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

Twenty-five years ago today, I left California with my son and ex-wife as we moved to Michigan so that I could attend the University of Michigan to earn a Ph.D. in Biology. That happened. However, the original plan was to move back to the west. That never came to pass. All of us, plus my younger daughter, are still here. I repeated that with my second wife, who moved here from Wisconsin to marry me. Looks like I've been doing my part to reverse the trend of people leaving the state during the past few decades. The result has been something like the image below, except that the heart in Michigan should be in Detroit, not Grand Rapids.

While people moving into Michigan, particularly from California, has not been much of a trend* people moving out of California during the time I've lived here has been. Click on the link below for the relevant excerpts from two entries on The New York Times' The Upshot blog that give the details.

Leaving California at Crazy Eddie's Motie News

neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)
The deadline to register to vote or update one's address for the February elections in Michigan is Monday, January 27, 2013.
Credits: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Deadline to register for February election is Monday
While the next elections in Michigan are a month away, the deadline to register to vote is tomorrow.

All those who wish to vote on February 25th must be registered to vote by Monday, January 27th. Michigan residents can find out if they are already registered by filling out the online form at the Secretary of State website. However, if one has moved to a new city or township, one must re-register. Also, if one has moved from one residence to another within a city or township, one must update the address. Normally, that happens when the address on a driver's license is changed at the Secretary of State's office.
...
In Washtenaw County, residents of Salem Township will be joining others in the Salem-South Lyon Library District in voting on a millage proposal.
More details at the link in the headline. Also, welcome to the next installment of Save the libraries, save civilization.

Originally posted at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

Examiner.com: 2013 wettest year in Michigan history
It's official. Last year was the wettest year on record for Michigan.

According to NOAA's national overview for 2013, which was released on January 21, 2014, the average precipitation in Michigan was the highest in 119 years of record-keeping. Michigan had 40.12 inches of precipitation, 8.9 inches above average. This beat the previous record wet year of 1985 by 0.64 inch.

Other states setting weather records last year were North Dakota, which also had its wettest year on record, and California, where Governor Jerry Brown recently declared a drought state of emergency after the Golden State's driest year ever.
Examiner.com: Record broken for January snowfall in Detroit
Detroit broke another weather record for precipitation today.

As if 2013 being the wettest year in Michigan history was not enough, Accuweather reports that last night's snowfall brought the total for January so far to 31.3 inches, while the Detroit Free Press is reporting 31.5 inches so far. Either total beats the previous record for the month of 29.6 inches set in January 1978 almost two inches. To add more perspective, the snowfall for this month is about a foot-and-one-half above the January average of 12.5 inches.

Don't get too attached to the current snowfall total. There are six more days left in the month and the National Weather Service predicts another weather system will bring one to two inches to the area on Sunday.
Official word on both records came this week.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

The second paragraph of Mid-storm update on Ion in Detroit read:
Then, at 6 PM, my workplace closed, along with dozens of other schools. As the Detroit News describes the situation, there will be "no school from Lincoln Park to Clarkston, Ann Arbor to Utica and Lincoln Park to Grosse Pointe." Snow Day!

Time to post the fantasy and reality of snow days in Michigan like I did in First major snowfall and it's already late January. For the fantasy, I present Pure Michigan's Snow Days.

Remember snow day when the schools were closed and the day was wide open? The first step into fresh powder was like stepping into a new world.

Now the reality from John Kerfoot of Not So Pure Michigan: Pure Michigan: Snow Days.


If this looks familiar, then you read to the end of Hercules leaves behind a snow day. If you did, you should also remember my punchline.
At least we got more than five inches, and I got a snow day. Vacation extended until tomorrow!
What do you expect? I'm an environmentalist; I recycle!

Originally posted at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

I just came in from shoveling the sidewalk and driveway and digging out my wife's car Ruby, so I'm cold and tired and in no mood to compose something serious. Instead, I just want to whine about the weather. WXYZ just happens to have the videos to let me indulge myself.

First, here's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He4iXIQ-pQQBraving the cold in Detroit with T-Baby from yesterday.


T-Baby is the star, but the guy shoveling his driveway looks like me.

For more videos, including a parody of a Pure Michigan ad about snow days, surf over to Hercules leaves behind a snow day at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)

Stephen Kunselman with his daughters Sophia and Sabrina
The Michigan Daily's endorsement of Stephen Kunselman and other candidates for City Council was the top story about local elections held during 2013.
There is also a slideshow: Looking ahead to Washtenaw County elections in 2014
The five most shared stories about Washtenaw County Elections for 2013 all looked ahead to 2014. Here are the politicians running for federal and state office to watch next year based on the Facebook likes of the readers.
Top Washtenaw County election stories of 2013 look ahead to 2014
As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to look back on the top stories from the past year. Based on the number of Facebook shares, five stories stood out, all of which share a common theme, looking ahead to 2014.

All of them were also about elections for federal or state office, such as Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor, even University of Michigan Regent. No county or municipal candidates or issues broke into the five most liked list for 2013.

Three more tied for sixth. Two of those were also about next year's elections, while one managed to be the most popular article about local elections actually held in 2013. This last got an honorable mention in this year's countdown.

Here are the five most shared stories on Facebook along with an honorable mention.
1. Walberg losing to generic Democrat by nine percent: poll
2. Schauer declares 'he's in' the race for Michigan Governor
3. Michigan Democrats already campaigning on Labor Day for 2014
4. U-M Regents: Gratz considers running while Weiser consolidates support
5. Peters endorsed by Stabenow and Levin for U.S. Senate
Honorable Mention: Michigan Daily issues endorsements for city council, millage renewal

In addition to the two commonalities I mentioned in the article, four of the articles (1-3 and 5) are good for Democrats, while only #4 is good for a Republican. May that be a sign of things to come.

Now, I shall close out my calendar year here the way I did in the article.

"So long, 2013. On to 2014!"

Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News. Crossposted to Michigan Liberal.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
I completely missed reposting any of my posts from Crazy Eddie's Motie News for March on the Nablopomo theme of Whether. Bad dog, no biscuits. I'll get around to organizing and posting linkspams from last month eventually. In the meantime, I'll resume my regular weekly summaries of the Nablopomo posts for April. This month, the theme is poetry. Here's what I wrote on April Fools Day.


From Nablopomo on BlogHer:
So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?
POEM

In honour of National Poetry Month in April, we've made the theme POEM -- which can go in a multitude of directions. First and foremost, you can try your hand at writing some poetry. We'll be presenting a few fixed forms as well as prompts for free forms. Make a personal goal to write a haiku-a-day, write an entire post in rhymed couplets, or argue the merits of Pinterest... in sestina form.

We'll be writing about our reactions to poems -- which poems have come up at important moments in your life? Which poems do you return to again and again? Which poems have changed your mood, given you comfort, or made you want to be a poet yourself?

We'll spend the month looking at reflections of poetry in nature and social situations. And we'll be featuring YOUR poetry weekly. So get your poem on.
When I first read the theme and description, I considered not participating, as I'm not big on poetry. I especially had a hard time squaring the theme with a blog about sustainability, science, and politics, although "poetry in nature" might work. Then I realized that there were some forms of poetry that I liked, limericks and song verses. Most limericks wouldn't be fit for a family blog, but I can always find a good song for my posts. So, I'm participating again this month.
The songs that I've featured so far are:
There will be more next week, as I already have another post up.

Happy reading and happy listening!
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Romney wins Michigan and Washtenaw County but splits delegates with Santorum
Washtenaw County Elections 2010 Examiner
For the order of finish of the top four Republican candidates, their vote percentages, and the splitting of the delegates between the top two candidates, Washtenaw County mirrored the results of the state of Michigan as a whole. On the other hand, the turnout, percentage of the vote cast in the Democratic primary, and order of the lower ranked candidates on the Republican ballot differed significantly from the rest of the state and displayed Washtenaw County's distinctive take on politics. Elsewhere in the state, Democrats crossing over to vote in the Republican primary may have had an effect on the result in at least one Congressional district.
For the rest of the article, surf over to Examiner.com. My blog here isn't monetized, but Examiner.com is.

As for anything I left out of the article, note that I assign part of the responsibility for Santorum's splitting the delegates between the Republicans in the Michigan legislature, who came up with the redistricting plan that moved Calhoun County out of the 7th District and replaced it with Monroe County. That worked to protect my former representative Tim Walberg from a challenge by my other former representative Mark Schauer, but it also made the district more friendly to Santorum. Without that slick move, Romney would have won that district and its two delegates. The rest I give to Democrats crossing over to vote in the Republican primary, although the clearest example involves Democrats voting for Ron Paul, not for Rick Santorum. Sorry, Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, Operation Hilarity wasn't as effective as you thought it was, despite your bragging. Even so, the video is hilarious.



In other news, one of my New Year's resolutions was to resume writing for Examiner.com. As you can see, I finally got around to it.

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)



From Nablopomo on BlogHer.

So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?
BEGINNINGS

January 1st is a blank slate, and you can make the year anything you want it to be? Leave your job and embark on a new career. Open that blank document and start that novel you always wanted to write. Join that online dating site, signup for a new class, or close your eyes and point to a place on a globe to plan your next vacation.

Beginnings can be scary, but as the adage by Lao-tzu goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." You can take a single step, right? And after that, it's just putting foot before foot, taking your new journey slowly and letting it unfold at its own pace. Along the way, blog about your experience, not only so readers can follow along, but so that you have a record of how far you've come any time you feel yourself falter.
...
So what are you beginning this year? If you can name at least five things, it means you have at least five blog posts inside of you. And if you can do five posts, you can certainly expand that and do an extra 25 or so.
I have no problem popping off a post a day, as blogging about sustainability and politics in Detroit means never running out of material, so I've signed up again. I'm one of only two politics bloggers there, and the other one has already missed the goal of posting every day. Is this it? skipped the 3rd, 4th, and 6th. Yay, me.

On that note, here are the posts with the beginnings tag from this week.

Nablopomo for January 2012: Beginnings
This one has two versions of Chicago's "Beginnings" one from Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, and the other from the 27th Lancers Drum and Bugle Corps.

Occupy the Rose Parade, plus an astronaut on gardening in space
I love the Rose Parade, space exploration, and Occupy. I couldn't resist all three in one place.

2012: The Mayan Apocalypse? Yeah, right
Prepare for a year of DOOM!

Last night was the beginning of the primary/caucus season for 2012
And a year of politics, too.

WXYZ begins its North American International Auto Show coverage
This is a Detroit blog, after all.

Governor Snyder sued twice this week
Good going, Nerd.

New beginnings for two Metro Detroit transit projects
21st Century mass transit is "not dead yet!"

And that's it for this week.

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
I've been writing about how Tea Partiers are screwing up efforts at sustainable development both nationally and here in Michigan over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, my sustainability blog on Blogspot. Here are the posts on this topic for the last month.

More paranoia about Agenda 21

The Atlantic on Tea Partiers disrupting planning commissions because of Agenda 21

Rachel Maddow on the Emergency Manager Law

Troy's City Council votes down transit center

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels shows how to be vulnerable to a scandal

Mayor Daniels, founder of the Troy Tea Party, is someone well worth watching and my friend Sharon at Keep Troy Strong is doing that full time. I highly recommend you check out her continuing coverage.

Above originally posted as Blogging about the Tea Party at [community profile] teabagger_watch  on Dreamwidth.

Bonus post: Tea Party Patriots founder Mark Meckler arrested
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
Let's see if this works.


Looks like it does.

Calculated Risk has an interactive version of the above graph in Update on Gasoline Prices, where you can input the nearest major city in the U.S. to you and contract the time range down to one month and up to five years.

The above will be part of a post on Crazy Eddie's Motie News about oil and gas prices. Watch for it.

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: Lust for  for posts about sex and women behaving badly. (Bad Girl Lust)

Yeah, this one. It got picked up by Lex Kuhne's Daily Intelligencer, a paper.li site that compiles tweets, as today's top Michigan story. Looks like he enjoys reading drunken texts about sex, too.

In other news, I've been busy over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Labor Day and hurricanes to blame as gas prices rise sharply in Michigan

Preview of Arts, Beats, and Eats

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

Seriously.

Last Night in Michigan (248)

I'm not sure how to feel about that. Maybe glad I'm too old to be participating, but young enough to be amused.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Now I find out about this!



Detroit Free Press: Sierra Club's Green Cruise draws cyclists, health enthusiasts to Ferndale
August 14, 2011
Hundreds of people turned out for the Sierra Club's Green Cruise in downtown Ferndale on Saturday, the precursor to next weekend's Woodward Dream Cruise.

The seventh annual event included a human-powered parade on West 9 Mile from Woodward to Planavon -- a parade renowned for its unabashed geek value, with its horde of cyclists on every conceivable style of two- and three-wheeler.
...
Dozens of displays were set up at the event to highlight organic foods, climate change, wind power and more.
...
Virtually everything was free -- even food, beverages and bike maps.
I'm sorry that I missed this event; it looks like exactly the kind of thing someone like me, who is interested in sustainable actions in Metro Detroit, and who really likes Fabulous Ferndale (I was just there this evening), should be attending. Besides, it will make me feel less guilty about enjoying the Woodward Dream Cruise as a spectator.

For two videos and more commentary, surf over to 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)




WTNH on YouTube: On Thursday, Borders will ask a judge to begin liquidation of the company.
Reuters has even more details.
Borders Group Inc, the second-largest U.S. bookstore chain, said it has canceled an upcoming bankruptcy auction and will close its doors for good.

The company said in a statement Monday it was unable to find a buyer willing to keep it in operation and will sell itself to a group of liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources.

Borders' roughly 400 remaining stores will close, and nearly 11,000 jobs will be lost, according to the company.

"We are saddened by this development," Borders President Mike Edwards said in the statement. "We were all working hard toward a different outcome, but the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time ... have brought us to where we are now."
As someone who lived in Ann Arbor from 1989 to 1999 and hung out in Ann Arbor regularly until earlier this year, spending much of that time in the Ann Arbor flagship store, I find this very sad for me personally, as you can see by my previous two posts on the subject at my LiveJournal.

More at Crazy Eddie's Motie News: Borders Books 1971-2011.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

GoldfishNaBloPoMoJulySmall


In addition to my posts about the travails of Julie Bass here on Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I've been blogging about it elsewhere, beginning with posts to my Dreamwidth and my LiveJournal. I've also posted it to ontd_political on Dreamwidth, unfunnybusiness on JournalFen, and peakoil_prep and ontd_political twice on LiveJournal. The results have been very satisfying.

For starters, those posts have received lots of comments. The winner so far has been the first post on ontd_political on LJ, Michigan Woman could go to jail for planting vegetable garden, which prompted 126 comments. Next is the unfunnybusiness post, Woman in Oak Park, Michigan, could go to jail up to 93 days for planting a garden, with 39 comments. The followup to ontd_political, Update: Michigan woman no longer going to jail for her garden but now in trouble for her dogs, has 21 comments and counting. The mirrored posts on my LJ currently have nine comments and their counterparts on Dreamwidth have six. In contrast, I have a grand total of eight comments on the same posts so far here on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

This mirrors the situation with the rest of the Swim posts here on Crazy Eddie's Motie News, which have a grand total of three comments on the non-Julie Bass posts, two on the five posts about Kunstler and one on the post about Elaine Meinel Supkis, two once I respond. In contrast, the LiveJournal mirror of James Howard Kunstler swims against the stream on gender role equality, too alone received 13 comments, which I pointed out in Follow up to women in Kunstler's fiction. Honestly, I'd like more comments. I could even deal with a couple of trolls, as I'm not above trolling my own comments sections.

On the other hand, I have been getting readers from the signal boosting posts, with 108 views from JournalFen and 69 from ontd_political on LJ during the past week, handily beating out what I'm getting from Facebook, just 16 referrals. Even the hits coming from my own LJ, nine so far this week, are beating out what came in from Twitter, which is not even in the top ten sources. Facebook and Twitter may be the big boys on the blog, but they aren't the traffic drivers people think they are. Google, on the other hand, is my friend, with 176 hits. The big winner turns out to be Julie's own blog, which referred 296 readers in one week. Thank you, all of you coming here from Oak Park Hates Veggies!

Just the same, I've had nine days in a row and 11 days out of the last 12 with more than 100 hits, so I have no room to complain. On that note, welcome new readers, and keep the page views coming!

Speaking of signal boosting, above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.



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

In the previous installment, I described how Oak Park's "War on Veggies" went viral. The resulting brouhaha had the effect it intended--the prosecution against Julie Bass for her raised garden beds in her front yard--but Oak Park has found another way to continue waging war against her for daring to fight city hall. The video won't embed here, but it did embed at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, where it is larger than the version embedded at Oak Park Drops Charges Against Julie Bass and Her Vegetable Garden: MyFoxDETROIT.com. You can also read the Detroit Free Press article, Oak Park woman faces dog trouble after veggie case is dropped. Then come back here.

So the good news is that Julie Bass is no longer facing charges. All of you who raised a stink by reporting and blogging on the issue, commenting on blog and news posts, signing the petition, and sending in letters and emails to the city of Oak Park can pat yourselves on the back. Your efforts succeeded.

The bad news is that the way the story is being reported, not only in the Fox 2 Detroit clip above, but also in the Detroit News article and on Julie's own blog, indicates that the city dropped the charge by asking for it to be dismissed without prejudice. That means that that the city could reinstate the charge any time before the statute of limitations ran out. Note the coda of the report was that the city prosecutor was going to re-examine the language of the statute. If he figures out a defensible reading of the statute that allows him to go after Julie, he can file those charges again. As Julie herself describes it, it feels like her own Sword of Damocles hanging over her.

The ugly news is the city resuming their prosecution of Julie for her dogs. The sequence of events makes it look like the city is being, as Julie wrote in her most recent post, "malicious." Julie's lawyer Solomon Radner elaborated in this quote from the Detroit News, "This is really nothing other than a personal vendetta against the Basses either because somebody doesn't like them, or because they had the nerve to fight this unjust prosecution." I think the answer is mostly the latter.

Since I believe in closing circles, I think the good news is that Julie and her lawyer will appear in court on July 26th, present the proof that the dogs are licensed, and those charges will be dismissed. Even so, this entire affair has made the city of Oak Park look even worse in my eyes than it already did.
When my wife and I were looking for places to live in Oakland County, my co-workers who lived in Oak Park tried to convince me to move there. Unfortunately, when my wife and I looked at houses in the city, we were less than impressed. We got a very conformist, unfriendly, and not-at-all fun vibe from the place, so we decided to look in Ferndale and Royal Oak, which were more to our liking.
When I played the Fox 2 Detroit clip to my wife, she said that we were never going to live in Oak Park. She didn't care if we found the ideal house there at a perfect price in a great neighborhood, we won't move there. I completely agree.

Finally, stay tuned. This isn't over yet.

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.



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