Bryan's Little Corner

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Extreme Edition

Have you ever seen the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition? If not then did you happen to see Wild Hogs and stay to the very end where the crew rebuilt the Fuegos bar? If not then you are no fun. Anyway here is why I brought that up.

They had their season opener yesterday. I missed it. But yesterday was another big day around my area. On Friday they let a local (just over 10 miles from my house) family know that they had been selected but Extreme Makeover to have their home rebuilt and they were whisked away to Disneyland.

Pre dawn Sunday the entire process sprang into motion with the parade of workers and the home being cleared for demolition early today. Hopefully they can get some sort of foundation in and a framework soon because the local weather, which was incredible last week, will start two days of rain after dark today. Anyway I am sure the local builder and the TV show can still pull it off.

They are scheduled to be complete on Thursday and bring the family home on Friday for the "Move That Bus" moment Friday afternoon. In about a month the episode should be airing. I am not sure if I will get a chance to make it over there. It would be really something else but there are 250,000 people in the area and I have to believe even just the crew will swamp that area. I can not wait to watch the episode filmed just miles away from my door. They could not have picked a more deserving family. See story here.

Gee I wonder if I could get the crew to come over and put a piece of siding back on for me?

Friday, September 26, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

You have been practicing hard
You’re ready for your solo performance
Your reed is prepped
you’re ready to go

The orchestra strikes up the tune
it is time for your solo

Your first note is a huge clarinet squawk
You are so embarrassed

And then you wake up from your nightmare
It’s just a dream

I was in high school band for 4 years, my sister was in for longer. One of the things I remember from those days was the different times, for what ever reason, her reed was not wet enough and she would just squawk away. Luckily this was usually at home and not while performing. Still memories of the band are there to stay.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign (Again)

Have you been noticing these signs popping up all over the place? They are littering land as far as the eye can see. Just driving down a road one day and going past the very same road the next day you see yet another new sign. I really dislike these signs. I just wish they would go away. So what am I talking about?

I am not talking about the political signs although I do not like them either. What I am talking about are the house signs. Some of them are for sale signs. Some of them are action signs. At one point there were 9 signs on the short distance I drive through a subdivision. Now there are much more as people continue to struggle to make ends meet. They are having to deal with declining property value, balloon mortgages, the inability to get a new mortgage due to the credit crunch, the loss of jobs, the tiny or non existent raises while bills continue to rise. I just noticed that one block I pass in particular, a fairly short block too, there are 2 for sale signs and two auction signs. There were more action signs but the auctions must have already happened.

Michigan is being hit much harder than any other state but I know it is no piece of cake no matter where you live. It just is amazing to get these little reality checks from time to time. I mean I know times are bad. I get small raises if I get one at all. I also have bills going up. Last year my job was real threatened, luckily this year has not been that bad but one never knows. Something needs to be done to get things turned around in the right direction and I am afraid neither candidate for President is capable of doing this on their own. They will need to be able to bring Congress along with them to get the job done. And if we do not get our act under control we will continue to seriously impact the world markets just like Japan did several years back.

Hey, I have an idea. I am going to collect the signs I see and maybe, just maybe I can use it for warmth over the winter as I burn them.

On the bright side of things, I am moving forward on the landscaping project. Tomorrow I get to see if I can order some supplies for the weekend. I will be a busy little puppy but it will feel good in the end.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Might Be *gulp* Growing Up

Yep you heard it here first. Yesterday I went out and bought some shrubs. Time to do some landscaping. I thought it was about due. I have lived here for almost 10 years. Now the fun comes. All the work to get them planted, lay down some plastic or cloth, and get some mulch. Oops, I forgot I need to get some topsoil. Rent a tiller to dig up the earth. You know, I am not sure I like this growing up thing after all. Where is Peter Pan when you need him?

I ended up with a two dwarf Alberta spruce and a densiformis Yew. I needed something that could do OK in partial sun and also something that needed well drained soil. If only I could find a couple more smallish shrubs, possible purple, that like the same conditions. Then I am off to select some nice perennials. Yep, lots of work in my near future.

I think I am going to go over to Susies and be a tennybopper instead. It sounds like much more fun. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

You remember me for...

the ticket you received
the last accident I was called to
the DWI that you received
shutting down an out of control party
busting you for illegal substances
catching you when you run a red light

Next time you see me
try and remember
I do a lot of good too

I know I have written about the boys in blue or the firefighters or the many other really important people in our lives that we never seem to remember but I thought it was time to revisit them again.

Earlier this week I saw something that made me want to write about it. Now I only saw part of it because all I saw was happened during one traffic light cycle but here goes. I saw a police car with someone pulled over. I thought oh great, I can not get past the police car, I will be inconvenienced but I was wrong.

What I did see was a police officer that was escorting a little old lady, probably in her 80s or older, from her car to the front seat in his squad car. Once he got there he helped her into his car. Then he got in her car and moved it off the busy road on to a side street before heading back to his car. Now who knows what really happened. Maybe she got busted for robbing a bank but somehow I do not think so. I get the feeling he was helping her out. It really is easy to think of the bad things but police officers are really responsible for doing a lot of good things for us too. Please remind me of that the next I get busted for exceeding the speed limit.

Have a great weekend. And if you happen to be G, take a peek at my previous post if you have a moment.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Something for G-Man

Now that you have a laptop WITH SOUND I thought you might appreciate it. Oh and would you look at that. One of the ten people that made that video, Jimi Hendrix died 38 years ago today.

Oh and here are a few sound files you might enjoy.

Woody Hayes Poem
Patton Scoring Horn
Meechigan Story

This year may be a long year but keep the faith G.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Would Someone Please Turn off the Water?

It started raining sometime on Friday and only occasionally stopped here in mid-Michigan. Now it was not raining real hard or fast but it just was not giving up. Everywhere you look there are puddles or small ponds. I saw a few people who’s driveways were flooded enough that I am not sure I would want to drive through it. See they have ditches on both sides of the drive at the road and the land on either of the rest of the drive is also a bit of a drop off. One mistake, miss the drive, and you would be stranded. Now I am not complaining. I know we have it lucky compared to the rain, high winds, and horrendous storm surge that Texas and Louisiana experienced. But I am just trying to mention what all the impact was of Ike all the way up here 2,000 miles away.

No Swimming

That rain just made it so I did not feel like doing anything. I was hardly out but when I was I got wet, yes I did. The rain also played games with my satellite tv and I had long periods of time with no signal. I was going bonkers. OK, some people might say to late but that is a different story.

Well I decided to get out of the house and went to see a movie I was not particularly interested in seeing. But getting out of the house and having some popcorn to boot ... priceless. I was right, I did not particularly like Star Wars but it felt good to be out.

Here in Michigan we started to hear rumors while at work on Friday. Rumors were coming in from family and friends. Reports that by night on Friday we would see gas prices of $5 or $6. People were in a panic and rushed the gas stations. The lines were long. Gas stations everywhere were running out of gas. Prices were going up. Of course they would go up. I mean first of all the last several hurricanes were having an affect and gas had already went up 10 to 20 cents before Friday. And then the people were creating an artificial shortage of fuel so again, of course the cost was going up. People were in line at stations waiting to get gas only to have the station run out of gas and they had to move on to the next station. People were running out of gas in line.

I saw this very same thing happen on September 11, 2001 and again when a large portion of Eastern United States backed out August 14, 2003. I was on vapors and there was no power to pump gas. So I decided to drive west and see what I found. Luckily the power outage was stopped in Lansing as Consumer Power had reacted quick enough and taken itself off the grid before the grid pulled it down. Lucky for me, 5 miles down the road I not only get water but also got gas. But the gas experience was interesting. I got into a long line and after a while word came out that the Shell gas station was out of regular gas. Not to much later word got out that the station had just run out of mid grade and all that was left was premium. Now I hated to spend over $2.00 for gas (boy don’t I wish I could do that now) for premium but at least I got my gas. Anyway what happened was people who normally may have went one, two or even three more days before filling up were filling up RIGHT NOW. That created the excess demand, well at least it did this time.

The Governor addressed the people of Michigan on Friday early evening and said if anyone was guilty of price gouging they would be prosecuted. She also encourage anyone seeing price gouging to call the Attorney General’s office.

On my way home from the movies Sunday night I noticed one station with a price of $4.11, everyone else was higher. So since I only had about an 1/8 of a tank left I decided to decided to fill up on the return trip home. I found by then one other station had also lowered their prices to $4.11. What I did not know is that the area was actually pretty much run dry of gas on Friday (well at least the news said that) and had not got more gas in until Sunday evening. So I guess I was just lucky.

Well now here I am. The weekend is just about over and it will soon be time to go back to work. Of course the rain is just about to stop now that the weekend is over. I wonder if I can get away with cutting the lawn tomorrow or not?

Oh one more thing, it was real interesting but I could tell that tropical storm Ike reached Michigan this afternoon. Besides the rain picking up and both in how fast it rained and how much came down but also there were winds that had not been there. Nothing huge, maybe 20 or 30 mile an hour winds but it was very noticeable. So we were affected by Ike also, just nothing at all like Texas, Louisiana, and others down south were affected. We can only hope that the death toll continues to stay low but you know that things will be worse as they are able to reach more distressed areas. I find it frustrating that people chose to ignore the mandatory evacuation order and then put all the rescue workers lives in danger to rescue their butts. I know this is going to sound heartless but I think these people should be charged for the rescue if there was a mandatory evacuation order in place. I mean something needs to be done to cause more people to evacuate. The story would be far less tragic and less costly if people would just listen. Didn’t anyone learn anything from Katrina?

Well we can only send our prayers to those in need and help out organizations like the Red Cross so they can help others, volunteer time and materials or what ever is needed. Let’s hope the rest of the hurricane season is a little more tame.

Oh and one more thing, something for you to think about. Obviously New Orleans was hit once again but not as bad as Ike was a massive hurricane. So why is it in what ever news I saw, about all they talked about was Galveston where the Hurricane came ashore and Houston more or less next in line? It really makes your wonder how censored our news is based on what stories our news media choose to cover.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Puck Drop Party

Over the weekend I attended a Puck Drop party put on by the Detroit Red Wings organization. It is a little something they do to show their appreciation for people that purchased season tickets for the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. This is something they have been doing for some time now. OK, before we get started, a little disclaimer. Not only am I not a season ticket holder but I also did not attend a single game unless watching on TV counts. I was fortunate in that my sister lives next to someone who is a season ticket holder and they gave her the tickets for the event since they would not be able to attend.

Here is the simple page that you received when you came it. It was a road map to what all was going on and where it was located.

2008 Red Wings Puck Drop Party

Now here is something that I really like. Stuff from hockey at the end of 1800's and the beginning of 1900's. I just had to share the picture.

2008 Red Wings Puck Drop Party

I thought this turned out pretty good. They had the locker room open for people to tour. Several of the lockers were placed on display like this one here. This is the uniform of our goalie, Chris Osgood.

The walls entering the locker room and all throughout the area had tons of pictures and plaques on them. I had to capture this picture. It is of Dino Ciccarelli in his day. Now I thought this would be great to capture because I knew he would be signing autographs and I suspected I would be there.

2008 Red Wings Puck Drop Party

And here they are at the signing. I ended up with a Red Wings cup and a program autographed. Something to keep for sure.

2008 Red Wings Puck Drop Party

And then there was the Stanley Cup, what the teams work for all year. It is a gorgeous thing that has so much detail that just does not show up here.

2008 Red Wings Puck Drop Party

It was a fun time doing something I may never have a chance to do again. I really enjoyed it. I am out of time but I will see if I can not add just a little to this later on.

Have a nice day everyone.

Friday, September 05, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

I can make you happy
I can make you sad
I can make you hungry
I can make you stomach turn
I can make memories
come flooding back

Flowers and candles
A big plus
Skunks, not so much

Sometimes I’m sore
sometimes I run

A nose can be
a wonderful thing
Other times, PU

Can you tell my creative juices were a little dried up? Well I had fun just the same. Want to try one of these. Just take and create a little story with at least one character and a plot. Try and keep your story to 55 words ... and there you have it. It is always a fun time participating. If you do then go tell G-Man so he can come and visit ad bring along the troops. Come join us...

Wow, I just had something interesting happen. I will be going to see the Stanley Cup, get some signatures, see the behind the scenes areas, etc of Joe Lewis Area... the home of my favorite sports team, the Detroit Red Wings. That should be a fun thing to do on Saturday. Probably not something I will ever do again. I wonder if I can find somewhere to leave some graffiti? BARMAN was here. Yea, I got to do that... Well knowing me I wont do that but. And then time to take in college football. Top that off with celebrating my parents anniversary and I think I will have a nice little weekend.

Enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, September 04, 2008


Sorry for the prior post. Here in Michigan we have a mayor, the honorable mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick. Actually I am not sure how honorable he is. Anyway he is in meltdown mode now. He has been accused of a bunch of things in the past but somehow nothing ever stuck. Well now things are beginning to stick. He is now accused of 10 felonies in the past 8 months.

The Governor started proceedings yesterday to determine if the mayor should be removed from office at the request of the Detroit City Council. If she is allowed to complete the proceedings, it appears she will be wrapping things up by Saturday or early next week. She has promised a quick decision. Now I say if she is allowed to complete things because the mayor has filled with the Michigan Supreme court to stop the proceedings. Also there is talk of the mayor taking a plea deal where he pleads guilty to some charges, leaves office, gets jail time, probably is disbarred, and who knows what else. I tell you, who needs a soap opera when we have a reality based soap opera right here in our own backyard.

This was a private little affair. Then it spread to the suburbs around the Detroit area (where I was from which is why I have been following it even more close than most). Then it went state wide and yesterday I see the Governor proceedings were being telecast on CSpan 2 which means it is national. Boy when he messes up he sure does it up well.

Anyway we have a slightly used mayor up here. Any takers? I wonder if Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans should be replaced... I certainly think so. I think we have a replacement that is just corrupt enough to fit right in.

Update: A sad day in Michigan as the mayor of Detroit pleads guilty to two felony counts with six other felony counts being dismissed. He also pleads no contest to one additional felony count with another felony count being dismissed. He must leave office with 2 weeks, go to jail, be on probation and pay restitution. The meltdown is complete and he is only 38 years old. I am sure repercussions on this will be felt for a long time to come.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

its hammer time!

What an interesting day in Detroit...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Camp Wallnut Hills

Over the weekend, well over the weekend I almost could not get out of the house. It took me a while but I finally made it up camping before the University of Michigan game was on. After a little work on getting the DirecTV set up we were in business for the game.

I started in on making a dish (Greek salad) to pass and only caught portions of the game. I was hearing lots of complaints from the people watching it and an occasional YES, YES and more. In the end it was disappointing and Michigan lost but they managed to make it respectable by only losing by 2 points. Oh boy, it is going to be a long year. One person who is very passionate about football vowed he was changing teams. For heaven sakes it was only 1 game and this is a rebuilding year…

This was the weirdest year camping and I have been doing this Labor Day camping thing for 19 years now, 18 of those years at our present spot, Walnut Hills in Durand Michigan. When I showed up I wondered where everyone was. It turns out the largest group, probably about 14 people, were not coming because the truck they haul the large trailer with was broken. If the Mom and Dad were not showing than none of the Lick clan was showing. There were a couple others that pulled out too. All in all we had only 15 people camping this year. Now don't get me wrong, we still had fun. Somehow it was not the same. Normally we have about 30 to 50 people show for the weekend.

We did not do games. We figured we would hold out on that until next year when more people were present. We did have some Euchre playing going on, lots of socializing even with the person charged with keeping order. Never hurts to be in good with him. We watched some football. We had a mini Toga party complete with costumes by most (pictures to follow once I can get them off the camera although I did not don a Toga). We also had Greek dinning on Saturday late afternoon but it did not go so well. Almost everyone made some form of salad. Every salad was different however and you know, I do love a good salad.

There was a dance for the kids, karaoke, bingo (I one big … a whole $3.00), wagon rides, teen girls talking to boys on the cell phone (my niece took part in that… yikes), a little drinking… all and all it was a very nice weekend. It just was very different than a typical weekend up there.

We did our future planning. Next years theme is tailgate. We will come dressed up as a fan for our favorite team. I may need to go with half a face painted Green for Michigan State University and half my face painted blue for University of Michigan. We will have food all based on what you might typically have at a tailgate. That will be our dinner for Saturday. We will also have typical tailgate games. Games like cornhole, washer toss, ladders and I am sure there will be more. There should also be a football being tossed around and I do believe a flag football game will be played. Yep, it is going to be a fun time for sure.

The following year is going to be funny. We do not have the details ironed out yet but the following year will be out 20th year at the same campground. At this point we are talking about making this a black tie affair. I did a little shopping around and I guess I can get my hand on a tuxedo for a not terrible price unless I want to go with the $99 bargain basement jobber. I best work on losing some weight if I am going to plan that. Some how I think it would be funny to put together this thing and possibly fun but I must say I do not know about dressing up formal at a campground.

We had an awesome weekend. The sun was hot, the days pretty warm, the nights kind of cool, no rain in sight. All together everyone had a great time and, even though we have known each other for years and years, we got to know each other even better.

I am already looking forward to next year.

I hope you had a nice holiday weekend as well.