Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Happy Blogiversary to Isegoria

He's been blogging for 15 (!) years.  Wow.

He's been a daily read for me for maybe ten years now.  If you don't follow him, you're missing out on a daily dose of Smart.

SEC Chief: Don't change your company name to "Blockchains-R-Us"

He actually said that, LOL:
In remarks delivered at the Securities Regulation Institute, SEC Chair Jay Clayton said “I doubt anyone in this audience thinks it would be acceptable for a public company with no meaningful track record in pursuing the commercialization of distributed ledger or blockchain technology to (1) start to dabble in blockchain activities, (2) change its name to something like "Blockchain-R-Us," and (3) immediately offer securities, without providing adequate disclosure to Main Street investors about those changes and the risks involved.”
The world is a weird place.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

What you will not read in the papers about the government shutdown

Daughter in Law tells us that the base grocery will shut down Wednesday, which means that there may not be much food left there by now.  It's 30 miles to the nearest off-base grocery.

The Democrats have chosen illegal aliens over military families, but you won't see this in your newspaper.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saturday Scary Movies - A Brigid Guest Post

Partner in Grime (aka The Husband) is in the UK on business so I've been "bacheloring" it this week with Abby Normal our rescue Lab.  A couple of years ago we gave away our small flat screen TV.  It really looked out of place in our 100-year-old home and there was no wall space to mount it given the sconces and the many windows.  I have an extra large monitor for teleworking  in the office so we stream or watch shows and movies on that through Amazon Prime or our collection of boxed sets as the office (which was originally a very large master bedroom) is also a den with a comfy futon, fluffy rugs and other decor to make it cozy to both two and four-legged family.
But with Partner in Grime gone, Abby and I watched some scary movies.  Partner in Grime  doesn't like them, but I do.

After watching a few of them,  I'm going to teach you what we learned the last few nights.

When it seems that you have killed the monster, never check closely to see if it's really dead.

If you find that your house is built upon or near a cemetery, had previous inhabitants who went mad, flung themselves off the roof, or died in some horrible accident OR inhabitants that dressed in black robes with a giant flaming Pentagram in the yard (I know they said it was a Tupperware party, they lied) move immediately.

Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, especially not as a YouTube video.

Do not search the basement if the power suddenly goes out.
Never ask "is somebody there?" if you live alone and hear a strange noise.

When traveling in numbers, never "pair off" or go it alone.

As a general rule, don't solve puzzles that open portals to Hell.

Never stand in, on, above, below, beside, or anywhere near a grave, tomb crypt, mausoleum or other house of the dead at midnight on Friday the 13th.
If you hear a strange noise in a distant part of the house and find out it's just the cat, leave the house immediately, as it's never the cat.

If appliances start operating themselves, move out. If it's the 1940's stand mixer, call a Priest.

If you find an old farm town which looks deserted, it's probably for a good reason.  Take the hint and turn around. If there are two vacant-eyed kids selling kettle corn at a roadside stand in said deserted town ignore all posted speed limits.
The mutant alien cucumber from "It Conquered the World.

Vegetables can hurt you.  Eat more Pizza.

If you hear a strange noise outside  Do NOT go out there. Or at least take a weapon, some common sense, or a disposable secondary character to use as a distraction.

Don't babysit - seriously, in scary movies babysitters are psychopath crack. Mow lawns, the psychos never go after the kid mowing the lawn.
When Muppets Do Meth

Don't fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you're really sure you know what you are doing.

If you are running from the monster, boogieman, etc, expect to trip or fall down at least twice, more if you are female and scantily clad.  Also note that, although you are running and the monster is merely shambling along - it will still catch up with you
If that house in seemingly excellent condition is SUPER cheap don't buy it.
If your companions or housemates suddenly being to exhibit uncharacteristic behavior such as hissing, fascination with blood, glowing eyes, increasing hairiness and so on, get away from them as fast as possible.

If your car runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere do not knock on the door of the nearest dark dwelling for help.  That never ends well.
If your children suddenly speak to you in Latin or in a  deep, dark voice other than their own, pack up their things and drop them off at a relative you don't like.

Don't be a teenager - sure the parties, sex, and alcohol and lack of parents at your rave in Mom and Dad's mansion may seem like fun but it just draws demented ax murderers.  Case in point.  Last night, I watched a movie wearing Cuddleduds with hair color on my roots and munching on popcorn.  I can guarantee there wasn't an ax murderer within 50 miles.

And lastly folks - if you want to survive to the end of the movie - KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON!
I'm not scared Mom, let's watch another one.


Suddenly it's not 15° anymore.  That means one thing.

Government shutdown kabuki

What a weird situation.

Hat tip: Sal the Agorist.

Bananas At Large - Da Turdy Point Buck

There are a lot of deer near Castle Borepatch, and Wolfgang and I like to look for them on our walks. We see them pretty often, and Wolfgang is good at flushing them from their hiding places in the thickets.  He's a big dog, but not the fastest, and the deer don't seem like they have to run fast to get away from him.

Wolfgang really seems to come alive - as the Buddha says, he has the dog nature.

Today we saw a really big one.  Of course, there's a song about that.  Even if it is a pretty weird one, from a group of what seems to be Wisconsin Cheeseheads.

Da Turdy Point Buck (Songwriters: ?)
lemmie tell ya dat
and you know it's not so much the heat as it is the gosh darn humidity
you know dat 
you know when you sit there in the bed and you're just
sweaty you know and you go to reach for the water on
the nightstand and ya slide right out of bed, and the wife says
"stop making so much noise you're waking me up, go to sleep" 
well lemmie tell ya
times like that make me feel like movin up north ya know
good idea
yeah i'd do it too 
course then i couldn't watch the Packers ya know, the Packers are
gosh i like the Packers, i'd do anything for the Packers
who can forget Vince Lombardi ya know, back in the glory years, not me boy
ya know 
yeah well anyhow
gettin to be that time of year eh? 
yeah i'm a deer hunter how do you do 
i got this deer huntin rappin tale for you
i'm so excited, it's my favorite time of year
i love to freeze my buns chasin trophy deer
but don't clap your hands to the stompin of the feet
cause ya he's like me he can't keep a steady beat no 
i got this great big knife cause the hunting is my life
it's my chance to drink beer and get away from the wife
it's the boys night out acting stupidly

say now baby baby don't you think maybe how bout you and me yeah
well we partied all night never made it to our bunks and
i was sittin in the tree stand on the tree dead drunk
windmill blowin 45, temp thirty below,
i was freezin to death, then it started to snow
so i got down from the tree stand start headin for the truck
and thats when i seen it there, the turdy point buck
the turdy point buck? 
turdy point buck
turdy point buck
turdy point buck
turdy point buck
turdy point buck  
well he was eight foot tall,
weighed twelve thousand pounds,
with every step there was a shakin' on the ground
he was so rutiful so beautiful
strutted right out of my dreams,
he was created by God just for outdoor magazines
now i'm not much for thinkin, no i don't do it often
but i had an idea
to put that turdy pointer in his coffin 
turdy point buck
turdy point buck 
i couldn't get to my grenades
the howitzer was in the shop
my stomache was tied into a monkey knot
ya my only hope was betty lou
she was da one
a combination AK-57 uzzie radar lasar triple barrel
double scoped heat-seakin shotgun 
turdy point buck
turdy point buck
turdy point buck 
ya dat the women clappin' the the back dere i gotta make dat
well he was comin for me gettin bigger and bigger but
my fingers were so frozen i could not pull the trigger
i kicked off my boots fired with my big toe
i was Dirty Harry, John Wayne, and G.I. Joe
ya dat turday point buck was only 10 feet away
ya still i couldn't seem to hit him and he wouldn't run away
and after 20 minutes when the smoke cleared
there were hunters on the ground and the world's biggest deer
standing tall and proud, he looked at me and yawned (ohhhhhhh dear)
and then a flash of white, and there he was, gone 
well seven men got up and then one fell down
a big lump of blaze orange, shakin on the ground
at first i thought he was one of the boys
but it was a no brother good in law man from illinois
only cheese-heads in here, right boys?
send him back on the next plane ya know 
Did ya see the turdy pointer?
Did ya see the turdy pointer?
Did ya see the turdy pointer?
Did ya see the turdy pointer?
as we jumped into da truck
sayin i'm gonna get that turdy point buck
yeah i'm gonna get that turdy point buck

turdy point buck

Friday, January 19, 2018

This Will be Next - A Brigid Guest Post

I am married to a millennial (insert cougar joke here). He's pretty smart, had a patent on something most of you have in your home when he turned 30, doesn't buy Lester's ammo, and always admits he's wrong when my red hair is on fire.  I've yet to see him ingest laundry detergent but I think he ate a fried bug in Vietnam once.

With all the viral idiocy of the Tide Pod Challenge I can only imagine that this will be next.

Get off my lawn

ProTip #2 For the Pod Eaters

There's cotton candy in the walls.

It is good to kill an admiral from time to time, in order to encourage the others

Image via Le Wik
Admiral John Byng was a Royal Navy officer in the 18th century.  Britain and France were at war off and on for most of the century, and in 1756 commanded a fleet sent to relieve the siege of Minorca.  He lost to the French fleet, one of the Royal Navy's few defeats in that age.

And so they court marshaled him and shot him.

Europe was shocked at this.  Voltaire wrote a line into his satirical novel Candide that is the title of this post:  Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres ("In this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, in order to encourage the others").  The contempt towards those responsible fairly drips from his pen.  The consensus today is that Voltaire was right and the Royal Navy was wrong.

Fast forward 250 years and we see the same nautical ass covering from our own Pentagon:
Five officers involved in two Navy ship collisions last year that killed a total of 17 sailors are being charged with negligent homicide, the Navy said Tuesday.

A Navy spokesman, Capt. Greg Hicks, said the charges, which also include dereliction of duty and endangering a ship, will be presented to what the military calls an Article 32 hearing to determine whether the accused are taken to trial in a court-martial.
I'm throwing the "Bullshit Flag" on this.
It seems that there is no mistake that the Pentagon desk jockeys will take responsibility for, especially including the under manning and lack of training time that has been enshrined in Navy policy.
It is hard to train people. It's hard to persuade our skinflint do-nothing Congress to pay for it. It's hard to get funding for enough people to do the jobs, so the fraking in-house MBAs at Ft. Fumble came up with the idea of cross-decking-- "let's train gunners' mates to stand helm watches" and more stupid shit.
As a tip o' the chapeau to M. Voltaire, let me offer up a modern saying that perhaps approaches his in terms of cynicism: enough layers of bureaucracy ensures that disaster is not left to chance.

A ProTip for Millenials

You like to eat dishwasher detergent?  Then you don't know the cornucopia that awaits you in the driveway.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Border Collie pups interview for a job

All together now: Awwwwwww!

If only millennials could do as well ....

Need moar coffee

The Temple of Janus is open for business

The Romans are often accused of "stealing" their mythology from the Greeks: Zeus became Jupiter, Ares became Mars, etc.  But one god that was uniquely Roman was Janus, the two-faced god of gateways (and by analogy, of beginnings and endings).  The first month of the year is named after him, and we even get a faint echo of the two faces in the typical New Year's depiction of the old year as an old man and the new year as a baby.

It's not clear at all how the Temple of Janus on the Roman Forum became associated with war and peace, but the ancient tradition was that when the Republic was at war the doors of the temple were kept open; only when the war was over were they closed.

The historian Livy tells us that king Tulles Hostillius opened the doors in around 650 B.C. when he attacked a neighboring city.  The doors remained open for the next 400 years.  The doors were shut at the end of the first war with Carthage, but were only shut for eight years.  Re-opened in 227 B.C. during a war with the Gauls, they remained open until shut by Caesar Augustus in 29 B.C.

So out of a period of 650 years or so, the doors were only shut for a couple of decades.  If you need a one sentence description of the Roman temperament, that's about as good as any.

The Geek With Guns muses on our modern republic:
A recent poll discovered that a strong majority of Americans oppose the endless state of war that the United States is engaged in:
The headline findings show, among other things, that 86.4 percent of those surveyed feel the American military should be used only as a last resort, while 57 percent feel that US military aid to foreign countries is counterproductive. The latter sentiment “increases significantly” when involving countries like Saudi Arabia, with 63.9 percent saying military aid—including money and weapons—should not be provided to such countries.
If the plebs had any power to influence politics, the players in the war economy might have cause for concern. Fortunately for them, the plebs have no actual influence over politics. At most they can decide which preselected candidate should occupy an office.
The doors of our temple of Janus remain open.  It's good for business.  We pay the cost in coin of the realm; those on the tip of the spear pay the cost in blood.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Holiday At The Range

Borepatch couldn't make it, but we sucked it up and went to the range without him. We set up a large array, started back about 60 yards with a carbine, then transitioned to pistols for part of the stage at 15 yards or less. Time and scoring. I'm not very fast, but the accuracy was good.

It warmed up in the mid-day enough to shed our coats, the sun was out, and as Box O' Truth likes to say, "Shooting stuff is fun!"

Japan Issues "Accidental" Missile Alert

Okay, I could see that people wanted to believe that it is possible to issue an accidental alert in Hawaii. No matter that any software I would write would at least require the tech to enter his password and click a "Yes, I Am Sure I want To Send This Warning" button.

Are you willing to be believe it happened twice in one week in different countries? Because Japan did it too. 

They are testing their systems.

Are you sick of Telemarketers?

Jolly Roger Telephone Company has an AI bot that will answer the telemarketing calls for you.  It keeps talking to them to keep them on the line, driving up their cost.  It records the call and then emails you a recording "so you can have a laugh".

They post the call of the day on their web site, for your amusement.  They have a bunch of different bots, including the lonely senior citizen, the distracted soccer mom, the alcoholic, and others.  Pretty funny stuff.

Dear Emily Post...

Is it more polite to call Mexico a hellhole than it is to call Haiti a shithole?

Because here's Sen. Lindsay Graham speaking about border security in 2013 and suggesting that we treat countries on our southern border differently: