be experimenting with fonts until we find one that no one likes.

 Maybe something that looks like cursive? 




Gabriel Fauré - Requiem in D Minor

A friend called a couple days ago to say that his father had died unexpectedly.  The funeral is tomorrow and since it's on Florida's west coast I will be able to be there.  It's a shame that we sometimes don't see people close to us until a funeral brings us together.

My father didn't die suddenly which gave me a chance to visit him often during his last year.  More than a decade later, I don't feel like anything that needed to be said wasn't said.  My friend didn't get that same blessing.

Memento mori, remember that you too are mortal.  If you have something unsaid that needs to be said to someone close, embrace the fierce urgency of now.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

A 3D printed gun design gets past European regulations

That toothpaste isn't going back in the tube:

The FGC-9 stands out from previous 3D-printed firearms designs, in part because it was specifically designed to circumvent European gun regulations:

Thus, unlike its predecessors, the FGC-9 does not require the use of any commercially produced firearm parts. Instead, it can be produced using only unregulated commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. For example, instead of an industrially produced firearms barrel, the FGC-9 uses a piece of a pre-hardened 16 mm O.D. hydraulic tubing.


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Wolfgang Chronicles - II


Wolfgang says hi to the cows.  Up north at Castle Borepatch there were deer for him to talk to.  Here in Florida he has to be satisfied with Bessie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


Four men are on a boat.  They have five cigarettes but nothing to light them with.

They throw one cigarette overboard and the boat becomes a cigarette lighter.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Army Air Corps cartoon training film: Gunnery on the B-29

This is surprisingly good - both the script and the video.  I had never known how the B-29 robot gun turrets worked and this explains the whole thing in an entertaining manner. 

From the days when Hollywood was on our side.

"Artificial Intelligence" is the new Ship Of Fools

BMW introducing AI that talks to you.  Comrade Misfit is horrified (language alert):

A German car that talks to you? "Nein, nein, nein! Ve are not moving until you fasten your seatbelt" 'Ach du lieber, you spilled your coffee ON MY CLEAN FLOOR! WIPE IT UP, NOW!!"

Snerk.  This will take the current spoken GPS turn-by-turn directions to a new level: "REPEAT ZEE INSTRUCTIONS!!!"

Also, we're told that AI can make a better playlist, and that the bot is "your AI friend".  Nazzo fast:

"AI can now build you a better playlist"

No it can't.

And I don't have an AI friend.


That's some Top Shelf mockery, right there

Seen at Western Rifle Shooters:


This is also pretty effective culture war insurgency.  Consider:

  1. It's funny, and not just to us Deplorables.
  2. The humor comes from an obvious core of B.S., recognized even by non-Deplorables.
  3. It forces people to consider that the same sort of weak arguments are used for gun control.
Full marks for effective mockery.


[clap] [clap] [clap]

I'm tempted to make one up myself, along the lines of "You can have my Viking Range when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands!"

Saturday, January 14, 2023

The Dillards - Buckin' Mule

The Queen Of The World and I love bluegrass.  It's an old type of music, but until the 1960s was pretty much confined to the Appalachian region of the country.  But it got introduced to the broader country on The Andy Griffith Show, with the Darling family (played by The Dillards).  Certainly it made The Dillards famous; here they are performing on The Judy Garland Show in '63 or '64. 

Here they are performing with Andy on his show.  This may be the finest version of Dooley ever recorded.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Rest in peace, Jeff Beck

When I think of Jeff Beck, I think of The Yardbirds, perhaps the greatest failed rock band ever.  Their lead guitarists included (in order) Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.  These three are in pretty much everyone's list of top 10 guitarists, and they all played for the same band.

Thus, the greatest rock band.  And also the greatest failed rock band.

But he was never an easy member of any band.  Maybe that was part of the special mix that made The Yardbirds the greatest failed rock band.  But the music was great, and his guitar playing was spectacular.

Tonight The Choir Invisible has finer accompaniment. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023


There's a fine line between numerator and denominator. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Rest in peace, Sgt Bob

Wirecutter posts sad news:  Southwest Florida Blogshoot alumnus Sgt. Bob has taken his life after a long struggle with untreatable pain.  His family posted some wise words:

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, call 988. It’s a nationwide number for crisis response. You don’t even have to be in the same city as the person you’re calling about. And if you have any other identifying information about them do not wait to try and contact their family members.

Ave atque vale, Bob.

Recommended Security Tool: Password Managers

Divemedic has an outstanding series of posts on passwords and password managers.  He is covering this in depth, so I will just point you towards his posts and strongly recommend that you go read all of them.

Also, if you currently use the LastPass password manager, you need to know that Bad Guys compromised LastPass and stole the database of people's passwords.  This actually shows the big weakness of password managers - the information is so valuable that it makes them big targets.  Divemedic has good recommendations on what to do in a situation like this

Highly recommended.


Part 2. More on Password Authentication

Part 3. How to store and use passwords

Part 4. Using Password Managers

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Wolfgang Chronicles - I

Wolfgang isn't doing well, and won't get better.  While he doesn't have hip displasia, his hip joints are worn out - it's bone on bone.  He really can't run very well, and we are working on pain management.

Quite frankly, we think he's living on borrowed time.  Every day is a win, as long as his pain is manageable.  But we see the trajectory.

So I'm starting a new recurring feature, an ongoing tribute to our 4 legged soul mate.

Wolfgang and friends at the dog park.  He has regular dog buddies, which he really likes.  My old dog Jack was only socialized to a certain extent, but Wolfgang likes all dogs and all kids.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Miklós Rózsa - Prelude to the film Double Indemnity

For those who haven't seen this film, it is the platonic ideal of Film Noir.  Certainly director Billy Wilder thought so.  The music was controversial during the filming, with the studio's Music Director at loggerheads with composer Rózsa right up until the studio's Artistic Director heard it - and loved it.  Then everything was copacetic.

The music mined Franz Schubert's Unfinished Symphony for inspiration, which fit the Noir mood quite well.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Bump Stocks* no longer illegal?

Divemedic has the news.  Interesting.

And note that the President at the time this rule went into effect had an (R) after his name. 

* My opinion is that bump stocks are dumb and I don't want one, but I also don't want the Fed.Gov changing laws illegally either.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Ernest Tomlinson - Fantasia on Auld Lang Syne

Today's delightful New Years' composition comes from a modern classical composer whose music doesn't stink to high heaven.  I think that's a first here for the Sunday Classical posts.  Ernest Tomlinson was an English composer active from around 1950.  He was an anachronism in that he wrote music with melody, in great contrast to the a-tonal, a-rythmical dreck that is the wasteland of modern classical music.

He may have singlehandedly saved much of this sort of music in 1984.  The BBC decided to eliminate their archive of light classical music - it was ever so unfashionable, old chap - and he got the entire archive.  50,000 works are now in the Library Of Light Orchestral Music.  Tomlinson was awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his service to music.

This piece is simply a delight.  Everyone will recognize the primary theme - Auld Lang Syne, the traditional New Years' Eve song.  But Tomlinson weaves in brief snippets of 152 other pieces.  

Ernest Tomlinson passed on in 2015.  His obituary is worth a read:

After falling out of favour in the middle of the last century, light music, once a major part of British cultural life, has enjoyed a modest renaissance in recent years. Nobody did more to encourage this revival of interest than Ernest Tomlinson, who has died aged 90. He was a prolific composer, praised by the singer and broadcaster Catherine Bott for his “exceptional technical skills allied to a rare gift for melody”. Equally, he fought to preserve the light music heritage by founding the Library of Light Orchestral Music and acting as consultant and performer for an important series of CD recordings.

He was an anachronism inn modern classical music, living an admirably traditional life.  Married 57 years, this part of his obituary stood out:

He is survived by his children, Ann, Geoffrey, Hilary and Linda, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Jean died in 2006.

Rest in peace, and thanks for saving all that great music.