Sunday, October 31, 2021

If You’re Going To Run A False-Flag Op, At Least Put Some Effort Into It

You've likely heard the curious tale of some folks dressed up as white-supremacist Trump supporters, complete with Tiki Torches and MAGA hats showing up to claim their support for the Youngkin gubernatorial campaign in Virginia.

Apparently finding five actual white supremacists in Virginia is kinda hard (I mean getting them out of their parents' basements and into the light of day is typically rather difficult), so they had to settle for 4 white guys and a black dude.

Since said black dude is unlikely to be, pace Dave Chappelle, a Black Klansman, something was kinda fishy from the start.

Even better, it has been alleged that a couple of the white participants have been identified as a high up members of the Virginia Young Democrats. The Lincoln Project has since taken responsibility for the smear attempt.  In short, it appears that in Virginia you really do need to go to the Democrats to find some people willing to dress up as white supremacist types.

Washington Examiner: Lincoln Project takes credit for tiki torch stunt McAuliffe campaign passed off as genuine Youngkin supporters

Why exactly the Lincoln Project, allegedly just a bunch of "Never Trump Republicans" but otherwise alleging to be Republicans, seem to be fully in the tank for Democrats,  when they are not otherwise engaged in acts of pederasty that is, remains unanswered. But, it's likely all about the money.

Friday, October 29, 2021

How Very Not Good

Apparently, every happy event must be matched with a not-so-happy event.

Well, my business accounts at Chase got hacked at around 5:30 last night and they had a lot of money taken out via ACH and no one at Chase is telling me how it happened. Good thing I happened to check the account as In was finishing work at 6 and saw it - aside from the heart attack from seeing it that is.

Apparently it was not a password breach as my password and even the username for the business have been changed before this occurred, shared with no one, I do regular weekly anti-virus and malware scans are done on my computer, I don't go to strange sites on this computer, and they're not saying there was any suspicious sign-ons at all, so it's likely they got in some other way - but Chase is not saying.

The scumbags somehow managed to do online transfers to take money out of my account and send it to Discover and to Voyager (apparently some kind of crypto-currency thing) incredibly quickly and without so much as a by your leave.

Chase security last night was decidedly unhelpful.  It appears their call center is off-shore and while they were a bit hard to understand and times it seemed they didn't understand much either.  You would think the security division would be a bit more competent.  Over three hours on the phone and I ended up feeling worse rather than better and now believe the bank's security for its customers  from such acts is somewhere from inadequate to non-existent.

The person on the phone stated that if someone has the routing number and account number they can wire money out of the account no problem.  Since that information is on every check that's rather worrisome and there better be better safeguards.  The criminal made to minor deposits of a few cents each and then immediately pulled out a lot of money from the account in two big pulls which is rather bad as that's got me in a bad spot.

The person on the phone then stated it was ok and she would do the dispute claims contesting it for me but I should go into a branch to change the account numbers when they open this morning.

Welp, wouldn't you know the person on the phone did not actually do a dispute claim for the monies that were taken out.  Oh, no  - she did it only for the two tiny deposits put into the account!   Both I and the Branch Manager looked at each other in disbelief when we found that out.

So  I'm rather hosed as it will be at least 15 days to process the claim and return the money at  the earliest.  My account numbers , and username and password have all been changed so I have no checks to pay the bills that are coming up and need to order new ones and it's a rather problematic mess having to change all sorts of things including everything that is linked to those accounts.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Lugers! Elegant Firearms From A Less Civilized Age

I've been chasing P.08 Lugers on auction sites for awhile now, and they keep getting bid out of my reach.  

I try to decide what amount I'm willing to buy for an item for at an auction and then not go over once decided no matter what.  That way I don't get auction fever and thus I end up with no regrets or as the kids say today - no regerts.

So I bid what I bid, which was kinda on the lowish side, and the auction came around.

And - I was away from my computer at the time they came around, and it turned out I had won two of them.  I was not expecting that.  Oops, that was not intended.

They arrived, interestingly enough shipped by the auction house via Priority Mail.  The Post Office dumped the box at the door, and claimed on the delivery tracking that it had been signed for by a resident and it had not.  Nice.

Well I opened the package and got to look closely at what I had won.

One is a World War One Era Luger, manufactured by Erfurt and dated 1912, complete with a German Imperial crown.


The other is a World War Two Era Mauser manufactured Luger marked S/42 and dated 1938


Both are all matching numbers except the magazines.

In short for what I bid, I likely got a screaming good deal on them.

The toggle action is really rather neat.  Take-down and reassembly is more involved and requires a fair bit more fiddling than with a modern pistol, but not bad once you get the hang of it.

I disassembled them both. Cleaned and lubricated them.  Both came quite clean but dry from the auction house, which was nice.  A little lubrication and they move along very smoothly.  Both have really nice triggers, I was quite impressed with how nice the triggers feel.

So I took them to the range today and met up with Tosh.  First time for both of us to ever fire a Luger.  Started with a single round loading from the magazines, then two in the magazines to test firing and feeding.  No problems so we then tried five rounds, and finally went on to full magazines.

Both Lugers functioned absolutely flawlessly.

The Lugers really sit nicely in the hand.  Recoil is practically non-existent, allowing for very fast shooting.  Sights are certainly small but usable and line up on target very quickly. The Luger toggle action is ridiculously cool.

For fun with our last 5 rounds each we did a 3x2 drill with them, from a low ready and on safe, as I have no holster that fits the Luger.

Not bad, a clean run in 3.24 for a first time out for a pistol made in 1912.

Tosh tried it with the 1938 Luger.

3.44 with a miss outside the head box. 

Two very nice pieces of working military history.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Detroit Busts State Firearms Preemption

Detroit Just passed a Gun Control Ordinance.

The Detroit Free Press: Convicted of domestic violence and living in Detroit? You could lose your gun.

Of course it's all for the purported noble reason of taking guns from domestic abusers.

The problems with it are multi-fold:

First under Federal law, the Lautenberg Amendment, people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence already can't possess firearms so the law is duplicative.

Next,  it likely would not have prevented the death of the female police Sargent killed by her domestic partner. After all, it's not like he respected the Federal prohibition and it didn't stop him, so it's highly unlikely a city ordinance will do much more.  

After all it's not like he has to fear much from the Detroit area justice system.  After all, after killing her he was then let out on  bond.  If a Wayne County judge won't keep a suspect of the murder of a police officer in jail, does anyone expect a judge will do much with someone convicted of a misdemeanor dv found with a firearm violating the ordinance?

More problematic is what you and I may think of domestic violence - namely a spouse / significant other / dating partner beating another spouse / significant other / dating partner is only a fraction of what gets defined as domestic violence under the law.

I've seen domestic violence convictions when brothers get involved in a scrap outside the home and the police get called.  Since they live in the same home, yep the assault conviction becomes a conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence. 

I've also seen charges brought claiming domestic violence for issues that really didn't quite fit what the average person thinks would be domestic violence.  including prosecutions of a spouse who confiscated illegal drugs from his spouse and flushing them down the toilet to stop her form using them - she called the police to complain, and since there was physical contact when the drugs were grabbed, he got charged with domestic violence.  Yep, no kidding.

Next and also rather problematic the ordinance violates Michigan's state level preemption on local units of government passing firearms laws.  Under MCL 123.1102:

A local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols, other firearms, or pneumatic guns, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state.

 Pretty straightforward that it's preempted by state law and  should be overturned on that basis alone. 

While no one wants actual domestic abusers to possesses firearms and be able to attack their domestic others, the ordinance is a foot in the door for further game playing by the City of Detroit in the firearm arena and needs to be opposed for that reason.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 34 - Mostly Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sunday Match Day

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mixed Messages From The Educational Establishment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 23, 2021

A Great Jitsu Seminar

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

The visiting instructor was black belt Evandro Nunes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did I mention he's really tall?

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

Friday, October 22, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 33 - Could Do Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

When You Get What You Want Good And Hard

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not Flying - Can You Hold, Please?

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

About time I took on this major source of frustration.

Discussed holds for a bit and then hit the simulator.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Move Over Murder Hornets, Make Way For Attack Deer

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

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


Monday, October 18, 2021

Let's Go Brandon Meme Travels Across The Northern Border

This is rather interesting:

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


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

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

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Piper Playtime

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

Unfortunately for the red solo cup, love bites. 

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

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

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

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

Teamwork makes the dream work


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

Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Night Out On The Farm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 15, 2021

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

Did kinda a pre-stage checkride checkride today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Swamp Takes Care Of Its Own

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

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

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

Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Charges ruled out in McCabe lie case

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

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

Thursday, October 14, 2021

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

You might just have a little media bias showing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ghost Robotics and the Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle

What could possibly go wrong?



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

More Than About Time And Still Rather Late

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

Starting sometime in early November.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Seattle Shopkeepers Petition For City Funds For Security

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

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

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

If only.

Flying IFR - Lesson 31 - Some Bouncy Approaches

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

The reports were correct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sunday Match Day

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Expect Biden To Forgive Student Loans

Why?  Because I just paid mine off.

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

It is nice to finally have them done. 

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

This has advantages and disadvantages.

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 08, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 30 - An Interesting Diversion

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

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

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

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

Switched to N1869H and we were off.

Right into the soup with clouds and rain.

Broke out at 3,000 feet between two layers.


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

We then hit more clouds on the way to Flint.

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

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

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

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

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

No Bueno.

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

My first real IFR diversion.

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

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

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

It was a much longer lesson than I had anticipated.

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Not Flying - Simulator Fun And Follies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did I mention I now really hate holds? 

Yep, I really need to figure this crap out.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Tone Deaf, Much?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decline Is A Choice

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

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

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

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

Among the reasons stated for this decision: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 03, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 02, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleaning Day

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

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

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

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

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

Then the not-so-enjoyable experience:  

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

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

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

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

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

Cleaning that up was no fun. 

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

It's always got to be something.

Friday, October 01, 2021

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

Today was a simulated checkride flying day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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