Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day Flight To KMOP

Today I decided to do a nice VFR cross-country flight.  I want to make sure I have more than enough cross-country time for my instrument rating, not to mention I wanted more flying time.

The weather was most promising and turned out nicely as forecast.

So I downloaded a weather brief and headed to the airport and got N8428S ready to go.

I wanted to fly rather precisely and try to interact with ATC as much as possible. I also figured it might be a busy flying day so having flight following helping with traffic wasn't a bad thing.

So, I took off from Pontiac and set course on the GPS for Mt.Pleasant, got on course and then contacted Great Lakes Approach for flight following. I got a squawk code, was told to maintain VFR and set to go on course at 5,500 feet.

The air was nice and smooth.


Then, after a bit I set the autopilot to NAV mode and let George do some of the flying as I need to be comfortable using the autopilot. No hands needed. Ok, I actually hand my hands near or on the controls at all times as one should never completely trust an autopilot.  It take take some of the load off while flying though.

Once I had Mt. Pleasant in sight, flight following was terminated and I then made a nice smooth landing on Runway 27.  No one else was around, but there were a few planes on the tarmac.

A nice Mooney.

An experimental

 The Mt. Pleasant VOR is located on the field and its due to be shut down soon as part of the move towards GPS.

The terminal building at Mt. Pleasant is rather nice.  It has a conference room, a flight planing  room with computers to look up the weather, nice clean washrooms and a comfy lounge.

Sadly the Mt. Pleasant Casino is only opening tomorrow, so it would wait.

After a brief stop, I got in the plane and headed homeward.

After takeoff I called up Great Lakes Approach and got flight following back to Pontiac, including entering Flint's airspace.  I was requested to remain at 3,500 while transiting through, which I did.  Then to Pontiac where I entered the right downwind for Runway 27R and did another very nice landing.

That's 2.2  cross country time and 2 landings.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday Gardening And Smoking Corned Beef Day

Today was an all-outdoors day.

It was weeding the landscape time.  With the rain and sun there had been a  surge of weeds sprouting up and turning practically into weed-trees overnight.

Since we would be outside anyways, might as well smoke something for dinner.

 Since we had a flat of corned beef I was requested to make some smoked corn beef - otherwise known as Pastrami or Montreal Smoked Meat.

First I unpacked the brisket and let it soak in water for two hours changing the water every half hour to make it a tad less salty.

While it was soaking I prepared the smoker.

Hickory wood (found a box of hickory under the Pecan wood box which was great),  locally sourced of course.  I also filled the water bowl with boiling water and started the full chimney of charcoal. 

The brisket was covered in my brisket rub and placed on the grate.



Then the charcoal was added and the smoker closed up to do its thing.

Once the smoker was moving along, I began chopping weeds in the backyard. Many bags full of weeds were removed and the place looks much better now.

After 9 hours in the smoker, the brisket was ready for dinner.

To say it tasted great was an understatement.  The burnt ends tasted like candy. That's 2 for 2 in the Weber smoker so far.

Saturday Range Day

I took Abby to the range yesterday,  It's been quite awhile since she had come with me so it was a nice time together.

She really liked the M&P Compact 22 with the can on it and after a bit of practice did very well with it.

She could hit all three on demand, but occiasionally would rush herself and inevitabley shoot high above the plates, but once she settled down she could knock them all down.  I may even be able to talk her into trying steel challenge someday.

 She also tried the M&P 15-22 and thought it was a bit heavy but then she remembered shooting it awhile back as a kid and then she also got her hits with it too.

She said the Tavor felt too heavy for her but she would hit the paper with it (No plates with the Tavor as that steel is pistol-rated only).

I shot the Glock with the replacement Holosun on it and finished zeroing it.

Then we did a bit of shooting and (slowly) moving - first the rack of thre plates then moving to the other side with another rack of three plates for Abby and three plats and two poppers for me.  Good practice in teaching her how to move with a firearm while controlling the muzzle direction at all times, and she had a lot of fun doing it.

Overall a very nice and easy range trip.

Then we drove back and met up with the rest of the family for lunch and then got a lot of cleaning done around the house which was all good.  hen I headed out to a friend's 40th birthday party and had a good time doing that too. 

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson #5 - Going Actual

Today the weather was solid IFR - rainy. low clouds and winds gusting out of 040.  Normally that would be an easy call of a hard no for my go-no go decision to fly.

"We're going flying", says Kevin.

Yes, my first taste of flying in actual conditions as a licensed pilot.

Kevin had prepared and filed a flight plan, and we went over what we would do this lesson - fly to Flint, do some approaches including an ILS and an RNAV, and then fly back to Pontiac for an instrument landing using the localizer for 9R.

I preflighted N1869H in the hangar as it was raining.  Yes, N1869H again and yes the fargin' left seat keeps losing the detents, but the other plane I was set for was down for maintenance and this one was nearest the door so we went with it. I finally figured out that its two detent positions that it will always lose which include position 1 where I like to sit, so if I sit 3 settings back it will stay, but I feel a bit farther away than normal but it does work.

So it was a good preflight, good IFR preflight check and runup and then we lined up on 9L and we were off getting clearance from Ground and Tower and took off into the soup climbing to 3,000 and expecting 4,000 10 minutes after.

And soup it was.  Solid cloud and rain made for an interesting experience as your instruments are it as there's no point in looking outside - its all grey/white nothingness. Your body does start to lie to you so you have to focus on your instruments and instrument scan and keep trying to be ahead - which I gotta work on but its apparently normal for where I am in the process right now.

It's all instrument focused on getting to the required headings, trying not to overshoot, correcting for wind and  keeping at the altitude you need to be at at all times.  And change frequencies on the radio and ident the VOR you already had dialed in, and communicate with controllers.  Some nice task loading there.

So we contacted Detroit Approach and let them know where we were and they vectored us for the ILS and we then contacted Great Lakes Approach and I did the approach along with a course reversal to get onto the ILS.  Then once we werre established we descend and busted out a bit over minimums and I could see the runway right where it should be which was very cool. I did a low pass over the runway and went missed.  

Then we got vectored for the RNAV approach which went well, but they took us off course a bit to make room for other traffic.  Then following the LPV guidance I again broke out close to minimums right in line with the runway.  Intense, tasks loaded, focussed and a lot of fun.

They asked us to keep our speed up for a Royal Air jet also doing a practice approach and we did an early missed approach to get out of their way and then got handed off to Great Lakes Approach and then Detroit Approach for vectors to head back to Pontiac.

We then did the 9R localizer approach to Pontiac and again like clockwork the runway was right where it needed to be.  We did a sidestep to Runway 9L and I landed.

We did a debrief and looked at the flight tracks we made and went over the approaches and Kevin said I did quite well and am coming along nicely.  He commented that I was really paying attention and caught course deviations quickly but have a bit of a right turning tendency (It's funny how that is the case both politically and flying-wise). Some of that is due to N1689Hs yoke needing to be slightly left to be truly centered. I'll have to see if this occurs in the other planes too.

That was quite the intense flight and a really great intro to truly flying in IFR conditions.

That's 2.1 with 1.5 in Actual IMC, 3 approaches and 1 nice landing.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Gov Half-Whit's Jet Jaunt Story Changes Yet Again

One of the problems with lying is the inability to get your story straight.

Combine layers of lies upon lies and it becomes harder and harder not to dig yourself in even deeper.

It also makes you appear less than credible, as your story keeps changing to cover the consequences of your last lie in the series that you used to spin your tall tale and get out of the fallout from your prior lies.

The Detroit Free Press: Whitmer's campaign will pay for controversial Florida flight

The Detroit News:  Whitmer's Florida flight cost shifted to campaign after FAA concerns

Yep, her last explanation that her non-profit paid for it created all sorts of problems with both the FAA and IRS.  It wasn't legal for her non-profit to "pay" for the March flight -but recall that they only helpfully paid it in May after details of it came to light.  

Now, in the latest round of obfuscations, it's being shifted directly to her campaign fund which likely will be a campaign funds violation.  On the upside for Whitmer, this changes the crime from an IRS violation with the non-profit inappropriately paying for it to a state campaign finance violation .

That changes the enforcement agency back to the state rather than the feds which is most convenient. 

Since she's best buddies with both AG Nessel and Secretary of State Benson, who would be the ones "investigating", you can predict the investigation will be duly done and found nothing occurred, or that at most there will be a minor slap on the wrist rather than a real penalty applied.

This likely still doesn't fix the FAA violation, but that only affects the airplane owner/operator and not Whitmer.

On the upside, we now learn that the 4-day (not 2 as originally claimed after the initial denial) trip included her daughters and allegedly a security detail.  Of course, it doesn't explain how the campaign can now pickup the bill.  After all a  Michigan governor doesn't typically campaign in Florida for re-election, especially as she's stated repeatedly the trip was for person reasons to visit her very sick dad who was "in failing health", and suffering form chronic illness" and had naught to do with her campaign.   Of course, the sick dad excuse has also been shown to be rather dubious as he was been seen in public back in Michigan quite soon after her trip being rather spry.

In short it's likely this was a massively hypocritical spring break trip out of state and she really needs to quit lying about it as she just keeps digging in deeper.

Expect further story changes as the consequences of the latest change come to light.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Of Course Not: Bar Where Gov Half-Whit Violated Her Own Rules Won't Be Fined

To no one's surprise, the powers that be have declined to fine the bar where Gov Whitmer was seen violating her own order limiting seating to 6 persons.

The Detroit Free Press: East Lansing bar where Whitmer violated COVID-19 protocols won't be fined or cited

Not unanticipated, that.

Republican members of the legislature then took the opportunity to introduce legislation to refund fines against businesses that were not so lucky as to have a governor be the one violating the governor's rules, including those rules later ruled unconstitutional by our state supreme court.

The Detroit News: House passes bill granting penalty forgiveness to some businesses fined under COVID rules

It's unlikely Gov Half-Whit will sign such relief, after all, it would apply the same standard - a warning for first time offenses rather than a fine - and it means a loss of revenue and gives relief to those other than her supporters. 

It will be interesting to see how after her own violaitons she justifies vetoing it, which is likely.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Gov Half-Whit Caught (Again) Breaking Her Own Rules

Verily, laws are for the little people, not for one so important as our governor, especially when it's her own rules that she's breaking.

So, what happens when you get caught violating your own Covid-19 restrictions?

Why, you just say oops, and then you drop the rule:

The Detroit News:  Michigan's 6-person restaurant, bar rule rescinded after Whitmer's violation

The epidemic rules released by the state Department of Health and Human Services Monday have dropped requirements that restaurant and bar tables be limited to six people, with each table being six feet apart. 

The governor told the media at a Monday press conference that the determination to eliminate the rule "was made well before the weekend" and prior to her Saturday visit to East Lansing's Landshark.

And if you believe that second paragraph, I have a nice bridge a bit north of here joining two peninsulae that I'd like to sell you. 

Looks like she had a nice time Saturday busting her own rule:

That's 13 people, over twice the number allowed under her 6 person rule that was in force, and enforced against others.

But, we'll have to give the Governor some partial credit here.  

Since she was openly caught violating her own rule on camera, she at least didn't try to brazen it out as she has done over her Florida jaunt,  and so far, she did not say "Who ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?".

On the upside, assuming this is now a precedent, then the more rues she violates, the more these arbitrary and unilaterally set rules will go away, so that's something at least.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Prop Gun

Take the opening scene from Top Gun, but replace the F-14s with a Piper Warrior.

The results?

Simply Awesome.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

New Smoker Run #1

Today was the day to give the new Weber smoker a go.

Pulled pork was on the menu as Tash had bought a 6 pounder.

So I first prepped it last night with some rub and put it in the fridge.


Then I fired up the smoker for the first time with lump charcoal and locally sourced Pecan wood.

 The Weber being larger than the ol' ECB takes more charcoal to get it up to temperature than the Brinkmann, and the water bowl is also larger, so a little trial and error occurred until it was just right at temp and smoking along merrily. 

 A serious improvement of the Weber over the Brinkmann are the adjustable vents at the top and bottom of the smoker and a functional thermometer gauge.  The vents made adjusting and controlling the temperature a snap.  Serious improvement over the Brinkmann as a result - only disadvantage is the barrel body lacks handles for lifting it off the base which is good to have when you're refueling it with more charcoal, but there is a lip near the top that serves that function nicely.

Nine hours later and after replenishing the water bowl once and the charcoal and wood twice it was done.

I then pulled it and it was awesome and did not require any BBQ sauce, but BBQ sauce was available for taste.

It was pronounced to be my best effort so far and was declared to be amazing.  

Even so, at six pounds, lots of leftovers remain.

The first run of the Weber is a success.

The Jett Abides

Jett taking it easy and considering the nature of the universe on a nice warm evening.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Flying IFR Lesson #4 - That's Rather Unusual, But We Took The Backcourse After.

Lesson #4 was in N1689H.  Sure enough, the seat slipped both during the run-up and then it slipped during landing.  Methinks I'm going to ask not to have this plane assigned to me until that's fixed as that's just not happy making.

Anyways, we headed to the northeast and began the work.

First we did steep turns while I was under the hood.  Those feel very different than when you're flying them visually, but I actually ended up doing them better by instruments once I got the hang of it.

Next it was time for unusual attitudes.

While wearing foggles I had my eyes closed and my head on my chest and Kevin had me do what I thought were standard rate turns and recoveries with my eyes closed.  

Without your instruments, or vision, what you think is a standard rate turn or straight and level isn't.  You're going to end up going up or down at some point, which can be especially compounded if he surreptitiously adjusts the throttle sometimes, which he did.

I then got to recover each time by figuring out if we were descending or climbing and do the proper recovery for each.  Not bad but that sure feels weird.

Then we did it without the attitude indicator so I only had the turn and bank gyro to be the primary instrument for wings level.  More fun.

Then we got the attitude indicator back on and we did the Pattern A procedure which is a series of timed turns.  Then we did it with a failed attitude indicator and heading indicator so I had to rely on the compass and turn and bank to do it.  Much harder.

Next we tuned in the Flint VOR and identified it and tracked it and did an outbound radial for a bit and worked on getting on a particular radial.  I need a lot more work on the getting on a particular radial part.  

 I got a micro-break from the foggles when he told me to briefly take them off so we could watch a nearby formation of A-10s heading to Selfridge.  Cool.

Then, for the piece de resistance and last act of the lesson, we did the localizer backcourse to Runway 27L.  My first localizer approach.

Got it loaded on the Garmin 430, dialed the Salem VOR in the second NAV loaded,  got the ATIS for Pontiac, and then contacted Detroit Approach and requested the backcourse for Pontiac via vectors.

Flew the vectors, maintained 4,000 feet, and intercepted the localizer just as I should and began the approach. Then we contacted Pontiac Tower and were cleared to land.  I had the foggles on all the way to the Missed Approach Point and then got to take them off and land.  That was a ton of fun.

Kevin seems happy with my performance and am making good progress, but man do I feel that I need a whole lot more work on this stuff.

That's 2.1, 1.9 simulated instruments, and 1 excellent landing.

Anniversary Trip Was Not A Cruise But It Was Still Good

We had planned to do a cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary yesterday but Covid kinda put the kibosh on that.

Instead we exchanged anniversary cards ion the morning and had breakfast and then we headed out on a drive to Elmore, Ohio. 

Why Elmore?  Because their Schedel Gardens and Arboretum is open to the public while Ann Arbor's botanical gardens are still closed - yes open air gardens are closed still due to Covid.   Covidiotic.

So we headed to Elmore, which is a rather quintessential American small town.  Strangers actually cheerfully say hi to you when you're walking down the street. We stopped for lunch at the Village Inn which was delightful.   While service was slow, as everywhere is these days as help is hard to find, the food was worth the wait.  I had the Buffalo Chicken Chink -0 basically chunks of lightly breaded fried chicken in a buffalo sauce which was great, and Tash had the Greek salad.  We also tried a Birch Beer which was rather tasty and sort of a wintergreen root beer in flavor.  Good stuff.

Then we went to the Schedel Gardens and Arboretum.

To say its picturesque is an understatement.  Multiple themed gardens and really a beautiful place.

The Japanese themed garden was very serene, peaceful, and beautiful.

They have a large selection of Bonsai trees including this one Ponderosa Pine dating back to 1941 that is still going strong.

They also have a species of redwood tree, the Dawn Redwood that were thought to be extinct until rediscovered some valleys in China during the Second World War. 


Lots of things to see, though the peonies have yet to fully bloom and their vegetable and flower gardens are just starting to grow.  It was a very nice time.

After that we headed home, narrowly missing getting into a car wreck as a fellow made a left turn right into a car approaching straight down the road at high speed. Both had a green light but the left turn definitely lacked the right of way.  massive bang sound and just missed us.  Not fun.  Both cars had airbags deployed but they seemed ok and a sheriff's car was right there. 

We got home safely, rested and changed and then headed out to a nice restaurant, It's a Matter of Taste on Union Lake for dinner on their Patio.  Excellent food, service, and atmosphere.

It made for a very nice anniversary day indeed.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Happy 25th Anniversary To Us!

Today marks 25 years since I tied the knot.

25 years of marriage.  Kinda hard to wrap my mind around it.

25 years ago we said "I do", and we did.  We haven't done too bad a job so far, starting from little in a studio apartment and student loans to a home and two great kids and careers.  Ups and downs as you may imagine, but it's been more ups together than downs, so it all evens out positively.

More than 50% of my life has been spent being married to the most wonderful woman I know.

While we were going to do a cruise to celebrate our anniversary,  the world shutting down has kinda got in the way of that plan.  Maybe next year.

So instead, we'll be hanging out closer to home. 

I'm going to take her out during the day to a botanical garden she likes, then to a nice lunch, and then out for dinner to one of her favorite restaurants where we will eat outside on a patio overlooking a lake.  Not as nice, nor as memorable as a cruise, but we'll make do.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

At Least Someone Is Asking Very Pointed Questions About Gov Half-Whit's Trip

There's at least one reporter not afraid to call Gov Whitmer out on her layers of lies about her Florida trip, and that reporter is the venerable Charlie LeDuff, 

Deadline Detroit: LeDuff: Come Clean Gov. Whitmer -- Who Flew from Michigan to Florida with You? 

Go read the whole thing.  He succinctly sums up the sordid tale and how Gov Half-Whit and her team's obfuscations and lies are just sucking her in deeper.  Deeper in that with the latest story she and her non-profit have likely committed some nasty tax code violations from her non-profit per the latest story about who funded the trip, "buying" her flight for her. 

Of course, having the non-profit charter the flight (again the story is dubious as the expense of the March flight only suddenly appears on their books in May while she was looking to spin what happened and claimed the non-profit had chartered the plane) violates the FAA rules for the operation of the aircraft - this can lead to severe sanctions against the pilots and owners of the plane.

In short, Gov Half-Whit has thrown the plane under the bus.

She's also setup her non-profit for one heckuva nasty audit, assuming the IRS decides to investigate a Democrat Governor's slush fund's doings. In addition, this may have also caused some campaign finance violations.

Here, the governor's coverup may indeed be the crime.

Totally Unexpectedly, Biden Met The Local Hamas Supporters In Dearborn

Yep, while visiting the Ford plant he manged to get some time in with Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-Hamas).

The Detroit News: Biden pressed by Tlaib on Gaza as Arab Americans urge intervention 

Moments after President Joe Biden landed in Michigan on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib pressed him to do more to protect Palestinian lives amid continued bloodshed in the Middle East.

Instead of telling her to quit her lies, Biden expressed support for her:

During his Tuesday afternoon speech at a Ford Motor Co. truck plant in Dearborn, Biden publicly responded to Tlaib, a fellow Democrat and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants: "I want to say to you that I admire your intellect, I admire your passion, and I admire your concern for so many other people.

"And from my heart, I pray that your grandma and family are well, and I promise I'm going to do everything to see that they are on the West Bank. You're a fighter, and God thank you for being a fighter."

 A bit of a word salad there Biden, but we get your drift.  Interestingly, if Tlaib's grandma is living in the West Bank then she's only in danger of being hit by Hamas rockets coming out of Gaza  (A quick clue - Gaza is on the opposite side of Israel than the West Bank).

The president's reference to the fighting in Gaza came as Amer Zahr, comedian and president of New Generation for Palestine, led a crowd of more than 1,000 people outside the Dearborn Police Department on Michigan Avenue. A sea of red, black, white and green Palestinian flags waved across the majority Arab American city on the south end, which was blocked off to protesters during one of three Tuesday rallies.

We will note that Amer Zahr is an anti-semitic bosom-buddy of Tlaib, who notably removed Israel from the map in Tlaib's office on the day Tlaib was sworn into Congress.  Charming liar that he is.  When he says "free palestine" he means destroy Israel and kill Jews and he knows it.

More lies also came from former governor candidate Al-Sayed when at the demonstration he stated:

“I’m here today as a doctor, as a human, as an American,” said El-Sayed, adding Palestinians were denied COVID-19 vaccines by the Israeli government. “My government dollars are being spent today to kill innocent children.”

Lies again, Palestinians were never denied Covid vaccines by Israel. Indeed, all Arabs living in Israel were vaccinated same as Jews were.

This blatant lie comes up from Palis and their supporters claiming Israel is required to provide Palis in the West Bank and Gaza with vaccines when instead the Oslo accords clearly require and place that responsibility on the Palis to be in charge of their own healthcare and have their own health department and indeed the Palis after delaying ordered their own vaccines from Russia.  El-Sayed knows this, but he figures you don't.

So yes, Biden met with the Hamsa wing of the Democrat party yesterday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Flying IFR Lesson # 3: A Flight Plan So Cunning It Graduated From Embry-Riddle With an Advanced Degree In Aeronautical Cunning

Verily, a cunning plan was hatched.

All DCT flights filed VFR flight plans to get out of the TFR, do the maneuvers that needed to be done, and then contacted Detroit approach to come back in.  In this way we complied with the TFR and still were able to get out and do the scheduled training.

Ground/Tower basically said they were good with that but for everyone not to call in at once so they could get it setup and ready for us, this was rather nice of them.  We really do have an awesome bunch of controllers at KPTK.

So after the preflight of N6288J, another old flying friend,  I called ground and activated the VFR flight plan that my instructor had already filed.  The flight plan was filed to fly to D95/Lapeer which is north and outside the TFR. We got a squawk code and then called Detroit approach to check in, and then were handed off to Great Lakes Approach and as we reached Lapeer we cancelled the flight plan and were then told to squawk VFR.

Then the fun began.  I already had my foggles on after takeoff so we started working on holds and hold entries.  Basically its about flying certain courses for a certain amount of time.  In practice it wasn't bad and I could do it rather well while maintaining heading, altitude and, doing timed turns.  The holding pattern tracks ended up looking rather nice in Foreflight.  Conceptually I'm still a little hazy on "where" the hold is exactly, but we'll work on that.

Then we did holds with partial panel without the heading indicator, and then holds without the attitude indicate and just had to rely on the altimeter, turn indicator and compass. Add in some really nice thermals banging us around and it was even more fun. Did I mention the added in  really nice thermals banging us around?

Yes, I got to see all the various compass errors occur in real time. In short, navigating a turn via a compass kinda sucks due to those errors. The compass - she lies, at least she does until you are in straight, level, and unaccelerated flight. 

Did I mention those really nice thermals banging us around? Yep, as you might guess, that made it even more fun when you get a sudden uncommanded 1,000 feet per minute climb out of nowhere and you were flying straight and level or in the middle of a timed turn.

Then back to Pontiac, first I got their ATIS and while still north of Lapeer contacting Great Lakes Approach and getting a squawk code. Then we headed for Pontiac using GPS direct with the foggles still on.  

We got cleared for 9R as 27R/9L is currently closed so we got the big runway and were told to report a 2 mile downwind entry.  Flying in and still 6nm away, they then cancelled the request to report and gave us #1 to land.

Still in foggles I got on the downwind, and flew the pattern by headings as given by my instructor and only got to take the foggles off when we were at the DA on final representing a breakout at minimums.  Then I landed with a nice gusty wind out of 130 degrees.  Lots of fun, though quite a task loaded lesson.

Apparently I did it all well, which is good.   Kevin is happy with how I did and he tends to be a very positive and thorough kind of instructor, which I like.  I think I'm developing a good instrument scan now I've got standard rate turns down which is a good foundation.

All good, no busting of the TFR occurred, and a very solid lesson completed.

That's 2.0 with 1.8 simulated instrument time, and 1 excellent landing.

Curse You Red Biden!

I was going to go flying today.

The weather outside is delightful.

But the damn TFR is frightful.

Yep, right during my scheduled lesson time, Biden is visiting his Hamas and Hizb'allah supporters in Dearborn, Michigan [He's apparently going to  visit a Ford EV factory and talk up his spending bill for subsidizing Unions and electric vehicles].  The TFR includes Pontiac airport and stops flight training cold.

So, no flying for me.

 As much as I'm a fan of airshows, I don't want to have a starring role in causing one.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Governor Half-Whit Just Dug Herself In Even Deeper

As it is often said, it's not the crime its the cover-up.

Here, the cover up may indeed be the crime.

As you may know, Governor Whitmer, after admonishing everyone else not to travel outside the state -- and especially not visit Florida! -- then flew to Florida for 4 days - and she got caught doing it.

She's been denying, accusing, ducking, and confabulating ever since.

Then the question as to how did she get there was asked.  Turns out she traveled on a private jet that happened to be owned by some wealthy Detroit businessmen.

A further question then was: What was the quid pro quo when a private jet owned by Detroit Businessmen took her there?

Now her newest lie to dig her out of the prior lies and omissions is that she claimed her non-profit Michigan Transition 2019 doing business as Executive Office Account paid for the flight.

So what is Michigan Transition 2019?  Allegedly it was formed as a non-profit designed to pay the costs of her 2019 inauguration but now does "other things" - So, can you say slush fund? 

So Michigan Transition 2019 paid for the flight and she claims to have reimbursed them $849, which is awfully generous of her considering the flight cost either $27,521, or $40k depending on who you ask.

There's a few problems with that.

The Detroit Free Press: FAA: Company that flew Whitmer to Florida not authorized to operate charter flights

This is a big deal.  The company that owns that plane can't legally operate charter flights and she and her minions have now just described the activity as a charter flight.


This can lead to serious sanctions against the company, and the FAA takes this kind of line-crossing rather seriously. You can lose your certificates over this sort of thing. 

You could say that Whitmer just threw the the plane under the bus.

Digging them in even deeper that that, their latest cover story is alleging that Michigan Transition 2019 paid the costs and received Whitmer's payment of $849 back in March when the trip took place.  

But, the organizations books only reflect these payments occurring in May,  and is dated after the details of the private jet came to light and people started asking how she got their and who paid for it. 

All that cover up and they forgot to backdate the books first?  How sloppy of them.

Anyone really believe her latest story?  Anyone?

Wayne County CPL Case: Unfortuately, The Judge Ruled Exactly As We Expected

Well, Wayne County Clerk successfully mooted the case by snatching all the named plaintiffs and moving up their appointments and giving them their CPLs before the hearing.

By a complete and astonishing coincidence, I'm sure,  all 3 of them had their appointments moved up on the very same day, 5 days after we filed the complaint with the very same Wayne County Clerk.

Since they all got their CPLs or applications accepted  -  the judge reasoned they can't ask the Clerk to do anything more, and the advocacy groups do not have standing for mandamus relief.

Well crap.  We did good for our named Plaintiffs, but everyone else will still be delayed and waiting interminably for the clerk to do her job now.

Assuming we get some more Wayne County residents who are stuck waiting for their appointments to happen, we're going to have to caption it John Doe and Jane Doe to stop these shenanigans.

Great Customer Service From Holosun

My Holosun 509T developed a problem during the MDFI Low Light Handgun class.

I don't know precisely when or how, as, after all, it was pitch black at the time, but the rubber over the - button tore or ripped away, leaving the circuitry open to the elements.

  I didn't notice when it happened, as the sight kept right on chugging along, but noticed it when we had finished and were putting everything away and reloading our carry ammo for the trip back.  Even with that open it did not have any issues.

So I contacted Holosun and they immediately sent me an RMA and a priority mail label to return it.  They received it and immediately sent a replacement priority mail, and I got it back fast and it is now installed back on the firearm.

That's a very quick turnaround, and some great customer service.

Gun School - MDFI Foundation Carbine

Yesterday,  I got up early and headed out to Grass Lake, Michigan for MDFI's foundation carbine class.  My first carbine class, so I was looking forward to it.

Grass Lake is west of Ann Arbor, so it was about an hour away in the relatively light Sunday morning traffic.  Having never been to the range there, it was a good thing I left early, as the range wasn't quite where the mapping software said it was, which led to a bit of consternation.  Turns out it was actually about a mile from where the mapping software said the entrance was, but at least the entrance was on the same street so all was well. Not a huge deal but it's good to be early.  

I got there and unpacked in a light rain that soon became a minor downpour.  Fun training.  Luckily, some people had brought some canopies and generously shared their space. 

We all got checked in, with one no-show.  So the class started with 19 students and 4 instructors, which was a very good ratio for a basic carbine class.

The safety and objectives briefing was lengthy and properly serious. 

 It was going to be a hot range, with the students responsible for keeping their carbines loaded and ready at all times, so careful muzzle discipline at all times was the order of the day. Excellent instruction and demonstration of the proper method of picking up and slinging a loaded carbine and moving in a way that you do not muzzle yourself or anyone else.  Since we would be donning and doffing the carbines multiple times throughout the day and moving on and off the line with them, this was good to learn right off the bat and everyone was committed to doing so safely.

The rain then stopped and eventually the sun came out, which was nice.

Then we went over basics of I&I - inspection and inventory - checking over all the failure points of the firearm to make sure all was ready from muzzle to the heel of the stock- mounts, lights, optics and mounts properly tightened down, sling properly configured, ammunition ready.  Good procedure.

The class was then divided into two squads with one shooting and one learning by observing.  This also let the 4 instructors really pay close attention, and give personal attention to the shooters which was helpful.

Then there was a warm-up at 5 yards.  17 of the students were running AR15s, one was running an AK, and I brought along my Tavor X95 with the can as I wanted to work on it and get better with it. 

I had not shot the Tavor at such a short range and I had to work on my sight hold as my normal sight picture would shoot low at 5 yards.  Good to know.

Almost immediately, we had a couple AR-15s lock up as they were being run drier than the proverbial popcorn fart. 

One had to be mortared open which was instructive  - to mortar an AR  (1. Move stock to its closed position [or you will bend/break the stock tube], 2.  Put safety on if possible, 3. Keep muzzle in safe direction, 4. With a hand pushing on charging handle, wham the stock in the the dirt in an attempt to free the charging handle/bolt - it works).

In short for semi-auto rifles, clean and dry is iffy in terms of function, clean and dirty is very iffy in terms of function, clean and wet should work, and dirty and wet should work.  After some generous lubrication was applied to both of the ARs they were then up and running for the rest of the class.

Next we did the different ready positions, threat engagement, and post threat scan including how to do a 360 degree scan without muzzling anyone or yourself with muzzle either up or down. 

After that was various reload techniques. Reloads with retention, speed reloads, and emergency reloads were done with the various varieties explained and practiced.  The L shape for fast retention reloads works really well on the Tavor, the OK technique doesn't work well at all given the position of the magazine well and your shoulder.

One new insight came out of the reload portion.  You can stuff 31 rounds into a Magpul PMAG.  If you're doing a reload with a round in the chamber and the bolt forward, the magazine will not want to fit into the gun as a result.  Something to watch for.

Then we did hands-on malfunction drills including how to clear double feeds and the brass over bolt malfunction. This involved setting up the malfunction for your opposite squad member without them seeing what you did, and they had to diagnose and fix the problem and get the carbine back in action.  Fun.

My Tavor ran like a top throughout the class with no issues, and cleared simulated malfunctions like double feeds without a problem.

Then we finished up with the qualifier which was 14 rounds.  I hit all 14 in the advanced inner box but was just too slow on the reloads, having badly bungled one and that cost me.  I now know what to practice, as I have not previously practiced rifle reloads on the clock, but will now.  Good to know what to work on to improve.

It was an all-day class starting at 9 and ending at 6:30, and very well run.

Foundation carbine is both a stand-alone class and MDFI's gateway to their more advanced carbine classes. As a comprehensive, basic-level class, it gave a good grounding in the fundamentals of carbine handling and usage. It was an excellent full day of instruction with a great set of instructors and a great set of students.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Cleaning The Plane And An EAA Exhibit

Today was our spring wash and wax at the flying club.

Beautiful day.  I pulled up tot he hangar at 8:30 and we got to work cleaning the planes. 

I then taxi'd N8428S to the wash stand, and 914P followed.

While we we were cleaning the planes at the wash stand,  the local EAA chapter held a pancake breakfast and a display of their planes.

This led to some fun as when we went to leave the washstand, we could not do the normal turn around as a lot of visitor vehicles were blocking the way.  


We had to stop, get pushed back 180 degrees and then go the opposite way to get back to the hangar rather than the normal loop.  Not a big deal but it was funny when some club members insisted we try to squeeze by first and that really didn't work.  Of course, had one truck owner parked a bit better and had his mirrors folder we coulda done it, bit no.

So planes all washed, waxed, and gleaming, and back in their hangars, we went to the EAA exhibit.


Most were Vans aircraft builds of various types.

There were a couple Vans RV-10s and I've always admired the specs of those planes.

One had quite the paint scheme:


The underside was painted like a eagle with wings at the wings which was very cool.

The interior was real nice as well.


Another RV-10 had a more standard paint scheme.

Great looking planes and a nice bunch of folks to chat with.

Not a bad way to start off a Saturday morning.

Friday, May 14, 2021

No Sympathy For BLM-Type That Blinded Helicopter Crew With A Laser

 The Detroit News:  Detroit Will Breathe' protestor blinded flight crew, feds say

 First, we can note that the dipstick in question, as can be seen in the photos in the article is rather on the pale side as is usual with the typical BLM/Antifa agitator.

Second, this asshat who blinded a flight crew of a helicopter and fought police claims to be a "street medic" at the demonstration.

Federal prosecutors Friday charged a "street medic" who participated in "Detroit Will Breathe” protests last year with shining a laser at a Detroit Police helicopter that temporarily blinded the crew.

Michael Sam Hurd, 32, of Fennville was charged with a felony punishable by up to five years in federal prison in one of the more serious charges to flow from protests in Detroit.

An awful lot of Antifa-type street medics seems to be up to very non-medical shenanigans while claiming to be medics, which is an act of perfidy that removes their status as "medics", as if they were ever entitled to any deference for using the term.  

Next, aiming a laser to blind a flight crew is a no-no, regardless of where it occurred or if it occurred during a protest/riot, and his lawyer doesn't quite get that:

    “This happened in the context of a Black Lives Matter demonstration going on so it is not like it took place at an airport or anything,” his lawyer David Cripps said.

That deflection attempt won't work counselor. Your asshat client blinded a flight crew over an urban area while in flight.  There are some obvious reasons why that is both a bad idea and a crime.

Good job on the investigation to catch this POS.  Lots of videotape that caught him in the act.

Hopefully Michael Sam Hurd gets the book thrown at him for his act of malicious stupidity.  Anyone shining lasers at people's eyes, whether in aircraft or not, should be prosecuted top the fullest.

Flying IFR Lesson # 2 The First IFR Flying Lesson

I went to DCT this morning and did a pre-flight on an old friend, N1689H, the same plane I did most of my Private Pilot training flying in when I was at DCT.

It's had a few upgrades - electronic and magneto ignition and a push start rather than a key which was interesting.

Downside, the left seat now tends to not lock into place where I want it, it feels locked in place, pushing on it it doesn't move, but it then drops back one setting in flight and then locks into place which is rather disconcerting.  That needs to get fixed.

So I met Kevin who would be my IFR instructor at the plane and we got set to go.  Very nice guy and quite knowledgeable and we seem to work well together so far.

I brought along a pair of Blockalls view limiting devices (or foggles as they're called), recommended by Mr. B and they did indeed come in handy.

We took off, working as we did on instrument takeoff procedures, and then headed to the practice area.  As we went there I put the foggles on.  The Blockalls are comfortable and work really well at blocking the horizon yet let you see the instruments.

We then started doing instrument scans while doing maneuvers - standard rate turns, standard rate turns with descents, standard rate turns with climbs, cruise configuration,  and more standard rate turns and then timed turns, descents, climbs etc.  Quite the workout and was a lot of fun, and its easy to see how you can get quickly task-loaded.

The we added tuning in and identifying the Flint Vortac all the while doing standard rate turns, and then flying to and from it.  Yep, more task loading.

Then Kevin failed  (covered up) a bunch of instruments which tends to concentrate one's scan quite wonderfully.

Overall I was doing pretty well at the scan and controlling the aircraft, still have a lot to work on to make it precise, and it was a whole new and pretty intense experience.  Kevin thought I was doing very well for a first IFR lesson - some of that is due to studying the ground materials ahead of time and due to the advice I've already received from Mr. B.

Lots of fun.

Then we did an own-navigation RNAV GPS approach to Pontiac's Runway 27L.  Kevin had me take the foggles off for that and showed me how we setup the Garmin 430 for it, but my time was heavily looking inside the cockpit anyways to concentrate on the turns and GPS LPV approach.  I made it right down the glidepath to minimums and did a very nice landing.  Very neat to actually do an approach after spending this time reading and watching training videos about it.  I still have a lot to master and understand before I'd try it myself right now, but its rather impressive how the system works and how it can get you right to the runway.

We then did one hop around the pattern, doing a soft field takeoff as requested by Kevin and I did it perfectly which was very cool as I haven't practiced one of those for awhile.  Then down with a soft field landing on 27R and back to DCT.

I can already see how Instrument training is going to make me a much more precise and capable pilot.   It's also great that there is a clear syllabus, a clear lesson plan, and a debrief after the flight - all of which will enhance learning.

I had the controls the whole time except for putting the foggles on and off and for the brief moment when the seat slipped, so I was PIC.

That's 2.1, 1.5 simulated instrument, and 2 great landings.  So it begins.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Pfizer Stick #2

Got the second shot yesterday.

So far I ended up tired later in the day yesterday, and had a small fever at night, but seem ok now overall, but I'm feeling really tired and seriously dragging today.

Abby busted a high fever last night which is continuing through today and the kid is not a happy camper.  Doing school via Zoom at the moment and she's dragging it in as well.

Overall the superpowers gained from the shots seem limited to the following:

a) I can now smell colors;

b) I can now watch the radio; and 

c) Being able to walk uphill both ways.

Much disappointment, that.

Everyone Has A Plan 'Til They Get Punched in The Face

This is Fight Sim week at the jitsu training center I attend.  Fight Sim week is done at the end of each chapter in the training cycle and is about the most exhausting week you get to enjoy.

The general program at the center begins with basics that are applicable to street defense through getting your Combatives belt.  Then the next phase, Master Cycle, which is Combatives belts and up, adds both advanced self-defense techniques and advanced sport jitsu moves as well, and it adds Fight Sim for high intensity self-defense.  

Fight Sim is where the combative and other techniques get put to use in a simulated street-type encounter. Fight Sim deals with jitsu being used to defend yourself in a street fight and the attacker is throwing punches.  Lots of punches. Happily, they are at least wearing 5.5oz gloves that cover the hand fully but you can get your fingers out to do grips and other techniques (or accidentally stab someone in the eye, but more on that later).

At lot of Fight Sim is learning to get through the attackers punches safely to close and effect a take-down, and also learn to be able to reduce the effectiveness of punches an attacker is throwing when they're on the ground. Because they're going to be throwing a lot of punches. 

Punches tend to get your attention.  Knowing how to handle incoming punches matters quite a lot.

Even at 10-20% power (the limit we use for training in this class), a shot to the face makes you eager to want to sharpen your defenses.  Occasionally your attacker gets a little overenthusiastic in the melee and you receive a little more than a 20% hit.  Stings a tad.  Generally Fight Sim is set so the "bad guy"  is not supposed to use jitsu techniques but instead acts as either be an untrained puncher (think wild swings trying to knock you out) or more of a skilled striker with jabs, crosses, hooks, etc.

Jitsu can be for both sport and self-defense.  For example, a Butterfly guard is great for sport jitsu v jitsu, but if you try to use a butterfly guard in a real fight, you will get you bell rung with punches.  Knowing what techniques to use where matters quite a bit and our center always wants us to stay sharp on the self-defense side of the equation.

Very good training, and a 5 minute round defending yourself from someone intent on punching you is rather exhausting.  

You need to close the distance through  punches, or in anticipation of a punch, execute a take-down, maintain control of someone who is using all their weight to buck or throw you off and who keeps trying to punch you even when down, and then get a submission if possible. Like I said, it is pretty darn exhausting but good training.

Unfortunately, I had one session yesterday with someone who got a tad overenthusiastic and his hand did a nice ricochet off my blocking hand and then went on to smack me right at the right eye with a finger poking out of his glove,  so I have a rather impressive shiner right now.   Not intentional at all, but minor injuries do happen.   I've iced it and its overall ok, just doesn't look great.

Aside from that it went well, but I can say that being paired up with someone stronger and bigger than me as a bad guy makes for an exhausting bout. 

Of course, this is good training as it is unlikely that someone smaller and weaker than you is going to pick a fight and attack you in real life. 

But, it got hairy and I had to work hard to avoid getting pounded even at 10-20%, especially when in one case my bad guy started in mount position as part of the scenario.  Being mounted when punches are flying just plain sucks. Managed to get out of it and establish a good defense, and then control him, but I was pretty much spent after that 5 minute round.

The class then ended and we then spent 15 minutes doing standard jitsu rolls afterwards which felt pretty easy by comparison as no punches were flying.

Heckuva good class and great training.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy Getting Frisky Again

The Detroit News: US ship fires warning shots in encounter with Iranian boats

A group of 13 armed speedboats of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard made “unsafe and unprofessional” high-speed maneuvers toward U.S. Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday, and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter fired warning shots when two of the Iranian boats came dangerously close, U.S. officials said.

This is the second incident of warning shots being necessary in the past two months to keep Iranian fast attack boats away from US ships, and 150 yards is letting them get way too close. The Iranian regime is testing for a reaction (or lack of same) from the current administration, not to mention getting practice doing attack runs at US vessels.

The next time the Iranians try this, the warning shots should sink the next fast attack craft that gets too close.  

Those shots still be warning shots, mind you, as the shots will be a warning for the next Iranian attack boat boat contemplating getting too close.

Flying: IFR Training Lesson 1

Today marks the start of my training to get my instrument rating.

I went to DCT on Saturday and signed up for the program and began studying.

Today I went to DCT this morning for a ground lesson. I had Adam as my instructor today,  Nice guy and was both enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

We covered flight instrument scans, flight instrument operation and failures, and VORs.

The flight instrument operation, instrument failures and VOR info was mainly a refresher from the private pilot syllabus but was still useful with a b it more detail.  Instrument scan was new and will be highly useful.

First flight should be later this week.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Well, That Went As Well As Could Be Expected

We had the oral argument for the show cause hearing for our writ of mandamus claim in our case against the Wayne County Clerk for their delaying and failure to accept CPL applications.

It went, as the title suggests, as well as could be expected.

One fun detail we shared with the Court was the County proceeding to poach our named plaintiffs and thus trying to get the case dismissed as moot.

For example my client had applied on February 11, 2021 and was given an appointment date of January 25, 2022   - yes almost a year after being scheduled in order for a few minute appointment for the county clerk to just accept her application.  Until the application is accepted, you have no remedy nor ability to get a CPL.  A right delayed being a right denied and all that.

We will note that no other County service is having such a delay - not marriages, not getting birth or death certificates, nothing else.   Indeed, no other County in this state is delaying accepting applications like this, none.

We file our complaint on March 25.  On March 30, funnily enough, my client's appointment gets moved up to June 30, 2021, and then on April 8, 2021 it is moved to April 24, 2021 in order to take place before the show cause briefs are due.

Funny how that happens, and it just happened to occur to all the named plaintiffs.  Next time we will file as John and Jane Does.

The law states the application shall be turned in during normal business hours, and the clerk shall do what they're supposed to do with it during normal business hours - not 11 months later.

I believe we did a good job arguing the law and facts of the case, but there's a good chance the judge will just agree with the County and say Covid makes it necessary for the delays, so we will see what happens.  Decision should be soon.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

In And Around The House

Yesterday, some repairs were made in the house.

The drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms have a very strange  bracket system.  The metal rail goes to a plastic bracket that is screwed into the wood.  Unsurprisingly, the plastic bracket  over time splits and the drawer then tends to droop with the back of the drawer dropping and the front getting caught on the top of the cabinet.

I've looked for years for replacement brackets  but could not find them anywhere, nor could I find the manufacturer for the cabinets. I finally figured out the secret.

On the door under the sink in the kitchen only, there is a sticker.


Looking up the I code at the KCMA website got me the manufacturer information.

Contacting the manufacturer, Kitchen Kompact, they were super helpful and sent me a batch of the brackets to replace the broken ones quickly and at no charge.

I then replaced all the broken ones including the ones I had done ersatz repairs to with tape and pieces of plastic cards to strengthen them.

Good to fix them all before Mother's Day.

Then I cleared the shower of an accumulation of the children's hair that was clogging the drain trap.  Disgusting, necessary, and about 5 pounds of hair in a huge hairball was removed and the drain now flows freely.

Meanwhile, outside the house we had visitors.


Deer came through the backyard, getting some snacking in as they wandered by.

Kinda neat to see, and they came right up to the deck which was nice.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Gov Half-Whit Does Not Deign To Fly With Commoners

Our dear governor continues her pattern of having one standard for her entourage and herself and a different one for everyone else in this State.

On one hand she advised and cautioned that no one from Michigan should travel out of state and especially not travel to Florida.

So of course, after making such a pronouncement, she went to Florida which she then lied about but was caught in her lie.  

On the upside, she made sure she traveled in luxury - on a private jet - the cost to charter such a flight would be $40,000.  Likely this was done to hide the fact of her travel as it was not paid for from her own pocket or from a state fund.

Instead, the jet was provided by three wealthy businessmen (you know the ones Democrats allegedly hate on - except when those same business men are providing charter air service for Dems), and one has to wonder who paid the fare as the financial details of the flight as well as many other facts of her travels are being withheld by the Gov. 

One also wonders what quid was given pro the quo of the jaunt.

No possible conflict of interest there mixed in with the double standards and lies that are the hallmark of the Whitmer administration.

Democrat politicians - if they didn't have double standards, they'd have no standards at all.

Attacks On Asian Americans: Not Exactly By A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Recently, there has a been a spate of attacks against Asian Americas. Of course Trump is being blamed for these attacks rather than the perpetrators - for example: Man Arrested In San Francisco Stabbing Of 2 Asian Women.

Many activists blame the uptick in anti-Asian violence on xenophobic rhetoric and the use of racist language by former President Donald Trump and others to describe the coronavirus. 

Funny, the attackers hardly seem to be the stereotypical Trump followers as painted by the media.

Indeed, media reports downplay, if not completely neglect to mention who is doing the attacking.  And for good reason - if they did the whole blame Trump followers narrative for the attacks would fall apart.

Take Newsweek for example - they even list all the recent publicized attacks and don't mention even once in their story that the attackers were Black.   

ABC for example in the New York attack by a woman with a hammer similarly neglected to mention the race of the attacker.

Rather curious, that.

Indeed, the latest, a knife attack in San Francisco on two elderly Asian ladies was by a fellow named Patrick Thompson.  Almost every report completely glossed over the ethnicity of the arrested Mr. Thompson even after he was in custody.  They would report his name, age, and criminal history but not his race, which was a clue.  Take a look through the results of the Google search for more examples of how a rather relevant characteristic of the attacker is glossed over amnd how many you have to go through to find it.

Finally, a CBS website showed a picture of the scumbag which is the only way you learn his ethnic identity: Source: Man Arrested For Stabbing 2 Asian Woman in San Francisco Has Lengthy Arrest History.

Surprise! He's not exactly a White Trump supporter - at all.  Also not surprisingly, he has a violent criminal history and has been arrested over 24 arrests in the last 20 years including previous stabbings, and yet is free to walk the San Francisco streets. He also likely has mental issues and again is free to roam and attack people.

For our media and their current obsession with race, its rather curious this gets such a lack of coverage - but not surprising given the reality.

The fact that Blacks commit hate crimes against Asians way out of proportion to their percentage of the population (over 27% of hate crimes and  the majority of violent attacks against Asians are by Blacks, who account for 13% of the population) hurts critical racial theory and the current narrative  that white supremacists (when those few who do actually exist manage to crawl out of their mom's basement)  must be the ones to blame.   I'm sure we will get some white supremacists crawling out form under a rock and doing a hate crime - which will then be trumpeted by the media far and wide, with their ethnic background prominently reported - until then, expect crickets.

In short, if the media glosses over the identity of the attacker of an Asian you can likely guess the nature of the attacker, and that the media is still trying to sell the rather now threadbare tale that these attacks are by white Trump fans against Asians.  To do otherwise might require some reporting on some facts the media would rather not report upon.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Thunder Over Michigan Gets Covidized

Last year, Michigan's best airshow, Thunder Over Michigan was cancelled due to Covid.

This year it will go on, but unfortunately in a much more restricted and limited fashion than in years past.

It's going to be a drive-in airshow.

The Detroit News: Thunder Over Michigan air show to return to Ypsilanti in August 

Tickets will be for $165 per car, and you can fill your car up with attendees, but t hat's quite a bit more than the $15 general admission of past years, by quite a lot, unless you get a minivan and pack 11 people in it - which would kinda kill off the whole point of this social distancing overkill.

Unfortunately, that $165 doesn't even get you in for the whole day, but only half the show.

You have to choose between a morning or afternoon slot.  F-35 Demo team in the morning, or The US Air Force Thunderbirds in the afternoon.

No walking around the aircraft and seeing the static displays, just staying in your car or out on the passenger side, with commentary on the show coming over the radio.

Certainly it's going to be a much different and sadly limited airshow experience than in years past.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

When You're Dog Tired In The Morning

That feeling when you're having a hard time waking up.

It's a dog's life alright.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Study - Systemic Racism To Blame For Everything, Even When It Is Not

Even when systemic racism can't be shown to actually exist, it is easy to assign blame to it as an un-falsifiable theory.

One of the great things for progressives about the cant of systemic racism is it deprives Blacks, Browns, what have you, of agency.  Clearly if systemic racism is to blame, it can't be their fault, and AWFLs (Angry Woke Female Liberals) must then come in and save them from themselves while dealing with self-loathing and hating on western civilization.

Systemic racism can be blamed for everything, even when the data shows there are actual and real explanations not linked to the mythical and unproven theory of systemic racism.

Take Covid for example.

The Detroit News: Systemic racism drove higher COVID-19 mortality for Black people study says

Black people are more likely to die of COVID-19 than their White counterparts due to systemic racism, according to a Wayne State University study published in April.

. . .

They found that people were more likely to die from COVID-19 if they lived in environments with high rates of poverty, unemployment and other social determinants of health that often are caused by systemic racism, Chopra said. 

Hmm, sounds bad. But wait, there's more:

The study found no relationship between COVID-19 mortality and the color of a person's skin, Chopra noted. What mattered were the conditions in which they lived. 

Wait a sec, they just said systemic racism is to blame, but then say there is no correlation found between mortality and race.  Is there systemic racism to blame here or not?

"There was no relation between COVID-19 mortality and race," she said. "We found that the Black population in large urban centers — these populations are not inherently at greater risk for higher mortality, but our results supported the possibility that it is the social/economic vulnerability.

So again, the study says it is not race but living in urban centers and making certain lifestyle choices that can be unhealthy? Who knew?

“Systemic racism is implicated because we feel it shapes the circumstances and policies that are responsible for the inequitable distribution of resources across communities of color,” Chopra said.   

Ah, so this determination is based on feelings, not data.  If you assign people no agency, systemic racism must be to blame.  Did they study Blacks and other minorities outside of urban centers for mortality?  Was there any difference form whites in the same areas that would demonstrate systemic racism?  Of course they did not.  

Heck did they compare mortality between comparable poor urban whites and blacks in the study - no, reading the study it shows they did not.   They solely looked at a majority-minority area for their study.

The study actually finds that people in crowded environments, having low socio-economic status and using public transportation make one more likely to be vulnerable to Covid.  The racial aspect is tacked on as they only looked at a poor urban area in Detroit with a 90% Black population and did not control or compare to a similar socio-economic area that is predominantly white. 

The study at most shows that if you are poor, have comorbidities, live in crowded housing, and take public transport, you are more likely to die of (or with) Covid than if you are none of these things. 

In short, the study's conclusion as to systemic racism is abject junk science, but it does get headlines.