Author: aaftwo

Old Mission Barn Quilts

During a recent short vacation to Northern Lower Michigan, Ann and I spent a morning finding “Barn Quilts” on Old Mission Peninsula. It was a fun, simple treasure hunt. Some of the stories are quite interesting

Our tour guide was a nice blog post Ann found. Barns of Old Mission

Thanks for looking.


I Need To Shop At Target Soon

Todays “Report from the world I want to live in” comes from Connecticut. A mother was breastfeeding her one month old child in the Cafe in a Target store. The fellow at the counter decided that yelling and cursing at her would make Target-Hearthim feel better. Better Angels in the form of Target customers and employees were quite wonderful.

I imagine most everybody has seen the video, but it is at this link.

Back soon with more relentlessly good news.


A Day At The Asylum

Traverse City State HospitalIt’s the late 19th century, and you are living with a serious mental disability. More than likely your family has locked you in the attic and sent you meals under the door.

If you were fortunate enough to live in Michigan, your family may have heard that you will be allowed to go to the new Traverse City Asylum. Here, for the first time anywhere in the world, you are treated as a person, in what seems like almost luxurious surroundings. You receive three meals a day, a room to sleep in, and meaningful work to perform.

The buildings are designed to provide sunlight and beauty, the grounds are well tended, and the staff is dedicated to the guests.

These “Kirkbride Asylums” are the state of the art, in actual mental health care, so good, that many patients refused to leave, even if able to.

Fast forward 75-100 years, we are no longer interested in care. Any facility such as this makes no money, and therefore is useless to current political leaders and the pharmaceutical companies that own them. First, in deference to these companies the patients are drugged into submission. After a time, even this is too expensive so the facilities are closed, and the disabled are literally kicked out the front door, with maybe a good luck wish.

The Traverse City State Hospital was closed in 1989. The building and grounds quickly fell into disrepair, due to time and vandalism.

In recent years the community and real estate developers have come up with a plan to restore this place. Now, if only caring for people who need help was still a valuable ideal.

Ann and I recently enjoyed a guided tour of some of the building and grounds, both restored and not. Here are a few pictures.


In The Neighborhood

2nd BaseTakeout collisions at 2nd base over the last few weeks have ended the seasons for at least two MLB middle infielders. Pittsburg Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang is hoping to be able to play next spring after having his leg broken by Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan.

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada had his leg broken in Game 2 of the NLDS as he was “taken out” at 2nd base by Dodgers infielder Chase Utley

In both cases the consensus seemed to be “that’s good hard baseball” and “the runner did what he had to do”. In the case of the Tejada injury, there was some debate over, was the slide a clean play.

The excuse for this kind of assault is always “that’s how it has always been done”.

Pete Rose dramatically altered the career of Ray Fosse with a brutal collision at home plate in the 1970 All-Star game. Despite Rose’s admission that he hit him on purpose, no rule changes were considered.

Ray Fosse

Fast forward 40 years and read the quotes regarding Scott Cousins devastating season ending hit on Buster Posey.  “I felt like he was blocking the dish. It’s the go-ahead run to win the game, I got to do whatever I can to score,” Cousins said. “I’m not trying to end anybody’s season or anything like that. I just was trying to play hard and score the go-ahead run. He didn’t say much and you could tell he was in pain.”

Two years later, in the 2013 ALCS Game 5 David Ross of the Red Sox was involved in two home plate collisions. In the first, Miguel Cabrera attempted to separate Ross from the ball, despite being out by yards. In the next inning the same David Ross was compelled to do the same to Tiger catcher Alex Avila. Both Ross and Avila held on to the ball, but Avila was removed from the game with a knee injury.

Alex Avila

Avila’s remarks after the game echo times past; “I’ve been hit a bunch of times. I’ve never seen anything wrong with it. It’s part of the game. You do what you can as a catcher to protect yourself — and I have over my career — but sometimes you can’t and you have to deal with it.”

Alex Avila, and all the others are simply wrong, it is no longer part of the game.

Following the 2013 season, MLB actually did something to protect catchers from these attacks.

These home plate collisions are no longer “part of the game”, and the time has more than come to do the same at 2nd base.

It is a great game and simple rule changes can make it better.

Just do it Mr. Manfred, it’s in the best interest of the game.


Another Year In The Dirt

It’s a good thing we like lettuce. It was a bad year for tomatoes, sweet peppers and even carrots. The successes were lettuce, radishes, hot (some really hot) peppers and the herb patches.

Begonias and Coleus in the shade garden.

Begonias and Coleus in the shade garden.

10 foot flowers

10 foot flowers

Christmas Time is Coming

When Marie and Alex were small, they needed help putting Santa on to of the tree. It was nice having Marie nearby to do it again this year. She didn’t need any help.

Marie and Santa.jpg

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