Discover Michigan – Maple Festival 2014

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Mark Irish/ Interpreter

Mark Irish/ Interpreter

Michigan is sixth in the production of maple syrup.  This weekend the Maple Festival is being held in 400 cities across Michigan.  We chose to visit Dexter, Michigan at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks located at 8801 N. Territorial Road.  The event begins with a pancake breakfast.  We used “Liquid Gold” maple syrup for the first time in our lives.  I always thought what I purchased from the grocery store was syrup, but Mr. Irish read the ingredient list from the bottle.  Everything is in that bottle but maple syrup.

Mr. Irish gathered us together in the Activity Center at the Metroparks and explained for ten minutes the process of spotting a maple tree, tapping a maple tree, catching the maple in blue plastic bags and the cooking process.  Next he took everyone outside and described what a maple tree looks like.  At that point he walked everyone to different trees and asked us to pick out a maple tree.  It was elementary at that point finding a maple tree.  Once selected Mr. Irish began tapping (See YouTube video Maple Festival – Mark Irish and watch him tap the tree).  Due to the cold weather, we didn’t get to see the maple flow from the tree.  Mr. Irish stated “it may take several hours for the maple to begin flowing from the tree”.

Mr. Irish preparing first taste of maple syrup for visitors

Mr. Irish preparing first taste of maple syrup for visitors

All the families including mine were enjoying the educational experience.  Mr. Irish invited all of us to the wood burning stove and proceeded to explain the process of making the syrup.  The maple taken from the tree and placed in pots.  Then it is boiled for hours until all of the water in the maple is gone.  Everyone had a taste of the pure maple syrup. Yum.

If you missed this event, mark your calendar for next year. This event is one of many wonderful things Michigan has to offer.  Look for more stories like this one in my “Discover Michigan” series of blogs.

Tasting maple syrup

Tasting maple syrup

Stand Your Ground Law in Michigan

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The individual who honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death or imminent great bodily harm to himself/herself or to another individual.   You have no duty to retreat if you feel this way.  This law is under fire across the United States of America.  Why?  In the most recent case of “stand your ground”  a man named Zimmerman was clearly the instigator of the initial contact with a young man.  As a NRA Certified Instructor and a CPL holder in Michigan I have strong opinions about this issue.

First, before you even consider getting a CPL license evaluate yourself.  Just because you were never admitted into a hospital for psychiatric reasons doesn’t mean you should have a CPL license. Do you have impulse control?  Are you quick to anger?   Do you have road rage?  Do you enjoy the TV series Justified (A series where someone forces a person into a situation where he would be justified in shooting them.).   If your answer is yes to these questions do not apply for a CPL license.

Second, think about what your principles of life are.  If the situation asked for it, could you, would you kill another human being to save your life or the life of another?  Do you think you could live with knowing that you have taken or ended a life?  If you answer no, then don’t apply for a CPL license.

Absolutely nothing good can come from taking another human beings life.  if you have a CPL and shoot someone, chaos follows.  Police inquiries and civil law suits to name a few.  It is always best to not place yourself in a situation were deadly force is necessary.  If you find yourself in a dangerous situation look for ways of escape.

The “Stand Your Ground  Law” in Michigan does not allow for someone to instigate a dangerous situation and then claim their life was in imminent danger allowing them to use deadly force.  When someone instigates the initial contact placing them in a dangerous situation they should never be allowed to use Stand Your Ground” as a defense In any state.  The individual placed in that situation by the CPL holder has every right to “Stand Their Ground” as well.  Making this situation mutual combat and the one instigating the initial contact should be guilty of murder if deadly force was used.

As a NRA Certified Instructor and a CPL holder, I  am vehemently opposed to allowing anyone who instigated initial contact with someone and when they start losing the battle result to deadly force being allowed to use “stand your ground” as a defense for murder.  Not only are people using this law to get away with murder, they are actually getting away with murder.  I am outraged.  “Stand Your Ground” law in some states almost give a person a right to hunt another human being like an animal.  Maybe that statement is not true.  At least an animal knows he is being hunted.