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James Jones
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The Strategy Page web site has some excellent military photos. Here's one of an illumination round being fired.

Happy birthday, +John Kochmar​!

Just installed CM 3D, and it's very impressive... [so you know a "but" is about to appear]... BUT how can I make search only go to a new screen after I've entered what I want to search for? Having it immediately switch when I tap on the region to enter a search string is proving to be amazingly irritating.

Holy cow... I read about how much setting up zram helps on a Raspberry Pi for builds (by avoiding insanely slow swapping to the micro SD card), but didn't think it might help for my purposes. Then I made the mistake of opening Chromium and visiting my Gmail page, and seeing my RPi 3 grind to a near-halt. Made it to a shell to run top, and sure enough, it was swapping. zram here I come; then I'll see what difference it makes if any.

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Sadly, the various Independence Day music specials seem to have less and less to do with Independence Day as time goes on--the one in Boston last year was infuriating with the way they cut straight to the cannon portion of the 1812 Overture, perhaps for the tl;dr portion of the audience.

Because of that, I'm not sure I'm going to watch any of them--for me, it's YouTube or maybe Pandora if they have an Independence Day channel. I'll post a few of the pieces I'll be listening to...

...starting with the maximally weird one. Charles Ives was very much his own man, with his own ideas about music. He made a living selling insurance (and suggested that other composers try their hands at non-musical labor). He didn't hesitate to write dissonant music, and urged people to "stand up and take [their] dissonance like a man"--but also wrote the serene and beautiful (though disturbing) "Unanswered Question".

He stopped composing in his fifties, afterwards just revising earlier works. One such revision is "They Are There", a WWII tweak of a WWI patriotic song he wrote. It's a wild mashup of religious and patriotic songs from when mashups weren't cool, punctuated by dissonant outbursts. There's a surviving recording of Ives performing the song, singing and playing the piano, and I urge you to give it a listen.

On The Gong Show or America's Got Talent, Ives wouldn't last twenty seconds... but he barrels through the song like a monster truck, and wins out with sincerity and honesty--you know he means what he is singing. Sometimes the emotion gets the better of him, like here:

"But there'll come a day
Hip hip Hooray
When they'll [Ives starts shouting atop rapid-fire discordant piano] SMASH ALL DICTATORS TO THE WALL!"

settling back down in time to continue.

Many thanks to Peter Schickele, on whose Schickele Mix I first heard this work, and to Aaron Copland for The "New" Music, and in particular the essay on Ives.

Among the unfortunate things that happened today, my Nexus 5X fell prey to "boot loop". Fortunately, it's within warranty (I dread the day Billie's Nexus 5X succumbs to it), and a replacement is in FedEx's hands and on its way by standard overnight.

In the meantime, my Nexus 5 is back on Ting with a different number. For $6/mo, I can keep it around and available for use should I need it again, chollileh.

Against a future ill day, time to look for ways around boot loop.

RPi 3 is up and going... and I hope that RPi 4 will have more RAM.

Geek Till It Hertz has a video about enabling ZRAM and how it cuts the time for building qt5 dependencies down by a factor of fifty. I thought that was a bigger task than I'd ever give an RPi, but yesterday, I did a startx, opened up Chromium, and with three browser tabs open, one on Gmail, things ground to a near-halt. top output showed that it was indeed swapping. I think I'll configure zram and see what difference, if any, it makes.

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Saw this and immediately thought of +Jay Maynard​.

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Bikeshedding leap years
Darn it, I fell into the trap. An early exercise in Python at  wants a function that in Haskell would have the type Int -> Bool and indicate whether a year is a leap year (under Gregorian rules, ignoring when various locales made the switch to ...

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Restaurants shooting themselves in the foot
It's pet peeve time, and here it is: restaurants that display graphic images of their menu on the web. Sometimes it's a PDF made up of graphics, sometimes it's just graphics. I wish I had a nickel for each restaurant I really like whose web site suffers fro...
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