Friday, August 27, 2010

Thanks, Mitchy

My friend Mitchy from England sent me a link to a blog she likes to read. The last two paragraphs really touched a chord in me - the blogger articulated the way I feel so well. Thanks, Mitchy.

Me? I think it's pretty obvious how I see the likely fortunes of my team based on the facts on the ground now. I see them the same way virtually everyone else who is *not* a member of the Michigan fanbase sees them. But I *am* a member of the Michigan Wolverine fanbase, born, raised, family connected. And more importantly, I am a literal Michigan Man -- ten years a card-carrying student, two doctoral degrees bearing ribbons of Maize and Blue.

For the rest of my life, any academic biography, blurb, or speaker's introduction will begin with the line MD/PhD, University of Michigan Ann Arbor.. U. Michigan shaped me, built me, was the anvil upon which the physician and the scientist I hope to be were forged. I am a son of the Maize and Blue in every way that truly counts, now and forever. And that has *nothing* to do with our fortunes on the football field, good as they once were, bad as they are now. If Michigan's football fortunes go the way of Minnesota or Indiana or any of the other schools in the Big Ten that have endured decades of mediocrity, I will still be a Michigan Man. Always be a Michigan Man. Proudly.

It is, as I have said many a time: my colors are Maize and Blue. And those colors don't run.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Bad Week

Here's Dick's report on what he calls "The Bad Week"!

First off, the Nuvi died. No luck so far getting a response from the company we bought an extended warranty from. We printed out a few nearby and up at Northport. We tried 9 and had 4 DNF's. Our worst outings ever. Maybe we should take up golf.
On the health front, I was out Tues. while Nancy took in a flick with a girl friend. The workout in the gym had gone fine and the hike to the cache was fine but on the way home I got dizzy. It was like I was drunk. Got home about 3 and I couldn't walk a straight line. Nancy wanted to take me to the ER, I wanted to wait and see. She called and got me an appointment for Wed morning. She drove me to the Dr. I was still unsteady. Everything checked out and the diagnosis was dehydration. It's like they don't consider decaf a fluid.
Any way, we went out to breakfast and I guzzled H2O. I did feel better. We then took our usual TC cruise through town and the marina. We were pulling back through, northbound in the right turn/through lane at the traffic light for the parkway, third car in line behind a HUGE white SUV.
Then, the jerk in the SUV decided the guy in front wasn't moving fast enough so he BACKED UP intending to pull into the left lane and pass. We were about 5 feet back of him. Before I could hit the horn or drop into reverse, he smashed into us. The front GO BLUE plate was smashed as were parts of the bumper. He gets out wearing his Spartan cap and looks at the front end and says, "Doesn't look like any significant damage". Nancy checks to see if maybe someone has painted a target on the grill.
So we file a police report, contact the insurance company and head off to the collision shop for an estimate. Now I think it's kinda neat when we walk into the restaurant and the gal says "Nice to see you again", and automatically brings me my decaf and tell us about her kids, but when you walk into the collision shop and the guy behind the counter turns and calls to the estimator in back, "Hey Tim, Mr Steiger's here again!" that's just nuts!
Oh well, will our luck continue through the weekend and Connecticut? As you can see on her blog, I had to talk hard to get Nancy to go. I think what got her to give an OK was the thought of me on the road alone and having a dizzy spell.
Oh well, my mom's favorite line was "This too shall pass".

Are You Ready For Some (Gulp) Football?

This football season will be a rough one. I can't find anything to like.

I'm not happy with this coach. I don't understand his attitude, his program, his performance, or his expectations. I know what I expect from the Michigan football program, and this isn't it.

The NCAA problems are troubling.

The newly changed stadium has outrageously elitist new seating.

Stadium policies are restrictive and oppressive.

It's alarming that the Alumni Association is still trying to peddle tickets at this late date. Tickets for the Bowling Green game, OK, but Illinois and Wisconsin?? They can't even find buyers for Big Ten (or 11 or 12) games? I don't know whether to cry or throw up.

One week from Saturday we'll be driving down to Ann Arbor for the opening game of the Michigan football season That day will also see the dedication of the new, improved stadium, which I now call The Bigger House. . Dick talked me into it - I really don't want to go. I'm trying to look at it as an historic event. The game will be against....who?...Connecticut? Are you sure? Oh well.

Here are examples the the obscenely outrageous new seating prices:
If you want a ticket for a "club seat" (I'm wondering what club that is):


• Donation requirements for indoor and outdoor club seats are scaled relative to the seat's proximity to mid-field.
• Indoor club seats require an annual contribution of $4,000 per seat, plus the cost of a football season ticket (and parking, if requested and available).
• Outdoor club seats require an annual contribution of $3,000 per seat (Zone 1), $2,250 per seat (Zone 2) or $1,500 per seat (Zone 3) plus the cost of a season ticket (and parking, if requested and available).

If all you want is an outdoor chairback seat, it's $2000 per seat plus the ticket price and parking.

You can have an indoor suite for $85.000 annually (every year!). If you're not interested in having the best location, the prices go way down - from $75,000 to $55,000 annually. ANNUALLY! And Hey! That price includes sixteen tickets and 4 parking passes - what a bargain.

I don't know whether to cry or throw up.

Dad was at the original stadium dedication in 1927 while he was a student. He graduated in 1930, and bought season tickets for the first time in 1948. Mom and Dad bought tickets for the whole family, so I went to my first game in 1948. When the students cheered, I thought they were saying "Let's don't boo!" I was twelve. Things were more idyllic then. Everything was much simpler - you parked on a residential street, walked to the stadium, sat on a bleacher seat, and watched Michigan win.

We still have our regular seats in the End Zone (whew). They didn't mess around with the end zone at all, so at least in that way we're lucky.

It shouldn't be too hard to sneak a paper bag into the stadium, so that when things get too horrible, I can put it over my head. And if worse comes to worse, it can be a barf bag.

I'll color it maize and blue.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Jury Duty - or Not

Dick has been summoned for jury duty in Grand Rapids for the Federal Distict Court. Originally, they wanted him to report on July 26th, the Monday after Genfest, when our kids would be here. He appealed that, and was granted a postponement.

Next, he was told to call on Friday, Aug. 6 to be told when to report to Grand Rapids. He called on the 6th. He was told to call back on Monday, Aug. 9th to see if he had to report on Tuesday.

This morning we packed our suitcases and filled our garment bags so we would be ready to get down to G.R. He called this afternoon, and now the story is that he should call back on Friday the 13th to see if he should report next week. They have summoned prospective jurors through number 55, and Dick is number 59. He is slowly becoming a nervous wreck - can't take the indecisiveness. We cancelled the hotel, but we're keeping our bags packed.

We would like to be here the week of the 16th because the Sniders are going to be in Northern Michigan and we would love to have them hang out around here for a few days that week. This whole Jury thing is making it very difficult to solidify plans for the rest of the summer.

On one hand, being on a jury might be a very interesting experience to have. On the other hand, it's a bit of an annoyance. After all is said and done, good citizenship is the trump card.