Friday, June 29, 2018

Liberal Columnist's Advice To FIx Michigan Schools: Reinforce Failure, But Harder This Time

Nancy Kaffer of the Detroit Free Press is nothing if not predictable.

In any example of government failure, her choice is always - more government.

With any government problem, her choice is always - Throw More Money At it.

Her latest in the Freep is Is your candidate serious about education? Four ways to find out

First she wants to make sure to stick with Common Core and make sure it is kept in place. Even though its proponents have admitted its been a costly failure - an over $4 Trillion dollar failure at that.

But we can't dare change it now accoridng to Kaffer because to do so would be

"advocating for disruption of the data that educators (and lawmakers!) need to serve our kids."

You see if you can't keep the same curriculum of failure, you can't keep measuring the failure with such exactitude. Seriously, that's the justification for keeping this expensive boondoggle in place.

Of course, Kaffer wants more money for teachers, but certianly not merit based pay increases, that would be far too competitive.

She wants to spend yet more money on early childhood literacy, a laudable goal to be sure, but Head Start and such haven't exactly proven to lead to any actual improvement, unless you count new cohorts of paid union members with increased payments to Democrat party coffers to be an improvement.

And of course, mo' money, period.

Same old Kaffer and Democrat song, with the same results as ever.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

#MeToo Nails Yet Another Democrat Politician

The Detroit News: Suit: Ex-Detroit city councilman harassed female staffer

#MeToo was supposed to be part of the resistance to the illusionary Republican and Trumpian "War on Women".

Instead, #MeToo keeps highlighting the sheer amount of sexual harassment that seems to have been considered normal and indulged in wholesale by Democratic politicians, donors, Hollywood, Democrat-affiliated non-profit orgs, and in the media, and Academia and medical professionals. Heck this list of the #MeToo list from 2017 is almost completely Democrats with the exception of a reference to the true target of #MeToo, with allegations against Trump.

It seems that for far to many Democrat males (and I'll use the term male loosely here as the term lowlifes would be more fitting and accurate), while they publicly mouth the "You Go Girl!" and rah rah feminism cant, they seem intent on trying to use their power and privilege, in the words of leftist ideology, to get a leg over on their female underlings.

Heck this is why Democrats believe there's a War on Women - Among Democrats there really is a War On Women and female Democrats experience it at the hands of high-status Democrat males on a regular basis.

The problem is they extrapolate their experiences at the hands of Platitude mouthing Democrat lowlifes to society at large where for most people it does not go on and is neither permitted nor accepted as normal.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Range Trip: P30SK 2000 Round Test Hits 1,100

Finally headed to the range yesterday, it had certainly been awhile.

I took Leah along and we had a great time.

We tested out the new firearm we had assembled and were quite happy with the results.

She enjoyed shooting the M&P22 Compact which she refers to as "her gun". She can make good hits with it too.

I shot another 50 rounds through the Shield 45 with zero malfunctions of any kind, and Leah liked shooting it too. The fun is certainly growing on me in the likes department.

We also brought the P30SK along and I put 50 rounds of S&B and 50 rounds of Prvi Partizan through it with no issues whatsoever. The brass does come out a little dirty at the case mouth probably due to the uncleaned chamber, but nice and shiny beyond that. Leah and I both shot it and no issues occurred even with an 11 year-old gripping it and shooting away with it.

That's 1,100 rounds through the P30SK with only one failure (round 22) which was not due to the firearm.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Devotion - A Story of Heroism In The Air And On The Ground During The Korean War

Devotion is an excellent story of friendship, heroism, and the challenges of aviation and the Korean War. Very well written by Adam Makos, the author of A Higher Call, the story focuses on two pilots, one the first African-American Navy Aviator Jesse Brown and his friend, wingman, and hero, Tom Hudner. It's also the story of a heroic helicopter pilot.

The story's climax is set during the fighting at the Chosin reservoir, where thanks to naval aviators like Brown and Hudner, and their flying in terrible conditions to deliver close air support, hundreds of Marines were saved from the Chinese onslaught.

A great book for anyone interested carrier aviation in the Post-World War 2 and early Korean War period and to learn about some heroic deeds with in the air and on the ground that have gone un-retold for some time and deserve some recognition and remembrance today.

Beer Came Across The Border Just The Other Day

Tash had a quick trip back and forth to Canada this weekend.

She, being the wonderful person she is, stopped by a local LCBO shop at my request (Liquor Control Board of Ontario - no beer in corner stores there, it's a government controlled operation and selections vary from store to store) and picked me up some beer before she returned to the USA.

Not just any beer either.

She got me some beer that's rare even in Canada, scarce even in Ontario.

She got me The Official Beer of Letterkenny:

Puppers Beer.

So last night pitter-patter I got at 'er and cracked a cold one open.

A darn good beer it is indeed. It's a nice, crisp, refreshing lager. A perfect beer for a hot summers day. It exceeded my expectations, which were pretty high.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I Love It When A New AR15 Comes Together

Today I had some time on my hands, it was overcast and rainy so not a good day for flight or the range, so Leah and I decided that, in addition to doing a Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie Marathon, to get a project of mine accomplished that's been waiting around for awhile.

It was time to build my latest AR.

The Upper had been done awhile ago and just had an AAC 51T hider attached to it.

So I took my stripped lower received and with Leah's help, including some enthusiastic hammering and assistance finding flying springs, we got the lower assembled and it function tested correctly. Then it was simply a matter of mating it to the 300 Blackout Upper I've had ready for this moment and voila:

Now dressed with can and Crimson Trace Grip with laser/light mounted.

Just need to add an optic up top and its ready.

It is in fact a pistol, as yes, that's an arm brace on it currently.

Pretty darn useful arm brace, I must say.

Probably get to papering it as an SBR at some point, but this way I can take it to the range and run it while the paperwork is processing.

Update: I took it to the range on Sunday, mounted an EOTech on it from one of my other ARs, and it turns out the Crimson Trace laser grip was dead on with no adjustment needed.

The first target:

First rounds through with no malfunctions of any kind and nice accuracy, and I'd say its a keeper.

Leah also liked shooting it and it was as simple as "Put dot on target, squeeze trigger" and she made some nice hits on her target as well.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Meeting With Mongo

Had an emergency court appointment as a Guardian Ad Litem today.

Turns out Mongo, who has a Traumatic Brain Injury, wasn't behaving himself at his current care facility and needed to be moved to a more restrictive facility. A court order was needed to get the Police or Sheriffs involved in the move as he had declared he wasn't going anywhere peacefully.

Mongo is well, Mongo-sized, and is currently off and refusing to take his meds, and becoming more and more aggressive and more unstable, mercurial, and threatening as a result with no apparent concern for the consequences his actions.

So far he had threatened to body-slam staff at the facility, his guardian, the guardians agent and probably anyone else he decides he doesn't like.

Even last night he was out on the streets (its not a locked down facility and people there have their own apartments and freedom to move about, yelling and threatening passers by, local police when called decided not to arrest and take him in on a mental hold, apparently for the reason that they can't arrest just every crazy person going around carrying on and yelling and they refused to do anything without a court order. Nice. After the police left he pounded on some car roofs and windows and then went on his way.

Guess who gets to meet Mongo and tell him the good news about the emergency petition to move him?

Yep, me.

First, after discussing things with the guardian, who warns me about him and wishes me good luck, I meet with the staff at the facility and they are all unanimous that he is now a threat to others if not himself and needs to go to a more restrictive setting ASAP. He's threatened the psychiatrist, the clinical director, other staff and other residents in the program.

I head off to meet him with the other clinical director, the one he apparently likes so far.

He starts off the meeting by threatening to cause severe bodily harm to the clinical director he doesn't like and it gets better from there.

He does decide he likes me, because I'm tell him I'm there to help him and I understand he's had issues with his current guardian and would he like to go to a different location? Would he like me to tell the court how he's feeling? I go over his rights and serve him with the petition accordingly.

He's all over the place, sometimes calm, sometimes agitated, unstable, and often threatening multiple people and he switches in a matter of microseconds between these moods and is clearly operating quite a few Froot Loops short of a full cereal box. Thankfully, he decides he likes me the entire time.

So I finish up my discussion, get everything complete and head on my way to get my report in ASAP. He really cannot be in a non-restrictive environment as you can tell by spending any time with him that he's all sorts of unstable and dangerous to boot and the man is a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

Report went in, Judge granted the order, and Mongo is on his way to a nice restrictive facility (thankfully there was a bed available) that can handle someone of his size and issues in a therapeutic environment.

Also in all this I learned that this has literally been a crazy week. Apparently all local psych wards are full up and have no available beds for admitting new mental patients right now. This of course means that our largest mental care facility will have to be used - yep, you guessed right, that's jail.

Sheesh, I really deserved some danger pay on that one.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Interesting New Michigan AG Firearms Law Opinion

Michigan has some very interesting firearms laws.

We have handgun registration;

We have permits required for handgun purchase; and

We have Concealed Pistol Licenses

It's the interplay between them where stuff gets interesting.

Especially so when you consider that the whole handgun registration and carry permit scheme was designed to keep the undesirables (read: Blacks) unarmed while making sure those who were connected could carry where and how they like.

Add some shall-issue to the mix and it gets downright interesting.

The latest AG opinion accurately reads the law and gives an opinion that's congruent with the law as written but creates a weird result:

If you're a Michigan resident and you carry on a Michigan carry permit and have no other state's permits, your handgun must be registered.

If you're a Michigan resident and you have a non-resident carry permit, but carry on a Michigan carry permit, your handgun does not need to be registered.

Yep, read that one again. This is what happens when laws get piled on each other over time.

Oh, and a Michigan resident still cannot carry using a non-resident permit alone or you're going to jail.

It's all clear as mud, neh?

For you non-Michigan residents out there, this changes absolutely nothing for you. You can carry in Michigan on your permit issued by your home state (but, do not carry in Michigan on a permit issued by another state where you are not a resident) and do not have to register your pistol here while carrying.

For Michigan residents, if you want to avoid having to register your handgun, you can now get an out-of-state permit and apparently buy the handgun here using your Michigan CPL instead of the permit to purchase and not have to send in the RI-60 registration form that you will get from the dealer. Or you can now build your own pistol and not have to register it so long as you have your out of state permit with you at all times and arguably never have it expire.

At least, you could until the next AG in changes this opinion or the legislature fixes the language. Whether it will be a good idea to do this is up to the reader to decide, especially if say you get caught in Wayne County with an unregistered pistol and the Prosecutor there wants to make you a test case.

In short the AG Opinion is going to bust Michigan's handgun registration scheme pretty wide open (at least for those who go out and get non-resident permits), and break it moreso than it is now. It may finally get rid of this artifact of what was quite a racist gun control schema.

You can read the AG's Opinion direct at the source.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It's The Little Things Sometimes

Some days I do enjoy the work:

Put a call in to an opposing attorney, He’s an older rather full-of-himself sort that really does think he’s all that, and always rather condescending in his manner.

He answers the phone and after some pleasantries he says “Oh, I generally try to not like opposing counsel but you’re really good and easy to deal with, I don’t like your clients but I really like you. You should really tell your clients to give up though and do a consent judgment in my favor”

Did I mention he’s not just an attorney in this case but he’s also his own client?

“Well”, says I, “You’re going to like me a little less after this phone call.”

“Oh?”, says he.

“This call is to seek your concurrence in a motion dismissing all your claims against my clients.” (Anytime you file a motion you have to call the other side to se if they will agree to it, even though you know they will not, it's one of those rules to promote communication between the parties but unless you're calling for something like adjourning a schedule or similar its a waste of time as the other side will pretty much never agree to lose the case, and everyone knows it).

“Oh”, pause, “You should know that’s not going to work”.

“I’m reasonably sure it will, let’s talk again after you’ve read my motion”.

This motion hearing is going to be fun.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day Fly Day

For Father's Day I had a request to take Leah flying again.

How could any father refuse such a request?

The weather was excellent for it, albeit hot and humid.

A few clouds at 4,000 and then clear up to 20,000. Winds 6-7 knots from 260-280. Can't ask for much better than that.

I signed out Warrior 113EJ, did the preflight.

Then and we headed off first to the northeast. You could tell the density altitude was high as the Warrior took forever to climb to altitude. The extra 20 horses under the cowling of an Archer do make a difference.

For Father's Day I wanted to do something special.

When we got up to 3,000 feet in the practice area and cleared the area it was time: I let Leah fly the plane.

She had lots of fun doing it and did some turns and enjoyed herself.

I took us on a course towards the house.

We then flew over West Hills Middle School and Leah got a nice picture of it:

School is out for summer, all right.

While we were flying and taking pictures, someone was taking pictures of us:

Yes, we flew over the house and did a few turns around a point with the house being the point and Natasha got a few photos.

Look who's waving:

After flying over the local lakes a bit and watching the many boaters celebrating Father's Day on the water, we headed back north for a bit to the GM Proving ground:

I let Leah fly the plane some more and then we headed back to Pontiac.

I did a nice right base entry for Runway 27R and did another excellent landing, which was happy making. I even got some applause from my passenger.

Back at Pontiac and parked at DCT we saw a helicopter doing some maneuvers:

Followed by a Cessna Citation coming in to land:

According to FlightAware, its just about to land in Pittsburgh as I'm typing this.

Another great day flying, and she wants to go again.

We went home for some lunch, and now I'm just relaxing after a great flight, but I'll be working the grill for dinner tonight.

1.2 hours and 1 landing.

Friday, June 15, 2018

How Much Is That Doggie-Broken Window?

Came home from work to this:


Jett, you see, is rather affronted by squirrels who think they can just go gallivant about his backyard.

This leads to him barking furiously and leaping at them with his paws hitting the glass, repeatedly.

Or in this case paws pushing the glass right through the frame.

This is the second time in two years that he broke this particular pane of glass.

I'm thinking we're going to replace it with a couple layers of poly-carbonate instead of glass this time.

I'm sorry I broke the glass, but you shoulda seen that flippin' squirrel jump when I busted the window!

Well, the hole is now boarded up, as we'd rather not air condition the backyard and it's going to be sweltering tomorrow. Now to go shop for some poly-carbonate.

School Is Out for Summer!

At 10:50 am this morning, the kids were formally released from their last day of school.

There was much rejoicing.

Abby had a nice graduation ceremony yesterday, marking the end of Middle School for her - onward to High School.

Abby also was admitted into the National Junior Honor Society, graduating with straight A's this entire year and a stellar Middle School record.

Leah cleared Grade 6 with style, with all A's as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Now, Wouldn't That Be Something?

Leftists' heads all around the US, if not the world, may very well be explode should this come to pass:

The Detroit News: Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegians

Indeed, I expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth should President Trump be awarded the Nobel Prize.

Obama got his Nobel Prize as a participation trophy for showing up, not for actually doing anything.

Trump, on the other hand, may just pull off what Presidents and diplomats of the past have failed to do: Get North Korea to agree to denuclearize and begin to normalize realitons.

We'll see how it goes, and if President Trump succeeds in making the Nobel Prize great again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Stupid Criminal Tricks: Not What They Mean By Breaking And Entering

Breaking and Entering usually involves breaking into another person's structure, entering it and then taking stuff that doesn't belong to you out with you.

For today's episode of stupid criminal tricks, our zero didn't manage that too well.

In short, on illegally entering, the only breaking he did was to himself.

The Detroit Free Press: Man dies after cutting arm during break-in at Petoskey home

Well, he certainly won't be doing that again.

Monday, June 11, 2018

First S'Mores Of Summer

After much gardening on the weekend we had a large bunch of sticks and twigs all piled up.

What to do with all of them?

Fire, fire is good.

The only thing better than a fire alone is of course, a fire accompanied by s'mores.

So today after work and dinner I built a fire in the fire pit, used many a stick and it was ready for s'more manufacture with the kids doing the manufacturing.

A good time was had by all, the s'mores came out according to desired specifications: golden brown and delicious for some; burnt on the outside and all melty on the inside for others.

It was a nice end to the last Monday of the school year. Just a few more days to go until school is officially out for summer.

NEST, Now With Plugin Power

While all internalized attempts at adding a C-wire failed miserably, the wall plug in 24v adapter did work.

Of course it wasn't as simple as plugging it in and the thermostat then playing nice. Of course not.

First, I had to go to the furnace and rewire the G wire back to the G from the C connector on the furnace. Then I had to remove the thermostat base from the wall yet again, which is getting harder as one of the self tapping screws that attaches the mount to the wall is starting to have a stripped screw head from all the times I've had to adjust it wit these many attempts.

Then, of course the contacts on the wires on the plug in unit were too short to actually plug into and lock into the NEST contacts, and I had to strip the wires for more leads. I didn't have a proper wire stripper for this, but had a wire cutter and had to figure out the exact amount of pressure to cut the sheathing without sipping the wire inside. This took some time, some broken wire, and led to some enhanced vocabulary. But, I finally got sufficient length of open wire to plug into the NEST Then I loosely reattached the base to the wall, added the NEST unit and . . . .

It finally worked. Air conditioner worked without a problem, the NEST shows good power and all is well.

Next, I will have to take it apart yet again, drill a hole near the baseboard and feed the wire up behind the drywall to make it all look nicer as there's now a wire coming out horizontally from the mount that then runs along the wall and then hides behind the bookcase and then gets to a plug. Might as well fix it to make it look nice now that it works.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Backyard Visitors

There's lot's of wildlife to be found hanging around the yard today:


A black squirrel:

a red squirrel:

A black squirrel with a red tail, likely the result of a romance between a red squirrel and a black squirrel:

There are just tons of squirrels around recently. They seem to be clearing out all the remaining fallen black walnuts and having a serious party in the backyard.

We also have a new family in residence: A Groundhog mom and two baby Groundhogs have come by recently.

The little baby groundhogs are so very cute indeed.

Jett is getting lots of exercise leaping at the window and sternly barking at all these backyard interlopers. He really detests the squirrels.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Probably The Dumbest MSM Published Opinion Piece You'll Read Today

The Detroit Free Press seems to be reduced to scraping the bottom of the barrel of the loony left for content these days:

Pardons: What if Donald Trump shot Melania?

Before you read it, be warned that it's a stream-of-consciousnesses, counter-factual, word salad masquerading as an opinion column by someone who describes themselves as a:

Michigan attorney who has defended nuclear resisters, including some desperado nuns, in court for decades and will on occasion use blunt force satire or actual legal arguments to make a point.

Unfortunately, the editorial lacks both satire worthy of the name, nor does it have any legal analysis worthy of perusal.

Nor is there any cohesive point to the editorial.

It's more of a "Something-Something Trump Is Bad Something-Something Dark Side".

There can be only one response to such an asinine opinion piece:

Unknown World War 2: The Crosswords Of D-Day

As we remember the bravery of the American, Canadian, Britsh and other allied forces that participated in D-Day and the start of the liberation of Europe, there was an episode that has now been almost forgotten.

You see, the code words for D-Day started showing up in the British newspaper The Telegraph's crossword puzzles right before the invasion of Normandy was to take place.

Just prior to May 1944, the words Juno, Sword and Gold - names of the British and Canadian invasion beaches appeared in the Telegraph's crosswords.

Then on May 2 1944 a question appeared: "One of the U.S." the answer was Utah.

On May 22: "Red Indian on the Missouri" The answer: Omaha.

That's all of the invasion beaches.

On May 27: "... but some bigwig like this has stolen some of it at times." The answer: Overlord, the code-name for the entire invasion operation.

On May 30: "This bush is a centre of nursery revolutions."answer: Mulberry. Mulberry was the code-name for the artificial harbors to be used in the invasion.

On June 1, 1944 the clue: Britannia and he hold to the same thing. The answer: Neptune, which was the code-name for the naval portion of the action for D-Day.

This, as you might imagine, gave the British counter-intelligence service, MI-5, kittens.

There was an urgent investigation to see if the crossword was being used to tip-off the Germans and warn them of the invasion.

It turns out the compiler of the crossword puzzles, Leonard Dawe, headmaster of a school and crossword enthusiast, had come up with the words and after a through investigation MI-5 decided it had just been an interesting and complete coincidence and not espionage and the crossword panic faded into history.

It later turns out it wasn't quite as purely coincidental as all that.

Only later in 1984 was it learned that Dawe had been given the words by schoolchildren when he had asked them for some words to put in the puzzles. These schoolkids gave him the suggested words, the words which they had overheard then being discussed by American and British soldiers. At least two of these schoolchildren identified themselves later in 1984 and then in 1995 that they were the ones who gave Dawe some of the words to use in the puzzles.

The Telegraph: D-Day crosswords are still a few clues short of a solution

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Breaking Up A Fight - You're Doing It Wrong

Intervening in other people's fights is almost always a bad idea.

Dipping in when other people are arguing over money that has nothing to do with you is worse.

Doing so in a bar makes it much worse.

Doing so ending with a punch that kills someone makes it much worse.

The Detroit News: Police: Bar fight ends in man's death, criminal charges

Apparently Thing 1 Eric Hysell, approached Thing 2 Mark Thomas Foster claiming that Thing 2 owed him money.

Things apparently got heated quickly with some pushing most likely in a typical barroom Monkey Dance

So far so bad.

Then Thing 3 Andrew Werling intervened, apparently to break up the fight.

Breaking up a fight apparently has different meanings to different people:

In the tussle, Foster fell to the ground and Hysell was still standing when Werling punched Hysell in the head . . .

After being punched, Hysell hit his head on the patio door, or on the doorknob, and became unresponsive. He would never wake up again.

Yes, punches can be lethal, especially when the punchee hits a hard object on the way down, and subsequently dies.

Werling certainly didn't improve matters by intervening in a fight that was none of his business, and is now facing a manslaughter charge.

Physically interfering in other people's altercations rarely ends well and is just not a good idea in general.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Smart Theromastats Aren't

After the joy of Saturday there had to be a balancing act on Sunday.

Our thermostat had gone T.U. over the winter - that's Thermostat Unresponsive, of course.

So I went ahead a bought a NEST thermostat - checking their website for compatibility and even got a nice energy saving rebate.

Per their website, with the 4 wire setup I had, it should work.

Well, not so much.

Overall the install was pretty easy. Between the instructions and YouTube videos it's pretty hard to mess up installing a NEST.

When I first installed it in the winter it started constantly cycling the furnace fan on and off.

It turns out I needed a fifth wire, a C wire. While NEST says it's thermostats doesn't require a C Wire, they typically do. Unfortunately, most of these "Smart" thermostats whose manufacturers were dumb enough not to think that most houses do not have a C wire and wouldn't an onboard replaceable battery (just like the thermostats they're replacing) be a smart idea? Thse thoughts apparently never crossed their minds.

And therein lies the problem.

The thermostat is located over the slab. the wiring to it may very well go up to the attic and then down to the furnace but we can't seem to trace it as it doesn't immediately go up from the thermostat but down and then around somewhere.

Even better, at the furnace the wire bundle has a fifth unattached wire that doesn't make it up to the thermostat - oh, and did I mention the wire colors are completely different and the ones at the furnace don't even match standard coloring schemes? Someone clearly spliced and connected the thermostat wires somewhere, likely behind the drywall and I'd rather not rip apart the house to find it just to try and run a C wire to have a thermostat.

So one solution proposed was to disconnect the G wire on the furnace and move it to the C wire terminal on both furnace and thermostat.

This worked well through the winter but guess what we found out the first day it got hot out?

The A/C will not run without a G wire.

I've tried both the Venster Add a Wire and the Lux Products Power Bridge add a wire solutions which are supposed to fix this issue, and both failed in weird ways. Venstar would not provide consistent power to the NEST and the A/C would not respond at all, but the fan would run - constantly when the NEST was plugged in, and the Power Bridge would provide lots of power but the NEST reported the G wire had a problem and would not work.

I've spent more time running up and down stairs, flipping breakers, and adding and removing wires to the furnace and testing the thermostat more times than I can count, and it took abut 4 hours plus yesterday trying without success to make the to make the add a wire solutions work, complete with the fun of some old furnace wires breaking, requiring me to strip new ends and expand my vocabulary, a lot.

I now have a plug-in 24 Volt adapter on order and we'll see if adding that as an external power source and moving the G wire back to G lets this thing finally run right.

So yes, if you don't have a C wire, I'd have to recommend holding off on getting a smart thermostat as they're not smart enough to handle the lack of a C wire.

Yeah, it's an annoying first world problem all right.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Ready Passenger One

While the FAA declared me capable of legally carrying passengers, the SAA, the Spousal Aviation Administration had not granted authorization.

The SAA originally decreed that a minimum of 100 solo hours would be required before carrying either of the kids. This was negotiated to a more reasonable 40 hours when I pointed out that my fellow pilot and friend Peter, who got his license just before me was permitted by his branch of the SAA to take his kid up at 40 solo hours, and that 100 hours was a bit excessive. So 40 solo hours it was.

As I had promised Leah she would be my first passenger, this has put a limit on my flying with passengers for a bit.

Last week I hit hour 40 as pilot in command.

This morning, keeping my promise, Leah and I headed out to Pontiac Airport.

Originally scheduled for 0800, the initial forecast of a 1,200 foot ceiling put a damper on that. We then went there at 10 am and the ceiling had risen somewhat to 2,000. Still rather lower than I wanted for her first flight but good enough. Winds were about 9 knots from 030-040 so we would use Runway 9L.

I showed Leah how I pre-flighted and explained briefly what each part of the plane did and why I was checking it.

Then we got in the plane and I strapped her in and gave my first official passenger briefing to a non-pilot.

That done, I had a good start, a nice long taxi to Runway 9L's run-up area and a good smooth run-up with no issues.

Cleared to take off and then head south, we rolled down the runway with a smooth takeoff.

Even as the clouds were low, the air was super smooth, winds were light, and it was a great day for lower level flying and sightseeing.

Leah was in charge of the aerial photography today.

Pontiac Airport

Since we were low I could point out all sorts of landmarks.

Orchard Lake St. Marys

West Bloomfield High School

Lone Pine Elementary School

The Kroger Plaza with their favorite Sushi restaurant:

She also got some flying selfies:

And the important pilot and co-pilot sefie:

Since the layer was not breaking up we decided to head on back to Pontiac.

I was told to setup for a right downwind entry to Runway 9R.

Leah got a nice pic of my coming up on the two mile point for entering the downwind:

Then a nice picture as we were touching down:

She pronounced the landing smooth as silk.

It was indeed one of my best landings ever - flying to rolling down the runway with nary a bump. After all, I had precious cargo aboard.

Tower had me taxi back just monitoring ground and I pulled in, parked the plane and got it all secured.

Then some obligatory poses with the aircraft:

She declared that she had a great flight, that it was so much fun, and wants to go again.

.7 hours, 1 landing, and one of the happiest flights I've ever done.

This is the reason why I wanted to fly, taking the kids up and having them experience the joy of flight, yep I'd say that was mission accomplished.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Rochelle "Race All The Time" Riley Is At It Again, Now With Detroit Schools

Rochelle Riley's columns in the Free Press are generally quite predictable.

Pick any two, and ofttimes you'll get all three:

a. Racism is everywhere. Racism is alive, well, and just around the corner, except black folk can't be racist.

b. Whatever it is, it's not the Democrats', and Especially Not the Detroit Democrats' fault.

c. Someone, Anyone, else other than Detroit's Democrats need to take the blame and step up and fix Detroit's Problems, but don't suggest Detroit's Democrats can't be in charge for an instant.

Such it is yet again with her latest piece on Detroit Schools:

The Detroit Free Press: For leaders to fix Detroit's education problems, they need to talk about race

Yes, she's decided that Business Leaders, yes Busienss leaders, not say the heads of School Boards or other government officials actually in charge of education, are not talkig sufficiently about race as the core problem for the sorry state of Detroit's schools.

Of course, it could be that race isn't the core problem, but don't tell her that.

Our business community, for the most part, believes those problems lie with transit, training and trade. They plan to spend almost three whole days focused on three themes: preparing Michigan’s workers for a new generation, creating mobility for the future rather than the past and restoring trust in government, media and business.

But they always start the conversation in the wrong place.

Our region’s most pressing problem isn’t that we have a talent shortage, or that we aren’t competitive. Our most pressing problem is that we don’t care enough about education — and haven’t for more than a half century — nor do we realize that our talent problem begins in third grade.

What does that have to do with race? This: We have believed that if our suburban schools are adequate, we don't really have to care about urban or rural schools.

Unfortunately, that means that black students — and some rural ones — attend inferior schools and too many of those students grow up to be prison inmates or a part of Michigan’s poor.

She then blames Detorit's faling schools on racism. Not on the parents of the kids, not on the teachers, not on the board of education, not on the corrupt Democrat officials that beld the system dry. Nope, just on racism.

She then goes to list a multitude of factors that have little if anything to do with racism but instead crappy parenting, a high-crime urban environment, and administrative corruption and malfeasance by the peole who are the same race whether perpetrator or victim:

Ninety percent of the district’s third-graders read below grade level at a time when the Legislature has banned promoting them if that remains true.
More than 70% of children seen by Community Mental Health officials in Wayne County have experienced at least three potentially traumatic events that could change how they think and learn. Many of those children are in Detroit.
Every day, 14 children in the city became victims of crime. In 2014, the last year the study was done, about 43% were victims of homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault or robbery.
Many of Detroit's children suffer from toxic stress related to the environments in which they live.
Many of Detroit's children have parents who are either undereducated or have difficulty reading. Parents who cannot read cannot teach their children or be partners in their education. Demanding that they do, without providing a way to do it, is folly.
Many of Detroit’s children are victims of adult misbehavior. Because the district was long plagued by mismanagement and corruption, it has become harder to persuade supporters to donate to the children. The district and its new superintendent must find a way to make businesses focus on the children, not the past.
The city schools began the year short 300 teachers. And as more teachers retire each year — and fewer head into urban school districts — the problem could get worse.

None of these things are due to the boogeyman of "racism". Instead, they're due to the complete breakdown of the Detroit family structure, runaway crime, and endemic Democrat corruption. Rochelle Riley of course wants to keep the kids in these same corrupt institutions, do the same things, and expect a better result. Oh, and she likely wants Michigan business to fork over more money to expiate the imaginary sins of systemic racism to buy some shiny objects and hope that fixes the problem. It won't.

Money spent isn't the issue, it is how badly it is being mismanaged and how badly the kids are being taught.

The Detroit Public School system currently spends more per student than "all but eight of the nation’s 100 largest school districts, or $14,259. Even with all that money, the district still generated the nation’s worst reading scores among low-income students."

Anywhere else that would be regarded a massive failure. In the business world with such a lousy result, business leaders would either be fired or their business would be driven into bankruptcy.

At $14,259 per student, it would be better to free them from their Democrat and union-run schools and send them off to private schools - likely there would be better results, but that would be taking away control of yet another one of Detroit's tarnished "jewels".