Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Right On Cue, As Soon As A Republican Takes Office....

The media "rediscovers" military casualties:

RedState: BREAKING. After Eight Years Military Casualties Are Front Page News Again

The Pony Express Would Have Been Faster

On January 6, I sent a demand letter via certified mail for a client to a company in Petaluma, California.

It still has not been delivered and the tracking information tells a rather pathetic tale:

First, it took a day to get from the Post Office here to the Post office in Pontiac, a distance of 4 miles.

Then it took 8 days to go from Pontiac to Detroit, a distance of about 30 miles (or 3.75 miles per day), where it sat for a day.

Then it took 4 days to get to San Francisco, where it sat in the post office for another 7 days.

Then it took 8 days to get to the post office in West Sacramento California, a distance of about 86 miles or 10.75 miles per day, which is a bit of a head-scratcher as Petaluma is actually closer to San Francisco than it is to West Sacramento.

Now it is still in West Sacramento's post office, where it has now sat for 4 days through today.

I'm beginning to think had-delivery would have been quicker at this rate.

The message on the tracking is rather bitterly ironic:

The package is delayed and will not be delivered by the expected delivery date. An updated delivery date will be provided when available. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

Yes, I'd say its rather delayed and then some.

Will it ever be delivered? Where will it end up next? These questions and more may be answered soon, perhaps, maybe.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Possible Green On Green In Quebec Attack

So it appears that the shooting at the mosque was not, as liberals fervently hoped, a case of the stereotypical mouth-breathing knuckle-dragging white guy shooting Muslims. Instead to their assured disappointment, the one perpetrator is described to be of Moroccan origin and another as a recent convert, so it may be an internal dispute, or outside radicals annoyed that the mosque was insufficiently radical itself.

CBC: 2 men arrested in deadly Quebec mosque shooting ID'd

Yes the hopes of the left (as seen in the HuffPo Comments, where even now they're trying to spin it still) to blame this on Trump appear to be dashed, unless a further news update reveals otherwise. Indeed now that their dream that the perpetrator was a Trump supporter appears to be dashed And instead it's an adherent of the religion of peace, the media and the authorities are now walking back their declarations that this was a terrorist attack and now is done for cause unknown and motives yet to be determined.

In going with the fast-changing nature of the story, the Police are now announcing the only suspect is Alexandre Bissonnette, a French-Canadian university student and not Moroccan-born Mohamed Khadir or Mohammed Belkhadir so maybe they'll get their white guy shooting Muslims story after all or it may be a case of a radical white Muslim convert shooting other Muslims or the story is still up in the air.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

In 2011 This Was Fine, Today Not So Much

National Review: Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees — Separating Fact from Hysteria

We sure as heck are seeing a lot of hysteria on the left's part these days....

Friday, January 27, 2017

Right On Cue, As Soon As A Republican Takes Office....

The media "rediscovers" the problem of the homeless:

The Detroit Free Press: Nation's annual homeless count reveals some surprises in Detroit

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Latest In Leftist Virtue Signalling: Sanctuary Restaurants

The latest form of virtue signaling for leftists to show they are anti-Trump is being a sanctuary restaurants.

It's rather unclear what this statement that they will offer sanctuary will now include.

Of course Zingerman's in leftist Ann Arbor has signed on as has quite a few other restaurants in Michigan as reported in Crains Detroit:

Colors and Russell Street Deli in Detroit as well as Zingerman's Deli, Bakehouse, Creamery and Roadhouse locations in Ann Arbor and Zingerman's Cornman Farms in Dexter are among the approximately 80 restaurants participating. Restaurants in New York, Minneapolis, Boston and Oakland, Calif., are also part of the movement.

So will the restaurants now fail to verify employment for their workers which is after all against the law and may expose them to legal sanctions, or is this simply virtue signaling writ large to attract a certain clientele?

A more important question for this movement is: If you fail to pay for your meal and leave any of these sanctuary restaurants, is that no longer an illegal dine-n-dash and now merely undocumented dining?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

ATF 41F CLEO Notification Follies

The revised ATFE regulations regarding NFA items to be acquired by both individuals and trusts have led to some fun changes, some of which are beneficial and and some which are new headaches.

One of the changes is that CLEO notification (but no longer approval) is now required by both individuals and trusts, and notification is made by taking the copies of the appropriate Form marked helpfully enough, "CLEO Copy" and giving them to your friendly local Chief Law Enforcement Officer.

So I'm assisting a client who is now the beneficiary of an NFA trust, and a Personal Representative of a NFA owner's estate as the now deceased owner had NFA items both in his trust and in his personal name.

Think lots of Form 5s being done for nice tax free transfers to the named beneficiaries/heirs.

This should be easy enough and the clients gets the paperwork and takes the CLEO copy to her local CLEO to provide the notification as required by law. Simple enough right? Especially as, since the client is a beneficiary, the client can even get their fingerprints done at the same time the client is dropping off the CLEO notification copy, rather convenient for all concerned, and no worries as my client is as clean as the proverbial whistle.

Not so fast. The CLEO has no idea what to do with the CLEO copy of the forms, took them, looked at them and then gave them back wouldn't accept them and says that he has no idea what to do with them and says the client should take the CLEO copies to the Detroit ATFE office. Uh NO.

So we will instead go ahead and mail them to the CLEO with a copy of the latest ATFE letter on 41F so the CLEO can then do whatever the CLEO wants with the forms and the client will have proof it was sent to the CLEO.

As the ATFE require CLEO notification while stating they don't have to take any action, they shouldn't be too surprised that the CLEO is in fact taking no action at all.

Electric Cars: That's Not How It Works

Saw a Tesla on the road today. Quite the fancy vehicle.

Apparently this latest model runs not on everyday common electricity, which around here is mainly coal powered, but on pure smug:

Monday, January 23, 2017

So What Were They Protesting Anyways?

Verily it seemed that the women's marches were nothing more than collective tantrums of the left after Hillary lost. Much sound and pink fury, signifying nothing.

After all, Trump had barely been in office a day before they were off congratulating themselves on marching against things he has yet to do and likely won't do anyways. Heck, leftist women around the world were marching to protest his election - which is rather ironic when you think about all these same leftists complaining of alleged outside forces influencing the election of Trump by the exposing of Democrat malfeasance.

In any case it is truly kinda hard to take them seriously when they're dressed like this:

Sorry but while allegedly marching for women's rights as a whole, dressing as if you're one particular body part is rather short-sighted, pathetic and just plain stupid not to mention counter to the concept that real women are more than just said body part.

I think Trump, just like Voltaire. asked God to make his enemies ridiculous, and God granted his request.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

President Trump

I certainly wish President Trump well, and watching the leftists' many heads explode yesterday and today with their howls of mixed grief and outrage while they suffer a collective temper tantrum is rather good fun indeed.

But, remember permanent majorities aren't.

There are two rather apt truisms for this moment:

1. The party in power becomes arrogant. The chance of Republicans screwing up now that they're in charge after 8 long years of Obama is rather high.

2. The party out of power becomes insane. The Democrats have kicked this one up a notch this time by going insane even before being out of power and by rioting and being idiots during the inauguration and now by protesting today making much sound and fury while accomplishing nothing.

It's going to be an interesting Presidential term indeed.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The AR-15 Hits Middle Age

The AR-15 design is over 50 years old.

It is certainty a testament to its efficacy and the brilliance of Eugene Stoner's design that it has served so long and become the most popular modern sporting rifle in the USA.

That it is over 50 years old means some AR-15 models can now be purchased using a Curio and Relic FFL as the rifles are now over 50 years old and still in perfectly good working condition. You can bid and buy on this one and have it shipped right to you using your C&R FFL.

That gun banners want to prohibit ownership of over 50-year-old mature technology that is in very common use speaks volumes, and it's also why they'll fail.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Obama: Undocumented Illegals = Good, But Undocumented Cubans = Bad

In one of the ending moves in the waning days of the Obama administration, he sticks it to yet another group that doesn't flock to support him and of which he is less than enamored: people fleeing the socialist paradise of Cuba.

Illegal aliens aplenty can flock through our southern border and get DREAMer status as exhorted by Obama, but the idea of Cubans fleeing that socialist hellhole run by his close compadres getting legal status in the US sure seems to have stuck in his craw.

After all, how dare the ungrateful snits try and flee a communist county whose leaders Obama admires.

The Detroit News: Havana hails end to U.S. immigration policy for Cubans

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In Eight Short Days....

After a hiatus of 8 years, in eight days from today, Dissent will once again become the highest form of patriotism.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ice Ice Baby - The Plymouth Ice Carving Festival

On Sunday, as the last activity of the winter break we took the kids to the Plymouth Ice Carving festival.

To say it was a cold day out was an understatement - even bundled up it was chilly to say the least. It did make it great for ice carving though as there was no risk that a statue might melt in the slightest bit.

The carvings were most impressive:

There were dragons:

There were ice bunnies:

There was an ice car complete with an ice logo:

And of course there had to be ice cold beer.

In addition to the already made sculptures, teams were busy making more right in front of the onlookers:

Very impressive and these teams were very serious about their craft.

In addition to the ice carving there were the typical handicrafts and food vendors of any town fair aplenty - hot drinks and hot caramel corn did a very brisk business indeed.

Plymouth did a nice job putting the festival on and it was very well done and organized.

Just a fun outing before school started up again.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Flying Lesson #97 - Maneuver Heaven

Continuing the tale of sunk flying costs, I took off in N73455 with Bob and headed to the practice area.

Once there we did slow flight, which I did better than last time, power off stalls, power on stalls, steep turns and turns around a point. We also did the engine out and I actually did ok overall with good speed management etc, emergency checklist memorized and run through and overall not bad. I'm still having issues lining up on the chosen empty field amongst many empty fields thing and making sure I don't overshoot it and maneuver to it. I mean it will land in a empty field and that should damn well be good enough really (Yes before you point it out, I know I need to land in whatever field is picked etc).

My steep turns have gotten worse, they used to be my best maneuver. The again I haven't done them since November 19th and it showed. In short, as I get a maneuver down, we move on to others and it then decays accordingly while the maneuver being focused on gets better, rinse, turn prop, repeat. This is getting stupid. If it wasn't for all the sunk costs I'd likely be doing something else by now, but I just may be too stubborn and stupid to drop it -- or maybe not.

Half the fun is getting used to a new instructor, Bob seems quite good, certainly less grabby on the controls than Ray and lets me do everything and seems to really want me to get done. I reckon if I had had him from the first I might just have been done a long time ago now.

He has a big focus on looking outside during the maneuvers and to quit focusing so much on the instruments which is probably a good corrective for me. He said my ground/oral knowledge is fine and he's not worried about that and my radio work is excellent (well yipee). Next we're going to finish the altitude maneuvers and head to pattern entry and landing stuff. Weather or not the weather will cooperate is a fun question, whether the maneuvers will then decay before the somehow always looming but never arriving checkride is quite likely.

That's 1.3 hours and 1 more landing.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Another Home Repair Achievement Unlocked

My late afternoon quiet today was shattered by a report from the kitchen that the insinkerator was leaking.

Verily it had crapped out, developed a crack in its casing, stopped working, given up the ghost, was busy making a mess, and had gone to meet its maker. It was a dead insinkerator indeed.

So now I had the joys of working with both plumbing and electricity at the same time.
I ran out to Lowes and bought a replacement unit - this time 1/2 HP rather than the 1/3 HP of the dead unit, as more power is better and for $15 more why not?

First, I turned off the circuit breaker marked disposer and then tested to make sure it was the right one. It was and it was on to the next steps.

Then it was removal time.

I disconnected the pipes and the dishwasher water tube.

Then I was able to get the unit off its sink mount with some allen keys for leverage and it was electricity time.  I opened the access panel and undid the electrical connectors.

Then I cleaned the piping, put on the new gasket and flange, wired in the new unit making sure the new connections were tight and mounted it under the sink.  Be sure to pop out the dishwasher drain plug if you plan to hook it up to the dishwasher as it is hard to see that it was in there blocking that outlet and is quite easily overlooked, which can lead to some bad results.

Once everything was lined up and the drain hose and tube were tightened, I re-tightened down the mount to the new unit with an Allen key for leverage and voila, a new insinkerator was in place.  Testing revealed no leaks, putting the circuit breaker back on led to no popping, and it ran fine and quieter than the original.

The whole thing only took 38 minutes from the time I turned off the circuit breaker and only expanded my vocabulary by a moderate amount.

It's a relatively easy replacement process.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Flying Lesson #96 - Cold Flight

So I arrived at KPTK and proceeded to do the preflight and scrape the frost of the leading edge of the wings, windshield etc.

Winter flying sucks.

Considering that N73455's cabin heater was putting out practically no heat at all, it sucked even more.

So after a run up and taking time to get the oil temperature to even show up on the gauge, we took off to the northeast and the practice area in Marginal VFR conditions. Considering every other scheduled flying lesson I had booked since the least one was cancelled due to weather we'd take the marginal visibility. In return for the cold and lousy viz we got nice stable air and we got excellent climbing performance, so its nice to have that.

After getting to the practice area I did slow flight again and Bob pointed out I need to look outside more. Apparently Ray had me too fixated on the instruments, especially the airspeed indicator. So we practiced that a fair bit and I did ok.

Next we did a power off stall and I did that just fine, complete with the descend 200 feet after full flaps are in before proceeding to pull the yoke back and stall the plane - this had not been taught to me previously but apparently its a required part of the maneuver now, or perhaps its always been so.

As we were freezing solid with -15 C on the outside temperature gauge and probably the same on the inside, Bob decided to call it and we headed back to KPTK, using a VFR back localizer approach to come in on 27L as the viz was quite bad. Bob had me fly to ERNST and then to the lineup for it. This was kinda interesting to experience. Once we had the runway in sight we switched to 27R for landing which I did, kind of flat-ish but at least mains first, and not as stabilized as I would of liked, but it good enough a landing. After tying the plane down and plugging in the oil heater back in we went inside and went over a few tips for landings and that was that.

1.0 and 1 landing.

Friday, January 06, 2017

That Would Be A Bold Move For Michigan In 2017

One Republican state senator here in Michigan has a rather bold and welcome proposal:

The Detroit News: Income tax elimination plan brewing in Michigan Senate

If successful, such a move would eliminate our current 4.25% income tax, all the paperwork and time that goes with it, and make the taxpayers of this state very happy indeed.

Of course, it would likely require an offset somewhere, likely an increase in the sales tax rate, to replace some of the 9.3 billion it would eliminate in revenue the income tax raises - but it likely would lead to increased sales tax and other revenue collected as people spend their money on their own preferences. Budget cuts, the bane of Democrats everywhere, would also be a logical step to account for reduced revenue and would be a good start.

Considering that seven other states, including Texas can, and do rather well without an income tax it is probably time for Michigan legislators to seriously consider eliminating our state income tax.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Places The New York Times Likes

Yes, the number one place the New York Times recommends its readers visit this year out of its list of 52 destinations is: Canada. Yes the entire country. Apparently they couldn't narrow it down to a city like they did the rest of their list (with the exception of naming all of Botswana and Cyprus, but they could drill down to little towns in France for example and Hamburg in Germany rather than the entire country for some reason).

The NY Times did helpfully explain they deliberately didn't put London, Tokyo or Berlin on their list as they were too obvious in terms of travel destinations, but a rather large country immediately to our north on which we are on friendly terms, speak the relatively same language and is at a helluva discount considering the exchange rate is not obvious at all.

I guess that's so their readers can make it a preparatory visit to move there along with all the celebs and pundits that claimed they'd move there if Trump won, yes? After all, the twiterrati that all promised to move there seem to be having trouble finding it.

As another reflection on the wisdom and excellence of their must-go places in 2017, in ninth place they name as a top travel destination: Detroit.

Monday, January 02, 2017

All These Airfields Are For You -- Except KXTA Attempt No Landing There

A little aviation database oddity to open the new year.

While there are a plethora of airfields you can land on in the USA, and you can even land on military airfields in case of an emergency. You'd likely have to do a fair bit of paperwork if you did land at a military airfield in an emergency, but it's far better in a real emergency to declare it, land and do a bit of paperwork rather than not declare, fly on, and have someone else do the paperwork reporting your demise due to your stupidity.

But, there's one airfield in the continental US where you definitely cannot land.

This prohibited airfield however now happens to be in quite a few civilian aviation GPS databases.

KXTA, is otherwise known as Homey Airport and even better known to the world and especially the tinfoil hat brigade as Area 51.

It's an interesting story as to how it managed to get an ICAO identifier and get accidentally added to civilian GPS airport databases.

That error remains in lots of databases still used today, creating some humorous results:

Yes, thanks to this lasting database entry error, you can book your own private jet charter from Area 51.

Good luck with that.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Back Home For The First Of 2017

Probably the quickest trip back ever. Traffic was amazingly light aside from a slow down near Milton where an impressive looking accident on the other side of the highway brought everything to a halt as idiots gawked and slowed down our side that had no obstructions. The border was very quick and not a problem and we made it back in record time.

Overall a very nice trip. Jett had a great time on his first ever international car trip, and he handled it very well indeed. Jett very much enjoyed a dog park in Toronto most profusely, making friends with, among others, a St. Bernard, a doberman, a rottweiler and a Pomeranian.

Quite a nice time had by all with a nice feast for New Year as is traditional. I hope your New Years celebration ws excellent and you have a healthy, happy and prosperous upcoming year.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017!

As we crack open the champagne, may the sweetness it brings last all year long and may all of 2017 be sweet.

Happy New Year to all of my friends, family and readers everywhere!