Macbeth the Usurper


Laundry. Bread. You know the drill. Aggie was over, playing with my daughter all day and generally aggravating mayhem.

My daughter has been tearing through Harry Potter. She's now into book 5.

Ray Suarez was our guest speaker at Adult Sunday School, speaking about policy and the intersection of Christianity and our national policy. Interesting stuff.

I've been busily watching the Superman movies before they disappear from Netflix. I'm up to #3, but I don't know if I'll get through #4. (Considering #4's bad reputation, I should really see it. One does not become a connoisseur of bad cinema by watching good films.)

This week for date night, we tried Chopped. I wasn't thrilled by the overglorified salad place, but I'm sure that I can work through the menu until I work out something that I prefer.
Macbeth the Usurper

Always Coming Home (1985)

Always Coming Home (1985) by Ursula LeGuin is a textbook on a culture that doesn't yet exist. If you like reading textbooks, you'll love reading this book. My personal experience included nodding off and vertigo. Too much textbook and not enough story. It's quality stuff, just not the sort of stuff that my brain wants.

I did not complete this book.
Macbeth the Usurper

The Cost of Forced Religious Reeducation to Islam

I did some quick math to figure out how much money we would have to spend to force-convert the US population to Islam.

In food, about 25 billion. That's big enough for Congress to notice.

In salary for all the trainers, you'd need another 5 trillion dollars. Figure 10-15 trillion for all the guards necessary to keep the unwilling Americans in and in-line. Add in profit for the private companies doing the work, and you're looking at a firm 25 trillion dollars.

There you go, big Liberal government at work, wanting to spend big money, with Congress powerless to stop them (except for that whole power of the purse thing).
Macbeth the Usurper

Homework and Kids with ADHD

I grew up with ADHD and got through school on my own. I manage servers (making good money) and write books (not making good money). I've been there.

If you have any questions, as a parent, about kids with ADHC and homework, or anything like that, comment below and I'll listen, answer your questions, and help you out.

If you don't see any comments below, then you're the first. Let's start a conversation that others can learn from.
Macbeth the Usurper

Witch World (1963)

Witch World (1963) began Andre Norton's tedious legacy of Witch World novels. Flat as the proverbial flat earth, an uninteresting and disengaging hero gets transported to a different world, one of magic and technology, that proves far more tedious and less interesting than our own world. (I don't think it's supposed to work that way.)

I found this book so disinteresting that I dropped it halfway through. I simply didn't care to push through the verbiage.

Whatever charm Witch World has, it doesn't have it with me.
Macbeth the Usurper

Chalice (2008)

Chalice (2008) by Robin McKinley is a sweet slice of romance paired with a large dollop of fantasy. Served warm, they go rather well together.

The sweet romance progresses much as you would expected, with Robin finding plenty of ways move it along without the romance feeling too forced.

Robin spend considerable amounts of time ensuring that her heroine is a complete and round person, not needing a hero at all, but certainly not at the point where she doesn't need anybody.

Normally, I don't find magic systems very interesting, but I enjoyed her neighborhood fantasy, where the workings of the magical neighborhood matter. I was fascinated with idea of a magical local government, and how its members would work and function. Indeed, I found her magical beekeeper far more interesting than I find most magical folks. (I could call her a hedge wizard, but that would be like calling rice a kind of wheat. It's tru that they are both grains and very related, but you can't really call them the same thing.)

In total, I found this book a refreshing read and a nice break from doom and gloom fantasy.
Macbeth the Usurper

Weekend Wrap

In baking, I made bread, mini cinnamon rolls, and chocolate chip cookies.

Several times over the weekend, the over didn't come up to temperature correctly. This worries me. Ovens aren't cheap, and I don't know much about fixing them. I suspect that the thermometer may not be working up to snuff, but equally possible, a board in the oven might be going bad. I don't know.

I've been off Facebook for a month now, and their algorithms have finally noticed. Now I'm getting email, like from a desperate girlfriend, telling me to come back and read messages. Well, I've already fallen for that line of bullshit once, only to discover no message. Facebook, you're full of desperate shit. Go away.
Macbeth the Usurper

Star Trek: Beyond (2016)

Star Trek: Beyond (2016) is a fine example of a popcorn movie. You walk in, stuff happens, stuff keeps happening, you eat popcorn, if there's someone special, then clutching happens during the exciting parts, eye candy appears on the screen, and eventually the film is over. The end.

There's also a plot and a motivation, not that those matter very much.
Macbeth the Usurper

Fake Lore for the Y-Wing

It's a snow day, so that I thought that I'd have a bit of fun with Y-Wing lore. I've never much liked canon for the ship, so I'm going to have a bit of fun with it. I'd lake to make the Y-Wing analogous to the Mosquito fighter-bomber of WW2. The upgradability of the Y-Wing is analogous to the continuous upgrades that Merlin engine underwent during WW2, which maintained the Spitfire as a viable fighter through the entire war.

Where the Star Wars universe differs from WW2 is in its mature starship technology. Aircraft such as the A-10, the B-52, the F-15, and the MiG-21 have taught us that as long as a technology is useful, it will stick around.


The Y-Wing was designed and developed by Koensayr Manufacturing in the tense years before the Clone Wars. Aimed at smaller planetary markets, the vehicle was designed as an escort fighter, cheap to fly and cheap to maintain. The eventual production model proved overweight and underpowered. According to those early pilots, "it put the dog in dogfighter."

The Y-Wing would have gone down in history as a market failure if not for the Clone Wars. The sudden outbreak of war demanded fighters immediately, while procuring additional fighters required that manufacturing build more factories. In the face of this crisis, ground crews modified the existing Y-Wing fighters by removing weight and overcalibrated their engines. With those field changes, the humble Y-Wing's fortunes turned, quickly proving itself the best cheap starfighter in the galaxy.

The Y-Wing's saga didn't end there. Because these fighters were so easily modified, planets were able to retask these fighters into numerous roles, such as scouts, ground attack fighters, minesweepers, couriers, and torpedo boats. By the war's end, these fighters had become the predominant starfighter in the Outer Rim. General Dodona said, "They did everything that we asked of them and more."

With the rise of the Empire, the need for region defensive craft diminished. Planets that voluntarily accepted Imperial Garrisons were required to scrap their local fighter groups, and so the Y-Wing quickly disappeared from arsenals and resale lots.

With the rise of the Rebellion, salvaging those Y-Wing became mission #1. Their ease of repair and modification was exactly what the Rebellion needed. Aggressively recruiting veteran Y-Wing ground crews, General Dodona pushed the vehicle far beyond its original specifications, producing a strike fighter capable of matching matching the new Imperial TIEs. The resulting craft proved so capable and resilient that they led the Rebellion's attack on the Death Star. Late in the war, as better and more maneuverable craft arrived, the Y-Wing continued proving its worth, maintaining its place in the Rebel arsenal through the dogged innovations of its ground crews.

After the war, Y-Wing pilots often boasted, "The X-Wings got all the glory, but the Y-Wings did all the work."
Macbeth the Usurper

Snow in March

Of all things, a major snowstorm in March. It's not deep for us, but there's more than enough slush and ice to go around. Getting to work proved easy as everyone with any sense stayed home. (I'm vital, but no excuse raised its ugly head to provide me weasel room.)