Sunday, July 29, 2018

Important Outdoor Maintenance Question

Is it safe to use the applicator from Ortho’s Weed-Be-Gone to apply Round Up Weed killer from a refill bottle?

Would this mixture create a nightmare scene out of an M. Night Shyamalan movie creating mutated dandelions that would arise and take their revenge on humanity?

Or, would adding Round Up to Weed Be Gone create an airborne mist that would serve to round up and get rid of my neighbor’s rather stinky-when-used “medical” weed supply and cause it to be gone? This would be a win for the neighborhood.

Asking for a friend . . .

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Successful Restoration of My Client's Firearms Rights

Happy to report a very successful outcome for a client in a difficult action for restoring his firearm rights.

While no one wants the mentally ill that are determined to be a threat to themselves or others to have easy access to firearms, the current method of classifying people is casting far too wide a net. My client was denied his right to purchase and own firearms under Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(4): as “A person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution.”

The problem is the FBI’s NICS Section takes a very expansive view of “adjudicated as a mental defective”, and currently has a practice of including anyone who has ever had an adult guardianship or conservatorship entered on their behalf, for any reason, on the grounds that it shows that the person “lacks mental capacity to manage his own affairs”.

My client, a male in his middle 60’s with no criminal record, had a guardianship in place to make decisions for him when he went in for some serious surgery five years ago. Given the pain he was under at the time, he was unable to manage his own affairs. Even as the court entered it as a limited guardianship, and the guardianship was terminated in a year when he was fully back to health and capabilities, he found out to his dismay that he was unable to purchase a firearm when he was denied under the NICS system.

Never having been adjudicated to have been a threat to himself or others, and never involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution, my client now found himself lumped into that category and without any means of being removed from the NICS denial list.

There currently is no federal program to administratively be removed in the case of a mental health based denial from NICS, nor does Michigan have a federally recognized program to allow for such a removal. In short, there is no way to get off the “no buy list” once you’ve been placed on it for a 922(g)(4) classification. Even if you were properly classified that way years ago and are now not a threat to yourself or others, once disqualified under 922(g)(4) you cannot get it removed.

The only recourse is to sue on behalf of the client, and indeed I did sue the United States and its relevant agencies for violations of his Second Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights.

We have now reached a successful resolution of the case, quite quickly in no small part due to the very professional Assistant United States District Attorney assigned to the case, who read my complaint and understood we had a very viable claim and cause of action.

My client now has been removed from the NICS denial list and his firearms rights are now fully restored.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Opportunity Lost: Chance For Huge Michigan Crawfish Boil Goes Up In Smoke

The Michigan DNR in Port Huron made the largest seizure of an invasive species - 2,000 pounds of live red swamp crawfish, found in a truck, which are illegal to bring into Michigan.

So what do you do with a ton of illegal crawfish? One would think a crawfish boil would be in order to celebrate such a seizure.

But no. Lacking such imagination, the DNR decided to have all those lovely crawfish go up in smoke.

The Detroit News: DNR seizes, incinerates ton of illegal crawfish

Such a terrible waste.

Now I want to go back down to visit Murphy's Law and attend a crawfish boil in N'awlins.

RIP Martin J. Tibbitts, Founder of World Heritage Air Museum

Mr. Tibbitts died at Sheboygan Wisconsin's airport on the way to Oshkosh in a crash on takeoff of the World Heritage Air Museum's de Haviland Venom.

The cfrash also injured two farm workers on the ground and killed 40-50 cattle when it crashed into a building shortly after takeoff.

One of the founders of the World Heritage Air Museum, based at Pontiac Airport, Mr. Tibbits had helped the museum amass quite the collection of flying jet aircraft from the earlier days of jet flight, with the newest acquisition - A Gloster Meteor jet.

I recall meeting him a few years ago during one of Oakland County airport's open houses, and admiring the WHAM's planes on display. A very nice gentleman, he was very open and enthusiastic about aviation and a great source of conversation about the museum and its jets.

Aviation is a lot poorer for his loss.

The Detroit Free Press: Vintage military jet crash kills Grosse Pointe Park pilot and businessman

Monday, July 23, 2018

Toronto's Un-Possible Mass Shooting Likely A Terrorist Attack

One would think the idea of a mass shooting in Toronto is simply un-possible given the very strict gun control laws.

But, as most thinking people know, criminals aren't exactly known for obeying the law. On July 22, in the evening a man dressed in black opened fire on crowds and restaurants on the Danforth.

The Toronto Star: Danforth shooter identified as Faisal Hussain, 29, of Toronto, SIU says

The Danforth is a very nice strip of restaurants and cafes that is very pleasant to walk down and visit and probably has the best Greek food outside of, and potentially including Greece itself.

The shooter's name has now finally been released as Faisal Hussain, which is an improvement over the prior unidentified fair skinned 29-year old from Toronto. No Motive is yet being released, and considering he was randomly shooting at a whole bunch of people, killing 2 (an 18 year old female and a 10-year-old girl) and injuring 13, it is likely that Allahu Akbar, Arabic for "The motive will never be known" is the most probable cause. Considering the slow-walking of the identity of the shooter, it's rather probable. Expect details to continue to be slowly disclosed on this one.

On top of that, an attempt was made to stab a Canadian Forces soldier during the changing of the guard ceremony in Ottawa, but little detail has been released in that, while the suspect was captured but is still not being identified - Security forces stop man with knife on Parliament Hill.

Stupid Criminals: Don't Bring Your Oxy To A Pot Buy

So our stupid criminal of the day found out, to her surprise, I'm sure, that there is no honor among criminals.

While going about her business to buy some weed, she meets up with her drug-dealing acquaintance who instead of selling her the desired drugs, at gunpoint robs her of the oxycodone pills she was just happening to carry around.

She of course called the police to complain of such illegal activities.

The Detroit News: Sheriff: Woman buying pot robbed of opioids.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Book Review: The Battle of Britain The Myth and The Reality.

Richard Overy's The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality is a high-level look at one of the most fateful battles in modern history.

Richard Overy presents an analysis of the Battle of Britain that ends some of the myths of the Battle and points out that the two sides fought under parallel misconceptions that shaped the battle:

The British thought the Luftwaffe was more powerful than it actually was at the time.

The German thought that the RAF's Fighter Command was weaker than it actually was.

It turns out the fighter strength that two sides committed to the battle that were relatively evenly matched, and the two misconceptions then affected both side's actions in the fight.

Overy also analyses the fateful decision by the Germans to shift from attacking Fighter Command's airfields to bombing cities and notes the while it was ordered by Hitler after the relatively ineffectual RAF bombing of Berlin, the shift had been in the works for some time and was not decided solely on the basis of revenge for the Berlin raid. This shift, brought on by the German's misguided analysis that Higher Command was a spent force, helped further relieve pressure on Fighter Command and caused the fight to tilt even further in the RAF's favor. Both sides continued to misapprehend and misunderstand the other's aircraft production and readiness for far beyond the battle itself.

The result of the Battle ended the German possibility of invading the British home isles, even if British fear of a German invasion lingered for some time after the battle had ceased.

A very engaging book, if you want a very quick and high-level look at the battle, it's worth a read.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Plane Gone Missing In Michigan Found 21 Years Later

A Howell couple and their plane went missing 21 years ago in the Upper Peninsula. Now it has finally been found in the Hiawatha National Forest.

The Livingston Daily: Discovery of wreckage of Howell couple's plane 21 years later 'answers a lot of questions'

Reading through the article there's a few key items that stand out:

1. The plane was observed flying 20 to 25 miles south then turning 180 degrees before disappearing from the center's radar.
Sounds suspiciously like spatial disorientation.

2. A friend of the pilot said that the pilot normally flew direct GPS and was known to experience vertigo easily.
Sounds even more like the pilot was susceptible to disorientation.

Here's what's worse:

3. Other pilots reported that the weather that day went down to 200 feet overcast.

Reportedly, the pilot was not IFR rated. Going up with a 200 foot overcast ceiling while only being a VFR pilot is a quick way to get yourself and your passengers killed. That's not VFR conditions, that's solid IFR flying in the soup.

This unfortunately sounds like a bad and completely avoidable case of get-there-itis encountering grano-cumulus. Grano-cumulus is the scientific term for when there's a large rock hiding in a cloud, and upon hitting that grano-cumulus, you are very not happy.

This 21-year-old tragedy was most likely completely avoidable pilot error.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Stupid Criminals: The Not-So-Great Escape

Stupid criminals never fail to fail.

While the point of an escape room is to escape from it, our featured stupid criminal utterly failed to do so:

KOIN6: Burglar can't get out of escape room, calls 911

Yes, he broke into an escape room business and then miserably failed in escaping, being unable to find a working exit door and having to call the police to help him get out.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Stupid Criminals: He Believed He Could Fly. He Was Wrong.

Stupid is supposed to hurt, and for this stupid criminal it sure did.

The Detroit Free Press: Ferndale police chase ends in 15-foot fall for home invasion suspect

Let's see how this went wrong: First a home invasion against someone who has a PPO out for the criminal. Next he decides to run from the police, which while the police appreciate the exercise never ends well. Then he decides to climb over a guardrail of an overpass and engage in a struggle with police and a taser is involved.

As you might expect this led to a fast drop with a rather sudden stop.

Quick tips from this episode of stupid criminals:
1. Don't violate your PPO or even better, don't do the stupid things to get one in the first place;
2. Don't run from the police;
3. Don't resist arrest after you've failed to adequately run from the police; and
4. Don't try to resist arrest with a cunning plan that involves you falling 15 feet onto concrete to escape, just saying.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer Horsing Around

Yesterday we picked up the younger child from her two-week girls' riding camp at Black River Farm and Ranch.

It was her second year attending a session, and she had another fantastic time.

On pickup day, the camp puts on a show with all the girls participating in their riding groups.

It begins with a parade around the ring.

The various groups demonstrate what they've learned over the two weeks.

From basic riding:

Vaulting (acrobatics on horse back). Did I mention the horse is moving as they do this?


Leah's Riding group demonstrated bareback skills:

Yes, all 4 hooves are in the air as the horse canters merrily along. She did great and was very poised and handled the horse well the whole time.

Leah received the award for most improved returning rider - out of 500 returning girls.

After the show she took us around the camp and we got to meet her friends and her favorite horses:

The mini donkeys were ridiculously cute:

We then took her out to lunch and drove on home. We're still working on the camp laundry today. She had a great time and wants to return next year.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

You Don't See That Ticket Everyday

Potential client called, fellow with a name of Martian, really.

He was given a misdemeanor ticket for failing to register his boat and was caught in a public waterway operating it without it being properly identified. Yes, failing to register a boat is a misdemeanor in Michigan and now that summer is here and the marine divisions of various agencies are out in full force ticketing for a variety of behavior with drunken boating the number one priority.

Yes, this is truly a case of a Martian being ticketed for operating a UFO (in this case, an Unidentified Floating Object).

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Scenes From Court - You Can Take The Gal Outta Detroit But You Can't Take Detroit Outta The Gal

In Oakland County Probate Court this morning and it's a very busy docket.

Lots of interesting cases with lots of people not behaving properly. Quick tip, taking out a large whole life insurance policy on your very elderly mother payable to you the daughter will likely cause her to lose her Medicaid benefits and really make the judge angry - very angry in fact, just saying.

So, with that fun drama done, a case gets called, and another, and another, and another.

What gives, four cases being called at once is rather weird, all with different names.

Well, it seems this one Detroit Gal, who now lives in Section 8 housing in Oakland County, happens to have 4, yes 4 kids. By 4, yes 4 different fathers and has just happened to have dumped them all off on her aunt.

Two of the fathers live in Detroit but current whereabouts are unknown, one is in prison for statutory rape of the Detroit Gal in question and for a probation violation since his initial release, and one is present who wants custody of his 14-year-old daughter, who apparently doesn't want to be with him and wants to stay with the other siblings (all with different last names) with the aunt.

Detroit Gal does not show up to the hearing, because not as the aunt says she "had to work", but as it turns out, as the judge rather blithely comments, she has a bench warrant and would arrested if she showed up.

The judge has to go with the Family Court's order on custody for the 14 year old and arranges for the aunt to get her to her father, and for the rest she orders the aunt as full guardian of them all as the mother has basically abandoned them.

The family tree here is definitely not a straight line, but Father's Day must be confusing as all get out.

The Moynihan Report was certainty prescient.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Flying - A Great Hop To Saginaw Bay

Today the weather was, yet again, perfect.

How could I resist hopping in a plane under such perfect conditions?

I was even able to get a 3-hour block, rather than a 2, which was enough for the plan I had in mind. After all everyone wants to go to a body of water in summer to hang out, don't they?

I decided to fly to Saginaw Bay.

I did the preflight on Warrior N7930F and had the fuel tanks filled up, as they were under the tabs from the prior user.

I then got my takeoff clearance with a turn to the north approved.

It was a beautiful day to fly.

Simply gorgeous out.

20 miles from Saginaw, I got their ATIS and contacted Saginaw approach and was given a squawk code.

I almost asked if I got the call sign "Magnum" to go with that squawk code.

Sightseeing was in order. Basically I was told to stay at or under 3,500 and let them know when I wanted to come in to land with them. Since I had never landed at Saginaw before I figured I should give it a go.

First the sightseeing.

Saginaw Bay

Bay City with Bay City Airport where I landed the last time I was up here.

A drawbridge, and oh, what's this beside it, well, it is what I came to sight-see.

The USS Edson.

Its always fun flying over the USS Edson, even if the air was rather bumpy, making it difficult to get good shots.

After flying around for a bit more I then contacted Saginaw Approach and said I was ready to come land at Saginaw. KMBS is a Class D with a TRSA, so the procedures are rather similar to landing at a Class C airport. Talk to Approach first, then get passed to Tower, and then get cleared by the Tower to land.

I was heading 230 degrees and I was cleared for a straight-in Approach to Runway 23. Easy-Peasy. Saginaw's Runway 23 is an 8,000 foot runway. This was going to be fun.

Talk about your long runway. I was at a full stop before the first taxiway with a ton and a half more runway in front of me.

It then taxi'd back to Runway 23 to takeoff and head back.

To depart from Saginaw, I was given a VFR clearance from the tower and after I took off I was passed off from the tower and told to contact approach, which I did. Heading Back I received flight following and was passed off to Flint, and then got to pass through Flint's airspace at 4,500, quickly having to descend to 3,500 due to an aircraft that was heading my way and not communicating with Flint. Bad form, that.

As always, Saginaw and Flint's controllers were professional, helpful, and pretty darn cheerful which was nice.

Then, contacting Pontiac, they had me angle in for a right base entry to Runway 27R, and then requested I keep the base in very tight for other traffic. I did a very tight base and practically a power off 90, and did a perfectly smooth landing. They thanked me for my help and sent me over to ground. Then, taxi back to DCT and put the plane away and another simply awesome flight was complete.

2.0 Hours and 2 great landings.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Flying - Today's Quick Cross-Country To Charlotte

The weather could not have been nicer - not a cloud in the sky below 12,000 feet, light winds and unlimited visibility.

You know its good when you give the flight briefer your route and he's like: "Its a perfect day, do you want a standard or abbreviated, as you've got no issues."

I did the standard anyways and it confirmed that the day would be great and indeed have no issues.

Everyone else seemed to think it was a great day to fly too as every plane at DCT was in use.

I got to the airport a half hour before my scheudled flight and the plane came back so I made sure it was refueled and I did the preflight.

Given the quick time slot it would be a get to Charlotte, land and come right back kind of deal, otherwise I would have met with a few bloggers I know over there, but the availability issue made that impossible. Starting to see if any local flying clubs have openings as this limitation is getting kinda old real fast.

I took off from runway 9L and did a downwind departure to the west.

It was indeed a beautiful day for flying:

I climbed on up to 6,500 feet and headed to Charlotte.

On the way there I passed the Livingston/Howell Airport, and their CTAF was crazy busy with traffic, including many pilots chiding other pilots for not giving position reports, cutting people off, or otherwise. I was happy to be far above the craziness.

Then on past Mason airport, just inside the 50 nautical mile limit for a cross country so I flew on by.

Then on to Charlotte, where my first approach quite frankly sucked - too high and too fast, so I did a go round. I then did a landing, and then took off back to Pontiac.

Pontiac when I returned to it was hopping, with lots of planes in the pattern and coming and going.

Coming in from the west, I was perfectly lined up for the runways so they had me do a straight in approach to Runway 9R, the nice huge runway, which was very nice. This was because as I was landing, another Archer was doing a pattern for landing on 9L. We landed at the same time and both stopped at the Kilo taxiway to exit, so I got to cross Runway 9L behind him as he cleared it and taxi back to the flight school.

1.7 hours, 2 landings, and it was a great day to fly.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Happy Independence Day!

Wishing all my fellow Americans a joyous 4th of July to celebrate our independence.

A nice relaxing day with a festive diner meal of fresh hamburgers made here and done on the grill, along with roasted corn on the cob, and all the fixings, followed by a great finish of homemade ice cream pie. This feast was accompanied with adult beverages for those of suitable age and sparkling juice for those yet to be so legal.

Following dinner we adjourned to the driveway and our fireworks show followed, my show was met with oohs and aahs from the audience. A decent display of Roman Candles, Mortars, and sparklers if I do say so myself. Many bombs were a-burstin' in air this evening.

Now we're kicking back and watching the amateur and more professional shows that can be seen from the house and enjoying the evening.

Hope you all had a wonderful and joyous Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Rare Ancient Jewish Coins Found in Jerusalem

Two impressive new and historically important finds of ancient Jewish coins from the First Revolt against Rome (66-70 AD) have been recently discovered in Israel.

A hoard of Year 4 bronze coins were recovered at the Ophel excavation from a cave near the Temple Mount. Likely buried there as the Romans were besieging and then conquering Jerusalem, its an impressive find of some very rare coins, as the Year 4 bronze and silver coins are quite rare and scarce, mainly because by then the Jews were losing the war and only Jerusalem and a few other outposts remained under Jewish control.

In addition to the hoard of coins found in the cave, a Year 4 Bronze was found in an ancient sewer duct, along with a sword and other accoutrements, under the Hagai Road that led to the Temple helping to verify Josephus's account of the Siege of Jerusalem that fighters and others took shelter form the Romans in drainage ditches where many were killed.

Talk about finds that just ooze history.

Two impressively historic numismatic finds found in Jerusalem within a short time and a short distance apart this year. Very neat indeed.

Monday, July 02, 2018

German Job Security Through Offing Your Competition

It doesn't take a firearm to perform a mass murder, especially if you're willing to stretch out the time frame a little.

It seems one factory worker in Germany found the key to job security was killing off his fellow workers. Not exactly a how to win friends and influence people method nor a recommended one.

Since 2000, he's suspected of poisoning 21 of his fellow employees by contaminating their food with lead acetate, and was only caught when victim #22 saw powder in his sandwich and security cameras caught the fellow sprinkling it on his food.

Apparently no one made any connection among these deaths as lead acetate poisoning is hard to detect, but you would think that many deaths from one factory would cause someone to wonder if there was any connection.