Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Historic construction site in operation / Weiach History 2022

Historische Baustelle in Betrieb / Weiach Historik 2022
[Historic construction site in operation / Weiach History 2022]

I like the thumpers. They look like something from one of Hayao Miyazaki's movies. Americans who are into old machinery for digging in the dirt seem to focus on tractors. Most of the machines in this video were new to me. Weiach is in Switzerland.

Schedule F

Marble Statue in Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy

Jeffrey Tucker has a post up about one action President Trump took in his attempt to drain the swamp. It's illuminating.

The Astonishing Implications of Schedule F

Two weeks before the 2020 general election, on October 21, 2020, Donald Trump issued an executive order (E.O. 13957) on “Creating Schedule F in the Excepted Service.” 

You are either part of the wolf pact or you are an inconsequential peasant.


Quote of the Day

Now it might be that Biden's puppet masters think they are doing the world a service by using Ukraine as a foil to drain Russia's ability to make war. I don't buy it. I think they are headless chickens flailing against their first real competition in 50 years. Even The New York Times, once a fervent supporter of the US Government's policy, has changed their tune. Our attempt to bleed Russia is backfiring and causing the West more pain and suffering than we are inflicting on Russia.

It is our hope that our former Western partners will have the courage to admit their strategic miscalculations, which, according to the UN itself, have affected more than 1.5 billion people and provoked a surge in global inflation, food shortages, and the growth of poverty. - former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

I just wonder who the puppet masters are.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Same Bird

Same Bird

I've been thinking we need a new political party, one that is not beholden to the established order. I think there are enough people who are appalled by our current regime that a new party might be viable. There are probably just as many as the number of true believers supporting the current regime. (I'm talking about the 3% of the population that actually thinks about these things. The rest of the people have other, better things to do with their time.) Problem is that the current regime is well entrenched. They have established mechanisms for funding their propaganda. If we wanted to push the old regime out and supplant it with our new, improved system, we would need funding on a massive scale. Elon Musk might be a start, but Elon by himself is not going to be able to push Lockheed aside.

Biden the Puppet

There are basically two methods of running a country. One is a meritocracy where a man's success is determined by his ability, effort, clear thinking and luck. The other is the mafia where you have two levels of society, one level that works are tries, and another that siphons off as much as they want off of the top. Most of the world operates under the second system. I like to think that American government used to be a meritocracy but for the last, I dunno, 70 years?, has been turning into their own particular flavor of mafia.

Mencken and the inner soul of the people

If we were going to form a new political party, we would need some kind of manifesto, some guidelines, a list of principles that we are willing to adhere to. One item might be no more catering to special interests. Hammering that out while trying to enlist billionaire supporters might take ten years.


And pushing out the old guard would take a long time. We could start small with representatives from out of the way states and work our way up. 

Who am I kidding? There have been upstart political parties since the dawn of time and none have made any headway against the established order. Evidently building a new political party with enough power to change things is dang near impossible.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Curious Lock

[1452] Help Me Identify This Bizarre Lock

YouTube commenters quickly identified it as a lock for a bookmakers/runners betting slip clock bag. It was used for bets on horse races to prevent any bets from being placed after the race had started. From the complexity of the mechanism it would seem that bookmakers are even more paranoid than banks. Guess I can't blame them.

Death To Polio

Aljazeera reports:

The opposition to all forms of inoculation grew in Pakistan after the CIA organised a fake vaccination drive to help track down al-Qaeda’s former leader Osama Bin Laden in the city of Abbottabad.

Good job, spooks.



Monday, June 27, 2022

Colter Wall - The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie

Original 16 Brewery Sessions - Colter Wall - "The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie"
Original 16
Reverend, reverend, please come quick
'Cause I've got something to admit
I met a man out in the sticks of Good Ol' Miss
He drove a series 10 Cadillac and wore a cigar on his lip
Don't you know the devil wears a suit and tie
Saw him driving down the 61 in early July
White as a cotton field and sharp as a knife
I heard him howling as he passed me by
And he said
I know you, I know you young man
I know you by the state of your hands
You're a six-string picker
Just as I, I am
Let me learn you something
I know a few turns to make all the girls dance
Don't you know the devil wears a suit and tie
I saw him driving down the 61 in early July
White as a cotton field and sharp as a knife
I heard him howling as he passed me by
Foolish, foolish was I
Damn my foolish eyes
'Cause that man's lessons
Had a price, oh, sweet price
My sweet soul, everlasting
A very own eternal light
Don't you know that the devil wears a suit and tie
I saw him driving down the 61' in early July
White as a cotton field and sharp as a knife
I heard him howling as he passed me by
Well, the devil wears a suit and tie
I saw him driving down the 61 in early July
White as a cotton field and sharp as a knife
I heard him howling as he passed me by

1934 Cadillac Series 10

A Series 10 Cadillac? Yes, it was a real thing, built in 1934 and 1935. V8 engine, several body styles. I like this. Not what I usually think of when I think of an old Cadillac.


Aston Martin DB5 Stunt Car

007's Aston Martin DB5: We Drive James Bond's Car From "No Time To Die" | Carfection 4K

We watched the latest James Bond film No Time To Die the other day and it was wonderful. I started looking into the car and fell into a fantasmagorical world, much like Alice. You could probably write a book about all the Aston Martin cars used in this movie.

There is one scene where the bullet proof glass in the car's windows is put to the test, so I go to wondering and found this.

Bulletproof Glass | Outrageous Acts of Science
Science Channel

Texas Armoring Corporation armors customer's vehicles. They offer several levels of ballistic protection. Higher levels cost more and are going to increase the vehicle's weight. Glass is heavy.

If you are gunning for James Bond, you need to bring something will a little more oomph than those puny little 9mm submachine guns.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Daughter of the Wolf

DAUGHTER OF THE WOLF Official Trailer (2019) Gina Carano Action Movie HD
ONE Media

Richard Dreyfuss (!) plays the evil 'father' of a gang of stupid, brutal thugs. They kidnap a woman's son and plan to collect a ransom payment and then sell the boy on to someone else. The woman is in the military and is like ten times as competent as father's gang. You can imagine how it goes. Besides the usual violence we also have several disasters that befall various characters, sometimes our heroine (ouch) and sometimes the bad guys (yea!). People fall into freezing water, off of cliffs and get savaged by wolves, though the wolves leave our girl along. Mutual respect for a fellow predator?

There were a number of faux pas, like the time Gina knocks the one female member of the gang off of a snowmobile just before the snowmobile runs off a cliff. Why did you do that Gina? You should have just let her go. Of course then we wouldn't have had the cat fight, with knives! It wouldn't have taken much to rearrange the action to make it more plausible, but maybe they were on a budget.

There is one scene that features a rather spectacular waterfall - Helmcken Falls.

We watched the movie on PLEX, which means there were ads. I had a lot of trouble with the controls on PLEX, we had to restart the ROKU box twice. We won't be using PLEX again.

When the Allies settled in Berlin (1945)

When the Allies settled in Berlin (1945)

Just a curiosity that caught my eye. Just after the one minute mark there are couple of images of FDR, Stalin and Churchill. I wonder if the pictures of Stalin are still there.

National Kaiser Wilhelm Monument

I am pretty sure that the National Kaiser Wilhelm Monument appears briefly (3:35-4:08). It was erected in 1897 and demolished by the communists in 1950. Must have been in East Berlin. There might be a lesson here for all those morons running around screaming that all the old statues must be torn down. Well, there might be a lesson here, but I doubt those shitheads could comprehend it, much less learn anything.

Monuments are built for a reason, but that reason may not survive. But the fact that the monument was built can be a lesson for succeeding generations, if they are willing to think. Yeah, I know, thinking is passe. Screaming is what's happening now.

Timeline from the YouTube blurb:

  0:00 Driving on the German Autobahn in direction to Berlin
  0:50 Entering the US Berlin District
  1:00 Picture of Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill
  1:15 Soviet soldiers marching, probably on Straße des 17. Juni in direction of the Siegessäule
  2:40 German refugees pulling carriage
  2:56 Trümmerfrauen "rubble women" at work
  3:25 destroyed Berliner Dom (Cathedral)
  4:15 US military visiting the Neue Reichskanzlei
  5:40 Berliner U-Bahn
  5:56 Olympia Stadion (olympic stadion)
  6:59 Olympic swimming pool
  8:11 American Beach Club / Amerikanisches Strandbad
  8:52 Trümmerfrauen "rubble women" at work
  9:34 Galopprennbahn Hoppegarten
10:11 Strandbad Wannsee
13:37 US military playing golf

Friday, June 24, 2022

Some American Fighter Aircraft

From top to bottom: F-15 Eagle, T-33 Shooting Star and P-51 Mustang
flying by Mt. Hood

Looking at this picture I immediately identified the P-51 and the F-15. I saw the one in the middle and said 'Starfire', but that's not quite right. The F-94 Starfire was developed from the T-33, but can be distinguished by the longer nose.

F-94 Starfire

The F-15 Eagle and the F-14 Tomcat are similar aircraft. Both carry two people, have two engines and twin vertical tales. The F-14 has variable swept wings. You can't really see them in this picture, so I don't know how I know it's an F-15. Maybe I've just seen enough of them that I can instinctively tell.

F-14 Tomcat

Smell Training

Big Nose

Liz Hinds has a post up about her olfactory abilities, or lack thereof. My nose doesn't work too well. I used to get sinus infections annually and some of them were pretty bad. One went on for so long that I got double vision. I suspect something in my head swole up and was pushing on my eyeball. It went on for so long that I got a pair of glasses made to correct it. After a while (six months maybe?) it went away and my vision returned to normal.

Anyway, somewhere along the way I seem to have lost my sense of smell. My wife will notice an odor and tell me about it, but I will smell nothing. I do pick up faint whiffs of odd things occasionally, so my nose isn't completely dead.

But that whole sense of smell never seemed that important to me and there aren't any smells I particularly miss. Some things smell better than others, but I don't get any particular enjoyment out of them. I can still smell smoke, which is good. Probably a very primitive survival instinct which may be why I haven't lost that ability.

I kind of wonder if smell training would help me, but I already have several regimens that I fail to keep up with. Don't really need another one.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Gigatron TTL Computer without a Microprocessor

The Gigatron TTL Computer without a Microprocessor
The 8-Bit Guy

One of my favorite classes back in college was machine logic. We studied the transistor constructs called gates - AND gates, OR gates, NAND gates - and how they could be combined to build things like registers, adders and multipliers. Once you have that, you can build a computer. Didn't actually do that because by that time computers were being built with integrated circuits that contained zillions of transistors. Building your own computer without integrated circuits would have been like building your own automobile engine starting with a pile of iron ingots. You could do it, but you would need either a very good reason or an unholy obsession.

I spent a couple of years programming an 8-bit microcontroller. All my code was written on a PC and then downloaded into the target board through a serial port. There were some challenges, mainly with the machine-code hoops you had to jump through to access extended memory. It wasn't terribly fast, but you could download 100KB of code in a couple of minutes.

So this video was a nice trip down memory lane. When I saw the case and heard his description of the manual I was afraid it was going to a rich-kids play pretty, like a thousand dollars, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it only cost $200. I'd buy one, but it would just sit on the shelf waiting for me to get a round toit, and round toits, as we all know, are in short supply.

Lachhiman Gurung

1 Gurkha vs 35 Japanese Soldiers, 1945
The Operations Room

People run on emotions and belief. Propaganda inspires belief. If people at the highest levels are left unchecked, shit happens. Sorry, I'm a little fuzzy today, but I thought this was a good story, well told.

Quote of the Day

Designed to mark the 1969 Stonewall riots and LGBTQ rights, Pride Month has become an opportunity for multinational corporations like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Intel and so on to vomit rainbow colors onto their social media profiles like a herd of bulimic unicorns. - RT

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Wander - Movie

WANDER Trailer (2020) Tommy Lee Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Heather Graham Movie
Movie Coverage

An odd little film. We've got a couple of guys living in travel trailers out in the middle of nowhere, doing a regular conspiracy theory podcast. One of them has suffered a tragedy, add in the pain pills for his physical injuries and he's not the most clear headed thinker, he might even be slightly deranged. He gets a call to investigate a murder in the town of Wander, and so he goes and digs around and discovers some real evil things going on. Or does he? Is this all a delusion? There are all kinds of things that don't make a lot of sense, but there's all kinds of weird stuff too. And just when you think everything has been explained, something else happens that flips your understanding of what's going on. Is he deluded, or did this stuff really happen? That flip happens more than once, and even at the end it still wasn't clear.

The subtitle on Variety's review is:
Director April Mullen and writer Tim Doiron’s latest collaboration is a paranoid thriller too twisty for its own good.
Amazon Prime, I think.

There was some kind blurb about 'land acknowledgement' at the beginning. I don't know who is promoting these things, but they strike me as annoying nonsense, kind of like the Black Lives Matter propaganda that flooded the country recently. They do this before the start of shows at Portland Center Stage, too. Stupid Limousine Bolsheviks.

I read the news today, oh boy

Ukrainian soldiers move a US-supplied M777 howitzer into position to fire at Russian positions in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region. © AP / Efrem Lukatsky

This story on RT:

Glenn Diesen: As propaganda about a Ukrainian ‘victory’ retreats, is a split emerging in the West?

opens with some history:

During the Russian Civil War, the journalist Walter Lippman observed the dilemma of propaganda – it had the positive effect of mobilizing the public for conflict, but the negative outcome of obstructing a workable peace agreement.

The British had drummed up public support for intervention in the conflict by reporting on Polish victories, fleeing communists, and the pending collapse of the Bolsheviks. In reality, the opposite was happening. Lippman argued that because the UK public had been promised victory, there was no political appetite for a reaching a diplomatic settlement.

The Russian Civil War? Oh, you mean the Bolshevik Revolution that started during tail end of WW1 and went on for six years. And Walter Lippman - that's a name I haven't heard in a long time. The 'observed' link goes to an archived copy of a study Lippman wrote for the New Republic back in 1920 that looks at the bias in reporting on the Russian Civil War.

Mr. Diesen goes on to compare the propaganda campaign being waged against Russia and how that is going to affect any kind of settlement.

I don't know what those chowder heads in the Biden administration are trying to do. It looks to me like they are funneling money to the defense industry at the expense of everyone else in America in order to destroy Ukraine.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


I'm reading a post by Joseph Moore on Yard Sale of the Mind and I come across this phrase: 

"discerned out of the priesthood"

which throws me. I've heard all of those words before, but not in that combination. What in tarnation is he talking about? A story on Catholic News Agency explains it. It concerns people discerning their calling. If they decide they want to be a priest and join a seminary, they are 'discerned in'. If they later decide that the priesthood is not for them and leave the seminary, they are 'discerned out'.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Without Remorse - Movie

Without Remorse - Official Trailer | Prime Video
Prime Video

A Tom Clancy story. We've got Navy Seals fighting the Russians in a conflict set up by some reptile-brains in the US administration. Pretty brutal. There were a few minor glitches along the way, like the airliner was supposedly flying at altitude, but it manages to fall to the ground in less than a minute, and who drives the getaway vehicle through the center of an intersection crawling with cops? Admittedly, the cops were a bit distracted, but why do it, unless you were looking for a dramatic effect. So, not a great movie, but lots of violent fights involving whatever kinds of weapons our guys can lay their hands on.

P.S. Now it occurs to me that people don't always go to war because they see an advantage for their country in attacking another. It might be to gain territory or settle some grievance. Oftentimes it is simply to gain some political advantage in their own country, kind of like when Argentina attacked the Falklands, or when the reptilians in the current US administration took Russia's attack on Ukraine as an opportunity to dump a zillion dollars into our military industrial complex. The reptilians don't give a fig about Ukraine. They say they are 'helping' Ukraine in order to drain Russia. I'm not so sure. I suspect they only care about lining their own pockets. Making the war more expensive for Russia means Russia is going to be pouring more money into their own defense industry. What if the owners of our defense industry and the owners of the Russian defense industry are the same guys? Then the war in Ukraine is being fought just to enrich the owners of the global defense industry. If a few thousand peasants die, well, that should make the rest of them more tractable. There's a lizard-brain conspiracy theory for you.

Desolate or Comfortable

 Vybuty in the Pskov Province
198 piece jigsaw puzzle

I don't know what "Vybuty in the Pskov Province" means. Google Translates Vybuty as 'go out' or 'knocked out'. It sounds like those Star Trek aliens who only speak in metaphors.

Google Maps didn't have any trouble locating it.

Google Photo Sphere

Here we have another view of the same building from 1500 feet away.

Google Photo Sphere

Looking at the original picture I was torn between thinking whether this looked like a cozy rural setting or a remote desolate  outpost. So much depends on the context. In movies, it depends on the music. Spooky music and this place could look very grim. Cheerful music and it could be very comfortable.

In truth the place is about 150 miles southwest of St. Petersburg (Leningrad for all you die hard commies out there) and ten miles east of Estonia.

The Medical Industrial Complex

Industrial Medicine

Another in my continuing series and what's wrong with America.

Covid Exposed the Medical-Pharmaceutical-Government Complex by Mark Oshinskie

"Medicine is the new American religion."

I sort on knew the Medical Industrial Complex was getting out of hand, but I didn't realize just how bad it was.

You know who the absolute worst villains are in movies and TV shows? The guys who are so polite and self-effacing as they feed you into a wood chipper. That's who. Kind of like the critters in Congress.

The Lincoln Lawyer - the 2022 Netflix series, not the Mathew McConaughey movie from 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer | Official Trailer | Netflix

Pretty good legal drama with a couple of surprise twists. Of course there are surprise twists, but one really caught me by surprise. I can often see where things are headed, but this show pulled a big one off, and it seemed pretty believable. Well, it convinced me. 

The lead character spent some time in Mexico as a child. His English is perfect, except every once in a while you can hear a bit of an accent. It was kind of weird, because most of his English was fine, and then you hear a couple of words and the accent shows. The actor is Mexican, so he's probably not faking the accent.

I remember I enjoyed the Mathew McConaughey movie. This series isn't as good, but it was plenty entertaining. The story is from a book by Michael Connelly. I've read some of his stuff. He writes a decent murder mystery.

10 episodes

Update September 2023 replaced missing video.

Eileen Sheridan (cyclist)

Eileen Sheridan

Eileen was quite the cyclist:

Eileen Sheridan on her record-breaking ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 1954. She did the 842 miles in 2 days 11 hours and 7 minutes. - daily timewaster

Google estimates it would take you a bit longer:

Land’s End to John O’Groats via bicycle
(83 hours)

A commenter on daily timewaster tells us she road a Hetchins bicycle. Sheldon Brown has one.

Curly Stays on a Hetchins bicycle

The curly stays might be unique. I've never seen the like before. Back when I used to ride bicycles, I was taking to a guy at the local bike shop and he's telling me that he finds a steel frame bicycle is more comfortable to ride, possibly because the steel flexes and aluminum frames don't. I never noticed, but then I was pretty much focused on just getting one more turn of the pedals. I was never a powerful rider.

Hetchins is also known for their fancy lugwork:

Hetchins custom handlebar stem

According to Wikipedia, Eileen is only 4'11" tall and is still alive.

Jolt - Movie with Kate Beckinsale

JOLT - Official Trailer | Prime Video
Prime Video

The general idea is we have an attractive, slim young woman with anger management issues who beats up a bunch of big, strong men. I've seen enough movies like this that the big fight scene is kind of boring. There are a lot of other fight scenes though, and they are pretty great, because they are all unique maybe?

The movie is very silly and it knows it, so we have a lot of deliberate comedy. It's very funny, in  a gruesome / off color kind of way. There is some treachery and deception, but that is just the line they use to hang all the action scenes on. 

Jai Courtney

The leading man, Jai Courtney, reminds of any number of Disney animated heroes , like Buzz Lightyear.

All around pretty great.

One hour and a half on Amazon Prime

Wrath of Man

WRATH OF MAN | Official Trailer | MGM Studios

Another old, famous movie actor showing that he is still a tough guy, ala Tom Cruise. Jason Statham is 54 years old, Cruise is 59. This show isn't all fisticuffs, guns are the predominate weapon here and there is an impressive gun battle towards the end.

The story involves looting the central depot for an armored car company. Supposedly on Black Friday the depot will have collected $180 million in cash from the retail businesses in central Los Angeles. Is that even possible? I mean, does anyone still use cash? Wouldn't the bulk of the sales be done using credit cards? Let's do some math. The City of Los Angeles has a population of roughly four million, and that's not counting all the surrounding cities that make up the great Los Angeles megapolis. If ten percent of the people still use cash, and they each spend $50 on Black Friday, which might buy you a T-shirt, you'd have $200 million bucks, so I guess maybe it is possible.

Holt McCallany

Holt McCallany plays a lead role in the story. Spoiler - he turns out to be a bad guy, but we don't get a single clue that he is a villain until he announces it. I mean, that's one of the standard tricks of murder mysteries on TV. There are always subtle clues that so-and-so is not quite on up-and-up. Sometimes it's a red herring, and sometimes there are so many suspicious characters you want to throw your entire bowl of popcorn at the screen. I mean some stories have so many suspicious characters you begin to suspect that the whole town is just a hub of villainy. We have a bunch of unlikeable characters here, but it's mostly just macho guys being rude and crude.

Amazon Prime, 2 hours.

Them Shoes

Them Shoes
Patrick Sweany - Topic

Just caught my ear and won't let go.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Bad Weather Carrier Landing

bad weather landing
Douglas Jones

Gives you a slightly different perspective on carrier operations than you get with Top Gun.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Four Masted Barque rounding Cape Horn 1928 - Captain Irving

Four Masted Barque rounding Cape Horn 1928 - Captain Irving
Andre AquaRed


Via Uniberp.

LEGO Mangle rack clock

LEGO Mangle rack clock
Akiyuki Brick Channel

Saw GIF of this but I couldn't figure out just what it was supposed to be doing. Awful lot of monkey motion for a clock, and it wasn't clear that it was made of LEGOs. A little digging turned up this video. Very cool. 

One of the more clever parts was the design of the 11:1 gear reduction. He needed this because of the output speed of the LEGO motor.

I hate to think how much money he spent on this, but I suppose it's like any hobby. If he spent a thousand dollars on it, and then spent a thousand hours building it, that's only a dollar an hour, which is pretty cheap entertainment.

I did not find a parts list, though this video only came out last month. Akiyuki has provided parts lists for other projects, so we may see a parts list sometime soon. The motorcycle kit he referenced costs $230, though you can apparently get the same kit from a vendor on Etsy for $100. Don't know how that works. LEGO made too many? China cloned the kit? They fell off the back of a truck? Who knows, certainly not me.

Elizabeth from Bioshock

Elizabeth from the video game Bioshock
300 piece jigsaw puzzle

300 piece jigsaw puzzles are a little tough on my small monitor [1600 x 900], but this one was considerably easier than the last one. Having large areas all of one color along with a few distinct elements helped. Elapsed time was five and a half hours, though I suspect I only spent about half that time working on it.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Zebra Puzzle

Zebra in the grasslands of the Serengeti in Tanzania, East Africa. (Shutterstock)

Diabolical daughter brought this puzzle to our regular exercise-the-old-man's-brain session the other day. Otherwise known as Einstein's Riddle, we have five houses and a list statements concerning each of these houses, things like their nationality of the person who lives there, the kind of pet they keep, what brand of cigarette they smoke, etc.

We worked on it for a bit and eventually came to realize that we were not going to be able to solve this with pure logic. We would need to arbitrarily assign some people to houses and see what shakes out. We only had to go down two or three blind alleys before we came up with a solution.

I'm looking at this and I'm thinking I could easily write a computer program to solve it, so I did. But it doesn't work. I've gone over the logic with a fine tooth comb and I can find nothing wrong. Obviously I am missing something, so I thought I would try and explain the logic in English and maybe something will jump out at me.

The statements typically state that same guy who smokes brand X of cigarettes also favors drink Y. If all the statements were like that, it would be simple to sort it out, but some of the statements tells us that the guy who keeps animal Z lives next door to the house painted with color C.

So for each rule, I scan the table that contains our proposed solution, looking for the first item. If I find it, I check the slot for the second item in this house and the adjacent houses, depending on what the statement says.

That all seems great. For each rule I place two items and if I get through all the rules, I should have all items placed in the table, but when I get to the end, there are still several empty slots. How can that be?

That was yesterday. Last night I found the problem - array index out of bounds. Kind of amazing that it didn't cause a crash. I guess it wasn't that far out of bounds.

When I was writing this program I thought I would be cute and define the array that holds the answer to have six columns, one more than the number of houses. From reading the problem, we see that the houses are apparently numbered one through five. I could use an array with five columns, but then every time I wanted to use a house number to index into this array I would need to remember to reduce it by one. So we have six columns and we use the house number to index into this array. Since I have an extra column (column zero) I used it for labels.

Pretty silly since I only used the house number in a couple of spots. But now since I am starting my index from one instead of from zero I think I should increase the limit by one, which was a big fat error being as I using the dimension of the array as the limit. Adding one to the defined limit means you are going to step over the line when you get to the end. The problem was obvious when I was finally able to see it.

I used Wikipedia's example as my basis.

The program is not as clean as it could be, I copied and pasted a few lines of code in several spots. It didn't seem worthwhile to rearrange the world just to eliminate these few duplicate lines. 

Some people have tried writing programs that will read the English text of the problem, interpret it, and then find a solution. That might be an interesting project, but a project it would be. I already have too many projects. I just did this for fun.

I've uploaded the source to github.


Lighthouse & Avery Glynn winning 5,000 Derby at Sonoma Horse Park
Avery Glynn

California Bob's daughter competed in the Sonoma Horse Park Summer Solstice. I suspect the course she was competing on was similar to the one in the video, though the jumps might have been a little lower. Bob tells us her jumps were 18 inches, the ones in the video look more like two feet.

I've only ridden well trained trail horses, so I don't know how much skill is involved. Oh, wait, I did get bucked off a horse once when we rode over a creek and the animal shied from a hole in the road, a hole through which you could see the water running underneath. So I'm not that skilled.

Watching cowboys and indians deftly maneuver on horses in the movies kind of glosses over the skill and practice involved. Watched a Nigerian movie recently with horses and we saw a very different level of skill exhibited. Both the riders and horses looked clumsy.

There are seven million horses in the USA. I think horses are hard coded into our brains.

Bender is on the Loose

UNIVAC Office in Marina City, Chicago, 1967

Flares into Darkness wants to wish you a Merry Univacmas

Watson the new computer overlord

Na Na Na Na Songs

Ini Kamoze - Here Comes The Hotstepper (Remix) (Video)

Na na na na must be the most used song lyrics in the entire universe. My daughter played this song (Here Comes The Hotstepper) for me the other day, telling me she remembers me playing it in the morning when I was fixing breakfast for the kids 20 odd years ago. I suppose that's possible, the song came out in 1995. However, I don't remember it.  But but there's a lot of stuff I don't remember from back then, so it's possible. The Na na ni na chorus does have a familiar beat to it.

I went looking for other other Na na na na songs and there seems to be an endless supply of them. I found a couple of lists and several on reddit. I took them all and put them in a YouTube playlist. I had not heard of most of these songs, and most of them rate a zero or even a negative number on my personal appreciation scale. There were a few songs that I recognized and liked. I put them at the top of the list. Of the songs I liked and recognized, none struck me as being Na na na na songs, there are other lyrics that are more memorable or even defining.

This is only tune I liked that I recognized as being a Na na na na song:

Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye 1969 with Lyrics

There are different rhythms to these na na na na choruses. The rhythm in Hotstepper is unique, it is more like na na na ni na na na ni na. I didn't hear it in any of the other tunes. It sounds very familiar, I am sure I have heard it somewhere else before, but I cannot place it.

Su-27 of Ukraine

Су-27 Украины
[Su-27 of Ukraine]
120 piece jigsaw puzzle

Su-27 has appeared here before, though they are usually from Russia, not Ukraine.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Starting the Car

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Dashboard

The procedure for getting in my car, starting it and getting going is a little different now than the way it used to be. In the old days, I would:

  • Get my key ring out of my pocket. My keys were all metal and were all on a single key ring.
  • Select the correct key, insert it in the lock on the car door and turn to unlock the door.
  • Open the door
  • Get in the car
  • Put the key in the ignition lock
  • Turn the key and start the engine
  • Close the door
  • Buckle the seat belt
  • Put the transmission in drive
  • Drive away
  • Turn on the radio
  • Get the key fob with the attached key out of my pocket
  • Press the button on the fob to unlock the car
  • Open the door
  • Get in the car
  • Close the door
  • Put the key in the ignition
  • Get my phone out of my pocket
  • Plug stereo cable into my phone
  • Dial up YouTube music on my phone
  • Press the play button
  • Turn the volume on the phone up 
  • Acknowledge the warning about excessive volume
  • Finish turning the volume on the phone all the way up 
  • Stash the phone in the drink holder
  • Buckle the seat belt
  • Turn the key and start the engine
  • On the cars control panel, turn the volume up to a comfortable level 
  • Put the transmission in drive
  • Drive away
There a couple of reasons for the difference. In the old days there was always a question of whether the junker I was driving was going to start. Don't bother doing anything more than the bare essentials before the engine is started. We've moved past that, but now we have a bleeping alarms going off any time the computer isn't happy, so the order I have developed is to ensure that I won't be disturbed by those mother loving cheeping chirpers. Don't put the key in the ignition until you have closed the door, otherwise you'll get bonged. Don't buckle your seatbelt before you get your phone out or you'll be fighting the seatbelt. Don't turn the key in the ignition before you buckle your seatbelt or you'll get kabonged.

I don't carry my phone in my hand because I need one hand for the key and one hand for the door latch. Trying to do two things with one hand increases the chances of dropping something, something that will inevitable fall through a sewer grate and lead to much misery and teeth gnashing. I try and avoid those kind of situations.

On the upside, I get a decent selection of music, uninterrrupted by ads.

Computer Math

Ariane 5 rocket launch explosion
Amazing Info TV

Yesterday at lunch I heard a somewhat bizarre story about how an error in a math calculation caused an industrial disaster. While there have been incidents where a computer error resulted in a disaster (the Ariane space rocket (above) being one) I haven't found any confirmation of this particular story. But while I was looking I did find a couple of curious items.

Both of these items are relatively ancient, one is from 2006 and the other is from 2015. Both contained short programs that demonstrated their problems, so I tried them out on my machine and the same problem appeared. Well, looky there, magic!

I'm only posting this as a waypoint marker. We'll see if I get any farther down this road.

My test program for 2006 problem on github.

My test program for 2015 problem on github.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


Pretty great. Murder mystery set in Cairns in northeast Australia, which is well into the tropics. We've got crocodiles and venomous snakes and cast of oddball characters. The scene is reminiscent of Crocodile Dundee. And then we have people using snake venom like a recreational drug to get high. Sounds sketchy, but it might be a real thing. Shoot, knowing how weird people can be I'm sure it's a real thing somewhere.

The show got me to thinking about how lucky I am to have a family. I didn't see much of my family when I was in my twenties, but they were still there. People who don't have a family, or have a useless one, are going to have a much rougher time. Not sure what can be done about that. That's probably where cults get their members.

On Amazon FreeVee for free, but with ads. I don't know why it's not available without ads on Amazon Prime. There were only a couple of short ads in the first episode, as we go along there were more and longer ads. It got to be pretty obnoxious toward the end. They do post the amount of time remaining on the screen, which is nice.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Britain, 2049

Britain, 2049

An entertaining look at the future from The Critic:
Britain, 2049
You’ll own nothing, and you won’t be particularly happy about it
By Sam Ashworth-Hayes

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Gun Liability Insurance


This idea just occurred to me. I don't know if it's a good idea or a bad one. I am sure that most everyone will object to it. Whatever. Here goes.

How about we require everyone who carries a gun to carry a large liability policy, like, I dunno, a million dollars or so. Of course many people have guns at home and do not normally carry them, but since they have them in their possession they easily could pick them up and carry them. So everyone who has a gun would need one of these policies.

Now people of the gun will object that it infringes on "their right to bear arms", and enforcing a  requirement that all gun owners obtain such a policy would be an invasion of privacy.

Making it an absolute requirement that all gun owners carry such liability insurance would never fly. But we could start by making it a requirement that you need to show proof of such insurance in order to buy a gun or ammunition. It's pretty much universal that you need to have insurance in order to operate a motor vehicle, so requiring insurance for certain activities is nothing new.

Now people are going to object to the government keeping records of all the gun and ammunition sales, but it doesn't need to be like that. The government has made it a legal requirement that you need to demonstrate that you are of age in order to buy liquor, but the government doesn't keep track of all those transactions.

But where is this insurance going to come from? From insurance companies, presumably, certainly not from the Federal government.

Now the rates might be kind of high to start with, but as more people acquire policies, the rates should drop. Given that there are a zillion gun owners in the USA, and given the small number of incidents where a previously solid citizen goes off the deep end and kills someone, insurance shouldn't cost the individual gun owner more than about ten dollars a year.

It would be up to the insurance companies to vet the applicant. Some insurance companies may discriminate against some people for any number of reasons, and you really couldn't blame them. They are signing up to be on the hook for a million smackolas if Johnny Q. Customer decides to go round the bend. But insurance is a private business, not a government thing, so there might be other companies that would be willing to insure Johnny Q.

Hopefully, by putting insurance companies in charge of deciding who is qualified to carry a firearm could reduce the number of nut cases who can obtain guns. And if they do, and they do run amok, well, at least the victims will get some compensation.

It would probably be ten years or so before such a policy started making an impact.

Yup, I'm late to the party San Jose passed a law back in January. As expected, some people are contesting it. If it passes the challenges, the law is supposed take effect in August.


Joker on the Street - Lefteris Pitarakis

Richard Fernandez has a post up on PJ Media:

He talks about Red China, the Cultural Revolution, and Woke idiocy. Great stuff for Sunday morning.

P.S. This is the third post in a week with a picture of the Joker - one and two.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

F/V Kari Marie

F/V Kari Marie

My nephew is back to fishing in Alaska. This time he's onboard F/V Kari Marie, a tender as opposed to an actual fishing boat. As I understand it, the fishing boats catch the fish and then unload their catch onto the tender which carries the loads from several fishing boats back to the processing plant. This means the fishing boats don't have to spend time traveling back and forth, they can get right back to fishing.

Marine Traffic around Dutch Harbor Alaska

They are operating out of Dutch Harbor which is literally a stone's throw from Unalaska which is where the Alyeska Seafood processing plant is. Unalaska is in the middle of the above map, though it might be a little hard to make out. The map shows an area approximately 1800 miles across. As you can see, there are a bunch of fishing boats in the area, but given the scale they are dozens of miles apart.

Dutch Harbor / Unalaska is only 35 miles southwest of the Trident Seafood processing plant on Akutan island.

Quote of the Day

Cheshire Cat and Alice - VailedValor

From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll:

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad, you’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad,” asked Alice?

“You must be,” said the cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”