Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

As a friendly programming note, this week is quite busy (with periodic very limited internet access), so I may not be writing too much until the coming weekend. You should check every hour just to see if I have come up with something new to tickle your fancy, and use this opportunity to re-read everything that you already know and love about We Are Of Michigan. I spent last weekend up north with the family, came back late Monday night for work meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday and softball playoffs on Tuesday, and Wednesday I return to the great white north until Saturday. I do have occasional internet access to the north and only one thing about Kwame has pissed me off this week, so there is a chance that I'll have lots and lots of things to say over the next few days. Like I mentioned earlier, remember to check every hour just to be sure. Thanks for bearing with me over the next few days and if you have a problem with anything, suck on it, Trebek.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kwame, You Animal. You Incredibly Sexy Animal

Saturday morning, the metro Detroit area was informed of another, completely new and entirely unexpected to outsiders, scandal regarding the city of Detroit and its deposed mayor, Mr. Sexy Himself - Kwame Kilpatrick.

Over the past weeks, news has been trickling out from the federal government about how far behind the Detroit Police Department is on a whole slew of reforms. I didn’t really know what they were talking about or what kind of reforms the department was not enacting, but I assumed it had something to do with shifting focus away from NOT putting criminals in jail, to YES putting criminals in jail. I don’t know a whole lot about policing, but this point of view made quite a bit of sense to me.

Saturday morning, I received a little more information about my prior confusion and a new piece of news creating even more exciting and possibly sexy confusion. According to The Free Press, “The Detroit Police Department has been under federal oversight since 2003, when the city signed two agreements to avert a lawsuit with the Justice Department’s civil rights division over questionable shootings of civilians, illegal dragnet arrests and inhumane treatment of prisoners. The department has fulfilled less than 40% of the reforms.” So this helped me to understand why the feds were focusing and reporting on Detroit being far behind in police reforms. Apparently, the feds have been in charge of trying to make the reforms happen. On Friday, a woman by the name of Sheryl Robinson Wood, the person appointed by the feds to oversee police reform, resigned because she had “meetings of a personal nature” with former mayor Velvet Teddy Bear Kilpatrick. At the very least, these clandestine meetings included “conduct which was totally inconsistent with the terms and conditions of the two consent judgments.” I have no proof of anything, but we can read between the lines, can’t we?

Kwame Kilpatrick is a sexual machine, the likes of which the world has never seen before and will never see again. No woman can restrain herself when in his awe-inspiring and horniness-inducing presence. Simply put, he is God’s gift to women and men who like men. I don’t know how the federal government did not see this one coming. If you’re going to put someone with boobs and a vagina near Kwame Kilpatrick, that person will inevitably have sex with him. This sexual relationship will lead to failure, scandal, hilarity, sadness, and many, many blog posts. I don’t even think it is possible to put someone with boobs and no vagina or vagina and no boobs near Kwame. He will have sex with that person regardless. If you drop money from the rooftops, will people not rush to pick up that money? If you are hungry, will you not eat? If you fart and blame your friend for farting, will your friend not do the same to you the next time he farts? There are certain rules of human nature with which you cannot fight or argue. Kwame Kilpatrick was put on this planet to ruin things, with his preferred method of ruining things being through sex.

Do not flee women of the world, you have no choice when confronted by the greatness of Kwame. Wilt Chamberlain called Kwame when looking for tips, and Kwame was only 5 years old. They have built nude statues of him in Greece dating back thousands of years, predicting the life and times of the greatest sexual being throughout all of humanity. Pornography was invented to eventually celebrate reenactments of his exploits. STD’s evolved and mutated for the sole purpose of slowing down the spread of his seed. There is no brag too great or untrue. Legend does not do the man justice. One individual – the slayer of cities.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dependent Clause Does Not Compute

I would likely say that my favorite news resource is, and I reference it frequently here. There are far better news resources out there that cover a better range of topics in depth, but no one does Michigan quite like The Detroit Free Press. No one except Debbie.

Because they are a mostly reputable news source and have things like editors, they are held to a higher standard than most of the websites around the internet. Things like grammar and sentences that actually make sense are important. For some reason, this sentence from this article really bugs me because on first read it sounds sort of OK, but then leaves a weird taste on the back of your tongue like lima beans (insert better funny thing here, the best I could come up with that is actually a food is lima beans) :

Despite aggressive manufacturing expansion which included new assembly plants in Ontario and Mississippi, Toyota is caught with more car making capacity than current sales can support.

Here's the problem I see. Normally when you start a sentence with the word despite and then a dependent clause, the independent clause somehow indicates something contrary to the "Despite" portion of the sentence. For example; despite your interest to see the Erin Andrews video, you are unable to find a non-virus link. In the first part of the sentence I say "here's one thing" and then in the second part I say "this other thing that doesn't agree with the first thing." Two possible workable sentences from the flawed above sentence could be as follows:

Despite aggressive manufacturing contraction which included exploding assembly plants in Ontario and Mississippi, Toyota is caught with more car making capacity than current sales can support.

Despite aggressive manufacturing expansion which included new assembly plants in Ontario and Mississippi, Toyota is caught with not enough car making capacity than current sales can support because they are a bunch of stupid idiots.

Thank you Mrs. McHale, your voice rings in my head, even to this day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

News Flash: Shut Up Dude

Today on The Detroit News' politics blog, some guy named Richard Burr pointed out some data that indicated that moving information from United Van Lines indicates that more people are leaving Michigan than coming in to the state. According to his post:

Michigan set an all-time record when 70 percent of the shipments United made were out of state. That is more than 10 percentage points higher than North Dakota, which traditionally led the country as a place that Americans tried to escape from until Michigan took over the top spot about three years ago.

Here's what I hate about this news - WE KNOW. Everyone knows. More importantly, though, is that I don't care (well, not exactly). Without argument, it sucks chestnuts that people are in the position that they have to leave the fine landmass of Michigan. For some reason they chose to live here, and for some reason they are in a position where it is best for them to leave. For too long we lived in our own little isolated bubble in which unfortunately unsustainable jobs and a huge series of tangential jobs were propped up by a long-suffering domestic industry, and news like this is simply additional affirmation of a fact that is beyond debate. It's like if I punched you in the face and then I said to you "I just punched you in the face. And I banged your wife. Hey-oh!" Is it merely a reporting of the facts? Or an attempt to make people in Michigan wake up from some dream we are not actually having, change our mind, and say "wait, let's keep people here instead of letting them go"?

I suspect his intentions are a little more annoying - the post is in the politics blog, and Richard Burr, author, voted for Bush and admires Ronald Reagan. From this little information, my guess is that he is working to link people's departure to our Dem governor and something or other to do with her policies. This is exactly why I quit my last job. I worked as an ice de-melter and the ice kept melting, and I just couldn't stand having to deal with the constant negativity about the melting ice. Not cool, laws of nature, not cool.

I'm trying to keep an open mind about this last concept - could the governor have prevented the collapse of the domestic auto industry, or alternatively, replace the literally hundreds of thousands of lost auto jobs with environmentally friendly careers creating power from happiness, related smiles, and cow poop?

Me Am Like

Tonight after post-softball dinner as my jovial group made our way out of the door, my friend Carolyn mentioned to me that she is reading a book. In this book there is an 8-year-old boy, and this eight year old boy is a bit of a character because he will talk to anyone about anything for any length of time. She went on to say that this little boy reminder her of me, and when he's present in the story, I'm present in the back of her mind.

While I can't say conclusively whether or not being compared to an 8-year-old boy is is a compliment or mild insult, this is a character trait I have worked hard and long to master. Sometimes this gets me into trouble or can offend the mild sensibilities of some others, but my hope is that more often than not it results in some interesting writing and occasional conversations when you have the great fortune to lasso me into your room.

The name of the book - "The Greatest Character Ever in a Book, based on Ken"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Time with Weirdos

One of the things I have definitely not been doing in my writing quest is trying to call out a few of the fun things going on in Michigan on any given day or weekend. I feel that you've been having so much fun this summer, that you haven't needed my guidance about where to go and what to do, so I am absolved of my shortcoming. Absolution!

While today (Saturday) is the last today and it started on Wednesday, if you have a little time on your free hands, you should definitely consider heading Ann Arbor-way to participate in this small annual event called the Ann Arbor Art Fair. It's got to be important if it has the domain The art fair in Ann Arbor is a great event for many reasons, but my favorite reason is all of the Ann Arbor weirdos and aspiring Ann Arbor weirdos who are out in force during the fair. I'm talking weirdos. Super weirdos. There are also some normal people out and about, but you can see normal people anywhere. Art fairs and renaissance festivals (two things I enjoy attending) are the best places to encounter the highest weirdo to square footage ratio across the land.

On another note, did you know that Biannual means both twice a year and once ever two years? Have I mentioned that before? Anyway, everytime I think about it I realize that this is CRAZY. Don't you think it's CRAZY? If you don't, then you must be CRAZY you CRAZY jerk. Get off my lawn.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hold off the Horn

I think I've mentioned here before how stupid I feel when traffic stops for no apparent reason, and then impatiently I slam on the horn trusting in the magical ability of the horn to make everyone on the road do exactly what I want. This is the worst magical power because I don't think it has ever worked. Why would someone invent a magical power that doesn't work? I don't know, that's why. After laying on the horn, I then see a police car, fire truck, or ambulance driving quickly with their lights and sirens going strong, immediately resulting in feelings of extreme idiocy for me. This is another, much more tangible magic power that works 100% percent of the time - assuming there are Twinkies in that hole to sustain me. One moment I'm feeling brash and impatient, and the next moment I want to crawl into a hole. The only other similar situation I could imagine (prior to Tuesday night) is a family of ducks or geese slowly crossing the road and bringing traffic to a screeching halt. Geese and ducks should not be such dummies. Roads are very dangerous places to go for a family walk, and the someone should consider removing parental right privileges of these very irresponsible animal parents.

Tuesday night, I was driving from softball (that fateful 0 for 3 batting performance) to Shield's Pizza in Troy, and needed to make a left turn from northbound Crooks onto westbound Maple. There is a left turn light there (one of the annoying ones that is green before traffic in your direction gets clearance and then doesn't blink after that - man I hate those), and I was stuck at the light for a couple of cycles. Finally, I was second in line and certain to make the next round when the turn arrow turned green. The person in the car in front me and I hit our respective accelerators and began the turn, when suddenly the person in front of me slammed on his breaks. I almost slammed the back of his car, angrily raised my fist in horn-honking fury, and started to move it toward the noise-making center of my steering wheel. A moment before my hand hit the horn, I saw the cause of the immediate stop - a blind person was crossing the street!

At first, I found myself a little bit angry at me for almost honking, by extension, at a blind person. Then, I found myself a little bit angry at the blind person because there is an appropriate time to cross the street, and it is not when traffic has the green crossing arrow. Then, I found myself angry at the city of Troy for not having more blind-friendly crossing signals. Finally, my anger turned toward the general concept of blindness first, for robbing people of their sight, and second, for putting me into this emotional quandary. I'm still not sure of the proper protocol for this situation - can a blind person cross the road whenever he/she is in the mood regardless of signal? I don't mean that question as a joke, but I mean, you can't just run someone over if this person is in the road, but we all have to follow similar road-crossing rules (clearly except for ducks and geese), don't we? I don't like being confused. If you're reading this and you're blind, I kindly request you do not cross the road in the face of oncoming traffic. Yes, I know what I just said.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well, Now I'm Disappointed

You may think I'm referring to Brandon Inge's ZERO home run performance at the Home Run Derby on Monday night after Michigan worked so hard to get the guy into the All Star Game, and that was certainly disappointing, but not what I'm referring to here. Also, you know I'm not referring to Edwin Jackson's 1-2-3 inning in the All Star Game, Curtis Granderson's game-winning triple in the eighth inning, or the otherwise flawless play of Justin Verlander (didn't make it into the game) and Brandon Inge (no balls hit to him) because all of these things worked out great for our Detroit Tigers. Perhaps you are a huge fan of my Tuesday night Royal Oak softball team and are already aware that I somehow went 0 for 3 with only one really well-hit ball - in a softball game. I mean, that's just embarrassing, but not the thing about which I'm disappointed.

I was just polishing off a recent exercise watching my standard go-to Days of Our Lives on the TiVo, and saw a commercial for a Sunday night movie that I may never have the opportunity to watch again. The show I was watching was recorded last week, so the movie slipped away from my grasp on Sunday night as I was driving home from Rochester, MN. This movie has two amazing things going for it and the world may never again see such a perfect pairing. First, the movie starred Shannon Doherty. I can't imagine a better lead for any TV movie. Second, and more importantly, the movie is called Satan's School for Girls. As far as I can tell and infer, the movie is about a school, primarily for girls, and Satan is a key component of the curriculum. There may or may not be witches involved, and these probably witches appear to be Satan supporters. I wrote a movie once, but it never attained the level of support and recognition I hoped for - this movie was called Gabriel's Latchkey for the Transgendered and was about the archangel Gabriel and his after school efforts to teach the transgendered about how to also eventually become archangels. I think the movie failed because I played all the roles, much like Eddie Murphy, and most of the text was lifted directly from episodes of The Simpsons. Writing a movie is hard.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Weekend and Why You Care

Good morning loyal acolytes, lost internet searches, and other general lovers of me. I don't know why you care, so the second part of the post title is a lie, but I can tell you a little bit about my weekend and why this weekend severely limited my ability to write anything during this period. It is not typical that I do write over the weekend, so I don't even really know what I'm talking about.

Saturday morning at about 6 am, I hopped in the van with my parents, Maureen, and the dogs, and we drove to mid-Minnesota. I had some chicken, went to sleep, woke up, held a baby over a big bowl of water, got back in the van, and then drove back to Michigan. Did you feel a chill from about 10 am on Saturday until 7 pm on Sunday? That's because I was out of the state. Minivans are so incredibly functional and versatile it is insane. Why is almost everything that is functional and versatile generally regarded as so uncool? Like the fanny-pack. Can't I have everything I need attached to my waist at once and still look cool doing it? I think people are just against convenience for some reason. It might also be that they're jealous that simply by looking down, I can have access to my wallet, phone, chap stick, deck of cards, sunglasses, Snickers bar, hair gel, mace, and extra clean pair of underwear.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vast MLB Conspiracy

Today at 4pm the voting ended for the Brandon Inge All Star game thing I wrote about a couple days ago, and Tank mentioned via comments that an individual could vote like 100 times for a person a day. I don't understand the "Vote all you can" plan like they do in American Idol. I think it is an advantage for people who have OCD and can take the time to vote 100 times for anything.

Right now I'm a little upset because leading up to the 4pm deadline today, I tried to vote for Inge several different times, and every time the website would not load correctly. This prevented me from throwing my support behind my goatee'd buddy today and I think this warrants investigation from the House Ways and Means Committee. How is Brandon Inge supposed to win if people in Michigan (I assume that everyone in the entire state encountered the exact same minor internet difficulty as me all day because I am 100% representative of the state) are prevented from voting by Major League Baseball? Maybe the MLB and all ISPs are in cahoots to screw Brandon Inge because they have something against goatees. I don't know, but I smell something suspicious. Whoops, maybe I'm still sick.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who's Your Large Jungle Cat

The 2009 All-Star selections were recently announced, and three Detroit Tigers made the list. You're starting to fall apart a little bit at the seems right now, Tigers, but good job Justin Verlander, Curtis Granderson, and the greatest off-season acquisition in some time, Edwin Jackson. Edwin Jackson is a stud. One Tiger, my Tiger for the last several years, did not make the cut for the All Star game, but us Tigers fans have the opportunity to do something about this error. Brandon Inge is a part of this "vote for the last All Star" thing where the good people of America (and, I think, other countries too) celebrate democracy by picking the last American League and National League team members. Go here and place your vote for Brandon Inge, jerks.

Brandon Inge is the best combination 3rd baseman/goatee model in the major leagues. Sometimes when he makes a play, it makes me wish that I had the capability to grow a goatee. but then I realize that I am not an excellent third basemen and it again makes me sad that I can't grow facial hair. These are two of the many reasons why Brandon Inge is more of a man than I could possibly dream to be. It is with great sadness that I cannot find any readily available highlights videos for the guy, but you trust my opinion, don't you? He was with the Tigers during the darkest time (the amazing one hundred million loss season, which is doubly amazing because there are only 162 games in a season), the brightest time (the near World Series victory) in 2006, and the goatee-est times. If I ever meet Inge on the street, I will first ask him if I am allowed to give him a hug, and then, assuming he grants the necessary permission, I will hug him.

Vote Inge.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monica, Part 3

It feels right to touch on this subject just one more time because today marks the temporary end of this saga, and I think it really ended on a perfect note. At midnight tonight, Monica Conyers is officially out of the city council, and of course, she decided not to show up to work today. Really, though, would you have considered any other conclusion more fitting than the worst employee ever not going to work on her expected last day? It also seems to mark the end of my week-long battle with keeping food inside of me, and for most of that week I was very much losing that battle. I am not yet 100%, but I am feeling increasingly better and perhaps, just possibly, smarter, funnier, and more handsome than ever before. To celebrate this recovery, I am going to steal thousands of dollars from my company, travel around with two full time security guards, and then when I am finally caught and kicked out, skip my last day of work. July 7th is the true Independence Day - freedom from the craziest city council person you ever done see. Viva Michigan.

Friday, July 3, 2009

All I'm Saying

At times like this on weeks like this week, all I'm saying is that I wish the United States had moved to the bidet system decades ago. Maybe this is yet another opportunity for Michigan to set itself apart - "Michigan: Come Here If You Have Diarrhea or Just Like Clean Butts"

The greatest thing about being ill is the forced diet. For everyone getting married and trying to lose a few lbs. prior to the wedding, may I recommend you try to catch whatever I have ranging from a few days up to a whole week - or for as long as you can stand it without a bidet.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You Win This One, Monica

Last week, Monica Conyers went on her local public access television show and declared, in only the way that a crazy person can, "And so I say to all of the people out there if you’re not praying for me, then you’re just adding to the problem." At first, I thought this woman is even more crazy than I could have possibly conceived. If I'm not praying for one of the worst people in the state of Michigan then I'm adding to the problem? How can that be?

And so on Monday I wrote about my glee in her guilty plea and resignation, and I was most certainly not praying for Monica Conyers. I mean, really, that would make me a complete crazy person. Then, God struck.

Yesterday morning through this moment, I have magically been stricken with some sort of ailment that makes me feel not as well as I normally feel. My head aches, my spine is a little itchy - which is super weird - my forehead is slightly warmer than usual, and most strange to me, I'm not hungry at all. When I'm not hungry, you know there is some sort of strange and dangerous black magic going on there. There is no other explanation - Monica Conyers actually has the ear of God and by not praying for her, I am being punished.