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


I ended Driving update for December 2013: My car by postponing making good on a promise.
Also, I made a promise at the end of the last report.
Yes, I bought this car in October 2003. I have a story about that, but I'll save it for the next report, along with why I named my car Yuki. Stay tuned.
I'm going to take a rain check on this promise. These look like the kind of stories I would write to post while I'm traveling, which I might do over the next two weeks.
Instead, I explained the name of my wife's car.
It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not up to it. Besides, this report is about my wife's car, which I call Ruby (my wife doesn't give her cars names). I gave her that name because of the car's color and because my wife and I are fans of "Once Upon a Time," which had a character named Ruby, who is really Red Riding Hood, for the first two seasons.
Well, my car turned over 220,000 miles today, so it's time to tell her story.

My previous car, a Nissan I called Molly, died in October 2003 after she turned over 210,000 miles during a drive back from an anime convention in South Bend, Indiana, although I didn't realize it at the time. I heard the engine knocking, which it did when the oil was low. I put in two quarts of oil (!) and continued driving home. Within a week, I had to put in more oil, and the engine began to sound just horrible. I took it in for service, and found out that all the seals had blown and the engine was getting ready to throw a rod. That was the end of my driving Molly. I had to get a new car.

About this time, one of the local Kia dealerships was advertising its deal. "Got a job? Got $100? Get a new Kia!" I qualified, so I rented a car and drove over to the nearest Kia dealer and got Yuki. It wasn't even the right dealership, but that didn't matter. I picked out a car from the previous model year that had a rebate to entice people to get it off the lot. I was able to roll that rebate into the down payment and was able to drive Yuki home without paying a cent. Ah, the long-gone days of easy credit!

As for Molly, the dealership accepted her as a trade-in worth $50 and had her towed away. At least I was able to get scrap value and free towing. Best of all, Yuki's interior looked exactly like Molly's. From the inside, it was as if I had just gotten a newer version of the same car with an automatic transmission. As I wrote back in 2011 and again in 2012, it was a concession to comfort and age.
When I needed to buy a car, I got a Kia instead. It got 32 miles to the gallon, but it was an automatic. I was willing to sacrifice a few miles to the gallon so that my left foot and right hand could rest. Yeah, I'm a sucker for convenience, too.
At least it wasn't the Aztek my son wanted me to buy. That would have been an environmental and economic disaster.

As for the name, my younger daughter suggested Yuki after Yuki Saiko, a character in the manga and anime "Silent Mobius." The character's image is the one I used at the head of this entry. It's the same one my younger daughter downloaded as a wallpaper on the computer I owned at the time. Why Yuki? In addition to "Silent Mobius" being a mutual favorite of ours, my daughter picked her out as the kind of woman she'd want for me; she was sweet, pretty and owned a coffee shop.* Yes, I love my coffee. Besides, the artist who drew the manga was named Kia Asamiya. My daughter wanted to name a creation of one Kia after the creation of another Kia. It stuck and that's how a Korean car got a Japanese name.

...
Now to celebrate my finally following through on something I've been teasing since March 11, 2010, when I was still posting these updates on my LiveJournal, I present the opening to Silent Mobius. Yuki Saiko appears at 0:45.



*Yuki wasn't my favorite character from the anime. That was Lebia Maverick. Even so, people who know the series would understand why a real person like her would have been a bad match.

**That was the day the renewal of my car registration was due. It was also my ex-wife's 65th birthday. That's as much as I'd like to think about her, thank you very much.

Adapted from Driving update for April 2014: Yuki, a longer entry at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Over at Grand Line 3.5, the artist asked for a story prompt in the comments: Tell a story about bug problems in your game!

There was a player named Dave in my gaming group who always had giant insects and spiders in every dungeon he ran. I eventually figured out that he did that because bugs frightened him and he hated them for that, so he figured that if they scared him, they'd scare the other players. He was eventually able to act out his feelings about insects in real life. He became an exterminator.

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


As part of the opening to Debate, endorsements, and a poll from KPBS in San Diego, I observed in passing that yesterday (at least here in Michigan) is a holiday. I made no further mention of the day, which is odd, because I stated in Happy Festivus! that I love holidays, including fake ones. I realized that I should have posted something about Martin Luther King Day, at least as much as last year, when it was combined with Obama's Inauguration. Today, I'll mark the occasion by describing my most vivid memory about the holiday, which ironically has nothing to do with the intended meaning of the day. Instead, it's about experiencing the Northridge earthquake from afar through television, a story I tell my students.

Before our daughter was born, my ex-wife and I had agreed that I would take the second feeding of the night, which means that she was bottle-fed. After several years, that meant that I was in charge of my daughter's breakfast. On the morning of MLK Day, my daughter woke me up by saying "Daddy, I'm hungry." So I got up, prepared her breakfast, sat her down in front of the TV in the basement, and then put one of her favorite Disney tapes, which was either "Sleeping Beauty" or "Cinderella," I forget which. Just before the tape started running, I saw the announcement on Good Morning America that there had been an earthquake in Los Angeles. "Yeah, yeah, what else is new," I thought. Then the movie started and I lay down on the couch to sleep. After all, it was a holiday, and I didn't have to go to school or work. When I woke up, Regis and Cathy Lee were not on, as I expected, but news coverage. I recognized immediately that this was a bad thing. The last time I saw news instead of the mid-morning show was when the Challenger exploded. I grew even more horrified when it was about the earthquake and the location shots were all of places I knew and had been. There was damage at the university I had attended before I moved,* damage to the apartments my sister had lived in, damage to the mall where I had shopped. I may have been 2,000 miles and five years away, but it still struck close to home.

I could go on, but I'll let Peter Jennings and the ABC Evening News do the showing instead of me doing the telling in 1/17/94 1st Segment of "ABC World News Tonight" Northridge Quake.

For the rest of the entry, including two embedded videos, surf over to Twentieth anniversary of Northridge earthquake at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
I had a second snow day today, which I didn't expect, but it was enough to make me tired of blogging about the storm and its aftereffects. Instead, I decided to post about the intersection between science and sports, climate, and the latest developments in Detroit.
That should get my desire for a change of pace out of my system, so I might write about the weather after midnight. If not, I have some more D&D war stories to share.
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 was very busy elsewhere blogging about Winter Storm Ion yesterday. At Crazy Eddie's Motie News I opened Metro Detroit bracing for Winter Storm Ion with my experiences shopping yesterday.
Last night, I told my readers Winter Storm Ion is on its way. I just returned from the grocery store and, as I expected, the place was crazy busy. This was as bad as the night before a major food holiday, and the workers there said it had been worse earlier, with lines for the butcher going down the aisles and sales 50% above normal. Fortunately, the clerks were busy stocking, so the shelves were full and I was able to find everything I was looking for that the store normally carried.
An hour later, things got worse, so I posted Warning issued for Ion in Metro Detroit after WXYZ uploaded Winter Storm Warnings.


Then over at Daily Kos, I headlined Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Winter Storm Ion) with this article from The Weather Channel: Winter Storm Ion: Rockies, Midwest, Great Lakes, Mid-South Snow Followed by Brutal Cold
By Chris Dolce
Published: Jan 4, 2014, 10:46 PM EST
Winter Storm Ion is spreading a swath of snow from the Rockies to portions of the Midwest, Great Lakes and Mid-South this weekend. Following closely behind Ion will be a blast of brutally cold air in the Midwest.

Ion's upper-level energy, which brought snow to the Rockies through the Central Plains and into the Great Lakes on Saturday, will pivot eastward into the nation's midsection through early Sunday. As a result, low pressure will begin to develop over the Southern Plains and then head towards the eastern Great Lakes by Sunday night.

This will lead to the development of widespread accumulating snow from Missouri to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and southern Lower Michigan through Sunday morning. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for portions of these states.

The snow will be heavy at times and will be accompanied by increasing winds, which will lead to low visibility and very poor travel conditions Sunday.
Stay warm, everyone.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
And now, an entry from Crazy Eddie's Motie News that I can't believe I didn't cross post over to DW and LJ. It's exactly the kind of thing I used to post over here regularly. Seven months later, here it is, Finally, a Ringworld movie!

I've been a huge fan of Larry Niven's Known Space ever since I watched The Slaver Weapon. I thought the Kzinti were really cool and promptly checked out a copy of Ringworld from the library. I read through all the Known Space stories I could lay my hands on during the years since, right up to Ringworld Engineers and The Patchwork Girl. After those books, no new Known Space stories appeared for a decade.

All was not lost, as Chaosium Games, the publishers of Runequest and Call of Cthulhu, purchased the game rights to Ringworld. I convinced Chaosium that I knew enough about Known Space and tabletop role-playing games to let me develop a scenario for an adventure module. I wrote the scenario, playtested it, submitted it, and was about to revise it when Chaosium told me to stop. It wasn't because what I wrote was bad; in fact, it had nothing to do with me. It turns out that Niven had sold the movie rights to Ringworld and the movie company asserted that it now held the game rights, not Chaosium. Chaosium was too small to take on the movie company and its lawyers, so it gave up.

I was pissed. Not only did it stop publication of a game that I really believed in, it meant that all my effort, about $300 worth in 1984 dollars, went right down the drain. I decided to never buy another Niven book new ever again. To add insult to injury, Niven used the game guide as source material for the Man-Kzin Wars series. Worst of all, there never was any movie. All that loss was for nothing.

That may all change, as Entertainment Weekly reports.

Ringworld' miniseries in the works at Syfy -- EXCLUSIVE
Michael Perry (The River, Paranormal Activity 2) is adapting Ringworld as a four-hour miniseries. The story follows a team of explorers that travel to the farthest reaches of space to investigate an alien artifact called Ringworld – an artificial habitat the size of one million Earths. As they crash land on this enormous structure, they discover the remnants of ancient civilizations, technology beyond their wildest dreams, mysteries that shed light on the very origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth.

For Ringworld fans, this news might cause some deja vu. Syfy previously considered making a Ringworld miniseries under a different production team nine years ago.
I might finally get a movie--30 years later. Maybe I can get some comfort from that.

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
In my previous entry, I wrote that I was going to reblog some of my more fannish or personal entries over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News. Here's a fannish portion of an entry that is otherwise not about a fannish topic--Second driving update for December 2013: Other car:
Yes, I bought this car in October 2003. I have a story about that, but I'll save it for the next report, along with why I named my car Yuki. Stay tuned.
I’m going to take a rain check on this promise. These look like the kind of stories I would write to post while I’m traveling, which I might do over the next two weeks.
It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not up to it. Besides, this report is about my wife's car, which I call Ruby (my wife doesn't give her cars names). I gave her that name because of the car's color and because my wife and I are fans of "Once Upon a Time," which had a character named Ruby, who is really Red Riding Hood, for the first two seasons. Here's a picture of her as Red Riding Hood.


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

NaBloPoMo October 2012


So, what's the theme this month?
MASK


Whether it's as common as make-up or feigning happiness, every person spends time wearing a figurative mask, concealing features, thoughts, or feelings. This month we're taking off our masks and laying bare the truth beneath: how we feel about growing older (and whether you'd ever cover up the effects of aging with plastic surgery), how much of ourselves we reveal online, and why we chose the picture in our profile.

Of course, it's also Halloween, which means that we have to talk costumes and candy.
...
So start thinking about what you're hiding, and what you're ready to reveal by taking off your mask.
At first I looked at the theme and thought it would be another one I'd pay lip service to, but then I read the prompts and changed my mind. Here's today's: "When you saw the word mask, was your first interpretation protection, covering up, persona, or performance?"

Without the prompt, I might have responded with "persona," but with the prompt, my answer is "performance." I've been online since January 1990, and very early on I realized that I was performing for an audience.* I'm still performing here. My strategy with this blog, just as with all the rest of my public online communication, is to inform or persuade while entertaining, even if I'm only entertaining myself. As I've discovered when I'm teaching, if I'm bored, my students are bored. If they're bored, no one is learning. I try to keep that in mind while I'm writing here, too. May I succeed more than I fail.

*I shouldn't be surprised at this. I spent years around drum corps, where performance is king, and I can't even get away from the activity here.

Above orginally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Because of a change in my online habits resulting from a double health crisis,* I haven't been posting my weekly summaries here for about two months. Time to get back on track.

*I'll get around to writing about it in a friends-only entry later. Those of you who are my friends on Facebook will have read about at least half of it already and some of you will have had to opportunity to read about all of it.
neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
And he didn't say 'Ma-ma' either. )
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
As I mentioned in the first installment of this series.
My wife...is a more avid gamer than I am, but I'm the Star Wars fan. I don't think she's seen more than half the films and none of them all the way through, so it's really interesting watching her reaction to the planets we've visited. She really likes Alderaan, but she was shocked to find out that it gets blown up in the far future. It only happens in first hour of the first movie filmed. To fix that, we'll be watching all the films in the order of the events. In fact, we might be seeing the 3D versions of the films as they come out.
We just finished playing together on Alderaan, at least for now, and it really is a beautiful (virtual, fictional) world, especially in contrast to Tatooine, which is a real pit. My wife reiterated how pissed it makes her that it gets destroyed. I have to agree. In fact, I'm beginning to think that people who have never known any Star Wars other than the full Episodes I-VI and who have played either Knights of the Old Republic or Star Wars: The Old Republic will find the destruction of Alderaan even more traumatic than the people who saw it happen for the first time between 1977 and 1998. Back then, there was no world to know. Now, there are parts of two movies and two games set there. When I saw the Death Star blow up the planet back in 1977, I thought, "Grand Moff Tarkin is such an evil asshole," but I didn't grieve along with Leia. Now, when I see that happen in three years in the 3D edition of A New Hope, I might just cry.  Imagine the reaction of someone who is seeing it for the first time and has watched all the prequels.

And now, a video of Alderaan's scenery.



neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
My wife and I have a blast playing it together. She is a more avid gamer than I am, but I'm the Star Wars fan. I don't think she's seen more than half the films and none of them all the way through, so it's really interesting watching her reaction to the planets we've visited. She really likes Alderaan, but she was shocked to find out that it gets blown up in the far future. It only happens in first hour of the first movie filmed. To fix that, we'll be watching all the films in the order of the events. In fact, we might be seeing the 3D versions of the films as they come out.

As for the money involved, every penny shows up in the dialog, voice acting, music, and plot, to say nothing of the programming and world building. It makes this expensive game worth it.

Watch for more thoughts on the game in future entries.  I'll be putting spoilers behind a cut.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
While I'm watching my wife play this game, I saw the following on the game's YouTube channel.


Plainclothes warriors join the battle among Jedi and Sith in the first ever lightsaber freeze mob duel in the heart of New York's Times Square. Watch as over 100 fans joined the battle to celebrate the launch of STAR WARS™: The Old Republic on 12.20.11
The launch may have been on the 20th, but my wife has been playing for almost a week. The $5 to start early was worth it, and I'm saying that as someone who is just watching the game.
neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)


Over at Crazy Eddies Motie News, I've posted a couple of entries about my experience both reading about food and eating new kinds of food during my two recent trips.

In Travel is broadening, even the reading, I describe two magazines for businesspeople noticing that eating local is becoming big business.

In Travel is broadening, especially the food, I discuss my particular experiences with eating an unconventional source of food for Americans while in Mexico and how I'm not alone. Not for the squeamish.

There will probably be more about my trips. If nothing else, I have to talk about the celebration of The Day of the Dead, which is like Halloween crossed with Mardi Gras, complete with drunken street parades in costume.

Also, stay tuned more more of my sniping at Objectivism.  I have two more posts on that topic up since my last update.
neonvincent: Bakersfield isn't the end of the world (Bakersfield icon 1)
Translated, the subject line means "I'm not going to be here tomorrow," and it was the last sentence en Espanol I said to my Spanish teacher back in 1982. "Porque?" he asked. "Job interview," I responded. I got the job and withdrew from all my classes (I already had a B.S. degree and was only attending community college on my mother's advice while I was unemployed as it would "give me some structure." She was right.)

It's time to use that sentence again, and it's even more appropriate tonight, as Spanish will be the language I will be using where I'm going tomorrow. I'll be back at the end of the week.

If you miss me, I've already queued up a post a day over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News. Blogger's ability to schedule posts does wonders for my ability to participate in NaBloPoMo, even when I'm AFK for a week!  It will be my third November participating since I started in 2009. I'd hate to miss it.

nablo_typer_300px

ETA: Unlocked because the only sensitive thing about this post was that I was announcing that I would be away, which I didn't want to tell the entire world in advance.  Now that I'm back, it's not a problem.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
Tonight, that isn't just a catchphrase from "The Wizard of Oz," it's also who's playing. In fact, the Lions and Bears are playing each other on Monday Night Football in addition to the Tigers playing the Rangers earlier in the day. No wonder the library at school was completely empty on a night when it should have been at least half full. It's also why downtown Royal Oak looked dead. It's not that no one's out; it's that everyone's inside the bars and restaurants watching the games.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)


October's theme for daily blogging: BETWEEN. Autumn is between the two temperature extremes of summer and winter. It's a time when nature is shifting -- the scattering of leaves in the northern hemisphere, the first signs of new life down south. Halloween is obviously a time for trick-or-treating, but scratch the surface of the holiday and it makes you start thinking about how your time on earth is just a space between two periods of non-living. What else do you have to say on the theme of being between?
I nearly missed this on the second day of the month because of computer issues. First, my keyboard died when one of our cats spilled wine on it. Then I got a new wireless keyboard, which came with a mouse. The combination did not play well with my computer. The keyboard worked, but the mouse didn't. Then, no USB mouse would work. You try to put together a blog post or do anything more advanced than answer email without a mouse, I dare you. I couldn't. I finally got an old fashioned wired keyboard and a PS2 mouse. Now things work. However, it was enough to make me miss Silly Sustainability Saturday. I'll see if I can make up for it during the week.

As for how I'm going to frame this theme so that it's consistent with the general topics of this blog, that's easy. Our economy is between the fossil fuel economy and whatever post-peak-oil energy economy is coming, whatever that will be. Detroit is between decay and renewal. Our politics are between corruption and either reform or revolution. See what I mean?

Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.



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



Time for another driving update.

This evening, Yuki the Kia* reached a major milestone when her odometer turned over 210,000 miles.** That means it's time for another driving update to see if I'm still doing my part in driving less.

The last time Yuki's odometer turned over was on June 20, 2011, when she passed 209,000 miles. That was exactly 100 days ago, which means I've driven an average of exactly 10 miles per day. Expressed in months using 30.5 days/month, that's 305 miles/month. That's not as low as the 300 miles/month I averaged at the last update, but it's still less than the 308 miles/month I averaged between December and March. I'm still doing my part to keep the number of miles driven by Americans down, as shown by the following graph from Calculated Risk, which came out late last week.



I don't expect to keep my miles driven this low between now and December, as I have at least two meetings each month that I have make special drives for and the weather will be getting colder, which means I'm more likely to drive the three-quarters of a mile to the nearest grocery store instead of walking there, something I've insisted on doing whenever I have the opportunity, much to my wife's amazement.

I told you I was in a mood to blog about driving tonight. Now you know why.

*I still have to explain that name. At least the Return theme presents me an opening to do so.

**It's important because the last car I owned, Molly the Nissan, died from blowing all nearly all her seals just after she passed 210,000 miles. I hope this car lasts longer.

Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

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



Back in June, I described how I'm not a fan of driving.
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.
...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.
I returned to all of the above yesterday when I posted the following status update to Facebook.
Time to walk to work. I love living only a mile and a half from one of my worksites.
This prompted my wife and two of my friends to express their envy and share their commuting horror stories. All of them hated commuting. My friends wished they didn't have to drive so much for work. My wife was relieved that she didn't have to commute any more. I expanded on how I've been reducing my commute for the past five years.
From 2000-2004, I regularly put 40,000 miles on my car. In 2005, I began driving 1000 miles a week when school was in session to three different colleges and a tutoring service. Then on the weekends, I'd judge marching bands or cover drum and bugle corps shows. From May 2005 to May 2006, I drove 48,000 miles. That was the year I put my house up for sale, stopped seeing my long-distance girlfriend, and eventually sold my house. In June, I moved to the middle of my jobs and cut my driving down to 700 miles a week. Then I changed one of my jobsites and cut it down to 500 miles a week. Then I got a full-time job and quit my part-time jobs and dropped to 300 miles a week. Finally, we moved and I now drive 70 miles a week. I'm so close to work I could ride a bike on a good day.
Yes, the goal for next year is still to buy a couple of bikes. I'll probably pedal to work the two days a week I finish before sunset, which will reduce my driving even more.

As for today's walk to work and back, I thought it was wonderful. I love my walkable neighborhood.

Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Profile

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

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526 27282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jun. 27th, 2017 10:21 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios