The Past Tense of May… v3

… is Might.  Rule, Britannia!  I’ll dump Brexit things in here throughout the day.  Stay tuned.

Here’s Corbyn, doing for May and her most recent “shrunken, re-heated deal”:

My comment on the sign language lady:

Just transxifed by the sign language lady. Given a little reflection, it actually seems a reqponsible and neutral way to effectively communicate the full impact of what Corbyn (the rogue) is saying. She is adding the nuance from Corbyn’s bitter sarcasm and contempt. Maybe sign language lady is always like this — I don;t know. But I’ll say that she’s good at interpreting Corbyn 🙂

And here’s an excellent comment on the Trumpish situation that Britons now find themselves in:

“This government is too weak and divided”… Quite right… But so are you and the opposition Mr Corbyn! The 2 main parties are utterly useless… Remainers and leavers can at least agree on that. It’s Labour fudge or Tory fudge. Wouldn’t waste a vote on either. The clear choice for remainers is Lib Dems or Greens, clear choice for leavers is Brexit Party or UKIP. No need for the 2 utterly useless main parties. And yes I know there are other issues but the fact is they will continue to be ignored as long as Brexit drags on.

Well said, anonymous internet dude!

A surprisingly accurate comedy explanation of the Brexit mess:


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Qwik-E-Post: Irreconcilable

As Rick points out, it’s the beginning of the end of the middle.  THis is true for more than just the establishment’s coup attempt.

I feel fair-to-middling about Trump’s chances in 2020, so I’m neither giddy nor despondent.  Priorities must lead the task list, or they are no longer priorities.  What if there are more important things than getting re-elected?

I’m not sure what is in Trump’s heart, but he has here an excellent opportunity to reveal the GOP establishment for the cowardly little creature that it is.  He could force a series of confrontations knowing that the Republicans will defect, making the defections obvious, public.  Or he can try for “deals” which are neither permanent nor likely to be acted upon even as the law requires.

When Trump goes into the room to negotiate with the GOP, I hope he comes out with its beating heart held high.


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Peak IT, or Productivity Lost

Things used to be better.

For power-users such as myself, the days of sensible and consistent applications seem to be over.  It is not the case that things were ever perfect, or all that they could or should be.  But at some point between the days of PPP and nights of Wi-Fi, there was a time when each of the commonly known systems seemed tuned to a handful of use cases.  I respectfully submit that this was not a function merely of stereotyping and marketring, but that before every system tried to be all things to all people, software and operating systems were tuned to task.

Here’s an example I just came across.  Microsoft has a product called Powerpoint, which has killed milliions of people.  Not only is is it a hazard to viewers (“death by PowerPoint”), it is a menace to those who use it.  As with any weapon, careless handling will just kill the wielder.

PowerPoint, to its great credit, was not developed by Micro-Soft.  Instead, the Beast from Redmond purchased the software (or the company which produced the software), and hastily incorporated it into their MS Office suite, an arsenal of toxic tools.

Here’s the problem at hand.  I am using a table to construct a RACI chart.  powerPoint tables dso not behave like the tables in Excel or Word, which share a lot in the way of keystrokes.  They are miserably difficult to maintan. For example, to this day I have not found a way to paste tabular data from Excel into PowerPoint tables.  PowerPoint will happily embed an Excel table, but this is somewhat volatile, incurs overhead, and requires that Excel (actually a key .dll from Excel) be fired up to edit the darned thing.  So I really want the table to ba a “proper” powerPoint table.

Adding a new row at the bottom is a non-trivial exercise.  You can use your mouse to surf through the”ribbon”, a dysfunctional menu system at the top of everything.  You can use your mouse to navigate a contextual menu, which is about as difficult, and which gets in your way at the same time you are trying to work on anyting *not* requireiung a context menu.  Or you can use a keyboard shortcut.  GREAT!  This is what I wanted!  but there’s a problem here.  This is the list of four keyboard shortcuts for adding a single row above or below your current row, or adding a single column left or right of your current column.

  • Alt+JLV     =     insert above
  • Alt+JLE     =     insert below
  • Alt+JLL     =     insert left
  • Alt+JLI      =     insert right

The length and difficulty in memorizing these kb shortcuts are not even the root issue.  The root issue is that the four are assigned an equal rank, when there should be a primary action (add new row below), a distant secondary (add new column right), and then the other two.  Why?  because when you use the keyboard to add a new row, you are most likely doing data entry (or making it up as you go along, uh I mean engineering a solution in PowerPoint).  People who use keyboard shortcuts are *typing*.  People who type work from left to right, and then from top to bottom.  The left to right aspect is covered within a given cell by the straightforward act of typing, one character at a time.  The TAB key will get you to the next cell, as well as taking you from the last cell in a row to the first cell on the next line, PROVIDED that the next line already exists.

Oh, wait.

The tab key when pressed in the last cell on the last row actually WILL create a new row before.

Never mind.


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Here is a my favorite performance of a piece I only came to know a couple of months ago.

Mulet: Toccata ‘Tu es Petra’ | MARCO DEN TOOM, Rotterdam (NL) Laurenskerk, live

This is ‘Tu Es Petra’ by Mulet, from about a hundred years ago.  Surprisingly recent.  As with a lot of things, this is supposed to be a story of good and evil, with good winning in the end.  Frankly, the end seems contrived; tacked-on to get the thing across the goal line in under five minutes.  There was more room for development, a path not taken.  The ref simply steps in and declares God the winner.

Who is to say that this is not rock & roll?

This particular performance is haunting in these days of burning cathedrals and bombs at concerts.  It is, like the others, in a public venue.  There is something otherworldly about the garish lighting of the console, the off-kilter camera angle, the screens displaying a glimpse of three men laboring in a confined space as if under the earth, putting their hands into the reactor, mining Hell itself for the redemption of souls, or at least a rollicking good story.

This organ at St. Laurenskirk in Rotterdam, with nearly 7,500 pipes and standing sixty feet tall, was completed in 1973.

Here is another of my recent discoveries, artist-wise.


He lets the acoustics of the venue dictate the pace, which is rare.  Notable in the comments:

“He’s playing the perfect tempo for the resonance of the space and occupancy.  The venue’s natural resonance and the public sound absorption affect the performance. He’s letting the phrases ring out instead of just rushing through.  If he played faster it would just be mush.”

Note that this performance is over twelve minutes, where most pack it in around high nine or low ten.

Here is an arrangement of Ennio Morricone’s movie music for three organs:

Who says YouTube is a wasteland?

The Dutch audience for Mulet applauds and howls in approval, whereas the Eastern European audiences of Xaver Varnus erupt into period-doubling applause.  That’s enough diversity for me.

The Japanese can have their Noh, and the whomever else can have whatever — this agnostic says God Bless Western Civilization.  John Donne notwithstanding, the rest of the world can prosper happily or burn for all I care.  For whom the bell tolls is of no concern for me — the bells toll only in the West.


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Music Theory, Triangles, and Teen-agers

So, I’m doing this music theory thing.  It’s really fascinating, and I’l tell you about it right after we find the buried gold.  Meanwhile, I needed to know, in support of this theory, if it were always true that a particular construction of triangles was guaranteed to be similar triangles.  So I asked my 14-year old, who is good at this sort of stuff.

He said that (short version) in the picture I had drawn, it was true that “a” would always equal “b”.  I thanked him, and he seemed a little surprised that I had leaned on him for this type of knowledge.  I told him that I knew he studied this stuff, and that it had been a LONG time since I had studied it, but that I always liked it.

Then he said, “Well, I think so.  You’ll want to Google it just to be sure.”

So I says to him, I says, “The Hell you say.  This stuff will be on your test not mine, so *you* will want to Google it just to be sure.”

He said, “Oh, then I’m sure,” and put his headphones back on.

Who is raising these savages?


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KISS Army Briefing at Pentagon

Gene Simmons, frontman for the band KISS, chokes up as he describes his mother choking up every time she saw the US flag at station sign-off.  I choked up watching it.

This was linked on the front page of Drudge.  Gene Simmons has long been a voice of sanity and of wholesome American goodness, which is a bit counter-intuitive.  He has children, whom he has always put first, and who are not wrapped in in drugs — unlike seemingly every other brood of the famous — never have been.

I remember becoming aware, perhaps ten years ago, that Simmons was actually a thoroughly decent man.  This headline and article therefore were no surprise, but the video is one of those things that just gets you even when you see it coming.

Gene Simmons fights back tears talking about how much his late mother loved America

YouTube Loves Me

YouTube has prepared a playlist for me.  I am listening to Twilight Zone, by Golden Earring.  There are two other songs that I mentally map very close to this, for whatever reason.  Green grass and High Tides Forever, and Stranglehold.  Lumbering, ferocious, extinct behemoths from the age of Guitarozenic Era.

I took a look at the playlist to see if those were in it.  There is only one song I’m not already willing to listen to all afternoon if need be, and that is one I simply do not know — but Kenny Wayne Shepherd comes HIGHLY recommended by my cousin who plays guitar.  So I’m calling that a hit and not a miss.  40 out of 40, a perfect score.

Read ’em and weep:

Golden Earring – Twilight Zone (HQ)
Focus – Hocus Pocus
The Civil War Battle Series: Gettysburg
When Jim Sterling Was Sued For $10 Million By Digital Homicide (The Jimquisition)
Rush – Subdivisions (Official Music Video)
Blue Oyster Cult – Astronomy
Boston – Foreplay / Long Time (Audio)
Green Grass and High Tides
AL STEWART “Time Passages”
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper (Live) by Blue Öyster Cult (2002)
Ted Nugent – Stranglehold
Eminence Front – HQ
Radar Love
Rush – Working Man
Greg Kihn Band – Jeopardy (extended version)
Blue Oyster Cult: Burnin’ For You
Tuesday Afternoon-The Moody Blues-(Long Extended Version)
Aldo Nova – Fantasy
Bad Company – Bad Company (studio version)
Heart – “Barracuda” (1977)
Genesis – Mama (album version with lyrics)
Sugarloaf – Green-Eyed Lady (Original Song HQ) 1970
Heavy Metal Theme: Takin’ A Ride / Don Felder
Dire Straits Telegraph Road FULL
Uriah Heep – Stealin
The Moody Blues – Ride My See-Saw
Rush – Tom Sawyer (Official Music Video)
Autograph – Turn Up the Radio (Original HQ)
Slow Ride- Foghat (Full Version)
Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Blue on black (With lyrics)
Red Rider – Lunatic Fringe
Grand Funk Railroad – I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home
Heart-Crazy On You
BTO – Let It Ride
Do you feel like we do Full Version
Urgent – Foreigner
Billy Squier – Everybody Wants You
Molly Hatchet – Dreams I’ll never see
Heart-Magic Man

Of course, the danger in Google’s accumulation of this sort of data is that you could probably feed them this list, and in a controlled experiment, I bet they could give you my name, and a great many facts about myself which are not known even to me, but which are known by somebody.

For example, why does it know that Kenny Wayne Shepherd should (apparently) be on this list?  Maybe they have associated my cousin’s preferences without me ever telling them that I even have a cousin.  Maybe it’s just the similarity in music — but then out of 40, there should be more “speculative” hits like that.  Maybe it’s Maybelline.

Well, we all have lives to live.


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The Great Japanese Lawn Project

Long story short — I’m going to use a combination of Nitrogen, weeding, coring, and overseeding to boost the lawn this year.
been doing some maintenance on tools, and got me a manual aerator tool, did the coring. About to go for some seed right now. Been watering a bit — want to get this down to a morning schedule.

Technically, overseeding is probably not the right answer, but it’s what’s left after I refuse to re-sod, or get on my knees and do plugs. I figure, until we learn how to do basic lawn care, I’m not breaking my back to re-start one.


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Re-Examining the Battle of Midway

This is a fun lecture, one of a series I am plowing through. I have the Naval Institute Press first edition of Fuchida’s landmark historical book, Midway. Imagine my surprise at the discrepancies revealed (to me) in this video.

The Japanese carriers were attacked on the verge of launching their massive anti-ship strike at our carriers, right?  So where were the planes?

John Parshall is a popular lecturer on the WWII and Op Analysis circuits, whatevere those may be 🙂

I was introduced to him by the repeated use of his name by Nick Moran in his series on tanks in WWII, lecturing in the same circles.


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Random YouTube Post: “Jim Can’t Swim” Makes Great Interrogation Compilations with Commentary

I watch everything this guy puts out.  He has a whole series.  For the True-Crime aficionadoes, this is the good stuff, trimmed, with truly informative commentary.

This one just came out.  I haven’t watched it yet.

Jim Can’t Swim:


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Just saying — if the good folks at had a single brain cell between them all to rub for all it’s worth like the tiniest lamp in some crap-hole bazaar, they would throw their archives open, bathe in the controversy, and welcome the influx of losers with real money currently not-subscribing in droves to The Bulwark.

“Not for nothing” did the monthly controversies from Insufficiency to Irreconciliability erupt.  They were sitting on a gold mine, but couldn’t be bothered sifting through all that dirt.

What a shame.  Exquisitely crafted chess pieces all sawn off at the ankles to make fair checkers.


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New York Times, Anti-Semitism, Danish Cartoons, and Me

Greetings, Ratlets.

I posted over at my largely defunct blog:

I’ll post it here if the management is comfy with that.  But I also wanted it to go up for posterity under my own masthead.

Money shot:

Ordinarily I would not reproduce such a misguided and frankly abusive picture.  Yet here I am, putting it up on my own blog because of the furor which has erupted about the publication of this work.  Were I publishing a newspaper, I might not publish this on its own merits.  Yet as an item in a debate over free speech, I am happy not only to publish it, but to defend the author’s rights to draw it and market it, as well as those of the execrable, internationalist, wet-county, America-hating New York Times to publish it between their latest fictional expose of something that somebody said which reflects poorly on Trump and Americans in general, and their latest plumping for the international socialist scheme to ruin America.


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Notre Dame and Money

I see many complaints along the following lines:

“Notre Dame doesn’t need money — poor people need money — it is beneath Christians to donate money to rebuilding Notre Dame while there are poor people.”

This is manure of the first order.

I do not give a galloping hoot about anonymous poor people.  There have always been poor people, and there will always be poor people, in part because idiots presume to affect this situation by simply dumping money upon people who have proven themselves incapable of dealing with money.

Notre Dame on the other hand is, to this agnostic and frankly not-very-fond-of-Catholicism Ratburgher, still part of the only cultural heritage for which I give one of the afore-mentioned galloping hoot — western civilization.  Notre Dame — as a cultural achievement and a national treasure to one of our admittedly wayward but still related cousins in the family of western nations — matters to me, and in a way that random anonymous “poor people” as a stalking horse for Marxist institutions do not matter to me.

Long sentence.  Too lazy to edit right now.  Viva Notre Dame, and good luck to poor people.  But my money (if I were donating at all) would go to the Catholic Church.  Believe it or not.

Finally, while I’m no fan of the Catholic church, plenty of Catholics are just fine by me.  Good people.


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