Sunday, March 31, 2024

Georg Frederick Handel - Worthy Is The Lamb and Amen from The Messiah

Yes, we usually hear this at Christmas.  Remember, though, that Handel wrote this for an Easter performance.  I can think of no greater - more emotionally stirring - music for the Lord's rising than this.  The kettle drum at the end of the Amen never fails to thrill.  As a matter of fact, the opening bars of Worthy Is The Lamb never fail to thrill, either.  If you can read music, you have my permission to do a bit of a singalong to the score shown here.

The Lord is risen, alleluia, alleluia.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

If Bach (or other composers) wrote the Cantina song from Star Wars

These guys are really good.  This is great fun.  I particularly like the Oscar Peterson version, and the Pete Townsend (Teenage Wasteland) one is a hoot.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Army Corps of Engineers on way to Baltimore

1100 of them, to remove the bridge wreckage and clear the Baltimore harbor channel.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

A reconstruction of the Baltimore bridge crash from someone with a nautical background

There are a lot of people talking about this who don't know what they're talking about because they've never set foot on a boat, let alone captained one.  Here's a very interesting breakdown of the incident from a professional captain.  The ship broadcast a Mayday call before the crash and AIS data seem to imply that they ran the engines in reverse as the ship drifted off course.  It looks a lot like a failure in the steering system which is all fly-by-wire computer controlled these days.

He also describes the equipment on board - for example, a black box data recorder like airlines have.  I hadn't known that commercial ships have those, but do now. 

The video does not discuss what I am hearing other places, that there was a power outage on the ship, lasting around a minute.  Power came back on, but then failed again.  The ship is Singapore flagged, and Singapore has a reputation for strict enforcement of nautical regulations.

My suspicion is that this was a single point of failure, or a situation where redundant systems both failed at the same time.

UPDATE 26 MARCH 2024 16:50: It's confirmed, the MV Dali lost power for a considerable time before impact, and when power was restored both ran the engine in full reverse as well as dropped the port side anchor.

UPDATE 26 MARCH 2024 17:03: There is a lot of buzz supposedly from Port of Baltimore personnel that the Dali had repeated power outages at dock during the two says before setting sail.  This is unconfirmed, but interesting.

For sure the ship lost power, as you can see in the second video.  When power came back on and the engine ran hard reverse, the "prop walk" kicked the stern to port, taking the ship's heading starboard towards the bridge.  Dali is single screw, so prop walk is a real thing here.

Youtube Shadowbans Climate: The Movie

The Feral Irishman emails to saw that my post about the climate movie looked weird from his Windows computer.  He could watch the movie but there was nothing displayed about Youtube.  Everything looked normal from Safari on his iPhone.

Well, it turns out that Youtube has shadowbanned the film.  This almost certainly made the post look wonky.  If they disappear it I will update the embed to Rumble or something.

You know that you're over the target when you're taking flak.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Air Warfare has fundamentally changed

This is really interesting:

The biggest problem facing the Air Force is that masses of uncrewed drones have now wrested command of the air away from manned aircraft in the skies above the modern battlefield. The drone revolution means that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the service to achieve air superiority in future conflicts — which has been the centerpiece of its mission for decades. Drones, not manned airplanes, now dominate the skies above ground forces fighting in Ukraine. The contested air littoral has emerged as a critical new subdomain of warfare. It stretches from the earth’s surface to several thousand feet, below the altitudes where most manned aircraft typically fly, and is now dominated by masses of drones. This is a paradigm shift of epic proportions, which will require the Air Force to fundamentally transform itself in a very short period of time. 
It boils down to dollars and cents:

The F-35A certainly remains an important platform for high-intensity conventional warfare. But the Air Force is planning to buy 1,763 of the aircraft, which will remain in service through the year 2070. These jets, which are wholly unsuited for countering proliferated low-cost enemy drones in the air littoral, present enormous opportunity costs for the service as a whole. In a set of comments posted on LinkedIn last month, defense analyst T.X. Hammes estimated the following. The delivered cost of a single F-35A is around $130 million, but buying and operating that plane throughout its lifecycle will cost at least $460 million. He estimated that a single Chinese Sunflower suicide drone costs about $30,000 — so you could purchase 16,000 Sunflowers for the cost of one F-35A. And since the full mission capable rate of the F-35A has hovered around 50 percent in recent years, you need two to ensure that all missions can be completed — for an opportunity cost of 32,000 Sunflowers. As Hammes concluded, “Which do you think creates more problems for air defense?”

I have heard that we are building out a fleet of around 1000 F-35s.  For the same cost we could have 32 million drones.  Sure, there's a question of mission flexibility but when you have millions of units to mess around with, that's a whole level of flexibility that you didn't have before.  Quantity has a quality of its own, so to say.  

This is a paradigm shift.

I'd be really interested in analysis from former military Fly Boys like OldAF Sarge or OldNFO.


Friday, March 22, 2024


Yeah, I'm shouting.  This is a fabulous film about the whole Global Warming scam.  It's all there - all the stuff I've been blathering on about for 15 years is in it.  Without all the Borepatchian prose overload, of course.

Well, my ClimateGate Clippy isn't there:

Go watch it.  This is great stuff.

Thursday, March 21, 2024


 He certainly believes in his product.

Bad security news

This is really bad - the National Vulnerability Database is jacked up:

Vital data used to protect against cyberattacks is missing from more than 2,000 of the latest entries in the world’s most widely used vulnerability database.

A significant number of new CVEs (common vulnerabilities and exposures) added to the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) in recent weeks have lacked enrichment data — details necessary for researchers and security teams to understand the bugs.

The NVD was established in 2005 by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and last year alone, information on more than 29,000 discovered flaws was added to the database.

It is hard to overstate just how important the NVD is to the security industry and to organizations in general. The issue really comes from the explosion of reported vulnerabilities: from around 1,000/year in the 1990s to over 20,000/year today. That's a lot of analysis that is needed.

I hear rumors that NIST has had a budget cut, but quite frankly this doesn't get to the heart of the issue which is that the software industry is not covering the cost of the vulnerabilities that they release. This is an interesting potential solution:

John Pescatore, SANS Technology Institute director of emerging security trends, drew a comparison between cybersecurity and road safety.

“For automotive ‘vulnerabilities’ (recalls) that have to be fixed, vehicle manufacturers are required to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who has maintained an easy to use database. Those manufacturers also have to pay for the vehicles to be fixed! The NHTSA had a 40-year head start over NIST/NVD, but it really is time for legislation to treat software more like we treat vehicles.”

Right now there is no cost to a company that releases bug-filled software - the cost is born by NIST. I'm not sure that a "Software recall" is the right way to approach this, but a (say) $10,000 charge for each vulnerability doesn't seem unreasonable. Non-commercial software could be for no charge, but the bulk of the CVEs are against software that is sold.

Likely there are other funding solutions, but like I said at the beginning it's hard to overstate just how important the NVD is to companies IT Security programs. Something needs to change. 





Wednesday, March 20, 2024


Which is faster, heat or cold?

Heat is faster.  You can catch cold.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Forgotten Weapons on "Assault Rifles"

Lawrence has a good post up where Ian McCollum from Forgotten Weapons delves into the topic of just what an "Assault Rifle" is.   Everyone thinks they know all this (I sure did), but they - and I - don't.  For example: Assault Shotguns and Assault Pistols?  Defined by statute.  I did not know that.


Monday, March 18, 2024


When March saw all the madness around it, it asked "What's all that Bracket?"

Sunday, March 17, 2024

St Patrick's Day music

Chris Lynch has some more modern songs that I posted, but still a good list.  I love me some Dropkick Murphys. 

Oh, and when you're there you might leave him a comment congratulating him for blogging for twenty years (!).

Turlough O'Carolan - various Irish tunes

Top o' the morning to you, and happy St. Patrick's Day.  This is my traditional Paddy's Day post, mostly because I love the music here.

What is the "Classical Music" of Ireland? It's not (Italian) Opera, or (German) symphonies, or even an (English) homage to Ralph Vaughan Williams (who studied under an Irish music professor) "countryside music" in the concert hall. Instead, we find something ancient

We find something that easily might not have been.  Turlough O'Carolan (1670 – 25 March 1738) was the son of a blacksmith.  His father took a job for the MacDermot Roe family; Mrs. MacDermot Roe gave the young lad some basic schooling and saw in him a talent for poetry; when a few years later the 18 year old Turlough went blind after a bout of smallpox, she had him apprenticed to a harpist.  He soon was travelling the land, composing and singing.

This tradition was already ancient by the early 1700s.  it was undeniably Celtic, dating back through the Middle Ages, through the Dark Ages, through Roman times to a barbarous Gaul.  There bards travelled the lands playing for their supper on the harp.

This was O'Carolan's stock in trade.  He rapidly became the most famous singer in the Emerald Isle.  It is said that weddings and funerals were delayed until he was in the vicinity.  One of his most famous compositions - if you have spent any time at all listening to Irish music, you know this tune - was considered too "new fangled" by the other harpists of his day.  Fortunately, he didn't listen to their criticisms.

He married very late, at 50, and had many children.  But his first love was Brigid, daughter of the Schoolmaster at a school for the blind.  He always seemed to have carried a torch for her.

So why is this post in the normal slot reserved for Classical Music?  Listen to this composition of his, and you see the bridge from the archaic Celts to Baroque harpsichord.

And keep in mind how this brilliance might never have blazed, had Mrs. MacDermot Roe not seen the talent in a blind Irish boy and set him upon a path trod by many equally unexpected geniuses, all the way back to St. Patrick.  It is truly said that we never know what our own path will be until we set our foot down on it.

But his was an ancient path and he inherited much from those who trod it before him.  His "Farewell to Music" is said to be more in the traditional mold, and might have been appreciated at a feast held by Vercingetorix before the battle of Alesia.

This music is a bridge between modern and the ancient that disappears into the mists of legend.  Perhaps more importantly, it is a music that is still alive today, after a run of perhaps two and a half millennia.  

And it is a music where you still hear the yearning of a young blind man for his muse, Brigid.  That is a vitality that should not be exiled to a single day of celebration, even if it is for as illustrious a Saint as Patrick.  On this Feast Day, remember just how deep the roots of our civilization run.

(Originally posted March 16, 2014)


Thursday, March 14, 2024

Burglars using Wi-Fi jammers to disable security cameras

Well, of course:

Authorities with the Los Angeles Police Department are warning residents in Los Angeles’ Wilshire-area neighborhoods of a series of burglaries involving wifi-jamming technology that can disarm surveillance cameras and alarms using a wireless signal.

According to police, the burglaries typically involve three to four suspects who enter homes through a second story balcony.  

Once inside, the thieves target primary bedrooms in search of high-end jewelry, purses, U.S. currency and other valuables. 

Cat 5 is a pain to run but is hard to jam.




Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Costco wines tasted by professional Sommelier

I ran across this because the Youtube algorithm tossed it up in my feed (Lord knows why).  But Andre Mack seems to have some chops as a sommelier, and he has a really interesting tasting of Costco (Kirkland Signature) wines.  These range from $4 to $30 a bottle, mostly in the $8 - $12 range.  Bottom line: some dogs but surprisingly few.

My impression: can confirm on the Kirkland Pinot Grigio.  It's not something you'll find at a Michelin Star restaurant, but it's really good vino locale (or in French, le bon vin de table).  And it comes in the 3 liter box for $13.  Endorsed.

So I watched this and thought that Mr. Mack seems legit.  As a follow up, I watched this tasting of the same wine from different vintages, 1978 to 2016.  I believe that Mr. Mack is indeed legit.  There's good stuff here.

I like how he describes himself as a wine "nerd" - guilty as charged, although my days of real wine nerdism are a third of a century in the rear view mirror.  I even built a wine cellar under the basement stairs.  What Mack says here about how wine ages is exactly what I saw with a case of Bordeaux (1986 Gruaud Larose).  Over the span of six years the wine definitely and obviously changed each year.

Ya know, if I had kept that untouched, the $30/bottle (1990 dollars) would be now worth ~ $300/bottle (2024 dollars*).  But you need to not move every 5 years, so that won't work.

But watch the first video for sure, and go get you some legit cheap wine at Costco.  I hadn't known that they're the top wine merchant in the US.

*About 30 cents/bottle in 1990 dollars, given how inflation is running.

S.S. United States to be evicted from its pier?

The Queen Of The World sent me this sad story:

The ship's remarkable speed earned it the coveted Blue Riband award from Great Britain upon its maiden voyage in 1952. Partially sponsored by the U.S. government during the Cold War era, it was designed as a potential rapid troop carrier if geopolitical tensions escalated, according to the website for the SS United States Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that has overseen the vessel since 2011.

Despite its high level of regard and rich history, the ship faces an uncertain future as it languishes at Pier 82 in south Philadelphia. Its retirement has been fraught with challenges, including the recent threat of eviction due to a lawsuit from Pier 82's landlord, Penn Warehousing, according to an NPR report on Monday, March 11.

The lawsuit alleges the SS United States Conservancy owes between $700,000 and $800,000 in back rent, Warren Jones, one of the conservancy's board members, told the radio station. He said the organization entered into the agreement more than a decade ago, and during the pandemic, the rent was unjustly doubled.

This story is of interest to TQOTW, since she actually was a passenger on that ship.  Her dad was in the Air Force and posted to the UK in the early 1960s; they returned from PCS on this.  It's sad to see what the ship has become from what it used to be.  TQOTW watched this with me and remembered all sorts of things, like the signal flags at the swimming pool.

That was a different world, and people would rather spend 8 hours on a plane than 5 days on a ship, even one as grand as the United States.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024


Tuna writes in with yet another Dad Joke.  The Queen Of The World rolled her eyes and pinched her nose at this one.  High praise, indeed.

My wife was eating a store bought salad but I noticed that it was past the "sell by" date and so I took it away from her.

I guess you could say I had to Caesar salad.

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Day Is Mine, Trebek

Borepatch 2, Air impact wrench Cletus 1.

I soaked it good with PB Blaster including underneath the housing that the bolt went into.  Let it soak overnight.  Got my strongest ratchet and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y used the cheat bar.

Out it came.  Yay, me!

Thanks to everyone who left comments yesterday.  Still not happy that a one hour job turned into a whole day, but onward!

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Air Impact Wrench 1, Borepatch 0

Working on the Jeep, spinning wrenches.  Except the last guy who came near a couple of bolts torqued them down. I even got a cheat bar to get some extended leverage on the ratchet wrench.

Broke the danged wrench.  Those bolts don't want to spin.

I have them liberally soaked with penetrating oil, and will see how they are tomorrow morning.  I'd hate to have to take it to a garage to get bolts loosened.  Sheesh.

Since I have a compressor, maybe I'll just head out to Lowe's and get a danged pneumatic impact wrench.  Fight fire with fire.  But this is really annoying, turning a one hour job into an all day one, just because Cletus was in a hurry to clock out and drove the bolt down.

Friday, March 8, 2024

What a man!

Dwight posts the obituary of Gen. John C. Bahnsen Jr. (USA - ret).  So who was Gen. Bahnsen?  Just a guy who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, five Silver Stars, four Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, four Bronze Stars (three with the V device), two Purple Hearts, and the Army Commendation Medal (with V device).

Holy cow.  Rest in peace, General.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

CMP Sales Update

People seem to like these posts so maybe I'll make them a regular feature.  CMP has limited quantities of two interesting rifles:

Enfield 1917.  This was essentially a rechambering of the WWI British Army Enfield rifle in .30-06 for the US Army.  Both Winchester and Remington produced these in quantity for the US Expeditionary Force.  Prices are high, but not bad for Enfields these days, starting at $1000.

Expert Grade M1 Garand in both .30-06 and 308 NATO.  This rifle needs no introduction other than Gen. Patton's statement that it was the finest battle implement ever devised.  The prices are better than I expected starting at $1150.

Man, I love my Garand, and am glad I got it before inflation goosed the price points.  I also love my Enfield, although it is a No. 4, rather than a 1917.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Quote of the Day

Comrade Misfit looks at Dodge's plans to equip the new Challenger with a 3L six and brings a perfect analogy:

Only those CPAs and MBAs running things could take a six-cylinder car and. by having the engineers slap on turbochargers, claim to make it a muscle car. It's about as legit a muscle car as Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds were legitimate home-run kings. 


Dad Joke CCCXI

Tuna writes in with a Dad Joke:

My buddy couldn't work full time after getting hit by a tractor-trailer.  I guess he's semi retired.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Battleship U.S.S. Texas afloat today

And back at dock after an extensive repair and refit.  Don't mess with Texas' battleships.

This is a very long video of this morning's short voyage.

Cisco Webex call recording released by Russia


The German Ministry of Defense (Bundeswehr) has confirmed that a recording of a call between high-ranking officials discussing war efforts in Ukraine, leaked by Russian media, is legitimate.

Senior government officials have also confirmed Russian reports that the call was hosted on and tapped via Cisco's WebEx video conferencing platform rather than any kind of secure, military-grade comms.

Roderich Kiesewetter, deputy chairman of the German parliament's oversight committee, said the Bundeswehr leak was possibly caused by a Russian agent inside the WebEx call or the Bundeswehr's implementation of it, but the country is still working on discovering how the intrusion took place.

As someone who worked at Cisco (in both their security and Webex business units) I can say that Cisco takes security very, very seriously.  Not knowing more than this article, it very well may be a mole.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Dad Joke CCCX

Thomas emails a Dad Joke:

A colonoscopy isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's up there.

Thanks, Thomas!

Judge issues restraining order keeping DOE from tracking bitcoin miners


Earlier this month, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced its intention to gather basic information about the energy consumed by bitcoin mining. In making the decision, the DOE noted that the share of bitcoin mining happening in the US has shot up by a factor of over 10 just within the last three years, leaving the activity consuming as much electricity as a fairly populous state....

Albright's decision to issue the injunction is based largely on the fact that the DOE's decision to delay going forward with the survey was voluntary and could be rescinded at any time.

But he went beyond that by saying that the mining companies were likely to succeed on the merits of their case. In general terms, he noted that the DOE relied on its ability to enact emergency measures, and those are only applicable if there's a risk of public harm. The DOE will likely try to make the case that elevated carbon emissions and electricity costs both count as public harms, so Albright is suggesting that he's unlikely to find those compelling.

Ah, Climate Change.  Is there anything it can't do?  Except in west Texas, where the Judge doesn't buy the whole "Climate Emergency means more Government" thing.


Sunday, March 3, 2024

Recommended reading (and listening)

Isegoria (he is a daily read, right posts a review of an article about the science fiction classic Dune.  The excerpt is pretty interesting but also includes a link to an episode of historian Tom Holland's podcast The Rest Is History, in which Holland talks about just how much of both science fiction and Hollywood is about Rome.

Star Wars, The Hunger Games, Dune, and all sorts of less likely films explicitly (or sneakily) include all sorts of Roman motifs.  It's a fascinating listen.  Highly recommended.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Quote of the Day - AI edition

HMS Defiant brings a terrific suggestion:

In a somewhat saner world, I wonder what would happen to any given nascent AI after exposing it to the canon of English. It could start with every volume of The Harvard Classics, swallow the complete Encyclopedia Britannica and for an encore, learn French, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese and swallow the entire compendium of their literature for the last 1000 years. Then it gets everything written by Shakespeare for dessert. I wonder what that model would come up with. I bet it would be profoundly different from any model that got 100% of the ravings of twitter and reddit which seems to be what google was striving for with its useless clunker.