Archive for January, 2009

What I’m Thinking About…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, January 2009


West Michigan Pauses to Celebrate the Presidential Inauguration…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, January 19, 2009

How appropriate — no time to write about this because I’ve got to throw/shovel snow this afternoon….


Various Thoughts on Labor Unions…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, January 12, 2009

Again, just me trying so work up some “regionalism” anger and resentment. Reinforcing the fact that we are better than them. Isn’t this how all demagogues start?…

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Detroit Auto Show Fashions…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, January 5, 2009

The Detroit Auto Show (or more exactly, the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit) is traditionally the social highlight of the year for Michigan. It’s glitz, it’s glam, it’s ostentatious, it’s conspicuous, it’s over-the-top and out-the-door. Which is to say, it’s what Detroit is very much not. But several years ago after our engineering forefathers developed the mechanics and refined the production of the horseless carriage, they discovered what others had discovered about cigarettes and soap and beer and power tools: sex sell ’em.

So every year for a couple of weeks in otherwise dowdy January, Detroiters spiff up the joint to sell their shiny metal boxes. Beautiful autos, beautiful displays, beautiful people (who must be imported because they never seem to be at Red Wings games) — it’s just a huge party!

Well, up until this year anyway. With the current state of affairs, the posh life is not quite the image the auto industry wants to project. So as the champagne is left uncorked and the crème brulee in cold storage, we look to the Amish for a simpler approach. Which may be a mistake because I don’t think they buy cars….


Goodbye 2008…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, December 29, 2008

I tried not to do this comic. But it was Christmas week, and my brain wasn’t forthcoming with anything better. So I settled for the ol’ “year in review” default. By the time it was published I was sick, sick, sick of all the lists and lookings back that get passed off in late December as interesting. Frankly, I was a bit embarrassed with this effort. Reading it now — nine days into the New Year — it seems a little bit fresher. And it does have a monster. We all know from Sesame Street that there’s nothing cooler than a monster….


The Modern Wonder of Computers…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, December 2008


I Hate the Cowboys…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, December 22, 2008

This week’s comic actually has roots in my longstanding (and intense) dislike of the Dallas Cowboys. I know professional football has no direct application to my life. I know time I spend thinking about and watching professional football is time wasted. I know acting on negative feelings about professional football is like a double waste of time. Okay? I know all this. But when you’re seven years old and you arbitrarily pick the San Francisco 49ers as your favorite team, and for three consecutive years the Cowboys eliminate the 49ers from the playoff, well, it sort of gets into your DNA.

So the story here is that the AFL (Arena Football League), which is professional indoor football, announced that it is suspending its upcoming season. Essentially what happened is that several franchise owners who also own NFL franchises (like Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner) are hurting. They are spending too much on their NFL teams and their NFL stadiums. (The new Dallas Cowboy stadium will cost beyond $1.1 billion and is way, way over-budget.) These NFL owners — instead of trying to run the AFL more efficiently — decided to cut losses and walk away. Grand Rapids is home to the Rampage, a franchise owned by the DeVos’s, who were very keen to play the season. In fact, it was thought that a deal had been worked out, but an 11th hour decision by the NFL owners ended up killing it.

So, yeah, I don’t know all the details. And maybe suspending the season was the prudent thing to do. But I do so very much despise the Cowboys. And Jerry Jones is a cheap-shot jerkface stupid stupidhead. And that’s just the way it is.

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