Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jett, In The Living Room, With The Paper Products.

Jett is suddenly developing a fondness for chewing and eating any paper product that happens to get in his area of opportunity.

The latest victim seems to be the pistol card from the new Clue board-game, the classic murder mystery game that Leah generously bought for the family with her own money for Hanukkah.

The family has been playing it and it's fun to watch the kids develop their deductive skills and hear them excitedly cry out "It was Scarlett! In the Office! With the Dagger!".

No trace of the card has been found, and the room where the game was left unattended was thoroughly searched. 

Does that make him a gun dog now?

Hey, I'm Innocent! There's No Proof It Was Me!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dive 246 - Black Friday In Union Lake

I met up with Jeff at the Union Lake Boat Dock and we kicked off the first annual Black Friday Dive.

Here's a brief video of the highlights of the dive.  Hopefully this video will help to promote Union Lake dive tourism:

Happy Black Friday!  Keep Warm out There!

Dive Time: 25 minutes, dive called when Jeff's hands got too cold to function.  To be fair, mine weren't exactly thrilled with me either at that point.

Max Depth: 38 feet

Water temp: 39 Degrees

Breathing gas used:  700 psi.

Nice and clear visibility, but the trade off is some cold water in which to enjoy the dive.

For The Second Night of Hannukah, My True Love Gave To Me....

A case for my Tavor, yipee!

And not just any case.

It's a Bulldog Ultra-Compact Discrete Rifle Case, purchased from Brownells.

Designed to covertly carry a broken down AR15 without screaming "Hey, There's a rifle in here!", it fits the complete Tavor, with mounted Aimpoint PRO Sight nicely.

The soft padded divider also has 2 mag pouches on the side opposite the rifle.

It's a nice soft padded case, perfect for transport of the Tavor without frightening any of the neighbors when loading the car and it makes for an easy package for transporting the rifle.

Thanks Tash!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving And Jett's First Real Snow

While it's still November and Thanksgiving Day, thanks to the powers of Al Gore, we've received our first decent snowfall of the season.

Where's your global warming now, you jerk?

At least Jett enjoyed it profusely, skidding and slipping on the Driveway of Doom™ and sampling the taste of fresh snow.

Thank goodness his hair is growing back.

He's one happy dog, and in a few more hours, when the Thanksgiving turkey is out of the oven, I bet he's going to be even happier and thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Some Early Black Friday Sales In Footwear

Since money is tight this year, it makes sense to buy needed stuff when it is on sale.

It turns out that on top of their normal discounts, Amazon is running a 25% Off Sale on Footwear

Needing some new boots as my winter boots have become so worn as to be non-functional I went ahead and ordered a pair of Bates Men's GX-8 GTX Insulated Side Zip Boots. Applying the 25% off promo code BFSHOE25 they came out to be about $80 which was much cheaper than anywhere else, and with free returns if they don't fit, it was a no brainer.

The side zips should make them easier to put on when stumbling around in the morning to get up and walk the dog. Considering its snowing and cold today, the boots with their treads and insulation will be welcome when they arrive compared to my old boots with holes, flat soles with no tread left and beaten-down linings.

So if you're looking for some winter boots, hopefully this link will save you a few bucks.

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgiving

Last night marked the beginning of Hanukkah, and today is one of the very rare occasions where the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide, currently being given the appellation “Thanksgivukah.”

How rare? Well, we won't see this convergence again until the year 79811 CE.

It's a nice convergence of two holidays that both celebrate religious freedom and thanks for deliverance.

So last night, we gathered with some friends and celebrated the first night of Hanukkah. We then said the prayers and all the kids from the families lit the menorahs/hannukiahs for the first night, including the one made from mini flower pots that Leah made and decorated all by herself at religious school just for the occasion.

In addition to the normal huge batch of potato latkas, Tash also made sweet potato latkas which were awesome. She also made a cranberry relish to go with the standard sour creme and apple sauce for condiments for the latkas.

The kids had a great time together as did the adults and it was

Tonight will be our traditional Thanksgiving feast and the second night of Hanukkah. To celebrate the convergence, challah stuffing is called for, and more of those awesome sweet potato latkas.

So a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and have a very Happy Hanukkah.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fatal Knife Attack In A Texas GFZ

Yet again, it sounds like a mentally unstable individual wreaking mayhem in a gun free zone.

Detroit Free Press: Nurse fatally stabbed while protecting patients

Gail Sandidge, a nurse in the Ambulatory Surgery Center of Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas, was pronounced dead Tuesday morning after the fatal stabbing attack by a man who hospital officials said was at the facility to visit his mother.

. . .

Four others were injured in the attack. They are: hospital employee Karen Bobo, and hospital visitors Harris Teel, Teresa Allison and Melissa Simms, Longview police said. Bobo and one of the visitors was treated and released, Altmiller said, while a second visitor remained in critical condition and a third was in good condition.

It's a very good thing that the Medical Center bans the concealed carry of handguns and had a Texas 30.06 no handgun carry sign posted prohibiting handgun carry on the premises.

But for that sign, some person might have gotten hurt bad, or some bad person might have gotten hurt, or something.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And Today's Lesson Is: Don't Play A Thug With A Toy Gun

Once again, if you point a toy gun at police, don't expect them to play along.

The Detroit Free Press: Battle Creek police officer shoots 14-year-old holding fake gun

When you look at the photo of the toy gun at the article, it's quite realistic enough that when the 14 year old, who had been crouching near a store pointed it at him, the officer reacted quite appropriately.

Deputy Chief James Saylor said the boy was shot once when the officer, called to investigate a man with a gun outside a convenience store near the intersection of South Washington Avenue and Grove Street, confronted the teen, who was crouched down outside the store.

The teen was ordered by an officer to show his hands. When he did so, the officer saw that he was holding what appeared to be a large-caliber handgun, police said. The officer fired one shot, which struck the teen, who ran from the scene. Officers chased him and called for medical assistance.

The majority of the comments accompanying the article are what you'd expect form the Freep - ignorant and anti-police with silly statements like the police shot an unarmed kid.

Look people, if you point a realistic looking weapon at someone, you can expect they're going to believe it's real and act accordingly.

Pointing a fake gun at someone armed with a real gun is a way to earn a quick trip to the hospital or your very own Darwin award citation.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

10th Birthday Party A Mad Success

 The party started with Minions:

And then the Mad Scientist arrived and began to setup for the show:

Then a gaggle of 18 girls arrived.

The girls played some games while the scientist was setting up the show.

Jett was very well behaved amongst this gaggle and the girls really enjoyed meeting him.

Unfortunately, one of the girls was highly allergic to all dogs, so he got to have a rest in his crate for the rest of the party to avoid any exposure.

Then the show began.

First the scientist demonstrated how some substances could absorb 100 times their weight in water, creating fake snow from granules that expanded when soaked in water.

Then she demonstrated a hydrophobic sand that resisted water, so much so that pushing a match through it resulted in the match staying dry even in a fishbowl of water, which was amazing for the kids to see. Then each kid got a chance to come up and push their finger into the sand and yet stay completely dry.

Then she moved on to fire.

First, some cotton goes up in smoke:

Then a $5 bill (mine!) meets the flames

Talk about a high heat setting while laundering money.

Then she talked about carbonation and mixing acids and bases to create carbon dioxide and even had Abby create a soft drink from citric acid, baking soda, sugar, water, and some pop rocks for flavor.

Next was a plasma ball and how to light up a florescent bulb without plugging it in.

Abby also was invited to touch the ball while sitting on a chair so she wasn't grounded and then shock all her party guests, which was pretty funny to watch as it was a minor shock, less than one you'd get dragging your feet along the carpet, but some of the girls really went overboard on the drama.

After that all the girls were able to make their very own colored slime to take home.

Mad Science put on a fantastic show. It really held the kids interest and was educational at the same time.  It was a perfect presentation for my awesome and adorkable 10 year old.

Then we lit the candles, sang happy birthday and ate the cake.

After the kids left, we cleaned the place up, moved the furniture back to its original locations and went out to dinner at Famous Daves, where Abby got a free kids meal because it was her birthday, and the smoked beef brisket there is simply awesome.

Abby declared it her best birthday ever.

Abby Turns Ten Today

So my oldest is turning double digits today.

Pretty amazing how time flies and how a tiny baby has grow to be a little girl with lots of smarts and a strong personality.

She woke up all early and excited and received a singing of happy birthday and got her presents from us and her little sister.

Then, after breakfast, she went to religious school and after that she went with the school as a volunteer to a retirement home to help decorate it for the residents for the holiday season.

Her party starts at three and we're having a mad scientist / minion theme. An actual mad scientist will appear and do neat experiments for the kids to see. She's very excited as she's very into science and experiments so this should be a lot of fun. There's also games and activities, and yes, there will be cake.

So here's a happy birthday to the amazing kid that she is and will be as she keeps on learning and growing up.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Some Detroit Criminals Make It Too Easy To Pile On More Charges

So a Detroit female is heading into Wayne County Circuit Court to face charges of home invasion, larceny, assault to do bodily harm less than murder, etc.

And, to top it all off, on the way into court she gets caught at the metal detectors carrying a concealed, loaded, unregistered pistol in her purse. You would have thought all the no weapons signs at the door would have been a clue that she's not supposed to do that.

The Detroit Free Press: Woman faces charges after gun found in purse at Wayne County courthouse

The headline really should read that she now faces MORE charges, but it's the Freep, so what can you do?

As one expects:

The pistol was not registered, and the woman does not have a concealed pistol license

Gee, ya think? Think of all the lovely additional felonies she's about to get hit with.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Range Trip With The Tavor

So yesterday I got all my work wrapped up early and it was a nice enough day to have a range trip in the late afternoon.

It was time to open this box.

The contents were very nicely packaged:

The first thing you notice about the IWI Tavor is how compact it is.

Here it is alongside a AR-15 with a 16 inch barrel, this particular Tavor's barrel is 16.5 inches.

It's even more apparent with the AR's stock fully extended:

So I packed the car and headed to the range for my first time shooting my IWI Tavor.

At the range, the Tavor sported an Urban ERT sling and A Vortex Viper PST 1-4x scope in a AR-PEPR QD Scope Mount.

While the trigger is not a perfect as a match tuned AR, I really don't see what people are fussing about. It is perfectly serviceable and not nearly as bad as it has been hyped up to be, and accurate shots were no problem to make.

The Urban ERT is quite perfect for the Tavor. It provides excellent carrying support, can act as a hasty sling and holds the Tavor rather excellently aligned on your body.

The Vortex with up to 4x magnification makes for a very nice scope. Since it is my first variable power magnifying scope, it's going to take a bit of getting used to. The Vortex has remarkably clear glass and is very intuitive to use. I do need to get it zeroed in, as it is currently low and left, but the first shots fired left nothing to be desired group wise:

The only downside to the Vortex is that it is a bit on the heavy side, and there is insufficient room to raise the backup iron sights with it mounted on the PEPR on the rifle.

Trying an Aimpoint PRO on the Tavor made it seem a lot lighter, and the Aimpoint's dot was dead on, and the backup iron sights that come standard on the Tavor come right up and co-witness rather perfectly. The PRO felt faster in acquiring targets when throwing the rifle up to the shoulder, but that's likely just because I'm more used to it than the Vortex.

Shooting the Tavor is a pleasant experience - no recoil to speak of and with the weight towards the back of the firearm, control-ability is great as it settles right into your shoulder and the rubber pad on the butt keeps it fixed there. So much so, you can keep the rifle nice and steady with the rifle snugged into your shoulder and only your firing hand on the grip with your offhand free and still hit right where you're aiming with no wavering.

The Tavor uses standard AR-15 type magazines, and magazine changes are quick and easy to do. The mag well is easy to reach with the rifle on the shoulder and the magazine goes right in while your firing hand remains on the grip. The bolt release is also right by the magazine well, so it is easy to drop out the current mag, reload and drive the bolt home with very few movements.

All brass was ejected forward and right of the Tavor with aplomb. Standing still it would place all the brass in a nice pile.

In addition to shooting the Tavor right handed as usual, I did test shooting it from the left shoulder and no brass came near my face, all of it consistently ejecting well forward. I should note that I completely sucked at shooting off the left shoulder. It felt very weird as I don't do it often, if ever, as I'm just not very awesomely tacti-cool and I've never had a need to do so. There is a left-handed bolt kit available but you don't really need it.

There were no stoppages or malfunctions of any kind with 55 gr Lake City, 62 gr Federal and even 55 gr Wolf all shot through without a hitch.

One quick note, the 150rd packages that Federal American Eagle is packing their bulk green tip packs in, while cute looking, quite simply suck.

Sealed only at the end, folding into the back at the other with no sealing at the sides and a pronounced crease in the middle, the box of 150 loose rounds turns into a partial box with most of the rounds rolling around your shooting bag. This also doesn't give much in the way of confidence that someone else hasn't lifted out a few rounds before you get the chance to buy it.

Aside from the leaking ammo box, there were no issues at the range.

The Tavor ate 200 rounds without a hiccup in a very comfortable manner. While the manual of arms is different from that of an AR-15, its pretty easy to use and adapt to very quickly, and the rifle fits like a glove. Hard to explain but it mounted and pointed very naturally and was a very comfy rifle indeed. Firing slow or rapidly was very easy and the rifle was completely controllable.

Cleaning the Tavor was very easy. The butt is held in place with a captive pin, and once you know the rifle is empty, you pop the pin and begin the take-down procedure, which is ridiculously simple.

The bolt, spring and carrier then come right out for cleaning and you then clean the barrel with a rod from the breach to the muzzle.

The trigger pack then comes out after two captive pins are pushed, but the pack wasn't dirty at all.

After cleaning you put the parts back in the rifle and you're ready to go, it is a very easy rifle to maintain.

In addition to the top rail, there's a side rail installed for mounting lights, and a bottom rail can be added for a forward grip or light/laser there if you wish. Everything seems well thought out for this rifle and it handles very well indeed.

IWI also has or will shortly have available 9mm, 5.45x39 and 300 Blackout conversion kits available for the Tavor, adding to its versatility.

Tavor Pros:

- Really compact form factor

- Reliable

- Easy to take down to clean

- Decent trigger, nice accuracy

- Excellent balance and ergonomics, both for carrying and shoot-ability

Tavor Cons:

- Costs more than a standard AR-15

- The US shooting community is pretty standardized on the AR-15.

- Not nearly as much aftermarket support as for an AR. While it doesn't seem to need much yet, nor is there any need to mess around with the Tavor, spare parts may become an issue.

- Trigger not as nice as a nice trigger on an AR.

In short, to me the pros way outweigh the cons and this may very well be my new favorite rifle.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Some Focus On Treatment For The Mentally Ill Might Help

Instead of the Democrat's losing war on guns and gun owners, it would be nice if they took a moment and worked on treating the mentally ill and by doing so make an effective reduction in mass murders and crime.

After all, earlier this week a Virginia Senator is stabbed by his mentally ill son after being released from the psych ward not because he wasn't mentally ill, bur because they didn't have enough beds.

As a result he's dead and his father badly injured. As usual, there's a lack of help, resources, and focus on the problem until someone gets killed.

Now in Michigan, a tragedy is averted due to only the incompetence of a mentally ill man's plan to blow himself and his entire apartment building up with him:

The Detroit News: Police: Traverse City man tries to blow up apartment building

Police say a Traverse City man tried to blow up his apartment building and told investigators that voices in his head prompted his actions.

Note well, when the voices in your head tell you to do something stupid, don't listen to them, they lie, and it never ends well.

The voices in the head thing is a pretty clear tip-off that yet again, another mentally ill person was trying to engage in mass murder.

However, this will likely not get much more attention as his weapon of choice was a natural gas oven rather than a gun.

Democrats aren't in favor of oven control so this attempt can't be used to further their goals, at least not yet.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Joe Wilson Needs To Take Back His Apology

In yet another revelation of the Obama administration's mendacity.  Vodkapundit notes that even the unemployment statistics prior to Obama's reelection were fabricated to make the economy look better and improve Obama's chances for reelection.

Is there anything that this administration is telling the actual entire truth about?  Anything?

Representative Joe Wilson didn't know the half of it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

To TO And Back

This weekend was rather busy.

First both kids had Girl Scout sleepovers Friday night - Abby at the Cranbrook Science Center and Leah at the Toledo Zoo.

Then Saturday morning after recovering the kids we loaded up the car, dropped off the dog and headed to Toronto for a family function.

It was great seeing everyone, and we all cracked up about the Mayor of Toronto's current train wreck of a personal life.  Kinda sad that even so, he's still better than the majority of precious mayors of Detroit, crack use and all.

A very nice time was had by all, but then late this afternoon we piled back into the car and started driving home.

Right into the high winds and thunderstorms people have been warning about.

Between about London to the border  was massive sheets of rain with sheet lightning large and bright enough to light up the entire landscape as if it was daylight.  Lots of fun driving with massive rain reducing visibility and a crosswind trying to push the car off the road.

We made it home safely despite the winds and rain and are tucked in for the night watching the wind blow and experiencing several power flickers as the night goes on.

Heck, there's even a tornado warning currently for Detroit and environs, though if a tornado did hit the city, you might be hard pressed to tell considering the state of the city even before the tornado hit.  Heck, it might result in some urban beautification.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

That Didn't Take Long.....

You know how pet owners make rules about things like no dogs on the bed?

 Yeah, that rule lasted about 3 months.  Good dogs always win.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Renisha McBride Case: Charges Are Going Forward.

Arraignment is set for this afternoon and charges are going forward.

Unfortunately, the live feed is so messed up I could not hear what the charges actually were, but Worthy stated that she believes he did not act in lawful self-defense.

Thanks to the Detroit News it appears the charge is Second Degree murder, manslaugher and possesison of a firarm in a felony.

Homeowner Theodore Wafer, 54, faces arraignment Friday afternoon in the charges, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced.

At least some information was understandable during the feed and worthy stated that the shot was through an open front door but a closed screen door, and she confirmed McBride was intoxicated.

The media also asked some really stupid questions regarding the "Stand Your Ground Law" and a howler asking Worthy if she could confirm if McBride was wearing a hoodie - nice job trying to taint that jury pool there guys.

Charges To Be Announced in Renisha McBride Case, Tox Report Shows She Was Very Intoxicated

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy at a news conference set for today at 11 am will be announcing charges against the homeowner who shot Renisha McBride.

The Detroit Free Press has a live feed setup.

In other developments, it turns out (unsurprisingly) that the 19-year old Rensiha McBride was very, very intoxicated that night - .218% BAC and with marijuana in her system. Yes, that's not .021 but .21. This likely explains the car accident and perhaps the rest of her inexplicable behavior that night.

Witnesses also state she was speeding when she struck the parked car, and as we know, she left the scene, passed by numerous public establishments where she could have gone for help, and three hours later shows up on this guy's front door step.

We don't know what happened there.

Given the racially charged nature of the case, expect at least a manslaughter charge, especially if, as the Detroit Free Press keeps stating, the man did say he fired his shotgun accidentally.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Michigan's SB 610 Passes The Senate - On To The House

SB 610 cleared the Senate by a very wide margin - 36 in favor, only 2 against to pass the bill in the Senate legalizing ownership of short-barreled rifles and shotguns as long as the purchaser complies with federal law.

If you asked me ten years ago if we could have gotten SBR and SBS reform through the Senate in Michigan I would have laughed in disbelief.

The bill was recommended for taking immediate effect, and now it will go to the Michigan House for a vote.

Excellent news indeed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

You Can't Make This Up - Dysfunctional Obamacare Head To Visit America's Most Dysfunctional City

Fresh off the most dysfunctional government website and program roll-out in history, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is coming to Detroit to visit America's most dysfunctional city for an event promoting Obama's most dysfunctional program, Obamacare.

The Detroit News: Sebelius plans visit to Detroit for Affordable Care Act event
A spokesman for her department did not immediately provide the location and time of the upcoming event, but sources confirmed she is planning a visit to the Motor City.
The event in Detroit is designed to draw attention to the benefits of the health care act and encourage enrollment, sources said.

Has Obama been watching the Kentucky Fried Movie in between ongoing ACA fiascoes lately or what? He's sending quite a lot of the higher-ups involved in Obamacare to Detroit lately.

Michigan's Senate Bill 610 Legalizing SBRs and SBSs Heading For A Vote

Michigan may be moving forward in enhancing our civil rights shortly.

Michigan, being a blue state has quite a few silly and restrictive gun laws. Even with the public perception that Michigan is solely populated by gun-tottin' rednecks, there's always been an elitist (if not indeed racist) streak that has held the common person here shouldn't be able to own or carry guns, or certain guns, or ugly guns, or scary guns.  But, we've come along way and we still keep moving to get parity with all the other free states in our nation.

 I noted back in October that SB 610 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 Now it is coming up for a vote in front of the full Senate this Thursday, November 14!

 The bill would bring Michigan into accord with the majority of states that citizens of the state may own short barreled rifles and shotguns so long as they comply with federal procedures regarding ownership (fingerprints, $200 tax, background check etc).

So, if you're in Michigan please contact your Senator and ask them politely to vote in favor. Point out that this means that Michigan will be like most states and federal law with all of its background checks and requirements will be in effect.  Mention how there's been a lack of crime committed with legally owned SBRs and SBSs in other states and that will be just as true for Michigan.

If you're not from Michigan but from a state that allows SBRs and SBS, please contact any Michigan senator you choose with a very polite email that even with SBRs/SBSs being legal,  the sky has not fallen in your state.  You may also want to mention and that there's been a distinct lack of crime committed with legally owned SBRs and SBSs in your state and you think Michigan will be no different. The law-abiding people of Michigan thank you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

McBride Case Turns Yet Again. - Detroit News Reports Shooting As Self-Defense, Not Accidental?

Interestingly, unlike the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News is reporting that the home owner that shot McBride is claiming self-defense as opposed to an accidental shooting, and that it was the homeowner that called 911 after the shooting.

The Detroit News: Audio: Dispatcher details McBride shooting call
The shooting of McBride, an African-American woman, by the white homeowner, who claimed through his attorney that he fired his shotgun because he feared for his life, has ignited a national firestorm about Michigan’s version of the “Stand Your Ground” law. The man is not in police custody, and prosecutors are investigating whether to bring charges.
If it was accidental then it's not self-defense so either the Free Press or the News has it wrong.

Since there's no duty to retreat from your home, the whole "Stand Your Ground Law Is To Blame" canard doesn't apply. But hey, there's an agenda that's being pushed, facts be damned.

The media seems to be doing their best to misreport or distort the facts in this case nicely, or they just have no idea what the facts are and are reporting rumor as fact.  You'd think the two major papers in Detroit, owned by the same parent company, could at least report the basic facts consistently.

The Renisha McBride Incident: Curiouser and Curiouser

More facts are slowly coming out in the death of Renisha McBride, and the reported facts are raising even more questions about what may have happened that night.

It turns out the auto accident she was in was that she struck a parked vehicle in Detroit around 1 am.

The shooting then took place 6 blocks away from the accident scene and more than 2 hours later at 3:40 am in Dearborn Heights.

Dearborn Heights police have stated the shooting was not racially motivated, and the claim that the shotgun was fired accidentally hasn't been retracted yet. Further in contrast to her family's claim that she was shot in the back of the head, she was shot in the face.

In other strangeness, while the police call was assigned a low priority of a no injury accident, police didn't show up for 40 minutes until there was a second call when somebody saw that she was bleeding and called 911, after she had already left the scene and then returned.

She then disappears from the scene before the police get there and finally shows up six blocks away two hours later banging on this guy's front door.

According to the Detroit Free Press someone claimed that at the scene she seemed confused and stated she wanted to go home.

As usual, the facts are fragmented, information so far released is biased and full of rumor and exaggeration.  So far many facts are now not what people originally claimed they were and I'm sure we'll see more information develop and we'll likely be surprised at what comes up.

Did he pull a Biden and shoot his shotgun through the door? We don't know yet.

Was she alone or did she have some friends with her when she tried to get in the door? We don't know yet.   No toxicology report on her has been released at this point nor do we know if one was ordered.

If this claim that the shotgun was fired accidentally proves to be a true statement, and again, that's not confirmed then, without anything more, expect at least a manslaughter charge from the Wayne County Prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects are still whipping up the racial angle, and there's no proof at all of any racial bias or "profiling" as they claim to have occurred here.

Send Him To Detroit!

Vodkapundit notes that the Whitehouse's Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park is very reluctant to testify before Congress about the Obamacare fracas.

 Darrell Issa is eagerly trying to compel his appearance.

So what does the Whitehouse do?  Apparently the solution is get him out of town and to send him to Detroit to "improve" the city's services. 

The Detroit Free Press: White House sends 'Tech Team' to Detroit to help improve city services
The Obama administration has sent a team of five experts in government technology from cities across the U.S. to Detroit on a two-day mission to improve municipal services.
The Obama administration at the time also promised to send its chief technology officer, Todd Park, to Detroit to help analyze and improve city systems. Park has recently become embroiled in Congress’ ongoing investigation into problems surrounding the launch of, the administration’s website to enroll people under the Affordable Care Act.
It could have been worse, they might have sent him to Afghanistan to "improve" tech there to get him out of the reach of Issa's subpoena. Being sent to Detroit to avoid testifying is pretty darn similar in terms of conditions and statistically more dangerous.

Even worse for Detroiters, who really have suffered enough already, they're about to get the brain trust that brought us the Obamacare website to work on improving the city's backwards administration and technology processes.  Great.

Thanks to Vodkapundit for the link, and should the Vodkapundit ever be in the Detroit area, whether to track down the elusive Mr. Park or otherwise, let me know and I'll buy you the drink of your choice. 

Thanks to all of you for visiting and I hope you look around the blog - the Renisha McBride story is getting interesting and there's lots more to see here, and your comments as well as your views are indeed welcome.

Maybe Obamacare's Failure Is Just The Democrat's Strategy For 2014?

One should generally not attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity.  When you're talking about the Obamacare fiasco, there's a ton of stupidity to go around.

Instapundit monitors this train-wreck that is leading to millions of people having their health insurance cancelled and their rates increased for inferior Obama-approved plans. Each bit of news he finds is even worst than the last.

Can the Democrats and Obama, heralded by the media as being so very, very smart have made this many incompetent and negligent mistakes? Probably.

On the other hand, it may be the most brilliant rope-a-dope in history - The Democrats create a government-dominated and implemented system designed to fail, then blame the free market and Republicans for it's failure. 

After all, Democrats have always been wanting government-run and paid healthcare, not this hybrid dog's breakfast that is Obamacare.

So Obama and the Dems can campaign in 2014 that they need to retake the House because, due solely to the Republican's intransigence and greedy insurance companies of course, Obamacare has failed to deliver. After all, it can't be the Dmeocrat's or the government's fault.

Since it is the Republican's and insurance companies' fault for all this misery, the only cure for this (in reality government-caused) fiasco is more government control and a move to their fabled single-payer system of government healthcare, which will make everything all better.

To do that of course they need to take the house and dominate both the legislative and executive branches to get their agenda run through so we can see what's in it.

With their lapdog journo-listers running the media narrative and selling the Democrat's line, they just might pull it off too.  After all as Democrat California Governor Jerry Brown stated recently: "Government can best solve the problems it first created itself."

Nah, they really can't be that cunning, now can they?  Let's just chalk it up to some of the most incredible displays of governmental incompetence extant and move on.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Shooting of Black Girl In Dearborn Not A Trayvon Martin Repeat

So far the circumstances are confused, but the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride is not a Trayvon Martin repeat even as the usual suspects wish to make it so.  However, we again get the racial perfect storm as the dead 19-year old is black and the shooter is white.

The Detroit Free Press: Renisha McBride funeral mourns 'tragedy that didn't have to happen'; shooter 'torn up'

 Apparently, Ms. McBride, who totalled two prior cars, was in an auto accident and went to the homeowners house allegedly for help according to her family. The homeowner thought his house was being broken into, and she got shot in the face at or in the doorway at 3:30-4:00 in the morning.

No other facts are out yet and this whole things seems far more tragedy than Trayvon.

Also, it's looking like this will be a manslaughter case and the defense won't be able to raise self-defense as a defense.  Why is that you ask?

Because according to police the homeowner stated that he fired his shotgun accidentally:
Police said the man, who has not been named, told investigators he accidentally discharged his 12-gauge shotgun.
If he made that statement, then he's toast in Michigan at least as far as self-defense goes.  Self-defense is an affirmative defense, i.e. you did it on purpose.  Stating it was an accidental shooting removes that defense.

It is likely more facts will emerge and we'll find out more about what actually happened that night.

The usual suspects of Al Sharpton and John Conyers et. al.,  however, aren't waiting but comparing this to the Trayvon Martin case and claiming stand your ground laws precipitated the incident.
Conyers said today: “The shooting death of Renisha McBride has left the Detroit area hurt and asking many questions about how an unarmed 19-year-old young woman, reportedly seeking assistance in the middle of the night, could so tragically lose her life.
“There has been discussion about the impact of Michigan’s controversial “stand your ground” laws and whether they contributed to this incident. I have long opposed laws of this nature. I am confident that Wayne County prosecutors and law enforcement will conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that justice is served for Renisha’s family.”
Look, stand your ground laws aren't involved here Conyers, you twit.  So far you're the only one having a "discussion" about them under the circumstances.  He's in his home and still wouldn't have to retreat even if there was no Michigan "stand your ground" law.

The Michigan "No Need To Retreat If You're In A Place You're Legally Allowed To Be While Doing Only Legal Things And Not Acting As The Aggressor" (The more proper name for our "Stand Your Ground" law) does not and cannot apply. Quit grandstanding and dancing in the blood of what is looking like a tragic confused and mistaken situation. Idiot.

 If it turns out this was an accidental shooting, or should that accident statement prove to be false, then if he was not reasonable in his belief that his home was being invaded, again the no retreat law will still not provide any protection whatsoever.

You will note however that none of the other multiple fatal  shootings of black people that occurred in Detroit over the very same week was protested by Conyers, or Sharpton.  Funny that.

Sunday's Dive Attempt - The Centennial Dive On The Regina

100 years after she sank, an intrepid bunch of divers headed to the Regina to dive her on Sunday, the day she sank 100 years ago.

The forecast promised 20 knot winds from the west with waves up to 5-7 feet building to a gale later.
The plan was to take Dave's boat, a 37 footer powerboat out.

Unfortunately even as we planned to hit the water around 11, time kept slipping.

First, the boat wasn't fully packed with his stuff when I arrived at his place at 8 am. Mike was already there and Phil would meet us at Lexington. Then he still needed to shave, and then pack some other gear onto the boat, get the boat trailer hooked up to the truck and finally we were off at 9:20 rather than 8:30 or so.

Then once on the road, Dave realized he had forgot his SD cards for his Go Pro cameras (yes, plural) so we needed to stop at Best Buy and pick some up. We also bought some hats as it was getting cold and stopped for a quick bite on the way.

Then we finally got to Lexington, loaded Phls gear on board, changed into our drysuits and finally departed the dock at about 1:20 or so.

As we headed out we saw this laker in the distance:

The Regina was about 4 miles away from Lexington and the wind was picking up and had started to shift from the West to the West Northwest.

This meant the waves were starting to build.

By the time we reached the area where the Regina went down, we were encountering the occasional 15-foot wave, and the winds were out of the north, which was not good.

It took a considerable amount of time maneuvering to find the wreck and as the buoys had been pulled. It was not easy to spot the mooring rope floating in the water. All the while, waves are building up and we're having an interesting time trying to get to the mooring line. We're now getting pounded with pretty regular 7-10 foot waves and many 15 footers.

Here's a quick movie from one of the Go Pros he had mounted on the boat showing one of the smaller waves:

I actually had the mooring line in my hand after getting it with a boat hook, had passed it forward to Dave, who then dropped it as we got slammed by a wave. On the upside this probably was a good thing as whoever would have tried to go forward to the bow to tie it off would likely have been thrown overboard by the waves.

By now the winds were from the North and the radio was blurting out a small craft advisory and gale warning.

We were about to try to come around for another attempt to grab the mooring line when the loudest alarm in the world starts shrieking.

"Oh, not good", remarks Dave.

"What does that alarm mean?" I ask.

"It means there's water above the safe level in the bilge, we're taking it on faster than we can pump it out, and we're sinking", he says.

"Oh, not good." remarks I. "Where are the life jackets located on this boat again?"

So we inspect the bilge and yep, with all the waves there's a considerable amount of water above the line, so we decide to beat a hasty retreat for shore rather than adding a new wreck to Lake Huron's bottom. We made it back safely and then had the fun of getting the boat back on the trailer, heading home unloading the boat etc.

It was a solid attempt, hampered somewhat by poor prior preparation, but the Regina remained unvisited on her centennial.

A quick word of thanks to Tam for the linking to this story and the resultant Tamalanche!  Thank you all for visiting and I hope the rest of the blog is also of interest.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Great Gale Of November Remembered

It was 100 years ago today that the White Hurricane struck the Great Lakes.

12 ships sunk, 250 dead and millions in damages happened over two days in 1913.

Waves 36 feet high and 80 mile per hour winds battered the lake freighters, damaging many, and sending 12 to the bottom and some have still not been located today.

It was the greatest maritime disaster in the history of the Great Lakes.

The Ships Gone Missing:

Leafield: 18 lost.

Regina: 20 lost.

Wexford: 17-24 lost, precise number unknown.

Charles Price: 28 lost.

Hydrus: 25 lost

Argus: 28 lost.

Henry B. Smith: 25 lost

James Carruthers: 22 lost.

Plymouth: 7 lost.

John A. McGean: 28 lost.

Isaac M. Scott: 28 lost.

Lightship 82: 8 lost.

100 years later, we can learn of and remember their loss.

Eternal Father, strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave.
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep
Oh hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Who is That Handsome Dog?

Jett's hair is thankfully growing back and he's continuing his development as a good dog.

He's getting quite the personality.

I was taking him for a walk and as we headed around the corner and up the hill in the backyard he started growling and barking.

Why was he growling and barking?

He saw a strange dog directly across from him staring at him from the window.

Yes, it was his reflection:

He was well satisfied with himself when the dog left his view as we proceeded along the hill, clearly retreating due to his bark.

Good alert dog.

Now if we can channel that barking to get him to do it when strangers approach the house that will be most excellent.

More Democrats Experiencing Obamacare and Cognitive Dissonance At The Same Time

Sadly, we get the government and policies they deserve, but they're starting to get it too, and they're surprised and unhappy about it.

Propublica: Loyal Obama Supporters, Canceled by Obamacare

San Francisco architect Lee Hammack says he and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, are “cradle Democrats.” They have donated to the liberal group Organizing for America and worked the phone banks a year ago for President Obama’s re-election.

Since 1995, Hammack and Brothers have received their health coverage from Kaiser Permanente, where Brothers worked until 2009 as a dietitian and diabetes educator. “We’ve both been in very good health all of our lives – exercise, don’t smoke, drink lightly, healthy weight, no health issues, and so on,” Hammack told me.

The couple — Lee, 60, and JoEllen, 59 — have been paying $550 a month for their health coverage — a plan that offers solid coverage, not one of the skimpy plans Obama has criticized. But recently, Kaiser informed them the plan would be canceled at the end of the year because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The couple would need to find another one. The cost would be around double what they pay now, but the benefits would be worse.

Well you organized for him and Obamacare, you voted for him twice, now you're reaping the benefits of what you've wanted. Surprise!

“From all of the sob stories I’ve heard and read, ours is the most extreme,” Lee told me in an email last week.

Remember, when you as a loyal Democrat have your insurance cancelled its extreme. When it happens to anyone else it's a faux outrage.

The whole article is quite fun to read. These poor loyal supporters having their insurance costs doubling as a result of their blind unquestioning support for Obamacare and Obama. Many small violins are heard wailing in the distance.

Of course as good Democrats they think this is merely a mistake and the benevolence of their leaders will fix it for them. After all, this stuff is supposed to happen to other people, not loyal party Democrats.

Continuing the Democrat's cargo cult beliefs that all good things come from DC, they did as any Democrat would do - they wrote to Nancy Pelosi for help.

That’s little comfort to Hammack. He’s written to California’s senators and his representative, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asking for help.

“We believe that the Act is good for health care, the economy, & the future of our nation. However, ACA options for middle income individuals ages 59 & 60 are unaffordable. We’re learning that many others are similarly affected. In that spirit we ask that you fix this, for all of our sakes,” he and Brothers wrote.

What fix? Perhaps a special dispensation for anyone that can prove they were a registered Democrat prior to the 2008 election and voted for Obama twice? Pelosi isn't going to "fix this". This is exactly what the law she pushed for was designed to do and you voted for the Democrats to do it - twice!, you poor useful idiots.

Expect more Democrats to go around with cognitive dissonance in the near future: Anyone complaining about their insurance being cancelled or their rates rising astronomically is clearly suffering from right-wing inspired faux outrage and partisanship and the wreckers are trying to disrupt the beauty that is Obamacare. But, when it affects a Democrat, it must be an oversight of our benevolent leaders and if only Comrades Obama and Pelosi knew, they would fix it!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Meanwhile In Pennsylvania - Question A Teacher's Liberal Bias, Get Slandered

It used to be liberals were all about "Question Authority".

Now that they are the authority, not so much.

[Josh] Barry, who said he is a registered independent, read the story and then read a list of questions his daughter was required to answer and he immediately determined the assignment was “grossly slanted.”

The worksheet included questions like “To what issue do House Republican leaders insist on tying the federal budget?” and “Whom do you hold most responsible for the government shutdown?”

Barry fired off letters complaining about the assignment to his daughter’s teacher as well as the school board. But a few days later, he was shocked to discover that the head of the local teacher’s union was making calls around town – asking if he was a neo-Nazi.

So this union head is slandering a parent to multiple people with insinuations that he's a neo-Nazi for daring to question the assignment.

There's a rather bizarre aspect to the slanderous, not to mention off-the-wall and inappropriate claim that Barry is a neo-Nazi:

After all Barry is not only Jewish, but is married to a half-black lady. Not your typical neo-Nazi material by any means.

Fox News: Jewish dad questions homework assignment, gets investigated for being a 'neo-Nazi'

Apparently, daring to question liberal orthodoxy in the classroom gets the neo-Nazi card pulled on you in Pennsylvania. Thank goodness they didn't pull out the big guns, like the "Racist" card or even worse the "Tea=Partier" card.

Methinks Cydnee Cohen, the president of the East Pennsboro Education Association owes Mr. Barry one heckuva very public and lengthy apology.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Desperate Shilling For Obamacare Reaches Hollywood

In the face of abject failure of the exchange website and millions losing their coverage, more propaganda was badly needed.

Some "What you gonna believe - What I said then or what I say now." from the President isn't going to do it.

So the progressives are going to pay Hollywood to insert pro-Obamacare propaganda into your weekly sitcom, dramas and relaity shows.

The Detroit Free Press: Boosters of health care law turn to Hollywood for help

The California Endowment, a private foundation that is spending millions to promote President Barack Obama’s signature law, recently provided a $500,000 grant to ensure that TV writers and producers have information about the Affordable Care Act that can be stitched into story lines watched by millions.

The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that encourage Americans to enroll, especially young and healthy people, Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the overhaul a success.

“We know from research that when people watch entertainment television, even if they know it’s fiction, they tend to believe that the factual stuff is actually factual,” said Martin Kaplan of the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center, which received the grant.

The statement that young people believe that the "factual stuff is actually factual" whether from the media or the Democrats, but I repeat myself, explains a lot of the problems with Obamacare and the stat of our nation right there.

But worry not, Hollywood will keep right on taking the Democrats' money and carrying the Democrats' water and lying to you. For your own good.

Monday, November 04, 2013

That's Not A Cache Of Firearms.....

I really hope there's something more to the story, such as a concrete demonstration of related criminal activity to cause such a fuss, as the details sure are lacking.

The Detroit Free Press: Cache of guns found at Highland Park home

Authorities say a Michigan State Police bomb squad was called to clear a home in Highland Park where a cache of guns was found.

Police responded this morning in the Detroit enclave.

WDIV-TV reports least 20 guns were removed from the home. The station broadcast video showing police examining guns that were lined up on the ground outside.

WXYZ-TV reports the area around the home was blocked off as the bomb squad responded. No injuries were reported.

Sorry, while its true that Highland Park isn't a particularly nice neighborhood and hence the possessors of the firearms may very well have been up-to-no-goodniks, the mere presence of 20 guns in one place absent something more really isn't something to get worked up about.

Among the friends and acquaintances I have, 20 guns is but a nice start to a collection and not a "cache" by any means.

In addition, 20 guns in one spot certainly is not a reason to get uptight and call a bomb squad fer cryin' out loud. Sheesh.

I Didn't Realize That Was A Required Qualification For A Job With Wayne County These Days

Apparently background checks on executive security personnel are optional - Report: Detroit/Wayne Port Authority hired felon for security director position

The Detroit Free Press:

Federal agents are investigating after a former Coast Guard petty officer who extorted $35,000 from a person living in the U.S. illegally was hired as security director for the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority.

Given the ongoing corruption and convictions that are taking place in Wayne County, it seems like a felony really is either a prerequisite or a post-appointment requirement for high level executive positions in the county.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Sunday Afternoon With Alton Brown

This afternoon we drove to Midland, Michigan to see Alton Brown of Good Eats, Chopped!, and many other food shows fame live on his Edible Inevitable Tour.

The show was fantastic.

He opened with the song "And The Meat Goes On" and the show got progressively funnier from there.

His list of ten things he's sure he's sire about food was a winner.

AB was funny, informative and even musically inclined. From creating ice cream using a fire extinguisher to making pizza in a Mega Bake Oven (think Easy bake scaled up, and up and up) he created with the heat source being 50 some odd stage lights giving off 1 million lumens of light and over 700 degrees of heat. It made the pizza and fast.

A really great family-friendly show and the kids loved it. If you're a fan of Alton Brown (and if you aren't, you should be) and he comes to your city don't miss the chance to see this show in person.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Oh. My. Dog.

Jett just had his first grooming appointment and the results are.....

The results are.....

The results are.....

The results are, well, let's just say there clearly was a misinterpretation between what we wanted and what the groomer actually did:

Here's the before:

Here's the after:

Oy, the poor puppy.

We've reassured him and ourselves it'll grow back.....

Obama's Smart Diplomacy Pays Off...For Russia

America under Obama's leadership has been shown to no longer be a dependable ally, so is it any wonder that your allies start looking around for new friends?

The Detroit Free Press: Japan, Russia agree to expand defense ties

Japan and Russia held their first high-level defense and diplomatic talks Saturday and agreed to step up cooperation between their militaries amid regional security concerns such as North Korea and China.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, and their Russian counterparts Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu also agreed to hold joint military and anti-piracy exercises and establish a defense consultation framework.

Lavrov told a news conference after Saturday's talks that upgrading defense ties between the two countries could serve their national interests in resolving terrorism and North Korea's nuclear threats, as well as other regional disputes. He also welcomed the talks as a landmark development for Russia and Japan.

American strategic policy in the Pacific used to be about preventing Russian expansion, and Japan used to be a lynch-pin ally in that regard.

Yet more results from the smart diplomacy of the Obama administration.

Look Up In The Sky, It's A Bird, It's A Plane, No, It's A Drone And You're Another Dead Terrorist In Pakistan......

That droning sound followed by a blast means corporate advancement for the Pakistani Taliban as their number one got all blowed up.

The Detroit Free Press: Pakistani Taliban needs new leader after drone hit

The Pakistani Taliban's top council met Saturday to choose a new leader to replace the militant movement's chief, killed in a U.S. drone strike the day before, intelligence officials and commanders in the movement said.

The death of Hakimullah Mehsud, a ruthless leader known for attacking a CIA base in Afghanistan and a bloody campaign that killed thousands of Pakistani civilians and members of the security forces, is a heavy blow for the militant group.

One wonders how many potential candidates quickly yelled "Not it!" when it came time to picking a replacement.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Play Stupid Games, Like Pointing A Fake Gun At A Cop, Win A Very Predictable Stupid Prize

Some people's lives are lived only to be an example to others of what not to do:

The Detroit Free Press: FBI to investigate shooting of Calif. 13-year-old

Basically the kid, Andy Lopez was walking around with the air rifle that was shaped like an AK-47 and when sheriffs responded to the report of someone walking around with a gun pointed it at them and failed to drop it after being told to do so.

This resulted in his being hit with 7 rounds and rapidly earning a Darwin Award.

Due to the family uproar, and of course insinuations regarding race, the FBI has been called into investigate.

FBI spokesman Paul Lee said he did not know why his agency decided to get involved or whether local authorities had requested its help.

Could be because of the noise of the crowds:

More than 100 angry middle and high school students walked to City Hall on Friday, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported. Hundreds of people protested earlier in the week.

City police and the Sonoma County district attorney's office are also investigating.

From the reports it certainly looks like a justified shooting that will be tempered by the Democrats pandering to certain racial interest groups.

Of course, one could argue that the Sheriffs should have known that AK-47s and even semi-automatic AK-47 look-alikes are banned in California and therefore the kid couldn't have been carrying a real gun so they shouldn't have shot him, right?

All Hallow's Raining Eve

Ok, who dressed up as Noah last night?

It rained and did not stop raining in the area during the entire trick or treat operation.

We had a bunch of kids trick or treating together, ours, some neighbors and some friends from outside the sub that wanted to come with us. The rain did not dissuade the kids however, as the rain was but a tolerable discomfort that didn't slow them down in the least in their quest for candy.

It did lead, however, to a very, very, wet dog:

Jett had a grand time, chasing after the kids whenever they went ahead of him running towards the next house, leaping from puddle to puddle and otherwise keeping an eye on things.

After 2 hours of systematically cleaning the neighborhood out of its candy, they returned home to dry off and they then had quite a haul to go through.

This is only some of it:

Next they carefully sorted their candy: Some they kept for themselves, some they set aside for Operation Gratitude, and the rest went to the Halloween fairy.

The Halloween fairy is a seldom seen mythical sprite. When candy is left on the porch in its originally collected pillowcases, she comes and exchanges the candy for a small gift item that she puts in the same pillowcase. This both saves on dental bills and cuts down on kids eating way too much sugar.

While the kids dried off, the adults chatted and had some warm witches brew. Thence the kids went to bed and found their Halloween fairy gifts outside the next morning. She gave them each a necklace with a favorite animal pendant on it, which both kids thought was a great exchange for the candy they had given up.

Halloween 2013 was a success, regardless of the constant rain. None of the kids complained about the rain and toughed it out until their candy bags were full, and if anything they had plenty of fun running through the puddles from house to house. A great time indeed.