Saturday Sighting: Palm Trees, Delray Beach

I had the good fortune of having the hotel pool (mostly) to myself to swim a few laps ... which made up for the odd experience of having a TSA agent, at the Detroit airport, search my hair.


Friday Fun: Lounge Lizard, Delray Beach


I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane ...

and spending a few days in and near ...

Be back Monday.


Sidebar Housekeeping

I changed most of the photos/links, on the right. Click on 'em, if you want to learn more, as they all lead to information about people/items/ideas/places.

But, please note, that TCC does not make $ from any products ever mentioned. (Not that I am opposed to that sort of venture, it just isn't the purpose of this blog.)

I will, however, be happy to entertain any reality show offers. How does 'Izzy Lyman's Northern Michigan' sound?

Buttercup Federalist Ironstone Dinnerware

Thirty years after my wedding, I finally got around to unpacking a set of dinnerware I received, as a gift, from the Ernesto Muñoz family.

Given that the set is now considered "vintage," I'm not sure if this is something old or something new or both.

But I really, really like it, as it's dishwasher safe and ovenproof.

Looks like this:

and this:

Made in Japan!

Annie Danae, Artiste

Check out a family friend's CD, "Not Finished Yet."

Here's Annie's website.

Her sacred music is a blend of acoustic, folk, & classical, and she also creates charming little drawings, like the one on the cover of the CD.


Sunday Inspiration: Marge Crossman

As some of you who know me are aware, I lived in the college town of Amherst, MA in the 1980s and 1990s and was active in town (and townie) politics. It was a blast, and, as a result, I met and befriended many memorable characters.

Like Marge Crossman, an on-the-go bachelorette, who founded the Amherst Citizens for Responsible Government (a grassroots property rights group) when she was in her seventies! Ms. Crossman, a lifelong resident of Amherst, became concerned that her fellow senior citizens were being priced out of their beloved homes due to high property taxes and sought to find ways to hold local government officials accountable. (No small feat in a community run by Communist-Obama-Marxist-Socialist- Maoist-Progressives.)

But Marge was/is pro-active in other ways ... for instance, as a huge supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Once, she even gave me a ride, in her van, to the airport in Hartford, CT and, graciously, allowed me to shelter my car in her garage when I went to Montana.

In other words, always helpful.

Marge is still going strong. Here she is pictured, yesterday, at her 75th high school class reunion (which she helped organize) at the BridgeSide Grille in Sunderland, MA.

May I be this other-centered, snazzily-groomed, and healthy-looking when (God willing) I hit my nineties!

Many thanks to Larry Kelley, another lifelong resident of Amherst and fellow-citizen-journalist-turned-citizen-blogger, for snapping the photo of Miss Marge and sending it to TCC.


Saturday Sighting: The Smokehouse

Seen in Indian River, MI near Burt Lake and Mullet Lake. Throw some whitefish into that baby, and you have the main ingredient for a delish dip.

While it's toasty in the smokehouse, the current temp at midnight, in the north country, is a lovely 57°.


In Emmet County: Erin Zitka's Day in Court

It turns out very well. Bravo for justice! Good for the jury! Congrats to Dan Harris, her attorney.

(I was among the 50 or so folks called to jury duty for this embezzlement case. Although my name wasn't drawn, I heard enough to believe that this situation should not have gone to trial. Boo on Staffords restaurant, the young defendant's former employer!)

In the photo: The acquitted Erin Z.

Friday Fun: He's Back!

Last summer, he was spotted squatting in the pipe thingee on our lawn.

But then, during the cold months, he went into hibernation mode and remained invisible.

Hiya Cedric! Did you have a nice nap?

Chipmunks doing what they do best - hoarding, snacking, and looking precious.


Matt Stutzman: The Armless Archer

Matt, an Iowan, will be going to London, later this summer, to represent the USA in the 2012 Paralympic Games. Watch this determined fella hit the bullseye ... wheeee!

He is also featured in a BP (British Petroleum) commercial.


Alan Shlemon: Modern Christian Apologist

This past weekend, Alan Shlemon, of Stand to Reason, was in Petoskey speaking at the local Anglican church. He offered four seminars: A Closer Look at Islam, How to Reach Your Muslim Neighbor, Making Abortion Unthinkable, and Making Sense of Stem Cell Research & Cloning.

I caught his abortion presentation and came away favorably impressed with his practical message, positive approach, and Biblically-grounded faith.

The video below, of Alan, isn't the presentation I heard, but it's similar.


BDSM* Goes Mainstream ... in a Big, Big Way

The Fifty Shades of Grey book is everywhere - Walmart, Barnes and Noble, airport kiosks.

Easily within reach of minors.

And, according to the Daily Mail, the 'grey' series is outselling Harry Potter.

Western women LOVE this tasteless drivel, also known as 'mommy porn.'

The author - E.L. James - is a mom of two teen boys and has hypocritically said she doesn't want her kids reading the books.

*Explained here.

If you want to see photos, of the type of 'erotica' the fiction is lauding, go here. But it's NSFW, and it's just plain sick. Only depraved minds would romanticize this type of physical abuse.

Addition: Daniel Amos (a Christian music group formed in the 1970s) composed a funky (but prophetic) tune called "Real Girls." The song wonders what happened to virtue.


Happy Father's Day

Sun. Inspiration: Prejudice Against Pride

"Pride is essentially competitive ... Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, they are not.

They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others."

- C.S. Lewis writing in Mere Christianity


Fri. Fun: Nail Polish for the Summertime

On the flight from Roanoke, VA to Detroit, MI, all the women around me, who were wearing open-toed shoes or sandals, were sporting bold nail polish colors on their toes.

None of those pearly rose shades or conventional blood reds of yesteryear. No siree. The colors ranged from bright purple to midnight blue.

I decided to jump on this fashion bandwagon and bought these two bottles of nail lacquers.

I painted my toes with the green and my fingernails with the orange.

I'm buying a bottle of neon pink and a bottle of neon yellow next (so the terrorists don't win).


Kenji: A Rap about an Immigrant

TCC frequently blogs about immigration issues and about pop culture.

So how about a blog about a rap song that discusses Japanese internment camps in the U.S.? How's that for fusing two worlds?

Here's Mike Shinoda of Fort Minor and Linkin Park. The musician suffers from potty mouth syndrome, but in "Kenji" (lyrics here) he keeps it pretty clean and even-handed. The rap is about Shinoda family members whose lives were radically altered after the Pearl Harbor attack. It's not the usual fare for this genre of music; in fact, it's more like a tuneful, poignant mini docudrama.


The Michigan Report

The Mitten State has a Drudge-like website. Check it out.


North Dakota Votes on Property Tax, Today

I'm sad to think that Measure 2 might fail ... in a big way. All likely due to a campaign of misinformation by the unions and chambers of commerce preying on the fears of lemmings.

Still that doesn't take away from the fantastic effort by the "Empower the Taxpayer" grassroots group to eliminate the property tax.

Here's one column I wrote about the measure.

Here's Charlene Nelson, the unflagging spokeswoman of the measure.

Here's a vid put out by the group.

Update: Election results page. Rejected by nearly 80 per cent of the electorate.

Petoskey: Land of the Midnight Sun

Ok, it was actually 9:40 PM, but notice how light (and colorful) it was outside last night.

Petoskey supposedly means 'place where the light shines through the clouds' (in the language of the Odawas, one of the local Indian tribes).

It's so bright, Albert can't decide whether it's time for a nap or time to play.

The sunsets over the lake ... molto bene!


Lynchburg: Villa of Kriselea

It's also known as the Villa Maria.

Nearly 13,000 square feet, this historic home was built in the early 1900s and is set on ten acres. It's now owned by a California couple who rescued the estate from the auction block.

Stunning, despite the fact that the grounds need some grooming.

I marveled at the architecture of this part of Virginia, as well as the topography. Like being in a Southern-style rain forest.

But that's the extent of my touristy photos, as I spent the past week helping my son (who is recovering from ACL surgery) settle into in his new mancave. He's just beginning an exciting phase of his life: Graduate school. Specifically he's a student in the doctor of physical therapy program at Lynchburg College, and now preoccupied with 'gross anatomy.'

Or, as I think of it, "Corpses 101."

LC, DPT Class of 2015