Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Michigan State Fair

We did a late birthday party for Leah at the Michigan State Fair. She invited four friends for a sleep over at the hotel attached to the fair convention center yesterday. They had fun swimming and a pizza party and they slept over with Tash while I went home with Abby and then today we did the fair.

We bought and had them all wear dayglo-green shirts and required them to stick together which made them easy to pick out of a crowd:

After a couple hours doing rides, we headed for the circus:

It was a great circus, with trapeze acts, elephants, clowns and more and the kids loved it.

Then after lunch we headed to the indoor exhibits as it was about to rain.

We saw and the kids got to pet all manner of animals.

The cutest Alpaca:

Cows, lots of cows. There was truly tons of prime, prize-winning beef on the hoof on display.




They got to see that bacon is born, not made:

Then there was a dog show which had dogs running through obstacle courses and clearing high jumps. We also wandered around the exhibit hall where they drank their fill of free chocolate milk courtesy of Kroger, saw a variety of displays and did some hands-on activities.

The State Fair has become a lot nicer since it moved out of Detroit to Novi, and it was well-run and a lot of fun.

It was a great but tiring couple of days, and the kids had a great time. No idea how we're going to top this one.

Europe Wants To Dip Into Gaza - What Could Go Wrong?

Well, lots of things.

Trying to avoid being seen as irrelevant, Europe was to dip into the mess that is Gaza. The Detroit News: Europe seeks role in postwar Gaza

When UN peacekeepers can be detained by Islamic terrorists, its not hard to imagine the same occurring to the European monitors.

Or even worse, considering the historical and current pro-Arab bias of the Europeans, having them "monitoring" the situation raises concerns as to how even handed they will be, if at all.

One can also see the monitors being used as a defensive buffer to prevent Israeli responses to Hamas attacks just as UNIFIL has been used by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In short, European monitors are just not a good idea, and not a solution to the problem.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Now That's What You Call A One-Shot, Two-Time Loser

A real winner here: The Detroit news: Mount Clemens man accidentally shoots self, faces charges

Macomb County Sheriff’s deputies found the bleeding man sitting on the living room floor of an apartment on North Groesbeck at about 8 p.m. Tuesday. He told them he had been “messing with” his Jiminez Arms, .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, according to Lt. John Michalke. The gun accidentally discharged, hitting the 58-year-old in the hand. The bullet then lodged in his right thigh.

Lest you think he's a normal gun owner, about to have insult (criminal charges) added to injury, think again:

The man owned the gun, which was unregistered. Deputies also learned the convicted felon had two warrants for his arrest, Michalke said.

He faces charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an unregistered firearm and reckless discharge.

Yeah, not your typical gun owner.

Well, at least that's one stupid criminal that manged to shoot himself rather than anyone else. While the Jiminez brand seems to be the choice of dumb felons, in this case it did the job nicely for a one-shot stop.

While I always advocate against anyone "messing with" their firearms, for dumb felons I have a special exception, especially for self-inflicted injuries.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Thunderbirds

As promised, here's more pictures of the Thunderin' Thunderbirds at Thunder Over Michigan

They demonstrated some serious precision formation flying

Lots of very precise formation maneuvers with no variation in spacing throughout the maneuver - everything was done perfectly, reflecting the ultra-high level of skill and hours of practice put in by these pilots.

The breakaway maneuver was very impressive.

An F-16 coming at you head on is quite the sight, and as soon as you see it, then WOOSH! - It's gone.

It was an awesome display of skill and precision by the USAF Thunderbirds.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Time For A Little Extra 300

OCIA Airshow had aerobatic displays aplenty, and it was time for an extra special show indeed.

The Extra 300L is a purpose built aerobatic aircraft that in the hands of a talented pilot can do amazing things that seem to defy the laws of physics, and this pilot had talent in spades.

As part of the demonstration he came in for a low roll, a very low roll:

He then flew across the runway inverted and then flipped back and climbed out for more aerobatics.

He finished with the obligatory smoke doughnut on the runway after landing:

To say he put on an awesome display is an understatement.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Biplane-Curious? - The Screamin' Sasquatch Jet Biplane.

Thunder Over Michigan had a very curious biplane all its own.

The Jack Links Screamin' Sasquatch.

It's a Waco biplane - with a jet engine added.

They didn't just bolt on the jet engine, they had to structurally reinforce the plane to take the extra power.

This beast could stand on its tail and go straight up - and it did:

Then come right down in a twisting dive:

Here's a closer look at that propeller and jet configuration:

Something about a biplane having a jet engine just doesn't seem right, and the sound of a jet screaming overhead and all you see is a biplane flying by had a lot of people shaking their heads.

He put on quite the aerobatic display and he sure had power to spare, and then some.

Weird News of The Day: Arab Murderer Sues To Be Deported TO Israel

In a strange case indeed, convicted Arab serial killer and stabber Elias Abuelazam is suing the Federal Government to be deported to Israel.

He's claiming he should be deported to Israel because he committed an attempted murder there first before he committed his series of crimes including five murders by knife in 14 attacks in Michigan. He's now serving a life sentence in a facility in Adrian, Michigan and there's the potential for him to be tried for other murders that he has committed in this state and Ohio.

The Detroit News: Flint serial stabbing killer sues to be sent to Israel

Apparently, the Israelis have nicer jails than Michigan.

Machira Slicing The Sky

A highlight at the OCIA show was the acrobatic presentation put on by Doug Dodge in his custom aircraft "Machira".

Machira is the greek word for a double-edged sword, and he used his biplane to slice through the sky.

A custom aircraft based on the Pitts Special, with 325 horsepower, he showed what a biplane can be made to do.

After a great airborne display, he did some smokin' doughnuts on the runway.

A very cool aerobatic display.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Swashbuckling Corsair At OCIA

The OCIA Airshow had a special guest fly in at the start of the show:

With it's distinctive gull wing, it's the Chance Vought F4U Corsair.

The Corsair served as both a fighter and fighter-bomber, mainly with the Marines, but also in British, New Zealand, and French service.

With an 11-1 kill ratio against the Japanese, the Corsair helped rule the skies in the Pacific.

Parking was at a premium at OCIA, and space was tight, but no problem F4U, the pilot just folded the wings, taxied into position and then unfolded them.

A great plane to make an appearance at the OCIA Airshow.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Oakland County International Airport Open House And Airshow

In between moving stuff from the office, I took a break and headed to the Oakland County International Airport for their annual open house and air show.

Held every year, it's a nice small airshow with some nice aircraft on ground display and a few flying. This year was no exception, and at only $5 for parking with no admission fee, you can't get a better airshow value. It's well run, and fun for all to attend.

The first aircraft you saw as you walked onto the tarmac was this beautiful T-28B Trojan.

Right beside it was a shiny T-6 Texan:

Throughout the day, except during the airshow demonstrations, the flight schools at the airport, both fixed wing and rotary wing were offering rides:

While I didn't take a ride, I did have a very nice chat with a flight instructor from Flight 101, which is having me think lots of student piloting thoughts.....

Lots more pictures soon, and there's still a lot from Thunder over Michigan to post as well.