Brain Ruts: Phantom Pets, Facebook Anger & Geographical Literacy

I’ve been opening the wrong cupboard for 15 years now.

After the first two weeks in our house, it became obvious that having the glasses right above the dishwasher made more sense.  (You can stack plates, so moving them all at once to the cupboard four feet behind us was more “logical” — to quote my Spock-fan son.)

But it doesn’t matter.  When I’m thirsty, I swing open the wrong door, swear under my breath, and trudge across our eight foot kitchen floor and get a glass from the correct place.  15 years.

I was recently going through a three-day training of a new software platform at work.  Part of the drill was for us to respond with insightful comments on our experience.  … Read More…

Are Fire Hydrants Too Socialist?


There were bodies everywhere. I’d never seen anything like it before–especially on a dog-walk…


It was a dream of mine since I’d first read the <em>How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs</em> to work on a dig. I dreamed of buried treasure–triceratops horns, a mummy (without a curse), a Neanderthal skull or my sister’s bracelet that I buried in the mud under a neighbors’ swing-set. I checked on it periodically for the mud to turn to stone with the … Read More…

When Bad Quality Meant Good Times: Drive-In Speakers


We took the kids on a trip to the Detroit Historical Museum today.  After its amazing renovation, there’s even free admission for a full year.  Well worth the trip and a great place to bring visitors to the Motor City.

On the floor dedicated to the “Mo” part of Motown, near the Cadillac assembly line demo and some great old photos of Woodward avenue during its cruising days of the 50’s and 60’s, I spotted an ugly old sight that warmed my heart–the drive-in speakers.  You know, the ones you might find accidentally tagging along with you at 2 … Read More…

Philanthropic Trash Day


It should be gone in an hour or so.

Our neighborhood has three pickups on Wednesdays, two of them are legitimate. Prior to the recycling and the trash, you’ll see a few beat-up pickups slowly trolling the streets looking for valuables–either for resale or scrap. Everyone knows this, so the more caring donors will put their items out in the daylight the day before trash-day, giving the collectors ample time (and warmth on a 4 degree day in Michigan like today).

My donation this morning was a 1979 Craftsman snow blower I purchased with my paper route money after … Read More…