Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

Kyle had spent the night with Dylan, so when we decided to go see "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" today. we invited Kyle to come with. (After all, they've been "best friends since kindergarten!")

The movie was most enjoyable - it had a bit of ET flavor, some WWII history, a dash of Scottish lifestyle and military lifestyle, and childhood fantasy. My favorite part was when Angus was riding on Crusoe's back in Loch Ness. The scary part is when the cannons are shooting at him - they must have thought he was a submarine. It was a really nice, family friendly movie - it may become a classic.

We met Chip and Dick at Carrabba's for New Year's Eve dinner - it was very mellow and satisfying. We did have to wait a while to be seated despite the call-ahead seating thing, but then again there were 7 of us and it was New Year's Eve, so it was totally understandable. I had a great time.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Jonathan Stick-in-the-mud

This was the big group geocaching day. The 10 caches that were found were all in Jonathan Dickinson State Park, which Laurie calls Jonathan Stick-in-the-mud just for fun. The Gillespies, the Hyatts, the Pratts and Dick all went out in a great group to walk the trails and also do a little bushwhacking. Dick reported that Dylan enjoyed playing with a stick - hitting trees and such- but the geocaching, not so much. The caching expedition lasted from about noon until about 4:30. It ended because the Steelers game was on and had to be watched. :)World's largest ammo can in the woods! This one was a kids' cache.

Jana and I stayed home and relaxed - reading, talking, watching TV and just chilling.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Spree

Dick gave us a shopping spree for Christmas, and today was Spree Day. The Palm Beach Gardens Mall was our target.

We went to lunch at P.F. Chang's - it was quite busy, but we were seated right away. Our waitress was a little spacey, but she was fun and the food was delicious. Have you ever heard of a lettuce wrap?

Lane Bryant was next, and Jana and I had a ton of fun. They were having great sales. We especially liked the buy two, get two free sale :)

Over at the mall we had coffee at the food court and did some excellent people watching. We spent the rest of our time and money at Sephora, which explains why the 3 of us are glowing now more than usual !!

We went to the Cobb Theater at "Downtown" to see Sweeney Todd (rhymes with Oh My God!) I wanted to see it because it had a long run on Broadway, and it's famous, and it starred Johnny Depp. But gee whiz, it's really hard for me to classify it as entertainment. Jana could actually identify some parts that are considered humorous. Laurie and I just looked away from the multiple throat slashings. Jana pointed out that the slashings were theatrical and not realistic, but....holy cow!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Red Tide Beach Day

Dick and I went to Stuart Beach on Hutchinson Island with Laurie, Dylan and Jana. The weather was gorgeous, but there was something in the water called the Red Tide. It's a growth of algae that's a real irritant, both in the water and onshore. We all were coughing, eyes watering, and noses running. It's just an irritant to people, but it can be deadly to sea creatures. We heard that as many as 46 manatees may have died this week because of it.

Jana and Dylan enjoyed the water anyway!

Laurie and I stayed on the sand, and Dick was the official photographer with his new Nikon which we all love!
Around the corner and down the road is the Oceanographic Center with nice displays and a cute gift shop. There is a huge tank there filled with stingrays. At 3 p.m. there's a nature talk about stingrays, and an opportunity for anyone who wants to participate to feed fish to the stingrays! Laurie and Jana were the only two of us who tried it.
Just down the road from the Oceanographic Center is the House of Refuge at Gilbert's Bar. It's the only house of refuge still standing. These place were a lot like the life-saving stations along the Great Lakes. After storms, the keepers would search the nearby beaches for survivors of boat wrecks and provide them with refuge. It was an interesting place in a beautiful setting.
A professional photographer was on the beach while we were there trying to take pictures of a small group of people. They had to scrap the photo session - everybody was wheezing and coughing because of the Red Tide, and it was enough to ruin all of the shots!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bye Bye Tom

Laurie drove Tom down to the airport in West Palm Beach for his flight to NYC. He's meeting Brandi there, and they have a lot of fun things planned. They have tickets to see Spamalot on Broadway, and for the Dresden Dolls on New Year's Eve. They also want to take in the Museum of Modern Art, and who knows what all. It should be a great time.

We babysat Dylan at our "villa" while Laurie was gone. Jana and Dylan tried out the hot tub, and it got good reviews.

We tried a bit of geocaching in the afternoon - tried to find "The Monster of the Deep", but we were skunked. It's a six stage multi-cache, and we're stymied on the third stage. Don't you hate that?
We consoled ourselves with ice cream at Kilwin's in Stuart. They have Mackinac Island Fudge and Traverse City Cherry flavors!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Manatee Observation and Educational Center


Tom's last full day in Florida - he wanted to see some manatees. First we had lunch at the Tiki Bar and Restaurant. It was a very Florida place full of atmosphere and local color right on the ocean.

Then we were off to the Manatee Center in Ft. Pierce . We looked and looked, but no manatees. At 3 p.m. we went on the Indian River Lagoon Boat Tour on a very large pontoon boat. We saw dolphins jumping and that almost made up for not seeing manatees.
It was a great day - good weather, fun, educational, and everybody went.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MERRY FLORIDA CHRISTMAS



For the first time in 10 years our whole family was together for Christmas! Laurie and Chip's tree was big and beautiful, and loaded with presents. The house was decorated and very Christmasy. Surprisingly, everybody slept in until around 7:30 - I can remember our kids getting up at 5 a.m.

The best part was watching Dylan opening his things and playing with his RoboQuad. (He named it Roboquaddie.) Everybody enjoyed everything, and we only had 2 things that had to be sent back (bike shorts & telescope). Dick got a new point-and-shoot digital camera, and he'll turn into a professional photog in no time.

Chip cooked the turkey on the grill, and it turned out great! They don't do stuffing, so it only took about 4 hours. Laurie slaved away in the kitchen most of the day - Laurie and Chip did everything - they wouldn't even let me set the table! It felt strange (in a good way).
Dinner was delicious - especially that sweet potato casserole, right Dylan? We ate in the dining room and the new table and chairs are wonderful - spacious and comfortable. Laurie said at Thanksgiving that she felt like Grandma was sitting on her shoulder.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

In Which We Arrive!

We have arrived in Palm City/Stuart! As a sign I once saw said, "Hep Hep Beret" !!

Our Florida place is in a development called Summerfield by the Champs Golf Course near US 1 and Cove Road. It's an older development - I can't tell how old, but in our "golf villa" things show signs of wear. We have three bedrooms and two baths, lots of space and lots of cloisets. It's well stocked and furnished. We really have everything we need. The one thing that's missing is an internet connection, which is very high on our priority list because we each brought a laptop, so the first thing we'll have to work on is getting the modem hooked up.

Debbie, the real estate lady, agreed to meet with us a couple of hours early because we got here sooner than we expected. She was glad because she had just found out that her office party was scheduled for the time of our original meeting! Wouldn't want to miss that! :) Laurie came with us to meet with Debbie at our house, and it got Laurie's official Okie Dokie. We got the keys, the garage door opener, and the gate code. I think that we'll be comfortable here.

Afterwards, Laurie went down to Ft. Lauderdale to pick Jana up at the airport while we were unpacking and getting acclimated. The plane was delayed for almost an hour, but other than that it was an uneventful flight and we were jumping with joy to see her - Tom arrived here on the 21st, so now we're all here.

Jana will stay with us, except for Christmas Eve when we're all sleeping at Laurie's to wait for Santa.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Findlay, Chattanooga, & Columbus (GA)

Our Christmas Odyssey -

First Day - Drove to Doug's to drop off Christmas presents - had a good cookie and a good cup of coffee, chatted a bit, and headed for Findlay. Had a free night at the Findlay Quality Inn.

Second Day - On to Chattanooga (is that the choo choo?) and the Comfort Inn.

Third Day - here we are in Columbus, Georgia - another free night - at the Comfort Inn.
Columbus is just across the Chattahoochee River from Phenix, Alabama - so we were able to find caches in two different States, and leave our coin in each State. Phenix has a beautiful riverwalk all decorated with Christmas lights.

I-75 Observances:

1. Trucking is the lifeblood of this country. There are so many trucks up and down I-75 that it boggles your mind. You actually get used to having them blow your doors off when they pass.

2. The Nissan Murano is a very nice looking car. Dick questions whether it can pull the boat.

3. The Ford Escape is the car I want next - wider wheel base than the Explorer, and more fuel efficient. Dick questions whether it can pull the boat.

4. Michigan bathrooms are generally cleaner than the bathrooms available to travellers south of Ohio.

5. Ohio is too flat.

6. When Dick is wearing his Michigan regalia, people talk to you about it. They either used to live in Michigan, have a relative who's a big fan and has season tickets, or hate Michigan with a passion. One man jokingly told Dick that there was a dirty spot on his jacket (pointing to the M). Today in Georgia a man said, "Watch that Gators game!" Yoicks.

7. On Interstate Highways, signs for tunnels are red. We don't have red Interstate signs where I come from!

8. Ohio is too gray and foggy.

9. Tennessee fans are stuck with a really ugly shade of orange for their athletic teams. Denver fans used to be called the Orange Crush and their shade of orange was Halloweeny. Tennessee orange looks like peach yogurt.

10. Georgia State Troopers have police cars that flash and blink in horizontal blue strips - all the time....at every opportunity - they love their blue flashers!

11. The gas and lodging signs along the interstate are a big help to the traveller.

12. Dick still likes to blink his lights at trucks who are signalling lane changes, and once today one of them even blinked back to say thanks. It reminds me of when the kids used to pump their arms at truckers to get them to blow their horns!

13. Tennessee has a long stretch of an area prone to fog. They have every electronic device known to modern man set up to warn motorists of foggy conditions. It wasn't foggy when we passed by.

14. Ohio is not scenic. Cinncinnati is a mess to drive through.

15. Kentucky and Tennessee are very scenic - beautiful stretches of highway.

16. Nine hours is too long for us to drive in one day. Seven hours is more doable. We once drove from Belleville to the Florida State line in 22 hours straight.

17. Try to avoid Atlanta.

18. Can't avoid Ohio. Dick says that Ohio is like Kansas - you have to drive through it to get somewhere else.

Friday, December 14, 2007

12 Days of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Here's an old Christmas standby that you won't want to miss. It's 3 and a half minutes long, but you have to watch the whole thing! My cousin Ken sent me this bit of Christmas cheer!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Warmth


It was a gray, damp and drizzly day - not exactly freezing rain, but very close. Later, thankfully, it turned to snow.

When we arrived at Tim and Susie's for lunch, it was a relief to walk into their riverside home. It was warm, there was beautiful Christmas music, a nice hot wood stove, and Christmasy folk art from floor to ceiling. It was just like Dorothy opening the door and seeing things in color! We all made a yummy type of egg roll - we rolled them up and Susie fried them in the FryBaby. We had a delicious lunch, some good local champagne, toured the new addition, exchanged gifts and gossip, and the whole visit had a real Christmas feeling.

Thanks, Tim and Susie. Happy Holidays and safe travels.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Goose is Getting Fat


Christmas is coming,
The geese are getting fat,
Please put a penny
In the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny,
A ha'penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha'penny,
Then God bless you.

Christmas is coming,
lights are on the tree,
Hang up your stocking for Santa Claus to see.
If you you haven't got a stocking,
a little sock will do;
If you haven't got a little sock,
God bless you!

Christmas is coming,
the season of good cheer,
Let's all sing a carol for the brand-new year!
If you haven't got a carol,
a jolly song will do;
If you haven't got a jolly song,
God... bless... you...!

We'll be spending Christmas and January in Florida this year! We've rented a house in Stuart, which is 10 minutes from Laurie. We're leaving here on Dec. 19th (after a dental appointment) and driving down. We have the house from Dec. 23 to Jan. 31. We're having our mail forwarded to Laurie's address.

Tom will arrive on Dec. 21st, and Jana on the 23rd. Jana will be staying with us, and Tom will be at Laurie's. Jana's staying until after New Year's Day, but Tom is going to spend New Year's Eve in NYC.

Dick kind of wanted to go Michigan's Bowl Game (Capital One Bowl, Orlando) but we talked him out of it. What chance do we have against last year's National Champions? Plus, those North Florida Bowl games just don't have the hoopla, fun, and excitement of the Rose Bowl, for instance. We've gone down there a couple of times, and it was disappointing.

We can be reached by cell - 231-392-1773 or through Laurie 772-463-0288. We don't have the phone number for our house yet.

It should be an awesome Christmas. We haven't had Christmas together since 1997, the year that Dylan was born.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Preparation


My annual physical was at 8:30 this morning and it took an hour and a half! Dr. Burke is nothing if not thorough! He pronounced me healthy as a horse. Evidently my mobility problems are mostly caused by persistent nerve damage which is healing at its own slow pace. We had breakfast at the Green House Cafe, and then came home to meet Tim and Susie! We had a good visit, with ice cream and cookies to boot - kind of a nice combination!

The plumber showed up to try to fix the faucet in Dick's tub, which hasn't been working properly. We found out that the broken part isn't made any longer, and a hole will probably have to be cut in the wall to get access for replacing the old faucet.

Then it was time to cook the giblets, chop the onions, make the jello salad, and bake the pie. It's just going to be the two of us this year, but we're doing the whole bit - the turkey is just smaller, that's all. The table looks nice, and at Tom's they were selling beautiful roses for $7/dozen - who could resist that?

Tomorrow I want us to just enjoy the parades, the football, and the dinner.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lloyd Carr


Lloyd Carr retired as Michigan head football coach this morning. He's been at the Univ. for 27 years, 13 as Head Coach. We're sorry to see him go but happy in the realization that he has many years ahead of him to enjoy living! Dick knew Lloyd when he taught and coached at Belleville many moons ago. Lloyd used to come to the annual End of the World party at Glen's sometimes. That was always memorable and fun. My best memory of Lloyd was years ago on I-75 we were heading north, and he passed us waving frantically to get our attention. He's a nice person. He helped us get our 4 seats together in the stadium - we used to have 2 and 2 separated by quite a few rows. We know that there are good things ahead for him.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It Could Have Been Better



The only thing worse than losing to Ohio State in Columbus is losing to Ohio State at home in Michigan Stadium.

The only thing worse than losing to Ohio State at home is losing to Ohio State at home in the rain.

The only thing worse than losing to Ohio State at home in the rain is losing to Ohio State at home in the rain when the temperature is 38 degrees F.

The only thing worse than losing to Ohio State at home in the cold, cold rain is losing to Ohio State at home in the cold, cold rain and dropping your mittens into a puddle.

The only thing worse than losing to Ohio State at home in the cold, cold rain with wet, wet mittens is losing to Ohio State at home in the cold, cold rain with wet, wet mittens and having your team play so poorly.

We were cold, we were wet, we were so disappointed - it was dismal.
Here's an excerpt from a Maryland Elementary School Talent Show:
I'll bet our team could have beaten their team!

U-M Falls to Ohio State in Big Ten Championship Game
On a cold, wet afternoon at Michigan Stadium, the No. 23 Michigan football team dropped a 14-3 decision to No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday, Nov. 17, in a contest that decided the Big Ten's outright champion of 2007. The Wolverines took an early 3-0 lead on K.C. Lopata's 33-yard field goal toward the end of the first quarter, but Ohio State, behind Chris Well's 222 yards rushing, scored touchdowns in the second and third quarters and held the Wolverines to 91 net yards. Tim Jamison had three tackles for loss to pace the U-M defense.

Luckily, Resourceful Richard had packed hand warmers, ponchos and a blanket so that we were not totally drenched, we were merely soggy and dripping. When I put my head down, water from my poncho hood ran down onto my knees. Did I mention that it was cold? I was wearing four layers on top and two layers on my legs, and double socks. At 12:25 to go in the 4th quarter I was chilled through and it was only the shame of it all that prevented my leaving early.

Once it was over and we were back in the car, we luxuriated in dry layers of clothing, heated seats, and the blessed heater. Thank you, Subaru.

When we went back after the tickets on Friday morning we should have stayed home. Oh, but then we wouldn't have seen Reiko and her boys, so forget it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Geodetic Benchmarks

The day began with a checkup for Dick at Dr. Recchia's office - an echo-cardiogram. After he passed his test, we went out to breakfast at the Omelette Shoppe - my favorite.

Then the fun began - we did Rathergohiking's 9-stage multi-cache (Geodetic Benchmarks) which involves driving around Traverse City! What could be better! It was a very enjoyable adventure on a beautiful, though very windy, day.

Afterwards, we went shopping at Toys R Us for a baby shower for a very special baby! How much fun is that? We haven't been anywhere near a Toys R Us for about 2 years - so we got some surprises for Ethan and Jet, too.

At home, we began winterizing the Golf Car (Minnehaha) by putting stabil in the gas tank and driving it around. Our neighbor even had the nerve to turn down a ride!

Our TiVo is still on the fritz - we've ordered an adapter which will use our Airport instead of our phone line. Let's hope that's the solution.

Monday, November 12, 2007

We've Found a Cache in All of Michigan !


Dick figured out how to log the 83 Counties of Michigan cache - evidently you get credit for three - the Upper, the Lower, and the whole State. Here's Dick's log:

11/12/2007 You found Linda's Cache all of Michigan
We won't repeat the stories we related in our other posts. We began Geocaching in June of '03 with no goals in mind other than to explore the various facets of the game. Our first find was a micro. On our second outing we discovered a virtual as well as the true ammo can in the woods. We placed our first cache, a multi involving Round Barns in October. When he logged it, ABX Guy informed us about Reverse Caches. In January of 2004 we attended the "Convergence", our first event cache.
Our first Geocaching "goal" was to average one find a day for the first year. In order to do that we farmed the reverse cache pages and logged a few from home or after a short drive. They kept us on the lookout for unusual features. Of course we kept after the local caches as well. We learned to love the challenge of Whitard's Al Quacka and puzzle caches. While pursuing an Al Quacka cache that spring, we met the Dino Duo and formed a friendship that has expanded beyond caching.
In July of '05, we met Dar and Linda of Photo Bug 2. He told us of a cache where you got credit if you found caches in each of Michigan's 83 counties. We saw it as an interesting concept but could not comprehend how one would tabulate finds on a county by county basis.
I guess we just stumbled onto our next goal which was to reach 1000. We were at 998 and decided to do two events in one day, on June 6 2006, just days before our 3rd caching anniversary, we attended "Go Get Outdoors" at Interlochen State Park followed by "Something Twisted This Way Comes" which was put on by Sandrich.
This past spring, we stumbled upon the website "It's not about the numbers" and figured out how to load our finds. The result was a map that showed what we had to do. Our next goal was clear, color our map a solid blue. In the fall, when we saw that the Wolverines had 6 home games in the first 7 weeks, we decided to rent an apartment in Ann Arbor and save the 500 mile round trips. Living down there gave us the time to finish off our Lower Peninsula counties. One final northern run in October and we were finished. The only challenge left was to provide our information to Linda. With some help and coaching we got that job done but I'd rather hike a couple of miles to find a cache.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our first four years of this activity. We have met some great people and enjoyed their stories. We are constantly being impressed at the time and creative effort that some folks put into their cache containers and placements. We have been taken down some exciting roads, some we probably should not have attempted but what the heck. We have accumulated some scratches and dents, even put a few on the cachemobile, but nothing serious. Best of all, we've had fun! Lots of stories, lots of laughs. Our thanks go out to all those who've placed tupperware out there for us to find and to those we've met and shared good times with along the way.
What's next? Well there are 50 states and the District of Columbia. We've got 16 down, only 35 to go.

Here are our Stats from the website "It's Not About The Numbers":
Stats for basswoodbend
Total: 1539 finds on 1537 unique caches (List Multiple Finds)

Total days since first find: 1614 - Overall find Rate: 0.95/day, 6.68/week

Total days with a find: 431 (Every 3.7 days or 26.7% of your total days) - Average finds per caching day: 3.57

Best day: 4/08/06 - 26 finds

Most consecutive days with a find: 10 from 3/03/07 to 3/12/07

Longest caching drought: 44 days from 6/18/07 to 7/31/07

Average total cache difficulty: 1.61 - Average total terrain rating: 1.52

Average physical cache difficulty: 1.68 - Average physical terrain rating: 1.58 (Traditional, Multi, Unknown, Project APE, Letterbox)

Approximate cache-to-cache distance: 41205.91 miles (66314.48 kilometres) (Excludes locationless and known traveling caches)

Active Caches: 1028 of the caches you've found are still active (66.9%)

Average log size: 76.2 words - Biggest log: 511 words - Shortest log: 0 word - Number of one-word logs: 1

More stats:

Milestone Cache Date Found Days Since Previous Milestone
1 Lone Pine Micro (Log) 6/15/03
100 The Queen City (Log) 11/03/03 141
200 Old Historic Log Cabins (Log) 1/25/04 83
300 Clio Veteran's Memorial Park (Log) 5/06/04 101
400 Micro Adventure (Log) 8/17/04 103
500 Old Friends (Log) 1/09/05 145
600 Boughey (Log) 5/07/05 117
700 Nate & Kaye's Cache (Log) 8/23/05 108
800 Life's a beach in Lake City (Log) 12/03/05 102
900 Toll Gate (Log) 4/08/06 125
1000 Something Twisted This Way Comes... (Log) 6/10/06 63
1100 MLT -- Hatton (Log) 10/08/06 120
1200 The House That Barney Built (Log) 3/06/07 149
1300 Hanging around Hayes Twp Park (Log) 6/10/07 95
1400 Podunk Michigan (Log) 9/18/07 100
1500 Stockade (1815-1817) (Log) 10/10/07 22
Based on your overall rate of 0.95 finds per day, you'll find number 1600 around 1/17/08 and the big 2000 around 3/13/09. However, over the past few months, your find rate has actually been 2.23 finds per day. Based on that, you'll find number 1600 around 12/11/07 and your 2000th around 6/07/08.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Maize and Blue Face-full

A football game was played Saturday afternoon over in Madison. Two well-known Big Ten teams played. A lot of people probably really enjoyed that game. I won't mention any names (roger). The Michigan team really got a spanking of the worst kind. They took it on the chin. They didn't need to send out for apples, because the Badgers handed them their lunch. It was dismal, if you're Faithful. It was the kind of game that you knew intuitively that you were going to lose, but then again, hope springs eternal. Oh well.

Michigan Handed First Conference Defeat at Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. -- The No. 13-ranked University of Michigan football team was unable to remain unbeaten in Big Ten play, suffering a 37-21 loss at Wisconsin Saturday (Nov. 10) before 82,352 fans at Camp Randall Stadium. The Wolverines (8-3, 6-1 Big Ten) played without the services of senior tailback Mike Hart (Syracuse, N.Y./Onondaga Central HS), and senior quarterback Chad Henne (Wyomissing, Pa./Wilson HS) left after the first two offensive possessions.

Junior wide receiver Mario Manningham (Warren, Ohio/Warren G. Harding HS) led the offense with his NCAA-leading sixth consecutive 100-yard receiving game, catching three passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He has scored receiving touchdowns in six straight games, and his 97-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter is the longest offensive play in school history.

Freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett (Texarkana, Ark./Texarkana [Texas] HS) completed 11-of-36 passes for 245 yards and matched his career high with three passing touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Adrian Arrington (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington HS) caught a team-best seven passes for 101 yards and one touchdown.

Junior nose tackle Terrance Taylor (Muskegon, Mich./Muskegon HS) led the defense with a career-high nine tackles. Senior safety Jamar Adams (Charlotte, N.C./Butler HS) also chipped in nine stops in the game.


It fell to Michigan State to uphold the honor of the State of Michigan by whaling on Purdue in a most determined fashion. Way to Go Green.

After the Big Game, which left us Black and Blue, Gary and Donna (CoyChev) and Shawn and Meesa (Koda) came over for ice cream and cookies. It was a good idea to get our minds off football !! We discussed caching, caches, placing caches, finding caches, cache history, personal history, job-seeking, recipes, geocaching politics (now there's a hot topic), elderly mothers, cool parents, geocoins, path tags and I don't know what all. It was a good way to end the day.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cousin Jenny's

We met Tim and Susie (DinoDuo) at Cousin Jenny's for lunch. It's a fun place - especially when the lunch crowd clears out! The pasties there are much better than what you get in the UP - the yooper pasties tend to be a little bit dry. These were really good, and they serve lots of gravy on the side, which I appreciated. Dick and I decided that the Cornish pasties that we got in Cornwall were even better, though! We gave Tim and Susie the 3,000th Find coin that Dick ordered and had engraved. It turned out really well, and I think they liked it.

The 3 of them went geocaching after lunch, but I came home and played on the computer! Everybody needs a hobby :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The State Game

Another momentous Michigan=Michigan State football game is now history. It was a hard-fought nail-biter of a game. State led for a long time, but Michigan somehow pulled a victory out of the hat. Wow - it was exciting! This from mgoblue:

Henne's Four TD Passes Power Football Past Spartans
In the 100th meeting between Michigan and Michigan State on the gridiron, U-M quarterback Chad Henne threw four touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Mario Manningham with 2:28 left in the contest, to lead the 15th-ranked Wolverines to a 28-24 victory Saturday, Nov. 3, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan trailed 24-14 with less than seven minutes to play, but Henne engineered scoring drives of 79 and 65 yards for the comeback win. Jamar Adams and Obi Ezeh paced the defense with 14 and 13 tackles, respectively

Both Henne and Hart played with injuries. I remember the day when college kids sat out the games when they were injured. Now it seems that they just get taped up or something and play anyway. Michael sat out for most of the second half. I think Chad sat out for one or two plays. I certainly hope that neither of them is permanently damaged in any way. Sure, it's great to win the football game, but it shouldn't be necessary for these young men to sacrifice their well-being for a victory.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Week That Was

Watching the Minnesota game was just about as much fun you can have when you're chilly and a little bit wet! The team played very well in the last 3 quarters after getting off to a rocky start.

Big days from Brandon Minor and Mario Manningham helped the No. 19 Michigan football team overcome an early deficit to retain the Little Brown Jug with a 34-10 win over Minnesota on Saturday, Oct. 27, in Michigan Stadium. Minor rushed for a career-high 157 yards and one touchdown, while Manningham went over 100 yards receiving for the fourth game in a row, catching five balls for 162 yards and a TD. Carlos Brown added 132 yards and two TDs on the ground, and Ryan Mallett threw for a career-best 233 yards.

The headline for this article on mgoblue was Minor, Manningham Manuever Michigan Past Minnesota - I'm thinking that they really scratched their heads trying to come up with another word that started with M! Justin and Heather were there, and they're going to use our Ohio State tickets too. They're great seatmates.

We had a great weekend staying with Sniders - it's always fun hearing about their kids and grandkids, not to mention planning our cruise to Scandinavia in May!

Dick has been busy in the yard, getting it ready for winter....blowing and mowing, fertilizing, putting covers on the outdoor furniture, winterizing the tractors and stuff, and trying to get the pontoon boat repaired and winterized.

I'm cleaning out my room one drawer at a time - sending stuff to Goodwill, ordering Christmas gifts and new shoes, having back spasms and spending a whole day in bed on muscle relaxers, and trying out new recipes. One recipe was a disaster, one was quite good, and one was for pea soup with barley and ham. (It would have been better with kielbasa.)

Tom survived the fires in San Diego - just one of his colleagues lost his home, and Cymer wasn't damaged - so things could have been much worse. I think the fires are all contained by now.

Tomorrow's game with Mich. State is at 3:30 p.m. I think it could go either way depending on who is hurt, suspended, or benched. You never can tell. Go Blue.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Does This Work?

I just downloaded Windows Live Writer, and the site says that I can post to my blog from here.  This is my experimental post!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ouch



They are talking about letting people back into RB today. I may actually have to go to work tomorrow.


On a more serious note, one of my colleagues in the chamber group lost his house.


RB is Tom's area of San Diego - Rancho Bernardo. The chamber group is not stringed instruments, as you might think. (wink) Chambers are part of the process of making lasers for Cymer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Witch of San Diego

We're naturally concerned about Tom's safety. On the google earth maps, his house looks to be surrounded by fire. He is respectful of the danger, but he says he's outside of the evac area (for now) and doesn't expect fire in his neighborhood. We're all being watchful and his sisters are helping to keep him entertained! I told him to be sure to pack a picture of his mother.

The reference to the ice cream truck is because the police come around with megaphones when you have to evacuate, and it reminds everybody of when the ice cream truck used to come on our street in the subdivision.

Well it looks like the ice cream truck came to Tom's house. We were debating which car Tom chose to save.... The name of Tom's fire is the Witch Fire.

Let us know where you are. By the way the Mexican border is closed so don't go south ;)

Thinking of you and all your personal belongings
Laurie
A map of the fire area Tom's house is between Poway and I-15.

He said the car had already been packed, I couldn't bear to ask 'which car.' Probly Raven tho, because he said he really just took some clothes and documents. He said he would probly head to Val's. (Jana)

I spoke with Tom just now and he hasn't evacuated yet. He is on the edge of the zone. I woke him up. I hope he can go back to sleep!!! Sorry Tom (Laurie)

I think if I were Tom, I'd just, you know ... ditch. How did he *know* he was on the edge of the zone? He was *sleeping*! (Jana)

Good morning everyone!


I have some clothes and documents packed in Raven. The bike rack is on and my mountain bike is on the back.

The houses that are at risk are those that border wild brush areas. Once houses start burning the fire usually doesn't spread very far into a development. I am surrounded by houses and irrigated landscaping on all sides for a good distance. At this point the fire would approach from the north and my house has a bare construction site with stone laid on it just to the north. The probability of my house burning is small.


At this point they are being very cautious and are evacuating neighborhoods well in advance of any serious threat. Rest assured that if an evacuation order comes I will leave without hesitation.

On a further note, Tuesday is garbage day and the garbage truck just came by to pick up the garbage, i.e. business as usual. (Tom)

See, I knew he wouldn't leave without the bike!!!! (Laurie)

How bout Cymer? Is Cymer burned up? Huh?

Which clothes did you pack?

What about your comics?

What about pictures? Don't you think you should take that 22nd Street Beat clip about me off the refrigerator?

How bout the bunnies? Have you seen herds of bounding wild-eyed bunnies? In my book, that's when you get the heck outta Dodge. (Jana)


On Oct 23, 2007, at 7:49 AM, Jana Steiger wrote:


How bout Cymer? Is Cymer burned up? Huh?

I don't think so but I don't really know. It'd be interesting, though. If it did burn there would be global implications for the semi-conductor industry.

Which clothes did you pack?

My "Life is crap" tee shirt and my Michigan boxer shorts.


What about your comics?

No, but I sorted them in the order that I want them to burn.


What about pictures? Don't you think you should take that 22nd Street Beat clip about me off the refrigerator?

Well sure, that.

How bout the bunnies? Have you seen herds of bounding wild-eyed bunnies? In my book, that's when you get the heck outta Dodge.

The coyotes tend to keep the bunny population in check. (Tom)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pride


PALM CITY ELEMENTARY
Congratulations Leigh Anne Pike, Teacher of the Year!
NO SCHOOL FRIDAY, Oct. 26. Teacher Work Day
Congratulations, TLC's: Cody Andrews, Dillon Hansen, Lola Nicotra, Hannah Lewis, Justin Belisle, Maggie McSoley, Jacqueline Rouse, Jordan Feldman, Spencer MacLeod, Alexis McCallister, Billy Buntin, Zander Bush, Evan O'Brien,Eric Guidoboni, Saja Hussein, Chris Menninger, Ryan McCauley, Nicholas Shirkey, Sydney Coble, Kamron Kuschel, Tanner Roe, Emma Turner, Cameron Carrero, Megan Ream, Whitney Hanner, Kieran Anderson, Kayla Kuschel, Eric Ohrn, Leah Nicotra, Katie Fenick, Michael Hunter, Elizabeth Brooks, Marrissa Jadotte, Dylan Gillespie, Alex Kamentz, Abby Wendisch, Matthew Haggerty, Lorin Taylor, Joshaua Cooler, Connor Morris, Breanna Copus, Tyler Burnam,Bliss Rose.

Sunday in a Bottle

We have found a cache in every one of Michigan's 83 Counties! Went back to the UP last weekend to finish the last 2 counties (Gogebic and Marquette), and also to pick up Wisconsin.

The trip up was miserable - the weather was awful - cold, rainy and windy. It did seem to stop for us whenever we got out of the car, so at least we didn't get soaked. Stayed the first night in Iron River. We had planned to stay Saturday night in Marquette, but we didn't have a reservation. As it turns out, Marquette was filled to capacity Saturday night. Northern Michigan was playing Michigan Tech in the Superior Dome, NMU was playing Univ. of Mich. in hockey, and it was Parent's Weekend. So we went on to Munising and spent the night there. We ate pizza and watched Michigan beat Illinois :)
Michigan Grabs Key Road Win With Comeback at Illinois
Wide receiver Adrian Arrington scored one touchdown and threw for another to lead the No. 24 Michigan football team to a 27-17 victory over Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 20, in Champaign, Ill. Arrington scored on a diving 14-yard grab of a Chad Henne pass to put U-M up 17-14 going to halftime, and in the fourth quarter, after Sean Griffin's recovery of a muffed punt deep in Illini territory, Arrington hit Mario Manningham for an 11-yard TD pass that broke a 17-17 tie. Filling in for Mike Hart, Carlos Brown ran for a career-high 113 yards.

My impressions of the UP:
1. We heard on the radio that there are 14,000 bears in the UP. (shudder)
2. The fall colors this weekend were all yellow. Every forest was yellow everywhere.
3. Yoopers are very friendly - especially servers at restaurants.
4. Iron River has a great restaurant - Main Street Cafe. They have pies of all sorts.
5. Marquette was very crowded. Tommy's Restaurant was nice.
6. We found a cache at the oldest house in Marquette - 1813.
7. Dick thought that Marquette's sandstone buildings were pretty. I thought they were dark, heavy, and sinister.
8. Marquette has a great waterfront area with nice beaches except we were wondering who would swim in Lake Superior? Temp. is around 40 F. in the summertime.
9. In Marquette we met QuirkToo - he used to be a prof. at NMU. He's from Belleville - I taught with his Mom and Dad at Edgemont.
10. It seems like we drove around and around and around in Marquette - we did many caches there, including one that was a tour of the town.
11. We loved the Marquette Library. Actually it's the Peter White Library. Nice.
12. Lots of lakes in the UP have 3 letter names - we saw Ice Lake, Imp Lake, Bat Lake, Owl Lake and the Cut River among many, many others.
13. A woman who lives in Paradise found an agate on the shores of Lake Superior while we were there which measures 7"x4" and is worth about $2,000.
14. In the Mackinac Grille in St. Ignace the servers were wearing Tee shirts saying St. Ignace is a little drinking town with a fishing problem.
15. Sunday was a gorgeous day for driving home. The radio played If I Could Put Time in a Bottle - we would have put Sunday in a bottle !

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Our Valley Ranch Apartment


Our Ann Arbor home away from home from Labor Day until Oct. 15 - 1455 Oak Valley Drive, Apt. 103
Good Times!






Saturday, October 13, 2007

Class of 1957



Fifty years ago I graduated from the Univ. of Mich. with a Bachelor's Degree in Education (BA Ed). Today is Homecoming Day, and my class was honored at the Alumni Assn. Homecoming Tailgate Brunch. I had a really good time - the food wasn't good, but the entertainment was fabulous, and there were great freebies.
Here's Dick's report of our day:

We are winding up our A2 excursion. We have had a blast! Saturday's game was icing on the cake. It was homecoming and Nancy's 50th reunion tailgate. The festivities were in the Track & Field building which is just in the outfield of the Baseball stadium. I got permission to drive in and drop her off and then I took the car back to our parking spot and walked back down to the brunch.
The food was pathetic but the event was fun. Branstatter spoke as did Pres. Mary Sue Coleman. The Alumni Pep band played and both the men's and women's glee clubs sang. There was a lot of the old time M music that today's kids don't know. On the day we must have sung "I wanta go back to Michigan" and "The Yellow and the Blue" a half dozen times each. The scary thing was when Ron Kramer spoke. He was in Nancy's class and my fraternity. I remember him as being a big guy but he looks average now. He walks with a cane and has become an old man. What happened!





After the program, there was a shuttle available back to the stadium. We were told that it was going to gate 9 which is by our seats. Wrong! It dropped us at Crisler Arena. I had left stuff in the car so Nancy was on her own and I walked around the outside to the car and then back to the seats. All the walking would have been no problem except, somehow in the morning I slipped on something in the bathroom and broke a toe. It didn't bother me until after the shuttle ride, then it started to burn. Still, I was able to ignore it and enjoy the game until the 4th quarter when one of the early leavers stepped on it. It started to throb and Nancy gave me some Tylenol. When we got home I was afraid to look at it. The thing is a nice fluorescent purple. We iced it and Nancy gave me some pain stuff that has some sleepy dust in it.
The bottom line is that the three or four caches that I had planned on doing today didn't get done. We stayed home and packed up our stuff and loafed. About 2 we went out to lunch at Joe's Crab Shack. Lobster Bisque and Crab Cakes. It was great! Once again, thank you Tim and Susie!!


The weather was perfect for football. We were a little worried about playing Purdue, but as it turned out, Michigan dominated the whole game. Justin (Wolverine Warrior) bought our two spare tickets and came with his daughter Emily. It was a perfect game for her to see - she loved all of the Homecoming activities. I gave her some beads and a pull-out Go Blue sign - she was tickled. She got to see every variety of the wave that there is- forward, backward, fast, slow, superfast, and double. I'm so glad that she had a good experience. The only downside was that Michael sprained his ankle and didn't play in the second half.
It was a splendid day all around.

Super Mario Stars as Football Rolls Past Boilermakers
Mario Manningham caught two first-half touchdown passes -- on 24- and 21-yard strikes from Chad Henne -- en route to a career day, and the Wolverine defense crashed Purdue's wide-open passing attack Saturday, Oct. 13, as the U-M football team defeated the Boilermakers, 48-21, in Michigan Stadium. Mike Hart had a terrific first half, running for 102 yards to help Michigan gain a 24-point halftime advantage. The U-M defense -- led by Terrance Taylor's two TFL's -- protected the lead with a vigorous second half.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Three-O-Caching

For three days in a row, we traveled to a different area each day for sightseeing and geocaching.

On Wednesday, we went to Grosse Ile - it was a most interesting day. Dick has picked out a bunch of virtuals because they are easy enough even for me! He's very considerate that way. We did about a dozen virtuals in that area - all interesting, and some were fascinating. For instance, did you know that there was slavery in Michigan? On Grosse Ile there was a plaque describing how a woman who was born a slave became free in 1815, and willed part of her estate to establish an Episcopal chapel. Her name was Lisette Denison, and she was quite an influential woman for her day.

Thursday we went to the South Lyon area. We were impressed with the cache containers and the cache placements around South Lyon. It was fun, exciting, and gave us a couple of really good ideas! It was fun to see the beautiful homes in new subdivisions on the outskirts of town. The downtown was decorated with stuffed scarecrows in trick or treat costumes which had been created by various local businesses and put up on the lamp posts. The stuffed scarecrows were adorable and really well done - it made for a really attractive display. I was impressed.

Friday we stayed around Ann Arbor and had a great time exploring old haunts, and finding our way around the one way streets, the construction, and the congestion. Dick was really on a roll - he found everything right away. He has developed very good caching instincts.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kingdom - Don't Go

Are you a movie goer? You can skip Kingdom, with Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner. If you enjoy this type of movie you might as well find your local recruiter, suit up, train, and go to Baghdad - this movie is just like being there...very bloody, very violent, true to life, and depressing. Jan, Diann and I went today and I have to point at Diann - she selected the movie! It was horrible.

The rest of the day was great! Jan and I went back to the condo where Dick and Bill were waiting. Tammy came over with the kids (Ethan and baby Emily) and Eric came after work. Jan ordered Chinese take-away and we had a great time with the kids. Eric and Tammy will be moving to Wisconsin in a few weeks, so we treasure the time we can spend with them.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Saline Dias

Pardon the pun.

The Ann Arbor News sports page article about yesterday's game had a headline that said Michigan's victory was "Satisfying Enough". I wouldn't have said that - I would have said that the victory was "OK", or maybe "We'll Take It". But satisfying? Well, no.

We were outside at 8:30 this morning, headed to Saline for more caching before the day got too warm. At our first stop, the humidity was already uncomfortable even though the temp was only 71 at that time. As the day wore on, the temp got up to 90. The high temps don't bother you as much when you spend the time between outings in an air conditioned car!

Saline is a really attractive town - the downtown area looks vital and viable, the neighborhoods are well-maintained, the city parks are numerous, and the outlying subdivisions are filled with McMansions. The US12 approaches to Saline are booming with everything a town needs - all the fast food, groceries and warehouse shopping that one could ask for. The surrounding country roads are so pleasant to drive - nice farms, gorgeous barns, and huge fields.

I was really disappointed with the Oak Hill Cemetery. The gate was closed and padlocked - on a Sunday afternoon! I felt like they slammed the door in my face. We especially loved one stage of the Tour de Saline series of 10 - we are thinking of duplicating that one. We also really liked the Tour Through Saline (yes, they are two different series), and we're thinking of copying that one as well.

I helped Dick search for a couple of these, but he basically did the whole day by himself, and found everything!

Found it 10/7/2007 You found Tour through Saline (Multi-cache)
We enjoyed this cache very much. It's hard to believe this was a first effort.Despite multiple muggles at the final, we were able to grab the cache, sign the log while admiring the sculpture garden, and replace it. Thanks for the fun.

Found it 10/7/2007 You found Tour de Saline - Marpool / Canterbury Park (Traditional Cache)
Found the pricker free route. The house and yard to the north(the one with the caboose) is amazing! Not many muggles this warm Sunday morning. Thanks for the series and thanks for the cache.

Found it 10/7/2007 You found Down by the pond (Traditional Cache)
We went after this one Sunday afternoon as the thermometer and humidity were both climbing toward 90. Once the GPS settled down it was an easy find. SL,TN,LN. Thanks for the hunt.

Found it 10/7/2007 You found Tour de Saline - Teft Park (Traditional Cache)
This was our first find on a Sunday in which temperatures are forecast to approach 90. A very cool hide. It had us scratching our heads, we may have to copy it. Thanks for the fun.

Found it 10/6/2007 You found Always Pittsfield (Multi-cache)
We did this one this afternoon with summer weather. This is one of our least favored caches. we just can't get into enjoying exploring the ditches along a busy highway. TNLNSL

Found it 10/6/2007 You found Rec Center Micro (Traditional Cache) [visit log]
In Saline on a hot muggy Sunday. Nice walk and because of the excellent cords, it was a quick find. Thanks for the hunt

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sun-Baked Football Fans

Wow, was it hot.

Hot, hot, hot.

We drank Pepsi, and water, and water followed by some water and still felt like we were cooking. Whew. We personally saw 3 people on the golf cart ambulances being taken to First Aid, plus one man from our section who had to be carried about 30 rows up our aisle after the game and taken to First Aid. It's not the hottest day we've ever seen at Michigan Stadium, but it was definitely Hot Enough For Me (officially 88F, although our car thermometer said 90F when we got back to the car). I sat outside in the shade at half time, and that was a very good idea!

The game was shocking to me - Eastern Michigan should have been beaten easily, but in the first half they were quite effectively competitive. It was pitiful, to be honest. Michigan did pull it out 33-22, but it was not a win to be particularly proud of, in my opinion.

mgoblue.com:

Hart Runs for Record as Football Dashes Past Eastern
Mike Hart's 14-yard gallop in the first quarter -- which led to a 31-yard TD pass from Chad Henne to Adrian Arrington -- made Hart Michigan's all-time leading rusher Saturday, Oct. 6, as the U-M football team defeated Eastern Michigan, 33-22, in Michigan Stadium. Jake Long and the Wolverine offensive line opened gaping holes early and often for Hart, who dazzled with 215 yards and three scores on 22 carries. U-M's defense -- paced by Obi Ezeh's 9 tackles -- contained EMU's spread attack, holding the Eagles to one touchdown.


It was exciting to be there when Michael became the U of M Career Rushing Champion (previously held by Anthony Thomas, the A Train). The crowd is into chants this year, and they chanted his name and did a standing ovation.

The U of M student population is amazingly diverse. But on a football Saturday, they all wear the official yellow Tee shirt and sing, chant, and gesture in unison. We noticed a sikh with the Tee shirt, but his turban was beige. You'd think that Ulrich's would have a maize and blue turban, or maybe one designed like a helmet! Today we saw a helmet design on a beach ball that was being bounced around under the Press Box.

Today is Holden's birthday,(he is now nine years old) and his folks bought our tickets so that Holden could bring a friend. The birthday group was late getting there because they had a soccer game first. They seemed to enjoy themselves just fine. The boys decided that football requires more strategy than soccer. Happy Birthday Holden.

It feels so good to be home in the AC with dry clothes. It feels good to be cool, comfortable and victorious.

Hail to the Victors.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Points East

It was another beautiful, warm, blue sky day.

We drove to Rochester Hills to visit Doug and Odette for lunch. I was expecting to go out to a restaurant, or to order pizza, or maybe to have a sandwich. You have to know Odette to know what I mean when I say she prepared us a complete Sunday dinner...and we ate at the Big Table! It was very delicious, and the entire visit was satisfying and enjoyable. We had a great time reminiscing, passing on family news, and discussing events. Doug and Odette are in good spirits as always, despite a few health problems. They always manage to overcome.

On the way home we found three virtuals - they were all interesting - and it was good to have an excuse to stop and stretch on the way home.

Found it 10/5/2007 You found All aboard!!!!! (Virtual Cache)
We visited family in Rochester Hills today and came back across 59. We hit the three virtuals along the way. The history was interesting to us because we seldom visit this area. Thanks for the push for us to stop as we drove past.

Found it 10/5/2007 You found Highland Station (Virtual Cache)
We visited family in Rochester Hills today and came back across 59. We hit the three virtuals along the way. The history was interesting to us because we seldom visit this area. Kudos to those who aided in the restoration and creation of this small park. Thanks for the push for us to stop as we drove past.

Found it 10/5/2007 You found Get a Handel on it (Virtual Cache)
We visited family in Rochester Hills today and came back to Ann Arbor across 59. We hit the three virtuals along the way. The history was interesting to us because we have not visited this area. We have blown past on the xway hundreds of times but never gotten off to see the town. A number of the local elementary school mom's were gathered out in front of the hall to share the news and gossip of the day. Almost as if we were in a time warp. Thanks for the push for us to stop look, and learn.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Memory Lane and Red Hawk

It was a day to go down Memory Lane over in Belleville. We caught up on some caches around town and in the MetroPark. One of the caches was in the Hillside Cemetery, and it was like a blast from the past driving down the lanes of the cemetery because we recognized all of the family names...well 85% at least. We saw Phil's grave for the first time since the funeral when Dick was one of the pallbearers. Such memories! All in all it was an awesome morning. We ate lunch at Mr. Bill's, which is a lot different now than when it used to be Little Caesar's.

This evening we met John "Edward Applebee" for dinner at the Red Hawk Grill on campus. We really enjoyed his company a lot. He's actually younger than our kids - a lovely young man - interesting, intelligent, and thoughtful. We had a great time with him. He visits TC often because he has family there, and he was there last weekend while we were there. He told me that he saw this Subaru with Migo 1 on the license plate - I said "That was us!" He was behind us at a traffic light. What are the odds?

It's been another idyllic day.

Some of Dick's logs from Belleville:
10/4/2007 You found Walk Along the Paw Paw Trail (Traditional Cache)
This area has many memories for us. For 20 years we lived just outside the park entrance on Haggerty Rd. and the park was just through the fence in our back yard. What we recall most about this trail are the dramatic red buds in bloom in the spring and a large cluster of Jack-in-the-Pulpit . Today the cords seemed to be about 50 feet off but found it with the clue and some searching. Traded sigs, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Found it 10/4/2007 You found METROPARKS: PARK EDGE (Traditional Cache)
This is probably the only one of the Metro Park series that we’ll do this year but since, for 20 years that we lived and raised a family on Haggerty Rd this was our backyard, we had to do this one. This park not only provided recreation and enjoyment for all of us, it also provided summer employment for two of our kids and a place where we taught kids how to drive. We have walked, biked, and skied all of the trails in the park and so had a pretty good idea where this cache would be. Found it today about 3, signed the log and left a chalkboard set.
Thanks to the Metro Parks and their staffs for their support of this quirky activity of ours.

Found it 10/4/2007 You found On Owen Street? (Traditional Cache)
Wow! Memory Lane. 50 years ago when we were first married, what is now the High School building was K-12. Neither of the Jr. Highs existed. All three of our kids attended South and many of our friends taught here. We haven’t been back for over 15 years. Thanks for the memories. TFTC

Found it 10/4/2007 You found Jagman's Smallie spot! (Traditional Cache)
What an improvement this park is. When we came to live in Belleville and had an apartment a few blocks east on Liberty 50 years ago, this was the site of a ramshackle building, the oldest in the town. Here, in the 1950's the Doanes bought, sold, restored, and recycled old car batteries. The excess overflowed out the back and down along the lake shore. This park is a fantastic addition and a much nicer first impression of the town. Thanks for making us aware of what the city has accomplished in the 15 years we have been gone.

Found it 10/4/2007 You found Where's the Beef? (Traditional Cache)
Fun concept, we like it. we'd copy it but we don't have any Xways in our neck of the woods so we can't. When we lived in the subdivision north of here in the late 50's, there was just a stop sign at the intersection of Quirk and the Ford Freeway. If the traffic was heavy, you could take Belleville Rd. where there was a traffic light. Thanks for the memories.

Found it 10/4/2007 You found No Bones About It 2! (Traditional Cache)
For the first 35 years of our married life we lived, taught, and raised our family in the Van Buren Public School District. In all of those years, except for a few funerals, we rarely visited this place. In the course of our careers we taught multiple thousands of students. In addition, we worked with and associated with many hundreds of adults. We have found many cemetery caches before but this is the first time that we knew many, in fact the majority of the names. As we drive along the lanes we see the grandparents, aunts, and uncles of our “kids”. We also viewed the resting places of parents we met, colleagues with whom we worked and even some of our former students. This was truly a drive down memory lane. We signed the log and left a Geopin. Thanks for giving us a push to visit here this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dream Day

Breakfast out, movies, dinner out - wow! Three days of activity in one!

The monthly BHS retirees breakfast was this morning at the Bomber in Ypsi (don't ask). Dick was in hog heaven because this month the coaches showed up. They could discuss past, present and future developments in football, not to mention memories of teams past and commiserating about teams present. He sat with Tom F., Kirk, Bob, Bill. and Tommy M. (for 2 1/2 hours)!

At the other end of the table (the fun end) I sat with Jan, Diann, Dorothy, Linda, Cindy (Madame) and Carol. I heard all about the latest trip to Branson, everybody's kids, good books and good movies, plus just a bit of gossip.

Afterwards, Jan, Diann and I went to the Showcase to see Game Plan, with the Rock. We decided that he has a really nice smile and nice brown eyes (!). It's a cute movie with some really funny lines, and some stupid food disasters (stupid is a really mean word). We enjoyed it - it was entertaining and fun. The child star was adorable, but needs an ear job - no kidding!

In the evening, Jan&Bill and Diann&Bill came over for a drink, and we all went out to dinner at Godaiko Japanese Restaurant. We went there because of the generous gift certificate we got from Tim&Susie (thanks) and we had a marvelous time. The food was really good - very satisfying. The company was enjoyable, and it was a very pleasant time.

A Dream Day

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Turtle Cove and Grizzly Peak

You just wouldn't believe what's happening in the Lower Huron MetroPark!! There is a huge new waterpark under construction - it's almost finished. It's called the Turtle Cove Aqua Center. We saw two big waterslides, 3 new buildings, a "lazy river". It's located right behind our Haggerty Road house - our kids would have been able easily to walk there - it's closer than the ice skating pond, and much closer than the swimming pool. We took pictures so that maybe our kids will believe us - although they still may not believe us!

It's going to be spectacular for next summer - there's a huge parking lot alongside it, and I just know that on hot summer days next year it will be a popular spot!

We had no idea that this aqua center was being planned, and nobody was more surprised that we were. You can actually see it from our park entrance!

This evening we were supposed to meet fellow geo-cacher Edward Applebee for dinner at the Grizzly Peak. We were there at the appointed time, but he stood us up - well he was very apologetic about it - it seems he ran into some glitches. Meanwhile, we had a great dinner, and really enjoyed everything anyway. Ann Arbor is a delightful town in the evening. While I was waiting for Dick to pick me up I was out on the street with the sidewalk patio diners, and watching the people strolling past was fascinating. Young, old, couples, groups, black, Asian, handicapped in wheelchairs, well-dressed, funkily dressed - and this was in just four or five minutes of watching! Ann Arbor is a great town.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Home to T.C.

It was a lovely day for a drive. We set out from Bay City, did 5 caches in 2 counties (Arenac and Gladwin), and now we have found a cache in every county in the Lower Peninsula. Yaaaay! We still have two counties to do in the U.P.

When we got home, Dick mowed the entire yard, and then we went into town to the bank and to Jiffy Lube. He also logged all of our latest finds, - he was the energizer bunny!

Yesterday was game day, and since the Big Ten Network and the cable company can't agree on a price structure, we couldn't see the game at home. Shooter's is a nice sports bar. It turned out to be a nice, loud, energetic, crowded, happy sports bar. The game began dismally, but the fourth quarter was delightful - we were very relieved and satisfied. Just wish that team would get its act together!

mgoblue:


Henne, Wolverines Show Resolve With Win at Northwestern
Chad Henne set the U-M record for career touchdown passes with an 11-yard strike to Mario Manningham in the first quarter Saturday, Sept 29, as the Michigan football team defeated Northwestern, 28-16, on Ryan Field. NU racked up 309 yards by halftime to lead 16-7, but Henne threw his 74th career score -- a 5-yard shot to Carson Butler -- in the third quarter, and gave U-M the lead with a 16-yard bullet to Adrian Arrington with 9:53 remaining. The Wolverine defense then sealed the triumph, forcing four straight Wildcat turnovers.


I was surprised that so many people bring their children to the bar on a Saturday afternoon. One group of boys was wandering around all afternoon, totally at a loss for something to do, and nobody seemed to be in charge of them. I'm sure there were a dozen other places those boys would have rather been.

Today we're on our way back down to Ann Arbor for 2 more weeks.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ThumbDay

1.The Thumb is very, very agricultural - mostly navy beans, corn and sugar beets - especially sugar beets.

2. Port Huron is a really nice town - they have a lovely riverfront, and it's fun to look across to Canada. The Blue Water Bridge is huge. When we were there, the traffic entering the US was extremely slow and backed up.

3. A lot of the riverfront area is devoted to Thomas Edison, who spent part of his boyhood in Port Huron. There's a museum, statues, streets named after him, etc.

4. The world's fist International Railroad Tunnel connects Sarnia and Port Huron. Who knew?

5. Comfort Inn uses new, soft, luxurious pillows - 4 on each bed! I want to get some so I will also have a luxurious bed!

6. We saw funny street names in Port Huron - my favorite was Puttygut Street. Rattle Run is a good one too.

7. Free Wi-Fi doesn't always mean that you'll get a connection.

8. Croswell has a suspension footbridge - the longest in the US. There's a sign over it that says "Be Kind to Your Mother-In-Law". I think I'll send a picture of it to Chip! ;)

9. We saw an Asian couple at a rest area picnic table - they were cooking noodles on a camp stove. They never sat down, they never spoke to each other, and they ate their noodles with chopsticks from small yellow bowls - with their backs to each other!

10. If you order a hot turkey sandwich for lunch, tell them to go easy on the gravy!!!

11. The young desk clerk at the motel does not always know the best place for dinner.

12. Our new Garmin GPS is great for navigating in strange territory - nice complete maps and good directions. It helps the driver if the navigator reads what's coming up next, since it's obviously hard to drive and read the GPS at the same time!

13. It's still possible to get lost.

14. Long freight trains should not come to a halt in the center of town (Bay City).

15. A bee's nest can ruin a geocache search.



Dick's logs from 2 days of geocaching in the Thumb:


Didn 9/26/2007 You couldn't find WTA Hoo Goes There? (Traditional Cache)
Add us to the list of those who went to the tree with the hollow by the boundary fence and came up short.

Found it 9/26/2007 You found Capac Rest Area - 69W (Traditional Cache)
I turned the hunt for this cache into an adventure and one of my personal Geocaching triumphs. We are on a quest to find caches in each of Michigan’s 83 counties. A google map search spotted this one just across the county line into St Clair County. Due to a number of circumstances, I loaded the coordinates by hand. In the process I transposed a couple of numbers thus placing me 175 feet off. A glance at the bushwhacking involved determined that this was to be a solo push. Ironically, my cords put me within 10 feet of a good, although empty, hiding spot. After expanding the search out to 60 feet, I thought about where I would logically locate the hide and, eventually, voila!
I traded sigs and launched our coin “St Clair County” which commemorates our 50th wedding anniversary. Thanks for the fun.

Found it 9/26/2007 You found Prairies and Ponds at Oakwood (Traditional Cache)
This was a pretty quick find but you may want to reconsider the ratings. A wrong turn at either of the two forks will easily double the distance traveled and the last 50 feet is certainly not wheelchair accessible. Folks with disabilities will find this cache quite challenging for a 1/1. Took the TB and left a matchbox type car. Thanks for showing us this interesting park.

Didn 9/26/2007 You couldn't find Don't Call Me Bradley (Traditional Cache)
This was a defeat for us. Bummer! Don't know if we'll get back this way again soon.

Write note 9/26/2007 You posted a note for Quincy Mine Number 5 (Traditional Cache)
We bought a can of spray and hit the bees with it but it didn't seem to faze them so we didn't hunt the area. Somebody should do it at night or dawn.

Found it 9/26/2007 You found Flint River No. 1 (Traditional Cache)
We are on a quest to fill in our map of counties in which we have found caches. In each new (to us) county, we are selecting a cache in which to launch one of our coins which we designed to commemorate our 50th wedding anniversary. We placed our coin Lapeer County in this cache today. Thanks for providing us with a suitable place.

Found it 9/26/2007 You found Pins and Keyrings (Traditional Cache)
This cache is in an interesting park. We've never seen one with the barbed wire on the top of the chain link fence was angled to keep the inmates in. Looks like it would be a busy place in the summer. Found the cache but could not sign the soaked log book. The contents have become geojunk so we didn't add to the mess. The owner, out of consideration for his fellow cachers, should arrange for a local cacher to provide maintenance on it.

Found it 9/27/2007 You found Death or Taxes - RDL (Traditional Cache)
We were looking for a place to launch our Sanilac County coin but it's too small. We took some beads and left a National Lakeshore token. Thanks for the fun

Found it 9/27/2007 You found Welcome to Bad Axe (Traditional Cache)
Quick grab, nice container. Left a keychain. Thanks for the hunt.

Found it 9/27/2007 You found Yo Quiero Pollo Bell (Traditional Cache)
Quick grab on our way to the tip of the Thumb. We are looking for a spot to launch our Huron County coin but this guy is just too small so we just left our mini sig card. Thanks for the laugh.

Found it 9/27/2007 You found Park and Grab (Traditional Cache)
We are trying to paint the map of Michigan which shows the counties in which we have found caches a solid red. In conjunction with this quest, we are naming and launching one of our 50th Anniversary Commemorative Geocoins after each new county we add. We have never cached in the Thumb before. In fact, before this trip, we have never visited Huron County. After finding the cache, we signed the log, left our coin and a glass lady bug. Thanks for providing us with a spot to leave our Huron County coin.

Found it 9/27/2007 You found Petroglyph Cache (Traditional Cache)
After discovering the web site “It’s not about the Numbers” we set out on a quest to paint our Michigan map red. In conjunction with finding a cache in each county we have missed in the past, we are naming and launching one of our commemorative 50th Wedding Anniversary Geocoins in each. We spotted this cache and decided that a coin would probably fit in it and the unique area would be special. We are sorry that the protective structures are closed but it was an enjoyable walk back to the cache. We removed some geojunk and left our coin. Thanks for a great spot for the launch of our Sanilac County coin.
I traded sigs and launched our coin “St Clair County” which commemorates our 50th wedding anniversary. Thanks for the fun.
9/27/2007 You found Cedar Point (Traditional Cache)
On a drive down the coast we over thought this one and tried to make something out of the name. Soon corrected our mistake and scored the find. Signed the log and left our mini sig. TFTC

Found it 9/27/2007 You found TWT Series - Jenks Park (Traditional Cache)
Great little park. It was brisk today with a temp of 62 and a stiff wind off the lake. We traded a geopin for a pen. Thanks for a cache break on our drive along the coast.

Found it 9/27/2007 You found ALWAYS In Caro (Traditional Cache)
Thanks for the smilie. This was our first Tuscola County find.

Found it 9/27/2007 You found A Haiku for You (Traditional Cache)
We are trying to paint the map of Michigan which shows the counties in which we have found caches a solid red. In conjunction with this quest, we are naming and launching one of our 50th Anniversary Commemorative Geocoins after each new county we add. The poet on the team spotted this cache and decided it would be perfect place for our Tuscola County coin to begin its journey.

To celebrate our
Fiftieth Annivers'ry
We leave you this coin

There were only two TB's in the cache which we took, we left a deck of cards, a Matchbox car and of course our Tuscola County coin.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Saline

We're preparing for our weekend trip, so we did errands first - took back cans and bottles, started laundry, went downtown to the Federal Building to put a hold on our mail. began packing for real and also doing some mental packing - deciding which things we can take back to TC and which should stay here for the next 2 weeks. Reminds me of the old George Carlin routine about his "Stuff":

Sometimes you leave your house to go on vacation. And you gotta take some of your stuff with you. Gotta take about two big suitcases full of stuff, when you go on vacation. You gotta take a smaller version of your house. It's the second version of your stuff. And you're gonna fly all the way to Honolulu. Gonna go across the continent, across half an ocean to Honolulu. You get down to the hotel room in Honolulu and you open up your suitcase and you put away all your stuff. "Here's a place here, put a little bit of stuff there, put some stuff here, put some stuff--you put your stuff there, I'll put some stuff--here's another place for stuff, look at this, I'll put some stuff here..." And even though you're far away from home, you start to get used to it, you start to feel okay, because after all, you do have some of your stuff with you. That's when your friend calls up from Maui, and says, "Hey, why don'tchya come over to Maui for the weekend and spend a couple of nights over here."

Oh, no! Now what do I pack? Right, you've gotta pack an even SMALLER version of your stuff. The third version of your house. Just enough stuff to take to Maui for a coupla days. You get over to Maui--I mean you're really getting extended now, when you think about it. You got stuff ALL the way back on the mainland, you got stuff on another island, you got stuff on this island. I mean, supply lines are getting longer and harder to maintain. You get over to your friend's house on Maui and he gives you a little place to sleep, a little bed right next to his windowsill or something. You put some of your stuff up there. You put your stuff up there. You got your Visine, you got your nail clippers, and you put everything up. It takes about an hour and a half, but after a while you finally feel okay, say, "All right, I got my nail clippers, I must be okay." That's when your friend says, "Aaaaay, I think tonight we'll go over the other side of the island, visit a pal of mine and maybe stay over."

Aww, no. NOW what do you pack? Right--you gotta pack an even SMALLER version of your stuff. The fourth version of your house. Only the stuff you know you're gonna need.


We were very efficient getting things done, so we had time to head over to Saline to do some caching. We went back to Colony Park and we are still totally stumped by this hide. There's nowhere it can be. We've decided to ask for a hint. There were other successes, however:


Found it 9/25/2007 You found the old rail road (Traditional Cache)
This was a quick find on our second day visiting Saline. Don't think we've ever seen an old RR where the ties and tracks were left in place. Traded sigs and left a glass lady bug. Thanks for the hunt.

Found it 9/25/2007 You found Tour de Saline - Brecon Park II (Traditional Cache)
After spending a couple of hours over the past couple of days searching Colony Park, it felt good to find our first "Tour" cache. Signed the log and copied the numbers before we went for our next one. Thanks for the series. (We think)

Found it 9/25/2007 You found brecon park travel bug lodge (Traditional Cache)
Found it after finding another cache in the park. There is no log book so we signed the 3x5 card in the cache. Thanks for the hunt.

Found it 9/25/2007 You found Tour de Saline - Mill Pond Park (Traditional Cache)
Of the Saline parks we have visited thus far, this is our favorite. It seems to have everything including a Cross Country course. We found it quickly and after signing the log we traded a geopin for a bat. (BTW, the locs on one side are broken and the log book is damp.)

Found it 9/25/2007 You found as high as the sky (Traditional Cache)
We enjoyed the park. This was a fairly quick find, signed log and left our mini card. Thanks for the fun.

Found it 9/25/2007 You found Saline Parkside Cache (Traditional Cache)
This cache needs work. The contents are damp and the coords are about 35 feet off. It is not a particularly nice area. TNLNSL.

Found it 9/25/2007 You found Tour de Saline - Risdon / Peoples Park (Traditional Cache)
I found rrob’s cache in this park three years ago. I brought a couple of friends along to show them what caching is all about and how much fun it is. Well, these two guys figured this was the dumbest thing they’ve ever done. To them, the only reason to go for a walk is to beat on little white balls with a stick or to shoot small animals who are trying to get away. Different strokes. This was an easy find and finding a regular container was welcome. We traded sigs and left a pack of Crayolas for the next child who finds the cache. Regretfully, we ran out of time for today and had to leave Saline but we will be back, hopefully to finish the series.