Saturday, March 30, 2024

Great Customer Service From Hydrapeak

My Hydrapeak bottle, which has been excellent in keeping cold water available, and I use regularly at jitsu, developed a problem. It somehow got water in between the inner wall and the outer wall of the bottle.  It wouldn't drain out and added a bit of weight to the bottle, not to mention water stuck in there sloshing around and probably mixing with the drinking water inside probably wasn't very healthy.

Turns out Hydrapeak has a great warranty on their bottles and they stand by it.  I contacted them and after sending them some pictures they sent me a new bottle at no costs which is rather impressive.

So yep, I can definitely recommend Hydrapeak as a water bottle.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

So, This Means The University of Michigan Will Likely Do Nothing

The Detroit News:  UM weighs policy to halt protests, disruptions at school events

The University of Michigan is asking Ann Arbor campus students, faculty and staff for input on a proposed policy to halt school event disruption, four days after a group of students interrupted one its most important academic ceremonies and was protesting again outside the building where the Board of Regents met Thursday.

When they announce they're looking for a policy to deal with disruptive protestors - it probably means they're not going to do anything to the pro-terrorist protesters  that disrupted the honors ceremony.

Even better, the policy would, in fine progressive ivory tower fashion, begin with a strongly worded letter.

No kidding:

 Under the proposed policy, the university would issue written notices to students who violate the policy. They would then be able to meet with school officials to either ask for a formal hearing or accept responsibility and a sanction. Students could face either suspension or expulsion.

We will note that the current student disciplinary policy that already exists can already punish disruption of University events (See Section IV.N)  so they don't need a new policy to handle this incident.   So this announcement is just pretending to do something, while not actually doing anything and sheltering the progressive pro-terrorist students.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Biden Claims He Travelled On The Francis Scott Key Bridge Many A Time By Train

The problem with that statement is that the now destroyed Francis Scott Key Bridge has NEVER HAD RAIL LINES ON IT, much less a train running passenger service - ever.

The New York Post:  Biden claims he commuted over collapsed Baltimore Key Bridge by train ‘many times’ – but it doesn’t have any rail lines  

I'm sure this is fine that Biden is so cognitively sharp and mentally fit that he is claiming he did something that he could not possibly have done.

Damn, but Democrats do love their choo choo trains, even the ones that have never existed.

Detroit's Q-Line Gets A Nice State Taxpayer Bailiout

Democrats do love their toy trains.

I've blogged quite a bit on the Q-Line, a private-public partnership with losses socialized and profits (which don't exist) privatized, producing a train in Detroit that moves at the speed of a walk for 3.3 miles and costs millions to operate.

Now the State of Michigan is stepping in to forgive a 3.5 million dollar loan to keep the Q-Line in the black in return for . . . advertising rights on the side of the Q-Line streetcars.  Oh joy. This is on top of another $85 million in taxpayer subsidies given to the Q-Line courtesy of Governor Whitmer.

This is being done as the non-profit operating the Q Line gets folded into the Regional Transit Authority. So, moving forward, the entire region including Macomb and Oakland Counties and not just Detroit can be on the hook to pay for this streetcar to nowhere.

The Detroit News: State forgives $3.5M loan for Detroit's QLine in exchange for ad rights on street car

Just more choo-choo cronyism at work, paid for with your tax dollars. Note that its the taxpayer and not the users that pay for the Q-Line as the rides are free as people won't pay to ride it.

If The University Of Michigan Administration Had Any Moral Fibre, Suspensions Would Fall Like Rain

At the University of Michigan's Honors Convocation, Hamas supporters decided the appropriate thing to do was to disrupt the ceremony to get out their pro-terrorism message, along with their false claims of genocide.

Jewish Insider: Jewish leaders call out University of Michigan for inaction against anti-Israel threats, disruptions

Jewish leaders in Michigan are calling out the University of Michigan’s administration for its response to anti-Zionist protesters who disrupted Sunday’s Honors Convocation. 

The event, an annual celebration where undergraduate students are recognized for their academic achievements, came amid heightened tensions on the campus. 

Two days earlier, a student posted a message on Instagram that threatened “death and worse” for supporters of Israel. The university’s administration has not taken disciplinary action — and announced only after the ceremony that security would be increased on the campus.

 Of course, the University has not disciplined the disruptive and threatening students yet.  After all, it's a progressive university and Jews are permissible targets to leftists as they are considered, in a rather topsy-turvy manner, to be "privileged" and/or "oppressors" vs the terrorists and Islamists who are cast as
"victims" and "oppressed".

The University claims violations of law or University policy will result in appropriate consequences, up to and including expulsion. Conduct that may violate criminal law will be referred to federal, state, or local prosecutors.”

However, the University has not yet reported to the Michigan State Police the student that was making the death threat for any investigation.   

As to discipline being applied against those who disrupted the ceremony, I'll believe that when I see it, but I sure won't hold my breath waiting for it to happen - and the lack of such enforcement of the rules will encourage further disruptions by this pro-terrorist faction.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

So Biden Just Threw Israel Under The Bus for Islamic Votes

The Biden administration form the outset wasn't happy about Israel defending itself from the Hamas October 7 attack.

Remember the first tweet after the attack form the Biden administration was a stern notice that Israel was not to retaliate:

Now, fearing they may loose the Muslim vote in Michigan and thereby lose enough votes to have Michigan go to Trump, they just threw Israel under the bus in the UN Security Council. 

The resolution the Biden Administration refused to veto would, if enacted, give Hamas time to rebuild and refortify its positions by requiring a ceasefire during Ramadan - the same ceasefire Hamas had rejected as they refused to release the hostages - and leaves the Israeli hostages (including Americans) in Rafah with their captors.

If it is actually enacted, I bet Hamas will continue to fire rockets at Israel and perform other attacks,  and then  Israel will be blamed for breaking the ceasefire when it responds to Hamas attacks. 

Shame on the Biden Administration and for the other members of the security council that voted for this resolution for this craven appeasement of terrorists for domestic political gain.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Oh Stewardess! I Speak Jive.

The Detroit Free Press: Many Black Americans speak African American English. But is it embraced in schools?

Ebonics is getting a makeover in public schools to be sold as a more palatable sounding "African American English".

 The current crop progressive DEI educators are trying to frame it as "just another way of speaking" and that it is not slang but its own language.  They tried the same approach when calling it Ebonics and they couldn't sell it, now they've repackaged the same progressive garbage as African American English.

Of course, they blame the lack of pandering to "African American English" as a reason why students using "African American English" have literacy issues. The current desire is that instead of schools actually teaching them to read and communicate  effectively, it is more important to value their "identities and experiences".

Maybe they should spend more time teaching kids how to read and communicate effectively, after all, that might help with illiteracy now wouldn't it?

The explanation of the post title for those who haven't seen the movie Airplane! (and if you haven't you owe it to yourself to go watch it):

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Sunday Range Day

With snow still on the ground, and temperatures a balmy 20 degrees F, I headed to the range to meet up with Tosh and Spencer.

Started out shooting carbines.  I shot my 300 Blackout with the AAC suppressor and was impressed over how very quiet it is.  Haven't shot it in some time and  it shot well, but needed some added lubrication as it hadn't been shot in quite awhile.  That has now been remedied, as well as it being cleaned thoroughly after the range trip.

After the rifles, we then switched to handguns.

Tosh had a new drill he wanted to try: A variation on this impressively difficult shooting on the move drill.

It was a very challenging drill and we certainly didn't hit the 3.5 second par time, especially as Tosh had declared that only A-Zone hits count.

Doing it in the snow, in the cold, and drawing from concealment with all the winter gear on, was quite time-consuming. I used my Sig 320 to shoot the drill.

We managed to do it in around 5-6 seconds per sub stage and now we have a time to improve on.

We then did a variation of doing a Bill Drill on each of the two targets while moving from cone to cone.  It made for a great drill but it eats a box of ammo to get to all 4 cones. We figured out a reasonable par time for that one is 6 seconds. 

This drill is a lot of fun and leads to some practice in an often overlooked area of shooting on the move and combines speed, movement, and accurate shooting.

After that we then shot some other handguns and I brought out the boat anchor.

The S&W 5946 is a heavy 15-shot 9mm pistol. It is still the standard sidearm of the RCMP and has a very smooth double action only  trigger. This one happens to be an ex-NYPD officer's pistol. The upside from all the weight is the recoil is pretty much negligible and quick accurate multiple shots are easy to do, such as on a bill drill. The heavy weight sucks up the recoil and keeps it on target.

3 hours on the range, and it was getting all sorts of cold for everyone and it was time to head out.

Lots of good practice and that's a fun new drill to try and keep on improving.

So, it was a very fun and challenging, and indeed chilling time at the range.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

The Michigan State Mock Trial Competition

As Leah's team had advanced after winning the County finals to the State finals, I drove ugly early this morning to Lansing and the Ingham County Circuit Court Courthouse for the State-level competition.

Leah's team had both a Plaintiff and Defense team and she was on the Varsity Plaintiff team.  Leah gave a great opening, did a solid direct and cross examination and all the kids on her team did a fine job indeed. The Junior Varsity Team also made it to the state finals and did very well too.

We then watched the Varsity Defense side team battle another team's Plaintiff side.

It was a fun fact pattern that had a few annoying holes but was designed to be able to be argued either way.   I believe the fact pattern was weighted a bit towards defense-side but was a fun one to work with, but it had an error regarding one of the exhibits in that it, per the rules of evidence, couldn't be admitted by either side with the way the fact pattern and witnesses were arranged - the fact pattern was missing a witness that could get it admitted.

I had ordered in pizzas for the team so we had that for lunch as we waited for the initial results after the end of the second round.

Unfortunately, both the Varsity and JV team failed to advance to the semi-finals, but I'm very proud of their effort, and that they won the county level and they got this far.

That's the last high school competition for 6 of them as they graduate and go on to bigger and better things.

Darn good bunch of kids.

Water Wars: That's Dedication (or Obsession)

Leah was asked to substitute on another water wars team.

Her only task:  Not get caught by the opposing team.

So she was super careful with her movements and even when they came by the house they couldn't time it to get her.  This lasted for quite some time and the other team was getting frustrated that she was being really clever at avoiding them.

Today however, when she went to the Michigan State Mock Trial Finals in Lansing they actually drove all the way there found her in the courthouse, and got her out.

That's a three-hour round-trip drive just to be able to find and get a player on another team out.

So, sadly, she is out again.   But, you gotta admire the dedication it took to drive all that way just to get someone with a squirt gun.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Hopefully The Last Snow Storm of The Season

While it has been declared to be officially Spring, the weather in Michigan decided to call that a lie and declare that instead it was Third Winter.

Over three inches of snow in the morning and its continuing to fall now and it's accumulating quite nicely.

The roads are a shambles with hundreds of car accidents reported in southeastern Michigan due to the conditions, and roads have been closed due to accidents.

It's a great day to work from home.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Jokes Re "What Did He Know About Hillary?" May Begin Now.

The Detroit Free Press: Arkansas airport executive shot during attempted search warrant, police say

The executive director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Arkansas was shot at his home Tuesday while authorities were attempting to serve a federal search warrant, according to Arkansas State Police.

Bryan Malinowski, 53, was injured with gunshot wounds around 6 a.m. Tuesday in Little Rock, while the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was serving a federal search warrant, Arkansas state police said in a statement. He was treated on scene by paramedics before being transported to a local hospital, and his condition is unknown.

It is unclear who shot Malinowski, but Arkansas State Police are calling the incident an "officer-involved shooting."

 So, what was he about to testify about regarding Hillary?

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Michigan Liquor Control Commission Under The Democrats : A Million $ In Booze Disappears

This is fine: $961K in liquor went missing from Michigan commission's inventory, audit finds

Quality Democrat competence here, and yes the MLCC is Democrat controlled, almost entirely composed of Democrats, and indeed most of them are Governor Whitmer appointees. 

Michigan’s Liquor Control Commission lacked the proper controls to accurately track its spirit inventory or its licensing program, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing liquor, significant excesses and negative balances in its inventory and the issuances of a handful of liquor licenses in dry communities.

One of the largest findings of the audit released Tuesday indicated the commission was missing 20%, or roughly $961,000, of the $4.9 million recorded in inventory between January and February 2022 — a count not confirmed through a state-led physical inventory of Michigan warehouses, but through distributors at the behest of the state.

The missing liquor inventory was one of three material conditions and two reportable conditions found at the liquor commission, whose overall performance was rated as “not sufficient” in an audit released Tuesday. The audit by Auditor General Doug Ringler’s office reviewed records between 2019 and 2022.

Yep, the Auditor General caught the malfeasance.  You know, the very same  Auditor General's Office that Governor Whitmer is trying to gut because it keeps finding Democrat malfeasance in government.

Interesting  how almost a million dollars in liquor goes missing and the Democrat response is to defund the watchdog that caught it.  Funny that. Be interesting to see if this report  is followed up and they track into whose pockets the funds for the missing liquor went - but don't count on any real follow-up anytime soon.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Seriously Biden?

I mean Biden is known to be a gaffe machine, indeed the Democrats excuse his regular misspeaking and nonsensical statements by claiming he's a gaffe machine on a regular basis.  Who exactly thought that was a good excuse, exactly?

Biden really stepped in the latest one in his bid to shore up Islamic support for the Democrats in key states by, of course, throwing our ally Israel under the bus and cuddling up to Hamas supporters.

But this gaffe on the worlds stage, when he didn't realize he was still on a hot microphone is rather quite something:

abcnews: Biden 'meant what he said' in saying he’ll have 'come to Jesus meeting' with Netanyahu: VP Harris'

In an interview with ABC News Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris reacted for the first time to President Joe Biden's hot mic comment in which he's heard saying he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon have a "come to Jesus" conversation about the war in Gaza.

"He meant what he said," Harris told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Mary Bruce. "Some of us grew up in communities where when a 'come to Jesus talk' is about having a serious talk, based on candor."

After delivering his high-stakes State of the Union address on Thursday, Biden was caught on a hot mic chatting with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado. Bennet told Biden he needed to "keep pushing" to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, to which Biden responded: "I told Bibi, don't repeat this, you and I are going to have a 'come to Jesus' meeting."

"I'm on a hot mic here. Good. That was good," Biden then says after being warned by an aide.

Let's start off with the obvious: The telling to the Jewish leader of the Jewish state you're going to have a 'come to Jesus' meeting with him is rather a major faux pas.

In fact it is a rather offensive and moronic thing to say.   Hardly appropriate language when dealing with allies, especially if you want them to do things clearly against their own interest.

I doubt he's said anything like that to any Muslim leaders.

Let's add that doubling down after being you;re told you just said something stupid on a hot mike is extra Biden. 

Let's ask Biden to list all the times the US had provided humanitarian aid to a territory while they were at war with that territory and while attacks form an enemy continued form that territory and said enemy still held Americans hostage.

The answer,   Biden doesn't know it, is never.

Let's further note that in this current operation, Israel continues to have a 2:1 or lower ratio of enemy civilians to enemy combatants killed in urban combat - easily beating out the US Military's current ratio of 5-7:1 when dealing with entrenched Islamic combatants in urban settings.

Still waiting for Biden to apply as much pressure to Hamas and Iran as he's trying to assert on Israel.  I sure won't be holding my breath for him to do so as he throws an ally under the bus to court the terrorist appeasement vote.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Time For 3rd Winter

All that wind on Saturday was from a cold front blowing right on in.  

It has brought much lower temperatures and some snow with it.

Yep, we have snow in the air and enough to accumulate on the ground both yesterday and today.  

Yes right now it is below freezing and snowing here right now.  Not a lot, but enough to remind us it is still winter in Michigan even with the respite of the lovely t-shirt weather the last couple weeks.

That's weather in Michigan for you.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Saturday Flyday - Operation Archer Retrieval

Unfortunately we're going to be waiting even longer for the Archer's autopilot to be done, as the avionics shop can't get to it right now for reasons, namely they are swamped and don;t have the techs available to get it done right now. Argh.

So, the plan was to pick it up this morning at 9am at KADG and bring it back for now.

So I got up early to meet with James and make it happen by flying the Dakota there and he would fly the Archer back. We got to the airport at 7:30, and James had brought his son along, nice kid.

Plan was to get over there and get back quick as the winds were going to really pickup today.

We then ran into a key problem:

Namely, our keys didn't work in the Dakota.

The Dakota has just come out of annual, and as part of that, the lock cylinder was changed as it had deteriorated to the point where you could remove your key in an other than the off setting, which could be potentially bad.  Bad because you could leave the magnetos hot that way and someone turning the propeller could find the engine starting up on them.  Not good so it got changed,

Problem was, they didn't leave the new key behind.

So we had to wait a bit and finally we managed to get in contact with who had the new key as their phone was apparently on Do Not Disturb, and James drove off to get it. We lost a bit over an hour of time with that issue.

I had already done the preflight so we got in and got going.

Called Ground, got flight following, did our run up and I took us off for Adrian and after clearing Pontiac's airspace was directed to contact Detroit Approach.

Used the autopilot and it both connected and disconnected just fine.

Wind had already picked up a bit and we would be having a 22 knot headwind on the way there.

It was a smooth flight there, and since I had another pilot with me I put the foggles on and did the RNAV 23 approach. Detroit Approach was very cool and had us fly direct to a middle fix on the approach, and cleared us into the Bravo to do so, which saved us time.

I then did a great approach and a nice landing as the wind, while gusting was straight down the runway at 230.

We then met with the avionics shop and got the Archer.

We then flew back to Pontiac, James and his kid in the Archer, and I was in the Dakota, and things started getting a tad interesting.

After passing the Ann Arbor  airport, we both hit some decent wind shear and turbulence to bounce us around a fair bit. The turbulence continued towards Pontiac.

Even with the turbulence, I managed to snag a nice shot of The Big House from 3,500 feet.

I had to slow down to remain in safe maneuvering speed, but I was still moving pretty good. A ground speed of 151 knots or 174 mph is rather nice.

Got to Pontiac, and first they had me do a left downwind for Runway 27L.

They then had me turn a tight base and moved me over to 27R which got a bit challenging in what was a gusty crosswind of 10-18 knots from 220 degrees.

I almost had to go around as the wind was pushing me past the run way rather nicely,  but I managed to salvage the approach in good order. I was then lined up on short final, started to land, and then one heckuva gust made it not super pretty.

The wind, just as my wheel started to touch decided to kick up to 25 knots.

Not my best landing, but the aircraft was and is fully usable, so it still counts as an excellent landing, doesn't it?  Had we been back as planned the winds would have been far better.

James arrived awhile after, and also had a fun crosswind landing too in the rather gusty conditions, but they sent him right to 27R and didn't do a last minute switch.

We then put the planes away and that was a rather challenging 19 knot crosswind factor, but I did it, so I'm rather happy about that.

Winds are currently16-30 knots and really whipping around, so glad we got back when we did.

That's 1.7 with 2 excellent landings and one approach in the books.

Speaking of books, I've now filled up my first logbook completely, and these two entries were the first ones in my new logbook.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Proud Parent Moment

So last night was Senior Honors Night at the high school.

Leah will be graduating Summa Cum Laude and was awarded for doing so. She's also going to be honored for leading the Mock Trial Team and multiple other activities that she has done.

Not bad for a kid that went through High School under Covid protocols and all the issues with learning and stupidities and anxieties that it entailed. 

Such stupidities included  having doors and windows in the classrooms open to the outside in winter for "ventilation" when they finally got back to in class teaching, and it was one of the many particularly stupid things that were done.

To celebrate after the awards, we went out for ice cream to celebrate her great achievement.

25 days are left this school year for her, then her exams, and her High School days will come to an end. Still waiting on some university decisions at this point so we don;t know where she'll be going yet.

For some dumb reason the administration has decided not to allow departing senior quotes in the yearbook, even after they had previously been ok'd.  Apparently some were spicy so the boneheads decided to yank them all.

Leah's had been "So long high school, and thanks for all the ulcers."

The kid did real well for all of that. I'm quite proud of her efforts and outstanding results.

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Kids Are More Than All Right - Indian American Students Association Show Edition

Saturday night I went to see the International Academy's Indian Students Association's annual show.

Leah was a part of the Senior Fusion dance act, proving that while you don't have to be Indian to be in the performance.   A lot of her friends are Indian and wanted her in the performance so she took part and had a great time.

There was a lot of talent on display. 

The show began with the singing of the National Anthem followed by the National Anthem of India.

There were then a variety of dances from Bangra to Bollywood, and even some K-pop.

Some dances were impressively athletic displays of skill:

The show included a solo playing a violin Indian style.

I've never seen a violin played like that, and it was rather amazing. Had a very Indian sound and reverberation that was quite different from classical violin or fiddling. and while quite different, it had a very beautiful sound.

The Senior Fusion Dance was a mix of six dances and all the graduating seniors taking part, so it was a full stage and a lot of fun.

Lots of effort and lots of time spent practicing went into putting on this show and it really showed.  This was a bunch of great and enjoyable performances. The show raises money for charity and takes place every year.

Great bunch of kids and a great performance.

Friday, March 08, 2024

Hamtramck Goes Full Hamas

 The Detroit Free Press: 'Palestine Ave' street sign unveiled in Hamtramck to cheers

Expect that the residents of Hamtramck will now blame Israel for the potholes on the newly named Palestine Ave.

Thursday, March 07, 2024

Because Wage And Price Controls Are Such Great Ideas

So, of course, Biden is going to push for them, of course starting them out to first to be imposed on the wealthy.

The Detroit News:  Biden: Ban deductions for firms paying executives more than $1 million

This would be on top of the already existing rule that bans the deduction for amounts over 1 Million.  Or, maybe, Biden et al don't even know what the current law even is right now.  Or, they decided to push for some class warfare knowing most people don't know about the current law either.

Look, if a company wishes to pay its execs over a million dollars, that's up to them.  The company believes that those execs are providing more than their salaries back to the company as value. If they're wrong then the company's owners can fire them or revisit such salary decisions.

This may also cause top execs to go to other countries like in Europe where they can be compensated more.  So, let's get a brain drain going 'cause that will sure help the economy.  Not.

We will also note that some non-profits have also paid their top execs over $1 million as well, and since they don't pay taxes at all, one would think that would be more offensive.

On top of proposing to pass an already existing law, there's going to be even more class warfare being pushed:

Biden is going further in his calls to tax the wealthy, endorsing a new minimum tax proposal on corporations and a new tax on corporate jet travel.

 Well, get ready for more unemployed jet pilots and aircraft companies if he punishes corporations for using corporate jets to get their people to places more efficiently.

Class warfare and damage to the economy the Democrat way - great for the progressive base, not so good for anyone else.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Begun The Water Wars Have!

High School Water Wars that is.

Expect to see lots of Seniors running around in public with water guns trying to soak each other to survive and win a cash prize and bragging rights.

The Water Wars have rules - while drive-bys are allowed, the driver may not handle a water gun while driving.

Impressively,  the rules prohibit using urine or acid as a substance in your water gun.   That this needs to be a rule indicates that some high school seniors are seriously damn stupid.

Leah being a senior is participating.

Being a chip off the old block she tooled up and went out and bought multiple water pistols - on the practical theory that while two is one, and one is none, twenty should suffice.  

The water pistols have now been hidden everywhere close at hand for her - in her car, school bag, purse, everywhere, place in ziploc bags to prevent leaks.

She also bought a super soaker for planned offensive actions.

Sadly, Leah suffered her first defeat and got eliminated in the present round yesterday - her boyfriend served her up to an enemy team by picking her up and carrying her to the ambush site.  Damn traitor.  

Seriously though, there is no way as a boyfriend I'd ever allow such a thing to befall my girlfriend. Verily, Abby's boyfriend during water wars in their senior year went out of his way to protect her, and she returned the favor by water gunning a competitor that was trying to get him - as one does.

That betrayal probably didn't do much for moving their relationship along, just saying.

So she lost this round, but revenge is being plotted for the next, and given it is Leah, revenge is going to be served ice cold.

Ice cold water, that is.

Confinement V - The Flight Home

We said our goodbyes and headed to the airport form the con on Sunday.

Mr. B had the plane fueled up, and was properly chagrined that the Lebanon Airport charged a parking fee in addition to the fuel, when most airports waive that fee if you buy fuel there.

So we filed for a return trip to Pontiac, untied the plane, and did the run up.

We then had to get the clearance by phone and once received we then took off.

We climbed right up into the soup, which caused a little vertigo on Mr B's part, but he quickly shook it off and it was smooth after that.  We got out of the layer and it was a smooth and sunny ride above the clouds. I got to handle changing the frequencies on the radios as we moved through various sectors.

The layer then broke up as we went farther north cruising along at 9,000 feet. We had ground speeds in excess of 200 knits with a decent tailwind so the return trip would be quicker than the way to Tennessee.

We passed by Toledo, Ohio's airport:

Then at Ann Arbor, we passed by their airport:


We also hit a bit of light to moderate chop, and as we flew past the city the Big House was still quite a landmark.

We then headed to Pontiac and I got the ATIS so we could tell Detroit Approach we had it before they even asked (they appreciate that) and we setup for the RNAV approach for 9L.

This was Mr. B's first time landing on the 9 side at Pontiac, and I spotted the airport first, being more familiar with the area. Conditions were solid VFR at this point. 


But, while the visibility was VFR, The winds were whipping along with a gusting crosswind, but Mr. B. flew the approach right on, and did a fine landing even with the extra fun of the additional bumps caused by the lake on the approach path to the 9 side.

We then taxi'd to the terminal and as we waited for fuel, we saw a luxury Saudi PrivatAir 737-800 land.

To say that it's luxurious inside is an understatement.  

After the refueling was complete, I got my stuff together and headed home and Mr. B. flew back to his home.

It had been a memorable and very fun weekend and the flying with Mr. B. made it even more fantastic. We'll need to do more trips together soon.

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Confinement V

The Con was pretty neat. Since it was my first time at such a con I didn't quite know what to expect. Confinement is a smaller convention and seems to draw a crowd of friendly and welcoming sci-fi/fantasy fans, and they're some pretty smart and erudite people, too.

There was a well-stocked hospitality room where there were plenty of snacks, beverages of all sorts, and lots of flowing conversation. This was where we also got to see some of Mad Mike's fun items he had brought along, which was much fun. The man has good taste in fun things.

The main conference room held a variety of speakers on multiple topics, everything from the Silurian hypothesis, to firearms in books, to advice to writers.

Then there was the vendor room, with authors aplenty cheerfully selling their books and interacting with their current fans, and those who might become fans.

Some of the best conversations however were unstructured and happened to take place in the lounge by the entrance to the hotel. 

This included a fun multi-topic wandering chat with an actual, no kidding, rocket scientist.

A propulsion engineer for NASA to be exact.

He also came to the Con with a working Tesla Coil gun for extra geekery.

You don't see that very often, or get to hear from a real rocket scientist either.

Daddybear of Daddybears Den, along with his son, was also present at the con and it was good to chat with him again and catch up after far too long. Good people.

I did purchase a book that had one of his stories in it (as well as many by other authors I know) and he kindly autographed it.

Saints of Malta

I then did kinda go on a bit of a book-buying spree.  After all, it's good to support authors of your tribe, and they're right there after all.  They cheerfully tell you about the story in the books, which piques your interest.  You then give them green pieces of paper and you then get books to read in the bargain. It's a good deal.

Pack Dynamics


Theft of Fire

Standing the Final Watch 

Salvage Title

A Reluctant Druid

Blood and Jade - I actually purchased this one in the hospitality room chatting with the author on completely unrelated subjects.  Very nice fellow.

In short if you like sci-fi, urban fantasy or fantasy there was an author there with a book for you and they're worth checking out the books above. 

All the authors were fun to meet and I look forward to getting through this new pile of books I have.

Mr. B's Plane was not quite out of weight and balance on our departure due to all the books, but it was a close-run thing (not really).

The Con was a very fun time, and we said our goodbyes and headed back to the airport on Sunday in the late morning.

Monday, March 04, 2024

9-0 And Down Colorado Goes

The US Supreme Court just gave an important corrective ruling to Colorado and other Democrats and progressives trying to prevent Trump from appearing on their state ballots. 

Far from a partisan decision, this one was unanimous and Colorado's rather dubious barely legal arguments didn't get far at all.

You can read the decision for yourself here - Trump v Anderson.

In short, the States do not have the ability nor the authority to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.  Instead it is up to Congress,  and not the States to enforce the section.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

To Confinement V

On Friday, I rose early, did some work that has to happen at the beginning of every month, loaded my bags in the car, and headed top Pontiac Airport.

Mr. B flew in from Indiana to pick me up and we were off to Confinement V.

Organized by Michael Z. Williamson, it was my first sci fi/fantasy con. I had heard about it from him when I met him up here in Michgian and he said I ought to come check it out, so I decided to do so and Mr. B. agreed to come along.

I parked and met Mr. B at the terminal on the south side of the airport (my hangar is on the north side but you're not supposed to leave your car out there long term) and headed out to the plane. I loaded my bags and we got some additional fuel for the trip.

Then, we got in his beautiful Cessna 340 and I got in the co-pilot's seat on the right, plugged in my headset, got out my IPad.  The flight plan was filed and we got our clearance, did the run up, and headed south. We climbed to 3,000, then 10,000 and finally to 14,000.

We were in and out of IMC during the way there.

We would go from above the layer, to in the layer, to getting a bit of ice, then be in a layer horizontally but with the sun right above us to melt the ice off.

It was a nice smooth flight almost the entire way down.

Then in Tennessee, the weather started deteriorating and our destination, M54 in Lebanon, TN started getting below minimums.  Their ASOS kept reporting lower and lower visibility.

So we decided to divert to Nashville but still kept the M54 ASOS available.

As were got on the ILS to fly into Nashville, it lifted just enough at M54 to try the approach.

So we gave it a try.

Mr. B. had the plane on the approach needles like it was on rails.  I mean perfect.

The runway came out right in front of the plane.

 Darn nice flying on Mr. B's part.

A great landing, and were were down, did a taxi to the FBO and shut the plane down.

We then got an Uber to the con hotel, well we thought it was the con hotel, but Uber app sent us to the wrong hotel initially, so I had to grab another.

This was sort of fortuitous as we then got to meet this Uber Dog.

I mean, due to the mix-up, we got to pet a very friendly good dog as part of the trip to the con.  Worth it.

Checked in at the Hotel, put our stuff in our room and we had arrived at my first con.