Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holiday Magic in Royal Oak 2008 - Christmas Parade

Pre-Thanksgiving Royal Oak means Parade Time! Santa's first stop in Michigan is, and should always be Royal Oak. It's a regular event - but unlike last year, we had both kids with us. Different and nice.

Cold day - 24 degF setting out. We were suitable donned in thermal gear, making the weather a non-issue, as seemingly did everyone else.

Pre-parade. If you were to have had too much to drink last night, and fell asleep on the middle of the road on Washington, above is what you would have woken up to. Assuming, of course, that Royal Oak's fine Police Department would not have put you safely away, or that you did not get ran over by a crazed party-goer and ended up dead or badly wounded. But I digress. Back on track....

So, you'd stand up, and above is what you would see. A beautiful morning in downtown Royal Oak. Ok. Enough.

There's Oakland County Sheriff. They could have picked ya up off the road, so as you would not have spent the night asleep in the middle of Washington Avenue, when there's a parade on the way.

Or indeed, the afore mentioned Police Force. Forget the flags, there's people asleep on the road!

Back to reality. The pipe band were there. Nice and melodic, as a group of men should be, assuming they were properly dressed without underwear. Twas cold, as I said earlier.

And the bands.....

We watched the above and below band traipse through horse poop. The music was alright.

Nothing like a lollipop aircraft. As of now, I have no idea what that was all about.

And it wouldn't be the Christmas Parade without the Lancers- grown men in little cars. I think I see my future!

Is there not a whole bunch of grown men our in the woods right now trying to bag a species not unrelated to those above? They could have came to Royal Oak!

Stagecrafters are doing The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. Above is The Witch.

And above is some kinda clown. Again.

It wouldn't be Christmas without a couple of sheiks....

And above is the wonderful CandyBand. I love the forefront lady's expression - the band were not that bad...

And above is the Cass Tech Marching Band, who represented us at the Orange Bowl in Texas last January.

Paws. Taking a pause.

The one wheeled biker club. Only half as badass as a regular club.

Look carefully above. That unicyclist is actually rope skipping. Seriously.

Scouts should be marching. Not in a float!

Above is Detroit School of Rock and Pop. This is the first I've seen or heard of them - except for a seemingly quiet storefront on Washington. More can be found about them on their website - best of luck to them! Make the Detroit area famous for music again!

Pinewood derby racing for bigger kids. Now there's an idea - could solve this issue!


Whip it .... like... Noir Leather! Wouldn't be holiday season without a little leather, pvc, and general fun.

Santa arriving in town, and below, getting the key to the city. He must have lost the one he got last year. Dunno how - it was huge!

And on we went to Lily's Where the bagpipers congregate. We had a delicious brunch there - I reccommend it! Nothing like munching on a cajun shrimp omlette while listening to Scottish pipes and drums.

Other Royal Oak links:
Royal Oak Memorial Day Parade 2008
Holiday Magic in Royal Oak 2007 - Christmas Parade - Miracle Madness
Zombies In Royal Oak
Mothers Day in Royal Oak 2007

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Woman Smoking in Car With Kids - WHY????

I think I've made it obvious here before that I feel that smokers are somewhat inconsiderate.

Yesterday, more proof of this was cast along side me.

On my way into work, while stopped at the lights, I looked aside at the car next to me - a blue Chevy Impala. Lady, early 40's driving. Wearing a woolly hat, and puffing energetically on a cigarette. OK, what she does in her own car is just fine, once she doesn't throw the left overs out or blow smoke in my path.

But it was the two little kids, all wrapped up in their winter gear in the back seat that particularly irked me.

These two elementary-aged kids will smell of nicotine when they get into school. Worse still, they will have inhaled a large amount of mom-of-the-year's cigarette smoke - yea, passive smoking, there are still smokers out there who believe it has no effect. (The EPA seem to think is does pose a problem - ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) is apparently responsible for 3000 deaths annually in US nonsmokers, and has a more drastic effect on kids).

See the evidence is there, yet people just chose to ignore. Is that addiction so severe that parents will put their kids health at risk (bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma)? Are they doing this willingly, or do they not know the facts? Cripey, it's 2008!!! Or perhaps, they just choose to ignore the facts.

See, there is a lot said about women smoking when pregnant. I've seen few or no warnings about strapping your kids into a car and inflicting tobacco smoke onto them. There should be more.

Heck, make it illegal. I'm not aware of any such law here in Michigan, but California, Louisiana and Arkansas have already taken that step - it's a ticket if you get stopped. Granted you need to be stopped for another offense first, but at least they are doing something.

So what did I do? I rolled down my window, made brief eye contact, and she sped off.

Poor kids. I wonder will they smoke?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New York Rangers v Detroit Red Wings at the Joe - and Ted Lindsay night

October 18th. We were give 4 tickets to see The Wings take on The Rangers. It was also Ted Lindsay night - an Omri Amrany-commissioned statue was unveiled.

Our plan was to get there sufficiently early to see the official presentation to Terrible Ted, but we went for food at The Olympia in Greektown (mediocre food, flaming cheese was nice but expensive and small, lamb moussaka was bland and the pasta dish my wife had was gooey - but the kids enjoyed their turkey wrap), and as a result of the lack of speed, we got there after the ceremony. But we still got our commemorative canvas posters.

Our seats were behind the goal, just 10 rows up. A great spot to see an Original Six game!!

And the game. At the 28 second mark, Samuelson stuck the puck in the net. a couple of minutes later, Franzen did likewise.
Unstoppable. Except last season when he got concussion..

But the Rangers came back and scored. And then Holmstrom scored. Then the stupid Rangers came back and scored 3 more and they were in the lead

But then Jiri Hudler came back and equalized with about 4 minutes left, and we were headed for OT.

OT did happen, and it lasted a whopping 23 seconds - Marian Hossa got his first for The Wings at a very important time.So The Wings won That's why they are the best. Wings - do me a fovor, head east and then a little north to Ford Field and tell dem Lions how ya do that winning thing.