Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Governor Half-Whit Loves Taxes So Much

So much so, that she and the state Democrats are now busy scheming to try and prevent the state income tax cut mandated by law due to excessive taxes being collected.

The Detroit News: Looming automatic tax cut has Michigan Democrats studying options
A proposal to redirect income tax revenues to avoid the potential income tax cut has been floated by Democrats privately in Lansing, in recent days, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions who were not authorized to speak on them publicly. The possibility comes as state lawmakers look for ways to fund a program aimed at attracting large job-creating projects and as they prepare bills to provide targeted tax relief by decreasing taxes on retirement income and boosting a credit for low-wage workers.

Meanwhile, higher-than-expected tax revenue could trigger a cut in Michigan's personal income rate from 4.25% to 4.05%, or somewhere within that range, under a 2015 law, according to the nonpartisan House and Senate fiscal agencies.

Yep, they're trying to do some accounting gimmicks and stuff a crony slush fund to try and prevent the tax cut for all. 

Simply pathetic.

Pathetic yet understandable. 

After all, it's hard to grift and trade favors when the tax cut applies equally to all, rather than just going to favored Democrat voting groups.

Monday, January 30, 2023

If You Hire Unqualified Officers In The Name Of Diversity, Don't Be Suprised With The Result That Is Diverse From The Acceptable

In the killing of Tyre Nicols by 5 Black Officers of the Memphis Police Department, it's beginning to look like a progressive wish for diversity over all the things led to unqualified (but diverse!) officers being on the street.

Daily Headlines Live: Police Charged with Murder of Tyre Nichols: Cops are Hired after Job Requirements Are Lowered

“According to a source within the Memphis PD, the 5 charged officers weren’t hired through the usual structured PD hiring process,” Parmar claimed. “City leaders felt the existing process was too strict and kept certain people from getting jobs at the department. City leaders began their own hiring process and then pushed new hires into the agency, bypassing the testing procedures in place at the department. You can read between the lines what that all means.”

“All 5 of the charged officers were hired by the City, and didn’t go through the rigorous PD testing process,”Continued the statement “This is what quota hiring looks like. Lawsuits and dead innocents. The city should pay (sic) the lawsuits instead of the Police department. This Murder wasn’t created by old school policing or by ‘white supremacy’. This murder was directly facilitated by liberal policy.”

In short a quest for diversity, led to less than qualified applicants being hired including the city providing waivers for felons to join the force.

It will be interesting to see if these officer's personnel files ever come to light and to see if they actually did have the standard testing, including psychological testing, performed prior to their hire.

That statement as to lowered standards now has been confirmed as to at least two of the officers, and we may find out that the source was correct as to all 5 bypassing the normal hiring requirements: 

MSN: Memphis cops charged in Tyre Nichols murder hired after PD relaxed job requirements

WFIN: Tyre Nichols death: 2 Memphis officers involved in stop joined department after it lowered hiring standards

When you have low standards in the name of making sure "certain people" get hired, or your desire to just get bodies in uniform, you get low quality applicants working the streets and the potential for tragedy.  

Add the difficulty in getting qualified applicants after the Defund The Police Movement did its thing, couple it with an acceptance for lower standards and even felons wearing a badge, and it's sadly unsurprising that unqualified officers will act in unqualified and unacceptable ways.

This was a pretty clear case where the use of force to stop and secure someone resisting arrest went way, way, way beyond the acceptable level of force permissible to effect an arrest.

The result of progressive fantasies is perhaps the ultimate irony:

A local news report from 2021 praised efforts by the department to recruit more "people of color," due to their purported likelihood to "use force far less frequently than white male officers."

That praise sure didn't age well, as once again for the record, all five officers who beat Tyre Nichols were "people of color".

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday Range Trip

It turns out, there's quite an overlap between shooters and students of BJJ.

Met up with 4 friends from Jitsu at Huron Valley Guns this morning.

It had snowed overnight so the car slid down the Driveway of Doom and off I went.  Roads and highway ranged from very to somewhat slippery on the way there.

Sadly, their restaurant was not open for breakfast this morning as the cook apparently quit or didn't want to work this morning, or something.  Unfortunate, as the breakfasts are really good,  and extra nice with the free range time.

So, the five of us rented three lanes and got some shooting in.

Everyone got to try the PS90 and we all agreed it was fun as heck. That's 100 more trouble-free rounds through it.

It shoots dead-on at 25 yards, but it does shoot notably low at 7 and a bit less so at 10 yards. Still, it was as fun as anything to shoot and everyone liked shooting some rounds through it.

I shot my Sig 320 and did some holster draws.  I just upgraded to a PHLster Pro holster instead of the PHLster Floodlight and the change is rather pronounced.  The Pro is much smother both for holstering and re-holstering, and does "fit" me better, so I'm pretty happy with it. I suspect the Sig slide is just a little wider than the typical gun for the Floodlight and that makes a difference.  Probably shaved a tenth of a second off my draw or something.

Did some drills without the timer, and did some B8s at 25 which I hadn't done for awhile.  Let everyone try their guns I had brought along and I got to try a few as well which was fun.

After the hour of range time, we hung out and wandered around the store and chatted a bit and then headed off our separate ways.

It was a most excellent time among friends.

Then I got home, and again couldn't get the car up the Driveway of Doom so I left the car at the bottom, and got shoveling.  Once cleared, no problem, and a decent strength and cardio workout was thus accomplished.

Friday, January 27, 2023

So, Who's In Charge Here, Exactly?

Quite the interesting affair is going on that raises some major questions about both government oversight, and who is actually in charge of our government - government agencies or Congress?

ABC News: Senators on intel committee demand to see Biden and Trump docs, in rare bipartisan outrage

Yes, the Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, is actually telling the House Intelligence Committee, the Committee that allegedly oversees the DNI and other government intel agencies, that the Committee cannot see what the classified documents are that Trump and Biden actually had in their possession.

In short, we have an executive agency under Congressional oversight refusing to be over-sighted.

Certainly makes one ask: Who is in charge here? 

It also makes one ask: What's in the docs (or in the case of the Trump docs, not in the docs - such as no nuclear secrets anyone?) that they don't want Congress to see?

Is the Biden administration directing thee DNI to make the denial and directly blocking Congress from doing its job as the documents would prove rather embarrassing both to the anti-Trump narrative and to Biden?  Or, is this a case of a government agency deciding that it can do whatever it wants without any proper oversight all on its own?

I mean, the only valid reason to not do so is a risk of a leak of the docs to a foreign power (assuming Biden and Hunter haven't already sent them on) and now that Eric Swallwell is off the Committee the risk of a direct pass-through to Chinese intelligence is much lessened, even with other Democrats still on the committee. 

How this gets resolved is going to be quite the  insight on how the Federal government is actually run today.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Will It Stay Or Will It Van Gogh?

The Van Gogh at the DIA case continues.

In Federal District Court in Detroit, the Judge dismissed the case by the Brazilian collector against the DIA. The judge ruled against his claim that the DIA need to surrender the artwork by Van Gogh, “The Novel Reader” on the basis that it had been stolen from the collector under still unclear circumstances.

The Court properly ruled that the Immunity from Seizure Act prevented the work from being seized from the museum.

Interestingly, the Brazilian Collector had apparently failed to even report the $3.5-$5 million dollar painting had been stolen.  The story of the dismissal of the case doesn't reveal if there is even any record that he had purchased it in the first place. The collector has filed an appeal.

So, it would seem that now the painting could indeed Gogh on its way now that the exhibit is coming to a close.

But wait, there's more.

The 6th Court of Appeals has just released an order that The Novel Reader is to remain at the DIA pending the appeal: The Detroit Free Press: Appeals court to DIA: Hold onto disputed Van Gogh painting, despite end of exhibit

While great art moves you, this piece of great art isn't moving for now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Stupid Criminals: That Is The Expected Result

The Detroit Free Press: Suspect killed after shots fired at MSP troopers, police helicopter in Detroit

So our winner of the Darwin Award: Detroit Edition, began his stupidity last night by first shining a green laser at  a Michigan State Police Helicopter. This is felony-stupid all by itself as green lasers are blinding and can cause a loss of control of the helicopter.

Idiot then compounded his stupidity by firing on the helicopter.

Idiot, then for a final act of stupidity, fired on responding officers on the ground who appropriately and properly ended the threat with finality.

No words of BLM  protests, nor of lawyers and family members coming out of the woodwork to claim the idiot was "a good boy" and that the police should have sent a social worked.  

At least not yet.

Snow Far, Snow Not So Good

So snow has been going since early morning slow and steady, and hasn't stopped yet and indeed just picked up the pace.

Schools are closed, roads are a mess and working from home is the way to go today.

We may indeed hit the forecast 4-6 inches at this rate.

Update:  We exceed the 6 inch estimate and they're claiming we got 8.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

It's Hard To Be Intersectional

When one part of your intersection is busy bashing another part over the head, rather than joining hands and singing kumbaya, now isn't it?

This post inspired by Earth Bound Misfit's post and comments to same, re the mass killings of Asians in the shooting in California by what almost immediately turned out to be an Asian killer narrative, and her stated relief that it wasn't a Trump supporter that did it.

The left doth love its intersectionality and wants to pull Asians into the fold, now cutely lumping them all together and naming them the "AAPI" - Asian American and Pacific Islander community.  

Of course the many different Asian cultures likely don't want to be lumped together like thus, but hey nobody asked them, right?

But, in the lovely world of intersectional love, and its battle against the patriarchy and white supremacy, there's a little problem and indeed a dirty little secret.

African Americans tend to be the largest source, of physical violence against Asians, well out of proportion to their demographics. 

For example, in San Francisco, 85% of physical violence against Asian Americans is form African Americans.  Now, they try to explain this inconvenient fact away by claiming  that when Blacks attack Asians claim it is due to white supremacy, (yes, really) but that is kinda hard for anyone but the most progressive with blinders on to reject the evidence before their eyes and instead rely on CRT to avoid reality.

San Francisco is indeed not alone:  VOA: Anti-Asian Hate Crime Crosses Racial and Ethnic Lines  

The big problem of course is statisticians in their studies on hate crimes and their desire to show it is a "white supremacy" problem are not breaking out the difference between a white idiot saying"kung flu" to an Asian, and a Black idiot beating them over the head.

These are both not acceptable things, but physical violence is a whole other unacceptable and more dangerous level and degree of difference than merely being a jerk, is it not? 

 So of course, most studies lump them in as one and the same as an amorphous "hate crime" to preserve the narrative.

As one might expect, when you count those acts equally as hate crimes, you get a preferred result as African Americans make up 13% of the population, and White make up around 60%, so in terms of sheer numbers and if you count idiots saying nasty words as equal with asshats bashing people, then of course you will get more whites did bad things by sheer numbers. 

Because the intersecitonality narrative must be maintained at all times.

As noted in Commentary, what the narrative the left wants (and indeed needs) to believe about these crimes simply isn't true: Crime Against Asians Isn’t Due to White Supremacy.

Tuesday Tip: Don't Give Your Children Unfortunate Names: Part III

Continuing a helpful series for parents-to-be, the tip for today is:

Don't give your child a name that combines a popular beverage and vermin.

The name?  Tealice

Pronounced exactly how you thought - tea lice.

Not sure what the inspiration as for that one.  Perhaps they were sitting around the table, drinking a cuppa, and saw a louse crawl by and: 

"I've got it! Name the child Tealice!"

Just Don't.

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Narrative Is Nothing If Not Predictable

The California mass killing at a dance hall that left ten dead has followed the by now rather predictable narrative:

1.  First, the claim is made before the facts are out that it was a race-based attack and blame is placed on white supremacy or "hate".

2,  When the facts then show it was an Asian man attacking other Asians, the narrative shifts immediately, without missing a beat, to "gun violence".

The shift from blaming the attacker to blaming a tool is as rapid as it is predictable.

The New York Times: Good morning. Once again, America is confronting the aftermath of a gun massacre.

. . .

The gunman, whom the authorities identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, is believed to have then gone to a dance hall in the neighboring city of Alhambra. But he fled, according to the authorities. Officers later found him in a parked van after he reportedly shot himself to death.

The gunman used “a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol” that is probably not legal in California, Luna said. His motives remain under investigation.

“Gun violence needs to stop,” Luna said. “There’s too much of it.”

This kind of mass shooting has become tragically common in the U.S.; what would be a rare horror in any other developed country is typical here. Yet the cause is no mystery. America has an enormous amount of guns, making it easier for someone to carry out a deadly shooting.

. . .

If anything, the chart, which uses data from 2017 and 2018, understates America’s problem. The U.S. rate of gun homicides has increased in recent years, according to the Small Arms Survey.

And just like that, right on cue, the narrative jumped from  the bugbear of a race-based attack (and one should note that in the US, the vast majority of attacks on Asians from non-Asians are committed by African-Americans, not whites) to "gun violence". 

Funny how the NYT notes gun violence has "increased in recent years"  but doesn't look at all into the reasons for that like the Ferguson effect, the Defund the Police Movement, the End Cash Bail Movement, and the fact that the majority of violence is confined to a small but active criminal subset of the population that gets the revolving door treatment from the justice system.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday Range Trip, Now With Snow

Went to Huron Valley Guns for breakfast and some range time.

It started snowing as I began driving this morning, but I got there and the snow wasn't an issue, at least not until I left.

Had a god time at the range.

I had sent the Sig Romeo Zero Elite back to Sig for repair/replacement and had a new Holosun 507K  on the P365 to Zero.

The Holosun is more substantial than the Romeo having a metal housing.  Two buttons for brightness on the outside is much more accessible than the single button for the Romeo Zero,  and the side loaded battery means I don't have to take the sight off every time the battery needs changing. In short, it is a major improvement over the Romeo Zero Elite.  Installation was a snap, as it uses the same mounting footprint, and even the same screws as the RZE.

The only downside is the squared off top of the Holosun is a little different from the rounded top of the Romeo Zero Elite and makes for a slightly different feel to the presentation and it feels and looks bigger and more chunky, but still fits in the Desantis Nemesis pocket holster just fine for front jean pocket carry, or the Phlster Pro without any issues.

It zeroed pretty quickly as it was just about right on with its default settings, just slightly low and left, and with a bit of tuning it was just right. 100 rounds later it was pronounced good to go.

I also did some 7 Yard single shot and Bill Drills.  I still can't get the Bills under 3.1, so more practice is needed.  I was also off on my single shot to 7 yards, ranging in the 1.3s to 1.4s for almost all of them and not touching thew 1.2s like last time.  Again, more practice and more dryfire practice can only help.

A darn good time at the range.

Driving home was a different story.

First major snowfall and it was a slippery one at that.

Roads including the highway were extra slow.

Did almost get in an accident.  I was in the right lane on a north-south road off of the highway when a complete bint in a black Mercedes decided to cut in front of me from the left lane, then jam on her brakes to make a right turn at the next street ahead of us.

I almost lost it having to break with the car starting to slide due to the idiot's sudden stop in front of me.  The left lane beside me was occupied so there was nowhere to go, and the accident was barely avoided. That will get your BP up a tad.

Rest of the drive home was uneventful until reachign the Driveway of Doom™.

As you might guess, the car didn't make it up and I got to slide back down to the bottom backwards.  Much fun, but I missed the ditch on the way down.

So I managed to walk up the driveway and only lost my footing once but avoided a fall.  Then I cleared the driveway and scraped it down to just asphalt and then got back down the driveway, drove up and parked the car.  

So, I got an extra cardio workout with this week's range trip.

Friday, January 20, 2023

No, The Arm Brace Rule Doesn't Affect What You're Doing . . .

'Cause what you're doing is 100% purely illegal RIGHT NOW.

Got a call today asking about the new arm brace regulation:

"Does the new arm brace rule affect me since I've got a folding stock on my AR-15 pistol?"

Say what? 

Yes, I had heard it right, the fellow has a real stock, not even an arm brace, on an AR pistol not papered as an SBR.

Short answer to his question: No, what he's done is already quite illegal as he has manufactured and is possessing an illegal SBR, and that is a lovely 10-year felony, and the new reg doesn't change that.

What he's done has been illegal since 1934, and the new reg doesn't even make what he did more illegal-er. 

The fellow had no idea that what he had done was felony-grade-stupid.

In short, get that stock off it immediately and keep it off, get a Form 1 and pay the tax for it pronto, and get the tax stamp back before you even think about putting a stock anywhere near an AR with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.  

Your dogs will thank you.

Blarg, Argh, Seriously?

Ok, So why is it that fire alarms always fail and start chirping loudly at 4am and not during the day?

Great fun was had tracking down which fire alarm decided to go faulty in a house full of them, especially as it gives only a loud chirp, and then no other sign of trouble for a minute and its loud enough to sound like its coming form the entire floor.

Turns out it is a Kidde, one produced in 2021 with a 10 year battery life and warranty. 

10 years seems a trifle optimistic, as this alarm didn't even clear two.

Well, the sleep cycle is now messed up nicely for everyone for the day. 

On the upside, yes the fire alarm will indeed wake you up bolt upright no matter where you are in the house if there's an actual incident as it sure as heck does it when there is no incident.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

How About NO?

The Detroit News: Oxford shooting survivors demand action on gun legislation in next 100 days

The Oxford school shooting, where 4 students were killed by a rather clearly mentally-disturbed fellow student is the current driver in Michgian for more ineffective gun control.

Let's note that prior to the shooting school officials and counselors had such warnings as the kid in question messing with dead animals, drawing pictures of massacres, etc.

To top it off, on the very morning of the shooting, and a charming drawing complete with a message that said: The Thoughts Won't Stop Help Me".

Generally that might be called a clue that the kid wasn't all right.

But, all they did was bring the parents in for a discussion, and they then let the kid go back to class without so much as a psych eval,  after throwing off every possible signal that he was about to cut loose.  So, within an hour of being sent back to class, he then commenced the school shooting.

So of course, the answer is ban guns, right?   

With a Democrat dominated House, Senate and Governorship here in Michigan, that seems to be where the're wrongly headed:

The student-led group focuses on pushing for the passage of state and federal laws that would lead to safer gun storage, universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.

We will note the jerk in question used a handgun, not an "assault weapon" in the shooting incident.

We will also note safer storage won't do squat - the parents insist the gun used was locked up at the time it was taken by the kid, kid has claimed it was not locked up.

We already have a universal background check and it would have done nothing to change this incident.

And red flag laws - look if you're gonna ignore all the red flags - as they were for a damn long time with the kid in this incident -  such laws ain't gonna cut it there Chucky, nor would it have prevented this incident at all.

So, how about we quit with the knee-jerk gun control "solutions" that will not solve the problem?

 Instead how about we do the much harder and more effective thing and work on some serious mental health reform and having school officials do their damn jobs, and have school resource officers (or armed teachers but that gives Dems the vapors) at school to protect kids rather than leaving them vulnerable to the next shooter that gives off every sign but is completely ignored until he starts bustin' up the place?

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Playing With Sharks Part 10 - And That Is How You Do That

"To Defeat The Enemy At Trial Without Fighting At Trial Is The Acme of Skill" - Sun Tzu, Esq  (attributed, probably).

Got to the courthouse all prepared and ready to rock.

Client was there, the two pro per parties appeared soon afterward.  Always good to be the first in the courtroom.

Gave the opposing parties a copy of my trial exhibits binder, and they gave me theirs so at least they knew to have that ready.  Many a tree had lost its life for both sides' exhibits. I had 36; Pro Per Plaintiff had 91; and Pro Per Third party Defendant had 24.

The clerk asked if we were ready, and I said we had some preliminary matters to get through before trial but otherwise we were good to go.

Preliminary matter 1:  Needed to get the order entered barring Pro Per plaintiff Spouse, who was Pro per third-party Defendant from testifying to everything she refused to testify to at her deposition.  They had been holding this up with a frivolous objection.

I won that argument handily, as in epic happy-smackdown. No testifying by her on anything she refused to testify to in her deposition. Point one to me.

Then Plaintiff stated his doctor might be available after all by phone at 9:30 or 11:00.  

I stated I had no objection to his doctor being called out of order if necessary to accommodate his schedule. But, I noted Plaintiff's subpoena of his own doctor said live testimony, the Court had ordered all witnesses to be live to give testimony, and I had concerns about being able to effectively cross-examine him if this was going to be by phone.

The Judge noted that was a very good point.  

Point two to me.  Trial Pinata Mode was well and truly getting started.

The judge then offered all sides to meet with his staff attorney to discuss possible settlement. Note that the offer, while stated as an offer, was clearly conveyed as an order.

And so we met with the Judge's attorney separately in the jury room. The attorney, like the judge, is a very smart individual.

I stated my client really didn't want to settle as the medical records all showed Pro Per Plaintiff couldn't prove his damages, that it was highly questionable if he even had any damages.  I also noted he had a key problem as he actually did not have any admissible evidence that there even was the alleged mold at the premises. On top of that, he seemed unable to actually get his experts in to testify.

Judge's attorney asked if I could get my client to pay any money to settle and I stated I didn't think so as the evidence was so strongly against the Pro Per Plaintiff and she's had to pay too much already to defend the case and she was a semi-retired person without buckets of money.  

He noted my demand for attorneys fees against Third Party Plaintiff, if we succeeded and dismissed Pro Plaintiff's claim, was risky.  I agreed as it's somewhat atypical and normally each side pays for their own fees. But, I did have legal grounds to make the argument but it was obviously not a slam dunk and indeed was a reach, but a carefully argued and legally persuasive reach.

He then talked with them.

He then came back and I followed him back to the jury room alone.

"They've agreed to drop their claims completely if you drop going after her for attorney's fees from the case."

And just like that, it was over.

We went on the record and they dismissed with prejudice any claims either of them could have had against my client from the beginning of time to today, and my client dismissed any claim against them from the beginning of time to today.

I had won the trial without even having to go to trial.

Tuesday Tip: Don't Give Your Children Unfortunate Names: Part II

Continuing a helpful series for parents-to-be, the tip for today is:

Don't give your child a cutesy name that even you cannot remember how to spell.

Yes, in this case, the parents actually messed up and filled out their own child's name wrong on a bunch of legal forms.

Dad insisted it was correct.  Mom said it didn't look right, and they had to text their child to get the spelling confirmed.

The tip:  If you can't remember if you threw in double LLs or Double NNs into your child's name unnecessarily to make it all cute and distinct and stuff, maybe you shouldn't add them.

Turns out it was double NNs and not the double LLs as it had been entered on the form.

Just don't.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Playing With Sharks Part 9 - No, That's Really Not How That Works

Trail in the ongoing case of the pro-per Plaintiff is set for tomorrow and I am busy preparing accordingly as it may in fact actually go tomorrow.

Mr. Pro Per Plaintiff send over two new exhibits this Saturday.

That's a trifle late as discovery ended in June 2022.

Even better, one is an affidavit from his Medical Expert (He has two an internist and an allergist) in lieu of his (the allergist) testifying tomorrow.

That is very much not how this works.

Indeed, the affidavit isn't admissible as evidence as it is hearsay, and if his expert doesn't show up, I daresay he's gonna be sunk as the Internist likely can't testify as an expert as to his alleged allergy that he claims was caused by my client (But, the medical evidence actually says - No, no, it's not).

While he can get his medical records admitted as an exception to the hearsay evidence rule, he can't analyze them as he's not a doctor so this could be much fun.

The second exhibit is a printout from the CDC website regarding mold after hurricanes and floods.  

Since neither hurricanes nor floods were recorded anywhere in the entire state of Michigan, on the alleged day of the incident, I daresay that one is out for that alone, not to mention being, you know, unsupported hearsay of dubious probative value.

The idiot actually asked if I would stipulate to those exhibits.

I was disinclined to acquiesce to his request.

This trial is going to be so much fun.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sunday Range Trip

Two range trips in two consecutive days. 

Likely a personal record, and Tosh came along as well.

This time, it was at the outdoor range with temperatures in the mid to low 20s. So I wore a lot more winter clothes this time. Thankfully it was pretty calm and without a wind, so it wasn't all that bad.

I went to the range again as my Turknelli  (Copolla T4, a Turkish copy of the Benelli M4) came back from the importer after I had returned it due to some serious functioning issues.   Basically after about 60 rounds, the pistons would get covered in gunk and the gun would freeze up as the pistons would be un-moving and need a hammer to get them free.  Not satisfactory.

So after having it for 4 months, it was returned with a note online for the warranty process that they had changed out the bolt carrier, and in the box there was a further handwritten note said they changed the barrel, which makes a lot more sense.

Fedex dropped it off Saturday after claiming they had tried a delivery on Friday when they had not actually rang the bell or knocked on the door.  So, I had to go to the range again to function test it.

The barrel and bolt carrier do indeed appear to be new, Overall, it worked much better than before, with a few ejection issues initially. But, as I shot it more it worked better and was clearly getting broken in with 120 rounds of Buck and birdshot fired through it.  Visually and tactile-ly the pistons were still moving freely all this time whcih is a good sign that they actually fixed the problem.

Then, of course, something else had to happen - the stock was coming loose, and that hadn't happened before.  Likely they forgot to really tighten it down when they worked on it all.  So, I will strip everything down, clean it all, check to see the pistons are not gunked up, and tighten the stock down.   I will have to bring it to the range again after that soon.

Then we did some pistol shooting and it was great fun drawing from concealment with all that clothing on.  Certainly slowed down and it muffed a couple draws as well.  Ended up having the winter jacket unzipped and the P320 under the sweatshirt and so still concealed.

On the 3x2 Drill I deliberately tried to push faster, and I did a 2.68 and then a 2.38.

The single Bill drill I got done wasn't great with a 3.4.

On the upside, there was some good improvement on the 7 yard 11shot drill.

Most times were in the low 1.3 second range, with the slowest at 1.4, fastest was 1.18, with a nice satisfying string right in a row before it of 1.21, 1.25, 1.27, 1.30, and 1.27 ending with that nice 1.18.

The 1.18 beats yesterday's best of 1.27 nicely.   Now, to try and get it faster and more consistent.

That was enough exposure time at the range so we cleaned up, raked up the shotgun hulls, and headed off.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

That State Surplus Is $9.2 Billion Of Your Money

Gov Whitmer of course, doesn't want this $9.2 Billion in excess state revenues  going back to the taxpayers, especially not to those who paid the brunt of it.

The Detroit News: Michigan surplus balloons to $9.2B as 'mild recession' looms

To be fair, some of it is also your federal tax money getting doled out to the states along with money borrowed and part of the federal debt that you are on the hook for paying back eventually.

After all, that surplus could be around a $900 check sent to every single Michigan resident whether taxpayer or not.  It would also be a lot higher if it went to taxpayers alone and would mean the cash back check to tax payers would be around $2,250 to each taxpayer, which is not chump change at all.

But, instead of giving it back to taxpayers, or using it to, you know, "fix the damn roads", Whitmer and the Dems want it to go to the tax-takers, of course.

On the upside, given the numbers, all Michigan citizens should see some minor tax relief as by law our state income tax due to this windfall should drop from 4.25% to 4.05% - be interesitng to see if the Democrats interfere with that existing law now that they have the state house, senate and governorship.

Of course, at the same time there is a surplus,  they are also now cheerfully predicting just a "mild recession" this year.  This means you better start battening down the hatches now as their predictions tend to be shall we say, a tad optimistic?  After all, as the saying goes, when the USA catches a cold, Michigan tends to catch the flu.

Happy Range Trip

So this morning I headed out to meet Tosh at Huron Valley Guns.  Kinda cold to shoot outside today, and it's a great gun shop, range, and restaurant, and if you need it, a barber shop as well.

They offer an excellent breakfast special - a free half hour of range time with breakfast.

So we had a great and filling breakfast and then headed into the range.

Targets are computer controlled with a touch keypad and you can set the distance in precise meters, yards, or feet.

 First up was to check function and then zero my newest build - The Happy Penguin

It is a build similar to the famous Honey Badger, but the Happy Penguin, unlike the Honey Badger, does care, and would hate to miss you.

I had reduced the buffer weights from an H2 to a standard carbine (swaped tungsten for steel) as last week on its first outing it would eject and then not load a round as the buffer was too heavy.  Reducing the buffer weight worked and it now runs like a top.  In 300  Blackout, and nice and quiet running subsonics with the suppressor.  Now nicely zeroed at 25 yards. The SIG Romeo 4S red dot that it is zeroed in can hit the X on a B8 at 25 yards all day long. 

Not a bad build, and it's just in time for ATFE's latest regulation on braces, more on that later.

Then we did some pistol practice. I ran the SIG 320 yet again for its second time out at the range.

First did some 7 yard work and did the timer for first shot from concealment  to an A Zone.  Best run this time was 1.27 seconds, with the average at 1.35. I'll take that improvement over last week's 1.67.  More practice does pay off, and I am committing to practicing more this year.

Bill Drills at 7 got down to a best run of  3.1, all hits, but the time is neither great nor terrible, and offers lots and lots of room for improvement.

Single shot at 25 yards started out horrendously sucky. 

I definitely need more practice and I have certainly been neglecting this drill and skill.  Plenty of room for improvement.  But with practice it ended on a positive note of a hit at 2.19 seconds which is badly slow for that drill, but after a bunch of misses to start with, after settling down and ending with that, I'll take it as a starting point to get better.

In short, lots of fun was had, plenty of room for improvement is established, and it was a great morning at the range.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Diving: Back In The Water

So yesterday, I went diving for the first time in years, and the first time with the new hip.

It was in a pool, so max depth was all of 9 feet, but still, it was diving.

I had assembled all my travel diving (non-drysuit) equipment and still remembered how to assemble it.  

I had earlier taken the dive computer in for a battery replacement and seal service at my local shop so it was ready to go, and I signed up with them for a pool dive and rented a tank from them as my aluminum 80 was out of inspection and hydro. 

I did have to tighten up the mounting screws for the backplate/wing/tank mount.  Hilariously enough, after just sitting around they had backed themselves out. So suitably tightened I headed off to the pool. 

I had forgotten how heavy it is hauling all the gear and tank around.  Nice workout to start.

Bunch of other divers from my friendly local scuba shop were there. There were two classes running and then there was myself and one other guy just getting in some water time.

With a water temperature of 86 degrees it was rather pleasant.

So suitably rigged up, I got in the water and then worked on some basic skills - good trim; dialing in buoyancy so I was hovering a couple inches off the bottom; forward frog kicks; back kicks; helicopter turns; and partner out of air drills (take regulator out extend long hose, put backup regulator in mouth, not lose position while doing so, and then replace).

I then tried to hover and hold on a spot without moving for a few minutes, which is harder than it sounds.   

Did a few charge forward to towards pool wall and then back kick away from it without touching and not loose trim or buoyancy doing so, which required some practice after these years of non-diving.  Need more work on that.

Good practice, and it was fun watching beginners floundering about the pool and sitting on the bottom on their knees. I was remembering my first lessons and how I started out just like that too. 

Overall, I am pretty darn happy with the practice, I certainly looked nice and trimmed out, had good control,  and the new hip gave a better back kick than it ever had before.  The new joint just works better.

I may do another pool dive just to make sure everything is dialed in, as an upcoming travel diving opportunity awaits, which will be blogged about in due time.

That's 70 minutes, 2100 PSI used with 900 remaining, and max depth of 9 feet. Not a bad reentry into the Scuba diving world and a nice bit of exercise.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

A Van Gogh That's Likely Not Going Anywhere

Remember the Van Gogh exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts?

There's now a lawsuit as to the ownership of one of the paintings now on display there.

The Detroit News: Judge blocks DIA from concealing Van Gogh in international fight

A federal judge Wednesday blocked Detroit Institute of Arts officials from moving or hiding a painting by Vincent van Gogh, less than 24 hours after a company that claims ownership sued the museum, saying the artwork had been missing for nearly six years until it was discovered on display as part of the museum's "Van Gogh in America" exhibition.

It's a rather curious case as after paying $3.6 million for the painting in 2017 the claimed owner and Plaintiff in the lawsuit then for some reason

transferred possession, but not title, to an unidentified third party, the lawsuit alleges. No additional details are provided in the six-page lawsuit, filed in federal court in Detroit.

A little more detail as to who he transferred it to and why would probably be interesting and likely more will come out in the case as it moves along.

In any case this particular Van Gogh is likely not going anywhere soon.

Democrat Justice Bernstein Sayeth The Quiet Part Out Loud

Democrat Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein ruffled a few progressive feathers recently.

He dared ask if it was it really a wise choice for his fellow Supreme Court justice to hire as a law clerk an ex-felon who had gone to prison for 14 years for armed robbery and shooting at police officers?

I mean, there is a large  pool of Democrat Law Clerk candidates.  Indeed there  are countless many smart and qualified candidates (regardless of my not agreeing with their politics), for a very competitive spot.

So, Justice Kyra Bolden (the first Black Woman Michigan Supreme Court Justice) decided to take on a Defund the Police theme, play the race card, make some waves, and hire someone whose claim to fame was taking shots at cops?  

Bernstein rightly pointed out that this was a political stunt and a rather inane hiring decision and it didn't look good for the Court.

After all was that hire with that kind of baggage really the best and brightest the progressives have in the law clerk department?  Answer - obviously not.

The Left, of course, was up in arms over one of its Democrat Supreme Court justices pointing out the inanity of the hiring and doing a reality check.  So much so that Justice Bernstein had to publicly apologize for "interfering:" in Justice Bolden's hiring decisions.

The Detroit News: Justice Bernstein issues apology over criticisms of fellow justice, clerk

Now of course the left is calling Justice Bernstein's statement and criticism of Justice Bolden's decision "an attack on Black women", for verily one may not criticize the bad decision of a member of a protected class, neh?

So, good for Justice Bernstein, even as an anti-gun Democrat, having the courage to point out reality and showing at least some common sense.

Also, we now have a new leftist euphemism on the books:  convicts released from prison are now called "returning citizens".

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

FAA No-NOTAM, Plus New Charting Woes

By now everyone has heard about the FAA's NOTAM system failure.

But, that's not the only failure committed recently by the FAA.

If you recently updated Foreflight or other flying app, you'll notice after updating and getting the latest download that there is a change to the FAA Sectional data.

Stuff is missing that used to be on the sectionals.

Important stuff like frequencies and data for Canadian airspace. One problem among many is some Canadian Class D and other Airspace can overlap into Michigan airspace, and if you don't have that Class D's tower frequency, that airspace is now off limits to you.

This is also dumb as now if you overfly Canadian airspace you'll need Canadian charts to find and tune in the frequencies to monitor traffic when before   you did not and could do your US to US flight without needing to buy Canadian charts.

This decision is not an accident. This is a deliberate and stupid deletion.

This is impressively dumb and apparently it is because the FAA doesn't want to handle the data anymore after all these years of doing it.

AvWeb:  FAA Deletes Foreign Information From Sectionals

Maybe take the DEI out of the FAA and put the resources into some competency, OK?

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Tuesday Tip: Don't Give Your Children Unfortunate Names: Part I

Parents-to-be, please do not inflict untold suffering, teasing, and limitations by giving your children unfortunate names.  Yes, this is a real name from areal person who called today.

Today's tip on names to avoid is: Do not name your child after a window treatment.

The name:  Shade  - counter-intuitively, the pronunciation is: Sha-Day.

Just don't.

Monday, January 09, 2023

The Wait To Finally Get It To The Range Was Worth It

The other gun I took to the range on Saturday was a PS90.

I had always wanted one and had tried a friend's PS90 and found it both a neat design and very fun to shoot. 

So I ended up getting one last year.


However, with the 16" barrel it really just doesn't look right. 

So, in accordance with the Laws of the Lord and Man, it was to be duly circumcised.

The Laws of Man caused the most delay in the circumcision ceremony taking place.

First the Form 1 had to be approved.

Then, unfortunately, by the time it was approved, the Law of Supply and Demand caused an issue - no one had the proper short barrel available to purchase anywhere.

This was annoying as many were available when I first purchased it and did the Form 1. But, under no circumstances do you want to have a short barrel in your possession without the approved tax stamp, so it had to wait - by which time they were all out of stock everywhere for months.

Finally CMMG did a run of them, and I got my barrel and the circumcision ceremony could take place. 

The ceremony was then undertaken, and included all the appropriate prayers as well as vocabulary, a drill, a vise, and some other tools, and it was done:

Then I mounted a Holosun 509T, added an Urban ERT Sling kit to the mix (great sling btw) and then took it to the range.

Impressively, the sight was dead on at 100 yards.  Close in, it was good enough to nail steel at both 10 and 7 yards, and with holding on the top of the steel at those ranges I could hit it right on and flip a small disk back and forth as seen below. Closer than 7 yards, the offset between the height of the sight versus the barrel becomes readily apparent and it really shoots predictably low compared to your aiming point.

The PS90 is quite simply ridiculously fun to shoot.  

With a 50 round magazine and no felt recoil, accuracy was great and it was really just plain fun. Tosh couldn't believe how much fun it was to shoot:

I also put on a SilencerCo Hybrid46 Can, which reduced the sound a bit, but not the supersonic cracks of the rounds.

 Lots of fun was had, and it ran absolutely flawlessly.  The only downside is the cost per round.  At nearly $1 a pop, 50 rounds kinda hurts the wallet even as it puts a big smile on your face.

The wait was well worth it.

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Romeo Zero Elite - Battery Level Zero

As I had mentioned before, the battery life of the Romeo Zero Elite on my Sig P365 is rather less than satisfactory.

Was going to take it to the range yesterday but I found the battery had once again been drained.

That's 4 dead batteries in 6 months, not being carried daily, and mostly sitting not moving and thus not on in a safe most of the time.  

Contacted SIG and will see what response I get, as it is nowhere near the stated 20,000 hour battery life.  Of all the red dots I have, this is the only one that's going through batteries like they are going out of style.

So I expect I will replace it with a Holosun 507K as having to dismount the sight and mess with the evil allen key head screws each time, and then having to verify the zero for it is simply annoying.

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Cold Range

Went to the range today for the first time in awhile and met up with Tosh. First shooting outing of 2023.

It was right at Zero degrees Celsius, 32 Fahrenheit, pretty much winds calm and full overcast so the cold kinda crept up on us. Some snow on the ground overnight, but the roads were pretty much clear which was nice.

On the upside it meant the suppressor cans cooled off right quick.

Tosh had his first suppressor, a Griffin Armament RECCE5, that he had on his AR15.  Took a year for it to get out of suppressor jail.

It worked great.

I also had a couple new guns out, one of which will get its own post.

The other is new to me but a Surplus Police Sig P320 Carry Pro pistol.

It looked like it hadn't been shot or carried much, but the top cover over the optics channel was gummed up pretty hard and one of the allen key screws holding it in place had been blundered - so badly it had to be laser cut to remove.

I then after freeing the optics cover added a Leupold Delta Point Pro, a Streamlight TLR-1HL, and my Hannukah present  -  A Wilson Combat carry frame.  

The Carry Pro frame is kinda chonky.  The WC frame, by comparison, fits my hand wonderfully and is slimmed down, has a higher relief cut behind the trigger and has excellent grippy-ness with excellent texture on the front, back and sides of the grip.

Changing the frames was a snap, as all you need to do is remove the fire control unit that is the serialized part, and put it into the new frame. The new frame looks and feels great.

 I then zeroed the sight,  tucked it into a PHLster Floodlight holster, pulled the sweatshirt over it, and put it on the clock.

Lack of practice for quite a few months definitely showed.

After couple warm-up runs, I managed to get the 3&2 drill down to 3 seconds, then I scored a best run of 2.48 seconds, which I was rather happy about after all this time away from the range.  Cold hands didn't help much either.

Bill drills didn't break the 3 second mark, most were around 3.5 or more and that clearly was from a lack of practice.  7 yard single shots were around 1.67 with some higher.

Overall, I seem to shoot it better than my Glocks, but we will see. The pistol had zero failures and shot really nicely.

The Delta Point Pro has a lovely-sized window and acquiring the dot quickly is very easy. The pistol is definitely a keeper, and the 21-round magazines I bought for it make for 3 Bill drills or 4 3&2 drills before you need to reload.

We then shot some rifles at 100 yards, and then called it a day.  Rather cold by the end of it, so after we cleaned up, we headed out to grab some burgers and libations to mark the end of a successful range trip.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Don't Give Me That Juris-My-Diction-Crap

Actually jurisdiction matters, a lot. Jurisdiction controls where you file your case, resolve your disputes, and how your claim is going to be handled.

And talk of jurisdiction leads to this fun example of lawyers not exactly being competent outside their own area.

Opposing counsel in this case is a prime example of why you shouldn't dabble outside your actual competencies. 

Case 1:  Lawyer sues my client for not paying rent for their store.  That Landlord has not been doing repairs promised since 2019, including a leaking roof damaging my client's stuff. My client finally got fed up and said the company isn't paying rent until the place is fixed.  Hilariously, aside from one nasty-gram in early 2020, which I responded to, landlord and his lawyer did nothing until October 2022.  No repairs were ever made, and there are 14, count 'em 14, distinct leaks into the space. No attempts to collect the rent were ever made either.  Client has been looking for replacement space, but it's difficult finding the right spot for what the client does.

Lawyer files a landlord-tenant casein District Court, but names the owner and not the company and doesn't even attach the proper lease. She insists she can because she wants to go for personal liability so she's ignoring the limited liability company and suing the owner personally.

That doesn't work well for her, I file a motion noting the lease is with the company not the owner, there's no personal guarantee, and the owner has no liability, and I get it dismissed.  Case is done by the end of the second hearing.

Case 2:  Lawyer tries again in District Court, this time naming the company, but re-using the old notice to quit with the owner's name on it and demanding a supplemental complaint of $144,000 in damages for unpaid rent.  I again file a motion to dismiss for both these reasons.

In the first court hearing in Round 2, as Michigan's process now since Covid is that the first L-T hearing isn't really a hearing, its a compulsory meeting where the parties are to try and work things out.  If they can't it goes to the second hearing. I point out that she can't do that. The District Court's jurisdictional limit is $25,000.00 and $144,000.00, last time I checked, even though math isn't my forte, is greater than $25,000 every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

She loudly insists she can do it, she's right, I'm wrong, and my client better settle.

Well, no, she's not right at all.

In the second court hearing, today, the judge starts by looking over my motion and the complaint and immediately states she does not have jurisdiction over the supplemental complaint of $144,000 in damages for unpaid rent. 

Ruh Roh Shaggy.

Yes, jurisdiction matters.  You need to know where and how to properly file your case.

I agree with the court that there's no jurisdiction, but state I'm certainly willing to be helpful and stipulate to keep it in the district court, so long as the maximum damages are properly restricted to a maximum of $25,000. Yes, that can happen if you mess up your jurisdictional limit like that and try for more than $25k in a court that can only award $25k. 

For some strange reason, opposing counsel does not agree to that. 

No idea why she's not happy staying in District Court, as she was so insisting she could do at the last hearing.  Ah, well.

Case dismissed for a second time. My client has also moved out in the meantime as well and sold the business to another company.

She may get this right eventually, but not right now.   Turns out, asking around, this lawyer is a family lawyer and doesn't do commercial litigation or commercial landlord-tenant litigation, and it really shows.  

Consensus is she's not very agreeable, bombastic, and likes to try and intimidate other lawyers, put on a show for her clients, and throw her weight around. 

Consensus is correct, but she's really the opposite of intimidating, as arrogance without the competence to back it up is just entertaining to watch.

Now she has to file in Circuit Court, we then get to answer that, counter-claim for damages and point out that her client is the first breaching party to the contract and at the end of it she can go after a company that now has zero assets even if she wins.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Playing With Sharks Part 8 - No, That's Not How That Works Bucko

So our valiant Pro Pers persist in stupidity.

First, they screwed up how they filed their objections, as we talked about in Part 7, so those couldn't be heard today. This is annoying as again, the Court doth bend over backwards for pro pers and it will have to be set for another date.

But in the meantime, Plaintiff filed two motions last Wednesday.

One was to adjourn the trial so he could add a third expert witness and add medical records material he has never produced before, and indeed we only saw a part of it attached to his motion.  Did I mention he was required to produce that before?

The other motion was to exclude my expert witness because it took forever for the health system to release the records to me due to Plaintiff's failure to sign a release of those records.

Anyone notice the cognitive dissonance in those two motions?

I sure did, and so did the court.

Plaintiff claimed he was surprised by the report, because it points out he's BSing and his claim really doesn't work medically, so per his point of view the report should be excluded and my expert shouldn't be allowed to testify.

I pointed out that:

1.  I listed the expert on my expert list back in May 2022.

2. The expert examined Plaintiff in person on June 6, 2022 so Plaintiff actually met him and clearly knew of him.

3. Plaintiff, by failing to sign the medical release he was required to sign at the time of the appointment, caused the delay.  I had no idea he hadn't signed it and it took until November for the medical system to finally tell me why they refused to produce it, and then took days for him to sign a release and the medical records were finally produced in December - and, for all I know, Plaintiff already had them and was sitting on them as they were less than complimentary to his claims.

4.  To top it all off, hilariously, Plaintiff had listed my expert on his expert list in May 2022.

As such, I noted Plaintiff really couldn't claim he was surprised that my expert was involved. I also noted he really can't add a third expert now long after the May expert cut off, nor keep producing medical records that he had held back and not produced to me, nor anyone else, until a snippet appeared last week in his motion.

The court agreed and denied both his motions.  Sadly, yet again, no sanctions for this nonsense. 

This trial will indeed be lit.

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Assassinations Often Were Not The Highest Form Of Public Service

On the trip, I read Assassinations That Changed The World by Nigel Cawthorne.

Overall, it is a very interesting book that goes in reverse chronological order. 

The first assassination discussed occurred in 2020, with the final one examined  happening rather famously on the Ides of March, 44 BC.  

Each chapter gave some interesting background into the public figure that met their untimely -- or timely -- end depending on your point of view. Most chapters give some decent historical context to the event and quite a few explain the effect the assassination had in changing the world - but not all do

Indeed, was that public figure and their ending really all that, and if their assassination really changed the world is however often in question.

While, for example, the assassination of the Russian Tsar and reformer Alexander II is convincingly argued by the author to be the spark that led  to the repression of Alexander III, the incompetence of Nicholas II, and thence on to the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union and thence to Putin, the loss of other figures seem to have been far less world changing if not changing much at all aside from their absence, and often no argument is made as to how their death at the hands of their assassin changed the world.

The death of Jamal Khashoggi, for example, hardly changed the world much, aside from some short-lived public outrage against the Saudis. The death of the Al Qaeda supporter  (somehow the author neglects to mention his rather long-standing friendship with Bin Laden and links to Qatar and Al Qaeda) and opponent of the Saudi regime, hasn't really affected even US-Saudi relations all that much, nor anyone else's for that matter.

So too, the death of John Lennon, while a tragic loss of a singer, hardly changed the world all that much. Quite a few of those mentioned in the book similarly had a less than world-changing effect and often not much of a local effect either.  The assassinations of Alexander Litvinenko, Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Olof Palme, James Garfield, Spencer Percival, and quite a few others again had limited effect on the world, even as their deaths may have changed matters to some extent in their native countries.

Overall, it's still a fun and engaging romp through history, punctuated by stabbings, shootings, and bombings -- and in the case of the assassination of Rasputin a poisoning, followed by a shooting, and finally ending in a drowning. 

Not a bad quick little enjoyable read.

Monday, January 02, 2023

South Carolina, Toronto, And Home Again

So just got back from quite the trip, distance-wise.

First we drove down to South Carolina.

We were just in time to experience the temperatures there dropping into the 20s.  Ouch. Not what they usually have, nor what the place we were staying in was built for weather-wise.

The poor little furnace in the Airbnb inside the resort complex struggled mightily but couldn't bust 60 odd degrees during the cold snap.

The resort had an indoor pool and hot tub complex built basically into the wall of one of the other buildings and it wasn't exactly what you'd call hot either. The water ended up warmer than the air, and the poor hot tub struggled to get to 80 with steam rising above it.

Met a nice family from Atlanta while we were there and the poor folks had to wear jackets in their unit. We, being made of stronger stuff, only had to wear jackets while going out and could handle being in our unit in sweatshirts, so long as we wore socks, as the floor was freezing and never got warm enough to walk on it barefoot.

Still, we had a good time. Got some hiking in, drove around a bit, walked on the beach. I got work done remotely, and the seafood was terrific. Great place, nice people, and about 16 hours away or so.

Of course, the day we left, the temperature got up to 66 degrees and t-shirt weather.  Figures. Next year, I think we need to push farther south.

Then we drove straight up from there to Toronto to spend New Years with Tash's mom.

That was a bit of a haul.

Weather there and on route was warmer than in South Carolina, as everything had warmed up. Go figure.

Had a nice New Year's celebration stayed up to midnight to watch the fireworks and exchange gifts as is tradition.


Kinda fun watching the CN tower change colors of its lights at midnight, and fireworks going off around it in celebration.

We drove back today.

The drive back was good with very light traffic and we were making good time until we hit the border.

On the highway leading to it we were then sitting over an hour stuck in traffic. Thus made no sense given how light the traffic was on the highway leading to the border. 

But, right before the bridge, trucks were lined up for miles and then the cars also came to a screeching halt and a standstill that took some time to clear.

Once across, no problems, and we made good time.

Now home unpacking, doing laundry, and getting ready to meet 2023 head on.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

One Of The Last Saves of 2022

An impressive fast response and rescue by Grand Rapids' newly operational  Fire Department Dive Team saves a life on December 31, 2022:

The Detroit News: Divers rescue driver trapped inside submerged car in Grand Rapids river

Divers with the Grand Rapids Fire Department's water rescue team rescued a person trapped inside a submerged car in the Grand River Saturday morning.

They were informed about a car in the Grand River at 10:59 a.m. and responded to the scene by 11:02 a.m. The vehicle had reportedly jumped a snowbank behind a hotel on the 200 block of Ann Street, according to a news release. The initial 911 caller reported that the car was overturned about 150 feet from the shore.

Most of the time when a car goes in the water in Michigan in December, it is a recovery and not a rescue. Here the driver got very lucky indeed.

Great response time and recovery effort by the dive team. Nice to have some good news to wrap up the year.