Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

2011 Was pretty decent as far as years go, lots of good times, some difficult times and the good outweighed the bad by far.

Here's to hoping that 2012 is even better.

So, to all of my readers, have a very Happy New Year and All Best For You in 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jesse Jackson Threatening Civil Disobedience Over Detroit Having An EFM Appointed

Apparently, you have the grounds for a protest when you've spent all your money and the adults come in to try to fix the mess you've created. While you sound like a bunch of spoiled kids after daddy pulled your allowance, you can do it apparently, and in Jesse Jackson's case you can do it without any shame at all.

The Detroit Free Press: Civil disobedience a possibility, opponents of emergency manager law say

The Rev. Jesse Jackson joined a coalition of pastors, civil rights leaders and elected officials Thursday in Detroit to pledge strong opposition -- including civil disobedience, if necessary -- against the state's new emergency manager law.

Jackson and others likened emergency managers to dictators who wipe out the democratic process with unilateral authority to gut union contracts, sell cherished assets and slash essential services.

"We are prepared to go from education, mobilization, litigation, legislation, demonstration and civil disobedience," Jackson said during a news conference at Bethany Baptist Church on the city's west side. "We want a positive commitment to restoring democracy and economic justice for all citizens"......The coalition acknowledged the city was in a crisis but didn't offer financial solutions.

Trust Jesse to show up when there's a camera rolling and a race card to be played.

Jesse's brand of democracy and economic justice got Detroit into this mess in the first place. The residents were constantly voting for services, benefits, and union contracts that couldn't be paid for, while the clowns they elected were busy enriching themselves at their expense in between rhetoric about saving Detroit's jewels from the suburbs.

Note that John Conyers is in the picture (on the left, arms folded). Pretty amazing that Conyers is showing his face on this given that his wife Monica Conyers recently pled guilty to bribery involving Detroit City contracts. You'd think Mr. Conyers would want to stay out of the mess his wife helped create, no?

Here's some civil disobedience for you Jesse: How about you and your followers put your money where your mouth is and contribute to paying off Detroit's debt and come up with a plan to ensure the city's financial responsibility? Good luck with that.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

While Hannukah Is Inconvenient As Scheduled, Obama Makes Sure to Celebrate Kwanzaa On Time

So Obama has to celebrate Hanukkah ahead of time. Two weeks ahead of time in fact. After all, he's busy with vacations and such.

However, he had no trouble celebrating the start of Kwanzaa on the day it is scheduled to start.

So, no timely celebration for the historic holiday of Hannkah, but right on time for a black nationalist holiday created in 1966 out of whole cloth by a Marxist convicted felon.

To be fair, Obama did manage to squeeze in celebrating Christmas on its actual eve and day, in between golf rounds in Hawaii. Oh, and he also got Eid on time.

Is Detroit Dumb Enough To Reject An EFM And Go For Bankruptcy?

One possibility the City of Detroit government is kicking around to thwart the appointment an Emergency Financial Manager is to declare bankruptcy so they can maintain control of the train wreck the city has become under their decades of mismanagement.

The Detroit News: A Detroit bankruptcy would be long, costly
The deepening financial crisis in Detroit has intensified hints that the city could opt for bankruptcy, but financial experts warn the move could cost taxpayers millions, stall economic development and take years to be resolved in the courts.

Bankruptcy is an option if the city can't win major concessions from its unions and if the state's tough new emergency manager law is suspended or repealed.

Under the law passed in March, an emergency manager appointed by the governor would have the power to throw out union contracts, sell off assets such as the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department and other powers to fix the city's fiscal crisis.

Attorney General Bill Schuette said he is undecided whether Michigan would revert to its old emergency manager law if opponents get enough signatures to put the repeal question on the ballot next year.

But bankruptcy would be a worst-case scenario, warned Brad Coulter, who specializes in municipal turnaround and bankruptcy services.

"That's where the opponents of an EM maybe don't quite understand the consequences if (the law is) repealed, and Detroit has no choice but to file for bankruptcy; I think it's going to be an expensive, time-consuming potential disaster,"

It is the burn down the city in order to save it school of malfeasance in action.

An EFM should have been done long ago, but Democrat party politics got in the way. Now the restoration will be that much harder and more difficult.

With reported long-term liabilities of 12 billion dollars and an annual deficit in the millions, and the reality is there's probably even more out there that has yet to be accounted for off the books due to the game playing that has been occurring in the city, fixing this situation is going to be a real mess.

Any plan that leaves the creators and perpetrators of the problem still in charge when the plan is in place or completed will be rather hard to take seriously.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Range Day, Kid Day and Der Tag

This morning I met up with Murphy's Law and his nephew Spud and took them to the range.  It was a beautiful day, sunny and cold but crisp and we had the range all to ourselves.

We setup a couple paper targets and a mass of steel poppers and had at it.

I let the Spud shoot my Ruger Mark II. I must say, after the detailed cleaning I gave it, it functioned flawlessly with no extraction/ejection issues.

Spud did quite well shooting it, hitting the paper and "tinging" the poppers on just about every shot.

Murphy's Law had brought out, among other things, his Walther PPK.

The name is Law, Murphy's Law.
While most of the popper's wouldn't fall to the .380, a couple did, and he was getting his hits.

I shot my Glock 17 as ususal and fired a few other pistols as well including ML's PPK.  Now I want a PPK, drat.

ML and I also practiced some contact drills which were fun and rather enlightening.

We then went to the rifle range and I shot one of my AR-15s, ML shot his Mini-14 and Spud got to shoot my Marlin 795.  A good time was had by all and we were pinging the rifle range steel at 100 yards easily.

Then we had lunch together and then split up to go our separate ways for a bit. 

I went to link back up with the family at Check E Cheese's to celebrate one of the kid's friend's birthdays.  They had a good time, with Abby and Leah both winning a lot of tickets, and after that ended we commenced our next adventure.

I took Abby with me and we met ML and Spud at Zap Zone and played laser tag.

This was Abby's first time ever playing and she had a blast.  Abby ran around with us, shooting at the other team and having so much fun she asked to play another game and so we did.  I'm quite proud of how well she handled a dark and confusing environment.  She stuck close by and did great once she got the hang of it.

It was a great day and it was fun to get together with ML again. 

Tomorrow it is back to work yet again.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Freep And Progressives VERY Upset Detroit Light Rail Boondoggle is Cancelled

While this day is full of Christmas cheer for many, The Detroit Free Press is all upset that Detroit's most prominent SWPL project, a light rail line up and down Woodward Avenue has been cancelled. After all, for a modest line running 3.4 miles and costing 300 million to build and to be subsidized for eternity, for such a bargain to be cancelled is a blow to the progressive SWPL ego.

The pain of the cancellation to the progressive psyche is readily apparent in a guest editorial where the writer expresses outrage at the cancellation and insists that both light rail and a bus rapid transit system should be built and paid for by all of Michigan's taxpayers.

Instead, Mayor Bing is announcing a regional Bus Rapid Transit system, to cover 110 miles for the same cost while claiming it won't need an ongoing subsidy. Of course that claim that there will be no need for a subsidy is laughable but you have to admire him for at least trying to save some taxpayer money.

The Freep meanwhile asks readers to Name that transit (not bus) system.

I'd suggest Detroit Rapid Transit (or Detroit Regional Transit, in the spirit of recognizing that it will be the suburbs that will be subsidizing the heck out of it), to be pronounced "Dirt".

With such a name there could be truth in advertising about the service for visitors:

"Welcome to Detroit, now hit the DiRT!"


Anyone else have some fun name suggestions?

Christmas Eve with Murphy's Law

I and the family received an invite from Murphy's Law to spend Christmas Eve with his family. He came to town and brought Murphy with him.  Getting together with Murphy's Law and his folks for Christmas has become an annual tradition.

This was the first time for me and the kids to meet Murphy and he was very well behaved indeed.

Yes, I'm a good dog.

The kids had no problems petting him and he was very gentle and friendly. The time and love Murphy's Law has put into training him has certainly paid off.

In the crimes of opportunity department, however, he did scarf down a lemon meringue pie before we arrived. But if you leave a pie within a dog's reach and leave the kitchen its considered an attractive nuisance so there is some mitigation in sentencing.

Pie, for me? Well, if you insist by leaving it out...



After a great traditional dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy and all the trimmings, we exchanged gifts.

We got the Spud an MSU watch and a custom MSU light plate for his room.


As to the gift I had alluded to in my previous post for Murphy's Law, it decodes to: Ruger LCP stuff.

I got him a DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster for the LCP and a Ruger factory spare magazine for it.

I received a cool book from him: The Lost Squadron: A Fleet of Warplanes Locked in Ice for Fifty Years.  The book is about  the recovery effort to retrieve a squadron of P-38s and B-17s that had been buried 260 feet under the ice in Greenland after crash landing there in World War 2.  In keeping with the theme, I plan to read it this winter on a day when we're iced in to the house.

The kids got some nice craft activities as presents and everyone had a good time.

Murphy even got some yummy roast beast scraps and a walk out of the deal and was a very happy dog with all the attention.

Merry Christmas to you all from a good dog.

So to my Christian readers out there, may you have a very Merry Christmas indeed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Is It Safe? A Review of Two Bedside Gun Safes

As everyone knows, owning a firearm for personal defense is not only a right but also a big responsibility.

Preventing the firearm from falling into unauthorized hands, especially if you have kids is a high priority. However, you also want to be able to quickly access your firearm in case of need. So what to do?

There are numerous potential solutions but having a gun safe that can be opened quickly by the bedside certainly fits the bill.

1. The Gunvault GV1000C-DLX Mini Vault Deluxe






Interestingly enough, you can get the Gunvault Mini Vault Deluxe on Amazon right now for less than the Amazon price for the standard Gunvault Mini.

The Good:
Quiet operation, excellent manual and easy to make operational. Setting the code was a breeze as was silencing the beeps when entering the code. It has a crossbar to keep the batteries in place and was not bad to install them.

The Gunvault Mini holds a Glock 23 and Kahr PM9 and a folding knife rather tightly without much room for anything else, but the size form factor doesn't take up a lot of real estate on or in your nightstand. If you need more room than that, get the GunVault -Double Gunvault Safe.

The foam is thick and nicely cushions the firearms.

Operation of the safe is vewy, vewy quiet. Elmer Fudd would approve while hunting rabbits quiet. This is good for quickly and quietly getting access to your firearm if you need it.

The Gunvault Mini deluxe comes with an external AC adapter so you don't have to rely on the batteries, and two manual keys to open the safe if all else fails.

The Bad:
No negatives to report so far. I like this one quite a lot. The finger grooves give quick access in the dark and the silent operation is a nice contrast to the DAC Sportsafe.

2. The DAC Sportsafe





The Good:
Very roomy, inexpensive and works quite well, at least for awhile.
At 11.5 X 6.75 X 8.5, the DAC Sportsafe is a heavy and roomy safe indeed. Easily holding a Glock 23, a Kahr PM9, a spare mag for each and other accessories with room to spare for keys and other items it is quite large and certainly takes up some space on or in a nightstand. The DAC also comes with 4 keys to open the safe should the batteries run out or you forget the code.

The DAC appears to be a cheaper Gunvault knock-off, even the manner of resetting your keycode is the same, but it doesn't have the finger channels, only raised buttons that worked well enough in the dark once you index on them.

Battery life is decent, which is good, as changing them is a pain.

The door opens quickly and with authority when the proper code is entered.

The Bad:
The interior is a thick neoprene-like material but it seems rather cheaply made and is not as thick nor cushioning as the Gunvault. The beeper unit fell off the side of the safe early on, and there is no crossbar to ensure the batteries stay wedged tight against the top of the safe as you go to install them. Changing the batteries is not easy. You have to empty the safe and then remove two wing nuts by feel, pull down the battery pack and replace the batteries and reinstall.

The DAC Sportsafe is very noisy. There seems to be no way to silence the beeps when using the buttons to open the safe, which certainly makes enough noise to alert all and sundry that you're awake and doing something. Further, the operation of the safe itself is very noisy with a heavy and loud clunking noise as the motor draws the locking bar back to let the door spring open.

To make matters more interesting, DAC's website conspicuously fails to have any support or documentation available for the safe. Heck, it doesn't even mention the safe exists, so if you lose the manual and need to reset the password, you're hosed. It doesn't sound like they want to promote that they are associated with this safe.

My DAC Sportsafe safe provided about 4 years of solid use and required only a few battery changes in that time. However, it finally whirred its last whirr and has now failed to engage the lock even with fresh batteries and a newly reinstalled code. The lock mechanism failed to close even with the keys and just clicks with the locking bar remaining in the drawn back position. Basically, it was a solid safe but with a one year warranty only it is a heavy but disposable item. It would cost more to it ship off and repair, assuming such a repair could even be arranged, than to just buy a new unit.

My experience with the DAC Sportsafe may be atypical and if yours lasts longer than it would not a bad if noisy safe for the job, but just not a great one.

Conclusion: I'd recommend the Gunvault Deluxe model (either then Mini or standard) over the DAC Sportsafe. Operation is quieter, the signature finger grooves really work, it seems to be better put together, and the included AC adapter is a definite plus. For the minor price difference its worth going with the name brand so to speak.

However, while they last, either one will keep firearms out of unauthorized hands yet allow quick access to them if needed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It Takes A Tough Man To Make A Tender Latka...

Last night was the first night of Hanukkah, and I celebrated with the family.

Commemorating the victory of the Jews, led by the Maccabees (Maccabee is Hebrew for "Hammer") over the Syrians and liberation of the land of Israel from their domination, Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday on the list of Jewish observances, now made greater due to its proximity to Christmas and the need to make Jewish kids feel less jealous of their neighbors getting all the presents.

Hanukkah also celebrates the miracle of the oil. After the liberation and re-dedication of the Temple after it had been desecrated by the Syrians, there was only sufficient oil available to light the presence lamp for one day. By a miracle it lasted the 8 day round trip to reach the nearest source of the oil.

Hannukah is celebrated by lighting the Menorah (or Hanukkiah if you prefer) and eating foods fried in oil in commemoration of this victory and miracle. There is also a lesser-known second miracle of Hanukkah, to be revealed below.

But first, the latkas!

A latka is a potato pancake - think hash brown but better.

To make the perfect batch of latkas do the following:

Maccabee-Worthy Latkas


Ingredients: 4 large baking potatoes, 1 large Onion, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of flour

Step 1. Peel potatoes, and cut into chunks. Peel the Onion (a large Vidalia is nice if the kids don't like a sharp tasting onion) and cut into 4 sections, one for each potato.

Step 2. Get out your trusty food processor and use the grater blade with the largest holes. (If you don't have one, use a grater, again using the large hole size).

Step 3. Grate one potato at a time, dropping in the quarter of the onion into the grater as you put the chunks in so the onion gets mixed in well. Continue until all the potato and onion is grated.

Step 4. Here comes the "manly" part: In a colander over a bowl, press the potato latka mixture down hard, pressing out the moisture into the bowl below. Use some paper towels to press down and get as much moisture out as you can. Then transfer the drier mix to a bowl.

Step 5. Beat three eggs until well mixed, then add the eggs and up to 1/2 a cup of all purpose flour to the mix and stir in until well mixed and you don't see any more flour.

Step 6. Heat a frying pan and add a generous quantity of oil to it, at least 1/4 inch.

Step 7. Use a soup spoon and take a scoop of the mix and place into the hot oil and tamp down to form a latka. Repeat until you have 3-4 latkas happily cooking in the pan.


Step 8. Cook until golden, brown and delicious, remove from the pan, place on a plate on some paper towel to drain and make more until the mix is done.


Step 9. Serve with Apple Sauce and Sour Cream. Enjoy.

As for the second miracle of Hannukah, it is this:

These latkas have been clogging our people's arteries for hundreds of years, yet we survive!

Happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wow, A Liberal Who Feels That The State Cannot Spend Money As Wisely As She Can....

It may be a first.

Barb Arrigo: Don't blow last tax credit chance

The first time I gave money to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, I did it out of spite.

Not to spite the Community Foundation. In fact, I didn't even know what a community foundation was.

I did it to spite then-Gov. John Engler and ensure that the State of Michigan did not get a single tax dollar of mine that I could divert somewhere else.

Ok, maybe she didn't do it purely on the grounds that she could give the money to charity and thus better use than for some government wasteful spending, but only to spite a Republican government.

Hope does, however spring eternal that she'll develop a general principle from her actions.

She even concedes that tax policy does influence people's actions and spending:
Not that I or anyone else ever makes a donation based solely on tax considerations. Oh, wait. ...

See, they really can learn basic economics!

In any event, Arrigo is correct that Michigan's public contribution law is ending this year and thus the credit of 50% of up to $200 in donations per person to qualifying institutions and charities will be gone.

So, if you want to give to charity and get a pretty decent credit off your state taxes as well as Federal, its worth looking into giving to a Michigan based qualifying charity, institution, library etc that suits your beliefs and preferences.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Classic Read - The Emma Gees

I'm currently reading Herbert W. McBride's The Emma Gees, about his service as an American in the Canadian Army in World War I with a machine gun section. McBride relates his training and combat experiences, including sniping on the Western Front.

Better known for his work A Rifleman Went To War which holds a major place in sniper and shooting lore, McBride's The Emma Gees is a great read.

You can now get the Emma Gees for free at the Project Gutenberg library, or Free for the Kindle at Amazon, or In Paperback Form from Amazon.

Any way you get it, it is well worth reading.

One of the most striking things about the book is how erudite Mr. McBride is and how it is conveyed in his writing. His vocabulary is very rich and wide, and he knows the history of the land he travels through in England and in France at a level that the average college graduate of today would be hard pressed to match.

He vividly conveys the conditions of trench warfare and his combat experiences in a prose that is both very readable and well suited to his tale. I'd highly recommend giving the Emma Gees some of your reading attention as a vivid first hand account of the Great War.

An obituary for Mr. McBride, who died in 1933 from a heart condition at the age of 59, appeared and can be read in the NRA's American Rifleman.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Liberals Suddenly Realize Their Attack On Marriage And The Family Has Consequences

Instapundit links to a rather modest proposal by Discriminations that notes that Democrats, Ruth Marcus liberal Washington Post opinion writer among them, are now upset about the decline in marriage. Marcus is concerned that

If current trends hold, within a few years, less than half the U.S. adult population will be married. This precipitous decline isn’t just a social problem. It’s also an economic problem.

Specifically, it’s an income-inequality and economic-mobility problem. The steadily dropping marriage rate both contributes to income inequality and further entrenches it.

She goes on to write:
Nor does the marriage gap seem destined to lessen. Pew found that 27 percent of those with college degrees say they consider marriage “obsolete.” But 45 percent of those with a high school diploma or less took that view.

A different arm of Pew, its Economic Mobility Project, found that among children who started in the bottom third of income, only one-fourth of those with divorced parents moved up to the middle or top third as adults. By comparison, half of children with continuously married parents — and, somewhat surprisingly, 42 percent of those born to unmarried mothers — moved up the income ladder as adults.

Is marriage a magic-bullet solution to the broader problem of income inequality and lack of economic mobility? No, but fewer marriages will mean more inequality. Neither development is healthy.

In other words, leftists are bemoaning the economic results (and still trying to ignoring the social consequences) of their decades long attack on the institution or marriage and the family.

They're reaping the economic results of what they have sown.

Believe in anything, those who believe in nothing will. Yes, hmmm.

Jedi knights top 15,000 in Czech census

More than 15,000 Czechs follow the faith of the Star Wars movies' Jedi knights, official census data showed Thursday, while half of the country's 10.5 million people declined to list any religion.
"Many people adhered to the moral values of Jedi knights from the Star Wars saga," the Czech Statistical Office said in a statement, noting that the invented faith also had a strong following in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Britain.

No word yet as to whether there's now an open schism among the Czechs between the Old-Line Jedi who believe in the Force as advanced in the Original Trilogy, and those buying the midi-chlorian theory of the Force from the Phantom Menace on, not to mention the acceptability of Jar-Jar Binks as a companion ("Splitters!").

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trial Victory Number 10 - A Win Against A Truly Crazy Defendant

Trial Number 10 has resulted in a win after a two day trial against a bug-house nuts pro-per defendant, and I don't use the term nuts lightly.

This defendant had her condo foreclosed on her by the condo association after failing to pay any condo dues for the past three years. She's also terrified the neighbors and is absolutely convinced that they are members of the mafia and are secretly breaking into her attic to spy on her.

Did I mention she's nuts?

She also threatened to kill my process server and has claimed she's going to go out and buy a gun. Great, I'm so looking forward to this trial. I've got the facts and law on my side, she's got the crazy.

On the first day of trial, we were required to talk outside of the courtroom to attempt to resolve the matter before going to the judge. She was interesting to watch - one minute seemingly sane and rational, the next going on about this great conspiracy and all the important people she knows who will intervene on her behalf and destroy the condominium association, the law firm, me, the process server, etc. Amazingly long diatribes that the judge just won't shut down even as she sustains my objections.

On the second day, she gets even more aggressive, yelling at me in front of the court clerks and other people at the front desk, claiming among other things that she's going to file a complaint with the bar association and she'll get us, and then jabs her finger at my face twice, the second time leaving it up there.

I tell her to get her finger out of my face and back off.

Surprisingly, she does so.

It seems like I actually have a reasonable command voice when necessary.

Throughout the trial she makes a big show, alternately being calm and rational, then crying, then shouting and back and forth like a switch through all these stages. She tries to have totally irrelevant documents admitted and also pulls out a quitclaim deed she made and recorded transferring the condo to her "trust", claiming it now can't be foreclosed.

One little problem with that strategy is that she filed this transfer after the Sheriff's foreclosure sale and as such the only thing she transferred (assuming this mythical trust even existed) was her redemption rights which she waived when she didn't pay the outstanding condo assessments that equaled the amount in the sheriffs deed during the six month redemption period.

It was a nice try but it didn't work.

She continually tries to name drop to the judge and claim she can't be foreclosed on and that she got a 1099C from her mortgage company canceling her mortgage. Which of course means nothing. In other words, she hasn't paid a dime to live there for 3 years now, at the expense of other condo residents that have to pay more in order to make up for he failing to do so.

At times she states she loves the condo.

She admits she hasn't paid a condo assessment in over 3 years and hasn't paid her property taxes in the last three years either, with the result that not only did the association foreclose on it but the county has also foreclosed on the condo.

She doesn't have a mortgage and can't pay less than $300 a month in condo dues and property taxes? Heck all she had to do to redeem it was pay a few thousand dollars and she could have got that before the foreclosure by putting a mortgage on her place. While the condo isn't worth much, it is worth much more than the few thousand she owes.

Did I mention she also dresses to the nines and has very expensive stuff yet won't pay for what she claims is her prized home?

So much for loving her condo.

Unfortunately, the judge bends over backwards, giving her plenty of leeway to make wild and crazy conspiracy accusations even as she admits she has no factual defense and admits she didn't pay and was properly served with all the required documents. This turns a half day trial into a two day affair.

She also continually goes on about how she's a "shark on land", which doesn't make a heckuva lot of sense. She also continually states how she is just so smart and sophisticated.

After two days, including my presentation of rebuttal witnesses to exhaustively enter into evidence every step of the foreclosure so that there is no question it was properly performed, the judge rules in our favor.

Given the judge's demeanor and the insanity of the defendant I don't just prove my case by the preponderance of the evidence which is the standard I must meet, instead I prove the foreclosure was proper by clear and convincing evidence, demolishing all frivolous claims to the contrary.

The judge finds in my favor granting me my 10th straight trial victory and preserving my perfect record.

Our insane defendant doesn't take this well, claiming she's not through, she's a shark on land, and we'll never see it coming. Great.

Unfortunately, the judge, instead of just giving her 10 days to move out as required by statute gives her 30 days after coaching her to ask for more time.

Yeesh.

I know the judge wants her leaving the courtroom happy with her and identifying with her as a friend rather than a foe for giving her more time. Still, after the judicially-inspired delays already in the case and the fact she's been living rent free for 3 years and all her carrying-on at trial it is a little frustrating.

On top of that extra time, the judge had already giving her an initial extra 3 week adjournment from the initial trial date so she could try to get a lawyer. Just like the offer of more time to move, the judge had again offered it to her sua sponte rather than waiting for her to bring it up. Of course she didn't really plan on doing so but certainly took the judge's suggestion to play for more time.

I half expect she will file a frivolous appeal to try and stall for even more time.

The joy of dealing with insane pro per defendants.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Contribution to Global Warming

Yesterday night, I had a set of Bridgestone Blizzak Snow Tires installed on my RAV4.

This expenditure, as totemic as a carbon offset, should ensure a lack of snow this winter.

You can thank me later.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Watch Ed-iot TV To Learn The Opposite of Reality (If you Must)

The Ed Show on MSNBC totally mis-educates its viewers on the Emergency Financial Manager issue here in Michigan.

Heck, Ed doesn't even go into why such EFMs are appointed - because the cities involved have spent themselves into practically a state of bankruptcy, not due to his theory of some grand racial scheme on the part of Republicans.

He also neglects to mention that it was Democrat Governor Granholm who, in the example of Benton Harbor, had the first EFM appointed.

Curious that oversight, wouldn't fit his meme.

He then glosses over how Detroit, with a pending financial review and other communities already with EFMs, got there - by outspending themselves into incurable deficits as part of the great Democrat vote buying machine and corrupt patronage system. Without an EFM, it will lead to bankruptcy. Detroit is officially out of money this April, hence an EFM or bankruptcy - your choice Mr Ed.

Curious that oversight as well.

Of course, special guest Shelia Jackson Lee (D Texas) claims its undemocratic and a diminishing of minority voting power. This is nonsense - it doesn't prevent the people there from voting in any election, only it replaces the morons in city government who caused the crisis, which would happen anyways in a bankruptcy proceeding with a financial manager who can cut through the corrupt deals they've fashioned that brought these cities to their knees. She also goes on in rather nonsensical fashion about the "ongoing fund" - you know the one that was canceled under the Democrat Granholm administration as the State didn't have the money for it either.

Then listen to Ben Jealous of the NAACP make stuff up out of whole cloth.

He states Michigan's racial history led to names of certain cities near Detroit (around 5:08):

He says the names were chosen deliberately: Inkster for the black folk, Dearborn for the white folk.

Get it? Ink-ster = black people, Dear-Born = white people. How terribly racist right?

The trouble is, it isn't even remotely true.

It is a nice racist myth there Ben, but completely nonsensical and ahistorical.

Inkster was named after Scotsman Robert Inkster back in the 1860s.

Dearborn was named in 1836 after Henry Dearborn, a General in the American Revolution and Secretary of War under President Thomas Jefferson.

So Ben, this cunning racist plan took a 30 year period to come to fruition, and luckily they just happened to have two historical people whose names could be metaphors for racial groups if you stretch really, really hard to play with the sounds of the names?

In other words he makes a racist claim that is wholly made up to make his nonsensical race-based point. A lie to back up another lie. Not a lot of credibility when you make up stuff like this that is so easily confirmed to be complete and utter nonsense.

Quit playing games with my states' history. We unfortunately have enough real racial issues and history here without you coming along making crap up wholesale Mr. Jealous.

Watch this clip to see how the other side blithely makes stuff up on national television without any challenge or correction, or reality for that matter.

Have some popcorn ready as they go into real high dudgeon and real low credibility.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Ruger Pokey

My Ruger Mark II had not been torn down for a detail clean in quite sometime due to the rather arcane requirements to have it reassembled and function after stripping. It was starting to have some extraction problems so I figured it was well and truly due for a quality cleaning.

As anyone who owns a Mark II or its related variant knows, a complete tear down is generally a source of trepidation due to the hassle of reassembly.

I removed the bolt, took the receiver off of the grip and trigger housing, removed the grips and gave it a serious scrubbing.

The amount of crud that had built up over the long period of firing it was impressive. It is now cleaner than it has been in quite some time after being cleaned in every crevice and on every surface. There was even crud awaiting on the metal frame under the grip panels. The trigger is noticeably better now that all the grit that built up on it has been removed and the bolt and chamber are now remarkably clean.

Then it was time for reassembly:

Reassembling the Mark 2 generally requires facing Southport, Connecticut, then sacrificing a chicken and promising to quit being pissed, at least for a little while, at Bill Ruger for his support of the assault weapons and magazine ban.

But that is not enough.

After placing the barrel and receiver back on the trigger frame you have to do what I call the Ruger Pokey dance:

The Ruger Pokey

You point the gun up and pull the trigger back,
You slide the bolt in and give it a smack,
Then you need to place the hammer forward so you pull the trigger down,
But you're still not done, Hey!

You put the mainspring in, you point the barrel up,
Don't exceed 60 degrees or you will be upsut,
Make sure the strut rests on the main spring depression,
But you're still not done, Hey!

Now you latch the mainspring housing and hope you did it right,
If you did the Ruger Pokey, the bolt will move and not be stuck tight,
If not then you will start all over your fight,
That's what its all about, Hey!


After performing the Ruger Pokey, I, mirabile dictu, actually got the Mark II reasembled perfectly on the first try this time.

Now I'll have to take it to the range and get it all dirty again...

Sunday At The Range

So this afternoon I went with Rob to the range.

The temperature had certainly dropped since our last outing, and there was snow on the ground but that didn't keep us away, but it did deter most other people.

I practiced drawing from under my winter coat with and without gloves on, both articles of clothing have an impact on your draw and shooting.

I also practiced drawing and shooting my Kahr PM9 from its pocket holster and engaging targets from around 7 to 25 yards away.

The Kahr would accurately hit the targets and would knock down Pepper Poppers reasonably enough. All poppers fell quickly, except for one pepper popper that apparently had taken PCP before standing in the target array. Mr. PCP Popper took multiple rapid and consecutive rounds to drop.

I shot up my 14 rounds of usual carry ammo for the Kahr PM9 all with good hits, in addition to 100 rounds of FMJ for practice.

Rob also shot his Kahr and his Beretta 96 and did quite well.

I also shot 100 rounds through my Glock 17 and hit targets with it well and practiced a few FAST drills. The nice and free shooting times for the Android phone are pretty useful but wickedly unreliable, crashing often and making me veer towards buying a proper timer soon.

After the timed course of fire with the 17, I then brought out the Glock 22 as well for practice. Mr. PCP Pepper Popper dropped to both the 17 and the 22, showing that there is some real loss of effective velocity when a 9mm is fired through the 3 inch barrel of the PM9.

After shooting, we stopped for some good burgers and headed homeward.

Once I got home I cleaned the Kahr, the Glocks and my Ruger MKII, the cleaning of which is a subject deserving of a post all its own, which will follow this one.

I have now rotated my Kahr carry ammo to some fresh 124gr Speer Gold Dot Hollow Points after shooting up the last of my Remington Golden Sabres that were in the gun for practice. I figured I should get some practice with the full power self defense ammo and can report that it really doesn't feel very different at all from FMJ and the hits were just as accurate with either ammunition.

As usual, the Kahr did impressively well and it continues to serve as a practically perfect pocket portable protection device.

A fine sunny if chilly afternoon at the range.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Headline of the Day - NASA Loses Moon

The Detroit News: The Misplaced Stuff: NASA loses moon, space rocks

Federal agencies these days.

A few rocks is one thing, but NASA loses the moon? That's just plain careless.

Mullin Over Some Severance Awards Some More

Did I Call It or What?

Turkia Awada Mullin may have case against Wayne County airport board

Turkia Awada Mullin sued the Wayne County Airport Authority on Thursday, seeking to answer what might end up a $700,000 question.

Why was she fired?

Methinks this is either the greatest demonstration of Wayne County Incompetence or the fix is well and truly in on this case to make sure Mullin was to be compensated well for losing her 200k "severance payment" from the county.

It sure looks like the firing was deliberately done wrong:
[Turkia's attorney] Sterling did obtain a copy of Mullin's personnel file, which he said contained no indication that Mullin had done anything wrong.

"Unfortunately for them, they can only go by what's in the file," Sterling said.

Give up $200k, get $700k, its the Wayne County Way.

Yet More Leniency For Favored Groups - Eastern District of Michigan Edition

It's not only in Britain where certain ethnic groups get nice deals on criminal charges.

The Detroit Free Press: Student who threatened violence at WSU gets probation

A judge ordered probation Friday for an honors student who threatened to shoot up Wayne State University with a machine gun.

Ali Saad's online threat a year ago turned out to be false, but no one knew it at the time. Two people who read it alerted authorities, and Wayne State police and FBI agents launched an investigation.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III called it a "big deal" but agreed with the prosecutor that prison wasn't necessary, despite guidelines that called for a possible term of up to a year.

"Your conduct stemmed from anger and narcotics or substance abuse," the judge told Saad. "If you slip into drug use or impulsive behavior, you're going to be here again and on your way to jail."

Saad wrote online that he was planning to take an AK47 to Wayne State's General Lectures building and kill more than the 32 people who died at Virginia Tech University in 2007, according to the FBI. Authorities said he pledged to set up a Web cam to record it and wrote, "Be sure to tune in."

Saad, 20, apologized in court. He also got a significant break: Authorities found images of child pornography on his computer but didn't pursue charges.

Such a deal, especially given the trouble posed by those who are threatening violence at Universities and his threat to cause more deaths than the Virginia Tech shooting, not to mention the ludicrous pass on charges for possession of child pornography.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

In the Place Where Great Britain Used to Be, The Application of Hate Crime Laws Is Selective

Via The Volokh Conspiracy: English Court: “Kill the White Slag” Attack Wasn’t Racially Motivated

The Telegraph: Mercy for the drunk Muslim girl gang who attacked woman

A girl gang of Somali Muslims who repeatedly kicked a woman in the head during a drunken attack were spared jail after a judge heard that their religion meant they were not used to drinking. The four defendants shouted “kill the white slag” as they attacked Rhea Page after dragging her to the ground.

Ambaro Maxamed, 24, her sisters Ayan, 28, and Hibo, 24, and their cousin Ifrah Nur, 28, faced up to five years in jail after admitting causing actual bodily harm.
But Judge Robert Brown gave them six-month suspended sentences after deciding that the attack in Leicester city centre was not racially motivated.
He also gave them 150 hours community service, presumably to be served in their community to instruct others how to attack "white slags" and get away with it.

Not only do you get sent to the clink for defending yourself in the UK, your racially-favored attackers will walk.

Dalrymple wept.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Preparing For Winter-Time Pistol Training

With the fall of the first snows this week and the days getting shorter, you know that range time will start to become more limited.

Luckily, there are lots of ways to keep your shooting proficiency up during the winter of our discontent.

Michael Seeklander's book Your Competition Handgun Training Program: A complete training program designed for the practical shooteris a good place to start.

As a complete training program, its pretty solid. He covers everything from mental and physical preparation to dry-fire and live-fire exercises to make you a better pistol shooter. While its focused towards improving IPSC and IDPA competition skills, this manual can help any shooter improve.

The drills are well described and diagrammed out and easy to follow.

Most importantly for winter its full of dry-fire drills to help you practice when you're snowbound. You can setup a target, or targets as the drill may require in your basement, get in your gear so you practices as you intend to shoot and make sure no ammunition is in the firearm and none is in the room and get practicing.

At 296 pages and well written, the book can be read quickly and thoroughly and it helps you develop a training plan for the course of an entire year, including the depths of winter.

Given the depth of information provided and the clarity in which it is presented I think any shooter working on improving their pistol-craft will benefit from this book.

I'm going to follow the plan as practicable given the other commitments on my time and we'll see if I show improvement during next year's shooting season.

Highly Recommended.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Detroit's Declining Fortunes

We may be looking at the middle stages of the deconstruction of a major American city.

The Detroit Free Press: State orders Detroit financial review

One can only wonder how much corruption they'll find when they really start auditing Detroit's books.

The financial review is the first stage on the road to appointing an Emergency Financial Manager for the city. The EFM will have the power to run the city, control the books and budget and renegotiate city contracts, including union contracts and pension arrangements.

In other words, Detroit has just about run out of other people's money and the checks they've written are coming due with nothing to cover them.

The sweetheart deals and back room corruption of a decades-long Democratic party dominated government have resulted in the decline of this once great city. At the current rate, the city is out of money by April of this year.

Of course, the power structure in place is of course fighting back with their most powerful remaining weapon - the race card.

Already city councilman and black nationalist Kwame Kenyatta is accusing the Governor of turning Detroit into a plantation if he goes ahead with the appointment of an EFM.

The city's entrenched black elite have managed to run the city into the ground, and failed at governing quite well on their own. Playing the race card this late in the game doesn't work.

Detroit should be declared to be out of race-based timeouts.

Friday, December 02, 2011

When the Law of Serendipity and Murphy's Law collide

The Good News: You're renovating your house, and you find 9 sheets of uncut $5 bills hidden in the walls.

That's the Law of Serendipity in action.

The Bad News: You then find out they're counterfeit.

Murphy's Law strikes and wins yet again.

Troy homeowner discovers sheets of counterfeit cash in wall

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Hizballah vs CIA, Spy v. Spy, and Mole v Mole.

Last Week, with much fanfare, Hizballah announced it had rolled up a CIA spy ring in its organization.

AP: Hezbollah unravels CIA spy network in Lebanon.

Michael Totten, who is always worth paying attention to, notes an interesting argument that this announcement reveals more weakness about Hezbollah and its ability to be compromised by foreign agents than it does about Hizballah's counterintelligence prowess.

I'm rather curious myself as to whether Hizballah's alleged agent at the FBI and CIA, Nadia Prouty, was a factor in providing information and intel to Hizballah that led to them detecting and rolling up the CIA spy ring.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The P-83 Wanad. More 9x18 pistol-craft from Radom

The P-83 Wanad, a Polish blow-back pistol was the successor to the P-64 and used by both the Polish military and police.  Produced by the venerable Radom factory,

As with all standard-issue East Bloc pistols of the time for military use, it is chambered in 9x18 Makarov.

It has an eight round box magazine, a two round improvement over the P64.  The magazine release is located on the butt of the pistol, and pressing the release drops the magazine quite smartly out of the pistol, unlike most other such releases, making it easy to quickly reload without having to grab the empty magazine to get it out of the way.  The hammer has a large curved spur, making cocking into single action simple as compared to the small hammer on the P64. The sights are small but functional.

Both the double and single action trigger modes on this pistol are superior to that of the P64.

Interestingly enough, the safety is pushed down to take the gun off safe, instead of being pushed up to fire as on most Walther PPK and East Block Makarov chambered pistols.  As a result, getting a firing grip on the pistol is marginally faster as the thumb proceeds from swiping off the safety right down into a firing grip rather than the up-down motion on similar pistols.  The slide can still be moved with the safety on, unlike the typical Makarov pistol.


The Wanad has a clever takedown scheme. Instead of pulling down on the trigger guard, a lever inside the guard is pulled down with the trigger guard remainign a slid part of the frame. Dis-assembly then proceeds like most other east block pistols, by pulling the slide back and then up and removing it from the frame, then  remove the recoilspring from the barrel and you're all set to clean.




In terms of size, it is slightly larger than the P-64 but feels lighter in the hand.




The P83 fits the hand and points quite naturally, and is a welcome addition to my 9x18 collection. The pistol will fit easily into a front jeans poacket and a Desantis Nemesis type holster would be recommended for such a carry method. Shooting at the range today, the difference between it and the P64 is readily apparent. Felt recoil was much less than the P64. Instead of it smacking the hand between the thumb and forefinger, right into the web,, the P83 instead distributes the recoil better, making it much more pleasant to shoot. The P83 proved to be quite accurate, knocking down plates with ease even with the small sights.

Continuing the Natasha scale of firearms, the P83 was rated only slightly below the CZ-82 for ease of trigger usage in double and single action modes and was only slightly harder to draw back the slide than the CZ82.  Its lighter weight compared the CZ82 was a plus, as is its thinner grip due to its single stack magazine.

The P-83 also has gained literary fame, prominently being used by the protagonist Lisbet Salander in Stieg Larsson's book The Girl Who Played with Fire.  I haven't seen the movie yet so i can't tell you if the Wanad gets a role on the silver screen or not.

For an East Bloc piece of history under $200, you really can't go wrong with a P-83.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Browsing and Family Time

We did not brave the malls on this beautiful day. In the high 50s and sunny it was time to go outside and go have a nice long nature walk.

Lunch was scrumptious leftovers from last night including the best roasted turkey ever (the secret is butter and kosher salt slathered on the skin after washing and drying it well, and using the convection setting on the oven), mashed potatoes, squash and the last pieces of apple and pumpkin pie.

Instead of standing in line, I went online:

Midway USA is not only having select specials all week, but also offering $15 off any purchase of $100 or more of their regularly priced stuff, which is easy to do when you're looking for firearms accessories.

It was at MidwayUSA that I picked out Murphy's Law's Christmas gift. It's a secret but I'll tell you what it is in three words:

SWJIWRJXBDFRS.

Yep, encoded for your pleasure, answer to be revealed on Christmas.

If you figure out what it is, send me an email and I'll let you know if you're right, but don't tell him.

CDNN Investments also has some great deals going today on mags including AR-15 PMags for $11.

After all that shopping its was time for a snack and then taking the kids to the library to play and get some books and DVDs.

Not a bad post-Thanksgiving day by any means.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, and one of my favorites. A mix of religious and secular themes, with family and friends coming together to celebrate.

So the turkey is roasting to perfection in the oven, the sweet and the savory squashes are cooked, the stuffing is done and only the mashed potatoes remain to be finished.

I took the kids on a nature walk and now we're back and Abby is playing away on her Kindle and having a great birthday. Leah is busy drawing with her new markers, and all is right with the house.

Friends are due over shortly for the feast to begin.

Happy Thanksgiving, and may you have a great one.

Abby's Birthday and Kindle Fire Review Part 2

So Abby woke up on this, the morning of her eighth birthday, and at 8 o'clock after a stirring rendition of happy birthday, she opened her presents.

In addition to the Kindle Fire, she received a nice stationary set from her sister - all of which was emblazoned with the letter A. She also received a nice bead/bracelet making set and a classic book from her Great Uncle Donnie and Great Aunt Francie. There's also more birthday gifts to come.

She also received a Marware jurni Kindle Fire Cover for the Kindle Fire to keep it safe. The case works pretty well in keeping the Kindle safe while its being transported, and there's a hand strap that makes holding the device easy and stable while using the Kindle.

After opening the presents, per Abby's request, she had her birthday cake this morning as she felt a birthday cake wouldn't go with the Thanksgiving day feast that is being lined up.

As an eight-year-old, You know its your birthday when you can eat cake before 9am in the morning.

After looking at the other items she has now been immersed in the Kindle Fire.

The Kindle is tied to Natasha's Amazon account and comes with one month of Amazon Prime. While setting the Kindle up, we did have to change the email the Kindle was originally configured with (hername@kindle) to the one that is tied to the account and it is working perfectly now.

Amazon Prime could be quite addictive - free two day shipping for any purchase and lots of free books from the lending library and free streaming movies and TV shows is pretty tempting.

Abby was immediately able to play some apps we had downloaded, as well as her favorite songs. She also downloaded the free game of Stupid Zombies and a math game on her own, after some direction as to no downloading of apps, videos, or books that have to be paid for without parental permission. Seeing Stupid Zombies on a 7 inch screen is quite a change from the smaller phone screens.

Downloading a book from the Kindle Lending library was immediate with no delay and she was immediately able to read the kid's book that she chose.

Abby is also able to watch streaming video. We've taught her to go to the Amazon Prime section only, choose the "For the Kids" section, and then pick from that section only so she does not end up watching anything inappropriate for her age. So far she's briefly perused Babe, Alice in Wonderland, and a Julia Child cooking show. The video streaming is flawless and smooth with no pauses and the 7 inch screen is great.

Something tells me that after the free trial, we're going to get an annual Amazon Prime membership.

So the second impression of the Kindle Fire is as positive as the first.

The device is so intuitive that a smart eight-year-old can easily operate it. She's now showing an Angelina Ballerina episode to her sister on it as we speak, without any parental assistance.

The Kindle Fire is now heartily recommended by myself, Natasha and Abby, and Leah thinks it is very cool too and a great present.

Abby's birthday will continue with some outdoor activities and preparation for Thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Compliance Costs But Reaps Big Rewards

Marginal Revolution reports that General Electric's tax return was 57,000 pages in size.

To put it in perspective, the entire US tax code is 72,536 pages (in 2006 it was 16,845 pages).

In return for this monumental display of compliance and finding every favorable term of the tax laws and regulations, GE on a profit of $14 billion with $5.1 billion for its US operations paid no income taxes.


Think of the amount of time, energy and economic effort wasted to produce 57,000 pages.

Then think for the need to make our tax code a lot simpler and straightforward to both understand, comply with.

Such a simplification would ensure that other businesses and individuals can reap the same benefits as GE rather than GE being able to pay no taxes by virtue of its size. GE due to having a massive accounting department and a huge size has the ability to operate in a way to negate any tax by a careful application of numerous laws, subsidies and credits that while politically nice may be economically very wasteful. While GE saves on taxes, its probably wasting tons of money not just by all the tax compliance measures, but by inefficient projects taken in the quest for tax credits and write-offs.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Kindle Lights a Fire.

We just received our purchased Kindle Fire. We bought it as a gift for Abby's 8th birthday on this upcoming Thursday.

Quick impression: Amazon has a real winner here, it gives an Ipad a run for its money on looks and features.

A more detailed impression:

Right out of the box, the Kindle was easy to get started. There is a manual on the Kindle, but its rarely needed as the device itself is so intuitive to use. You only need to refer to the manual on rare occasions or to get acquainted with the device.

The color screen is excellent, with the awesome readability we've seen on prior Kindles. At 7 inches it is perfectly viewable and the small overall form factor makes this an easy device to carry along.

WiFi works perfectly, as does direct transfer of media such as Abby's favorite songs to the Kindle to get it ready for her big day. The small speakers are quite adequate for nice sound, and there's an earphone jack for the future when we want her to keep the noise to herself.

Web surfing is fast and flawless, and downloading Android apps is done with ease through the Amazon store on the Kindle.

Battery life seems very good, better and longer lasting than on my Droid phone.

It could use a physical "back" or home button to quickly get out of a selection, but the software buttons do come up eventually, or you can flick the power switch.

Amazon's decision to use the universal micro USB connector for both power and data transfer is very helpful. No need to buy yet another cable type to get the Kindle to charge or accept data.

For Droid users, the Kindle Fire is a snap to use and I have no doubt Abby will quickly master it.

At about half the cost of an IPad, the Kindle Fire is going to quickly carve out a market for itself.

For basic surfing, reading, basic document reading and editing, and playing games like Angry Birds it is more than capable.

In addition, my local library supports the Kindle so Abby can download books to read to her heart's content.

Natasha likes it so much she's contemplating getting a Kindle Fire for herself.

In summary, the Kindle Fire exceeds expectations.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

EU bureaucrats ban businesses from stating water is wet

Instapundit reports that the EU is banning claims that ingesting water can prevent dehydration.

Yes, really.

Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.
This is perhaps the ultimate bureaucratic realization of Ayn Rand's admonition:
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Making it a crime to impart the information that drinking water can prevent dehydration certainly fits the bill.

After all, once you have banned people from being able to state obvious truths like that, you've got no limit to your potential regulatory control.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Obama, in one Key(stone) decision, causes three lousy results for the US

Obama, by deciding to delay the Keystone XL project, to appease his greenie base in order to buck up his electoral base, has deprived the US of lots of much needed good jobs, not to mention a secure supply of energy coming from a friendly country.

Between the delay on Keystone, the ban on Gulf drilling, and EPA regulations on Coal plants, its clear that Obama isn't interested in an assured and ample supply of energy for the US.

If we're going to get out of this current economic mess, we're going to need, among other things, cheap, reliable energy to power our industry and shift our consumers spending from power to more economically growth-spurring activities.

In addition, Obama's really snubbing our good neighbor to the north (er, actually also our neighbor to the south if you live in the Detroit area): Canada drowned out by U.S. election noise

As a special bonus, the oil Canada is producing may get shipped to China instead.

So Obama has succeeded in making three problems worse for the price of one decision:

Diminishing our energy supply and raising energy costs, and at the same time snubbing one of our proven allies.

How's that for an Obama lousy policy trifecta?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If you jump in a river to avoid the cops, knowing how to swim would be helpful

The Detroit News: Man runs from police, dies after jump into river in Mount Clemens

Yet another example of how running from the cops doesn't lead to anything good.

Authorities say a man police wanted to question following an armed robbery jumped into a river in suburban Detroit and apparently drowned.

The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens and radio station WWJ report officers tried to stop the man early Wednesday when he jumped into the Clinton River in Mount Clemens. Authorities say the man was pulled from the water about 30 minutes later. His name wasn't immediately released.
Yet another example of bad criminal decision-making, next time not running is the best choice, second best would be a life jacket.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sore Losers For 29 Years And Counting

The Argentinians are rather upset about the announced deployment of a certain Royal Air Force helicopter pilot to the Falklands.

The Toronto Star: Prince William's deployment to Falklands draws diplomatic outrage

Search and rescue may be his job, but there is no saving Prince William from the diplomatic cesspool that has been spawned by the announcement of his posting to the Falkland Islands.

Argentina, which disputes Britain’s sovereignty over the Islands off its coast, calls it a “provocative act.”

This sabre-rattling by the South American nation has been going on since Britain’s reign over the Islands began in 1833.

With William set for a six-week stint there, the tension between the two nations has only intensified.

"It is one more provocative act that shows Britain's military presence in a zone of peace where there is no armed conflict," said Sebastian Brugo Marco, an Argentine official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The British diplomatically answered this complaint in the finest of British style:
“For the life of me, I cannot understand why this is provocative,” Tory MP Patrick Mercer told the Daily Mail. “It is certainly not as provocative as invading the Falkland Islands in 1982.”
For those of you who don't remember, Argentina invaded and occupied the Falklands in 1982 and was defeated by the British rather handily.

At least there's one Royal who's an excellent representation of the best of Britain. Being a search and rescue helicopter pilot is no easy job and Prince William seems to be developing have the qualities and character that will serve him well as king one day.

It is also rumored that in response to this Argentinian outrage, Catherine Middleton was overheard singing "Don't cry for me Argentina..."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Toronto Visit

Blogging has been light as I've spent the past few days at a hospital in Toronto with my dad as he's recovering from surgery.

On the upside, the surgery went very well and there's an 80% chance it solved the problem so we'll see how it goes. He's done well and is now back at home since last night to continue his recovery.

On the downside, some of the strain to Ontario's medical system is showing: the hospital was dingy and appeared quite dirty. More importantly, the nurses while typically delivering good though often delayed care, seemed very short-staffed and overworked. It took quite awhile to get my dad's IV removed after it was empty and other very obvious delays were experienced. At least there was a dispenser of hand sanitizer about every 6 feet, and it was certainly used a lot.

Right beside my dad in the hospital was an older Italian-speaking gentleman who was in recovery after getting a knee replacement. His family also was visiting and in a pleasant conversation we learned that one of his daughter's children is serving in the Canadian Forces as a private and is deployed to Afghanistan with 3 PPCLI.

Here's to hoping he comes home to his family safe and well.

Browning Sure Knew How To Design 'Em

The Toronto Star: Spitfire gun crackles after 70 years in Irish bog

When the remains of a World War II Spitfire Mark II fighter plane — donated to the Royal Air Force by Canada’s Weston family — were plucked from an Irish bog earlier this year, there was another exciting discovery awaiting the crew that found it.

After 70 years of being buried deep in the highlands of Donegal, archeologists and an Irish army ordnance crew were stunned to find that six of the Spitfire’s eight Browning .303 machine guns were like new and rust-free because of a lack of oxygen in the peat bog.

The question was: would the guns ever fire again?

It was another piece in a story that has all the makings of a Hollywood movie. The fighter, one of 20 Spitfires donated by industrialist Willard Garfield Weston, was piloted by handsome 23-year-old American pilot Roland “Bud” Wolfe, who bailed out in December 1941 just before the plane crashed, only to be arrested by authorities in Ireland, which at that time was neutral.

After seventy years sitting in a bog all it took was
soaking the machine guns in lubricant for a few days and swapping some springs and straightening the barrel’s outer support tube on one of them, the crew was more than confident that one would fire.

And fire it did, repeatedly and as designed.

A testament to a great design and the preservative qualities of a bog.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Voting for the non-Walking Dead

Yesterday was an election missed by most Michigan voters.

Most of the action was by cities and townships putting millage increases on the ballot to try to get taxes increased while most voters are unaware that an election is taking place.

For the most part, this off-year subterfuge succeeded.

The highlight of the election is that in one Michigan town, the deceased Mayor beat the challenger:

The Detroit News: More votes cast for deceased mayor in Montague

The incumbent dead man beat the live contender, 129 votes to 115.

However, under Michigan electoral law, the dead are barred from taking office.

Representatives of the American Undead Civil Liberties Union were unavailable for comment, but indicated they may issue an e-moan later.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers and now Jackson Alligators?

The Detroit Free Press: 6-foot alligator turns up outside Michigan church

Authorities say a 6-foot-long alligator was caught after being spotted roaming the property of a southern Michigan church.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports officers from the Blackman-Leoni Township public safety department near Jackson caught the alligator on Monday. A passing motorist called police to Pathway Community Church after spotting it outside.

...Police say the alligator was in good health and likely was recently released. With colder weather approaching it might not have survived outdoors.

Look, you idiots that keep dangerous creatures and then release them into the wild when they get to big to handle, one of the redeeming qualities Michigan has to offer is a dearth of deadly critters.

With the exception of the rare Massasauga rattler, all of our snakes are non-venemous, our Great Lakes have no sharks and scorpions are conspicuous by their absence. We like it this way.

Typically, the greatest animal threat a Michigander ever has to face is a deer attempting to turn itself into a hood ornament.

If you can't care for your exotic pet, don't release it into the wild but turn it in at the zoo or animal control. Better yet, don't even get one until you understand all the consequences that accompanying owning such an animal.

Great Moments in Secretarial Typos

So I dictate a letter to an entity that is using my client's trademark (and business name) for their business name.

This is causing some definite issues, including the state applying the entity's worker's unemployment claims to my client and also creating lots of confusion for vendors, customers etc. My client has politely asked them to use a different name to end this problem but they continue in their wrongdoing.

So we begin with the firm yet polite cease and desist letter.

However, my secretary wrote the penultimate sentence as follows:

"It is our demand that you immediately decease and desist use of the "trademark" name.

I told her that was a little harsh.

After all, I didn't want to tell them to F-off and die just yet, nor that they had to kill themselves in order to stop their tortious behavior.

That comes after we file the complaint.....

Sunday, November 06, 2011

M&P Function Experiment

So here's the M&P experiment to see if its just mine that does this or if it is something that I shouldn't worry about much.

1. Make sure the M&P is empty
2. Feed a dummy round into the chamber
3. Pull the slide back partially.  On the slide, scale #2 from the end sits over the rear pin.  Pull the slide back so scale 3 sits over the pin hole
4. release.

Does your slide go back into battery or does it do this?



The slide does not go back into battery and the recoil spring guide protrudes from the front. Slide can be pushed forward into battery and there's a thunk as the barrel goes back into position.

Repeat the experiment by going to scale 4 and the same thing happens.

I think this may be a symptom of the functioning problems I was having with the gun as when it locked up it was not fully in battery and gave only light primer strikes or no primer strikes at all. Then again, this may be normal as it just went through 100 rounds without a problem.

I suspect the recoil spring is not strong enough to pull the slide back into battery, leading to failures once enough rounds are fired and the gun gets dirty. In contrast, my Glock 17 will promptly close when pulled back a similar distance.

So if you've got an M&P9 and want to do this test and tell me your results, I'd appreciate it.

The M&P Returns And A New Shooter Goes To The Range


Today Rob and his lovely wife Sumiko came to the range with me.  Rob has come to two USPSA matches with me and it looks like he's enjoying and going to keep competing in USPSA, so we wanted to get an opportunity to do some informal practice.

Sumiko had never been shooting before, so with some coaching and instruction from Rob and myself we loaded up the trusty Ruger MKII .22 and let her do some shooting with it.

I strongly advise starting all new shooters with a .22. New shooters are apprehensive enough about shooting that there is no need to add louder noise and recoil than a .22 to start them off. Remember, you want them to have fun and come back.


Do note that there is a special place in hell for the idiots that give the "little woman" a .44 magnum with heavy loads to shoot for a first time experience.

We set the target up about 7 yards away, and her first target ended up looking like this.


Sumiko was great, had a good time, lost the apprehension quickly and had excellent safety and accuracy.  She consistently hit the targets and had fun doing it.

In between 20 rounds we would rotate.  I shot my M&P9 and Rob his Kahr PM-9.  In addition to Sumiko's target, we had set up 7 poppers and a couple IPSC targets and worked on speedily clearing the steel and getting hits on the two targets quickly.  I had a free shot timer on my phone and in between it crashing we manged to get a neat look at our overall time for the course and shot splits.  Eventually I need to buy a real timer.

After shooting about 80 rounds of .22, Sumiko agreed to try Rob's Kahr PM-9 and my S&W M&P9.

Soon she was hitting steel with the Kahr and M&P with aplomb and enjoyed knocking down the reactive targets.

video


In short, Sumiko had a blast at the range.

It then started getting colder so we packed up and headed over to my house for a great dinner with Natasha and the kids.  A fine dinner, with a tasty Sangria/Lambrusco combo brought by our guests was had by all, except for the kids who got water or milk with their meals.  A great Saturday afternoon and evening.

M&P Notes:  The M&P functioned perfectly at the range with this being its first time out since returning from S&W for repair.  I still have a few concerns about it, but it handled 100 rounds today without a single failure.

However, if someone happens to have an M&P9 and a dummy round handy and is willing to try something for me, I'd appreciate it so I can tell if a certain action is normal for M&Ps or if only mine is doing it.  If you've got one and are willing to give it a try and duplicate the event, let me know, I'd appreciate it.