Saturday, January 31, 2015

Well This is Going To Be Just Great

Just got a letter in the mail today from the Internal Revenue Service that they are quality checking our 2014 tax return.

There's a major problem with this:

We have not yet filed our 2014 tax return.

Indeed, we can't file it yet as we're still waiting on some forms to arrive.

So I'm now busy filling out IRS fraud affidavit forms, but the IRS letter lacks a fax number to send them quickly and instead they need to be mailed. This is very stupid in this day and age, especially as speed is important to catch people filing false returns. So I'm sure I'll be on hold on Monday for hours as I try to get through to them to let them know that identity theft has occurred here and try to receive a fax number where I can send the forms in to speed this up.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Good Deal For M&P 40 Toters

Natchez Shooters Supply has used M&P 40S&W 15 round magazines on sale for $9.99 rather than their usual price of $14.99.

I ordered a few and the arrived and they look good.  One had visible wear the others looked almost unused.

Good service, quick shipping and a darn nice product.

Hat tip and thanks to Murphy for the heads up on the sale.

Your News Headline Understatement Of The Day

The Detroit News: Woman charged in baby's death 'has a lot of ... issues'

Yes,  I'd suspect so.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ah, That Liberal Media With Its Anti-Gun Messaging

Suggestive anti-gun owner headlines are often a feature of the media's stock-in-trade.

Let's look at this headline from the Detroit News:

 Detroit police: Gun owner arrested after teen shot

The headline, while arguably factually accurate is rather misleading.

You see, the "gun owner" was not, as you read the articles, the typical gun owner that you may think of when you hear the words gun owner.

The headline certainly suggests this was a law-abiding citizen legally able to own a firearm and as suggested by the headline, was then arrested apparently for something the gun owner did to lead to this tragedy with a teen being shot, or perhaps the gun owner shot the teen.

Instead the "gun owner" in question is  a convicted felon and thus not legally allowed to be a gun owner at all and is being charged as a felon in possession and for some outstanding traffic warrants.

The 13-year-old female teen was shot not by the "gun owner" but apparently while playing with the gun along with a 14-year old male friend under circumstances that are not described.

So the essence of the story - That a felon, who shouldn't even have a gun, stupidly leaves it where either his daughter finds it or her friend finds it and they then stupidly proceed along a chain of events leading to her being shot is certainly not conveyed by the headline.

No need to wonder why.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quite Impressive There Crimson Trace

So the battery that's been in the Crimson Trace Lasergrips on my Kahr PM9 since January 10, 2013 has finally given up the glow and lost enough power to be faded beyond usefulness.

So I hopped onto Amazon and picked up a Duracell DL1/3N  3V Lithium Battery, which arrived today.

Uninstalling the laser was very simple, first unloading the firearm and I'd recommend locking the slide back so there's no question that the firearm is empty while you work on it. Then, using the provided Allen key from Crimson Trace which I had carefully left, along with the original instructions, in the box the sight came in, it was simple to take the sight off the gun.

I took out the old battery, installed the new one and snapped the laser sight back onto the Kahr and screwed the two sides together locking it onto the trigger guard.  The whole process took maybe three minutes tops and the sight now works and shines bright as new.

Impressively, there was absolutely no loss of zero and the dot is exactly where it was prior to the removal of the sight.

Crimson Trace makes a darn nice product and this one has withstood regular carry and use (but not abuse) for over two years as a pocket gun and being used at the range on a regular basis, as well as being on a firearm as it is being cleaned. These grips certainly hold up well over time as well as provide a nice red dot right where you want it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Obama Forecast: More Bowing And Scraping Ahead

Tam had presciently noted that the Obama administration is in many ways the most transparent ever.

Obama, as has been widely reported that after he failed to join the French March in Paris that he would also not take part in the 70th Year commemoration at Auswitz, ostensibly because he had already a planned trip to India that was locked in per the White House.

Well, gee, Obama just changed his schedule and cut that very same can't miss trip to India short to ensure he can go bow to the new king of Saudi Arabia:

The Detroit News: Obama to cut short India trip to visit Saudi Arabia

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cold Flame

We're having Rocky and his human family over for dinner tonight for some fun and socializing, and it called for something special.

Tash suggested something smoked, and of course I couldn't refuse.

So here I am, out in the snow adding charcoal and wood to the smoker trying to get it up to heat to make some 10 pounds of smoked country-style ribs.

The ribs have been marinating all night, and have spent the morning covered in a nice rub waiting to be placed in the smoker until I began the cook at noon.

While it's not freezing cold out, the smoker's thermometer is showing me it is struggling to get up to heat, and I need to keep adding wood and charcoal more often than usual.  Also the lighter is being a real pain in the cold and wind making it an extra pleasant struggle to start the charcoal in the chimney.

On the upside the smell is awesome and, worst comes to worst, we can always finish the cooking off in the oven at a nice low 240 degrees inside where its warm.

Did I mention I need to make these in two batches as the smoker won't fit 'em all?

First batch should be done by 3, with the second batch done by when the guests arrive.  This should work.

Update at 3:19 pm: First batch is done and Wow! is it great - they're tender, perfectly cooked with a great flavor that doesn't even need some BBQ sauce on top to improve, but I'll likely add some sauce anyways.  Somebody stop me before I eat all of them before company arrives.
Batch #2 is underway.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Why We Don't Leave Nice Things With Idiots

Courtesy of The Telegraph, we learn that: King Tut's beard 'hastily glued back on with epoxy and that this priceless artifact may be irreversibly damaged at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

You see, this is why Europeans used to take such discoveries back to their home countries with them, to safeguard and display them so they're not left in the hands of complete morons.

Somehow, King Tutankhamen's beard was broken off the funeral mask, apparently during cleaning but no there seems to be owning up to it.  But that was only the beginning.

Instead of affixing it properly and doing the appropriate repair, they just shoved some epoxy in, which is really not how you're supposed to do it.

Yes, some "conservator" at the museum Bubba-Ho-Tepped King Tut's burial mask.

Not content with that level of damage, they then got some epoxy on the face itself and then scraped it away with a spatula.   This caused scratches to the gold face mask.

Here's the before.

Check out the Telegraph's article for after.

Unbelievable, to survive for thousands of years only to suffer at the hands of modern day incompetent Egyptian conservators.

It is to weep.

As If You Didn't See That Coming In Southeastern Michigan

The Detroit Water and Sewage Department, now with the suburbs paying an even larger share of the bill in return for  few seats at the table is announcing some heavy rate increases to cover the deferred maintenance that occurred under the prior corrupt regime.

The Detroit Free Press: Suburbs warned: Double-digit water rate hikes possible
The projected increases come as the region prepares to launch the new Great Lakes Water Authority, a regional entity that will manage the department, which the City of Detroit owns. The authority was created as part of Detroit's bankruptcy and included a promise that it would limit budget increases to 4% annually.

But that doesn't mean rates can't rise more than that, officials said today.

That promise "was always that we would not move forward with a budget request that was more than 4% from the prior year," water department Director Sue McCormick said. "But that was a budget that contained a lot of unknowns, and some estimates, and some contingences, so by the time we got the bond documents for planning purposes, we had changed our projections."
Yeah, 4% doesn't mean 4%.  Yet again, the suburbs were sold a bill of goods on this deal, actually the suburbs did exactly buy the deal, instead they suffered getting the "goods" rammed down their throats in the Detroit bankruptcy and grand bargain extravaganza.

Interestingly enough, according to the article, at least some of those that knew this was coming when this was being promoted as a great deal were under a gag order and not allowed to talk about it.

Regionalism apparently having the suburbs bailout and pay for the corruption and ineptitude of the city of the designated region, after the city has run out of its own money to waste and divert to politician's and crony's pockets.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Probably Not The Experience He Was Seeking

The Islamic State is demanding that Japan pay $200 million to free two Japanese nationals now being held hostage.

It's been reported that one of the Japanese hostages being threatened with beheading had in fact traveled to the area to train with the "militants".

The Detroit Free Press:  Japanese hostage wanted to train with militants

Somehow, I don't think his vision of training with militants was to be used as a beheading dummy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More Shiny Stuff From Magpul

Say Uncle blogs that Magpul has just come out with a new line of tint-able mags, where starting with the sand base you then can tint them however you wish.  Check out the video he embedded on his blog to see more.

In their native sand color, they could almost be called "Ghost Mags" and cause antis to break out in cold sweats.

Yes, Magpul has made PMags to dye for.

Such a Small Man Taking Up So Much Room And Air

Michael Moore sure likes drawing attention to himself, even as he comes off as a very small and petty fat man.

In an effort to put a little shine on his progressive street cred, which is rather hard to do living as  large (some would even say super-sized) and in luxury as he is, he had to open his pie hole and shourt "Hey! Look at me!" and be-clown himself regarding the success of the movie American Sniper:

Daily News: 'American Sniper' has a record-breaking opening weekend — but liberal filmmaker Michael Moore takes aim 

This couldn't have anything to do with the fact that American Sniper grossed in one weekend more than all but one of Michael more's films grossed in their entire run combined, and more than quadrupled the gross of any of even his best grossing his film's opening weekend, now could it?

A rather petulant effort from a failed "look at me" progressive.

This is of course, lest anyone forget, the same Michael Moore that was cheering for a defeat of America in Iraq and called terrorists there "minutemen", the very same terrorists that hero Chris Kyle was bagging by the score.

No wonder he's chapped at his failure compared to the success of Chris Kyle's legacy.

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Don't Know That....

Siri says the darndest things sometimes......

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Good Sunday Morning Of Service

Today was a social action day at our synagogue.

It consisted of volunteering for various activities to help the homeless in Detroit.

The activity our family did, along with quite a number of other families, as it was a big production, was to make 600 bagged lunches for some of the homeless shelters to be delivered tomorrow.

This consisted of packing each paper sack with a juice box, pudding and animal crackers, a spoon, a napkin, and a sandwich.  Sandwiches were made by teams in the kitchen and were either egg, tuna or cheese.

I started with unpacking the animal crackers and then unboxing and separating the pudding cups.

We then setup an assembly line. After all, the synagogue is in the Detroit area, so you must have an assembly line! Each sack then had each item put in at each station where each item was dropped in the bag, the bag checked to make sure everything was in it, and the sacks were then lined up awaiting sandwiches.  This was pretty fast and efficient.

Since we had no union to slow us down, we jumped around to various tasks as needed.  I variously loaded pudding and spoons into the bags, packed sandwiches into bags, labelled each bag as to the sandwich inside it, packed the bags into their shipping containers and labelled them, kept count of how many tuna sandwich bag packs were made, and then helped in the kitchen making egg sandwiches.

Other teams made blankets, packed toiletry/overnight bags for kids at homeless shelters and many other useful activities.

All the kids participating were awesome in how they helped out enthusiastically and without complaint.  A very good bunch of kids ranging from the small kindergartners to tall teenagers all working to get the tasks done.

There was lots of good fellowship and it was a worthwhile way to spend a Sunday morning and early afternoon.

Afterwards, we went with a few of the families we know out to lunch and had a nice time with them and had some great food and conversation to end the afternoon on a very positive note.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Viper Pilot - A Great Flying Read Indeed

Few books drag you in at high speed and keep you engrossed in them like Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat

Written by Lt. Col Dan Hampton, it is his memoir of his service in the US Air Force.   And quite a service it was. To be a pilot in the US Air Force you have to be pretty elite, and then even more so to be selected to fly fighters.  Then he graduated from the Fighter Weapons School and he flew F-16CJs on Wild Weasel missions and killed Surface To Air Missile sites in both Iraq wars. That makes him part of a very select group indeed.

He successfully completed 151 combat missions, earned 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and a Purple Heart.

SAM killing as described mainly consists of baiting the SAM sites to fire missiles at you so you can then find and destroy them.

How Col. Hampton and other Weasels manage to fit in that small F-16 cockpit with the set of big clanking ones needed to pull off such missions repeatedly and expertly is an interesting question.

In addition to comprehensively killing SAMs, he also did close air support, aiding Marines in Nasiryah that were cut off and in danger of being overrun -- that is until he showed up.

The book is a great read by an expert on the subject.  Flying memoirs don't get much better than this book.  Apparently the eBook version, unlike the print version I purchased, also has some embedded video and other multimedia  excepts that compliment the story very well.  You won't be disappointed with either version and it is a recommended read.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Well, It Is On Cable So That's Something

So I now have a small claim to fame in a local cable television sort of way. 

That of course means I probably will have an audience of say 50 people, but I'll take it.

I was invited onto the Bloomfield Hills MI Cable show "Practical Law" to talk about Michigan Firearms Law issues. We did the shooting in two parts of thirty minutes each as I apparently was so interesting the first time he wanted me on for a repeat performance, which took place yesterday.

I believe I gave a pretty decent and comprehensive coverage of the issues in the short 30-minute sessions that we had, and certainly surprised the host of the show, a truly excellent family law attorney and a true gentleman. 

Now, he doesn't have much in the way of background in firearms law nor of firearms technology and had the standard anti-gun rights line, mainly because he simply didn't know any better and that anti-rights view has been and is still very much the dominant narrative in the media these days.  He was a most attentive interviewer and careful listener and

He was thus surprised as to both the nature of Michigan's firearms laws and that there are pretty stringent qualifications to get a Concealed Pistol License and the laws regarding carrying a firearm and self-defense.

On the technology side, once I explained that no, what is commonly called an automatic pistol, doesn't spray rounds with every squeeze of the trigger but only once per trigger squeeze, it certainly helped.  It also helped that I pointed out that there really is no such thing as a gun show loophole - if you buy from a dealer at a gun show or a shop, you still have to do the paperwork and a background check wherever you are, but a private sale is similarly the same whether at someone's residence, or a gun show or elsewhere (and in Michigan there will still be paperwork and background checks (or equivalent)  in a private sale where handguns are involved).  I also helpfully corrected him and pointed out that no, you can't just by a machine-gun over the counter nor at a gun show.

We also dealt with some recent road rage incidents and what should and should not be done in such situations.

In short, much time was spent dispelling common anti-gun myths and dealing with the facts of firearms ownership and the law in Michigan.  

I'd like to think that he gained, and his audience will gain, a greater appreciation of the pro-firearms rights side of the debate.  His having an open mind and being, as I said before a true gentleman didn't hurt either. It also doesn't hurt that they learn the realities of firearms law and hopefully have some of their myths regarding firearms and the law dispelled.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Governerd Caves And Vetoes SB 789 CPL Reform

Gov. Snyder vetoed SB 789, the bill that would have further reformed Michigan's CPL law and made it fully shall-issue.

Anti-gunners found a weak wedge issue in the bill and exploited it to the full. 

They claimed the bill would require permits to be issued to those subject to PPOS for domestic violence.

In truth the bill would not have done that and indeed, on every PPo there's a check box where the court can order the recipient of the PPO not to posses firearms.  It simply would, among other things not make it a blanket loss of gun rights should someone slap an ex-parte PPO on the person whether for domestic matters or not.

In addition, all the prohibitions on felons, those convicted of domestic violence, and any other misdemeanor in the last three years (and 8 years for a few assorted misdemeanors).

The media painted this as allowing domestic violence perpetrators to get carry permits and then commit illegal acts, failing to note that people already committing domestic violence will likely not wait to get a carry permit to do wrong.

In short, the anti-gunners and their buddies in the media distorted what the bill actually did and under the pressure Governer Snyder caved and vetoed it.

Sadly, the bill would have improved the chance of self-defense for victims of domestic abuse by letting them get expedited carry permits. 

So the legislature will likely propose new bills without that section and push them ahead for the Governor to sign and we'll see what new excuse they antis can come up with. It seems with this Governor that he folds like a cheap suit whenever gun rights are the subject and the media and the antis can drum up some hysteria.

Feh.  Well, keep calling your representative and the governor, and keep the pressure up to keep CCW reform moving in Michigan.

What Is Best In Life? Watching Your Opponents Hose Themselves.

Civility, professionalism, and excellence are all qualities a good lawyer should strive to attain.

My opponent today apparently missed that memo.

So there we are, in a pre-trial conference with the Judge's administrator.

Yes, we have difficult clients and yes, it's a bit of a thorny problem but there's no reason why it can't be resolved once the emotion is removed from the equation and the matter hammered out. If we can't settle it today, the court will send it to mediation and if that doesn't do it, then its on to trial. Of course each of these steps cost money so it makes a lot of sense to settle it here and now.

Unfortunately he doesn't seem to want any of it.  After all he's an older attorney and apparently thinks he's all that.

He rudely states that the offer I'm making on behalf of my clients won't settle it as his clients want their attorney's fees for the case.  Yeah and I'm sure my clients would love his clients to pay their fees too, and if wishes were fishes....

I and the court administrator both point out that it doesn't work that way, after all under the standard rule, each side bears it's own attorneys fees.  Since he's mister big experienced attorney he knows this or should know this as well.  In other words he's just posturing instead of really trying to work toward a settlement.

He doesn't seem to care, and he claims my clients' claims are frivolous, which they aren't, and the court administrator points out he didn't file any motion for Summary Disposition which should have been done if they were.  Of course he didn't, because while factually intensive its a pretty darn good claim on a complicated problem.

He ends up declaiming that it will take that payment of his clients fees  to settle the case and then he starts shouting -- including at the Court administrator and trying to talk over her and throw his weight around.

Big mistake and she's having none of it.

You can, if you're so ineptly inclined, be a jerk to opposing counsel (not a good idea as it really doesn't help things, but sadly lots of attorneys do it).

But, being rude, obnoxious and shouting at a Judge's administrator? You're shouting at the one who has the Judge's ear and has been there and done that, and it is not going to win you any points with the Judge nor the Judge's staff.   In any case it is quite unacceptable behavior from an attorney.

So while we sadly didn't settle the case, we did manage to establish to the court's knowledge that opposing council is an ass, and that he is unwilling to work towards settling a case and as such not acting in the real best interests of his clients.

Will this matter?  Probably it won't sway things all that much, but he certainly made a big and unfavorable impression on the court, and that sure can't hurt any.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Crime Wave In Detroit

It's been quite the winter crime spree in Detroit, and quite the opener to the year, especially after they've claimed crime has been decreasing in Detroit.

First, on Friday two armed men robbed a nail salon, with the over 4-minute robbery captured on videotape as they grabbed items from the patrons as well as the shop owners.

The Detroit Free Press: Raw video: 14 robbed at gunpoint in Detroit nail salon

It's a rather interesting video as you see someone ordered to lower the blinds to hide the robbery from view, which could have been the opener to some very bad results.

Then on Monday, a man was shot and killed while shoveling snow in Detroit, no motive or reason discovered to date but it doesn't appear to be random.  Shooting someone while shoveling snow is just cold.

On Tuesday night a man was found shot to death on Detroit's west side.

I won't be surprised to see the crime reports for today once they're out, but the cold certainly doesn't seem to be keeping Detroit's criminal element from plying its trade, as the Detroit crime map shows the city exceeding the amount of crimes that you can even fit on the crime map.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Le Sigh.

The Obama Administration couldn't be bothered to send any top-tier leadership to the Paris March, probably out of fear of offending Muslims or even worse, missing a golf game.

And both CNN and The New York Times can't be bothered to actually show the post-attack Charlie Hebdo front page out of fear of offending Muslims or of getting their buildings attacked which may equate to much the same thing. People pissed at their fawning coverage over the Book of Mormon, their gratuitous display of "Piss Christ", or a slew of anti-Semitic cartoons and other anti-religious acts can take notes on how to prevent such offensive coverage.

Such leadership and courage from the American left these days.

That I and many other conservative and libertarian bloggers would defend a highly offensive Marxist magazine's free speech rights while its fellow travelers shy away from the same or give a "Yes it's terrible, but they had it coming for dressing like that" type answer is an interesting commentary on today's politics and values.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Jett - Airedoodle On Ice

Jett got an invite to go play with Rocky in the snow today.  The wind was calm which made it a lot more bearable and enjoyable. Rocky lives with a decent sized pond behind his house and it has well and truly frozen over.

Jett profusely enjoyed playing on the ice. When his brake pads weren't up to stopping, he would do a 180 degree spin and slide to a stop, occasionally into a snowbank.

He and Rocky had a blast playing in the snow and on the ice.

Then there was the catch a snowball contest.

Jett gave it all he got - as you can see as he leaps to catch the incoming snowball in this pic:

And he got it.

He also won the King of The Hill contest.

A darn good time with some nice neighbors.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stop The Snowy Downward Slide

Now that the snow is well and truly here, I've been shoveling the Driveway of Doom™ for what feels like everyday now and doing some decent slipping down it while doing so.  This makes for some interesting moments, the funniest when I'm doing a row with the shovel uphill and I reach the point, midway on the driveway where with the incline and slick layer of snow I cannot keep moving forward and start slipping back and it takes a lot of concentration to just stay in one place.  Doing this all winter will suck.

So, I picked up some Stabilicers Traction Cleats  on Amazon and gave them a try, and they arrived yesterday.


First impressions: Very easy to put on and remove from boots or shoes.  When I went out this morning to shovel the increase in traction was quite measurable and at the point where I was usually struggling to remain standing or make any progress uphill these helped me make it up no problem at all.

While they're not for indoor wear, if you've got a crazy driveway or are concerned about walking in snow and icy conditions they may just do the trick for you. 

We'll see how long they last, but for $12-$17 depending on your size, they're worth it, especially as they both help me clear the driveway quicker and stop me from falling while doing so.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Did Apple Subcontract To Lucas?

Had a little bit of excitement at the office yesterday.

I was focused and working away on my MacBook, and our secretary came in to my office, and while we were talking she asked if I smelled smoke.

I then also smelled it just a bit.

Turns out the smoke and burning smell was coming from the Mac's power adapter.

Looks like it short-circuited and started to burn right through the wire's insulation.

This was magic smoke indeed, as once it had begun to escape it stopped charging the Macbook.

As soon as I saw what was happening I  unplugged it from the wall, thus ending the escape of the magic smoke.

On the upside, the Apple Store was very quick to replace it with a new one that has so far kept all of its magic smoke inside, so hooray for Apple-care.  No harm done to the Mac itself and everything is fine.

The Apple Store staff person noted it was the first one she has seen that has done that, but it certainly looks like the charging wire is awfully thin for the power its carrying, and that white block power adapted does get hot even when it is working properly, so there may be a bit of a design flaw with these chargers.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Some Scum Are Already Justifying The Attack On Charlie Hebdo

While the bodies have not yet cooled from the Charlie Hebdo attack, some Muslims are already taking to the media to justify the attacks.

USA Today gave one such, Anjem Choudary, a Muslim cleric living the good life in London while spreading hate and Islam, a platform to spew his twisted justification and call for more restrictions on speech against and indeed ensure that The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam:  

USA Today: People know the consequences: Opposing view

Go ahead and read it if you have a strong stomach and want to learn the twisted justifications of the enemies of humanity.

It's a little like USA Today handing a column to a member of Goebbels' propaganda team after the Malmedy massacre

"How dare the Americans invade Festung Europa?  After all we took it over already and they knew they would be fighting the 1st SS Panzer and that the SS would take offense to such an invasion and would thus justifiably ignore the laws of war so they knew the consequences if they were captured.  Clearly the Americans need to withdraw from Europe in order to prevent such future massacres."

With attitudes like this, it's easy to understand the old Star Trek joke where a Muslim cleric furiously demands of a member of the Star Trek writing team:

"Why are there no Muslims on Star Trek?"

The answer:  "Because it's set in the future".

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Religion of Peace Strikes In France

France, the core of Eurabia seems to be sadly reaping what is has sown with its policy of open immigration and appeasement of Muslim radicals, with the death of innocents at the hands of the same Islamic radicals it has been busy welcoming to La Belle France.

The Detroit News: 12 dead in attack on Paris newspaper
Paris — Masked gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar!” stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people, including the editor and a cartoonist, before escaping. It was France’s deadliest terror attack in at least two decades.
With a manhunt on, French President Francois Hollande called the attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly, whose caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed have frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims, “a terrorist attack without a doubt.” He said several other attacks have been thwarted in France “in recent weeks.”
Will France in response go, in Tam's phrase, from zero to jackboots over this, or will it instead reach its highest alert status levels of "surrender" followed by "collaborate"?

See also Tam's brilliant response to the appeasing "#I'llridewithyou" mopes whose first thought after these atrocities is for the well-being of the attacker's co-religionists, not the attacker's victims.  I believe the Islamic response to that hashtag so far has been "#I'llRideOnYouInfidel"

This was a major, serious, and clearly well-planned attack on free speech and French civilians. May the perpetrators be swiftly caught and punished accordingly.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Thoughts Of A Sunny, Warmer Time: Orlando Trip T-Shirts

Now that I just spent 45 minutes scrapping the snow from the Driveway of Doom™ in thew howling wind. it's time to think back to warmer times and climes without this annoying thin layer of slippery stuff.

There were many fine T-Shirts to be seen and had in Orlando during our trip that deserve a mention:

Of course there was many a Harry Potter Shirt:

There was even a Harry Potter Shirt with a legal theme that was quite perfect:

Then, after spending a day walking around Universal Islands of Adventure, with a special attention paid to Who-ville with the kids I truly fit into this shirt:

In Downtown Disney where we went browsing, strolling and light shopping for a day there were a plethora of T-shirts that just kicked over the giggle box or were just so right and would truly fit some bloggers I know:

One for Tam:

One for Murphy's Law (Yeah, I had to buy it for him and it was part of his Christmas present):

For everyone else:

Oh, and there's one I found for Old NFO that will remain a mystery for now.

Monday, January 05, 2015

A U-2, Not A UFO

Believers in UFOs were just dealt a severe blow as numerous UFO sightings in the 1950s have just been admitted by the CIA to be instances of their flight-testing of the Lockheed U-2 Reconnaisance aircraft.

Fox News: CIA admits: All those UFO sightings in 1950s? 'It was us'
The upshot of the report is that the CIA was the culprit behind more than half of the UFO sightings logged in the 1950s and 1960s.

As VentureBeat reports, the CIA tested its U-2 spy planes at 60,000 feet, an altitude that seemed impossible for man to reach at the time—leading observers, specifically pilots, to suspect it wasn't man up there at all.
Well, that now explains a lot of the UFO reports from the 1950s. 

The SR-71 fight testing apparently took place in the 1960s, so in another decade or so will we get an admission that the majority of UFO reports from the 60s were SR-71s and the rest can just be attributed to the use of LSD?

That's Going To Be Quite The Annoyance For Michigan's 8-Year-Olds

Michigan is about to pass a law changing the rules for car seat and booster seat usage.

As it currently stands, kids must be in a booster seat until age 8 or they reach 4"9 in height.

The proposed law as written changes it to 57 inches tall or less than 10 years of age which means 8 and 9 year-olds must be in a booster seat.

Considering Leah is 8 and just got out of having to be in a booster seat, having to go back to using it for a couple more years will not be pleasing.

Funnily enough, while the bill proclaims it is being done for the safety of the children, it makes it only a secondary offense to fail to have them in such a seat or if up to 16 years old, wearing a seat-belt.  As such, you can't be pulled over and given a ticket for solely not obeying this proposed law, but it can be added on to other driving offenses.  One would think if it is for safety -- of children no less -- that they would make it a primary offense.

The bill also does something that's rather rare -  in Sec 710d.(15) it painstakingly  points out that the intent of the law is not to harass motorists. Harassing 8-year-olds and their parents who will have to force them back into booster seats, not so much.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Another Incremental Michigan Gun Law Improvement: Snyder Signs CPL Reform Into Law

Yesterday Governor Snyder signed SB 789 and 790 into law.

While these bills do not fix the no carry areas, otherwise known as criminal empowerment zones, they do effectively address quite a few issues in the current law and make some good improvements.

The law gets rid of the anachronistic and unnecessary County Gun Boards and makes Michigan a true Shall-issue state where as long as you're legally qualified, you will get a CPL permit.  No longer will some Michiganders have to take time off work to go to a Gun Board Meeting to have to stand a beg for a shall-issue permit that is then issued so long as they appear.  Nor will you be stuck waiting as long as you have in the past for the permits to be issued, and it also fixes the renewal gap problem.

The new law slightly reduces the cost of the permits, fixes some of the application and renewal processing delay problems and makes for a better CPL issuance and renewal system overall.

Another good improvement, with hopefully more to come. 

So, do politely contact Governor Snyder, thank him for passing SB 789 and 790 and politely request he support further reform of the law, including getting rid of prohibition on law-abiding people lawfully carrying concealed firearms in the current no-carry zones.

The NRA-ILA: Michigan: Governor Snyder Signs Concealed Pistol Licensing Reform Into Law

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Shipwreck Of The Griffon May Have Been Found

Yet another team of divers has laid claim to finding the Holy Grail of Great Lakes shipwrecks - The Griffon, the ship belonging to French explorer De La Salle that disappeared in 1679.

WZZZM13: Muskegon divers claim to find elusive "Le Griffon" shipwreck Divers: We've Got 'Holy Grail' of Shipwrecks

This wreck was apparently found in 2011 and the divers waited until now to announce the find.

It may very well be the elusive Griffon,  as the bowsprit has an ornately carved Griffin and the ship allegedly matches the design and technologies of the period.

It will be interesting to see if it is confirmed to indeed be La Griffon.

It seems to be a different wreck from the one that Libert was exploring, so either one may be the ship or niether may be it and the ship may still waiting on the lake bottom to be discovered.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

A Very Pleasant New Year's Celebration

We had a very nice New Year's here at the house with family.  We had my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece here with us to celebrate. It has been quite the full house

As part of our New Year's celebration we had a fine feast and right after midnight we exchanged gifts in the Russian tradition.  The kids got to stay up to greet the new year, although Leah had a nap beforehand.

Abby and Leah got me a very thoughtful gift:

 It's a darn nice firearms calendar, and they wished me many new guns in the upcoming year.

We got them passes to the Adventure Park so they can once again romp through the tress and on zip lines once the weather gets a bit warmer.

Jett got some nice new toys and he was most content to play with them.

The feast was fine indeed, with excellent traditional Russian dishes and a nice champagne.

Then everyone went to sleep after a nice celebration.

Today was a nice relaxing day with plenty of leftovers to eat, and tomorrow the year starts in earnest.

Happy New Year!

Happy 2015!

May your upcoming year be filled with joy, happiness and all good things, and may it be much better than 2014.