Thursday, May 31, 2012

Place that photo: A shoe-in

No shoes, no shirt, but I still get service, WATCH!

Sometime I want to put a sign like this right on my front door just to see what people do. Or at least to see the looks on their faces. Usually, if you just tell people to please take their shoes off at the door, they'll do it without even a, "When did you get so uptight??" look, although you deserve to get that look. However! If you just have this hanging on your front door NAY if you have this PAINTED in huge block letters on your front door, they're gonna think you're a demanding weirdo. It's best to get that image out there as soon as possible, because as soon as you become a demanding weirdo, you become hard to buy for, which means people will try harder when they need to get you presents, which means you won't necessarily get great presents, but you will torture the people you love.

As usual, it's time to figure out where this gosh darn photo was taken. Put your guesses in the comments below, along with your Twitter handle - we'll be damning the frist person to get it right on our Twitter feed. Don't have Twitter or feel weird about it? Fine, don't leave your Twitter handle. We'll just damn your damn name.

The last PTP was taken right outside of Grow Blue.

Beer with Bloggers tonight

Just a reminder folks, that Beer with Bloggers is tonight at Corner Brewery. Looks like there will be a lot of cool cats there. Come by and say hi to us.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Contemplating "Up North"

Somewhere as you drive up 75, you go from being "down state" to "up north." Where does that change happen? Is it at the Bridge? The northern range limit for the hickories? The imaginary line the DNR uses to divide the Lower Peninsula into the "Northern Rifle Zone" and the "Southern Shotgun Zone?" Gentle readers, what do you consider "Up North?"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The peonies at the Arb are peaking. If you want to see some really incredible flowers stop by today to tomorrow before too many of them start to fade.

Hot new bike for summer

Check it out folks. The hottest trend in cycling this summer is stealing your kid sister's bike.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Big Dummy

Saw another Surly Big Dummy last week in front of Alley Bar. Looks like you might have some competition Bill.

A2 in the Summer

I'm spending my first (and possibly last?) summer ever in A2 preparing for the California Bar Exam in July. So, in between (re)learning contracts, constitutional law, and California civil procedure (yuck), I'm looking forward to experiencing Ann Arbor in the summer, especially since it's probably going to be my only chance to do so. What sorts of things would you make sure to do, and what are your summer staples? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Taste of Tree Town Sound

Tree Town Sound host, Matthew Altruda, is hosting a cool show at the Blind Pig next Sunday. Looks like there will be tons of great artists at Taste of Tree Town Sound.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Derby Dimes summer bouts at Buhr Park

The Ann Arbor Derby Dimes have a series of 5 roller derby bouts this summer at Burh Park. The first is next Saturday!

Roller Derby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ann Arbor Derby Dimes return for the summer at Buhr Park!! June 2, July 14, August 4, September 1, September 29. All Games start at 5:30, doors open earlier. Admission by donation. Come and tailgate! Come play in the grass!!!!!!!
I didn't know you could tailgate for roller derby matches.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The good life east of 23

Intrepid local foodie blogger, A2GastroBoy, has just completed a new visitor's guide to Ypsi. The suggestions for drinking and dining seem pretty solid. The GastroBoy's descriptions are packed full of great bits of history too. By far my favorite part of the guide is GastroBoy's soap box speech where he identifies and proposes solutions for what he sees as the biggest 3 issues facing Ypsi: one fiscal, one geographic and one superficial.
SUPERFICIAL: Proximity, AKA the inherent comparison syndrome of Twin Cities. Here’s my final stand dedicated to all of the elitist fucks in Ann Arbor who refuse to acknowledge life east of US23…Consider Minneapolis and St. Paul, Manhattan and Brooklyn, San Francisco and Oakland, Royal Oak and Ferndale, Eli and Payton. In each situation you have an underdog little-brother, forever over-shadowed by their larger, more affluent neighbor. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying Ypsi would be Pleasantville if it stood alone. Not at all. The paradox of twin cities is that they need each other. Ypsi is the low rent district. That doesn’t make it bad. It makes it affordable. Affordable fosters development and creativity. Would Beezy’s be in Ypsilanti if Beezy could’ve afforded an Ann Arbor lease? Would the Dreamland Theater exist if it weren’t for folks from Ann Arbor driving in? Maybe. Likely Not. Stop making comparisons. We don’t need another Ann Arbor. We need to appreciate the value of diversity.

SOLVE: Rebrand the City. I know it sounds ridiculous – but who really likes the name Ypsilanti? Leave it for the township. Just don’t choose a bullshit name like say, Xfinity.

Also, did you know the Ypsi Water Tower has a twitter account? I didn't.

Camp Take Notice news

Camp Take Notice is in the news again. Some of its neighbors have circulated a petition in an attempt to get the camp evicted from its current location and supporters of CTN rallied outside the camp yesterday. The Com has some good coverage of the event. On a side note, the day I met with Caleb Poirier to talk about CTN, Anthony Collings was filming his interview with Caleb for the above documentary. I'm just off camera in one scene. Anyway, if you would like to know my thoughts about the camp, you can read my previous post here. In short, I think CTN and MISSION provide an important suite of services for people who the traditional shelter system may not be working.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stoner ants

"Lots of joints."

Complimentary bee whips at Dominick's

In the back yard at Dominick's last night this GIANT bumble bee wouldn't leave us alone. It was one of those that's at least an inch long and doesn't really seem to have a stinger or anything, but it was still a little bit of a nuisance.

A kindly Dominick's employee came over because we were laughing so hard and said "yeah sometimes you just have to get one of those thick receipt books and whip 'em away. I don't have one of those right now."

He left for a minute, brought back a french fry basket, and left it with us:

Worked just great!

We are number two (and number one)

Forbes recently ranked University of Michigan Ann Arbor as the second best college to attend in Michigan. That's pretty good, right? Beating out U of M in the state's number one spot is Kalamazoo College, the alma mater of a number of this blog's writers.

However, conspicuously missing from K's notable alumni is any mention of Damn Arbor's editorial staff. Maybe next year.

Via mlive.

Beer with Bloggers

Intrepid blogger,, put together a pretty cool event next Thursday at Corner Brewery: Beer with Bloggers. If you are a local blog reader, a local blog writer, or a local beer drinker, come stop by and say hi.

Cash for bikes

While I am sure the Cash for Bicycles industry is generally above reproach, there are some thing about this sign that make it seem a little sketchy. Perhaps it's the chaotic usage of duct tape instead of packing tape to post the sign, but something makes me feel like the posters of this sign may not be overly concerned with documenting the provenance of the bikes they are purchasing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On the appropriation of American Indian culture by exotic marsupials

Why is this koala wearing a headdress typical of Plains Indians? First off, koalas are not native to North America. Second, koalas are forest dwellers and would likely not be able to survive in a grassland. What's the big idea here?



Walk and Wag

Vinnie Massimino sent in this video he made of the Humane Society's Walk, Wag and Run 5k last Saturday. Vinnie writes:

I created a new video! My gal-pal Melissa ( / ran a 5K. Rather than send her supporters a photograph to show her completion, we created a video packed full of weirdness and dogs!

Whoa, that looks like a pretty crazy race. I especially like the green screen running starting around 2:00. It reminds me a lot of the music video for Mick Jagger's tribute to neoliberal economics, Let's Work.

Thanks for sending in the video Vinnie. Hopefully we will be seeing some more weird videos soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I've been seeing this strange sticker around town. Any ideas what it means? To me it seems to be saying "Sheep what?" But that really doesn't make sense.


I wonder if the makers of the Go Pro series of cameras realized that their cameras would mostly be used to film dudes longboarding in parking structures.

Monday, May 21, 2012

LED Streetlights

Looks like Ann Arbor is moving forward environmentally; these new LED streetlights are pretty bright. I saw this one (and more) on Washington between Main and Division. They're requesting comments at
I'm wondering what the roll-out plan is, so if you see more, let me know.

Tree frog

Michigan has two native species of tree frog, the gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) and Cope's gray tree frog (H. chrysoscelis). The species are indistinguishable except for their calls: Cope's is higher pitched and faster paced.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Burger cart Kickstarter

A2GastroBoy, Ann Arbor's anonymous foodie blogger, asked me to re-tweet a link to the Kickstarter campaign for No. 9 Hamburgers. I figured I'd do him one better and post the link and video from the Kickstarter. No.9 Hamburgers are seeking funds to build a professional food cart that will serve the campus area during sporting events. Looks like Rodney and his crew sling some pretty tasty burgers.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cecropia moth

Check it out. A Hyalophora cecropia, North America's largest native moth. My labmate found it earlier this week.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bike to Work Day

I'm sure many readers already know this, but today is Bike to Work Day - not just here in A2, but nationally. This morning, there were stations set up across the land for those biking in to work. I personally went to the station at Babo Market and enjoyed - wait for it (like you have a choice) - chocolate croissants. NOM. I also nabbed a bunch of info about commuting to work on a bike, and now have a lovely green reflector that I plan on putting on my bike. Pretty good start to the day.

There are events going on all day, but I wanted to make sure errbuddy knew about the Bike Commuting Basics Workshop going on today at the A2 Farmer's Market from 5:30-6 p.m. and 6:15-6:45 p.m. I'm pretty darn new to bike commuting, so I'll be there with bells on... once I get a bell for my bike.

Also, if you take a photo of yourself biking to work, you should Tweet it to us at @damnarbor AND Tweet it to #nprbike.

Photo above is of Commmon Cycle back in 2010, thanks to John Hritz.

Look Round, Play Regardless

I've been noticing some chain link fences are having some nice phrases "written" on them. These two are on Plymouth between Barton and Murfin, and Ann at Glen respectively. I've been looking for more, so if you've seen some, or know what they're about, let me know.

Paying the Bills in Detroit Schools

This summer, I'm working with public schools in Detroit, and when I went to look for some information this morning online, this is what I found:

Notice, in the upper right hand corner, " expired on 05/14/2012 and is pending renewal or deletion."

Not only are all the public school teachers in Detroit getting pink-slipped and must reapply, reinterview for their job, it looks like the website is getting let go as well!

Place that photo: FLOWR POWR

FaBLAM, it's spring! It's been spring for a while, but to be honest, this is the first time I've been willing to say it out loud without the fear that I would be smote (aka it would start snowing again). There will be flowers from here on out, but now is the time that crazy-ass foliage pops up and then withers away. Crocuses? They get, like, a week. I also like whatever it is that creates those little fluffs of white that float around. NEWSFLASH: those are not dandelion seeds. Nab one of them sometime and take a look - those things are just pure fluff, and appear to serve no service beyond making everything look like an Allegra commercial.

Do you know where these purple microphones IMEAN Cher's summer wig IMEAN Liberace's earmuffs are located? If you do, you should do as the Arborites do and place your guess in the comments below, along with your Twitter handle. Why your Twitter handle, you ask? Wehehell, the first person to guess this right shall be damned on our Twitter feed. If you don't leave your Twitter handle, we'll just damn your damn name.

The last PTP was taken in Kerrytown, right in front of No Thai, the People's Food Co-op and Smoothie King.

Motor City ComicCon

Comic book conventions, especially if you have never been to one, are lots of fun for people-watching and for nostalgia.  Motor City ComicCon is this weekend in Novi (about 30 minutes northeast of Ann Arbor).  I'll be posting about MCCC today and possibly tomorrow @dragonmgmt (with hashtag #MCCC).  Let me know via Twitter if you are at the Con and we'll meet up!

MCCC runs today (Friday), 12:30 PM to 7 PM; Saturday, 10:30 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday, 10:30 AM to 5 PM.  Tickets are $25 for a one-day pass and $50 for a three-day pass.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brash Menagerie

What is Brash Menagerie? According to the folks at Charlie LaCroix Brokerage it's a performance art/dance hybrid "adventure into the shrinking space between humans & animals… RAWR."

It's put on by the BrendaLinda Performance Collective and will be at LePop tomorrow and Saturday. Doors at 9pm, roars at 10.


I'm always on the lookout for new blogs that focus on the greater Ypsi-Arbor area. Imagine my delight when I came across Ypsipreciation on Tumblr. Its description is really great too:

Ypsi is a wonderful place. I plan on showcasing the spots that I love by posting pictures that I've taken and also by re blogging pictures from other people.
Let's hope they are able to keep it up.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Match by Match crowd funding new album, Vivat Veritas

Hot off the release of American Crowbar, local indie band Match by Match is working on their followup album: Vivat Veritas. They've launched a crowd funding campaign on the site Indiegogo, which from what I can tell, is just lick Kickstarter but it uses youtube videos. For a donation of $5, you get a free digital copy of the album. This is why I really like crowd funding for local musicians. Basically, if enough people agree to pay for the album in advanced, then they don't need to go into debt recording it. Pretty sweet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stencil Safari

Here are some more recent stencils from around town. Gentle reader, have you noticed any stencils popping up? If so, feel free to send in a picture.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Charlie Slick music video: Tribe from 3005

Charlie Slick has just released a brand new music video. The first, I think, from his latest album A Far Out Indian.

Mystery stencil

I've been seeing a lot more stencils up around town lately. This one was on Main St. Couldn't quite tell what this one was supposed to be.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Early bloomer

The peonies are blooming a little early this year.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Reflections on Water Hill Music Fest

Water Hill was great this year. It's really awesome to be able to walk take a leisurely stroll through a neighborhood and hear such great music and run into so many friends. I especially liked the parade down Summit at the end of the fest. Perhaps though, next year they can get some food carts. That would be great.


Water Hill in Pictures

Friday, May 11, 2012

Handmade Detroit Craft Revival

Handmade Detroit is having a good ol' fashioned Craft Revival tomorrow. Could be something to do before checking out Pagliacci.

Via: Sloe Gin Fizz

Crazy Joe Davola

I have high expectations of Michigan Opera Theater's production of Pagliacci tomorrow night. My dad and I are going to opening night of the season closer, a popular tragedy boasting one of the most famous arias in opera.

Plus, you know, Crazy Joe Davola.

Place that photo: Heavy metal

Alright, so I know these aren't stairs (or are they?!?) but these are the last things I would ever wanna walk down. One drop 'o water and you're donezo. Plus, these would totes not be heels-friendly. Blech.

This week's PTP is a bit obscure, I'll give you that. But that just means you'll be extra proud of yourself when you get it, amirite? Here's the deal: You guess where I took this photo. You guess right. You put your guess in the comments below, along with your Twitter handle. If you're the first one to get it right, we'll damn you on our Twitter feed. If you don't leave your Twitter thingamajig, we'll just damn your damn name.

The last PTP was taken outside the Argus building.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Elm gone from Diag

Another of the Diag's large American elms (Ulmus americana) has succumb to Dutch elm disease. Not quite as big as the one that came down last summer, but still a substantial tree.

Hot Bike

Looks like this bike came with this summer's hottest accessory: flaming tires. Get them now while supplies last.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Summer reading list: Once Upon a River

Summer's here. Well kind of. At least if you are a U of M student, school is out. And you know what that means: summer reading lists. This summer I'm planning on reading Bonnie Jo Campbell's "Once Upon a River." The story takes place in rural Michigan on the Kalamazoo River in the 1970s. And it has a lot of things I like in a story: the woods, the river and huntin'. If I'm up for it, I might also check out "Q Road," another Campbell's books.

So how about it gentle reader? What's on your summer reading list?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vote today!

Gentle readers, there are some important elections today. In Ann Arbor, voters are being asked to approve a millage to for technology improvements in the public schools. This would generate an estimated $45.8 million by increasing property taxes in the city by 0.5 mill. It would cost most home owners an additional $51 - $77 per year. You can read more here and here.

In Ypsi, voters are being asked to weigh in on two tough issues: whether to levy a millage to retire the Water Street debt and whether to levy a city income tax to replace lost property tax revenue due to falling property values. You can read more about these issues here and here.

Please take some time today and vote gentle readers. Generally turnout for May elections is pretty low so just a few votes can really make a big difference in our community.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Water Hill in pictures

Water Hill was awesome. Huge turnout, great music and tons of fun. Here are some pictures.

At the end of Charlie Slick's show, he made us all sit in his time machine (or yard) so we could travel back in time with him. It was a stellar performance.

Appleseed Collective had a great turnout at their house. They sounded really great and had a large group of children completely enthralled with their music.

EJ and I met the cutest little puppy ever. She was dropped off at the Humane Society a little too early so she is living with a nice foster family right now. If you have a good home, she will be ready to adopt in a week.

I was really impressed with Girls Who Care, a new band playing their first concert ever at Water Hill. They had a great dream pop/shoe-gazer sound. Hopefully we will be hearing more from them soon.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Water Hill Music Fest today

The second annual Water Hill Music Fest is today. Who are you most excited to see?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A2 Pizza Pi

EJ and I went to Mark's Carts for the first time this season last night. We decided to try out the new pizza cart. Partially because they have a cute little portable wood fired oven. We had a tasty spinach pizza with goat cheese. The crust was especially good.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bike Ypsi Spring Ride

This Sunday. Meet at the Recreation Park pavilion at 9:00 AM. Details.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Van Allen Belt with Charlie Slick this Saturday

The Van Allen Belt is not just a torus-shaped cloud of plasma held in by Earth's magnetic field. The Van Allen Belt is also a band. They are coming to Ann Arbor to play a show with Charlie Slick at the Elk's Lodge on Saturday. Check out their song, Lovely in Akron:

Wow. Looks like it'll be a great show. Doors open at 6pm for this hekka early show. It'll be a nice way to to get ready for Water Hill on Sunday (which also features Mr. Slick).

Found Michigan wants your Moms

Found Michigan is trying to put together a very special Mother's Day feature: vintage pictures Michigan Moms.

Pretty great. You can send in your pictures to

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Live blogging the woods

I'm at the E. S. George Reserve doing research with my lab today. We found a salamander.

Edwards Brothers Malloy Jackson Road Book Binder

When I was a kid, I always loved when they toured industrial facilities on Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers and This Old House. This really takes me back there. Are there video tours of other local industrial operations, past or present?