Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Minor Miracle

Jan. 27, 2011

Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)
Score: Michigan 61, #25 Michigan State 57
Records: U-M (12-9, 2-6 Big Ten), Michigan State (12-7, 4-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 30 -- vs. Iowa - Care Package Drive (Crisler Arena), 4 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)

Big Games from Novak, Morris Send U-M to Triumph at No. 25 Michigan State
Nineteen points from Zack Novak and 17 from Darius Morris guided the Wolverines to a 61-57 road victory at No. 25 Michigan State.

Winter Wonderland ??

We're very snowy here in Northern Michigan. We easily have over a foot of snow blanketing our deck. More snow falls each day, and the 10 day forecast shows snow every day. Our usual daily snowfall varies from 1-3 inches and seems quite manageable to me, who merely watches from the window. Our snow is white, beautiful and fluffy, and I hear it's great for skiing.

However - the East Coast has been getting gigantic snow storms this winter. They say that 19 inches of snow fell yesterday in Central Park!

At first Jana reported a Winter Wonderland in D.C. - but then things got really bad - here's the email from her that was waiting for us this morning:

On the 4:00 news broadcast yesterday, the VDOT lady said, if you are in DC and you haven't left your office, don't. Just stay there, don't add to the number of cars on the road.

The anchor said, what do you expect them to do? VDOT lady said, go have dinner, get a hotel room if you can.

The anchor was gobsmacked -- that was unprecedented advice.

I passed it along to a friend on IM, he said, pah, I only have a few miles, I will be fine. He was not yet home by 10 PM. Dork.

Now there are power outages all over (not here, I have never, knock wood, lost power here), so the traffic lights are out and the slush on the streets has frozen. It's anarchy. And supposedly there are still people stuck on GW parkway, who spent the night there.

The news keeps repeating phone numbers to call if you had to abandon your car -- apparently streets all over md, va and dc are just littered with abandoned cars that have to be towed before the plows can be effective, but the tow trucks can't get there because the streets aren't plowed.

Apparently the presidential motorcade even got stuck in traffic! He cut his visit to Wisconsin short, but it was already storming when AF1 landed, and the helicopters couldn't fly. So they joined the gridlock and got back to the white house a few hours later. (Luckily, the president did not have to relieve himself by the side of the road ;)

Sad -- a tree fell on a car at about 6:30 last nite killing a woman. By the 11:00 news broadcast, police and emergency vehicles had still not been able to make it to the scene. She just had to just sit there and be dead all that time :(

Now, as for this snow -- it was heavy and wet and fell fast. Really heavy. It was like falling slush, and it accumulated fast into inches and inches of slush. hard to say how many inches because it didn't stack up all fluffy, it sludged into the existing slush. But right now I have about 6 inches (of crusty half-frozen slush).

This morning after gym we had breakfast with some geocachers from Indiana - two women and 2 kids, Joe and Kacey. We had a really good time talking to them - Vonnie is the real geocacher of the crew - and we spent about 2 hours swapping tall tales.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011


Martin Luther King, Jr.

Favorite MLK quotes:

1. Hate cannot drive out hate.

2. The time is always right to do what is right.

3. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity.

4. If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

5. The whole "I have a dream..." speech.

6. Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.


Routine mamm screening in the morning. No fun, but necessary I'm told. Anyway, it's over, so that's a good thing.

We did the downtown cruise, went shopping at Tom's West Bay, and then my reward - lunch at Bubba's. It was crowded, noisy, yummy and fun - the perfect reward.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Hat

At Christmas time, Jana gave Tom a hat. Both Tom and Dylan fell in love with it, and they took turns wearing it.

Dylan was quite taken with it, so we were all doing searches on the internet to find one for him with not much success.

Grandpa Dick found the perfect hat in T.C. at Diversions, and so now Dylan is the proud owner of his own stingy-brim hat!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hoke = Hope

From Wikipedia:
In February 1995, Brady Hoke was hired as an assistant coach at Michigan under head coach Gary Moeller. He was the defensive ends coach in 1995 and 1996 and became the coach for the entire defensive line from 1997 to 2002.

In May 2002, Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr named Hoke as associate head coach, the only member of the staff with that distinction. At the time, Hoke told the press, "Every year you learn more and more what the head coach has to do. I'm very honored to represent this school. I grew up a big Michigan fan, and I think it's a place that's special in a lot of ways."

During Hoke's eight years at Michigan, the Wolverines compiled a 75–23 record, went to a bowl game every year and won the national championship in 1997. While at Michigan, Hoke was assigned to recruit in California. One of the players Hoke recruited to Michigan was Tom Brady. Hoke recalled: "Tom wasn't the greatest athlete, with those skinny legs, but there was something about him.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Harbaugh Derby

He Who Shall Not be Named has been fired at last. I wish him well - some place far, far away.
Happy day indeed!

Harbaugh is dangling out of reach at the moment. Sports columnists keep trying to read his mind. There's no telling what he'll do.

Jana did her best to persuade him via email. Here's her letter:

From: Jana Steiger
Date: Sat, Dec 11, 2010 at 4:19 PM
Subject: A personal note for Coach Harbaugh

Hi Niall, I got your e-mail from the Stanford web site. I hope you wouldn't mind passing this along to the Coach.

Hi Coach!

You won't remember me, I lived in South Quad with you, along with 1200 other people. But I have a confession to make. I have held a little bit of a grudge against you for 20 years or so.

It was all because of my nerdy boyfriend, Rich Bryant, who you probably do remember. He used to dominate the Kelsey House common room to watch The Three Stooges and The Twilight Zone several hours a day. Until one day, when just as Twilight Zone was about to start, you came in with your girlfriend at the time (who I do not remember at all), and Changed The Channel!!

Now, in hindsight, I can see this was probably an act of empowerment for you, confronting the tyranny of Rich's television turfiness. But at the time it seemed like the studly QB stickin' it to the nerdy guy, and saying "Yeah, what are you gonna do about it?" Grr.

So, yes, I have harbored resentment over this little incident ever since. Whenever you came on TV, or came up in conversation, I would say, "I don't like Jim Harbaugh, he changed the channel and wouldn't let my nerdy boyfriend watch Twilight Zone."

But, I am prepared to offer you my forgiveness, because it is all I have to offer, if you will come be the Michigan head coach.

It may not seem like much of a carrot to dangle. But it's all I've got, and I have to do my part. I will change my story. Instead of you being the bully, I will tell how you stood up to a bully for your girlfriend, so she could watch whatever dippy prime time network show was more important than Twilight Zone that night. Rich won't care. I'm not even in touch with him anymore.

I am hoping this little bit of good karma just may be the thing that tips the scales for you, and keeps you away from the NFL. Because, seriously, the NFL? How does that help turn boys into men, create opportunities for underprivileged youth who could never afford an education but know how to work damn hard on the field, nurture and mentor, influence and inspire, uphold fine traditions, and bring a beleaguered program back to the prominence it deserves? Besides, the NFL will always be there. It's not like you're gonna blow out a knee as the head coach of Michigan and ruin your NFL dreams.

As a bonus, I will forgive you for that statement you made a while back about the Michigan football program slouching on schoolwork. And you know what? The rest of the alums will, too. Because how can we argue with a head coach who has voiced his commitment to academics? That's what we all want.

So think about it. That's two forgives for the price of one. And all you gotta do is take the best job in football. My fingers are crossed.


Jana Steiger '89
Go Blue!

And remarkably, two hours later Harbaugh responded!

from James Joseph Harbaugh
to ""
date Sat, Dec 11, 2010 at 6:08 PM
subject Re:


I really enjoyed reading your e mail and also cringed quite a bit at my neandrathal behavior at the Kelsey house TV room. The amazing thing is I love the Twilight Zone! I can also tell you that Im really not the same guy as then, we all grow up, hopefully improving as we go. I don't remember exactly when I gained humility but after much humbling I know I have. Thanks for the email and the sentiment. Go Blue - Jim Harbaugh

We were all encouraged by the Go Blue thing, and only slightly saddened that he can't spell Neanderthal.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Back in the Snow Belt

It was a perfect day to be on the road and traffic was light except for Cincy and Dayton. We saw snow first just north of Dayton - just pockets of snow on the north side of things. We felt that we were truly up north at Coleman - gray overcast skies and that misty foggy kind of snow where everything in the world looks gray. That's January up north all right.

Dick's report on the grand finale of our drive home:

We left Florence Ky this morning with every intention of stopping in Jackson. We had reservations and everything. As scheduled, we had a leisurely lunch in Dundee. Thought about Cabelas but this soon after Christmas, we couldn't think of anything we need or want. Back in the car and north on 23. However, when we got to 23/94, I couldn't get the car to turn. It just kept going north like a horse to the barn. Maybe we could turn at 96. Nope. It just kept going north. We were able to stop for coffee and gas but not even dinner. Pulled into 888 and discovered that someone had plowed the drive. Yeah!!!
So here we are. I think we will "hunker" for a couple of days.

Just click your heels together and say it three times...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Dalton, Georgia to Florence, Kentucky

Super nice traveling conditions - light traffic and nice weather. We saw gas for 2.86 in Knoxville - the cheapest we've seen for a long time.

We ate lunch at the Dinner Bell in Berea, Kentucky. I loved that place! The food seemed genuinely homemade - I had ham, and it was delightful.

The Clarion Hotel in Florence gave us a bit of a problem. Our room was far away from the office, and the wi-fi was not working. I tried for an hour to get on the internet and it just wasn't working. Called the office, and we were moved way down the hall to a room very near the office. Voila! Instant internet. The motel was very accommodating and understanding of our problem.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Valdosta to Dalton - New Year's Day

Marching through Georgia.

We were a bit surprised at the billboards along I-75. We think of the South as the Bible Belt and assumed that the population would mostly be conservative Christians. However, the Interstate is lined with rows of billboards advertising adult stores and all kinds of massage parlors, usually illustrated with Asian women. Most of these places seem to be "near the truck stop", so you can guess the target audience. It didn't seem to compute that the whole State of Georgia is so into these types of establishments!

North of Cordele in Bibb County we saw the remnants of a horrible crash. A southbound semi had barreled through a concrete median strip, jack-knifed, and caught on fire. When we passed by, there were all kinds of emergency vehicles there, and the firemen were still pouring water on the wreckage. The south bound traffic was backed up for miles and miles! We found out later that it took nine hours to re-open southbound I-75. Luckily there were no fatalities, and only one injury - a man who was injured when debris hit his windshield. It caused a never-ending backup and many, many people were severely inconvenienced.

There was another crash on the southbound side in Atlanta. Two white vehicles had smashed together and looked to be totaled - not such a bad backup this time, but a severe crash. We felt very lucky to be going north.

Other than the horrifying crashes and the heavy rainfall, it wasn't a bad drive. We knew we were stopping early to watch football so it wouldn't be a long haul.

Of course we watched our poor, sad Michigan team in the Gator Bowl - our sadness intensified with every Mississippi State possession. Heavy sigh.
Site: Jacksonville, Fla. (Everbank Field)
Event: Gator Bowl
Score: #21 Mississippi State 52, Michigan 14
Record: U-M (7-6), Mississippi State (9-4)
Attendance: 77,497
Next U-M Game: Season Complete

The Rose Bowl game was great fun - Wisconsin lost, but at least they looked good doing it! The Texas Christian quarterback is named Dalton, we were in the city of Dalton, and the hero in the book Dick is reading is called Dalton. It was cosmic.