Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I wanted to write a little blog tonight about the romantic power of water. The wife and I were Downtown for the Detroit River Days (see last blog), and it seemed to me that every time we took a second to walk up to the river and pause, my arm just naturally went around my wife. We were instantly drawn together so we could look out over the dancing water at the ships going past. so we came up with a term for this "instasnuggle." Basically there are things that can bring upon this state of being, for example, giving your wife flowers :). But the amazing part about this is that whenever we stopped by the water, instasnuggle kicked in. So here is to the almighty instasnuggle power of the riverfront. JD.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Detroit Riverfest 07'

So on Saturday afternoon the wife and I decided to head Downtown to check out the inaugural Detroit International River Days. We arrived about 6pm, and parked just East of the Rencen. First I want to say kudos to the people who put this on. It was well run and there was tons to do. We first watched the Airdogs display, which featured dogs jumping for height and distance. Then we headed over to check out the Ste. Clair (Boblo Boat). After taking a break in Tri-Centennial State Park we headed back to the RenCen and settled in to watch the Parade of Lights.

The whole event was pretty packed and it was nice to see all the peoples of Metro Detroit our enjoying a nice summer day on the reclaimed waterfront. For those of you who don't know, Detroit's waterfront used to consist mainly of factories and docks, and is now in the midst of a major overhaul. There is now a 3.5 mile Riverwalk in place and all the pieces will be connected once a few condo developments, the Watermark and @water, are built. Overall we were very impressed by the quality of the walk and how in just a five minute stroll you could be in a secluded park with waves lapping at your feet. Very impressive. We will definitely be back in future years.

Here are some pictures from the events:

Airdogs - Flying American Pitt Bull:

The Old Boblo Boat - S.S. Ste. Clair:

Globe Trading Company - Soon to be redeveloped into lofts:

Parade of Lights - Boats that were covered in lights:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Chrysler 300C, the Ultimate Grandma Car

Yes, I am talking about that Chrysler 300-C. The ones that you see in all the rap videos and in all the movies. This car has been a huge success for Chrysler, but it has often been pigeonholed as appealing to the urban crowd. Well Chrysler's marketing team should be proud, because there I was cruising down I-94 on my way to wrk when I see a silver 300C up ahead. It looked a lot like the one below.

So here is me, at 6:45am, thinking to myself: Self... I wonder who is driving this car. I bet it is someone cool and interesting. So I passed the car on the left, and took a gander over to see who was piloting this Detroit behemoth. This is who I saw:

With appolgies to the actress Frances Bay (Happy Gilmore's Grandmother), this is exactly what I saw. It scared the crap out of me. Here I was expecting some young hip individual in thier 20's and I got Grandma rolling along at 75MPH. So cudos to the marketing people at Chrysler, you have expanded your demographic waaaay past what I would have though possible.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I Have Heard No Paris Hilton News Today...Oh What a Glorious Day!

This is going to be a short and sweet entry today. I heard no Paris Hilton news today. No mention of it on the morning radio show, no one walking by me desk with the proverbial "You hear about Paris today?" I am sooo tired of getting dragged into this news story even when I hate the very idea of having to listen to any of it. There are plenty of important things going on in the world, and this is what I have to discuss with my coworkers? So apparently the Lord has smiled on me and removed Paris from my life. Amen!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Deadliest Catch....best show on TV.

p>For those our there who do not know what the "Deadliest Catch" is, let me give you a description. This is a show that is on the Discovery Channel. It follows the working life of several Alaskan crab boats as they work to recieve your future dinner on the Bering Sea. Here is the blurb that the Discovery Channel says about the show...

"Each year, hundreds of fishermen converge on Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for the beginning of the Alaskan king crab season. While at sea, they face nearly 24-hour shifts for days at a time, in less than optimal conditions: 40-foot waves, 80-mph winds, subfreezing weather and 700-pound crab pots slamming against the deck — not to mention a nearly 100 percent injury rate.

But the payoff can be huge: Well-placed pots can collect millions of dollars worth of highly prized king crabs ... or just enough crabs to cover the boat's operating expenses. Whatever the take, the men and their families will feel the effects the rest of the year."

Pretty amazing stuff just so we can all go to Red Lobster. I am completely addicted to this show. I think this is because this is reality TV. I know that they edit a lot of things, and of course show the most interesting stuff, but it is so intriguing. An average of 4 men per year die fishing for crab, making this the deadliest job per year percentage wise. You stand a greater chance of dying on the Bering Sea then being a fire fighter, or a soldier in Iraq. Pretty admirable stuff, you can see why these men have captured my imagination. I know that although there is a part of me that would love it, the rational side of me slaps that idea around and tells me to stay behind my desk.

So next time you wonder why King Crab legs are so expensive, think of the men plying the Bering Sea in January, with the highest death rate of any job in America. These are the guys who make that dinner possible. Thanks...JD

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Wheelchair stuck to a semi...you can't make crap like this up!

In Grand Rapids, Michigan today, a man in a wheelchair got stuck to the grill of a semi-truck, and was driven 2-3 miles down the highway at 50mph. I am not making this up. Now, I don't want everyone to think I am making fun of people in a wheelchair, that would be incorrect, I am really just truly confused. Here is the link to the article in the Detroit Free Press.

Apparently the man was crossing an intersection when the truck driver got the wheelchair lodged into his grill. He apparently did not notice this. Now call me stupid, but five hundred pounds impacting your grill might cause me to take notice. I mean does that mean you can strike a deer in a truck and not even know it?? I am pretty sure an old Asian lady in a Honda Civic weighs about 500 pounds. That seems highly unlikely that he would not notice something.  Anyway, the truck proceeded to go 3 miles at 50 MPH before a police officer pulled the truck over and alerted the driver. The man was freed from the grill shaken, but otherwise unharmed.

My personal favorite quote from the article is someone calling 911. They told the police dispatcher "A semi-truck just came by and he does not know it but he has a gentleman on the front of his truck that's in a wheelchair and he's pushing him down the road." That is an incredibly eloquent way of freaking out, which is what I would have had I seen this  happing on my local freeway.

My last question is what kind of tires the guy had on this wheelchair. Apparently they were able to handle three miles of 50 MPH. Must have been some heavy duty rubber on those things. I guess wheelchairs are better built then I thought. Apparently the chair, which was motorized, still worked after being untangled from the grill. If I were the manufacturer of that model you can bet this claim would be in my next adrvertising campaign: "Tough enough to take on a MAC Truck." I guess I'll just have to file this away under the heading "will never happen again in my lifetime."


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Stupid Inefficiencies...

   My time was thoroughly and intensely wasted today. This I can say with absolute certainty. In fact, I can point to a specific group as someone who helped further the advance of global warming by making me drive around for 30 minutes looking for a stinking drop box.
    OK, here is the situation...JD wants to enter the Ann Arbor City Tennis Tournament. On the website for the tournament it says a drop box is located at an address that does not exist. Mapquest or Streets and Trips cannot find it, and the closest I came was the back of a condo complex.
    Here is my problem... so little information is given, no cross streets, no indication that it might be difficult to find. They knew this was going to be a problem, and ignored it, hoping people would also just ignore it. They knowingly caused many many people to waste their free time, and I value my free time. I called the Tournament Director (yes I am one of those people), and she told me how many people had called or emailed her because they could not find the dropbox. I guess it is on an extension to a road, where you are at one of those intersections where both roads are named the same. In this case at the corner of Eisenhower and Eisenhower.
    So now i have to drive over to her office to register because there is no way for me to get over to the box before 5pm tomorrow when the building closes. Creating more work for me and her, or the website could have just had accurate information. GRRRRRRR, sometimes stupid inefficiencies really get to me.

BTW: Here is the site, click on Adult Entry Form

Monday, June 4, 2007

Colonblow...are you serious/the downfall of America?

One of my coworkers, who shall remain nameless said that he heard an ad on the radio for a product called "Colonblow." Lets just say that a rousing round of man humor followed in the discussion of the product, and all the fun that you could have with practical jokes. I have to admit that I honestly did not think that this was serious. But no, JD is wrong, a little googling and wham...there is the website for a actual product called "Colonblow." Motto: Poopin' is Cool!

Now here are the wise words of the founder of the Colonblow company:

"I was an ordinary guy who was tired of battling allergies. I started noticing how what I ate affected how I felt. Both reason and research told me the body's threshold of tolerance could be lowered if we could get the waste of of there. My buddies and I started colon cleansing, and we felt better... with more energy. My allergies became less of a problem. So I started developing this product, quit my day job, and today Colonblow is used by thousands around the world. We have tons of repeat customers."

Matthew A. Gardner, Colonblow Founder

I have to ask myself...is this serious/is this the downfall of America? Well apparently this is serious, and someone is making a whole lot of money making other people drop a kid off at the pond. I also firmly believe that this is the downfall of American ingenuity. WE have tons of problems that could use the American innovative spirit... fuel economy...world hunger...AIDS, take your pick. We have been reduced to blowing out our colons. I thought Viagra was the limit, but apparently not... Well everyone, happy poopin'!

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Decline of Black Baseball

Here is the statistic: 8.4% of Major League Baseball players are currently African American, as opposed to over 15% just 10 years ago. This has quite a few people in the baseball world rightfully upset and worried. So what are the causes for this decline?

Many people cite economics or college scholarships as the reason. They say that blacks are more likely to get a scholarship for football, and therefore that is where they invest their time and talent. Also, with more scholarships given in football then in baseball ,the sheer odds are better that they will receive a football scholarship.

Then there is the race card. Detroit's own Gary Sheffield, who I actually think is a rather standup guy, had to throw it out recently. He claims that African American's are passed up over Latinos because they are "harder to control." He states "I called it years ago," Sheffield said, "What I called is that you're going to see more black faces, but there ain't no English going to be coming out." Sheffield went on to say that MLB picks Latin players over equally talented African-Americans because they're easier to control. I personally think that is a load of crap. There are many upstanding young black players coming into the league. The great thing about sports has always been that talent trumps color. THat is what Jackie Robinson was all about. Sport has always been the great equalizer. If you can play ball better then everyone else, no one cares if you are Japanese, Samoan or Canadian.

I think that a columnist for CNNMoney hit the answer on the head in this column. I encourage you to read it, but he basically says that the rise of the Latin player is simply due to economics. Because players from other countries are not affected by the draft, good scouting replaces lottery chances. It is simply a better return on invested capital to look outside the US. I have not been able to find the percentage of MLB players who are Caucasian, but i bet that had dropped almost in step with African-Americans. This once again would not be racism, but rather strict economics.

So what is needed is not a huge investment in urban baseball fields, although is is great in it's own right. What is needed is a comprehensive look at the MLB draft and the way that talent is brought through the system to the major league level. Because baseball, more than any other major sport, draws international talent, this must be addressed. Until it is, the owners have only their own best interests in part and MLB will not move forward on this issue.

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