Thursday, May 31, 2007

Memphis Smoke, Royal Oak, MI

This place is my favorite bbq - blues restaurant. Great ribs, awesome fish and chips, decent beer selection, and Blues. What more could ye want! Swine Dining indeed!
I took the photo on memorial Day - it's normally a lot busier here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day, Royal Oak, MI

It's been a few years since we arrived on these shores, but today, Memorial Day was somehow different to me. We did what we have done for the last few years: went downtown Royal Oak to the parade, where my son was marching; today behind a couple of the Tuskagee Airmen. Myself and my daughter did what we have done, sat on the sidewalk, watched and took photos, and waved at the marchers.

Two things happened that were different - the people standing next to us were gracious in their "thank-you's" to the servicemen and servicewomen who marched - this was new to me. For some reason, part of the purpose of Memorial Day escaped me for all these years, today was a day for this country to say Thanks to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to their countrymen, and also to those who are still with us.

The second thing was, this year, we went to the wreath ceremony at the cemetery, as my son's scout pack was directly involved. There was such a feeling of reverence and pride there - between the aged men and women who watched their comrades fall , to the Fire Department piper and members, and the Police Department members - and also the school band - and many others - the whole feeling was unified and amazing. It's tough thing to say, but today touched me like never before.

Many of these people who were out today have seen hardship like we will never know - many have have seen horrors that we will never see - nor want our offspring to ever see. And yet they still come out on memorial day.

It made me think of an old Australian song - "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", sent to my ears by Shane McGowan. The song was written by Eric Bogle. The touching lines were:

"But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all"

This made me feel both sad and proud that I was there at a memorial day ceremony. People need to attend these ceremonies - these people cannon be forgotten - and it is a great reality check. Remember the people who keep the wold good.

Now, usually when I think about stuff, I tend to have a bit of an objection to at least a couple of things. Today, I can not say a word.

It's possibly got something to do with the fact that my country of origin has never been involved in conflict like some of these people have. Today - this was different. I identified with the Good People.

Here are some pictures I took. They are not great quality - but as good as I can do with limited space, poor sunlight, and a small girl running into me every 5 seconds... not that I'm complaining...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Flag Planting in Oakview Cemetry

This morning, in preparation for Memorial Day, the local scouts (of which my son is a member) went along to plant flags on veterans graves. It was a damp wet rainy morning - perfect cemetery weather.

I have a strange interest in cemeteries - I like looking as gravestone inscriptions. Now, something I've seen here in quite a few places are graves that are occupied by one half of a married couple, with the surviving member having his / her name inscribed, but no death date yet. Basically, they are committing to be buried beside their loved one when they move on. It doesn't bother me that they do that - but to me it jest seems a little preemptive - I know I am not going to live forever, but I'd rather not have my name on a headstone till they are pretty sure that my heart has well and truly stopped beating.

On that, I seen a couple of grave markers that raised questions See below-
Now, the good Mt Christopher M. Schryer passed away in 1933, aged 64. His wife, Agnes, seems to have felt committed enough at the time to get her name carved into a stone, and placed beside his. I guess there is a chance that they both decided to place their stones there before he died. In any event, she was 70 at the time of his death.
Her marker stone is shown above, but note how there is no year of death inscription! Therein lies the mystery? Does the body of Mrs. Schryer lie here, and nobody ever got around to carving the date? Maybe she had no living relatives. Or did Agnes, at the ripe age of 70, decide to remarry, and now lies at the side of someone else? Or is it possible that, somewhere in Royal Oak, Michigan there resides a fine 144-year old lady?

Friday, May 25, 2007


I was given a pair of really really good Pistons tickets for last night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers - playoffs game 2 of the conference finals.
These were easily the most expensive tickets I've had for a sporting event - at $280 each, they were somewhat out of my range, but boy were they good. We were about 10 rows behind the Pistons bench, for sure the closest I've been even during regular season.
The game was awesome - Pistons done their usual of falling behind in the first half, only to pull it back in the second. They effectively won by a point - even though the score said 3, Chauncy Billups was fouled with 1 second to go, and sent them both home. In any event, all was good - the Pistons seemed to be not firing on all cylinders (pun entirely intended), but they still got the job done.
Detroit in 5.

We also seen a heavily pregnant girl with her bulge painted as a basketball! Sweet!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

That's the end then so.

I was in no mood to post anything yesterday. I watched the Red Wings fall to the Ducks the night before. If only they woke up earlier in the game.
If only they woke up in Games 4 and 5.
If only.....

Hey, I hear the Wings play hockey! In October!! Go Wings!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stuff that makes me happy - #1 - Korean Food Store Staff - Seaweed Jelly

There’s a Korean grocery store not too far from where I work. Every now and then, I like to go there. Korean food ranks way up there in the foods I like – it’s a totally different range of tastes from anything else I’ve tried. Kim-Chee is amazing – and many westerners hate it.

Anyways, today at lunchtime, I visited the store. Out of interest, I decided to but some seaweed jelly noodles. I don’t believe I’ve had these before, so it will be a new experience. Now onto what I really liked there. When I went to pay, the lady at the desk went on and explained to me how best to consume these – what she does is rinse them, slice cucumber, onion, and other vegetables thinly, mix it all up with come mayonnaise, and serve. See, I didn’t even ask – she voluntarily gave me all the info I needed. Now I’m fully equipped to enjoy the noodles, with the knowledge that someone else has done so first. That’s what I call customer service.

Oh Well! Wings now facing an uphill battle.

That was really disappointing result. Even playing poorly, the red wings played better than the ducks. Unfortunate thing is that the duck scored in overtime.
Pronger was booed everytime he touched the puck, and so he should be. He was in our house.
Tomorrow night in Anaheim, the Wings have it all to do. They have the ability, but they did yesterday and they did on Thursday, but the powers that be didn't let it happen.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Man this is killing me. I feel like I've played a game of hockey.

1-1 Ducks Wings. End of regular time. Overtime coming up. Wing's let's roast dome Duck!!!!

Detroit Sports Update - Brought to you by Me!

Since I wrote here last, the Wings lost Game 4 v the Ducks. It was a highly annoying game - Detroit played well enough to win, but somehow Anaheim beat them.
That just makes it a lot more interesting for todays game - back here in at the Joe - with the series now tied at 2-2, if Detroit can keep winning at home, it will be on to meet the Senators.
Talking of which, I watched the Sabres-Senators game yesterday; not impressive, and I think Detroit can beat either of these teams in the finals.

Chris Pronger will be back today - I don't see this as an advantage to the Ducks at all. The wings tend to play to the conditions (excep in the 5-0 win - they totally took advantage of the conditions). I guess Pronger should count himself lucky that this is the "new" NHL - otherwise he might be looking for a battering today, following his nasty hit om Homer.

I will not make any predictions - seeing as how it went horribly wrong last time. - JUST GO WINGS!

I caught the end of the Tigers-cardinals games both yesterday and Friday - Today the tigers go for the sweep... why could they not have done this last October?? In any event, apart from the Boston blip, they are doing quite OK without Zumaya and Kenny. It'll be good to see how they change when the Gambler recovers and retakes the mound.

The Pistons started winning again - they beat Big Ben and his Bulls. Now it's on to see off Cleveland. With my limited knowledge of the NBA, it should not be too difficult for them.

The Lions - still not losing since I posted last...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Detroit Red Wings 5. Anaheim Ducks 0.
Man I was happy with last nights performance. The Wings outplayed the Ducks in every aspect, including smart play. 5-0. Way above my predictions.
Dominic Hasek was amazing - to me, star of the game. A few decent saves early in the game took the wind out of the ducks, and it was all easy from there.
Holmstrom took a heavy hit, but survived it and was back on the ice after getting sewn back up - will be interesting to see in Pronger gets into more trouble over this. I'm thinking that it's the end of the incident - mainly due to the fact that Homer proved he wasn't too broken by returning. But we will see.
Now the Wings need to turn the screw tomorrow night, to allow them to finish it all up on Sunday on home ice. And progress to the Stanley Cup Finals!

Game 4 - Wings 4, Ducks 3. Wings win in OT
Game 5 - Ducks 1, Wings 3

Now to keep my fantasy team alive, lets hope the Sabres can turn around and route the Senators.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tigers beat Sox. Pistons lost again to Bulls.. Wings 4-0 up v Ducks

Tigers won. Good. Pistons lost. Bad.

GO WINGS. It's 4-0 wings with 20 minutes to go. This is better!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Stuff that bothers n bugs me - #2- Detroit loss Trifecta

Losing a hockey game is one thing. Losing a playoff game in overtime when you're the Detroit Red Wings, playing at home in Detroit is another.
Teaming that up with the Tigers losing heavily to Minnesota, and the Pistons getting beat up in Chicago makes for a poor sports start to the week.

The Wings will need to pull something out of the bag tomorrow evening in Anaheim – I’m confident they can – Babcock knows the territory there and Detroit will have some fire in their sticks.

At least the Lions didn’t lose – granted it’s summer and they were not playing, but I’m pretty sure that, had they have played, they would have made a big effort to not win as usual.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Royal Oak, Michigan. On a fine May Sunday.

Nuthin but a few pics. We went for a wander around Royal Oak, following a couple of hours at the Mothers Day Royal Oak In Bloom thingy.

11 Mile Road at Main

Main south of 11

The rail tracks at 4th. Photo taken without viewfinder.

Cafe Muse from behind. I've not been in there - have heard good reports.

The post office where, in 1991, a guy went postal.

Mothers Day in Royal Oak, Michigan

As it was a nice sunny Mother’s Day, we headed out to downtown Royal Oak, where they were having their annual plant / outdoor stuff sale – all nice and colorful.

I'm not exactly sure of what the statue above means - but it is different - and a very unique symbol of Royal Oak. It's "The Star Dream", by Marshall Fredricks - the sculptor also responsible for the "Spirit Of Detroit". On that, the Spirit better soon get his redwings shirt out.
The above Scarlet Macaws are actually used car tires – nice and inventive. Pretend dogs and wickerwork tricycles. Sweet.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stuff that bothers n bugs me - #1 Back-To-Back Commercial breaks during Red Wings intermissions.

I might as well start numbering these whines. Maybe I’ll do a happier “things that make me smile” when I’m in a better mood.

I was watching the mighty game of hockey on last night, between the Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks. It was a pretty good game, not as fun to watch as the previous one, but they got the job done. 2-0 over the sharks, winning the series 4-2. The shark tank was supposed to be intimidating – c’mon, it’s in California – what are they gonna do? Text-message the wings with displeased comments?

Anyway, I enjoy watching hockey on Fox Detroit. I like listening to Ken Daniels, Mickey Redmond, and, between periods, Larry Murphy as well. What I DON’T like is, during the period intermissions, the LOAD of commercials I have to watch, most of all, when one set ends, they show a shot of the stadium, or wherever, and announce that they will be right back – THEN RUN INTO ANOTHER SET OF STUPID COMMERCIALS!!!

C’mon Fox (or Versus, or whoever). I know you need to make cash, but at least give me a reason to watch the intermission – I’ll watch some commercials, but not that many!

Oh yeah.

GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

A fun weekend at D-Bar-A Scout Camp

Last weekend was our first spring camp out - previously we only went in the fall. The weather was great - perfect camping weather - and great weather for a fire. We got a face chord of firewood delivered - much more efficient that those $10 teeney weeney gas station bundles. As every other time we built a fire to be seen from outer space - even though it was not cold. Well, it roasted the dogs and smores anyway.
I also got some real amateurish moon shots in - seems dark, but I like it as it was a good representation of the actual lighting.

Sunday morning leaving was really nice - more pics...

Other links about D-BAR-A
2005 Spring Campout
2007 Campout - This time in November
2008 Spring Campout