Monday, October 31, 2016

On This Halloween, May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

Leah decided to go with The Hunger Games for a theme to carve the pumpkin this year. She currently is in a Hunger Games phase and is avidly reading the books and after the book is done she watched the movie.

She wanted to carve it herself and did.

Darn nice job for a 10-year-old.

The odds were good for them tonight. They each came back with a pillow case full of candy and had a great time. We had taken them trick or treating with a few of their friends who didn't live in neighborhoods with lots of trick or treating opportunities and along with their parents we had a good time for a couple hours then we circled back to the house.

The adults had some hot toddies that I made to fight off the chill and we all dined on some chicken chili.

Quite a nice all hallow's eve.

Are You Prepared For Tonight?

It's that time of year again. . . .

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Scratch A Leftie Columnist, Find A Fascist Underneath

The Detroit Free Press' Rochelle "It's All About Race" Riley writes a column amazingly not dealing with race, the greatness of Obama, or gun control.

Taking a break from her usual tripe and expanding her horizons fascist-wise, she writes that she wants Congress to regulate cable television because 9 year-olds might watch the Walking Dead at 9pm at night and be psychologically harmed thereby.

Rather than asking what parent lets their 9-year old be awake at 9pm on a Sunday, much less letting the little tyke watch The Walking Dead?; Rather than advocating that parents you know, actually parent and control their kids bedtimes and tv content; she instead demands the government regulate and ban the evil she believes is the Walking Dead's gratuitous violence.

She actually called the FCC to complain. She was told to politely take a hike as the FCC doesn't regulate cable. She did not like that response.

So, joining the ranks of leading Democrats like Tipper Gore, she doesn't mind the government regulating and banning speech as long as it regulates things her way, and she calls on Congress to expand regulation onto the cable companies.

'Walking Dead' snuff episode should be a wake-up call

Rochelle Riley, one of the Freep's most liberal commentators actually wrote:

"We have freedom-of-speeched ourselves to death"

Rochelle, you have lots of control over your television, and you don't even have to leave your comfy chair in your liberal cocoon to do it. It's called picking up the remote control and changing the channel. Or even better, parent, supervise and have your 9 year old in bed before 9 on a night before school and the problem is solved - no big government censorship necessary.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Flying Lesson #85 - Getting Back To Standards - Good Landings In Gusty Winds

Today was marginal VFR with 2,400 foot ceilings or so and gusting winds.

When I was scheduled to fly the winds were forecast to be (and in fact were) gusting 12-20 knots but right around 270 degrees (or 260-300 at times) so mostly lined up with runway 27R which was rather convenient.

About an hour before the lesson Ray had texted to see if I still wanted to go given the conditions and I said based on my checking the weather ( rocks) while going elsewhere VFR was pretty much out, it should be ok for pattern work. Besides I need pattern work.

Ray said that sounded good to him.

So I got to the airport and it was pretty quiet. Apparently all the other students had cancelled their flights.

During the pre-flight of N73455 the Piper Cub stationed at the field went by.

We'd be seeing him later in the air.

So after a good taxi and run up we had clearance to takeoff from Runway 27R but the controller asked us to fly left traffic. That was kinda strange as that puts you across 27L's zone and then the downwind is on the opposite side of 27 L and the base back to 27R crosses the approach path for 27L.

It turns out he did that as the next plane was going to depart 27R with a northern heading so it got us out of his way. It made for a weird pattern that felt very, very wrong as I was crossing 27L's departure and approach paths. Since no one at the time was departing or arriving on 27L it made it better.

The first pattern was fun with some neat gusts, and a massive kick when we flew over the lake which Ray had told me to expect, and quite a crab angle, but it felt pretty decent. Gusts and crab angles were the order of the day, as was a shifting wind that varied from 260-300 but often was kind enough to hang around 270. The landing was pretty decent and they got better from there.

The next pattern the tower had me fly straight out and not turn crosswind until they called it. They were fitting in the Piper Cub for spacing and it all worked out nicely with him on short final by the time we turned base. Since the 172 is faster than the Cub it worked out pretty well.

I then had another decent landing, still a little flatish as my flare tends to be rather consistently not enough soon enough. Part of the fun is doing this with a crosswind correction and trying to roll the crosswind in, pull back to get the elevator in and keep everything lined up.

A few more planes came in and went.

The next one I was pulling back more and Ray kinda helped get me to do more so we ended at full elevator by the time we touched down and it made for a nice gentle landing. That seemed to have helped me "get it" and the next two landings I did were quite nice and A+s in Ray's book. Then I did another one to make sure I knew what I was doing and while not perfect in that I had touched down before full extension I then said I wanted to do another one and then did a darn good landing if I say so myself.

I felt pretty darn good and a lot better than I have in quite awhile - I was pretty good at judging if I was too high or too low on base and final and did all the adjustments accordingly and it was a lot better, and I was using trim more t take the pressure off the controls to quit being so ham-fisted.

In short a darn good lesson and I'm feeling a heckuva lot more confident and feeling like I may actually be able to get this, which is better than I've felt in awhile.

1.1 hours and 8 landings.

Private Pilot Oral Exam Prep With A Fellow Student

The Oral Exam takes place before the flying portion of the Private Pilot test and it's apparently become quite involved and apparently gotten tougher since the ACS was adopted.

So a fellow student pilot Peter, who is at pretty much the same stage I'm in (he started just before I did) got together last night and over pizza studied by quizzing each other on topics needed for the oral exam.

We quizzed each other on the various markings on the sectional and airspace, as apparently if you get more than two answers wrong on that portion of the oral, the entire exam is discontinued, and every single marking on the sectional is fair game and you can't consult the sectional legend or the FAA's helpful list of sectional markings.

So we finished and felt pretty good about that, and then went on to cover privileges and limitations and the documents and items needed to fly legally.

There's a lot of stuff required in the oral that in real life you will either never use while flying or will simply look up in the FAR/AIM or other reference material if you actually need it. Yes, some stuff should be memorized but there's an awful lot of chaff to lock into your brain along with the wheat. It's a "You're not a Jedi yet so we can make you jump through these hoops" kinda test. That it's closed book test so you have to memorize some pretty arcane stuff is annoying, but the thinking seems to be they want to make sure you're willing to put the time in and be serious about learning the stuff to demonstrate you're serious enough about it before they let you go off all certificated.

That was a good study session and we'll do it again as we get prepped for the flying test.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Flying Lesson #84 - Crosswinds And Positive Improvement

Ray was back and the weather was suitable for flying but with a 10-12 knot direct crosswind. Yep, time for crosswind landing practice.

Unfortunately, one aircraft was out in use on someones' longish solo, one was down for maintenance, and N757MK had an shimmy damper problem, as in non-functional, at all. So much so that landing on it could pose a control problem. So the name of the game was "Be nice to the nose wheel". No touch and goes, just taxi backs.

I was rather determined to set aside the variety of negative thoughts I've been having regarding learning to fly recently and be positive, light on the controls, and really fly the plane. Deliberately forcing a good frame of mind seems to have helped.

So I had a good takeoff of 27 with the wind coming in at 180. I had quite the crab angle in on the downwind but flew a good pattern and my first landing was pretty decent.

Second one was even better as was the third and the fourth was a textbook crosswind landing - landing on the downwind wheel first and holding it off, the upwind wheel coming down next, and finally the nosewheel.

For the fifth and sixth I didn't quite do as well as the fourth, still landing crosswind ok but flat-ish with less of a delay between the downwind and upwind mains touching I need to really keep the aileron into the wind as I was tending to relax it a bit at touchdown.

Certainly one of the better flying experiences I've had in a while and I'll try to keep this on the upswing.

I've gotten some good advice recently from Murph, Brigid, and Comrade Misfit, and it's all appreciated.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Today, The Loss Of One Of The Greatest Aviators To Have Slipped The Surly Bonds Of Earth

MPR: Bob Hoover, One of history's Greatest Pilots Dead at 94

A World War 2 Fighter pilot, A test pilot, and an aerobatic pilot extraordinaire, the world is now a lesser place without Mr. Hoover in it.

2016 has shaped up to be a year when we are saying farewell to far too many of our best.

RIP Mr. Hoover.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Not Flying: You Know It's Not A Good Day To Go Solo When....

The instructor on at the flight school unilaterally cancels both solo student flights scheduled for this morning - mine and another student's due to the winds.

I was debating this morning whether to go up or cancel as the winds were a definite maybe and the decision was made for me, probably just as well.

Sunny, mainly clear with scattered clouds but another darn windy day with direct crosswinds.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Flying Lesson #83 - Crosswind Craziness

Today, while a nice day weather-wise, had a wind that decided to make life difficult with a gusting crosswind.

The wind was gusting from 10-16 knots from 360 degrees, so it was a direct 10 to 16 knot crosswind from Runway 27. Cessna 172Ms are rated for a 15 knot crosswind.

Henry stated we were going to work on pattern flying and mainly doing low passes over the runway to work on my coordination and confidence.

I'm lagging using the rudder and apparently not paying enough attention outside the plane for coordination and relying on the instruments too much. When I look down at the ball I'm already behind which is a problem so we worked on that, as well as where I'm looking in the traffic pattern which is actually counter-intuitive at times. In this wind everything was very noticeable and it was not easy flying by any means.

So we did the pattern with quite a crab angle in and I did some low passes and practically touching the runway and then doing a go round down the runway, with the tower occasionally having me shift from 27R to 27L but maintaining a right pattern because they were bored or something. Overall not bad but that wind sure made everything more interesting, and each go around on the low pass for some reason felt crappy compared to my typical go rounds which are (or were) quite good.

I did three full stop landings with quite the crosswind correction on each.

Overall I was doing better than last time, but that was a very challenging lesson. I'm still not sure how I feel about it as to whether I'm improving or getting worse. I know I was better than this before.

Henry said I did well in terms of the landings and that I wouldn't be flying alone in these kind of conditions so it was good. I just need to work more on coordination and to relax more. Apparently, I'm unconsciously having both feet on the rudder pedals so I'm pressing both rudder pedals at once - heavier in the direction I want the rudder and slightly on the other pedal which isn't helping.

We'll see how this goes.

That's .9 and 3 landings.

Benton Harbor Community "Gets Angry" Over Death Of Man Killed While Ambushing Police

There was a recent shooting by police in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

The Detroit Free Press: Mayor: Family seeking peace after Benton Harbor police shoot, kill man

Benton Harbor mayor Marcus Muhammad says the family of the man shot and killed by a police officer early Tuesday wants everyone to remain peaceful.

But, however, he understands there is anger in the community.

So, what's the anger about?

Well, it turns out the latest dindu nuffin and poster child for the BLM movement decided to turn his life around by shooting at police from a concealed ambush after a trouble call to a house, and the police promptly and quite properly returned fire.

Look, if you're going to hold a protest (or as such protests are often alternatively named, a riot, as Benton Harbor's "community" did in 2003) to protest your claim of police use of excessive force, and "get angry" about someone ambushing and firing at police, you've kinda lost your way, if you ever had it.

Most communities would lack much in the way of sympathy for, or anger on behalf of, someone who started firing at police from a concealed point of ambush.

Note of course the "community's" use of the now almost stereotypical "turning his life around" meme as reported by Fox 17 Benton Harbor community reacts to death of man shot by police:

Neighbors say Pavone Street is a noted high-crime area and say that Wimberly had turned his life around after several run-ins with law enforcement.

Turning your life around typically does not include ambushing and firing multiple shots at police officers, so the neigbors must have quite a flexible definition.

On top of that the neighbors are expressing disbelief that Wimberly was the only one to get shot:

Even after police detailed that they found two semi-automatic weapons on the suspect and about seven cartridges from one of those weapons, [Wimberly's friend Canvas] Smith says she does not believe Wimberly fired at the officers. "If he was trying to shoot and kill somebody, why was he the only one that got shot? No other officer was hurt. Haven't said anything about there was a bullet hole in the car anything. Just that he's dead out on the street and they didn't even have the decency to call the fire department or anyone to wash his blood up. His family had to get out there and wash the blood up. They treated it like it was nothing," said Smith.

Note that these people are serious, they vote, and can serve on juries . . . . .

Oh, and to add to the mounting evidence that Wimberely was indeed responsible for his own death by engaging in an ambush of police there's body cam footage showing Wimberly fired 7 shots at the police: Body camera video released in Benton Harbor police-involved shooting

This is probably not the best case for BLM types and their fellow-travelers to claim as an act of police misconduct, but expect Wimberly to get added to the list of BLM martyrs, and there's a good chance the Benton Harbor "community" may indeed riot over an attempted cop-killer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Good Dry Fire Training Product - Ring's Blue Magazines

Just got an excellent product for more dry fire practice.

They're Rings Blue Gun Training Magazine for the HK P30.

Fit and finish of the blue magazines is quite good. They fit the P30 perfectly and match real magazines in fit and feel, and they insert and drop free just like the functional magazines.

The rear of the blue mag even has the molding of the round count markings in the right spot as well as the zipper weld seen on the actual HK magazines, which is a nice touch.

They're good as using blue mags for dry fire practice reloads reduces wear on the rather expensive HK P30 magazines from hitting the floor.

They're also good as they're yet another safety tool in preventing the risk of a live magazine being inadvertently inserted during dry fire practice. Any steps that reduce the chance of unwanted holes in things is always a good thing. Rings also makes blue magazines for quite a few other pistols and they're well worth looking into.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Using The Internet To Shop For Illegal Substances Is Not A Good Idea

Apparently one fellow's bright idea to get drugs is to order a synthetic opiod from China on the "dark web".

He then takes some and promptly dies.

When your street-side pharmacist is now located a few thousand miles away, there's not much opportunity to complain about the product nor to check on the reputation of the provider.

The Detroit Free Press: White Lake man, 19, dies from injecting 'dark web' opioids

“Labs in Asia make this stuff and sell it,” McNulty said. “People have no idea what they’re actually getting and shooting up; there’s a lot of this synthetic stuff around and it's very dangerous.”

No kidding. The buyer had no idea about the reputability of the manufacturer, the product is being bought clandestinely, and there is no guarantee as to what is even in the powder you're about to place in your body or if it is even what you think it is.

What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Dumb Clowns Getting Closer

The Detroit News: Armed clown allegedly chases teen in West Bloomfield

A panicked 17-year-old thought he was being chased by an armed clown in West Bloomfield Township when he banged on a stranger’s door to ask for help, police said.

. . .

“He said he was running from a clown that was chasing after him with a knife,” Lawson said.

The teen told investigators he was jogging along Pontiac Trail when he heard someone run through the woods toward him.

Pontiac Trail is getting a little too close for comfort, considering I've walked along there myself and often drive over there as there's a very nice nature trial good for walking the dog and enjoying a long walk outdoors.

Apparently that's the 4th clown incident in West Bloomfield.

Monday’s incident was the fourth clown encounter in the township in about two weeks, Lawson said.

“Although it appears most of these incidents are pranks, there’s a potential that there’s going to be a negative outcome and someone is going to feel threatened and feel the need to defend themselves,” Lawson said. “That’s our biggest concern right now.”

No kidding. Nothing good is going to come out of masked clowns threatening people with knives, whether the knives are real or not.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Surveys Say That Most Great Whites Prefer Free Range Organic

But some won't mind a caged snack every now and then.

The Guardian: Great white smashes through shark cage during diving trip – video

That's one of the great things about diving the Great Lakes - no Great White sharks.

Flying Lesson #82 - Flying Like A Teepee and A Wigwam

Beautiful day, only a minor 5 knot direct crosswind.

Ray is out of town so I decided to take a lesson with Henry, another instructor at the flight school.

I did the preflight and then talked with Henry for a bit and went over short field procedures and his approach is different from Ray's.

Of course, Henry doesn't know where I am flying wise so we departed to the Northeast after taxiing out.

Once out, we went over some basic stick and rudder skills and I felt all over the damn place and didn't quite get what he was getting at originally. But with some practice I started doing ok and improved somewhat.

Then we came in and did a landing which again was kinda flat and it wasn't the best pattern I've done. We taxi'd off the runway and I thought we were done and had told the tower we would be heading back to the flight school, but he called and said we'd be taxiing again.

So we did and took off and went around the pattern, and were almost directed into another Cessna by the controller which was pretty messed up if I say so myself. He had the other Cessna do a 360 and then cancelled it and had us do an extended downwind so as we came downwind the other Cessna was coming out of his cancelled 360 into the downwind head on which was not a good thing. When you can see their prop and the pilot's face you're a bit too close for comfort. We got outta the way and then after the downwind got directed to turn base so it was a long final approach.

Then a good on glidepath essentially short field descent and amazingly landed so perfectly the plane went from flying to rolling on the ground, no squeak, no bump nothing. I didn't even know we had landed it was so subtle.

I did it but I was so tight on the controls I sure wasn't enjoying it and didn't even notice we had touched down yet, and that was the lesson.

Oh a teepee and a wigwam you're asking? I'm flying too damn tense.

1.2 and 2 landings.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

UNESCO Beclowns Itself

On the day after Yom Kippur, in a decision akin to announcing today that the earth is flat or that the Titanic is unsinkable, UNESCO has decided to declare that the Temple Mount and Western Wall have no connection to Judaism.

The Jerusalem Post: UNESCO votes: No connection between Temple Mount and Judaism

Denying 3,000 years of history to push an anti-Semitic, pro-palestinian agenda is hardly going to lead to a just result. Instead reinforces the truth that the UN is not an honest broker for peace, and it further reveals that the Arabs and their supporters in the UN still are pushing not for peaceful co-existence, but for denying historical and archaeological facts and advocating, supporting and moving for the elimination of Jews and Judaism from the Land of Israel and Jerusalem in particular.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Flying Lesson #81 - Crosswind Practice

It was a beautiful day with clear skies.

N73455 was in the shop for the brake problem from Saturday so it was time to fly N757MK.

Winds should have been 8 knots out of 135, meaning we would use Runway 9L.

Initial takeoff was fine, but it was soon apparent that the winds were going to blown stronger than 8 knots and shift around to make life more interesting.

Adding to the fun, the Attitude indicator decided to go on the fritz and was rolling around like a bobble-head. You don't need it for VFR flight, but it is handy when you're getting blown all over the place and helps to keep your turns at the proper amount of degrees. So horizon and turn coordinator it was.

We decided to get some crosswind practice done in the pattern.

Overall, while I was landing a bit flat, it wasn't too bad. Ray thinks I'm just getting ahead of myself procedures-wise and just need to slow down a bit. He figures it should all click for me eventually.

The wind continued to not only pickup but produce some really annoying rollers that kept trying to roll the plane over, and lots of pushes from the wind were experienced. It wasn't that it was a crazy strong crosswind, but it would gust at inopportune times and rollers kept coming out of nowhere to make it not very pleasant in the pattern and rather hard to fly a proper pattern.

After a few landings, Ray called it as it was getting kinda nasty out and not conducive to practice.

That's .9 and 7 landings.

Play Stupid Clown Games, Win Stupid Prizes

Sure enough, some clowns have been getting their comeuppance recently.

I had predicted (which was rather obvious) that wearing a mask and going around scaring people wouldn't end well for the masked idiots. Thanks to reader JoeMama, we have a report that one clown has indeed experienced such a comeuppance. The Daily Mail: Creepy clown gets beat up with a baseball bat when he tries to scare a group of friends hanging out in their car

Scaring strangers by putting on a clown mask and approaching them generally isn't the smartest idea. Basically, scaring strangers in an uncontrolled environment is never a good idea as you don't know how they will react.

It also can lead to criminal charges:

Two eighteen year olds in Michigan wearing clown masks and carrying a bat who chased some 14 year old teenagers and were caught, arrested and appropriately charged with disorderly conduct.

While the current creepy clown craze may be mainly overplayed hysteria, idiots like these aren't helping, and this isn't "reality" television where the scares are either safely conducted or dramatized for TV in a controlled situation.

While scaring your friends may be all well and good, scaring strangers who aren't in on the joke can lead to some pretty bad results.

One day some stupid clown prankster is going to have a weapon in hand and try and scare a stranger and the stranger will have a response that will be something like this:

That's not going to end well for the clown.

It's also not going to be pleasant for the person who ends up shooting in the reasonable belief that their life is being threatened by a masked person advancing on them with a weapon. While it will likely be legally justifiable, having to shoot someone even justifiably is a majorly traumatic situation, and the clown idiots will have forced a normal person to shoot them with all the trauma that involves over their attempted attack/scare game/bad joke.

The people the clowns are scaring aren't in on the joke, (assuming it is a joke and not an attempted at armed robbery or other criminal conduct under the guise of a joke), and the clowns are causing them to have a reasonable and justifiable belief that they're about to be threatened with deadly force. What could possibly go wrong?

Sunday, October 09, 2016

No Flying This Weekend

Saturday I showed up at the airport. Winds were gusting nicely but it promised a good lesson with some challenging crosswinds, especially so when watching the aircraft coming in for landing hitting a roller on final.

Unfortunately, it was not to be.

First the plane was put of fuel and even though Ray had called for fuel before I got there, it took over an hour from his call for the fuel truck to show up.

Then after engine start and then arriving at the runup area we found the right brake was practically non-existent.

So no flying for me, ah well.

Friday, October 07, 2016

It's Been One Of Those Days . . . .

This kinda sums up the day I've been having:

Let's put it this way: When it comes to firearms law (or any other law for that matter), an attorney cannot counsel the client based on what he or the client would like the law to be.

Instead, we have to counsel you on what the law is now.

You may not like it (heck, I may not like it), but that's the reality you have to deal with, not your ideal fantasy-world misunderstanding of what you would want the law to be.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

This Clowning Around Stuff Needs To Stop

Apparently idiots, criminals, and idiotic criminals are going all-out nationwide with this Clown silliness.

What started as just creepy and seemed to be mainly induced hysteria from a few examples is rapidly ending up criminal and the Detroit area is not immune from the sending in of the clowns:

The Detroit News: Cops: Armed man in clown, pumpkin mask robs hotels

The Detroit News: Detroit area clown encounters play into fears nationwide

Somebody is likely going to get seriously hurt if people dressed as clowns keep assaulting people, and it will likely be someone wearing clown shoes.

Flying Lesson #80

The sky was full of haze with a light wind, an ill wind, that did no pilot any good, or at least not this pilot.

Apparently I'm now in the "Getting Near Done So Can't Get Anything Right Phase" of training.

We flew out to Romeo in the haze at 2,500 ft, and I needed to use more right rudder on takeoff.

The first soft field landings was ok but I needed to have the nose-wheel up higher and on the first one came in a bit too high and fast really needed to chop the power, the second one was actually decent and the third was ok but not as good as the second one.

Did I mention my take-offs were starting to suck as well? - Seriously the frickin' takeoffs weren't great - not enough right rudder and I was apparently not having the wing fully straight at takeoff on some of them.

So we moved on to the short field landings which sucked, with the first one actually requiring a go around as my airspeed was all over the place as I'm looking in the wrong place and I was way too high. Ray did the second one and showed me what to focus on and such so maybe I'll get it next time.

Then it was back to Pontiac in the haze and I was able to finally see the other plane in the pattern and we entered a downwind which became rather extended as the other Cessna did a B-52 type pattern. Since we were second in line, you have to play a game of "Follow that Plane!", so I got to fly a big pattern as well.

Then down for a landing with a bit of a crosswind and I landed kinda flat-ish to finish the lesson on a wonderfully sucky note to go with a lesson full of suck.

So now I'm apparently suffering from pilot fixation, and fixiating on the wrong things too boot, as well as going through a phase that a lot of pilots hit near the end of everything not working right. Just frickin' great.

1.7, 6 landings, and lots more frustration.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

That Word Does Not Mean What You Think it Means

The University of Michigan President certainly cheapens the meaning of the word terrorism in order to support his special snowflake student population.

The Detroit News: Schlissel: Racist fliers at UM an ‘act of terrorism’

A week after racist fliers emerged on the University of Michigan campus, President Mark Schlissel made a strong public condemnation Wednesday, calling them an “act of terrorism.”

“In a way, these posters, (can be interpreted) as an act of terrorism,” Schlissel said. “The only way to combat that is with support and solidarity ... and to move forward with a community of allies.”

While the racist fliers are indeed disgusting, stupid, and a waste of space, terrorism they are not.

Instead, they're an example of stupid acts of free speech, which is an expected though often unwelcome side effect of having free speech - you get the good, the bad, and the stupid speech. Mind you the fliers are on university property and can certainly be removed by the university, and they were and that should have been all the response truly necessary to such garbage instead of giving it a spotlight and prominence.

You don't handle stupid, racist, and offensive speech by falsely naming it terrorism.

This certainly defines the word terrorism down, and I'm sure the snowflakes at UofM will now claim they're terrorized when they see speech they don't like.

I'll also note that the U of M President had not made nearly as big a deal over other more offensive posters (which falsely used the name of a University Department as their source) and conduct towards certain groups on campus.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Excellent History Podcasts

If you're looking to,listen to an engaging reading of history, Dan Carlin's Hardcore History is for you.

It's really, really, good stuff and it's an engrossing and enjoyable listen.

Easy to download to your Apple or Android, episodes range from free with the option to give a donation, to paying for the back episodes.

I finished listening to the King of Kings series, a great retelling of the story of the founding of the Persian empire to its end at the hands of Alexander The Great. Having studied this stuff in school, he's got the essence down and many awesome details and a wonderful synthesis of a variety of sources with some outstanding storytelling. Before you get worried, it is not boring at all - far from it.

Now I'm listening to Blueprint To Armageddon, Carlin's take on the First Word War. It's a gripping narration of the events immediately leading up to and then into the First World War itself.

It certainly beats just sitting in traffic, or most of the garbage on the radio that you might otherwise be listening to today hands down, and its excellent history wonderfully recounted and delivered right to your ears.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Happy Rosh Hashanah 5777!

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all my Jewish Readers, and to my non-Jewish readers as well (after all you don't have to be Jewish, but it helps).

May you all have a good, sweet, and prosperous year ahead.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Flying Lesson #79 - Taking The Plane Through The Pattern For A Wash

Today was washing the plane in the pattern day.

After the preflight, at 6pm, we went up and started off of Runway 9L. A light rain was going and the airport was unusually quiet. Lots of rain and IFR conditions since Thursday will do that, and it opened up enough to get to VFR with sufficient cloud separation for this evening's flight.

A Piper Cub started on the ground NORDO (no radio) and got a talking to from ground that if he wanted to fly the pattern at Pontiac he needed a radio considering that we and a helicopter would also be flying it.

He got a radio and then was ok to join in the fun. His takeoff run was minuscule indeed.

Once the helicopter really started getting into it, the tower switched us to 9R, the really big runway with a right hand pattern and kept the Piper off to himself on 9L.

I did soft field, short field and no flap slip to lands and a couple reasonably nice soft field takeoffs. The soft field landings were pretty good, the short fields ok and the no flaps got better. Overall, I'd say things are getting better and found out that on the no flap slip to lands I need more trim and to hold the slip in longer than I think I need to, so by the third one it was decent enough.

Flying through the light rain was kinda interesting, and the plane ended up freshly washed.

That's 1.1 and 8 more landings.