Attending a Tea Party

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, going to a tea party meant eating dainty pastries, using fine china cups, and wearing frilly dresses.

Well, there was food at last night's Petoskey Tea Party (meeting). And there was John, who is a practitioner of "open carry," sporting a memorable outfit.

Behold his Desert Eagle, .50 cal. pistol.

No, this isn't John's ride. This truck belonged to another gentleman at the meeting. Some sign!

You gotta admit: This is probably a tad more fun than your granny's tea party.



Five homeschoolers have made it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals.

Several fun facts about the 2013 contest.

Tune in to ESPN, tonight, if you want to learn who made it to the final round.

Update: A new champ. Three home scholars made it to the finals.

Spotted in Northern Michigan

This past weekend it was Brad Keselowski.

Yesterday it was Jeb Bush.

Who'd you rather spend thirty minutes with - a current NASCAR driver or a former Florida governor?

Quilts By The Bay

One of the creative quilts that will be featured at an upcoming show sponsored by the Little Traverse Bay Quilters Guild.


Like the Hunger Games (But Without the Violence)

During last night's archery session, the adult class shot arrows with the youth class. It was the first time the two groups had quivered together and a good time was had by all. The main difference between the two generations: One group had parents watching them receive their lesson.

Dr. Larry the veterinarian (in the yellow) flanked by two lads.

Pops, our teacher, instructing.

 I (in the middle, in the homeless chic garb) welcomed the chance to stand closer to the target than in previous classes. The two 'Meridas,' on my left and right, nimbly handled their equipment.

Jan looking like a 2013 Maid Marian. 

Our bows.


A Word about State Parks and Public Subsidies

An argument for private management of state public parks by Holly L. Fretwell (pictured) of PERC.

She explains, "Most state park systems are funded primarily by government appropriations and user fees. While national parks are dependent on congressional appropriations for more than 85 percent of  expenditures, only about 36 percent of the average state park system is funded by state general funds. the remainder is from park fees and special funds dedicated for park use."

More on this topic from a private-sector gentleman who manages public parks.


Only in America

The many ways to pass the Memorial Day weekend.







MI Trivia: How do you pronounce Mackinac?

Tourists get it wrong, usually. Understandably.

It is MACK-in-awe. Not MACK- in-ack.

More on this smidgen of regionalism.

And check this out ... Miss Maddow deliberately mispronounces (at the 1:00 mark). What a maroon.

Tomorrow, runners are welcome on the Mighty Mac.


Taking on the Gangsters

Just received this note from my amigo, Mike Cutler:

"This morning, Thursday, May 23rd at about 8:05 AM, Eastern Daylight Saving Time, I will be a guest on a terrific radio program: York's Morning News on Newsradio 910/WSBA York, PA

You can listen online at www.wsba910.com

I will be joining Gary Sutton and his co-host, Chris Tyler, to discuss the lunacy of 'Comprehensive Immigration Reform' which was just passed by the Immigration Subcommittee in the Senate Chaired by New York’s Senior Senator, Chuck Schumer and a member of the “Eight Gangsters” who have now proven that they have nothing but contempt for American workers and their families and are willing to compromise national security to curry favor with the Chamber of Commerce and other campaign contributors.

If Comprehensive Immigration Reform is ever enacted, it would create unknown millions of heretofore illegal alien competitors for scarce jobs and provide international terrorists and members of transnational criminal organizations from around the world with opportunities to create brand new false identities to enable them to embed themselves in communities across the United States."

This is your country on 'comprehensive immigration reform'


Of Brackets and Scandals

If you like March Madness and dislike O's Administration, you may appreciate this silly chart.


Reasonable Indeed


Twisted Metal Everywhere and At Least 51 24 Dead

Such unimaginable devastation and heartbreak.

So sad for you, central Oklahoma.

UpdateNew information.

The Comeback State

Here's the online version of the above piece.

The huge crowd (unusual for northern Michigan).


Sunday Inspiration from Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”


Dan Brown's 'Haunted' Mansion

At the 3:00 mark, a peek into the New England house of the 'Da Vinci Code' author. It has secret passages, darkly-lit rooms, and a spooky ambiance. Oh, what a billion gazillion dollars can buy on you on this earth.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wonder what Mr. Brown's views are on the afterlife, given that the title of his latest Robert Langdon novel is Inferno.


Making a Federal Case Of It

My latest Heartland Institute piece is about a school choice bill - the Educational Opportunities Act - that is sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).


Groove Spoon: Nice Touch

A former co-worker's son is a member of the funk band, Groove Spoon, which got their start in Ann Arbor.

This tune/music is catchy. I like the variety of fashion styles (or lack of them) among the ten-member group ... especially the drummer boy.


It's Discipleship, Not Just Education Reform

Seriously ... Pastor Voddie Baucham has jokes.

Update: Breaking news about the German homeschoolers who have been become the most famous international home educators seeking asylum in the USA -  the Sixth Court of Appeals  has ruled against the family. An appeal is forthcoming from the family's spokesperson/attorney, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association.


Maybe the Man Without an NFL Team ...

... could pick up a new sport. Although the media frenzy would just increase if he made that move.

Yup. That's Timmy Tebow playing high school basketball.


Sat. Sighting: The Gray Dump Truck

My friend, Joe Beach of Harbor Springs, moonlights driving this cool rig.


Friday Fun: Perennials

The ice has all melted, so spring has officially arrived in northern Michigan. Casa Lyman now has flowers at the front entrance. Can you spot the gnome?


Public Servants Behaving Badly & Getting Busted

Two happy endings to serious situations where justice prevailed thanks to scrappy individuals who used technology and rule of law to make their case against injustice.

First story: "Assemblyman's case shows the flaws in DUI laws."

Second story: "Dearborn 'regrets' Arab fest arrests, must post apology for three years."


Hanging out at WMKT 1200 with Mel & Cortez

The Cancer Warrior talks about her broadcasting gig with Cortez E., North Central Michigan College communications major

Cortez does an off-the-cuff v-blog about his informative chat with Ms. Mel.


Another Reason to Not 'Like' Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg  is a big-time supporter of the Gang of 8 immigration bill.


Holland: Tulip Festival Time

At the risk of sounding like a flack for Pure Michigan, an award-winning tourism/economic development campaign that has been criticized by Ted Nugent, this is the time of year, in the Mitten State, for those delightful tulip sightings in Holland.

Sidebar: These Kentucky Derby hats, some adorned with flowers, are ridiculous.


Presidente Obama en Costa Rica

Today Barry O will be in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Check out this 'Welcome!' video that Ticos made for Mr. Obama.

They are such lively and gracious people.

At the 1:19 mark, students from the Colegio de Señoritas make a cameo. Those spiffy uniforms have been a staple of the all-girls school for many, many decades.

On an immigration note, there have never been waves of Costa Ricans (as this Wikipedia article correctly notes) coming to the US of A, due to the tiny nation's economic and political stability and its high literacy rate. In fact, Costa Rica is a retirement haven of sorts for Americans who appreciate the beaches, climate, low cost of living, Arenal volcano (pictured below), rainforests and great café.


Mr. Arnott Loves his Bow and Arrows

An article about "Pops" (pictured) my archery instructor. This past week we learned how to hit a rolling target. An interesting experience for a near-sighted, recovering yuppie like me.

Unlike the Hunger Games movie, the mood during our class is merry.

Or should I say, happy, happy, happy.


Stealing from the Rich, Vegas-Style

Check out this trailer for a movie (about a group of magicians with a socio-economic agenda) that will debut on May 31. Looks intriguing, but as a bohemian/fuddy-duddy, I usually hold out for the 'parental reviews' before I commit my money, time, and soul.