moustaches held hostage by 826

I just got a note from my friend Forest. He wanted to let me know that he’s re-growing his moustache. This time, however, he wanted me to know that things were different. This time, it was going to be for a good cause.

Apparently the local creative writing and literacy group, 826 Michigan, is hosting a Moustache-A-Thon fundraiser. They convinced several already mostachioed men to shave and then pay for the privledge to grow them back. (For those of you who don’t know, there’s something of a historic precedent here in Ypsi, where men have been called on throughout history to pay for the right to shave.) If you’d like to donate to a damned good cause, and help my friend Forest buy his moustache back in the process, just click here. You can give as little as one dollar, and, as I’ve mentioned here on the site before, you couldn’t pick a better non-profit than 826 to support… Seriously, if you don’t want to help Forest, then at least visit one of the 826 shops and spend some cash. They’re the most interesting thing to happen to retail in the past 25 years.

Posted in Art and Culture | 2 Comments

three year old blog

I don’t think of myself as being incredibly competitive, and I never really thought that I’d be the kind of parent that cared about such things, but I just learned that Clementine’s three year old friend, Amelia, already has a blog of her own, and it’s got me sitting here, thinking about launching something for Clementine before it’s “too late” for her to catch up. It never really bothered me that Sam’s kid, Max, had his own podcast, but I guess that’s because he’s around eleven. Knowing that Amelia’s out there at three, though, with her own digital camera, already contributing content to the collective consciousness, has me itching to go upstairs, wake Clementine up, and get her going… If only I could direct this impulse toward sports like everyone else.

So, do you know of any cool blogs by kids?

Posted in Art and Culture | 5 Comments

the ‘goodbye columbo’ campaign

Last night, I mentioned a Metafilter thread about “Columbo.” I think I said that it was about the trouble they were having getting the next, and possibly last, episode shot, but I didn’t get into a lot of detail. Well, here, for the one or two of you in the audience who share my passion for “Columbo,” is a clip from the original “New York Daily News” article that started the whole thing off.

…Backers of a potential “Columbo” movie say they can’t sell the project because the show’s star, Peter Falk, is going to be an octogenarian.

Seems the focus on younger audiences has made it tough for anyone to get a final “Columbo” mystery movie into production…

“We’ve tried to sell it to the networks,” said Angela Bromstad, president of NBC Universal Television Studio. “Didn’t happen. I then offered ‘Columbo: Hear No Evil’ to USA , but they wouldn’t buy it…

So, I just looked up Angela Bromstad (the real one, not the pretend one) and she’s credited with overseeing production on some of my favorite shows, like “Monk,” “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Andy Barker, P.I.” I don’t know if it’ll do much good, but I plan to send her a letter this weekend offering my services. If it would help her sell the idea of one last “Columbo,” I’ll start an online campaign. I’ll circulate petitions. I’ll have people write to advertisers. I’ll do whatever it takes. And, all I’m asking in return is to be allowed to blog every day from the set. We could create a special “Columbo” blog and keep fans posted through the entire thing. And I know that Peter would love the idea since he already thinks I’m a “terrific journalist.” I’ll keep you posted.

Posted in Special Projects | 12 Comments

peter falk on metafilter

I think I’m finally going to pony up the five bucks and join Metafilter. There’s a discussion about Peter Falk and whether or not the next Columbo movie will ever be made. I’m sitting here, my cursor circling the Paypal button, thinking this (getting involved in Metafilter) might be the biggest mistake in my life. Shit. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I owe it to my friend Peter to chime in, but I’m afraid that once I cross over to being a Metafilter commenter that the little bit of sleep time that I’ve been able to save for myself will dry up will dry up to nothing… In fact, it just occurred to me that this could all be a setup. Someone could have posted this Peter Falk thing for the sole purpose of luring me in. Someone out there wants to see my sucked down the Metafilter hole.

Posted in Mark's Life | 5 Comments

ypsilanti eyed as potential amtrak stop

There’s not really anything new to report, but I thought that you might be interested to know that we’re apparently still in the running for an Amtrak stop in Depot Town. Here’s a clip from the “Ann Arbor Business Review”:

Amtrak might make a stop in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town if local officials promoting a regional rail initiative can secure funding and support for the project.

Gerald Rowe, manager of transportation programs for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, confirmed Ypsilanti as a possible stop for a commuter rail system in southeast Michigan.

The project – which has been in discussion for years – is seeking additional funding from Congress and the Michigan Department of Transportation, among other sources…

Marc Magliari, an Amtrak spokesman based in Chicago, acknowledged discussions about a potential stop in Ypsilanti. But he didn’t comment on whether Amtrak would invest in the project.

“There have been some suggestions by some that the trains should stop at more locations than it does now,” he said.

Magliari said that new stops could require ticket vending machines, heated shelters and handicap-accessible lifts…

update: The following comment was just left by Ol E’ Cross. As there wasn’t much content behind my original post, I thought that I’d move it up here to the front page. I think he makes a good point.

I hesitate to post this because I don’t want to give the impression I’m more informed than I am. What follows is highly speculative, but…

SEMCOG, God bless ’em, have been trying for years to bring transit to SE Mich. What makes the most sense is a line from Oakland County to Detroit, but Oakland, I’m convinced (with a few Ferndalian exceptions) is the most evil county in the state. (As one Oaklander candidly told me, “Adding transit from Detroit to Oakland is like hooking your sewer up to your sink and flushing.”)

So SEMCOG’s now looking to connect the only two places in the region willing to be transitized, Detroit and Ann Arbor, hoping the ridership data can convince others it’s a decent idea.

I adore the idea of a Depot Town stop. But, does our commuting population really warrant it? If not, we’ve got to be willing to back off for a few years in the hope that this thing works and we’re added as a stop once the ball’s rolling.

If it turns out the route works for the long haul, we’ll get our stop. In the meantime, let’s not be another speed bump…

So, what do you think? Would there be enough regular, consistent demand to warrant an Ypsi stop? As much as I love the idea, I can’t help but think that most of the users, like me, at least right now, would be occasional riders at best. Of course, maybe we don’t need to have a huge commuting population for it to make economic sense. Maybe the numbers work if only a dozen people go to and from Ann Arbor, Detroit, and the airport a day. Amtrak should be able to tell us exactly what they’d need in terms of traffic for it to work.

Posted in Ypsilanti | 8 Comments


Sidetrack ad Aubree’s ad BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative VG 3D