Sunday, August 30, 2015

Found Something In The Woods Today

I was out cutting what will be the last load of wood I need for this winter. It's always a good feeling to have the wood stacked. Every year I wonder if I can still do it with a saw and a splitting maul. I don't know how many more years I have, but at least this year, I still had it.

While walking around the woods, looking at the signs of summer ending, I noticed this stump. It was a couple of hundred yards from where the truck was, but I went back out and got the saw. Here's what it looked like on the truck. Next weekend I will split and cut this into very small pieces. It will probably be enough to start every fire we have this winter. I'll take some shavings and put them in a pill bottle in the bottom of my pack, too.

We played hookey yesterday

Rather than working on the house, we took the motorcycle out.   Roswell to Jasper on the back  roads is about as pretty as it gets, and I need to get more miles under the wheels.

There's a western wear store on Rt 5 just as you come into Jasper - it's a proper western wear store, as half of it sells livestock feed.  And they had this, which cracked me up:

Not what  you'd expect to find in Massachusetts, but par for the course in the north Georgia hills.

Then on to Rocco's bar where there were a dozen bikes parked out front and a Blues band playing B. B. King inside.  They were crazy good - it seems like local boys who like to get paid to have fun.

And yes, it was we that rode.  Co-blogger ASM826 was wrong when he said there are no women who want to meet men on the Internet.  Her kids call her the "Queen of the World" because she told them when they were little that all the fireworks on July 4 were because of her birthday.  Yes, she has as strange a sense of humor as I do, but we both seem to roll with each other's foibles.  And she likes to ride with me.

Pretty good excuse to play hookey if you ask me.  Sure beats painting the living room.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Trump Calls Out Huma and the Weiner

That is such a great title for a post. I have amused myself.

Seriously, Donald Trump called out Hillary Clinton's aide Huma Abedin and Huma's husband, Anthony Weiner. Accused them of sharing information Huma has access to because of her job. Here's a quote. This sort of thing is what makes Trump look so dangerous to both of the dinosaur parties.
"It all sort of came through Huma. Who is Huma married to? One of the great sleazebags of our time, Anthony Weiner. ... Now think of it. So Huma is getting classified secrets. She’s married to Anthony Weiner, who’s a perv. No, he is. He is. So she’s married. Now, these are confidential documents, she’s married to this guy, and guess what happens to Anthony Weiner?
A month ago, I see he went to work for a public relations firm. Can you believe it? Now if you think if Huma isn’t telling Anthony, who she is probably desperately in love with, in all fairness to Anthony, ’cause why else would she marry this guy, can you believe it? Can’t see straight. But if you were, look, think of it. So Huma’s got a lot of stuff, it’s coming through Huma, she’s got a lot of information, who knows. So she’s married to a bad guy.
I’ve known Anthony Weiner for a long time, I knew him before they caught him with the “bing bing bing,” and he was a bad guy then, and it turns out, he was a really bad guy. So she’s married to Anthony Weiner. Do you think there’s even a 5% chance that she’s not telling Anthony Weiner, now of a public relations firm, what the hell is coming across? Do you think there’s even a little bit of a chance? I don’t think so."

Bad idea

Roy Orbison - Uptown

America is a melting pot, and so is our music.  Country came from a mixing of many styles, including Gospel, Appalachian hill music, and western "Cowboy" music.  This morphed into Honky-Tonk, which became (with a smattering of Blues) the kernel of Rock 'n Roll.  The early days of Rock saw a lot of crossover artists - part Country, part Rock.

Roy Orbison was one of those artists.  This was one of his first songs that hit the Billboard charts.  It was influenced by the work he did with the "Nashville Sound" of Patsy Cline, but still has clear Honky Tonk roots.  I can imagine what this would have sounded like with Hank Senior singing it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Charlie Daniels sends a love letter to Congress

Specifically, he'd love them all to resign:
I wish you bunch of sold-out, jaded, burned-out hacks would just go home and let some people who still have some vision and whose consciences haven't been seared past the point of reminding them when they're wrong take over and start to claw this nation back on to the path of sanity,

Your ratings are in the single digits, your morals are in the gutter, your minds are on self-preservation and somewhere along the way you traded your honor for political expediency.

You've violated your oaths, you've betrayed your country you've feathered your nests and you've sat on your hands while an imperial president has rubbed your noses in the dirt time after time.

You're no longer men, you're puppets, you're caricatures, jokes, a gaggle of fading prostitutes for sale to anybody who can do you a political favor.
Don't hide your feelings, Charlie - tell us what you really think.

Congratulations to Tam

Ten years of free bloggy ice cream.  That's like eleventy zillion years in Internet time.

Thanks for all the great posts, Tam!

What's the only thing powerful enough to stop the Surveillance State?

OAKLAND, Calif.—Weeks after Ars published a feature on the scope of license plate reader use, the Oakland Police Department unilaterally and quietly decided to impose a data retention limit of six months.


According to Sgt. Dave Burke, who is in charge of the city’s LPR system, this change was not in response to Ars’ article, but rather was made primarily because the LPR computer—a Windows XP computer with an 80GB hard drive—was full and apparently "kept crashing."

"We had no money in the budget to buy an additional server," he told Ars.
They collected almost 5 Million license plate scans, and only stopped because the procurement bureaucracy has essentially infinite impedence.
"We don't just buy stuff from Amazon as you suggested," Burke added. "You have to go to a source, i.e., HP or any reputable source where the city has a contract. And there's a purchase order that has to be submitted, and there has to be money in the budget. Whatever we put on the system, has to be certified. You don't just put anything. I think in the beginning of the program, a desktop was appropriate, but now you start increasing the volume of the camera and vehicles, you have to change, otherwise you're going to drown in the amount of data that's being stored."
The irony of this is pretty shadenfreudalistic.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

If We Could Talk To Ponies

Came in over the transom.

Quote Of The Day: ISIS edition

This is impossible to excerpt, but exposes the complete bankruptcy of our miserable pseudo-intellectual ruling class.

As TJIC once said on his late, lamented blog, this post is simply unimprovable.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An Ashley Madison Analysis

This would be funnier if I didn't see just how sad and lonely it is.
Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site

 "What I discovered was that the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots."

Repeat after me, "There are no women that want to meet men on the internet.."

Laptop computer deal alert

I just got a new laptop: Lenovo B50 laptop for $199:

I'm posting from it now (well, queueing the post last night. Work with me).  Loading Linux on it today.

UPDATE 26 August 2015 09:26: The price has gone up a little since yesterday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Not a Gatling gun, a Gardner Gun. A brass, crank driven rifle chambered in 45.70. Click the link for pictures. Want. Almost enough to think about building one.

Donald Trump: Ha, Ha, only serious

Computer programming culture (called "hacker" culture in the days before the term got co-opted by Black Hats; these were the original guys who figured out how to code supercomputers, the computers that landed Our Guys on the Moon, and who created the Internet) had a bunch of puns and plays on words.  This isn't surprising when you consider that most of these hackers were exceptionally bright and thought in ways very different from the mainstream.

You can find a huge collection of these in the Jargon File (highly recommended reading, but you are warned that you will lose hours reading through this).  Looking at the Donald Trump phenomenon, one of these sayings came to mind:

ha ha only serious
[from SF fandom, orig. as mutation of HHOK, ‘Ha Ha Only Kidding’] A phrase (often seen abbreviated as HHOS) that aptly captures the flavor of much hacker discourse. Applied especially to parodies, absurdities, and ironic jokes that are both intended and perceived to contain a possibly disquieting amount of truth, or truths that are constructed on in-joke and self-parody. This lexicon contains many examples of ha-ha-only-serious in both form and content. Indeed, the entirety of hacker culture is often perceived as ha-ha-only-serious by hackers themselves; to take it either too lightly or too seriously marks a person as an outsider, a wannabee, or in larval stage. For further enlightenment on this subject, consult any Zen master. See also hacker humor, and koan.
I think that Trump entered the campaign in a ha-ha-only-serious way: an ironic joke with a hard core of disquieting truth.  He was the only one on the stage who would say what the Political Class refused to say but what a large part of the Republic believed in their heart of hearts - but were not permitted to say in "polite society" because shut up, hater.

And every time he opens his mouth and emits what the Political Class deems to be a "gaffe", his poll numbers go up.  I don't think that anyone understands this, including Trump.  However, half of having luck is getting yourself in a position where you can be lucky, and my opinion is that Trump is almost certainly too opportunistic to let an opportunity like this pass.

I'm not the only one who seems to think this way.  Heartiste (WARNING!!! Site is extremely non politically correct and many people - including perhaps all of my Lady Readers - are very likely to be offended by other posts there.  This post is entirely safe except for Democrats) posts an email tip that he received from someone claiming insider knowledge about Trumps campaign:
I just got told by a friend that Trump hired the former lawfirm of the RNC.
Why does this matter?
Word on the street in Chattanooga (where Trump has and retains many high end connections) is that Trump went into the campaign with two intentions.
One was to ‘shake things up’.

The second was to raise his profile with Chinese investors for fund raising for a new casino.

He really didn’t intend to get big numbers in the US and didn’t intend to actually ‘go for the goal.’ Which was why he came in with no primary ground game. He didn’t intend to even get 5%.

With the recent success the question was ‘what now?’ Go for closing the deal or back out? Some of his more inflammatory comments were tests to see if he could flame out. And his poll numbers just rise.

If he has retained a political lawfirm it can only be to create a ground game.
There's a lot more about how this is very, very different from the way that the GOP Establishment runs campaigns.  If true, it may be game changing - it would certainly be very difficult for the Political Class to combat this.  Heartiste comments:
I don’t doubt Trump entered this race thinking he couldn’t win, and that his initial motivation was partly narcissistic (in fact all politicians are narcissists to a degree), partly self-aggrandizement. But then he saw that he could win, and that he had tapped a deep well of dissatisfaction among people by simply speaking his mind the way he likes to speak (i.e., not like a weeping p***y).
The level of dissatisfaction with the Political Class in this country is at epidemic proportions.  The Political Class has assumed that if they offer the populace no real choice, that they can continue with their binge of crony capitalism and keep getting away with their lies.  And now someone has tapped into that dissatisfaction in a way that they may not be able to thwart.

Is this a good thing?  Beats me - he seems a bit Caesarish for my taste.  But the screams of the Political Class (including the media, but I repeat myself) are deafening.  Remember, it's the kicked dog that yelps, and I have precisely zero sympathy for any of them.

The Dinosaurs sniff a change on the breeze and roar their defiance.