Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 38 - IFR By Night

It was a night lesson tonight.  This is good as I'm way out of practice in night flying, and it was my first time flying IFR at night.

Got to the airport just before 6pm and started preflighting the plane, 88J.   It was a  No-Go as the plane had a very loose alternator belt and some other issues that Kevin didn't like, namely the bolts connecting the landing gear were loose and wouldn't tighten on one side.  The on to N8570F and that one got down-checked as a couple of the bolts attaching the right landing gear were actually broken which is not good.  Someone messed up a cross-wind landing and over-stressed them it would appear.  These planes do get used kinda hard.

So we were kinda running out of planes.

So on to N1869H.  The plane with the ever-sliding seat and the mis-rigging.  Sigh.

At least it passed the preflight. Yes, the seat did slide. And the yoke must be held slightly left in order to fly straight.  Sigh.

We then went to do the most recent instrument check-ride the examiner had done to get used to it - Troy RNAv 9 circle 27, then KPTK RNAV 27L and KPTK Localizer Back Course 27L partial panel.

Interestingly enough, we would do them VFR without flight following. Clouds were just high enough that it wasn't an issue to be VFR at 3,000 feet.

So, up we went to Troy, and I did the RNAV 9 full procedure with a miss and not a circle as circling to 27 is not authorized at night.

Then to Pontiac and I did the RNAV 27L, then got told to contact Detroit Approach for the Localizer Approach as Pontiac didn't want us doing that one by ourselves.

So just as I'm getting vectored, Kevin kills the G5s and I'm partial panel while being vectored. 

In the dark.

With the NAV 2 VOR instrument being unlit.

So, I have to shine a red flashlight at it while flying.  Yay, a nice new challenge.  I get everything programmed and identified and fly vectors as I get the approach going.

Good approach, a fair bit of work keeping the needle centered doing a few S-turns but then got it locked in and all good.  Nice descent to Minimum Descent Altitude and a pretty good but not great landing.  I need two more landings to get night current again, hopefully I'll knock those out next week.

Instrument flying is a bit more challenging at night - you're still looking just in the cockpit but you don't have as much peripheral vision and the instruments are harder to make out.    Upsides are its dark so there's less distractions outside, and the runways do stand out from the backclutter a lot more at night. 

Overall I feel I'm getting better at being more precise with both heading and altitude, but I do need to keep a sharper eye on the altimeter as I do have a climbing tendency. But, this time I got the plane trimmed out just right on at 3,000 feet, mis-rigging and all. That felt good.

A challenging flight and a lot of fun to do. 

That's 1.4 night with 1.0 simulated instrument, 3 approaches, 1 hold and a good night landing.

Monday, November 29, 2021

That White Stuff On The Ground Means It's Time To Slow Down

Just enough snow and ice present on the streets this morning to present a problem for the morning commute.

It's not a lot and the streets look pretty clear, and that is the problem.  A lot of clear ice abounds.  

A lot of people have forgotten how to drive in the winter, and with driving skills already degraded by the Covid shutdowns, it really shows.

Saw a couple decent traffic accidents on the way to work already due to cars not being able to brake in sufficient time on ice.  In short, ice just laughs at your brakes, and inertia is not your friend at an iced-over intersection.

Winter is a time to give yourself more space and increased stopping distance, and to plan to give yourself more time for your commute due to the need to drive in a more careful and controlled manner.

There's more coming in tonight to create a slippery layer on the morrow, so plan ahead for your morning drive.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Happy Chanukah!

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah (or Hanukkah the transliteration is not fixed either way), celebrating the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks.  

Yet another example of the standard in Jewish holidays:

 1. They tried to kill us; 2. The Lord delivered us; 3. We won; and 4. Let's eat.

So we lit the Hanukkiah, said the prayers, and made latkas, which were tasty and awesome as always.

May you have a very Happy Chanukah!

Another Attack That Will Soon Be Buried

As in the case of the BLM supporter Darrell Brooks in Waukesha Wisconsin who killed six so far and whose culpability is being quickly buried and downplayed by the media, there was a recent incident in Kalamazoo that's about to get similar treatment.

The Detroit News: Police fatally shoot man who wounded 3 bus passengers in SW Michigan

The Detroit Free Press:  At least 3 hurt, gunman wounded in Kalamazoo bus station shooting

You'll note neither story fails to mention a salient fact about the attacker and the motive remains unclear.  Funny that.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 37 - Flying With A Scattering Of Snow

Prior to heading out for my flying lesson, I had a turkey wing for breakfast. This was rather appropriate and it fortified me nicely for my flying lesson.

A nice cold and crisp day at the airport.  Complete with pilot reports of icing starting in the clouds around 3,000 feet.

So below 3,000 we would stay.

Did the preflight of N8570F in the hangar, which was nice as it was out of the cold wind and made the preflight most pleasant.

I can't believe it but no one else has mentioned that when they're flying this plane they have Zero Foxtrots to give, or they're all out of Foxtrots while flying it.  Apparently I'm the first to draw that conclusion.

Mirabile dictu, both runways were fully open at Pontiac. About time and we almost have no idea what to do with all the time saved from not doing long convoluted taxiing. 

Anyways, had a good takeoff in a  decent crosswind and off to Flint in a bit of a snow-shower so we hung around 2,700 feet to avoid the icing waiting in the clouds above.  Then to Flint for first the ILS 27, followed by the VOR 36 Circle to 27.  Overall really good, just got to lock down my altitudes a bit tighter, and tighten the hold, and yes I did the entry for it correctly but need to be a little tighter on the entry with the wind.  Not bad.  Went missed for both and headed to Pontiac for the dreaded partial panel Localizer Back Course 27L.

The first Localizer Back Course 27L went quite well and I had everything nice and dialed in remembered everything, had a great approach, and went missed. Partial panel presented no partial problems.

Then on the second one we had a jet behind us so we had to do everything a fair bit faster as requested by ATC.  Again not bad.  Then tower had us sidestep to Runway 27R so the jet could come in on 27L. Having two runways again presented such a delightful plethora of choices.  So over to 27R I went, and I did just an excellent landing in a gusty crosswind.  I really was rather pleased with how nice that landing was, I mean it was just perfect and a great way to end the lesson - I need to eat more turkey wings, it seems.

Looks like I'm getting closer.  DCT is fretting that I don't want to use their preferred examiner because they really know what he does on a checkride and kinda teaches to his preferences.  So I can see their point.  But, and it's a big but, I had a lousy experience with their guy on my private and am still not really comfortable with their guy.  I may be overthinking this but in any case I'm going to call a DPE that has been recommended to me and see what his availability might be. Terrible rumor I just heard is the DPE that was suggested to me flies south for the winter, and if that's the case I'm screwed.  Update - Yes,I am indeed screwed as he's not booking any more check rides for the year.  Now looking for alternatives.

That's 1.7 with 1.5 simulated instrument, 4 approaches, one hold and a really nice landing.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lots to be thankful for this year.

The turkey is now roasting happily in the oven, and all preparations are underway for a proper Thanksgiving feast.

I hope you and yours enjoy this most wonderful and American of holidays.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Someone Turned 18 Today

So we now have another adult in the house.

Abby turned 18. 

The Birthday Breakfast, as tradition requires, was cherry cheesecake.


 She had a great birthday.

I'm Back

Variety of issues confounded my postings here recently.

First and foremost, the Macbook I used had issues and had to go get repaired.  Since it was still under warranty this was a good thing, but it had to be sent to the depot which was not so good. This made work a lot more cumbersome and I needed to use a desktop at home and iPad at the office which was not nearly as functional so everything took longer than it should have and it wasted a lot of time.  I also found out that lots of passwords to needed systems didn't in fact copy over to other Apple devices.

Worse the laptop had two distinct issues - the screen had a small crater in the lower right, right at the hinge of the case, and the keyboard was not working well and had visible wear.  

So it was written up as two work orders. Sadly, that let them screw up and do one repair, the screen, and return the laptop to the store yet completely miss the other rather obvious one so it had to be sent back yet again.  

This meant a whole week without the laptop which was highly frustrating.

On top of that I got hit with either Norovirus or a gastric attack last Tuesday night that lasted through Thursday.  Not a recommended way to drop 6 pounds and when you can't even keep water down, it's not a good thing.

Also did some oral check-ride preparation with instructors this week that went well so it's moving along.

So today, the Laptop is now finally back so posting will get back to normal.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Weird Supply Chain Shortages

In today's episode of stores being out of certain things we have the latest local shortage to report:

Distilled Water.

Yep, distilled water was nowhere to be found within quite a radius as Kroger, CVS, etc were all out if it.

Had my Dad over for the weekend and he needs distilled water for his CPAP machine and none was to be found.  Fortunately we had a reserve supply and he had some with him so it all worked out but I've never seen the shelves completely bare of distilled water.  Other water was there and in plenty so it wasn't some weird panic buy - just a nice local shortage and a need to lower expectations or something.

A good visit was had, and he's off to his warm location for the winter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Not Flying - Oral Check-Ride Study Session

Tonight I had a pre-checkride oral exam with Alec, a nice, thorough and good instructor Ive flown with before who clearly wants me to do well. He wasn't doing it as some kind of rote approach but actively worked on what I need to know and to see how much I know and where he can help fill in the gaps. Like i said a good instructor.

Started with the areas of the three question I got wrong on the written test and I did just fine. At least one of the mistakes, if not two of them, were due to how the questions were worded so I had no trouble explaining the concepts and regulations properly in those areas.

Moved on to weather in detail and then onto the Low Level IFR map symbology. Yep I learned things in those areas tonight as after all, I sure as heck don’t know nor remember everything.

He then had me prepare an IFR flight plan and he liked how I did it.  

Went on to discuss loss of communication protocols - which I have down solidly - and some other areas that broadened and refined my knowledge and that was that. 

He then gave some advice on what to bring to the checkride and to prepare for it and then signed me off with all excellent scores on the oral prep.

Quite a useful lesson, and I'll take it as a sign that I'm getting closer to the finish line.  After all, it has to be out there somewhere, right?

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Hair Shirt / Plastic Mat School of Environmentalism

The kids' school, in addition to the standard curriculum, which is demanding in and of itself, requires them to take extra enrichment classes as they do their studies.

Some are excellent - for example a trip to Alabama to learn about segregation and the civil rights movement which Abby enjoyed, and learned a lot while seeing actual historic places and talking to people who were there. 

An enrichment on photography was pretty good, as was a class on learning how to make reasoned arguments.

Some of these enrichments though are not so good.

The current enrichment they both signed up for was on the environment.  It was available to fit their schedules, they needed an enrichment this term, and so they signed up.

So their required assignment for the enrichment was for each of them to create a sleeping mat to be donated to the homeless.

The environmental catch - it had to be made by them via crochet with them using plastic bags to create the mat following instructions.  Apparently this is to teach the kids to reuse evil environmentally-unfriendly plastic bags in new ways rather than as actual useful and reusable bags.

Well, it's in fact actually more an example of environmental stupidity than anything else.

To make the mats, you first have to cut plastic bags into strips and then crochet them into ropes and then into the mat design.

It does come out ok, eventually, but there's a catch.

We ran out of plastic bags to use at home.  Our bag of bags rapidly became empty. We also need those bags as Piper accident waste bags.   This caused issues.  Every bag we had and more got turned into crochet pieces.

It also makes the mats not look particularly good with the many varieties of plastic shopping bags being used.

We then started giving them new kitchen garbage bags to use for the project which are a lot easier to work with than the thin plastic shopping bags.  The second mat was made with 100% new kitchen garbage bags.

 Certainly looks nicer and the thicker material actually makes it kinda comfy.

Add to this material issue is the fact that it takes hours and hours and hours and hours for kids to crochet a 6-foot-long sleeping mat.  Hours they could be using studying or doing other useful rather than busy-work. It's literally taken them  months and lots of hours of time to get this done.

In the simplest terms this enrichment class is more about environmentalists' stupidity, feel-good-ism, and wasting time and resources while not effectively solving a problem, than it is about environmentalism. 

Not what they were trying to teach, but I sure hope the kids picked up on it.

In short, for the amount of time and materials the kids put in, mats could instead be purchased from Amazon, in a quantity sufficient enough for an entire Platoon to sleep on, providing nice, high-quality, sleeping mats for 50 homeless people rather than two ersatz ones.  Likely even more could be bought at a discount in a bulk purchase.

There's a lesson to be learned here, but it's certainly not the one the environmental enrichment class was trying to teach.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 36 - Approaches With A Side Of Turbulence

It looks nice outside today.  High scattered clouds, overall a clear blue sky, a bit of a gusty wind.

What you don't see is the turbulence, lots and lots of turbulence. 

Took off from Pontiac and headed towards Flint.  This time we left VFR and picked up VFR flight following from Great Lakes Approach to do the approaches at Flint.

We were getting bounced around a bit and it kept getting worse.

Did the Flint ILS 27 approach full procedure with the hold and did it and the hold rather well.  Great Lakes Approach liked my hold so much they kept me in it for traffic spacing for quite awhile and sent me off on the outbound leg for a very long time before having me come back in.  Then on to a good approach, even as I was being pushed off course constantly by the wind and turbulence.

On the missed, I went on the heading requested by Flint Tower and I was climbing, right on course, and flying completely sideways due to the wind. Quite a weird feeling when just on your instruments.

Then I got vectored for the VOR 18 circle to 27, and was getting bounced around enough that my headset tried to slip off.  Fun.

Did the VOR approach and did a good circle to 27.

Then went missed just a few feet above the runway, and back to Pontiac for the Back Course 27L Approach - partial panel from Flint in turbulence.  I noted that likely was illegal under the Geneva Convention based on conditons - too bad, did it anyways.

Managed to stay on course and hold altitude at 2,500 even while getting banged around a lot and Kevin thought I did a really good job of it.

Did a good approach and landing partial panel which was rather hard due to the turbulence banging everything around, and did it all correctly.

Conditions were continuous light turbulence with bouts of moderate turbulence, and strong winds, which made it a rather challenging day.

Next up:  Mock check-ride and oral exam drills.

That's 1.7, 1.3 simulated instrument, 1 hold, 3 approaches, a very nice landing, and a whole heckuva lot of turbulence.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Flying IFR - Lesson 35 - All Partial Panel All The Way

Today was partial panel day.

I did the preflight on N55EM, a Piper Warrior  I've never flown before.  Interestingly enough, the Ailerons are under spring tension which was kinda neat.  Overall setup was about the same as all the other planes there, so it was an easy transition.  

Unfortunately, the turn and bank indicator was inop.  This made life partial panel more difficult.

So, I met up with Sara and she stated this was going to be an all partial panel flight so there would no attitude indicator nor heading indicator the whole time.  It also meant using VOR #2 for everything.

Well, this would be a workout.

Turned out I'm getting pretty decent at partial panel.  After the run up we took of and headed for Flint.  Doing so without a heading indicator or attitude indicator is annoying. Compasses suck, but there is a desired track function on the Garmin 430W GPS which is rather helpful.

So got to Flint and did the ILS 9 approach on the VOR 2 receiver and it went very well, including getting the hold entry right.  Yay me.  Then missed and off to the RNAV 9 approach with a circle to land on 36 which again went very well partial panel, relying on the Garmin 430W for lateral guidance and the profile on the approach chart for acceptable altitude steps on the approach.  Great circle and would have had no problem landing but we went missed and headed back to Pontiac.

On the way I got the weather at Pontiac and asked Detroit Approach for the ILS 9R at Pontiac.  

Again still partial panel and Sara said we would fly it as if the glideslope wasn't working so to fly it as a localizer-only approach.  Overall very good but I didn't set the timer on crossing the final approach fix which was the only error.

Then we went missed and did it again, this time to landing and everything, including the time was done properly and it was a very nice landing.

Then taxi back and done.  I apparently had a bit of a climbing tendency I need to work on, but other than that, all went very nicely and I'm ahead of the aircraft, know where I'm at and where I'm going and am setting things up really well for the approaches.  This is happy-making.

That's 1.9 with 1.5 simulated instrument time, 4 approaches, 1 hold, and 1 very nice landing.

Chase Theft Update

Chase just made a "temporary credit deposit" to my accounts restoring the money that was stolen.  Temporary, as they're still investigating and reserve the right to pull it all back out pending their determination and decision on the matter, which is not happy-making and leading to more grey hairs.

Police are also investigating, and I made the appropriate report to the Bar Association re the matter.

New checks for the new account numbers should be arriving today.

Currently watching all accounts like a hawk on a more than daily basis.

I have created a savings account to sequester some operating account funds and Chase allows up to six transfers from savings back to Operating without a charge, so it will take some care and planning.  I've been assured there cannot be an ACH pull from the savings account but, well, it's Chase, so I may get a different answer from another rep.  

Unfortunately, I can't do that to the IOLTA account as there is no such thing as an IOLTA savings account, nor does Chase offer the ability to block ACH withdrawals from an IOTA account even though they have the technical ability to do so but will not offer that service to this account. This is unfortunate as I'd prefer to safeguard my client's money even more strictly than my own.  I relayed that to the Bar and the Bar Rep is going to be contacting Chase to ask why IOLTA accounts don't get that kind of protection, as apparently the number one method of theft from IOLTA accounts is now via ACH. On top of that, the number one serious attorney violation with IOLTA accounts is now some attorneys with gambling problems using ACH at Casinos to drain IOLTA accounts to feed their habit - that should not be allowed to happen.

So, after over 20 hours of calls, meetings, completing and submitting forms and doing more forms, and emails with Chase, the Police, the Bar, etc it seems to be stabilizing. 

Assuming Chase doesn't make a sudden reversal and yank the funds and induce a heart attack, I should be good to go from here on out.  Also I'm checking into other banks/credit unions to see if they are rated for IOLTA accounts and can offer higher security and less visibility compared to Chase.

Most importantly, I'd like to extend my gratitude to those of my friends/readers who on reading of the attack immediately contacted me to offer loans to tide us over while this was being sorted out. 

I didn't need them as our personal funds in a different institution were still intact, and we had reserve emergency funds so I could skip a paycheck, and still cover what was coming out while getting this fixed.   But, you folks - and you know who you are - immediately jumped in to offer help, and I'm extremely grateful to you for doing so. Thank you.

Monday, November 08, 2021

IFR Written Test Complete

So this morning at 11 am, I went to the testing center to do the Instrument Rating Airplane written test.

A score of 70% is required to pass.

It's an impressively hard written test with a cunning array of questions. It's allegedly the hardest one the FAA has, and with the lowest pass rate.

Answers entered, double-checked, and after some second-guessing occurring, I hit the submit button.

The browser waiting wheel spun  and I hoped the entire system hadn't just crashed and rendered my efforts useless as nothing happened for quite some time.  Then a mandatory survey about the testing process came up including a question about ease of registration (ha!).  I then answered all that, and hit submit yet again.

The browser waiting wheel spun some more, and I then went up to the proctor to pickup my score.

 I'll take a 95% on it.  All sorts of happy that it's done. 

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Biden Administration Flailing Around As Fuel Prices Increase

The Biden Administration is finally noticing that gas and fuel prices are rising, and likely their latest election drubbing is reminding them that November 2022 is less than 365 days away and their policies have consequences.

But not to worry, one of Biden's most inept cabinet members is on it.

The Detroit News: Granholm says Biden administration eyeing oil reserve to lower gas prices

Not one word about reopening the Keystone pipeline.  Not one word about reversing the shutdown of  all those oil and gas leases he cancelled upon taking office.  Not one word on getting out of the way so we can boost domestic production and thereby increase supply and have leverage for reducing prices.

Instead they're now talking of a temporary fix of selling oil from the strategic reserve and begging OPEC to produce more.

OPEC and its allies last week rejected Biden’s request for a large production increase and stuck to a plan for gradual monthly output increases of 400,000 barrels a day.

“OPEC is unfortunately controlling the agenda with respect to oil prices,” Granholm told CNN.

The Biden administration can only blame itself for OPEC now controlling the agenda. 

This is especially due to the Administration's outlook that it's "hillarious" to try and increase domestic petroleum production. Under Trump we had energy independence - Biden reversed that.


So this Administration not believing in the law of supply and demand is now stuck to begging hat in hand to OPEC to increase production without any leverage.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Knife Attack On A German Train: Don't Mention The I-Word

As one imagines, the motive will likely never be known and is terribly unclear.

The Detroit News: Knife attack on German train severely injures 3 people

A knife attack on a high-speed train in Germany left three people severely wounded, the Bavarian Red Cross said Saturday. Police said a man has been arrested in connection with the morning attack.

The train, one of Germany’s high-speed ICE trains, was traveling between the Bavarian cities of Regensburg and Nuremberg at the time of the attack. A spokesperson for the Bavarian Red Cross, which had 110 responders at the scene, said the organization processed three “severely injured” people.

A 27-year-old Syrian man was arrested in Seubersdorf, where the train stopped after the attack, Bavarian state police told The Associated Press. The injured people came from the Regensburg and nearby Passau areas, state police said.

 . . .

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said the background behind the “terrible” attack was “still unclear.” 

 It's unclear when you decide not to look, isn't it?

Boys Do Not Belong In Girl's Bathrooms

For darn good reason.

We have the incident and scandal in Loudon County Virginia with the skirt-wearing boy attacking girls in girl's washrooms, and the progressive school board helpfully covering it up until the truth was forced out.

Now unfortunately we have an incident locally:

The Detroit News: Suspect, 15, in Plymouth sexual assault arrested

Police said a woman was attacked when she exited a stall by someone hiding in another stall. 

The attacker was described as a White male with short brown hair, between 15 and 20 years of age, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 120-140 pounds.

Turns out the POS attacker in this local case is 15 and was apparently acting out some kind of sick rape fantasy.  Interesting how the media is blurring out the POS's face, in their broadcast of the footage of the attack. The POS' face should not be blurred but instead be posted far and wide so people know to be on the alert for the scumbag.

Unfortunately, I happen to know the victim.  She did successfully fight off the POS, and is physically ok, but traumatized and not able to go into public restrooms right now, and that is fully understandable.

In short, boys do not belong in girl's bathrooms regardless of whether they are wearing a skirt or not.  

If you have girl plumbing you go to the girl's room. If you have boy plumbing you go to the boys room not the girl's room.  Not hard to understand, nor enforce, progressive fantasies about gender to the contrary.

Friday, November 05, 2021

Not Flying - Simulator And PSI Connectivity Woes

Finally did the simulator lesson today.

Overall, it was not bad, and I did a bunch of localizer back-course approaches.  At least it went well until we went to do partial panel.  A simulator compass and simulator VOR receiver and a super sensitive turn and bank indicator  combined to make it truly suck.

On the upside, I wasn't death gripping the controls, and am developing a lighter touch, so there's that.  We'll see if it translates to flying next week.

For the written test, I'm finally, after a ton of studying, at the point where I'm ready to take it.  So, I was trying to sign up last night to take it, but PSI's link to the FAA was down. 

It was also down all day today.  Of course they don't say it's down, just that your attempt to setup an account cannot establish eligibility. Had to call their support line several times to get through. Why they need a connection to the FAA to let you sign up on their system to take the test is kinda questionable.

It finally came back up tonight, so I was able to go in and register.

So instead of taking the test tomorrow like I'd planned, the earliest I could now schedule for was Monday.  Rather annoying as I'm really ready now.

That's 2.0 simulated instrument time.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

To No One's Surprise, Electric Vehicles Are More Expensive To Operate

The Detroit Free Press: Study compares electric vehicle charge costs vs. gas — and results were surprising

In fact, the results were not surprising to anyone paying attention. 

EVs cost more to use and operate than gas vehicles, and that's not counting the time value of time/money when you're siting somewhere waiting for the EV car to charge.  The study did however take into account the estimated time to find a charging station.  I suspect their numbers would be even worse if they added the cost of the substantial lag caused by waiting for a vehicle to recharge versus filling it with gas and going on your way.

In short, EVs are nice as a second vehicle for in town short jaunts and can fill that role well if you have the cash to cover the higher costs, but you really need a gas- or diesel-fueled vehicles if you plan any seriously long trips.

Still no answer as to where all these electric vehicles will actually go to charge, nor any answer as to the current lack of infrastructure to provide the increased power demanded for them to charge, especially as the Dems and Greens are focused on shutting power plants down rather than building new ones.

I'm puzzled that they haven't come out with diesel-electric hybrids where all the diesel engine does is power a generator to recharge the batteries as needed when the vehicle is on the road.  Possibly too practical and not green enough, or something.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

That's One Heckuva Security Hole In The Banking System

According to at least one person at Chase security, the ACH pulls were not a result of a breach in my online banking. Now since I;m still not getting a straight answer as to what exactly happened, I’m taking this with a big grain of salt.

Instead, apparently all it takes to pull money from your account via an ACH or online bill pay pull is someone knowing your routing and account and perhaos the name on the account and that's all it takes.

This seems rather nuts that someone can drain your account with just that information and without any authorization from the account itself. As you might imagine, I had no idea this was even possible.

Even better, I try to arrange for an ACH block on withdrawals from the IOLTA account to ensure such a thing never happens again. After all, funds never should leave an IOLTA by ACH - it's either payment for services and thus moved to the operating account once earned, or returned to the client via a check when the representation is over so every cent in that account can be tracked.

Chase has an ACH withdrawal blocking ability, but, well, apparently the IOLTA account isn't one of the preferred types of accounts eligible for such an ACH blocking service. No kidding. One would think a trust account holding other people's money would be given the highest level of security. Not so much. I think finding and then switching to a bank that offers such a service - as a default no less- would be the prudent way to go.

So in short, your bank accounts are just one check away from some neer-do -well (that's putting it politely) taking one of your checks and using the routing and account info on it to illegally pull money form your accounts without your permission.

That seems like one hellacious security hole big enough to drive a wheelbarrow of money through. Oh wait, yes it is indeed one hellacious security hole big enough to drive a wheelbarrow of money through. Dammit.

As Borepatch often says: "Security isn't an afterthought; it isn't thought of at all."

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Not Flying - On The Schedule, What Schedule?

So this IFR training has been taking so long that my recurring scheduling for lessons for it at DCT apparently ended without my knowing it.

As a result, I went to DCT this morning for what I thought was a simulator lesson to find out not so much, as I'm not on the schedule at all.  Ooops.

Welp, now back on staring this Friday, but the only opening for my instructor on Tuesdays is now 6:00 pm instead of 10:30 am.  On the upside, this will get me current again for night flying and right quick, so there's that.

I plan to do the final studying for the f'ing written test this week, and take it this weekend to get it done and out of the way.

Then I need to tidy up my flying, get ready for the oral and check ride.

Then comes the quandry re a check-ride examiner.  DCT tends to use a certain examiner. The upside to using him is that DCT really teaches exactly to his style of check-ride.    They know how he runs his check-ride, where he goes and what he will do.

Downside - I had an absolutely no-good, very bad, horrible experience with him for my private check-ride and I really don't think I want to use him for my instrument as a result.

As such, I think it's probably better I go with a different examiner so I need to arrange that. Then comes the question that dsince I'm not using their preferred examiner,  do I use their plane or my flying club's plane.  Quandaries, quandaries.  Should not need to worry about this, but here we are.

Well the drop dead point for getting my IFR cert is January 12, for reasons which will be clear in time, so either I get it by then or to hell with it.