Icy Road

(Toledo, OH) Subzero temperatures and a cash-strapped city trying to avoid overtime expenses contributed to turning my street into a sheet of ice this week. Travel above 10 MPH is like inviting an accident, and I think the city has made only two passes with the plows in the past week.

This despite the fact that snow fell on at least four of those days. Even worse, the warmer temperatures, freezing rain, and sleet last night slickened up the street all over again, and the street is now almost undriveable.

Still no signs of plows, but you can bet the city is happy to collect my taxes.


Camera Man and Flags

(Toledo, OH) I took this picture at fall commencement ceremonies for the University of Toledo. I am not sure of the name of the camera operator in question, but he spent quite a bit of time roaming around on the main floor getting video of the graduates.

Unlike me, the camera operator appears to be near his ideal weight, and he thus would have little use for a fat-burning substance like Ephadrasil hardcore. In fact, he probably eats healthy, exercises, and as a result achieves weight stasis without the use of artificial means.

Smart man.

Waiting for the Graduates at Savage Arena

(Toledo, OH) Pictured on your left is the interior of the University of Toledo's Savage Arena. I spent a few hours at the facility today to watch my wife rack up another degree, which is a Master's of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

The renovation project on the Arena turned out well, and I hope that the university's basketball team will soon begin to play at levels that pack the house. There is a much brighter, updated look to the place, and no longer will folks be inclined to call the place "Salvage Arena." It's not quite Las Vegas NV, but it is an excellent facility for a Midwestern MAC school.


Spirit of Detroit

(Detroit, MI) I moved away from Detroit almost two decades ago, and although I still consider the city to be my hometown, it is only as an outsider that I have started to appreciate the wealth of art and culture that Detroit offers. Pictured is the Spirit of Detroit, a sculpture built in 1955 that stands in front of what we used to call the City-County Building (now the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center).

In the right hand of the figure is a bronze representation of a family, and in the left hand is a bronze sphere and rays that represent God. Nothing in this sculpture seems to represent tape drives, and the restoration project last year wisely avoided updating the Spirit of Detroit to accommodate the information revolution.

The inscription behind on the wall behind it is from 2 Corinthians (3:17): "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

I probably walked past the statue a hundred times when I lived in Detroit, never giving it more than a passing glance. However, as an out-of-towner, I found myself transfixed by the 26-foot high sculpture.

Beaver Lodge

(Luna Pier, MI) In driving up I-75 several times a week I began to notice quite a few beaver lodges in the waterways leading into western Lake Erie, and in one section near what I think is Allen Cove there are dozens of these structures.

I did not see any beaver swimming about on the frigid day I stopped to inspect the lodges. As someone who has lived almost his entire life in the city, being near something as previously abstract as a beaver lodge was pretty interesting. Now, I might take some flack for this, but I couldn't resist the urge to include this hyperlinked bodystockings reference.

Crude, perhaps. Impish, definitely.

Northern Cardinal

(Toledo, OH) I heard this colorful bird long before I located him, and I spent quite a few minutes trying to get close enough to take a decent picture of one of the numerous Northern Cardinals that live near my house. Our bird feeders sometimes seem to double as swing sets for these birds in their athletic pursuit of the seed that I provide.

Cardinals, despite their ubiquitousness, remain among my favorite songbirds, and I consider my day to be privileged when a pair of these beautiful birds visits my yard.

No, perhaps "blessed" is a better word.


Couple of Puggles

Pictured on your left are two of our dogs, both of whom happen to be of the "designer" breed known as the Puggle. These dogs are a crossbreed between the pug and the beagle, and we have become quite enamored of the combination.

Both dogs are rescue pooches that we adopted through a local rescue organization with whom we also foster pets. The Puggle on the left is Eddie Haskell, who is about 2 and a half, while the Puggle on the right is Chauncey. Neither dog will ever be in the market for engagement rings, as we responsibly spay and neuter our pets, but they are certainly among the most loyal and affectionate dogs I have known.


Thompson Home, Detroit

(Detroit, MI) I pass this beautiful Victorian building several times a week on my way to and from teaching at Wayne State University, and the Thompson Home's intriguing architectural stylings sometimes cause me to stop and gaze.

Built in 1884, the house was once a retirement home for wealthy widows, though today the building serves as a facility for WSU's School of Social Work. While I suspect that coffee makers are about the last item on your mind, the bills must somehow be paid in this era of hyper-capitalism.