A Fellini movie, every day.

Sitting at a Detroit office of the Secretary of State – an office people in most parts of the world think of as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or, in Indiana, the license branch – is a strange experience. A guy across the aisle looks exactly like Slim Charles from “The Wire.” Another is dressed, head to toe, hat to sandals, in orange. (And I doubt he’s a Tigers fan. Not a stitch of blue.) There’s a grandma tending a fussy baby who, you can tell from the look on her face, is working his way up to a blowout.

A woman clears her way though an aisle, claiming loudly, “I’m just looking for a place to sit.” Ninety seconds later, she goes back the other way: “I’m just going to get a smoke.”

I’ve been told to use all the online tools — the check-in, the text alerts for when your place in line is coming up — and I do, because if there’s one thing that will ruin your day, it’s sitting that waiting room for longer than 20 minutes.

One thing I forgot: To lie about the purchase price. Damn, I forgot they were the ones who collect the sales tax.

But now the car is fully insured and legal, and woo. Time to start pouring more money into it.

The conversation yesterday about factory farms reminded me to post this story and video, about a guy I wrote about for Bridge a couple of years ago, who’s still struggling to close the deal on his urban amoeba farm, all organic. It was written by a former student, so win-win, etc. It gives me a little hope for the future.

Besides, what crisis? Toledo is free to drink the water again. What fertilizer runoff? Oops. Spoke too soon.

This doesn’t happen often around here, but often enough that it doesn’t really surprise anyone:

Harsens Island — While a woman fights for her life after being injured in a boating accident that killed her husband and another person, police said Monday they are releasing a man connected to the accident Sunday evening on Lake St. Clair.

Authorities said Monday they expected to release a 32-year-old Chesterfield Township man, whose name is being withheld because he has not been charged. He did submit to a blood test to determine alcohol levels given that police say drinking and high speed may have been factors in the collision.

…Algonac resident Alan Block, who is a local sailboat racer and senior reporter for Sailing Anarchy, was sailing in the southbound channel and was about 200 feet from the collision when it occurred.

“I came to a stop because I knew something was going to happen,” Block said. “There were two large boats — perhaps 40 footers — headed southbound and they were leaving large wakes. One of the boats looked like a fishing vessel and the other was a cabin cruiser with an upper deck. A third boat, a 25-foot Baja, which is a very fast speed boat, was headed northbound in the shipping channel doing about 45 to 50 mph.”

According to Block, the Baja failed to slow down for the large wakes caused by the bigger boats.

Here’s a headline that says read me: Kid Rock: I don’t have glass sex toy sought in Insane Clown Posse case.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t deliver.

Good Tuesdays all around.

Posted at 12:32 am in Current events, Detroit life |

20 responses to “A Fellini movie, every day.”

  1. Sherri said on August 5, 2014 at 2:51 am

    A similar boating mishap happened here, but the drunk boater wasn’t released, he was charged and a $500K bail was set: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024107212_boatcrashvictimxml.html

    192 chars

  2. Dexter said on August 5, 2014 at 2:59 am

    My friend Greg has a place up on Houghton and he was telling me about the Bud Bash, which bills itself as Michigan Party of the Year. I wonder how many fatals come about from this wild partyin’… https://twitter.com/budbash

    225 chars

  3. Dexter said on August 5, 2014 at 3:06 am

    August 5, 1962, a day of broken (wet) dreams. http://www.legacy.com/news/legends-and-legacies/marilyn-monroe-unforgettable/1332/
    Marilyn was just 36. I was just 12 and I remember where I was when I heard the awful news, just as people do when someone that stunning or important passes.

    288 chars

  4. David C. said on August 5, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I wonder if Volvo repair was any less expensive when they were drawing parts from the Ford parts bin and what will it be like drawing parts from the Geely parts bin.

    165 chars

  5. Alan Stamm said on August 5, 2014 at 7:02 am

    “Glass sex toy” because the Freep doesn’t want to shock delicate sensibilities by saying dildo — the second time its Insane Clown Posse case coverage has sidestepped the d-word.

    Dare I say the paper is bending over backward . . . um, no.

    241 chars

  6. coozledad said on August 5, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Agribusiness will ultimately try and strongarm the small farm movement out of the picture, much the same way utilities companies have managed to implement what amounts to a tax on solar energy producers (In NC, Duke Energy managed to get the legislature to allow them to charge people for producing their own energy).

    Re the discussion on fertilizers yesterday, the critical factor in soil productivity is soil biomass, which chemical fertilizers actually serve to deplete. They’re expensive and petroleum dependent to produce, and the only reason we’re still using that technology is because people are too stupid and greedy to turn that boat around.

    Plant lignins, sugars and rotting matter increase soil biomass.

    One of the principal architects of The Green Revolution has expressed regret over his initial endorsement of the use of chemical fertilizers, and now says we have to return to farming practices which actively bind CO2 to the soil through microflora. It can actually be a way to address climate change.

    1116 chars

  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2014 at 8:37 am

    This is where I hope and pray (and work) that faith communities can be a positive part of the shift in environmental awareness; the conservative resistance (Cooze would say “lazy and stupid” and on this, I’m not gonna argue) generally doesn’t deny climate and ecological impacts per se, but think they can maintain a bubble — an American bubble in the minds of some, a “me and mine” bubble in the survivalist wingnut contingent.

    But a functional religious perspective knows that relatedness and interconnectivity is baked into the cake of Creation; we are connected integrally and socially, and redemption is never just an individual thing alone. And dominion was not a ticket to exploitation (see Matthew Scully’s takedown of that concept), but a brief for responsibility. Buddhists have their own problems with karma and development, but Christians have to re-think their assumptions about what Genesis & the gospels tell us about our relationship with the “kosmos” and how that’s a relationship that has to be made whole no less than our relationship with “Theos.”

    I’ve had too many conversations with generally caring individuals in their own context who, when they think about China or Africa or the Middle East, don’t dispute problems economic or environmental, but argue that it means we have to work all the harder to keep those problems overseas. That’s the impulse regrettably at work on the border with the unaccompanied children and those who know nothing better than to yell “send them home,” or trying to bomb al-Qaeda into submission. Then we see Toledo without safe water for a long weekend, and the chickens start to roost back in our own factory farms.

    1681 chars

  8. A. Riley said on August 5, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Amoeba farm? Huh?

    17 chars

  9. coozledad said on August 5, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Wow. A stunning example of both gutlessness and mendaciousness. Bad people, badly made:

    195 chars

  10. Julie Robinson said on August 5, 2014 at 10:31 am

    This area’s farms contribute to the algae bloom in Lake Erie:http://jg.net/article/20140805/EDIT07/308059997/1021/EDIT.

    Jefftmmo, our daughter’s church just started building a community compost site on their land after being part of a dialogue started by urban planning students at the local university. This will be for yard waste, which will be picked up by bike riders pulling small trailers, and as I understand it will be a free service.

    She hopes to start a community garden too, and while they were building the compost site, a couple of the experts looked over the property and said it would also be a great place for a swale, which helps slow down runoff and filter water.

    Her church in Chicago had both a community garden and small compost area, and she would take her fruit & veggie scraps along each time she was heading there. They also were a CSA site and she could pick up her box on Sunday morning. How great is that? I looked into a CSA here and you had to pick up on the farm, which is an hour away. Just not practical.

    All of these efforts are just a drop in the bucket, but they are a start.

    1127 chars

  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Amen, and may her tribe increase!

    33 chars

  12. Sherri said on August 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Our church composts, and has a garden in front which is kept watered by the underground cistern that captures rainwater runoff. Right now, the garden is planted with pumpkins, which the youth groups and the preschool will sell to raise money. We also provide volunteers (from our church and other organizations) for labor at a farm nearby to grow produce for area food banks. (If our priest weren’t a priest, he’d love to be a farmer!)

    435 chars

  13. coozledad said on August 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Old Freedom Fries didn’t get the memo. Only the White House is discussing impeachment!


    Shit shorts is a perfect match for his district. Swamp trash. Next hurricane comes through and sweeps them down the Tar, he’ll be sucking the Feds’ balls.

    312 chars

  14. brian stouder said on August 5, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    OK – I cannot resist “playing the race card” on the boat crash, even as I freely admit my own ignorance on the thing.

    That is, I am assuming the drunken reckless boat driver is a white guy, although the article doesn’t say it.

    The crash killed two people and injured three others. One was clinging to her life Monday afternoon. Police said the 32-year-old Chesterfield Township man who was piloting the Baja was arrested on alcohol-related charges and then released. Police didn’t release his name, but he did submit to a blood test to determine alcohol levels given that police say drinking and high speed may have been factors in the collision, said Sgt. Tim Donnellon, a spokesman for the St. Clair County Sheriff’s office, which is investigating the accident.

    So the authorities indicate they’re investigating and analyzing and interviewing, etc – and meanwhile THEY LET THE KILLER GO??!! The guy who ended the life of two people, and severly injured several others – gets told to run along home, and come back later?

    I’m thinking that it is highly unlikely (to say the least) that if that guy was a black man, the police would still have said “run along home now, and we’ll call you later”.

    ‘Course, I could be wrong, and in fact, I’d love to be wrong

    1313 chars

  15. Dexter said on August 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    BMV theme: I too had to visit the BMV here in Ohio today…timed it perfectly, first time in a long time, no waiting, just step right up, sir, the lady said.
    I had to renew my license. Next month I enter official Old Age, as I will be 65. I knew I would have to put my spectacles on to pass the vision test. Well…I aced it without glasses. I was shocked. I wonder how many people can pass that test at 65 without glasses or contacts…I am glad, but just so surprised.
    I can even drive at night with no glasses, but believe me, they help at night, sharpen things up a bit anyway.
    So here’s to carrot juice and vitamin pills, huzzah!

    644 chars

  16. Basset said on August 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    The connection between carrot juice and good vision actually goes back to WW2 British propaganda – they didn’t want the enemy to know their night defense aircraft had radar so they said they’d been giving their pilots carrots to improve their night vision.

    256 chars

  17. Deborah said on August 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    At the risk of TMI, I have been under the weather today, started yesterday morning and got worse and worse. I either have a UTI or I’m passing a kidney stone again. It has been years since I had anything like this, I had to call my Dr in Chicago and get some meds here in Santa Fe. I think it’s helping. If it doesn’t go away in a couple of days I have to go to a Dr here. I can’t imagine feeling like this for a couple more days.

    430 chars

  18. Dave said on August 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Dexter, you showoff. I doubt I could do that. I reach official old age next April.

    84 chars

  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Deborah, my prayers are with you. That’s not fun.

    This is for Danny if he’s still out there listening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO9uYT5qWFI

    149 chars

  20. Dexter said on August 6, 2014 at 3:25 am

    Deborah, I am with you on this; without a short prescription of pharmaceutical pain meds to get me through last week’s tooth extraction, I would have been writhing around like Tom Hanks’ character was doing in “Cast Away” when his tooth erupted and he was stuck on that tiny island/atoll . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Zy0o5z1_c

    Here’s hoping you are feeling better soon. Rest easy.

    393 chars