Sunday, July 26, 2015

One Hot Match

Today's USPSA match was a real scorcher.

The sun was out and it was brutal with nary a breeze to stir the air during the match.

By the end of the match I was seriously dragging - 9 stages felt like an eternity.

Some bays had covered rest ares which were helpful but they often weren't large enough for everyone, and four of the bays at one end were cruelly naked under the sun and you were in the open to bake for a long time.

Even worse there was a major bottleneck at our very last stage.

Due to an error in course design, there were a ton of re-shoots which slowed everything down so we were stacked up 3 squads behind the squad shooting it in the very next bay. We sat around for an hour waiting to get a turn to shoot our last stage.

The problem was that not only was it a large and confusing stage with 32 rounds consisting of two runs, as well as hidden and angled targets, but it also had a center portion where it had 3 poppers clustered behind 4 no-shoots laid out in the vertical square so you were shooting through a small hole between the no shoot targets to get the poppers. Knocking a popper down through a no-shoot target caused the re-shoot and a pause as the entire stage was pasted and the shooter got to go again. That sucked. Our Squad RO declared that if a no shoot was hit and a popper dropped, he was just going to score it and not declare a reshoot. We all agreed as by then we were not going to drag this out anymore than it had to be to get it done.

Even with lots of sunscreen, a hat and drinking a liter and a half of water I still felt dehydrated. I'll be sure to bring more water next time.

I was dragging badly by the end of the match, so I came in 20th of 28 limited class shooters with 1008 out of 1085 possible points.

The M&P 40 Pro still ran like a champ. One magazine with the Taylor Freelance base did not lock the slide open on empty which is apparently fixable with a stronger spring than kjust the factory magazine spring, while the other worked 100%.

Lots of people had magazine seating fumbles as the day wore on, mostly due to heat exhaustion. There were lots of issues due to reloaded ammo not being powerful enough to operate the guns, especially with 1911s. One Glock shooter had a front sight fly off while shooting in the open, not due to hitting any object, which locked the gun up for a bit as the screw holding the sight jammed the slide until it was cleared. Loctite is a mandatory thing for sight attachment screws people.

It was a long hot match for everybody with over 217 rounds fired.

On the upside, I found out I made C-class in Limited from last month's classifier match. Considering how i flubbed my way through the classifiers that was rather happy-making, but I've got a long way to improve.

Friday, July 24, 2015

It's Harder To Cheat Honest Men

But the fraudsters are getting more clever.

I had a referral from another attorney regarding a commercial matter.

I communicated with the potential client by email, but noted they had a gmail address. Their address however checked out as a Michigan company. I also spoke to the person by phone - the area code was correct for the location of their company in Michigan but the guy had a rather strong African accent. Some indications from the conversation had me thinking something wasn't quite right.

He indicated he had not been paid by another Michigan company and wanted to retain us. I check it out and the company mentioned is a real company. We discussed rates and I sent him a retainer letter.

He returns it signed via email but his email message accompanying it is very strange indeed.

Here's the bulk of it:

We have been communicating with our debtor, Kevin Kayne of IMAGE MACHINE & TOOL INC, over the past few days regarding our intention to take legal action against them, we have informed them that your firm is now in charge of the claim and that any further communication should be directed to your office. However, they have stated clearly that they want an out of court settlement, thereby pleading for time to set up the payment. As I have earlier anticipated, We prefer to reach an informal resolution and still maintain a good relationship with our client. This Morning, I received a call from Kevin Kayne, that they will make a partial payment of the money owed to us to avoid any legal action against them and also will be responsible for our attorney's fee as stated in our contract agreement. He stated that the reason for the delay in payment was that the goods were shipped to their subsidiary office in Canada. We strongly believe that they have resolved to make this payment due to our recent involvement with your firm in this matter. The high reputation of your firm has played a great role in this recent development.

They have promised to send the partial payment directly to your office on or before 24th of July, 2015 and the balance will be sent on the 28th of August, 2015 to avoid any lawsuit. I suggest we take no action for now, neither do you make any form of contact with them but wait till the requested date for them to come up with the payment, and if they should fail to make good their promise this time, then we can proceed accordingly.

Please, be rest assured that if your office should receive this payment as promised by our debtor, your fee will be paid according to the agreement.

I await your acknowledgment of this email and also give me a call if you have any questions.

At which point I'm about 95% sure I'm now dealing with a Nigerian-type scam. Note that both Kevin Kayne is a real person and Image Machine and Tool Inc are real companies in Michigan and they're not to blame for this matter but are being impersonated here as is the real person and company on letter writers end. The language is off as is the content. Michigan business people do not write this way.

I reply that since we haven't done anything he might as well have the payment go direct to their company. I look up his phone number and note while it has the same area code and prefix of the actual company the last four numbers do not match. Could be a direct extension, but that's another indicia something is off.

Today I was 100% sure it was a fraud.

Today we get in the mail an envelope, with no return address, but stating "Image Machine Tool Inc", with a Canadian stamp and a processing mark that shows it came out of Toronto. Inside is a letter and a Scotia Bank Check drawn on a New York bank for $197,950 made out not to the company but to our firm. Yeah, its fraud all right.

Clue #1 - The check doesn't have the banks address on it. However, they've clearly done some homework as the routing number is the right number for that bank and while the paper doesn't feel right they have some darn good coloration and double sided. It helps that I've held a real Scotia Bank bank check before and know it feels off. Second the amount is goofy as is the script for it on the check and it looks like it was printed on a laser color printer, albeit a very good one.

Clue #2 - The letter is on a very non-business-like colored paper. The paper though has the Michigan address for the company on it and is "signed" by "Kevin Kayne" but has a wacky gmail address of info.president02@gmail.com. Remember, the envelope came from Canada.

So, I contact the Bank of Nova Scotia and verify that it is indeed a fake check. So I obviously do not deposit it and the scammers will be rather disappointed.

They're certainty getting more clever, but that was far too pat indeed. It and would only con either someone who was greedy or lacked the reading and thinking skills to pickup on the scam.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

US: We Have A Deal With Iran! Iran: Death To America! Kerry: Oh That's Troubling, But We Still Have A Deal

The Telegraph: Kerry says Iran vow to defy US 'very disturbing'

John Kerry, US secretary of state, said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear programme was "very disturbing".

Part of the problem is the western diplomat's and politico's willful blindness and twisted desire to believe such statements aren't really meant and are just for domestic consumption and aren't actually meant.

They mean it, and while they may not have the ability to carry it out yet, they sure as heck have the desire.

"I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy," he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, parts of which the network quoted on Tuesday. "But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it's very disturbing, it's very troubling," he added.

In other words he's disturbed that Iran's public policy is in fact death to America, but that shouldn't get in the way of, or holdup the deal that will indeed move Iran forward on its path to indeed inflict death on America.

This country is in just the best of hands, now isn't it?

Monday, July 20, 2015

First Flying Lesson Is Now Booked!

To say I'm psyched would be an understatement.

It's set for the first week of August, more updates as it happens.

The Unkind Coupe Of An Aircoupe

Since I'm planning to get aviating quite soon, I figured I'd pay more attention to aviation goings on, or in this case going in. The Detroit Free Press: Michigan pilot walks away from second crash in 6 years

A very shiny classic 1966 Alon Aircoupe A2 crash landed in Western Michigan Sunday evening, and there's pictures and video at the linked article.

Thankfully, the pilot walked away with only minor injuries and he carefully landed away from people on the beach and came to rest in the sand dunes. No telling the cause just yet, witnesses said the prop wasn't moving when it came in for a landing so to early to know if it was engine failure, fuel starvation or otherwise.

Hopefully the plane didn't get damaged too badly.

Number 1 Child Returns

Abby returned from sleep-over camp yesterday. We picked her up from the bus and she wanted to head straight home.

At 25 days, it was the longest time she's been away from home.

She had a great time, met new friends from all over the US and Canada, and had such a good experience that she wants to go back next year.

I think she actually grew a few inches while she was away and likely gained some more wisdom as well and lost a baby tooth while she was there.

The first thing she did on returning home after hugging the Jett was to give her bookshelf a hug.

That's my girl.

After that was a hot shower for her, and a festive welcome home meal.

This was followed by the washing of tons of camp laundry.

She had a glowing review of the camp, its activities, her new friends, and most especially its awesome counselors that now Leah is all fired up to go with her next year.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Some Needed Sighting Improvements Made

I just swapped the factory sights on my M&P 40c for a set of TRUGLO TG13MP1A Brite-Site TFX Handgun Sight for S&W M&P Set, Black.

The difference is simply amazing.

And when there's a light source, they're much, much brighter than the standard sights. Incredibly easy to pickup.

Of course in the dark, it's no comparison. The stock sights disappear as they're have no tritium inserts while the TFXs glow nicely. Not as bright as a pure tritium night sight but bright enough that you can pick them up without any issues. Thwe daytime rapid acquisition more than makes up for it.

The front sight is markedly longer than the factory, but it fits all my holsters just the same with no issues. The rear sight matches the overall length of the factory rear sight.

The sights are much faster to pickup and get on target in daylight especially during rapid strings or after drawing from a holster. At night, now the tritium lets me see the sights very well indeed, unlike the non-tritium standard factory sights.

To put them on, I used the Ameriglo Smith & Wesson M&P Rear Sight Installer Tool. Model # SW Tool 12.

This is simply an excellent tool. This was the latest model with the larger cut for the sight pusher so installing TRUGLO TFX sights was pretty much a snap. Both front and rear sights both came off and went on so much easier than using a punch that it is not even funny, and with much more precision to boot. Save yourself time and aggravation with one of these sight pushers, as well as not marking up the sights while installing them. The instructions are a bit scant on details and the alignment instructions are a bit vague, but you can puzzle them out reasonably well and it didn't take long before I had the slide in and secured in the pusher and the factory sights off and new TRUGLO TFX sights on.

A great product and if you own more than one M&P and want to change the sights, it pays for itself very quickly.

As to the TRUGLOs, without question, they're a huge improvement over the factory sights and highly recommended.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Me In A Plane!

I've been wanting to learn to fly for quite awhile now, and I may be on my way.

For Father's Day, Tash and the kids had bought me an intro flight at Flight 101, and I had it booked for today at 3pm.

Looking at the weather and walking the dog in a sudden rain shower at 1pm had me worried as to if we would have to reschedule, but the rain ended and the clouds parted so that it was a VFR with over 6sm visibility day with the overcast layer way up there and not a factor.

So I arrived at Flight 101, and checked in and met my flight instructor, Sean, for the ride.

It was a very hot and humid day, so hot and humid that the engine of the Cessna 172 we were about to fly in wanted to give some issues starting, but once it was running it was smooth as silk.

The instructor handled the radios, takeoff and some maneuvering to get us past an aircraft towing a banner that the tower was rather concerned about, then he put us on a course for Detroit and let me fly.

We flew by the downtown and to the Ambassador Bridge and I was at the controls enjoying myself profusely and admiring the view. Then he got the controls and I got to take some pictures.

So here we are at 2,750 feet, under Detroit's Class Bravo airspace and having a great time.

Here's a nice shot of the Ren Cen with a freighter on the river, the Ambassador Bridge to the lower right, and Canada in the background:

Flying over the Detroit area highways sure beats driving on them.

We flew over a truck yard:

We also flew over this interesting building complex that stood out from the rows of houses:

I then put the camera away, and I got to fly us back to the airport, where Sean then took over and put it down with the greatest of ease.

It was awesome, and I had no problem keeping the plane straight and level as well as doing a few minor turns.

I'm going to need to sign up and schedule some lessons sometime real soon.....

Friday, July 17, 2015

Whatever You Do, Don't Say The I-Word

The Detroit News: Chattanooga gunman’s motive a mystery

Quite the politically-correct willfully induced blindness there, wot?

To quote the most eminently quotable Tam: "Ooh! Ooh! I know the motive! Pick me! Pick me!"