Caught some Zs.

I got up with Kate at 7:30 this morning, made her lunch, saw her off to school, prepared the coffee stuff but didn’t press the button on the machine, and sat down with the laptop for the morning stretch. Stretched my legs along the couch, unfurled the afghan against the chill. Hmm, this is comfy.

Two hours later, I woke up. Ruby was staring at me. The laptop had gone to sleep, too.

So I lost my blogging time this morning. Fortunately, I had some stuff set aside.

I’ve avoided Nike products for some time, on the grounds that if I’m going to pay a huge sum for a pair of sneakers, I want the money to go to the Chinese serfs who made them and not the spoiled-brat athletes who endorse them, but now I have one more: The swoosh stands by its men. Even the creeps. Especially the creeps.

The dog cart built by Jim at Sweet Juniper for carrying his kids around town is a huge success. Chapter 2, plus a little appreciation of the beast of burden.

And because you can’t have some sweet without some bitter, a few-days-old piece by our own Coozledad: “The Neighbors.” Read. Some of you already have, but the rest: Read.

I’m told there was a time here when crossing the border from Canada to the U.S. here was no big deal, for most mainly a matter of friendly waves and have-a-nice-days. This was especially true for boaters; I’m told of waterfront restaurants on the St. Clair River where “customs” consisted of writing your name in pencil on a slip of paper dockside. Among the many things we can thank Osama bin Laden for is the fact some nice Canadian ladies can’t take a yoga class in Royal Oak anymore. It’s a teacher-training class, to be sure, but reading this can certainly chip away at one’s inner peace:

All the trouble began in early 2009, when the state of Michigan cracked down on yoga studios, licensing them as “proprietary schools.” Makowski complied, then described her school as a “licensed vocational school,” on her website.

That description, U.S. border officials say, triggered new problems at the border. Officials demanded the Canadian students get student visas to attend their Sunday class. The students agreed — until Makowski discovered she first would have to be certified by the Department of Homeland Security to accept foreign students — a process that could take a year or more — and that’s typically required of colleges, not yoga courses. It’s classic Catch-22.

It starts out being a rule about not letting more Arab students take flight training, it ends up being about yoga. Go figure.

And now off to work, lazy bum that I am.

Posted at 11:10 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

30 responses to “Caught some Zs.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on April 22, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Nike has been on my shit list ever since they released an Olympics advertisement that read: “You don’t win silver. You lose gold.” The cynicism of those words made me nauseous. You might be the second-fastest or strongest athlete in the world, but to Nike, you’re a fucking loser. Also, Phil Knight is a foul bastard of a man, overseeing an empire that produces shoes so expensive and so sought-after they caused young men to kill each other to own them all while, as Nancy notes, he paid pennies to Third World workers.

    The sad legacy of fear created by 9/11 continues to bedevil average citizens, much less those unfortunate enough to be dark and swarthy of complexion. It’s a fairly underreported story about how our stringent requirements for student visas are keeping out highly qualified foreign students, who are opting instead for places like Israel and Australia.

    Finally, one of the best movies I’ve seen in recent years deals with smuggling illegal immigrants across the border from Canada. “Frozen River” is an incredibly powerful, moving and sad film. It’s also one of the best depictions of life on the very edges of financial disaster. Melissa Leo is phenomenal as the single mother trying to hold her family together in a shitty, rented trailer who finds the lure of getting involved in the smuggling trade dangerously compelling.

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  2. judybusy said on April 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

    In 2000, I visited a friend in Vancouver. We caught one of the guys–Ochoa–of Buena Vista social club fame in concert, and I had put my DL in my back pocket for the night. I had flown into Seattle, then driven to Vancouver, so I had to drive back, of course. No problem at the border–just told them I’d lost my DL. At the airport, the really nice airline staff said I’d just have to get my luggage ex-rayed. I joked that as long as it didn’t mess with fresh pasta I’d brought back, no problem. I found the DL when I did laundry afer the trip. This would be a very different experience these days!

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  3. Julie Robinson said on April 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Good bloggage today, and I’m sure you needed the sleep. I don’t pay much attention to sports and I didn’t know that Nike was standing by Roethlisberger.
    They get zero of my money from this point forward.

    Jim’s post made me tear up more than a little. Someone needs to get him a book contract. I’m bookmarking his site now. Fine writing about a life spent finding the good in Detroit–I’d buy it.

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  4. Sue said on April 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison just dropped Nike, at least until they pretend to clean up their act:

    “The university announced Friday that it would sever a licensing agreement with Nike effective immediately for failure to live up to the school’s code of conduct. The decision was sparked by the abrupt closure of two Nike factories in Honduras. The 1,800 workers in those two factories were allegedly denied $2.6 million in severance payments owed to them and required by law.

    Nike, which has a well documented history of exploiting cheap labor, sometimes in the form of children, and providing employees with poor working conditions in free trade zones, says that the factories were operated by subcontractors. The company has attempted to deflect blame, saying under Nike’s policy, subcontractors are responsible for compensating employees.

    The University of Wisconsin’s code of conduct, however, states that any company producing merchandise that bears the school’s name or logo is responsible for the actions of their subcontractors.

    “Nike has not developed, and does not intend to develop, meaningful ways of addressing the plight of displaced workers and their families in Honduras,” university Chancellor Biddy Martin said in a statement Friday. “It has not presented clear long-range plans to prevent or respond to similar problems in the future. For this combination of reasons, we have decided to end our relationship for now.””

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  5. Dorothy said on April 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I saw “Frozen River” several months ago, Jeff B. and it was very good.

    I’ll be burning my #7 tee shirts in a couple of weeks when we have our big back yard bonfire. What a jerk. I hope they trade him tonight. And Nike has never had a dime of my money before, and now I’ll be sure they never will in the future.

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  6. LAMary said on April 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Nike stands by Tiger, Kobe Bryant and Roethlisberger. No Nikes in my house.

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  7. kayak woman said on April 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    That yoga class situation is just appalling. Until I was 10 years old, the only way to get across the St. Mary’s River to the Canadian city of Sault Ste. Siberia was to take a ferry. You could drive your car onto the ferry if you wanted but we would often park on the American side and walk on. We’d spend an afternoon walking around the downtown shopping district, maybe take the bus to the little zoo a bit downriver, then walk back onto the ferry for the return trip. Sigh.

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  8. LAMary said on April 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    At the height of the Kobe Bryant scandal, I saw a family with two little boys, probably 5 and 8 years old, wearing Kobe jerseys, Kobe shoes, everything. Why would a parent do that? One of my kids had an “I am Tiger Woods” t-shirt about twelve years ago, but I don’t think I would buy one for a son now.

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  9. nancy said on April 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    My guess would be that at 5 and 8, the parents weren’t ready to get into explaining sexual assault to the boys just yet. Probably figured it would blow over fairly soon, and did the sidestep.

    What pisses me off about Nike is how it directly targets women, with some excellent advertising that pushes all the buttons about health and breast cancer and Title IX and being ignored because you’re a girl, etc. etc. And then they essentially tell their marquee stars that you can do pretty much anything short of fighting dogs, and we’ll stand by you.

    I know the rancid nightclub culture contributes to this, and lots of girls flock to athlete VIP tables for the chance to be a star’s “girlfriend,” if only for a little while. But, as Egan points out in that piece, nothing would shut that shit down faster than a few multi-million dollar contracts evaporating as a result.

    I’m sticking with New Balance.

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  10. Bill said on April 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    For me, buying U.S. made New Balance shoes is as much about buying American made as anti-Nike. Same with cars, although my Chrysler Town & Country dropped its transmission last month at 50,000 miles. I still like the darn thing.

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  11. Sue said on April 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I keep hearing about the disappointment in Tiger’s behavior because he’s a “role model” for kids. Is that true anymore? I know it was at the start, but seeing as how over the years Tiger really didn’t do anything to endear himself to adult fans, much less children, how many kids are actually having the say it ain’t so joe reaction?

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  12. Rana said on April 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    One more reason I’m glad I’ve opted out of the conventional running shoe business this year. Yes, I wear weird, glove-like shoes with toes, but at least I’m not supporting Nike.

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  13. MichaelG said on April 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Rana, I had a girlfriend many, many years ago who had bright rainbow colored wool socks with five toes in each – like gloves. She would wear the goofy socks with clear plastic sandals. Actually looked kinda cool.

    I buy my sneakers at Big 5 when they have one of their great $14.95 sales. Have done for years.

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  14. LAMary said on April 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I’m a New Balance fan too, but you have to check. Some are not made in the US if that’s important to you. I have a pair of classic white K-Swiss too. I bought them because I like the look of them and I used to wear K-Swiss in college. My sons informed me that these are gangsta and all I need is chola eyebrows and I’m ready to mingle with the local boys.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on April 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Our son took golf lessons early in Tiger’s career but didn’t keep up with them because of the cost and the slow pace of the game. He prefers playing tennis and ultimate frisbee, but more importantly, he prefers playing over watching any day. We’ll still have a conversation tonight at dinner.

    MichaelG, I had those socks too! It was 1974, I was a newly minted college freshman, and I was sure they were the height of fashion. Only, living in Indiana, it was hard to show them off unless I removed my shoes. I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it.

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  16. Deborah said on April 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I walk by the Nike store on Michigan Ave every day on my way to and from work. I’ll have to shoot them the bird when I walk by now. I never buy anything Nike there, or anywhere else they sell their crap. I did like some of their advertising campaigns about 15 years ago or so, but it still didn’t make me want to buy anything. I buy Echo walking shoes from The Walking Store. And I have a couple of pairs of Pumas.

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  17. Rana said on April 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Hah. I don’t have any rainbow-colored toe socks, but I do have some sporty wool ones to wear with the shoes when it gets cold. One pair’s loud enough without rainbow socks, in any case, being aqua colored with camo soles.

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  18. Dorothy said on April 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    If y’all want to get away from the Nike conversation, stop for a moment and read the Sweet Juniper piece that Nancy linked to. What a great dog Wendell is! He’s so photogenic! Almost makes me want to run out and get another to add to our menagerie. Almost. I love dogs but I’m not crazy. Also it cost $460 last week for Augie to have his yearly check up, his vaccinations, and 6 months’ worth of heartworm and flea prevention for him, Husky and Lucy. And next week he’s getting his teeth cleaned because he has one or two that look borderline rotted. Here’s hoping it only costs the quoted price and not anymore if they have to do an extraction.

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  19. Bob (not Greene) said on April 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I’m partial to New Balance, too, not that I’ve done much running lately. I bought one pair of Nike running shoes one time and they literally fell apart in a few months. Complete crap.

    Hey, by the way, knocking the Tea Party can get you fired, apparently

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  20. Dexter said on April 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    New Balance man since 1980, here. I have a pair of 600s on right now.
    I love the dog trailer, too. Really neat.
    I could write an article about the renters next door, too. Since we moved in here, in 1981, it’s been a horrowshow at times. None killed any of our animals, except for running over my cat. Our new cat stays in as best we can contain him.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on April 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I almost forgot this until I picked up the N-S just now; our niece Maria Robinson won the Sterling Sentinel award for vocal music last night! She’s an amazing young woman and we’re all so proud of her accomplishments. Here’s the link: No photo online or you could see that she is beautiful on the inside and outside.

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  22. brian stouder said on April 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Hey, this is on-topic – and it struck me as funny: Tiger’s mistress is going to be on Dancing with the Stars (now that she’s done the horizontal hula, she thinks she’ll go for the vertical rumba, or something)

    The surprise, said Delgado, was that Uchitel “was quite different than how she’s been portrayed in the tabloids. She’s normal and down to earth.”
    Uchitel has been concentrating on the salsa, said Delgado. “She’s really passionate about dancing,” he said. They have an understanding, he said. “I told her I don’t want this to be a publicity thing,” for either party. “I told her she had to take me serious or I’d have given her to another instructor,” he said. “She’s very dedicated.”
    She’s also taking guitar lessons.
    Serenity now!

    (Sound of guitar string breaking).

    As for shoes, I have no idea what mine are; just no-name comfort is all I ask (and they probably come off the same line as name-brand, but who knows)

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  23. Deborah said on April 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Nancy, I envy your status as a self employed person. I was a freelancer for a year or so between jobs and loved the freedom of my schedule. I probably worked harder than ever but it sure was nice to take a nap when I needed it. My husband is self employed, has been for 7 years now, he has his own architectural practice as well as teaching, he works late and most weekends but he takes a nap every afternoon. Not a long one, but just enough to refresh. Ahhhhh.

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  24. crinoidgirl said on April 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    OK, that Sweet Juniper post you linked to made me cry.

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  25. del said on April 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Cooze’s neighbors remind me of this track from Beck:

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  26. del said on April 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    This article about drug smugglers falling through the St. Mary’s river ice in Sault Ste. Marie ties Jeff B’s comments about Frozen River with kayakwoman’s post about her days in the Sault:,2933,329387,00.html

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  27. coozledad said on April 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    For a minute I thought this was about restoring Stephen Baldwin’s lips to their pre-collagen injected state, but it’s even worse. It doesn’t seem to bother him that he looks like a recently landed deep-sea fish with a flavor-saver: He just wants people to “gift” him their jewelry:

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  28. Sue said on April 23, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Hmm, I can’t figure out if Stephen’s look is Blue Steel or Le Tigre.

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  29. Cosmo Panzini said on April 23, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I’m still trying to figure out just when allegations of misconduct, whether pawing/sex with young women or whatever else, became actual proof of the misconduct alleged. Just as in the Roman Polanski matter recently dredged up out of the dirt by an over-ambitious assistant to an assistant district attorney, there is no substance to the allegations against Mr. R. If there were anything at all actionable, there would be ACTION. Nike should be applauded for standing behind its spokespeople, not castigated because they didn’t run away like scared rabbits.

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  30. moe99 said on April 23, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Good thing I’m limited by my BB while on vacation, Cosmo, because otherwise you’d get an eyeful from me on what a foolyou are and how wrong you are wrt polanski and rothlisberger

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