A shortened interview with astronaut Col. Frank Borman is worthy read. He sounds to be a refreshingly no-nonsense man who is clearly rare among his generation and surely even more so were he among subsequent generations.
Last weekend I drove from Indianapolis to Detroit to visit my Persian-American friend in Southfield, a Detroit suburb. Southfield' southern edge is the well-known 8 Mile, a dividing line apparently made famous in a movie by Eminem; I haven't seen it or knowingly listened to him.
Apparently it is not the best idea to arrive in Detroit when it's late at night and you don't know your way. I knew I had to change from I-94 to I-96. The latter was not well-marked, so I only made its ramp by hooking across three lanes of traffic. My friend said this is normally not a problem, since Detroit is financially stressed, so the police don't really go after reckless drivers when there are serious crimes being committed. Not sure where I was on I-96, I eventually took an off ramp that looked like it would lead to a safely depopulated after-hours industrial par; however, it led to a merger with a ton of cars from somewhere, so I made a U-turn at an intersection where a Detroit cop was sitting. Not knowing at the time that intersection U-turns are apparently infractions in Michigan, I cut up some unlit three-lane one-way , the cops behind me close. We drove slowly together down the potholed road, passing vacant office buildings with smashed windows and missing doors on the left and streets with dark houses in various states. My Rhode Island plates might have kept me from getting a ticket, but we passed one street on the right that was lit up with house lights, people partying in the street, and a bunch of cars, all with their light on. The cops turned there while I kept going, hoping I wouldn't get a flat. At some point I turned on a road with a section of streetlights visible blocks ahead. That led to Evergreen Road and eventually my friend's house. He was glad to see me and we promptly went to eat at an Arab-run coney joint that had a huge menu with pretty good food and prices.
The next day we hung around his house before going to a Persian restaurant, Rumi, in Farmington. We met another Persian there, had a good meal, and gabbed until quite late.
On Saturday, my friend and I went downtown to the superlative Guardian building, built in 1929 in a style mixing Pre-Columbian and Art Deco. The website contains photos that impress. Inside, the Pure Detroit store was offering free tours around the downtown at 1 and 3, so we went for a beer each (I had a Ghettoblaster) at the Grand Trunk Pub. We returned in time to join the first two, on which we befriended a couple and the wife's Russian friend. We all stayed together to go on the 3pm tour then wound up mid-town for pizza at a brewery, after which we strolled along the edge of Wayne State University. Outside a library we saw one of seven original Thinker statues by Rodin.
Sunday was another trip downtown en route to Belle Isle, where we enjoyed the views across the water of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. We also enjoyed the large Victorian greenhouse, but hunger eventually forced us to leave for Polish food in Hamtramck. We opted for Polonia, which was very good, nicely priced, and served by an amusing waitress who told us people often noted she resembled Shelly Duvall. The dill pickle soup was particularly superb!
I look forward to visiting Detroit again! It is nice to see that the city is on the rebound, at least in places. But there is still plenty of ruin porn, collapsing decaying homes and buildings in depopulating areas.
This morning, while traveling north toward the airport on Old Nogales Highway, I saw a young man in a light colored shirt waving his arms rather frantically on the east shoulder of the road. Uncertain what he was going to do, I began slowing down from 55 mph when he suddenly dashed across the road, a car or two in front of me.
Just then another guy came out of the scrub to the same point. He was also waving his arms to get people to slow down. Barefoot, he dashed across both lanes two or three cars behind me.
Next was a policeman hopping into a sheriff's SUV facing south on the east shoulder. When he flipped his lights on, I jammed on my brakes, allowing him tear into the southbound lane, surely in pursuit of the two jaywalkers, or jayrunners.
What was going on?
I am impressed.
When I was younger, I was something of a metalhead. While I never cared for Iron Maiden or Megadeth, I did like Metallica. When I finished college, whether because I was that much older or because they had tuned that much lamer, or both, I quit listening to Metallica with frequency. I haven't bought anything from them since ...And Justice for All. Metallica just kept decaying, so I moved on.
Then I stumbled across this Photoshopped bit of fun: James Hetfield of Metallica with a Trump swoop and "Make Metallica Great Again," because they sure aren't now.
My current internship began May 23rd, but It began with PTO (Personal Time Off) for my expected period, so I took some to have a five-day Memorial Day weekend in San Carlos, Mexico. My friend and I had planned it months before I came to Tucson. We loaded his truck and 16.5-foot boat with everything we could and set off for the border at 5:30 am. Around 8, we exchanged money on the US side then crossed over.
The drive was on much better roads than I had expected, but there were very few shoulders along the way. We passed a road crew assaulting a section with a pick axe, picked up a hitchhiker and let him sit in the truck bed, saw a fatal traffic accident with the dead body covered with a blanket, and were accosted by squeegee boys in Hermasillo. Some towns looked quite decent, while others were bleak. I heard how the Federal police patrol the highway during the day and conceal their faces to avoid being identified and killed; at night, the gangs control the road.
Arrival in San Carlos was uneventful until we started to make a wrong turn. The police car behind us honked but my friend the driver kept going anyway, whereupon the police pulled us over. They said we were going downtown, but 200 pesos solved that problem. My friend did make a mistake, so it was not a simple shakedown. We then launched the boat in the marina without incident.
Over the next couple of days, we made five dives and cruised up and down the coastline. While he spent every night sleeping on his boat, I slept on the back of a larger boat owned by one of his friends. In the course of my dives, I saw a sea lion swim about us, watching; many small beige rays and one large manta ray that had not tried to cover itself in sand; countless spires of kelp around 8'–10' tall; a lamprey eel in its recess and another large leopard-like eel; many starfish and various sea fans and other things. Perhaps the most amazing encounter was with two breaching orcas that later followed our boat, one approaching so class to the small boat's rear ladder that it seemed as if it wanted to come aboard; it rolled onto its side so we could see it eyeballing us, after which it slipped beneath the waves and disappeared.
It was a very good time, and I look forward to returning once more.
This morning I stumbled across an interesting story about a man who has allegedly rigged elections through out Latin America for nearly a decade. He wanted to rid the continent of its leftist politicians and dictators, like Chavez in Venezuela. Through hacking and social media manipulation, he became able to influence substantial numbers of elections, if the charges and evidence against him are true. It is a fascinating read yet depressing in its portrayal of how effectively public opinion was manipulated.
It also makes me wish the simple paper ballot would return for my elections. While nothing is tamper-proof, a penciled X on a scrap of paper cannot be changed remotely by a hacker in Colombia.
While I have no nefarious intentions, I do plan to take an introductory networking course in the fall. There is much to learn, and I know little about it.
It is getting late in the evening on the 28th, but I just read that Mr. Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead has died of cancer at age 70. Particularly when I was younger, I was a big fan. In fact, I even got to see them open for Judas Priest and Alice Cooper. His band's appearance in the "Bambi" episode of the early 1980s British TV comedy The Young Ones remains superb.
I was sorry this morning yo read that Mizuki Shigeru has passed away. When I lived in Japan, I enjoyed his manga and some of his children's animation for the Ge GE GE no Kitaro series. His manga account of his time serving with the Imperial Army was quite grim.