Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Jiu Jitsu As Chess And An Ouchie

Yesterday night I went to Jitsu.

We worked on the Foot Lock and then progressed to the Toe Hold Lock, which is what you do in response to the person trying to roll out of the Foot Lock, as by rolling out they give you a nice transition to a Toe Hold Lock.

Both the Foot Lock and Toe Hold locks can both be rather nasty, so tap early and often. 

Even more fun, If you try the escape from the Toe Hold Lock, and the escape is basically a spiral roll  to "unwrap" the lock, and you do the roll in the wrong direction, you will break your own foot.  This will likely occur before your partner can react in time to release it. As such, paying attention to what you're doing is kinda important.

Much fun was had and I'm getting the hang of it which is nice.  Much easier to learn with a partner than via Zoom.

Then on to rolling.  My current assignment as first stripe blue belt is to try and plan at least one move ahead in every roll.  In other words, not just survive and react, but actually plan and series of at least two moves based on waht might happen. 

At this point, Jitsu transforms from simple murder yoga to become chess with fold-able pieces.

So I was teamed up with Will for the first time in a while.  He's rather on the big side at 280+ pounds so it's only technique and not strength that will work when you're rolling with him.  

I was able to do some planning ahead which was great.  I was able to respond to his positions and plan out not just how to respond but then think a move ahead and get him where I wanted him.  Did a nice takedown of him when he was in turtle, by feinting going for a choke, and then getitng him off balance to roll him on his back, and then got him into sidemount and then baited him into giving me his arm for an Americana armlock. Progress!

Then on to a roll with Nick who's a two-stripe blue belt, and I could stalemate him but not do much more than that.  Still it was a good roll as he's rather good indeed.

Then on to a roll with Heath where I again was able to try some plans out which was nice.  Unfortunately, my lip decided to attack his knee while passing his guard. Ouch.  Bit of a bleeding lip there as a result and since you can't bandage a lip, that was rolling for the night for me. Ah well, minor bumps happen sometimes.

Still, it was a very good class and learned a lot, and the lip isn't too swollen today.

Flying IFR - Lesson 22 - You Guessed It, More And Different Approaches

A small change of pace this lesson.

I got to the airport and did the preflight for N1689H.  

I then met up with Kevin and he told me we would be doing the RNAV 9 at Troy, the VOR 18 circle to 9 at Flint and then back to the RNAV 9R circle to 9L at Pontiac.

Since the wind was coming out of the 90-100 heading we got to do some approaches we normally don't do.

I then filed an IFR flight plan to include these destinations all by myself.  Yay me.

Just as well that I did, as while it was pretty clear out, we would be going into the clouds a little bit on this hop.  IFR also gets you a little better handling form Detroit Approach compared to VFR flight following with approaches.

So I got my taxi and clearance and then joined the conga line for 9R and reminded Tower I was IFR as requested by Ground.

Took off from 9L and flew runway heading until switched to Detroit Approach and setup for the full procedure for the RNAV 9 at Troy, which meant a nice procedure turn.  Troy is also very close to Pontiac so everything happens very quickly.  Troy traffic pattern was busy, so I flew the approach to minimums and then went missed following the published miss. 

Then we went to Flint and on the way we got to fly in some clouds at our altitude, which was fun.  I did the VOR 18 circle to 9, with a full procedure and hold, which felt really different from the VOR 18 circle to 27.  Overall I need to be quicker to chop and drop on the VOR approaches.

Then went missed over Runway 9 and did the published miss and hold.

Then once around the hold and into the clouds for a bit and over to Pontiac for the RNAV 9R.  Traffic was heavy so we got rerouted a bit, complete with changes in altitude, and then got vectored and then cleared for the approach and I did a good approach to Runway 9R with a circle to a nice landing on Runway 9L to finish the flight.

That's 2.0 with 3 approaches, 3 holds, .4 in actual and 1.4 simulated, and 1 nice landing.

With Not Even A Whimper

The end of official American military presence in Afghanistan is over.

And with that, Hamid Karzai International in Kabul is now officially an uncontrolled airport.


An unknown number of American citizens remain abandoned and left behind numbering in the hundreds or perhaps thousands, along with green card holders, SIV applicants and allies.  The damage from this feckless pull-out to America's standing in the world and with its allies is well nigh incalculable.

This complete chaotic disaster of a withdrawal is squarely on the Biden Administration.

Monday, August 30, 2021

An Update From Murphy of Lagniappe's Lair

Murph of Lagniappe's Lair  just called.

He has no power or internet connection so don't expect much in the way of posts on his blog for awhile.

He's doing all right and has running water, food, and hot showers.

He and the dogs are doing all right and they're sitting tight. 

No flooding on his street, just a lot of wind damage to power lines etc, and it's going to take a long time to get power back up in New Orleans.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday Classifier Match Day

Went to WCRHC for a USPSA match this morning.

It was an all-classifier match.  On the upside each stage was 12 rounds so it was done by 1 pm which was good as it was hotter than hot out. 

I shot Carry Optics.

Overall I did ok, mid to high C-Class this time.

The last stage of the day I had a nice run on Classifier 18-02  where I missed B class by all of 3%, and came in second in my entire squad for that one which had some very good shooters.  A lot of them being B class were pushing it a tad too fast so the wheels were coming off and they were hitting the hard cover and losing points.  I got all hits on a reasonable enough time.  Now if I could just do 3% better and also similarly better on 4 more classifiers I'd be in good shape.  Still definitely a work in progress though.

It was fun, shot with a great bunch of folks, and it was a great and well-run match as always at WCRHC.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Saturday Range Trip

Took Leah to her driving lesson today,  Yes, the kid is now behind the wheel on the way to earning her graduated license.  Already passed her written test and has a few more drives before the Level 1 test that will let her drive with an adult and get her hours toward her level 2 license.    Time certainly goes flying by.

Since it was a two-hour lesson, I went to Huron Valley Guns which was about  10 minutes from her driving school.  HVG is a darn nice indoor range and one of very few that let you draw from a holster and from concealment which is very nice.

Started as usual with some 25 yard B-8s. Then I did some Bill Drills and followed it up with some single-shot draws on the timer at 25 yards and 7 yards. Definitely could use some improvement on time as I was on average around 1.5 seconds at 7 yards, but with variations from 1.9 to a one-time run of 1.3 seconds which would be great if I could consistently reproduce it and get below that but I'm not there yet.

I then finished with a 10-10-10 drill - 10 shots at 10 yards in 10 seconds on a B-8.

10 shots in 8.33 seconds from concealment and just missed a 100 with one shot just out in the high right 9 line so its a 99 and something to aim for improvement next time.  It's a fun drill.

Then I headed to pick Leah up, stopping to get her a cold drink on the way, and she was there in time to watch her smoothly pull up and park perfectly between two cars to end her lesson.  Kid is becoming a good driver real fast.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Steee-ripe 1!

On Monday night some we began the chapter of Master Cycle where we learn leg locks.  Leg locks are fun.

This is a good thing as the last time we cycled through leg locks, it was in the middle of Covid and we were virtual only. Learning leg locks without a partner and via Zoom I found to be well-nigh impossible. So, in the class I was really learning it for the first time.  Makes a heckuva lot more sense with a live partner to work it on.

So we began with the basic foot lock and worked on that and then learned the primary defense against the basic foot lock.

We drilled it pretty hard and it was a good workout.

The some promotions occurred at the end of the lesson.

Adrienne earned her Blue Belt

Trevor earned his first stripe on his Blue Belt

And then I got called up and earned the first stripe on my Blue Belt.

That's around 150 further hours of training since earning my Blue Belt, and I'm certainly better than I was then, but still have much to learn and improve upon. A lot of effort for a simple stripe of tape on your belt, but it's worth it.

We then had some rolling wearing our new stripes.

A great way to finish a class.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Bluffing When You Don’t Have A Defense Doesn’t Work

The other side in a case an ex-employee, posted verifiably false accusations against my client and his business on social media. Then played games on retracting it and posted a sarcastic non-retraction retraction.

My client took issue with this game playing and after our demand for a retraction was met with this games the other side was sued.

Note: posting clearly false accusations against someone on social media can get you in quite a bit of trouble especially when it goes out to over a thousand people.

So we sue. Since the other side made false accusations of criminal activity that’s defamation per se so damages are presumed , punitive damages and attorneys fees can be awarded and the other side’s attorney realizes how badly hosed they are.

So settlement talks begin and we make a very fair offer of a posted retraction and apology and payment of attorney fees to date.

Of course, the other side wants to play games. Other side as this is going on stupidly sends texts to third parties about how she’s not really going to settle or really post the retraction. Note that is all admissible and vividly illustrates bad faith, and a friendly third party gives us a heads up about it. Other side doesn’t know that we know.

So they delay and delay, and today we said enough is enough. Either they end the games or the case goes on and by the way, she needs to preserve and turn over all communications she has had with third parties about the case.

Other side’s Attorney then responds that well, "then she’ll just file bankruptcy and you won’t get anything". Note he specializes in bankruptcy and apparently is a friend of a friend of the defendant so that’s how he’s involved.

I replied that he may want to advise his client that intentional torts such as her acts of defamation are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy so we can litigate it there too. Not a problem for us.

Sucks when you bluff and the other side knows you’re not holding any cards, doesn’t  it?

After a couple hours, likely where he read his client the riot act about talking about the case via text to people other than her attorney, they just came back with a far more serious settlement offer.

Some days this job is rather satisfying.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Yes The US Government Did Badly Mess Up The Gas Can

In the Detroit Free Press, a leftist columnist laments that modern American gas cans doth suck.  That it took him this long to realize it makes one wonder how often, if ever that he's used a gas can in recent history.

The Detroit Free Press: I wasted $40 on a couple of nearly unusable gas cans: How to find a good one

The writer, Phelan, notes that these cans were govern mentally mandated  with "improvements" to make them environmentally friendly are not only hard to use, but lead to gas spills and hazards which is hardly good for the environment which is what they were designed to protect, right?

He goes on to note that the changes were due to governmental policy and you  need to get on the "black market" to find decent replacement working spouts.

He does state it was the California and US Governments that combined to mess up something so simple as a gas can, but still thinks the environmental regs that led to him and everyone else using the cans spilling gas are still a good idea - so he can't endorse people retro-fitting them to make them work.

He can see the problem, knows what caused the problem but can't advocate fixing the problem as that would go against his love of governmental regulations no matter how much they make people's lives worse and cause the very problems they purport to solve.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Biden Admin Finds Another Way To Harm American Gun Owners

So who is the Biden administration trying to hurt more (a) American Gun owners or (b) The Russian Government? The answer gets pretty to figure out in just two headlines.

BBC News: Biden lifts US sanctions on major Russian pipeline

Yep, billions of dollars of revenue to Russia now that the pipeline is no longer being sanctioned and blocked by the US.

and  US Department of State: United States Imposes Additional Costs on Russia for the Poisoning of Aleksey Navalny 

The Biden administration is banning future imports of Russian-made firearms and ammunition to the US.  Just as the ammo shortage was starting to ease, the Biden admin goes off and does this - appearing to be tough on Russia in one minor area while making sure American firearm owners, who tend not to be Biden fans suffer accordingly.  This is a much smaller financial loss to Russia than blocking the pipeline would be but it gives the finger to his domestic non-fans.

Funny how that happens.

Saturday Range Day

This morning I joined some friends for breakfast at Molly Pitchers, a restaurant attached to the Huron Valley Guns gun shop. 

Thye serve some great food, and you get to use the range before it officially opens to the public if you have breakfast at the restaurant.

So after breakfast we headed into the indoor range and did some shooting.

Jason and I shared a lane and took turns shooting, Tosh and Anthony had the adjoining lane for an hour shooting time.

First some B-8 targets at 25 yards to warm up.  Interestingly there is a very discernible difference in point of impact between the 115 grain and 150 grain 9mm rounds at 25 yards as I'm zeroed with 147/150 and was shooting some 115.  Not a bad warm up though.

 Then I did some speed shooting - first Jason and I did 5x5x5 drills and I was keeping it consistently clean with well under 4 second strings from concealment and generally around 3.5.

Then on to the Bill Drill of 6 shots at 7 yards into an A-Zone target.  Best I could manage was 3.11 clean, other runs were in the 3.3-3.4 second range (the 3.4 one I had a noticeable hitch as I lost the dot. Brightened it up and got faster) but they were clean also, which shows I still need a lot of work and need to practice more.

Lots of fun and good practice.  A great indoor range where they let you draw from the holster and concealment which is hard to find around here.

We also got to try another friend's CZ bolt action 375 H&H Magnum, and that thing has both a roar at the muzzle and a friendly smack to the shoulder to let you know that you fired it, along with quite the muzzle flash.  Very fun to shoot and recoil is comparable to a 12 gauge slug.

Then we went and browsed the gun shop itself.  Good selection of firearms and there was ammo, albeit not cheap, but it was available.

A good time had by all, and a nice way to spend a morning.  Good bunch of folks. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Covid Court Condition Confusion

Michigan has what is called a One Court of Justice.  However, that doesn't mean the courts all follow a unified plan and follow the same procedure.  Not at all. Each one has their own peculiarities and own procedures that vary immensely.

Take how they are handling Covid for example.

37th District Court in Warren is not just hybrid, but at times the judges demand people appear in person for a hearing or a conference, which sucks as something that takes 10 minutes now takes an hour plus of drive time, sitting around in court waiting to be called in a courtroom with insufficient seats when you could be doing it by Zoom far more efficiently.

There are magic pieces of plexiglass abounding, but tons of gaps in the plexiglass and it is far more for show than for it to be virus no-go.  No requirement for wearing masks and no temperature taking or anything else.

Then there's the 50th District Court in Pontiac.

Live hearings there are just not on and you cannot get within 6 feet of the building.  No kidding.

Went there to pickup a processed filing as told to do so by the court staff, and the court officer stopped me six feet from the door of the building, I had to and did have a mask on, he asked who I was and what I wanted.  After I replied he then kicked over a post office mail carton that had my filing inside.  I picked up my filing and kicked the box back to him. Yes, really.

2 courts. Less than an hour away as the car drives, and completely different responses and protocols.  You really don't know what you're going to get at any particular court.

Personally I'm finding Zoom a great time saver for myself and my clients - no need to drive, find parking, or wait in a crowded courtroom when instead you can get on Zoom at your appointed time and be done fast.  Hopefully they clue in to the efficiencies and permit Zoom usage to continue and the courts all get on board with one protocol so we know what the heck we're dealing with.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Ingham County: Gun Laws Are Not To Be Enforced Against Criminals.

Because doing so is racist, per the prosecutor.   So what good are they then?

WKAR:  Ingham County Prosecutor Pledges To Dial Back Use Of Mandatory Minimum Gun Charge

The woke prosecutor,  Carol Siemon, is against charging criminals with the possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony charge under Michigan law.   

That charge carries a 2-year prison sentence and thus gets felons out of circulation for awhile.  She's opposed to it because it turns out that a lot of felons carrying firearms and committing felonies in her county happen to be Black.

Black people make up 12% of Ingham County’s population, but they accounted for 67% of those charged with felony firearm possession in the county last year, according to a news release from the prosecutor's office.

Given that FBI statistics show Blacks at 13% of the national population commit 50% of the murders in America and 45% of all violent crime in general (with most of the murder victims being Black) the statistics seem to concord quite well with the existence in her county of a very active felon subclass of the Black population.

The prosecutor went to to say that punishment doesn't work so why bother.  Well she actually said that:

"We've learned, of course, that deterrence is not a very strong motivator, unfortunately."

Siemon says the penalty hasn't made the public safer since prosecutors can add the charge even if the gun was legally owned or if the gun wasn't used in the underlying felony for which someone was arrested. Instead, she says, the charge is a major driver of racial disparities in incarceration. 

Putting felons in jail for felony firearm possession would result in keeping them off the street and not commititng cirmes, incuding crimes agaisnt racial minorities, but that is insufficiently woke.

Of course, she reserves the right to bring such a charge against the right kind of people: 

Although Siemon can't stop police from arresting people for firearm possession, she says her office will be more limited in approving the charge.

Any use of the charge will need to be OK'd by Siemon herself or the county's chief assistant prosecutor, according to a new policy announced Tuesday.

Siemon says she'll limit approval of the charge to "extreme circumstances,"

A little anarcho-tyrrany there, where criminal felons of the right skin color will go uncharged, and one can expect that those non-felons of a different color using a firearm to defend themselves may get hit with this charge.

In other woke news, she also refuses to charge criminals caught with drugs or firearms during traffic stops with any crimes.   

This isn't just being soft on crime.  This is giving criminals a complete pass when caught with illegal items as long as it's during a traffic stop, which is the best time to actually stop them, before they're a the scene of their next crime.  

Expect crime in Ingham County to start tracking upwards as criminals take note of the new hands-off approach to crime in the name of wokeness.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 21 - You Guessed It, More Approaches

I now have the route to Flint pretty down pat.

Did the pre-flight, did the run-up on the ramp, and left a half-hour earlier than usual as a checkride was going to use the plane so we needed to have a quicker lesson.  On the upside this lessened the stampede from DCT to the runway as we left before most traffic took off as a result.  I did take off behind a Falcon and a Citation jet which was pretty nice.

Winds were calm but quite a few layers of clouds.  Climbed to 3,000 and picked through them on the way.

Got setup for Flint to first do a ILS 27 approach with full procedure.  Did the procedure turn and hold and came in on the ILS just fine.  Went missed and then went to do the VOR 36 circle to 27.

This got me a bit behind the aircraft in terms of setup as it was busy and things were happening rather fast, but I got it figured out and learned a few tips to make it go smoother.  In short, use the GPS to get to the VOR and then switch the CDI - it works a lot better than playing with all the radials to track to the VOR when you're so close to a VOR after you get missed instructions and have been flying traffic vectors hither and yon.  I then did the full procedure for VOR 36 too, then did a decent but not great circle to 27 and then went missed.

Picked up an IFR clearance back to Pontiac and got to travel in and out of the clouds at 5,000 feet and then the RNAV 27L to 27R and land, which went very well, as RNAVs tend to do for me.  To be fair, they're pretty darn hard to mess up.  Good landing and that was that.

Overall, I'd say it wasn't my best lesson ever, and the last lesson was better, flying but I think I'm getting the concept.

So 1.6, with 1.0 simulated instrument, .3 actual and 1 nice landing.

A Birthday And The First Day Of School

Today Leah turned 15.  

It is also the first day of school for the kids.

So it began with a cherry cheesecake with 15+1 candles, flowers, and presents:

And it continued with them getting in Abby's car and heading off to their first day of school as a Senior and a Sophomore.

They're both growing up a little too darn fast. Leah has already begun driver's ed and Abby is starting to apply to colleges.

Monday, August 16, 2021

B-17 Yankee Lady And Her Little Friends

The Yankee Air Museum's B-17G Yankee Lady took to the skies.

The rumble of her 4 engines filled the sky as made her passes along the show line.


The Yankee Lady was then joined by some little friend -  P-51 Mustangs flying escort.

The escorts protecting the bomber included Mad Max, Old Crow, Gentleman Jim and Cincinnati Miss


It's always thrilling to see and hear that many Mustangs maneuvering through the air.

And Just Like That

The Master's Degree program in Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Kabul is now cancelled.

Yes, no kidding, they had one.  

Too bad both the University and the UN didn't concentrate more on anti-corruption, basic civilization, how to progress beyond the 7th Century, and how to go about effectively fighting the Taliban before getting into higher-level esoteric gender theory.

On the upside, and it's likely to be the only upside to come of this debacle, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan will provide lots and lots of ongoing opportunities for progressive feminists looking to research what an actual misogynistic patriarchal society looks like.   

You know, they can now study in detail an actual society run by Islamist religious uber-zealots where the Handmaid's Tale is the least bad that can be expected, with burkas instead of snazy red and white uniforms.

This is, of course, assuming they want to leave the comforts of claiming the United States is a terrible misogynistic country par excellence where there is an ongoing systemic war on women, and also leave the comfort of their academic towers and taxpayer-funded research grants to do so, in order to head out to see what a real hellhole and actual war on women looks like.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

The A400M Atlas - The European Hercules On Steroids

Thunder Over Michigan had a performer from Europe come to show its stuff.

The Luftwaffe's Airbus A-400M Atlas.  

Checkout those neat curved props.

The A-400 is a four-engine turboprop  cargo aircraft that can also perform med-evac and aerial refueling capabilities. Larger than a C-130 Hercules and smaller than a C-17.  The aircraft has a 422 knot cruise speed and a range of 1,800 nm with full payload and a 4,700 nm ferry range.   It has rough landing strip capability and a lot of cargo versatility.

The A400M came in for some passes with the ramp down


Then some low speed passes to show off its low speed maneuvering.

It looks even larger in person and is quite an impressive transport aircraft.

A very nice display of the capabilities and handling of the A400M courtesy of the Luftwaffe.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Thunder Over Michigan - The Growler And The Corsair

The Navy's EA-18G Growler Demonstration team participated at the airshow.

The  EA-18G Growler is the electronic warfare version of the Super Hornet.

The crowd got to watch a Super Hornet go through its paces, and demonstrate its high Alpha and maneuverability.

The air was all sorts of humid, so the Growler had no problem creating vapor trails.


The Super Hornet also created some shock diamonds from its twin engines.



After the initial demo, a Corsair joined up for some historic Navy fly-bys:

Note the nose angle of the Growler in this pic as it stays on the Corsair's wing.

After flying together they the broke off and and Hornet gave a nice parting shot of its roaring engines to end the demonstration.

The EA-18G Growler is a large, loud, and very maneuverable aircraft and put on an impressive display.

A Couple Decent Movies For Your Consideration

Went to the movies for the opening night of Free Guy.

The theater was almost empty, whether due to people forgetting there are movie theaters, or overblown fear of Covid, we got some excellent seats, but for an opener it was pretty much abandoned with at most 12 people in the whole theater.

On the upside, no one was chatting during the film, no obstructed views from people spreading out, nor anyone obnoxiously playing on their phones.  As such the few people there enjoyed the movie.

Ryan Reynolds, as is pretty much always the case with Ryan Reynolds,  delivered an excellent and fun comedic performance and really made the movie. 

Worth seeing and a lot of fun, quite a few laugh out loud moments, and a great summer flick.  No really serious message just a nice leave your mind behind and enjoy kind of film.

The movie delivers only one silly swipe at "gun violence" but hey, its Hollywood and they have to get some culture war nonsense in somewhere, but it doesn't overly detract from an otherwise solid action comedy that basically is Hollywood's obsession with showing gun violence writ large.

Then on Amazon Prime there's We Still Kill The Old Way

The movie is free to Prime subscribers and well worth the watch.

Ian Ogilvy delivers a superb performance as a older, urbane, and very stylish retired gentleman gangster.  He's brought back into it when his brother is killed by a bunch of today's youthful unrefined yobbos tearing up the East End of London.

It's a rather stylish movie that demonstrates why the adage “Beware of an old man in a profession where men usually die young." is a thing.

In short, the movie has age, cunning, style, and experience tear a swath through a gang of youthful vulgar toughs in a very smart, satisfying, and very, very, British manner.

Not one to be missed.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 20 - More Approaches

More approaches was the name of the game today.

Took off with Nicholas as my instructor for today.  Nice guy.  We needed to top off the front strut first as it was too low, so i got to see how that is done, which is kinda neat.

Then off to Flint for more approaches.  Clouds were kinda low but we kept it VFR below 3,000 feet.  Generally calm but a bit of turbulence in spots to make things interesting.

First approach was a full procedure ILS 27 approach and then go missed.

Next was the VOR 36, circle to 27 and I landed as the circle to land is apparently being heavily scrutinized by the examiners on the check-rides these days.  Good setup and landing even as it felt like one heckuva tight turn from base to final to the runway.

Then waiting a bit and after that a back taxi on 27 and then off and taxi to the runway threshold and wait to get cleared to take off again.  Fun with construction at Flint.

Then up and the RNAV 27 which I did very well and a missed and to pontiac and a RNAV 27L circle to 27R and land.

I think I'm getting better with holding headings and altitudes, certainly more aware of deviations and moving faster to fix them.  Other elements are rather good so I think I may just be making some progress.  Next, I need to work on DA/MDA and exactly where the missed approach point is on each approach as when its simulated it gets a tad weird.   I'll get a handle on it.

I'd say that was a positive lesson with some progress and more comfort with the techniques, scan,  and control.

That's 2.1, with 1.9 simulated instrument, 2 landings, 4 approaches and 2 holds.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

On Shortages, Dishwashers, Trucks, And Broken Supply Chains

Well, a couple days ago our dishwasher, that I had to repair back in March, decided to say goodbye to it all.  It will clean no more.  It spits out the soap pod, shoots a but of cursory water around and then fails, and then it finally failed completely and wouldn't even do that.

Given that it is all of three years old and it has decided to quit, that rather sucked.

So looking for new dishwashers and it turns out they are now hard to find.

Want a Bosch, which is a highly rated and recommended brand?  Most places are back-ordered one year.   Most other brands are limited in stock and back-orders are measured in numbers of months, not weeks.

So, we went to a local appliance store and ordered what they had in stock, which came down to a choice between all of three models out of the many they had on display.  Most models are currently unobtanium.  We ordered a GE dishwasher - as it had an excellent rating, nice features, most importantly that it was available and it works and gets dishes clean, made in the USA, parts are plentiful and better exceed the Whirlpools pathetic 3-year lifespan. We shall see.

On to trucks.

My friend has a new Ford diesel truck, bought with a high-level warranty and all the trimmings.  Great truck but  .  .  .

Unfortunately a sensor, a $20 part has gone bad, which puts the truck in limp mode to travel 25 miles to get to a dealer.

We were going to take it to Thunder over Michigan but it was not to be.  It has now been sitting at the dealer for over 3 weeks as the dealer cannot get the part, and the dealer is refusing to honor the warranty that provides a rental car for such a breakdown as they have no rental cars available and will not get one for him.  

Nice huh?  Apparently some of these sensors are sitting on the unfinished yet built newer trucks that are sitting on factory lots but cannot be sold as they lack chips etc, but they won't pull the sensor off one of those to get his truck up and running. 

He's also been told that the Ford factory workers are raiding those "mostly completed" vehicles for parts so they can roll out more "mostly completed" vehicles off the line and get credit for building them.  Apparently, once the parts come available they will be shipped to dealers, and dealer service people and not the factories will be responsible for installing the parts per what he was told. 

This will certainty make buying a 2021 year Ford vehicle a rather risky prospect as the build quality and the parts shuffling will make them rather suspect in terms of build quality.

These supply chain problems are causing quite a drag on the economy - used car prices here are way, way up, and there's a dearth of new cars available to be bought or leased, and appliances and many other goods reliant on chips and electronics are clearly in short supply.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Thunder Over Michgian - Flight of The Mitchells

The Mitchells took to the air.

A sight that would make people below either cheer or run, depending on whose side you were on.

They had fun in formation and then many came by for close-ups.

Champagne Gal did a fly by with her bomb bay doors open.

Then she did a high speed pass with them closed.

Devil Dog came in for a close up

Georgie's Gal came by to let everyone admire the nose art.

Miss Mitchell was not to be outdone

Rosie's Reply flew over her home field with aplomb.

Show Me showed herself off.

Take off Time also wanted to show off her nose art.

Next, Wild Cargo also came in for a close up.

As did Yankee Doodle.

A bit more formation flying was done.

Then they came in to land.


An excellent display of formation flying by these wonderfully historic aircraft.  This may be the last time so many B-25s fly together.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 19 - IMC Approaches

Today the weather was pretty much Marginal VFR at best, which meant lots of real IFR time in the clouds for me.

I was paired up with Reece and I filed an IFR flight plan to Flint and back to Pontiac, with Flint as the alternative.

Then after the preflight I got everything pre-loaded for the VOR 18 circle to 27 approach at Flint and off we went.

We hit IMC at around 2,800 feet and stayed in IMC the whole way with occasional rain hitting the plane for more fun, as well as some neat updrafts.  Then we got in line for the VOR 18 approach as it was rather busy.  Great Lakes Approach had us vectored out and then later called us back in on the procedure turn.

A little bumpy and rainy and I was over-controlling as usual - blech,  Got it straightened out and then after the procedure turn did the approach to minimums and then circled and landed on 27.  I need to keep the circle a little tighter but it was ok and a good landing.

Then we waited to take off again for a bit so I pre-loaded the ILS 27 approach in and got as much done as possible before we took off, including briefing the approach.  We got a clearance to take off and fly runway heading.  Then got another vector and were basically flying in solid IMC.

Then Great Lakes Approach completely forgot about us and we pretty much ended up over Lapeer and then they vectored us back, including one weird turn command that they countermanded once Reece asked them about it as it was a 270 degree turn in the wrong direction that they then fixed to 90 degrees in the proper direction,  and then they vectored us in for the ILS as they couldn't give us the whole procedure.

I then flew that quite well down to minimums and did a missed and headed back to Pontiac again in IMC. Then we did the RNAV 27L circle to 27R and I landed and that was that.

In short Reece said I do all the advanced things very well - my radio work and dealing with clearances is great; I pre-load approaches and activitate them; identify VORs and localizers and all the complicated stuff and I'm ahead in doing all that.  I'm also better now at zipping on down to the proper altitudes for the VOR approach, which is good.

However I need to work on the basics - intercepting a course, level flight and turns to a heading, and getting to the right heading to get the ground track as the heading on the heading indicator really isn't the ground track, especially when it's windy out. So I need to work more on the basics.  I still have a real right turning  tendency, especially when hitting IMC.

That's 2.2 with 1.2 actual, .8 simulated, and 3 approaches and 2 landings.

Monday, August 09, 2021


So the Earth has now gone around the sun forty-nine times now that I've been upon it.

This birthday began as all birthdays do in our household - with a cherry cheesecake.

We did have a candle shortage though, but they made do, so I didn't have to blow out 49 candles nor have all the smoke alarms go off in the house.

Now to do a bit of work and then we have an outing this afternoon to an undisclosed (at least to me so far) location.

Thunder Over Michigan 2021 - Mitchell Madness

The largest gathering in the world of B-25 Mitchell bombers in flying condition took place this weekend at Thunder Over Michigan.

Formerly The Yankee Warrior, the Yankee Air Museum's own B-25 now repainted as Rosie's Reply


Devil Dog, which I last saw with Murph in 2018 in Louisiana:

Georgie's Gal:

Wild Cargo:

Semper Fi:

Maid In The Shade:

Show Me:

Champaign Gal:

Miss Mitchell:

And quite a few others, and then they all took to the skies, with 15 B-25 Mitchells in flight.