Showing posts from February, 2009

Alyssa Zokoe - Coopersville basketball.

When Alyssa Zokoe gets involved in something, then she knows how to get the job done and have a good time doing it. The six foot Coopersville senior plays post for the Broncos hoops team and has been All Conference for the track team in discus and shot put for the past two years. Alyssa is a tough competitor who plays to win, but she also realizes that there are other things in life that are equal to, or more important, than sports.
Checking in with Bronco coach Pete VanKempen we learned that Zokoe is a positive force on the team. She practices and plays hard. What is even more important in what can best be described as a “tough season” for the team, Alyssa helps to keep morale up with her extremely positive attitude, her good sportsmanship, and her outgoing, vibrant personality. For an example of what constitutes a tough season VanKempen related a recent game in which Zokoe scored 16 points and took down 21 rebounds and in spite of her effort and that of her teammates, the Broncos sti…

Does Joe Biden work for Jeff Dunham?

As I watched the Prez last night Joe Biden was in the background and he was trying to look serious most of the time. When he isn't flashing his pearly whites, he has a tendency to frown and when he frowns he looks a lot like the guy who works with Jeff Dunham....doesn't he?

Why I Am a Meatan.

(First published in May 2002 in the New York Press)

My current status as a Meatan, one who eats only meat, dairy and "field killed" grain products, is largely due to the attitude of a former coworker. She was an aggressive vegan, really in your face with her vegetarian agenda. I don’t like to have things jammed down my throat, but it forced me to think about my own food preferences. She helped me realize I had to do something to combat the constant slaughter of living things in order to feed people.
We were eating our respective lunches in my office. Mine was a wonderful piece of grilled chicken. She had a scowl on her face as she watched. She gave a short speech about how she "used to eat meat," but now only fruits and vegetables. Like a flash the cruelty of the vegetarian lifestyle and the true glory of the Meatan way of life was revealed.
Let me bring up two pieces of information, which together form the foundation of the Meatan philosophy.
A biologist once hooked u…

What can dogs smell when it is this cold anyway?

Just took Otter for a walk.
No, she doesn't wear those pearls when she is out acting like a regular dog.Anyway, it is a crisp 18 degrees. The snow is sparkly and crystalline. First, I cannot understand how this little hardly hairy dog can stand walking when it is this cold outside. She LOVES to go for walks - she even dragged me out when it was 0 - never mind the *&^% wind chill. How can she handle the cold?Anyway - as we are walking along she will find animal tracks, some of which are obviously deer, and she sticks her little beezer right into the snow and snuffles up what ever there is to smell in these tracks. What is there to smell in a track in the snow when it is below freezing outside? I have seen her stick her whole face right into the snow to get a good snootfull of some smell or another. The third question for today is: What is so appetizing about frozen rabbit turds?

Another trip to the grocery - $26.92 in Michigan products.

In case you have not heard by now, someone with a calculator figured out that if everyone in Michigan spent just $10 of their weekly food budget on Michigan made products, then the state would realize $36 million bucks of revenue every week.

I have always tried to buy local/regional/state-wide, but now I am doing it on purpose.
Bagels from store bakery $3.89
Bread from same $1.89
Michigan potatoes $2.49
Country dairy milk/choc $6.18
Hudsonville Ice cream $4.59
El Matador tortilla chips $2.50
Absopure distilled water $5.38

Total $26.92 out of $100.95 spent from Michigan.
It is EASY to do your part ladies and gentlemen.

Katie Olson of Forest Hills Eastern - Snickerdoodle Queen

As she grew up Katie Olson, a senior at Forest Hills Eastern, never devoted a lot of time or energy to bowling. By her own admission, prior to her sophomore year she “was not a big bowler”. All that changed when Olson tried out for the volleyball team and failed to make the cut. She wanted to be involved in a winter sport to stay active and then she heard the girls bowling team needed players.
Katie became coach Andy Evans best recruiter shortly after joining the team because in order to field a team the Hawks needed five girls and Katie was only the second one to show up. Olson solved that problem in short order when she persuaded her best friends Jill and Kelly, who are twins, and another friend Kelsey to bowl with her. She later brought two more friends, Lexi and Lisa, to be part of the team.
“Katie is the type of kid who will do anything for you,” Hawk coach Andy Evans said. “I really trust her; she is kind of like an assistant coach.”
Evans is confident that he can always count on K…

Kelsey Miller of Grand Haven is doing things right.

When we asked Grand Haven competitive cheer coach Holly Barnett for the name of a “good kid” on her team to profile here, she knew exactly what we wanted and offered up a perfect example of a student athlete who is doing it right in and out of school and in sports: Kelsey Miller.
“She has been quite a leader for us,” Barnett explained. “Kelsey never says ‘I can’t’ or ‘I won’t’, she is always enthusiastic and is a role model to all of her teammates.”
Miller, a senior, has been cheering all four years for the Bucs. She is a “flier” on the competitive cheer team which means that she allows two or three fellow team members to toss her into the air on a very regular basis. Miller did admit to us that allowing other people to throw her into the air made her a little nervous for the first year or two of the six seasons she has been competing in the sport.
“I’m not scared anymore,” Miller told us. “I like being tossed in the air – I have grown to love it. My bases are amazing.”
“Bases” are the th…

Sean Moore was born to ski.

To say that Forest Hills junior Sean Moore was destined to compete on snow skis might be stating the case a little too lightly. When you consider that his parents, Alan and Cathy, met while they were teenagers working at Bill & Paul’s Sport Haus and the fact that they both have earned a living teaching others to ski and as members of the Ski Patrol in Michigan and Colorado it is no wonder Sean is happy to fly down snowy slopes weaving in and out of the gates in the slalom and giant slalom events.
While we spoke with Alan Moore about his son, he had to wear two different hats: father and coach. Alan has coached the Rangers ski team for almost 20 years and Sean is the last of four Moore kids to compete with their dad as coach. As a personal aside, we must mention that while growing up the name “Alan Moore” was synonymous in our household with skiing downhill at blistering speeds in a controlled manner that was right on the edge of craziness. Suffice it to say that Alan worked with Wa…

$10 on Michigan products is EASY!

If we all spend $10 of our weekly food budget on Michigan made products, it can pump 36 million a week into the state.

Just got back from the grocery store. These are the items I know for sure are from Michigan companies:

Kellogg cereal 2.00 (Frosted mini-wheats were on sale)
Matador tortilla chips 5.00
Michigan red potatoes 3.49
Country Dairy milk 2.99
Meijer distilled water .93
Keebler cookies 7.58
Bread/donuts 5.66 (the last two things have double impact because they are
made by Meijers - the company I bought them from.)
Total MI bucks $27.65

The cool part was that I only spent a total of $66.14 so over a third of my grocery bill stayed in Michigan. I normally shop at Meijers, but they do NOT carry Litehouse dressings (our favorite AND it is made in Lowell, Michigan) so I go to Family Fare for that. Last week I stocked up on 6 different Litehouse dressings for $15.96.

It is easy for each of us to do our part for Michigan - take time to read the labels!

Buy Michigan products - $10 a week = 36 million!

If everyone in Michigan would spend just $10 a week of their food budget on products produced in Michigan it would put 36 MILLION into our economy. Think of that.
Here is a PDF list of Michigan made products that we all use pretty regularly. The list is in NO way complete - it was assembled by someone on the east side of the state, but it is a place to start.
Take this list as a starting point and build off of it. Add your own. Post suggestions here and anywhere else on the Net that is promoting Michigan.

Look at the labels ladies and gentlemen. We don't have to make a big purchase, just $10 of our weekly food budget can have a big impact.

7 Day Update on NeilMed Sinus Cleanse

Best 10 bucks I have ever spent on a health related product.

That about sums it up for me after 1 week of daily use. The last three days I used it morning and night. My sinus passages are doing much, much better. FYI - I had a sinus infection for several weeks and my energy was sapped, had headaches and two of my teeth on the upper right side of my mouth hurt.
After rinsing with the NeilMed bottle and mix for the last week, my infection is almost all gone. My energy level is almost back to normal and the spring in my step is springing. I plan on using it daily for at least another week to ten days and then will use it 3-4 times a week after that.
Great product - wish I had found it earlier.
I have been using saline spray for the last 2-3 winters. NO COMPARISON to the results and comfort achieved with the sinus rinse.

Machine Love - some of my favorite music.

I found MachineLove on CD Baby ( a couple years ago. First let me tell you about CD Baby - great place to find music you will NOT find in the stores and almost all of the CDS have sampling so you can listen before you buy.

Machine Love - ( is my favorite CD Baby find ever. Here is how they describe themselves on their site:

"Machine Love is an electronica soul-infused, space rock duo based in San Francisco. Machine Love music contains no lyrics, but applies vocalizations and live electric guitar against an ambient groove backdrop of funky rhythms and spacey melodies."

If that description cathes your attention, then by all means give them a listen. I own all four CD's and enjoy them immensely. I love to play Machine Love in our jewelry store and I also use it when I write - lyrics interfere with the words in my head so ML works very well for me when writing.
Machine Love is Top Shelf Stuff - no home is complete without it.

CEO of Starbucks has the right idea.

It is too bad Starbucks is closing lots of stores - but then how did they really think they could sustain all of them. I have to hand it to Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz - he is taking a pay cut from 1.2 million to $100,000.00.
Funny - he isn't getting any federal money to help his company NOR did it take a federal directive for him to slash his own pay when the company he runs hit the skids.
I am sorry for the hard times of your company Mr. Shultz, but I certainly admire the common sense you demonstrate.
Now, could you please talk to the Michigan legislature?

This stimulates the economy how?

50 million to the National Endowment for the Arts.
Look, I am married to an artist and we make our living selling her art. (My wife is a jewelry designer and maker thereof and we have a jewelry store.) So I am in favor of art and artists, but there is no way you can convince me that handing out Federal grant money to some sculptor, photographer, or painter is going to stimulate the economy. If people like their art, then let the people/marketplace support the arts.
When times are good and the coffers are flush, then maybe our tax dollars should be spent on art - but not when the wolf is at the door.

75 million to help people stop smoking.
Great idea and I can almost see where this would save money in the long run by lowering health care costs, etc. But NOW is not the time for this kind of stuff.

400 million to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Kind of like the smoking thing. C'mon Mr President et al - I thought we were creating jobs with these billions and billions of do…

C'mon President Obama - you can do better.

I expected more.
A guy running the Treasury (and the IRS) who doesn't pay his taxes? AND why the %$#@ was he not fined? Everyone I know who has had ANY kind of back taxes to pay - including myself - has had to pay interest and fines. I actually had a bench warrant out for me for fines that were levied on a rental house in Grand Rapids that I LOST to unpaid property taxes many years ago. Did the City let me off? Nope.
I have had tax mix-ups with the State of Michigan and have had to pay interest on the amount I owed them plus a fine. Why is this guy any different? Why the hell would our President put someone in charge of the Agency that COLLECTS our taxes who neglected to pay them?
How about that Daschle? He collects over 5 million (one report I read said in 2 years, another version says 4 years) as a lobbiest to the medical field and our President wants to make him in charge of regulating the medical field. Guess we can never mind those promises about no lobbyist working in the White…

NeilMed Sinus cleanse seems to really work.

I managed to get my sinus cavity pretty well infected over the last few weeks. It got so that when I woke up in the morning my nose was totally plugged and my eyes had gook in them - you know, the yukky kind that kind of makes them stick together. My energy level was waaay down. But I am NOT a fan of antibiotics - that is a treadmill I decided to get off of about 10 years ago.
Once I read about sinus infections and realized I had all the symptoms - my teeth on the top right side of my mouth hurt - one or two in particular, I did a google search on DIY sinus infections and clicked on this:

Well, I went out and got myself a NeilMed kit with 50 packets and the squeeze bottle. It was 10 bucks at my local RiteAid store. Decided to give myself two rinses per day for 5-7 days and if it didn't help, THEN I would go into the Doc for some antibiotics. Started last Saturday night and just gave myself my Monday night rinse. Se…

Recycling fun in Kent County.

We recycle at the store - all our junk mail, office papers, the cardboard boxes we receive, batteries, etc. etc. Well, recently the company who picks up recycling in Lowell cut back on their service to a couple of times a month.
We did some cleaning at the house and we got in a lot of packages so the recyclables were piling up. I got on the Web and found a recycling center not far from our house on Breton Road just North of 52nd street. So I packed the Toyotat full of cardboard and papers and everything else and went over there. What a nice, clean place. All the big bins are clearly labeled and the best part of it was that when I was there in the middle of a Monday, the lot was very busy - probably 8-10 people pulled in to recycle while I was unloading.
Bravo to my fellow recyclers and bravo to Kent County for providing such a nice facility.

Andrea Bouwhuis is going places.

Andrea Bouwhuis, a senior at Northern, has been a member of the Forest Hills varsity gymnastic team for four years. While she has never excelled in one event or another to the point of earning personal recognition as a superstar, coach Tracy Will freely acknowledges how important Andrea has been to the team. During her tenure, they have won their conference three times, regional’s twice, and finished third in the State. Bouwhuis competes in all four gymnastic events and her consistent performance in all of them has served the team well.
“She contributes to our team score every time she competes,” Will noted. “She represents everything you could ask for as a coach.”
Coach Will went on to praise Andrea for the many ways she adds to the team from supporting her teammates with encouragement to helping the younger members of the team gain confidence. She works with underclassmen with advice on various skills and is even there to give rides to and from practice if needed. The coach considers …

More Arostich studs in the tire and a bit of down time!

Put another 35 studs in the tires. 25 more in the back, the other ten went up front. Big difference!

Newt and I went down iced over dirt roads, even though there were lots of clear, paved roads to be had.

Here you can see the marks in the ice/snow from the studs.

Well, just about the time I thought I was some Hot Ice Riding Dude - the front tire got away from me and Newt and I slid unceremoniously down the road. The bike is fine and the pads in my riding suit did well - no damage to the knee, hip, or elbow that came in contact with the road. We were only going 20-25 when I wiped out.

Complete story is here: