Monday, July 31, 2023

I'm Back

Just returned from a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise to Northern Europe, on board their newest ship, Norwegian Prima.

Visited Bruges, Belgium; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Bergen, Alesund, and Gerainger, Norway; Akureyri and Reykjavik, Iceland.  We then added a couple more days in Iceland as well.

Many tales of adventures to follow, including the adventure of making the cruise work in the first place.

Friday, July 14, 2023

So, This Happened Last Night

After class and after the rolls,  I got called up in front of the class.

My belt now looks like this:

That second stripe took a long time to be earned.  Time off for surgery and recovery turned it into almost two years, and then over 100 hours on the mats to get it.

It's both interesting and amazing how much a little piece of tape on a belt means and is worth, and at the same time is not really meaning anything at all in the grand scheme of things.

Now to work on continuing to improve, and to try and earn stripe three.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Detroit Police Oversight Commissioner Caught Trying To Get Hands-On With Criminal Conduct

One would think he would know better, but instead apparently thinks he is instead above the law.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit police commissioner cited for encounter with prostitute

A member and former chair of Detroit's police oversight board was caught with a sex worker Wednesday morning, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office says.

Deputies say they caught Bryan Ferguson of the Detroit Police Board of Commissioners engaged in a sex act with a prostitute in his vehicle at 7:15 a.m., according to Edward Foxworth, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

 . . .

Bates said Ferguson asked officers at the scene if they could "help him out."

Hilariously, he claims he was just stopped in his truck and was just minding his own businesses when a woman of ill repute jumped into the truck all on her own and started jumping his bones.

He also pulled the "do you know who I am?" bit by telling the deputies that caught him inflagrante delicto that he was a police oversight committee member. That didn't help him.

Meanwhile the entire Commission is under investigation itself for lots of irregularities, including financial ones. What a surprise that Detroit lefty politicos who oversee the police are apparently committing corrupt and criminal acts. Funny, that.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Prepare For Greenie-Caused Power Outages In 2032 In Michigan, If Not Before Then

At the same time that the powers-that-be are pushing for electric vehicles that are charged by being plugged into our state electricity grid, those same officials are pushing to eliminate our baseline power generation for that grid, both nuclear and coal, and replace it with far less reliable and more expensive "renewables".

The Detroit Free Press: DTE Energy to move up retirement of its coal-fired Monroe Power Plant by 3 years

Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. announced a clean energy plan Wednesday that includes moving up the retirement of its coal-fired Monroe Power Plant . . .

he Monroe Plant, along with the Belle River Power Plant in St. Clair County, are DTE's last remaining coal-fired plants. The two produce 40% of the overall power the utility provides to its 2.3 million electric customers in southeast Michigan.

DTE also has said it plans to stop burning coal at its Belle River Power Plant, making the Monroe Plant its last remaining coal-fired power plant.

So, DTE will eliminate its reliable baseline that is producing 40% of its power nice and consistently and replace it with solar and wind.

Consumers Energy is apparently going to follow suit, and generate 90% of its power load form renewables.

We're already seeing an increase in electric prices this year from 3-7 pm with a new "time of use" rate to deal with peak demand and because they already can't generate enough electricity to meet the demand.  

Just wait until electric cars start being adopted heavily, whether by government fiat or not, and are plugged into the grid, and the demand go even higher -- just in time for the reliable baseload to disappear in the name of progressive greenie nirvana.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Ann Arbor Decides Broken Windows Are No Problem

Remember the Broken Windows Theory of crime prevention? In short, the idea is that allowing low-level crimes and signs of disorder encourages more and more serious crime.  So enforcing the law and enforcing low-level infractions and smacking criminals doing low-level offenses helps deter more major crimes from occurring.

The theory worked.

The City of Ann Arbor doesn't like this theory.  Per their beliefs, stopping criminals committing low-level crimes is apparently racist.

The Detroit Free Press: Ann Arbor adopts ban on select traffic stops to help build trust with minority population

Ann Arbor City Council unanimously approved an ordinance banning certain traffic stops, in an effort to build trust with the city's minority population.

Under the new law, police officers can no longer pull over drivers for equipment violations like tinted windows, a chipped windshield or loud exhaust.

So now, these low-level violations of the law will be ignored in Ann Arbor, allegedly because minorities are more likely to have cars with tinted windows, a chipped windshield or loud exhaust.

Citing an extensive body of research, the ordinance points to the disparate outcomes of traffic stops that Black, Indigenous and people of color experience — making interactions with police, even for minor infractions, laced with trauma.

The risks and trauma associated with traffic stops for Black people and people of color outweigh any potential safety benefits, according to the Urban Institute, and they instead create a tension between community members and those sworn to protect. Traffic stops neither increase trust in police or people's perceived sense of safety among their neighbors.

We will note that traffic stops, for quite valid reasons, such as these equipment violations, are excellent starting points to catch criminals traveling back and forth as they commit crimes  -- and thus they actually lower the victimization of Black, Indigenous and people of color by criminals.

We'll also note if you have trauma from being in a traffic stop, you're either getting it as a result of resisting arrest, which is on you, no matter what color you are, or you simply lack the emotional resilience to be driving a 4,000 plus pound vehicle on the road.

But the City of Ann Arbor has now decreed that they will ignore minor crimes in the name of social justice and progressiveness.  Expect Ann Arbor to see a rise in broken windows as a result, and a rise in crime - which I am sure they will be completely surprised about as a result.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Another Mass Killing In A School

But this time, it's outside the USA, so it likely won't draw quite as much coverage or condemnation.

Oh, and the killer used a knife rather than a firearm, so again, expect it to receive less coverage, and don't expect many calls for "common-sense knife control".

The Detroit News: Man with knife kills 6 people at kindergarten in China before being arrested

Schools tend to be the target of choice for whackos and killers looking to make themselves infamous because the  location tends to be insufficiently secure and defended, and it has a pool of victims who generally, being children, are not as able to react, fight back, and defend themselves.

The article closes with this helpful note:

China prohibits most gun ownership. Personal attacks usually are carried out with knives or homemade explosives.

And yet, even with pretty much perfect gun control, in a totalitarian state no less, massacres of innocent children by evil scum still happens.  Note the emphasis on personal attacks, in China, it's the government there that uses guns to kill it's dissenters.

Saturday, July 08, 2023

Chief To Ben & Jerry's: Put Your Ice Cream Where Your Mouth Is

Ben & Jerry's decided to give a progressive Virtue Signal for the 4th of July, declaring the country was on "stolen native land", along with all the usual proggy tropes about white supremacy etc, etc:

Ben & Jerry's: The US Was Founded on Stolen Indigenous Land—This July 4, Let’s Commit to Returning It

 So a Native American Chief has decided to take them up on their proclamation of "returning stolen land to the natives" - starting with their headquarters:

Daily Mail: Ben & Jerry's is accused of hypocrisy for calling on the US to hand over all 'stolen indigenous land' when its HQ sits on Native American soil in Vermont - as local chief calls for woke ice cream company to engage in talks

Certainly one thing for  Ben & Jerry's to emote about "returning" soemthing they don't own - Mt. Rushmore -  to the Lakota (even as the Lakota's claim is historically complicated - it's quite another for Ben & Jerry's to give up something they actually own.

But since Ben & Jerry's has piously declared that "The US was founded on stolen Indigenous land. This year, let’s commit to returning it.",  Let's see how  committed they are to their principles and their declaration of  "returning" the "stolen land"  when it is their headquarters that should be "returned" to the natives there, in Vermont.

Perhaps one should crack open a non-Ben & Jerry's pint of ice cream and sit back and watch the show.

Friday, July 07, 2023

The Revolving Door Justice System Revolves

Until someone ends up getting killed.

Then we get "Oh well, the system failed", and it continues, or, if the felon uses a firearm, they call for gun bans, and then it continues.

The Detroit News: Wynter Smith kidnap suspect had run-ins with multiple police agencies in recent years

Note that this example of a career criminal not only stabbed his ex, but also is the #1 suspect in the murder and dumping of the body of her two-year-old daughter.

The man accused of abducting a 2-year-old girl found dead Wednesday on Detroit’s east side after allegedly sexually assaulting her mother has a violent criminal past that includes domestic violence, assault, and resisting and obstructing police in at least five Michigan counties, court records show.

 Note the multiple convictions and the multiple times he keeps getting let out, even after serially violating probation and having a track record for assaulting police officers and resisting arrest:

The records show Trice was first sentenced to 224 days in jail for domestic violence and attempted resisting, assaulting or obstructing a police officer in Monroe County stemming from a May 23, 2021 arrest. 

A week later, on May 31, 2021, Trice was arrested for obstructing police in Clinton County. He was sentenced to attempted assaulting, resisting and obstructing police and was given a year in jail for that offense, records show.

But in August 2021, he was again charged with assault and obstructing Michigan State Police in Livingston County, according to court records.

After that incident in Handy Township near Fowlerville, Trice pled guilty and admitted in court records that he "fled two police officers in a motor vehicle, assaulted two officers w/ a motor vehicle, resisted/obstructed 2 officers and operated a motor vehicle w/o a license," according to Livingston County court records.

A Livingston County judge sentenced Trice to two years of probation in January 2022 for fleeing police, felonious assault and assaulting, resisting and obstructing police. Trice pled guilty to six counts in that case.

Trice was again arrested less than three months later by Lansing police for fleeing police and misdemeanor assault, court records show. He was sentenced to 93 days in jail in April 2022 for that offense.

Time and again he was released, and he then went off and committed more violent crimes, for which he was again released.

Now, had his probation in January 2022 been revoked after he violated it by committing crimes three months later for just the one incident alone, and put in jail for that time, he would still have been in jail today and would have been unable to stab his ex and kill her 2-year old.

But he was released yet again, and committed more crimes, and now has a murder on top of the rest of his long list of other violent crimes.

Thursday, July 06, 2023

Lies, And Lying Liars, Who Lie: White House Cocaine Edition

"We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying.
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

We know members of the Biden Administration lie as naturally as breathing or perhaps even more naturally that that

The drama over cocaine being found in the White House has resulted in lies being snorted out of the White House with astonishing rapidity and regularity.

The most interesitng lies so far concern the constantly shifting location where the cocaine was actually found.

Red State:  Holy Coke: The White House Cocaine Story Changes Yet Again

The location of the cocaine discovery has now wandered from outside the White House, to inside the White House, to the White House lobby, to the White House library, to the West Wing, and now to the West Executive entrance, apparently with its final discovered place yet to be decided upon, depending on the needs of the narrative and likely to shield the bringer of said cocaine into the White House.

Why bother lying about where it was found? The claim that the Secret Service is unable to identify who left it, wherever it was in fact left, does defy belief and raises lots of questions as to the security measures protecting the White House.

Then again, why not bother lying about it?  Since this administration lies about just about everything, throwing a few lies and some misdirection about the cocaine found in the White House can make it a welcome distraction from other things they're lying about as well.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

What Is Up With People Ignoring Red Lights Recently?

Not sure what to make of this.  Yesterday and today alone,  I've seen three people run red lights.

Not running as in going through a light color-shifting from late yellow to hot red, but I,m talking full-on intentional go through fully established red lights where other cars have already come to a full stop.

Yesterday, a fellow ran through a red light on a 4-lane major road without even stopping at all as the lane was empty, other three lanes had cars stopped at the red long before he came whipping up, including mine.  Luckily there was no crossroad traffic with the green light at the time but he plowed on through.

Also yesterday, idiot on a motorbike didn't just decide to weave through the lanes, he came up and weaved through the intersection when he had a red and I and other drivers had a green and were already in the intersection. That was a very almost surreal "WTF?!?" moment.

Today, I saw one guy come up to the light, come to a stop, and then drive through the solid red and make a left turn from a two-way street to a two way street. He apparently did not wish to wait long enough for the light to change.

While it is true that, in Michigan, you can make a left turn on red from a one-way to a  one-way street (this freaks the heck out of people not from Michigan btw), you cannot make a left turn on a red from a two way to a two way.  

While there was a break in traffic on the street with the green and he took it, still, no bueno. He also didn't save all that much time doing it either.

Not sure what the heck is going on.  All of this idiocy was during the day in clear conditions and no possibility any of them did not see the solid red lights that they all happily and impressively stupidly blazed through.

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Happy Independence Day!

I hope you are all out and celebrating appropriately.

I began the celebrations this morning by heading to the range and making joyful independence noises.

250 rounds of focused practice flew by:  B8s, 1 Dot Torture run,  lots of Bill Drills,  lots of single shots timed, 3x2 drills, and a multiple target array on the clock. All good practice and a lot of fun to do.  I can see some improvement but certainly need more improvement - I really need to work on more dry fire for starters.

After that I headed to the airport and acted as a safety pilot for another pilot.

Sadly not in this:


An L-29 Delfin in rather patriotic paint scheme. Instead, I got to hop in a Diamond DA-40 which was a rather nice plane for the flight.  I haven't been in a DA-40 in years.

Absolutely gorgeous day for it, if a bit bumpy.

Flew from Pontiac to Lansing and acted as safety pilot as Jason did approaches there, and more at Pontiac to get him current.  It's good to pay the safety pilot stuff forward.  He flew them quite well, better than I did I would say, so certainly an example to be emulated and to encourage me to get out and fly approaches more.

Lansing Airport t- he view after a missed and getting vectored for the RNAV 24

Now, I'm about to head off to the elder daughter's place by her university and have a dinner celebration.

Certainly a very full and fun Independence Day.

Monday, July 03, 2023

Flying: Now IFR Current

Went flying with my friend Dean who not only is a pilot but he's also an instructor. So good friend to have.

I filed IFR as the overcast was at 2,900, might as well file it like I planed to fly it.

We decided to fly to Flint first to do some approaches there, and then back to Pontiac.

I was rusty and out of practice and really needed this hop badly.

My radio communication was still excellent.

Took off from Runway 27R and flew runway heading.  I had foggles on and Dean was the safety pilot.

Detroit approach had us climb to 4,000 instead of our filed 3,000 and we got in the clouds at about 3,500.

I had no issues being in the clouds which was great, was able to hold heading well, altitude was a pain with a climbing tendency I had to always be aware of and counter.

Flew to Flint and did the ILS 27 approach, and it was ugly. Then I did the RNAV 27 approach and it went better.  I then did the ILS 27 approach again, as I was very unsatisfied with how the first one went and the second time I had it down.  Then we did the VOR 36.

The wind had then shifted for our return to Pontiac so I did an RNAV 9R approach and an ILS 9 approach and landed.

Overall I felt rusty as heck and was glad Dean was along to keep an eye on things. By the end of the flight, I felt much better.  I'm refreshed, and I promise I will keep current and shanghai a safety pilot on a  more regular basis so I do not go this long without IFR time again.

That's 2.1 with .2 actual, 1.8 simulated, 6 approaches, and 1 landing.

Saturday, July 01, 2023

Happy Canada Day, Eh!

To my Canadian friends and family, have a Happy Canada Day!









Hopefully, next year, it'll be a smoke-free holiday.

Flying: 6 Up, 6 Down, And 6 All The Way Around

Finally got out flying today.

Weather was excellent, and I and the aircraft were available so all things fell into place.

Since I was way out of practice, I decided to regain some currency by doing pattern work.

Another club member had grabbed the Dakota and we met at the airport as he was also going to do some pattern work. 

So I got the Archer pre-flighted and got ready to go.

Finally, Runway 27R is open again, as are the taxiways, even if they have been renamed.  Taxiway Kilo is no more, it's now Delta 2.  

The Archer started right up and I got the ATIS and then did a taxi to the run up area, did the run up, everything checked out so I headed to the runway hold short line.

 Got permission to take off and then I was off as if I hadn't been away from it for way too long. Haze and crappy viz from the smoke was mainly above pattern altitude but it was still hazy-ish at and below pattern altitude making it harder to see other aircraft.

Landing 1 was kinda hot and long with a fair bit of float.

For takeoff two, they had me takeoff from 27R and then do a Left pattern for 27R.

A left pattern for 27R?

I repeated it back with an emphasis on left, as going left would put me across 27L's departure end and I'd then be heading down 27L's downwind, so I wanted to make sure what they said was what they meant.

Tower confirmed, so off I went.

I did the left pattern, was cleared to land on 27R.  Right after I had turned base, the tower then amended the instruction to have me land on 27L.

This meant I had to do a pretty tight left turn to line up on 27L, and a slip to drop altitude to land on it rather than 27R.  Which I did, but I was still all sorts of fast and landed quite long.

Then took off from 27L, and then they had me cross over to 27R where I then stayed for the next 4 landings.   Each pattern was a bit different with tower adjusting things to fit aircraft in - extended climb-outs, extended downwinds etc, just to keep things interesting and to make sure everyone was paying attention.

All landings continued to improve and I finally got it all on speed, on picture and right in, which was nice.

Quite a few aircraft where in and entering and leaving the pattern but it never got terribly busy.

It was good to shake the rust off. Now I need to shanghai a safety pilot and get my instrument rating current ASAP.

That's 1.1 and 6 landings, ranging from good to excellent.