neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

The prediction is for nice mild weather the rest of this week, which I'm looking forward to. It beats the heat we had late last week along with the storms that hit on Saturday from which the area is still recovering.  It also means that the air conditioning can finally go off.  My wife and I have the windows open and the cool evening breeze blowing through them.

As for the storms themselves, I chronicled Saturday's wild weather and its aftermath in Thunderstorms disrupt Michigan season opener, Arts, Beats, and Eats, and other events and Last night's storm knocked out power to 120,000 customers and damaged mobile homes on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Surf over and read about the first calling of a U of M football game for weather and all kinds of other weather-related mayhem that happened all around me.
neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)
Amazing what one remembers 37 years on.

Apt, wasn't it?

Reposted in slightly expanded form as This is the song that played on the radio just before I heard that Elvis died on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

People are talking about their Dream Cruise dream cars as we ramp up the preparations for Saturday's Woodward Dream Cruise.
As you can see, this has become a major cultural event, even if it's one that celebrates a pre-sustainability ideal. I'm not going to burn any extra fossil fuel as part of the celebration of automobiles, as Woodward Dream Cruise passes within walking distance of where I live. I should know; I walked to it last year. I'll be walking to it again.

Two more videos with commentary at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
More on an event I can walk to.

GM Woodward Dream Cruise
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
First, Next Media Animation for the global perspective.

The US is going through a prolonged heatwave that has blanketed the eastern half of the country. Although the heatwave hit the South and Mid-west the hardest, the hot weather is moving towards the East Coast in the coming days.

As people in the affected areas turn on their air conditioners, the nation's power grid is coming under strain. This summer is a hot one not just for the US, but also in other corners of the globe.

Beijing recently hit 105F, nearing records. A Stanford study says heatwaves could become common in the US in the next 30 years due to global warming.

But more and more Americans are becoming skeptical.
Now the local one from WXYZ-TV.

Today's forecast.

More, including how the blackout in Ferndale resulted in my driving to Troy for dinner, at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

As I wrote a week ago on Crazy Eddie's Motie News:
I'm all in favor of living closer together. I've had enough of car-culture suburban life and more than my fill of living out in the country. I'm also in favor of making cities more energy and resource efficient. I've already seen the light of how urban living can be a good thing, so I am one of those people who already lives close to a downtown and walks to the store. Six years ago, I drove 48,000 miles a year. Now I drive less than 10,000. I'm much happier driving much less.
This morning, which was technically yesterday, Yuki the Kia* passed another milestone, when her odometer flashed 209,000 miles, which means it's time for another driving update to see if I'm doing my part in driving less.

The last time I posted a mileage check was 1000 miles and three months and 10 days ago on March 10, 2011. At that time, it took me 3.25 months to drive 1000 miles, which mean I drove an average of 308 miles/month during that time. This time, it took me 3.33 months to drive that same distance, which means I drove exactly 300 miles a month. I'm still doing my part to keep the number of miles driven by Americans down, as shown on the following graph from Calculated Risk, which came out yesterday. Perfect timing!

So, what made me drive 8 miles less a month, even though I had nearly three weeks of not driving to work during late December and early January? Probably good weather. I've been walking to Friday meetings at the nearest worksite, which is a mile and a half away, as well as walking to the grocery store, which is half that distance. Since I there are three to four more months of good weather left, and only one meeting remaining this academic year that I'll have to make a special drive for, with none until mid September, I might just decrease my miles driven even more. After that I expect my miles driven to increase slightly again and remain elevated until next spring. Then I plan on buying a bike. I haven't had one of those since I got divorced in 1999 and moved out of Ann Arbor. I'm looking forward to having one.

*I still have to explain the geeky pun in her name. I'll save that for another fan post.

Above crossposted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)

I've been a fan of Keith's since the late 1980s, when he was a sportscaster on KTLA TV 5 in Los Angeles.  The first time I watched him give his smart-aleck summary of the day's sports, he immediately became my favorite local sportscaster.  That the anchor would look at Keith at the end of his segment like Keith had two heads just made me like Keith even more.  I was happy that he left KTLA for KCBS, then KNTX, which was a sign that he was moving up in the world.

When I moved out of L.A., I moved away from Keith.  During my first marriage, I didn't have cable TV in the house, so I didn't get to see Keith's arrival on the national stage. Only after the divorce did I get cable, and was able to see Keith replace Phil Donahue on MSNBC.  Back then, Countdown was just a snarky news show, not the political force that it would become later.  As Keith became more political, I became more of a fan, not less of one.  I had already started drifting to the left after the divorce and the election of George W. Bush, so his views and mine were already in synch.

I was sad to see Keith leave MSNBC, but glad to hear he would be back on Current TV.  My wife is as big a Keith fan as I am, and we switched providers from WOW to Direct TV just so we could watch him again.  His show on Current TV debuts tonight.  My wife has already programmed the DVR, so we can watch it when I get home.  I had hardly wait!

neonvincent: For posts about Usenet (Fluffy)

My wife and I own a pair of miniature dachshunds. We're such fans of them that when I saw Laney on Journalfen post a link to a video of weiner dogs, I immediately posted the link to our walls on Facebook.

Here's the video.

As an owner, I can tell you that everything the video says about dachshunds (other than the creationist silliness at the beginning) is absolutely true and the breed is that adorable.

Now, everyone sing along with the wiener dog song!

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

For my very last post of the month, I'm taking the easy way out and embedding videos of the damage from the latest storm. Yes, I'm totally mailing this one in, but at least you have interesting images. To start off, here are a pair of clips from WXYZ-TV showing where my wife and I lived from 2007 until 2010. All this is happening about two blocks from our old residence. We've walked down those streets and past those houses.


Cheryl Chodun reports from the flooded neighborhoods in Northfield Township and Hamburg Township - horrible flooding.


We moved out of there just in time.

For more, check out on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)

It's not too early to use this badge.


Los Angeles Times: Shakespeare not a hit with voters in online charity contest
Mike Boehm
May 26, 2011

William Shakespeare would be a front-runner if experts were to vote on the greatest creative artist of all time, but he was just an also-ran in the Chase Community Giving competition, an online charity-by-popular-vote contest that ended Wednesday night.

JPMorgan Chase will donate $3.125 million to the top 25 vote-getters; the other 75 -– including the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, which finished 51st -- get $25,000 each for making the final round of 100.
Despite some Twitter-based help from Bard-friendly celebrities, including Tom Hanks, William Shatner, Reba McEntire and Christina Applegate, the 1,961 votes the Shakespeare Center mustered left it more than 25,000 behind the winner. Its proposal called for expanding its Will Power program, which provides summer jobs for teens as they learn the ropes of the theatrical trade and also assists Shakespearean learning in city schools. Founding artistic director Ben Donenberg had hoped to extend the job-training to recently discharged military veterans.

So who did beat out Shakespeare in the arts category?

The top arts vote-getter was Pennsylvania-based Youth Education in the Arts, which will use its $225,000 fourth-place money to launch March 4 Music, a nationwide fund-raising campaign for high school band programs. Other arts groups -- apart from four drum-and-bugle corps -- were the National Assn. for Music Education (37th), Music For All (38th), the Wheeling (W.Va.) Symphony (48th), Symphony Silicon Valley (59th), Kansas City (Mo.) Repertory Theatre (75th), Women Make Movies Inc. of New York City (85th) and Architecture for Humanity of San Francisco (95th).

The four drum and bugle corps the L.A. Times neglected to name were The Cadets, who are part of Youth Education in the Arts, and Santa Clara Vanguard, Blue Devils, and Glassmen, each of which won $20,000 in the second round on top of the $25,000 in the first round. Also in the competition was the parent organization for competitive junior drum and bugle corps in North America, Drum Corps International, which earned $100,000 in the second round in addition to its $25,000 from the first round.

Those of you who have been reading my journal know that I have a long and emotional history with drum corps. You may not know that this particular story hits closer to home than most. The director of Youth Education in the Arts could have been the uncle to the stepchildren I would have had if we had both married the women we were dating from 2000-2004. They were sisters-in-law. The perverse part of that was that we (the director and I, not our ex-girlfriends) were well-known frenemies on the Internet at the time. Since his ex-girlfriend's real brother wanted nothing to do with him, I decided to pick up the role of annoying brother-in-law and take public pot shots at him. I don't know what he thought of the relationship, but I had fun doing it until I started getting fed up with activity and its fans.

Now that I've walked away from drum corps, we're no longer frenemies. We're just casual friends and have a very pleasant relationship on Facebook with no sniping on my part. I'm a lot happier for it.

Oh, and I'm not planning on seeing any shows this summer, either. The grieving in advance continues.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Tornado Warning
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Tornado Watch
Severe Weather Statement
Flood Watch
Special Weather Statement
Hazardous Weather Outlook

All of these currently apply to where I live.  Also, note the "music."
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Bring home a beautiful flowering basket for Mom for her special day with great deals from Countryside Greenhouse

This video says that Mother's Day weekend is the busiest weekend of the year for garden stores. Yesterday, my wife and I discovered that this is probably true, as we went to the English Gardens closest to our house and spent more than an hour wandering through the store, buying plants for both our vegetable garden (herbs, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant, in case anyone is interested) and flower garden. We also did a lot of window shopping for lawn decorations and patio furniture. While we did, we say that we had lots of company. It looked like half the residents of Troy, Birmingham, Royal Oak and Berkely had come out of hibernation to shop there. It was great to see a local business thriving in this trying economic climate.

Our adventures in gardening weren't over. We spent most of this afternoon working in the yard getting ready to plant our purchases from yesterday. We couldn't have asked for a better day--sunny with a perfect temperature and a light breeze. We capped it off with a Mother's Day dinner that I cooked on the grill--salmon with asperagus and tomatoes. Yes, you can grill all of that.

Our daughter also called us. It was a happy Mother's Day. How was yours?
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

April2011BadgeDetroit Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten

What does $110 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate look like at the retail level here in Metro Detroit? I'll let WXYZ-TV tell the tale.

If anything screws up this current economic recovery, it will be oil. The higher prices are already causing gasoline consumption to decline year over year. In and of itself, that's not a bad thing, as I think the country consumes too much gas, but it's what those high prices could also do to the rest of the economy in the meantime, as outlined in the two video reports above. That said, allow me the following moment of bragging.

I am so glad I moved from Whitmore Lake, where I was 40 miles from work, into my walkable neighborhood in SE Oakland County a year ago. Not only can I walk to three restaurants, two drugstores, four convenience stores, a liquor store, a bar, and credit union in less than five minutes (this has come in really handy when I needed to get something five minutes before closing time), I can also walk to a many more businesses, including a grocery store, hardware store, and my haircutters, in 10 minutes, to one side of downtown in 15 minutes, and to one of my worksites in 25 minutes. My wife is amazed at how much I'll walk given a chance. On top of that, I live only seven miles away from my primary worksite. Finally, the nearest major corner has the cheapest gas in the county. No wonder we renewed our lease.

Now, excuse me while I knock on some wood to evade the evil eye. :-)

Above originally posted with a different video at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default) Mercury Retrograde Dates for 2011

March 30th to April 23rd: Mercury in cardinal Aries. Refresh old ideas in time for Spring. A time to be brave, and confront others, if this is a loose end. Universe creates serendipity, via opportunities to speak courageously. Here we face the fear of expressing what might rouse others to anger.

It's a break from agreeing, or saying everything is fine, when its not. It's risking being authentic, when you know it's provocative. It's feeling lit up with passion, and allowing that to be a force that works on others. It's dealing with blowback from being forceful about your opinion. It's daring to face those who have been in positions of authority. It's being excited about new ideas, some that might have been threads of inspiration for you all along.

Rx periods can cause delays, frustrations, mix-ups. Watch out for hair-trigger tempers, raging and ranting, blowing a fuse. Deep breathing and physical activity helps blow off pent up intensity.
It's only one day in, and this Mercury retrograde is already living down to its reputation.

First, LiveJournal was misbehaving. True, it had a perfectly good explanation--LJ was the subject of a DDos attack--but so did the disruption of transatlantic flights last year because of an eruption in Iceland. That also happened during a Mercury retrograde.

Second, I got lost twice today. The first time was when I was trying to get to my car to retrieve some papers. I ended up at the opposite corner of the parking structure and had to figure out where I really was. I ended up being late to introduce the speaker. As for the papers I pulled out, one of them was for the wrong time, which means I didn't pull it out at the right time, either. That's two miscommunications in addition to being lost and late. The second happened when I took the speaker back to his hotel. Because of a misunderstanding of directions, I ended up taking the wrong offramp and going around in circles before I delivered him to his destination.

Then, I couldn't call home. My home phone would ring, but when my wife picked it up, she would get a dial tone instead of hearing me. We had to reset the modem and wait an hour for phone service to come back.

On top of all this, I'm having trouble getting access to a Google document.

Yeah, I'm a scientist and I know that's entirely likely that it's all a coincidence or self-fulfilling prophesy, or I was just having a bad day, but it is weird. On the other hand, Mercury retrograde makes for a convenient excuse. As I tell my students, my official position is that astrology is bunk, but it's fun bunk and generally harmless besides.
neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)

Late Night Motie News Linkspam

Tonight, news about food, energy, and politics, along with two stories I tell my students, one about the future of the human population and the other about shopping for a car. I'm sure you can guess which one is more entertaining.

Also, in case I don't get around to posting another entry today, the word for this entry is news.

neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)


Continuing with selecting news posts with a common theme out of last week's Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday, I am posting three news items about Food. I'm planning on passing them out to my Global Politics of Food class tomorrow as current events and research to discuss. Why not get double duty out of them? After all, I was able to convince my department chair that compiling these articles was a form of professional development. :-)

Articles from Michigan State University and Purdue University about Food Deserts, the causes of the rising prices of food, and the effects of overfertilizing corn grown for ethanol behind the cut. )

I have at most a week on my free paid user trial on LJ. I'd better load up that "all your bouillabaise are belong to us" icon that I'm using here on Dreamwidth there before it runs out. I could use a food icon, there, too.

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

My wife and I finally got around to watching "The Social Network" last night. It was definitely worth watching, but the screenplay was the star of the show, not the actors, except for (and I can't believe I'm typing this) Justin Timberlake as the creator of Napster. His character was a scoundrel, but he was cool and he was right.

That written, "Inception" was the better movie.

Now, we'll have to get around to watching "The King's Speech."
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)


Today, my car Yuki the Kia* turned over 208,000 miles. In the previous driving post here, I noted that it had turned over 207,000 miles on December 3, 2010. Since that was 3.25 months ago, that means I drove an average of 308 miles a month. That's half what I drove during the time between 206,000 miles and 207,000 miles. I'm still contributing to the overall decrease in miles driven since the peak in January 2007.

For more, see this post on Calculated Risk.

*There is a very geeky joke behind this name, which one of my daughters is responsible for. That's a story for another post.


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