Showing posts from July, 2009

Sven Alm - words to live by.

Here is Sven (in green) doing one of the things he does best.
Sven Alm just returned from a trip to Mecca – that is to say the small “m” mecca of the wrestling world. The FHC senior spent almost two weeks at an “intensive training camp” at the University of Iowa with three of his teammates. For those of you who don’t know from wrestling, the Iowa Hawkeyes dominate the sport with 22 national championships since 1975 – Ranger coach Brad Anderson likened his guys training there to high school baseball players getting to train with the New York Yankees.
For Alm to spend some of his summer vacation at a camp that starts every morning with an hour long run followed by a couple hours of technique training, then weight lifting, more technique training and then “live combat” is no surprise at all to anyone who knows him. To say that Sven is focused on his sport is to put things very mildly and he enjoys a challenge.
“I like to look for the toughest thing to do,” Sven said. “If it is tough and ch…

These are two of my favorite things......

Cliff stands up and walks to the front of the room, grasps the podium with both hands and looks out over the small crowd of people arranged in a semi-circle in the donated room in a church basement in Anytown, USA.

"Hi, my name is Cliff and CHOCOLATE MILK ROCKS!," he screams as he lifts a half gallon of Country Dairy Premium Chocolate milk to his lips and downs at least a third of the container without breathing.
(Que music.)

The crowd rises as one and yells, "Hi Cliff!" as they reach for their own containers.

You like chocolate milk? Live in Michigan? Then you owe it to yourself to give this stuff a taste test. Cool part is that, not only does it support a Michigan family-owned and operated dairy, but it comes from cows that are NOT fed hormones.
Speaking of chocolate dairy products from my favorite state: let me introduce you to my second best friend after Julie Claire. Sleeping Bear Dunes Bear Hug ice cream from Hudsonville, MI. Oh m…

Another reason to love Michigan - Corn Porn.

Caution: Sensitive people should leave the room. The following is a picture of buttered up corn - totally naked corn on a plate.
Another thing to love about Michigan - Julie walked across the street and brought this home - we boiled it alive and buttered it up. Yummy.

The Horses are Heroes at Equest.

Justin, Wallis, Kelly, Painter, Abby, and Angela are looking good on a sunny day in Rockford.
Rockford Equestrians
by Cliff Yankovich
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 4:15 PM
ROCKFORD -- As we turned into the drive at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding just outside of Rockford the other day, on our way to meet some of the great staff and volunteers, a thought bubbled up: Why not write about the horses?
There is no doubt Equest director Kathy Ryan would be helpless without the literal army of volunteers and staff it takes to enable the center to offer the incredible services it does to all ages of people with physical and/or mental challenges. Their commitment comes from love of people and horses, not money.
Consider Angela Taylor of Kent City, who runs the office. She started as a visitor, then became a volunteer and then took a paid position. Her two children, Justin and Abby, both help out on a regular basis all year round. Sometimes as paid help and other times as volunteers - this is…

My voice in Congress - who is gonna hear me?

Hey - the 2nd quarter lobbying totals are in. Man, I am so excited to see all the change in Washington - my voice is being heard. Lets take a look at some of the big spenders and compare them with what I have spent lobbying Congress.

Healthcare -
PhRMA, Pfizer, and the AMA spent a combined total of 15.7 Million dollars lobbying in Washington in the SECOND QUARTER (that is 5.2 million a month or $173,333.33 every freakin' day).
What did Cliff spend - ZERO dollars

Oil and gas -
Chevron, Exxon and BP America spent a combined total of 14.3 million. That is 4.76 million per month or $158,888.88 every friggin' day.
What did Cliff spend - NIL dollars

The big banks cut back for sure - remember, all three of these giants took something like 45 BILLION in bailout money. Their lobbying bucks are down, but Bank of America, CitiGroup, and Goldman-Sachs still shelled out a combined total of 3.13 million or 1.04 million a month which is a paltry $34,777.78 every day of the month.
What did Cliff spen…

Grit, Noise, and Revolution - a good rock-n-read

Just finished Grit, Noise, and Revolution by David A. Carson. It is a detailed history of the birth of Detroit Rock-Roll - main focus around 1965-1972. Mitch Ryder, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, MC5, Ted Nugent, Bob Seeger, Fridgid Pink - even though I was listening to a lot of this at the time, I had no idea how many bands started in Detroit and how powerful the rock-n-roll scene was in the Motor City.
It was an enjoyable read. You like rock-n-roll history and Michigan bands, this book is for you!

Take a wide pass on gastric by-pass.

One friend we know died from complications following gastric by-pass surgery. Another one we know damn near died from complications following gastric by-pass surgery - months in and out of the hospital. A drained body and a drained wallet. We know of another one who had it and is as big as a house.
In the interest of fairness, we do know one man who seems to have come through it sucessfully. Hmmm, 4 people have a procedure - one almost dies and one dies and one is huge and one is okay. WTF? Check out the link between the procedure and kidney stones.
The mortality rate is one out of 350. (
Thinking about it? Do your homework.

Just realized what I owe to Jim McKay

Lat night we watched an HBO special on the recently departed sportscaster Jim McKay - Jim covered the Olympics and many other major sports for ABC, and hosted Wide World of Sports, etc. etc.. About 10 minutes into it I realized that I owe Jim McKay a huge debt of thanks. In my Cliff's Riffs column I like to tell student athlete's stories. While my column is not always about kids, (Lordamercy, them Putt-Tones is old geezers), there is a consistent theme in that I enjoy telling about the people involved in the sporting event much more than the event itself.
When I used to cover the local race tracks for the Advance, I never reported who won the race or gave a turn-by-turn rendering of it - I would just hone in on one racer or another and do my best to tell his or her story. Its great to tell the story of a winner, but I believe that just as much about life can be learned by losing - especially when you give it your best shot. Which is not to say that I am not competitive, because…

You want chicks? Get a Chickenator II hairnet.

No doubt you have heard the claims for the Chickenator II - the hairnet for men that attracts women. Well, I watched the infomercial a couple of weeks ago when I couldn't sleep and I thought, "What the heck - give it a try." Let me present PHOTOGRAPHIC proof that the Chickenator II really, really works.
I purposely chose a remote location before I put on my Chickenator II - it was the kitchen in the King building at the Kent County 4-H Fairgrounds. Tough enough location, right? Well, I made the test of the Chickenator II even better by setting myself up in this kitchen at 7:30 on a Sunday morning in July. The day was perfect - blue skies and the promise of temps in the upper 70's. Any hot chicks on the prowl on a day like this are going to head to the beaches in Grand Haven, Saugatuck, or Holland right? The way I figured, this kitchen early on a Sunday morning would be the LAST place good looking chicks are going to find me. In the picture above, I have just opened …

The Hard Lessons at Billy's - we caught 'em.

If you like rock n roll performed by people who love what they do, then The Hard Lessons are for you. These three folks kick out the jams. We went to see them at Billy's in Easttown July 10. The show got off to a way late start and as a result THL didn't take the stage until LATE - we got home at 1:30 which is pushing it on a week night. But Augie apologized several times (they did not cause the delay) and thanked us all profusely for sticking around. Ryan provides the back bone. He plays the drums with authority and has a good time doing it.
Korin fills in a bass line and other synth parts while she sings.
She also dances quite well while staying connected to her keyboards.

Augie is an energetic guitar shredder of the first water. The stage at Billy's need to be half again as big in order for Augie to really put on his show, but he made do with the cramped quarters. I have seen these folks twice and they make me smile. Excellent musicianship, great interaction with the audie…

Goldman Sachs weilds some power for sure.

Matt Taibbi is at it again. His explanation of the power of Goldman Sachs was eye opening for me. The rules have changed and the pigs are at the trough:

Internet Bullshit

As the departed Elvis once sang, "There's a whole lotta scammin' goin' on."

Okay, so it is hardly news that the internet is chock full of hogwash, donkey doo, and heapin' helpings of Bullshit.

What I want to bring to your attention here is some of the more subtle ways that the BS magic gets worked. I pay a little extra every month to the AT&T Yellow Pages to have an enhanced listing on their online Yellow Pages. Made sense to me at the time. Well, if you type in Chimera Design my listing comes up with a link to our website. Yippee. There are also FOUR jewelry stores along the right hand side under "category related advertisers". One is in Hudsonville, MI one in Dallas, TX one in Grand Rapids, MI and one in Comstock Park, MI. Hudsonville is 25 miles away, Grand Rapids is 18 and Comstock Park is 20 or so.

Also, right beneath our listing are three more listings with links to their websites. None of them are "local" - two are in Michigan howe…