Saturday, May 15, 2021

Cleaning The Plane And An EAA Exhibit

Today was our spring wash and wax at the flying club.

Beautiful day.  I pulled up tot he hangar at 8:30 and we got to work cleaning the planes. 

I then taxi'd N8428S to the wash stand, and 914P followed.

While we we were cleaning the planes at the wash stand,  the local EAA chapter held a pancake breakfast and a display of their planes.

This led to some fun as when we went to leave the washstand, we could not do the normal turn around as a lot of visitor vehicles were blocking the way.  


We had to stop, get pushed back 180 degrees and then go the opposite way to get back to the hangar rather than the normal loop.  Not a big deal but it was funny when some club members insisted we try to squeeze by first and that really didn't work.  Of course, had one truck owner parked a bit better and had his mirrors folder we coulda done it, bit no.

So planes all washed, waxed, and gleaming, and back in their hangars, we went to the EAA exhibit.


Most were Vans aircraft builds of various types.

There were a couple Vans RV-10s and I've always admired the specs of those planes.

One had quite the paint scheme:


The underside was painted like a eagle with wings at the wings which was very cool.

The interior was real nice as well.


Another RV-10 had a more standard paint scheme.

Great looking planes and a nice bunch of folks to chat with.

Not a bad way to start off a Saturday morning.

Friday, May 14, 2021

No Sympathy For BLM-Type That Blinded Helicopter Crew With A Laser

 The Detroit News:  Detroit Will Breathe' protestor blinded flight crew, feds say

 First, we can note that the dipstick in question, as can be seen in the photos in the article is rather on the pale side as is usual with the typical BLM/Antifa agitator.

Second, this asshat who blinded a flight crew of a helicopter and fought police claims to be a "street medic" at the demonstration.

Federal prosecutors Friday charged a "street medic" who participated in "Detroit Will Breathe” protests last year with shining a laser at a Detroit Police helicopter that temporarily blinded the crew.

Michael Sam Hurd, 32, of Fennville was charged with a felony punishable by up to five years in federal prison in one of the more serious charges to flow from protests in Detroit.

An awful lot of Antifa-type street medics seems to be up to very non-medical shenanigans while claiming to be medics, which is an act of perfidy that removes their status as "medics", as if they were ever entitled to any deference for using the term.  

Next, aiming a laser to blind a flight crew is a no-no, regardless of where it occurred or if it occurred during a protest/riot, and his lawyer doesn't quite get that:

    “This happened in the context of a Black Lives Matter demonstration going on so it is not like it took place at an airport or anything,” his lawyer David Cripps said.

That deflection attempt won't work counselor. Your asshat client blinded a flight crew over an urban area while in flight.  There are some obvious reasons why that is both a bad idea and a crime.

Good job on the investigation to catch this POS.  Lots of videotape that caught him in the act.

Hopefully Michael Sam Hurd gets the book thrown at him for his act of malicious stupidity.  Anyone shining lasers at people's eyes, whether in aircraft or not, should be prosecuted top the fullest.

Flying IFR Lesson # 2 The First IFR Flying Lesson

I went to DCT this morning and did a pre-flight on an old friend, N1689H, the same plane I did most of my Private Pilot training flying in when I was at DCT.

It's had a few upgrades - electronic and magneto ignition and a push start rather than a key which was interesting.

Downside, the left seat now tends to not lock into place where I want it, it feels locked in place, pushing on it it doesn't move, but it then drops back one setting in flight and then locks into place which is rather disconcerting.  That needs to get fixed.

So I met Kevin who would be my IFR instructor at the plane and we got set to go.  Very nice guy and quite knowledgeable and we seem to work well together so far.

I brought along a pair of Blockalls view limiting devices (or foggles as they're called), recommended by Mr. B and they did indeed come in handy.

We took off, working as we did on instrument takeoff procedures, and then headed to the practice area.  As we went there I put the foggles on.  The Blockalls are comfortable and work really well at blocking the horizon yet let you see the instruments.

We then started doing instrument scans while doing maneuvers - standard rate turns, standard rate turns with descents, standard rate turns with climbs, cruise configuration,  and more standard rate turns and then timed turns, descents, climbs etc.  Quite the workout and was a lot of fun, and its easy to see how you can get quickly task-loaded.

The we added tuning in and identifying the Flint Vortac all the while doing standard rate turns, and then flying to and from it.  Yep, more task loading.

Then Kevin failed  (covered up) a bunch of instruments which tends to concentrate one's scan quite wonderfully.

Overall I was doing pretty well at the scan and controlling the aircraft, still have a lot to work on to make it precise, and it was a whole new and pretty intense experience.  Kevin thought I was doing very well for a first IFR lesson - some of that is due to studying the ground materials ahead of time and due to the advice I've already received from Mr. B.

Lots of fun.

Then we did an own-navigation RNAV GPS approach to Pontiac's Runway 27L.  Kevin had me take the foggles off for that and showed me how we setup the Garmin 430 for it, but my time was heavily looking inside the cockpit anyways to concentrate on the turns and GPS LPV approach.  I made it right down the glidepath to minimums and did a very nice landing.  Very neat to actually do an approach after spending this time reading and watching training videos about it.  I still have a lot to master and understand before I'd try it myself right now, but its rather impressive how the system works and how it can get you right to the runway.

We then did one hop around the pattern, doing a soft field takeoff as requested by Kevin and I did it perfectly which was very cool as I haven't practiced one of those for awhile.  Then down with a soft field landing on 27R and back to DCT.

I can already see how Instrument training is going to make me a much more precise and capable pilot.   It's also great that there is a clear syllabus, a clear lesson plan, and a debrief after the flight - all of which will enhance learning.

I had the controls the whole time except for putting the foggles on and off and for the brief moment when the seat slipped, so I was PIC.

That's 2.1, 1.5 simulated instrument, and 2 great landings.  So it begins.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Pfizer Stick #2

Got the second shot yesterday.

So far I ended up tired later in the day yesterday, and had a small fever at night, but seem ok now overall, but I'm feeling really tired and seriously dragging today.

Abby busted a high fever last night which is continuing through today and the kid is not a happy camper.  Doing school via Zoom at the moment and she's dragging it in as well.

Overall the superpowers gained from the shots seem limited to the following:

a) I can now smell colors;

b) I can now watch the radio; and 

c) Being able to walk uphill both ways.

Much disappointment, that.

Everyone Has A Plan 'Til They Get Punched in The Face

This is Fight Sim week at the jitsu training center I attend.  Fight Sim week is done at the end of each chapter in the training cycle and is about the most exhausting week you get to enjoy.

The general program at the center begins with basics that are applicable to street defense through getting your Combatives belt.  Then the next phase, Master Cycle, which is Combatives belts and up, adds both advanced self-defense techniques and advanced sport jitsu moves as well, and it adds Fight Sim for high intensity self-defense.  

Fight Sim is where the combative and other techniques get put to use in a simulated street-type encounter. Fight Sim deals with jitsu being used to defend yourself in a street fight and the attacker is throwing punches.  Lots of punches. Happily, they are at least wearing 5.5oz gloves that cover the hand fully but you can get your fingers out to do grips and other techniques (or accidentally stab someone in the eye, but more on that later).

At lot of Fight Sim is learning to get through the attackers punches safely to close and effect a take-down, and also learn to be able to reduce the effectiveness of punches an attacker is throwing when they're on the ground. Because they're going to be throwing a lot of punches. 

Punches tend to get your attention.  Knowing how to handle incoming punches matters quite a lot.

Even at 10-20% power (the limit we use for training in this class), a shot to the face makes you eager to want to sharpen your defenses.  Occasionally your attacker gets a little overenthusiastic in the melee and you receive a little more than a 20% hit.  Stings a tad.  Generally Fight Sim is set so the "bad guy"  is not supposed to use jitsu techniques but instead acts as either be an untrained puncher (think wild swings trying to knock you out) or more of a skilled striker with jabs, crosses, hooks, etc.

Jitsu can be for both sport and self-defense.  For example, a Butterfly guard is great for sport jitsu v jitsu, but if you try to use a butterfly guard in a real fight, you will get you bell rung with punches.  Knowing what techniques to use where matters quite a bit and our center always wants us to stay sharp on the self-defense side of the equation.

Very good training, and a 5 minute round defending yourself from someone intent on punching you is rather exhausting.  

You need to close the distance through  punches, or in anticipation of a punch, execute a take-down, maintain control of someone who is using all their weight to buck or throw you off and who keeps trying to punch you even when down, and then get a submission if possible. Like I said, it is pretty darn exhausting but good training.

Unfortunately, I had one session yesterday with someone who got a tad overenthusiastic and his hand did a nice ricochet off my blocking hand and then went on to smack me right at the right eye with a finger poking out of his glove,  so I have a rather impressive shiner right now.   Not intentional at all, but minor injuries do happen.   I've iced it and its overall ok, just doesn't look great.

Aside from that it went well, but I can say that being paired up with someone stronger and bigger than me as a bad guy makes for an exhausting bout. 

Of course, this is good training as it is unlikely that someone smaller and weaker than you is going to pick a fight and attack you in real life. 

But, it got hairy and I had to work hard to avoid getting pounded even at 10-20%, especially when in one case my bad guy started in mount position as part of the scenario.  Being mounted when punches are flying just plain sucks. Managed to get out of it and establish a good defense, and then control him, but I was pretty much spent after that 5 minute round.

The class then ended and we then spent 15 minutes doing standard jitsu rolls afterwards which felt pretty easy by comparison as no punches were flying.

Heckuva good class and great training.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy Getting Frisky Again

The Detroit News: US ship fires warning shots in encounter with Iranian boats

A group of 13 armed speedboats of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard made “unsafe and unprofessional” high-speed maneuvers toward U.S. Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday, and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter fired warning shots when two of the Iranian boats came dangerously close, U.S. officials said.

This is the second incident of warning shots being necessary in the past two months to keep Iranian fast attack boats away from US ships, and 150 yards is letting them get way too close. The Iranian regime is testing for a reaction (or lack of same) from the current administration, not to mention getting practice doing attack runs at US vessels.

The next time the Iranians try this, the warning shots should sink the next fast attack craft that gets too close.  

Those shots still be warning shots, mind you, as the shots will be a warning for the next Iranian attack boat boat contemplating getting too close.

Flying: IFR Training Lesson 1

Today marks the start of my training to get my instrument rating.

I went to DCT on Saturday and signed up for the program and began studying.

Today I went to DCT this morning for a ground lesson. I had Adam as my instructor today,  Nice guy and was both enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

We covered flight instrument scans, flight instrument operation and failures, and VORs.

The flight instrument operation, instrument failures and VOR info was mainly a refresher from the private pilot syllabus but was still useful with a b it more detail.  Instrument scan was new and will be highly useful.

First flight should be later this week.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Well, That Went As Well As Could Be Expected

We had the oral argument for the show cause hearing for our writ of mandamus claim in our case against the Wayne County Clerk for their delaying and failure to accept CPL applications.

It went, as the title suggests, as well as could be expected.

One fun detail we shared with the Court was the County proceeding to poach our named plaintiffs and thus trying to get the case dismissed as moot.

For example my client had applied on February 11, 2021 and was given an appointment date of January 25, 2022   - yes almost a year after being scheduled in order for a few minute appointment for the county clerk to just accept her application.  Until the application is accepted, you have no remedy nor ability to get a CPL.  A right delayed being a right denied and all that.

We will note that no other County service is having such a delay - not marriages, not getting birth or death certificates, nothing else.   Indeed, no other County in this state is delaying accepting applications like this, none.

We file our complaint on March 25.  On March 30, funnily enough, my client's appointment gets moved up to June 30, 2021, and then on April 8, 2021 it is moved to April 24, 2021 in order to take place before the show cause briefs are due.

Funny how that happens, and it just happened to occur to all the named plaintiffs.  Next time we will file as John and Jane Does.

The law states the application shall be turned in during normal business hours, and the clerk shall do what they're supposed to do with it during normal business hours - not 11 months later.

I believe we did a good job arguing the law and facts of the case, but there's a good chance the judge will just agree with the County and say Covid makes it necessary for the delays, so we will see what happens.  Decision should be soon.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

In And Around The House

Yesterday, some repairs were made in the house.

The drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms have a very strange  bracket system.  The metal rail goes to a plastic bracket that is screwed into the wood.  Unsurprisingly, the plastic bracket  over time splits and the drawer then tends to droop with the back of the drawer dropping and the front getting caught on the top of the cabinet.

I've looked for years for replacement brackets  but could not find them anywhere, nor could I find the manufacturer for the cabinets. I finally figured out the secret.

On the door under the sink in the kitchen only, there is a sticker.


Looking up the I code at the KCMA website got me the manufacturer information.

Contacting the manufacturer, Kitchen Kompact, they were super helpful and sent me a batch of the brackets to replace the broken ones quickly and at no charge.

I then replaced all the broken ones including the ones I had done ersatz repairs to with tape and pieces of plastic cards to strengthen them.

Good to fix them all before Mother's Day.

Then I cleared the shower of an accumulation of the children's hair that was clogging the drain trap.  Disgusting, necessary, and about 5 pounds of hair in a huge hairball was removed and the drain now flows freely.

Meanwhile, outside the house we had visitors.


Deer came through the backyard, getting some snacking in as they wandered by.

Kinda neat to see, and they came right up to the deck which was nice.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Gov Half-Whit Does Not Deign To Fly With Commoners

Our dear governor continues her pattern of having one standard for her entourage and herself and a different one for everyone else in this State.

On one hand she advised and cautioned that no one from Michigan should travel out of state and especially not travel to Florida.

So of course, after making such a pronouncement, she went to Florida which she then lied about but was caught in her lie.  

On the upside, she made sure she traveled in luxury - on a private jet - the cost to charter such a flight would be $40,000.  Likely this was done to hide the fact of her travel as it was not paid for from her own pocket or from a state fund.

Instead, the jet was provided by three wealthy businessmen (you know the ones Democrats allegedly hate on - except when those same business men are providing charter air service for Dems), and one has to wonder who paid the fare as the financial details of the flight as well as many other facts of her travels are being withheld by the Gov. 

One also wonders what quid was given pro the quo of the jaunt.

No possible conflict of interest there mixed in with the double standards and lies that are the hallmark of the Whitmer administration.

Democrat politicians - if they didn't have double standards, they'd have no standards at all.

Attacks On Asian Americans: Not Exactly By A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Recently, there has a been a spate of attacks against Asian Americas. Of course Trump is being blamed for these attacks rather than the perpetrators - for example: Man Arrested In San Francisco Stabbing Of 2 Asian Women.

Many activists blame the uptick in anti-Asian violence on xenophobic rhetoric and the use of racist language by former President Donald Trump and others to describe the coronavirus. 

Funny, the attackers hardly seem to be the stereotypical Trump followers as painted by the media.

Indeed, media reports downplay, if not completely neglect to mention who is doing the attacking.  And for good reason - if they did the whole blame Trump followers narrative for the attacks would fall apart.

Take Newsweek for example - they even list all the recent publicized attacks and don't mention even once in their story that the attackers were Black.   

ABC for example in the New York attack by a woman with a hammer similarly neglected to mention the race of the attacker.

Rather curious, that.

Indeed, the latest, a knife attack in San Francisco on two elderly Asian ladies was by a fellow named Patrick Thompson.  Almost every report completely glossed over the ethnicity of the arrested Mr. Thompson even after he was in custody.  They would report his name, age, and criminal history but not his race, which was a clue.  Take a look through the results of the Google search for more examples of how a rather relevant characteristic of the attacker is glossed over amnd how many you have to go through to find it.

Finally, a CBS website showed a picture of the scumbag which is the only way you learn his ethnic identity: Source: Man Arrested For Stabbing 2 Asian Woman in San Francisco Has Lengthy Arrest History.

Surprise! He's not exactly a White Trump supporter - at all.  Also not surprisingly, he has a violent criminal history and has been arrested over 24 arrests in the last 20 years including previous stabbings, and yet is free to walk the San Francisco streets. He also likely has mental issues and again is free to roam and attack people.

For our media and their current obsession with race, its rather curious this gets such a lack of coverage - but not surprising given the reality.

The fact that Blacks commit hate crimes against Asians way out of proportion to their percentage of the population (over 27% of hate crimes and  the majority of violent attacks against Asians are by Blacks, who account for 13% of the population) hurts critical racial theory and the current narrative  that white supremacists (when those few who do actually exist manage to crawl out of their mom's basement)  must be the ones to blame.   I'm sure we will get some white supremacists crawling out form under a rock and doing a hate crime - which will then be trumpeted by the media far and wide, with their ethnic background prominently reported - until then, expect crickets.

In short, if the media glosses over the identity of the attacker of an Asian you can likely guess the nature of the attacker, and that the media is still trying to sell the rather now threadbare tale that these attacks are by white Trump fans against Asians.  To do otherwise might require some reporting on some facts the media would rather not report upon.