Archive for May, 2007

Ain’t Nobody Hatin’ on Them Tech Huskies…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 14, 2007

I went to Michigan Tech, so the whole University of Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry is a bit lost on me. I mean, when you live in Michigan you can’t help to be aware of blue versus green, but I don’t feel it, ya know? Michigan Tech is a smaller school and the only sport we play against U of M and State is hockey, but we’re not even in the same conference. There is the annual holiday tournament played at Joe Louis in Detroit where Tech plays those two plus another school that gets rotated in. We nearly always get spanked and spanked bad. So there’s some resentment, but nothing stronger than that.

The closest thing we had was with Northern Michigan University. Northern is a public college in the UP, Marquette, which is 99 miles from Houghton (Tech). Northern was/is kind of a general college college — basic degrees, nothing that it’s particularly known for. Tech was/is a smarty pants engineering school. Animosity was pretty low level, but I did my best to agitate. When I was cartoonist for the school newspaper, I drew a comic where an engineering student at Tech was attempting to interface a Tech student directly with a computer. Unfortunately, the experiment went wrong and the student lost most of his brain function. The instructor was horrified, “Is he all right?” The engineering student wasn’t bothered, “Oh he’s fine — he transferringto Northern.”


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Another Spring in Michigan…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 7, 2007

I read a letter to the editor in the local paper — this guy was reflecting on the latest round of budget cuts before the city of Grand Rapids. His point was something to the effect of “well I guess they’ll just have to dip into the rainy day fund.” Good idea, except that it has been a pretty steady downpour here in Michigan for past six years….


Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, April 30, 2007

At least I hope Alberto Gonzales is lying. I hope he’s just a loyal servant who happened to get the short end of the latest Bush Administration executive-power-play-gone-wrong, and he’s simply taking one for the team. “Say hi to Scooter Libby in hell, Al!” Oh how Cheney and Rove love to laugh and play!

I hope the Attorney General is being purposely effusive, giving out minor details in measured inconsistencies and covering the major ones in thick clay layers of “I don’t recalls.” This could be useful in the next administration — when the first husband gets caught in an illicit tryst instead of “I never had sex with that woman!” he could go with “I don’t recall having sex with that woman.” Denies truth, leaves wiggle room, and insults that foul temptress who should have known better. Nice.

Yes, I certainly hope Mr. Gonzales is a big, fat liar-face because if he isn’t, well, if he isn’t that would mean that he really is an extraordinarily incompetent administrator, he really is (after practicing for weeks) incapable of articulating his own motivations and policies, he really is the leader of our nation’s legal community, which would consider him a fool. (At least liars, I’m told, are held in a somewhat higher regard.)

But what I hope for most of all, what I would really, really loved to see is for the Pistons and the Red Wings to win their championships this year! (And I bet Mr. Gonzales’s wish is for everybody to be as easily distracted as I am.)


It’s Not Fair! It Never Is…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, April 23, 2007

Generally when somebody says, “it’s not fair!” what they really mean is “whatever just transpired did not meet my expectations, fell short of my ideals, and generally turned out counter to how I would have liked it to have turned out. I was wronged somehow and don’t have the words or the interest at the moment to identify the actual issue for a sensible discussion. Or maybe I saw a truth that I didn’t want to see and I’m trying to deflect attention. In any case, as a self-proclaimed arbiter of fairness, I am now free to become argumentative and draw sweeping, illogical analogies and dare you to defy them. I have claimed the high ground. I am right; you are wrong. I am rubber; you are glue — whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

At least, that’s typically what I mean when I say it.

Was that too wordy?….


Homework Help…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, April 2007