Friday, March 16, 2018

Ouch. Taxes Doth Really, Really, Suck.

Well I have finished the 2017 taxes.

In terms of household expenses, Taxes are the largest single expense we've got, by far, and that's not even throwing in Michigan's 6% sales tax into the mix.

We also unfortunately screwed up our withholding, as Tash did better than she expected and had withheld for, by a lot compared to last year, and so we will be writing a whopping big check to the IRS this year. Big as in "OMG how the hell are we gonna pay this?" huge.

Next in second place comes Medical expenses when you add the insurance premium and deductible and then rest not even covered by insurance and its a flipping lot of money. Thanks a lot Obama, you schmuck.

Only in third place comes the house as an expense.

In short, it was a pretty damn horrific tax return. Could have bought a very decent Piper Warrior with the Fed and state income taxes we paid this year.

And you wonder why it's so hard to get ahead.

Instead of withholding over the year, they shuld really make everyone write one check on April 15. I daresay you'd have a much louder call for a smaller, less wasteful, and more efficient government then. Oh, and hold national elections on April 16.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

No Honor Among Gun Thugs

Criminals apparently tend to trade weapons, whether to upgrade, match their next weapon to suit their next criminal act, or to get evidence of a crime out of their hands.

The problem of course becomes: When you meet another criminal with a gun and you arrange to trade, what's to stop the other criminal from simply shooting you and taking your gun?

Apparently, not much.

The Detroit News: Teen, 17, charged in double murder over gun swap

The headline is, as usual, rather misleading and suggests a legal meetup reminiscent of a gun show. Not so much.

Police believe that around 2 p.m. on the 1600 block of Buena Vista — south of Davison, west of the John C. Lodge Freeway — the suspects and the victims were meeting up to swap guns: the victims' one gun for the suspects' two guns, police said.

Instead, police say the suspects robbed the victims and then opened fire on them. Blinco died at the scene. Trotter died at the hospital.

Suspect Pritchett was arraigned on Feb. 28 and ordered to be held without bond at Wayne County Jail as his case is decided. McNair was arraigned Wednesday and also ordered to be held without bond, and is at Wayne County Jail.

The guns involved have not been recovered.

It certainly seems like the victims didn't figure out that the offer to trade their one gun for the other thugs' two guns, which would appear to be a strange offer to make, wasn't a good deal until it was too late.

Possibly The Ugliest Colored Car Of 2018 Spotted

Driving along I saw this new BMW with a dealer plate, apparently being test driven.

The picture doesn't really do the color its proper justice.

The color is well, it's a puke-looking yellow-green, resembling nasal discharge from a bacterial infection more than anything else that comes to mind. Not sure what they were thinking in letting it see the light of day on what I presume to be a rather high-end machine.

I'd reckon that BMW gives this color the descriptive name of "Snotzi".

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Flying Flight Review

So I had the ground portion for the flight review and then some flying today after work.

For 1.7 hours I got some ground in GPS and some review of charts and airspace which I aced. After all it hasn't been all that long from the check-ride. Since I knew what was going on I got to at least discuss some of the IFR questions I've been coming across so it wasn't a complete waste of time, but only nearly so.

Thence skyward. I did the preflight on the Warrior and off we went for some pattern. Low level windshear and a headwind of 16-20 knots coming from 300-260 made it interesting. Using Runway 27R it didn't take a lot of crosswind correction and I did 3 nice patterns and one short field and two regular landings as the wind shear was kinda sketchy at times, dropping 5-10 knots in airspeed at the drop of a hat, so i had to come in with a bit more airspeed.

Then the instructor got ut of the plane and I did 4 patterns and landings.

With the cold air and no weight, the Piper Warrior took off like a homesick angel. It's a sweet handling little plane.

With no one else on board and the strong headwind, I was consistently landing the plane and getting off at the Whiskey taxiway, which is pretty darn short, even as I was landing with a normal approach. Twenty knot headwinds will do that nicely. I suspect a short field landing procedure would have had me stopped at Romeo.

Fun, and I'm now qualified again to rent their aircraft, just need to fly there more regularly (in maximum 2 hour rental periods, which absolutely sucks) as I search for a good flight club for this summer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wondering When We'll See A Women's March For This, If Ever

Where are the Marches for Women for the women and girls of Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford?

You know, actual victims in a very real War on Women.

Thousands of women abused, including multiple rapes, beatings, and murder, with the powers that be covering it up as the perpetrators were from a politically correct protected class, namely gangs of Muslims in the UK. The police and other enlightened public officials did nothing for fear of being though racist or through class snobbery that the lower class girls simply had it coming to them. Hell, in some cases they returned the victims to their abusers to be raped and beaten yet again.

Reading this stuff makes feminists' overblown ridiculous fears of a "Handmaid's Tale" scenario under President Trump at its worst seem like a flipping vacation paradise. But this isn't some dystopian fantasy, it has been all too real.

Trump just by being elected gets marches all over the world with women putting on pink hats and protesting him because he wasn't Hillary and their unfounded fears that he's going to turn back the clock on women's rights, or something.

One would think feminists would be outraged at this decades long series of serious crimes and cover-ups. Hell, anyone with half a conscience should be shocked and outraged by this scandal.

What an opportunity for Women to protest against real violence against women.

Yet where are the marches and protests against this enabling of this insanity?


Monday, March 12, 2018

No Surprise There - All Michigan Democrat Gubernatorial Candidates Are Anti-Gun

While Gretchen Whitmer failed to attend a Democrat candidate debate in Bloomfield Hills this weekend, the others did and all were unanimously for gun bans and used the standard emotive conflating tropes so beloved of the Democrats on this topic.

The Detroit Free Press: Bloomfield Hills students host forum for Democratic candidates for governor

Yep, students who up until recently were having to be warned by Democrats not to eat Tide Pods are now being looked at by the Democrats as an emotive source of feels and knowledge for gun control policy.

All three candidates at the forum – former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer was unable to attend to forum – said they believed that stricter gun controls are needed and teachers should not be armed in schools.

“I would not allow guns in education institutions and religious places. I will not allow teachers to carry guns,” said Thanedar, a retired businessman from Ann Arbor.. “I would ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Those are guns that no one needs.”

El-Sayed, the former director of the Detroit Health Department, said his thoughts on gun reform have crystallized since his first daughter was born earlier this year.

“I never want to be in the circumstance where I get a text that someone has come into her school with a gun,” he said. “’Guns of war should never be on peaceful streets.”

[Let's note here for a minute that Mr. El-Sayeds head of the Detroit Health Department is from the peaceful streets...of Detroit.]

And Cobbs, a former Detroit Police officer and retired businessman from Farmington Hills, said he wouldn’t support or sign legislation in Lansing that would allow people to buy or carry weapons without a permit.

Standard Democrat tropes and showing pretty clearly that they emote well but don't even understand what they're talking about technically (an AR-15 is not a "Guns of war" and is not an issue weapon in any military). But yes, Democrat candidates have now stated they're all for more gun control, not allowing teachers to be armed to protect their student, and for banning semi-automatic firearms in Michigan.

This year's gubernatorial election is going to have consequences for firearms rights in Michigan.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Orange Isn't The New Black At The Oscars

Well it looks like Everytown's attempt to get all the stars to wear orange flags for gun bans at the Oscars fizzled. Lots of coverage that stars and starlets would be wearing orange pins for gun bans, but looking at the crowd at the opening, in the end it looks like not many if any did.

Even Jimmy Kimmel hosting the event wasn't wearing one. When even Jimmy Kimmel won't jump on board an emoting display to push for gun bans with no real substance then well....

It looks like the highest rated actors they could get to wear them were Lin Manuel-Miranda and Keala Settle. I know, you're asking "Manuel-Miranda and Settle Who?" Yeah, Me too, not exactly names on everyone's lips, those.

Speaking of #MeToo, it looks like the women of Hollywood weren't distracted by this new orange-aid shinyness to give up their black Times Up pins - after all Hollywood starlets are far more likely to be sexually assaulted or required to put out to get their career by the "men" (I use the term "men" loosely in this case - any man who sexually assaults a woman is no man) of Hollywood then they are to face "gun violence".

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Sunday Funday - To The Hogwarts Homecoming

I took Leah up to lake Orion and Canterbury Village where they were hosting the Hogwarts Homecoming.

A very Harry Potter themed event, it was hosted in a castle, no less.

We met up with a number of her friends and their parents and proceeded to see what there was to see and do.

First the kids had to take a seat and be sorted into their houses, and each got a nice oin with the house name and colors to wear.

Next we went to the "classroom" there were various activities like potions, charms, magical creatures and a detention with Dolores Umbridge.

Each one had its own activity such as making a "potion", a monster book of monsters, or in the case of Umbridge, a magical quill.

There was a also a Lego display where you could build your own Potter Lego Figure and some large built kits were shown off.

The Hogwarts Great Hall, as well as a lego train track with the Hogwarts Express complete with flying car on it.

A huge Pyramid display- really nicely done but not very Hogwart-related.

There was also a search for horcruxes where you had to wander the village and find them using the (relatively easy) clues provided.

Hufflepuff's cup was hidden in the cider mill shop:

The kids found all the horcruxes and each got a Hogwarts pin as a prize.

There was also buterbeer - Faygo Cream Soda topped with whip cream and butterscotch syrup. Seeing the Faygo bottle did take away some of the magic but it was refreshing after all that running around.

The kids all declared that they had had a very good time.