Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 34 - Mostly Better

 I was flying N5337F today so no airplane issues, which is nice.

Good prelfight and was told we would do Troy Runway 9 circle to 27, followed by Flint's ILS 27 and VOR 36 circle to 27 and then Pontiac's ILS Back course 27L partial panel.

So got the clearance and it would be a bit sporty with crosswinds from 340 at 17-22 and a cloud layer around 3,000. 

Good takeoff and off to Troy we went.  The hold procedure at Celub comes up really fast as you're elaving Pontiac so you're scrambling to stay ahead of the process.

I correctly identified the hold entry and did the hold just fine.  Direct so not a big deal, but yay anyways.  Lots of wind pushing the plane around.  Did the approach complete with the circle and then went missed when I was 20 feet or so over the runway.

Then on to Flint so I had time to setup for the full ILS 27 procedure, begging with the hold.  Correctly identified the proper entry (teardrop this time) and did it correctly. So I may have just figured out holds.

I did the hold so well that Great Lakes Approach asked me to do it again for spacing, and I obliged and suspended the approach.

Then on to the approahc, very windy so a pain to keep the localizer centered but I got it down and had a good glidescope and a nice approach.

Then we did the VOR 36 and that went pretty well including setting the timer and everything else necessary for the approach.  Still very windy and shifty winds too.  

Back to Pontiac and Kevin turned off the G5s, zapping the Attitude indicator and HSI, leaving me to use the VOR receiver and compass for the approach.  

Kinda tricky.  You have to be on the localizer frequency but also tune in the Salem VOR on the same VOR unit as when you cross the Salem VOR radial you're at the final approach fix. Kinda more complicated flying it partial panel than with  fully functioning G5s.  Did it though with the reverse sensing and not screwing it up, did a nice landing.

Overall the remaining issue is I'm over-controlling the plane and need to lighten up, so the next few lessons will be in the simulator (Yay save money!, But boo oversensitive simulator).  

Just got to knockout the written and I'm ploughing through the study materials as both carefully and fast as I can.  Some questions are just a major pain in the you know what.

That's 2.0 with 1.3 simulated and .5 actual, 4 approaches, 2 holds and 1 nice landing.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sunday Match Day

The day began walking Piper at 0600.  I swear, she has an alarm clock in her butt, as she's up like clockwork. As I walked her, fog began forming until visibility dropped rather impressively.


 

I then walked Jett and after that had breakfast and headed out in the fog to Wayne County Racoon Hunters for what is likely the last outdoor match of the season. 

The fog had pretty much blown out by the time I arrived, and it was sweater weather with the last stage getting some rain.

Our squad was a little small as we had two last-minute cancellations.   Kept us busy pasting targets, and I was scorekeeper for a fair bit of the match which is fun to do. 

Two Master-class shooters were in the squad, and to say they were good is an understatement. Very neat to see how they analyzed stages and figured out the most efficient way to shoot them. Both were super nice and helpful, and gave lots of good advice on analyzing and shooting a stage. 

Happy to note I did well, at least for me, in this match.  Certainly the pre-stage coaching helped, as did observing how the Master-class shooters tackled the stages. 

 There were certainly some fun stages, such as this unloaded table start with two separate shooting boxes:




Still, I put in a C-class performance but I felt I improved.  

On the last stage I got as re-shoot due to range equipment failure.  Someone had setup the popper that triggered one of two swingers but had installed the stick backwards.  Instead of the popper pulling the stick when it fell, the stick kept the popper up and stopped the swinger from swinging. Oops.  Good thing I had brought enough ammo.  On the upside, getting to shoot that stage again did improve my performance with the first one acting as a live fire practice as the swingers were the last targets in that stage.  So, that worked out well.

A very fun match and I learned quite a bit.  Still an absolute ton to improve on.

Mixed Messages From The Educational Establishment

There's very mixed messages coming out the of educational establishment.

On the one hand, parents are told their involvement in education is absolutely crucial:

Parent involvement in a child's education is crucial. When parents get involved in their children's education, children are more likely to do better in school, be better behaved, have more positive attitudes toward school, and grow up to be more successful in life.

On the other hand, parents are being told, rather vociferously, not to be involved.

If you try to learn what your children are actually learning, or dare opine against the current agenda of their being ideologically programmed, or dare try to have a say in what is being taught, or are concerned about school safety issues, then not only should you not be involved, but by doing so you're branded a likely domestic terrorist.

The National School Boards Association is now trying to walk back the unfounded accusations in their letter that led to the DOJ stating it would investigate parents who dared opine about the goings on at school board meetings, but the damage has been done.  Curiously their apology letter is not readily visible on their website. But, looking at the NSBA's website, its rather clear their agenda is less one towards education and more pushing the progressive agenda on kids and this nation.

Parents certainly do have a role in their children's education, and the need for more parental action and supervision over those who are setting the agenda for their children's education is now more apparent than ever before.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

A Great Jitsu Seminar

Went to a Jiu Jitsu seminar today at our training center.

The visiting instructor was black belt Evandro Nunes.

A Brazilian, he's rather tall, and he's been a successful BJJ fighter and is now one of the top instructors for Gracie Survival Tactics  - A Gracie Jiu Jitsu program tailored for law enforcement usage.

Very effective stuff and excellent hand to hand training police to be able to control bad guys using technique rather than brute strength.

He began  the seminar with a brief intro and then asked what we were interested in learning. From a few questions he put together a 2-hour seminar on the fly. His technique looks effortless and amazing smooth, and all his years of practice are very evident.

It began with guard passing techniques and a philosophical approach to passing guard.  The idea is to have less focus on forcing a pass but instead more on first observing what your opponent is trying to do, and then move from safe  position to the next safe position and finally to a position where the opponent almost prefers that you pass their guard.

From there, we did some choke techniques and I'm happy to say I've now learned how to do the Anaconda choke, which is impressively nasty.  Basically if someone tries to get you off of mount position or knee on belly the wrong way they open themselves up for an Anaconda attack.  Much fun. I need more practice with it to really get it locked in, it but it's one heckuva neat technique. 

We then moved on to answers to knee on belly and how to either adjust to reduce the effectiveness of the technique or sweep someone doing a knee on belly technique.  Very fun stuff, and I need to work on that.

Finally we finished with a defense from a knife attack whether the attacker is below us or mounted on us. Good technique to control the attacking arm.  Downside is you likely are going to get stabbed and possibly more than once if someone pulls a knife in an entangled fight, but having some answer to it is better than nothing. 

A great seminar and I learned a ton in 2 hours.  Then we did some rolling which was a lot of fun and we got to try out some of the techniques we had learned.

Evandro is a super skilled and talented instructor and a super nice guy.  Great instructor with an excellent teaching manner. 

Did I mention he's really tall?


He's a great guy and I look forward to him visiting and holding another seminar soon.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 33 - Could Do Better

For this lesson to my surprise I had DCT's chief instructor checking me out to see how I was doing.

Had N1689H and yes, the seat slipped yet again, the seat was also stuck too high up, and the tachometer is funky and  not goving proper readings.  On top of that, the yoke is a bit off center rig-wise.

In short not the best plane to be in for this check-up. 

So yep, everything started off a little off and went on from there.

Took off in a nice 10 knot direct crosswind which wasn't too bad.

Headed for Flint and did the ILS 27 which went pretty well and I figured out the hold but got thrown a bit by what the GPS was telling me to do for the hold, but it worked out ok.    Good descent but was over-controlling and chasing a bit.

Then on to the RNAV 27 approach with a hold it went very well, knew what the entry would be, and even as I had to do a hold a second time for traffic separation which was a bit unexpected it went ok.  Decent approach and landing.  In short I think I've got knowing what the hold entry will be down, need to perfect the actual entry and intercept itself still.

Then as a surprise he added a VOR 36 approach, so I had to retrieve that plate from inside Foreflight as I was being vectored to it, and he then turned off the attitude and heading indicators which he had me do it partial panel as I had been using the VOR 2 just to keep track of the missed headings after each approach and had been expecting to head back to Pontiac. F'ing great timing on that.

This did not go well.  I setup VOR 2 quickly but the controller dumped me off too far west of the approach and it was a massive pain to get back onto the approach course and was a complete mess.  Finished it up and went missed. Interesting miss, as the missed approach point is when the VOR flips from From to To.  However that flip occurs when you're well past the runway. Fun  to watch anyways.  Not a particularly enjoyable surprise approach.

Then back to Pontiac for the Localizer Back Course 27L with a lot of vector changes due to traffic and an expedited climb request to add to the fun. He then gave me back the heading and attitude indicators for the approach and I did it ok, but came in on final rather high but did a very nice landing. A very long taxi back from 27L due to all the construction and done.

Overall, per the chief instructor I apparently know what I'm doing but I was really over-controlling the aircraft. I really need to refuse to fly in N1869H.

Feels like 1 step forward and 1 step back.  Certainly not as great a flight as last Friday. Definitely in the F stands for Frustration in IFR stage.

That's 2.0, 1.8 simulated, 4 approaches, and 1 really great landing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

When You Get What You Want Good And Hard

Some progressives are slowly figuring out that when you defund the police and decide not to prosecute crime, crime for some reason, totally unknown to these folks, rises.

The Detroit News: 'A dangerous time': Portland, Oregon, sees record homicides

“People should be leery because this is a dangerous time,” said Lionel Irving Jr., a lifelong Portland resident and a gang outreach worker.

Portland’s police department is struggling to keep up amid an acute staffing shortage and budget cuts. Now, Oregon's largest city is implementing novel solutions aimed at improving safety, including adding traffic barrels to prevent drive-by shootings and suspending minor traffic stops so officers can focus on immediate threats.

Well,  when you embolden criminals and hamstring police in the name of social justice, don't be surprised that you will get neither actual justice nor peace and instead get criminals running amok.

Portland wanted it, and now they got it.  Let's see if they can learn from it at all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

So, What Was The Baby Launched From And How Fast Was It Going At the Time?

Headline writing can be messy. Here, the author of the headline has a baby becoming a rather deadly projectile and no editor picks up that the headline may be a tad off:

The Detroit News: Pair fatally shot with baby in car at Detroit gas station

Reading on, it appears the deceased were not, in fact, shot with a baby.

Rather the baby was in the car with them when they were shot at the gas station.

Getting gas in Detroit at night is a rather hazardous undertaking, and I would highly discourage anyone from doing so.

Detroit's murder and crime rate has certainly not declined, and in this woke era of "Defund the Police" and it's concomitant disrespect for law and order, it has, if anything increased.

Not Flying - Can You Hold, Please?

 Today was "Let's fix Aaron's inability to do holds day".

About time I took on this major source of frustration.

Discussed holds for a bit and then hit the simulator.

Started with some holds at Flint, did Troy and Saginaw too just for fun.

Working on it and drawing out the holds while flying as well as figuring out what I was doing wrong all the while.

I think I've finally got it and can now figure out what kind of hold entry it will be while in the plane.

 Next, I then got help and fixed and figured out how to actually do the teardrop and parallel entries strictly on my own without the GPS providing directions.

Very productive use of time this lesson, and I even got better flying the simulator.  

Looks like I just fixed the biggest problem I've been having.  We will do some actual holds in the plane on Friday to see if I've got it down.

That's 2.1 Ground Trainer, 2.1 Simulated Instrument, and 9 holds.

Move Over Murder Hornets, Make Way For Attack Deer

Just when you think the year won't get much weirder, we have the case of the Michigan attack deer.

The Detroit Free Press: 'I thought I was going to die': Woman attacked by deer in front yard, saved by son


 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Let's Go Brandon Meme Travels Across The Northern Border

This is rather interesting:

Canadian federal government public servants may no longer send in written form, including email, colloquialisms with double entendres that may be considered "offensive"  and most especially they cannot write: "Let's Go Brandon" which was most specifically called out.

 

Interesting as one must wonder how many Canadian federal government workers  are ticked off enough at the Biden admin over everything from the Us/Canada Border to Keystone, to Afghanistan, to be writing Let's Go Brandon in their missives for this to be an issue that gets into a memo.

Also interesting as how the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the union for the same bureaucrats is, per the letter, fully on board with their members being terminated immediately without recourse for something as simple as a double entendre or Let's Go Brandon.    If I were one of their members, I'd be rather cross at this lack of appropriate representation.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Piper Playtime

Piper sez: "I love you red solo cup".

Unfortunately for the red solo cup, love bites. 

She does love to gnaw on solo cups, among everything else not bolted down, and even some things that are bolted down.

Piper also got some fun in this morning with Paxton, and Rocky, and Jett.

She kept up playing with the big dogs and doesn't shy away from them, nipping and barking with the best of them.  We still keep her on a leash but she'll run to its end to keep up with the other dogs.


But she couldn't quite pin Paxton until Jett came along.

Teamwork makes the dream work

 


This tired out all four dogs, which was good for all involved.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Night Out On The Farm

Bowers Farm that is.  Bowers Farm is a local farm owned by the local school board that runs a ton of educational activities for students, and it was having a Bourbon and Brews festival as a fundraiser tonight. So, we decided to go with a couple friends.

We parked in a parking lot near the farm and took the provided shuttle bus to the farm itself.

The place was packed and yet the crowd was very well-behaved throughout and very civil, if rather exuberantly friendly, and a tad (or more) inebriated.

We checked in at the gate, got our wristbands (yes they did check everyone's ID on entry to be sure everyone was of legal drinking age) and drink coupons.

Then we moseyed from building to building, sampling different brews and drinks as we went. All sorts of lovely samples to be had.

Each building or tent setup had a variety of Beers, ciders, wine, or harder stuff and the guide provided at entry made it easy to find what you might want to try.

Lots of beers I had never heard of were available to taste, with rather healthy pours, so I got to try out quite a few new ones, which was quite nice.  Lots were from Michigan breweries and it was neat to sample them.

The downside was with the crowd they had all of 2 food trucks and a pizza place working for food. They could have easily had four times the number of food trucks and not had any issues.  Line ups were very  long to order food, then getting the food after we ordered took over an hour and that was from the taco truck.  Upside, it was plenty of time to mosey around to try even more drinks, but an over hour wait time from a food truck is pretty slow.

We had gone to the taco truck as the line to order there was at least moving a bit, and the line for the BBQ joint hadn't moved an inch in the 10 minutes we had stood in line there.  Once the food was ready, it was in fact excellent. The long wait, cool night, and multiple drinks may have helped make it even tastier. I had a steak burrito that really was excellent, and Tash had a coupe tacos that also rocked.

We wandered around some more without further drinking to further burn off the alcohol, and then instead of taking the shuttle had a nice long walk to our car and headed home.  'Twas a nice and enjoyable night out, and a nice change of pace.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 32 - A Set Of Nice IFR Approaches And Horrible Holds

Did kinda a pre-stage checkride checkride today.

Weather was lovely for IFR - stable air with constant light rain, clouds down in the MVFR-IFR range and pretty calm.  Took off from 27R.

Took off and headed for Troy which went very well, aside from the f'ing hold. .  Did the RNAV 9 circle to 28 (yes it is now Runway 28 rather than 27 over there, repainted and everything) at Troy.  Good circle, have to be super careful not to drop below circling minimums at all but overall pretty good.

Thence to Flint, first for the ILS 9 which went very well, aside from the f'ing hold.  Then missed to do the VOR 18 circle to 9 which went really great aside from the f'ing hold.

Then back to Pontiac which was quite busy and as we headed there they switched to the 9 side.  Did the RNAV 9 approach and did it very nicely if I say so myself.  Went missed and we did it again into an absolutely superlative landing if I say so myself - and I do.  Just perfect.

Overall a pretty good flight. Was over-controlling a bit too much and having a lousy time controlling my altitude and the trim just did not want to work with me.  It improved a bit anyways.  Added stress was the radio reception on my side was kinda crappy, possible radio or headset jack problem that has now been squawked.

Holds are really beginning to annoy me.  On paper and in prepping for the written OI can get the right entry almost 100% of the time.  Put me in an airplane and for some reason the technique fails every f'ing time.  This makes no sense so it is clearly me doing something wrong.

Plan for Tuesday is a ground and simulator ride to figure out holds, which is a good idea.

That's 2.2, .5 actual, 1.5 simulated, 5 approaches , 3, count 'em 3 f'd up holds, and 1 excellent landing.

The Swamp Takes Care Of Its Own

The New York Times: F.B.I. Official Fired Under Trump Wins Back His Pension

Behind a paywall, but the highlight is the firing of FBI director Andrew McCabe was reversed by the Justice Department and now he gets his sweet, sweet pension and bennies.

This is the same McCabe who already got the benefit of not being charged after lying to Congress three times and to other Federal officials.

Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Charges ruled out in McCabe lie case

Good to be part of the in-group, isn't it?

You try lying to Congress and federal investigators and see if you get the same deal.  I reckon not so much, and you can ask Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby among many others to confirm how this works for the non-favored-insider.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

When It Takes 7 Paragraphs To Get To The Lede . . .

You might just have a little media bias showing.

The Detroit News: Norway officials: Bow-and-arrow attack appears act of terror

It take 7 paragraphs into the story to get to the point that the killer was a Muslim and the mass murder was a probable act of terrorism, and  8 paragraphs to get to the point that he was known by the Norwegian police to be "radicalized", you may be trying to hide something.

Especially so when you get a dig at "right-wing domestic extremist" in the fourth paragraph.

Interestingly, an Islamist with a bow and arrow was able to simply walk around downtown Koningsberg and kill five people with alack of interference while doing so.

No calls so far for banning bows and arrows - yet.

Your Designers Were So Preoccupied With Whether They Could, They Didn’t Stop To Think If They Should

Designers at Ghost Robotics and Sword Defense Systems worked together to combine an autonomous robotic security dog with an automated sniper rifle system.

Ghost Robotics and the Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle

What could possibly go wrong?

 


 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

More Than About Time And Still Rather Late

The Biden Administration will finally allow vaccinated Canadians to travel by land into the US.

Starting sometime in early November.

The Detroit News: U.S. will open land border with Canada, Mexico to vaccinated foreign travelers in early November

The revised policy comes after months of pressure from lawmakers, local officials and separated families on both sides of the border left frustrated by the seemingly never-ending border closure. Canada reopened its border to vaccinated U.S. travelers over two months ago.

More than about damn time, and why wait until sometime in early November?  More bureaucratic inertia, or just standard Biden-administration incompetence?

It was ridiculous not to open the land border in August especially as this administration has permitted if not outright welcomed millions of untested and Covid-positive illegals flooding in over our southern border.

The plan, overdue as it is,  sensibly only requires proof of vaccination and not a Covid PCR test within 72 hours of travel - at least not yet in its current iteration.

It would be nice if Canada adopts that policy as well as it would make travel a  lot more convenient.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Seattle Shopkeepers Petition For City Funds For Security

KIRO 7 News: Grants to help fund private security? Fed up Seattle businesses ask for help

Businesses in Seattle say the need to hire security officers to prevent crime has become so dire, they’re now asking the city for grants to help cover some of those costs.

If only Seattle had some kind of department, some kind of city force in existence that was supported by the City for the promotion of law and order and stopping crime.

If only.

Flying IFR - Lesson 31 - Some Bouncy Approaches

Quite the windy day today.  Gusts from 13-20 from 210 at Pontiac and once we were up learned there was reported turbulence and wind shear at Flint.

The reports were correct.

Rather bumpy in the Flint area and gusts of winds shifitng around to make life interesting.  Nice low broken ceiling as well, so actual instrument time was the order of the day.

I did the ILS 27 full procedure first, starting form the procedure turn.  Even with the winds I did it rather well and had the needles locked in nicely for a great final approach.  Then I went missed and did the published miss and hold. It again was not the best hold ever but I may have figured out some of the issues.  We will see next time.

Then on to the VOR 18 circle to 27 approach and that went very well with a good circle and a miss.

Then back to Pontiac.  Detroit Approach had me climb to 5,000 for traffic where we caught a nice tailwind pushing us to 130 knots and speeding ahead of another DCT aircraft, at 3,000 so we got to go first for the RNAV 27L circle to 27R.

Yes, now 27L is again out of service for more painting and the airport place is still a mess with taxiways being renamed.  It'll be great once its done, but it's not done yet. Apparently they're gong to flip back to using 27L and not 27R yet again.  Helluva gusty crosswind on landing, so I slipped it in to end the lesson.

Interestingly enough, even though it was pretty bouncy, by focusing solely on the instruments it made the bounces more palatable

Apparently I did pretty good and improved on holding course and altitude and catching things earlier.  So I'm getting closer to being done.

That's 1.8, 3 approaches, 2 holds, .5 actual instrument, 1.0 simulated instrument and a good landing.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sunday Match Day

After taking Piper out at 6am today, I headed to Livingston for their USPSA match at 9.  Caffeine is my friend.

The day began with rain so between that and the ammo shortage, it made for a light turnout.

There were 6 shooters in my squad as opposed to normally 10.  All good people with good senses of humor and no one took themselves too seriously. We all had a fun and enjoyable time shooting the match.  With 6 people it moved along pretty quickly, but took awhile to paste between shooters as three people - the shooter, the RO, and the scorekeeper were all busy recording the score, but we made it work.

I had a good match, no missed targets.  Did hit one target twice as it showed up in two arrays to make sure I didn't miss any, which cost some time but not too bad.  Again mainly Alphas with a few charlies.  No deltas or mikes which was great.

Scores are not up yet so not sure how I did overall, but I'm happy with my performance.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Expect Biden To Forgive Student Loans

Why?  Because I just paid mine off.

If he does make some blanket forgiveness now, I'm going to be all sorts of annoyed.

It is nice to finally have them done. 

But, we'll be throwing that monthly payment into the kids' college funds so no change to the monthly budget.

This has advantages and disadvantages.

On the one had, it is saving for, and paying for college, so they should theoretically have less debt at the end of it and we're helping pay for their education.

On the other hand, saving for college makes you less eligible for financial aid and actually increases your expected family contribution for college, which increases the cost of going to college.  This means you will be paying more and potentially incur more student debt than if you had gone off and spent the money on frivolities instead of saving.

The higher education system's cost and payment system is almost as opaque and broken as our medical system's, mainly due to the same problem of government intervention in both.   The sticker price in both cases isn't really the sticker price.

For example, and its not quite as straightforward as this, but if your child works before going to college and earns say $6,000 and saves it rather than spending it all before applying, then $3,000 of that becomes part of the EFC raising the cost each year that she's expected to pay by that $3,000.  This is because many if not most universities tend to reduce their tuition and/or cover the cost that exists beyond the EFC amount. So, if she hadn't worked she would not have been expected to provide that and her cost would go down.   Lots of other assets and income from parents get counted as well and its rather hard to tell where you stand and how much college may actually cost.

There's lots of bad incentives against savings in the educational financing system.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 30 - An Interesting Diversion

Today the weather was a little iffy. Kevin and I met prior to the pre-flight and went over it.

Low clouds, rain, so yep, good IFR flying weather.

So we decided to give it a go and filed an IFR flight plan to Flint and back to Pontiac.

Got N5337F preflighted, started it up, and found out the turn coordinator was inop, so not legal to fly in IFR.

Switched to N1869H and we were off.

Right into the soup with clouds and rain.

Broke out at 3,000 feet between two layers.


 

Very pretty while it lasted, which wasn't long.

We then hit more clouds on the way to Flint.

First I did the ILS 9 Approach at Flint and did it pretty well.  Still stumbled a bit with the hold entry but I'm starting to figure it out. 

Flew the ILS 9 Approach just great.  Then broke out of the clouds at minimums and then went missed and back up into the soup.

The I did the VOR 18 circle to 9 and it also went really well and I had a great circle to land approach.

Then back to Pontiac, and this is where the tale begins.

Through solid IFR headed back to do the RNAV 9 approach at Pontian. I had started the approach when Detroit Approach announced Pontiac had just issued a special weather report with a thunderstorm and heavy precip right over the field.

No Bueno.

So we diverted back to Flint  (it was listed in our flight plan already as our alternate) and I did a beautiful ILS 9 approach and landing, perfectly centered and lined up the whole way,  breaking out right around minimums to see the runway right where it was supposed to be and an easy landing.

My first real IFR diversion.

We then went to the Avflight FBO at Flint, got fuel, had some coffee, and waited out the weather for awhile.  Great FBO with very good complimentary coffee. Downside is I kinda missed lunch and had to reschedule some afternoon stuff.

Once the thunderstorms passed through, it was still IFR and rain but safe to travel so we headed back to Pontiac.

Came back to Pontiac through some decent precipitation, with a bit of lightning off in the distance.  A superb RNAV 9 approach like it was on rails and a great smooth landing and done.  Rolled to the end of the runway and headed back to finish the lesson.

It was a much longer lesson than I had anticipated.


That's 2.3 with 4 approaches, 2 holds,1.5 actual IFR and .5 simulated instrument and a nice landing for the flight out.

That's .6 with 1 approach, .2 actual IFR. .2 Simulated and a really nice landing for the flight back.

Total for the day:  2.9, 5 approaches, 2 holds, 1.7 actual, .7 simulated, and two nice landings.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Not Flying - Simulator Fun And Follies

Simulators suck.  Way over sensitive,  instruments, switches and other stuff doesn't match that which is on the planes, and yes that sucks.

The only thing good about them is they cost less than the plane costs, by a lot.

Today, as you may have guessed, was not a good non-flying day.

Yep, I was all over the place, couldn't get used to the overly-sensitive and touchy controls after flying the planes all this time. As soon as I get it under control it doth go off yet again.

Oh, and my holds suck.  I simply do not get holds.  I get the theory, I can tell you which entry to fly to enter them - (Direct, Parallel or Teardrop)  except interestingly enough, when I'm on the reciprocal/same course for the hold - then the theory and system for knowing the right entry explodes, does not work, is as nothing. Crap.

Of, course today's hold was on that exact situation, flying a course of 097 degrees towards the fix to get back to the fix in a hold via the 097 radial (277 degree course).  Theory does not work and brain is now fried.   Not happy making.

Then the issue is of how exactly to actually fly the entries is a major pain, typically 45 degrees or 30 degrees to intercept the return course but how exactly to do it exactly is a major PITA. 

We could just follow the GPS guidance or use the hold advisor from Foreflight but that's not allowed.

Did I mention I now really hate holds? 

Yep, I really need to figure this crap out.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Tone Deaf, Much?

Someone over at ATF has just got to be trolling Facebook to add people to their extremist watch list:


 Either that or their social media person has no sense of irony nor memory of the agency's history when it comes to fire.

How Do I Already Know That I'm Flying A Simulator Tomorrow?

With a TFR like this set for tomorrow due to Joe Biden's visit to Howell to try and promote his flailing and failing spendageddon bills, it's easy to tell:

That's a pretty big TFR during my scheduled flight training time.  It specifically prohibits flight training and practice approaches in the area, including both Pontiac and Flint.

Biden would likely be better off staying in DC to pressure his fellow Democrats in Congress, but he hasn't been doing too well with that, so a jaunt to Howell to visit the Operating Engineers Union for some ice cream may be just what the doctor ordered.

Decline Is A Choice

An awful lot of the convenience and benefits of living in modern western civilization is predicated on having cheap, reliable, energy.

A lack of cheap energy can result in a loss of jobs, as factories decided to go where electricity is available at better rates, as is the case with Ford's decision not to build its new plants in Michigan:

 The Detroit News: Whitmer: Michigan lacked 'real opportunity' to compete for Ford plants

Perhaps if our energy policy at the state level wasn't hell bent on reliance on unreliable renewables and shutting down reliable energy sources, we might have had that opportunity dear governor.  The demonstrated inability of our state power grid to weather storms this summer likely didn't help either.  That's 11,000 jobs going elsewhere. 

Among the reasons stated for this decision: 

Michigan's electricity prices are one factor that puts the state at a disadvantage for such projects. In July, the average industrial price of electricity per kilowatt-hour in Michigan was 8 cents compared with the national average of 7.53 cents, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Tennessee's price was 5.85 cents, Kentucky's was 6.06 cents and nearby Ohio's was 6.63 cents.

Those rates are caused by deliberate choices made at the state level to make energy more expensive here than elsewhere. such as shutting down our state's coal and nuclear plants and not building more, while overly subsidizing wind and solar in our cloudy state

The environmental movement along with its fellow travelers is hell-bent on  reducing the West's competitive advantages and standard of living, purportedly in the name of stopping climate change.  A lot of Europeans may either pay sky-high energy prices if available or may well freeze to death this winter in pursuit of that quixotic goal.

Forbes: Winter Is Coming: Can Energy Catastrophe Be Averted?

Why a catastrophe?  The switch away from reliable baseline power from coal and nuclear to unreliable wind and solar has put them in quite a pickle, with supply unable to meet the demand, and the Biden Administration and fellow Democrats at the national and state level wish to follow suit with a similar policy which will lead to the same results.

The energy crisis in Western Europe this summer has been brought on by premature retirements of hundreds of coal and natural gas power plants in favor of massive over-reliance on wind power and, to a lesser extent, solar. Ironically, this crisis is taking place just as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats attempt to ram through their massive $3.5 “budget reconciliation” bill that is in large part designed to recreate the European model in the United States.

Decline in our quality of life and economies is a choice being deliberately made by our "leaders" today.  Of course, they wont take responsibility for the consequences of these choice.  They also won't suffer from such shortages and can afford increased costs - the average American or European, not so much.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

So, Who Ya Gonna Believe? The Reporter Or Your Lyin' Ears?

So the reporter claims the crowd is chanting "Let's Go Brandon".

No, that is clearly not what the crowd is chanting. 

Nor would it make sense for them to be chanting "Let's Go Brandon" at that point.

Good attempt at covering for Biden and his lack of popularity though.

Given that it's spread throughout multiple University sportsball games of various types, and even at the Ryder Cup, the #FJB movement has certainly got some momentum behind it.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

It's A Good Thing Women Can't Carry At The University of Michigan

Otherwise, they could be in a position to effectively stop threats like these from occurring should they actually arise: 

The Detroit News: FBI identifies person believed to be responsible for shooting threat against UM women

The FBI on Saturday identified and interviewed a person suspected of posting an anonymous online threat against women at the University of Michigan, claiming there would be a shooting Monday on the Ann Arbor campus.

Of course, while the article claims the person has been identified by the FBI, the article fails to reveal that identification.  Curious, that.

Yes, the title of this post is sarcasm and women along with males should darn well be able to carry a firearm to protect themselves at the University of Michigan, but right now they legally cannot.

Cleaning Day

Had both an enjoyable and a not-so-enjoyable cleaning experience today.

The enjoyable cleaning experience was my Flying Club's Wash n' Wax where we cleaned both planes and made them shine, not to mention vacuumed the interiors.  We then held a meeting of members and discussed the state of the club and some future plans.  The club is in good financial shape with reserves for the engines and the engines on both planes are running strong, even as the Archer is getting close to its TBO time.  So far oil analysis and compressions are excellent but we've got enough to cover a full factory overhaul just in case.

Some members want to overhaul the Dakota's interior, so we will see what the cost of that may be.

I was asked to run for a Board of Directors slot, so I am doing so and we'll see what happens.  

Lots of fun and good to be around airplanes and a good bunch of people.

Then the not-so-enjoyable experience:  

Piper went to the vet yesterday and got checked out.  Turns out she's growing properly but running a tad thin so we're upping her food amount, but she was otherwise great.  She also then got the appropriate shot for her age.

It turns out dogs can have reactions to vaccines. Did not know that. Piper certainly did.

The reaction in this case is explosive projectile poop-age.

9 times overnight and this morning, 5 of which were examples of biological warfare indoors.

How something so small can have that much poop inside is a mystery.

Cleaning that up was no fun. 

So, she went back to the vet today and got some medication to help with that reaction and she's fine and it seems to be settling down but still not back to normal yet.  Keeping her off the carpet anyways for now until she's back to normal.

It's always got to be something.

Friday, October 01, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 29 - Checkride Prep And Partial Panel Approaches

Today was a simulated checkride flying day.

Up to Flint for the ILS 27 full procedure, followed by a missed, then to the VOR 36 with a circle to land on 27.

Both went really well and i'd say the circle was my best yet.

Then on to an RNAV approach for 27 which went great.

Back to Pontiac and we did partial panel localizer back course 27L approached. 

Partial panel before even getting on the approach so being vectored without a heading indicator and using the compass which sucks. 

With only VOR Receiver 2 working I had reverse-sensing and also had to flip its frequency from the localizer to the Salem VOR to intercept the approach fix.  Kinda busy but not a bad approach.

Then went missed and did it yet again partial panel and then landed.

Some of my best approaches and overall feeling pretty decent, but the partial panel still needs some work, and I need to tighten up a few things, but I improved from last Friday so that's a good thing.

That's 1.9 with 1.6 simulated instrument, 5 approached, a hold and a decent landing.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

The CDC Should Have Learned By Now To Stay In Its Own Lane

But they have not.

Remember when the CDC decided to have mission creep and pontificate and weigh in on the social side of things, producing studies on bullying and gun control (aside from funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, natch) leaving it woefully inept when it came to deal with its core function - disease control - with the coronavirus pandemic?

Good times.

Well, those times are back.

After all nice sounding platitudes and policy making for social issues real or imagined is easy, dealing with viruses is rather hard. 

Red State: The CDC Is Coming for Your Guns

Yes, the CDC under the Biden Administration is again trying to paint gun control as a public health matter and an epidemic that would call for emergency health powers in response.   

Guns are not a disease nor a virus. While it is impossible for the CDC to not be political, it's not too much to ask that they stick to their core function - disease control - at least until they can perform that core function competently -   before branching out into other Democrat policy preferences outside of the disease arena.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Piper Says: Choose The Life You Want

Piper apparently likes Tash's taste in books, and she's working on living her best life


Always good to have positive books about increasing happiness for consumption around here.

Or is it that she likes the taste of Tash's books?

Yet Another Detroit Corruption Conviction

The Detroit News: André Spivey resigns from Detroit City Council after pleading guilty to bribery

Note that you do have to play "Name That Party" as the article curiously omits to mention his political affiliation. Then again, its Detroit, and it's all about the D in Detroit.

City Council member Spivey is now the second council member to be convicted of a corruption felony this year after getting over $35,000 in bribes.   

Since there is still a few months left in the year, there's a strong possibility for more council members to cop to their crimes.

Apparently his serving as a minister will now be put on hold considering his felony conviction,  he'll just have to wait until after his release to go back to the ministry like Kwame

He lives in the district's historic East English Village neighborhood and serves as an executive minister at Oak Grove AME Church.

Spivey will no longer be allowed to practice as a minister and his felony charge will "prevent him from working," Hall told The News Wednesday.

 On top of that his graduation from law school is now postponed.

Spivey told Roberts he hasn't faced any prior crimes. He noted that he is a Central Michigan University graduate and is a law student at Wayne State University, expected to graduate in May 2023.

Good luck passing the Bar's character and fitness review when you have a felony corruption conviction on your record.  Then again, he's one of the special connected people, so he may just get a pass if he claims he's turned his life around.

Note that he's just joining a long line of convicted felons in this rather hotbed of corruption in the Detroit area:

In the last 12 years, more than 110 labor leaders, politicians, police officers and bureaucrats have been charged with federal corruption-related crimes locally, according to a database built by The Detroit News.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 28 - IFR Long Cross Country

Last Tuesday the weather had thunderstorms and a cold front along the route scrapped that.

Today was much better with a mix of VFR and IFR along the way but no thunderstorms.

I got to the airport and filed the flight plan for Pontiac to Muskegon then from Muskegon to Grand Rapids and then back to Pontiac. We were flying N3553M, the Archer with the Garmin GFC 500 autopilot.

As we were doing the run up Pontiac went IFR.

No problem, were going IFR.

Took off from Runway 9R and climbed through the layer, first to 4000 and then almost immediately Detroit Approach cleared us to climb to 6,000.

Detroit Approach then had us head to Muskegon as I had filed it, via the Miggy2 departure procedure.

It was just beautiful above the layer.


 

Smooth as silk at 6,000. After flying for a bit we worked on autopilot usage and the GFC 500 is a nice unit.

The cloud layer continued to thin out to practically nothing as we flew westward.

Made it to Muskegon.  We were going to request an ASR approach but they stated they don't have that capability anymore, even as the charts still say they do.  So we switched to an ILS Runway 32 circle to Runway 6.

We used the autopilot to descend and fly the approach down to circling minimums and it worked very nicely.  Hand flew from circling and did a very nice circle and landing on Runway 6.  Getting a lot better at those.

Then got clearance for our next leg and headed to Grand Rapids.

For Grand Rapids we used the GFC 500's Flight Director rather than the autopilot and its a nice way to fly - just line up the chevrons and you're all set. Did the RNAV Runway 8 approach at Grand Rapids and did the flight director all the way to the M AP where I took over and hand flew it to another nice landing.

Then got a new clearance and back up again and headed back to Pontiac at 5,000 feet, again using the Flight Director.  By the time we got there the layer had fully burned off.  Did the Localizer Runway 9R and the Flight Director really helps with getting down nicely.  I then did a very nice landing.

It was an excellent experience using the GFC 500. It's an incredibly powerful tool - assuming you program and use it correctly.    A great long IFR cross country.

All that's left is a whole lot of check-ride prep which means approaches and partial panel work until I puke and then more approaches and partial panelwork.

That's 3.5, .1 of actual instrument time, 2.8 of simulated instrument, 3 approaches and 3 landings.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Your Latest Detroit Corruption News

Democrats and unions have always had an easy relationship with corruption.

While there is lots of news in Detroit now regarding corrupt city council members.

Detroit City Council isn't  the only location for Detroit corruption. 

The Detroit News: Detroit fire union official spent $220K in union funds on trips, booze, furniture, feds say

Unfortunately, city union officials often let power go to their heads and work for their own benefit rather than for their members.  Of course they often work with the corrupt higher-up city officials as well with one hand washing the other, all at the taxpayer's expense.

Some take it a tad too far and so blatantly enrich themselves in such an over-the-top manner that they get made an example of.

A Detroit Fire Department union official embezzled more than $220,000 and spent the money on international cruises, flights, furniture, booze and more during a years-long crime spree, according to unsealed federal court records. 
Verdine Day, 62, of Eastpointe, the retired treasurer of Detroit Fire Fighters Association, has been charged with bank and wire fraud and accused of orchestrating the scheme before retiring in 2019.

The union apparently had no system of checks and balances and let the treasurer write the checks to herself among other recipients with no controls.  This makes for a far too easy path of corruption and embezzlement.  This lack of oversight and control has to be on purpose, as otherwise it might be too hard to use those funds for less than appropriate purposes.

In Other Weird News Of The Day

Allegedly, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are double-teaming Jodi Foster and banging her like a screen door in a hurricane.

The Detroit News: John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, to be freed from oversight

The Mask Karens Have Got Themselves A Little List

A bit of a brouhaha is brewing up in our school district due to our local crop of Karens.

It seems a Karen decided to compile a list of parents with wrongthink based on scouring their social media about their bad, wrong-thinking, negative opinions on masking kids and mask mandates in school.  

Apparently Karen allegedly did this to prevent her kids from playing with the kids of these wrong-thinkers.  Karen has a lot of time on her hands to socur the web and compile a list, it seems.

She then gave it the charming name of: "Anti Mask Families in District.”

Of course, Karen didn't keep the list to herself, but then shared the list with other right-thinking Karens, and the list became public.

Click On Detroit: List of families against mask use in Bloomfield Hills schools causes fear, outrage

This caused those parents who dared offer the unpopular but scientifically viable opinion on social media that masking kids in school is not a great idea to justifiably get quite worried.

Then it gets to be even more fun: Click on Detroit: Hundreds gather in support of Bloomfield Hills School Board president ousted due to mask controversy

The very popular school board President was removed from his position as President of the Board by the Board, because he got pulled into this matter after those on the list contacted him concerned that this would lead to bullying of their kids and other negative consequences as the list was quickly going viral in a Karen-fest of virtuosity. 

So he investigated and asked the school superintendent and the police to see what was going on and if threats beyond the publishing of the list were being made.  The other school board members, many of them complete mask-holes, decided his actions were against protocol and removed him as president.

Let's put it this way -  the best study on masks and Covid so far is that cloth/surgical masks - which are the masks mandated in the district - are all of  10% effective at filtering exhaled covid-virus particles, with K95/N96 (which are not mandated)  filtering about 50% of exhaled particles. Either way, that's a lot of particles getting through.

SciTechDaily: Most Common COVID Masks Only Filter About 10% of Exhaled Aerosol Droplets

So the mask mandates in schools aren't exactly super effective, and it should certainly be acceptable to question requiring them to be worn in schools especially given the massive uptick in mental health issues among kids during this pandemic, lockdown, and mask mandate period.

Lots of studies are also showing that kids and schools are not a major vector of Covid spread  - Washington Post: Schools are not spreading covid-19. This new data makes the case.  and an analysis of the CDC's latest study shows mask mandates in schools are rather statistically insignificant.

Making lists of people for "wrongthink" and daring to have unpopular opinions tends to lead to some very bad things.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sunday Match Day

Headed to Romulus this morning for a USPSA match. WCRHC always puts on a challenging match, and this was no exception.

Got caught in traffic on the way there as they had closed 96 and 275 was down to a couple lanes and was a mess.

Managed to get through the mess and got there ok, checked in, paid the match fee and got ready.

First stage was a difficult retreat stage.  You started up range with the gun on a table and shot the 4 targets arrayed in front of you and then there were two sets of angled arrays behind you of two targets on each side per array and then a final array behind you of a single target on each side of the range right at the rear fault line. Breaking the 180 was a concern.

I had a plan, did the plan and it went pretty well.

Next stage was pretty challenging with quite a few targets only visible from very fine angles. Had the plan and at port 2 planned to shoot two targets.  Shot two targets.  Wrong targets.

I had moved in just a bit too much and missed the two in the array I should have shot and shot other targets twice so they had 4 alphas each but that doesn't help.  As a result learning occurred.

I did mess up another stage by missing a target in a similar-ish fashion which didn't help any.  One of the more experienced shooters said it happens and that was a very challenging stage, and otherwise I was doing quite well.

Other stages did go quite well.  Still need to improve a lot.

Overall I'm decently accurate but I made these dumb mistakes which cost. Only had one D the whole match, 20 Cs and all the rest of the 175 rounds were As. Still not fast enough.  If I can just stop doing the dumb, I'll be in much better shape, need to figure out why I do that and how to track and ensure I hit the right targets better.

There was a very good bunch of shooters in my squad, also they're a very good bunch of people.   Even messing up shooting during a match is better than not shooting at all.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Two Dogs, One Tug

Unlike the more infamous Internet meme that you really don;t want to search for, this is family friendly.

Up until now, Jett has been ignoring Piper and generally been unhappy with the new addition to the family.  Typically he was growling whenever she approached and didn't want to have much to do with her.

We bought them a tug big enough for the two of them to play with.

They both enjoyed the tug o' war.  Much happy growls from both sides.



Finally they've started  playing together a bit.  Piper will chase Jett until he growls at her, then she'll chase him some more, perhaps nip him a bit, and more growling will ensue and some fun running around then occurs. 


Jett is still not 100% sure about Piper, but he's started warming up to her.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 27 - IFR Approaches Holds Partial Panel And Bumps

So I had Sara as my instructor today.

Sort of a mock Stage III checkride but I'm not Stage III yet.

So we had N6288J.

The sky while finally VFR after the last few days of constant rain, decided to be decidedly not smooth for my flight.

Lots of bounciness around, including an un-commanded 60 degree bank to the left which was a bit sporty.  Also we hit a bump in the air so hard we both left our seats but managed not to bash our heads on the roof - yay seat belts!

First we went to Flint where I did the ILS 27 approach with full procedure and it went ok, then did the published miss and hold and boy did I bugger that up.  Got way behind and it did not go well.  Need to work on my hold entries - I get the theory just fine, its figuring out how to do it in practice that is causing me issues.  Need more hold work.

Then on to the VOR 18 Circle to 27.  Went rather well, but started off with some confusion as first they vectored us a bit, then they had us start, then Great Lakes Approach decided to vector us some more, then said direct to the first waypoint so the start was a bit of a mess.  Once I got that sorted out it worked well, and learned a bit on circle to land procedure as well to improve that - in short, you can descend below the circle to land minimums when you're on base for the landing runway and shouldn't do so before.   Went missed but I would have had the runway made.

Then back to Pontiac for the Localizer  Back Course 27.  Sara was very helpful by turning off the Attitude and Heading indicators so I go to use the compass and the other instruments to get back, get vectored to the approach and do the approach.

The compass sucks for flying headings by the way, especially when the world is bouncing around.  It tends to bounce around with it and its hard to know if you're on course or not.

Also lots of fun holding your altitude, pitch, and bank with no Attitude Indicator.

But I did it well enough anyways, and remembered and announced the backup VOR would be reverse sensing the back course (you have to fly opposite the needle to get on course rather than flying to the needle) and flew it in nicely to final if a bit high and to a nice smooth landing.

A few other minor things to polish up on, but overall a good if bumpy as heck flight.

That's 1.7, 1.4 simulated IFR, 3 approaches and 2 holds and a whole lot of bumps.

The Detroit Reparations Push Silliness Continues

The Detroit News:  Advocates for reparative policy argue 'we can do better' at Mackinac Island conference

The panel talk centered on policy decisions and discriminatory practices that contribute to the racial wealth gap and comes ahead of a Nov. 2 ballot question in Detroit over whether a reparations committee should be formed to study ways to boost opportunities for Black residents. 
Reparations is just another word for money transfer to Democrat favored constituencies.   Typically with such transfer enriching Democrat bureaucrats and consultants in the process.

Now Detroit, if I may remind you, is a city that has been run by Democrats, and specifically Black Democrats for the majority if not the totality of the lifespan of most of its current residents, and with said residents having suffered under the corruption and misrule of said Black Democrats,  not from slavery.  Now apparently said City should pay slavery reparations to its Black residents - said residents who have never been slaves in their entire lives.

Does that make sense to anyone?  At all.

Basically it is a quest for free stuff:

Hamilton said during the Tuesday talk that society will never move forward from racism until reparations are addressed. 

"If we want to have solutions, we need to honestly grapple with reparations," said Hamilton, adding that alone "is not enough."

"...we need a government that promotes anti-racist economic rights that ensures that people have a birthright to capital, quality housing, quality health care," he said.

There is no such thing as a "birthright to capital, quality housing, quality health care"  you earn each of those things by virtue of work, savings, and effort.  It's not given to you.  Assuming such a birthright is absolute magical thinking and part of the problem here.  Also, assuming Blacks cannot achieve any of these things on their own is also part of the problem here.

But the article and the statements made by these race hustlers get even funnier:

Note the subtle anti-white racism among the "anti-racists":

Goss added she finds it "disturbing" only six of Detroit's 11 middle-class neighborhoods grew in the most recent U.S. Census and "only because upper, middle-class white families moved in." 

. . .

For the rest of the city, opportunities for middle-class families where housing can be stabilized and where small businesses can grow are needed "without that gentrifying factor," she said.

Yep, curse those gentrifying white people and their (checks notes) increasing of property valuers and increased small business presence in a city rather bereft of them.

On top of that, the hilarity that one can say something with a straight face and then argue for the exact opposite is rather funny.

[Darrick Hamilton, professor of economics and founding director of Institute on Race and Police Economy] Hamilton said change will begin when "somebody's race or ethnicity no longer has transactional value."

Wait a sec, transactional value of someone's race is exactly what he himself is advocating for: Blacks, by virtue of Being Black should get these "reparations"  - If that's not race having "transactional value" one wonders what is so in his book.

The next funny bit in the article:

Perry has conducted research on housing and authored the book "Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities."

Through his work, he found homes in Black neighborhoods are underpriced by 23%, about $48,000 per home, "cumulatively, that's about $156 billion in lost equity," he said.

Wait just a minute here.  

Let's note that the City of Detroit which again is majority Black and at the time was completely Black-run, has been properly castigated for overvaluing Black (and everyone else's homes) to the tune of over $600 million in overvaluation - causing residents to pay higher and in some cases ridiculous taxes on their properties - leading to foreclosure of (you guessed it) Black-owned properties due to non-payment of the improperly high taxes.

You really can't have it both ways, unless you're a Democrat or progressive "thinker" apparently.

Having the City of Detroit vote to pay reparations to its residents is a joke.  Having the State of Michigan which was not a slave state pay any reparations is a joke when the last slave here was before the civil war is similarly a joke.  Pushing reparations for people who have never been slaves is a joke. But, it's apparently a very profitable and politically popular joke to Democrat race hustlers and consultants and for their constituents looking for money for nothing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Is Anyone Actually Surprised By This?

The Detroit News: Taliban name deputy ministers, double down on all-male team

If anyone truly believed, moral preening statements of the "international community" to the contrary, that the Taliban were somehow going to step away from fundamentalist Islam and include women in their government, well, there's this really nice bridge connecting the two peninsulae of Michigan that I have for sale to you, at a great price.

The Taliban expanded their interim Cabinet by naming more ministers and deputies on Tuesday, but failed to appoint any women, doubling down on a hard-line course despite the international outcry that followed their initial presentation of an all-male government lineup earlier this month.

The Taliban really couldn't care less about an international outcry, and the limits of soft power have now been demonstrated and yes, found wanting. 

Yep, the Taliban are having their very own, and very real war on women, protests of the progressive international community notwithstanding.

Flying IFR - Lesson 26 - Solid IFR Approaches

Today was going to be the long IFR cross country.  Route was going to be Pontiac to Muskegon via the MIGGY2.GETCH transition then to Grand Rapids airport and back to Pontiac via the RRALF3 arrival.

We were going to fly N3553M which has a GFC 500 autopilot so we were going to check out the autopilot functionality.

With a cold front rolling in from the west it was not to be.

So might as well get up and do some actual IFR approaches.

Winds and MVFR conditions prevailed at Pontiac and as we got up to 3,000 feet we were in the clouds and some precip and bumps. After a bit got into some smooth air in complete IMC.

On to Flint in the clouds, did the RNAV 27 approach into Flint and broke out just above minimums to see the runway right where it was supposed to be.

Went missed, flying runway heading and up into being vectored for the ILS 27 at Flint.

Did that approach, then the clouds lifted a bit as we went missed, and went to do the VOR 18 Approach and circled to 27.

Did the chop and drop and did a rather too-fast base on the circle to 27 but brought it around and got lined up and did a low approach over the runway before going missed and then climbing out.  Need to work on that.

Then off to Pontiac and the localizer back course to 27L.  Used the autopilot to fly back to Pontiac, then for the localizer approach.  Overall it did good on the altitude and initial headings but couldn't grab the localizer back course so hand-flew it in and did a good landing with a gusty crosswind.

Overall good approaches, completely IFR conditions throughout with some bumps but found smooth air for most of it.

That's 1.9, with 1.6 actual, and 4 approaches in IFR conditions.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Biden's Befuddling Border BS

The Biden administration, while it is letting in hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Mexico - without them being vaccinated nor even tested for Covid, and with no mandate for illegals to be vaccinated or even tested, persists in keeping the Canadian land border closed.

The Detroit Free Press: U.S. travel restrictions at Canadian border extended another month, through Oct. 21

This is idiocy of the highest order. 

You can fly in from Canada, and now pursuant to the new policy, international travelers can fly in from elsewhere to the USA, but you can't drive in from Canada, because, well, no valid reasons given.

Canada reopened its border to vaccinated U.S. travelers over a month ago on Aug. 9, but the U.S. has not reciprocated. Canadians who wish to enter the U.S. for non-essential travel such as tourism may do so only by flying in.

This is nonsense on stilts, and likely to backfire as the Canadians move to match this stupid and unreasoning policy.  It also harms all the border states' economies due to the lack of vehicular travel, even of vaccinated visitors.

So unvaccinated and untested illegals are still crossing the land border into the US from Mexico on a regular basis and being allowed to remain, but vaccinated and tested Canadians cannot cross a land border.

The US/Canadian border should have been reopened to vaccinated travelers months ago.  Continuing to have it closed is beyond moronic.

When Good Fish Go Bad

Sleeping with the fishes has a new meaning as the fish in Lake Orion really seem to get around.

The Detroit Free Press: Hundreds of fish in Lake Orion died from herpes, Michigan DNR says

Probably an education program for the fish may help. 

I'd suggest catchy phrases with a hook like:

"Wrap your fish stick".

"You're swimming with every fish your fishmate ever had".

"Practice Safe Swim".

Sunday, September 19, 2021

How About "None of Your Business"?

One other interesting anecdote from the Covid testing experience.

At the facility we went to, you have to register as a patient, as one often does.

Instead of simply signing up and giving your drivers license and health insurance to take the test you have to give a pretty full health history.

 Note - Photo ID is required for Covid testing - interesting isn't it?

Now, at least it was electronic history so you didn't have to write things out in quadruplicate as at other medical offices.

But it was a very invasive medical history that was requested, especially for simply getting a Covid test.  Quite a few question asked had nothing to do with your medical condition at all, especially this one:

How is having guns present in your home a part of your medical history, exactly?

Sadly, there is no "None of your business" or "Stay in your lane, Doc"option to select. So, I simply skipped over it, as I did with most of the intrusive and non-applicable questions, which meant the medical history was rather quick to do.  But, as usual one spends more time doing paperwork than actually having the test itself performed.

The progressives in the medical establishment  are certainly not giving up their false and inapt gun control as health/epidemic model anytime soon.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Schrödinger's Virus Tests

Thursday Tash had a PCR test in preparation to go to Canada and visit her mom and help out since her mom is still not feeling well and the shingles are taking a toll.

You must have a negative test within 72-hours to visit Canada even if vaccinated.

So yesterday evening we get the results:  Positive. 

Note there have been no symptoms of any kind whatsoever.

This throws things into a tizzy as there is no online alternative for the kids if they can't go to school, and if you are positive or exposed to someone positive you can't go.  Considering it is Abby's senior year losing 14 days of school would be unrecoverable come exam time. Leah similarly would have major schooling issues.  School did not think this policy through, nor do any risk analysis.

So the kids doth freak out.

So we all rush to go to get tested.

We do both rapid tests and PCR to be sure.

All Rapid tests including Tash's, and this type has a very high accuracy rate on a par with the PCR, come back negative.

We get Tash's PCR test from yesterday right now:  Negative. 

Everyone else: Negative.

So, like Schrödinger's cat is she both positive and negative at this point?

We will go with best two out of three and a finding of negative, and the first test likely was defective or inaccurate.

Messed up her plans completely for Canada this weekend though, and her mom could have used some help.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 25 - Approach And A First Bravo Entry

Lesson 25 started had a bit of a false start.

On the way to pre-flight N5337F the owner of the flight school asked me if we could monitor the engine analyzer and ammeter and see if the battery was charging.

In short, after a pre-flight and trying to start the engine, it was very apparent the battery was, in fact, not charging.  It would not start the engine.

So we switched to N2885B, a Piper Warrior and headed out to do some more approach work to Ann Arbor, Troy and Pontiac.

I was with Alec on this one. 

The airspace was busy and heading to Ann Arbor we got vectored off the course to get to the start of the VOR 24 approach and had to  sequence in.  Lots of planes and helicopters practicing around Ann Arbor today including two University of  Michigan medical flight copters.

Did the approach, do need to work on my wind correction and getting down faster, overall did ok but can do better.

Did the published miss and hold and then started heading for Troy.

On the way to Troy I got my first clearance into Bravo airspace.

Due to traffic Detroit Approach had me climb up into the Bravo, and Detroit Approach stated I was clear to enter the airspace. Kinda neat.

At Troy I did the RNAV 9 and circled to 27 to land.  Was a little tight to the runway on the circle and could have gone wider on the downwind, and a little high on final as a result but landed, even though it was a long landing.

Then topok off and headed to Pontiac for the RNAV 27 with a miss.  Then after being cleared for the Localizer Back course 27L, Alec failed both my heading indicator and Attitude Indicator so I was partial panel.

Figured something like that might happen so I already had the backup VOR tuned to the localizer.

I used the backup VOR and compass as a result of the failure and did a very good approach, but again was a fair bit too high, but did a good landing.

I do need more partial panel work and I expect I'm going to get a lot of it.

I do need to watch my altitude as I was certainly off it today and not quick enough on step down descents.  While too high beats too low, just right is much better.  More stuff to improve upon.

That's 2.0, 2 landings, 4 approaches and a hold and 1.4 simulated instrument time.

The Woke Attack On School Safety Continues In Michigan

In the name of racial justice and stopping the  mythical "School-to-Prison-Pipeline", Democrats in the Michigan legislature want to get rid of the "effects" zero-tolerance (a policy ended in 2016 I might mention)  and add "equitable" including racial and other factors to the disciplining of students at school

Michigan Advance: Lawmakers introduce bills to reform school disciplinary process

The Civil Rights Data Collection, which gathered information from over 96,000 public schools in the 2015-16 school year, found that minority students face harsher discipline than white students. Black students made up about 15% of the student body but accounted for 31% of the arrests made.

Considering this is actually lower than the  world outside the school walls where Blacks make up 50% of violent crime while being only 13% of the population, the statistic does not appear unreasonable and likely should have some context - namely what were these students doing that caused them to be expelled?  Indeed, should we cap expulsions to ensure racial equity regardless of actions of the individual?

Some politicians apparently think so.

Geiss noted that Black girls are eight times more likely than white girls to be at risk for school arrests. She highlighted that these bills will help to tackle the school-to-prison pipeline and ensure more justice in school disciplinary actions.

With trauma-informed restorative justice techniques in discipline at the school level, we can disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline and bring about racial justice in the process.” Geiss said at the press conference.

Again, no contextualization as to why they are eight times more likely, nor a ny accusation that whites are not being suspended/expelled for the same actions, merely that Blacks are apparently committing expulsion-able offenses in disproportion to their percentage of the population.

Oh, you see this is about racial justice, not justice for any of the victims of the expelled.  it seems these legislators in the name of racial justice want programs put in place where the students that disrupt and attack other students are kept in school  "Trauma-informed restorative justice techniques"  where the wrongdoer's acts are excused due to their "trauma", and their victim gets to have them stay in school to continue to torment them.  What could go wrong?

We can note both Trayvon Martin and Nicholas Cruz each received Florida's Promise program that let them skate on disciplinary and expulsion-worthy activities to the detriment of other students and society.  

These Michigan Legislators seem to want a similar program here, which will likely sadly lead to similar results.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

How Much Is That Piper In The Window?

Piper is keeping us on our toes.

She likes to get everywhere.  Yesterday, she managed to trap herself inside the shower. Some cute hilarity ensued.


She was released none the worse for wear and still full of energy.

Sadly, she doesn't quite get where to go yet, so as much as she's going outside, she's also going inside, possibly mistaking the carpet for grass.  Much cleaning up ensues.

She has also taken up Jiu Jitsu.  She's in the leg-lock chapter, currently working on toe holds.

The problem is she does the toe holds with her sharp puppy teeth.



Ouch.

She does get people tapping out to it.

Good thing she's cute.