Friday, June 22, 2018

Meeting With Mongo

Had an emergency court appointment as a Guardian Ad Litem today.

Turns out Mongo, who has a Traumatic Brain Injury, wasn't behaving himself at his current care facility and needed to be moved to a more restrictive facility. A court order was needed to get the Police or Sheriffs involved in the move as he had declared he wasn't going anywhere peacefully.

Mongo is well, Mongo-sized, and is currently off and refusing to take his meds, and becoming more and more aggressive and more unstable, mercurial, and threatening as a result with no apparent concern for the consequences his actions.

So far he had threatened to body-slam staff at the facility, his guardian, the guardians agent and probably anyone else he decides he doesn't like.

Even last night he was out on the streets (its not a locked down facility and people there have their own apartments and freedom to move about, yelling and threatening passers by, local police when called decided not to arrest and take him in on a mental hold, apparently for the reason that they can't arrest just every crazy person going around carrying on and yelling and they refused to do anything without a court order. Nice. After the police left he pounded on some car roofs and windows and then went on his way.

Guess who gets to meet Mongo and tell him the good news about the emergency petition to move him?

Yep, me.

First, after discussing things with the guardian, who warns me about him and wishes me good luck, I meet with the staff at the facility and they are all unanimous that he is now a threat to others if not himself and needs to go to a more restrictive setting ASAP. He's threatened the psychiatrist, the clinical director, other staff and other residents in the program.

I head off to meet him with the other clinical director, the one he apparently likes so far.

He starts off the meeting by threatening to cause severe bodily harm to the clinical director he doesn't like and it gets better from there.

He does decide he likes me, because I'm tell him I'm there to help him and I understand he's had issues with his current guardian and would he like to go to a different location? Would he like me to tell the court how he's feeling? I go over his rights and serve him with the petition accordingly.

He's all over the place, sometimes calm, sometimes agitated, unstable, and often threatening multiple people and he switches in a matter of microseconds between these moods and is clearly operating quite a few Froot Loops short of a full cereal box. Thankfully, he decides he likes me the entire time.

So I finish up my discussion, get everything complete and head on my way to get my report in ASAP. He really cannot be in a non-restrictive environment as you can tell by spending any time with him that he's all sorts of unstable and dangerous to boot and the man is a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

Report went in, Judge granted the order, and Mongo is on his way to a nice restrictive facility (thankfully there was a bed available) that can handle someone of his size and issues in a therapeutic environment.

Also in all this I learned that this has literally been a crazy week. Apparently all local psych wards are full up and have no available beds for admitting new mental patients right now. This of course means that our largest mental care facility will have to be used - yep, you guessed right, that's jail.

Sheesh, I really deserved some danger pay on that one.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Interesting New Michigan AG Firearms Law Opinion

Michigan has some very interesting firearms laws.

We have handgun registration;

We have permits required for handgun purchase; and

We have Concealed Pistol Licenses

It's the interplay between them where stuff gets interesting.

Especially so when you consider that the whole handgun registration and carry permit scheme was designed to keep the undesirables (read: Blacks) unarmed while making sure those who were connected could carry where and how they like.

Add some shall-issue to the mix and it gets downright interesting.

The latest AG opinion accurately reads the law and gives an opinion that's congruent with the law as written but creates a weird result:

If you're a Michigan resident and you carry on a Michigan carry permit and have no other state's permits, your handgun must be registered.

If you're a Michigan resident and you have a non-resident carry permit, but carry on a Michigan carry permit, your handgun does not need to be registered.

Yep, read that one again. This is what happens when laws get piled on each other over time.

Oh, and a Michigan resident still cannot carry using a non-resident permit alone or you're going to jail.

It's all clear as mud, neh?

For you non-Michigan residents out there, this changes absolutely nothing for you. You can carry in Michigan on your permit issued by your home state (but, do not carry in Michigan on a permit issued by another state where you are not a resident) and do not have to register your pistol here while carrying.

For Michigan residents, if you want to avoid having to register your handgun, you can now get an out-of-state permit and apparently buy the handgun here using your Michigan CPL instead of the permit to purchase and not have to send in the RI-60 registration form that you will get from the dealer. Or you can now build your own pistol and not have to register it so long as you have your out of state permit with you at all times and arguably never have it expire.

At least, you could until the next AG in changes this opinion or the legislature fixes the language. Whether it will be a good idea to do this is up to the reader to decide, especially if say you get caught in Wayne County with an unregistered pistol and the Prosecutor there wants to make you a test case.

In short the AG Opinion is going to bust Michigan's handgun registration scheme pretty wide open (at least for those who go out and get non-resident permits), and break it moreso than it is now. It may finally get rid of this artifact of what was quite a racist gun control schema.

You can read the AG's Opinion direct at the source.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It's The Little Things Sometimes

Some days I do enjoy the work:

Put a call in to an opposing attorney, He’s an older rather full-of-himself sort that really does think he’s all that, and always rather condescending in his manner.

He answers the phone and after some pleasantries he says “Oh, I generally try to not like opposing counsel but you’re really good and easy to deal with, I don’t like your clients but I really like you. You should really tell your clients to give up though and do a consent judgment in my favor”

Did I mention he’s not just an attorney in this case but he’s also his own client?

“Well”, says I, “You’re going to like me a little less after this phone call.”

“Oh?”, says he.

“This call is to seek your concurrence in a motion dismissing all your claims against my clients.” (Anytime you file a motion you have to call the other side to se if they will agree to it, even though you know they will not, it's one of those rules to promote communication between the parties but unless you're calling for something like adjourning a schedule or similar its a waste of time as the other side will pretty much never agree to lose the case, and everyone knows it).

“Oh”, pause, “You should know that’s not going to work”.

“I’m reasonably sure it will, let’s talk again after you’ve read my motion”.

This motion hearing is going to be fun.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day Fly Day

For Father's Day I had a request to take Leah flying again.

How could any father refuse such a request?

The weather was excellent for it, albeit hot and humid.

A few clouds at 4,000 and then clear up to 20,000. Winds 6-7 knots from 260-280. Can't ask for much better than that.

I signed out Warrior 113EJ, did the preflight.

Then and we headed off first to the northeast. You could tell the density altitude was high as the Warrior took forever to climb to altitude. The extra 20 horses under the cowling of an Archer do make a difference.

For Father's Day I wanted to do something special.

When we got up to 3,000 feet in the practice area and cleared the area it was time: I let Leah fly the plane.

She had lots of fun doing it and did some turns and enjoyed herself.

I took us on a course towards the house.

We then flew over West Hills Middle School and Leah got a nice picture of it:

School is out for summer, all right.

While we were flying and taking pictures, someone was taking pictures of us:

Yes, we flew over the house and did a few turns around a point with the house being the point and Natasha got a few photos.

Look who's waving:

After flying over the local lakes a bit and watching the many boaters celebrating Father's Day on the water, we headed back north for a bit to the GM Proving ground:

I let Leah fly the plane some more and then we headed back to Pontiac.

I did a nice right base entry for Runway 27R and did another excellent landing, which was happy making. I even got some applause from my passenger.

Back at Pontiac and parked at DCT we saw a helicopter doing some maneuvers:

Followed by a Cessna Citation coming in to land:

According to FlightAware, its just about to land in Pittsburgh as I'm typing this.

Another great day flying, and she wants to go again.

We went home for some lunch, and now I'm just relaxing after a great flight, but I'll be working the grill for dinner tonight.

1.2 hours and 1 landing.

Friday, June 15, 2018

How Much Is That Doggie-Broken Window?

Came home from work to this:

\>

Jett, you see, is rather affronted by squirrels who think they can just go gallivant about his backyard.

This leads to him barking furiously and leaping at them with his paws hitting the glass, repeatedly.

Or in this case paws pushing the glass right through the frame.

This is the second time in two years that he broke this particular pane of glass.

I'm thinking we're going to replace it with a couple layers of poly-carbonate instead of glass this time.

I'm sorry I broke the glass, but you shoulda seen that flippin' squirrel jump when I busted the window!

Well, the hole is now boarded up, as we'd rather not air condition the backyard and it's going to be sweltering tomorrow. Now to go shop for some poly-carbonate.

School Is Out for Summer!

At 10:50 am this morning, the kids were formally released from their last day of school.

There was much rejoicing.

Abby had a nice graduation ceremony yesterday, marking the end of Middle School for her - onward to High School.

Abby also was admitted into the National Junior Honor Society, graduating with straight A's this entire year and a stellar Middle School record.

Leah cleared Grade 6 with style, with all A's as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Now, Wouldn't That Be Something?

Leftists' heads all around the US, if not the world, may very well be explode should this come to pass:

The Detroit News: Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegians

Indeed, I expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth should President Trump be awarded the Nobel Prize.

Obama got his Nobel Prize as a participation trophy for showing up, not for actually doing anything.

Trump, on the other hand, may just pull off what Presidents and diplomats of the past have failed to do: Get North Korea to agree to denuclearize and begin to normalize realitons.

We'll see how it goes, and if President Trump succeeds in making the Nobel Prize great again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Stupid Criminal Tricks: Not What They Mean By Breaking And Entering

Breaking and Entering usually involves breaking into another person's structure, entering it and then taking stuff that doesn't belong to you out with you.

For today's episode of stupid criminal tricks, our zero didn't manage that too well.

In short, on illegally entering, the only breaking he did was to himself.

The Detroit Free Press: Man dies after cutting arm during break-in at Petoskey home

Well, he certainly won't be doing that again.

Monday, June 11, 2018

First S'Mores Of Summer

After much gardening on the weekend we had a large bunch of sticks and twigs all piled up.

What to do with all of them?

Fire, fire is good.

The only thing better than a fire alone is of course, a fire accompanied by s'mores.

So today after work and dinner I built a fire in the fire pit, used many a stick and it was ready for s'more manufacture with the kids doing the manufacturing.

A good time was had by all, the s'mores came out according to desired specifications: golden brown and delicious for some; burnt on the outside and all melty on the inside for others.

It was a nice end to the last Monday of the school year. Just a few more days to go until school is officially out for summer.

NEST, Now With Plugin Power

While all internalized attempts at adding a C-wire failed miserably, the wall plug in 24v adapter did work.

Of course it wasn't as simple as plugging it in and the thermostat then playing nice. Of course not.

First, I had to go to the furnace and rewire the G wire back to the G from the C connector on the furnace. Then I had to remove the thermostat base from the wall yet again, which is getting harder as one of the self tapping screws that attaches the mount to the wall is starting to have a stripped screw head from all the times I've had to adjust it wit these many attempts.

Then, of course the contacts on the wires on the plug in unit were too short to actually plug into and lock into the NEST contacts, and I had to strip the wires for more leads. I didn't have a proper wire stripper for this, but had a wire cutter and had to figure out the exact amount of pressure to cut the sheathing without sipping the wire inside. This took some time, some broken wire, and led to some enhanced vocabulary. But, I finally got sufficient length of open wire to plug into the NEST Then I loosely reattached the base to the wall, added the NEST unit and . . . .

It finally worked. Air conditioner worked without a problem, the NEST shows good power and all is well.

Next, I will have to take it apart yet again, drill a hole near the baseboard and feed the wire up behind the drywall to make it all look nicer as there's now a wire coming out horizontally from the mount that then runs along the wall and then hides behind the bookcase and then gets to a plug. Might as well fix it to make it look nice now that it works.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Backyard Visitors

There's lot's of wildlife to be found hanging around the yard today:

Chipmunks:

A black squirrel:

a red squirrel:

A black squirrel with a red tail, likely the result of a romance between a red squirrel and a black squirrel:

There are just tons of squirrels around recently. They seem to be clearing out all the remaining fallen black walnuts and having a serious party in the backyard.

We also have a new family in residence: A Groundhog mom and two baby Groundhogs have come by recently.

The little baby groundhogs are so very cute indeed.

Jett is getting lots of exercise leaping at the window and sternly barking at all these backyard interlopers. He really detests the squirrels.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Probably The Dumbest MSM Published Opinion Piece You'll Read Today

The Detroit Free Press seems to be reduced to scraping the bottom of the barrel of the loony left for content these days:

Pardons: What if Donald Trump shot Melania?

Before you read it, be warned that it's a stream-of-consciousnesses, counter-factual, word salad masquerading as an opinion column by someone who describes themselves as a:

Michigan attorney who has defended nuclear resisters, including some desperado nuns, in court for decades and will on occasion use blunt force satire or actual legal arguments to make a point.

Unfortunately, the editorial lacks both satire worthy of the name, nor does it have any legal analysis worthy of perusal.

Nor is there any cohesive point to the editorial.

It's more of a "Something-Something Trump Is Bad Something-Something Dark Side".

There can be only one response to such an asinine opinion piece:

Unknown World War 2: The Crosswords Of D-Day

As we remember the bravery of the American, Canadian, Britsh and other allied forces that participated in D-Day and the start of the liberation of Europe, there was an episode that has now been almost forgotten.

You see, the code words for D-Day started showing up in the British newspaper The Telegraph's crossword puzzles right before the invasion of Normandy was to take place.

Just prior to May 1944, the words Juno, Sword and Gold - names of the British and Canadian invasion beaches appeared in the Telegraph's crosswords.

Then on May 2 1944 a question appeared: "One of the U.S." the answer was Utah.

On May 22: "Red Indian on the Missouri" The answer: Omaha.

That's all of the invasion beaches.

On May 27: "... but some bigwig like this has stolen some of it at times." The answer: Overlord, the code-name for the entire invasion operation.

On May 30: "This bush is a centre of nursery revolutions."answer: Mulberry. Mulberry was the code-name for the artificial harbors to be used in the invasion.

On June 1, 1944 the clue: Britannia and he hold to the same thing. The answer: Neptune, which was the code-name for the naval portion of the action for D-Day.

This, as you might imagine, gave the British counter-intelligence service, MI-5, kittens.

There was an urgent investigation to see if the crossword was being used to tip-off the Germans and warn them of the invasion.

It turns out the compiler of the crossword puzzles, Leonard Dawe, headmaster of a school and crossword enthusiast, had come up with the words and after a through investigation MI-5 decided it had just been an interesting and complete coincidence and not espionage and the crossword panic faded into history.

It later turns out it wasn't quite as purely coincidental as all that.

Only later in 1984 was it learned that Dawe had been given the words by schoolchildren when he had asked them for some words to put in the puzzles. These schoolkids gave him the suggested words, the words which they had overheard then being discussed by American and British soldiers. At least two of these schoolchildren identified themselves later in 1984 and then in 1995 that they were the ones who gave Dawe some of the words to use in the puzzles.

The Telegraph: D-Day crosswords are still a few clues short of a solution

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Breaking Up A Fight - You're Doing It Wrong

Intervening in other people's fights is almost always a bad idea.

Dipping in when other people are arguing over money that has nothing to do with you is worse.

Doing so in a bar makes it much worse.

Doing so ending with a punch that kills someone makes it much worse.

The Detroit News: Police: Bar fight ends in man's death, criminal charges

Apparently Thing 1 Eric Hysell, approached Thing 2 Mark Thomas Foster claiming that Thing 2 owed him money.

Things apparently got heated quickly with some pushing most likely in a typical barroom Monkey Dance

So far so bad.

Then Thing 3 Andrew Werling intervened, apparently to break up the fight.

Breaking up a fight apparently has different meanings to different people:

In the tussle, Foster fell to the ground and Hysell was still standing when Werling punched Hysell in the head . . .

After being punched, Hysell hit his head on the patio door, or on the doorknob, and became unresponsive. He would never wake up again.

Yes, punches can be lethal, especially when the punchee hits a hard object on the way down, and subsequently dies.

Werling certainly didn't improve matters by intervening in a fight that was none of his business, and is now facing a manslaughter charge.

Physically interfering in other people's altercations rarely ends well and is just not a good idea in general.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Smart Theromastats Aren't

After the joy of Saturday there had to be a balancing act on Sunday.

Our thermostat had gone T.U. over the winter - that's Thermostat Unresponsive, of course.

So I went ahead a bought a NEST thermostat - checking their website for compatibility and even got a nice energy saving rebate.

Per their website, with the 4 wire setup I had, it should work.

Well, not so much.

Overall the install was pretty easy. Between the instructions and YouTube videos it's pretty hard to mess up installing a NEST.

When I first installed it in the winter it started constantly cycling the furnace fan on and off.

It turns out I needed a fifth wire, a C wire. While NEST says it's thermostats doesn't require a C Wire, they typically do. Unfortunately, most of these "Smart" thermostats whose manufacturers were dumb enough not to think that most houses do not have a C wire and wouldn't an onboard replaceable battery (just like the thermostats they're replacing) be a smart idea? Thse thoughts apparently never crossed their minds.

And therein lies the problem.

The thermostat is located over the slab. the wiring to it may very well go up to the attic and then down to the furnace but we can't seem to trace it as it doesn't immediately go up from the thermostat but down and then around somewhere.

Even better, at the furnace the wire bundle has a fifth unattached wire that doesn't make it up to the thermostat - oh, and did I mention the wire colors are completely different and the ones at the furnace don't even match standard coloring schemes? Someone clearly spliced and connected the thermostat wires somewhere, likely behind the drywall and I'd rather not rip apart the house to find it just to try and run a C wire to have a thermostat.

So one solution proposed was to disconnect the G wire on the furnace and move it to the C wire terminal on both furnace and thermostat.

This worked well through the winter but guess what we found out the first day it got hot out?

The A/C will not run without a G wire.

I've tried both the Venster Add a Wire and the Lux Products Power Bridge add a wire solutions which are supposed to fix this issue, and both failed in weird ways. Venstar would not provide consistent power to the NEST and the A/C would not respond at all, but the fan would run - constantly when the NEST was plugged in, and the Power Bridge would provide lots of power but the NEST reported the G wire had a problem and would not work.

I've spent more time running up and down stairs, flipping breakers, and adding and removing wires to the furnace and testing the thermostat more times than I can count, and it took abut 4 hours plus yesterday trying without success to make the to make the add a wire solutions work, complete with the fun of some old furnace wires breaking, requiring me to strip new ends and expand my vocabulary, a lot.

I now have a plug-in 24 Volt adapter on order and we'll see if adding that as an external power source and moving the G wire back to G lets this thing finally run right.

So yes, if you don't have a C wire, I'd have to recommend holding off on getting a smart thermostat as they're not smart enough to handle the lack of a C wire.

Yeah, it's an annoying first world problem all right.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Ready Passenger One

While the FAA declared me capable of legally carrying passengers, the SAA, the Spousal Aviation Administration had not granted authorization.

The SAA originally decreed that a minimum of 100 solo hours would be required before carrying either of the kids. This was negotiated to a more reasonable 40 hours when I pointed out that my fellow pilot and friend Peter, who got his license just before me was permitted by his branch of the SAA to take his kid up at 40 solo hours, and that 100 hours was a bit excessive. So 40 solo hours it was.

As I had promised Leah she would be my first passenger, this has put a limit on my flying with passengers for a bit.

Last week I hit hour 40 as pilot in command.

This morning, keeping my promise, Leah and I headed out to Pontiac Airport.

Originally scheduled for 0800, the initial forecast of a 1,200 foot ceiling put a damper on that. We then went there at 10 am and the ceiling had risen somewhat to 2,000. Still rather lower than I wanted for her first flight but good enough. Winds were about 9 knots from 030-040 so we would use Runway 9L.

I showed Leah how I pre-flighted and explained briefly what each part of the plane did and why I was checking it.

Then we got in the plane and I strapped her in and gave my first official passenger briefing to a non-pilot.

That done, I had a good start, a nice long taxi to Runway 9L's run-up area and a good smooth run-up with no issues.

Cleared to take off and then head south, we rolled down the runway with a smooth takeoff.

Even as the clouds were low, the air was super smooth, winds were light, and it was a great day for lower level flying and sightseeing.

Leah was in charge of the aerial photography today.

Pontiac Airport

Since we were low I could point out all sorts of landmarks.

Orchard Lake St. Marys

West Bloomfield High School

Lone Pine Elementary School

The Kroger Plaza with their favorite Sushi restaurant:

She also got some flying selfies:

And the important pilot and co-pilot sefie:

Since the layer was not breaking up we decided to head on back to Pontiac.

I was told to setup for a right downwind entry to Runway 9R.

Leah got a nice pic of my coming up on the two mile point for entering the downwind:

Then a nice picture as we were touching down:

She pronounced the landing smooth as silk.

It was indeed one of my best landings ever - flying to rolling down the runway with nary a bump. After all, I had precious cargo aboard.

Tower had me taxi back just monitoring ground and I pulled in, parked the plane and got it all secured.

Then some obligatory poses with the aircraft:

She declared that she had a great flight, that it was so much fun, and wants to go again.

.7 hours, 1 landing, and one of the happiest flights I've ever done.

This is the reason why I wanted to fly, taking the kids up and having them experience the joy of flight, yep I'd say that was mission accomplished.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Rochelle "Race All The Time" Riley Is At It Again, Now With Detroit Schools

Rochelle Riley's columns in the Free Press are generally quite predictable.

Pick any two, and ofttimes you'll get all three:

a. Racism is everywhere. Racism is alive, well, and just around the corner, except black folk can't be racist.

b. Whatever it is, it's not the Democrats', and Especially Not the Detroit Democrats' fault.

c. Someone, Anyone, else other than Detroit's Democrats need to take the blame and step up and fix Detroit's Problems, but don't suggest Detroit's Democrats can't be in charge for an instant.

Such it is yet again with her latest piece on Detroit Schools:

The Detroit Free Press: For leaders to fix Detroit's education problems, they need to talk about race

Yes, she's decided that Business Leaders, yes Busienss leaders, not say the heads of School Boards or other government officials actually in charge of education, are not talkig sufficiently about race as the core problem for the sorry state of Detroit's schools.

Of course, it could be that race isn't the core problem, but don't tell her that.

Our business community, for the most part, believes those problems lie with transit, training and trade. They plan to spend almost three whole days focused on three themes: preparing Michigan’s workers for a new generation, creating mobility for the future rather than the past and restoring trust in government, media and business.

But they always start the conversation in the wrong place.

Our region’s most pressing problem isn’t that we have a talent shortage, or that we aren’t competitive. Our most pressing problem is that we don’t care enough about education — and haven’t for more than a half century — nor do we realize that our talent problem begins in third grade.

What does that have to do with race? This: We have believed that if our suburban schools are adequate, we don't really have to care about urban or rural schools.

Unfortunately, that means that black students — and some rural ones — attend inferior schools and too many of those students grow up to be prison inmates or a part of Michigan’s poor.

She then blames Detorit's faling schools on racism. Not on the parents of the kids, not on the teachers, not on the board of education, not on the corrupt Democrat officials that beld the system dry. Nope, just on racism.

She then goes to list a multitude of factors that have little if anything to do with racism but instead crappy parenting, a high-crime urban environment, and administrative corruption and malfeasance by the peole who are the same race whether perpetrator or victim:


Ninety percent of the district’s third-graders read below grade level at a time when the Legislature has banned promoting them if that remains true.
More than 70% of children seen by Community Mental Health officials in Wayne County have experienced at least three potentially traumatic events that could change how they think and learn. Many of those children are in Detroit.
Every day, 14 children in the city became victims of crime. In 2014, the last year the study was done, about 43% were victims of homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault or robbery.
Many of Detroit's children suffer from toxic stress related to the environments in which they live.
Many of Detroit's children have parents who are either undereducated or have difficulty reading. Parents who cannot read cannot teach their children or be partners in their education. Demanding that they do, without providing a way to do it, is folly.
Many of Detroit’s children are victims of adult misbehavior. Because the district was long plagued by mismanagement and corruption, it has become harder to persuade supporters to donate to the children. The district and its new superintendent must find a way to make businesses focus on the children, not the past.
The city schools began the year short 300 teachers. And as more teachers retire each year — and fewer head into urban school districts — the problem could get worse.

None of these things are due to the boogeyman of "racism". Instead, they're due to the complete breakdown of the Detroit family structure, runaway crime, and endemic Democrat corruption. Rochelle Riley of course wants to keep the kids in these same corrupt institutions, do the same things, and expect a better result. Oh, and she likely wants Michigan business to fork over more money to expiate the imaginary sins of systemic racism to buy some shiny objects and hope that fixes the problem. It won't.

Money spent isn't the issue, it is how badly it is being mismanaged and how badly the kids are being taught.

The Detroit Public School system currently spends more per student than "all but eight of the nation’s 100 largest school districts, or $14,259. Even with all that money, the district still generated the nation’s worst reading scores among low-income students."

Anywhere else that would be regarded a massive failure. In the business world with such a lousy result, business leaders would either be fired or their business would be driven into bankruptcy.

At $14,259 per student, it would be better to free them from their Democrat and union-run schools and send them off to private schools - likely there would be better results, but that would be taking away control of yet another one of Detroit's tarnished "jewels".

Thursday, May 31, 2018

At Last, Legit Letterkenny Lands In The USA

Finally Americans can now legally watch full episodes of Letterkenny - one of Canada's finest comedy shows.

Due to copyright laws and other complications, you can't watch it online and no US legitimate online source has it available for online viewing.

The solution, finally, is the show has been released on DVD, which is now available to US buyers.

So I bought Season One and binge watched the show and then listed it up on Ebay in case others want the experience. Season 2 is now on order.

You can also order them new on Amazon.

Both Season 1 and Season 2 is available.

Rather rough earthy humor, but darn good fun.

Darn funny stuff, eh?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

There's A Reason Charges Are Laid In DV Situations Even if The Victim Won't Make A Complaint

I get a call today from a potential client regarding representation in a domestic violence matter.

Turns out the caller is the victim of the alleged dv'er calling and maintaining that it's all just a misunderstanding and she wants the no contact order entered by the judge lifted.

So I ask her what happened and she said the police came when they overheard her and her husband through her panic button and she hadn't called them but they came and took her husband away for no reason.

Yep, police take people away for no reason all the time.

Oh and the case has already been completed, he has already been convicted and sentenced, yet again (No, it's not his first time at this for those of you following along) for DV, and there's a no contact order in place and she wants to talk to him and see him again.

After all, according to her just because he was grabbing her by the throat at the time and smashing things doesn't mean he was being violent to her. She maintains that he's not violent to her . . . when he's not drinking.

This has according to her been going on now for about 20 years or more.

Oh and did I mention the caller is 70 years old?

This particular DV pattern has been going on for a long, long time.

I explain to her as gently as possible that trying to set aside a no contact order in such a situation would really not be in her best interests or her safety. Quite simply, I'm not going to do it for her.

She then says he just filed for divorce as someone told him if he files for a divorce then they're no longer married and he can be with her again and the no contact order disappears. I tell her that is really not how it works.

She's rather upset that he would divorce her and possibly get the house and such, after all he's only violent when he drinks and "they" just need to keep him away from alcohol - apparently, however, "they" haven't had much a successful track record in keeping him away from alcohol so far.

I tell her she needs a good divorce lawyer, and since I do not do divorce law I refer her on to some good ones. I also recommend she should probably go talk to a therapist about the situation as she does need help and she's not at fault for the situation. Hopefully some of that got through, but I'm just not overly optimistic.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Funeral Of The Bumblebee

The kids found a dead bumblebee on the porch this morning.

They decided such a noble insect deserves a proper burial.

They named her Eleanor Margaret McFuzzerson and decided to conduct a proper burial service.

Just as Tash was drinking her coffee, I noted with excellent timing that it was a better name than Buzzy McBuzzface and predictable merriment and spewing of coffee ensued.

They then scooped up McFuzzerson and gave her a processional, set to the tune of Celine Dionne's My Heart Will Go On.

At the grave site they declared that Eleanor Margaret Mcfuzzerson had been a good bumblebee and had always flown surrounded with "Wuv, Twue Wuv" and had always been a good bumblebee doing an excellent job with pollen, and she was being buried with the hopes that in her next life she would be "w-ewarded by w-eturning in her next w-ife as a queen".

Yes, the funeral service was a perfect mash-up of Titanic and the Princess Bride.

The service completed, they buried her in the yard, complete with stones, flowers, and a suitable marker.

Who needs TV for entertainment when you've got kids?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Mississauga Rattlin'

Not to be confused with a Massasauga Rattler,though the perpetrators are snakes of a different kind, but we're talking about Mississauga. Mississauga the city that is a subunit of the Greater Toronto Area which was rattled in a bombing of an Indian restaurant last night.

The Detroit News: 15 wounded in Canadian restaurant explosion

An explosion caused by an “improvised explosive device” ripped through an Indian restaurant in a mall in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, wounding 15 people, Canadian police said.

Police said Friday two suspects with their faces covered to conceal their identity entered the Bombay Bhel restaurant late Thursday, dropped the device and fled.

The police are being awfully quick to note there is no indication of terrorism as a possible reason for the attack, which given the time of year and the target may be a bit of wishful thinking:

“There is no indication that this is a terrorism act. There is no indication that this is a hate crime at this time. We haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation,” said Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans.

It's too early to tell if this was terrorism, a hate crime, or some other kind of criminal act. Hopefully answers will come out, and soon, and hopefully the two scumbags who did it are caught in a most rapid and satisfying fashion.

St. Mary's Fair Preview

Orchard Lake St. MAry's The largest annual school fair in the country, again opens tonight for a Memorial Day weekend of fun, rides, food, fund raising and tradition.

So yesterday at dusk we did a preview walk through the fair grounds. It was rather deserted, which is a contrast to how it will be teeming with people starting tonight and through the weekend.

There was no problem getting in we were allowed to wander around the grounds and it was interesting walking by all the rides that sat silently waiting for their time to entertain the masses to come.

It was neat to walk around without the hustle and bustle and being surrounded by tons of people. After walking around the grounds, we walked on back out, and I expect the Fair will be a great success when it opens this year as it was in all prior years.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Flying On A Thursday

This morning was absolutely beautiful as far as flying weather goes - winds light and variable, ceiling starting at 12,000 feet, unlimited visibility.

So I did some work in the morning and then left the office and headed to the airport for an early lunchtime flight.

A lot of other pilots had the same idea as Pontiac was pretty busy with lots of planes in the pattern or heading to the practice area.

Flying N3553M, I took off and headed to the north to Lapeer to get some airspace to myself.

About 12 miles away I could easily see Lapeer Airport.

Lapeer airport is to the right side rear in the picture.

One plane landed there before me and then I did a very nice landing on Runway 18, then did a taxi back on Alpha to take off again on 18 and head to the practice area.

In the practice area I first did a radio call on the DCT frequency ad found 5 other planes were also in the area, so we each made sure we had distance and altitude separation. I then did some clearing turns and followed them up with slow flight, power off and power on stalls and steep turns. Not too shabby. I finally did a nice decent power on stall - the secret is to crank back on the yoke as soon as you add power so you can actually stall. Steep turns were nice as well.

Then a little sight seeing - Fly over Lake Orion and See the løveli lakes! (No Moose were spotted during the taking of this picture):

Then back to Pontiac to do some pattern work. First I was instructed to call a right base at 2 miles but as I got closer they sent me out to a 3 mile final, which was no problem. A nice landing and then it was taxi back, hold short while another plane came in to land, and then line up and wait to do it again.

I then did four more patterns and landings and called it an excellent time.

1.6 and 6 landings.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Showing Up Is Oftimes Half The Battle

Failing to show up by contrast causes you to lose, and lose badly, and can make other people lose too.

Yes, it's another call from a potential and unlikely-to-actually-retain-me client.

Apparently she had put up a bail bond for her boyfriend. Yes, you can see where this is going already, can't you?

Boyfriend however has decided he doesn't want to go to jail.

The pre-sentencing report apparently does show that he is indeed going to jail for his offense, but he didn't want to go just yet, and decided to skip his sentencing hearing. This decision makes the court distinctly unhappy.

This of course triggers forfeiture of his bond, so the 10% cash she put down is going bye-bye, and the court has scheduled a show cause for next week for her to show up to pay the remaining and quite significant 90%.

There are things that can be done to fix this, but the most important requirement is he has to turn himself in or be apprehended before the show cause to make this work.

He doesn't want to turn himself in just yet apparently because he has a family event he'd rather not miss coming up in a week or so.

Now, had he communicated with the court about this instead of skipping the sentencing hearing, the court likely would have granted him some time to go to the event and all would be well. Instead, now he's looking instead to get thrown in jail immediately the minute any officer happens to come across him, and my bet is they will be looking for him at the event as they're not dumb, and his girlfriend is about to lose lots of money.

I advised her that she does need an attorney for the process to try to prevent her bond being forfeited and a major requirement to have a shot at getting the bond money back is the boyfriend needs to turn himself in before that hearing next week happens. My bet is I won't be retained, he won't turn himself in, and she will be paying thousands of dollars to the court or will be joining him in jail.

This is why you don't lend money on behalf of, or to, known criminals, your chance of getting it back is rather slim.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Now That Was A Close Call!

Matt Hall in 2010 demonstrated some very skillful stall recovery:

A recovery like that shows why he's a top-notch aerobatic pilot and air racer.

Talk about pushing the envelope, going beyond it, and still managing to salvage a situation that would have ended in disaster for probably any other pilot.

Do not try that at your home airport kids.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Volleyball Sportsmanship: Going In With The Odds Massively Against You, But Putting In 100% Effort Anyways

Sports often is a opportunity for a character building exercise.

Leah began playing volleyball 6 months ago and fell in love with the sport. She joined a local travel team (not as high-rated as a travel team) for those that care about such things) and has been working hard.

Yesterday was her second tournament ever. This made for a romantic anniversary of watching her at the tournament in a stifling hot arena in uncomfortable portable chairs for over 8 hours, but you do what you gotta do.

The problem is she should be in the Under 12 category for competition, but her local team lacks enough players so they have a couple 13 year olds on the team, making the team classified in the Under 14 category, which means her competition can be as old as 13 and 11 months old with a lot more growth as well as playing time and experience.

To say the odds were stacked against her team is an understatement. In short, the expectation was they would be massacred on the court.

The teams they played against were composed of players typically a full head taller than they were, and some of them were taller than that. Also her team was only assembled in April and some of the opponents teams had been formed and playing together for years.

For example in terms of size, her team in blue, the opponent in black:

Or her team in blue, another opposing team in red:

You could tell the other teams knew more what they were doing and had some definite playing patterns and sequences that our team didn't have.

On top of that, they had no substitutes as two of the girls had quit after April and one other had broken her leg, so there would be no rotations unlike the other teams that could rotate in fresh players.

So against all that, they assembled on the court ready to play.

While they lost game after game, it was not the anticipated massacre.

They made the opposing teams work for every point and often lost by as close a score as 23-25 or even 25-27.

There were some tears of frustration from some of the girls, and some were crying as they made mistakes that cost points or even a game. Yes, unlike baseball, there is crying in volleyball.

But, Leah was very supportive of her teammates and acted as a peacemaker even after one of the other girls snarkily criticized her on a play.

Yes, they all made mistakes, but they all made up, supported each other, and kept playing. Most people would have given up and forfeited after such a losing streak against impossible odds, but these kids kept at it and never quit.

Then, having not won a game, they were seeded near the bottom for the final stages of the tournament.

They then won their first game in the tourney, lost the second and then won the third game of the set to get out of the basement of the tournament.

Moving on in the tournament, they had two more close-fought games and while they were beat by their opponents both times, each game was very close and they had nothing to be ashamed of.

They placed 12th out of 14 teams, which was, to be frank, far better than anticipated given the sheer disparities in size, strength, and experience seen on the courts.

It was a good lesson in sportsmanship and having resilience and tenacity in the face of impossible odds. You may not even have a chance at winning, but you don't give up and keep on fighting anyways and make the other team work for every point and don't give an inch. I think that attitude will serve her well in life.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Twenty-Two Years Ago Today

It was on this date 22 years ago that two kids got married.

Since then they've managed to move up in the world, finish school (though not the student loans...yet), develop careers, and to this day continue to raise two amazing children.

Yes, my marriage with Tash has now made it for twenty-two years and is still going, which is rather incredible when I stop and think about it.

Certainly it has been an amazing time together, almost half our lives at this point, and it has certainly been the better half.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Meeting The Only Pilot Who Successfully Stopped A Hijacking In-Flight

Last night I attended a presentation featuring Uri Bar-Lev.

Who is Uri Bar-Lev You ask?

Well, as the title of this post would suggest, he's the only pilot who has so far prevented a hijacking in flight.

Now 87 years old, Bar-Lev gave a great recounting of the events on September 6, 1970.

Sharing the stage with him was a passenger (left) who was a teenager on that flight, who gave a recounting of his experiences during the attempted hijacking.

Bar-Lev fought as a 16-year-old in the War of Independence and then in 1950 learned to fly, with the PT-17 Stearman as his first aircraft. After a stint in the Israeli Air Force, he went on to fly with El Al, Israel's Airline.

The 70's were quite a time for aircraft related terrorism. Bar-Lev noted that during his flying career with El Al, his planes had been the subject of 5 attempted bombings, and one attempted RPG attack, all in addition to the September 6 hijacking attempt.

The IATA's policy on hijackings in those days were the crew were to hold their passenger's safety as paramount and not resist the terrorists. This policy only changed some 30 years later.

On September 9, 1970 while preparing to leave from Amsterdam to New York, Bar-Lev and the crew of Flight 219, a Boeing 707, were alerted to two discrepancies - four passengers had shown up with tickets to be picked up. Two had passports from Senegal- that were in sequential order, but were to be seated separately and had acted as if they did not know each other. They were not allowed to board, and went on to successfully hijack Pan Am Flight 93.

The other two, a man and a woman on Honduran passports were "searched" by the Amsterdam police who did a rather cursory and insufficient job of it. Leila Khaled and Patrick Argüello had easily smuggled a handgun and two grenades on board. Khaled was a member of the PFLP and Argüello was a Sandinista. Terrorism had a very international and leftist flavor in those days.

As the pane reached 28,000 feet, the terrorists announced the hijacking, advanced on the locked cockpit door and pointed a gun at one of the cabin crew, demanding entry to the cockpit.

Uri Bar-Lev decided he wasn't going to let them hijack his plane. He had a sky-marshal in the cockpit with him, and told him to hang on.

Bar-Lev then put the plane into a diving maneuver, immediately dropping rapidly from 28,000 to 10,000 feet.

The maneuver caused Khaled to fall and pass out and she was apprehended by the second sky marshal on board, and the dive also disoriented Argüello who was immediately engaged by the sky marshal who left the cockpit as soon as Bar-Lev pulled out of the dive. Argüello before being killed managed to hit one of the cabin crew multiple times, seriously wounding him. Captain Bar-Lev decided to immediately land in London to get medical treatment for the crew member.

While these days Bar-Lev and his crew and sky marshals would receive a heroes' welcome for such a feat, in those days they feared being arrested by the British for shooting the terrorists. This was not an unfounded fear.

Just a short while before, in 1969 an Israeli air marshal named Mordechai Rachamim had engaged a group of terrorists attacking an El Al plane and killing the first officer in Zurich. After he jumped out of the airplane door under fire, he apprehended three of the terrorists and killed the fourth, he was arrested and the Swiss authorities put him on trial for manslaughter. Yes, really.

So Bar-Lev decided he didn't want his sky marshals arrested and speaking on the El Al internal frequency, had an EL Al plane aout to leave London hold on the tarmac. The sky marshals exited his plane by the rear maintenance door and boarded the other plane in the confusion, and were given tickets showing they were proper passengers. With no other evidence to the contrary, the British had to let them go. Bar-Lev and the other crew were questioned by the Brits, especially as all other planes that day had been successfully hijacked, but then they were released and returned to Israel.

As for Leila Khaled, she is still alive and a member of the PFLP and feted to this day by the left as a celebrated terrorist, including being a guest of honor in Japan invited by Japanese leftists commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Lod Airport massacre by the Japanese Red Army Faction.

Yep, leftist international idiots still abound today.

Bar-Lev has retired from El Al and lives with his family in Israel today.

Since Captain Bar-Lev's quick thinking and heroic actions, and the lessons learned from them, not a single El Al aircraft has been hijacked since.

It was a great experience, hearing from a rather humble hero first-hand, and a great honor to meet him in person.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Morning Mishaps

If you think your Monday is going rough, just look at the mess the airport maintenance folks at Halfpenny Green Airport have to contend with:

Halfpenny Green's runway is apparently no longer rated for de Haviland Vampires.

Some vampires suck blood, others blow asphalt.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day Toronto Travels

For Mother's Day weekend we went to Toronto to visit the folks and wish them a happy Mohter's Day.

On the way there, we went through a very Canadian county.

It's not great, it's not bad, it's not wild, it's not boring, it's just:

That humor aside, the ride was it's typical boring route, but we stopped in London to visit the Costco there to get some things for Tash's mom.

At the Costco we decided to have some Poutine.

Big Mistake.

Poutine, for those of you who may not have tried this made-in0Quebec bit of awesomeness, is the tasty combination of hot French fries covered in cheese curds and hot gravy.

Well, the Costco Poutine, for $4.99 Canadian, didn't meet expectations.

The cheese was not melted but removed from a refrigerator, and suspiciously tasted like mozzarella, before being dumped on top of lukewarm fries and warm gravy.

To say it was disgusting was an understatement, the Costco food counter when asked about simply said that's the way it is and would not heat it up but did give us some additional gravy. Still inedible, and not helpful. First bad food choice at Costco and surprisingly crappy service, which is rather counter to what is expected at a Costco. On the other hand, the hot dog and pizza slice were fine but the London Costco certainly failed, and failed badly, presenting one of Canada's famous snacks.

So somewhat disappointed, we left London, hitting a traffic jam on the 401 around Milton that didn't stop until we reached our destination in Toronto.

In Toronto we passed by perhaps the most Canadian coffee shop ever:

Yes, it's a real place, and they are sorry.

Tash then took her mom and the kids shopping to get her mom stuff she needs and I stuck around doing some work from her apartment.

Then there was a great meal together with Natasha' mom and her family and Saturday was done.

On Sunday morning we went to my Mother's grave for a visit and after some quiet contemplation and some prayers, our Mother's Day was done.

After completing visiting everyone for Mother's Day, We then departed, leaving the Toronto skyline behind.

It was a nice Mother's Day visit and we're home now ready to take on the week.