Friday, September 30, 2011

A bigger picture on gas prices in Michigan

Calculated Risk has an interactive graph in Update on Gasoline Prices, where you can input up to three locations in the U.S. and see the history of gas prices for time spans down to one month and up to five years. The default setting is to show the U.S. average for the past six months. Below is that graph showing the average prices of unleaded regular in Detroit and Grand Rapids in addition to the default results for those same six months, which just happen to coincide with the span of time when I started blogging about oil and gas prices.

As you can see, gas prices in Michigan have been above the national average for most of the past six months. Detroit prices have only dipped below those of the nation as a whole briefly during mid-May, late June, and early August before their current drop. Grand Rapids has had it even worse, only once falling below the national average once during that same period, also in late June.

Both cities are currently farther below the national average than they have been the entire past six months. Their prices are also at their lowest levels since mid-February, when prices began shooting up as a result of Arab Spring. It's about time the state got some relief, which might help with reducing unemployment.

One of the odd things about the graph is that gas prices aren't dropping as quickly as oil prices. In fact, examination of the chart expanded out to a full year shows that the last time oil prices were this low, unleaded regular was below $3.00/gallon. Right now, one gallon averages between $3.30 and $3.40. Bill McBride of Calculated Risk has an answer for that.
This graph show[s] oil prices for WTI [West Texas Intermediate]; gasoline prices in most of the U.S. are impacted more by Brent prices.
We're looking at wrong crude oil index!

Narb and Chris Christie on Jersey Shore and Carl Sagan

Narb left the following Valentine for Snooki in the comments to A macro about cultural decay.

That's very geeky, Narb. I approve.

On the other hand, Chris Christie didn't approve, as the following video from Next Media Animation shows.

NJ Governor Chris Christie has been crusading against the MTV show 'Jersey Shore.' He thinks it hurts his state's image.

Now Christie is denying the show a hefty $420,000 tax credit.

Meanwhile, the company that produces 'Law & Order: SVU' will be credited $9 million. Are blood and guts less offensive than guidos?

The snub won't bankrupt 'Jersey Shore.' The show has enough cash to pay its cast upwards of 100 grand per episode.

Still, Christie looks like a cultural hero. Will he run for president 2012
on an anti-guido platform?
I think the answer to that last question is no. He's not running and if he ran on that platform, Rudy Giuliani would never endorse him.

Detroit Science Center closed temporarily (I hope)

From WXYZ.

Money problems have at least temporarily shut down the Detroit Science Center.

The Detroit Free Press asks Will the Detroit Science Center close for good?
The Detroit Science Center has such significant cash-flow problems and bank debt that the institution may close permanently, its interim president said today.

The museum closed Monday for at least two weeks because it couldn’t guarantee that it would be able to make its biweekly payroll of about $150,000 and other expenses. All 114 employees have been furloughed, and museum leaders told staff members that permanent layoffs were possible.

“In these kinds of situations, anything is possible,” said John Miller, former vice chairman of the board, who stepped into the chief executive role on a volunteer basis when former president and CEO Kevin Prihod resigned in August.
I've been blogging about libraries since the very first post here on Crazy Eddie's Motie News. But libraries aren't the only cultural institution I care about. Museums are just as important as libraries; it's just that there are more libraries; every city has at least one, while not every city has a museum.

In my case, I find this particular closing to be very distressing, as I sent my students there for extra credit field trips, so it affects my work. I'm not the only one.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Doonesbury on Perry's opinion of evolution

Original here.

Hat/Tip to PZ Myers of Pharyngula.  His comment was "Brilliant! This will balance the budget…and leave me unemployed."  Same here.

"Combine Maize and Blue and you get Green"

From WXYZ-TV's YouTube Channel.

The University of Michigan is increasing their efforts to go green as part of their Earthfest campaign.
As a U of M alum and a sustainability blogger, this is right up my alley. I'd have more to say, except that it's time to get to bed. If you want to read more, the press release from U of M and the complete text of U of M President Mary Sue Coleman's speech are below the fold.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

On his FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times, Nate Silver performed an analysis of all the GOP candidates' statements as graded by Politifact. Here is a graph showing all six grades (pants on fire, false, mostly false, half true, mostly true, or true) for the top eight candidates.

And here's one where all the "false" and "true" claims have been lumped together.

As you can see, the least truthful candidate is Michele Bachmann. I'll let Iago have the first word.

Thank you, Iago. My reaction is "Madame Representative, the voices in your head are not reliable sources."

Santorum is down there with her, and the two Georgians, Cain and Gingrich (at least we won't be subject to a GOP ticket that has both of them on it), aren't much better.  In fact, Cain is the only candidate without a completely true statement in the sample.  As for Perry, he barely has more true statements than false ones. As someone on Daily Kos pointed out, Perry's true statements during the debates have been about other candidates, while the false ones have been about President Obama. Compared to this crowd, Romney (you can't spell Romney without "money") looks reasonable.

Of course, the paragons for telling the truth have been Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. My appraisal of Ron Paul in 2008 was that the man can see the country's problems clearly. It's just that his solutions are delusional. I've also said that Ron Paul is a stuck clock who is right twice a day. It looks like that's enough to make him the second most truthful politician in the room during GOP debates. As for Huntsman, he has avoided making any completely false statements. Too bad for both Paul and Huntsman that neither will be nominated.

For comparison, here is the analysis of President Obama's statements on Politifact.

The good news is that he's generally truthful and more truthful than most of the GOP candidates. The bad news is that Politifact grades Ron Paul as being more truthful than President Obama. If the Paulturds find this out, we'll never hear the end of it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Return: Driving

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.

Crossposted to Dreamwidth and LiveJournal.

An Audi commercial inspires Eric B. of Michigan Liberal to expound on Michigan's roads and James Howard Kunstler

I'm in a mood to blog about driving tonight.

Reblogged from Audi: You are all acrewed; we're here to guide you through America's decline affordably on Michigan Liberal.
I caught this commercial last night during football:

It's ... remarkable. Audi, a car manufacturer, has created an entire ad campaign around the fact that the nation's infrastructure is crumbling, and Audi apparently believes that the country's populace as a whole has no faith that it'll get turned around any time soon. It is as damning a statement about the future of this country as I've ever seen, and I used to be a regular reader of James Howard Kunstler's weekly declarations that the country's decline into chaos is always just one week away.

This is especially poignant here in Michigan, where our roads are so bad from winters in which they are frozen and cracked and occasionally caked in salt. Here, things have gotten so bad that the state Chamber of Commerce has actually gotten behind a hike in the gasoline tax to turn things around. What do we get from the state Legislature? Last week, the House spent a considerable amount of time passing a bill to strip local governments and school districts of the power to extend same-sex domestice partner benefits, entirely driven by bigotry towards homosexuals. Audi's response was an appeal directly to the people of Michigan: Your government has comprehensively failed to deliver on its basic mission, and we know that you have no faith in their ability to do any better and would like to offer our assistance in making sure their incompetence costs you as little money out of pocket as is necessary.
Since he mentioned Kunstler, I couldn't resist responding.
I still am [a reader of Kunstler's blog]. I swear Jimmy gets hard at the idea of collapse, although he's also afraid of it. It's interesting to watch that dynamic play out on his blog. If nothing else, I can pull out one or two paragraphs of good observations a week out of all his dyspeptic ranting about impending DOOM as inspriation for my own blogging. I also can get at least 50 of his readers to surf over to my blog every week.
Hi, everyone coming over here from Clusterfuck Nation! :-)
So what induced you to give up on him, other than his long history of failed predictions--the racist commenters he attracts?
If you want to know who I'm talking about, read this.

Eric B. answered my question.
Sloth, really. I always took Kunstler as a big picture kind of guy. That is, his predictions that the world will next next week were amusing, but the big picture he based it on is something he has unusually keen insights on. Also, "Geography of Nowhere" is a book that I think any thinking adult ought to read.

At some point, I just stopped reading him. Maybe it was because I'd gleaned as much insight as I thought he had to offer. I occasionally pop back to his blog to see what he's up to -- he had a post last year that talked about the decline of American civilization using a wedding he observed as an example -- but with hundreds of people worth paying attention to, it's hard to stick with any one person for too long.
I have to admit, Jimmy does get repetitious, to the point where I wrote Karnak predicts what Kunstler will blog about this week back in April. I was right on two out of three points.  I'm sure I'll do it again and bat 1.000 one of these days.

A macro about cultural decay

Remember, one of the subjects of this blog is cultural collapse.

Hat/tip to peristaltor on LiveJournal.

I'd write the macro as "If you don't know who this is, but know who this is, you're part of the problem," but what do I know about writing? I just am a former journalist and English teacher (yes, really).  Besides, I shouldn't look a gift macro horse in the mouth.

Speaking of Jersey Shore being part of the problem, Bill Maher Uses The Situation To Destroy The GOP’s Job Creators Meme.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Facebook fail with bonus Netflix kvetching

Yet more fail to add to Facebook: There is no such thing as a free lunch from Amy of Discovery News.

Mad at Facebook and/or Netflix? It's okay. You're not alone.
Add this to the part of Silly Sustainability Saturday: While the world burns, Farmville thrives about social gaming, and I've posted three out of four entries with Facebook as a topic. I think that's enough for one weekend. I don't need to take this month's Nablopomo "Return" theme that seriously!

Above originally posted as part of Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Autumnal Equinox 2011 edition) on Daily Kos.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Silly Sustainability Saturday: While the world burns, Farmville thrives

Time for another tour through the lighter side of sustainability this week, with sustainability news that is funny, silly (including just plain stupid), fun, or simply positive. This week's news features Next Media Animation, Cracked, Grist, and Hysterical Raisins with supporting roles played by CNBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today, Data Driven Detroit, and others and continues over the jump.

The Republican base is becoming an issue

Something to watch from Next Media Animation while I'm preparing Silly Sustainability Saturday.

The GOP primary debates give the candidates a chance to become known to the public. The forums have revealed much about the Republican base as well.

For the GOP's extreme, it seems there is no room for nuance between policy and principle. Will the audience outbursts alienate the rest of America?

In a way, the insensitive and intolerant audience outbursts are just an amplification of the insensitive and intolerant positions of the candidates.

Yet at least one GOP candidate has held his ground. His positions might not be popular with the base, but they are sure to look good with a wider constituency.

Yet one wonders: is there any limit to what the GOP primary debate audience will cheer or boo?

The GOP hope to take America forward. But as the candidates pander to their base, they risk making the Republicans look like a party of the past.
This video shows that it's not just me seeing this. Speaking of which, here are the previous posts on this subject.

Both Chris Matthews and one of his guests talk about Dominionism

Found the perfect cartoon for "Which deity do Dominionists worship?"

Tell me now, which deity do the Dominionists really worship?

Meta on Rick Perry's Dominionism

Kunstler thinks the Left is ignoring Dominionism; I tell him we're not

Julie Bass has moved, but the fight continues

As of last week, Julie's front yard garden has been removed. This week, she has moved to Seattle. Just the same, her struggle for other's freedom to raise food continues.

From the Washington Post: Adam Guerrero’s Memphis garden deemed ‘a nuisance’ (UPDATE)
Adam Guerrero keeps a garden in his Memphis yard, where the math teacher’s students come over to help tend the eggplant, tomato and pepper plants. Around back, there are worm bins, rainwater barrels and beehives. The students make biodiesel and soap in the garage.

This tiny ecosystem has been ordered destroyed.

Guerrero’s garden was found in violation of two city ordinances, the Memphis Flyer reports, and has been deemed a “nuisance.” It must be dismantled by Friday.
Guerrero will appear in court Friday to show that he has removed the garden. In the meantime, his supporters will keep pushing for his garden to stay firmly planted.
Julie Bass even makes a cameo in the article.
If the odd idea of an illegal garden sounds familiar, it is. Julie Bass faced jail time in July for refusing to remove her Michigan garden, which was found not “suitable.” The charges were later dropped.
Fortunately, Guerrero's day in court brought good news.
Update: Judge Larry Potter told Adam Guerrero that he may keep his Memphis garden if he makes a few changes, including keeping the front yard trimmed and reducing the number of worm bins on his property.
Julie Bass made an unnamed cameo in another news story I read earlier today. This one happens to be good news.

From Take Part: Front Yard Farmer's Markets Coming to L.A.?
While some cities have decided they would rather arrest people who show off their home vegetable gardens in their front yards, Los Angeles appears to be moving in the opposite direction.

By way of the fine folks at Curbed, we learned that planning officials in L.A. are debating a proposal to allow Angelenos who grow their own food to set up farmer's markets in residential areas.
Here's what Curbed reported.
The City Planning Commission will hear a proposed ordinance tomorrow that will allow farmers' markets in residential zones (with a permit) and streamline the approval of farmers' markets in other zones (i.e., agricultural, commercial, manufacturing, and parking zones). Farmers' markets are currently banned in residential neighborhoods, but, in keeping with the trend for retro-agrarian chic, the new ordinance would allow homeowners to grow and sell food at their homes. This follows the 2010 ordinance that allows people to grow fruits, nuts, and flowers at their houses with the intent to sell.
As an expatriate Angelino, I approve.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Facebook: There is no such thing as a free lunch

From Next Media Animation on YouTube:

More than 500 million people use Facebook every day. However, most were annoyed by recent changes that further cluttered the user interface.

The backlash has been fierce. But no matter how disgruntled, users find it hard to leave Facebook because all their friends are there.

At the recent F8 developers' conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced even more ambitious changes, including tighter integration with third party apps.

Another big change is the re-vamp of the profile into a timeline. It pulls all your media and updates into one place.

Zuck also urged developers to demand permission to publish everything from users as a condition for using apps. Where is it all going to lead?
Never forget that Facebook is the Internet on capitalism, which means it has to make its money somehow.

As Barry Commoner wrote, there is no such thing as a free lunch.  That means this blog is product, too.

Fall officially begins today

Solstices and Equinoxes

Huffington Post: Autumnal Equinox Kicks Off The Beginning Of Fall
Goodbye, sweet summer. The autumnal equinox kicks off the beginning of fall, and the end of a season cherished by most students.

In fact, you can expect the change to occur at 5:04am EDT on Friday, September 23, reports NBC-2 weather blog.
In addition to today being the Autumnal Equinox, the day more-or-less marks the half-anniversary of this blog, as the I posted the first entry on March 21st, the Vernal Equinox. Most people would have marked the half-anniversary on September 21st, but I decided to celebrate my birthday then. Besides, I'll trust in the planet itself to be a better marker of half-a-year than a calendar with months of unequal length.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Re-Imagining Work

Hat/tip to ElleBeMe on Clusterfuck Nation for posting the following link.

October 28-30, 2011

The old economy is failing. A new economy is sprouting like shoots after a forest fire. This transition to new ways of understanding and organizing work is as significant as the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture 11,000 years ago and from agriculture to industry a few hundred years ago.

From Detroit, Michigan, where industrial jobs are gone forever, to points across the globe, there are exciting and moving stories of invention and reinvention.

In October 2011 in Detroit, a groundbreaking conference will gather thinkers and doers from the worlds of activism, community organizing, labor, crafts, media, entrepreneurship, the arts, academe, and ‘green’—in a 3-day collaborative discussion. You will come away inspired by people with whom you can collaborate in this profound economic and spiritual transformation.
When I say and repeat multiple times...
Welcome to Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future. Great things are going to happen here, and they're going to happen here first. Whatever Detroit devises as the solutions for North America's problems will be exported to the rest of the continent. It's an exciting time to live here, and I wouldn't miss it for the world.
...this is exactly the kind of thing I mean by it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This made for a fun early birthday present

Yesterday, I saw Inexpedient blog as one of my traffic sources for Crazy Eddie's Motie News and decided to see for myself who was directing traffic my way. Imagine my delight when I viewed the following.

Yes, that's a screenshot of the Delightfully Disreputable blogroll on the Inexpedient blog displaying my blog's place of honor between James Howard Kunstler's Clusterfuck Nation and Elaine Meinel Supkis's Culture of Life News.   This is exactly the company I want my blog to keep.

Both Chris Matthews and one of his guests talk about Dominionism

Both of these clips are mostly about something else, but Dominionism as an important strain in contemporary right-wing U.S. politics make cameo appearances near their ends.

Defining Obama's relationship to Israel.

Although this segment is primarily about the issues President Obama has with Jewish voters and donors and attempts by Republicans such as Rick Perry to exploit any potential rift between the President and a significant portion of the Democratic voter base, it turns into something else near the end. Starting about 7:30, Chris Matthews starts talking about Perry, Bachmann, and Palin as being part of a movement to establish a "Christian theocracy." He then mentions Dominionism about 8:00. He returns to the idea of Christians "taking dominion" just before 9:00.

I was stunned.  While I might expect to hear something like this out of Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, I never expected to hear words like these pass the lips of someone who is as much a media insider as Chris Matthews. Apparently, when Matthews read "The Rogue" by his next guest, he encountered these concepts. You can tell that had an effect on him.

Speaking of his next guest, here's the clip featuring Joe McGinnis.

Latest Palin book sparks controversy.

Matthews again brings up "Christians having dominion" and "theocracy" about the 4:50 mark. In response, Joe McGinnis talks about the importance of religion in Sarah Palin's political views, which is Dominionist Christianity and how neither she nor the religious movement she belongs to believe in separation of Church and State.

I'm glad someone in the mainstream media is paying attention to Dominionism.

For earlier posts of mine on Dominionism, read the following.

Found the perfect cartoon for "Which deity do Dominionists worship?"

Tell me now, which deity do the Dominionists really worship?

Meta on Rick Perry's Dominionism

Kunstler thinks the Left is ignoring Dominionism; I tell him we're not

Looks it's time to add a Dominionism label.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An appropriate news story for Talk Like a Pirate Day

The Pirate Party first began in Sweden. However, soon the international pirate party movement took off. The German Pirate Party won 8.5% of the vote in Sunday's Berlin state elections, winning its first seats in the state legislature. The SDP and German Green party did well and will probably form a coalition, but the Pirate Party will add a new voice to German politics. The party's platform calls for the decriminalization of downloading, free internet in cities and the legalization of marijuana. It's not the first wacky party to make a splash in Europe. Jon Gnarr became Mayor of Reykjavic on promises of open corruption and a polar bear.
I know it's no longer Talk Like a Pirate Day here, but it still is everywhere between Denver and the International Date Line. That written, not all pirates say ARRR!

Monday, September 19, 2011

PHD Comics on the financial crisis

For the (belated) third anniversary of "tonight we're gonna party like it's 1929."

Full-sized original here.
In case you're wondering where I fit in the picture, I have tenure. That doesn't mean I don't worry, but I'm in better shape than a lot of people. Speaking of PHD Comics, I found the following announcement, which I included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday ("Tatooine" discovered edition). PhysOrg: PHD Comics hits the big screen by Deborah Braconnier September 16, 2011
( -- If you are a graduate student, you are more than likely aware of the popular Piled Higher and Deeper, or PHD, Comics created by Jorge Cham. These comics cover the everyday struggles that scientists face while in grad school in a humorous and accurate depiction. For the last year, grad students around the world have found themselves missing their regular comics, it now appears that creator Jorge Cham had a very good reason for the comic going MIA. He has been working with a team of grad students from California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, to create a live-action film where the characters of his comic strip come alive.
More, including a trailer for the film and a link to the film's website, at the link in the headline. If you want to cut to the chase and locate a screening, there is a map here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Found the perfect cartoon for "Which deity do Dominionists worship?"

The Land of Sacrifice. More kids! More seniors!! For the inflation goblins. For the bond vigilantes. For the deficit gods.
Posted to Daily Kos here.

In case you haven't read the blog post this cartoon (now) goes with, it's this one: Tell me now, which deity do the Dominionists really worship? It's not only the most popular one of the past week, but also the past month, and the seventh most popular so far with a bullet.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Silly Sustainablity Saturday

Time for another tour through the lighter side of sustainability this week, with sustainability news that is funny, silly (including just plain stupid), fun, or simply positive. This week's news features Next Media Animation, the Rachel Maddow Show, and Grist; it begins over the jump.

Hermann's Bakery open again

It seems my eyes deceived me yesterday, when I wrote that I saw that Hermann's Bakery was closed. The latest Royal Oak Patch article on the story reported that it was open Friday.
Hermann's Bakery reopened at 9 a.m. Friday after being closed for nearly a week after a roof collapse at La Feast, the restaurant next door. ... On Wednesday, Hermann’s learned its building was safe to occupy. Stodola said employees came back to work on Thursday and baked overnight to restock shelves.
I swear I saw the yellow "Unsafe for Occupancy" signs in its windows, as well as those of its neighbors. At least my eyes weren't tricking me about their status.
Beyond Juice and La Feast both remain closed. Craig said he has not received a letter (engineer's report) from the owners of those two buildings stating the structures are safe. Beyond Juice leases its space; the owner of that building needs to sign off on reopening. "I got a call from the owner of Beyond Juice asking if they could reopen because they noticed Hermann's was," said Craig. "I told him I need a letter from the owner of the building saying it's safe." Beyond Juice leases their building space.
As for La Feast, if the building isn't safe for occupancy, it might have to be demolished and rebuilt to bring it up to code.
Hermann’s was built in 1902 and the La Feast building in 1908. For a century, they shared a common wall which supported both roofs. Stodola says owner Richard Hermann knew about the wall. Jason Craig, the city's chief building official, said any rebuilding will require the new structure to meet current codes — any new construction must have its own load-bearing walls.
The article doesn't report what the owners of La Feast think about this possiblity, but Pam Stodola, the manager of Hermann's, would like it.
Stodola says she welcomes new walls, which will prevent noise and odors from passing from building to building. “Sometimes when they were cooking, smoke would come through the walls and it would make our building smell like something was burning,” she said.
This will be an ongoing story. I'll keep you all updated.

Sometimes, it isn't such a quiet neighborhood

In last night's post, I mentioned that I had more to write, but was saving it for later. Later has arrived.

There was one more storefront that had a story to tell, that of the the neighborhood pizza joint. I haven't blogged about it before, so it didn't fit the theme of Return at the time. Now that I've mentioned it already, it does. Like La Feast, Hermann's Bakery, and Beyond Juice, it was closed because of an accident, but this story is shorter and has a happier ending.

I was cleaning off my front porch when I noticed a procession of cars driving down my street. For a moment, I thought they were part of a funeral, with everyone leaving one of the two cemetaries that border my neighborhood for a wake at on of the houses on my street. Then, I saw the lights of a police car reflected in the side windows of the cars down the block. That piqued my curiosity, so I walked down to the end of the block, where the cars were turning onto my street. There I saw not only the police car, but a ribbon of yellow police line tape closing off the major street, the next side street, all of the next block and most of the block beyond that. I also smelled gas, as did several of my neighbors who had heard a crash and went out to investigate.

I walked into the parking lot behind the building in the first closed block and saw that yellow police tape also comepletely encircled the pizza place. I also saw a car parked against the building and someone digging into the parkway strip on the side street beside the pizzeria. Not only could I smell the gas, I could hear it rushing out of a broken pipe. I figured that the man was digging to find the turnoff valve. I returned home to tell my wife what was going on.

A while later, I observed a fire truck driving down our street, which I was sure had come from the pizza place. That was enough to make me walk over to the scene of the gas line break. In addition to the fire engine that had just left, there were two police cars, a Royal Oak Department of Public Services van, a Consumers Energy van, a backhoe, and a flatbed truck to haul away the wrecked car. I guess the guy with the shovel wasn't enough for the task. By this time, the smell and sound of escaping gas were gone. I also got a better look at the car parked alongside the building. Its bumper and front fender had collapsed. I couldn't tell exactly what happened, but it looked like the car had run into the gas meter. I came back one last time that night and one of the gas company's crew confirmed that was exactly what had happened.

This afternoon, the pizza place had reopened and everything looked normal, except for the skid marks that led from the major street onto the side street, and up the curb and the car's paint that had been scraped onto the building, leaving what looked like a gigantic bruise. All the employees inside were fine, even the ones that had been working the night before. They told me that the building shook when it was hit and they thought a truck had collided with the place. They were lucky it was only a small car.

If you want to see what the accident scene looked like, Royal Oak Patch has pictures.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Storefronts: Open and closed, mostly closed

I drove down Main Street in Royal Oak and then up Woodward to Bloomfield Hills this afternoon, so I was able to follow up with my own eyes on the subjects of the previous two entries, as well as the subject of an even earlier entry.

First, the three stores that have been closed since last Saturday are still closed. Either the structural engineers haven't been able to see the locations yet or they got a negative report.

Next, the Ann Arbor Borders wasn't the only one closed for the last time. The one in Birmingham appeared completely empty. Even the going out of business signs had disappeared.

Finally, I also drove past the Kroger in Birmingham. As I did, I thought of the plan for the Kroger in Royal Oak that was turned down. A site plan like Birmingham's would have been approved.

I have more to write, but I want to watch Real Time. See you all later!

UPDATE: Hermann's Bakery is open again

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Return: Storm damage from the past two Saturdays

Two follow-ups tonight.

First, if you remember the tree on Navy Street in Detroit that knocked down power lines, damaged a gas line, and started a house on fire over Labor Day weekend, it turns out it still hadn't been cleaned up by yesterday.

Action News works to get Navy street cleaned up after a tree fell across it.

The City of Detroit followed through with their promise to remove the fallen tree today.

A large tree has been removed from Navy Street in Detroit, 10 days after a tree blew down and blocked their road.
I'm glad to see that WXYZ is getting some results from the City of Detroit.

Next, it turned out that Tropical Storm Lee did more locally than make basements damp (mine has finally dried out). It contributed to a roof collapse, closing five businesses in Royal Oak, three of which are still closed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ann Arbor Borders closes for the last time

Flagship Borders in Ann Arbor closing.

I wrote about the end of Borders twice already, but those reports were about the death and the start of the store's funeral. The funeral is now over and the store is now being buried after the mourners leave.

As for the scene in the WXYZ report above, it was being repeated at all of Borders' locations. I went to the Southfield store twice this summer, once during Dream Cruise and one last time right before Labor Day, and it looked just like the Ann Arbor flagship--going out of business and clearance sale signs everywhere and everything, including the furniture, for sale. The first visit, I bought "Fast Food Nation," "In Defense of Food," and "Omnivore's Dilemma" at a steep discount. The second visit, I didn't see anything I wanted.

So long Borders. Your funeral may be over, but your customers will mourn your passing for years to come.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tell me now, which deity do the Dominionists really worship?

In the middle of this week's missive of doom, Kunstler inserted this passage about being in Mexico City and visiting the Pyramid of the Sun in the old Aztec city. It made quite an impression on him.
I was in Mexico City mid-week and sojourned behind the Zocolo at the ruins of the Templo Mayor, headquarters of the New World's champion people-eater, Huitzilopochtli, a bad-ass muthafucka of a god if ever there was one. The Aztecs had everything going for them except their reality, at the center of which was this bloodthirsty hallucinated monster demanding fresh beating hearts by the hundred-weight. And so, consumed by this insane myth, a half a million of them allowed themselves to be destroyed by three hundred adventurers from Spain.

Strange to relate, the environs of the ruined pyramid was the most tranquil spot in the entire super-gigantic permanent catastrophe of Mexico City. Old Huitzee would like these times, I thought: a bad moon rising and plenty of fresh meat everywhere. The way the stars were lining up, a pitiless deity could really get his mojo on. It made my skin crawl, I hardly know where to start this week.
I decided to tie his insight with what he wrote about Perry the week before, dropping one of the freakier ideas about who Dominionists really worship in my response for good measure.
Remember last week's comment about Ponzi Perry's being a Dominionist? A friend of mine has a wild hair of an idea that ties that idea together with your comments about Huitzilopochtli. My buddy thinks that while the Dominionists think they're worshiping Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, they've been hoodwinked, and Huitzilopochtli and a couple of his buddies from the Aztec pantheon are receiving the Dominionists' devotion instead. That could explain why the biggest applause line of the night during last week's Republican debate was when Ponzi Perry mentioned executing more prisoners than any other sitting governor. It was the kind of sacrifice the deity they really worship would approve of. Jesus, not so much.
That's a very strange idea, but one that received another example in support of it last night.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My 9-11 story, part 1

Amy of Discovery News made the following invitation on YouTube last week.

This week we've shared some of our personal 9/11 stories with you. Feel free to share yours with us.
Between this invitation and this month's Nablopomo "Return" theme, I think it's the perfect opportunity to share my recollections of that Tuesday ten years ago, something I don't believe I've ever either written down before.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tenth anniversary of 9-11 science news linkspam

All of the following were the 9-11 10th anniversary stories from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (10th Anniversary of 9-11 edition) on Daily Kos last night. This week's featured stories come from the Philadelphia Inquirer, MSNBC, and Wired and are over the jump.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Silly Sustainability Saturday for 9-10-11

Time for another tour through the lighter side of sustainability this week, with sustainability news that is funny, silly (including just plain stupid), fun, or simply positive. This week's news features Next Media Animation, the Rachel Maddow Show, Think Progress Green, and Girst; it begins over the jump.

Weather news: State of emergency and Tropical Storm Lee

Remember all the damage from Saturday's storm in Ferndale and neighboring communities? The damage was bad enough that the Detroit Free Press reported the day before yesterday that Ferndale, Hazel Park, Pleasant Ridge declare storm-damage emergency.
In the wake of Saturday’s high winds and extensive damage to trees and power lines, officials in Ferndale, Hazel Park and Pleasant Ridge said they met with Oakland County emergency response officials today prior to declaring their cities in a state of emergency.

The declarations are a step toward applying for up to $30,000 in emergency aid from the state to defray the costs of storm clean-ups, Ferndale City Manager April McGrath said.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee passed by here last night. My wife and I took a good look at the NOAA and Intellicast radars and saw a band of heavy rain passing by from east to west over our heads. When we watched the MSNBC morning news, we saw a clip of Lee from space that showed the storm heading west after hitting Pennsylvania and upstate New York. The storm is moving so far west that the meteorologists in Milwaukee are blogging about it coming there, remarking that 'the weather is moving backwards.' They're right. It is.

The local take on the storm was Will you get wet at the Michigan-Notre Dame game Saturday? Fortunately, the answer is probably no, although it would just figure, as both teams had their games interrupted last weekend by bad weather.

Return: Walking and Driving

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.

Friday, September 9, 2011

WXYZ on leaking Detroit water

On the theme of Return, here is a video from WXYZ about how an estimated 31% of Detroit's water is wasted because of leaks before it ever gets to the customer.

Sep 6, 2011: Scott Lewis updates his series of stories about a huge water loss in the city of Detroit.
This fits the Return theme in many ways. First, it helps illustrate my point about the results of neglecting infrastructure. Second, it continues my coverage of conflict over the Detroit water and sewer system, which I started covering the very first month of this blog. Third, one of the people I profiled in one of my political posts, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner John McColluch, has a featured role in the report.* Finally, it's the latest in a series WXYZ is running about the issue of leaking water driving up people's bills. I have the rest of the clips in the series that were posted to WXYZ-TV's YouTube Channel at the end of last month.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Meta on Rick Perry's Dominionism

I reposted Kunstler thinks the Left is ignoring Dominionism; I tell him we're not to all the forums I thought it might be appropriate, including the anti-Dominionist communities on both LiveJournal and Dreamwidth and Daily Kos. The Daily Kos version, which I retitled as Rick Perry's Dominionism is getting noticed was the number one diary on Daily Kos that day, with 362 recommendations, 156 comments, 1926 views by registered users, and an impact of 3.88 as of 6 AM EDT yesterday. Currently, it has 389 recommendations and 178 comments. All this for something I wrote to do something useful during a bout of insomnia after only two hours sleep. It all goes to show one never knows what will be well-received.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More on damage from Saturday's storm

Yesterday, a friend responded to the Facebook link to my previous post on the Saturday's storm with a comment that the power was still out in her neighborhood and that it had suffered damage like she'd never seen before. She was surprised that there was no tornado reported.* That made me look again at WXYZ-TV's YouTube Channel to see what they had reported.

R.I.P. Tom Kowalski

Allow me this personal moment, courtesy of WOOD-TV and The Oakland Press.

Lions writer Tom Kowalski dies

Lions take a moment to remember beat writer Tom Kowalski
Of The Oakland Press
ALLEN PARK — A visibly shaken Jim Schwartz asked for the cameras to be turned off at the start of Monday’s post-practice press conference. A first.

Then the Detroit Lions coach addressed the death of long-time Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski, who died Monday morning. He was 51.

To honor Kowalski, Schwartz left the first question to go unasked and there was a moment of silence from the media who were all stunned as the heart-breaking news poured in as Monday’s practice started.

Kowalski quite often asked the first question of Schwartz.

...Kowalski started his sports writing career at The Oakland Press in 1978, he moved on to Booth Newspapers in 1997 and was a contributor for Also known as “Killer” he was a fixture on WDFN-AM (1130) and Fox 2 (WJBK).
In what seems like a previous life, but which really spanned the five years from 2001 to 2006, I was a judge for the Michigan Competing Band Association. Until 2005, the organization held the state championship in the Pontiac Silverdome. As a judge, I got to attend the championship for free and watch the bands from the press box while eating a free catered meal.* It made for a really fun afternoon and evening that I enjoyed immensely, especially since I was treated like a V.I.P. but didn't have to work. That was the life.

My favorite seat, one I sat in both 2004 and 2005, was one reserved during Lions games for Kowalksi. I know because it had a plaque on the bench table in front of the seat with his name and that of his first employer, The Oakland Press, on it. I can see why he had it reserved. It had the best view of the field of any seat in the press box.

Goodbye, Killer, and thank you for letting me sit in your seat.  It was an honor.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kunstler thinks the Left is ignoring Dominionism; I tell him we're not

Full-sized original by Nonnie9999 at Hysterical Raisins as Theocrazy

Yesterday, James Howard Kunstler dropped the following paragraph in the middle of his weekly missive of impending doom.
Given the situation, it's not unthinkable that self-styled Texas secessionist Rick Perry could be the next president. On top of that, the guy is a Christian Dominionist nut. This outfit wants to capture all politics, culture, and media in what is now the USA and turn them into a sci-fi nightmare of correct thinking. You have no idea how dangerous and determined this group is. The Left ignores them at the peril of everyone. They are the corn-pone Nazis I've been warning you about.
I couldn't resist responding to him, by telling him he was wrong--not about Perry, but about what passes for the Left in the United States--in the most encouraging way possible.
I'm glad to see Jim call out Perry and the Dominionists for what they are--corn-pone fascists who have appeared in America exactly as Upton Sinclair predicted, carrying a cross and wrapped in the flag. In fact, I'm glad that he used the word Dominionist at all. It turns out that it's only the second time he has in this blog, the first being more than four years ago. [You can find that first time here; scroll down to The Big Chill, the entry for February 19, 2007] I bet a lot of you weren't reading him back then. I know I wasn't...

A good chunk of the Left is taking the Dominionists seriously. People on Daily Kos have been writing about them for at least five years. In fact, two of the most read diaries yesterday were about Dominionists and the long-term threat they pose to democracy. That fear is one of the reasons that a lot of people on the Left are scared out of their wits by Perry (and Bachmann and Palin). Now, if only the Democratic Party leadership would listen to the DFHs. The hippies have been right before.
It ended up being three of the most read diaries on Daily Kos for the past two days.

Movie of Hurricane Irene from space

This GOES-13 satellite movie shows Hurricane Irene lashing the Mid-Atlantic and just making landfall in New York City. The animation runs from August 26, 2011, at 8:45 a.m. EDT to August 28 at 8:45 a.m. EDT. (no audio) Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Dennis Chesters
In last night's post about Hurricane Irene, I mentioned that the MSNBC article I quoted included a YouTube clip showing Irene from space. This is the video.

Did Hurricane Irene live up to the hype? The numbers say yes

The snarky Taiwanese animators at Next Media Animation had some fun with The Weather Channel's coverage of Hurricane Irene.

The Weather Channel doesn't get many viewers when the weather is nice. Instead, the network banks on its major storm coverage. Hurricane Irene gave The Weather Channel its best full-day ratings ever.

New tropical systems are now threatening the US Gulf, including Hurricane Katia, much to The Weather Channel's delight.

Weather Channel reporters are known for turning up the drama, even when conditions are less than dangerous.
Next Media Animation wasn't the only media outlet asking if the Hurricane was overhyped. MSNBC posted an Alan Boyle article titled Experts review the lessons learned from Hurricane Irene
Did forecasters, policymakers and media types overhype Hurricane Irene? It's not just a meteorological question: The debate over whether the outlook for damage was overhyped, or hyped just right, touches upon issues of risk perception and even the climate change debate. Like most natural disasters, Irene's deadly sweep over the U.S. East Coast has left behind some important lessons for researchers as well as regular folks.
Among the questions being asked, the article lists the following:
  • What was right and wrong about storm prediction?
  • Did forecasters overhype the storm?
  • How much was lost in translation?
  • Do more big storms lie ahead?
I highly recommend you read the article for what Alan Boyle says are the answers so far. If you like video, there is both a clip from the Today Show and a YouTube clip showing Irene from space embedded in the article.

One answer that you won't read in the article is from Nate Silver at the N.Y. Times. Nate concluded in How Irene Lived Up to the Hype that that the answer to the second and third questions was that the storm was not overhyped and the journalists actually got it right. His conclusion was that the ranking of the coverage based on numbers of stories about Hurricane Irene divided by the number of total news stories written while the storm was in the air was commensurate with the rankings of fatalities and damage. If anything, because of the increased number of fatalities attributed to the storm since his column was posted, it was probably underhyped.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The steepest inverted yield curve I've ever seen

Have any of you ever seen a steeper one?

Hard times and contraction for the next decade are already priced in and have been since at least October 2010, if not earlier.

Hat/tip to gjohnsit on Daily Kos. Above adapted from a comment I made on his diary.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Last night's storm knocked out power to 120,000 customers and damaged mobile homes

Last night, I quoted from a Royal Oak Patch article about the effects of the storm on nearby communities.
Meanwhile, Royal Oak and surrounding communities were especially hard hit by the storm; DTE Energy's website indicated at 12:20 a.m. that nearly 4,400 customers were without power in Royal Oak's zip code areas of 48067 and 48073. Ferndale had more than 6,000 homes without power, and Pleasant Ridge, Oak Park and Madison Heights had thousands left powerless as well.
Tom Wait of WXYZ reports from Pleasant Ridge about the power outages from the storm there.

Power outages in Metro Detroit

The Detroit Free Press also focused on Pleasant Ridge as they reported that Storm cleanup continues as 59,000 still without power in metro Detroit.
Residents in John Monaghan’s neighborhood in Pleasant Ridge spent today working with city crews and one another, using chain saws and rakes to remove debris from the area.

The damage from Saturday’s storms -- which knocked out power to 120,000 customers -- included many downed trees and branches, said Monaghan, who lives on Cambridge Street.
Nearly 59,000 DTE customers remained without power at 9:45 p.m. tonight after rain and winds of up to 70 m.p.h. swept through southeastern Michigan the day before. DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons said the powerful storms downed more than 1,000 wires across the area as line crews were busy clearing debris, trees and branches. He said the utility expects to have power restored to up to 90% of the remaining customers by Monday evening.
Simons said additional help was on the way, as 70 crews are expected to return tonight from helping restore power to those affected by Hurricane Irene. Another 70 crews from other utilities also should to arrive tonight to help with the power restoration.
Yes, Hurricane Irene is having an indirect effect here in metro Detroit, even more than a week after it hit.

More than power was knocked out.

Thunderstorms disrupt Michigan season opener, Arts, Beats, and Eats, and other events

In Preview of Arts, Beats, and Eats, I made the following pledge.
I promise to keep you all updated as the news comes in.
It seems that the weather is not cooperating with event organizers who want Saturdays free of bad weather. Two weeks ago, a severe thunderstorm hit the last day of Woodward Dream Cruise, knocking down trees, causing damage to homes, and briefly canceling the event. Tonight, the same thing happened to Arts, Beats, and Eats and other events here in southeast Michigan.

Here's the warning from WXYZ.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

At first, the cell in the video was just a threat to Washtenaw County, where the University of Michigan was playing. Don Shane reported on the calling of the game for weather.

WXYZ Sports Director Don Shane joins Tom Leyden on the phone with a first-hand account of what transpired at Michigan Stadium this afternoon as the Wolverines beat Western Michigan 34-10 in a weather-shortened delay.
This is the first time that a game at Michigan Stadium has ever been called for weather. That tells you how bad the storm was. The 11 PM news updated the report with the perspective of the coach and players themselves.

Brad Galli reports from Ann Arbor where the Brady Hoke era started with 130 degree temperatures and an on-and-off severe weather storm that eventually postponed the season opener.
Talk about extreme weather! Also, bet you didn't think I'd blog about sports in a sustainability blog. As you can see, I do when it supports a point about climate change. Yes, I know weather isn't climate change, but the combination of extreme heat followed by the first football game cancellation in U of M's history sure says something.

The storm eventually traveled to Oakland and Wayne counties, where they caused problems for events there.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Silly Sustainability Saturday for Labor Day weekend 2011

Time for another tour through the lighter side of sustainability this week, with sustainability news that is funny, silly, fun, or simply positive. After a week like this, people who care about the environment could use some.

This week's news over the jump.

Sustainability video news linkspam from WXYZ for the week ending September 3, 2011

While yesterday's posts featured sustainablity-related news from WXYZ-TV's YouTube Channel, there was more where that came from. Here are the rest from the past few days.

General Sustainability

D2020 Bus Tour

Enjoy your virtual tour through Detroit, Ground Zero of the Post-Industrial Future. Also enjoy the people watching. This clip shows how bad the image of Detroit has become that people from its own suburbs are so afraid of the place and have to be shown the reality to stop being so fearful. Just the same, the tour had a positive effect, as Mary Welden wrote in the comments:
Being invited by Channel 7 Producer Glen Barr was appreciated as I now have a? much different outlook on the positive the Detroit does have to offer. So hopefully by year 2020, Detroit will be a better place to live, play and visit.

More D2020 Bus Tour

As I keep saying, great things are happening here, and I wouldn't miss them for the world!

More about what's happening at the intersections among environment, society, and economy, but mostly economy, after the jump.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Preview of Arts, Beats, and Eats

Woodward Dream Cruise may herald the coming of the end of summer, but it isn't the actual event that is the end of summer. That distinction belongs to Arts, Beats, and Eats. Here's today's coverage from WXYZ-TV's YouTube Channel and Royal Oak Patch.

Arts, Beats & Eats

Setup is continuing for Arts, Beats and Eats which opens tomorrow.

That's the video teaser from WXYZ. Here's the festival guide from Royal Oak Patch.

2011 Arts, Beats & Eats Guide0
What to see, hear and eat, as well as everything you need to know to enjoy the fest.
By Judy Davids
Oakland County’s biggest summer festival celebrating art, music, and food happens this weekend in downtown Royal Oak and Patch has you covered. Here's what you need to know to enjoy the popular event.
Arts, Beats & Eats: Guide to the Arts
What to see at the Juried Fine Arts Show, one of the major parts of the festival.
I don't know if I miss the Ann Arbor Art Fairs enough to look at the art show.  Good thing there's more going on than just art.

Arts, Beats & Eats: What to Hear

Check out this lineup.
Vince Gill, Brett Michaels, Panic at the Disco and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic are the main headliners on the Michigan Lottery National Recording Artists Stage this year, but there another 250 acts performing on 10 other stages.
If my wife and I had more energy, there were places to sit (I think we would have to stand), and the weather were a little cooler, we'd be very tempted to go. We might not miss the music entirely. Last year, we could hear the bands playing from our house, more than a mile away.

Oh, yes, the Eats: Arts, Beats & Eats: Where to Dine
There'll be plenty of choices from nearly 70 food vendors at the festival. Now, where to go first?
This all looks very tempting. However, not only could I hear the music last year, but the event was so well attended that it exceeded capacity several times and entry was closed. Talk about being too successful for its own good! Just the same, I promise to keep you all updated as the news comes in.

Labor Day and hurricanes to blame as gas prices rise sharply in Michigan

The past two weeks had some good news from the Detroit Free Press.

First, two weeks ago. AAA Michigan: Gas prices down 5 cents in past week
AAA Michigan says gasoline prices are down 5 cents per gallon over the past week to a statewide average of $3.69.
Now, this week. AAA Mich.: Gas prices down 3 cents in past week
AAA Michigan says gasoline prices are down 3 cents per gallon over the past week to a statewide average of $3.66.

The auto club says today the average is about 96 cents per gallon higher than last year at this time.
This week saw two weeks of falling prices and then some reversed. Bloomberg Business Week reports AAA Mich.: Gas prices up 11 cents in past week.
AAA Michigan says gasoline prices are up 11 cents per gallon over the past week to a statewide average of $3.77.

The auto club says Monday the average is $1.06 per gallon higher than last year at this time.
Gas prices have continued to rise this week. WXYZ has the story.

Gas prices are heading up as we head into the Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nablopomo for September: Return

From my email.
September's theme for daily blogging: RETURN. Returning -- or turning again -- is about reflection, about going backwards, about revisiting a spot or memory. Sometimes people think that it can be a negative thing to live too much in the past, drowning in nostalgia. But a lot can be learned by mentally returning to a moment, replaying what happened in your mind, especially if lessons are learned in the process.
Not only do I have reminiscences that fit sustainability themes,* but I have lots of old business that I promised to return to later that I haven't gotten around to yet.

For starters, I laid out an ambitious agenda in Nablopomo for August: Fiction, of which I finished 10%. I blame my following the shiny objects of the Satan Sandwich and Woodward Dream Cruise for that. Dream Cruise is over for the year, but the effects of the Satan Sandwich continue on, so I'll return to them as well. I also plan on returning to some regular features of the blog, like the sustainability news linkspams and the weekly roundups. I will continue updating regular topics of this blog, including the price of gas and oil and the state of real estate. Finally, there is old business that needs to be laid to rest, in which case yesterday's post on Kroger in Royal Oak served as a preview. A prime example would be the resolution to the plight of Julie Bass, which is that she and her family are leaving Oak Park for Seattle. That definitely deserves a post of its own.

As you can see, I have plenty to blog about that works well within the theme without changing the topics of this blog much, if at all. As I've written many times before, blogging about sustainability in metro Detroit means never running out of material.

*Remember that I consider war to be a sustainability issue, so I intend to tell my "war stories." I have a tale about a war game that I've been promising to write about for years, but have never gotten around to doing so. Also, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is coming. I don't think I've ever written down my experiences from that day. I was tempted on May 2nd, but had other fish to fry.  This theme serves as the perfect opportunity to recount both.