Saturday, November 29, 2014

Back Home Again

After a decent return trip of two days on the road, we're back home.

All is unpacked, all is well, and we had a great if exhausting time taking the kids around Orlando.

More pics and details on the trip to follow.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you're all enjoying this wonderful and most quintessential of all American Holidays.

May you have a great one.

Now back to the family day stuff.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

They're Growing Quite The Crop Of Special Snowflakes at University of Michigan

Tuition at University of Michigan is quite expensive, and as much as it's touted as world class for education it seems to have completely failed to teach these students both critical thinking skills and to question a media narrative.

The Detroit Free Press: Ferguson jury's decision stuns Ann Arbor, Detroit crowds
A crowd of more than 40 University of Michigan students and faculty sat almost completely still as the news flashed across the two large television screens in front of them – Darren Wilson was not going to be charged in the shooting of Michael Brown.
Then, an audible sob was heard. Many in the audience – both black and white – wiped away tears as they began processing the news.
The group then paused for four-and-a-half minutes of silence. Most in the crowd sat with their heads bowed or eyes closed tightly. One student pulled her hoodie up over her head.
Even after the official time of quiet was passed, most in the audience sat quietly, still trying to process what happened.
 Seriously? They were so invested in a faulty media narrative and their own race-based worldview that they can't process evidence or even consider the facts of the matter?
Then, the dams burst. One very emotional student said, "What is it going to take for my life to matter? This is so confirming of what any black person has fear of."
Here's a quick tip: In order for your life to matter, don't rob a store, don't assault a cop and don't grab his gun.  Especially don't grab a Black cop's gun as he's going to shot you even faster as he won't have to worry about a grand jury investigation and allegations of racism and rioting if he defends his life. 

Don't be a thug and you'll do just fine - but of course they apparently don't teach that truth at the University of Michigan.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Abby's Birthday Present

We decided to give Abby an unusual birthday present.

We got up early this morning and drove an hour and a half from Orlando to Crystal River, Florida and went to River Ventures.

For Abby turning 11 we booked a tour to swim with Manatees.

After a safety and rule briefing we got on our wetsuits and headed to the boat.  Everyone had a mask and snorkel and was required to carry a noodle for flotation (and also to differentiate you from all the other snorkelers on the river at the same time) as the idea isn't as much to swim but to do a dead man's float breathing through your snorkel and watching Manatees.

Thumbs up and Abby's 11 and ready to go.
Both kids did great getting used to snorkling very quickly, and along with another family on the boat we got ready to swim with manatees.

So we headed over to observe a manatee in the river.  It was a large male that was named Hugh.

Oh, the Hugh Manatee!

The kids were amazed to come face to face with a sleeping Manatee.  Every 15 minutes or so, he would rise to the surface, take a breath and go back down to sleep on the bottom.  Basically you let sleeping Manatees rise (and don't get in their way or bug them). Very big and very cute but not very interactive.

Then we moved on toward the Manatee Sanctuary to get a more interactive experience than just one sleeping Manatee and we were not disappointed.

There were many manatees in the sanctuary, where we could not go - you couldn't even touch the boundary ropes, but there were many manatees that went swimming out of the sanctuary right by us and it was amazing to watch.  Note that as endangered species, you can't reach out and touch or chase a manatee, they have to come to you, and these ones swam right by.

How close do they come by? Very Close indeed.

Leah and a Little Manatee
Here's a video of a close pass.

A cute baby swam by along side its mother as well.  Cuteness factor was off the charts.

It was a great experience to snorkel beside these gentle giants.

Abby announced it was the best birthday ever.

Happy 11th Birthday to Abby

One of the main reasons we took this trip now is it coincides nicely with Abby's Birthday!

She turns 11 today, which is simply amazing.

She's a darn good kid - smart, dedicated and hard-working, a great reader, well behaved and very observant.

Even at eleven, she still has a great capacity for wonder and excitement, without cynicism even as she often has a perfectly timed sarcastic or ironic line.

She was luckily picked to be the new wizard for the Ollivanders show, and she was the wizard to whom the wand called.

It was so very well done with the actor behind the counter doing it perfectly like the scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - having her cast spells at objects that then moved and had effects in response as he worked to find the right wand for her.  She loved every minute of it and believed it.  Of course, she had to buy the wand that selected her, and so it was done.

Even as she turns eleven and just lost a tooth, she still believes in the tooth fairy or at least she believes in the money that magically appears when she puts her tooth under her pillow.

Happy Birthday Abby, and we're going to do something special for you today on your birthday as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yes, We Took The Kids To Universal Studios In Orlando

After driving for two days we made it to Orlando in pretty good time.

We had made it from Michigan and to Chattanooga, TN on the first day.  On the second day we stopped and had lunch  at Keith-A-Que in Ashburn, Georgia - the best BBQ on I-75, period.  Friendly service, good conversation and BBQ to kill for, or at least seriously maim for - truly not to be missed.  They also helpfully pointed out that I should go for the half sweet tea (sweet tea mixed half with unsweetened tea) rather than the full sweet tea - and they were right.

We arrived in Orlando that night and the next day hit Universal Studios theme parks and began having a blast.

Since both kids are Harry Potter fans, they had a great time, and we had to take the Hogwarts Express between the theme parks to make sure they got the experience and got to see both Harry Potter locations.  The level of detail in both Potter worlds was fantastic.  Then there were the rides.

In short, Universal knows how to make some very wicked and realistic motion simulators.

Lots more to follow.  Just finished up another long day at Universal and will have more to blog on later.

On Family Roadtrip Vacation

One quick movie to help you guess where we've taken the kids:

Good journey here, some minor snow-squalls on the way through Ohio, but otherwise really trouble-free. The kids are having a blast.

Monday, November 17, 2014

His Time Was Up

In the Detroit News, the latest reported murder victim in the Detroit area had quite an unusual name:

Rolex Dior Johnson

Looking at him, they could immediately tell the time of death because he stopped at 2 am.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Must Be A Magic Vest

Another Ebola-infected patient is brought to the US.

He's a native of Sierra Leone but also a US permanent resident so flying him here for treatment was apparently the thing to do.

NBC: Ebola-Stricken Surgeon Dr. Martin Salia 'Extremely Critical'

The article notes he's in very bad shape, however the most interesting part is this photo of him being loaded onto and ambulance upon his arrival for transport to the hospital:

Notice how everybody involved in the transport is in protective suits, masks and goggles except one guy.

The guy in the chatreuse vest that reads "Safety Officer".

Ok then.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Who's Paying For That? Oh Yes -- You Are.

And so am I for that matter.

In the course of events I often do court appointed work as a Guardian Ad Litem.  This is mainly investigating as to whether a guardianship or conservatorship is appropriate as is being requested by the person filing the petition for the alleged incapacitated individual.

Sometime the determination is real easy.

Take Y, for instance. A 50-something female that looks like she's 70.  In hospital for an infection brought on by being homeless and a list of maladies a mile wide and a list of current medications a mile longer.

Oh, and Y's been a heroin addict for a good long time. 

When the hospital social worker notes Y has been a repeat customer and both she and the doc on the floor indicate she can't make any decisions for herself and badly needs a guardian, the determination is damn simple to make, and after talking with Y its even simpler.

Now, as to who's paying for this?  Well, Y's sole source of income is Social Security Disability.

Even better, Y's drug dealer apparently has direct access to her checking account.  This clearly helps his cash-flow situation and assures he gets paid, and it is interesting to see that ACH isn't just for law-abiding businesses anymore.  Until a guardian is appointed this apparently cannot be just shut off as Y has sole control of the account and the bank won't give the proposed guardian any info until they are appointed.

To put it plainly: the US Government is paying a drug dealer for heroin with your tax dollars, courtesy of SSDI.

The government is, of course, also footing her quite extensive and expensive medical bills with those lovely tax dollars as well.

Friday, November 14, 2014

One Of The Dumbest Race Card Displays in Detroit History

Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett, in a letter to help Robert Davis get his job back at the AFSCME Union claimed that his prosecution was racially motivated and that the criminal investigation and prosecution for his embezzlement of Highland Park School District funds was an example of
'what a black man in Detroit' is up against,'"
There's a little problem with the rabid waving of the race card in this case -- Davis plead guilty to the embezzlement and admitted to stealing at least $92,000 in Highland Park School District funds.

 So the Wayne County Clerk is backing a convicted felon and denying his felonious ways in the face of all the evidence, including his admission of guilt, to the contrary.

That tells you a little something about the way of the race card in Detroit and how Union Democrats stick together through thick, thin and the theft of public monies.

The Detroit News: Wayne Co. clerk: Davis' prosecution racially motivated.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dangerous Detroit Continues To Be Tops In Crime

Detroit scored at the very top of the FBI's crime stats to take first place as the most dangerous city with a population over 100,000.

While other large cities may be fudging their stats and affecting the rankings, this is still a sad accomplishment.

Detroit led in both murders with 45 per 100,000 residents, and led in violent crime.

Other Michigan cities to make the list were Flint and Saginaw both leading in the cities with populations over 50,000 category.

Detroit has a long, long ways to go before becoming a prosperous and livable city again.

Source: The Detroit News: Detroit led U.S. in murder, crime rates, FBI says

Michigan DGU News

Up in Menominee County, 3 crooks discovered that a home invasion is just not a good idea, one of them quite fatally.

The Detroit News: Sheriff: Man shot, killed in Michigan break-in

Sheriff Kenny Marks said the 62-year-old homeowner defended himself early Monday after hearing the men breaking in and calling 911. He says authorities found the 19-year-old dead at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds. They captured the two other men in the woods near the home in Mellen Township.
 Nice shooting on his part, and I suppose they won't be trying that again anytime soon.  Interesting that the article refers to the dead attacker as a 19 year old man.  Often they try to soften it and give sympathy for the criminal by painting someone that age as a youth, a kid, or some-such.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

I'm not a veteran but I have a strong appreciation for those who have so rightly served our country.

So, here's a few blogging vets and their posts, as always and certainly upon this day, are worth reading:

Nobody Asked Me: Veteran's Day

Chant Du Depart:  Veteran's Day 2014

A Bubblehead's Constitutional Discussion: Veteran's Day 2014

Home On The Range: They Shall Not Grow Old 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gratz Confounds Them Again

Apparently the idea that conservatives can be for equality and equal opportunity across the spectrum makes liberals' (and to be fair some conservatives as well) heads explode.

The Detroit News: Gay marriage finds odd bedfellow in Jen Gratz

Liberals just can't fathom how Jennifer Gratz, who successfully fought against discrimination due to affirmative action, could possibly be against discrimination in marriage.
From a conservative perspective, Gratz's defense of the voter-approved constitutional amendment barring affirmative action may seem at odds with her support of striking down the voter-approved amendment banning gay marriage. But given her passion for upholding the 14th Amendment, it makes sense.
Not just the 14th Amendment,  but the simple concepts of equality and that there's things the government simply shouldn't be sticking its nose into.  Probably the government would also be a lot more effective if it stayed out of such things and instead focussed on its core functions so it could get something done right.

Good on Gratz for confounding the simple-minded who can't fathom that she can be a complex and rational thinker and be consistently for real equality.

Communist Terrorist Birds Of A Feather

If you didn't already know that Rasmea Odeh is a terrorist commie scumbag, when Angela Davis crawls out from under a rock to lie and propagandize on her behalf you know Odeh is terrorist commie scum.

The Detroit News: Angela Davis: Free Rasmea Odeh, political prisoner

No, not a political prisoner.  Someone lying on their immigration forms after they were convicted of a terrorist bombing is hardly a political prisoner.

Angela Davis never bothers to mention what Rasmea Odeh was convicted of, and blithely out and out lies by writing:
Odeh never committed a crime, and her arrest and conviction by an Israeli military court was unlawful.
No, her conviction wasn't "unlawful" she was convicted of participation in a string of bombings including bombing a supermarket that killed 2 people.  Funny how Davis never mentions that part in her editorial filled with standard leftist jargon.

Odeh out and out lied on her immigration application to this country and darn well should be at the very least deported for that crime.

Odeh is, contra Davis protests, far from innocent, and the evidence of that comes not just from Israeli records and testimony, but from videotaped statements by her fellow conspirator in the attacks:
In a 2004 documentary, Women in Struggle, a woman named Ayesha Oudeh—identified in news reports as either Rasmieh Odeh’s sister or her “comrade” – said in an interview: “Rasmiyeh Oudeh was more involved than I was [in the grocery store bombing] … I only got involved during the preparation of explosives. We wanted to place two bombs to blow up consecutively. I suggested to have the second bomb go off 5 or 6 minutes after the first bomb so that those who get killed in it would be members of the army and secret service, but it did not explode. They diffused it 20 seconds before it exploded.”
Note that Odeh formerly (or for all we know a current) member of the PFLP,  a Marxist-leninist Arab terrorist group and part of the PLO, was also an Obamacare Navigator and Community Organizer in Chicago prior to her arrest and trial here in Detroit, so she's not strayed from her Marxist circles, which helps explain why Davis is running cover for her.

The opinion piece is just one Marxist scum covering for another.

Legal Insurrection  has some good coverage of the Odeh trial, including the attempt by the Defense and Odeh herself to go for juror nullification and to  ignore the judge's pretrial orders that her unsubstantiated claims of torture are irrelevant to her lying on her immigration application and can't be introduced - she did it anyways.

Update:  Rasmea Odeh is Found guilty of unlawful procurement of naturalization

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Some Family Volunteering - The Fall Fix-Up

Today the family gathered with many other volunteer families for the Jewish Family Services Fall Fix Up.

Groups of families go out into the community in teams and help the elderly and other shut-ins who are living alone by raking their leaves, washing their exterior windows and helping tidy up their yards.

So we went with two other families we knew to Oak Park and spent quite a few hours helping out.

We raked up many, many, bags worth of leaves and cleaned windows until they shined.

It was a good time and the kids worked hard and did some good work, and they were highly appreciated by those we helped.

Not a bad way to spend some time as a family on a pleasant Sunday.

Diving And Cars Usually Don't Go Together Unless You're James Bond

But when you dive and retrieve a car, it must be kinda neat.

The Detroit Free Press: Dive team recovers sports car from Saginaw River

A late 80s Porsche 944 found in 13 feet of water 50 feet from the shore.

Good discovery and nice retrieval.  It'll be interesting to see if it was stolen or if alcohol was involved in its ending up in the river.  Something tells me that this particular Porsche 944 isn't just going to just dry right out and is likely going to get parted out if anything is salvageable.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Superior Tavor Upgrade

The main complaint people have about the Tavor is its trigger.

Ranging from around 8-12 pounds out of the box, which can be reduced if you disconnect one of the springs, but it is simply not a light AR-type trigger that most shooters are now used to having. Instead, out of the box it feels more FAL-like, with a long hard trigger pull, though it is better than a typical FAL and still perfectly usable.

That complaint is no longer applicable.

Enter the Geissele Super Sabra Trigger.

Made of metal compared to the plastic housing of the standard Tavor trigger pack, the difference is noticeable, with all the surfaces of the Giessele being highly polished.

Shiny Super Sabra

Factory Tavor Trigger Pack
A direct replacement for the IWI Tavor trigger pack, the Super Sabra is a drop-in, no-fuss, instant upgrade of awesome that couldn't be easier to install:

Step 1. make sure the rifle is unloaded.

Step 2. Pull the cocking lever back to cock the hammer spring.

Step 3. Pull out the two locking pins holding the trigger pack in place.

Step 4. Remove factory trigger pack, install Super Sabra in its place and push the pins back in.

And you're done.

Once installed, the trigger felt simply awesome, better than my ARs, and having a nice clean break. It felt like a 4.5 pound match trigger that was simply fantastic to shoot.

No longer does the rifle dance around at all while the trigger is being pulled. Simply put, the Super Sabra has to be tried to fully appreciate how good it is and how it makes the Tavor an even better and more accurate rifle.

I ran 120 Rounds of Lake City 55 grain through it with the new Super Sabra trigger pack in at the Blogshoot and there were no failures or hiccups of any kind. Others there who tried it really liked it and were impressed with the trigger.

Yes, the Tavor is now my favorite modern-day rifle.

If you've got a Tavor, the Geissele Super Sabra Trigger Pack is the upgrade to get before doing anything else to the rifle should you desire a nice, sweet, and perfect trigger.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Blogshoot

Saturday Morning the bloggers all gathered at the range to have at it.

As usual Murphy's Law had organized a great event and we had a great turnout of some of the finest people around.

Since I was helping RSO the event, I didn't get to take a lot of pictures, but I did get a few.

Keads running the pin shoot:

He worked hard at it and made it a rip-roaring success. It was a great idea and very well executed.

Nancy stole the show with her Brown Bess:

Hayden with the M-60:

I let various bloggers run the Uzi and they all had fun with it.

Everyone was safe and lots of money was turned into noise for a good cause.

Afterwards we adjourned to a restaurant offering some fine prime rib and other good eats and there was much good conversation:

Old NFO was on hand to autograph and personalize copies of his latest novel, and you know I picked one up and will review once I've finished it.

Then Keads announced the standings in the pin shoot and prizes for the pin shoot were handed out, as well as prizes for the most interesting firearm and longest distance traveled to the shoot.

And another great blogshoot, that raised $800 for charity, was done.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Some Pics On The Way Back To WV

After enjoying the museum, we headed back to West Virginia to meet up with some of the blogshoot participants that had arrived early.

On the way back, we passed by a site that's famous for its history:

Yes, it's Three Mile Island, and we had a rather happy glow as we passed it.

We passed over some nice bridges and fall colors:

We flew past York, PA and the airstrip where we had done a slip and a touch-n-go on the way out.

Simply a spectacular flight and a great day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Flying To An Air Museum

We went to Reading, PA and the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum.

The first plane we saw on landing was this classic Vickers Viscount, in Capital Airlines livery.

There was also a beautiful Lockheed Neptune and a C-47 on the tarmac

There were also helicopters, in various sad states of disrepair:

Right in front of the museum entrance was this Eastern Airlines Martin 4-0-4.

Entering the museum proper, we surprised the attendant who wondered how we got in through the back by the airfield. Well we flew in on a plane to the airfield at the back of the museum and so there we were. We paid our admission fee and looked around the hangar and indoor displays.

The hangar was packed to the gills with an assortment of classic aircraft:

Aircraft were hanging on walls and suspended from the ceiling.

On the upside there was no one else in the hangar with us so we had plenty of time to move from aircraft to aircraft, often ducking under wings and fuselages to see the next one in past the outside aircraft.

There was a very special aircraft indeed in the hangar, a P-61 Black Widow being restored to flying condition:

She doesn't look like much now, but in time she'll be back to looking something like this:

Murphy's Law has more pics and narrative of the visit as well.

Trip Day 2 - Flying!

So the next day after arriving at the Lair it was time to take to the skies.

Murphy's Law had promised an aerial adventure, the weather was good for flying, so after a quick breakfast it was time to go.

First the pre-flight:

Checking the oil, adding some air to the tires, and doing a walk-around the plane and checking the fuel for any signs of water and we were good to start her up.

And then we were up.

Then I got to fly for a good bit, which was just a ton of fun.

We headed towards an airport in Pennsylvania, flying past the Camp David restricted zone at a respectful distance.

We did a touch-n-go at the York, PA airport with Murphy showing me how a slip worked to drop the airplane's altitude to get down like a rock to a proper landing glidepath without rocketing up the airspeed.

After our visit, we headed back and I again got to do a little bit of flying. Much too much fun. Now I really need to take some lessons and become a pilot.

Where we went will be the subject of the next post.


Went to the poling place at around 11:30 am today, and there were 300 previous voters at that point.

Interestingly enough, they had accidentally given the voter right in front of me two ballots (one was stuck to the other) just before I reached the point in line to receive my ballot. There was a short delay until they frantically tracked down the missing ballot and got it back in order and then all was well.

We'll give them points for paying attention.

Happily, he had not started on that one as it was stuck under the ballot he was actually supposed to have, so I was able to cast my ballot without any pre-completed selections.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Back From A Great Trip

And I'm back from a great trip to West Virginia where Murphy's Law served as both a gracious host and blogshoot coordinator.

As usual I had a great time, surrounded by great people - both those who I had the pleasure of meeting before and those who I met there for the first time on this trip.

More detailed blogging of the trip to follow including pictures.

I made it home in under eight hours even with a fair bit of traffic once I had hit Michigan. This was despite the presence of a ton of goofballs in Ohio who couldn't figure out to not be going under the speed limit in the left lane of the highway blocking everyone else from passing.