Sunday, March 31, 2019

Winter Is Coming...Again?

Probably as an effect for the Game of Thrones Season 8 opener, Winter is not done with us yet.

From temperatures that were downright Spring-like, yesterday it rained all day and then in the early evening the rain turned to snow.

This morning the temperatures have dropped even further and snow covers the ground.

A few Canadian Geese were rather put out by the sudden reappearance of winter, and one of the two pictured was rather loudly vociferous about it.

Dammit Carl!  You said winter was over and we could fly back to Michigan!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

If You Were Wondering Why There's Crime In Detroit . . .

The situation: An illegal, having confessed to drug trafficking more than 6 kilograms of cocaine, and would be facing up to life imprisonment for drug trafficking, not to mention deportation at some point.

He was released on a $200 bond.

Surprise! He promptly absconded and is not in custody. Guess he didn't care about the $200 bucks he spent.

The Detroit News: Accused Mexican drug smuggler skips court after posting $200 bond

On top of that, a probationary Detroit cop just got busted for drug dealing.

The Detroit News: Chief: Detroit cop arrested, fired for allegedly dealing drugs

Detroit likely needs to tighten up their bond requirements, not to mention their background checks on new hires.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Special Sirens For Special Weather Awareness

Didja know that this week is Severe Weather Awareness Week?

Me neither.

Of course, Severe Weather Awareness Week is now being held when the weather this week has been pretty much the opposite of severe. There's been sun, it's been warming up, and no severe weather event of any kind has happened so far nor is it likely to occur this week.

Why they don't hold it during actual severe weather-worthy weeks like during the recent polar vortex is beyond me.

So today, for a special treat to raise awareness, the tornado sirens went off. To raise awareness. We're now aware the sirens work not just on the first Saturday of the month at 1pm but now on a Tuesday too. I am now much safer from this awareness moment.

Which leads to the next confusing severe weather point - without looking it up does anyone know the difference between a Storm/Tornado Watch and a Storm/Tornado Warning? Which one is worse? Who thought that using two similar W-words to distinguish the possibility versus the actuality of a dangerous event was a good idea?

Interestingly enough, for those who didn't know, a Tornado Warning is worse than a Tornado Watch.

One would think that if someone tells you to watch out for something it would be more severe and pose a greater danger than just getting a warning about it maybe happening, but that is not so.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Jett Is Taking No Chances

Currently some in the neighborhood are in a frenzy over reports of coyotes in the area.

People really need to calm down, but the neighborhood forums are ablaze with coyote spotted messages including panicked calls to secure your small animals indoors and ensure small children are not left out playing in yards as tasty coyote treats.

Never mind that there's been no actual reported incidents of a coyote around here actually attacking anyone or being aggressive, or anything of the sort, but some people are pretty high strung. It's as if they've never seen any wildlife before. I half expect squirrel alerts to be next coming from the overwrought ADHD homeowners around here.

As a result, Jett, before his walk last night, wanted to make sure he would not be misidentified as a coyote by some fearful neighbor.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Sometimes You Really Should Shut Up And Take The Deal

Had a client come in with a speeding ticket problem.

Officer had given her the ticket and while she was speeding 11-15 over, he cut her a break and reduced it to impeding which is zero points and just a fine.

That’s a decent deal right off the bat considering he had her dead to rights on radar.

Somehow, and I’m not sure how exactly, she decided to represent herself in court and instead of just paying the ticket managed to get it reinstated against her as an 11-15 over 2 point offense and fine. She is then found responsible for it and gets the full hit. That takes some talent.

Situation clearly not improved she hired me to fix her mess.

So I entered an appearance and today met with the prosecutor before the hearing and got it reduced back to the impeding charge, got that entered on the record and she’s all set.

Sometimes you need to accept the gift you’re given, smile, thank the officer and pay your fine and move on rather than trying to fight a ticket in a rather ineffective manner.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Winter Isn’t Giving Up Quite Yet

The past couple days were warm and wet, with rain and snow melting and beginning to feel like spring.

So of course this morning winter decided to get another hit in.

Heading to Abby’s forensics competition the roads are a complete sheet of ice, cars in ditches everywhere and slippery as hell.

Now it’s starting to snow, and heavily.

Traffic has slowed to a crawl and adding stress before even arriving at the competition.

Winter can’t be done soon enough and it’s really worn out it’s welcome if it ever had one.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Queen's Own Rifles Museum - The Fenian Raids

Sir Henry Pellat in addition to being a financier and builder of Casa Loma was also a member of and later became Colonel of the Queen's Own Rifles in 1910, and ended his sixty years of military service as a Major General.

The Queen's Own Rifles museum is located on the third floor of Casa Loma, and is well worth a visit if you're in Toronto.

The Museum exhibits start with the formation of the regiment and its early history. Formed in 1860, The QOR's riflemen armed with Snider-Enfields and Spencer Rifles, had their first engagement occurred in June 1866 at the Battle of Ridgeway against the Fenian raiders.

The Fenians were Irish Americans, many of them veterans of the Civil War, who came up with a rather cunning plan to obtain independence for Ireland from Great Britain:

Invade Canada, and then trade Canada for a free Ireland.

As you might imagine, the plan wasn't quite fully thought through, and did not achieve its aims, but Fenians began invading Canada, under a name that would be far more famous in the 20th century - The Irish Republican Army.

The first raid led to the Battle of Ridgeway.

Unfortunately The Battle of Ridgeway was not the QOR's finest hour and earned the Queen's Own Rifles a rather derogatory nickname - "Quickest out of Ridgeway" for their rather disorderly retreat from the Fenian assault - a battle that turned out to be the only successful attack perpetrated by the Fenians.

The first Canadian soldier to die in that battle, Ensign Malcolm McEachren of the QOR was shot in the abdomen and died. The uniform jacket he wore that day is on display at the museum.

The exhibit on the Battle of Ridgeway was an interesting look at early Canadian military history.

The Fenian raids and the fear of further invasion was one of the factors that led to the unification and formation of Canada in 1867.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Today's Trial: It Was A Dog-Bites-Dog Kind of Case

Just finished a nice half-day trial.

Yes, it actually was about an idiotic Defendant letting their pit bull roam free and attacked my client's dog, causing a few thousand in vet bills.

Not only idiotic as their city bans pit bulls and they had one anyways, nor just because you're required to control your dog, but idiotic as they refused to pay anything for the medical bills and demanded to go to trial. Most people would step up and pay for the damage their animal did, these folks decided to give it the ostrich treatment. They actually were busy claiming their dog hadn't bit my client's dog and had only gotten out that one time and nothing happened.

Witnesses who were at the scene begged to differ. Witnesses who noted the dog had escaped on multiple times also differed with their story of this being a one-off.

Their attorney did his best, but had to run with an inconsistent story - that the dog didn't bite my client's dog, and if it did then the damages weren't all that bad. This led to some strange questioning from him, including playing math and mind games with the vet bills, but in the end it wasn't nearly enough and I got a judgment in favor of my client.

It was kinda crazy to be going to trial on this as most reasonable people would have settled or offered to pay or even arrange a payment plan or something to get this resolved. Not these bozos.

Trial record remains undefeated.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Toronto's Castle - Casa Loma

On the weekend I took the family to Toronto for some family stuff and see the relatives.
In addition to the regular relative stuff, we took the kids to Casa Loma.

(CC By-SA 2.0) Photo by Priscilla Jordão
Built between 1911-1914 by Sir Henry Pellat, it has 98 rooms covering 64,700 square feet it cost 3.5 million dollars at the time.

Unfortunately during our visit they were running the Imagine Dragons exhibit which put in lots of Medieval stuff and holograms of dragons flying around which took a bit away from the ambiance.
The climb up to the towers to see the sights was demanded.

The route to the towers isn't completely finished with exposed wood beams, concrete, and stone for floors and bare brick work, much of it bearing graffiti from visitors over the years.
A rather large machine is seen on the way to the first tower.

Both towers have a narrow winding staircase going up to the top of each, only enough room for one person at a time goign up or down, so it can get quite congested and you had to wait your turn to go up or down.

The first tower is capped off so you can view through the windows.

Still you can get some nice views:

Off we went to the next tower, which is open to the elements.

The winding stairs are indeed steep and narrow:

The view was worth it though.

The tower's unicorn was rather prominent.

Everyone agreed that the towers were well worth the visit all by themselves, but there was much more to see.

Next Stop: The Queen's Own Rifles Of Canada Museum

Friday, March 08, 2019

Any One You Can Walk Away From Is A Good One

A flight instructor and student make an excellent emergency landing on a Michigan highway on the west side of the state.

Detroit Free Press: Small plane lands on Michigan highway after engine quits

No injuries, no damage, and the plane was brought back to the airport on a flatbed truck.

Nicely done.

Greedy Gretchen And The Democrats Claim To Love Small Business But Love Taxes More

Democrats always claim they hate big business and love small business and the little guy.

They love small business all right, as a cash cow.

The Detroit News: Whitmer pitches biz tax hike to offset pension tax repeal

A nice 41% tax hike on pass through small business owners (anyone with an S-Corp or LLC) to allow Unions to have tax free government pension distributions. Private pensioners and 401K/IRA holders will still be taxed. Such a deal. Talk about a punitive attack on small business owners to reward core Democrat supporters and voters.

Hopefully with a Republican controlled House and Senate this will be a non-starter.

Combine this with her proposed awesome 45 cent a gallon tax increase on gas - yes 45 cents per gallon, not all of which will actually go to "fix the damn roads", - 40% of the gas tax increase will be diverted - surprise! Her tax increasing colors come shining through.

Her proposals will not only give Michigan the highest amount of tax on gas in the entire USA but also harm Michigan's business climate.

All of you who voted for her shoulda known that electing a tax everything Democrat would have consequences.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Tlaib: Let's Impeach Trump, Because Orange Man Bad, Or Something

Tlaib the local Dem gift that keeps on giving, joins the idiot wing of the Democrat clown car in issuing resolutions to impeach Trump.

Tlaib's resolution, much like its predecessors, seems to be impeach Trump first, find some reason for it later.

The Detroit News: Tlaib plans to file impeachment resolution against Trump

Freshman U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib said Wednesday she plans to file a resolution this month to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, calling him "dangerous to our American democracy."

The Detroit Democrat's resolution will call for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate grounds for Trump's impeachment, she said.

"I can't wait to be able to file this resolution because I think a transparent and open investigation into the president's dealings is important," said Tlaib, surrounded by about 20 impeachment activists in her Capitol Hill office.

Tlaib has long called for Trump's impeachment. She made national headlines hours after her January swearing-in by issuing a cry at a Washington party to "impeach the mother(expletive)."

Bring some popcorn, the Dems are definitely putting on a show for their base - much sound, furry, and Orange Man Bad, with no actual grounds for impeachment.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Now That's A Very Cool Selfie

A selfie that's not about self-absorption but instead amazing achievement.

The world's first private lunar lander just took a selfie with Earth on its way to the moon

Hat Tip: Instapundit.

Oh, Nicely Done With A Lovely Serving Of Irony

While BlacKkKlansman is still in theaters, one fellow is living the dream:

The Detroit Free Press: African-American man becomes president of neo-Nazi group in Detroit

Basically he pulled a con in the service of good. They did nazi that coming.

Yes, he actually got the head of the National Socialist Movement in Michigan to sign over the corporation to him. Much hilarity then ensued.

An African-American civil rights advocate is now the president of the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group based in Detroit, and he says he wants to effectively dismantle the organization.

James Stern, 54, of California filed incorporation records in January with the State of Michigan that show he is now the white supremacist group's leader after the previous leader, Jeff Schoep, handed over the group to him amid concerns over a lawsuit filed against the group tied to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

The article is a fun read, including Stern substituting himself in as the representative of the group in a lawsuit and trying to get a judgment against the group.

Certainly, Stern's earned some serious style points.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

An Excellent Holster For Both Quick Errands and Long Voyages

Keepers Concealment The Errand holster carried my Shield 45 down to Florida.

The Errand, a compact AIWB Holster, certainly provided both comfort and concealment.

Made of Kydex and designed to be carried AIWB, it also comes with a comfy foam wedge that helps both concealment and comfort.

I carried in AIWB for 20 or so hours each way driving to Florida, as well as out to restaurants and other perambulations. It was not bothersome while I was behind the wheel, nor in the passenger seat, nor while walking around and offered excellent concealment.

Under a sweatshirt it completely disappeared.

Under a polo shirt, once we hit warmer climes, there was enough of a bulge from the grip of the Shield that the spouse and kids picked up on it but no one else did. However, that they could pick up on it was enough to have me change to an inner shirt and a cover button down short sleeve shirt which solved that problem nicely. Voila, no more tell-tale bulges. Some people could probably carry it off with this just under a t-shirt with no bulges. I can't, at least not yet.

It fit the Shield 45 like a glove with a very solid fit, no sloppy sliding around. If you order you need to specify its for the Shield 45 not just the standard Shield. It comes with a very strong belt clip that fits solidly on the belt and stops the holster from flopping around.

It's a very solid high-quality holster that's easy to carry, also comes with excellent service and quite quick shipping, and Keepers Concealment is highly recommended when you're looking for a quality holster, especially as it passed the drive-to-Florida test with flying colors.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Abby And The Man O' War

On the last day in Florida we headed to Pompano Beach.

It's a very family oriented beach, not hoity toity like Miami beach but a very nice spot with a lot of families hanging out and having a nice day at the beach. We rented a sun umbrella and spent the day there swimming, snacking, and doing some beach volleyball, and then more swimming and jumping in the waves.

While on our second time swimming Abby suddenly went "Oww!, what is that!?"!

She had something on the back of her leg that she immediately reached out and moved away with her hand, and her hand promptly began to hurt as well, and the ouchies grew more vociferous.

Yep, she had been stung.

Stingers still in place and stuck to her leg and hand, I got her out of the water and figuring that it was a jellyfish type sting and remembering my Scuba diver marine life training, as well as observing the sting travel from leg to hand quickly decided trying to get it off with bare hands would be a bad idea.

So I grabbed a towel and gently removed both tentacle pieces with their nematocysts from her hand and leg.

Her leg and hand had already started turning very red and it was quite painful.

The life guard nearby had heard her exclamations of pain and came over to see what was going on. Turns out it was a Portugese Man O' War.

He complimented me for having the sense not to try and remove the stings barehanded. Apparently he deals with lots of multiple persons stung from the same tentacle as people try and remove them barehanded.

He had a nice freeing spray that made the pain subside.

Almost immediately after, a fair bit farther down the beach, a large Man O War was found washed up on the beach and the lifeguard marked the location off so people wouldn't step on it. It might have been the one that got her, if so to heck with it.

Man O War stings are definitely no joke.

And of course to demonstrate how they are no joke, an Australian man deliberately stung himself with predictable results for your viewing pleasure, because, Australia Man:

That was a small one, imagine a larger one getting you, and the one that got Abby assuming it was the same one was larger than that with a float about the size of a tennis ball with long tentacles.

The pain from the sting went away after about 12 hours and icing it helped.

Certainly an interesting last day, but still a great day at the beach and we all got sunburns to prove it, and Abby got a close encounter with marine life.