Friday, December 15, 2017

Of Snow And Muppets

Of course it snowed yet again, this time before and during the drive home. I made it up the Driveway of Doom™, covered in about a half inch of snow, complete with a bit of a skid on the way up but powered through and made it to the garage.

I then got out ye trusty snowblower and cleaned it off, loaded the kids in the car along with a couple dishes and made it down well enough and headed to a holiday party, with Tash to meet us there.

Had a good time there and then I brought the kids home while Tash stayed to chat with some friends.

On the way back though, I had a bit of an issue. A couple of muppets (Murphy's trademarked phrase for douche bags of this type) had parked their SUVs directly across from each other -- In the road -- and not exactly hugging the side. This made getting through rather challenging and involved opening the windows to push their mirrors out of the way not to mention folding mine. It was tight but I made it through without swapping paint and I noted both cars were more expensive than mine at the time. Had I gone around it would have involved a rather long and stupid detour as they were about 400 yards from my house and backtracking and going around in the snow for no good reason would have sucked.

Walking the dog a bit later that same way, I noticed another car at that location who similarly tried to get through. He probably wouldn't have made it and didn't want to try especially as his car was without a doubt a newer and more expensive model than mine. Much more expensive. Instead he honked angrily to no avail. Then he did finally get out and rearranged the muppets' windshield wiper blades for them, which was awfully considerate of him I'd say considering their clear lack of consideration. Then he reversed away having to do one heckuva detour from that spot. I'm sure the idiots enjoyed their new wiper blade alignment and I can't say that I blame that driver at all.

Parking directly across from another car is pretty dumb on our relatively narrow streets at the best of times. Doing it in the winter and being both in the roadway fully leaving a lack of room to get through is just darn inconsiderate and will likely result in undesired things happening to your vehicle whether by accident or intent form the people you are inconveniencing with your stupidity.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

First Snow Day 2017

Yesterday it began snowing at around 10 am and went straight on through midnight.

We got about 9 inches of accumulation.

It wasn't windy at all and the snow just lay where it fell.

Schools in the area are all cancelled for today and the kids were thrilled to have their first official snow day of the season.

Digging out the Driveway of Doom™ this morning was a treat. I Certainly got my morning exercise in nicely. It's sunny out so with the shoveling and scraping job I did I've got a good chance of having a nice clean and safe driveway as the sun melts the slippery layer off, I hope.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Unknown World War Two Tales - The Jews Awarded The Iron Cross

There was a country in World War 2 allied with Germany where:

Three of its Jews were awarded the Iron Cross, and all three declined the honor.
A Field Synagogue was setup near the front lines and actually visited by German officers.
The country's leader told the Nazis to go pound sand when they demanded he turn over the country's Jewish citizens to the Germans.

Yes, if you haven't guessed it by now, we're talking about Finland.

Finland in the Second World War was between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Invaded by the USSR in 1939, the Winter War, she fought the Soviets to a standstill. Then she fought alongside the Axis in the Continuation War 1941-1944 but with its own war aims, and finally fought the Lapland War in 1944-45 pushing the Germans out of Finland. Finnish Jews fought in all three wars.

It was during the Continuation War that three Jewish soldiers were awarded the Iron Cross.

Major Leo Skurnik served as a Doctor and organized the evacuation of a German field hospital under fire, thereby saving the lives of more than 600 German Officers and Soldiers. He refused to accept the award.

Captain Salomon Klass saved an entire German Company that had been surrounded by the Soviets. Two days later, German Officers came to offer him the “Iron Cross”. He refused to stand up at their presence and proclaimed the he was a Jew and did not want their Medal. Embarrassed, the Germans responded with a “Heil Hitler” salute and left.

Dina Poljakoff, who served in the women's voluntary organization, Lotta Svard was the third Jew to be awarded the Iron Cross. Poljakoff went to look at her Iron Cross at headquarters, but she did not accept it.

The field synagogue, complete with a Torah scroll, was setup by the 24th Regiment which had a large number of Jews in its ranks. The Finnish army issued an order that all Jews in the army could have leave to attend services there.

German officers and soldiers did visit the synagogue, as the nearest German unit was only a kilometer away, which must have led to some interesting and awkward exchanges in the rather unique situation of a field synagogue located alongside Nazi lines.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Happy Hanukkah!

Tonight is the First Night of Hanukkah.

Once I got home I hurried to make the traditional latkas.

I went old school today, using a hand grater instead of a Cuisinart.

It was a rather sharp hand grater. Ah well, no pain, no gain.

I followed the recipe and had the latkas ready to fry in the pan.

They came out golden brown and delicious.

Presents to follow the festivities and lighting of the Hanukkiah (Menorah).

A very Happy Hanukkah to you and yours, and may the light of Freedom shine brightly.

An Example Of A Poorly Thought Out Vicitm Selection Procees

Today's Stupid Criminal decided to do a burglary. That by itself wouldn't normally be cause for a featured sport as a stupid criminal What he decided to burgle does.

He decided to burgle a gun store.

With the owner inside.

As can be expected in such circumstances, it didn't end well for him.

The Detroit Free Press: Burglary suspect held at gunpoint by Livonia firearm store owner

Unsurprisingly, the burglar, Jair Christian-Lee Miner, even at age 27 is no stranger to the criminal justice system, being out on parole at the time of his latest offense, with convictions for robbery, car jacking, and larceny of a person.

Deciding maybe he hasn't learned his lesson and that releasing him on parole probably wasn't the brightest idea, he will also be charged with being a habitual offender along with the felony breaking and entering charge.

Winter Is Here Allright

A couple inches during the day yesterday, followed by three inches overnight. Quite a bit of snow for early December.

So I get the snow blower out and it performs most admirably - the secret:" Prior to use I sprayed the interior and chute with a silicone spray and now the snow is not sticking and jamming the machine. Winning.

Of course, right after I get the driveway nice and clean and put down some sand for traction, it starts snowing yet again.

This is going to be a long Winter.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Trump Kicks Off An Actual Peace Process By Recognizing Jerusalem As Israel's Capital

Trump does come through on his promises, and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is an important step for eventual peace in the region. It's long past due that the US and the world recognized the obvious, that Jerusaelm is ISrael's capital and has been for years and it's not going to change.

Of course, Arabs are upset with the idea.

The Detroit News: Hundreds rally against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

Hundreds of Metro Detroit Palestinians gathered in Hart Plaza Friday to rally against President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. ....

Trump said his recognition acknowledged the “obvious” that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government despite its disputed status that’s one of the key elements in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The announcement on Wednesday also directed the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as required by U.S. law.

“What’s the benefit (for the U.S.) coming in between the fight ... endangering the possibility of a peace settlement between Israel and Palestinians,” said Khalid Turaani, president of the American Muslim Leadership Council. “It’s stupid, but we’re not surprised.” . . .

During the two-hour demonstration, Detroit police said they helped escort the peaceful protestors, who chanted “from the river, to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as they marched from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius.

Note the chant "From the river to the sea - They mean the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and looking at a map that's all of Israel, not the disputed "Palestinian" territories. Again its part of the Palestinian and Arab fantasy that they can make Israel go away and they'll destroy it eventually so they don't need to actually engage in a real peace negotiation.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is another important step in the peace process - it makes the Arabs deal with the reality that Israel isn't going away and Israel is not going to give up Jerusalem. There will still be an Israel "from the river to the sea" regardless of their rejectionist approach. The sooner they give up the fantasy of destroying Israel and massacring the Jews and move forward with acceptance of reality, the more likely peace talks will actually succeed. Trump just kick-started the peace process by this declaration that it won't be the standard game as usual and hit them with a cluebat of reality.

The sooner the Arabs start to negotiate in good faith and from reality rather than fantasy, the closer the prospect of an actual and lasting peace.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Statistically Insignificant Study On Firearms Is Insignificant

So according to a study, 3 million more guns purchased in a 5 month period after Newtown shooting have a correlation of 60 additional "accidental" deaths.

That's .002% of the 3 million firearms purchased leading to an accidental death, assuming that there even is a causative link between the two events.

That's so small as to be amazingly insignificant. Then add in the fact that there was already about 300 million plus firearms in circulation, the 3 million more would be the proverbial drop on the bucket.

Heck if you added 3 million more cars to the nations roads there would be far more fatalities. But that wouldn't help push the narrative for gun control.

But it got major headlines.

Washington Post: Surge in gun sales after Sandy Hook led to spike in accidental gun deaths, study says

Of course, The Washington Post and other outlets did not report the criticism of the study. Of course, the study's author pushes for more "stringent gun storage laws", rather than for gun safety training that would be an actual and effective solution to reduce accidental firearms-related deaths.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

First Snow Of Winter

Ah, the first winter’s day of snow.

The feeling of schadenfreude watching people in their cars slipping and sliding through intersections due to forgetting the basic laws of physics. Simultaneously having the feeling of concern as they’re slipping towards YOU.

People spinning out in a small amount of snow when panic braking as they don’t understand the concept of slick surfaces and increased braking distance. Your 4-wheel drive may help you go, but it doesn’t help you come to a quick stop, and momentum from a larger vehicle can indeed be momentous.

Drive safe out there, and put the darn phone down and focus on your driving, ok? You’re just not as good a driver in snow as you think.

The first snowfall of the season has happened and people have completely forgotten how to drive in it. It's a lovely wet and very slippery snowfall of about an inch, custom designed to mess up the roads nicely. The roads are indeed a mess with nary a snowplow in sight and getting to a meeting this morning was an experience.

Good thing this was on a weekend as having the first snowfall in a morning rush hour would have been extremely bad. Winter is officially here, and so is winter driving season.