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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Down with Detroit T Shirts



Down with Detroit is awesome for Detroit T shirts.  They recently had a Facebook contest to see who could come up with the best idea for their new T shirt.  This was the winner and you can buy it here


Friday, July 30, 2010

Got a car complaint?

Recently the transmission on my RAV4 started acting up out of nowhere.  I have taken it to two transmission garages and they both quoted me at least $2500 to fix the problem.  So I did what people do these days and got online.

First to search for RAV4 transmissions from salvage yards.  Then I mistakenly posted it for sale on craigslist.  Finally, I found this site, www.carcomplaints.com, where I found out that this is a common problem with RAV4's of this year and that Toyota has recently been forced to reimburse customers who have paid to have the same problem fixed.

I will not go into the details but I thought this site was kinda rad because you can search for any car and see what kind of problems people have been having with it.  They even have a little gauge that tells you how terribly awful your specific problem is.

So right now my car is at the dealership waiting to be inspected and then hopefully they will tell me there is something wrong with the ECM and the transmission and then I will bust in with the documentation that I printed out last night saying Toyota is going to pick up the bill!

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Anyone looking for a RAV4 with a brand new transmission???  Mine is the same but dark green.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Memphis!



This is us in Memphis.... crazy

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pretzel M&M's

Photo of Pretzel M&M'S® candies

























I happen to enjoy the sweet and salty snack that I first heard about on 97.1 the ticket during the midday show.  Thanks Karsch and Anderson for recommending this tasty snack!  And wouldn't you know it that my local convenient stores do NOT stock it!

Distribution of Wealth



It has been reported on Yahoo.com that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are donating billions of dollars and encouraging other billionaires to donate a majority of their wealth to charity.  The Yahoo story said that they are looking for other billionaires to agree to give at least half their wealth to charity.

How about the "Help The Lowe's Pay off Their House Fund" or the "Credit Card Debt for George Relief Fund."  These two charities are grossly underfunded.  Now download Travie McCoy's "Billionaire."  I wonder if he's donating?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lightning Bolt Jesus

If you have ever travelled down I-75 south through Ohio near the city of Monroe (north of Cincinnati) then you know about "Touchdown Jesus", the 62 feet statue of the torso of Jesus with arms raised like he is signaling a touchdown.  Jesus was struck by lightning late Monday night and the statue has since burned to the ground leaving only the steel structure it was built around.  

Eery connection... The University of Notre Dame also has a touchdown Jesus and has recently been included in talks to join the Big 10.  I think this might be a sign that God does not want Notre Dame in the same conference as MSU or U of M.


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Notre Dame's Touchdown Jesus in South Bend, IN.

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Touchdown Jesus at Solid Rock Church off I-75 in Monroe, OH.
Flames shoot up from the "King of King's" statue of Jesus Christ standing outside of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio in the early morning hours of T


Touchdown Jesus at Solid Rock Church off I-75 in Monroe, OH. on fire!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dude just go to Yale



This kids name is Yale W. Fan and he's going to Harvard.  What's the matter? Yale wouldn't take you or something?  I love that he's a fan of Yale because of the quality of life of it's students and not some academic program or sports team.  Only in Oregon...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Detroit River Days 2010



Celebrating the friendly relationship that Detroit has with it's Canadian neighbor to the south (Windsor) this year is going to be rad at the Detroit River Days Festival happening June 18th - 21st in downtown Detroit. There are a ton of activities going on downtown from the fun run to the car show.  I have already been to the festival website a few times to double check the live music schedule because of what I saw.

Friday, the kickoff celebration starts with 90's alternative rockers Spin Doctors, who last performed in Detroit October 5th, 1991.  Now I was not much of a fan back in the day but think nostalgia!  I want a Spin Doctors T-shirt.  I had not clue these guys were still performing live.  Good for you Spin Doctors!  I am sure you will rock the waterfront.















Saturday Detroit will have the honor of welcoming to the Michigan Lottery Stage... MC HAMMER!  Last here on May 15th, 2009 at the Fox, I hope Hammer isn't "2 Legit 2 Quit" performing the song, "U Can't Touch This." Ooooohhhh oohhhhhh ooohhhhhh oooohhhh oooh ooh ohhh.  Actually it would be cool to see him do The Adam's Family Theme song from the movie.
















To top it all off, Sunday night, Blues Traveler will perform starting at 8:30pm.  What a tour de force of early nineties music!  No doubt John Popper will rock that harmonic.  I've heard he's lost some weight too (no joke).  Blues Traveler last came through Detroit for the Meadowbrook Music Festival July 24th, 2008.


If you get a chance to go down for one of these iconic artists at the Michigan Lottery Stage, please do not hesitate to send me pics or reviews.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Music in Michigan

There is nothing I enjoy more than camping out for a weekend, heading out for a night, or dropping by for a day at one of Michigan's many summer festivals.  I have always been looking for a site that has it all, or most of it anyway, when it comes to dates, times and websites for all the festivals and I think I have finally found it.  Madmanmike.com is your yearly Michigan festival guide.  It has all the festivals arranged by month and date and includes websites if they are available where you can get updated festival info.

I have only sampled a few of our great state's summer festivals but have never been let down.  Some standouts include Islandfest in Kalamazoo and Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, MI.  Have fun this summer and feel free to let me know what festivals you are going to!

Enjoy a Skinny Dip and save the Colorado River

View the Skinny Dip 2010 flyer in full size.

The New Belgium Brewing Company based in Fort Collins, CO. and the makers of the iconic Fat Tire beer, has partnered with Jon Waterman to help clean up the Colorado River.  Their new beer, Skinny Dip, is one of their seasonal beers celebrating summer and the clean water advocacy of Jonathan Waterman.  Check out their page dedicated to saving the Colorado River.  I first saw this ad in my new Rolling Stone Magazine!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The rumors are true... The Expendables




I heard about this movie last night and had to check out to see for myself.  The answer is, "Yes, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren and Bruce Willis WILL act in a movie together!"  The Expendables comes out August 13th and it can't get here soon enough!  How did this fly under my radar until now?


Trailer...


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Al Fresco Sausage is Rad



Last night for dinner we grilled these pre-cooked sausages and they were fantastic.   We had the Al Fresco brand Roasted Pepper and Asiago Chicken Sausage with Mesquite Smoke.  They only need to be on the grill for a few minutes and then put them on a bun with condiments or eaten plain.  They taste great either way.  If you are planning on grilling this weekend, which I think 99% of people are, I suggest Al Fresco brand sausages.  The best part is the all of Al Fresco's chicken sausages are made with no preservatives or nitrates.  They truly are all natural and that means you can enjoy another!  Other rad flavors they offer are Buffalo Style and Sweet Apple.

Electronic Music Festival - Detroit


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It's called the Movement and it starts today and goes until Monday night.  It's a festival celebrating techno music in Detroit, where techno started.  Located in Hart Plaza, the party goes all weekend and promises to be pretty rad... if you like techno.  I have been through my techno phase and came out the other side alive.  I don't mind some every once in a while but wouldn't say I follow the genre.  But if you want to get outside this weekend and dance Hart Plaza is the place to be.  At the festival's site www.movement.us you can view videos, read about the history of the festival and review the performance line up.  Don't forget your glow sticks!!!

Jolly Pumpkin Ann Arbor


I had the privilege of tasting some great beer at the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery in Ann Arbor to celebrate a friend's upcoming wedding this Saturday.  We got to enjoy the evening air on their upper deck outdoor terrace. They seemed to specialize in "sour beers" have a consistency between wine and beer and a unique taste.  I tried one and am not a fan and went against our waitresses recommendation.  I had the Bam Biere, a cloudy farmhouse ale.  The beer was good, not great, a little too much like a belgian blonde for me.  I did not have a chance to sample the food there as the kitchen was closed but I have heard only good things.  I will definitely go back to try some more of their beers and to sample some of their new menu.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Vampires from Royal Oak in Ohio!

Rad vampire story from the Daily Tribune!  Even the vampires are leaving Michigan.  What can we do?

 

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Heidelberg Rock Project


In 1986 Tyree Guyton, his grandpa and his wife started cleaning up Heidelberg St. in Detroit.  From the junk they collected they transformed vacant lots in to works of art.  The Heidelberg Rock Project is a benefit concert that will support a program for children to learn about the project and about art in general.  The concert takes place tonight at the Magic Stick.

Hendrix of the Ukulele

This guy is being hailed as a ukulele playing virtuoso like what Jimi Hendrix or Eddie Van Halen are to the the guitar, this guy is to the tiny Hawaiian instrument.  Rock on Jake Shimabukuro!  If you are in the Detroit area tonight Jake is playing at the Detroit Institute of Arts Friday Night Live event.  He will do one show at 7pm and one at 8:30pm.  The video is of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."


Jersey Shore-ness

I found the pic on After 5 Detroit's page.  This guy belongs on season 2.  And season 2 will happen with or without the old cast.  According to personalmoneystore.com's "Money Blog" the show's cast is holding out for more than $10,000/episode MTV offered.  They do report that the show will go on even if they have to replace every cast member.  One MTV Executive said, "Finding obnoxious, pushy, trash-talking idiots who want to be on TV is as easy as falling off a log."


Thursday, May 20, 2010

This is A Real Company

If my basement had a leak I would definitely hire The Crack Team!



Who were the ad wizards???

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Preserve the Saugatuck Dunes

I just got done reading a newsletter from the National Trust for Historic Preservation that released it's 11 most endangered historic places in the U.S.  The Saugatuck Dunes was listed as one of them.  A developer is planning to build a shopping district with hotels and residential areas, a plan that goes against the community's zoning laws.  Read more here and help save the dunes!  View a slideshow of the dunes here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

R.I.P. R.J.D.







This message was posted on Ronnie James Dio's website, the extremely rad heavy metal singer, when I went to look at it this morning.  Dio passed away this Sunday, he was 67.

"Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May.  Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away.  Ronnie knew hou much he was loved by all.  We so appreciated the love and support that you have all given us.  Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss.  Please know he loved you all and his music will live forever."

- Wendy Dio


Dio became the lead singer of Black Sabbath after Ozzy Osbourne left to pursue his solo career.  His most memorable song from his time with the band was "Heaven and Hell."  They would later tour under this name when Ozzy decided to tour with a new Sabbath .  Dio also spent time as the lead singer for Rainbow and Dio.  Dio's claim to fame is his inception of the "devils horns" as a hand gesture.  He insists that his grandmother used to do that to him for good luck so he started using the hand symbol at his concerts.  Check out his Wikipedia article here.


Message from Wendy Dio

Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.
- Wendy Dio

The Avett Brothers July 24th

Official Avett Brothers photo dressed up and sitting on run down sofa

The Avett Brothers , a North Carolina band combining rock, punk, country and bluegrass, will be playing The Fillmore in Detroit on July 24th.  Check out the band's website here or click the Amazon add to listen to some samples from their new CD "I and Love and You."  I own their album The Second Gleam and it is awesomely rad!  On their site you can listen to parts of songs on all their albums.  I and Love and You is their first major label album and was produced by the legendary Rick Rubin. 


Dude, Rick Rubin looks like a rad Santa!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

16 hourrrrrrrrrrrrssssss!

Thank you Old Spice and thank you Terry Crews! Rad.


Link

Flower Day 2010, Eastern Market, Detroit



Flower Day is the one Sunday all year that Detroit's Eastern Market is open.  The flowers there come from all over Michigan (we bought some from Gaylord) and Canada.  They
dazzle the eyes with different shapes, sizes and colors.  People get there as early as 5am to browse and buy their annual, perennial and vegetable plants for the year.  This was our first year and I will say that, even though I am not a flower guy, it was rad!




Coffee was a necessity so we brewed some at home before leaving around 5:45am.  We arrived just in time for a killer parking spot right by the market.  We had heard that people bring wheelbarrows to lug their purchases around but didn't realize how creative people were with them.  So creative that an award for the best wheelbarrow is given away every year.  According to one guy we met, Larry always wins.  We were able to get what we needed without a wheelbarrow but it would have been a helpful so that I did not have to make three trips to the car.



By 9am when we left it was getting pretty packed so I'm glad we started early.  I even witnessed a wheelbarrow collision as we were leaving.  Flower Day 2010 was a great day for Michigan greenhouses and the Eastern Market.  It was also a great day for Detroit.  People will get downtown for events like this!

Here's what we got.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I tweet!

Now you can follow me... along with every other A list celebrity... on Twitter!  Click the button to the right that says, "Follow me on Twitter."  Duh.

So that's how they get the ice off the floor

Still lamenting the Red Wings untimely exit from the post season.  Video from the red wings twitter page.

Double Down at KFC



The bun is made of two chicken patties... how great is that!  Link

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Correction

I have been informed that American Jr. is not affiliated with the Hoedown as I reported on the previous post.  Instead it is put on by CBS Radio and it's affiliate 99.5 WYCD.  The official site is here.

Detroit Hoedown 2010




The Detroit Downtown Hoedown is upon us once again.  Last year Willie Nelson closed the 3 day free country music festival put on by CBS Radio and 99.5 WYCD.  This year the headliners will be Dierks Bentley (Friday), Uncle Kracker (Saturday) and The Zac Brown Band (Sunday closer).  Other standouts include Longneck Strangler (Saturday, I just like their name), Bullhonkey deluxe (Sunday, like the name) and The Orbitsuns (Sunday, the play bingo night at 4 Green Fields).


The show is located in downtown Detroit at the Hart Plaza and includes 3 stages (river, lower and upper) for all day entertainment.  Here is a link to the schedule of performances and a $3 off coupon for any hat at one of the "Gone Country" booths.

Cigarettes save pipes... not lives

In this story I found on Yahoo China says it has found that chemicals used to make cigarettes, including nicotine, protect steel pipes from rusting, the kind of steel pipes used to transport oil.  After submersing the butts in water Chinese scientists found 9 chemicals which they tested on these pipes.  So if you must smoke, at least you can say you are trying to prevent further oil spills due to rusted pipes.  So light up and tell people you are saving the environment!
This story got me thinking about who smokes the most.  The following maps show the density of male and female smokers in each country in the world.  The red has the most smokers per capita.













The Beat in Ferndale

The Beat Then...

The Beat is a classic English ska band formed in 1978 that will be performing at the Magic Bag on Thursday, May 20th at 8pm.  After their disbanding in 1983 there emerged two forms of The Beat, a UK version and a US version both led by former members.



I am not sure which band this one is but if they were known to collaborate with members of The Specials back in the day I am a fan.

Obi Kenobi

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Last weekend I visited the Berkley Front on 12 mile for the Saturday night game 6 between the Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks.  Although the wings lost I won.  The Front has an awesome beer selection with over 40 beers on tap.  That doesn't include their unique mixed beers.  We decided to try the Obi-Kenobi (yes after Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars).  The Obi- is 1 half Bell's Oberon half Guinness Stout.  One word to describe it would be... RAD.  Get to the Front and try it... or make it at home.  The Guinness goes on top of the Oberon and stays there!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Get Home Safe!

LOGOThe Designate is a chauffeur service that uses your own car.  They will drive you and your friends home from any establishment within Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties in your own car so you don't have to worry about picking it up the next day.  A really cool service for people that love to go out but don't want to worry about parking tickets or getting a ride to their car in the morning.  You can reach them 7 days a week at 888-929-8282.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Got Gas?


I've just joined this website where you can find and report gas prices in your area, earn points and win prizes.  It's called gasbuddy.com and it has city sites like Detroitgasprices.com.  They have weekly prizes for free gas.  This weeks drawing ends today and I have one ticket for the drawing.  Come on free gas!  They also have let you know what the average gas price in the state you live in is and also if prices are going up or going down.  It's free to become a member and you can set up your profile with your favorite stations.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Those who are remembered are never truly gone

By now it's no longer news but I thought I would dedicate a post to Detroit's beloved Ernie Harwell because it seemed like a good thing to do.  This week 97.1 the ticket has been flooded with calls about their favorite Ernie moments and memories, their experiences at his memorial at Comerica Park and how no one can replace him.

I myself do not have a great Ernie memory.  I never met the man, never got to listen to him call a Tiger's game and I didn't even know what he looked like until his cancer announcement.  Regardless, while driving to work on Wednesday morning I heard Ernie's Baseball Hall of Fame speech from 1981 and it made me appreciate not only his voice but his person.  He truly is a great man who loved the city of Detroit and loved the sport of baseball.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Like Parties and Shindigs?



















Do you like parties, shindigs, gatherings, or just hanging out with friends?  Of course you do... everyone does.  So here is another excuse to plan another get together.  Parties & Shindigs by Penni and Shellie is a brand new catering and event planning business based in Clarkston, MI.  They are off and running with dates already scheduled and are looking forward to hearing from those of you who need your graduate's open house catered or your office appreciation picnic planned.  Plus you should book them now before they become too popular... this is graduation season!

As you know I am always in favor of supporting local businesses and since I work in Clarkston I urge you to follow them on Facebook!  If you're old fashioned you can give either of the owners a call... Penni - 248-701-6536 or Shelli 248-701-3507.

Desert Island Radio

Road trips often lead to interesting conversations and discussions and my recent trip to Utah and Colorado was no different.  On the 5.5 hour drive from Moab, UT. to Boulder, CO. the conversation turned to music.  It just so happened that both of the dudes on the trip were music junkies albeit with slightly different tastes.  The question arose, "If you were trapped on a desert island which ten bands or artists would you most like to have to listen to for the rest of your life?"  Thus the Desert Island Lists were born!

An interesting question for a couple of reasons.  One, you have to take into account the breadth of the artist's catalogue.  Even though I might love Ke$ha, she only has one album, and I risk wearing it out with repeat listens.  Two, hard rock might sound good now, but on a desert island you don't have anyone to headbang with.  Three, too many sad country songs could lead to depression.  As Buddha teaches I tried to take the "middle path" with my selections dabbling into a little of everything... minus rap music which I do listen to sometimes but can't get excited about when I'm alone.

My Desert Island List... in no particular order

AC/DC
Led Zeppelin
Bruce Springsteen
Willie Nelson
Johnny Cash
Merle Haggard
Son Volt
Wilco
The Rolling Stones
Bob Dylan

This conversation took place about a month ago but I was messing around on Pandora this morning and thought it would be cool to collect all 10 of my desert island favorites on one free station.  So I did, and I recommend you do the same thing.  Because you never know when you might become the next Lost character and my Blackberry does have the Pandora app.  The only problem is now Pandora is trying to find artists and songs LIKE my desert island list and I am often hitting the thumbs down button.  You can check out my Desert Island Radio here.  It's not perfect yet but even the suggestions that aren't on my desert island list are good.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm J Steez!

Attention all Kalamazoo College men's tennis players and anyone that owns Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001 disc!  I got this iced tea yesterday at a Kroger in Detroit.  Their website, www.steaz.com is awesome!  Wisdom may only be obtained within.



"I'm J Steez!"


Friday, April 30, 2010

The Last Drag and the smoking ban in Michigan

Folks that are familiar with the bar scene all over Michigan will be headed out tonight for the last night of legal smoking inside Michigan's fine beer and liquor serving establishments.  Starting tomorrow, all the juke joints, holes in the wall, watering holes, pubs, taverns, clubs, lounges, and neighborhood bars will be under the watchful eye of Michigan's finest.  Having a cigarette indoors at one of these places will now be punishable by fine.  In order to celebrate this final night of cancer accelerating behavior, bar crawlers will be visiting all their favorites across Detroit's bergs, and I assume across Michigan, to smoke enough cigarettes to last them the total amount of time they plan to spend in a bar for the rest of their lives.

If you are one of the many then you have options for tonight.  In Ferndale, the Ruth Ellis Center and D. Erickson PR bring you the Take the Last Drag pub crawl.  The crawl will be lead by fashionable drag queens and will take smokers and non-smokers to all the hot spots like the WAB, Dino's and Como's.

The Last Drag Invite

At the Belmont Bar in Hamtramck owner Darren Grown will be hosting The Last Great Michigan Smoke Down to celebrate those who choose to smoke and those who don't.  Entertainment will be provided all night will a variety of Detroit bands.  Grown says that the party is to lament the loss of yet another personal freedom.  

Not all the last chance smoke events are against the ban.  In the same article it mentions The Magic Stick in Detroit will be ushering in a new era by having fun and celebrating both sides of the ban.  Also mentioned is the New Place Lounge in Dearborn.   

Whether you are for or against the ban I suggest you go out and celebrate tonight to support your local main street and business owners!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pita Way in Clarkston, MI.


Do you love Mediterranean food?  Then you'll love Pita Way on Sashabaw Rd. in Clarkston, MI.  This small mediterranean fast food joint has been serving fresh, great tasting food for almost a month now but there were a few customers who seemed to establish themselves as regulars already.  Among them a group of high schoolers that might have been ditching class.  

I just got done eating lunch there and I was impressed.  I had the #1 Chicken Shawarma sandweech (as they are called) and the chicken was flavorful, the veggies were fresh and the home made hummus topped with paprika and olive oil was rad!  But they do a lot more than just pita sandwiches.  They have soups (home made lentil), salads and will even do a pita-less sandweech (with rice instead of pita).  Their take out menu also offers catering and delivery.  

When I walked in I was promptly greeted and asked if I wanted to try a sample of anything.  Everybody was getting samples... of the meat (they have beef and chicken), the veggies, the sauces, everything.  All samples were prefaced with a "Have you tried my...?" or "You're gonna like my..."  You can tell Pita Way wants to be customer friendly and provide extra value to its customers during a time that everyone seems to be pinching pennies.  For $6.50 I got a sandweech, a side of hummus and pita and a fountain drink.  It's not cheap, but reasonable.  I still think Subway's $5 6" sub with chips and a drink beats any deal around. 

The only thing that could be seen as a downfall is that if you are a fan of pita sandweeches, as I am, then most of what they do there can be done at home with the same ingredients.  But since I live in Ferndale it is worth it to me so that I'm not wasting gas driving 45 minutes home for something I can get close by.  For those of you living in and around Clarkston I would highly suggest you try this place out if you enjoy mediterranean food... and then trying to make it at home.

Owner Brandon Bahoura is a recent Oakland University grad who hopes to become a successful entrepreneur in the area.  I would say that he is off to a good start with Pita Way.

Gogol Bordello

New words must be invented to describe the sound of Gogol Bordello from Brooklyn, NY.  If I had to put a label on their genre I would call it Alternative Gypsy Rock.  The band sounds like a mix of traditional Eastern European folk music by Borat with the angst of Kurt Cobain.  Their live shows include a troupe of live dancers that frolic around the stage while lead singer and guitarist Eugene Hutz works his mustache and the microphone.  The shouting choruses remind me of Irish drinking songs but the feel is totally Fiddler on the Roof.  

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Gogol has been around since 1998 when the first members met at a Russian wedding in Vermont and started "jamming in A minor."  Since then they have played house parties, small clubs and other event spaces till now.  Their new album, Trans-Continental Hustle, has just been released and is available on iTunes as well as your local record store.

If you would like to see them live they will be playing two shows in the US (Baltimore 4/30, and Philly 5/2) before heading overseas to the UK, the rest of Europe and even Russia.  But if you go to their website you can follow along with updates, tweets and even some free song samples.

As of right now my jury is still out on this band.  I love their story and how they have risen through the ranks by word of mouth and playing small parties and venues.  The fact that they are the first of their kind is also awesome.  The music industry is always looking for something new and right now Gogol Bordello is it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ferndale's Via Nove

via nove logo


Like all good husbands I took my wife out to dinner for her birthday last Wednesday to a local restaurant named Via Nove.  We had heard good things about this local Italian spot but had not yet experienced it so we decided to make it our destination for the evening.

When I looked at their website, http://vianoverestaurant.com/  it said that I should probably make reservations so I did.  When we arrived at 8pm there was one other couple eating dinner and we got to pick out table next to one of the two garage doors which are propped open during the summer evenings.  Outside on the patio there were some scattered tables and chairs that are set up for outdoor dining as soon as the weather turns.

When it came to ordering drinks we wanted to get a mojito but our waiter, Claude, explained that the mint they grow themselves in front of the restaurant was not yet blooming.  As Claude further explained, Via Nove grows a lot of their own herbs, spices, and vegetables right out front.  Walking by on 9 mile I don't know if I would have noticed on my own, but that added to the cool factor of our experience.  After drinks came the bread.  Soft, chewy, seasoned with herbs and served generously with a plate of olive oil with some spaghetti sauce on top.  I could have just had bread this bread and would have been happy.  We also had the Mozzarella Caprese which is basically mozzarella cheese slices and fresh tomato slices served with olive oil and basil leaf.

Our entrees did not take long to prepare and were excellent.  I had Filettino di Manzo and my wife had the Tagliatelli Gabriella.  The Filettino is a petit filet served with grilled prawns, peppers and rosemary potato flan ( which was like mashed potatoes formed into a crab cake like fried shape.  The Tagliatelli is actually from the pasta dish and is spaghetti with a lobster sauce with grilled prawns and scallops.  Both dishes were well prepared, tasty and VERY filling.  We took a lot of the spaghetti home in a doggy bag.

After dinner we enjoyed a few cups of coffee which Claude gladly served us while we chatted him up about working and living in Ferndale.  He rides his bike or walks to work and enjoys the Ferndale community.  Originally from Austin, TX. Claude moved to M"cichigan about 20 years ago and has been in Ferndale for 10.  He was very attentive and seemed like he enjoyed waiting on us and talking with us. It might have been him just trying to get a bigger tip, which he did, but he seemed genuine.  He even took us up to the bar/lounge area upstairs that Via Nove rents out for office parties, receptions and even weddings.  There is a dance floor area and an extremely tall bar that is lit up with a cool neon green light.  Although the food was great, I would say Claude was the highlight of our evening and we greatly appreciated his service.

I will definitely go back to Via Nove, probably during the summer to experience their new patio furniture and sample another one of their great entrees or pastas and to see Claude.  I would also like to check out some of the specials they are offering.  Friday nights are "Date Nights" when you get to choose an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert from a limited menu for only $50 per couple.  Saturday nights are "Celebration Nights" at Via Nove where you can get a choice of salad, a pasta course, a choice of entree, a choice of dessert and a choice of a bottle of wine, all for only $89 per couple.  Some great deals from a great establishment.  Thanks Via Nove!

Friday, April 16, 2010

National Park Week

Starting Saturday all of the 392 National Parks in the United States will be offering free admission in an effort to get Americans out to see the beauty and diversity of our nation in an initiative they are calling National Park Week.

Having just recently visited Arches National Park in Utah I think this is a sweet deal and would love to take part.  Unfortunately Michigan's only National Park, Isle Royal,  resides a little closer to the UP than Detroit.  My favorite, Glacier National Park in Montana is also a little far, but if you get a chance go see it because the glaciers are slowly disappearing (melting) with only two remaining.  Here are some pics from Arches.



Some rad stats on National Parks...

Yellowstone was the first established in 1872

Alaska and California have the most with 8

The largest is Wrangell - St. Elias in southern Alaska

The smallest is Hot Springs in Arkansas

The most visited is The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina

The least visited is Lake Clark in Alaska (debated)

Visit www.nps.gov for more info on all the national parks!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Awesome Site


This site was featured on The Colbert Report last night and I though it was a great idea.  I think we need a fact checking site for the politicians in the city of Detroit!

Highlights include an Obama Promises kept-o-meter and the truth-o-meter!

Tax!


It's here... tax day and I wish all those who are still doing their taxes good luck.  This year I used an online tax preparer for the first time, Turbo Tax, and it was sooooo easy.  Did I get all the deductions possible and make the most on my return?  I don't know... I just know that Turbo Tax saved me from all that reading of the tax forms which always send me on a wild goose chase for Forms, Schedules and the like.  If you are looking for a quick and easy solution and don't mind paying a reasonable amount then I highly recommend Turbo Tax for all your tax needs.


Of course back when tax started in Ancient Egypy (3000 B.C.) Turbo Tax did not exist.  I guess the pharaoh would walk around his kingdom and collect a deben or grain tax from the people.   So I would like to take this opportunity to thank and chide the ancient Egyptians for creating this now crazy, weird, puzzling but in theory helpful system.

In honor of the tax season coming to an end I decided to delve in to the definition of tax a bit and see where all the tax I pay goes.  Upon reading a little about tax I found out about the four R's; revenue, redistribution,  repricing and representation.  The Revenue part is for the government so that we can enjoy public services like schools and roads and also to pay our beloved politicians who preserve social order.  The Redistribution part is for those who are unemployed or less fortunate than ourselves who can afford to pay taxes.  Our money is distributed to them (supposedly) so that they may enjoy a partial sliver of the lives we do.  The Repricing part is like a "sin tax" that is levied on things like alcohol and tobacco so that tax revenue is not depleted by the costs that these products can cause.  Finally, we do not allow our government to levy these taxes on us without some sort of accountability, the Representation part.

To sum it all up I think taxes could be rad.  If they were actually used for what the government tells us they are used for.  I think what happens in many political elections around the world is that tax is manipulated by candidates to try to sway elections.  Those with power and wealth are promised fewer taxes in return for their votes.  But the problem is that those with power and wealth are then paying fewer taxes while those without pay more.