Saturday, April 30, 2022

Open The Hangar Bay Door HAL

So this morning I was set for a nice solo flight to Jackson.

Just me and the plane and a cross-country for breakfast with a couple practice instrument approaches done VFR (and since not hooded  and no safety pilot they would not have been logged as approaches). Just a relaxing VFR trip.

It was not to be,

Got to the airport, got in the Hangar, did an initial walk around, went to open the Hangar door and:

Yep, a whole lot of nothing.  The Hangar motor did not turn.  After over 20 tries there was one moment with a kiss of power but it stil wouldn't open.  None of the breakers in the hangar were tripped, but I tried resettign them anyways. Nada.

Well, that didn't work out too well.  I called ouR head of maintenance for the club and got a call back from him.  The breakers - they do nothing,  The hangar door electric feed is controlled by the airport authority on a separate breaker for which we don't have access.  Could be the entire row is out, could be our motor, could be a limited switch (per Mr. B), who knows.

So, no flying for me today.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Flying IFR - Lesson 54 - Drat

Well, for Lesson 54 someone moved me back to 88J with the touchscreen GPS.

Not good, so I was able to get N1689H with the auto-moving seats, messed up turn coordinator and all that, but at least it had a 430W.

Since the wind was out of 130 it was off to Flint.  It was also kinda bouncy out so that added to the fun.

Did the VOR 18 Circle to 9 approach full procedure, and it went rather well, was a little high on final due to making a tight turn in but would have been a do-able landing.  Did it nicely even after getting delayed to do it due to traffic.  So far, so good.

Then did the VOR 18 Circle to 9 approach again, but by vectors. overall very good but on the circle I went above 1400 feet with the circling minimum at 1300 feet.  Actually then made a really great approach and figured out where to begin the turn to base, so something was learned anyways  Unfortunately going over 100 feet above minimums is not good, technically a fail.

Then back to Pontiac for the ILS 9R which I handled rather perfectly. 

Then the RNAV 9R at  Pontiac and Detroit Approach started vectoring me everywhere but the approach course. First towards it, then away, then towards and away again.  Fun with traffic management.  As I did it, Rocky made it a partial panel approach and it was ok, but again i was kinda high on final.  Did a decent landing even so.

Well, with screwing up the circle approach I can't do the practice check-ride yet so I'm rather annoyed and frustrated.

This will never end.

That's 1.8, 1.3 simulated, 4 approaches, 1 hold, and 1 landing.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

The New Boomstick

It's a Turknelli Coppolla T4 - A Turkish Copy of the Benelli M4 shotgun.

It is rather imaginatively and totally originally given the model number of T4. 

My first semi-auto shotgun.


It's a verbatim clone of the M4 Benelli, apparently with full parts interchangeability, for about a 1/4 of the cost of a real M4.

I did some upgrades, adding a replacement larger and far more ergonomic bolt changing handle, and a Quick Bolt Release Tab, which is a game-changer and highly recommended for any Benelli M4 or clone.  

 I also mounted a Holosun 507C X2 Red Dot on a Scalarworks Mount which fit amazingly.

Taking it to the range for the first time today, the Holosun needed no zeroing and was perfect as installed. Shot impact went right to the dot. Red dots on shotguns are awesome, very fast to track and transition between targets.

The Turknelli handled Nobel Sport LE 12 pellet 00 Buck (the replacement shipment from Lucky Gunner) with aplomb.  I fired 60 rounds through in rapid succession to break it in, zero issues and tons of fun to shoot.  Accurate as all get out.

Tosh enjoyed shooting it as well.His first time ever shooting a shotgun.   I also let him shoot my Remington 870, as he had not shot shotguns before and is planning to buy a pump.

It then handled Fetter 7.5 shotshells at 1280 fps without a hicupp.

It started to choke on the Fiocchi 7.5 shot  at 1250 fps, clearly not getting enough velocity and failing to reliably cycle.

After 200 rounds, it was getting dirty and then had trouble with Federal 7.5 at 1250 fps but still shot the Fetter without a problem.

It still had no problem with Federal Flite Control 9 pellet buck at 1350 , but  had some trouble with 8 pellet Flite Control that ran at a lower velocity.  Probably really, really dirty by then.

It still gave solid A zone hits to the headzone with Flite Control, which resulted in no headzone after the hits landed.  Amazing stuff.

It still had no problem finishing its first time out with a box of magnum rifle slugs that literally knocked steel targets right off their stands, which was much fun. 

Going to take it down and clean it thoroughly and then shoot it again to see if it clears up the feeding issues with the 8 pellet flite control.

I do believe it's a keeper.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Mo' Con Goin For Just One Mo' Con

Former Corrupt Detroit Councilwoman and Convicted felon Monica Conyers is going for one more shot to feed at the public trough and running for Wayne County Executive.  

One problem though, as a convicted corrupt public official she can't hold the office even if she won.

The Detroit Free Press:  Monica Conyers to run for Wayne County executive, despite being banned from office

Former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers submitted a bid for the county's top office, despite a state law preventing her from holding public office.

The former councilwoman pleaded guilty in 2009 to using her position on council and a city pension fund board to solicit bribes from businessmen seeking city contracts or pension deals. She spent three years in federal prison. State law bans officeholders convicted of a felony involving deceit and fraud from holding office for 20 years.

The law does not explicitly state they can't run though, even if they can't hold office so she's running.

So, since she's barred form holding the office, why is she running? What is the one mo' con that she is trying to pull here? 

Is she trying to divert votes from another candidate or get paid off?  One doth wonder.

The Media Finally Reports (A Little Bit) On Lyoya's Extensive Criminal Record

The media is finally reporting some of the more salient details of Lyoya's criminal history, after weeks of depicting him as such a good boy who was just a poor refugee form the Congo.

The media is only starting to report this after they have reported far more biographical details about the officer who justifiably shot Lyoya - everything about the officer from the high school he attended forward.

The media is now finally getting around to reporting that: 

Lyoya, since coming to Michigan from Congo in 2014, was convicted twice of assaulting women and had an arrest warrant for domestic violence. During the April 4 incident, he appeared to wrestle with the officer for control of his stun gun.

Hurts the choirboy image a tad, now doesn't it?

Unsurprisingly, this information is buried deep in an article in the Detroit News titled: Police union defends Grand Rapids cop who fatally shot Lyoya -- every other article still keeps up the dindu nothin' image.  Funny, that.

The media is also still not reporting that he was driving at the time on a revoked license for a DUI, nor his DUI record, nor that he was on probation at the time he was pulled over in a car with a non-marching license plate.  Interesting how they don't report that as it would certainly explain why he decided to resist arrest.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Flying IFR - Lesson 53 - More Approaches

Today's plan was of course, more approaches.

Decided to do the Troy/KVLL to practice for the checkride as that tends to be the destination of choice for the examiner when the winds are blowing west, and today the winds were blowing 280.

Unfortunately, I had N6288J which has the new Garmin touchscreen GPS and lacks the NAV 1 conencrtion for the G5.

By the way, touchscreens kinda suck in even light chop conditions as the plane is shaking and you're trying to scroll and instead it thinks you pressed the section.  We couldn't find the track only page in the GPS and used the Map, which was nice, but they won't let you use that on your exam because they're a bunch of technophobic examiner idiots. For example you can't have own ship running on Foreflight as it would show your plane on the approach chart thus increasing your situational awareness which apparently is bad for an exam, but which you like everyone else will use once you pass.

If the plane has the technology, you should be allowed to use it, much the same way that if the plane has an autopilot they will make you use it so fair should be fair.  

Whatever, in short, there was a fair bit of fighting with the touchscreen and I've requested yet again to stick with the 430Ws as that's what I would be using for the exam etc.

So took off and headed to Troy, did a really good first approach, then did the published miss and then did the approach again for more practice.  

I should have quit while I was ahead. On the second time around, I dropped slightly under the circling minimums (about 1350 vs 1400 minimums) which is a fail and which sucks. Need to work on that. Finished the approach and still did it well except for the one dip.

So then on to Pontiac for the Localizer backcourse, essentially partial panel as the GPS and G5s can't do a Localizer approach with the new GPS which is a huge step back technology wise. Good practice and a good approach, but need to be better on using the timer.  

Then on to the RNAV 27L approach and as we were being vectored we had a traffic conflict issued by Detroit Approach with someone not talking to controllers,  and had to descend rather quickly to 2,500.  Fun.  So I did the approach and it went quite well, very well lined up, good descent profile following the glideslope and that was that with a decent but not wonderful landing.

So, one more flight then a mock checkride and mock oral and then a check ride, maybe, eventually, perhaps, potentially, someday.

Now I'm at least signed up only for 430W equipped aircraft, but that included 1869H so I'll be askew but with a fully functioning 430W.  Beggars can't be choosers and all that. 

That's 1.9, 4 approaches, 1.3 simulated instrument, 2 holds, and a decent landing.

Monday, April 25, 2022

How To Mislead With Statistics - New England Journal Of Medicine And Firearms Edition

You've probably seen the headlines today, echoed and repeated throughout the media along the lines of of:

Firearms surpass motor vehicles as leading cause of death among kids, UM researchers say

Of course, it depends on who you classify as "kids".  In order to get away with this misleading statement designed to cause panic and a demand for someone to do something, you have to play with the numbers a bit.  

The analysis, based on Centers for Disease Control mortality data from 2020 and published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that firearm-related deaths among children and adolescents age 1 to 19 increased 29% from 2019 to 2020.

Yep, they're doing the 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds are children when it comes to death by firearm.

Interestingly enough, that age range is how the CDC classifies children - but only for firearms death. For example for drowning deaths the age range for "children" per the CDC is from zero to 17. It doesn't include 18 or 19 because for drowning, that's an adult.

This is most likely due to most firearm deaths and especially murders being in the 18-19 year old prime criminal cohort, so the numbers can make it appear that children are being murdered.

The study linked to fails to breakdown deaths by age range, so we can't see what the death rate is if we exclude the 18 and 19 year old adults from the mix. But interestingly enough does look deaths of the 0-19 age range by race and the result is completely unsurprising.  It shows the vast majority are male Blacks a -- trend that has remained the same in 2019 and 2020 and with more than double the mortality of anyone else, and while hard to be sure, practically equal to or more than all other races put together. 

Black male mortality by firearms also shows the largest increase in 2020 which matches the current crime wave in Democrat-run cities after the BLM movement and soft-on-crime prosecutors have had their way.

Using 18 and 19 year old death stats to pump up "child deaths" is both painfully dishonest and manipulative, especially as gun deaths seem to be the only death that gets this extra boost to pump up the "kid death" numbers.  Of course the study calls for more funding - for more biased BS studies designed for advocacy rather than information.

How about NEJM and CDC re-run the study without the 18 and 19 year olds polluting thew statistics and then let us know what the numbers are, ok?

Another Completely Avoidable Police Firearms Accident

Unfortunately, people who handle firearms everyday often become complacent when handling firearms. 

This can lead to really avoidable accidents - such as in this case someone who had the smart idea of bringing a fully functional firearm and live ammunition to a role play training exercise.

The Detroit Free Press: Civilian injured in shooting during Michigan police training exercise.

That a live firearm and live ammunition was present anywhere during a role playing exercise raises a whole lot of question as to safety and planning (or lack of same) that went into that exercise:

A person taking part in a police training program in Taylor suffered a gunshot wound and was hospitalized, Michigan State Police said.

The shooting happened Sunday afternoon during the exercise at a Taylor city park for the city's volunteer auxiliary police program.

The civilian was a "role player" in a training scenario when an auxiliary officer in the training fired a shot from his service revolver, hitting the person in the abdomen, state police said. The person was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

If you're role-playing a scenario with other persons, you should be using blue guns or simunitions (and all the safety gear that requires) for your role play, not live weapons.

The Rule of "Treat All Guns as Though They are Loaded" gets ignored and an awful lot of these totally avoidable incidents occur.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Great Customer Service From Lucky Gunner

I had ordered some 12 gauge ammunition from Lucky Gunner to get some practice in and for a class I'll be attending this summer.  I had ordered a pack of 250 rounds.  Lucky Gunner then very quickly shipped it and I figured I would get it soon.

Unfortunately, Fedex had other ideas. 

Got a message from Fedex the very next day that the shipment had a problem and had been damaged in transit. Not Good.  Apparently the damaged shipment was being sent back to Lucky Gunner by Fedex.

I contacted Lucky Gunner and they immediately sent a replacement shipment, no hesitation at all, and since they were out of the ammo I had bought, they sent the next higher quality ammo at no difference in cost.

Really excellent customer service on their part,  I definitely will order from them again.

Friday, April 22, 2022

When Even The Washington Post Notices This Year's University Admissions Problem

The Washington Post:  To Get Into the Ivy League, ‘Extraordinary’ Isn’t Always Enough These Days.

In short, between affirmative action with proggy admissions offices deciding on diversity over meritocracy, a flood deferred admission students coming in from last year, and legacy students or connected or those who are "of special interest to the Dean",  the result is that Whites (both females and males but the WAPO focuses on females),  Jews, and Asian students are getting pretty badly screwed.  

Basically, if you're one of these groups and want to get into an Ivy League school, you better have discovered a cure for cancer before you get into college.

Add the elimination of standardized test score requirements and you had the  perfect opportunity for proggies to go on a quest for "equity" over student ability.

It's not just the Ivies either.  University of Michigan's normal acceptance rate is 22% of applicants.  This year it is 8%.

It's a pretty insane year for students. 

Most of the top students in those three groups at Abby's school got shut out of the Ivies (notably some Black students with lower grades and test scores from her school did get into the same Ivies, which is an interesting anecdotal data point) whereas in the prior years a goodly portion went there.

Flying IFR - Lesson 52 - Finally It Actually Went Well

 Today winds were out of 110, so Runway 9R and 9L would be used at Pontiac.

Rocky stated we would do the VOR 18 circle to 9 at Flint and then back to Pontiac for the ILS 9 and the RNAV 9 as that's what the examiner tends to do when the wind is blowing in that direction.

Got stuck with N1869H again as that's all that was available.

Seat of course slipped, and the turn coordinator's a tad funky, and yoke not rigged straight, but if I can fly that I can fly anything.

Took off and headed to Flint. 

Kept everything really well under control, good scan, good altitude and heading control and doing all the things I'm supposed to do. The air was mostly calm, but then very choppy in spots with no rhyme or reason.

Flint was insanely busy.

Got sent to the VOR and to expect the approach, but didn't get cleared for the approach.  Got to the VOR and was still not cleared in.

Learned something new:  If you're told to expect the approach, then once you hit the VOR you should fly out on the VOR outbound radial (basically 180 degrees from the inbound course)  until they call you in.  Did not know that but I do know it now.

Then I did a very nice VOR approach, solid, on the altitudes, excellent chop and drop descent profile, not allowing it to exceed 100 feet and not dipping below, then did the circle and that went well.

Went missed and back to Pontiac and did the ILS and it went great, did it all quite well. 

Then out for the RNAV 9 and it all started well, was going great, Detorit Approach asked us for best forward speed, and we were about to do partial panel. . . and then Tower had us break it off due to traffic and do an early sidestep to 9L. So, no partial panel practice but everything was quite nice and a great landing.

Considering I was going to hang it up if this lesson went bad, that it went very well is good, I suppose. Apparently, if I do another this well Rocky will schedule me for a mock checkride then we can schedule the actual checkride.

That's 1.7, 1.1 simulated instrument time, 3 approaches, 1 hold, and 1 really nice landing.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

How To Make A Mockery Of What Was A Prestigous Award In One Easy Step

Courage used to mean something other than knowingly breaking and manipulating the laws you are elected to enforce and covering for your political party, but here we are:

The Detroit Free Press: Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson honored with JFK Profile in Courage award

Verily, Profiles in Courage aren't what they used to be. 

But Jocelyn Benson has won what used to be the prestigious Profiles in Courage award, apparently for her "courage".

Courage most notably her acts  referenced by her messing with election security and ballot verification, making verification of absentee ballots and signatures impossible in the State of Michigan, to thereby ensure victory for her party:

The Detroit News: Judge rules Benson's ballot signature verification guidance 'invalid'.

But wait, there's more acts of courage on her part that should be celebrated:

Courage by attempting an illegal infringement on the rights of Americans well beyond her powers and law:  Benson announces ban of open carry of a firearm at voting locations

Courage in attempting to hide progressive darling criminals' records from the public eye:   Michigan Secretary of State Goes Full-On Woke - Tries To Censor Info To Protect A Criminal

 Courage to commit campaign finance violations: Secretary of State Benson accused of campaign finance violations

And lest we forget, the courage to support treating Michigan citizens differently based on their race: Upholding Ending Affirmative Action Leads To The Tantrums Of The Clowns.

Such Courage.  Much Democrat backscratching.  Wow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Gov Half-Whit: I'll Play Politics And Sue - Though There Is No Actual Case

In election years politicians do dumb things. Gov Half-Whit offers no exception to this rule, and if anything, proves it.

Here, our dear Governor Whitmer, ready to burnish her Democrat and Feminist credentials has filed a non-justiciable lawsuit. As a lawyer she should darn well know it 

Justiciability requires that there be an actual case or controversey in order for a court to make a decision.

You can't sue and ask the court to decide a hypothetical, you have to have a real actual conflict or actual wrongdoing violation, or real threat of penalty or sanction in order for a court to rule.

Gov Whitmer knows this, she is, after all, an attorney but she doesn't care.

The Detroit News: Great Lakes Justice Center to represent 2 county prosecutors named in Whitmer's abortion suit

Whitmer's lawsuit filed earlier this month challenging a 1931 ban on abortion came in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that enshrined abortion as a constitutional right.

The lawsuit names 13 county prosecutors, seven Democrats and six Republicans, who may be called on to enforce the 1931 law in counties where abortion clinics are present. 

Note the issue - it's filed in anticipation of the law being restored, the Federal case has not been heard yet, so the 1931Michigan ban is not currently operative and thus cannot be litigated as there is no real case or controversy.

Note also how she doesn't name all Michigan county prosecutors and interestingly enough, the Democrat prosecutors she sued have all agreed to not enforce the ban - nice collusion there, eh? (which again, cannot even be enforced yet).  

Whitmer weirdly filed in Oakland County Circuit Court rather than the court of claims and is trying to jump it straight to the Michigan  Supreme Court.

Even stranger, she's the Executive of the State trying to overturn a law passed by the Legislature and a Prior Executive, as defunct and non-enforceable as it may be. Funny how she's not trying to preemptively and properly overturn it legislatively, neh?

Both the Oakland County Circuit Court and Michigan Supreme Court should dismiss this case out of hand as its non-justiciable, frivolous, and untimely.  The courts should sanction her for this kind of political grandstanding and knowingly bringing such a quite frankly BS case before the court.

Flying IFR - Lesson 51 - The Turbulent Grind

Weather conditions were hardly great for today. Low clouds and winds 15-30 out of 300. Snowing a tad as well.

Clouds lifted a tad but we filed an IFR flight plan anyways.

Did a checkride prep and failed it miserably.

Did all the radio and procedures just fine and I know what I'm doing but the basics screw me over yet again.

So off I went and climbed runway heading to 3,000 feet to KVLL. Ended up just under the cloud layer as it had lifted a tad, so I got to put the foggles on.

Did the full procedure at KVLL and for the first time in a long time, got totally blown off the RNAV and had a full deflection which would be a fail.  It did not take much.  Continued the approach anyways as I fixed it for practice and did the circle to 28 and again I need to get down faster.

Went missed and then headed to Pontiac where I did the Localizer Backcourse 27L and it went overall ok, but was doing quite a bit of S-turning as I kept getting blown off course a lot.  Again a little too high on final and need to get down more.

I'm likely leary of busting minimums and so staying too high, plus the winds and turbulence added to the fun and it actually pushed me up on occasion.

Altitude and heading control was maybe a little better, but still not where it needs to be. Still climbing too much and getting rocked around by turbulence didn't help matters.

Then for a partial panel for the RNAV 27L which I actually did quite well and landed fine in gusty conditions with a bit of side-loading as a gust just caught me as I was touching down.

So one decent approach and two not so good.

Only positive was it was quick, so it was wasting less money on this quixotic attempt to get this rating.

That's 1.3 with 1.0 simulated instrument time, 3 approaches, 1 hold, and 1 decent landing.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Speaking Of Snow Jobs - Gov Half-Whit Pays Off Some Electoral Allies

Ah, election time is coming up, so its time for Democrats to bribe their constituencies, often rather blatantly enough that even the Detroit Free Press notices.

The Detroit Free Press: Union bid won $8M state training grant, despite providing less training at higher cost

The Whitmer administration awarded an $8 million training grant to one of her staunchest union allies, despite the fact a different agency offered to provide lengthier training to more workers for the same price, with greater emphasis on underserved groups such as minorities.
Funny how that works, neh?

No worries though, it's not like she's spending her money to payoff her allies for continued support, she's spending our Michigan tax dollars to do it.

Snow On Tax Day

It's mid-April and we're supposed to get 3 inches of snow today, and it has begun.

The Detroit Free Press: Snowfall of up to 3 inches expected on Monday in metro Detroit.

We could really use some Global Warming right now.

Tax Day

While a fine is a tax for doing bad, a tax is a fine for doing good.

If that's truly the case, we were rather good this year. As a result, we're paying for it.  Between the two of us this year, we paid more in state and federal income taxes than the salary from my first full time job.  Ouch. We won;t even discuss property taxes, sales taxes, cell phone taxes, and gas taxes . . .

Elections really should be held the day after Tax Day when people realize how much of their money they're giving to the government and they can consider what they and the nation receive in return.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

An Interesting Unmentioned Fact About Patrick Lyoya

While BLM and his family is trying to paint him as a dindu nothin, an interesting fact, for some reason completely unreported by both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press has been found.

At the time he was pulled over, Patrick Lyoya was on probation for Operating While Intoxicated.

That certainly explains the revoked license our Democrat Secretary of State tried to censor, as well as why he ran form the officer and resisted arrest as by driving a car (potentially stolen as it had mismatching license plates) while on probation with a revoked license he was violating his probation in all sorts of ways.

Shame he was on probation instead of in jail, he would have been alive if he wasn't free to assault a police officer.

A rather important fact that gives context to the story, yes?   Rather easy to find, and rather peculiar that it has not been remarked upon by the press.

Now why would that not be reported in the stories regarding the events?

Michigan Secretary of State Goes Full-On Woke - Tries To Censor Info To Protect A Criminal

It's an election year, and there was an opportunity, after already messing with the rules and procedures of the 2020 election,  for our Democrat Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to burnish her BLM progressive credentials. 

The death of Patrick Lyoya while resisting arrest and trying to taser a police officer gave her a great opportunity to do so.

She announced the Secretary of State would no longer release the driving records of those who were "victims of violence" and she placed Lyoya in that category.

In leftie world, that Orwellian double speak works for them.

Driving records are normally available to the public and the media.  For example, I often need to retrieve them for my clients for various issues.

Clearly there is indeed information on Loyo's record that make him look bad and perhaps help explain why he resisted arrest and fought with the officer - like 3 separate stolen vehicle misdemeanors (amazingly it took a socialist website to report this information!)- a pity he got slaps on the wrist for all of them, for if he had been in jail maybe he wouldn't have been out and about and able to resist arrest and attack a cop and thus would be alive today.

Details of those crimes might provide context as to how he was driving a vehicle with non-matching plates at the time he was pulled over, but that might not paint him as an innocent victim of police brutality as the progressives and media are trying to depict him, now would it?

So what does she do?

She announces the Secretary of State will censor and not release information claiming he was a "victim of violence".

She and the department made a public statement released on their website condemning his death and they wouldn;t release his record because "as being included as an irrelevant detail that wrongly suggests he is culpable for being shot ".

You can't make this up. 

The Detroit Free Press: State moves to block release of certain driver records, then reverses itself  - Note we learn in this article, only in passing, that the information the Secretary of State is trying to suppress is that Lyoya's license was revoked - information whcih may well explain his refusal to provide it and his attempt to flee and resist arrest.

The Detroit News:  Secretary of State Benson walks back statement on limiting access to driver records

Even the more progressive news agencies got up in arms about this censorship, considering they realized it could be applied to lots more situations.

The Detroit News: Editorial: Benson wrong to withhold shooting victim's vehicle and driving records

After the pushback she announced they would continue to release records.

This is what happens when you let progressives occupy and politicize the Secretary of State position.   Truth takes a backseat to the narrative, and they progressives will blatantly censor the truth to push their agenda.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Not Flying - Sim Flight

As I predicted, it was a simulator flight and glad I insisted on it.  

They did offer a flight in 88J, as they thought it wouldn't be too bad, but I could already see the wind picking up. Sure enough it went to 19-35 knots at 230 making for a 22.5 crosswind factor plus rain and low clouds.  No thank you.

So simulator it was.

Controlling the simulator sucks.  Made even harder as I got to simulate an iPad failure as I had left it plugged in at home.  Ooops.

So I used my phone for the charts.  Good fail-over practice anyways.

Did the Troy RNAV 9 circle to 28 and did it well enough for a simulator.  Could not trim it level at all, was bobbing around like a porpoise even not touching the yoke.

Then I did the Pontiac Backcourse 27L and that went ok.

Then on to the RNAV 27 and Rocky failed the Attitude Indicator and HSI without telling me.  In the sim they remain on the screen frozen and since he did it when I was straight and level and everything was going well, it rapidly started not going well.  Much hillarity ensued and I messed that up big time.

Then did it again and handled it much better, and he also failed the turn coordinator.  Quick tip if you lose your Attitude Indicator; HSI; and Turn Coordinator all at the same time in IMC, someone up there really doesn't like you.

Turns out you can do a standard rate turn by watching the GPS track change in degrees, and can know you're level when it stops changing, which was an interesting lesson to find out.  Did manage to make the runway on that one.

Overall I'm not exactly thrilled with my performance and just hope it will translate to more precise real aircraft control and better instrument scan.

That's 1.5 simulated instrument; 3 holds; 3 approaches; and feeling like this is going pretty much nowhere.  If the weather improves this weekend or next week, I think I'm just going up by myself to clear my head and just do some practice approaches and work on just having the plane completely under control.

Probably Not Flying Today

Yesterday a front moved in with winds gusting well over 45 kts.  Windy as all get out, trees whipping around etc.  Buddy of mine that is a lot more experienced than I am who had a flight planned to Boston yesterday wisely cancelled and drove his family instead.  Very good call.

Today, when I'm scheduled to be flying, winds are forecast at 23-35 kts at 240 with rain, making for a 17.5 crosswind factor at a minimum.  

Winds are currently going 12-22 kts at 220 and if it stayed at 220 and then increases to the forecast 35kts it would make for a 26.8 crosswind factor. That's a lot, and while I've done that before with an instructor, it's really not a lot of fun at all.

The book gives the Piper Archer a maximum demonstrated crosswind factor of 17.

Would I personally fly in these current and forecast conditions?  NO.  They are beyond my personal limits.

Does that make me a tad too cautious and conservative?  Perhaps.

Do I care?:  Also, NO.

After all, whose tail is going to be in the plane?  Mine.

In short,  unless we get a dramatic change in the opposite of forecast directions, this is going to be a Simulator lesson.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Do Svidanya Moskva!

From news reports, it appears the Ukrainians have sunk the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Cruiser Moskva (Moscow) with two Harpoonski  (Soviet copies of the US Harpoon, apparently upgraded since by the Ukrainians) missiles.

The Wall Street Journal:  Russia’s Black Sea Flagship Abandoned, Damaged After Ukraine Claims Missile Strike Sank It

Considering the stated impressive anti-missile defenses on the cruiser, the loss of it implies the Russian Navy is in the same sad shape as the Russian Army.  The anti-missile systems (including six Russian copies of the US Phalanx CIWS system) not work to knock out a couple missiles.  On top of that, the crew abandoned ship and their damage control procedures and efforts seem to be rather sub par.  Much smaller US Navy ships have been hit by bigger missiles and survived, thanks to exellent damage control procedures and training.

The training and equipment seem to be so sub par that the Moskva may have already transformed into a Sub, albeit one that cannot surface.

To add to the festivities, it was Moskva that had shelled Snake Island  and to which the Ukrainians famously  replied to surrender demand by telling the ship to do something anatomically impossible.

A loss of a major surface combatant is a big deal, and the extensive string of Russian failures on land and sea both is not exactly making them look like a competent peer military power that they had been proclaiming themselves to be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Biden's Handlers Really Need To Get Him To Shut Up

The President of The United States is a public figure, one of the most consequential figures in the world. Even off the cuff statements matter, especially concerning major events on the world stage.

So far Biden's gaffes regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine have included a multitude of consequential statements. 

- He was  calling for the removal of Putin, which was quickly walked back by his staff as a personal opinion and not that of the President of the United States;  

- He stated the 82nd Airborne would be going to Ukraine. Quickly walked back as a gaffe.

- In a statmeent reminiscent of Obama' famously ineffective redline Biden stated that  Biden: US response to Russian chemical weapons in Ukraine ‘would depend’ on use.

-And of course who can forget the gaffe that green-lighted it all, that Russia's minor incursion into Ukraine might be tolerated?

What the President of The United States says, even in moments of dementia has consequences. 

Now the latest gaffe by Biden:

The Guardian:  First Thing: Biden accuses Putin of genocide in Ukraine.

Expect this to get walked back by his staff post-haste and that even as the President said it (at least twice) it's somehow not the policy of the Oresident of the United States.

Declaring a genocide strongly implies the world has to do something about it

As Joe goes running his mouth he's making the situation worse.

Everyone knows the invasion is not going well for Putin, which is unquestionably a good thing. 

However as things continue to go bad, its important to not forget that Russia is a nuclear chemical and biological-weapon armed power run by an autocrat and said autocrat, Putin, needs to be provided a face saving way to get out of this mess he has created, as you don't back someone with the capability Russia has into a wall with no way out.

Autocrats are going to autocrat, and the abject failure of the Ukraine invasion already makes Putin's position in Russia perilous. 

Making statements for his ouster or treating him as a war criminal will make him likely to dig in and potentially expand the war rather than have him do a  face saving withdrawal where he proclaims victory for local consumption and ending the invasion if he feels his position is threatened even if he retreats.

You also don't make threats on the diplomatic stage that you're not willing to back up, and Biden has been rather demonstrative in his lack of backing his statements up, or having them repeatedly walked back by his staff, rendering him even more ineffective.

Biden's minor incursion gaffe, followed by his declarations of regime change, an ineffective chemical weapon warning (that may have already been taken by Russia as allowing them to use chemicals, and now using the "G" word are simply making the situation much worse.  

Combined with his staff walking his comments back or "explaining" them the United States is seen as indecisive in this situation and acting unpredictably which can be very dangerous when instead a clear message that Putin needs to stop the invasion if he wants to remain in power should be sent, along with a clear incentive that the world will lift the sanctions on Russia once they withdraw from Ukraine.

In short there needs to be an end to the meaningless and often reversed statements coming from Biden's mouth, and a more realistic and clear statements to Putin on a way to cease his invasion of Ukraine without it being conditioned on his removal.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Flying IFR - Lesson Flying IFR - Lesson 50 - So, Does This Ever End?

Lesson 50! FML.  

Did not expect it to take this fargin' long and still no end in sight. 

Beginning to consider packing it in and just saving the techniques for emergencies as this is getting beyond ridiculous but we're really in the sunk cost phase now.  I think whatever next rating I get it will just be an intensive week course instead of this forever stuff.

On the upside I had N8570F, and flying the Zero Foxtrot bird is the only way to fly, as everything works on it.

9L was closed so everyone had to use 9R and it was a conga line to the run-up area.  Very busy as a result.

Overall  nice day to fly with relatively light winds and a tad choppy in some spots.

Headed to Flint and did the VOR 18 circle to 9 with a miss but a good approach overall; then back to Pontiac for the Localizer 9R and a miss; and then a partial panel RNAV 9R to land.  Came in really high for landing and landed a bit long, need to really come down from minimums faster.

Procedures are quite good, radio work is quite good, except for one transmission I missed when I inadvertently knocked my headset controller off, which made things rather loud as well.

Anyways approaches were good but not good enough. Again altitude control wasn't great and was getting bounced around my heading a fair bit.

Hilariously, and to put a perfect end to the flight, my yoke mount spontaneously dissembled itself after we landed.  three of the four screws that holed the Ipad-holder to the mount all fell out together and disapparated. At the next annual they're gonna be really puzzled how they have three leftover small screws.  New screws have been procured, and I'm going to put them in with some red blue (thanks Mr. B!) Locktite.

So yep I'm apparently close but not close enough, which is the story of my flying life. Once I get close enough there will have to be another practice checkride and then maybe an actual exam.

That's 1.6 3 approaches, 1 hold, and 1 landing.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Ramadan Hostility Scoreboard: Now With Vandalism of Holy Sites

They really have little respect for their own holy sites (cf their using mosques to store weapons and ammunition, shoot from etc), and pretty much none for other people's.

The Times Of Israel: Palestinians vandalize, set fire to Joseph’s Tomb; PM decries ‘shocking destruction’

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett joined the condemnation on Sunday of the overnight arson and vandalism of Joseph’s Tomb near the West Bank city of Nablus, saying he was appalled by the images of the damage to the shrine.

“During the night Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s Tomb. Dozens of Palestinian rioters in a campaign of destruction simply violated a holy place for us, the Jews,” Bennett said at the start of the cabinet meeting.

“They broke the tombstone on the grave, set fire to rooms in the compound — I saw the pictures and was shocked,” he said.

 The Tomb is located in Area A, under the jurisdiction of the Palestinians, whom seem to have no interest in protecting it, even as they lie and claim its not Joseph's tomb but instead they claim it belongs to some Muslim sheikh.

If they even believed it was true that it was a Muslim sheik's tomb, one wonders why the Palestinians are so eager to vandalize and try to destroy it?

So far there's been multiple Islamist terrorist attacks in Israel this year, and I expect further Islamist attacks to spread around the world this Ramadan season.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Flight Review Complete

After the match, I grabbed a quick bite, and headed over to the airport.

Met up with Alec and checked out N55EM for the flight review.

Could not ask for a nicer day for it.  Ceiling and visibility unlimited, winds light and variable and just a perfect day to fly.

Flew to Romeo and did some pattern work.  Been awhile since I've done pattern work as I've been focussed on IFR and it showed a bit.

Buggered up the approach for the first landing as I was in too tight and went around.  Romeo and I have issues.  

Then I settled down and got it done, did a series of takeoffs and landing sin the pattern.  Did some maneuvers and all was well.

Then back to Pontiac for some Power Off 180 practice as I haven't done those in a long time.

Did it both with and without flaps and that was very useful practice for emergency engine out scenarios.

It was a good flight review, Alec is a very good and helpful instructor.   Sadly he's full during the week when I'm available, otherwise Id have him as my IFR instructor as well.

Flight Review is now complete, so I'm legal for flying VFR yet again, and legal to take the Instrument Test, so that's something.

That's 1.9, with 7 landings.

Kinda tired and sore at the moment, but got lots of stuff done.

First Match Of The Season

It was a big day today.

First thing accomplished: Shot my first USPSA match of 2022.

It was mainly a classifier match with one long field course.

Most classifiers were stand and deliver type, with quite two different el Presidentes, the classic and the Nuevo, but we also had 21-01 Trigger Freeze which offered three arrays of targets and movement.

Only issue with the El Presidentes was the turn as the hip did not enjoy that much, but I made it work.

Moving around I was pretty slow but got there ok in all cases. Did use the cane to get to and from the different stages due to the rough ground and steep inclines and that worked out well enough.

Actually had a  clean run on one of the El Presidente 99-23 Front Sight with all Alphas. 

We also shot 13-05 Tick Tock into the darkhouse which made it a fair bit more difficult in identifying the targets.

A fun match with a good squad of shooters and good to be back in to it. Tosh and Scott were in my squad which made it fun.

Overall I think I'm still well and truly in C class territory, much of that due to slow movement right now, but my Hit Factor is creeping up into the 4-5 range rather than the 3 and lower where it used to be.

Update: Yep, still very much in C Class.

Saturday, April 09, 2022

Water Wars: Abby's First "Kill"

Water Wars are well and truly underway for the senior class this year.

A quality time where disparate teams come together and try to get the other teams out by soaking them with water.  It can happen anywhere, anytime, any place except in school or any school property, nor at their work (going to or leaving work is ok), nor moving vehicles  for safety.  

Oh, and the soaking has to be on video to count, which is then posted online as proof.  Kids are in teams with each team paying an entry fee. Winning (surviving) team at the end of Water Wars gets to keep the money.

Other than that, it's game on. If you get invited into someones house by anyone you can get them there, or outside. Some Seniors have even dressed as Amazon delivery people to get access to their targets.

For Spring Break there was a truce, but it's on now.

Yesterday, a member of an opposing team, Sava, contacted Abby's younger sister Leah to help her get Abby out.

Sava forgot Rule #1 of Family: You Don't Ever Take Sides With Anyone Against The Family.  

Leah did not forget this rule.

Instead, she played double agent role to a T, and let Sava know when Abby was home and she would help by getting her to answer the door and have her ambushed there.

We decided to ambush the ambush-er. So Abby ambushed her.

Abby first was going to hide in the bushes but I noted that:

 1. Her clothing stood out like a sore thumb (Camo is not in fashion among this year's senior class); and

2. She'd have to be there for quite awhile and be uncomfortable as she didn't know exactly.

Instead I suggested and she then did  have the doorwall to her room open with the screen and blinds still in place so she could ambush her ambusher from a place of comfort. Since no one ever looks at that doorwall when they're looking at the front door it was a good setup.

So she did that and she and her boyfriend (who is on an opposing team but they have a boyfriend/girlfriend truce) set about to wait.  Yes, she has a boyfriend now. 

Didn't have to wait too long.

Sava came onto the porch and Abby got her with a water gun on video, thus taking her out of the Water Wars.  Abby's first kill, and Sava is out of Water Wars.

This however got complicated as by posting the video on the Water Wars feed, it clued in Abby's team that her boyfriend who took the video was at her house, so they came to get him.

Abby had to explain she wasn't a traitor to her team but she had a truce with her boyfriend.  

This was somewhat reluctantly accepted by her team.

 Tense moment but since he made it into his car he was safe, she jumped in the car and they headed out to picked dinner they had ordered.

They then got followed for a bit by Abby's team as they hoped they would stop somewhere close where he could get out of the car so he could get caught, as following a car is ok, but no speeding, breaking laws,  etc, is allowed.

Her team came back to the house to try and get him again, and I let them know that they had gone out to dinner and wouldn't be back until late.  This was not exactly accurate, but since he's her boyfriend, he becomes an honorary member of the family (so long as he acts honorably) so see Rule 1 above.

Good for the Seniors to blow off some steam and have fun with Water Wars and its funny to watch them be very aware of their surroundings at all times and see then hatch cunning plans to get others out.

Friday, April 08, 2022

RIP The Good Dog Ms. Memphis Belle

Murphy's dog Bell has gone on to puppy heaven.

Belle was gentle, mischievous, and an impressively able escape artist.

I remember the day this picture was taken. 

 I had helped move Murph and the pups to New Orleans. Not more than a few minutes after this picture had been taken, Belle had escaped the backyard and shown up on the front porch, very proud of herself.

Losing a dog like that is losing a family member and Murphy took her in, fixed her up and saved her, and gave her the best 9 years a dog could possibly want.

If you have a chance, hop over to his page and give him your condolences.

Flying IFR - Lesson 49 - Real IMC

Got stuck with N1689H yet again.  Seat was f-ed up as usual low and liked to release backwards, mis-rigged with a neat left-turning tendency, et al.

On the upside if I can fly this miserable bat rastard of a plane I suppose I can do anything.

Filed an IFR Flight plan PTK-FNY-VLL-PTK. 

Overcast at 1,700 with some light precip so real IMC it would be.

Climbed to 3,000 on takeoff and into the soup we went. Then got told by Detroit Approach to climb to 4,000 and within a few minutes by Great Lakes Approach to go back to 3,000.  Very quickly we were in the clouds and stayed there.

Found in-flight in IMC the turn coordinator was not coordinating properly, so had to ignore it and use the attitude indicator instead for rate of turn indications.  Fun.

I was rather calm in IMC today which was good.  

Worked hard on keeping the instrument scan up and the plane under control and overall I did pretty well and better than the last few hops. Much better control and scan and thus more relaxed being in complete soup.

Did the VOR 36 Circle to 27 at Flint.  Was a bit too tight on the circle but overall ok and have to make sure to catch the minimums and then not climb above it.  Good approach overall, though but I need to descend a bit faster which was a bit of a challenge.

Then on to Troy (VLL) for the RNAV circle 9 to 28. 

I tried the "don't descend from circling minimums until final" and it did not work.

Trying to not descend until within 30 degrees of the runway and I was 700 feet up and needed to drop 1000 fpm plus to bring it in. Not exactly a normal maneuver. Instructor was like "What are you doing?" and I said Tom on prior flight said no descent from circle minimums until within 30 degrees of the runway.  Rocky said that's not correct.

In short doing that, you're gonna eat up most of the runway at best and have to go missed at worst.

So, as to the circling minimums, latest consensus is you can and probably do need to come down once you can make a descent to landing using normal maneuvers, have the appropriate flight vis and able to ID the runway environment.  So after the flight Rocky asked 5 other isntructors who were at the room and per the instructors the latest consensus is no you don't wait to 30 degrees from the runways and yes you can go below circle minimums on the end of the downwind and base and pretty much have to do so to make a normal descent and it meets the regs.  Go figure. Would be nice if there was a clear answer.

On to Pontiac for the Backcourse 27L.  Did it very well but having both the front course showing on the HSI, and the reverse sensing on the VOR receiver got kinda confusing.  Approach was right on for all that, with a nice landing though.

That's 1.7 with 1.0 IMC; 2 holds; 3 approaches; and 1 nice landing.

Upside is today I feel I can actually do this. I had a really good scan going and kept the altitude mostly in check, decent on headings overall downside is it still needs to be tightened up.

Hip Follow Up

A further right hipster report.

Hip is getting better every day.  I can now leg press 90 pounds at PT with no issues, trying to max out their leg press machine at 200 pounds before I'm done, so Monday I'm going to push to have them let me do 100.

Still some aches and pains, tends to still wake me up during the night but things are progressively getting easier including sitting for long periods, walking distances etc.

Had an unnaturally early doctor's appointment this morning.  On the plus side, had just about zero waiting time.

Latest x-ray shows the hip implant has stayed in  position and is really well and truly attached to the bone and the bone has grown in and secured it, which is good.

Muscles are still score due to scar tissue and usage/lack of usage issues from the arthritis and the surgery so still not 100% yet.  I'm to continue PT to try and build up the muscles around the area and try to get the scar tissue to subside.

Restrictions now reduced to: No falling; No inversion tables; and No Ju Jitsu or similar dynamic or explosive movements so Zumba is right out. But then again, Zumba never was a serious consideration.

Next check up in six weeks. 

Monday, April 04, 2022

An Evening With Dr. Jordan Peterson

2,900 people filled the Fillmore Theater in Detroit last night to hear a lecture by Dr. Jordan Peterson.

It was a packed house that had paid to hear him in person, Tash and I among them.

His main focus for his lecture was on Rule 11 from his new Book Beyond Order 12 More Rules For Life.

Rule 11 is Don't be Resentful, Deceitful & Arrogant.

It was a really interesting a wide ranging lecture, drawing on everything from the power of stories, Psychology, the Bible, all the way to the Brothers Karamzov, and was wonderfully complex yet made very understandable and he tied together all of these disparate themes and sources very well.  

A very interesting take on exactly why being resentful, deceitful and arrogant is bad not just to others but to the person practicing those attributes. Lots of food for thought on just what it means to be any of those three things as well.

It was also an amazing journey as to the question of the power of stories and indeed meta-stories, throughout cultures, history and society and today.

Afterwards, he took question that had been sent in via a website setup for the show and engaged in very spontaneous yet amazingly detailed answers to these questions.

Dr. Peterson was very informative, humorous, and amazingly engaging, you had 2,900 people attentively listening to a lecture so closely you could hear a pin drop.  Our seats were up in the balcony and we could hear just fine.  Downside is the seats are closely backed back to front so it wasn't the most comfortable thing with my legs jammed against the seat in front of me, that and I almost fell leaving as there aren't handrails so that got a little dicey but I managed to catch myself so all was well.

The lecture was really enjoyable, much was learned, lots to think about, and more than worth the price of admission and it was really neat to see and hear him in person.

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Discovery Of Ancient Hebrew Tablet May Redate The Writing Of The Bible

A very interesting find in Israel that will have some major chronological impact.

Not The Bee: An ancient lead tablet with a 3500-year-old Hebrew curse shows the Bible is “hundreds of years older than scholars previously thought” … or just as old as anyone who actually read the Bible thought

More interesting context at the Houston Chronicle.

An ancient lead tablet was recently found in Israel that dates back to 1,500 BC, the Late Bronze Era, in a Hebrew style matching the Bible.  It is 200 years older than any other known Hebrew inscription. This makes that style much earlier than scholars previously believed that style of Hebrew writing to exist and the Bible to be older than previously believed by scholars.

A really impressive find with some amazing chronological implicaitons, and there may be more of them waiting to be discovered on Mount Ebal.

Oh, the inscription on the tablet?  Someone was really venting:

"Cursed, cursed, cursed - cursed by the God Yahweh. You will die cursed. Cursed you will surely die. Cursed by Yahweh – cursed, cursed, cursed."

This is what happens when you save your curses up and let them all rip at once. 

Whatever the recipient of this curse did to anger the author likely was pretty bad.  But, since its about 250 years later, it likely wasn't due to being ripped off by Ea Nasir, but if the dating gets revised and turns out that the inscription on the tablet happens to go farther back . . .