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Information relating to Michigan, the Detroit (Dearborn) area or wherever I might be in the state.

Written By: Gary on October 25, 2006 No Comment

rain delayAs we all know, I’m not a huge fan of sports, normally I’d be hard pressed to know who’s in the World Series. But being from the Detroit area I was curious as to how they were doing tonight. Unfortunately they’ve got rain, much too much rain to play so the game has been delayed. I’m not sure if they might still play tonight or not. Very sad for the sports geeks who had their whole night planned out…

I know how I feel when Apple has a press conference and Steve Jobs doesn’t announce the product I was expecting…

You can tell I’m not into sports that much when I’m wondering how “they are doing” and not how “we are doing”.

Written By: Gary on October 22, 2006 No Comment

I know I’ve mentioned Audra Kubat before. Every other Sunday Audra and Blair have been playing at the Buzz bar in Detroit doing a thing they call the Bittersweet Cafe.

It’s pretty quiet this week with the World Series on, pretty much I was the first person here for the music. But since there really isn’t anyone else here she was working on this extended tune up / warm up and it was really nice to listen to and watch as a few other people have walked in. Nice and easy and casual and relaxing.

So they do this show every few weeks and have a different guest play in the middle every time. They then “pass the hat” and chip in money for the guest and all the money collected goes to the guest (there is no cover to get in).

(A FEW MINUTES LATER: What’s funny is she just stopped and said how much she likes to have time to play before she actually has to play.)

Written By: Gary on October 21, 2006 2 Comments

The Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series!!!! It’s totally weird that no one knew who it was that we were going to play until less than two days ago. Game one is tonight.

All I really remember about the last time we made it (in ’84) was watching the news as the fans went nuts (they flipped/burned some cars and other stuff) and the newscasters were talking all very excitedly about the celebration. And I’m thinking that “this isn’t good” and then the national news came on and used the same footage with “Riots” in all the captions and descriptions that they used…

Written By: Gary on October 13, 2006 No Comment

So I thought it was going to happen when prices were dropping a few weeks ago but it didn’t happen. Today when I was driving I saw it or $2.05 but it was really windy and I was kind of in a hurry. But later, I had just pulled into the house and the cell rang and Kelly said, “It’s a $1.99 over by your house”. I was really surprised since I had just drove by the station she mentioned and didn’t notice any thing. So I hopped back into the car and saw the slightly closer gas station was also $1.99, they was a little bit busy but I got a pump right away!

By the way the stations in question are in Dearborn (Michigan) at Schaefer + Maple (just south of Michigan) and another at Schlaff + Michigan (just west of Schaefer).

In the last two months, gas has dropped about one dollar in our area (and most of that was in the range from 9 weeks to 3 weeks ago) it’s only just started dropping again the last few weeks.

I know I talk about gasoline prices a bit but it’s one of those recurring costs that you notice. Electric and natural gas, you know when the bill is high but you don’t really know what you’re paying “per gallon”. Plus I get excited when I get a deal :)

Written By: Gary on October 5, 2006 No Comment

 Images PrplribcrpEvery October is Domestic Violence month. That’s why you’re seeing the purple ribbons this month. They say one in four of us are affected some way by it. Every 15 seconds a woman is battered (it’ll probably take you twice that time to read this blog post). October is kind of an everything month (there are only 12 months to share) and breast cancer seems to get a lot of the attention and sometimes DV gets overlooked. (Related news.)

FirststepFirst Step is a local shelter in Wayne County. Over 14,000 crisis calls, 7,000 nights of shelter and 20,000 hours of counseling are provided almost every year. I’ve volunteered with them, generally I’d be on call a few times a month and get called to hospitals (police stations, etc.) and talk to people and their families after they’ve been assaulted, I’ve also done stuff with the kids (but not much lately) such as day care, field trips, etc. I’ve been neglecting it lately and need to get back over there (but I’m still wearing my ribbon).

They are always having fund raising events so keep your eyes out for those, it’s a way to donate and have fun at the same time (sometimes it’s a movie night with auctions, shopping at Parisian [you get a discount and they get a cut]). Shelters are always looking for donations, please don’t just think of them around the holidays, they need donations all year round. They always need volunteers to help.

Written By: Gary on September 26, 2006 One Comment

So it was a great day outside today. I’m up visiting relatives in Lake Leelanau and the weather has been mediocre but today it was just great! I went bike riding with my uncle on some path and then I ran around and went to a winery (Leelanau Cellars) I like.

Then I drove around a bit and got some lunch and ice cream. And then I just drove around and enjoyed the scenery with the top down. It’s been semi-rainy and mostly cloudy since Friday. So it’s been a pleasure today!

Actually, I don’t know any thing about wine (or wineries) and never go but when I find a wine I like I write it down. On my last visit here we stopped by a Leelanau Cellars winery and when we got there I looked at my list it turns out oen of the few names I had written down was actually from that winery. So I liked the bottles from last year so I went back. Unfortunately the one I liked I forgot to write the name down :(

Written By: Gary on September 26, 2006 3 Comments

So I had some of the best Coca-Cola* yesterday at Pangea’s Pizza in Traverse City. It was just extra tasty, I’m not sure why. And not only was it served in fancy old Coca-Cola glasses it was served by the charming Rachel** who attended to all my cuisine related needs. That, a slice of pepperoni pizza, some on-line access and I was all set. I was hoping for more dead animals on my pizza but I would have had to order a whole pizza.

I mentioned WiFi availability earlier today: I could see a few local access points from inside the restaurant (none of which I think were Pangea’s) but eventually I’d lose the signal, the same if I hooked up with my cell phone. Not sure why. Probably something with all the pleasantness radiating from Rachel was interfering with my digital*** reception.

* – In case you were wondering the best Coca-Cola I ever had was at the Chicago Aquarium in February of 2002. This is fountain Coca-Cola, in the bottles it’s generally the same, unless it’s in the glass bottles where it’s extra delicious.

** – I’m thinking Rachel was spelled slightly differently (sorry).

*** – Pleasantness is a full spectrum analog signal in case you didn’t know. It’s supposed to overwhelm everything.

Written By: Gary on September 26, 2006 No Comment

So I’m up north in Michigan at Lake Leelanau / Sutton’s Bay (top left of the Lower Peninsula). I’ve been around here and Traverse city the past few days. I’ve noticed the smaller towns are more often than not to have WiFi you pay for. Lot of free places in Traverse City but I can connect my cell phone to my PowerBook and get pretty good speed (EVDO), but it the rest of the area I’m roaming. I noticed a few were inexpensive to pay for, but I think they’d be better if you were in that town for a week (or the summer) and it’d be great deal. I did notice one of the networks gave me five free minutes, which was enough to sync my mail and check a few web pages.

The big bonus is my Aunt’s brother lives less than a mile away and I can stop by his driveway to sync my mail (getting new mail and sending mail that I composed off-line) and post any blog entries I’ve written off-line with my blog client (Ecto). It’s definitely not hi-tech but I’m surviving….

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Written By: Gary on September 13, 2006 2 Comments

On my never eneding posts about MySpace (I’ll wind down soon). I got a MySpace message from my local bar today:

Today Kraft Mac and Cheese is celebrating it’s 69th Birthday!

So….come on up to Bamboozles tonight and have some Mac and Cheese Bites (on the house) or just come up and celebrate the fact that it is 69!

MySpace is an interesting way to communicate…

FYI – These are weird little deep fried snacks that have Mac & Cheese inside, it’s a ritual that we make people try when we get new friends to happy hour.

I can’t verify that the above information about the M&C birthday is true…

Written By: Gary on September 7, 2006 2 Comments

After I did that earlier mobile post, I saw a price of $2.37 and on the way home I saw $2.34! But that’s not why I’m posting. Here’s why:

At Chili’s we were discussing gasoline prices and I thought they were getting to pre-9/11 pricing (but I was alone in that thought). So as I was driving home I was trying to remember what the price gougers jumped the prices up to on that day. I know it was up to the next dollar range but was it up to $3 or was it just $2. Could it really have been that low just 5 years ago? Have we gotten that complacent in paying outrageous prices for our gasoline? (or is it just me?)

Please note: I had a much more detailed post but I screwed it up, so you get the shortened post (with less references).

The first thing I noticed is the average price in Detroit a month ago was $3.07 and today it’s $2.48, that’s a huge drop! I’ve noticed it, but I didn’t realize it was almost sixty cents in the last thirty days. Three years ago they list it about a $1.50 a gallon (just before a dip to $1.40), I guess I’ve gotten used to these outrageous prices, I don’t remember it that low that recently.

Other sources list it as being in the $1.50 range the week of 9/11/2001. So five years ago, we paid half the price! That’s huge! What else (non-fuel) has doubled in price since then?

All of these historical numbers are adjusted for inflation so I don’t know what it actually read on the pumps when you bought it. But still…

Can anyone direct me to some non-adjusted for inflation prices? I want to know what it said on the pump 5 years ago. I hate when things get adjusted but don’t point to the non-adjusted prices. When I ask “Grandpa, how much was a candy bar when you were a kid?”, he doesn’t say “fifty-five cents (adjusted for inflation)”, he says “a nickel”…

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Written By: Gary on September 7, 2006 One Comment

Wow! $2.39 A Gallon

Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

This was awesome! I got this deal on gasoline while taking mom out to dinner today. Twelve Mile road and Coolidge in Berkley (Michigaan).

Written By: Gary on August 30, 2006 One Comment

So on my quest to save money today I stopped by two insurance agencies to check on my auto and home insurance. I currently have State Farm and they’ve always been good to me, but it was time to check. I was heading over to All State (Allstate?) which a few people have given me recommendations lately but I passed a MEEMIC (supposedly Michigan Educator’s discount insurance) so I popped in, a bit less for the home but a bit more for the car, not worth switching and loosing the multi item discount. So went to Allstate and they wanted a huge amount more for the home (two-and-a-half times more) and a bit more for the car (less than MEEMIC). Allstate said it was my zip code, a portion of it is in Detroit (some of it is a not so great area).

Now the waitress at the bar just told me to try AIG…

Written By: Gary on August 30, 2006 No Comment

This is the story of how I saved $11.95 a month on my cable. I also mention how to get cable for about $12 a month (depeding on your company) and how I only pay $28.85 for cable internet. It’s kind of a long story, but you could save some bucks on your cable or internet so it’s worth the read if you want to try to save some money. If not, just be happy that I saved money :)

So while I like watching TV, movies and music in home theater style (105 inches baby!) I also try not to blow too much money doing it. It’s those recurring bills that kill your budget, that’s the stuf that people don’t notice (that and interest) but really adds up. I generally have econo-basic cable, it’s $12.00 a month it gets me the first 23(?) channels on my cable system and doesn’t require a cable box (which makes the integration with TiVo seamless). Generally when you get internet through your cable you end up getting a few extra channels since the filter that stops you from getting the other channels also stops the internet so they loosen it up a little.

So last year they were doing some promos and I saw I could try digital cable pretty cheap, well it turns out digital cable just gets me more stations (in the 100-199 range) but doesn’t make my other stations better so I returned that box. But while I was there I found out I could get a HD digital box for $5 plus $5.95 a month (and I know they promised this price for 2 years). This got me my normal networks, the above digital range, pbs, 2 espn channels, 2 inHD channels (which was a plus older movies, some documentaries and some IMAX movies in HD) and a science channel (maybe TNT too) in HD (my TV isn’t HD so this was more like DVD quality for these channels). The downside is the TiVo reacts a little slower when connected via a cable box.

Well, the two year promotion just ended (after 1 year) and now they want the $5 plus $11.95. So I call and give her the quiz (and I’m ruthless but not an ass) I finally determine the $11.95 is really for the 100-199 digital range (the only channel I even know was there was a weather station) and a few of the HD channels so I dumped it. It really amazes my how they can’t give you a definitive list of the channels that will go away (or are included). I just checked and I lost the 100-199 range, maybe one of the HD ESPN channels, the inHD channels, the science channel and that’s about it (mostly stuff I don’t watch). So it really turns out that I lost $75 last year since I didn’t need that part of the cable, but at least I now know I’m not missing out.

This goes with my money motto of “It never hurts to ask!”

My mother just told me a similar story when they raised her bill last month (I’ve been teaching her my motto) she found out she wasn’t watching some of the blocks of programming she was paying for. She dumped those and also got them to add a promo for her package for a year. I couldn’t get them to add me a promo but since I’ve got such a limited package it’s kinda hard (how do you promote your cheapest package).

Forgetting all of the above, I also get a $15 discount for the Internet for having the $12 cable package (since I’m a customer) so keep that in mind if you want satellite but still want internet cable, it’s cheaper to have the TV with the internet than not. Many cable companies are this way, they just don’t advertise the econo-limited-basic option (sometimes you really have to quiz and twist their arm for this limited option). Plus every so often I’ll call them and tell them I’ll leave if I don’t get a better price on the internet since I can get DSL cheaper, I know that cable internet is generally faster, but I can live without the speed. Right now I’m getting an extra $15 a month off my internet (usually I only get $10, I got lucky with that one) so I really only pay $28.95 for my high speed internet (which is really a lot when you look at all the $14-$20 DSL promotions out there).

It might sound cheap, but I like to think of it as frugal. We’re not talking about saving $10-$30 one time, we’re talking about saving this much money a month for the rest of your life! You can do similar bargaining with your phone and cell phone bills. If you can save $10-$15 a bill just by changing or updating your plan that’s $360-$540 a year (that’s an round trip-airline flight!).

Here’s more info from my other Comcast dealings from the past.

Written By: Gary on August 17, 2006 No Comment

So I get the newspaper on the weekend. Not ’cause I want the news, but because I want the ads on the weekend (and maybe for the entertainment). They’re always trying to get me to get the rest of the week too. It’s always tempting, why you ask? Because they offer me the rest of the week for FREE! This offer appears to be for the Detroit News or Detroit Free Press. The last time them mailed me a letter for an offer my buddy dropped from weekly to weekends and called in and they switched him back to weeks for the same price (so I guess you can too). This time they sent me a web sitehttp://newspaperupgrade.com/ (contest code CW) that appears to let you upgrade your weekend account to 7 day for the same price (they say it’s just for a year, but I know they’ve been offering it to me for years). They must really make money from the advertisers to just give it away….

YMMV depending on where you live in the state….

Written By: Gary on July 31, 2006 5 Comments

(Pick the word that is familiar to you or add one of your own)
1. Soda, Soft Drink, Soda Pop or Tonic – Soda
2. Hoagie, Sub, Po Boy, Grinder – Sub
3. Goobers or Peanuts – Peanuts (Goobers are chocolate covered peanuts around here)
4. Candlepin or Ten-Pin bowling – Just Bowling
5. Dungarees or Blue Jeans – Blue Jeans (or just Jeans)

6. Shopping Carriage, Shopping Cart, Buggy – (Shopping) Cart
7. Frappe or Milkshake – (Milk)Shake
8. Jimmies or Sprinkles – Sprinkles
9. Hot Dog or Frankfurter – Hot Dog
10. Relative or Kin – Relative
11. Soda Crackers or Saltines – Saltines
12. Rubbish, Trash or Garbage. – Garbage (sometimes trash)
13. Rotary or Traffic Circle – Traffic Circle (but we don’t really have them here so people don’t call them anything)
14. Barbeque, Grill Out or Cookout – Barbeque/Grill
15. Funnel Cake or Fried Dough – Funnel Cake (Elephant Ears are the same, right?)
16. Flapjacks, pancakes, or griddlecakes – Pancakes
17. Bedroom Suite or Bedroom Suit – Bedroom Suite
18. Bundles, Sacks or Bags (of Groceries) – Bag
19. Front Entrance or Front Stoop – Front Door (Porch)
20. Frying Pan or Skillet – Frying Pan

From Miss. Elaine.

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Written By: Gary on July 18, 2006 No Comment

I don’t really have to add anything to clarify that do I?!?

Weatherhilojuly182006Actually, I just looked at the highs and lows today and they’re only in the high 80’s. But it sure feels hotter than those 90’s days this weekend. I just noticed on Weather Bug (at school) the Hi and lo for today were both at 3:41 AM and PM respectively :)

Written By: Gary on July 5, 2006 No Comment

So my Mom called because she heard (from Chuck) that you could see both the ISS and the Space Shuttle go by tonight and she knows I like stuff like that. So I dug around and found this which tells you when you can see cool stuff like that. Sure enough, I saw the ISS exactly when they said although the shuttle was a minute late. The times do vary slightly from city to city so be sure to look up your town. The shuttle I’m slightly less confident on due to delays, but it was definitely something. Tomorrow, I see they are passing at the exact same time, I’m assuming they’ll be docked! I guess I’ll be able to tell via this tracker tomorrow.

And you can find your city too! Be sure to check out SkyWatch after you look up your city (it’s more detailed and complicated so do the simple one first).

Written By: Gary on July 4, 2006 No Comment

ItunesredwhiteblueThe iTunes song of the Week (this week) is Red, White and Blue by Rockie Lynne. If you’ve got iTunes click here and scroll down to the lower left to download it for free.

It’s country, which isn’t really my thing. But the thing that caught my eye in the description is when it said “it’s willing to admit that flag-waving isn’t enough anymore” and it preaches tolerance “but doesn’t shove it down your throat”. I’m patriotic in that I’m incredibly grateful for this wonderful country we live it (even with it’s flaws), but I’m not a huge red/white/blue kind of person. I was the same way at college too, I loved it at MSU and raved about it to people, but I was a student much more that I was a spartan and my green and white ward robe still suffers.

Happy 4th of July!!!

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Written By: Gary on July 1, 2006 No Comment

So after Audra Kubat played last night, she was selling CDs and signing them and stuff. So I went and picked up an older one and got it signed. She’s very sweet and was chatty with people and I found out she plays locally at a place downtown somewhere a few times a month so I’ll be heading down there. I haven’t played the CD yet but I really enjoy the other one that I had. The TasteFest was a lot busier when we left, I bet it gets pretty crazy there over the weekend.

Plus, seeing her completes another one of my 101 in 1001 list items. You know, I just realized I never talked about her other than at the Aimme Mann concert, I put together some info and never posted it so here you go some info, reviews and probably enough mp3s to make your own little sampler CD:

Info at Times Beach Records (including a few MP3s) and here’s a few more MP3s and a video and another mp3 and a few more samples. Here’s some reviews from MetroTimes 1 2 (plus a few more MP3s) 3, VenusZine, Adequacy 1 + 2. Here’s a few more downloads on Audra’s MySpace page.

Written By: Gary on June 30, 2006 No Comment

Audra Kubat at the TasteFest

Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

So it’s really nice down here, she’s on stage down by the only grassy area I’ve seen.

The tastefest is nice, not too crowded but yet still a lot of people. And of course Audra is great!

We’ve got kids all over the place with hula-hoops and some are down by the stage (see photo). I might make my way back down here before ity ends on the 4th. (Later) Here’s the video with the kids, they were pretty hysterical playing down there (the audio is awful)

Written By: Gary on June 30, 2006 No Comment

Remember a few months back when I mentioned Audra Kubat opened for Aimee Mann? Well she’s playing in Detroit at Tastefest. I’m not sure how that will be with her at a big public thing vs. the small earthy intimate setting but I’m going to go and find out! And did I mention it’s free?

Written By: Gary on June 27, 2006 One Comment

So I made it in the local newspaper with a (bad) photo and an article about how we’re selling the old computers in our school district for $25. Which I thought would be great since we’ve about 200 to get rid of. But then the phone starting ringing yesterday. The Detroit News wanted some details on it (I haven’t seen today’s paper to check that yet) and Fox2 News called too.

It’s kinda cool that I made Fox2 News at 5:30 (not to be confused with Fox2 News at 5, Fox2 News at 6, Fox2 News at 10, Fox2 News at 10 rerun at 2 am or Fox2 News at 5am which runs until 9am and I haven’t watched yet) where I got a short video/sound bite and video of stacks of computers but the problem is I’m afraid I might get more than 200 computer sales, plus Fox2 didn’t mention the times and the sale today doesn’t start until 1 PM. That’ll be the hardest problem is people showing up early.

Maybe it will be fine but it’s just hard to tell and it’s always better to be prepared for the worst. It’s Wednesday and Thursday too so maybe we won’t have to run it those days. If you’re interested in one just come give me the secret blogger handshake and I’ll try and hook you up…

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Written By: Gary on June 24, 2006 One Comment

This was one of my favorite places to sit when I went to MSU. Just to study, relax or read.

The river just rushes by and the white noise just blots out everything else. You could be there for a little bit and turn around and all sorts of people could have shown up and you wouldn’t even know it.

I shot some video (with the sound) too, I’ll upload it later. Here’s the video.

(I don’t think I’ll ever just be able to upload them straight from the phone, they start out in some 3g2/3gpp2 format that everyone isn’t set up to read.)

Written By: Gary on June 24, 2006 No Comment

Williams Hall, MSU

Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

So I’m back in East Lansing qgain, wandering around Michigan State University.

This was my old dorm when I was an undergraduate. I loved it here, it was a really small building (about 250 people) and it was a lot more comfortable than those big buildings.

Written By: Gary on June 19, 2006 2 Comments

We went to see Brandi Carlile last Friday in Ann Arbor. She was at the Blind Pig and as always the small venues are always better, IMHO. The opening act was Penumbrae and they’ll get a separate post later.

She was great, when she first walked out I thought she looked really young (I had thought she was in her mid-20s) and thought I had her music mixed up with someone else’s but once she started playing she was who I thought (she did reveal later she was 25 and she did look older later on…). She was excellent! She played a lot of different types of music, on her CD there is a song or two that has a hint of country and that come out in a few of the songs. She did a few acoustic and some with the band (four guys). I only knew her by name because they were playing her at Barnes and Nobel and I checked out what her name was. I knew I had to have heard some on TV or a movie (I was actually thinking a WB-type show), turns out she had three songs on Grey’s Anatomy last season (Tragedy, Throw it all Away and What Can I Say).

Her music has a range, a few make me think Norah Jones, some the melody makes me think Indigo Girls. I met her and got her to sign the CDs that I purchased and she was just super nice to everyone there. I’d definitely see her again if she comes to town. I should have brought my camera in, I didn’t even think of it (it was way to dark for my cell phone camera but of course I tried anyways, here’s two from while she
was performing and signing autographs).

The concert was non-smoking which was great (it was by request of one of the bands). It was pretty cool in there (until the end of the evening) considering the heat outside Friday. Some of the people at the concert were load to the point of being rude, that’s one of the problems with inexpensive tickets some people just don’t value the experience.

PS – The just re-released her eponymous album with two bonus tracks (and I think new versions of two other songs) so if you get it be sure to look for the one with more than 10 tracks.

Written By: Gary on June 15, 2006 One Comment

Friday, June 16th Brandi Carlile is in Ann Arbor. It’s only $12 so you can be sure I’m going to be there.

It’s at the Blind Pig and tickets are $12 (plus any fees; I think I paid $33.20 for 2) and it’s open to all ages. The opening act is Penumbrae and doors open at 7.

Written By: Gary on June 12, 2006 3 Comments

I just finished reading Stowaway by D. Ann Kelley and James G. Kelley (and I happen to know the authors). Most of it takes place in Michigan, it’s kinda part of a series but it’s by far the best one yet so I’d definitely recommend this one first. It might reveal a few details from the first few books but it’s the most polished and fast read of any of the stories. The endings still end kinda quick though.

Jill Traynor returns as the main character (after the first book they started adding “A Jill Traynor Mystery” as the subtitle. One of the new characters chooses the Edumund Fitgerald as the ship to sneak onto, I think we all know how that’s likely to end. But the whole mystery revolves around the message they managed to get off the ship that reveals where the ________ is/are located. It’s got a bit of historical fact weaved in (and they clarify the details in the afterward). If you’re from Michigan or the Great Lakes area and like mysteries it’s a must read.

As a reminder I’ve mentioned their books before, the first two books they wrote were Lighthouse Paradox and Legacy.

I did have one big complaint about this book, I don’t know who/what did their typesetting but in more than a few spots there are definitely some problems (mostly related to carriage returns and spacing) that I’ve got to assume it was added goofed up in at the final stage of the publishing process…

Written By: Gary on June 10, 2006 No Comment

I knew this week at work was going to be cRaZy but I did think I’d have time to blog!?! I haven’t even looked at the photos from Chicago yet (other than on the other people’s blogs). I’m in East Lansing again, one of my favorite towns! Eating lunch at Charlie Kang’s, broccoli with beef with no vegetables (but I still want the broccoli).

I’m off to Bekah’s high school graduation and I’m sure they’ll be lots of eating and drinking after (well, no drinking for her). I’ll see if I can photo blog something for it later :)

And tomorrow I get to be the Cat in the Hat for a 5 year old’s birthday party (this was the party that I was purchased for at the school auction a few months a go).

Since I’m busy this weekend and no time to relax, I’m taking a vacation day Monday, I’ll try to catch up then.

Written By: Gary on May 31, 2006 4 Comments

Clickondetroit.Com.TrainSo yesterday I knew Mark was on a train home from Battle Creek and gave him a ring just to see if he was home yet. He was still in Jackson. Turns out they hit a dump truck crossing the tracks on a private drive (the driver was likely killed instantly). He said a few of them got thrown to the ground as they stopped (which took about a 1/2 mile). They were in the car directly behind the engine (remember that if you watch the videos) and he said the windows turned black with smoke. Fifteen people had minor injuries and went to the hospital. They were then emergency bussed to the train station (city and school busses) and waited for hours to get another bus back home (I think he was supposed to get back around 2 and got back around 6:30…

He’s fine (mostly fine, today he’s complaining about his back) so that’s a good thing. This WLNS news report has 3 different videos (all with a little more info) if you’re interested. I don’t know how long they’ll keep the story/videos (which I never did get to play on my Mac, does yours play it).

I could be wrong but I don’t think they gave any of these people a free train trip or anywhere to call if they had problems after or anything. He did say the Red Croos showed up at the train station to hand out water and check on people.

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Written By: Gary on May 29, 2006 One Comment

Unimemorialday1754-1So it’s Memorial Day and Dearborn is having a parade today. Usually I don’t even notice until it’s over and their walking by my place (it ends at the end of my block). So I wandered on by late this morning.
One of the first things I saw was the Redford Township Unicycle club, they were pretty good, I wish I had gotten some better pictures. It was interesting, lots of people, in lots of heat, I wandered around and notice my around the corner bar was open, they’re never open on a holiday, it turns out they were just open for the parade so I got a Coca-Cola, said hello and wandered back outside. Another odd hit was the Downriver Remote Control club, they had cars and they towed a ramp and drove around and jumped the ramp. They seemed to get more daring as they neared the end so there were more jumps and crashes…

I came late so I missed all the military and more memeroial related portions of the parade, it was just all the local groups, I’m not really sure what time it started. Now that’s I’m home I realize how hot it really was outside, 88 degrees with 51% humidity and it’s suppesed to hit 93! I really don’t want to go back out, but I’ve got some errands to run.

Written By: Gary on May 28, 2006 One Comment

It’s such a great day I went up to Michigan State University to wander around. It’s a great day, it was a little hot for rollerblading though. Campus seems pretty covered with WiFi, I like that :)

I’m off to Charlie Kangs for dinner. That would be “beef with broccoli, with no vegetables, but I want the broccoli (just not the other ones)”…

Written By: Gary on May 24, 2006 No Comment

So Dearborn isn’t really the kind of town to have a bar and laundromat all-in-one. But my around-the-corner bar is right across the street from a laundromat and the bar just added WiFi so it works for me. It was time to wash the comforter for my bed, I’ve got a pretty big washer but it’s just too big to fit, hence the laundromat. Plus it’s one of the days they’ve got happy hour food, so I’ve got pizza and wings to go with my Long Island and it’s not too smokey. I’ve got all this and laundry cooking across the street, it couldn’t be much better unless they had outside seating :)

Written By: Gary on May 24, 2006 6 Comments

I’ve got this small clinic semi-across the street from my place. I can only assume they do abortions due to the fact that their are always protesters out there. I just think it’s awful that women have to go in there and have these “people” criticize them for a life decision such as this. They hold up these signs and say things (they seems quieter than they used to be) and have these awful posters that they put up on the side of their van. And they’ve got writing on the sidewalks in chalk (I think it’s just the phone number).

I just just wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help (to get the protesters away from there). Why? Because I don’t think they are doing anything to deter women from their abortions, I think the women have already made their decision. My opinion is that they are just upsetting and stressing these women out and may make them doubt their decision after the fact which they don’t need. It’s got to be a tough enough decision without strangers telling you what to do with your body.

So I didn’t know if they had any petitions or anything or anywhere I could file a complaint. They said thanks but not really, they did have a court date of some kind pending but a local resident didn’t seem to be what they needed. They seemed appreciative but (at first) I think there was some doubt that I was really there to offer help. I’m glad I went over there, I’ve thought about it a million times but felt funny about it…

I’m not trying to spark a debate or anything. I’m pro-choice but it’s from more of a “it’s none of your business what I do with my body” standpoint than some deep philosophy of life (and that’s good enough for me).

On a side note – My Mother had me at a young age and had to drop out of high school, her decision might have resulted in my not being here. I think about that a lot when thinking about these kinds of things but I still think people need to make their own decisions. She did go back to high school part time to get her diploma, I still remember that, I think I was in the first grade when she did that. She managed okay, but I’m sure it was rougher to do than I remember i

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