Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sinatra did it “his way”.

There are a few standards which started out as French songs, such as “These Foolish Things” was “Ces petits choses”, “The Falling Leaves” was “Les feuilles mortes”, and so on. But I bet you didn’t know that “my way” started out as this song.

French pop/rock artist (also known as “yé-yé or “yeah-yeah”), Claude François, released this emotional song about a couple growing apart in November 1967 not suspecting that Comme d’habitude would become an international hit thanks largely to its English cover, “My Way,” written by Paul Anka and popularised by Frank Sinatra. To date, Comme d’habitude has been covered 1327 times by more than 570 artists and remains the most exported French song of all time.

I wasn’t going to post the original lyrics, but they are so different from the Sinatra/”My way” ones.

Je me lève
Et je te bouscule
Tu ne te réveilles pas
Comme d’habitude
Sur toi je remonte le drap
J’ai peur que tu aies froid
Comme d’habitude
Ma main caresse tes cheveux
Presque malgré moi
Comme d’habitude
Mais toi tu me tournes le dos
Comme d’habitude

Et puis je m’habille très vite
Je sors de la chambre
Comme d’habitude
Tout seul je bois mon café
Je suis en retard
Comme d’habitude
Sans bruit je quitte la maison
Tout est gris dehors
Comme d’habitude
J’ai froid je relève mon col
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude
Toute la journée
Je vais jouer à faire semblant
Comme d’habitude
Je vais sourire
Oui comme d’habitude
Je vais même rire
Comme d’habitude
Enfin je vais vivre
Comme d’habitude
Et puis le jour s’en ira
Moi je reviendrai
Comme d’habitude
Et toi tu seras sortie
Et pas encore rentrée
Comme d’habitude
Tout seul j’irai me coucher
Dans ce grand lit froid
Comme d’habitude
Mes larmes je les cacherai
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude
Meme la nuit
Je vais jouer à faire semblant
Comme d’habitude
Tu rentreras
Comme d’habitude
Je t’attendrai
Comme d’habitude
Tu me souriras
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude
Tu te déshabillera
Comme d’habitude
Tu te coucheras
Comme d’habitude
On s’embrassera
Comme d’habitude

“My Way”

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows
I took the blows
And did it my way

Yes, it was my way

Jean-Paul Belmondo est mort!

I’ve known about it for a couple of days since I was greeted by a banner announcing that when I went to the FNAC site to research Apple Macs. Another thing I would have posted about if I were still on Fesses de Bouc. Although, Belmondo is one of the famous French Film stars, he’s more associated with the Nouvelle-Vague. Or “New Wave” in English, but the “vague” seems to carry over since those films tend to be something a certain sort of viewer likes.

He did do some things that were more mass market, but Bout de Souffle tends to be his most famous work. Borsalino is another one he did, but I think of Alan Delon more than Belmondo. In fact, I need to go and watch some of Belmondo’s classics to remember him. I have seen his films, but he’s one of those actors who is an actor and becomes the role so much that you forget about who is playing and pay more attention to the character.

Belmondo will be a definite part of French Culture even if he may never reach the controversiality of a Serge Gainsbourg or bring out the divided feelings Gainsbourg or Johnny Hallyday will raise if you mention them to a French person.

Je suis vraiment tenté de commencer à poster en français.

Although, my guilty pleasure is to speak English. It always has despite my confusion as to what exactly is “mon langue maternelle”. German, English, and French are all in the running for that title, which is obvious if you either speak to me or read my writing with a knowledge of those three languages.

At least I don’t use German syntax, but I do capitalise like one. Especially when typing. Although, my choice of computer keyboards is UK English and I have used other languages. French keyboards drive me nuts. US English, not so much, but they still can get annoying.

Oh, and French is actually a difficult language, which even the French will admit once you get to know them. One literally will spend all one’s life learning the language. There’s a nice big book called “Grand dictionnaire des difficultés et pièges de la langue française” (ISBN: ‎ 978-2035898227) which translates as “large dictionary of the difficulties and traps of the French language“. A search of ‎”pièges langue française” results in quite a few books.

I can get into why French isn’t totally my language of choice (and neither is German), which most of the arguments will be shot down by some French speakers. Others will agree with me.

Actually, French isn’t that hard, but I think French teachers have an agreement to make it hard. There are something like 17 French verb cases, of which not all of them are used. I have had a few French teachers tell me not to bother with passé simple since it isn’t used that much in real life. On the other hand, teachers of French love it. That and Tout/Toute/Tous/Toutes.

Karen O’Toole wrote a pretty accurate book on French verbs called “How To Cheat at French Verbs” (ISBN: 978-0982901946). Futur passé anyone? I agree with her in that one doesn’t need to study lots of verb cases for conversational French. Written French is another thing.

Posted 04/09/2021 by lacithedog in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Why bother

I seem to be doing things quite remotely these days. Nothing like having conversations with people who are “at your door” via the internet.

I had to decide whether I would become inactive or retired on my law licenses. I’m going with active still since I make legal opinions.

The upside: I can do my CLE remotely!

Posted 28/04/2021 by lacithedog in Uncategorized

Social media casse mon cul!

I was trying to make a post, but couldn’t do it the way I want. Screw this.

Posted 19/02/2021 by lacithedog in Uncategorized

Brussels Eurodisney Promo Photo

In the “weird stuff I saw when I was living in Belgium” Department, here is a picture of EuroDisney’s promo castle which was set up in the Cinquantinaire (near Merode Station where I was living). The juxtaposition of real history and Disney was interesting to me.

Posted 29/11/2020 by lacithedog in Uncategorized

Reparations and Seven generations

The Great Law of the Iroquois holds it appropriate to think seven generations ahead (about 140 years into the future). Slavery ended 155 years ago if you use “Juneteenth”.

There are many legal doctrines which hold a claim to be void if it is made too long past the event (e.g., Laches in equity). Statutes of limitations preclude a legal case being made past any time in which it could be seen as being valid.

Any argument for reparations for slavery would require a serious demonstration that said reparations would make sense. On the other hand we would have to give money to people like Oprah Winfrey, Ursula Burns, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

Does that make sense?

Posted 27/07/2020 by lacithedog in Uncategorized

Adios! (sort of)

I’ve been weaning myself from “social media” for a while. Blogging has never really been a thing for me the way some people do it. Now, WordPress has decided to change their editor, which is driving me nuts.

Maybe I’ll still post at Penigma if there is something I need to vent about.

Posted 12/07/2020 by lacithedog in Uncategorized

America’s Gun

There isn’t a consensus on what exactly that firearm would be. I’ve learned more than I have ever cared to know about the AR-15 in the past month or so. The AR15 definitely qualifies since it was designed by an American, Eugene Stoner. Enough of them are out there in the US that any chance of an “assault rifle ban” would be really difficult. And that’s even with a buyback.

I feel the same way I do about the AR15 that I do about Margaret Thatcher: I don’t like either of them, but I respect what they are in relation to their respective country’s culture. The AR15 is probably more symbolic toward US culture than Margaret Thatcher will ever be to Britain’s.

It is a symbol of militarism since it was designed over 60 years ago for the US military, with variants  used by military forces worldwide. Part of its attraction is that it is the civilian version of the US military’s weapon. And its deadliness is one of its attractive features. It is proven in combat and mass shootings.

The AR15 platform allows for it to be built in a myriad of different ways. It is also fairly easy to build with various kits being sold; from complete upper and lower receiver assemblies to the parts for making a ghost gun. Although, ghost gun means a firearm made “80%” lower receiver and parts. It is the AR15’s ability to be built by anyone which should cause people to pause.

I personally would not want to invest the time and effort into making an actual ghost gun. Complete stripped lower receivers are also available, which is the lower receiver block without the parts. That allows someone to create their custom gun. It’s easy to customise a completed lower receiver as well. Just look up a video on how to do that mod to your gun.

And there are the AR15 pistols as well, which I am mentioning since there is the debate as to how often these weapons are used in crime:

Mass shootings involving rifles like the AR-15 can produce dozens of victims at one time, and combined with extensive media coverage of these events, many people have been led to believe that such rifles pose a significant threat to public safety.

However, such shootings are extremely rare, and a look at the FBI data informs us that homicide with these types of rifles represents an extremely small fraction of overall homicide violence. Banning or confiscating such firearms from the civilian population would likely produce little to no reduction in violent crime rates in America.

Given the amount of variations on the AR15, there are a fair amount of pistol versions. One manufacturer lists barrel lengths from 8 inches to 20 inches for their upper receiver assembly. An interesting riff on all this since Orlando, Florida, authorities revised their initial description of one of the weapons used in the June 2016 attack at Pulse nightclub. After initially describing it as an “AR-15-type assault rifle,” police said it was a different type of firearm, the Sig Sauer MCX.

One the the variants of the MCX is the Rattler SBR (short barrelled rifle)[1]. While SBRs are NFA weapons, it’s pretty easy to bang one up using the AR15 platform. I would also toss in that semi-auto pistols that accept high capacity magazines are banned in some places. Additionally, a submachinegun is a machinegun that fires pistol calibre ammunition. That means that submachineguns are basically pistols that can have a very high rate of fire.

But the main reason I would say that the AR15 is America’s gun is that it will probably never be regulated despite the carnage it is capable of causing. Despite the deadly shooting in Las Vegas to the 20 toddlers killed at Sandy Hook, these weapons are more than freely available to anyone who wants one. You can buy an 80% receiver with no background check to build whatever version of an AR15 you want.

That means that anyone who is adept with metalworking tools, or just adept with tools if it’s a polymer 80, can crank out a weapon intended for the battlefield.

That should cause you to pause and think no matter what your opinion of these weapons happens to be.

[1] Short barrelled rifles are another topic which I am not going to get into.

Why I think Donald Trump will get another four years!

I remember driving through Western Pennsylvania a few days after the 2016 election. It was obvious why Trump won then. The Dems didn’t bother to reassess what happened and are now set to fuck up even worse than in 2016.

First off running, Joe Biden who was a train wreck to begin with, but continues to show WHY he is correct when he tells people to vote for the other guy. Biden lost the election when he told the UAW Worker in Detroit he didn’t need an assault rifle among other things, but it gets us to.

The Riots, while the Dems would like to pin everything on Trump. The “Trump is Bad” strategy was a loser in 2016: it’s even worse in 2020. Toss in the riots happened in Democratically controlled areas for the most part. Nixon won as the law and order candidate in 1968. Trump will win because the Dems are the party of disorganisation.

The fall out from the riots. Loads of people bought guns. Assault rifles vanished from the marketplace both brick and mortar as well as internet. Gun control, firearms regulation, gun violence prevention, or whatever you want to call it is going to be a dead letter for some time as armed bands troop around left and right: literally.

Let’s add in the talk of defunding or disbanding the police, which is one of the worst imaginable cases of branding an idea that anyone could have come up with at this time. Armed groups from all sides of the political spectrum are walking the streets: what could go wrong here? Police reorganisation might have made more sense.

But it doesn’t matter since Biden has made it clear that he’s not on board.

Let’s not forget the Covid-19 thing, which was another disaster. It was something that pointed out the need to “medicare for all”, universal basic income, or just good leadership.

In fact, the past few months have been an advertisement for why the Democrats are on the wrong track and running the wrong candidate. But I am not expecting much change. Especially when the candidate who is running is one who really isn’t going to change a thing.

Casey Jones is driving the train full speed ahead high on cocaine, And there might even be speed involved.

 

I almost bought an AR Parts Kits!

Or the more I know about the H&K 416, the more I like the SIG516.

And saying that is not totally off the topic since I found that Brownells had a do it yourself HK416 set up. You would buy one of their completed lowers with 416 markings and then get their official parts kit. Still not a cheap purchase (also no longer available) [1], but there are a few options for buying an AR15:

  • You can buy a complete off the shelf AR15
  • You can buy a lower receiver in any of several forms: complete, stripped, or 80% . Then match it with the upper receiver of your choice
  • build a complete parts kit from scratch, which can be a “ghost gun” depending on if you add a serial number or not.

The upper is the more critical part in my opinion. That means that you could pair an outrageously expensive upper with an budget lower. That is a suggestion which will get lots of groans, but isn’t too outrageous in the current climate of AR scarcity.

The opinion seems to be mil spec is mil-spec, which is true for the cheaper lowers. There are some features which can up the price, such as ambidextrous knobbies and finish. Also, it’s kinda nice to have the fancy logo to go with the one on the fancy upper.

I have to admit to being inclined toward the completed lower since changing the grip on one of these is more involved than I care for. I am not keen on having to put the pieces together. This is especially true for anything that goes bang near my face. Putting together a complete upper with a complete lower is fine with me.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the expensive options are the way I would like to go. On the other hand, market forces are working against me. We have scarcity driving up the price.

If you can find one.

The gun violence prevention crowd blew it in the past few weeks by not calling for cooler heads. Now people are scared and gun sales have skyrocketed.Not to mention there are now way more “assault rifles” out there with people who will be reluctant to give them up.

 

Footnote:
[1] H&K MR556 upper receiver is US$1839, including free shipping! You can get the BRN-4 stripped receiver for US$299.99 or there is a complete receiver for auction at US$1,100. That means you could have part of an HK for around US$2100 (still gotta get the rest of the parts to complete the lower) or a whole one for US$2939 (unless someone ups the bids on you). Not cheap!

Go ahead, scumbag, make my day.

I’ve found that lower receiver assemblies can be bought in all sorts of interesting designs. Or if you get a blank, you can have it custom engraved.

The reason I titled this what I did is that some non-full auto receivers are marked with an, inactive, full-auto choice.

Not sure I want to have that if I get stopped by the cops. Sure, it can be disproven, but still why risk it?

I almost bought an AR Part III (Miscellaneous Thoughts)

So, do I get a package of ammunition to fight my way to the unit in the same way the Swiss do if I get an AR? 60 rounds doesn’t seem like a lot.
Swiss ammunition packageSwiss 3130953-v4-munition

 

 

 

 

 

Should I join a militia? Or is this just for individual defence?

Why am I in this position because of people who claim to want to have a peaceful society won’t renounce the use of violence?

I just heard that Minneapolis voted to defund the police last night. So much for gun control in the US.

I almost bought an AR Part II!

Well, we are being treated to an even BIGGER turn out to protest. Toss in that there is a threat of explosions at least at Philadelphia’s demonstrations.

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse”

Anyway, the gun people should be laughing their asses off that the do-gooders are doing one of the best jobs to pump up gun sales. A few months back, it looked like there was a saturated market in Assault Rifles. Now demand for the suckers has driven up the price better than the executive order of 1989! Although Assault rifles and firearms tend to have a high rate of price fluctuation depending on the political climate.

That said, I did have a few options if I didn’t want to wait in a long line only to be disappointed at the slim pickings; even in the high end department.

Ghost or parts guns. Which is kind of a big category since you can have a parts gun from a upper receiver from one company and a lower from another. There are some SIG516 uppers out there which now are in the four figure range, after a period when Sig was practically giving them away (about US$450 range). Stick that on a lower receiver, Such as Palmetto State Armoury, which is a reasonable price. It has a serial number which means it isn’t a real “ghost gun”.

The other advantage is that putting together a complete upper from one company and a complete lower from another is still like putting together an assembled firearm. Unlike a ghost gun which is a bunch of parts and sound like way more work than I want to be bothered with. Toss in that I wouldn’t trust a gun I built from scratch since I’m not a trained gunsmith. Any “advantages” to a “ghost gun” are far outweighed by the possibility of it blowing up in my face.

Bottom line, I would buy an H&K MR556 or a SIG516 right now, but it is real hard to do.

Once again, the market place helps to control firearms.

I almost bought an AR.

I guess the H&K MR556 or SIG516 are AR-15 variants.

So, number one deterrent was price. The SIG is the less expensive of the two, but still in the four figure range. We are talking a price of US$ 1400+. Ouch. Toss in that I am leaning toward the H&K compared to the Sig.

And that’s the price if you can find one.

Assault Rifles and guns in general are a hot commodity these days. For good reason given the chaos of the past week. Some people have seen it on TV. Other people have lived it.

And people want to protect themselves. And what better way than with a weapon that was designed for the battlefield and proven in mass shootings across the country. Las Vegas was a good advertisement. The chaos of the past week are the perfect advertisement for a weapon like this.

I may not like it, but it is hard to say that people shouldn’t be able to own these weapons when the cities are under siege. That makes me different from a lot of people on the left, but I am also much more pragmatic than a lot of people on the left.FireShot Capture 012 - Why are some US police forces equipped like military units_ - World n_ - www.theguardian.com

Those are the ones who are moaning about the militarisation of the police, like this article in the Guardian. But it misses something that this post is pointing out. Civilians can buy the 5.56 Assault Rifle with no problem. Shouldn’t the cops be as well armed as the civilians if they are going to keep the peace?

Toss in there is a movement to defund the police:

Defunding, said activist Jeralynn Blueford, is the logical response from leaders in this moment of unprecedented unrest. “If police had been serious about reform and policy change, then guess what? People would not be this angry.”

What The Fuck? Serious What the Fuck?

3d25106b37We have seen chaos and looting in US cities over the past week. Gun stores have lines that wrap around the block as people scramble to buy weapons to defend their homes.

While I support keeping guns out of the hands of people like criminals and the looters, it is thoroughly insane to prevent the law abiding to their safety. And for the most part I am sceptical of firearms for home defence, I can get why some people would want them.

It’s the image in this Tommy Gun ad from the days when they were freely available.  The ability to protect your home against marauding bands of evil doers.

And the do gooders (I can’t really say the left since there are some of us who get what needs to be done) who would defund the police and try to make assault rifles illegal. The argument that “no one needs one of these in a civilian world” rings hollow these days.

The chaos of the past week ISN’T the civilian world and toleration of those who are destroying US cities is wrong. It’s turning the “silence is consent” argument back at them. Even worse, it’s not silence, but outright appeasement.

Black Lives Matters lost any relevance the moment the fires and violence broke out. They could have salvaged their effort if they stood down and denounced the violence. But allowing violence on either side is wrong.

I don’t really like that I have to accept that assault rifles are an undeniable fact of US life, but there needs to be some feeling of safety and security until people stand down: especially the rioters and looters. Violence isn’t the answer. Especially if you are not the body authorised by law to keep the peace. Breaking the law really isn’t the answer.

There are options other than violence and chaos, however, there is a misguided belief that is what is necessary. That is costing the Black Lives Matters its legitimacy even amongst the people it claims to represent.

Because the people buying guns aren’t just white.