grabbing onto a tree and waiting for the storms to stop

There are all kinds of things that I could blog about tonight, but I can’t seem to find the motivation. So, it’s all in your hands, OK? Sit down somewhere quiet with a cup of tea and write yourself a nice little post. And, then, if you feel like it, leave it here as a comment. I’m curious as to what’s on your mind.

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  1. Norm
    Posted June 15, 2008 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Is Ypsilanti a Stephen King type town?

  2. egpenet
    Posted June 15, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Since many backyards have a pet cemetery … the answer may be yes.

  3. Dave
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 8:43 am | Permalink


    Seeing that you’re overwhelmed, I’ll post this instead of sending it to you.

    I especially like the bottled air from Wales. How do we get rich selling bottled air from Ypsilanti?

  4. Steve Swan
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I wrote something but it’s horribly filthy. Out of respect to you and your readers, I will not post it here.

  5. Brackache
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Even when I lose all interest in the things that used to bring me joy, and all forms of entertainment cause me nothing but emotional pain and bitterness, I still feel really great right after a nice big poop.

  6. Posted June 16, 2008 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I have an amazing comment, but unfortunately this text box is too small to contain it.

  7. Andrew
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    My Dad and I had a really good dinner at Haab’s on Father’s Day, even if the people seated next to us were talking glowingly about their visit to the Creation Museum…

  8. Dirtgrain
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking about trying stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). This article got me interested. The boards I’ve been looking at online weigh around 30 pounds–I could carry one over to the river at Superior Road, about four blocks from my house, and take off, surfing (well, floating) down to the Corner Brewery or Depot Town to have a beer or two (of course cooling off after–nobody tangles with the Leforge dam half-crocked and lives to talk about it) and then head back home as the sun starts setting.

    When I was twelve or so, I went to stay at my friend’s family’s cabin in the Sleeping Bear Dunes. They had this long, wide board–I guess a paddleboard–made of wood, painted red, with square edges–something like a lifeguard might use. For a whole week, I hand paddled that thing all over the place, up and down the shore, catching waves sometimes, all the while wishing I had a paddle.

    Later, I saw something similar to what I had had in mind: punting. In the movie, Hope and Glory, a kid, Billy, was propelling a punt with a pole down the river. The pole got stuck in some rocks, and he clung to the pole, as the punt, carrying his family and curmudgeon grandfather, floated out from under his feet. Grandfather hand paddled the punt back to Billy, who was desperately clinging to the pole sticking up out of the river. The old man chastised Billy, giving him this line of advice: “Never give up the punt for the pole.” I’ve always wanted a practical way to apply that advice

    I want to find out more about stand-up paddleboarding and maybe give it a try before spending money on a board (a board and paddle will probably cost me between $1200 to $1500 dollars, if I try to keep it “cheap”–man I’m going to have to sell a bunch of my stuff to afford it). This place in Empire, MI rents paddleboards, and I’m thinking I might just drive all the way up there to check it out (if I don’t find a closer option–This place in Holland, MI sells the boards).

    Does anybody have any experience with stand up paddleboarding? I wonder if you can take one over rocks without damaging it significantly–if not damaging yourself. I’ve seen some models that can also function as wind surfers and as kayaks (with seat attachments). I also wonder if it isn’t as fun as it looks–like maybe it’s a pain in the ass to paddle or something.

  9. Posted June 16, 2008 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Hey Dirt, that looks super cool. It seems crazy that they’d be so expensive. There’s got to be a cheaper solution. Boy, that looks like fun though – thanks for the tip – great post.

  10. Ol' E Cross
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 11:50 pm | Permalink


    I, too, have heard of these devices that allow you to drift magically along the surface of the water, like mercury on a mirror, directed by a single paddle.

    And, contrary to popular belief, you can stand up in them.

  11. Andy C
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    I walked the dogs by the AATA bus station today and saw a police officer sitting on the wall as if he was waiting for a bus. This totally explained why I’ve seen so many prostitutes across from my house at Brandy’s Liquor Store the past few days.

  12. mark
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I think you may have just blown his cover, Andy. Hopefully you didn’t set the investigation back too far.

    And that paddleboard stuff sounds great. Our City needs another character on an unusual transportation device. We’ve got that girl on the really tall bike, and we’ve got Steve Pierce on his Segway, but we could use a hell of a lot more. If you get the paddleboard, Dirtgrain, I’ll see if I can buy an old Wienermobile or something… Does anyone have access to a penny-farthing?

  13. mark
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    And you’ve given me an idea, Andy. I’m going to start running ads on my site for the prostitutes at Brandy’s Liquor Store in hopes that it increases traffic, pulling all the prostitutes from my neighborhood.

    Actually, the prostitution here isn’t all that bad yet. It was only last week that I saw my first prostitute of the season.

  14. Robert
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I just thought of a great idea for another reality TV series…”Prostitute Makeover!”

  15. mark
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    If you’re just talking about fashion, I think we’ve already got it covered.

    Someone else coined the phrase, but I like it. They called little American girls “prostitots.”

    I saw somewhere on the web the other day that a company was selling high heels for babies.

    I know that you were talking about makeovers in the opposite direction, but my mind wanders.

  16. Black Jake
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    My late grandpa used to tell really long rambling stories that went on forever and didn’t have any point, and you couldn’t escape from them. I think he was trying to say “now you know how I feel.” He then started to cry.

    He makes a good point.

    We enjoyed making fun of him cause he was an asshole, and I suppose so were we.

    He’s turned into dirt by now.

  17. Andy C
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Mark, I’ve drawn maps to your house for the ladies. They’ll be there shortly.
    Since Drew Barrymore is coming to my street and not yours, I fell it’s your duty to keep the prostitots in your neighborhood until she is done shooting. (Now I’m mixing up my treads.)

  18. wondering....
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    This is on my mind lately:

    How/why can the City here be enforcing a (not-needed IMO) ordinance against chickens, when there are known houses and known offenders causing real problems for the community?

    “Oh, I don’t want to rent S of Michigan Ave, there is one guy with 8 HENS, can you believe it??”

    “Hens, is that new code word for cathouse?”

    “No, believe it or not, _real hens_…”

    I think there are larger deterrents, frankly.

    AA has beehives and now chickens specifically allowed, and you know, the city and rentals still run fine.

    And they have problem houses and people there, too, of course, but perhaps the chickens and beehives make up for it.

    And FWIW in the crummy West Side area by N Main in AA, the little derelict gas station got a letter posted on it from the City to the effect of “you have ignored requests to secure this, you have ignored requests to clean up the property, you have ignored court dates, you are going to have to watch this get torn down”.

    I think lack of this type of action is another example of priorities being all wrong on the part of Ypsi City.

    City: You are wasting time on nothing of import re the chickens, and folks like the property owners in the 600-block of River St just up from Depottown who are not just trying, but actively upgrading their properties have to put up with a festering junkpile of a derelict building next door. Not to mention the developers who are actively making a difference here (and who are making money at the same time btw).

    You need to tackle the real problems. You are actively _not_ doing so effectively or rapidly enough.

    I expect More. And better. And faster.

    Pass an real ordinance against prostitution and drug houses if your current one isn’t strong enough, and enforce it, before bothering with chickens etc if you want to make a difference. Instead, you are driving out the people you should be encouraging.

    Thank you for the open comment thread.

  19. Andy C
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    “Pass an real ordinance against prostitution and drug houses if your current one isn’t strong enough, and enforce it”

    ..and put them where? The jails are always full. Rehab cost money too. Enforce it with what? The police are short handed and their IS no money for more.

    Tickets for chickens, noise, parking on lawns, etc is what makes the city money. Arresting prostitutes cost the city money.

    I’m happy to see the AATA station being cleaned up. I’m sure some of the problem people have moved over to the Keg and other places as well. Hopefully now it’s more diluted every where. If this continues to happen maybe we can gradually push them into the county instead.

    You can’t buy champagne on a beer budget.

  20. Paw
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Prostitutes as impulse buys at the Keg? I wonder how many people start out just to buy a 6-pack, but end up getting a blow job too.

  21. Andy C
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Same price I’m sure.

  22. Brackache
    Posted June 20, 2008 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    The surprise twist in M. Night Shamalamadingdong’s new film “the Happening,” is that it’s unbelievably crappy. I think he’s trying to punish American audiences for not liking that last one he did that no one can saw or can remember. You’ve been warned.

  23. Sick of seeing my username
    Posted June 23, 2008 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m kicking myself for never realizing till now how much the Blues Brothers is like The Sound of Music. Everybody already figured this out but me, didn’t they? Damn.

    Orange Whip, Herr Zeller?

  24. mark
    Posted June 24, 2008 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    It wouldn’t surprise me. Everything’s recycled from somewhere. The TV show “What’s Happening”, I’m told, was based on a story from the Old Testament. I can’t remember which one, though… Was there one with a character named Roj?

  25. Kid Dynomite
    Posted June 24, 2008 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    mark: yes, but no one can remember the plot beyond a couple of the main characters’ catch phrases and period specific clothing.

    Although I hear an important clue to the Davinci Code can be found in it’s ancient Hebrew translation.

    Also known as Seinfeld.

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