Thursday, May 31, 2018

At Last, Legit Letterkenny Lands In The USA

Finally Americans can now legally watch full episodes of Letterkenny - one of Canada's finest comedy shows.

Due to copyright laws and other complications, you can't watch it online and no US legitimate online source has it available for online viewing.

The solution, finally, is the show has been released on DVD, which is now available to US buyers.

So I bought Season One and binge watched the show and then listed it up on Ebay in case others want the experience. Season 2 is now on order.

You can also order them new on Amazon.

Both Season 1 and Season 2 is available.

Rather rough earthy humor, but darn good fun.

Darn funny stuff, eh?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

There's A Reason Charges Are Laid In DV Situations Even if The Victim Won't Make A Complaint

I get a call today from a potential client regarding representation in a domestic violence matter.

Turns out the caller is the victim of the alleged dv'er calling and maintaining that it's all just a misunderstanding and she wants the no contact order entered by the judge lifted.

So I ask her what happened and she said the police came when they overheard her and her husband through her panic button and she hadn't called them but they came and took her husband away for no reason.

Yep, police take people away for no reason all the time.

Oh and the case has already been completed, he has already been convicted and sentenced, yet again (No, it's not his first time at this for those of you following along) for DV, and there's a no contact order in place and she wants to talk to him and see him again.

After all, according to her just because he was grabbing her by the throat at the time and smashing things doesn't mean he was being violent to her. She maintains that he's not violent to her . . . when he's not drinking.

This has according to her been going on now for about 20 years or more.

Oh and did I mention the caller is 70 years old?

This particular DV pattern has been going on for a long, long time.

I explain to her as gently as possible that trying to set aside a no contact order in such a situation would really not be in her best interests or her safety. Quite simply, I'm not going to do it for her.

She then says he just filed for divorce as someone told him if he files for a divorce then they're no longer married and he can be with her again and the no contact order disappears. I tell her that is really not how it works.

She's rather upset that he would divorce her and possibly get the house and such, after all he's only violent when he drinks and "they" just need to keep him away from alcohol - apparently, however, "they" haven't had much a successful track record in keeping him away from alcohol so far.

I tell her she needs a good divorce lawyer, and since I do not do divorce law I refer her on to some good ones. I also recommend she should probably go talk to a therapist about the situation as she does need help and she's not at fault for the situation. Hopefully some of that got through, but I'm just not overly optimistic.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Funeral Of The Bumblebee

The kids found a dead bumblebee on the porch this morning.

They decided such a noble insect deserves a proper burial.

They named her Eleanor Margaret McFuzzerson and decided to conduct a proper burial service.

Just as Tash was drinking her coffee, I noted with excellent timing that it was a better name than Buzzy McBuzzface and predictable merriment and spewing of coffee ensued.

They then scooped up McFuzzerson and gave her a processional, set to the tune of Celine Dionne's My Heart Will Go On.

At the grave site they declared that Eleanor Margaret Mcfuzzerson had been a good bumblebee and had always flown surrounded with "Wuv, Twue Wuv" and had always been a good bumblebee doing an excellent job with pollen, and she was being buried with the hopes that in her next life she would be "w-ewarded by w-eturning in her next w-ife as a queen".

Yes, the funeral service was a perfect mash-up of Titanic and the Princess Bride.

The service completed, they buried her in the yard, complete with stones, flowers, and a suitable marker.

Who needs TV for entertainment when you've got kids?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Mississauga Rattlin'

Not to be confused with a Massasauga Rattler,though the perpetrators are snakes of a different kind, but we're talking about Mississauga. Mississauga the city that is a subunit of the Greater Toronto Area which was rattled in a bombing of an Indian restaurant last night.

The Detroit News: 15 wounded in Canadian restaurant explosion

An explosion caused by an “improvised explosive device” ripped through an Indian restaurant in a mall in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, wounding 15 people, Canadian police said.

Police said Friday two suspects with their faces covered to conceal their identity entered the Bombay Bhel restaurant late Thursday, dropped the device and fled.

The police are being awfully quick to note there is no indication of terrorism as a possible reason for the attack, which given the time of year and the target may be a bit of wishful thinking:

“There is no indication that this is a terrorism act. There is no indication that this is a hate crime at this time. We haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation,” said Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans.

It's too early to tell if this was terrorism, a hate crime, or some other kind of criminal act. Hopefully answers will come out, and soon, and hopefully the two scumbags who did it are caught in a most rapid and satisfying fashion.

St. Mary's Fair Preview

Orchard Lake St. MAry's The largest annual school fair in the country, again opens tonight for a Memorial Day weekend of fun, rides, food, fund raising and tradition.

So yesterday at dusk we did a preview walk through the fair grounds. It was rather deserted, which is a contrast to how it will be teeming with people starting tonight and through the weekend.

There was no problem getting in we were allowed to wander around the grounds and it was interesting walking by all the rides that sat silently waiting for their time to entertain the masses to come.

It was neat to walk around without the hustle and bustle and being surrounded by tons of people. After walking around the grounds, we walked on back out, and I expect the Fair will be a great success when it opens this year as it was in all prior years.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Flying On A Thursday

This morning was absolutely beautiful as far as flying weather goes - winds light and variable, ceiling starting at 12,000 feet, unlimited visibility.

So I did some work in the morning and then left the office and headed to the airport for an early lunchtime flight.

A lot of other pilots had the same idea as Pontiac was pretty busy with lots of planes in the pattern or heading to the practice area.

Flying N3553M, I took off and headed to the north to Lapeer to get some airspace to myself.

About 12 miles away I could easily see Lapeer Airport.

Lapeer airport is to the right side rear in the picture.

One plane landed there before me and then I did a very nice landing on Runway 18, then did a taxi back on Alpha to take off again on 18 and head to the practice area.

In the practice area I first did a radio call on the DCT frequency ad found 5 other planes were also in the area, so we each made sure we had distance and altitude separation. I then did some clearing turns and followed them up with slow flight, power off and power on stalls and steep turns. Not too shabby. I finally did a nice decent power on stall - the secret is to crank back on the yoke as soon as you add power so you can actually stall. Steep turns were nice as well.

Then a little sight seeing - Fly over Lake Orion and See the løveli lakes! (No Moose were spotted during the taking of this picture):

Then back to Pontiac to do some pattern work. First I was instructed to call a right base at 2 miles but as I got closer they sent me out to a 3 mile final, which was no problem. A nice landing and then it was taxi back, hold short while another plane came in to land, and then line up and wait to do it again.

I then did four more patterns and landings and called it an excellent time.

1.6 and 6 landings.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Showing Up Is Oftimes Half The Battle

Failing to show up by contrast causes you to lose, and lose badly, and can make other people lose too.

Yes, it's another call from a potential and unlikely-to-actually-retain-me client.

Apparently she had put up a bail bond for her boyfriend. Yes, you can see where this is going already, can't you?

Boyfriend however has decided he doesn't want to go to jail.

The pre-sentencing report apparently does show that he is indeed going to jail for his offense, but he didn't want to go just yet, and decided to skip his sentencing hearing. This decision makes the court distinctly unhappy.

This of course triggers forfeiture of his bond, so the 10% cash she put down is going bye-bye, and the court has scheduled a show cause for next week for her to show up to pay the remaining and quite significant 90%.

There are things that can be done to fix this, but the most important requirement is he has to turn himself in or be apprehended before the show cause to make this work.

He doesn't want to turn himself in just yet apparently because he has a family event he'd rather not miss coming up in a week or so.

Now, had he communicated with the court about this instead of skipping the sentencing hearing, the court likely would have granted him some time to go to the event and all would be well. Instead, now he's looking instead to get thrown in jail immediately the minute any officer happens to come across him, and my bet is they will be looking for him at the event as they're not dumb, and his girlfriend is about to lose lots of money.

I advised her that she does need an attorney for the process to try to prevent her bond being forfeited and a major requirement to have a shot at getting the bond money back is the boyfriend needs to turn himself in before that hearing next week happens. My bet is I won't be retained, he won't turn himself in, and she will be paying thousands of dollars to the court or will be joining him in jail.

This is why you don't lend money on behalf of, or to, known criminals, your chance of getting it back is rather slim.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Now That Was A Close Call!

Matt Hall in 2010 demonstrated some very skillful stall recovery:

A recovery like that shows why he's a top-notch aerobatic pilot and air racer.

Talk about pushing the envelope, going beyond it, and still managing to salvage a situation that would have ended in disaster for probably any other pilot.

Do not try that at your home airport kids.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Volleyball Sportsmanship: Going In With The Odds Massively Against You, But Putting In 100% Effort Anyways

Sports often is a opportunity for a character building exercise.

Leah began playing volleyball 6 months ago and fell in love with the sport. She joined a local travel team (not as high-rated as a travel team) for those that care about such things) and has been working hard.

Yesterday was her second tournament ever. This made for a romantic anniversary of watching her at the tournament in a stifling hot arena in uncomfortable portable chairs for over 8 hours, but you do what you gotta do.

The problem is she should be in the Under 12 category for competition, but her local team lacks enough players so they have a couple 13 year olds on the team, making the team classified in the Under 14 category, which means her competition can be as old as 13 and 11 months old with a lot more growth as well as playing time and experience.

To say the odds were stacked against her team is an understatement. In short, the expectation was they would be massacred on the court.

The teams they played against were composed of players typically a full head taller than they were, and some of them were taller than that. Also her team was only assembled in April and some of the opponents teams had been formed and playing together for years.

For example in terms of size, her team in blue, the opponent in black:

Or her team in blue, another opposing team in red:

You could tell the other teams knew more what they were doing and had some definite playing patterns and sequences that our team didn't have.

On top of that, they had no substitutes as two of the girls had quit after April and one other had broken her leg, so there would be no rotations unlike the other teams that could rotate in fresh players.

So against all that, they assembled on the court ready to play.

While they lost game after game, it was not the anticipated massacre.

They made the opposing teams work for every point and often lost by as close a score as 23-25 or even 25-27.

There were some tears of frustration from some of the girls, and some were crying as they made mistakes that cost points or even a game. Yes, unlike baseball, there is crying in volleyball.

But, Leah was very supportive of her teammates and acted as a peacemaker even after one of the other girls snarkily criticized her on a play.

Yes, they all made mistakes, but they all made up, supported each other, and kept playing. Most people would have given up and forfeited after such a losing streak against impossible odds, but these kids kept at it and never quit.

Then, having not won a game, they were seeded near the bottom for the final stages of the tournament.

They then won their first game in the tourney, lost the second and then won the third game of the set to get out of the basement of the tournament.

Moving on in the tournament, they had two more close-fought games and while they were beat by their opponents both times, each game was very close and they had nothing to be ashamed of.

They placed 12th out of 14 teams, which was, to be frank, far better than anticipated given the sheer disparities in size, strength, and experience seen on the courts.

It was a good lesson in sportsmanship and having resilience and tenacity in the face of impossible odds. You may not even have a chance at winning, but you don't give up and keep on fighting anyways and make the other team work for every point and don't give an inch. I think that attitude will serve her well in life.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Twenty-Two Years Ago Today

It was on this date 22 years ago that two kids got married.

Since then they've managed to move up in the world, finish school (though not the student loans...yet), develop careers, and to this day continue to raise two amazing children.

Yes, my marriage with Tash has now made it for twenty-two years and is still going, which is rather incredible when I stop and think about it.

Certainly it has been an amazing time together, almost half our lives at this point, and it has certainly been the better half.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Meeting The Only Pilot Who Successfully Stopped A Hijacking In-Flight

Last night I attended a presentation featuring Uri Bar-Lev.

Who is Uri Bar-Lev You ask?

Well, as the title of this post would suggest, he's the only pilot who has so far prevented a hijacking in flight.

Now 87 years old, Bar-Lev gave a great recounting of the events on September 6, 1970.

Sharing the stage with him was a passenger (left) who was a teenager on that flight, who gave a recounting of his experiences during the attempted hijacking.

Bar-Lev fought as a 16-year-old in the War of Independence and then in 1950 learned to fly, with the PT-17 Stearman as his first aircraft. After a stint in the Israeli Air Force, he went on to fly with El Al, Israel's Airline.

The 70's were quite a time for aircraft related terrorism. Bar-Lev noted that during his flying career with El Al, his planes had been the subject of 5 attempted bombings, and one attempted RPG attack, all in addition to the September 6 hijacking attempt.

The IATA's policy on hijackings in those days were the crew were to hold their passenger's safety as paramount and not resist the terrorists. This policy only changed some 30 years later.

On September 9, 1970 while preparing to leave from Amsterdam to New York, Bar-Lev and the crew of Flight 219, a Boeing 707, were alerted to two discrepancies - four passengers had shown up with tickets to be picked up. Two had passports from Senegal- that were in sequential order, but were to be seated separately and had acted as if they did not know each other. They were not allowed to board, and went on to successfully hijack Pan Am Flight 93.

The other two, a man and a woman on Honduran passports were "searched" by the Amsterdam police who did a rather cursory and insufficient job of it. Leila Khaled and Patrick Argüello had easily smuggled a handgun and two grenades on board. Khaled was a member of the PFLP and Argüello was a Sandinista. Terrorism had a very international and leftist flavor in those days.

As the pane reached 28,000 feet, the terrorists announced the hijacking, advanced on the locked cockpit door and pointed a gun at one of the cabin crew, demanding entry to the cockpit.

Uri Bar-Lev decided he wasn't going to let them hijack his plane. He had a sky-marshal in the cockpit with him, and told him to hang on.

Bar-Lev then put the plane into a diving maneuver, immediately dropping rapidly from 28,000 to 10,000 feet.

The maneuver caused Khaled to fall and pass out and she was apprehended by the second sky marshal on board, and the dive also disoriented Argüello who was immediately engaged by the sky marshal who left the cockpit as soon as Bar-Lev pulled out of the dive. Argüello before being killed managed to hit one of the cabin crew multiple times, seriously wounding him. Captain Bar-Lev decided to immediately land in London to get medical treatment for the crew member.

While these days Bar-Lev and his crew and sky marshals would receive a heroes' welcome for such a feat, in those days they feared being arrested by the British for shooting the terrorists. This was not an unfounded fear.

Just a short while before, in 1969 an Israeli air marshal named Mordechai Rachamim had engaged a group of terrorists attacking an El Al plane and killing the first officer in Zurich. After he jumped out of the airplane door under fire, he apprehended three of the terrorists and killed the fourth, he was arrested and the Swiss authorities put him on trial for manslaughter. Yes, really.

So Bar-Lev decided he didn't want his sky marshals arrested and speaking on the El Al internal frequency, had an EL Al plane aout to leave London hold on the tarmac. The sky marshals exited his plane by the rear maintenance door and boarded the other plane in the confusion, and were given tickets showing they were proper passengers. With no other evidence to the contrary, the British had to let them go. Bar-Lev and the other crew were questioned by the Brits, especially as all other planes that day had been successfully hijacked, but then they were released and returned to Israel.

As for Leila Khaled, she is still alive and a member of the PFLP and feted to this day by the left as a celebrated terrorist, including being a guest of honor in Japan invited by Japanese leftists commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Lod Airport massacre by the Japanese Red Army Faction.

Yep, leftist international idiots still abound today.

Bar-Lev has retired from El Al and lives with his family in Israel today.

Since Captain Bar-Lev's quick thinking and heroic actions, and the lessons learned from them, not a single El Al aircraft has been hijacked since.

It was a great experience, hearing from a rather humble hero first-hand, and a great honor to meet him in person.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Morning Mishaps

If you think your Monday is going rough, just look at the mess the airport maintenance folks at Halfpenny Green Airport have to contend with:

Halfpenny Green's runway is apparently no longer rated for de Haviland Vampires.

Some vampires suck blood, others blow asphalt.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day Toronto Travels

For Mother's Day weekend we went to Toronto to visit the folks and wish them a happy Mohter's Day.

On the way there, we went through a very Canadian county.

It's not great, it's not bad, it's not wild, it's not boring, it's just:

That humor aside, the ride was it's typical boring route, but we stopped in London to visit the Costco there to get some things for Tash's mom.

At the Costco we decided to have some Poutine.

Big Mistake.

Poutine, for those of you who may not have tried this made-in0Quebec bit of awesomeness, is the tasty combination of hot French fries covered in cheese curds and hot gravy.

Well, the Costco Poutine, for $4.99 Canadian, didn't meet expectations.

The cheese was not melted but removed from a refrigerator, and suspiciously tasted like mozzarella, before being dumped on top of lukewarm fries and warm gravy.

To say it was disgusting was an understatement, the Costco food counter when asked about simply said that's the way it is and would not heat it up but did give us some additional gravy. Still inedible, and not helpful. First bad food choice at Costco and surprisingly crappy service, which is rather counter to what is expected at a Costco. On the other hand, the hot dog and pizza slice were fine but the London Costco certainly failed, and failed badly, presenting one of Canada's famous snacks.

So somewhat disappointed, we left London, hitting a traffic jam on the 401 around Milton that didn't stop until we reached our destination in Toronto.

In Toronto we passed by perhaps the most Canadian coffee shop ever:

Yes, it's a real place, and they are sorry.

Tash then took her mom and the kids shopping to get her mom stuff she needs and I stuck around doing some work from her apartment.

Then there was a great meal together with Natasha' mom and her family and Saturday was done.

On Sunday morning we went to my Mother's grave for a visit and after some quiet contemplation and some prayers, our Mother's Day was done.

After completing visiting everyone for Mother's Day, We then departed, leaving the Toronto skyline behind.

It was a nice Mother's Day visit and we're home now ready to take on the week.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Why Are So Many Anti-Gun Advocates Turning Out To Be Sexual Predators?

Harvey Weinstein, a major Hollywood player and anti-gun crusader turned out to be a long standing user of the casting couch to have his way with women, Matt Lauer another anti-gun media personality seems to abuse women in his office rather regularly compelte with a secret locking button, Schneiderman, a well-known anti-gun Attorney general no less has been caught abusing women.

Perhaps the answer is they are anti-gun ownership because they are sexual predators, feel entitled by virtue of their positions among the progressive and oh-so-caring class to do so, and it's rather hard to slap around an armed woman and it might cut down on their access to potential victims.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, more women are learning how to responsibly, legally, and safely carry firearms and protect themselves. That's a good thing: The Detroit News: Gun ownership, training heating up in Metro Detroit.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

New Bulbs And New Life For Old Tac Flashlights

I've got quite a few flashlights around with older incandescent bulbs. While they were bright at the time I bought them, they've been outshone by the LED flashlights that have come along since.

My Surefire G2, with all of 65 lumens was bought back when it used to be the most awesome of blinding lights that could fit in your pocket. Now I can get more light and longer battery life from a $2.50 flashlight that is smaller and more portable. What to do? Well, upgrade it.

The Flashlight Bulb LED CREE XM-L T6 Single Mode 1-Mode 1000 Lumen LED P60 is a drop-in replacement for the Surefire incandescent bulb P60 type. Whether it is truly 1000 lumens is kinda iffy, I'd say it appears less, but it is a solid ten times brighter than the original bulb and the battery life is not measured in minutes with a dimming bulb anymore. It's also cooler running than the Surefire original bulb, which is good after using it for a long duration.

Installation is as easy as removing the old bulb, removing the spring on the outside of the new bulb and then dropping it in. It sealed perfectly and works better than the original bulb and is brighter by far.

If you've got a C or D Cell Maglite, and who doesn't?, there's a way to get these enhanced for more usefulness.

Rather than the dim glow of the Maglite as compared to today's flashlights, There's an excellent LED replacement for the Maglite, For $15.99 the LITT LED bulb gives off more light at 350 lumens than the standard Maglite incandescent bulb, and it is far longer lasting as well.

If you have a Maglite, you can make it a lot more useful with one of these LED drop-in replacements. I've found it to be considerably brighter and whiter light quality, and the batteries last a lot longer, making it far more useful in case of power outages. Plus its still as impressively hefty and durable as it originally was, if not more so as the LED bulb is more durable than the incandescent it came with originally and is more drop resistant.

I've had both LED upgrades for almost a year now, and both have stood up to lots of use and abuse without fail and cast much needed light during camping and power outage occasions, of which we've had quite a few since I got them.

I'm rather pleased with these LED upgrades, if you've got some older tac flashlights around, you may want to look into upgrading them with drop-in LED bulb replacements.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Sometimes, Firearms Use In A Felony Sentencing Enchancements Are Actually Applied To Criminals

They really don't like it when that happens.

The Detroit Free Press: Felon: I robbed banks. But I should get a second chance.

I used a gun to rob four banks and commit a carjacking in the Lansing area when I was in my early 20s, crimes that were prosecuted in federal court because they involved federally insured financial institutions. No one was hurt and no property was damaged. I turned down a plea deal of seven years, but was convicted at trial of all charges.

I was sentenced to 10 years for my robberies and car jacking. And because I used a gun in committing those crimes, I was sentenced to another 105 years in prison.

That’s decades longer than the average federal jail term for murder, narcotics trafficking or even child molestation. The judge who sentenced me said it was "without question, the longest sentence that I’ve ever imposed, other than one that said natural life."

I no doubt deserved punishment. But I shouldn’t have to die behind bars for my crimes

So let's recap: He committed a car jacking and 4 armed bank robberies, each committed with a firearm, so I daresay he's a slow learner in the "I shouldn't be going around committing armed felonies department."

Choosing to commit multiple armed felonies has consequences, one of which, when its actually applied, is a sentencing enhancement for using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Choosing to commit felonies that can lead to federal charges and serious sentencing enhancements that can result is icing on the cake. His choosing not to take a plea bargain that would have waived the 924c enhancements sealed the deal.

In short, what the sentence imposed on this fellow is exactly what should happen - commit serious felonies with a gun and the sentence is enhanced to match. He's complaining that he wasn't convicted of each in sequence, but was convicted of all 4 at once so he thinks it's unfair that he should get such an enhancement because he feels he shouldn't be considered a recidivist, and he wants an exception for serial bank robbery. Too bad. It's a bit like killing your parents and then asking for mercy because you're an orphan.

So of course he wants changes to the enforcement of the firearm sentencing enhancements under 18 U.S. Code § 924(c) to make it clear that if you commit a car jacking and 4 bank robberies it only can be applied if you're caught and convicted after each one, rather than being prosecuted for all five separate felonies at once. After all, he feels like he deserves a second chance.

How this will enhance the public's protection from bank robbers and carjackers is not answered as such a change would rather encourage criminals to commit as many crimes in a row as possible before they are caught and convicted.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Sunday Smoke Day!

Today was a home game of spring cleaning.

I spent the day cleaning the car's interior after a long winter, washing the mats and getting all the salt and grime out. Then it was cleaning the garage, and getting all the winter's dust and dirt out of there, and reorganizing and making it less of a mess.

While that was going on, I prepared two racks of ribs for dinner.

I made my own rub with salt, brown sugar, paprika, ancho chili pepper, pepper, garli,c and cumin and rubbed it on the ribs.

Then I got the smoker fired up with Leah helping light the charcoal - because, Fire!

Then when the charcoal was hot I combined it with locally-sourced apple and hickory wood for a sweet smokey smell.

After five hours on the smoker, low and slow at a nice steady 200 degrees, they were done and looked like this:

The ribs were fall-off-the-bone good. Didn't need any sauce either, the rub turned out to be just right and the ribs were excellently smoked with plenty of tasty smoke flavor.

The first smoking of spring.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Flying On Another Nice, Albeit Windy Day

Today the sun was shining, what few clouds there were to see were all high in the sky and the wind while still at 12-15 knots from 210-270 variable was still a lot better than the 40-50 knots of yesterday, flying in which would have been no bueno. Spring was in the air, and it was time for me to be in the air, too.

I flew in N3553M today, and it's a good airplane. I had originally booked N8570F nut they moved me to N5337F, a plane that I don't like overly much as the left seat is rather sunken and you need a cushion to sit properly to fly it, and then sometime this morning they moved me over to N3553M. Musical airplanes, but I ended up with one I quite like.

I decided to fly south today as I only had a 2-hour block and decided to do a bit of fun flying and then some pattern work.

Per the tower, I crossed behind runway 25R and took off from 27L and flew to the south.

I overflew a golf course that was on the shore of one of our many lakes along the way.

Then I overflew West Bloomfield High School.

Then over Orchard Lake St. Mary's with Orchard Lake in the foreground:

Another shot of Orchard Lake, with Apple Island:

Then I overflew the remains of the Pontiac Silverdome. The Silverdome is now gone, replaced by a pit, but the parking lots remain full of VWs and Audis remain.

Then back to Pontiac Airport.

I entered the pattern with a right base for 27R and did a darn nice landing.

Then in to pattern number 2, following a Cessna, again for a nice landing.

As the airspace was getting busy they opened dual towers and had us switch frequencies to the north runway while we were on the ground. I did so and all was well.

On the third pattern I had to do a tower ordered go-around as the Cessna had failed to get off the runway in time. Not a problem.

I put the power in got the carb heat and then got the flaps gently out, sidestepped to the right of the runway and then did a tower requested early crosswind at midfield to the downwind and then was set to be number 1 to land.

A final good landing to finish it off, and I headed back to DCT to put the plane away.

N3553M however didn't want the flight to end and was enjoying herself too much. With the mixture set to the cut-off she still would not shut down put sputtered and the prop kept on turning. One of the DCT supervisors saw it and came over and he was rather surprised as well. Finally had to jigger with the throttle and mixture control a good bit to get it to shut off. Next step would have been turning off the fuel feed to run the engine out of fuel before turning it off, but it decided to cooperate just before we did that. Seems the cable to the mixture control may be getting a touch loose and they immediately took the plane in to maintenance to work on it.

A darn good flight of 1.4 and 3 landings with some excellent crosswind practice on those landings, along with a nice surprise go-round to keep me sharp.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Signs Of Novi

I saw this sign in the parking lot at the Novi Community Center in Novi, Michigan.

Apparently Novi has a real-life fertile octogenarian problem.

Judging by the number of spaces, there's just a ton of pregnant grannies and a ton of potential Rule against Perpetuities problems just waiting to be born to plague law students during their bar exams.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Rain And The Blessing Of A Working Sump Pump

It's raining cats and dogs yet again over here.  Yes, it's raining quite heavily indeed, as I found out when walking the dog tonight. The heavens opened up and soaked to the skin, we both were.

This time at least we have power, and a working sump pump.  Oh boy, is it working alright.

Here's why we could barely keep up a couple weeks ago when bailing the sump pump pit by hand:

Yes, that's how fast the water is coming in, and about how fast it was coming in two weeks ago, if not even faster.  The pump is cycling about every 19 seconds.  Try doing that by hand.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Not Riding The D-Qline - Detroit's Q-Line Ridership Drops When No Longer Free, Unexpectedly.

Who could have predicted that the Q-Line, a 3.3 mile streetcar line that moves about evenly with the speed of walking feet, would have a decline in ridership of almost half when it is no longer being provided to riders for free?

The Detroit News: QLine has fewer riders than expected, report says

M-1 Rail representatives had expected the line to average about 5,000 daily riders between Sept. 5, 2017 and Sept. 5, 2018 — the first full year of customers paying. But once passengers had to pay for passes to use the route which serves 12 locations on Woodward Avenue, totals dropped as much as 40 percent in the weeks that followed. The report released this week shows the route averaged 4,660 daily rides through October 2017, then 2,700 between November and March 2018.

Of course it's falling short of financial targets too, and even the financial target had it even been met meant a 4.6 million dollar deficit per year:

According to the analysis: “First-year revenue projections come close to the $1.2 million target with just under $1 million in through mid-April, and this number is fully expected to go up with projected increases in ridership.”

From September 2017 through April 2018, revenue at the fare box brought in $417,050, the report found. System expenses totaled $5.8 million for the first year.

Not to worry, the public side of the private-public partnership will no doubt make good on the losses.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

A Very Pure Michigan Question

Having experienced two nice warm days in a row, right after the coldest April since 1895, there's a question on the mind of every resident of the State of Michigan today:

"Can we finally put our winter coats away now?"