Vapor Life

Vapor life... My life as it is, as it should be. *********************************************************************************************************** Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep. Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Strong winds came through

Strong winds came through and took every every leaf with color and placed them on the floor. Tanner and I were tracking a huge Red Tailed Hawk through the woods but it kept flying just out of picture range every time we would get close. It was a game of patience and tolerance and he ended up being less tolerant of our presence then I had hoped. He is somewhere in this picture, you can click to enlarge but he is still hard to pick out sitting in the trees.

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MGOBLUE: Michigan vs. Illinois

After last weeks lackluster performance at home we again take to show on the road. This time to Campaign to face Illinois on a windy Halloween day contest. With last weeks defeat fresh in our minds, and lasts years loss 45-20 loss to the fighting Illini this could be a season saving win with three tough opponents left of the schedule.
Michigan has yet to win on the road, so a win away from the familiar comforts and crowd support of the Big house could quite the critics and show that this program is indeed moving ahead.
This could be a loss and start a slow slide into a bad ending to the season that once held so much promise.

Here and now, at week nine, this game and its significance comes into stunning clarity. This game is important for the team, important for the fans, and maybe most important for this programs future.

With the painful loss of David Molk, we will have to be extra sharp on our executions, and maybe most of all work on not turning over the ball that was, in my opinion, what really kept us out of last weeks contest.

I like out chances in this game, and remain ever hopeful the boys will make us proud today.


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Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Night Dinner: Argiero's an unknown Ann Arbor Gem

Tonight we were going to dinner at Cottage Inn, but on this devils night, the diag was mobbed and there was a line out the door so we passed it up for less congested, slightly off the beaten path place to eat: Argiero's.

I don't understand why, but this place seems to be overlooked by the general unwashed masses and the food is hard to beat. On a Friday night we were seated right away, and the sparse patronage was more of a mood enhancer than an aggravation and the Ravioli special and Pesto on Penne were AWESOME.

I have been eating here for years and I have always felt like it has been my little secret. So I am letting everyone know, try it. You wont be disapointed.


The other reason Detroit gets a bad rap:

Yesterday, ex-mayor Kuame Kilpatrick was in town testifying, trying to lower his restitution payments to to city of Detroit. That alone, my friends takes ALOT of balls. But check out this testimony (courtesy of

Judge Groner asks questions:
Where he lives,
Who lives there,
Do you have a mortgage or lease?
Kwame says it’s a rental home, and he is not party to it.

Judge: Who is paying rent?

Kilpatrick: Um. I assume my wife is handling the rent.

Judge: Why do you assume that?

Kilpatrick: Because I’m not.

Judge: Never discussed it with her?

Kilpatrick: No.

Judge: Do you know how much the rent is?

Kilpatrick: No.

Judge: Do you have a lease agreement?
Kilpatrick: I don’t have a lease agreement.

Judge: Have you seen the lease agreement?

Kilpatrick: No.

Judge: Do you know how long you’re staying there?
Kilpatrick No.

Judge: Are you fully moved in or live out of a suitcase?
Kilpatrick: I’m fully moved in.

Judge: You don’t forsee living there in the forseeable future?
Objection by Michael Schwartz: says questions are irrelevant. Objection noted, overruled.
Schwartz: What is the plan? Objection. Overruled.

Kilpatrick: After the year I put my family through, I’m just trying to stay with them as long as I possibly can.

Judge: Do you work for anyone else besides Compuware/Covisint?

Judge: How much have they paid you this year unless you don’t know?

Objection… overruled.

Kilpatrick: My salary is $10,000 per month.

Judge: Has your wife worked over the past year?
Kilpatrick: I don’t know.

Judge: You paused, is there a reason?

Objection and overruled.

Kilpatrick: This case brought out some personal issues, I’m blessed to be with my wife so now that I am out of that
“that dungeon” I don’t know.

Judge: Is your wife working?

Kilpatrick: No, not for a company.

Judge: Does she have a source of income?
Kilpatrick: No… I don’t know.


So you are telling me, you have know idea your you living arrangements for the masion you live in are met? Or if you wife works? Are you an idiot, or do you just think the court is? The lies go on and on and are so thick he should be slapped with a contempt of court fine just for saying that crap in open court! He goes on to say that he forgot to disclose a $240,000 cash loan to the court due to an "accounting error" and that he has no idea basically how any of his household is run, from home payments to child care to what his wife is doing has done where they will be staying and more on and on and on.

I say the City should call the note due, based on the fact the he is obviously not being honest with the court and the people of Detroit and the State of Michigan. Call the note, and if he cant pay the $800,000+ he still owes the city and if he cant pay, put him in jail.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

A better list:

I was already using an excel sheet for my daily call list and I realized I was tired of all my sticky notes all over the place. I did not have a to-do list that was worth a shit, That when I realized:

If I took my to do list, say on a separate tab, used Excel's auto graph function it would auto-magicaly turn my list into a circular graph that kept the lowest items on the list near the top, so to speak. I could assign different values say on a scale of 1-100 say to visualize what was more important and viola! A better list.

I could float it over my call list and better yet, if I change something on the list, it changes the chart...

For me this works, keeping say the top ten things to do at my finger tips in a nice visual format in a way that my two second attention span can appreciate.

Sure you could use an online memory helper like Dont Forget the milk but honestly, for a quick ad-hoc on the run down and dirty memory helper... this simple idea is proving to be valuable.


Why Detroit gets a bad rap…

True story:

Not only did one of my insured’s car get stolen in front of his house in Detroit (surprise) but once it was recovered and fixed, it was stolen again. In less than a month. Where? Right in front of his house again. Not only that but after the first time, he had put a new fancy alarm system in it… On top of the factory alarm that they had once defeated.

He woke to see it being *pushed* away as the alarm was going off because they could not get it started.

Again it was recovered, and is currently getting fixed again.

Hold on, here is the best part:

While his car was being fixed he called me today to tell me that, while waiting for his new car to be returned, his rental car had its tires and rims stolen and was sitting on the ground. Where? In front of his fricken house.

This is the reason rates are SO HIGH in some areas and why Detroit gets a bad rap.

Overheard Last night on the couch....

Me: Those guys Deserved it, they shot a police Dog....

The Girl: Oh, just because its a Dog.

Me: As apposed to what? A Police kitty?

The Girl: Yes.

Me: I am pretty sure there is no such thing.

The Girl: All Kitties are police Kitties, they prowl around the house.

Me: I see...

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just when they were on the ropes: Motorola sends in the Droids.

Motorola has come back swinging whith a phone that is sporting the much ballyhooed Android operating system, and an impressive set of specs and the Verizon network in an effort upset Apples giant "super phone" market share.

I am not going to post any links, as this thing is all over the inerwebs and is set to drop officially on 11/6.

It was beginning to be a one pony show, and I for one am welcoming the newcomer.

Of course I am off contract...

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SE Corner of the Big House

I had to run downtown today, and took a quick shot of the Big House. You really cant get a good shot form here but this is the SE corner at Main and Stadium. This week we will play away at Illinois, then back here for Purdue, a Game I will be attending in person!

click *here* for some pictures of the house under construction.

Go Blue.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cover of the New Yorker

Anyone else think that this months cover of The New Yorker is AWESOME.


I lost my power cord, and my mind and other proof that I smoke crack.

Lets just say today started off on the wrong foot and leave the rest for the mental health professionals.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Broken Laptop

You may have noticed that my laptop is down.

In the end I resisted the temptation to buy a new one and I buckled under for the cheap fix. I know that laptops are so cheap right now (see ecost to see what I mean) but I am thinking that even though there are some great deals right now, the holiday prices are coming and so are the newest products.

So I am living with the old one, for a while that is.

Thanks to analog_chainsaw for the photo.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our neighbors Tree

Colors are at peak around here so we are trying enjoying them before
the leaves fall completely.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

M Go Blue: Michigan Vs. Penn State

On a cool and dark Saturday afternoon, Michigan is set to face Penn State today at the big house. This game means a lot to Michigan as a win today means they are bowl eligible, and no one would argue that they are doing better than expected this year. I like our chances this week, coming of a ego-boosting crush-fest win over Delaware State. I don't expect the Nittany Lions to lay down by any means as they are ranked 15 for a reason and have a long string of losses at the big house they would like to break.
In the end, nothing against Joe Pa or his team, but I think in the end they have their work cut out for them.


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Yesterday was a horrible little day

Yesterday was a horrible little day, everything I touched turned to
crap. Todays cool temps and light breeze carry the promise of a better

Friday, October 23, 2009

Morning Ritual- The Drowsy Parrot

The local coffee place has a price break if you bring in a mug with their name on it.
I invented these replaceable "Skins" that you can write pretty much anything you want on and the best part they come in a roll. Arguably my bird looks a little more like a penguin then a parrot, but still I think that if they did not SAY you could/could not make your own label then you should be able to get the price break. In the end I won some points for moxie I guess and the lower priced coffee. If you will excuse me I am off to the patent office to register my new invention.

Kitty Rests

Kitty rests on top of my back pack making it difficult to put the
laptop away for the night.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Super Dork:

I know you are not mentally challenged, so try not to act like it. Just because you *believe* something doesn’t mean is true. I know that it *seems* that because you co-singed on some sketchy lease or put a vehicle title in your name for your twenty something daughter, that you should be able to insure it cheaper then if she insures it herself… but no not really.

Let face it, there are a lot of people figuring out this insurance stuff I am pretty sure there is no hidden loopholes here I am just not telling you about.

Actually, since you did this I need *more* info because now you have two names on the title or contract and really you just made it harder than it had to be.

I really recommend you don’t try to change you story now. I am not a complete idiot, I assure you. You just told me she does not live with you. Let me put it this way, Dr. XXXX, if I were to come into your emergency room and tell you a whole bunch of lies and you treated me based on that then I could expect the care I get to be less than effective.

You’re a D O C T O R for flipen sakes.

I know all medical doctors are not rich, but you are saving what to risk all your assets in a claim that you might not be covered for? Not to mention I would expect some modicum of ethics from a licensed professional, are you sure you’re a doctor? Not to mention that you are teaching your daughter that it’s ok to lie to an insurance company.

So now you come to an insurance company, and are let’s say… less than honest. I would say that you could expect the exact type of service when the driver we know nothing about get hurt, or sued or worse.

So if you can’t see the logic in that let me put it this way: Her name is on lease. The lease and her driver’s license show her address, but she is not driving the car? You really are telling me she leased a car for you to drive? Let not forget this is the same person you told us was not living with you last year, and she already emailed me the address its parked at is her address not yours. So ... you drive over to her house, and then pick up her car every morning?

Look I have phone that rings nothing but crazy all day, so you come back to reality, give me the info I need to rate your policy correctly and we can move forward. Arguing with me is not really going to help.


My thoughts are all a jumble today:

My thoughts are all a jumble today and my mind is all over the place like a 1000 fallen books with their information splayed out all over the place.

Not exactly sure why, but I think it might be because I have been doing a 1000 things today.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cool Gear: Marvel's Comic Creator

If you want to make your own comic, Marvel has your back with this comic creator.
Check it out *here*

Sure is designed for kids, but I say its fun as hell.

Thanks to Giz for this one.


Today Out and About

While driving around the clouds were breaking up and the sun was shining through.
With temps in the 70's it just seemed like a nice summer day for once, not the fall day we were expecting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yet again let down by technology:

Today’s lack luster (I feel anyway) announcement of new apple products left me with another disappointing sigh and empty feeling that I get every time I get excited about new tech stuff…only to be let down again. I don’t really know what it is that I am expecting, some sort of super gadget, something cool to unlock my creative and curious side. Something that fits some seamlessly with my life that I don’t even notice it but I can’t remember what I did without it. Yes that would be nice. I have been looking for a super tablet for a long time now, but in the end I am not sure what that is or what is driving this unhealthy gadget lust. For now I guess I will keep waiting for something newer/better to come down the line.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

October Fishing

It may be late in the season, and cold but the view is amazing.


Getting up to go fishing. It's in the 20's. What were we thinking?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taunting Squirrel

I caught this squirrel jumping up and down on the tailgate of this truck. At first I did not know why then I notices it was taunting a Brittney Spaniel on the back seat.
Squirrel's are evil.
Tonight I am going up north with Paul D for a quick one day fishing trip. Its going to be cold, I hope we catch more than a cold.


M mmmmm.... Bagel

Something about a perfectly toasted bagel with butter in the morning makes me happy. It has to be toasted just right, crunch and warm. If you get it right, there its hard to beat.


Friday, October 16, 2009

At the end of the day

A simple fish and rice dinner by candlelight with the girl was all
that was needed to soothe me after a difficult day.

M Go Blue: MI vs. Delaware State

Tomorow Michigan faces Delaware State at home. After two disapponting
losses we are looking for a win in the worst way. Delaware may not be
the pushover everyone might think they are and we must have are wits
about us to win as really more than a win is needed. A win with
authority is in order.

Trash Talk

I should have done known it was going to be one of those days when the trash man parked behind me while I was in the coffee shop parking me in. He then proceeded to make me late as he went about his business

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Walk In the Park

This quick shot of the colors turning at the park today pretty much dispel any doubts that fall has its grip here in southern MI.
Today we said goodbye to the girls older brother, who recently passed unexpectedly.
The cycle of life, much like the cycle of the seasons can be as unpredictable as the weather. But like the weather there is much comfort in the fact that old will become new again and the cycle itself, as unpredictable as it is, has a larger plan.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The reason I like Physics...

The reason I like Physics...Is that anything is possible.

I like to read up on string theory, and other main stream and not so main stream theories. Its kind of fun for me.

So the theory that the LHC (Large Hadron Collider),is a doomsday device had caught my eye. Many have predicted this project as mans undoing of itself with possible doomsday predictions that have been put forward about the particle collider and the planned experiments.

Delay after delay have plagued the project, however, and the theory that the collider is being sabotaged from the FUTURE... to prevent some sort of calamity? Awesome.

I wont spoil it all for you, you can read it *HERE*.

The best quote is this:

“For those of us who believe in physics,” Einstein once wrote to a friend, “this separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.”



The darkness creeps in so much earlier

The darkness creeps in so much earlier, but the colors at sunset are breathtaking. A quick shot tonight at the park.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Shop update: More file cabinet progress

Even though I did not get home till 7:30 I took some time to mortise
out and glue up the face plate for the file cabinet. Thanks to the girl
for understanding I have projects backed up.

Oh that crazy craigslist!

Thanks * Giz* for this one:

If you're located in Northern Alberta, are interested in space travel, aren't afraid of heights and need $25,000 (and won't mind when you explode in mid-air and can't spend it), have I got a Craigslist ad for you!

What's especially great is the half-assed trustworthiness of the ad: The creator worked on it for 40 years! He's a scientist! He uses words like "fuselage!"

My secret space craft is the result of my professional experience and imagination while serving the U.S. military in advanced aeronautics as a scientist. The craft harnesses a revolutionary propulsion system and its fuselage is fabricated with the most advanced material. While considerably safe, I am certain you will make it safely to Titan but there will not be enough fuel to get home. This is for someone unique that has always wanted to see the universe first-hand and has perhaps a terminal view on life here at home. Here's your shot at romantic history.

Unfortunately, this is a Laika-style journey: You ain't coming back from this one. That is, if you actually get off the ground.

*UPDATE*- Apparently the link above for the add is now broken as craigslist has taken down the ad. Oh well its still funny.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Mina!

What 4 year olds birthday party could be complete without face painting, kitty ears, and a princes throne.

Happy birthday Mina!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall: Today was poignant

Tanner stands in front of the infamous hedge row.

Saturday followed a rainy Friday like a manic depressive freight train.

Had I the forethought to make a prediction, I would not have imaged the range of emotions that today left in its wake.

So much for a boring Saturday off.

MGOBLUE: Michigan vs. Iowa

In a late game, at Iowa, Michigan faces an opponent ranked number 12 and maybe the biggest contest for the team yet this year. After last weeks overtime disappointment, we will see what the team has learned from their first taste of adversity.
We are the series leader at 40-10-4 but have not been on the field with them since 2006 when we won 20-6.
But this is not 2006, and we have two very different teams that I think are better matched then some may think. Regardless, I am looking for another good contest!


Friday, October 09, 2009

Rainy Friday

Today was cold and rainy, and the rain swept in and took hold like the harbinger of fall that it likely is. It was supposed to be done by the afternoon, but mother nature had other plans.

Honestly it was a shitty day, with a crappy ending and to be honest it was fitting that it rained all day and into the night.

Thanks to Kristen Lou for the photo.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Today at the Bank- worst parking job ever


Today I was at the bank when this genius parked his van. I was impressed when he parked right in the middle of two spots but when he parked and then reversed back 2 1/2 feet I knew we were dealing with a special type of stupid.
I try and make up excuses for this special kind of idiot...
Maybe he was off his meds?
He did not look like he had been in this country long, maybe he was used to parking a donkey cart.
Maybe his wife was nagging and he just had to get out as soon as possible, I mean she looked like a bitch...
What ever was the case he scurried into the office next door.
Maybe there is no excuse, when you roll in a sweet ride like this you NEED to take up a couple spaces.
This picture is worth clicking on to see more details.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Messing with the dark side - tire mark addition.

Today, (Name retracted to protect the guilty) took me for a little ride in one of his new toys.
As you can see here , he might have been a little on the wrong side of a careless driving ticket had anyone been around.
Then again I might have just made this up.
Honestly I am not sure this really happened, or if I was really there, but if I had been it would have be a blast.


Monday, October 05, 2009

How much wood...

Recently a good friend of mine old me where I could find some reclaimed hardwood on the cheep. It took me a while to get over there, mostly due to the rain.
When I got there I was overwhelmed frankly, with all the hardwood they had laying around and were willing to part with for reasonable prices.
For example, I was able to pick up eight, 8' lengths of BLACK WALNUT, for about what I would normally pay for some fine popular(see the second self down running over with fined milled lengths). BLACK WALNUT. To put that in perspective that's like buying gold at lead prices. I have no idea what I am going to do with it yet, but it was an awesome find.


Sometimes I think my family is a little crazy....

Sometimes I think my family is a little crazy....

I guess that does not look so good for me.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Shop Update- finally back

Shop Update- finally back to the shop and the standing file cabinet. I
had been at an impasse for a while but I had a design idea and it
started to come together.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A relaxing walk along the river

A relaxing walk along the river with Tanner was helpful after such a
stressfull game today.

MGOBLUE: Michigan vs. MSU

In a couple of short hours, Michigan will take the field as the Spartan's Host Michigan in East Lansing.

It raining now, and that might be factor as Michigan's center and others seemed to have some trouble last week holding on to the ball in our slim homecoming victory over indiana.

In the 102 meeting between the two rivals, I can say they seemed to be evenly matched in many of the polls for today contest, with MSU being slightly favored. I think we have a real chance to make this a 5-0 season and walk away with a W, if we keep our heads and limit our mistakes. Pin State back early and score and we have a real chance. If it turns out to a be a high scoring shootout, I am afraid it may come down to who has the last possession.

Its sure to be a great contest as I have said before, anything can happen.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Friday night

Dinner at Prickly Pear then a drink at The Black Pearl

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Speaking of bad days

Its easy to forget that in some parts of the world, a bad day takes on a whole new meaning.

Photos are flooding (excuse the pun) in from the Philippines showing how desperate the situation is over there.