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Archive for March, 2009

This topic is a tad beyond the scope of what this blog is about, but I think it’s worthy of mention.  The Final Four, one of the most popular sporting events in the world, will take place in Detroit, at Ford Field, this coming weekend.  Hometown heroes, the Michigan State Spartans, will take on University of Conneticut for a shot at the NCAA National Championship game.

The Spartans are a dynamite team.  In the Elite Eight game against no. 1 (overall) seed Louisville, the Spartans absolutely owned Rick Pitino’s squad in the second half.  That was a game all the “experts” expected the Spartans to lose.  Instead, they utterly embarrassed what was supposed to be a superior team.

This is Tom Izzo’s 5th trip to the Final Four in the last 12 seasons.  Around these parts, Bo Schembechler is kind of the epitome of a college sports coach.  But I think Tom Izzo has already reached that status, equalling the kind of success in basketball that Bo had in football.  Besides, Bo never won a national championship; Tom has.

I’m a proud MSU alumnus.  I’m not the world’s biggest basketball fan, but it is impossible not to watch or enjoy these kids.  They have represented the entire Spartan Nation very well.  I can’t wait for this weekend!

durrellslam

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little-flowerI love this blog.  I really started it as something of wordpress test run, using it to get familiar with this software.  Before starting it I had all kinds of ideas of the things I could write about Plymouth: culture, art, architecture and events.

Lately, though, I’ve found myself slipping almost entirely into something of community news (soft news, of course) correspondent.  Lacking, it seems, has been creativity and uniqueness.  Instead of writing about the beauty that surrounds us, I’ve mainly been talking about events and happenings.  That’s fine, but I want this blog to be about more than that.

With the weather quickly improving, I hope to be able to get some nice photographs to show and describe some of the unique features of town.  Perhaps I’ll even be able to do one of the things I wanted to do originally which is get some nitty-gritty details about some of the fantastic architectural works in the city.

Spring is a good time to reflect on renewal.  I know that is usually done at the new year, but I like to think of things restarting — coming alive again — now.  Could there be a better time to celebrate the resurrection (for us Christians) than this time of year?  I think not.

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Many of you probably received postcards in the last few days announcing a few events happening Easter weekend at Kellogg Park (downtown Plymouth for your out-of-towners.)

The first is an Easter Egg Hunt from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday April 11.

The second is a Easter Sunrise Gathering at 8 a.m. on Easter Sunday April 12.  The gathering is, of course, a Christian worship service.

Coffee and treats are served at the Easter gathering.

It appears both events are sponsored by ROC Church of Northville.  Check out its website for more details.

easter-poster605x400

http://www.roc.org/

I am not a member of ROC Church and I couldn’t tell you how they handle or coordinate these types of events.  I do know folks in the area that attend ROC and love it.

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Yesterday, after itching to buy a bass for the last few weeks, I figured I’d check out Blue Fish Music, local store I’ve past dozens of times, but never entered. Two visits on Saturday and I left with a used Dean acoustic/electric bass for a great price. My buying experience was very pleasant; Blue Fish is a great local merchant worthy of our support.

The store specializes in guitars, both electric and acoustic, but has a few basses, lutes, mandolins and other such stringed instruments. In fact, I didn’t recognize some of the gear in the place. Like all cool guitar shops, there’s a good mix of new and used stuff. It’s 3 parts store, 1 part repair shop. Instruments being resurrected from the dead are spread out around the store. Repair work is done right there on the sales floor, so you can watch the experts at work.

Plenty of stools and amplifiers are available so that you can test drive whatever you’d like. Just grab an axe off the wall, plug in and go.

One of the things I liked best about dealing with the folks at Blue Fish was the laid back approach to customer service. Only once was I approached and asked if I needed help. My presence was acknowledged, but the employees let me find my way around the store and play with some of the instruments without constantly questioning or advising me.

A little thing that should be a given anytime you buy a big-ticket item from a store like this was the owner, Paul Murphy, making sure he was satisfied with the sound of my bass before I left with it. On his own initiative, he spent the better part of half-an-hour tweaking my bass, getting rid of buzz and some other quality issues he could hear but I couldn’t. I have an open invitation to bring the bass back if it needs anymore tweaking and adjusting. Customer service like that is great in my book because I’m not the type of buyer inclined to ask a lot of a seller. That Paul wanted me to be happy, in spite of my ignorance, means that I can trust him and the folks at Blue Fish.

Blue Fish Music is in the heart of Old Village, on Starkweather, just south of the railroad tracks. It’s in an ancient one story brick place with large display windows. If you’re looking for a stringed instrument, make sure you check it out before heading over to the nearby big box music store in the area.

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The March 15, 2009, Plymouth Observer reported that officials of the Plymouth-Canton School District are trying to get their hands on millions of dollars in federal stimulus money.  The funds wouldn’t got to keeping teachers employed, anything to improve the curriculum or even balance the budget, but would got to several so-called “green” initiatives.

Superintendent Craig Fiegel enlisted the aid of a pair of consultants who have helped the district craft some $13 million in renewable energy projects slated for buildings across the district.The two drawing the most attention are a plan to cool off the gymnasiums, particularly at Plymouth High School, which can reach temperatures as high as 95 degrees during the summer, and covered, solar-heated walkways to provide cover for students moving between the Plymouth Canton Educational Park’s three buildings.

http://www.hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009903150529

The school district wants to spend the money on heated sidewalks and cooling a gymnasium during the summer — when are school gyms used in the summer? — while the district is looking to be $7.4 million in the red next in 2010-11.

If the Plymouth-Canton school board does nothing else and the numbers crunch the way the district’s financial team has planned, there will be enough money in the district’s projected $2 million deficit in 2009-10.

It’s the following year that really presents problems.

As budget predictions sit now, the school district faces a potential $7.4 million deficit in 2010-11, when it will have only about $2.5 million in its fund equity.

http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20090319/NEWS15/903190691/1032

What kind of sense does any of this make?  Our leaders want to cover and heat sidewalks while the school district is about ready to start hemorrhaging cash?

Maybe the argument is that stimulus money is supposed to be spent on projects that create jobs, not balancing budgets.  Even so, I see the school district’s proposals as madness — stupidity — in light of anticipated massive budget deficits.

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If you happen to be visiting this site and want to see what is happening in/around Plymouth, check my “blogroll.”

There are always interesting, educational things going on at the Plymouth District Library, so I’m adding its website to the blogroll.  I’m sure the library would love you to visit the website (and the library, too, of course.)

You can find the link in this post, too.

http://plymouthlibrary.org/

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Besides a few of the bars in town being jam-packed tonite, I’m not sure what is happening around the city this fine day.

If you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, I hope you have a wonderful time.  Enjoy this great traditional Irish song sung by  Sinead O’Connor.

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