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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 Best of all, Yuki's interior looked exactly like Molly's. From the inside, it was as if I had just gotten a newer version of the same car with an automatic transmission.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.
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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.
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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 posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)



Original here.

Continuing with the Happy New Year from space theme, here's NASA Sends Out of This World New Year's Greeting in Times Square.



For more, see the fireworks at Happy New Year 2014! on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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NaBloPoMo June 2012


So, what's this month's theme?
JUMP

Every year when the pool opened, the first thing I needed to do was jump off the high dive. The whole act of jumping terrified me, and if I didn't do it as the first thing when I got to the pool, I would let that fall grow to epic proportions in my mind until I couldn't get myself to climb the ladder, and I'd kick myself the rest of the summer.

At BlogHer, we're going to encourage you this month to jump.

Jump into a new project, jump into a new idea, and most certainly jump into something that terrifies you so you can get over it. We're going to look at things that make us happy so we can jump for joy through our words. And we're going to look at things that make us nervous and jumpy.
...
So start thinking about different things you want to jump into this week.
At first, I thought that the theme of the month would come off as ironic considering that nearly everything I follow fell today. Then I noticed that the jump described was actually taking a plunge. That fits today's news perfectly. Even better, the concluding blogging idea was "look[ing] at things that make us nervous and jumpy." That's the entire purpose of this blog. I might as well jump!



Above crossposted from Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)



I know I've been participating in Nablopomo for a long time when the monthly themes repeat themselves. Here was the theme from October 2010, when I was using my LiveJournal as my Nablopomo blog.
Greetings, NaBlo bloggers! The theme for October blogging is PLAY. It's a versatile word: you can play a game or a musical instrument; you can be in a play; and when you're steering wheel jiggles it's definitely got too much play. What does the word PLAY mean to you? It may take all month to find out.
Now, here's the theme for May 2012.
So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?
PLAY

This month, because we're in a frisky mood, our theme for NaBloPoMo is PLAY. We'll be remembering your favourite games from childhood, talk about ways you still bring that spirit of playing into your life as an adult, and even look at whether you're a gracious or sore loser.

Make sure you head down to the storage room to reminisce about old toys. And you may even want to pull out the board games one night or create your own online game this month to play with your readers.
...
So start thinking about different ways you played this week.
If it weren't for LiveJournal being the target of DDoS attacks that take it offline from time to time, I'd be tempted to move my posts over there. Instead, I'll keep them here on Crazy Eddie's Motie News. As for what I'll do with it, I think I'll keep posting music, except that now I can also post instrumentals. I can also post videos, even if they don't have music. After all, don't videos "play?" Also, I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle the theme images from last time, which lack either month or year. I get bored with the typewriter logo that Nablopomo seems to have settled on once it moved over to BlogHer.

nablo1010_120x200nablo1010_120x90


A video of my favorite song about gaming plus a list of other posts with this theme behind the cut. )
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Follow up to last week's post.

This week's songs and the posts that feature them are:


Once again, the first post of this week is already up. This will be the last week of the Poem theme and the first week of the Play theme.  Play will allow me to include instrumentals as the music.  That's will be a relief!
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Follow up to last week's post.

This week's songs and the posts that feature them are:


Finally, the first post of the next week is already up.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

Follow up to last week's post.

This week's songs and the posts that feature them are:


Again, I've already  posted my first entry for this week.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)




Feeling down about spaceflight? Lift your spirits with Yuri's Night
By Alan Boyle
Yuri's Night has been celebrating space odysseys since 2001, on the 40th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's history-making launch into orbit — but it's much more challenging to find cause for celebration this year.

First of all, it's been just a year since the huge golden anniversary of the first human spaceflight, in 2011. To mark the occasion, Yuri's Night put on more than 600 events in 75 countries, and that's a hard act for anyone to follow. Perhaps more importantly, this year marks the first Yuri's Night since NASA retired the space shuttle fleet. For the next few years, there's no way to launch astronauts from U.S. soil.

"With the shuttle era coming to an end, there's going to be a lot of nostalgia this year," Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto, director of marketing for Yuri's Night 2012, told me this week. "It's going to be an interesting time to see how people bridge the gap."
For a schedule of events, see the Yuri's Night website.*

*Originally posted as the lead story in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Yuri's Night 2012 edition) on Daily Kos.

Above originally posted on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

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

The saying is that everone is Irish on St. Patrick's day. Russia Today demonstrates the truth of that saying with St. Patrick's Day in Moscow.



More videos and links at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Second of two posts originally at fandom_lounge on JournalFen.

Michigan State University even made a video and a press release about it.



Justin Grosjean, media arts and technology major, and twin brother John produced the video Skyrim: 2012 that went viral receiving almost 2 million views since its release.
Michigan State University: Student video goes viral
Published: Feb. 15, 2012

The lives of twins Justin and John Grosjean changed when they released a video - "Skyrim: 2012" to their channel on YouTube.

Justin, a media arts and technology senior at Michigan State University, and his brother John, a student at Oakland University, have always loved the games produced by the company Bethesda Softworks. They began making videos about six months ago and it was only natural that they wanted to make a video out of one of the games they love - Skyrim.

But they didn't expect it to be such a big hit. )
Here's the video itself.



Condensed version without video embeds here.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Here's another piece of background music for Alderaan in addition to the one I posted yesterday, This one has the benefit of showing the lovely scenery in addition to playing the music.  And to think this is the planet Moff Tarkin destroyed as a demonstration of the Death Star's power.  Well, he certainly got what was coming to him!




neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
In my previous entry, I mentioned how really beautiful Alderaan is in ST:TOR and how much my wife and I enjoy playing there. It helps that the music is gorgeous, too.  Here's an embed of the theme for the planet, which is called Alderaan, the Throne.




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.



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NaBloPoMo February 2012


It's that time again.
So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?

RELATIVE

Families form in hundreds of different ways -- from the brothers and sisters you are born with to the people who become fictive kin as you go through life, our relationships define us and support us. Use the month to not only explore your connections to the obvious relatives -- your aunts, cousins, or grandparents -- but your ancestors, the people who are no longer part of your family, and the ones that you wish were related to you.
...
So tell us about your siblings. If you can name at least five things about them, 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.
That's not really what I had in mind for this blog. If I were using my LiveJournal (not a good idea, as the service is subject to DDoS attacks, which would prevent me from fulfilling my pledge to post every day) or my Dreamwidth (I really don't want to post the name of that blog on a feminist site; I also don't want to rename it), I could do this, as both are personal blogs. Other than talking about what my relatives have done (or not done) in terms of sustainability, broadly interpreted, I think it would be off-topic.

However, these Nablopomo themes always have approved alternative interpretations.
This is also a month to look for connections between two unrelated concepts or objects. It's a month to get subjective, to state opinions, to examine your personal truth.
I do both all the time. I find two things that on the surface appear to be unrelated, but show that they really are. I also have been stating opinions all along. Looks like this topic is just fine for this blog.

Above originally posted at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

The other Relative posts this week include:

Groundhog Day 2012 and the climate

Driving update for February 2012

Relative: Yosemite video from Vimeo

More next week.
neonvincent: For posts about Twilight and trolling (Twilight Fandom wank trolls you)

The first full moon of 2012 will be tonight, the first of 13 full moons this year. Each of these moons has a name (and one of them has two names), as Space.com (via MSNBC) explains.*

How 2012's full moons got their strange names
Origins credited to Native Americans and early European settlers
By Joe Rao
updated 1/7/2012 3:07:59 PM ET
The start of 2012 brings with it a new year of skywatching, and lunar enthusiasts are gearing up for a stunning lineup of full moons. But, where does the tradition of full moon names come from?

Full moon names date back to Native Americans of a few hundred years ago, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. To keep track of the changing seasons, these tribes gave distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.

There were some variations in the moon names, but in general, the same ones were used throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England, continuing west to Lake Superior.

European settlers followed their own customs and created some of their own names. Here is a list of all of the full moon names, as well as the dates and times for 2012: (Unless otherwise noted, all times are given in Eastern Standard Time.)
Tonight's full moon is the Full Wolf Moon which will reach maximum on January 9th (technically tomorrow) at 2:30 a.m. EST. The association of wolf with a full moon has cross-cultural connotations, particularly with superstitions about what else happens involving wolves, people, and full moons. Everyone, enjoy the light show and sing along with Warren Zevon. A-hoo!



Now that the show is over, surf over to Crazy Eddie's Motie News for the rest of the full moon names, along with important astronomical events associated with some of them.

*This article is among those I excerpted for last night's Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (100 Year Starship edition) on Daily Kos. The headline article of that diary entry is one that also deserves a "Beginnings" entry of its own, especially given the science fiction slant of this blog. Like Anonymous, expect it.

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