June 22, 2018

Watching the Lions and Packers …

The Lions in Milwaukee, 1993 

Back in 1993, my college roommate and I attended the Lions/Packers game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at County Stadium. It was quite an experience, as I think I was the ONLY Lions fan in the stadium.

That weekend, we went to the Billy Joel concert in Chicago on Friday night, then visited Notre Dame on Saturday. We could have bought tickets to the Boston College/Notre Dam game for $50 each and decided against it. We were poor college students at the time.

It was a great weekend!

June 21, 2018

Continuing a trend …


We have been grilling nearly every day so far during the summer. We have been cooking chicken, steak, and whatever other ideas we decide to tackle. The most fun thing to cook has been the inch and a half thick New York Strips we have been getting at either Ebel's General Store in Falmouth, Michigan, or Bird's in Howard City, Michigan. When you tackle larger cuts, you can create dinners that look like what you expect in a restaurant. We have adding corn on the cob and fresh Michigan asparagus to our plates, as well.

This year, I have been seasoning the steak with just salt and pepper. The books I have read on the subject suggest that's the simple approach to the best steak. I can't say that I disagree. We have marinated our steaks in olive oil and other homemade marinades in the past, but the approach with simply salt and pepper has worked so far.

Maybe I'll write about food all week. I didn't intend to, but I noticed that I have written about ice cream and doughnuts already … Must be that kind of week!

June 20, 2018

Cops & Doughnuts

Best Bakery 

If you're driving US-127 or US-10, or you're near Clare, Michigan, you owe it to yourself to stop and check out one of the coolest diners/bakeries you will ever run across. Right downtown Clare is Cops & Doughnuts. The sweets they create are delicious. You can't go wrong with anything. They experiment often and their concoctions are unique and delicious. Of course, the custard filled chocolate frosted Long John is the best in the world.

We have never eaten at the Traffic Stop Diner (the diner within the bakery), but it smells delicious and is often busy. In fact, C&D is ALWAYS busy. Only stop if you have a few minutes to spend. The store next door is worth visiting, as well, but you might have to wait in line to get your doughnuts (or other treats as you see fit.)

Don't forget to enjoy a cup of coffee. Top notch, as well.

June 18, 2018

The Biggest Ice Cream Cone

Delicious Sugary Treat

Hidden in Sylvester, Michigan, is a little place with the biggest ice cream cones. At King's Trading Post, you can order a small cone and get one that's larger than the largest you can get at a regular ice cream place.

You suddenly come up on King's literally in the middle of nowhere when you're driving on 5 Mile Road. It's a little general store with lots of options and many, many plants and flowers for sale. I suspect it's not really a hidden secret because there is always a line to get ice cream. And the ice cream scooper is generous!

If you're looking for an ice cream recommendation, Lori loves the Cake Batter and I think the Peanut Butter is out of this world. By the way, they serve Michigan's own Hudsonville Ice Cream.

This place is truly a Purple Cow, as Seth Godin would say (not the Meijer kind!)

June 15, 2018

Random Ramble

Randomly Rambling

Next week, our therapy dog, the one and only Mr. Ernest Hemingway, will go to the vet and get fixed. He would certainly argue that he's not broken, but he's well into his second year and should be fully developed. So, Tuesday, Hemi is going to get a procedure. He will continue his training to be a therapy dog; we don't know if he will be able to pass the test where he has to walk down a hallway and ignore people food. While he's slim and trim, he likes to eat. Every day when we feed him, he acts like he's never eaten before and never will again!

The Tigers are a fun team. I can't say I've watched nearly as much this season as in the previous several, but when I do watch or listen, they seem like an aggressive, improving team. The decision to hire Ron Gardenhire made a lot of sense for many reasons. I think the future will be here quicker than the pundits predict. Not to mention that the American League Central Division is not the elite division it has been for a few years. I'm sure that in itself is a debatable statement.

You know, it's amazing when some of your contemporaries begin retiring. It seems like just yesterday Mr. Stevenson handed me a key, smiled, and said, "Good luck." I guess the upcoming school year will be my 24th. It really doesn't seem long ago, sitting with Mr. Hodges and Mr. Koutz as a rookie at my first PD watching the lamest version of the bloodborne pathogens video you can find. Mr. Hodges said, "This begins year 33 and a third for me ..." and Mr. Koutz, I think, said "28 for me." That sure did sound like a long time in education. I digress, but it seems amazing that so many of the people I've worked with are beginning to retire.

Yet, we're all still so young …

June 05, 2018

The Tenth Justice

By Brad Meltzer

I had never read a Brad Meltzer book. When we were in Las Vegas in March, we drove to Utah to visit the Simons. I listened to James Altucher's podcast when he interviewed Meltzer. I was intrigued by what he had to share, so I bought one of his books, The Tenth Justice. I have enjoyed the book so far. It reminds me of how edgy and on the edge John Grisham used to be.

Here's the interesting parallel: this book was written in 1997, so Meltzer is a contemporary of Grisham's. I haven't read any of Meltzer's recent material, so the writers could have followed the same trajectory. I'm not finished with The Tenth Justice yet, but it has kept me on the edge of my seat. The protagonist and his group of friends is well-developed, and believable.

It could be that Meltzer came into my life because I have visited Washington, D.C. so often in the past couple of years, and actually toured the Supreme Court last summer. Yes, the protagonist is a Supreme Court law clerk who gets tangled up in some interesting business. He gets deceived early in the book, and has spent the rest of the book trying to tie up the loose ends.

June 03, 2018

The Donut Maker Wrote a Book

Mickey Lolich, #29

Hard to believe it's been 50 years since that Tigers 1968 World Champion run. I was not around then, but I remember in 1984 it had been 16 years since the Tigers won the Series in '68.

Tom Gage helped Lolich write a new book, Joy In Tigertown, about the '68 season. It just arrived in bookstores last week. The Detroit News ran an excerpt from it. One of the pieces shared is that Mike Illitch once hired Lolich to help sell pizzas, then realized he could get the support for free. He said Illitch was a true business man …

It's amazing that the Tigers' championship season was 50 years ago!

When You Get There …

…Remember Where You Came From

I had the honor of giving a commencement address to the graduating class of 2018 the other night. In a small town, it's fun to talk about the value of coming from a small town ... and remembering where you came from.

I talked about how Jimmy Buffett once talked about how he has found some great inspiration for songs via graffiti on bathroom walls. I have no idea if that's . truism, but I recently saw a little sing in a diner in Howard City that said, "When you get there, remember where you came from."

That's how I concluded the speech. I talked about how everyone in the crowd will always be there for the graduates, and how Dr. Seuss might have inspired them with Oh, The Place's You'll Go, but "when you get there, remember where you came from."